What was the mysterious noise across the Shenandoah Valley, (West) Virginia

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Reports of ‘boom’ and shaking in West Virginia on September 17, 2021 most likely a fireball. Picture via GOES-16 satellite/NASA

Hundreds of people in the Shenandoah Valley reported hearing a loud boom and feeling and ground shaking Friday morning. So what was the mysterious noise?

The Shenandoah County Sheriff’s dispatch center received dozens of 911 calls about 10:20 a.m. on Sept. 17th, 2021. The Page County and Rockingham County 911 centers received similar calls.

Initial reports came in as a possible explosion in Shenandoah county, but authorities couldn’t find any sign of any such incidents. Power outages were also reported in Hardy county.

Dozens of earthquake reports were sent to Volcanodiscovery.com however the United States Geological Survey confirmed there was no earthquake in the area.

Unconfirmed earthquake or seismic-like event: Shenandoah County, 23 mi northeast of Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA, Sep 17, 2021 10:24 am (GMT -4)
Unconfirmed earthquake or seismic-like event: Shenandoah County, 23 mi northeast of Harrisonburg, Virginia, USA, Sep 17, 2021 10:24 am (GMT -4)

The North American Aerospace Defense Command says this was not a flight event.

Reports from baffled residents

“Intense rumbling, thought something exploded outside. Windows and blinds shaking.”

“This was not an earthquake it was an explosion on a massive scale.”

In house, heard loud rumble and windows rattled. Went out side, notjing on road, could hear the rumble going north towards mountain.

“Was a lot of rumbling vibration like rolling thunder but nothing on the radar.”

“We were sitting at home and suddenly heard a very loud, long, rumbling sensation. It was extremely loud and seemed to last about seven seconds.”

“Heard a loud boom and my house actually shook. My dogs were outside and they were trying to get back in and barking.”

I was in luray bout a mile up dry run setting on the porch swing when something blew the f up I was bout to hit the dirt thinking we just got bombed it’s was so loud everyone here heard it I even felt a breeze following the sound just thankful i had on my old underwear and not my favorite part and as far as I know nobody got hurt may have been green and gray people things crushing their UFO the mountains where so pretty had to text or post bout then while flying thier cigar or disk shaped UFO into the side of a mountain but we’ll be told it was nothing we all just had the same dream be ready for the man in black stay safe and don’t text and fly or fly high but something blew up around 10:30 and went boom no matter what they try to tell us it was.

So what was the mysterious noise?

Satellite data did pick up on lightning flashes over Hardy county around 10:30 a.m. and there were no storms in the area. It is now suspected the mysterious booms and rumblings may have been a meteor strike. This is unconfirmed at this time.

Astronomer Greg Redfern says it was most likely a bolide event, a meteor explosion over western Virginia, but that cloud cover prevented people from seeing “a brilliant streak of light.”

The brightness of the meteor would likely be about as bright as the moon.

This corresponds to an energy between 1 and 2 tons of TNT, which gives a mass of around 50 pounds (25 kilograms) for the object causing the fireball (assuming a typical speed of 45,000 miles per hour). It is possible that this event produced meteorites somewhere in the northern Virginia/eastern West Virginia area.

There are no known reports of damage or injuries.

NASA is still investigating this event. The image below is the flash data from GOES-16 satellite that was picked up over Hardy County corresponding to the fireball.

So what was this mysterious boom and rumblings in West Virginia? [WHSV, Fox BaltimoreNBCWash]

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