Mystery Booms of Southern Illinois

In March 2013, many residents of southern Illinois, particularly in the counties of Franklin, Gallatin, Hardin, Jackson, Jefferson, Pope, Saline, White and Williamson, started reporting strange “booms,” shock waves, rumbling, and rattling. This mysterious phenomenon had many residents on edge. Public officials have offered no explanation of the activity.

The loud booms made many area residents think of the New Madrid Fault. This seismic zone is a prolific source of intraplate earthquakes in the Midwest stretching to the southwest of New Madrid, Missouri. Angela Howser of Disclosure News contacted the U.S. Geological Survey and was able to rule out any seismic activity. Angela then contacted the Federal Aviation Administration and was told that no flight activity in southern Illinois had resulted in a “sonic boom.” When she contacted the Illinois Department of Mines and Minerals, she was informed that there was no mining activity such as blasting going on at the time that could have resulted in a boom that was heard and felt across southern Illinois.

Some residents in Saline County suggested that a meteorite event caused the boom. Several people in Carrier Mills reported a flash of light on the clear sunny afternoon. No one was certain of the point of origin of the flash of light. About 10:30 p.m. on March 16, 2013, several people in Harrisburg heard a boom and saw a flash of light.

One theory is that some sort of electrical charge is discharging in the atmosphere. It’s not certain if this electrical charge is caused by something in the atmosphere, something in the ground, or something in between.

The mystery booms could be connected with the “extinct” volcano, Hicks Dome, in Hardin County. Angela Howser stated that the majority of the booms reports come from the Hicks Dome area. Thermal maps of Hardin and surrounding counties show the dispersion of fluorspar (which is essential in enriching uranium, something that is done at the Honeywell plant in Metropolis, Illinois), silver and gemstones such as sapphire and ruby.

The thermal maps also showed that a large amount of Thorium was located underground. As any high school chemistry student knows, Thorium-232 becomes Thorium-233 when bombarded with neutrons, which will decay into Uranium-233 and is used as nuclear fuel. Experts say that the Hicks Dome volcano last erupted millions of years ago. However, there is a great possibility that Hicks Dome may have erupted only a few hundred years ago, before there were people keeping records of such things. Could static from an underground lava/magma flow be the disruptive force causing the mystery booms?

Southern Illinois sits on top of two seismic zones, the New Madrid Seizmic Zone and the Wabash Valley Siezmic Zone. These zones promise to create enormous earthquake potential. Be it either volcanic or earthquake activity, southern Illinois had better prepare now for a disaster of biblical proportions.


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