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Scientist says research of mysterious booms at a standstill

READ MORE: Scientist says research of mysterious booms at a standstill

WILMINGTON, NC (WWAY) -- A series of mysterious booms over the weekend has some folks in the Cape Fear a little rattled, but they're nothing new.

It's been ten years since former Duke University professor Peter Malin started searching for an answer as to what exactly is causing the booms.

"It's one of those controversies that's been going on for more than a century now, and what one wants is solid evidence not hearsay," Malin said. "I don't think my opinion would weigh any more than the hundreds of people that have heard them, or thousands of people that have heard them at this point, until there was actually some hard record of where one particular event that everybody heard was coming from."

Malin, who now works in New Zealand, invested his time and money into building an observation well at Fort Fisher. A cable runs down through the well, and the equipment can tell if the booms are coming from the air or the ground. But there's one problem: there's no recording device to document the booms.

"Whether or not they're coming from the ground or whether they're coming from the air, it makes an enormous difference in providing a natural explanation for them," Malin said. "If they're coming from the ground, it's indicative of some kind of very small earthquake activity or ground motion. If they're coming from the air, they're indicative of something completely different in terms of whether it's cloud physics or sheet lightning or these kinds of things that would be enormously useful to determine these. They're actually a very interesting scientific phenomena."

Malin didn't get enough interest or financial support, so a recording device was never purchased. He says his research has been inconclusive, but says if anyone wants to pick up where he left off on his project, he would gladly approve.

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Senica Guns

I would like to believe the sound and or shakeing was caused by sonic air waves but this BOOM affect has been occuring since the 1800's you would think by now someone whould have the answer

Sonic Boom

You don't have to be near the plane for a sonic boom to be heard. The plane could be over the ocean 10-20 miles out over the ocean and the boom will probably still be heard. I still believe they're sonic booms. Earthquakes are possible here, though. They don't feel the same, in my opinion, as a sonic boom.

I just felt another giant

I just felt another giant boom @ 3:09 11/9/10 anyone else

RE: I Just Felt Another Giant

Where were you when you felt it? I heard/felt nothing in Leland near Mt Misery Rd/Cedar Hill Rd.


With the "mysterious" rocket launch on the west coast that our government seems to know NOTHING about...maybe it was the US destroying an incoming meteor????


I've never heard the booms here, but we had booms in illinois, they were sonic booms and very loud. I doubt the military will discuss their training exercises... but there are a huge amount of military bases here, and if they are breaking the sound barrier, they would probably do that over the ocean instead of over land. If these aren't sonic booms then it would be nice to at least discount that fact.

An explanation of Sonic Booms....

I've never cared what the source of those booms are...

but I've always wondered what that hole was doing at Fort Fisher with the cables leading into it. Nice work guys uncovering the story behind that long simmering mystery!

DUH!! If your going to go

DUH!! If your going to go through the trouble of setting up that equipment, one would think you have a RECORDING DEVISE to see if it did come from land or air. This story is stupid, and offers NOTHING in the way of an explanation. GREAT research guys, we know even less than before. Next time try and offer at least a THEORY of what might be happening.

You misspelled DEVICE...duh.

You misspelled DEVICE...duh.

I think the article provides

I think the article provides a nice update to the research well that was constructed. The title of the article "Scientist says research of mysterious booms at a standstill" clearly indicates that this is the focus. More importantly, the story also advertises to the community that if someone wants to continue research that this is an option.

There are numerous articles/stories about theories on what causes the booms on this website and others. If that's what you want to learn about, I'd suggest you read one of those articles. Those stories might be titled "What's causing these booms?!?!"


I was born and raised in New

I was born and raised in New Hanover and clearly remember hearing this sound in Winter Park Elementary School. That would have been in the in the mid 1950s. I remember those huge windows ratteling. I have heard it just about every year since then and have experienced windows and anything loose in the house being ratteled. It seems to occur mostly in the Spring and Fall.

Yeah,, when the weather

Yeah,, when the weather changes. and it seems to happen also when the humidity changes to dryer conditions.

mysterious sound

I'm 65 and remember hearing this all my life. I grew up 27 miles inland from the Southeastern coast of NC. My father always would say, "the continental shelf is shifting again".