make WWAY your homepage  Become a fan on facebook  Follow us on twitter  Receive RSS Newsfeeds  MEMBERS: Register | Login

Still no answers as 'booms' rock Cape Fear coast

READ MORE: Still no answers as 'booms' rock Cape Fear coast

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- The booms are back.

Around 10 a.m. Tuesday, reports came spilling in from around the Cape Fear of loud noises and shaking. For years, the mysterious booms have confused residents who not only want to know what's happening but why.

Some people reported hearing a loud noise while others say they just felt the ground shaking.

The United States Geological Survey says in areas in North Carolina from as far south as Ash in Brunswick County north to Havelock, people felt a weak to light rumble.

We reached out to the USGS office in Memphis that monitors our area. Seismologist Oliver Boyd says nothing registered on the Richter Scale. So what could it have been?

One post on our website said it felt like a surface earthquake like one experienced in California. Boyd says the minimum magnitude that is registered on the scale is between 1.5 and 2. He says if an earthquake is less than that magnitude, it would not be felt.

There was a small earthquake in Virginia early Tuesday morning. Boyd said Wilmington is too far away from the quake to have felt an aftershock.

We also asked if there was any activity in the ocean that could have registered on the coast. Boyd said they had nothing to report.

So is there an answer?

Boyd says we need to figure out if the booms are coming from the earth or the atmosphere which could be determined by putting seismometers into the ground.

There are many theories about what causes this rocking and rolling. But the answers continues to escape scientists.

Disclaimer: Comments posted on this, or any story are opinions of those people posting them, and not the views or opinions of WWAY NewsChannel 3, its management or employees. You can view our comment policy here.


Washington State Coastal Booms

We live in Washington State in a suburb outside of Seattle. Members of our family would frequently visit the Pacific Coast to vacation in an area called Kalaloch here in WA State.

On August 25, 2000 my oldest daughter was vacationing at Kalaloch with her aunt, cousins and her best friend had gone with them. The beach along that area has rip tides, but as the land is very gradual in it's descent one can be fooled with confidence. In any case three of the girls, one of which was my daughter, got caught up in a rip tide and they were pulled out quite a ways. Here is the incident report from the local area:

After this was over and while speaking with my daughter about this she told me of these extremely loud and terrifying booms they were hearing when they were far out into the surf. I have never heard of anyone on the land mentioning any booms and I've never heard any while visiting Kalaloch.

Very interesting. I will have to try and find a youtube of Cape Fear booms and have my daughter listen to see if it sounds similar.

I live on oak island and

I live on oak island and have experienced the "booms" many times. We had a daschund who sadly passed this year. In the past, we would notice him acting scared and hiding under furniture or trying to stay in our laps. We finally figured out that when he displayed this behavior, we would have a "boom" within the hour or so. None of the people we know who have pets have experienced this with their animals. The booms are very real, and they vary in intensity. Sometimes it is one "boom", short and over, while other times it seems to reverberate for a few seconds or so, accompanied by shaking that can be felt in the structure of our home and in the pit of our stomach. We have done much internet research, called certain gov't agencies, and there does not seem to be a straight answer out there. Baffling....Not tectonics, certainly not sonic from aircraft, DOD won't admit to any type of or sea... I tend to lean towards our military and their long record of withholding the truth from citizenry.

My dog does the same 30-45

My dog does the same 30-45 min before boom I did the same called around I thought I was hearing booms and my dog get tterrified but no one hears it I guess just some people but here in San Diego its assume it the military .

Very strange indeed .. i

Very strange indeed .. i personally think the booms are coming from alien/ extraterrestrial activity ...


Sunday again at 2pm there was another boom. In Southport you hear them more than 3 times a month. It's like the same noise that comes from a Factory that has to release gases from their silo's occasionally like many heard in NM.

So, is it the Nuclear Power Plant releasing some form of gases, or is it the Tetonic Plates pushing us back out to sea, or could it be a FUTURE SINK HOLE, as the area here is using a lot of water to keep the city of Wilmington going and well, when water is removed from the earth or aquifers there becomes a hole, which can and will someday SINK.

Why is this question never answered but the Ball Park is asking for money from the Tax Payers? As a Tax Payer, I want some DAMNED ANSWERS FROM THIS TOWN!

The Sonic Booms are coming

The Sonic Booms are coming from all the Sonic Drive-Ins in and around the Cape Fear region. They just turn their volume up past the Red Line. Ours come from the one on Market Street.
It's either that or Whale Poots! solved!

They're just sonic booms

Guys, these booms are more than likely just sonic booms which are being produced by the SR-71 spy plane replacement or some other experimental black project/classified aircraft and no, I am not trying to be funny by saying that. I am ex-military and can tell you that the Federal government will never come out and say "yeah we were flying an experimental/classified aircraft which was causing you guys' sonic booms for obvious reasons. Just saying.

"just sayin" evidently

"just sayin" evidently you're not from the area and have not experienced this phenomenon. Do not drop condescending comments on those of us who have heard all the same comments for many years. These "sonic booms from secret gov't projects" have been recorded in the area since long before the Wright bros. made history with their flight. Based on your comments, the gov't has some REALLY surprising secrets, such as ss vehicles a century ago. shutup

Sonic Booms and Cannons

I wonder if they had cannons and artillery in the 1800s? I wonder if they had nitroglycerin and Dynamite. I wonder if there were military bases and training. NOPE. Its all a mystery..LOL

We just heard it again on

We just heard it again on 1/15/2013 from Oak Island, NC. It was a rolling rumble sounding more like thunder than a sonic boom. There were no t-storms in the area at the time either. I may have heard a jet shortly after the "drums" though, so your theory could very well be correct. I'd like to think so rather than it being an earthquake or weather related phenomenon. I would feel better if the military would tell us if it's them.

Hearing the same

Pretty sure i heard and felt the same "Boom" and rumble in Cape May,NJ. So the rock quarry explaination is out. Weather phenomena over the ocean might work but i am a few hundred miles from Cape Fear. It was undoubtedly the same time and date.

Loud boom followed by house shaking

At 1:10 am on 3-9-12, I was in my kitchen with my 2 overnight guests when we heard a very loud booming sound followed by the whole house shaking. I live in Illinois and we have had a few very minor earthquakes here so I have experienced them. This seemed like an earthquake to me! I reported it to the police and they said that nobody else had called them. All the neighbors except for 1 were asleep but this was so loud, how could it not wake up somebody? We are puzzled as to what this could have been caused by. Nobody has any answers and it scares me! Then I Google it and find that other people in other states have had this same thing happen to them! What the hell is going on?

Just read an article where

Just read an article where NASA has finally concluded that the planet Mars has never had an Earthquake after a 2 billion dollar study...and here's why:
It has had Mars quakes!

Yesterday was my sons first

Yesterday was my sons first birthday, he was asleep in his crib when we heard loud bangs like a dumpster truck was right by my front door, and our entire house shook. Not sure what it was but you people should stop making jokes about this, its serious. For the entire area the feel and hear the same thing which would seem like a earthquake is sketchy. Yes the military or natural disaster could be an explanation but you people saying " I was playing my drums etc" need to find something better to do with your time than write on a news channels website making jokes about what happened. Kinda immature. Let's me realistic here guys. Hopefully we will be given the truth about what the event as soon as they know or if they already do. Because the public deserves an answer for their safety.

most of us make jokes about

most of us make jokes about it because we have lived here our whole lives and have experienced them that long. we're used to them. i know ive been here for 30 years and feel them all the time and in those 30 years no one has ever been able to explain them...doubt they will have an answer about it anytime soon

Columbia County officials

Columbia County officials believe a loud, window-rattling “boom” this morning in the Appling area was caused by blasting at a rock quarry on Columbia Road.

"(Martin Marietta quarry) just confirmed that they had a shot at 10:30 a.m.," county Emergency and Operations Director Pam Tucker said in an email.

Reports of the noise have come in from across the northern end of the county about the time of the reported blast.

Initially, officials thought the noise came from a sonic boom created by a military aircraft breaking the sound barrier.

Martin Marietta was expected to blast rock today, but not until noon, Tucker said.

Though some thought the boom might have come from an earthquake, Tucker said none have been detected by either the Savannah River Site Geotch Group or by the U.S. Geological Survey.

There have been widespread reports of a loud noise as far away as North Carolina. One person responding to a Facebook post reported hearing the noise in Wrens, Ga.

"Considering that they blast every couple of weeks and we never have this kind of response from people to (have) heard or felt it, it must have been a large one," Tucker said.

Later, Tucker said that "due to the placement of the blasting in the pit, the energy was expelled out from the shot, causing it to be heard for the distances reported."

Blasting is what Columbia Middle School secretary Wendy Prickett assumed she was hearing this morning. “It kind of shook our doors,” she said.

The school is located next to the Dogwood Quarry, so personnel at Columbia Middle are accustomed to hearing blasting. Typically, though, the blasts occur at the end of the work day, when the quarry usually dynamites rock for removal.

On Ray Owens Road, about 4 miles away, North Columbia Elementary secretary Nancy Kensinger said “at first we thought somebody was on the roof working,” and then teachers told them the boom shook their interactive boards in their classrooms.

“It kind of felt like a large gust of wind slamming into the side of our building,” said a Martinez Columbia firefighter at Fire Rescue Station 10 on Ray Owens Road.

Not the Rock Quarry

I used to live on Columbia Road (15 years) and am familiar with the rock quarry blasts. I now live in Wilmington, NC. What I felt yesterday, and have felt and heard in the past in Wilmington, are not the same as the rock quarry blasts. What we experienced here yesterday happened just after 10:00 am. What was felt in Columbia County was at 10:30. The speed of sound in air is about 12 miles per minute. Evans is about 300 miles from Wilmington. The numbers work out this may have been a huge sonic boom. It was probably too large to be military craft. I am working on a theory that huge atmospheric pressure differentials are being created just off the coast, basically when high pressure and low pressure meet suddenly and the pressure differential has to resolve itself immediately.

Shook the walls and ceiling in our Bolivia office!

We heard both the large boom and it shook our office ceiling and walls. We ran outside to see if there was any black smoke in the skyline and saw others who ran outside as well. I have never heard anything like it! It sounded like a huge explosion!


I was working at the Brunswick Nuclear Plant yesterday and clearly heard the boom. It came from the direction of Sunny Point and sounded like an explosion. I asked a few plant regulars about it and they quickly changed the subject.

Something weird was going on indeed... and I strongly suspect whatever it was was man made.


I work at the Plant too and was there the same time... the sound came from the complete opposite direction and was not remotely close nor coming from Sunny Point. Why would you make up such a story?

We were on the south side of

We were on the south side of the RCA... everyone looked North when it happened... I'm not suggesting it was SP, and it is possible we were hearing an echo off the #2 reactor building.

Now go write an NSR nerdboy

Clearly one of you is wrong...

We are all sure there is no way the noise could be coming the from the largest weapons depot in the Country. Thank you. Darned story maker uppers...

UFO?.... who knows?

UFO?.As suggested by another.....Kinda fits with underwater launchpad type theories associated with some reported sightings of UFOs by shipmen and pilots. Maybe that's why we hear them so often near large bodies of water.

Aliens are lost

I like your reply, it's funny, though, if the aliens are looking for Intelligent life, they sure are in the WRONG PLACE.

Thanks, I liked your post, it made me smile! I saw the 4th kind and I surely do not believe the planet Earth is the only planet with life, it's just that in this area, FEW ARE INTELLIGENT!

PS: See the 4th Kind, it's a doc on this topic. Pretty good footage, and of course, many cover ups, as is common.

Earth Tremor this morning

At around 10:00 am this morning I felt a vibration and heard a loud noise by my window. I thought it was some one working on the house so I looked outside to see what was going on and saw nothing. My wife also felt and heard the same thing. It made our bedroom window vibrate. We live in Magnolia Green Leland, NC 28451.

sonic booms, what's causing them???

My opinion is that as Nibiru gets closer it's causing gravitational pull on earth which is heating up the magma and causing it to raise closer to the surface. As it does it meets gas deposits and is igniting them, which makes the 'sonic booms' heard around the planet. As for the othe weird sounds I think it's presurized air/? that is being forced out of any opening it can. opinion.

your opinion is wrong

sorry , no planet x... your opinion is wrong and your grasp of geology and astronomy is way off


she said it was her/hims opinion. no need to be rude. and how could you say she/he is way off when scientists dont even know whats going on?

It's the sound of Freedom...

Thank you to the the fourth fighter wing of SJAFB for rocking our town, The world's leading MIG killers, if they can not train here, just how far do they have to go to launch. God Bless!

I live downtown wilmington

I live downtown wilmington and I woke up at 10am to my washer and dryer shaking violently next to my bedroom(they both moved about 10 in)...didn't know what was going on. And now it has happened again 12 hours later...and still no explanation?? That's so frustrating! i smell a coverup