Even More Mystery Booms Reported in Utah, California (Updated)

Even More Mystery Booms Reported in Utah, California (Updated)

They showed up this week in Oklahoma, were then recorded in Massachusetts, and one reader even reported them in Indiana, but it seems that the “Mystery Booms” are still going strong with new reports coming out of the West Coast.

The first new set of strange explosions were heard in Weber County, Utah last night around 9:00 PM, prompting hundreds of concerned citizens to phone the local authorities. Interestingly enough, when Fox 13 News rang up the University of Utah to check in with the Seismograph department, they claimed that while there were no earthquakes to speak of, they did pick up some unidentified “sonic activity” around the time the booms were reported.

One resident believed that the noises were related to aircraft:

Sonic booms. They’re not supposed to break the sound barrier of the continental U.S., but they did so. I know they’re doing some night training over the West Desert because I saw a string of tracers being fired high in the sky tonight, about 10 or 11 o’clock. Way out west of Skull Valley.


The local Hill Airforce base, on the other hand, claims that they had no aircraft in the air after 6:00PM. Likewise, the National Guard stated that had no weapons training that day, while the ATF told reporters that there were not rocket tests that day either. Hrmm..

Eric Anderson believes the noises were coming from none other than Area 51, but that we shouldn’t start blaming the extraterrestrials:

The Area 51 guys could also be playing around with their latest hypersonic gadgets. (NOT “aliens”. Area 51 is an actual air base where they test things they won’t officially talk about for another 10 years or so.)

The next reports of strange booms in the sky came from North Hollywood, California at 9:30PM. The LA Times blog reported that folks first thought the noise had emanated from a North Hollywood metro station, but as of now the source of the explosion is still unknown to authorities.

“Seriously, any leads what the hell this boom was in North Hollywood? Im shook up a bit” tweeted @RajRawal37

Maybe it was just The Last Exorcism 2 (for real?) sucking at the speed of sound.

UPDATE 1/10/12: At least in the case of the Utah booms, the Air Force has come out and pinned the noises on “ordinance tests” at a nearby base:

“Aircraft noises, explosions and other military operations conducted on the UTTR can sometimes be heard on the East side of the Great Salt Lake,” said George Jozens, Hill AFB spokesman. “If weather conditions are just right, sound will carry, ricochet and even be amplified and travels many miles. Barksdale’s B-52s were dropping ordnance during training about 9 p.m. last night directly West of the southern part of the Great Salt Lake on the UTTR.”

Mundane explanation or government cover-up, this still leaves plenty of other unexplained explosions unsolved.

Have you heard any mysterious booms in your neck of the woods? Let us know! Tweet us @whoforted or drop by our Facebook page with your story!


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  1. S. Hill

    01/09/2013 at 4:48 PM

    Shallow earthquakes 1.5 magnitude or below won’t be recorded on seismographs. But they may transmit sound through the air.

    There are SO many possibilities for these booms that it can be difficult to pinpoint the exact cause. But booms (look up “brontides”) are so widespread that they are not very unusual. I think people freak now because they are on edge about a possible hazard to themselves – explosion of nuke plant, bomb, missile, gas line blows up, local meth lab erupts, etc.

    BUT… I would like to know how many people actually are able to fire cannons around town. Sounds like you might need a special permit for that.

  2. Marie Skipps

    01/09/2013 at 9:28 PM

    Reported in the Deseret News, A Salt Lake based newspaper
    Hill Air Force Base said Wednesday that B-52 Stratofortresses from Barksdale AFB, La., were conducting bombing runs at the Utah Test and Training Range on Tuesday evening.

    • Greg Newkirk

      01/09/2013 at 9:46 PM

      Awesome! Looks like this article solves that case. Now we just need to figure out the other ones. Could it be some kind of coordinated air force training?

  3. RayG

    01/10/2013 at 10:51 AM

    who says they “cant go supersonic over the continental US”? They can, and do it all the time in the western ranges and test areas. They broke the SB on Mythbusters for an experiment for criminy’s sake. And That was at 500 ft in the air.

  4. Mike Franklin

    01/10/2013 at 4:34 PM

    These kinds of stories turn up every day or so… like those for unidentified aerial objects. But the thing here is that we have no one in any position of authority to answer the questions. Our government basically ignores it… science doesn’t leave its musty leather-bound chamber… and the media doesn’t do more than ridicule those who dare report openly.

    What we’re left with is… hoping that a little guessing mixed with what we might hope to be common sense, is enough.

  5. JillV

    01/16/2013 at 2:56 PM

    maybe they’re blowing up their underground alien lair?

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