INDIANA — Hundreds of Hoosiers reported hearing what sounded like a large explosion Wednesday afternoon in multiple areas across the southern part of the state.
Many of them reached out to WRTV and our team went to work trying to find the source behind the noise that rattled some homes.
After reaching out to all of the likely sources that were suggested in chatters across central Indiana, we made contact with the American Meteor Society who told us they received several reports of a possible fireball meteor passing over the state around the same time as the mysterious noise.
According to Mike Hankey at the AMS, the sound heard yesterday can likely be attributed to a fireball or a bolide over parts of Indiana.
Hankey says a fireball is a meteor "brighter than Venus" while a bolide is the "light emitted from an exploding meteoroid and asteroid in the sky."
A total of four reports were received by the AMS with reports coming from Bloomington and Columbus in Indiana and Sadieville and Mays Lick in Kentucky. The fact of the meteor passing during daytime caused fewer reports to be submitted, according to AMS.
"These two people [in Indiana] describe what sounds like a meteor in the sky. They also provided direction information that was in agreement enough to triangulate the event. This is a good confirmation it was, in fact, a fireball meteor and not something else," Hankey said in an emailed response to WRTV.
He also provided the map below to show the trianglation of the reports during that time.
The reports can be viewed on the AMS website here.
Hankey said to be able to further look into the incident, the AMS would appreciate more reports from anyone who heard or saw something around that time. Those reports can be submitted online at https://amsmeteors.org/.
While searching for the source of the mysterious noise, WRTV reached out to several public safety officials as well as military departments to confirm they were not aware of or involved 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 their homes were shaken for several seconds.
The Cordy-Sweetwater Volunteer Fire Department posted a video of the noise, which they say was captured around 12:44 p.m.
Crane Army Ammunition Activity says it conducted routine demilitarization operations at approximately 10:30 a.m. on Wednesday but nothing was out of the ordinary and there was nothing that happened that would have caused the reported incidents.
The Indiana Department of Homeland Security said it was aware of the reports but had not been called for assistance and had no other information.
We also reached out to Brown County Emergency Management, which released the following statement:
"As you know there was a loud boom that shook not just Brown County, but counties as far away as Decatur County. Camp Atterbury has reported that there was NOT an explosion or fire on their property. Multiple agencies in multiple counties are looking for the source. If we receive a confirmed source of this afternoon's boom we will post it."
Camp Atterbury said the Indiana National Guard confirmed there was "no fire, explosion, detonation fire nor live-fire training at the camp."
The Federal Aviation Administration said it did not have any information and directed inquiries to the military.
WRTV has reached out to the U.S. Air Force but has still not received a response as of Thursday afternoon.
According to the American Meteor Society they are a "non-profit scientific organization founded in 1911 and established to inform, encourage, and support the research activities of both amateur and professional astronomers who are interested in the fascinating field of Meteor Astronomy."
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