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BREAKING FIRST ON 3 UPDATE: What's causing these booms?!?!


WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) - Phone calls have poured in from across the Cape Fear reporting loud booms strong enough to shake the earth Friday afternoon around 3:00pm and Saturday morning around 10:15am. So, what's causing these mysterious booms? No one is claiming them.

So far, the US Geological Survey isn't reporting any earthquakes in the area.

The Marine Corps in Jacksonville says it's not playing war games out in the ocean.

Sunny Point isn't claiming anything.

We've checked with GE in Castle Hayne - no reports of anything there.

The nuclear power plant is Brunswick County says its not responsible.

We've also checked with the tower at ILM and they have no reports of any planes creating sonic booms.

The Sheriff's Departments in New Hanover, Pender and Brunswick Counties are also getting reports of shaking, but don't know yet what the cause was.

An explanation that many are now suggesting is the legend of the "Seneca Guns." Some believe the ghosts of the Seneca Indians are getting revenge by using the guns that Europeans used on them so many years ago.

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.


in tennessee too

I had the same experience twice over the last 24 hours in the Maryville, TN area (9/20/11). One was at 0530 in the morning and woke my husband and I from sleep - a loud boom and then the house trembling. After, there were several smaller booms with less trembling. At 19:45 this evening, I experienced the same scenario - one large boom with shaking, then several smaller ones. We live near an airport that military planes use, but I have never experienced this before. We also live right on a lake (fresh water) - no salt water near, however.

Sonic booms

I live in North Caolina it's been happing all year a really loud one this morning at 10:20 shook my house. My husband thinks the government may be building underground bunkers. Check google it's not just the U.S it's al over the world. I would really like an answer

Cause of the booms

Around the world this seems to always occur near large bodies of salt water where rivers of fresh water flow into them.

Think of the surface of the ocean as a large bass drum. When salt water and fresh water mix there is a decrease in volume, in other words, when 1 gallon of fresh water and 1 gallon of salt water mix--the resulting volume is less than 2 gallons. Also there is a large energy interchange when two very large volumes mix. The combination of the two could result in rapid volume changes large enough to reverberate and cause sound.

Since this has been going on longer than there have been supersonic aircraft, I would rule that out. There is always the consideration of USO, Unidentified Submerged Objects.

Also consider "The wheel".

The only problem with that

The only problem with that theory is that the water in the cape fear river is brackish. Based upon your concept this infusion of water should cause the energy exchange to occur well up river. Testing on the river shows that salt content within the river exists well past Wilmington.

I have lived in Southport

I have lived in Southport since July 2009 and I hear and feel it all the time. It sounds like a canon. And then the ground and house shakes. I am really worried about what this could be. Someone needs to investigate. I live close to the Oak Island bridge and wildlife boat put in. I just thought it was dredging or something in the waterway. I hope nothing is seriously wrong.


I hear these unexplained "booms" every now and again. i like in south port, north Carolina, and the booms are getting more and more common here. The government needs to be doing some serious investigating on this instead of just letting it bloe over. bc when ur whole house shakes and u hear a loud boom its really scary.

The Best Yet in Hampstead

Having been raised in the area I have experienced this several times over the years. Today at 9:55 AM I was more than startled when the first boom occurred following by two much less intense ones seconds after.
The Dog freaked, I freaked. By far the most intense I've ever felt and heard.
Would love to see the situation discussed by a qualified panel on TV.

More booms today at 9:30,

More booms today at 9:30, perfectly clear sky and no planes visible by eye or could be heard by ear. The mystery continues... maybe I will ocean front property after all. Does anyone have a seismograph I can borrow?


Just heard another loud boom this morning, 9:55AM in Southport. Shook the house. Certainly would like to know what is causing these booms. Not knowing makes me nervous.

I heard a similar boom

I heard a similar boom around 9pm nov17th 2010 being a military person before i dont think it sounded like a jet sonic boom ,it sounded like an explosian. I have heard alot of both b4 been checking around news and nothing on it,by the way this is greensboro NC but windows on house shook ,dont feel it was tremor cause house didnt shake,just the windows ,but good luck finding out the cause.

boom heard

if everyone from Wrightsville Beach, to Leland,and all points in between felt and heard the boom at the same time on Saturday Nov. 6th, at 10:15am, as I did, it cannot be a sonic boom. I have lived here for over 25 years, and hear it every few years, usually last a few days, and goes away for a few years-wish I knew what it is, could it be a small earthquake? Don't think it's military either, since it is felt so widespread-

I don't understand what all

I don't understand what all the ruckus is about. The military doesn't have to be playing "war games" for a jet to fly fast enough to break the sound barrier.

just heard another -

just heard another - southport 10:57am

Just felt one

North Howe Street, Southport, NC, 10:52 am, 11/16/2010.....


11/17/10 Holden Beach area

11/17/10 Holden Beach area about 11:30 (I think?) Have heard several big booms in the past week. I just assume they are sonic booms, as a few seconds afterward you can usually hear the jet. What's all the hype, when we are so close to several military bases? Seneca Guns? Shifting plates? I think not, I heard them as I was growing up in KY and was always told it was sonic booms. Doesn't bother me, but scares the heck out of my dog :o)


The widows, doors, cabinets all shook. The dog got scared and upset and started to bark. 10 minutes later military jets flew over fast and low. I looked around and saw cracks in the Sheetrock at seem areas, cracks in the concrete on the back porch. Are they dynamiting underground bunkers? I don't know what this gov. is up to, but I do know they owe me money to fix the damages and emotional stress they have been causing us. This has happened more than once and they keep shrugging their shoulders and giving this half wit excuse about some mystical Seneca guns or some crap. I say stop the crap and tell us what the heck is going on. I say we demand to know what they are up to. And don't give me some national security secret crap either. If it is effecting me, my family and my home it's now MY security and I have a right to know the truth!!!

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah,

Blah Blah Blah Blah Blah, get a life, sounds like your just making this crap up. The government did nothing to you, fix it yourself grumpy lazy jerk


Large Hadron Collider- created the "mini big bang" on 7 nov maybe the booms were a lead up to this

i heard a boom on kure beach

i heard a boom on kure beach at about 1 a.m. 3 days ago, it lit up the entire sky near the beach.. i have been hearing this same noise for about a month across the country. i heard it in anchorage ak a few times before i flew down to ilm, i think its military.. but who knows.


It's the Tommy Knockers!!!! lol

No, it's the

No, it's the "Langoliers".........LMAO

LOL @ both of you.

LOL @ both of you.


we felt it at Long Beach Sat am about 10: 15 am, shook the house then again about 10 to 15 min. later.

It is without a doubt our

It is without a doubt our military men and women playing with their toy's at hand- F-15'S, F-16'S , 18'S AND THE NEW ONE F-22 RAPTOR. No doubt in my mind. As the sign say's in NEW RIVER and other places its the SOUND OF FREEDOM.

Seneca Guns or Loran Guns?

I find it very interesting that the one other place in our country where this occasionally happens is in Seneca New York. Seneca New Your is also home to a Loran station like we have at Carolina Beach. They operate by producing ultra low frequencies. It would not explain the reports from the 1800's or even early 1900's but could be something to look into. Mishap with the Loran system? I have no further explanation, just an observation.


Hey this is after all The Military State. These booms could be MILES outside of the coastal shelf and still be heard. So what it there were "government tagged" vehicles in ILM darting traffic. Those could be from INS or some other alphabet agency in the Govt. Tags are Tags on the government vehicles.
Remember what it says at the entrance to Cherry Point...That's the Sound of Freedom!


The idea that it is ghosts shooting guns is 100% not it.
whatever it is causes the ground to shake, so much that a well built building vibrates its tail off. I felt it on Blue Clay Rd in Wilmington. It was also felt in Carolina beach and leland


we heard one loud one this morning around 4am followed by 6 smaller ones .. interesting


Might of been from the Chili cook off.

Chili con freholes

I agree with you, I think it was the Chili, because I know my husband was in the area.