Mystery Booms, Hums, Rumbles and Other Acoustic Mysteries Explained

 Think "Mystery Booms" are a modern phenomena? Think Again.

India's Brahmaputra River

If you're a fan of Linda Moulton Howe's Earthfiles or a frequent listener of Coast to Coast AM, chances are you're familiar with the phenomenon of "mystery booms"- unexplained rumblings, strange tremors, and loud explosions- which some researchers insist have been happening with astounding frequency in recent years. Some of these experts insist that mystery booms are the result of top secret military operations. Others claim that mystery booms are linked to UFO phenomena. Still others insist that these strange tremblings are a sure sign of the impending Apocalypse or a harbinger of End Times.

While numerous explanations have been put forth, one thing researchers all seem to agree on is that mystery booms, much like crop circles, cattle mutilation, and black eyed children (a.k.a. BEKs), are a fairly recent development in the annals of human civilization.

This, however, is not the case.

The fact of the matter is that "mystery booms" have been around a long, long time.

One of the best-known examples of this phenomenon has been occurring in the Barisal region of India, in the Delta of the Ganges, for hundreds of years. These mysterious explosions are so familiar to the local population that they have given a name to this phenomenon: the "Barisal guns".

These strange sounds, described as dull, muffled booming, are heard at irregular intervals. Sometimes this event manifests itself in a single boom, while at other times a series of booms in rapid succession are heard. While the mystery of the Barisal guns has never been solved, various theories have been put forth. Some believe that the booms are caused by the bursting of bamboo and other hollow cane plants in jungle wildfires. This theory, however, has been disproved by a number of Indian scientists. Barisal is not the only location in India which has suffered for centuries the plague of mystery booms. Similar booms are also heard near the Brahmaputra River and Garo Hills in Assam.

Another famous case of mystery booms took place in Wales, and these odd sounds are said to be the result of "demon knockers". These phantom noises emanating from the bowels of the earth were first heard by Welsh miners, and have been described as ranging from loud tappings to a sound similar to muffled cannon fire. According to local folklore, these eerie sounds are produced by gnomes and goblins digging tunnels miles below the earth's surface. In Cornwall, it is said that the "demon knockers" are the spirits of old Jey captives who worked the ancient tin mines in the days of the Phoenicians.

Historic accounts of mystery booms can also be traced to certain areas in the United States. In the mountainous regions of northern Georgia, a sound resembling the discharge of a distant cannon has been heard since the mid-19th century. Hundreds of locals have endeavored to discover the origin of these mystery booms, but to no avail. According to one newspaper story published in 1902:

"Trustworthy witnesses who have visited the mountain  by day and night expressly for the purpose of making careful investigation, have come to the conclusion that the sounds appear to issue from the ground itself."

The same newspaper article mentions similar noises which have been heard in Franklinville, New York:

"There are several other places in the United States where similar noises are noticed. At Franklinville, N.Y., reports as of solid rock being blasted have frequently seemed to come from the center of a certain hill."

History records similar events taking place throughout England and Scotland. However, history records not just numerous instances of mystery booms, but other strange sounds such as unexplained hums, buzzing, whistling- and even the ringing of bells.

One famed example of this phenomenon occurs on the Sinai peninsula, where there is a mountain known as Jebel Nagus, or, "The Mountain of the Bell". For centuries, a sound similar to the tolling of an underground bell has been heard coming from the center of the very mountain itself. According to local legend, Jebel Nagus was the site of an ancient monastery. Because the monks had offended God, the monastery was swallowed up by the mountain, and the ringing of the bell is eternally calling the wayward monks to prayer. In 1822, historian Jacob Christoph Burckhardt published a book in which he solved the mystery of Jebel Nagus, attributing the ringing to masses of fine sand rushing down the mountainside.

It appears that sand is the culprit behind many other strange sounds, many of which are comparable to modern-era "mystery booms". As early as the 19th century, scientists have known that when large amounts of fine-grain sand are set in motion, it rolls downhill with a sluggish, viscous movement. The sound produced begins as a moan, swelling into a deafening roar before it fades away.

Of course, the sliding of sand is not responsible for every acoustic mystery which occurs on our planet, but a natural explanation is far more feasible than the covert activities of the CIA or little green men from Mars.