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No. 56: Mar-Apr 1988

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Late 1987 to date. Commerce, California.

"Something is going bump in the night under the city of Commerce, rattling nerves and household items alike.

"'When it goes off, it can shake so badly that you feel it up through your feet and it can collapse your spine.' said David Stacy, a resident. 'Sometimes it would rattle stuff in the house like the earthquake did.'

"The underground explosions occur every 10 or 20 minutes, say residents in the area between Gage and Zindell avenues. They say the tremors have been forceful enough to wake them from their sleep, shake windows and knock down pieces of china."

The muffled explosions are not accompanied by smoke or luminous phenomena. They may be due only to the subsidence of traffic noise. (Chong, Linda: "Commerce Becomes Reluctant Boom Town," Los Angeles Herald Examiner, January 17, 1988. Cr. K.H. Taylor)

Comment. Will Californians let us know more about these subterranean sounds? They resemble the famous Moodus Sounds in Connecticut, which are thought to be of seismic origin. See Category GSD2 in Earthquakes, Tides, Unidentified Sounds. For ordering information on this book, visit: here.

From Science Frontiers #56, MAR-APR 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987