Monday, April 14, 2008

Mysterious Repeat Offender

(November, 1966 photos courtesy of NY State Police)

Remember the crater? On September 27, 2007 (the search engine above will assist in locating this and other older blog entries) we briefly described a mysterious explosive sound heard late at night (at about 12:30 a.m.) near the town of Venice, NY on November 12 of 1966. More precisely, the noise was heard near or over the farm of Howard Lacey, and when people investigated the next day they discovered a small crater in his field.

I had been searching for the photos displayed here and just located them, so here they are to add a little substance to my initial report. All four photographs were accomplished by the New York State Police in November, 1966, and they kindly provided copies to me early in 1967, as I had not visited the site.

Nevertheless, the crater did enjoy visits by some pretty impressive visitors, including various military personnel (the Air Force unit at Syracuse's Hancock Field also dispatched an officer or two), and scientists from Syracuse University performed extensive soil analysis and other studies of the enigmatic hole (I reviewed their lengthy and detailed reports at that time). At first, it was widely believed that this would turn out to be an impact crater from a meteorite, but investigations actually disclosed no supporting evidence. Explosive devices were ruled out almost immediately. Ultimately, no cause was determined.

But mystery and intrigue were hardly about to depart Lacey's farm. On exactly the same date and time for the next two years, explosions again rang out near the farm and the apparently obligatory fresh crater would be found the next day. However, when crowds showed up in an almost festive atmosphere of eager anticipation the fourth time, in November of 1969, they left in disappointment when nothing happened. To my knowledge, no further explosions or craters materialized in the years following and no obvious evidence of a hoax was evident. Just one of those things. . .