A powerful “explosion” heard and felt by many New Hampshire and Massachusetts residents has left people confused, and authorities are trying to understand its cause.
On Sunday morning, residents reported hearing a sound similar to an explosion and feeling a strong jolt. Many thought it was an earthquake.
But a spokesman for the National Earthquake Information Center, part of the U.S. Geological Survey, said there were no signs of earthquakes in the New England region over the past week.
“It was kind of a loud bang that shook our whole house,” one New Hampshire resident, Dan Bryan, told the Times. “It was like a sonic boom. It was very strange. That’s why everybody thought it was an explosion at first.”
Dan McDonald, a fire chief from New Boston, New Hampshire, said he heard a “rumble” and felt a “slight vibration of the building.”
Shortly thereafter, his fire department received numerous calls about the explosion.
“Heard a loud bang, like an explosion, that echoed around the area. There was a slight shaking – almost like sound waves from the noise hit the house.”
“The ground shook. The sound was like a huge explosion coming from far away. You could feel it deep inside your chest. Almost like the explosion of a huge bomb. It scared the hell out of us.”
“Outside I heard a loud explosion and then a rumbling sound like thunder. It lasted about 20 seconds.”
“Loud ‘explosion’ sound followed immediately by quieter sonic booms.”
“Main sound: a sharp and very loud cracking sound of an explosion, followed immediately by a roll of thunder.””
A loud explosion followed by two seconds of rumbling. I thought a tree had fallen on my house, but the shaking went on too long for a simple impact.”
Possible causes of the explosion
On the Internet, people have shared impressions of the explosion and speculated about possible causes, but no one knows exactly what it was or where it happened.
Many in the region have speculated that it could have been anything from an earthquake to a meteorite fall. But if the truth exists, it is not yet known.
Readings from the U.S. Geological Survey showed no signs of an earthquake Sunday.
There were no military flights over the region on Sunday, which rules out the possibility of a sonic boom from a supersonic plane.
“I would look for a natural phenomenon, something that entered the atmosphere at faster than the speed of sound,” said scientist John Ebel of the Weston Observatory. “A meteor, a meteorite, possibly causing a burst of energy enough for people to hear it here on earth.”