Articles about the unsolved mystery of the "Berkeley Boom" claim that the loud noises that can be heard throughout Berkeley, California, and in neighbouring cities, might be caused by fireworks, cops, oil companies, nuclear testing, car engines, aerial bombs, flash grenades, and other theories.

The unsolved mystery of the Berkeley boom

Police say mysterious Berkeley boom most likely fireworks

Berkeley Boom hashtag

Unidentified ‘booms’ have been waking up Berkeley for a month and nobody knows why

The explosion-like-sound has been heard throughout the East Bay at irregular times and on irregular dates, triggering car alarms, freaking out pets, and disturbing the local population - and authorities claim they have no idea what causes it.

It seems strange to me that the origin of a noise - especially a threatening and scary one - would be hard to track down with today's technology, and would be something that authorities haven't figured out yet. And it seems strange too that all I could find online are theories.

Is it possible that the origin of a loud explosion is "unknown", even when it happens repeatedly over a long period of time?

  • I could only come to the conclusion that the cause is currently "unknown" or that authorities are keeping the reason from the public Well, you can strike one of those - Occam's razor.
    – user22865
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 12:03
  • Welcome to Skeptics! This question isn't very clear. It is clear that residents don't know what is going on, so, yes, it is unknown. Perhaps some people responsible know what it is, but that doesn't change its status. Perhaps the police know what it is and are denying it, but that is an unfalsifiable conspiracy theory - there is nothing to add.
    – Oddthinking
    Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 12:51
  • 1
    A similar type of unexpected large sound known as the Seneca Guns or Barisal Guns is discussed here-skeptics.stackexchange.com/questions/27758/… Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 13:44
  • @Oddthinking thanks for your help. Please let me know if you think I should change something to the question, or delete it. I'd rtaher not lose more points on here... Thanks For pericles316's comment: the link you give states that this phenomenon happens in summer, which isn't the case in my question (happened last night for several hours) Commented Nov 18, 2015 at 18:33
  • @fabriced-The answer states it can also rarely happen in winter and the event is further explained here-earthquake.usgs.gov/learn/topics/booms.php. Commented Nov 21, 2015 at 12:28


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