Mystery Booms Bewilder Residents of Northern Utah


A small series of mysterious booms echoed across northern Utah on January 5th, reported FOX 13 out of Salt Lake City.

The explosive noises occurred around 11 a.m., and were experienced mostly in the city of Ogden and its surrounding area.

As reports of the booms flooded into local media outlets, many speculated that nearby Hill Air Force Base could be responsible.

Most witnesses thought it might be a sonic boom from one of the base’s jet aircraft; although the base is also home to the Utah Test and Training Range (UTTR), and detonations at the range have been responsible for startling residents in the past.

“The UTTR is used in a training capacity for air-to-air combat, air-to-ground inert and live practice bombing and gunnery training by DoD aircrews. The UTTR provides a vast area of realistic terrain for world-class test and training scenarios to ensure the war fighter is prepared to deploy at a moments’ notice to win any conflict with decisive air and space power,” according to a document on the Hill Air Force base website.

South Ogden resident Jeff Parker reportedly heard and felt two separate booms, but said they were different than anything caused by jets at Hill Air Force Base.

"It was like those jets except more intense," he said. ”It was like a cross between a sonic boom and an earthquake tremor."

A representative with the base denied any involvement in the booms.

Neither the University of Utah Seismograph Station nor the United States Geological Survey recorded any unusual seismic activity in the area, and Frank Waikart, Snow Safety Director at nearby Snowbasin Ski Resort, said that there had been no avalanche control work done that day.

So far, the booms heard by Parker and others remain unexplained.

Reports of mysterious booms—sometimes accompanied by flashes of light and/or minor tremors—have been on the rise worldwide since 2017, continuing throughout 2018 and into this year. The booms have been reported across the United States in Alabama, California, Colorado, Georgia, Idaho, Illinois, Indiana, Michigan, New Jersey, Pennsylvania, South Carolina, Tennessee, Texas, Utah, and Washington; as well as in the countries of Russia, Denmark, England, and Australia.

Meteors and other natural events remain popular explanations for the booms, and bolide meteors were blamed for mystery booms in California, Michigan, and Washington in 2018.

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