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View Full Version : Mysterious noises in San Diego



snarkophilus
2006-Apr-25, 10:31 PM
I just read a story in the BA Blog titled "The Thunder of UFOs," and I have a bit of information about it.

I have a friend who lives in SD. He moved there about a year ago, and one of the first things he told me about was the military planes that fly overhead all the time. It's not uncommon for them to fly low over the area. You can see and hear them from UCSD all the time, apparently.

Anyway, I was talking to him on the phone one evening, when all of a sudden there was a bit of low-pitched static (so I thought). "Phone's dying," I said, and he replied, "no, that's just a plane." It was maybe three seconds later that there was this HUGE sound... as in, I could feel the vibrations from 3000 km away (okay, that's just hyperbole).

"Wow!" he said. "That was amazing!" The second time it happened (a minute later), he managed to get to the window in time to see the plane shooting out of sight. Apparently, his windows rattled, his dishes got pushed around on the shelf, and it was a lot like an earthquake (he lived in San Francisco before moving to SD).

The rest of our conversation was punctuated by periods where we couldn't talk, because the guys flying back were roaring in low and hard. This has happened a couple of times since, too.

Anyway, there are a couple of relevant things I learned. If it's a military plane, and if you're not quick to look, the planes get out of sight very quickly. They often fly out to Nevada or Arizona or something in the morning, and come back at night. 9 a.m. is a reasonable departure time. And although the blasts may be described as sounding like sonic booms, they don't have to be actual sonic booms to be very loud indeed.

The only caveat is that people in that area should be used to that by now, no? But maybe some pilot just went a little too far, and although he didn't produce a sonic boom, he did make a notably louder noise than usual. It would certainly be able to produce the effects described in the newspaper article.

01101001
2006-Apr-27, 08:35 PM
Followup story

San Diego Union Tribune Scripps scientists say it traveled over the ocean to desert (http://www.signonsandiego.com/news/metro/20060427-9999-1n27boom.html)


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 uses Warning Area 291 for a wide range of training, including large-scale ship maneuvers and battle exercises, but Fiebing and Fenick said they were unaware of any such training April 4 that would have caused such a disturbance.

sarongsong
2006-Apr-28, 04:41 PM
...I was talking to him on the phone one evening...Was it on April 4?

N C More
2006-Apr-30, 05:15 PM
Perhaps it was caused by the super secret/black ops Aurora aircraft? (http://wave.prohosting.com/aurora85/articles/skyquakes.html)

Dragon Star
2006-Apr-30, 05:53 PM
Mach 6? Holy Hell!

N C More
2006-Apr-30, 06:16 PM
Mach 6? Holy Hell!

Yeah, if it really exists, it appears to be something, alright. See specs here. (http://wave.prohosting.com/aurora85/technical/specs.html)

Dragon Star
2006-Apr-30, 06:20 PM
Wow, wonder what it's like to fly at over 5,000MPH just skimming the ocean waves...

I want one.:D

sarongsong
2006-May-03, 07:56 PM
Don't seem to be many depictions of this craft; here's one (http://www.3dcadbrowser.com/preview.aspx?ModelCode=9259) CAD version.

Dragon Star
2006-May-03, 08:12 PM
Amazing remarkable like the Blackbird.:think:

ToSeek
2006-May-04, 02:19 PM
Amazing remarkable like the Blackbird.:think:

Design follows function.

HenrikOlsen
2006-May-05, 07:27 AM
Amazing remarkable like the Blackbird.:think:
To me it looks a lot more like the XB-70 Valkyrie (http://www.labiker.org/xb70.html).

vonmazur
2006-May-05, 06:43 PM
Keep in mind that it is all due to Global Warming, and it is our fault.....just check out Unknown Country, Whitley Streibers site.....He claims that skyquakes are due to the meeting of hot and cold air.(Like woo woos in Minnesota, ie: in the dead of Winter?)...Unusually, they believe the Military that no aircraft were supersonic...at that time....I guess the distrust of the military depends on the usefulness of the information.....

Dale

NEOWatcher
2006-May-09, 04:58 PM
Well this could be (http://www.weathernet5.com/weather/9183058/detail.html) the source of the noises.:D

Really now, a 3.6/3.1 quake in Southern California is news? Oh yeah, that's right, it's after 3 earthquakes of 1.7, 1.3, 1.4 :eek:

And no reports of injuries or significant damage... the real question is, were there any reports that it was noticed? :lol:

Even in Ohio, a quake that size is reported as "by the way, if you felt..."

R.A.F.
2006-May-09, 05:40 PM
To me it looks a lot more like the XB-70 Valkyrie (http://www.labiker.org/xb70.html).

Thanks for the link...the XB-70 is my most favorite of planes...:)

Having lived in the east county of San Diego for 40+ years, I can "testify" that booms, rumbles, and other strange sounding noises are quite commonplace there...doesn't mean that I have a clue as to their cause, though. I always assumed it had something to do with the proximity of Miramar NAS.

sarongsong
2006-May-09, 10:02 PM
...Having lived in the east county of San Diego for 40+ years, I can "testify" that booms, rumbles, and other strange sounding noises are quite commonplace there...Yup, and one time, while making conversation with a retired Navy vet undergoing hyperbaric treatment at UCSD Hillcrest, he confided knowingly that if you watch the night skies over San Diego, you'll find "anomalous light patterns" overhead, before moving on to his appointment.

R.A.F.
2006-May-11, 04:02 PM
Well, unless those "anomalous light patterns" were particularly noisy, then I don't understand just how your post relates to the subject of this thread.

Kelfazin
2006-May-12, 10:53 PM
To me it looks a lot more like the XB-70 Valkyrie (http://www.labiker.org/xb70.html).

Heh I think it looks like somebody watched that Clint Eastwood movie Firefox (http://www.aerospaceweb.org/question/planes/fake/firefox3.jpg) too many times :)

sarongsong
2006-May-21, 01:07 AM
Contains another depiction (http://robocat.users.btopenworld.com/Images/buzzard.jpg):

...If the "Super-Valkyrie" [Aurora Project] has been designed as a hypersonic launch vehicle, the most likely method of propulsion would be Pulse Detonation Wave Engines (PDWEs)...most probable fuel...cryogenic liquid methane...Sightings of the aircraft described as a "mothership" first began in the late summer of 1990... btopenworld.com (http://robocat.users.btopenworld.com/updates3.htm#america's)

Hern
2006-May-22, 04:23 AM
Don't know how old many of you are, but here's a poser for you. Do you remember a movie called the "Black Cauldron"? The original sound track actually caught the test firing of the 'Aurora' engine. If you can find an original copy.....
The sound crew were out in the desert looking for any type of sound bytes that might make for the perfect noise necessary when the Dark Lord called the cauldron to life. They stumbled across the test firing of the engine and recorded it for use in the movie, never knowing exactly what the came across.

R.A.F.
2006-May-22, 12:58 PM
They stumbled across the test firing of the engine and recorded it for use in the movie, never knowing exactly what the came across.

Emphasis mine...

If they didn't know what they had come across, then just how do you know??

...and I hope the desert was somewhere near San Diego, else this would be yet another example of off topic posting.

furtim
2006-Jun-04, 09:46 PM
R.A.F.: The Valkyrie is one of my favourite planes of all time, as well! Now that was some serious aeronautical engineering. Plus, it just looked cool, which is always a nice feature for an aircraft for have.

On topic, it seems to me that an aircraft doesn't have to be going supersonic in order to be extremely loud. Jet engines are horrendously noisy things. Unusually low-flying subsonic aircraft could easily explain these loud noises. There are regulations in place concerning how low aircraft can fly precisely to avoid disturbing people with loud noises. (And probably also for the purpose of preventing pilots crashing into tall structures and terrain features, of course.) I would expect those exceptions to the low-level flight rules to occur very, very rarely, but I would also expect that they would occur much more frequently where military aircraft operate on a regular basis. So that pretty much solves the question of mysteriously loud noises for me.

The earthquake-like effects, however, are obviously much harder to explain by subsonic aircraft. They would be explained by sonic booms, but it's extraordinarily unlikely for aircraft, even military aircraft, to exceed the speed of sound over a populated area. I'm pretty sure doing so without explicit authorisation would result in a stern censure for the pilot in question.

However, nothing I see here rules out classified flights of unclassified aircraft. So jumping immediately to Aurora or that rumoured (and nicely debunked over at Orbitersim's Off Topic Forum) Air Force orbital space plane seems a bit... premature, at least.

sarongsong
2006-Jun-04, 10:05 PM
...earthquake-like effects, however, are obviously much harder to explain by subsonic aircraft...It's happened before:
April 17, 1992
...USGS seismologists, who have recorded similar rumbles in June, October, November [1991] and January [1992], say the aircraft's turbulence has a distinctive signature, or wave pattern, on the seismograph unlike that of any known aircraft...
Los Angeles Times (http://wave.prohosting.com/aurora85/articles/skyquakes.html)

lovebunny
2006-Sep-19, 06:54 PM
i know this subject hasnt been brought up for a while but id like to coment on it. there has allways been alot of crazy stuff going on in san diego. there are strange lights during the day and night once or twice a month that either stay in the sky for a few minutes and disapear or that zoom across the sky really fast. i remember those booms. for the first one i was asleep and i woke up and thought it was an earthquake. the second one i was awake for and it concerned me. it was all over the news and the military didnt say anything other than the fact that they had nothing to do with it

N C More
2006-Sep-20, 12:59 PM
.... it was all over the news and the military didnt say anything other than the fact that they had nothing to do with it

But, that's exactly what they'd say if it was a super secret black ops aircraft! Interesting little mystery for those in San Diego.

Dragon Star
2006-Sep-20, 07:06 PM
But, that's exactly what they'd say if it was a super secret black ops aircraft!

Yep! But it's hard to say for sure, it might have been something else entirely.

On the other hand, something doing Mach 6 is definitely going to be heard.:D

ZaphodBeeblebrox
2006-Sep-21, 12:50 AM
Yep! But it's hard to say for sure, it might have been something else entirely.

On the other hand, something doing Mach 6 is definitely going to be heard.:D
TWICE ...

Somethiing Going That Fast ...

Is Almost Certain to Have, More Than One Sonic Boom!

winwind
2006-Sep-21, 09:49 AM
sound crazy

SirThoreth
2006-Sep-22, 04:55 AM
The only caveat is that people in that area should be used to that by now, no? But maybe some pilot just went a little too far, and although he didn't produce a sonic boom, he did make a notably louder noise than usual. It would certainly be able to produce the effects described in the newspaper article.

Actually, most of us who've lived her in San Diego for an extended period of time are pretty used to it. What stands out amongst natives (or near-natives like myself - I'm 32, and have lived here for 18 years now) is when someone does something really unusual, or when an aircraft not commonly seen in the area flys by.

Examples:

Many years ago (based on when I was living at the time, it would have had to be sometime between August 1988 and June 1989), I was walking home from school, and saw a pair of F-14s in the air overhead, flying at fairly low altitude. Note that I live all of 5-8 miles north of Miramar Air Station, so seeing F-14s fairly low wasn't at all uncommon.

Anyway, the two turned due west, kicked in their afterburners, and hauled *** due west over the ocean. Neither broke the sound barrier, but they were loud as hell, and, I'm guessing, were pretty damn close. Two minutes later, another F-14 flew from east to west on roughly the same vector as the first birds, also on afterburners. That....wasn't normal behavior for F-14s at the time - they intentionally kept their airspeeds at "reasonable" levels when at low altitude, in order to keep the noise levels down.

Another time, I heard another aircraft sound I didn't normally hear off in the distance. I looked in the direction of the sound, and saw a B-52 heading south towards Miramar. That, too, isn't that common an aircraft in the San Diego area, but it isn't unheard of for one to be in the neighborhood.

The Miramar airshow always brings out the "weirdos" as well - I've seen SR-71s and F-117s in the air around Miramar shortly before and after the air show. National Guard aircraft also occasionally land there - I've even seen A-10s in the area, which is especially unusual, because I know of no operational squadrons that have ever been based in California.

Also, there are practice bombing ranges in San Diego county for the Navy and Marines, as well as the live fire ranges for the Marines up on Camp Pendleton's land. These days, airspace the San Onofre nuclear powerplant is under constant patrol by the Marines, who usually have a troop-carrying chopper or two in the area, as well as a pair of AH-1 Cobra gunships who patrol the airspace (staggered slightly so that both are usually in the air, and they can always have one airborne while the other's dirtside refueling).

Like a lot of other San Diegans, I've heard weird stuff in the sky before, as well, where I didn't see anything to correspond with it. OTOH, based on experiences where I did, it wouldn't surprise me if the cause the phenomena was: 1) an aircraft above the cloud layer at the time or; 2) long gone, because the pilot had the throttle wide open, or; 3) not an aircraft at all, but one of our many "little earthquakes".

Lurker
2006-Sep-25, 02:43 AM
Keep in mind that it is all due to Global Warming, and it is our fault.....just check out Unknown Country, Whitley Streibers site.....He claims that skyquakes are due to the meeting of hot and cold air.(Like woo woos in Minnesota, ie: in the dead of Winter?)...Unusually, they believe the Military that no aircraft were supersonic...at that time....I guess the distrust of the military depends on the usefulness of the information.....

Dale

It's all global warming... good weather... bad weather... warmer than average days... cooler than average days... things that go bump in the night... things that don't go bump in the night...


It's ALL Global Warming!!
And WE are to blame!!
:eh:

Atraveller
2006-Sep-25, 02:07 PM
In October 2003 I was sailing about 100 miles off shore of San Diego (from Vancouver to Ensenada Mexico.) I was on a night watch around 3am, when I saw an "Anomalous Light". I was traveling with two buddy boats who were both within twenty miles of me, and I alerted them to the lights by VHF Radio. The three of us lonely watch keepers saw a blue light travel from the eastern horizon to the western horizon in about 2 minutes. There was no sound. I had been watching the eastern horizon because it was the most likely place for big shipping to come from (ie. San Diego Bay/harbor.) As a sailor I an very much aware of the lights on the horizon, since they can indicate large ships coming to squash me... I am also aware enough of the stars, moon, and sun to be able to navigate by them (I hardly ever navigate by the sun at night, but you get the drift...) The object moved fast enough to be a satellite - but retrograde? And blue? There was no boom - sonic or otherwise... Aurora maybe? Any other suggestions?

sarongsong
2006-Sep-26, 04:16 AM
Perhaps it was caused by the super secret/black ops Aurora aircraft? (http://wave.prohosting.com/aurora85/articles/skyquakes.html)Another Aurora acknowledgement:
September 25, 2006
...Early 1990s - A string of sightings by residents in north Scotland of a UFO regularly flying overhead at great speed. Documents released earlier this year suggested the aircraft was a spy plane called Aurora, designed by the Americans to take covert pictures of the Soviet Union... The Guardian (http://www.guardian.co.uk/science/story/0,,1880308,00.html)

SirThoreth
2006-Sep-27, 10:38 PM
Um, not to be a party pooper, but given the difficulties involved, what evidence do we actually have that the Aurora project succeeded in producing actual hardware? My understanding was that it didn't, due to the number of technical issues involved, both in materials and in propulsion.

Atraveller
2006-Sep-28, 09:59 AM
Um, not to be a party pooper, but given the difficulties involved, what evidence do we actually have that the Aurora project succeeded in producing actual hardware? My understanding was that it didn't, due to the number of technical issues involved, both in materials and in propulsion.

If the Aurora didnīt succeed I would still love to know what I saw off the coast of San Diego (see my post #30)...

Maksutov
2006-Oct-01, 09:29 AM
Re mysterious noises in San Diego, the first thing I would think of would be the zoo.

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/tiere/e010.gif

Atraveller
2006-Oct-02, 12:50 PM
Re mysterious noises in San Diego, the first thing I would think of would be the zoo.

http://www.cosgan.de/images/smilie/tiere/e010.gif

I love the dancing pink elephant...

dirty_g
2006-Nov-06, 11:18 PM
Are there not laws about how low these planes can fly. I live in East England where many American and British air bases are and none of the planes fly low enough to rattle your house and shake the windows. I think its really inconsiderate for these pilots to do that. Does this happen often in America??

Gillianren
2006-Nov-06, 11:38 PM
Depends on how close to an airport/Air Force base you live, I should think. We have no problems; while there is an airport in the next town over, it's nothing but light passenger planes. Heck, even when I worked across the street from it, noise wasn't really a problem. Now, if I lived in Seatac, by the international airport, there would be more noise.

Unregistered
2006-Dec-11, 04:32 AM
Did anyone in the San Diego Area hear anything last night (Dec.10, 2006) or Friday night around 3AM? I woke up to the loudest bang I have ever heard in my life. When I woke up I figured I was just dreaming...thinking it was an earthquake. I got out of bed and went online to see if there were any recent quakes....nothing. I really didn't think anything of it because it woke me up. Then this afternoon, talking to some family in Carlsbad, they experienced the same thing early Saturday morning. Same sensations, a loud bang...and then a rumble. I do live under one of the departure routes from Miramar... where they head out to the east. I am pilot myself, and I am aware of the military airspace, departure routes, etc....and I understand the likelyhood of one of these F-18 going a little too fast and having this happen. However, it is interesting entertaining the facts of some other type of advanced aircraft. Anyways, did anyone else hear it, or was I imagining things?

publiusr
2006-Dec-22, 06:14 PM
MiGs from Constant Peg?

cometsgate
2007-Jan-12, 09:44 PM
Is this activity primarily located on the West Coast of the U.S.? In another thought, just curious: I checked out WinWind's blog. As my Chinese is limited, does it have an English translation available?

SharkByte
2007-Feb-05, 06:54 PM
Um, not to be a party pooper, but given the difficulties involved, what evidence do we actually have that the Aurora project succeeded in producing actual hardware? My understanding was that it didn't, due to the number of technical issues involved, both in materials and in propulsion.

I don't know anything at all really about the Aurora project but a little story about something that happened on my first deployment to the desert...

As an Airman on my first deployment to the desert with the Air Force I worked at Kuwait City International Airport watching a radar terminal. Basically, I was a go between for the Kuwaiti watch officer so he could direct questions to me and I found the answers for him. One day he came over, pointed to a track on my screen and said "What is this track?"

I highlighted it and the data showed an aircraft at 80,000 feet traveling just over 6000mph. I guessed it was probably bad data of some sort so I checked to see if he was squacking codes. Surprise Suprise Suprise all his codes, including the encrypted codes were valid. I called the American air controllers who were feeding us the radar data and asked them what that track was. The controller told me to hold on, I heard some frantic typing at the other end of the line, the track suddenly dissappeared and the officer in charge came on the line and said, tell them it was bad data...

I don't know what it was but there was something out there doing 6kmph at 80,000 over the middle east:)

The Patriot
2007-Feb-25, 11:31 PM
Perhaps it was caused by the super secret/black ops Aurora aircraft? (http://wave.prohosting.com/aurora85/articles/skyquakes.html)

I've heard of it. Read about it in PopSci coverage of black-ops aircraft.

Cheeky Kea
2007-May-17, 03:38 AM
I live in Christchurch New Zealand. A few month ago I heard (felt) a loud noise that shook the office building I was in. A quick look around showed that nothing major had collapsed and nobody was hurt. The cause was a mystery. When I got home I found that it had been heard all over the city, and the accepted explanation was that it was a metor.

publiusr
2007-Jun-09, 08:30 PM
probably so. We had two big ones over Bama, Dec 99 and Nov 86