- Mystery Noises
A rash of Mystery Booms were heard across parts of the Midwestern
states of Kentucky, Indiana, Ohio and Pennsylvania during late-night
hours on the weekend of January 9 & 10. In addition to news media
coverage, an unusual flurry of E-mail reports have been received
recently from persons wishing to share information concerning numerous
'booms' and 'thuds.' Many interpreted the sounds to be 'within their
homes' or against the walls of their house. Still others described the
sounds as 'gunshot blasts' or 'sonic crashes.'
"Unexplained Sounds" Heard in areas near Butler County, Ohio
Reported by WCPO Channel-9 News, Cincinnati - separate reports also
Laura Randall of WCPO Channel-9 News reported Sunday, January 10 of
very strange sounds heard near residential homes in Butler County,
Ohio. The situation involved explosive booms and thuds which alarmed
residents in parts of Fairfield, Ohio (18-miles north of Cincinnati).
An earlier newscast by WCPO reporters addressed the numerous phone
calls to police dispatch offices, stating that the disruptions had
been attributed to an underground phenomenon known as 'ice heaving' or
'frost cracking.' This explanation was reportedly offered by persons
at The National Weather Service office, located in Wilmington, Ohio.
Interestingly, WCPO News in this later report informed that a local
geologist, University of Cincinnati Professor Dr. Kenneth Hinkle,
refuted the 'frost-cracking' theory and informed that such
explanations were not workable in this instance.
"In the High Arctic, frost-cracking resembles a sharp snap similar to
a rifle report, which can be felt," Hinkle stated for the newscast.
The National Weather Service believed that a combination heavy rain
and rapid freezing led to the mysterious sounds heard by alarmed
residents. Hinkle was curious, and after conducting an investigation,
added that frost-cracking was a most unlikely explanation.
Hinkle took a garden spade and put the frost-cracking theory to the
test, but found that the snow had insulated the top-soil from the
bitter cold. While cameras were rolling, Hinkle demonstrated that the
sub-surface conditions were not condusive to frost-cracking.
Also noted on the newscast was a Ms. Jenny Morgan of Fairfield, who
reported that she heard something similar to a shotgun sound.
A second resident told of suspecting someone had thrown 'snowballs' at
her house, while a third person described what they thought was a
At least 13-callers reported suspicious and frightening noises. A
police dispatcher, interviewed for the news report, remarked that many
people were complaining of possible break-ins or kids throwing
snowballs and hitting houses.
WCPO reporters finalized their piece by stating: "We are left with an
Interview with Fairfield resident
Courtesy of researcher Chris Coffey, a person in Fairfield, Ohio who
heard the commotion was located and interviewed first-hand on Monday,
"Late Saturday night before midnight, and again last night, about the
same time, we heard these booms," stated the Fairfield resident during
a telephone interview. "I thought somebody ran their car into the
house," she said.
She added that several neighbors heard it too, and the sound was again
heard the following night, but not as loud.
She could not determine if the sound originated from the sky or from
the ground. The Fairfield resident also found it odd that the sounds
were heard at the same time two consecutive nights in a row.
In addition to the Channel-9 reportage, similar complaints were also
received from areas near Columbus and Dayton, Ohio, as well as
Alexandria and Crittenden, Kentucky. These accounts were received via
e-mail, and portions from them are listed below:
* I live in Dayton, Ohio and would like to report sharp cracking
sounds like a bowling ball thrown against the house for the last
three nights. I also, went outside with a flashlight and look all
around the house and the roof and found nothing. No footprints or
evidence of any kind. The weird part was that on each night, it
did not start until about 12:30 am. Last night (Sunday night, Jan.
10), it again started about 12:30 am and woke me up 4 times until
about 4:00 am. I once had a bookshelf fall on me in the middle of
the night and this sounds exactly the same! Very unsettling! Feel
free to print the above. Sincerely, Todd
* I heard a loud noise in Westwood on Saturday. I thought it was a
snowball that hit a window. It only happen 1X and that was it. My
sister, who lives a block away heard it a couple days before me,
but at her house it happened 3X. She thought pipes had burst and
was looking all over the house to see what may have happened.
* Somewhere around 8:00 pm at my house in Alexandria, KY on Saturday
night, I heard a loud boom that sounded like someone threw a
bowling ball at the side of the house. Whatever it was even made
the floor vibrate. I went outside and checked all around the house
and found nothing. The snow on all four sides was still
undisturbed. I checked on the roof (front and back) and the snow
was undisturbed there as well. I have a large wood deck on the
back of the house and I figure that the ground had heaved and
caused the deck to shift resulting in the loud noise. But,
whatever it was it sure startled the hell out of my wife and I.
* I live between Crittenden and Dry Ridge Kentucky and we heard a
thumping and banging Saturday night and early Sunday morning. My
husband and I at first thought something hit our house or that our
antenna fell from the roof. Upon investigation, we found nothing
* We recently moved from Fairfield, Ohio to Fishers, Indiana and
still have you bookmarked and read your webpage. We found the
current article about sonic noises extremely interesting since on
Sunday, January, 10, at about 4 a.m. (same as Ohio) my husband and
I were startled out of bed by a loud "crack" sound. We literally
were awaken bolt upright from a deep sleep. We thought it might be
an electrical problem and looked both inside and outside our home
for problems. We could not find anything disturbed and heard
nothing else. Our dog shortly after the sound let out a strange
howl which also disturbed us. He has never done this before. We
talked about the sound and agree that it sounded like a whip
cracking but very, very loud. We have exhausted our own ideas of
what it might have been and thought it interesting that you too
had had similar stories. Make of it what you want, let us know if
you have any questions. thanks, Kelli
* My name is Dave and I live in Gibsonia, Pa (approximately 15 miles
north of Pittsburgh). My purpose in contacting you is to report
"thumpimg" similar to that heard north of Cinncinati during the
past weekend. My ladyfriend and I were listening to late-night
radio at approximately 2:30 am on Sunday, January 10, 1999 when we
were startled by one loud and distinct thump which seemed to
correspond to the front (north side) of the house. It was snowing
at the time. I have had previous experience with ice and frost
cracking at my residence. Usually such explosive events occur as
the result of sudden, sub-zero cooling of ice on the roof. The
"thumping" was unlike any frost cracking I have heard. I, too, was
concerned that something had hit the front of the house and went
outside to investigate. There were absolutely no signs of
footprints in the yard, bird strikes against windows, etc. For
reasons unknown to me, the thump sounded localized at one section
of a wall in the living room. At the time, the temperature seemed
much too high to produce frost cracking and, in any event, I have
never heard frost cracking without an ice layer on the roof. I do
not know what the thump was, but it was disturbing indeed.
The disruptions were reported from the following areas:
Alexandria, Kentucky (E-mail advisement)
Crittenden, Kentucky (E-mail, late Saturday/early Sunday)
Fishers, Indiana (E-mail, Jan. 10, 4:00 a.m. w/animal reaction)
Cincinnati, Ohio (E-mail, Suburb of Westwood, Saturday evening)
Fairfield, Ohio (WCPO Channel 9 News)
Hamilton, Ohio (WLWT Channel 5 News)
Dayton, Ohio (E-mail, Jan. 8, 9 & 10 - 12:30 to 4:00 a.m.)
Columbus, Ohio (Report courtesy of Bill Jones, MUFON)
Butler County, Ohio (Cincinnati Enquirer)
Gibsonia, Pennsylvania (E-mail, Jan. 10, 2:30 a.m.)
In the late sixties, a series of unexplained events took place in
Southern Ohio, in which dozens of persons reported unusual thumping or
knocking sounds heard on their roofs. A re-typed copy of this
newspaper article will be available on the internet at a later date.
During the fall of 1973, sonic anomalies were frequently correlated
with UFO sightings. Details of these reports can be viewed at:
On May 9 and 15 of 1997, a series of sonic oddities perplexed persons
throughout various quarters of the Cincinnati area. Details of these
reports can be viewed at:
Most recently on December 14, 1998, earth tremors were reported in
Grant County, Kentucky, following several hours after the sighting of
a flaming object which descended near homes in the small town of Dry
Ridge. Details of this report can be viewed at:
In some instances, the populace has been concerned by the sonic
outburst caused by military jets breaking the sound barrier. Sonic
booms, largely restricted over populated areas, frequently cause
alarm. Due to the continuous outbursts and the localized residential
areas where the recent disruptions are reported, it seems hasty to
apply such an explanation without careful review.
Sonic booms are not a regular occurrence in the Butler County, Ohio
area, and this location is not beneath a MOA (Military Operations
Area) where military aircraft are permitted to engage in training
exercises. Further, one could reason that the 'localized' nature of
the event in isolated pockets such as Fairfield, Ohio and Alexandria,
Kentucky, could complicate a sonic-boom explanation, as such an
audible disruption would tend to be heard over a widespread area.
Another factor in these reports may be the properties of sound -such
as a sonic boom- under certain circumstances (aircraft in a tight
roll) with how sound carries -being influenced by the cold and snow
January 11, 1999
Booming ice spooks Tristate
Noise mistaken for bombs, earthquake
* The Cincinnati Enquirer
Monday, January 11, 1999
BY MIRIAM SMITH The Cincinnati Enquirer
HAMILTON Dorothy McDaniel was waiting for the Lawrence Welk Show to
start Saturday night when she was startled by something louder than
bubbles bursting in champagne music.
I thought maybe something exploded in the bedroom, said Miss McDaniel,
74, of Hamilton. It sounded so bad that I got upset. It sounded like a
bomb went off.
She wasn't alone.
Callers from across the Tristate reported shots being fired or feared
Investigators have a simpler answer for the tremendously loud noises
heard mostly between 10 p.m. Saturday and 3:30 a.m. Sunday.
Ice and snow packed on buildings thawed and froze, expanded and
shifted with a bang, according to meteorologist Steve Rowley of the
National Weather Service in Wilmington.If you get snow and ice that
sits around a building for a few days, it's not uncommon at all.
Residents wary of days of snow and ice can count on more of the same
this week. Snow flurries are predicted today before it is expected to
mix with or change to rain tonight, Mr. Rowley said.
Ice Quakes rock parts of the Tri-State
From the EYEWITNESS NEWS-5 (Cincinnati) website
http://www.wlwt.com/news4.shtml Monday, January 11, 1999
"All of the sudden, the whole house shudders and the floor shakes. My
wife says, 'what are you doing...jumping jacks?' No I said. 'Well if
it wasn't you, what was it?'"
Jim Baker still isn't sure.. but experts suspect the snow and and ice
that cover his Fairfield neighborhood may be to blame.
"To put it in easy terms," Baker said, "we had an "ice quake"
"I laughed and said, 'Thank god we have earthquake insurance,'" Brenda
Baker said...."It was frightening."
And it wasn't just Jim and Brenda. At about seven o'clock last night
when the ground started shaking...the lines started ringing at the 911
"We've had two large booms and sounds like movement...I don't know
what it could be...even the dog kind of perked up."
"I just heard like a very large thump in the garage. We have a doggie
door in the back...and I was a little worried that someone or
something might be in the garage."
It was something...but it wasn't in any garage. Now Jim and his
neighbors wonder what could have come from under all that snow.
"It's just one of them freaks of nature. I'm sure there's things we
don't know about," Jim said. "Some people might say it was a UFO."
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