Sounds Associated with
Witnessed Meteorite Falls
Occasionally when a meteorite is witnessed to find its way to
Earth, it will present a very impressive visual show as it burns
through the atmosphere. Even less common though, are the
occasions when witnesses are able to actually hear audible
sounds associated with the falling meteor. These have been
described in many various ways such as: whistling, popping,
booming, thunderous, whizzing, whirling, whirring, crackling,
drumming, rumbling, humming, roaring and more. Sometimes these
sounds are the result of the meteor's high velocity and the
resultant 'sonic boom' which can also be felt. Sometimes
witnesses have described the ground shaking or windows rattling
from these booms. Below is a list of various recovered
meteorites which were witnessed to fall and also presented the
observers with an impressive sound show. Thanks to Bernd Pauli
for compiling much of this information.
"Black objects that produced crackling sounds like gunshots,
flew eastward through the heavens trailing green smoke."
"The explosion was reported as cannon-like, and was followed by
hissing sound compared with that of an engine blowing off
Cabin Creek (IIIA)
"People in the town of Dardanelle, about 25 km southeast of the
were startled by an unusually loud report, accompanied by a
sound as if hot metal had come in contact with water."
"...a noise like thunder or the rolling of drums broke overhead.
...described the report as twofold and followed by a whizzing
noise or the sound of escaping steam."
"...his attention was attracted by a loud rumbling
noise sounding very much like thunder."
"...a hizzing noise made way through the air, not unlike
the flying of bullets from the mouth of great ordnance, ..."
"...a terrific noise came from the cloud, as if a multitude of
ships had begun firing their cannons. Thunderclaps followed each
by other, as if opponents were exchanging broadsides. This noise
stopped after several minutes..."
"The noise it created was very loud and lasted for at least half
and sounded somewhat like distant thunder, or the booming of a
in the distance."
"This noise has been variously likened by witnesses, to the
rumbling of a
rapidly driven farm wagon on a rough road, to escaping steam, to
or long continued thunder or the booming of a cannon."
"Suddenly we heard a strong report and then a sharp noise and
"The fall was proceeded by three loud detonation sounds and
'an approaching aeroplane-like noise,' landing with a thud ..."
"Appearance of moving cloud and sounds like thunder."
"No light or sound except for the whirring sound
as it passed and the thud in the ground was noticed."
"They were facing south and heard a "low pitched whistle" or
as the meteorite passed them coming from the north or slightly
west of north."
"...he heard a rushing, whistling sound."
"...a peculiar whistling noise as of a projectile."
"...the sound was heard as of something falling during a heavy
of rain, accompanied by a hissing and then a rumbling noise."
"a strange rumbling noise was heard in the atmosphere, followed
instantaneously by a startling explosion resembling a discharge
"A whistling sound was heard."
St. Robert (H5)
"At least one observer noted electrophonic sounds
heard simultaneously with the passage of the fireball."
Campos Sales (L4)
"...a loud buzzing noise."
"Most observers reported astonishment by the fireball, the sonic
and the whizzing ("like the sound of bullets") of the falling
Piplia Kalan (EUC)
"The meteorite was accompanied by three loud widely
heard detonations, a hissing sound along the trail, ..."
"They heard a roaring sound for 2 to 3 minutes, ..."
"He heard a loud "sissing" noise and supposed
that an aeroplane was overhead."
"...heard a whizzing or rushing noise in the air, ..."
"...a whining noise"
"They heard a brief noise as of an approaching storm."
"...a roaring noise"
"...a noise like that of a jet aeroplane"
"...a whirring noise"
"The fall was accompanied by a loud hissing noise, ..."
"...a whistling noise"
Wold Cottage (L6)
"...heard various noises in the air, like pistols, or distant
guns at sea,
felt two distinct concussions of the earth, and heard a hissing
passing through the air..."
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