Mysterious Boom Traced to Ocean

By | April 28, 2006

Mysterious Boom Traced to Ocean

“A group of local scientists has uncovered some clues to the source of a mysterious disturbance that rattled San Diego County on the morning of April 4, shaking windows, doors and bookcases from the coast to the mountains. The scientists, based at Scripps Institution of Oceanography in La Jolla, say the disturbance was caused by a sound wave that started over the ocean and petered out over the Imperial County desert. Using data from more than two dozen seismometers, they traced its likely origin to a spot roughly 120 miles off the San Diego coast. That spot is in the general vicinity of Warning Area 291, a huge swath of ocean used for military training exercises. The Navy operates a live-fire range on San Clemente Island, which is within Warning Area 291 and sits about 65 miles from Mission Bay.

The researchers also have charted dozens of similar, if less dramatic, incidents that seem to have originated in the same general area of the ocean. They aren’t sure what caused any of them. Peter Shearer, a Scripps professor involved in the research, has no idea whether the April 4 disturbance was natural or made by humans.

?I would guess it’s either an explosion that somebody hasn’t told us about or it could have been a meteor coming into the atmosphere,? he said. ?But it was certainly a big disturbance in the atmosphere.? – sandi

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