Wednesday Apr 11 2012
Big boom’s cause April 4 in Lincoln ?
By: Stephanie Dumm News Messenger Reporter
At this time, it’s anybody’s guess
No explanation has been found for a mysterious boom reported by several Lincoln residents on April 4. A boom that could be heard and felt was reported by two residents on the Facebook group Good Neighbors of Lincoln at 10:44 p.m. on April 4. At least 16 residents responded to the post, saying that they too had heard and/or felt a boom from throughout Lincoln. Several members of the Good Neighbors of Lincoln group said the boom shook their houses. The News Messenger has checked with several sources to see what could have caused the boom, but as of press time, the cause remains unexplained. The Lincoln Police Department received “several calls” regarding the boom that night, according to Lincoln Police Chief Paul Shelgren. “Officers were on a call and they could feel it and heard the loud noise. They said it was along the lines of the sound of a sonic boom. That’s how loud it was,” Shelgren said. “They looked around town and checked the city but couldn’t find anything.” Shelgren said calls came in “from people out as far as Camp Far West and Wise Road.” “There were no reports of damage or anyone hurt that I’m aware,” Shelgren said. “Right now, it’s unexplained.” Julie Dutton, a United States Geological Survey geophysicist, said there was “no earthquake activity close to Lincoln” the night of April 4. The News Messenger contacted Beale Air Force Base to see if there was any activity near Lincoln that would have caused an audible and tangible boom. A Beale Air Force Base spokesman said there was no irregular activity that would have caused a large boom. “Our command post confirmed there was no reported acidity that would have created a large boom or unusual sound,” said 1 st Lt. Brian Wagner, 9 th Reconnaissance Wing spokesman. “Also, after checking with airmen who live on base, no one reported hearing any large boom.” One possible explanation of the boom, also provided from Facebook, was that there was an incident at the Rio Bravo Rocklin biomass plant. The biomass plant, located near Thunder Valley Casino, had an “operational type issue” at 7:04 p.m. on April 4, according to Exelon spokesman Kevin Thornton. Exelon owns and operates Rio Bravo Rocklin, according to Thornton. “I can say with confidence there was not an explosion. There was an operation issue,” Thornton said. “Essentially what happened was that cold water hit hot equipment, which is what it’s designed to do. It caused an expansion joint to pop, and expansion joints are precisely designed to do that so the building doesn’t fall apart.” Thornton said the sound of the expansion joint popping could have been heard on the property but not off of the property. “It’s like a balloon popping,” Thornton said. “It’s no explosion.” The News Messenger also contacted Sierra Pacific Industries and Gladding, McBean. Representatives from both said nothing occurred at their facilities that would have caused the boom. Linda Moulton-Howe, founder, reporter and editor for earthfiles.com, said Tuesday that she has received “dozens of loud Earth boom reports in America and Canada” between January and March of this year. Earth Files is a “news website that focuses on science, the environment and real X-files,” according to Moulton-Howe. “I still have dozens of e-mails with booms in the subject to go through,” Moulton-Howe said. Moulton-Howe said the booms have been “described as loud, singular bone-rattling booms.” The reported booms have come from states across the nation, including Virginia, Georgia, Wisconsin, Pennsylvania, Connecticut, Oregon, Washington, Kansas, Alabama and now California. “This is a genuine mystery,” Moulton-Howe said. “I’ve gone to astro-physicists, I did a long interview with a solar physicist at NASA about whether these boom sounds could relate to anything going on in the sun. The answer from him was, ‘no, energy and plasma from the sun interacting with magnetic fields is not associated with the sounds.’” Moulton-Howe said she has heard suggestions that the booms could be cause by global warming, through the release of ice and snow from the surface of the earth, “in ways that are releasing pressure around the Northern Hemisphere and causing rocks to slide.” She also has been looking into fracking “for natural gas” in Arizona and Arkansas, an explanation she said “can’t be used for these other places.” “These are rather concocted and reaching explanations,” Moulton-Howe said. Moulton-Howe said she will continue reporting stories of booms that can be heard and felt on her website, and will continue interviewing those that have experienced them. “When you have huge jolts that are rattling houses, rattling garage doors and rattling people in their literal bodies and no one is explaining what is happening below the surface of the earth in North America, how can anyone turn away from it?” Moulton-Howe said. “I’m going to keep reporting the more stories that we get that I can follow up and talk with people first hand. What I find is that it gives courage for other people to get in contact.” Moulton-Howe said she would like to speak with Lincoln residents who heard and/or felt the April 4 boom. Anyone interested can contact her at firstname.lastname@example.org. Residents can also call The News Messenger at 645-7733 or write in at email@example.com with their thoughts on what could have caused the boom.