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The Case of the Unexplained California Sonic Boom in 2009

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The Case of the Unexplained California Sonic Boom in 2009

sonic boom

It was around 9:15 p.m. on a Tuesday evening in March of 2009, when suddenly the residents in Orange County, California experienced a strange sort of rumbling that rattled the windows and shook doors.

What made the rumbling particularly odd was the fact that witnesses reported their homes didn’t shake at all – only the doors and windows of their homes shook. In one specific account, one woman reported how she watched the bedroom doorknob rattling as though someone was trying to open the door – yet no one did.

It spooked her greatly, because she was home alone with her 1 year old daughter. That witness told the Orange County register that she didn’t hear or feel anything – only her doorknob rattled as though from an invisible hand.

Another witness – Tracy Austin of Huntington Beach – told the Register that the “whole house rumbled”, but in particular that it shook the front door of the house. She also told reporters that her dogs could sense the rumbling effect before it happened.

The effect was even picked up by seismic sensors, and staff at the USGS quickly recognized that whatever had caused the strange shaking effect up and down the coast of Orange County was definitely not an Earthquake.

The USGS Analysis of the Mysterious Rattling

FOIA documents released by the U.S. Geological Survey revealed a fascinating email stream among scientists at the USGS, as they were analyzing the effects that took place not only at 9:15 P.M. on a Tuesday, but also later again at 9:15 A.M. the following day.

The first the USGS heard about the event was from the media, as Kate Hutton wrote to the staff at Cal Tech:

“Bob Dollar & I got a few calls last night from the media about ‘earthquakes’ felt in Orange County. We did not see any earthquakes, but we do see a prominent sonic boom at about 9:19 to 9:22 pm (depending on the exact location) last night in the area.”

From this email, a conversation started regarding the analysis of the sonic book, including where it made landfall and what direction it followed over land.

On March 4th, Bob Dollar of Cal Tech wrote to Erik Pounders of the USGS with an update, including the fact that the reports from residents numbered in the hundreds – not dozens, as the OC Register had reported.

“Hundreds of shaking reports beginning about 21:30 local. Felt by Gary [local reporter] personally. I found CIIM reports for Fontana event 12 hours earlier at 9:30 local. Reports started at 21:30.”

The seismologists were able to use the seismic data to track the path of the sonic boom. In the email stream, Kate Hutton and Bob Dollar provided her findings and stated that “it” – as they all were starting to call the craft – had reached land around Dana Point from the South-Southwest, and traveled Northeast over Anaheim and then Citrus – headed straight for Angeles National Forest, and of course Edwards Air Force Base far beyond.

One of the most interesting segments of the email conversation was when the scientists began sharing sampling from “Jiggle”, which revealed very clear evidence of a significant sonic boom.

Other people in the email stream commented about the fact that most of them didn’t feel any rumblings at all – like everyone would have in an earthquake – further solidifying the conclusion that the witnesses along the proposed flight path had felt a sonic boom.

Susan Hough of the USGS:

“I didn’t feel any rumblings, and had no idea that any of this was going on until Ken brought it to my attention. It sounds like it would be helpful to put a note on the CISN page when sonic booms are felt across the region?”

It was an innocent suggestion – one that was clearly offered with the public safety and interest in mind. However, other seismologists at the USGS had been down the same road before. It didn’t take long for the truth to come out regarding how the U.S. military attempts to stifle such information from reaching the public.

U.S. Navy Cover-Up of Sonic Boom Reports

Not everyone at the USGS was so interested in taking the information they had gathered about the sonic boom – and their conclusions about where it came from and where it was headed – to the public. John Evans of the USGS informed two colleagues of the USGS and Rich Davies of the Western Disaster Center that the USGS had been chastised before for informing the public about detected sonic booms.

“Sonic booms do register on seismic nets and can be evaluated back to a ground track, but this is not done routinely, so far as I know. Indeed, one of our Pasadena scientists some years back got chastised by military folks for publishing such a result. As if Aviation Leak didn’t get there ahead of us…”

John Evans of the USGS quickly jumped into theories of experimental aircraft out of Groom Lake, but also proposes the idea that meteors are also known to cause sonic booms as they enter the atmosphere.

On March 5th, John wrote to the rest of the team:

“Given Aviation Leak summaries of ‘donuts on a rope’ high-altitude trails left by something producing a very deep rumble rather than a boom … there is certainly a strong possibility of correlation with Groom Lake. This aircraft has been seen [the SR-71 Blackbird/Habu] in several locations in the southwest in the last decade and may be associated with call sign “Dark Star” overheard in Texas and the (probably planted) project name Aurora.”

With that aside, John goes on to explain that he had personally witnessed a meteor causing a large sonic boom.

“Note that another source of sonics is large meteors, generally bollides (meteors that break up). I got a very good sample of that at the one and only shot I ever witnessed, in the hills above Calaveras Res many ages ago. Brilliant flash and persistant, scintilating trail several minutes before shot time and large boom a few seconds before shot time…”

Regardless what actually caused the massive sonic boom throughout Orange County, the USGS email stream unearthed by an FOIA request did reveal that at least seismologists at the USGS have a very unique perspective when it comes to tracking the affects of test flights with supersonic aircraft by the military, incoming meteors, or whatever else could potentially travel so quickly through the skies that it could cause such a mysterious sonic boom.

References & Image Credits:
(1) Black Vault
(2) USGS Mysterious Shaking Emails
(3) Mysterious Shaking Documents Black Vault
(4) National Geographic

Originally published on

  • Otrropie

    There may be another explanation for many unexplained booms, if not this particular one. Perhaps this could be of interest to some readers. A short intro perhaps:

    Are we already experiencing Time Travel?

    Of course most established physicists flatly deny this. This attitude however is based not on any scientific evidence whatsoever, but purely on the belief that the only type of time travel that will ever be possible, if any, is travel into the future. The reason for such a assumption is little more than an unwillingness to accept the nasty consequence of time travel in the other direction, i.e. into the past. That consequence is the indeed very disturbing “reverse causality” it would imply, in other words, events happening before they would be caused. The implications of this would be so horrendous that the mere possibility is simply ignored or ruled out. But can such simple, plain old bias still be called “science”? Just because scientists “don’t like” something, it can’t be true?
    Because they can at best only accept the possibility of time travel into the future, and because, to our knowledge, experiments re this have not been conducted, it follows, if you believe their logic, that time travel has never occurred. But has it?
    Ask yourself the following question: What would scientists from the future do to test theories of time travel? According to Einstein, we know that time itself is relative. Experiments until now however have concentrated mainly on “time dilation” and finding proof of this. Time dilation, the slowing of time in clocks travelling at high velocity, has been proven many times. Today, it’s an accepted fact. Satellite scientists even have to factor this in for the correct operation of GPS systems these days. But what about not just the slowing of time, but of the complete transfer of matter? What would such experiments look like?
    They would require huge amounts of energy. Just like the huge amounts of energy already available in the world’s most powerful particle colliders and accellerators today. But what would actually happen, for example, to a particle of matter, that were transferred in time? Where exactly would it re-appear, be it in the future or in the past? Not in the same location, so much is certain.
    This goes to the heart of our current lack of understanding of this entire area of future science. The problem is, established science simply doesn’t have a clue. It’s because the mechanism of transfer is not understood and experiments to test theories haven’t even been conceived. At least, not yet.
    So getting back to the initial question, what would future scientists trying to work out where temporally transferred particles re-appear try and do? They’d have to make sure the transfers to another time, whether to the past or to the future, were at least observed and recorded at this other point in time. It’s therefore no good transferring single particles. If they just appeared somewhere backwards or forwards in time, they wouldn’t even be noticed. So those designing experiments would have to try and transfer more matter, perhaps blobs of plasma. Surely, something like that would attract attention in the past or in the future and be noticed, wherever such blobs of plasma re-appeared. Once the bare basics of transfer are understood, they could even try to cause transfers that would definitely be recorded because of their particular characteristics or even patterns.
    The other question was, WHERE would such a transfer re-appear? One theory states that it would appear at the same point relative to the Sun, or perhaps more correctly, at the same point relative to the gravity focus of the Solar System, the Barycentre. That would mean that it would appear in empty space, at the point in Earth’s orbit where the transfer were initiated, relative to this constantly moving Barycentre, but in an earlier or future time. We would only notice such a transfer into the past if such a ball of plasma were to enter the atmosphere, as Earth passed by in a different year, at a point where Earth in a previous or future year intersects that same point relative to the Barycentre defined by the time and date of the transfer. But what would this look like? It would look just like an asteroid entering the atmosphere or like an “Earth impact” and almost certainly simply be explained away by astronomers as just that. “Yet another meteorite”. Could we ever tell the difference however? Yes, we possibly could.
    Is there any evidence of such events already having occurred? There is ample evidence.
    Consider just one possibility of making sure impacts are not missed. Why not, once the transfer mechanism is understood, verify it by sending not just one but TWO blobs of plasma to the same location, but on consecutive days? Meteorites certainly don’t strike twice in the same place, a day apart. Nay-saying astronomers who put every such event down to meteorite impact and nothing else would have a hard time trying to explain that away. Such a double event would definitely be reported and certainly raise eyebrows, even if it occurred in any safely remote location.
    Has such a strange double event ever happened? Yes, in September 2004. On September 14th, 2004, at 20:30 p.m. local time, a bright object coming from the north exploded behind the mountains of the Martial Glacier just north of Ushuaia in Argentina, the southernmost town on Earth and also one of the most remote. It caused tree damage over about 150 square meters, but no meteorite remnants were ever found. The very next day, but thirty minutes later, the same thing happened AGAIN and was witnessed again at Ushuaia and also at Rio Gande, the next town to the northeast.
    If a responsible scientist were to try and choose a location where there were virtually no danger of harming anyone, yet where an event like this would still be seen, reported and investigated, so you could analyse the result of the experiment in the distant future, you could hardly pick a safer one. But let’s get back to that theory of transferred matter re-appearing at the same point relative to Sun and Barycentre: A location just outside Geneva will inhabit the same point relative to the Barycentre as the point north of Ushuaia where the object appeared, in the year 2021. Pure coincidence? The next day, in 2004 and 2021, this same location does intersect on the orbital path with the same entry north of Ushuaia area again. But only about thirty minutes later, due to Earth’s rotation. The very same time delay observed for that second Ushuaia impact. Coincidence again? Were the Ushuaia events matter transfers from the future? Are scientists from the future even trying to make us aware of them, by targetting the same location a second time? Are they hoping that someone in the past will finally understand the significance of that thirty minute time delay on the second day as pointing to impact area and high energy facility area both inhabiting the same point relative to the Barycentre on consecutive days? Why would they be trying to make us aware of the possibility that these events were temporal transfers?
    If there is interst, the next posting will be about the strange event at Esteban Echeverria in 2011. Again, one high energy site matches the position of the blast site relative to the Sun in the future, but not only that. In this case there is other very suggestive evidence linking both the high energy site and the blast site with a high degree of probability.

“The thing about the truth is, not a lot of people can handle it.” -Conor McGregor

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