Meteor likely cause of ‘boom’ that rocked parts of Indiana, AMS says

INDIANA — Hundreds of Hoosiers reported hearing what sounded like a large explosion Wednesday afternoon in several areas downstate.

Many of them contacted WRTV and our team got to work trying to find the source behind the noise shaking some homes.

After contacting all of the probable sources that were suggested in conversations across central Indiana, we contacted the American Meteor Society who told us that they had received multiple reports of a possible ball meteor. of fire passing over the state around the same time as the mysterious noise. .

According to AMS’ Mike Hankey, the sound heard yesterday can likely be attributed to a fireball or bolide over parts of Indiana.

Hankey says a fireball is a meteor “brighter than Venus” while a bolide is the “light emitted by a meteoroid and asteroid exploding in the sky”.

A total of four reports were received by AMS with reports coming from Bloomington and Columbus in Indiana and Sadieville and Mays Lick in Kentucky. The fact that the meteor passes during the day resulted in fewer reports being submitted, according to AMS.

“These two people [in Indiana] describe what looks like a meteor in the sky. They also provided sufficiently consistent direction information to triangulate the event. This is good confirmation that it was in fact a fireball meteor and not something else,” Hankey said in an email response to WRTV.

He also provided the map below to show the triangulation of reports during this period.

Reports can be viewed on the AMS website here.

Hankey said that in order to investigate the incident further, AMS would appreciate more reports from anyone who heard or saw anything around this time. These reports can be submitted online at

While researching the source of the mysterious noise, WRTV contacted several public safety officials as well as military departments to confirm that they had no knowledge of or involvement in the incident that caused the noise.

Residents first reported hearing the noise from locations in Monroe, Brown, Bartholomew, Hancock, Johnson, Jackson, Hamilton and Marion counties.

Many said they experienced a loud rattling, with some adding that their homes were rocked for several seconds.

The Cordy-Sweetwater Volunteer Fire Department released video of the noise, which they say was captured around 12:44 p.m.

Crane Army Ammunition Activity says it conducted routine demilitarization operations around 10:30 a.m. Wednesday, but nothing was out of the ordinary and nothing happened that could have caused the reported incidents.

The Indiana Department of Homeland Security said it was aware of the information, but had not been called for help and had no further information.

We also contacted Brown County Emergency Management, which issued the following statement:

“As you know there was a strong boom which shook not only Brown County but also counties as far apart as Decatur County. Camp Atterbury reported that there was NO explosion or fire on their property. Multiple agencies in multiple counties are researching the If we receive a confirmed source from this afternoon’s boom, we will post it.”

Camp Atterbury said the Indiana National Guard confirmed there was “no fire, explosion, detonation or live-fire training at camp.”

The Federal Aviation Administration said it had no information and sent inquiries to the military.

WRTV contacted the US Air Force but still had not received a response Thursday afternoon.

According to the American Meteor Society, it is a “nonprofit scientific organization founded in 1911 and established to inform, encourage, and support the research activities of amateur and professional astronomers interested in the fascinating field of meteorology. ‘meteor astronomy’.

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