Sign up for our COVID-19 newsletter to stay up-to-date on the latest coronavirus news throughout New York Social media exploded recently with reports of “tremors,” “shaking” and an “earthquake” from users spanning Maine to Delaware.Though the US Geological Survey was quick to dismiss early speculation that a quake had, in fact, taken place—tweeting shortly after 3 p.m. EST the vibrations were definitively “Not an earthquake but a sonic boom in New Jersey”—with the US Navy then following up later stating that “routine flight testing” may have caused the terrifying noise, some of us within the educated populous cursed with more suspicious minds can no doubt question the explanation and consider other sources of such far-reaching, unsettling effects.A sonic boom is essentially the aural manifestation of shockwaves produced when an object travels through the air faster than the speed of sound. This begs the question: What the hell could have produced such a sound event, over New Jersey of all places? (No disrespect, of course.)A U.S. Air Force F-117A ‘Nighthawk’ Stealth Fighter aircraft flies over Nellis Air Force Base, Nev., during the joint service experimentation process dubbed Millennium Challenge 2002. Sponsored by the US Joint Forces Command, the Millenniun Challenge 2002 experiment explores how Effects Based Operations can provide an integrated joint context for conducting rapid, decisive operations. (U.S. Air Force photo by Staff Sgt. Aaron Allmon II) (Released)SUPERSONIC AIRCRAFTThe US Air Force’s long-range reconnaissance Lockheed SR-71 “Blackbird” and Lockheed F-117 Nighthawk for example, can create such a blast. So can the Concorde. And the Space Shuttle—today being the somber 30-year anniversary of the tragic Jan. 28, 1986 Challenger disaster. Any “supersonic” jet will create a sonic boom. That’s why Concordes, for example, are mandated to fly primarily above the ocean. No one wants sonic booms exploding over their home on an hourly, or even daily basis. Stealth aircraft technology has long been believed by some to come from the reverse-engineering of downed extraterrestrial airships (a premise most recently explored on the newly resurrected X-Files television series). NASA has, in fact, been conducting a series of experiments to try and take some, if not all, of the “boom” out of this phenomenon, opening the door for more advances in supersonic land, sea, and air travel.Some of the code names of these flight tests, ground tests, and simulations include: “Quiet Spike,” “LaNCETS,” “House VIBES,” “SonicBOBS,” “SonicBREW,” and “Low Boom/No Boom.” Nearly five years to the day of today’s sonic mystery, in fact, NASA published a “NASA Chat” about its efforts.Check it out HERE.Was the US military truly testing some new, lightning-fast secret jet fighter (possibly its not-so-secret, troubled F-35 stealth fighter) somewhere over Bruce Springsteen’s hometown this afternoon? Meteor Showers: Shooting for Shooting StarsMeteor from Kappa Cygnid Meteor Shower. (Image credit: Jimmy Westlake, NASA)METEORSA meteor can also cause a sonic boom. Perhaps a meteor barreled over the Garden State. It wouldn’t be the first time meteors caused such a stir. One such house-rattling space object created loud, window-shaking sonic booms throughout Virgina several years ago. Read about that event HERE.Meteors and other space debris, such as dilapidated satellites re-entering Earth’s atmosphere typically burn up completely as they descend, producing a visible red-and-orange-flamed streak as they fall. No one on Twitter or Facebook reported observing anything such as this, however. AN EARTHQUAKE REALLY DID HAPPENThe government can say sonic boom all day long, but there are still those among us who believe, deep down, that today’s frightening clamor was not the result of a sonic boom. Sonic booms, as much as they may rattle some windows, or even a shoddy warehouse, as one Press reporter observed, does not cause the ground to literally move beneath our feet. No, that’s no plane or meteor, fellow believers.That’s tectonic reverberation. But what could have caused such a tremble, you might ask? Let’s ponder a few possible instigators. HYDROFRACKINGYou may have heard the term before. There are many of you out there, I suspect, who wish with all their heart they’d never had the displeasure. Hydrofracking, also called hydraulic fracturing, is an environmentally devastating extraction process whereby massive amounts of water, combined with toxic chemicals (many of which are blocked from public identification due to US energy laws protecting their corporate manufacturers) are pumped, along with some sand, at extremely high pressure, into the ground via drilled gas wells.Hydrofracking is a very big deal, especially along the ancient Marcellus Shale Formation, which spans the Alleghany Plateau area of the northern Appalachian Basin—running across the Finger Lakes region of New York, sections of Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, West Virginia, Virginia, across the Delaware River, and into New Jersey.There exist many truly insane environmental disasters caused by hydrofracking (public drinking water that catches fire when poured from the tap of customers’ sinks, for example), but the lure for Big Energy is far too enticing: The untapped shale reserves are believed to contain trillions (with a capital “T”) worth of subterranean natural gas. This type of forced chemical extraction has been known to cause earthquakes in parts of the country where historically they’ve never existed. Pennsylvania, Ohio, and even Oklahoma, for starters.So perhaps Thursday’s “sonic boom” is related to this?SUBTERRANEAN MANMADE WEAPONIZED EXPLOSIONIt is a sort of open secret that below certain areas of the country the United States has constructed monstrous underground tunnel networks designed to shelter the ruling elite in the event they decide to begin the nuclear apocalypse.Mainstream media went wild earlier this month with reports that North Korea had detonated a hydrogen bomb. Perhaps some of the corporate overlords preparing the underground cities for the probable war between these elitists and the general populous fumbled some of their incendiary devices and/or Armageddon bombs, igniting part of their cavernous complex and shaking us above-ground, law-abiding citizens?The Solenoidal Tracker at RHIC (STAR) is a detector which specializes in tracking the thousands of particles produced by each ion collision at RHIC. Weighing 1,200 tons and as large as a house, STAR is a massive detector. It is used to search for signatures of the form of matter that RHIC was designed to create: the quark-gluon plasma. It is also used to investigate the behavior of matter at high energy densities by making measurements over a large area. (Photo Credit: Brookhaven National Lab)BROOKHAVEN NATIONAL LAB’S RELATIVISTIC HEAVY ION COLLIDERNow this government laboratory is located way out in Upton, out in Suffolk County, not nearly New Jersey. I’m very much aware of its geographic location. On Long Island, however, nearly everything mysterious or unexplainable—from extraterrestrials to intergalactic laser weapons and lots in between (for a future post, dear friends)—comes back to BNL, rightfully so or not.Brookhaven National Lab’s Relativistic Heavy Ion Collider (RHIC) is no imaginary figment of science fiction. By the lab’s own admission, physicists from around the globe have been visiting this fascinating, monstrous machine to try and recreate, and study, “what the universe may have looked like in the first few moments after its creation,” boasts its own website.“What scientists learn from RHIC may help us understand more about why the physical world works the way it does, from the smallest subatomic particles, to the largest stars,” it explains.There have been some across cyberspace who’ve warned about such technology’s tinkering with the very fabric of our universe. They warn it should not be done. As the great Walter Bishop learned (or didn’t) on Fringe, perhaps there are things in this world that should not be messed with, and if they are, those who do so must be prepared for the consequences. Or something like that. Others have warned of such devices opening wormholes, sucking this realm straight through! Is it possible that this otherworldly machine frequented by top scientists from throughout this world could somehow be connected to this alleged “sonic boom” the government was so quick to label as such? Or perhaps, its big brother, the Large Hadron Collider, humming along some 600 feet below ground in a nearly 20-mile tunnel beneath the France-Switzerland border near Geneva!? And what about all those reports of the Earth literally shaking!? Do extraterrestrials, or even those fabled scaly creatures the reptilinoids have something to do with this? Will Mulder and Scully’s return really only last six episodes!? Stay tuned, dear truth seekers. Stay tuned.And question everything.
Williams himself? Mostly speechless. ‘I’m elated, I’m excited and we’re looking forward to jumping on the bandwagon of the Tampa Bay Buccaneers,’ said Williams’ father, Wendell. ‘He’s going to prove that he is a premier wide receiver.’ This day was a long time coming for Williams, who caught 49 passes for 746 yards and six touchdowns last year. After leaving the Orange with four games to go, he’ll get a second life in Tampa Bay. They did. Three picks into the fourth round of this weekend’s NFL Draft, Tampa Bay drafted the former Syracuse wide receiver. To many, it was the biggest roll of the dice in the draft. After an up-and-down collegiate career, Williams will get a fresh start on an ultra-green Bucs offense. Throughout the draft process, this visit stood out above the rest. Williams ate at a Tampa steakhouse with coaches, talked about the offense and hit it off immediately. Published on April 24, 2010 at 12:00 pm BUFFALO — After seeing the Tampa Bay Buccaneers — a team that coveted him all along — draft a wide receiver in the second round, Mike Williams was crushed. Also joining Williams in the pro ranks is former SU defensive tackle Arthur Jones, who was taken by the Baltimore Ravens in the fifth round (157th overall). Jones, who couldn’t be reached for comment, joins a loaded Ravens front four responsible for keeping Ray Lewis and Co. blocker-free. [email protected] ‘I was thinking from the start that Tampa would grab me,’ Williams said. ‘They grabbed another receiver and I thought, ‘Wow, who else now?’ It was shocking, but I’m glad they came back around and got me.’ Talent-wise, many scouts pegged him a first- or second-round pick. But as expected, Williams slipped. He winded up as the 101st overall pick and the 14th wide receiver drafted. Watching receiver after receiver get picked wasn’t easy. These were all players Williams believed he was better than. Before the draft, he said any team that takes him after the first round was getting the ‘steal of the draft.’ Sporting a Buccaneers hat and a glistening smile, the plunge didn’t seem to matter Saturday. Williams feels wanted. Finally, he’ll start anew and attempt to atone for his mistakes. Surrounded by friends and family outside his home in Buffalo, Williams soaked this in. He posed for pictures, hugged his tear-filled mother and exhaled often. It’s been a long path here. After missing all of his 2008 season to academic suspension and then leaving the Orange program last fall, Williams was dogged by character questions up until the draft. Neither could his entourage. Scattered across his front lawn, family members screamed, ‘Tampa Bay! Tampa Bay!’ Wearing a puffy Syracuse coat, Williams’ mother vowed to stock up on Buccaneers apparel later that day at the mall. Williams’ younger brother shouted, ‘I’m going to Disneyland!’ Mike’s uncle chronicled everything on camera. And Mike’s dad repeatedly screamed into that camera, ‘The Mike Williams Show is coming to Tampa Bay!’ ‘I felt like I was drafted already when I was down there,’ Williams said. ‘They treated me like it was home. Everything was good. I just can’t believe I’m there now.’ Comments This is where he wanted to be. Along with second-round pick Arrelious Benn from Illinois, Williams hopes to revive the league’s 24th-ranked passing game. ‘It’s relieving,’ he said. ‘All (Friday) I was waiting and waiting and waiting. The time seemed like it was never going to come. So it feels good that I am finally off the board now.’ His draft party came and went with a whimper Friday night. Restless and confused, Williams almost eliminated Tampa, Fla., as a possible destination. Almost. Facebook Twitter Google+