Mysterious, Unexplained Booms Heard Near Oak Ridge National Laboratory

Mysterious and unexplained booms continue to be heard in the skies over America. Last week, residents of historic Charleston, South Carolina, took to social media to express their confusion and fear over what some described as an earthquake or explosion heard and felt on Monday, July 23rd.  Charleston native Jerry Sanders told ABC News 4 that the sound was powerful enough to rattle her home:

The windows shook and in our house and I was just surprised because I really haven’t heard anything like that before around this area. I heard a huge ‘boom,’ the windows rattled a little bit and I thought maybe that (they were) doing some building. I thought maybe they were doing some small explosion. That’s what I thought because a lot of building is still going on in this neighborhood so I just assume probably that’s what it was.

The boom, whatever it was, could be heard throughout the greater Charleston area. Meteorologists assured social media users that there were no earthquakes or thunderstorms in the area and that the sound was likely caused by military training exercises taking place off the coast. Could sonic booms be to blame? Could the recent spate of booms nationwide imply increased military exercises or testing?

Artist's impression of the DARPA Falcon, a hypersonic weapons delivery system already in development

Or something even shadowier?

Whatever the case in Charleston maybe, another unexplained anomalous sound just a few hours northwest may have a stranger cause, judging from its location. Police in Maryville, Tennessee, received several calls on Monday, July 30 around 9:30 p.m. from residents who heard what sounded like four loud booms or explosions. Maryville Police Chief Tony Crisp sent officers to investigate, but no explanation was found. “We checked and did not find anything and could never establish the cause of that,” Crisp told county newspaper The Blount Times. “It’s just a mystery at this point.”

Maryville is less than 30 miles from Oak Ridge.

While underground cave collapses or deep seismic activity is often cited as a possible cause of booms in the area, University of Tennessee geologist Dr. Bob Hatcher told a local NBC affiliate that these explanations are unlikely:

People have called me about them and I have no concept of how to explain them. A boom like that, it’s not likely an earthquake. We’ve talked about whether or not this could be collapse in a cave. We have lots of caves around here, but that wouldn’t necessarily produce a loud boom on the surface.

Aside from cave systems, Maryville, Tennessee is also not far at all from the Department of Energy-funded Oak Ridge National Laboratory. Oak Ridge was responsible for enriching the uranium involved with the Manhattan Project, and since its founding in 1942 has been the home of the most advanced and classified energy and materials research the Department of Energy conducts – not to mention numerous UFO sightings and reports. Could these mystery booms have anything to do with Oak Ridge National Laboratory? If so, we’ll never know. That plays stays mighty frosty.

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