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New Hampshire Scratching Its Head Over Weekend 'Boom'

No one knows what caused loud noise, rattling homes experienced Sunday by hundreds
By Jenn Gidman,  Newser Staff
Posted Oct 11, 2021 8:51 AM CDT
New Hampshire Scratching Its Head Over Weekend 'Boom'
In this photo taken Oct. 8, 2015, a sign is seen welcoming visitors to New Hampshire from Vermont in Cornish, NH.   (AP Photo/Jim Cole)

(Newser) – A bang, a boom, houses shaking. Those were some of the descriptions reported by residents Sunday morning in sections of New Hampshire, and the cause as of early Monday remains a mystery. Per WMUR, people in dozens of towns across the central and southern parts of the state, as well as in border locations in southern Maine and northern Massachusetts, put in calls about the strange incident. Representatives from the US Geological Survey and Boston College's Weston Observatory say there wasn't any seismic activity recorded to indicate an earthquake, and the Federal Aviation Administration reported no military aircraft activity in the area on Sunday.

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One man from Weare, NH, describes the sound as a "huge thump, like a very heavy person had landed on their heels on our second floor," adding, "We called up to our son on the second floor, who replied, 'It wasn't me!'" Another local tells WCAX that it sounded like her husband had "dropped something in the garage."

Multiple police departments in the southwest part of the state sent officers out to respond to the reports, though a spokesperson for the state's Department of Safety tells WMUR that state police were never called, and the state 911 hotline fielded just one report. Hundreds of people noted their experiences on the VolcanoDiscovery.com website. Still, there are hints on some of the possibilities behind the mystery.

Geophysicists from the USGS tell the New York Times that New Hampshire is often hit with tiny earthquakes, and that even though no seismic activity was recorded in this case, that doesn't mean there wasn't one. One local who said he heard a "loud boom," followed by his entire house rattling, is suspiciously eyeing the New Boston Space Force Station near his home (US Space Force officials didn't reply to the Times for comment). It may even be that the cause isn't of this Earth: A Weston Observatory research scientist tells WCAX it's "likely" the odd event was caused by a meteor or other natural phenomenon. (Read more New Hampshire stories.)

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