I was sitting at home late last week watching some television when a friend called me excitedly to ask if I heard about the strange sounds in the sky. I had to admit the only strange sounds I heard up to that point was the cat racing through a darkened house late at night. He said, "No. On YouTube. Look up 'strange sounds in sky 2012'."

I had to admit my curiosity was piqued with this unusual request and so in a little while, I seated myself in front of the computer intrigued at what he was excitedly discussing with me. Within minutes, I had listened to several clips of these strange sounds and while several seemed suspect there were a few that were intriguing.

Many of these video clips were uploaded by one person as evidenced by the common user name attached to the clips, but some had different names and the sounds were not exactly the same. Several clips were discovered ranging from Florida to Canada, Mexico, Brazil, Costa Rica, Sweden and Denmark. If you have a computer, check these clips out for yourself, but do return here for my thoughts.

The first clip I played was supposedly in a forest in Manitoba, Canada. Two men in linemen uniforms seemed to be occupied by a strange out of place noise that sounded like a low bass tone that fluctuated between being steady to warbling almost like a trumpet. While obvious they apparently heard the noise, they didn't seem overly concerned about it in the clip I viewed.

The next several clips from various locations around the world featured a sequence of noises that sounded out of place, but in a way familiar. After listening to several of them, I realized they were all loaded by one user name although the locations were spread all over the globe. This made me suspicious as how does one YouTube user manage to travel worldwide and be fortunate enough to capture these sounds. Of course it is possible he "repurposed" them from original posters but that was difficult to determine.

I happened to come across a video clip posted by an Australian user that had the same sounds, but the only difference was he explained where his sounds originated. They didn't come from the sky, but were audio engineered from various science fiction sounds that were in some movies such as War of the Worlds. While this seemed to explain the mass posters, sounds it did not explain other worldwide video clips posted by other people.

One of interest in Costa Rica sounded almost like two massive sea doors clanging shut or an extremely large vent opening and closing. It had a distinct metallic sound on the clip but sounded as if it was some distance away from the recorder. Another clip had sounds similar to low musical tones or almost like a trumpet or horn blasting. The most interesting anomaly that seems to have been witnessed by thousands of people was one of these sounds occurring during a Tampa Devil Rays game. This video from last summer also on YouTube had such pronounced sounds that even the commentators noted them and pondered what was making the cacophony.

Several people have speculated as to the origin of these noises including they are a massive, self perpetuating hoax. Other theories range from feasible to outrageous include a prologue to the end of the Mayan calendar in 2012, noises produced by the planet's poles preparing to shift, solar winds and storms, the HAARP project and geomagnetic storms. Some outlandish or fantastical theories include a dimensional rift in space or on the planet, the Hadron Collider tearing the fabric of space, aliens announcing their imminent arrival or even the apocryphal angels announcing God's return and Armageddon after releasing the seventh seal of the Revelation.

This is just a sampling of the theories proposed by folks who have listened to these video clips or attempted to analyze their meaning. As for me, I'm at a loss to say for sure what these sounds are. While it's enticing and exciting to assume one of these fantastical theories might be true, even the scientific, mundane theories of a pole shift sounds like an incredible thing to experience.

One theory that I would lean toward is the sounds are produced by the planet prior to some type of seismic activity. There is documented evidence that before major earthquakes occur strange atmospheric and audio phenomena take place including lightning and rumbling , low or high pitched tones. One clip on YouTube that shows this is from Virginia on August 23, 2011, the afternoon of the earthquake that struck the eastern half of the country. This clip shot moments before the earthquake supposedly occurred picked up the sound anomalies heard by the people near the epicenter of the earthquake right before it took place. A companion piece appears to show some anomalous cloud patterns near the epicenter right after the quake.

What are the sounds? I really do not know, but I would say that if they are from some unusual or extra ordinary source we will know sooner or later. Or maybe they are just modern day crop circles. Some mysteries are just that.

To Tom, you made a great point about last week's column. Just to be clear. The Titanic was the largest ship produced in England and the Costa Concordia was the largest ship produced in Italy. With that in mind, the Titanic stands unique and without comparison in that in its day it was the largest ship ever produced in the world. The Concordia does not share that distinction.

Til next time…