JAMESTOWN, N.Y. (WIVB) - What was the "loud boom" numerous Chautauqua County residents say they heard Sunday evening?
News 4 received several phone calls and Facebook messages from viewers in Jamestown, Lakewood, Busti, Kennedy, Delevan, Ashville and elsewhere in Chautauqua County, describing the strange phenomena they experienced.
Our viewers report seeing and feeling something between 6:15 and 6:45 in the evening. Some people describe hearing a loud sound, "like thunder," "a cannon," or "an explosion." Others say they actually felt tremors. One woman in Jamestown reported her house shook.
One resident described the boom, saying, "All of a sudden there was just this humongous boom. Just one."
"I honestly thought that a house blew up," said a resident.
Another resident said, "We started looking for a plume of smoke or somthing."
As of 8:00 p.m, the Chautauqua County Sheriff's Office dispatch center had received several dozen calls.
Mark Castner, director of Canisius College's seismograph station, tells News 4 that seismograph measured "no significant movement" at all Sunday afternoon.
Neither did the New England Seismic Network (NESN), nor the United States Geologial Survey (USGS).
That doesn't necessarily rule out the possibility of seismic activity completely. However, geophysicists at the USGS don't classify seismic events as "earthquakes" unless they register a 2.5 magnitude or greater.
Another possibility is a "sonic boom" --the term scientists and meteorologists use to describe the sound associated with shock waves from an object traveling faster than the speed of sound.
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