Appalachia

Did You Hear the Boom?

exploding fireworks

On Monday morning I was sitting at my computer working. Chatter had come over to help me with some things and Chitter was on her way home from a trip.

We heard what we thought was something getting blowed to kingdom come! After wondering what in the world it was I told her maybe your sister is home and since I had the window open it just sounded funny when she slammed the car door. Chatter said “No way that was a car door.”

My next thought was it might have been something on the porch falling over. We went outside and looked around but didn’t see anything wrong so we promptly forgot about it.

Several hours later we walked down to Granny’s and the first thing she said was “Did you hear that explosion? I was sitting out on the porch and it sounded like it come from up in the woods there.”

We told her we did but didn’t have a clue what it was.

Not long after 9-11, I believe it was the very next fourth of July, I was sitting at my computer one night and started hearing all sorts of distant explosions. The sound was like continuous rolling thunder. The girls were already asleep and The Deer Hunter was watching tv. I went to see if he could hear the spooky sounds. He said “I don’t know what’s going on but something is getting blowed up!”

In those days I did what I always did when I was worried about something I called Pap.

As soon as he said hello I said “Do you hear that?” He said “Yes, sounds like someone is blowing something all to hell.” He went on to tell me he hadn’t heard noise like that since his military days.

Phone calls were going from house to house throughout the holler with everyone wondering what was going on. Finally my Uncle Henry solved the mystery.

Henry had a scanner at home because he was often on call to fight fires.

It came across the scanner that the fireworks show over in Young Harris GA had gone awry. No one was injured, but somehow the fireworks were compromised and detonated all at once instead of one at a time.

I had forgotten about the Monday explosion Chatter and I heard until I read online that many folks in our area heard the noise too. Turns out it was a sonic boom created by SpaceX entering the atmosphere from its recent trip to space.

When I was telling the girls I figured out what it was The Deer Hunter said he heard it in Murphy, and thought it was a transformer blowing up.

Last night’s video: 20 Year Old Recording from an Appalachian Holler | I’ll Be All Smiles Tonight.

Tipper

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22 Comments

  • Reply
    Christine
    April 28, 2022 at 3:46 pm

    Sorry, that was suppose to be LOUD, not load…

  • Reply
    Christine
    April 28, 2022 at 3:44 pm

    My hubby has the TV up so load I doubt if I could hear anything from the outside. Sometimes I go outside just to get away from the noise inside.

  • Reply
    donna sue
    April 28, 2022 at 3:16 pm

    Also, there is Vandenberg, headquarters of the US Space Command, in Lompoc on the central coast of CA. When you live in the desert, you see and hear plenty of of strange things! Especially at night.

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    donna sue
    April 28, 2022 at 3:10 pm

    In my earlier comment, I called the booms I heard in the high desert of CA “sonic booms”, but I read a couple people here comment that sonic booms were outlawed in the 60s. When I lived in the desert it was 2008. So I wasn’t hearing sonic booms then!! But those booms were loud whatever they were. You would hear a lot of different sounds from the military flying over from Edwards AFB, and Nevada. I know the military does/did a lot of secret stuff out of Nevada. So who knows …

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    Rosamary Christiansen
    April 28, 2022 at 12:59 pm

    Several years back we lived in Anaheim, California. We lived just west of Disneyland. Every night we heard the fireworks going off, and ever so often we could see them.
    One day a space rocket was entering the earth’s atmosphere. BOOM! I was expecting it, but I stll jumped when it happened. The property manager came out her door and was looking shook up. I went to the door and told her it was a sonic boom. She relaxed and went back to her apartment. I was jumpy for days.

  • Reply
    Ed Ammons
    April 28, 2022 at 12:32 pm

    I hear explosions here all the time. People in the neighborhood like to shoot their guns but occasionally there are sounds that can’t be explained as target practice. It sounds like fireworks but there are no flashes of light. I figured out one source of these sounds. The neighbors across the road had a big brush pile in their backyard and had decided to set it on fire with gasoline. A fireball bigger than their house rose up into the air. The detonation rattled my windows and shook the pictures on the walls. I know that is stupid to use gasoline to set fire to a brush pile but I just ignored it. Nobody was hurt, at least there was no screaming and crying, and no ambulances came. Some people are just different and some are very different. These people are the latter.
    But there are explosive noises heard here that sound more like artillery fire. No flashes, no fireballs, just an extremely loud boom accompanied by a concussive shock wave. I would tend to think it was people shooting Tannerite targets but it happens mostly after dark. In order to shoot Tannerite after dark they would have to have night vision or lighted targets.
    There was one whole house shaking boom I heard back in 2020 that had an explanation. A plant in Longview (six miles as the crow flies from me) that made hydrogen fuel had caught fire and a tank had exploded. There were 44 people inside the building. None of those people were seriously injured. There was a lot of damage to windows and doors in the surrounding neighborhood but nobody was hurt there either. God must have been looking out for them is all I can say!

    • Reply
      Patty Hansen
      April 29, 2022 at 9:56 am

      my hubby loves the gasoline to the fire. life is always exciting when he’s around. Also, love the tannerite! Anytime an appliance breaks, we tannerite it and watch from far away with binoculars. One time he was shooting a bunch of tannerite while I was on a bike ride w/ our kids. I heard the boom, it shook the road!!! About 30 seconds later I heard the fire siren going on off. We booked it on home, thinking maybe he was hurt? As we were racing towards the house he was sprinting to the house. He thought someone called the authorities on him. But it was just a coincidence – a fire call somewhere else. OMG, we have laughed & laughed over that. My husband a big, tall, skinny guy & I can still picture him all out running across that field. You know, in the country, it doesn’t take much to make you happy & I’d let my hubby blow stuff up all day if it made him happy. Our neighbors have learned to tune us out (we’re all related anyhoo) and have stopped calling to ask, if that “was Robyn shooting’ at stuff”.

  • Reply
    Tom Tenbrunsel
    April 28, 2022 at 11:40 am

    I remember my first sonic boom rite afore theys banned ‘em back in the 60s or so. Scared the tar outta us and it still does. My son flew F16s and occasionally we’d drive out by the restricted range to catch a few booms. I kindly wondering how our wildlife neighbors take to booms and wonder what us humans are up to now.

    Like Bobby said, “These times they are a changing!” Guess I best git used to Space X’s tricks.

    Thanks again Tipper for placing us right there in Appalachia with your true tales.

  • Reply
    Mark Taylor
    April 28, 2022 at 10:05 am

    Back in the early 60s, we heard sonic booms frequently. My dad was an Air Force pilot and we lived on or near Air Force Bases so airplanes were always coming and going. It always startled my mother and she would fuss at my dad as if he caused the sonic boom himself. To hear a sound like that now makes me cringe as I assume something has blown up and people are probably injured or worse. Glad to hear y’alls boom didn’t hurt anyone.

  • Reply
    JC
    April 28, 2022 at 9:48 am

    I didn’t hear the boom. We do feel earthquakes every now and then, here in the mountains. One particularly big one started with the animals setting to, yowling and barking about 2 minutes before we felt it. Then the windows rattled and the rocking chairs swayed. It happened that it was one that had its epicenter in SC. This was 15-20 years ago now. I should have written it down but didn’t.

  • Reply
    wanda devers
    April 28, 2022 at 9:45 am

    I live near Ft. Campbell and they are having a big exercise or whatever it’s called. Helicopters came over so low it felt like the house was shaking and we hear all kinds of booms. We are thankful for them and hope the training hones their skills and helps keep them safe. But it is a little scary–makes me think more about the World situation.

  • Reply
    Betty Saxon Hopkins
    April 28, 2022 at 9:24 am

    My daughter lives in the Outer Banks of North Carolina and they get the boom sound quite often. I was there once when it happened and it shook the house. She said it’s called the Seneca Guns and scientists have never found out what causes it. They think it has something to do with the atmospheric pressure. It seems to happen more often in coastal areas, especially in the fall, and they think it may have something to do with the ocean cooling down. It’s an interesting phenomenon to say the least!

  • Reply
    SusieQ
    April 28, 2022 at 9:19 am

    Can relate to the sonic booms ,and the transformers . Years back(2009) we had what they termed an ” Epic Ice Storm”…it was epic to me since I’d never experienced anything like it all my growing up years.. All the night long as we watched it unfold.. transformers were exploding all over the city and beyond…..trees and tree limbs were crashing to the ground ..some on top of houses right across from us windows breaking in the night ..all power to houses gone for many days, and it was really cold outside…families getting to their elderly to get them to a place of warmth.. people trying to save frozen food in freezers putting ice in coolers…cooking on camp stoves ,not everyone had fireplaces or wood stoves….food disappeared in groceries , and trucks couldn’t make it in…. it was a big learning experience about how to make it if epic happens and how to be better
    prepared if epic happens again…you couldn’t find a generator anywhere because they sold out overnight…batteries did too…no charging phones, all we had was a radio and batteries to hear what was happening in the city.. for many days…we all shared food as needed…when it was over we all had to help one another clear and cut wood, trees also had to be trimmed of dangerously still hanging limbs… we all had to assist one another in putting new roofs on our houses.. one tree limb crashed all the way through my husbands twin brother’s house ,all the way to the floor.

  • Reply
    Shirl
    April 28, 2022 at 9:01 am

    We have been warned here in the Fort Knox area to be prepared to hear loud booms and feel our homes shaking as the soldiers begin their training exercises. The training should last about a month as they fire off large caliber weapons and increase aircraft activity. So far, I haven’t heard a thing. Years ago, home repairmen claimed Fort Knox was responsible for weakened house foundations and cracked sheetrock. I’m glad those things don’t happen as much as they used to.

  • Reply
    donna sue
    April 28, 2022 at 8:38 am

    When I lived in the high desert in California, you would hear sonic booms all the time from the military aircraft flying over. I know what you mean about second guessing yourself on if you really heard something. It’s kind of spooky and exciting at the same time to hear those booms!

    Donna. : )

  • Reply
    Margie G
    April 28, 2022 at 8:36 am

    My response? Van Allen Belt – look it up. History tends to be rewritten.

  • Reply
    Ron Stephens
    April 28, 2022 at 8:17 am

    Well I heard a boom this week but do not recall what day. I expect it was the same one though. Like Randy, I grew up hearing the booms from the military jets as a fairly common thing. That may have been because of our location relative to Oak Ridge. It has been so long now though that to hear one again takes us by surprise. Talk about “A blast from the past!” Takes you back to.the 1950’s.

    Reckon we will have to get used to them all over again?

  • Reply
    Rita Speers
    April 28, 2022 at 7:51 am

    Scary! Glad no one was hurt. Where I grew up near Oak Ridge TN, for a while jets would go over and break the sound barrier and make sonic booms that would rattle the windows! Daddy used to watch the news on TV during the Cuban missile crisis and would shake his head and say “Somebody’s liable to drop a bum on us!”(He pronounced bomb as bum). For a while, every time a plane went over, I wondered if this was “it”! My sisters and I still joke about somebody droppin’ a bum on us.

  • Reply
    Martha Justice
    April 28, 2022 at 7:51 am

    Love Pap and Paul’s rendition of I’ll Be All Smiles Tonight. Also listened to the Price sisters, they were great also but I feel a family connection with Pap and Paul ❤ thanks for posting memories from the past.

  • Reply
    Gene Smith
    April 28, 2022 at 7:19 am

    Near where we used to live, there was a government contractor testing underplating for military vehicles. Some of the charges would shake the house. No mystery, though, because local news media, and the coffee shop crowd, filled us in on the work from time to time. The mystery “explosion” came one night just after bedtime when an earthquake rumbled through. That one lit up some phones!

  • Reply
    Miss Cindy
    April 28, 2022 at 6:59 am

    I didn’t hear it and I don’t live that far from you! Wow, and I didn’t even know Space X was nearby. It’s kind of scary that we don’t know what is out there flying in the sky above us!

  • Reply
    Randy
    April 28, 2022 at 6:35 am

    I did not hear the boom Monday.but after hearing about it I am reminded of the time in the late 50’s or early 60’s when jets would fly over and break the sound barrier. I would be with my granddaddy while he would be plowing with his mule and it would scare her. He would tell me this is the reason you do not wrap the plow lines around your wrist or hang them around your neck, if the mule or horse gets spooked they could drag you if you can not turn loose of the lines.

    If I had heard it, I probably would have thought somebody was setting off dynamite at a landfill a few miles away from my home. Parts of it are on a huge slab of granite.

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