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A Nomad’s Notes: Booms over Brunswick County and other local mysteries

Not 30 minutes ago, my bosses and coworkers and I were having a meeting in one of our conference rooms when it sounded like someone weighing more than 200 pounds decided to jump on the roof right above us about two seconds apart.

My boss said, “You don’t hear those in the building?”

I’ve heard this building rattle with wind before but nothing like that. So I decided to check a local town’s Facebook group and, lo and behold, it seemed the booms had been heard throughout the county, with someone saying people in Wilmington heard it, too.

Everyone seems to have moved on from it, but I’m sitting here at my desk, heart still pounding, researching about booms, because even though I’m 99 percent sure it wasn’t aliens or God bowling, it’s still fascinating and spooky with how mysterious it is.

I heard something similar sometime in the last two years on a Saturday. I was lying in bed sort of dozing when I heard two booms, one right after the other. I could tell it was something loud and not just my imagination because I looked outside my window and saw that at least two of my neighbors were outside looking at the sky to determine what was going on.

I immediately looked up sonic boom videos and found one that matched what I’d heard, so I assumed that’s what I’d heard that morning.

But this one I heard at work was different in that it was almost more earth-shattering, and there was more time between booms. I’m not one to rule out military and wouldn’t be surprised if that’s what it was.

But when looking up the term of Seneca Guns, I learned it was a definition all the way back from 1850, way before planes were in the sky breaking the sound barrier, when James Fenimore Cooper wrote the short story about “The Lake Gun,” which described the sound at Seneca Lake in New York.

Going through the Internet to places credible and not-so, I also found a definition on Wikipedia about skyquakes, which seem to happen in places along the coast. We could be hearing a meteor barging to earth at God knows how many miles an hour. More grounded theories include tectonic plate shift/mini earthquakes or gases being released from the ocean floor.

I found a video about the Cape Fear region on YouTube, with a science channel interviewing those who’d heard the booms before. A girl talked about seeing orange lights over the ocean, and I got the vibe they were trying to say the origin was extraterrestrial.

But I’ve seen these lights before and in different patterns. I’ve seen orange blinking lights above the ocean and even above Shallotte’s own Food Lion. Someone described them as flares. They’re orange lights that seem to be cascading down and burning out. There’s no sound associated with them.

The ones at Food Lion were incredibly low and still no sound from a craft or anything. Another time I went to Sunset Beach at night just to take in my surroundings and looked up and saw the same phenomena, only slightly higher up. I jumped up and down with excitement trying to point it out to the couple who were on the beach that night as well, but they seemed indifferent.

I’m guessing these lights are military in nature. I’m still guessing most of what we hear/see that’s unexplained is military in nature. But as for what I heard today, I’m not sure. And that’s what’s so unsettling and irresistible about these strange phenomena. Because if they’re military, it means there are people out there with secrets I don’t know. And if it’s not military, the mystery remains and I’m dying to know the answer. In fact, when I die and hopefully meet whatever deity there is in the afterlife, that’s going to be my first topic of discussion. I don’t want to be titillated forever.

Whatever theories you’ve heard or stories you have, please feel free to email them to me, because my fascination with this will never cease. 

Lindsay Kriz is a staff writer for the Beacon. Reach her at 754-6890 or lkriz@brunswickbeacon.com.