[DM] Residents in Alabama were left baffled last week when a loud boom resounded across much of the state.
The boom, nicknamed ‘Bama Boom’, has left experts stumped, with suggested causes ranging from supersonic aircrafts to meteors exploding in the atmosphere.
This isn’t the first time that the mysterious sound has been heard, and incidents are becoming more frequent according to some reports.
This year alone, similar noises have been reported 64 times this year, in locations including Michigan, Lapland, St Ives, Swansea and Yorkshire.
Scroll down for a full list of booms in 2017
Alabama, November 14
Cause: Unknown, suggested explanations include a sonic boom from an aircraft or a meteorite
The Birmingham National Weather Service tweeted:
Re: loud boom heard: we do not see anything indicating large fire/smoke on radar or satellite; nothing on USGS indicating an earthquake. We don’t have an answer, and can only hypothesize with you. 1) sonic boom from aircraft; 2) meteorite w/ current Leonid shower?
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) November 14, 2017
The service suggested that the sound was either caused by a sonic boom from aircraft, or a meteorite from the Leonid shower.
But NASA has since cast doubt on these explanations.
Speaking to ABC 3340, Bill Cooke, head of NASA’s Meteoroid Environment Office, said that the boom could have been caused by a supersonic aircraft, a ground explosion, or a bolide – a large meteor that explodes in the atmosphere unrelated to the Leonid shower.
While the noise was picked up by the US Geological Survey, data suggests that the boom wasn’t the result of an earthquake.
The boom may have been caused by a military flight by a supersonic jet, although the US Air Force is yet to confirm this.
The Bama Boom is just one of many mysterious booms heard worldwide this year.
Idaho, November 15
The day after the boom in Alabama, a similar noise was heard in Idaho.
Multiple people reported hearing a loud boom over the Lewiston-Clarkston Valley around 23:00.
Many of the reports described the sound as being similar to a sonic boom, although its cause and location remain unclear.
Cairns, October 10
Cause: Unknown, suggested explanations include a meteorite, a gas bottle explosion or military plane
On October 10, a boom was heart over Cairns, Queensland that had the city baffled.
Residents’ theories ranged from a meteorite to a gas bottle explosion or military plane.
A FA-18 Hornet plane was heard flying over Cairns the previous night, but no jets were flying on the night when the ‘explosion’ happened.
Abergavenny, May 11
Residents in Abergavenny, Wales, were also shocked after they heard a series of booms on May 11.
Speaking to the Abergavenny Chronicle, one resident said: ‘It nearly gave me a heart attack it was that loud. At first I thought it was shotgun blast or a firework, but it was way too loud for that. It sounded more like a tank going off.
‘My husband said it was probably mini meteors colliding with the earth, but have you ever heard such nonsense?’
Again, the source of the Welsh booms have remained unsolved.
But other booms this year have had explanations behind them.
Lapland, November 17
Cause: Falling meteor
On November 17, a boom in Lapland was caused by a fireball from a falling meteor.
Footage showed a bright light in the sky over Inari in Finland – but the flash was so intense it was also seen in Russia’s Kola Peninsula and in northern Norway.
Stargazers reported seeing the sky ‘light up like day’ for a few seconds alongside a loud noise as the space rock plummeted towards Earth.
Eyre Peninsula, October 27
Cause: Falling meteor
On October 27, another boom was heard over Eyre Peninsula in Australia, as a bright blue meteor shot across the sky.
The loud bangs weren’t caused by the fireball hitting Earth, and instead were caused by the change in pressure as the meteor soared through the air.
Speaking to News.com.au, Renee Sayers, a spokeswoman from the Desert Fireball Network, explained: ‘The shock wasn’t from it hitting the ground; It is like a sonic boom shock, a pressure shock.’
Central Florida, May 7
Cause: Supersonic flight testing
Other booms have been known to be caused by secret military missions.
On May 7, a boom rattled Central Florida, caused by a military mission ending at the Kennedy Space Centre.
The US Air Force tweeted: ‘The Air Force #X37B #OTV4 has returned from orbit and landed safely at @NASAKennedy.
MYSTERY BOOMS IN 2017
November 18 – Michigan
November 19 – Damascus – caused by airstrikes
November 17 – Lapland – caused by meteor
November 15 – Idaho
November 14 – Alabama
November 8 – Tennessee
November 4 – Oregon
November 3 – Minnesota
November 1 and 2 – New Jersey and San Diego
October 27 – Eyre Peninsula – caused by meteor
October 25 – New Jersey
October 20 – British Columbia
October 17 – North Carolina
October 10 – Detroit
September 25 – St Ives
September 22 – Temple Terrace, Florida
September 17 – Maryland, Pennsylvania, New York, Virginia, Delaware, New Jersey, Ohio and Massachusetts – caused by meteor
September 7 – Moranbah, Australia
May 30 – Tauranga, New Zealand
May 26 – Kent
May 24 – Texas
May 19 – Massachusetts
May 16-17 – Lincolnshire
May 13 – Ontario – caused by earthquake
May 12 – Tennessee
May 11 – Abergavenny, Wales
May 7 – Florida – caused by secret military mission
April 25 – San Diego
April 17 – Michigan
April 15 – Michigan
April 9 – Maine
April 3 – Texas
March – Vermont
March 27 – Cornwall
March 26 – Arizona
March 25 – Gordonvale, Australia
March 22 – Wisconsin
March 13 – Virginia – caused by earthquake
March 12 – New York
March 11 – Kentucky
March 5 – Montreal
March 2 – Nottingham
February 27 – Louisiana
February 13 – Ohio
February 12 – Indiana
February 10 – Pennsylvania
January 30 – New Orleans
January 30 – Washington D.C
January 29 – Maryland
January 24 – San Diego
January 20 – Swansea
January 19 – New Orleans
January 18 – North Carolina
January 17 – Canterbury
January 16 – Beddgelert, Wales
January 16 – Greater Manchester
January 13 – Marseilles
January 12 – North Yorkshire
January 6 – Louisiana
January 6 – Oregon
January 5 – Liverpool
January 4 – Missouri
January 4 – Washington
January 3 – Connecticut