The latest in an ongoing series of reports of mysterious booms in New Zealand has included noises heard around Whanganui, where seismic scientists have ruled out an earthquake.
The New Zealand Herald reported that the noises were heard shortly after 10 PM local time on Wednesday night. According to an area seismologist, John Ristau, energy levels monitored using seismic equipment did indicate a surge that rose above background levels around the time the noise occurred:
At around 10:15pm “for a few seconds, there was a bit of energy a bit above the background noise levels”.
It seemed “more than just a coincidence” the activity took place at the same time people reported hearing the noises in Whanganui, Dr Ristau said.
The activity was not caused by an earthquake, he said, and he was not sure what had caused the noises or the seismic activity.
Ristau noted that heavy machinery operating in the area may have been the cause of the sounds.
This report follows a series of several similar reports in New Zealand, which had previously resulted in theories about fireworks, as well as an ongoing mechanical operations that may be occurring nearby. Locations where reports have been made include Dubbo, as well as Auckland.
Following reports near Onehunga, some locals began to speculate that Central Receptor Project carried out by Watercare may have been the cause behind the noises, but a spokesman dismissed any connections with their operations and reports of booms in the area.
While the drilling operations carried out by Watercare at Onehunga might qualify for machinery operation the likes of which John Ristau cites, Whanganui is located more than five hours south of Onehunga, illustrating the wide range across New Zealand that the reports cover.
In nearly every case, the New Zealand mystery booms occur in the evening, generally between 10 and 11 PM.
Last June, a similar rash of reports were attributed to an explosives test range near Auckland. However, this may not account for reports as far south as Whanganui.
Image by Michael Klajban via Wikimedia Commons.