Strange, loud noises have been scaring pets, waking up children and triggering car alarms for more than a month in Berkeley, California, but local residents and police are still at a loss when it comes to identifying what’s now called the “Berkeley Boom.”
The first “booms” were
reported to authorities on February 26, according to Berkeleyside. The noises haven’t been heard
every night, but streams of tweets have gradually documented
their recurring nature, with people in neighboring Oakland and
Emeryville also saying they’ve heard the sounds.
“I’d say it was around one in the morning, scared the hell
out of me. I jumped out of bed,” local resident Rachael
Marzoline said to local KPIX 5, referring to the sound she heard on
the evening of March 29.
9:51 pm, 3/31/15 – Russell Park, bright white flash
followed by the #berkeleyboom
— topotowner (@topotowner) April
Police have received numerous calls about the booms, but when
officers have ventured out into Berkeley to investigate they have
been unable to pinpoint the source of the noise. Law enforcement
is currently looking into the possibility that fireworks are to
“At this point, it looks like it may some type of firework
device. We’re not positive, but we’re doing some work to figure
out maybe exactly where in the city these are happening at,”
the Berkeley Police Department’s Jennifer Coats said to ABC 7 News.
— Brian W. Carver (@brianwc) April
The noises haven’t been widely heard every night since February
26, but Berkeleyside states that residents have filed the most
reports on March 3, 15, 17, 25 and 29. It’s unclear if there’s
any connection regarding the days the sounds are heard. Most of
the booms have reportedly taken place between 8 -10 p.m.
While police continue to look into the situation, at least one
local compared the noise to a firework.
“It sounded like a firework. We actually saw kind of a flash
outside of our window,” resident Joshua Buswell-Charkow said
to ABC 7.
— martin francis hitch (@martinfrancish) March
Others, however, have made different comparisons. Resident Joel
Bryant dismissed the idea that the sound is a gunshot but told
KPIX 5 that “it sounds like an aerial bomb explosion.”
Some on Twitter have compared it to a pipe bomb or flash grenade.
Meanwhile, a few Twitter users have said the booms sound like a
cannon, with one suggesting that officials confirm the
whereabouts of the California Victory Cannon, which is set off at
University of California, Berkeley football games.
9:50 — that one sounded like a Civil War cannon.
— Ergoat (@Ergoat) April 1,