RALEIGH, N.C. (WNCN) – The sudden loud booms recently heard near the Wake County-Franklin County line match descriptions of similar sounds in other parts of the country.
Several of CBS 17’s sister stations have also talked to homeowners whose walls rattled and floors shook when mysterious blasts occurred nearby.
WRBL, the CBS affiliate in Columbus, Georgia, investigated noises in December. Warner-Robins Air Force Base and Fort Benning denied creating the sounds.
Edwards Air Force Base near Bakersfield, California told KGET-TV it played no role in a round of booms this time last year.
Harrisburg, Pennsylvania’s WHTM received numerous calls about booms in early January. A nearby military post told WHTM its training exercises were not to blame. One theory proposed by WHTM viewers is the sound results from marksmen shooting cans of Tannerite.
Several comments on the CBS 17 Facebook page also suggested the explosive targets as the reason for the noise.
One person commented “I’m going to guess someone is playing with Tannerite” while a second backed the idea with the note “Still say someone’s messing with tannerite.”
Another person wrote “It’s tannerite. How dumb are the authorities? It’s happening during the day. They just go back far enough into the wood so no one hears the gun shot that sets it off.”
Kevin Johnson, who sells half-pound tins of the components at Eagle 1 Supply in Raleigh, is skeptical the small targets could make such a loud noise.
Prices range from $3 to $15, so Johnson said it would be very expensive to buy enough cans to make repeated booms, and a single blast would create a crater in the ground.
“To make the noise, just from what I’ve read and from your articles, to make that kind of noise, truthfully, you would have to have at least five to 10 pounds of this stuff to make that kind of noise,” Johnson said.
“And then on top of that, it would leave a substantial void almost the size of half of this table where it went off.”
Johnson said the small explosive targets are amusements which are more commonly bought by younger gun enthusiasts.
Seymour Johnson Air Force Base officials said their planes and training exercises are not the cause of the booms. Other local agencies tell CBS 17 they are unaware of any possible cause.
Law enforcement in Wake and Franklin Counties confirm receiving more than a dozen complaint calls about the noises since late January.