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WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) — The Science Channel will feature the Cape Fear Region tomorrow on the series premiere of “The Unexplained Files.”

The episode called “The Carolina Beach Boom” profiles the so-called Seneca Guns frequently heard and felt around the region.

These inexplicable, window-shaking booms have been heard for decades leaving some speculating if the rumbles are from the ground below or even linked to aliens.

WWAY has done stories on the booms in the past, but we have found no definitive explanation.

You can find out the what the Science Channel thinks is the reason behind these booms tomorrow at 9 p.m. Check your local listings.

Comment on this Story

  • Guest Reply Redux

    The only “recorded BOOM sound” was recorded on a guy’s cell phone?????
    Thank goodness for DVR. Zipped through a million commercials on this show!

  • Dennis Harper Bronxville NY

    I saw the guy with the cell phone. He’s on the right track. In fact he got me thinking of a novel way to collect good data on the source of the mystery sound.

    I’ve submitted a basic outline to someone at Duke University that has an interest in this Seneca Guns subject. My concept is a low cost and easy to implement system that would provide good accurate scientific data. The hardware is nothing special or beyond the hobbyist level.

    The first thing is the need for a project leader, maybe the person I’m thinking of at Duke or it could be at another school, the University of North Carolina-Wilmington comes to mind. It’s too early to say.

    It’s best for this to be a university/college project since this is primarily an earth science project. Also a college setting is a ready made source of engineering resources such as volunteer students with electronics and computer skills. The need for deep computing such as SETI is not needed. But computers are needed in the areas where the earth booms, Mistpouffers, military sonic booms, moodus noise or whatever it is occurs. My concept can analyze any wide area sound, man-made or natural. An enhancement would provide 3D data. Complete data analysis would require specialized knowledge of factors that affect atmospheric sound transmission.

    Let’s see where this goes.
    Dennis Harper – Bronxville NY

  • Ed

    Yeah, with the most recent incident supposedly occurring in March 2013 and the proliferation of digital everything, they should be able to go to 100 different sources for recordings of that event, if it occurred in anything other than imaginations.

  • Coastal/NC/native

    I am a coastal NC native and a retired Army veteran, and I have lived in this very same area that is being talked about most of my life. I watched this show and concluded that the discovery channel and its affliates are nothing more than a bunch of fearmongers trying to scare up a new type of paranormal phenomenon to stir the aready paranoid alien/UFO/ghost seeker/researchers. These occurences are what the local military bases (the dozen or so around here) refer to as “the sound of freedom”. These are miitary training exercises that take place all the time on designated training islands/sites near and off the shore. If you happened to watch this show, then you probably noticed they breifly touched on the subject of “mysterious orange glows” off the beach in paterns, and those are easily explained as military parachute flares that are used during those training exercises for lighting purposes of their immediate area they’re training near. Don’t buy into this media driven “Seneca Gun” hype, it’s a tactic to appease to the super paranoid and to gain ratings.
    Now, before the responses come in from the “believers” that state this is a phemonenon that predates the modern military weaponry and technology, keep in mind North Carolina’s rich military history that includes seaside forts (in these areas where the “mysterious” booms have been heard) that date back to the early 19th century. All of which had artillery capable of producing these rumbling and thunderous booms.

  • C

    It’s definitely not just occurring in imaginations, but it doesn’t happen nearly as often as they make it seem, as far as i can tell. ive only heard it a couple times, but the worst was when i was a kid-13 or so-and there was a huge BOOM that even made doors in the house slam shut and obviously startled everyone. In the local ewspaper and on the local news hours, and days right after that there was talk of the sonic boom that had just occurred off the coast… i’m sure theres a good explanation for it, and yeah, ive lost my faith in channels like the discovery channel also. mtv=music discovery=education. only there for entertainment purposes and $.

  • Jace

    I hear it probably 2-3 times a week here in currituck county. I’m home a lot with my kids, but I know people in Chesapeake can’t hear it (my husband never hears them there during work, and thats usually when they are). Its loud, big enough to feel the house vibrate, if that makes sense. Think lightning cracking right next to you. It doesn’t really shake the house, but you can feel it. We just moved here so I’m googling now to find out what it is, its so strange. With all the military around here though, my money is on that.

  • Matt G

    I watched the show tonight. I’m from New England, lived in Southern California, and now in Tennessee. I have felt earthquakes on both coasts and lived hear military installations. I’m not going to she I know what they are because I have no avoid direct experience. However it seems to me based on all the information I heard, this is a NATURAL phenomenon. If these booms were reported earlier than mechanical vehicles invented, Air or sea, it can’t be anything military related- it is out of the question. As for no direct reported centered earthquakes to nearby Wilmington at the time of the sounds. It seems to be out of the question. But there are lights or orbs seen off the coast from time to time during these booms. There are several fault lines right off the coast. My theory is that these faults are releasing some sort of gas, set of by minor earthquakes from nearby regions. These gas pockets aren’t going to be big Richter scale grinders. I think you’ll find a relationship between these distant quakes and the burps out at sea.

  • Roger

    We moved to Brunswick county from Charlotte in 2011. Ever since then, we’ve heard the booms fairly regularly. They sometimes shake the entire house. Just yesterday morning, a series of them woke me up. There were probably five or six of them. One was so loud and concussive one day it felt as if a bomb exploded in the house. It was very unsettling. Having been a part of, I believe it is the military (Marines most likely) playing off-shore. We have a lot of low-level fast-mover flyovers. One yesterday after the booms as a matter of fact.

  • Virginia

    I saw the same three large golden orange orbs in that arrangement in Brevard, NC in 2002. These three huge orbs “stayed” in the “V” of two mountains (about two miles NW of where I was standing), for more than a half an hour (10:30-11:00 pm). There were also much smaller red orbs coming and going from them. I had binoculars but no camera at the time, so unfortunately the skeptics will brush me off, but I know what I saw was “not” something of ours. Seriously people, do we really have something that travels those speeds, are that large and give off golden orange glows and “hover” for over 1/2 hour, with red “orbs”/objects flying into and around them? They were not flares/balloons/or whatever other weak excuse the government or others will throw at us.

    I heard no sounds, not even overhead aircraft, even when one of the red orbs was speeding so fast towards one of the golden orbs that it left a florescence (extreme heating of the plasma in the air)in a V behind it. The night was clear, calm, and warm, with no moon at that time.

    I am writing this to let Ms. Byrd know that she if far from alone in what she saw and in the frustration she must be feeling when always getting no answers to these most pressing issues.

  • April

    I just saw the show on tv. I live near an Air Force by the coast in Florida and I hear booms all of the time. Some do rattle my house. Sounds like your “guns” are coming from military activity.

  • john

    not from military aircraft. the booms have been reported and documented since the 1800’s. i have personally felt the booms last year when i was working about 10 miles from the beach. they shake you to the core of your body. its a truly strange occurrence


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