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.


i felt it here in burgaw.

i felt it here in burgaw. definatley stronger than the one we had here a few months ago. shook things in this steel building i have never heard shake before in almost 2 years of being here

Large Booms

I am from California and it sure felt like a surface quake which happen really quick.

God fell down!!!

God fell down!!!

Repoort It Here to USGS Gov

Link to USGS

Report it here for usgs to follow up... Time on previous link incorrect for that kind of sharke.. Patio door bounced open... wtfo..

Report Link to USGS

Seneca Guns?

Someone posted on my FB page that they felt it in Greenville at the same time. It's hard to believe that could be Seneca Guns that far away. Felt more like a small tremor.


I live in Ogden and also felt this. Only I didn't hear no noice. My house started making sounds as if a strong wind just hit it, but no trees were moving outside and as soon as I realized it wasn't the wind my whole house shook. The roof moved enough to scare me and grab my child just incase anything bad was going to happen. I'm not sure if it was a tremmor or something else. I also heard that there could have been a plane crash near by. Whatever the case is, I just want to know what the heck scared the crap out of me and my child. :)



UFO huh.....

Kinda fits with underwater launchpad based 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.

Lmao hey... its possible..

Lmao hey... its possible..

seneca guns

I felt the shaking here on North Topsail Beach. It lasted like 30 seconds. I didn't hear anything though. I live close enough to Camp LeJeune that when they are setting off bombs I usually feel them and hear them. They only last a second though. This felt like an Earthquake to me.

I agree.

I agree with you that it was no "guns". It lasted roughly about that long as well here, except it was two seperate times. Maybe it was an aftershock from Virginia... who knows.

I felt it very strong in

I felt it very strong in Supply, NC too. This one lasted a while. I am on the same line as the military planes that fly over and sometimes they cause the house to shake, but this was no airplane. I've been feeling these since the 1960's and it's hard to believe that they still haven't figured out what it is. I've always heard from my older relatives that it's the plates shifting in the ocean. They are fishermen and they use to feel it in their boats while fishing.


I would really like to know what causes this sort of thing in our area!



No this happened around 10:30am - this earthquake in VA happened at 12:15 this morning. The only explanation of this is the earthquake from Japan! It was a mag of 5.5 at 502km deep.