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Friday, February 16, 2007

Ohioans Jarred By Big Boom: Mystery Surrounds Sound

CINCINNATI (TDB) -- A loud sound described as an enormous bang or boom was heard across a large swath of southern Ohio Wednesday night, and nobody has yet explained what caused the Big Bang. An earthquake and military jet sonic booms seem to have been ruled out. There has been a suggestion it was a "frostquake" -- water seeped underground, froze and busted rocks that rumbled and rattled as they crumbled.

The Newark Advocate newspaper covered the mystery and quoted Mike Hansen, a former Ohio Department of Natural Resources geologist who now heads the Ohio Seismic Network, who says a meteor may be responsible. The Advocate found at least one central Ohio resident, its religious columnist, who reported seeing a shooting star race across the night sky with "a relatively long trail, with red, green and gold coloration." The witness said the meteor left the boom as it passed overhead.

The Advocate's report is HERE.

These phenomena occur from time to time and often there never is a clear-cut explanation. The doubt leads to all kinds of theory and speculation, including aliens and secret Pentagon WEAPONS programs. Today's Cincinnati Enquirer gave a paragraph to the incident, and offered no possible cause. It quoted an unnamed Ohio Highway Patrol dispatcher and U.S. weather meteorologist Brian Coniglio who both reported hearing the blast in Lebanon, a SW Ohio community more than an hour drive away from Newark. Coniglio told the Enquirer, "It was so loud I just about jumped out of my chair."

According to this Web site a similar sound was heard eight years ago in Fairfield, Ohio, a Cincinnati suburb where folks were baffled. There has even been a word coined to describe such ear-shaking events -- "skyquakes."

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