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Friday, November 19, 2010

Skyquakes - The Moodus Phenomena

The Moodus phenomena is a now satisfactorily explained curiosity which had perplexed men for ages. Explained variously as "cracks" in the distance, cannon fire, or soft thunderclaps seeming to originate from the air itself, author Jerome Clark termed them simply "skyquakes," and their history stretches back at least as far as the 16th-Century (recorded, anyway).

The Moodus phenomena was well-noted around Connecticut (where they were termed the Moodus Noises), as well as in India, New Jersey, and elsewhere across the world. American Indian legends in some areas attributed these "skyquakes" to evil spirits, while God-fearing, white settlers blamed the Indians for summoning devils. Some investigators in the 20th-Century even attributed skyquakes to UFO activity. American frontiersmen, Lewis and Clark, even experienced the Moodus Noises!

But research conducted in the 1980s determined that the Moodus phenomena is actually the result of small earthquakes in the area occurring close to the surface. The noises actually originate from underground, though scientists are not entirely certain how or why the sound travels the way it does.

Skyquakes can be more than just noise. In 1888, Moodus Noises rang the church bell in Salem, Massachusetts. For six months from 1977 to the summer of 1978, Americans heard "booms" up and down the East Coast. Government agencies investigated and determined that about 1/3 of the noises could be attributed to aircraft; the rest remain unexplained, but are attributed to the periodic Moodus phenomena, or "skyquakes."

© C Harris Lynn, 2010

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