March 21, 2013 – SOUTHERN NEW JERSEY - Just after 3 o’clock Tuesday afternoon residents in Atlantic, Cape May, and Cumberland counties say they felt multiple earthquake-like tremors that rattled their homes and offices. Absecon resident, Kay Stadlmeir, said, “I don’t think it would be an earthquake, but what could it be? It’s just really odd.” Somers Point resident, Bob Mower, explained, “There was a rattling of my windows and I felt the house shake just a little bit – it was unusual.” Stadlmeir told NBC40, “It has to be something really big to be witnessed in such a widespread area of South Jersey.” The reports vary from region to region. Atlantic county emergency management officials confirmed with the U.S. Geological Survey that it was not an earthquake. The next thought was that military training or an aircraft flying by might have caused the shakes. Both the 177th Fighter Wing in Egg Harbor Township and Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst confirmed none of their aircrafts were in the area at that time. Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst is still working to confirm whether or not any ground training was happening at the time, although it is unlikely that would cause such a widespread shake. Stadlmeir said, “I really don’t think it’s a sonic boom because, you know as I said before, I’ve experienced them before and this is nothing like that.” Mower told NBC40, “That was real unusual. I almost wondered if I was dreaming on that one.” After initial reports of the shakes came in, NBC40 put the word out on Facebook to see who else felt it. Immediately we received hundreds of responses from all over South Jersey. Concerned Egg Harbor Township resident, Oliana Collado, said, “I just think it’s weird because some people didn’t feel it and it’s like in random spots, and it’s very spread out. Yeah it was scary, but I’m just glad it wasn’t worse than what it was.” When we reached out to New Jersey State Police Headquarters, we were told that our call marked the first time they had heard about possible tremors and they were unable to tell us anything further. NBC40 will continue to investigate the cause of these mysterious tremors. –NBC40
The mystery of the “loud boom” heard in parts of the region over the weekend may go unsolved as efforts to find the source of the boom proved a bust Monday.
Hundreds of people in at least four counties — Franklin, Hamilton, Saline and Williamson — flocked to social media to report hearing a windows-rattling, earth-shaking boom between 1 and 2 p.m. Saturday.
No damages or injuries were reported as a result of the boom.
“I have no way of knowing exactly what occurred but it was not likely an earthquake,” geophysicist Don Blakeman of the National Earthquake Information Center said. “There is nothing on our lists, only the last one on the 11th (near Benton).”
Some earthquakes are heard as well as felt, he said, but if it was so widespread as to be heard in four counties, “We would be able to locate it as an earthquake,” he said. “Typically, when loud booms are heard it turns out to be a sonic boom, although I’m not saying that’s what it was in this instance.”
However, if the boom was sonic in nature, it wasn’t caused by military action. Neither Scott Air Force Base nor the North American Aerospace Defense Command reported activity taking place in the region Saturday.
“We were not in that area with any of our assets,” a NORAD spokesman said.
A Scott Air Force spokeswoman confirmed no Scott or military-related activities or exercises took place in Southern Illinois over the weekend.
The boom was not weather-related, according to meteorologist Robin Smith of the National Weather Service in Paducah said.
Nor was it related to any coal mining activity, a spokeswoman for the Illinois Office of Mines and Minerals said.
The swarm of social media postings caused Franklin County Emergency Management Agency Director Ryan Buckingham to make his own post on the agency’s Facebook page.
“Residents in Franklin County are reporting what was described as a ‘ground-shaking loud boom’ during the day on Saturday 3/16/2013. USGS (U.S. Geological Survey) has not reported any earthquake activity in our area during that time, leaving the cause of these reports as somewhat of a mystery,” Buckingham wrote.
The mystery was not cleared up by Monday, he said.
“We picked it up first on social media. A lot of people heard it but didn’t have a source for it,” Buckingham said. “I put a feeler out on Facebook because if there is a threat to public safety, that’s something we need to know about it, but no one had any idea what caused it.”
While the source of the boom has yet to be traced, Buckingham said it should serve as a reminder for residents to have a plan in place in case of emergency.
But while the incidents in Michigan and New Jersey were researched from a distance, it just so happens that this writer was in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina when the two “mysterious booms” in the first article took place. At the time, I described the incidents as follows:
[The incidents] spann[ed] the entire Pee Dee region and all the way into North Carolina. On the evening of November 5, around 7:30-7:45 p.m., various law enforcement and local news agencies were contacted by individuals living in the Pee Dee region of South Carolina in reference to a loud “boom” that was large enough to shake their houses.
The reports were numerous around Pamplico, Johnsonville, Marion, Hemingway, Aynor, Nichols, Hannah, and Mullins. However, as stated earlier, reports also came from as far away as Evergreen, North Carolina.
Marion County dispatchers alone received more than 100 calls in ten minutes related to the “booms.”
The US Geological Society has publicly stated that there was no seismic activity in the region on these dates and emergency dispatchers confirmed that there had been no plane crash.
Very soon after the event, Johnsonville Police Chief, Ron Douglas, claimed the “booms” were “from a handful of military aircraft” that had broken the speed of sound. However, this explanation, which was rapidly adopted by the local media, does not hold water. For one thing, most of the individuals I have spoken to (as well as myself) have heard jets break the sound barrier before and both the sound and the impact of the mysterious “booms” were much different than that of jets breaking the sound barrier.
Secondly, if the jets were the cause of the sound and of the heavy vibrational impact that shook so many houses, the jets themselves would have had to be flying very low. But, if the jets were flying low enough for this type of effect to be achieved, witnesses would have also been able to hear the jets.
This writer can personally attest to the intensity of the “booms” as I, myself, was in the area at the time of the incident. The sound, much like what Bob Powell described sounded much more like artillery than any other comparable sound. There was no lead up to the shaking, it was simply as if one was experiencing the vibrations of an explosion.
The impact was so strong that one way to describe hearing and feeling the impact from inside the house, it would be if one could imagine a full grown adult climbing on top of the back of a couch or recliner and leaping off, landing full force on the living room floor. Much like this scenario, the impact was sudden and short-lived. The sound, however, was extremely similar to the firing of artillery, much as Powell described it in Michigan.
The above incident occurred, as mentioned earlier, on November 5. However, one week prior, a similar, albeit weaker, explosion was heard in the same locations. Reports were made to this writer from both Marion and Mullins in terms of the noticeable impacts and sounds of this separate explosion. Like the first, the sound was similar to artillery, the impact was also distinct but sudden and brief.
To my knowledge, there have been no mainstream local reports of the earlier “explosion.” Also as in the second incident, I can personally attest to the nature of the first.
After the initial curiosity surrounding the incidents subsided, news coverage and local talk expectedly subsided as well. Yet, on January 6, 2013, South Carolina residents again began hearing these booms and feeling the vibrations powerful enough to “rattle windows.” This time, the location was not the Pee Dee region but in the Red Bank area of Lexington County. Interestingly enough, around the same time period (between January 2- 6 2013), these “booms” were heard and felt in other locations across the country including in Alaska, Oklahoma, Massachusetts, and Indiana.
The Pee Dee region was not to be overlooked, however, as on March 2, 2013, more reports were published regarding booms and vibrations powerful enough to shake houses. As with the other instances of booms and vibrations, there was no seismological activity in the area at the time.  However, since the first set of occurrences in the Pee Dee region, two individuals have been paying special notice to the incidents of the mysterious booms, detailing and recording the dates of their occurrence as felt in the Conway/Myrtle Beach area. read more at http://www.activistpost.com