March 08, 2007
SOUTH CAROLINA - Newsrooms were flooded with calls about the mystery rumble observed Thursday morning. According to the National Earthquake Information Center, there is nothing to indicate there was an earthquake in the Charleston area. It doesn't rule out the possibility that it was a smaller quake, but they said it was most likely a sonic boom. However, the Charleston air traffic controller said there was nothing in the pattern at that time that is capable of producing a sonic boom. There are no reports of damage.
A big boom, followed by earthquake-like tremors. That's how people are describing what they felt Thursday morning. "The ground was shaking, the house was shaking, the windows were banging.” All those who felt it say it lasted seconds. Even the National Weather Channel was reporting a possible earthquake felt in the Charleston area. But since the 1800s, not a single report of a quake in that area has been confirmed. The National Earthquake Information Center says this isn't an earthquake since nothing was recorded on their seismographs. There is another possible explanation for this mystery according to the US Geological Survey. There is an unexplained phenomenon called Seneca Guns that sound like sonic booms and shake homes. There have been reports of Seneca Guns along the coasts in South Carolina and also in North Carolina and Virginia. In addition, there have been reports of such booms around Lake Seneca and Lake Cayuga in New York State. Some speculate this could be gas escaping from vents in the earth's surface, but no exact cause is known.