Mystery Booms Heard in Connecticut

I have been interested in mysterious “booms” ever since I was a kid and read about the Barisal Guns in what was probably my first ever book on the paranormal. The Barisal Guns, for those unfamiliar with the phenomenon, refers to the series of sonic booms heard in the Barisal region of what is now Bangladesh. The strange thing about these sonic booms is that they were heard and reported in the 19th century, long before sonic booms should have been heard. The phenomenon continues to this day all over the world, and most of these booms are usually reported near water and coastlines. This story of booms heard in Connecticut is no different. I actually came across a number of stories this week of reported sonic booms, but this one happened in Old Mystic, Connecticut, where I vacationed this summer. I actually stayed in Ledyard (which is also mentioned in this story), but was in Old Mystic and Stonington at various times during my stay.

Loud booms are heard in Old Mystic, Ledyard and Stonington Connecticut
Photo of the Old Mystic River, taken while on my vacation this past summer

Police officials have not been able to identify the source of three loud noises that sounded like explosions and shook houses in Stonington Friday.

“We received multiple phone calls from people in the Old Mystic area about hearing three different loud booms or explosions that shook their homes,” Stonington police Captain Jerry Desmond said. “We responded with the fire department and searched the whole area.”

Desmond said police checked on construction sites and power lines in the area but have not determined what could have caused the noises.

“We have no reports of homes being damaged by these booms and no reports of electricity being out,” he said. “There are no incidents that people have reported that would be the cause of these loud noises.”

Area residents said they heard three loud booms each about 15 minutes apart, beginning at about 9:15 a.m. Friday.

“I’ve never been in an earthquake, but the third one felt like what I think an earthquake would feel like,” Nancy Peta, of Old Mystic, said. “It sounded like a propane tank had exploded, or a plane crash.”

Peta said the booms shook her house and prompted neighbors to congregate on the street to see if anyone knew what had happened. She said she did not notice any smoke in the area.

State police from Troop E were sweeping the area, including Ledyard and North Stonington, a spokesman said, but hadn’t found the source for the reports of an explosion.

Desmond said police officers and firefighters are still investigating.

At 9:18 a.m., the Old Mystic Fire Department tweeted that firefighters were dispatched to 24 Main St. for a reported explosion.

“We are dealing with a situation in Old Mystic concerning possible explosions,” Stonington First Selectman Ed Haberek wrote on Facebook. He said the police and fire departments were on scene investigating.

A spokeswoman from Connecticut Light & Power said the utility company did not have any problems with its equipment in the area.

Since this phenomenon seems to happen mostly around coastlines and rivers, I have to believe that this is something more preternatural than supernatural, some function of the water and the earth that creates these explosive sounds that we do not yet understand. I imagine it must be scary to hear such sounds, and most people naturally first assume them to be an earthquake or some sort of explosion, but when no explanation is readily available, it must be a frightening thing indeed.

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