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Monday, December 05, 2005

Mysterious blasts, flashes in the sky Tyngsboro, N.H. unsettling residents..

Well, it is known that meteorites and - earthquakes both make loud BOOMS! 
December 4, 2004
BOOM! ... What the heck was that?
Mysterious blasts, flashes in the sky have Tyngsboro residents rattled
TYNGSBORO Looking south from his home on Curtis Road Tuesday night, Chris Lyons saw the bright flash light up the clouds. About three seconds later came the boom a deep thump that shook his entire house.
From Hudson, N.H., to the Chelmsford line, the eastern half of Tyngsboro has been rocked with well over a dozen of these mysterious, pulsating booms over the past five weeks, rattling both windows and nerves. Lyons said he knows a thing or two about explosives. As a youngster, the engineer used to mess around with M-80s or fashion homemade explosives under proper adult supervision, of course out of black gunpowder and aluminum piping.
"Those are like sparklers compared to what is going on here," Lyons said. "If this were in a house, there would not be a board left. The house would be pulverized. 
"Ten sticks of dynamite might not completely blow up a house," Lyons added. "But what happened that night ... I can't even describe it. For a guy who's not afraid of this stuff, my God, I felt very intimidated.
"All I could think of, to tell you the truth, was my son going to school the next day, and it was unsettling," Lyons said.
All reported incidents have occurred after dark, mostly between 7 and 9 p.m. Nearly all of them have been reported on Mondays and Tuesdays.
When the bangs were first heard in late October, police called the Federal Aviation Administration, thinking they might have been sonic booms from aircraft. They were not.
Residents didn't report the incidents at first, thinking they were related to demolition or construction projects that might be happening in the area. Blasting permits are only allowed during daytime hours, and none were issued during this time period.
Callers initially reported seeing bright flashes of light in the hills west of the Firehouse Restaurant & Lounge which is about a half-mile south of the Tyngsboro Bridge and to the east, near the banks of the Merrimack River. Most of the flashes were white, but other eyewitnesses have reported seeing orange and red flashes. One resident said she saw blue lightning-like streaks.
"I didn't think anything of it," said Jackie Baker, who lives down the road from the Firehouse Restaurant. "But then, when it shook the house... ."
On Nov. 1, police received dozens of calls reporting at least six incidents between about 7:30 and 9:30 p.m. The Lowell and Chelmsford police departments also investigated similar complaints stemming from the same incidents.
Tyngsboro patrol cars were even in the area during all of the bangs, but officers could not pinpoint their location. Riding on all-terrain vehicles the next day, other officers searched the expansive woods west of the Boston University Corporate Education Center campus, where some thought the blasts might have originated.
More booms were heard Nov. 2, Nov. 9, Nov. 23 and Nov. 30.
"It was very loud," said Henry Moulton, who lives on Lawrence Road, just south of the school complex on Norris Road. "Something like a bomb exploding in World War II."
"I thought it was in my back yard," said Moulton's wife, Yvette. "I thought maybe the swimming pool had blown up."
It took nearly 10 minutes for Henry Moulton to get through to the police dispatcher, whose telephone line was flooded with dozens of similar calls.
What is especially baffling is that, to date, no one has reported finding any evidence of explosions, such as burn marks, splintered wood or rock or other debris.
"There's got to be something, somewhere," said Ellen Lyons.
It would seem unlikely that the blasts are being caused by dynamite or more modern explosives. In the wake of 9-11, even blasting caps must be painstakingly accounted for, making it nearly impossible to misplace such materials without drawing attention from federal investigators. Some residents suspect the blasts could be homemade concoctions of fertilizer, chemicals or explosive gases.
"We definitely want to get to the bottom of this ... absolutely," said Selectman Kevin O'Connor.
Deputy Police Chief Richard Burrows said the police don't know what's causing the low-pitched booms and are looking for the public's help.
People who have seen the explosions or know who is responsible are asked to call the Tyngsboro Police Department, 978-649-7504.
Adam Holland's e-mail address is  Article>>>>>>

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