The Seneca Guns

seneca_sqIn early 2012 (the most recent year the world was supposed to end), viral videos and audio recordings flooded the internet which allegedly captured a rash of strange, apocalyptic noises afflicting locales all over the world. Though some were never debunked, many of them proved to be deliberate and rather obvious hoaxes that had simply dubbed the “Gideon’s Trumpet” clip from the end of Kevin Smith’s film Red State, or else the Tripod noises from Spielberg’s War of the World, onto otherwise unremarkable scenes. Lost among the deafening furor generated by true believers and equally outspoken skeptics was the incontrovertible fact that in a handful of these locales, a historical record of unexplained and disturbing noises stretches back centuries. In Japan, they call them uminari. In the coastal countries of Northern Europe, they are mistpoeffers. In Cape Fear, South Carolina and along the shores of Lake Seneca and Lake Cayuga, New York, they are known as The Seneca Guns. An 1850 short story called “Lake Gun” by James Fennimore Cooper, author of The Last of the Mohicans, both gave the phenomenon its American name and testified to its occurrence at least that far back (long before there were supersonic jets). The sounds are usually described as brief, thunderous booms powerful enough to rattle windows and set off car alarms. To this day, no one can explain exactly what causes them (earthquakes are usually ruled out by a lack of recorded seismic activity), but because they usually occur along coastal areas, most hypotheses revolve around anomalous atmospheric conditions, natural gas explosions or undetected underwater earthquakes.  Oddly enough, towards the end of 2012, several verified reports of sonic booms appeared in newspapers from Ardmore, Oklahoma (12/6) to Leicester, UK (12/9) to Jodhpur, India (12/18).   In each case, military officials went on record to say that no aircraft maneuvers or military tests had been conducted in the area.