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UFO-induced "Non--sonic" Boom Rattles So. Cal?

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posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:09 PM
Last night (3 March 09) about 9:30 pm I felt, along with thousands of other locals in Southern California, a very strange house-rattling that set us all on edge.

As a Physical Geog professor and long-time California resident I've experienced hundreds of earthquakes - and this was definitely not one at all. None of the earthquake monitoring sites show anything of note, the local airports and regional military bases all say no operations, and nobody seems to know what caused it.

It was a quick rattling of a few seconds, rather noisy, causing the windows to rattle, doors to shake in their frames, and setting the dogs in the neighborhood off on a barking frenzy. There was no ground movement felt and the typical 'signs' we come to expect following an earthquake were altogether absent: chandeliers swinging, swimming pool water rocking back-and-forth, etc.

A quick check outside showed winds were calm - not a breath of air movement. Nothing was visible in the skies, though some reported that a sonic boom or recent asteroid flyby was the cause (doubtful). An asteroid passed recently, but was much too far to have an effect, especially such a localized one. NASA had no shuttle landing at nearby Edwards AFB, and no sonic 'boom' was heard in any case. Just a strange, silent "blast" of something that shook millions of people and their homes - with no explanation so far.

For a link to the story, please read the on-line newspaper article here.

What I find most fascinating is to read through some of the hundreds of witnesses that have written in seeking answers to the mystery. You can peruse through their comments directly below the article on the link above. the tone of befuddlement and exasperation the posters express is fascinating in itself. And this among die-hard earthquake-country residents! Quite a few people have suggested that it was indeed a UFO-caused phenomenon. I'm not convinced.

So - what was it??? It was not an earthquake. The earthquake maps only show a tiny (very typical) trembler many miles away and twelve hours earlier - completely unrelated to this event.

I'm leaning toward a non-sonic type boom from an experimental or military aircraft far overhead - perhaps with a propulsion system or airframe that minimizes or mitigates the sonic part of the boom and we just felt the airwave disturbance traveling to the ground. Or - a UFO exhibiting the same characteristics. Who knows. Whether ours or 'theirs' - we're not likely to hear about it if it is indeed the source of this mysterious event.

Any other theories out there??

[note:similarly cross-linked to Fragile Earth - maybe someone over there has an answer?]

[edit on 3/4/2009 by Outrageo]

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:26 PM

It was a quick rattling of a few seconds, rather noisy, causing the windows to rattle, doors to shake in their frames, and setting the dogs in the neighborhood off on a barking frenzy.

A sonic boom is experienced as one or two very short pulses, much like gunshots in duration. They do not last one second, much less a few.

perhaps with a propulsion system or airframe that minimizes or mitigates the sonic part of the boom and we just felt the airwave disturbance traveling to the ground

Such an "airwave disturbance" is exactly what a sonic boom is. As the shock wave produced by the supersonic aircraft passes over ground it is heard (and felt) as a sonic boom. Contrary to common belief, a sonic boom is not produced when a plane "breaks the sound barrier", it is a continuous event experienced along the path of a plane traveling faster than the speed of sound.

If it lasted a few seconds, it was not a sonic boom. One thing that comes to mind as a possibility is a military jet using its afterburner for a short period of time, (though I can't imagine why it would do such a thing). I live near a base and my windows and doors are often shaken when jets take off with afterburners. The base is 4 miles from my house.

[edit on 3/4/2009 by Phage]

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:52 PM
reply to post by Phage

Yep - thought of that, and thanks for your reply. A couple of points to consider:

Although the rattling of windows and doors lasted a second or two, that does not necessarily mean that the source of the 'boom', if that was the source, also induced for that long. For example, if you pound a wall of your home with your fist (well, my home anyway), the action of my fist contacting the wall surface lasts only milliseconds, but the doorways and windows may oscillate for a second or two.

Another consideration would be if the aircraft (again, assuming that is the source) may have been flying in formation - more than a single craft. Thus, if more than one, even several craft accelerated or decelerated through the barrier in short subsequent fashion, the effect might be similar to a single event lasting a few seconds.

The calls and letters to the local networks are still flowing in, nothing definitive yet...

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 01:56 PM
reply to post by Outrageo

Again, the sonic boom travels over the ground. It does not occur at the instant the speed of sound is crossed. The aircraft would have to be many, and flying very close together to produce a sustained effect.

So there was no sound at all (other than the rattling)? That throws out the afterburner idea.

Still nothing on the seismographs to correlate?

[edit on 3/4/2009 by Phage]

[edit on 3/4/2009 by Phage]

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 02:08 PM
Are there any non-nuclear weapons that can produce sustained blast-waves over those kinds of distances? The only thing I can think of is thermobaric weapons like MOAB. Would such a weapon register seismically?

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 02:23 PM

Originally posted by Phage
A sonic boom is experienced as one or two very short pulses, much like gunshots in duration. They do not last one second, much less a few.

Not necessarily. Sonic booms associated with meteors are often described as like hearing "rolling thunder in the distance", which can last a few seconds.

I think allot depends on how far away you are from the object braking the sound barrier. The further away you are, the more spread out over time the waves become.

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:01 PM
Just to reiterate: Myself, and by far the great majority of posters to the local news outlets heard no sound whatsoever. There was no 'boom'. But the effects (rattling windows and doors) were the same (or nearly so) as immediately following a typical sonic boom which we do hear quite often around here.

The ONLY noise was from the rattling of the house and contents. I will add that my dog started whimpering immediately before the rattling and continued whimpering and barking for some time afterward (and by then joined by every other critter within earshot).

Side note: the comments flowing in from the locals are getting a bit strange - looks like the giggle-factor is kicking in. Amazing how 'fear-of-the-unknown' creeps into discussions when no logical explanation is forthcoming.

As they say, "I'm not sayin. You know - I'm just sayin..."

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:16 PM
This raises lots of questions...

So there was no sound aside from the shaking and rattling of objects, no seismic activity and no wind?

Can a sonic boom cause objects to shake without creating any sound itself?

Do you have any type of underground transportation in your area? What about sewage systems or gas lines?

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 03:29 PM
reply to post by samureyed

No seismic activity (checked all the sites - there are many around here).
No wind whatsoever.

No underground transportation. Sewage and gas lines - yes, but the effect from a rupture, even an explosion, would not be distributed so equally over hundreds or thousands of square miles.

Update: Darn it! The local news outlet has changed their lead-in story! I should have grabbed the first press releases when they came out this morning.

Anyway - They now have some expert on there that they are quoting as saying that it was in fact a sonic boom that occurred in the skies offshore over the Pacific and 'rolled' on shore rattling thousands of houses like no sonic boom I've ever experienced - and I've felt/heard many.

Somehow the expert glosses over the fact that his sonic boom was not at all "sonic". From what I see, a majority of the posters on the news thread aren't buying it either. Some pilots and counter-experts have weighed in challenging the explanation now given.

Seems like the news people are now trying to put a lid on the story. Make it go away and everybody just 'move along - nothing to see here..."

Why would they do that?

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 04:09 PM
reply to post by Outrageo

I read the article and was wee confused at first. Though the new update does mention a resident saying her dog was scared, don't know if this was in the original article, but you said your dog was not too happy either.

I am sure if this new update is true then people would have experienced this before, not? You are a prof, been living there many have you ever experienced anything like this? I know your answer is no
else why would you have bothered bringing it up as a mystery when you got the knowledge to debunk it and knowingly discredit yourself.

They are trying to cover this up, why i don't know but i have experience in cover-ups.

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 04:39 PM
reply to post by Outrageo

Superficially I'm sceptical of the sonic boom theory, although I don't know enough to say this with any certainty.

As far as I am aware a sonic boom or pressure wave emanating from an aircraft should obey the inverse square law. In order to achieve the kind of geographic distribution of effect pointed to by the article it would have to be a very energetic, or very close. If it was very close a sonic boom should have been audible, if it was out of ear-shot it would have to be very big for the distribution of the effect.

I suspect aviation expects may be able to tell us more re sonic booms and pressure generated by aircraft.


As often in life, it's a bit more complicated than the inverse square law:

[edit on 4-3-2009 by jackphotohobby]

[edit on 4-3-2009 by jackphotohobby]

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 06:58 PM
I agree, Jack and increasingly so...

The rattle and boom without the sound is just not logical. It just doesn't make sense...

There was only the rattling of the thousands of houses in the area - almost none of the some 400 responders to the local press had heard any sound whatsoever. In other words, we felt the aftereffects of what might have been a VERY large, very close sonic boom - but without the sound. Does that make sense?

Almost as if the entire several hundred square mile area was blasted with a violent aftershock from a boom-like event in the atmosphere, but without the preliminary thunderclap or explosive boom sound you would've expected immediately before the shaking and rattling.

The more I think about it the less I believe this explanation however, since I've heard and felt hundreds of normal sonic booms in the area before - everything from landing space shuttles to supersonic aerial maneuvers by military jets (Miramar/Edwards/March/Vandenberg AFBs all nearby) - and I never felt the rock-and-roll like this one.

Sonic boom with no sound? Earthquake with no earth movement? The truth is, NOBODY yet has offered a convincing argument as to what the heck it was...

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 08:34 PM
Interesting story.
I read a lot of the comments and noticed a few things.
Most people reported doors, sliding glass doors and windows shaking while smaller objects were not affected.
Many people indicated that only one door was shaking, front door, patio glass door, etc. This would seem to indicate that only one side of their house was shaken.
If only larger objects were shaken, that would seem to indicate a harmonic wave of some kind, perhaps a low frequency sound wave, below human hearing?
If there was no boom, then it's not a sonic boom, so it would have to be a subsonic vibration.
What would be interesting to learn is what compass direction each house's door were on that shook. If they were all east or west, then that would support the idea of an atmospheric event, but if they are different directions and pointed inward towards a central location, then that would indicate a terrestrial event or pulse.

Curious story, thanks for posting it.

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 09:47 PM
After a bit of googling I'm less sceptical of the sonic boom theory.

Just because you go supersonic doesn't mean the boom is going to reach
the ground and be sufficiently loud and recognizable to provide any
sort of warning.

Every now and then we fly the SR-71 over Dryden at Mach 3 and 85,000
feet. I've been in the control room where I could see the ground
track and it's gone right overhead, but there was either no audible
boom or just a brief rumble. Sensitive pressure sensors have recorded
the rather tatty remnants of the N-wave, but it's not really much of
an event to the ear.

If the N-wave from a big Mach 3 plane dissipates, you can bet that the
boom from a slower smaller plane will do the same.

Mary Shafer NASA Dryden Flight Research Center, Edwards, CA
SR-71 Flying Qualities Lead Engineer Of course I don't speak for NASA DoD #362 KotFR

From here.

The more I read on this the more it looks as if feeling the effects of a sonic boom is possible without hearing a distinct sonic boom. It also looks like atmospheric conditions could have a bearing.

If it was a sonic boom the who, why, where, whens could still turn out to be interesting.

posted on Mar, 4 2009 @ 10:52 PM
Agreed - Jack, except for one simple observation: Whatever caused the anomaly rattled the whole house, and thousands of other houses in an area covering several hundred square miles. The magnitude of this is simply exponentially beyond anything we have witnessed in the past.

I can grant that no sound may be heard from an aircraft flying 80,000 feet overhead. But having experienced hundreds of sonic booms in decades of living in an area surrounded by military bases, plus the LMT skunkworks, Vandenberg, Edwards, etc. etc. - me and over 500 other average citizens are reporting an incredible phenomenon that was NOTHING LIKE any sonic boom I've ever experienced.

Either this thing was incredibly large or incredibly close (if a sonic boom was indeed the culprit) - and if it was that close we should have heard something (like all of the other times we hear them).

Please take a few moments to read through just some of the HUNDREDS OF POSTS by normal everyday people in the area of the phenomenon -from the last 24 hours alone. Not one of these people are ATS conspiracy theorists - though many are now thinking that there is a cover-up of some kind going on...

By the way - the local So Cal paper just added a link to an article of an almost identical occurrence in northern California at 9:15 this morning!.

Not only have they ruled out an earthquake up there, but they also have an FAA official flat our saying that there were NO supersonic aircraft operations during the time of the incident. Of course he may be lying, bluffing, or ignorant (or all three).

What's going on? Two mysterious house-rattling non-sonic booms, non-quaking quakes within 12 hours of each other separated by a few hundred miles in an area where millions of people are used to almost daily "normal" sonic booms and earthquakes?

No - there's something else going on here. Not saying it's anything sinister, alien, or even secret military. Could be a natural phenomenon of some type, I suppose. All I know is that in the last 24 hours there are an awful lot of very smart people around here scratching their heads and looking for answers - which thus far have not been forthcoming...

[edit on 3/4/2009 by Outrageo]

posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 01:16 AM
A Los Angeles television station (CBS) posted a video of a news item about this - and they conclude with a tongue-in-cheek reference to a possible UFO!

Amazing developments - especially considering the hundreds that are lining up insisting that this was neither an earthquake NOR a sonic boom...

Here 'ya go: California News Video on Mysterious Shaking and Rattling of Thousands of Homes. Not an earthquake - Not a sonic boom.

ok - then What the heck was it??!?!

posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 02:30 AM
Could a larger one of these have been the cause.does seem to be a lot of meteor reports at the moment.

A fist-sized meteorite plummeted to Earth somewhere in southern Savo. At least three cameras captured the bright streak of the space-rock making its fiery descent over the weekend.

"The meteorite has probably fallen along the border between Kangasniemi and Hankasalmi," says Arto Oksanen, from the astronomy organisation Jyväskylän Sirius.

The landing site got quite a bit of snow over the weekend, which makes finding and retrieving the meteorite quite difficult.

The rock shot into Earth's atmosphere at 15.4 metres per second, but it slowed down as it approached the ground.

Both the Ursa Astornomical Association and its local affiliate Jyväskylän Sirius are requesting that witnesses submit accounts or pictures of the shooting star.

posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 04:20 AM
Very interesting. I've got a few ideas, maybe completely wrong.

About the event rattling houses and not showing up on seismometers: it must be a purely atmospheric pressure phenomenon, and not a ground or underground explosion. A low frequency, infrasonic (less than 20 Hz) but very powerful wave originating somewhere above the area. Probably far above, like distant thunder that can be heard for several seconds.

posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 04:24 AM
Yes, meteors create infrasonic booms:

posted on Mar, 5 2009 @ 09:43 AM
reply to post by nablator

Yes, correct.

I have to say, any low frequency vibrations like this, especially where we have reports of windows/furniture/walls shaking, *should* have registered on seismometers.

Also, any large meteor (that is capable of creating a boom) would have been picked up by DOD satellites that monitor the skies 24/7 to detect nuclear detonations.

I'm not one to jump to conclusions easily, but this does not make sense to me, and I think there may be a cover up of some kind here.

Perhaps some classified military experiment went disastrously wrong, or perhaps an underground cavern/base being constructed collapsed. I certainly don't see any reason for a cover up if it was a meteor.

[edit on 5-3-2009 by C.H.U.D.]

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