Did you hear them? Mystery booms in West Seattle early today

May 3, 2014 at 10:29 am | In West Seattle news, WS miscellaneous | 38 Comments

10:29 AM: Though we still don’t know what they were, we’re mentioning this because we’re getting inquiries in all our channels: In the 5 am hour, multiple explosion-type sounds startled people awake in neighborhoods including Gatewood and High Point. Jeremy says it “shook (his) windows.” We’ve checked the police and fire logs and so far haven’t found any obviously related incidents – for example, if it were gunfire, and police found evidence, it would be logged as such. If you happen to know what it was – maybe somebody with fireworks in your neighborhood – help solve the mystery!

7:27 PM: Still a mystery. SPD Lt. Paul Leung, who was working at that hour, says he doesn’t recall any related calls, and there were no warrant services in the area (so much for the flashbang theory).


  1. I heard them to, I live a street away from Jeremy in High Point. Woke me up from a sound sleep and I’m a heavy sleeper.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 11:26 am May 3, 2014 #

  2. Heard on Genessee hill too.

    Comment by Gen hill — 11:33 am May 3, 2014 #

  3. We heard them just south of WS Junction. Three short, regularly spaced booms (i.e., boom … boom … boom), with no echo. Did not sound like fireworks or gunfire, more like a piledriver thud (not saying that is what it was, just that it sounded more mechanical in nature).

    Comment by seaopgal — 11:50 am May 3, 2014 #

  4. I’m near the Charlestown hill and I heard 3 booms which sounded to me like someone hitting a plastic garbage can. Did not seem loud like cherry bombs.

    Comment by sc — 11:52 am May 3, 2014 #

  5. Heard them at Morgan Junction. Did not sound like gun fire. Sounded more muffled. I agree on piledriver description, but louder than your typical piledriver.

    Comment by Scott — 11:58 am May 3, 2014 #

  6. We live in Gatewood and the sounds were incredibly loud, like explosions. Woke us right up out of dead sleep – thought we were being bombed! Glad we weren’t .

    Comment by Amy Hartwell — 12:56 pm May 3, 2014 #

  7. Heard them on Genesee Hill @ Charlestown, 3 or 4 evenly distributed booms. Reminded me of sonic booms like the Shuttle landing but more muffled.

    Comment by braandon — 1:21 pm May 3, 2014 #

  8. This is just speculation on my part, since I did not hear the booms, but–could they have been Sonic Booms? We know that the U-2 spy plane inadvertently knocked out the computers at LA Intl Airport (LAX) Friday, being brought out of the moth-balls for the “New” Cold War with Russia…I would not be surprised if spy planes (or Black Box things) would be flying out of our nearby air-bases; if so, expect more booms and maybe odd sightings! :) Just a hunch… http://www.nbcnews.com/news/investigations/spy-plane-fries-air-traffic-control-computers-shuts-down-lax-n95886

    Comment by EdO — 1:29 pm May 3, 2014 #

  9. I heard them too, and it seemed way too early for any type of construction work. Sounded like three explosions, definitely not gun fire. I kept listening for sirens afterward, but heard none, so I guess nothing blew up! Reminded me of a transformer blowing, but louder.

    Comment by Joan — 1:34 pm May 3, 2014 #

  10. At 5:12 a.m three evenly spaced low frequency contained booms that emanated from a proximity near the myrtle reservoir that in my experience resembled flash bang grenades

    Comment by project x — 1:46 pm May 3, 2014 #

  11. Not a U-2. They’re subsonic and don’t fly around here. They’re down in California and that one that glitched the LAX computers was either a NASA one out of Palmdale or an Air Force one out of Beale.

    From the comments it sounds like it was quick and heard over a large area with three regularly spaced “booms”. To me that suggests a meteor broke up and what you heard were three pieces big enough that when they slowed down past the sound barrier at Mach 1 they were low enough to be heard on the ground.

    Comment by Marty S — 2:00 pm May 3, 2014 #

  12. Yes!!! at 5:16 am… Woke me up and both my cats ran off of my bed. Shook my apartment at Morgan and 35th. There were 3 about 1 to 3 seconds apart. when they stopped, I kept expecting to hear sirens but there were none. I was going to email earlier this morning, but forgot until I saw this post… Anyone know what they were??

    Comment by ~HockeyWitch~ — 3:10 pm May 3, 2014 #

  13. They woke me up off of 35th and Morgan this morning too. At the time they sounded like the thud of a large firework being set off. But, I heard two smaller thuds after each initial sound that could have been echos but seemed more mechanical. Like the bouncing of container being set down really hard.

    Comment by Jesse D — 4:21 pm May 3, 2014 #

  14. heard them at 26th & Hudson – woke us up!

    Comment by kjb — 4:27 pm May 3, 2014 #

  15. West of the junction woke me up shortly after 5am, thought I heard 2. To me it sounded like big dumpsters hitting together or being dropped off. Not explosion type of sound at all from what I heard.

    Comment by wetone — 4:46 pm May 3, 2014 #

  16. weird. i was awake at that time and heard nothing. or maybe i just couldn’t hear it over the baby crying.

    Comment by sam-c — 5:10 pm May 3, 2014 #

  17. Three booms in a row were heard around 5:15am from the Luna/North Delridge neighborhoods.

    Comment by Sorleeni — 5:21 pm May 3, 2014 #

  18. The reason multiple boom’s were heard was because of the sound wave echoing off terrain. It was the X-37 returning to Edwards.

    Comment by DTK — 6:02 pm May 3, 2014 #

  19. we heard them on the west side of pigeon point.
    loud and deep reverberations that definitely seemed odd at that hour.

    Comment by kumalavula — 6:03 pm May 3, 2014 #

  20. Heard them at 39th and Graham – interesting that people near Morgan Junction said it was more explosive and people up at the Alaska Junction are talking about it sounding mechanical or metal on metal. What we heard was definitely more explosive. Flash bangs, sonic booms, whatever it was – definitely wasn’t gunfire.

    Comment by Chris — 7:41 pm May 3, 2014 #

  21. Can’t be the X37. First it’s orbit doesn’t take it over Seattle, second it would only make one “boom” on re-entry and three, it’s still up there.

    Like I said, my best guess is a meteor that broke up on its way down.

    Comment by Marty S — 8:10 pm May 3, 2014 #

  22. couldn’t it have been Nucor? isn’t there something related to the metal being wet when it goes into the fire to melt…. or am i thinking of firewood?
    maybe i need to go on that tour again, refresh my memory.

    Comment by sam-c — 8:25 pm May 3, 2014 #

  23. Yes, I heard them also, near 35th & Fauntleroy. Not quite a “piledriver” sort of sound, definitely not a gunfire sound. More like something quite large being dropped – HARD – several times. (I know sonic booms – used to live near an air base – these were not sonic booms)

    Comment by Tanej — 9:24 pm May 3, 2014 #

  24. I think if it was a meteor, there would be reports of the bangs from North Bend, Issaquah, Federal Way, Tacoma…

    Comment by Community Member — 9:24 pm May 3, 2014 #

  25. I definitly remember thinking to myself that wasn’t gunfire/firecraker sounds stayed awake to hear something else, maybe police/fire sirens but it went completely quiet. I said “what was that?” out loud but my partner didn’t even wake. Definitely thought it was a deep bass type sound but very staccato/short. Still very different from the bombing we used to hear from Ft. Lewis in the 1990s growing up in Spanaway.

    Comment by trickycoolj — 9:25 pm May 3, 2014 #

  26. Heard the 3 booms loud n clear near in north delridge, pretty sure it was not Nucor. The sounds seemed to to come from southwest of north delridge… When we heard them we instantly thought “that wasn’t good”… Only guess was bird deterrent from airport..

    Comment by Marcus — 9:49 pm May 3, 2014 #

  27. We get it.
    You all heard it.
    Now what was it?

    Comment by Cycleman — 9:58 pm May 3, 2014 #

  28. I’m on the 30th & Othello block and I thought I was going to be going back to sleep for a long time. Crazy load. 3 booms

    Comment by Tlo — 11:05 pm May 3, 2014 #

  29. We heard them too, we’re right behind the Myrtle Reservoir on the hill. Definitely was not fireworks or gunfire. Scared the dogs so much they both jumped in our bed.

    Comment by Ann — 11:08 pm May 3, 2014 #

  30. 5:15am. 3 HUGE booms. Not guns, more like explosions. We’re near 35th and Juneau. How can something that big be such a mystery?

    Comment by Vanessa — 12:27 am May 4, 2014 #

  31. so 30 comments and not a single one of you called the police? We did indeed call right away as it sounded like a large hunting rifle to us (Highpoint Area).
    The police listed it as “suspicious circumstances” and I assume that since we were the only ones they didn’t take it seriously.

    So next time, if you see or hear something just call. SPD says it over and over again. Maybe this wouldn’t still be a mystery.

    Comment by Jack — 10:46 am May 4, 2014 #

  32. We are near camp long and it scared the heck out of us. I also thought it was a police flash bang. If it wasn’t the police, could it have been the FBI or something? Perhaps they can’t tell the public about it. I am sorry but this was way too loud for the police to have no idea what it was.

    Comment by SJ2 — 2:01 pm May 4, 2014 #

  33. Guilty as charged, I did not call the police either. I think it’s a (wrong) case of thinking it wasn’t that close to me, I’m sure someone else would be calling the police.

    Comment by Vanessa — 4:26 pm May 4, 2014 #

  34. The same three booms happened a few months ago too, about 3-4 am that time. I woke me then too and again, I waited, figuring I would hear sirens, Something THAT LOUD had to be something, but no, never heard any sirens… Hmmmm, the mystery continues. dundun dun!!!!

    Comment by ~HockeyWitch~ — 4:27 pm May 4, 2014 #

  35. Ok, I think I know what they were. This may sound a little outrageous, but at that exact time, a garbage truck lifted and dropped to the ground a very large commercial trash receptacle bin three times. It was extremely loud. This took place in the alley behind duo’s lounge, on Avalon and Charlestown.

    Comment by boomnation — 8:41 pm May 4, 2014 #

  36. I thought about calling the Police, but didn’t because I could not have been able to give very specific info about what I heard from Delridge/Luna neighbor hood.

    Are there any answers yet?

    Comment by sorleeni — 8:24 pm May 5, 2014 #

  37. Has anyone checked security cameras around the area the boom was heard? Someone may have recorded it. Having not heard it at Alki I’m interested to know what it sounded like.

    Comment by Kennedy — 9:02 pm May 5, 2014 #

  38. I didn’ hear it today, but I heard a very similar noise about a week ago, around 5 AM; 3 distinct booms/bangs. This might be the sound of high voltage circtuit breakers closing; maybe Nucor turns on their equipment at 5AM.

    Comment by Gary — 4:09 pm May 6, 2014 #

Sorry, comment time is over.

All contents copyright 2005-2015, A Drink of Water and a Story Interactive. Here's how to contact us.
Entries and comments feeds. ^Top^