A series of mysterious “booms” rocked Oklahoma on Thursday and Friday, rattling windows and startling livestock, as several small earthquakes struck the region.
Oklahoma Geological Survey research seismologist Austin Holland said that the mysterious sounds, akin to sonic booms, rattled the area around Norman on Friday, according to the Daily Mail. Beginning around 11:20 a.m., the sounds were similar to booms that had been heard the day before and were reported in several neighboring towns.
Two small earthquakes stuck the region on Friday, according to U.S. Geological Survey officials, taking place about a half hour before the booms were reported. Officials noted, however, that there was only a slim chance that the sounds represented an aftershock, as KOCO reports.
Experts baffled by ‘booms’ in central Oklahoma http://t.co/32gyrd3YDf pic.twitter.com/BSI5m1CPCd
— KOCO-5 Oklahoma City (@koconews) January 9, 2015
Anthony Young, who lives on the outskirts of Oklahoma City, said that his windows rattled with the sound of the booms.
“We thought some nut was out here, you know, with explosives… It sounded like thunder, you could feel the ground shake, but it was nothing like an earthquake.”
Neither Holland nor National Weather Service meteorologist Matthew Day had a ready explanation for the booms. Holland asserted that it was unlikely the sounds were connected to fracking, as they were reported over a widespread area, and said that the booms most likely originated from a point above the Earth’s surface, possibly in the atmosphere.
Day noted that some locals were attributing the booms to a phenomenon known as cryoseisms, or “frost quakes,” which occur when rapidly freezing water cracks soil or rock. Based on his research, however, he isn’t convinced that cryoseisms are a valid explanation for the booms.
— Stittsville Central (@StittsCentral) January 9, 2015
“There’s not enough moisture, and the temperatures are not cold enough. That happens in areas where you have a lot of water flowing through a lot of rock.”
Late last year, similarly mysterious booms were recorded simultaneously over England and regions of Western New York state. While a wide variety of explanations were posited for the phenomenon, from the mundane to the fanciful, the booms remain unexplained. As the Inquisitr previously reported, however, one researcher was able to link the sounds to a new type of supersonic engine, thought to be in development.
Holland also noted that the booms occurred at regular intervals, at first between 40 to 60 seconds apart, before closing to just 20 seconds. Despite widespread reports, the source of the Oklahoma booms remains a mystery.
[Image via KRMG]