Last January a mysterious boom over Wharton State Forest caused quite a stir in the Garden State. Locals squawked about earthquakes, the military claimed it was one of their jets on maneuvers, and I suggested it could’ve been a meteor exploding in the sky. Welp, It’s like déjà vu all over again.
The National Data Buoy Center (NDBC) made headlines over the weekend as one of its floating stations experienced a sudden change in water depth. About 75 nautical miles off the Jersey Shore, as the seagull flies, the buoy Southeast Block Canyon #44402 recorded a dramatic change of depth over a handful of seconds on Saturday the 23rd of April at 18:38 EDT.
How dramatic? First, Southeast Block Canyon plunged 88 feet below sea level before rebounding 18 stories just a few seconds later. An event like this is precisely what Buoy #44402 was designed to detect: a tsunami. But the closest earthquake at the time was magnitude 3 earthquake off the coast of Puerto Rico, happening ten minutes after the anomalous measurement. No giant waves have hit our shore, thankfully leaving us high and dry.
So what was it? NASA told the Superstation 95.1 newsroom this event could’ve been from a softball-sized meteor splashing down at supersonic speeds into the Atlantic Ocean. That’s one hell of a coincidence but meteors have impacted other stuff like a 1980 Chevy Malibu, a house in Connecticut, and allegedly killing a man in India just last February.
An offical statement from the NDBC says the false alarm was caused by routine maintenance on Saturday night. Needless to say, I’m skeptical since nobody but pump jockeys and bartenders work on Saturday nights.
On Monday, when I walked outside to go to work, this is what the sky looked like:
That’s one heck of a mad scramble of aircraft early in the morning
Needless to say, New Jersey’s still living up to its sobriquet of “weird”.
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