For our first example lets look at an event that took place just a few short years ago. It was a dark and cloudy night in July of 2001; four young missionaries camped along the Ganges River in India. Suddenly they were awakened by a loud Boom. It was followed in rapid succession by three more booms. They group thought that they were under fire and scurried off to look for help. They soon learned that they were being shot at but that the noises they had heard were that of the mysterious Barisal Guns of the Ganges, a phenomenon of unexplained booms believed to have been first reported from India in 1871 when G. Scott, an Englishman, wrote in the science journal Nature of noises he then called The Barisal Guns. These bangs and booms he reported were heard at the mouth of the Ganges. They were described as 'dull, muffled booms as if of distant cannon.' The Barisal Guns are still reported to be heard form about May until October, usually in connection with a heavy rainfall.
In Rajkot India, which has been troubled by earthquakes for years, residents have recently reported hearing and feeling an increasing number of unexplained booms. These evidently sound like “dynamite being set off” and are strong enough to rattle windows and doors and even demolish buildings. Mining, terrorism and aircraft have all been ruled out as possible causes.
In another instance a mysterious boom rocked the area of Humberside, England in May 1977. The first and loudest boom, which was heard as far off as Brough, Cottingham and Beverley, (some 50 miles away)occurred at around 11.33 PM on Thursday May, 18 and was reported to have rattled windows. Following this initial explosion, two or three lesser booms were heard. As result, local police stations were inundated with emergency calls from concerned residents. The explosions apparently sounded the loudest in the East Hull proximity.In an effort to try and deal with the mystery booms, Humberside police set up headquarters in Hull's Queen Gardens. From here they checked all possible sources of explosions such as nearby gas installations and explosive stores.Asked for his opinion on the mystery booms, an RAF spokesperson said that there was always plenty of aircraft activity over the area by such groups as NATO. It should be noted that this same RAF spokesperson stated that 'Supersonic flight lanes are over the sea, not inland, but research has proved that a sonic boom can travel horizontally for up to 100 miles. It is possible that this is what happened and that the bangs came in from seaward,' he said. Two Bransholme housewives seem to have thought differently, however. They reported seeing a strange object in the sky shortly after the explosions were heard. The two women said they witnessed an object like a classic spaceship and were scared by what they saw.
In yet another occurrence, two men heard explosions like rifle shots. It was December 10, 1899, in Staffordshire, England, near a cave thought to be haunted called Old Hannah's Cave.
"Realizing that no one was shooting, they looked up the cliff and witnessed an explosion which emitted a flash from a hole or fissure in the upper part of the cliff. This had a bluish column 'not of steam or fire or smoke, but apparently of aqueous vapor,' which traveled with immense force across the valley (approximately 12 m wide). Within minutes another discharge from higher up the cliff and then 'several ones with crackling sounds producing semi-transparent wavy streaks in the air.' Next followed a very loud explosion which 'we had the good fortune to see plainly.' Wardle describes this as 'like a gun but with crackling, a series of continuous reports, cleaving the air in a zigzag or river-like course in a narrow band about 15 cm to 20 cm broad, of bluish color."
Several other reliable descriptions exist of detonations and flame-like discharges around old Hannah's Cave. The supposition is that natural gases liberated by decaying organic material and, perhaps, geochemical reactions are ignited by static electricity. A recent landslip seems to have extinguished this curious phenomenon.
The truth is that noises often scare us and when we can not explain wher the noise comes from it becomes even more scary. As far as the Mystery Booms are concerned, even though many scientists have offered any number of reasons for the various Mystery Booms know one really knows why they occur, it is just more proof that we live in a truly weird would! See you next time for more fun.
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