Friday, October 17, 2014

Eerie Noise from the Sky

Last night - not sure what time, but probably around 9:40 - I was watching TV. Dan had just gone to bed, but was awake, reading.

All of a sudden, a loud, low-frequency rumbling began, our windows started chattering, and my innards were shaking like Jello! I muted the TV and listened for awhile, thinking it would stop, but it didn't . . . A few particularly spooky episodes of X-Files came to mind.

We live close enough to Ft. Hood to hear fighter jets, military helicopters, and various munitions testing on occasion. But this rumbling was different. It went on and on. So, although I was already in my pajamas, I slipped a jacket on and ran outside to see if I could spot the source of this roaring rumble.

I wasn't alone . . . No, not aliens!

Alan, from next door, and another neighbor, were both out in the middle of the street, looking skyward and trying to solve the mystery. We were all three tossing out ideas, none of which quite added up, and then suddenly - very suddenly - the noise stopped. No winding down. No fading into the distance. It just stopped.

I came inside and went to the bedroom to talk to Dan about it. He had heard it, too, of course, but didn't seem to be nearly as curious as I was.

I didn't think I could get to sleep until I figured out what I had heard/felt. So I went on-line, Googling all sorts of phrases like, "loud rumbling sky temple texas." I found that others had heard roaring rumbles in the Temple-Waco area in the past, and some suggested it could be caused by flaring from an oil refinery. Hmmm. Maybe. But I didn't think so. Too loud. Too long. I kept searching and discovered some comments about the noise resulting from rocket tests at SpaceX, in McGregor.

Sure enough, I finally found this brief article from a KWTX-McGregor website titled "Our Town Texas."

MCGREGOR (October 15, 2014) 
McGregor's SpaceX facility plans a louder-than-usual test that could happen as early as Friday. 
The California company tests its rocket motors at its facility in McGregor west of Waco.
The upcoming test "will be significantly more noticeable than the typical tests we run daily," the company said in a brief statement.

"As early as Friday" must have meant Thursday night. McGregor is 25 miles, as the crow flies, from Temple. I can't imagine what the people there, in McGregor, experienced. I guess they are somewhat used to the tests that go on there, but this one was a doozy.

Here's a YouTube video of one of the SpaceX rocket tests that Dan says was probably similar to the one we heard last night.

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