Mysterious boom heard in parts of Massachusetts

For the second time in as many months, a mysterious boom has rocked residents of a small group of New England towns, this time in eastern and central Massachusetts, sparking a storm of speculation in the groups. community social media as to the cause of the noise. .

As with the last puzzling and disturbing noise to shake this region, the clues are minimal.

Just after 10 p.m. Wednesday night, as residents of Stow and surrounding towns settled into their beds, completed work projects, or returned home from late shifts, a sudden, deep boom rocked the walls and the floors of their homes.

“All of a sudden I’m leading this boom, I mean it was really loud, and I looked at my husband and I said what the [expletive] that was it, ”said Lisa Marie Boyce, who lives in Maynard. “I was scared, it looked like an explosion. We just saw a house blow up in Maynard a few months ago, so that was obviously my first idea of ​​what was going on.

Local police departments – in what appears to be a roughly 20-mile radius of the area towns of Maynard, Stow, Acton, Ayer, Sudbury and Bolton – investigated the noise after some were inundated with concerned reports by noise. They found nothing.

“We have absolutely no idea what it is,” said a Stow Police Department dispatcher, who wrote on Facebook Wednesday evening that officers were investigating the reports.

“** Update ** from 1040 we checked all areas of town as well as the fire academy,” the department wrote. “We did not observe anything abnormal. We have spoken to surrounding towns who have similar complaints.

A solid explanation for the noise, described by some residents as the sound of an explosion or a massive tree crashing to the ground, has yet to surface.

But the inhabitants’ hypotheses are numerous: a meteorite exploding in the atmosphere, a local earthquake, an earthquake in Missouri, military fighter planes, demolitions at a local military base. The list goes on.

Most of these theories were refuted by scientific agencies on Thursday.

A scientist from the US Geological Survey’s Earthquake Information Center said the agency had detected no seismic activity in the area as of Wednesday evening.

Alan Dunham, a meteorologist in the Norton office of the National Weather Service, had no idea either.

“We have no official report on what caused the strong boom in this region,” he said. “People thought maybe it was an earthquake, but we haven’t received any official notification. Really, I have nothing for you.

He said no major weather system was passing through the region at the time, indicating thunder was an unlikely possibility.

The few clues that do exist, however, are remarkably similar to a similar incident last month in New Hampshire: booming noise, no seismic activity detected, and no storm in the area.

In this case, NASA, the National Weather Service and other experts said the noise was likely the result of a fireball entering the atmosphere.

Could this be what happened here? The sky was overcast, Dunham said, which could have blocked the view of a fireball. And meteors are sometimes known to make explosive noises when they burn in Earth’s atmosphere.

“Whatever it was, it freaked me out,” Boyce said. “We have gas in our house, so that scared me.”


Andrew Brinker can be reached at [email protected] Follow him on Twitter at @andrewnbrinker.

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