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What was the big boom?

April 13, 2011

By Joseph Bell - Record Editor - Several Elk County residents placed calls to emergency services personnel and law enforcement agencies Sunday night regarding what they described as a loud "boom." Although the source of the noise was initially attributed to seismic testing for Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling, no cause or explanation has formally been discovered. According to several news sources, residents called 911 to report feeling and hearing a blast in Johnsonburg around 10:30 p.m. on Sunday evening. Other residents in the neighboring municipalities of Ridgway and Wilcox also called emergency services to report hearing a loud, explosion-type noise. Calls to Elk County's 911 were received at 9 p.m. from Jones Township, 10:15 p.m. from Ridgway and 10:30 p.m. from Jones Township. Police in those areas also received inquiries about the sound.
When anything goes wrong in the area lately, most folks seemingly are quick to blame it on Marcellus Shale drilling however I don't quite think that's the case here.
The East Branch area has long been known for being used as military training airspace and the latest "boom" could no doubt be a military jet breaking the sound barrier. In talking with some of the locals in that area, on more than one occasion the "boom" from a jet actually broke a window. Military helicopters also are routinely seen throughout the area which further illustrates that point.
But what do you think the big boom was? Is it because of the Marcellus Shale drilling? Is the boogie man coming to get us? Or is it something even more outrageous?

Comments

Big boom

June 14, 2011 by Jim Dandy (not verified), 2 years 44 weeks ago
Comment: 215

The time of the reports was 9 p.m., 10:15 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. from different locations although it says the 9 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. reports were from Jones Township. That discounts the theory of a sonic boom from a jet or a meteor explosion. Reports of smoke being seen from 30 to 60 seconds indicates an explosion of some sort. Apparently there's no visible damage anywhere or someone would have surely reported that too.
Without going into detail so as to give people ideas, acetylene can make quite a noise and do no damage with very little if any evidence of smoke if done properly. I'm guessing that someone found a recipe for a noise bomb and tried their hand, successfully, and now they're getting all the attention they want. BTW, it's illegal, a federal felony if I'm not mistaken.
There's a way to get more noise and no damage using an M-80, M-100, quarter stick or half stick too but again I'll refrain from giving details, it's illegal and very dangerous.

Check out this link readers

May 13, 2011 by editor, 2 years 48 weeks ago
Comment: 210

This is an interesting story that most certainly ties in with what we could be dealing with:
http://news.yahoo.com/s/space/20110512/sc_space/mysteryboominvirginialik...

BIG BOOM!!!

May 13, 2011 by WMG (not verified), 2 years 48 weeks ago
Comment: 207

SORRY I DIDNT GET BACK TO YOU SOONER!! HAVENT BEEN ON HERE...I LIVE IN THE HILL ST AREA(UP UPPER FRONT ST.)..WE WERE ALL SITTING OUT THAT EVENING AS IT WAS NICE AND WARM...THE BIG CLOUD OF SMOKE CAME FROM THE ST. LEOS-DOWNTOWN AREA...WE ALL WITNESSED IT-WE HEARD THE LOUD EXPLOSION, THEN WE SAW THE SMOKE-AND IT DIDNT LAST LONGER THEN 30 SECONDS....WE ALL KNOW WHAT WE SAW....IM THINKING SOMEONE SET SOME EXPLOSIVES OFF...

Explosives????

May 28, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 2 years 46 weeks ago
Comment: 213

Then why all the big booms in Ridgway/Johnsonburg/Wilcox in a matter of 15 minutes?

BIG BOOM!!!

April 14, 2011 by WMG (not verified), 3 years 4 days ago
Comment: 201

I dismiss all the hype about the marcellus shale, and especially the sonic boom..i and 5 of my friends witnessed a large cloud of smoke come up into the sky right after the boom from above town..and it disapatted within about 60 seconds...i was waiting to see fire after that..i believe it was some type of explosive and i believe they were set off at various points in the county....if i wouldnt have seen the smoke myself then i couldve dismissed it maybe as a sonic boom...i think we are probably going to see more of this and i just hope it isnt done in an area with people around.

Re: BIG BOOM!!!

April 15, 2011 by editor, 3 years 4 days ago
Comment: 202

WMG, I'm quite intrigued by your comments... where were you located when you heard it and where did you witness the cloud of smoke?

just so im not contradicting

May 13, 2011 by WMG (not verified), 2 years 48 weeks ago
Comment: 208

just so im not contradicting myself-i said 60 seconds first time-30 seconds with my second blog...it was 60 seconds tops....lasted at least 30....

Re: just so im not contradicting

May 13, 2011 by editor, 2 years 48 weeks ago
Comment: 209

It's very interesting I must say but honestly it sounds like one of those things that has been brushed under the rug with the deny everything mentality. Unfortunately we will never truly know what it was.

Blog on Loud "Boom"

April 14, 2011 by 218017765 (not verified), 3 years 5 days ago
Comment: 198

Joe,

Although I do not agree with making the potential environmental impact or Marcellus Shale drilling a joke, I do think your article makes sense. As a community we must be careful to identify the cause and effect relationship with the drilling and not assume that all ills of the community come from drilling. If we do not, we will quickly end up in a "boy that cried wolf" type scenario. On the other hand, I appreciate the fact that there are organizations and individuals out there diligently working to protect our environment, even if they do come off as a little crazy or outrageous sometimes.

I think this is an excellent opportunity for the Ridgway Record to add value in our community. Does anyone on your staff plan on following up on what may have caused this noise over such a large area? I like your theory on a jet breaking the sound barrier, which I expect will be hard to confirm.

Kalen Fitch

Re: Blog on Loud "Boom"

April 14, 2011 by editor, 3 years 5 days ago
Comment: 199

Very good Kalen Fitch, I thank you for your time... I did have one unnamed individual who suggested that the "boom" may have in fact been a meteor that broke through the atmosphere but exploded before touching the ground. The phenomena would have generated a flash of light but most certainly would have created an extremely loud sound. As for the military jet theory, military officials of course did not confirm or deny alleged training exercises.

Military Jets?

April 13, 2011 by cosa69 (not verified), 3 years 6 days ago
Comment: 195

Maybe as a "Good" reporter you can call the military and ask them if they where doing any training at the dam?

Re: Military Jets?

April 14, 2011 by editor, 3 years 5 days ago
Comment: 200

Cosa69 I thank you for your comment; military officials of course did not confirm or deny that they were doing nighttime exercises. Another interesting theory offered by a friend of mine who teaches in the area suggested that it could have been a meteor on its way to the ground but exploding before impact. This occurrence has been known to happen and witnesses of these events describe it as an extremely loud boom accompanied by a bright flash of light.

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