Skip to main content

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.

Popular posts from this blog

The Incest Capital of the World?

At the far eastern edge of Kentucky, nestled in Appalachia, resides Letcher County. In spite of its isolation and poverty (approximately 30% of the county's population lives below the poverty line), Letcher County has managed to grow at an impressive rate, from a population of just 9,172 in 1900 to a present-day population of nearly 25,000. However, even if Letcher County tripled or quadrupled its present population, there's still a pretty good chance that virtually all of the county's inhabitants would be related to each other-- thanks to one particularly fertile family whose astounding rate of reproduction can put even the friskiest rabbit to shame.

Around the year 1900, Letcher County was the home of a man by the name of Jason L. Webb, who made national headlines for having the one of the largest families in the world. According to newspaper reports of the era, Jason had 19 children, 175 grandchildren, and 100 great-grandchildren. Perhaps even more impressive was his b…

Remembering the ill-fated voyage of the Aerowagon

From 1917 to 1922, the Bolshevik-led Red Army battled the anti-Communist White Army during the Russian Civil War.  By the end of 1919 the Bolsheviks had taken the cities of Omsk and Kiev, and had successfully repelled the White Russian siege of Petrograd.  However, the Bolshevik's momentum would be short-lived as the White Army, after retreating across the Baikal, regrouped and joined forces with Gigory Semyonov's Transbaikal Cossacks.  As the Red Army's losses began to mount, especially in Poland, the Bolsheviks attempted to gain a competitive advantage by embracing new technologies, sometimes with disastrous results.  Such is the sad tale of young inventor Valerian Abakovsky and his Aerowagon.

Abakovsky was a Latvian-born inventor who earned his living as a chauffeur for Cheka, the state security organization created by Lenin.  His position granted him access to many high-ranking Soviets and, although details are scarce, Abakovsky most likely used his influence within t…

Black Eyed Children Finally Explained!

Last month, we received an email from a reader in Michigan, in response to our article debunking the "black eyed children" phenomenon, which links these so-called "paranormal" entities to recreational drug use.  The reader, whom we will call Onizuka in order to protect his identity, claims that not only is he familiar with BEKs- but that he was one.  "Onizuka" agreed to speak with JOTB via Yahoo instant messenger.  Ironically, this conversation took place on 4/20, a date which is embraced by those who are part of the drug culture.


JOTB:Thanks for taking the time to speak with us.  In one of your previous emails, you stated that you were a "black eyed kid".  What did you mean by that?

Onizuka:  Last November I was driving late at night at turned on the radio and came across an episode of Coast to Coast AM and the topic of the show was black eyed children.  It convinced me to do some research on the topic, and that's how I found your article.  A…