May 16, 2017 I Brett Tingley

The Unexplained Explosions of Island F

Mysterious or otherwise unexplained explosion noises and booms have been reported throughout the United States in 2017. Is secretive military testing to blame? Or could anomalous geological activity be the cause of these unidentified noises? Loud booms have been reported since long before the advent of air travel, after all. Whatever these mystery booms might be, they sure seem to be on the rise. The latest case of unexplained loud noises comes from the rural community of Sharps Chapel, Tennessee, where residents are reporting a spate of mysterious explosion noises that seem to have no identifiable cause.

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Sharps Chapel is heavily forested and largely undeveloped.

The noises all seem to emanate from Island F, an island in Norris Lake not far from Rocky Top, Tennessee. The island is small, just a few miles across, and is uninhabited. Hunting and target shooting is popular in the area, but residents report that these noises sound different. Sharps Chapel community watch captain Tom McCaffery says the sound is unlike the usual gunfire heard throughout the rural area:

I have heard plenty of fireworks over my years, but never anything like this. The closest thing I can think of to the sound is cannon fire.

Local authorities speculate that some citizens are perhaps using homemade explosives for target practice, but have so far been able to find concrete proof. The Tennessee Valley Authority (TVA), an administrative body which oversees rural areas of Appalachia, has been investigating the noises at the request of local citizens.

No traces of explosions have been on the island.

According to TVA spokesman Jim Hopson, TVA investigators haven’t found any clues that might explain the source of the explosions:

They’ve gone to the island, searched the area and found no physical evidence to indicate any kind of explosion, including disturbed ground cover, holes or unusual debris.

Reports of phantom cannon-like booms along America’s east coast date back to at least the late 19th century when James Fenimore Cooper dubbed them “Seneca Guns.” Strangely, most of these reports occur near water, leading some geologists to suspect that they might be caused by large volumes of gas escaping bodies of water. With hydraulic fracking on the rise throughout the United States, it’s not entirely inconceivable that underground pockets of natural gasses are being disturbed at an unprecedented rate. Of course, there are any number of events both natural and man-made that could be the cause of these booms, sonic booms from military aircraft being the most likely candidate. Still, without an official explanation, the high frequency of these unexplained booms is a bit conspicuous.

Brett Tingley

Brett Tingley is a writer and musician living in the ancient Appalachian mountains.

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