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Boom-Shaka-Laka
April 4, 2006 2:26 PM   Subscribe

Mysterious Boom felt throughout Southern California this morning with no explanation. USGS claims there were no quakes, meteorologists claim nothing in the weather could have caused it, military bases are claiming that nothing they were doing would cause such a rumble, and air traffic controllers state that no supersonic flights were taking place in the area (no sonic boom). I was awoken by the shaking and the car alarms that followed. If it's none of the above, just what caused it?
posted by afx114 (119 comments total) 1 user marked this as a favorite

 
I vote for aliens. Aliens did it.

Or Dios?
posted by illovich at 2:30 PM on April 4, 2006


San Diego is a big military town with a large Naval base and Marine Corps base. I know they interviewed them and they said "Nope. Nothing going on here!" but that doesnt mean that, well, nothing is going on there.
posted by vacapinta at 2:34 PM on April 4, 2006


That used to happen all the time when I was young... sonic booms from fighter jets overhead. They never admitted to anything, either.

Most likely military.
posted by Malor at 2:35 PM on April 4, 2006


Breaking news on mefi! Awesome.
posted by boo_radley at 2:35 PM on April 4, 2006


It's the housing bubble bursting.
posted by team lowkey at 2:37 PM on April 4, 2006


I still want to know what that weird maple syrup smell was in New York a few months ago. No one is allowed to solve the boom until they solve the smell first.
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 2:37 PM on April 4, 2006


It has begun.
posted by AstroGuy at 2:37 PM on April 4, 2006


Do you really want to know? Do you? Really?

I mean to ask, are you prepared to know? Because what I'm about to show you may surprise you. It may even frighten you. But it's important to know. Because it's the TRUTH.

The question is: can you handle the truth? Proceed with caution.
posted by billysumday at 2:37 PM on April 4, 2006


Excuse me.
posted by It's Raining Florence Henderson at 2:39 PM on April 4, 2006


Nothing close; one just before 9 AM far to the east of the So. Cal. seismometer:

http://earthquake.usgs.gov/eqcenter/helicorders.php
posted by hank at 2:41 PM on April 4, 2006


I, for one, welcome our new mysterious boom overlords.
posted by chudmonkey at 2:42 PM on April 4, 2006


The pants-fish has awakened.
posted by horsewithnoname at 2:43 PM on April 4, 2006


If not military (the likely culprit), it's probably a meteor exploding in the upper atmosphere.

The maple syrup smell in New York was freaky, though. What the hell chemical spill was that?
posted by frogan at 2:43 PM on April 4, 2006


you heard it here first...

This was most likely an asteroid that exploded in the upper atmosphere... if it happened far enough out at sea, it's possible that no one saw anything, but it could easily have been felt and heard for many hundreds of miles... (Tunguska, anyone)
posted by WhipSmart at 2:44 PM on April 4, 2006


Maybe Star Jones fell out of bed?
posted by fenriq at 2:45 PM on April 4, 2006


Breaking news on mefi! Awesome.

Only 4 comments till a post is criticized on mefi thus not contributing anything to the discussion and thus making the post suck even more! Awesome.
posted by afx114 at 2:46 PM on April 4, 2006


Err, sorry. New subwoofer. I think I hooked it up wrong.
posted by loquacious at 2:47 PM on April 4, 2006


That was the sound of Mariah Carey's ego expanding. Nothing to see here. Move along.
posted by ed at 2:48 PM on April 4, 2006


It was the sound of MetaFilter collapsing under the weight of so many inane posts.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:49 PM on April 4, 2006


You can't handle the truth!
posted by crunchland at 2:52 PM on April 4, 2006


Hmm.. I thought it was pretty interesting. Thanks WhipSmart for being the only person here with something relevant to say.
posted by afx114 at 2:52 PM on April 4, 2006


Oh wait, Star dropped all that weight. Must have been Sally Jabba Raphael.
posted by fenriq at 2:54 PM on April 4, 2006


I heard it this morning and just assumed it was an earthquake. It rattled my windows pretty good - sure freaked the cats out. There's jets flying around all the time (near the miramar air force base), but i've never heard anything like this.

/shrug
posted by escher at 2:55 PM on April 4, 2006


Hmm.. I thought it was pretty interesting.

I suppose it is ... particularly if you live in San Diego. But "pretty interesting" isn't the criteria for a good front page post.
posted by pardonyou? at 2:57 PM on April 4, 2006


Has anyone seen the Flying Spaghetti Monster in LA?
posted by paddbear at 2:59 PM on April 4, 2006


Easy there, afx114. This FPP sucked plenty before any crap comments were made. You can't nudge something off a cliff if it's already in freefall.

And with a sub-3000 member number, no less. You're better than a one link FPP about your neighborhood, old timer.
posted by quite unimportant at 2:59 PM on April 4, 2006


yeah afx114, you can only post stupid city-centric crap if you live in new york.
posted by puke & cry at 3:01 PM on April 4, 2006 [1 favorite]


Thanks WhipSmart for being the only person here with something relevant to say.

Clearly, you can't handle the truth. I both envy and pity you.
posted by billysumday at 3:05 PM on April 4, 2006


Snakes on a plane?
posted by fire&wings at 3:06 PM on April 4, 2006


So because a particular puzzling (and in my opinion interesting) phenomenon happened to take place in my hometown, it is instantly disqualified as post material? I could have said it happened in Timbuktoo, or Tunguska, and it'd could still be a good discussion if it weren't for the mob of holier-than-thous with their trigger finger on the "bad post" button.

On preview: yep I'm an old-timer, and it's my opinion that the bad post squad has brought down the quality of MeFi more than the bad posts themselves. A pack of rabid dogs...
posted by afx114 at 3:07 PM on April 4, 2006


Ixnay on the Uperman-say.

posted by Smedleyman at 3:09 PM on April 4, 2006


It's not bad because it was specific to San Diego. It's bad because it's a conspiracy theory that hasn't even had time to hatch. "Unknown noise occurred hours ago"? Come back when someone has put together some Whitley Strieber drawings.
posted by cribcage at 3:14 PM on April 4, 2006


This isn't AskMe. There's no rule about legitimate answers. Did you expect to post about a mysterious boom and get a serious discussion? I don't see a mob of holier-than-thous. I see a mob of one-liners. That is, until you got angry.
posted by team lowkey at 3:19 PM on April 4, 2006


This used to happen every once in a while in San Diego, not for a long time though. Probably a black box project by the military (a very high speed jet). That was the rumor last time.
posted by dibblda at 3:21 PM on April 4, 2006


Fie! This is a great post.
posted by Baby_Balrog at 3:21 PM on April 4, 2006


Aurora.
posted by basicchannel at 3:22 PM on April 4, 2006


Chuck Norris.
Roundhouse Kick.

Cliché covered.
posted by qvantamon at 3:24 PM on April 4, 2006


Time for a serious post.

1. Manufacture mysterious booms.
2. ???
3. Profit!
posted by jimmythefish at 3:26 PM on April 4, 2006


I heard a very loud noise this morning. It was my neighbor taking her trash barrels back to the garage. Did the boom happen on garbage collection day?
posted by Mayor Curley at 3:29 PM on April 4, 2006


Get those muthafucking mysterious booms off my muthafucking plane!
posted by RokkitNite at 3:29 PM on April 4, 2006


Time for serious answers.

1. Manufacture mysterious smells.
2. ???
3. Profit!
posted by SmileyChewtrain at 3:30 PM on April 4, 2006


Boom Boom Boom Boom, I want you in my room , let's spend the night togheter togheterr in my room !
posted by elpapacito at 3:37 PM on April 4, 2006


He has awaken.
posted by MikeKD at 3:42 PM on April 4, 2006


elpapacito is evil
posted by raedyn at 3:43 PM on April 4, 2006


Freddy Washington is back, but now he's at the front of the class -- Welcome Back Kotter San Diego
posted by davejay at 3:48 PM on April 4, 2006


If it was a meteor or comet fragment explosion out over the ocean where nobody could see it, it would still leave some sort of trace - and besides, one of the many satellites up there probably would pick up the flash in the atmosphere.

We still have lots of hardware up there looking for nuclear missiles, so I'd guarantee someone (most likely NORAD/Spacewatch) knows what the noise was, and knew about it almost instantly, and just haven't announced, for whatever reason.


I'd buy clandestine test flight, too. Fairly significant possibility.
posted by zoogleplex at 3:50 PM on April 4, 2006


Or Los Angeles blew up, and noone cares.
posted by qvantamon at 3:54 PM on April 4, 2006


Mysterious maple-syrup smellers: isn't it probably just something wafting over from the "flavor corridor" in Jersey? Here's an article mentioning it: "The food flavor additives used there are top-secret formulas created by dozens of chemical companies along the "flavor corridor" between Teaneck and South Brunswick New Jersey. Two-thirds of all the flavor additives sold in the U.S. annually (estimated at $1.4 billion) are from companies along this stench of the New Jersey Turnpike, where I grew up."
posted by rkent at 3:55 PM on April 4, 2006


Isn't Mysterious Boom a member of Wu Tang Clan?
posted by fire&wings at 3:56 PM on April 4, 2006


It would be one of those new weapons the Iranians are testing.
posted by UbuRoivas at 3:59 PM on April 4, 2006


Nope, LA's still here, qvantamon, else I would not be posting. :)
posted by zoogleplex at 4:04 PM on April 4, 2006


I suspect the return of Bloop.
posted by thefreek at 4:06 PM on April 4, 2006


zoogleplex: Dang! I missed!
You wouldn't know about an accidentally wiped city in around there, would you?
posted by qvantamon at 4:06 PM on April 4, 2006



I still want to know what that weird maple syrup smell was in New York a few months ago. No one is allowed to solve the boom until they solve the smell first.


what rkent said, and i also think it maybe has to do with masking the sulfur/rotten eggs smell--maybe something they've started adding to the smokestacks/incinerators to mask it, but they haven't gotten the dosage right yet? That whole area by the turnpike/Ikea/etc is becoming more valuable as real estate yet no one wants to live by a stench.
posted by amberglow at 4:08 PM on April 4, 2006


Boom bidibidibidi boom bidiba !
posted by elpapacito at 4:13 PM on April 4, 2006


Nazi drum circle, in the hollow earth?
posted by hortense at 4:13 PM on April 4, 2006




Maybe the gangs in LA decided to shoot up all at the same time, in all parts of the state, just to leave everyone wondering.
posted by qvantamon at 4:18 PM on April 4, 2006


this thread is teh win
posted by keswick at 4:22 PM on April 4, 2006


Maple Syrup... and Fenugreek?
posted by zaelic at 4:23 PM on April 4, 2006


It would be one of those new weapons the Iranians are testing.

Well we know it's not that, because we would have been at war by now.


Time for a serious post.

1. Manufacture mysterious booms.
2. ???
3. Profit!


Hey, what's phase two?

I, for one, welcome our new mysterious boom overlords.

This is certainly the attitude we all must be prepared to adopt, at any given point...

He has awaken.

And this is the most reasonable explanation yet.
What a great thread...
posted by Raoul.Duke at 4:40 PM on April 4, 2006


amberglow: That whole area by the turnpike/Ikea/etc is becoming more valuable as real estate yet no one wants to live by a stench.

I thought the maple smell was in the Brooklyn Bridge / Wall Street area. My guess is that someone thought they could use a sub-basement as a low-rent clandestine candy factory, then quickly realized it wasn't going to work without smokestack ventilation and high-tailed it out of there.
posted by StickyCarpet at 4:41 PM on April 4, 2006


I thought it was kind of interesting.

I opened this thread thinking that I might find out more. Boy, was I wrong.
posted by cedar at 4:47 PM on April 4, 2006


I was sure I'd seen something just like this posted on MetaFilter before. Guess what Ifound. I think booms just have a bigger place in afx114's life. Or maybe he's part of the conspiracy.

For the record, I felt this today in San Diego. And it was quite weird. The windows shook violently (we have big windows), but we heard no boom. Must have been a very big low frequency pulse.
posted by y6y6y6 at 4:49 PM on April 4, 2006


This is used to happen about twice a year when I was a child, in Wrightsville Beach, NC. The town claimed that the booms were caused by fly-overs from nearby Cherry Point Air Station but the Marines always denied that it came from them. The booms abruptly ceased around 1991 or so.
posted by casconed at 4:54 PM on April 4, 2006


made a boom! could hear it! is LOUD!
posted by mcsweetie at 4:54 PM on April 4, 2006


Someone finally showed us their PopoZao.

Oh...and Raoul.Duke, you'd better be kidding.
posted by jimmythefish at 4:54 PM on April 4, 2006


Ah, that smell. One of my few posts. I don't think anyone solved it then. Has it been solved? My googling has limits post work.
posted by kingfisher, his musclebound cat at 4:55 PM on April 4, 2006


But of course...
posted by Raoul.Duke at 4:56 PM on April 4, 2006


"Must have been a very big low frequency pulse."

Which might square with an offshore meteorite/comet explosion type-thing. Aren't there sensors all over the world set up to detect pulses in air pressure that might indicate (among other things) an atmospheric nuclear detonation?

Obviously something happened. If it's not military/secret, there should be some sort of reporting on it, yes?
posted by zoogleplex at 4:59 PM on April 4, 2006


Re: strange smell in New York

THE SECRET GOVERNMENT WAFFLE TRIALS
CALL DR. JEMIMA!

I have a headline torn out of a newspaper from around then that says something like, "NEW YORKERS BEWILDERED BY GOOD SMELL." As much as I hate this place, sometimes it does make me smile.
posted by 235w103 at 5:07 PM on April 4, 2006


This just in: we have received tentative information that the "BOOM" may have been traced to a specific vehicle. Bunni and Tigra were unavailable for comment.
posted by davejay at 5:08 PM on April 4, 2006


Obligatory commercial.
posted by ed at 5:13 PM on April 4, 2006


Bunni and Tigra were unavailable for comment.

I don't know what's worse, that I understood that or that I laughed at it.
posted by eyeballkid at 5:14 PM on April 4, 2006


"Bunni and Tigra were unavailable for comment."

yikes, i got that as well.

hey, i felt this in NEW YORK. i thought it was something i ate, but it was at the exact time that...
posted by fisherKing at 5:18 PM on April 4, 2006


LOL Bunni and Tigra... wow, that's from the bottom of a big pile of obscurity, eh? :)

I got it too. Yikes indeed.
posted by zoogleplex at 5:20 PM on April 4, 2006


I think booms just have a bigger place in afx114's life.

If only BOOBS had a bigger place in my life...

Anyway, for those of you who actually want to keep on topic, another article remains inconclusive. Check the discussion there for relevant comments.
posted by afx114 at 5:30 PM on April 4, 2006


Marvin

At last! An earth-shattering kaboom!
posted by milquetoast at 5:30 PM on April 4, 2006


I think this might be the source of your strange boom.posted by eyeballkid at 4:15 PM PST on April 4 [!]

The 5-inch-long shell exploded Monday while Robert Colla was teaching 20 to 25 students at an adult education class.

The teacher slammed the shell down in an attempt to kill something that was buzzing or crawling across the desk, said Fire Marshal Glen Albright.


Does the joke write itself here? I've got nothing.
posted by ninjew at 5:30 PM on April 4, 2006


Military!!!!
posted by archkim at 5:36 PM on April 4, 2006


Yeah, this is not new for San Diego. The news guys go live to the military base and tell us that the military has no idea what the boom was. And then we all shrug our shoulders, realize that's the best answer we're going to get, and forget about it until the next time.
posted by stefanie at 5:54 PM on April 4, 2006


Iran attacked with their one missile and their one nuke. They missed.
posted by JJ86 at 5:55 PM on April 4, 2006


This boom...it vibrates?
posted by badkarmaboy at 5:57 PM on April 4, 2006


I'd venture it was the smug converging from San Francisco and LA..whoops, wrong reality.

But really, I'd be interested to know what the source of the boom is.
posted by phyrewerx at 5:59 PM on April 4, 2006


http://www.space.com/scienceastronomy/astronomy/classified_impacts_000502.html

Found that while for anything relevant to the notion that Tunguska started global warming and atmospheric atomic testing subsequently temporarily stopped it.

Short answer -- if there are climatologists who have good enough clearances to know what's being detected in the way of flashes and bangs in the upper atmosphere, they can't talk about it.

Unlike most of the people commenting, I appreciate hearing about stories like this. Thanks for the post.
posted by hank at 6:02 PM on April 4, 2006


I don't think this was military. I've lived by Miramar air base (probably the closest base to where this is suppose to from) for a long time, and I'm used to the various booms and roars. This wasn't like that. it also wasn't anything like an earthquake. Several people in the office commented about how odd it was.
posted by y6y6y6 at 6:04 PM on April 4, 2006


yeah... good story and good thread.
posted by trinarian at 6:16 PM on April 4, 2006


It was probably a C-5 Galaxy eating a couple of seagulls.
posted by snsranch at 6:31 PM on April 4, 2006


Somebody subconsciously set off a microscopic amount of PyrE.

Remember, people, the stuff could destroy us all.
posted by Astro Zombie at 6:45 PM on April 4, 2006


This thread should be hidden from sight from the general public lest they form a view about the general 'quality' of MetaFilter from it.
posted by peacay at 6:47 PM on April 4, 2006


I live in Lincoln, Nebraska. We had an unexplained boom this winter. And, what's more, they seem to have removed the story about it from the local newspaper's website.
posted by jepler at 7:10 PM on April 4, 2006


This wasn't like that. it also wasn't anything like an earthquake. Several people in the office commented about how odd it was.

Can you elaborate?
posted by vacapinta at 7:13 PM on April 4, 2006


Perhaps it was a secret military spy plane -- mapping potential Iranian targets, no doubt.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 7:23 PM on April 4, 2006


Why is this a crap post?
Because it's not Best of the Web.
It would have made a perfectly good AskMe.

In my email this morning:
>>>> CAMP PENDLETON (CNS) - Explosions may be heard throughout North
>>>> County starting today as Marines conduct artillery training at Camp
>>>> Pendleton this week. Marines were scheduled to train with 81 mm
>>>> mortars today through tomorrow beginning at 6 a.m. and lasting
>>>> until midnight, according to base officials. Training will
>>>> continue on Thursday, from 7 a.m. to at 5 p.m., baseofficials
>>>> said. Depending on atmospheric conditions, the booms and rumblings
>>>> may be audible up to 50 miles from the base, USMC officials said.
posted by Aknaton at 7:48 PM on April 4, 2006


Oh my, this thread is so great, it is now my Boom.
posted by Dantien at 8:15 PM on April 4, 2006


I'll try to elaborate: it sounded like a small earthquake (windows & blinds rattled, etc.) but there was no shaking. Usually, even a small earthquake will feel like a door has been slammed nearby, but this didn't have that feeling.

It was the kind of thing that you immediately noticed as earthquake-like and yet distinctly not an earthquake.
posted by stefanie at 8:24 PM on April 4, 2006


i heard on npr today that today was national jumping jacks day in china ... i wonder ...
posted by pyramid termite at 8:29 PM on April 4, 2006


Phase One of Project: Arizona Bay initiated.
posted by Alvy Ampersand at 9:10 PM on April 4, 2006


CA Filter? Eh, wake me up when the Big One hits.

(I'm secretly rooting for the meteor explanation).
posted by Eideteker at 9:19 PM on April 4, 2006


I had nothing to do with it, I swear.
posted by davy at 9:44 PM on April 4, 2006


Nothing new here hear, move along, move along...
posted by cenoxo at 9:48 PM on April 4, 2006


Maybe Anubis attacked us again.
posted by weretable and the undead chairs at 10:28 PM on April 4, 2006


Mysterious booms? Mysterious smells?

The dog did it?
posted by dgaicun at 10:42 PM on April 4, 2006


Stop feeding beans to the Jolly Green Giant, okay?
posted by casarkos at 11:13 PM on April 4, 2006



posted by rob511 at 11:14 PM on April 4, 2006


I, for one, welcome this post. If you don't like it, flag it and move on. Quit bunging up the thread with comments to say it's crap. Crap+crap = more crap.
posted by Goofyy at 11:16 PM on April 4, 2006


Stop laughing you guys. A mysterious boom raped my dad.
posted by jefbla at 12:09 AM on April 5, 2006


"Tommy's lunch exploderade" (swedish)
"Tommy's lunch exploded. He was heating his soup when it suddenly exploded and covered the whole kitchen. "Suddenly, it just went boom!" says Tommy Kjellbertz."
posted by dabitch at 2:12 AM on April 5, 2006


Your mysterious boom a splode.
posted by RokkitNite at 2:26 AM on April 5, 2006


Squid farts, surely?
posted by klaatu at 2:32 AM on April 5, 2006


It was probably just some test bunkers being test busted. Don't worry about it.
posted by jon_kill at 6:13 AM on April 5, 2006


Strange quark matter.
posted by QuestionableSwami at 6:24 AM on April 5, 2006


evil to make money off booms
posted by poppo at 9:13 AM on April 5, 2006


afx114 writes "Thanks WhipSmart for being the only person here with something relevant to say"

No love for frogan? "it's probably a meteor exploding in the upper atmosphere."
posted by Mitheral at 9:28 AM on April 5, 2006


Err, sorry. New subwoofer. I think I hooked it up wrong.
posted by loquacious at 3:47 PM MST on April 4 [!]

stopped reading after this. didn't want to spoil my amusement. thanks, loq
posted by pointilist at 10:37 AM on April 7, 2006


via boing boing, a story from the Sandiego Tribune says these mysterious booms are happening all across the US! (but no word on the mystery scents):
A series of strange window-rattling booms or rumbles have been heard and felt in recent months in Alabama, North Carolina, Mississippi, and, on April 4, in San Diego County. The latest disturbance was said to have set off car alarms, caused waves in a backyard pool, and shook double steel garage doors. It wasn't an earthquake. And the Federal Aviation Administration has no record of planes breaking the sound barrier at the time. Apparently, nobody seems to know what the hell caused the disturbance.
posted by dgaicun at 5:03 AM on April 24, 2006


Sorry, quote from David. Article here.
posted by dgaicun at 5:07 AM on April 24, 2006


dgiacun: That story had one of the more painful quotes I've ever read. From Peter Davenport of the Seattle-based National UFO Reporting Center:

“UFOs almost never generate sonic booms or shock waves,” he added. “They accelerate so rapidly that they leave a vacuum in the sky, much the way lightning does.”

A vacuum in the sky. Methinks the vacuum is in his head...
posted by bitmage at 7:36 AM on April 24, 2006


follow up from the SD Union Tribune
A group of local scientists has uncovered some clues to the source of a mysterious disturbance that rattled San Diego County on the morning of April 4, shaking windows, doors and bookcases from the coast to the mountains.
posted by shoepal at 3:45 PM on April 27, 2006


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