By Frank WarrenWorking backwards, most by now are aware of the moderate earthquake (5.2 on the Richter) that was centered near West Salem Illinois, but was felt in surrounding states, literally as far as Atlanta.
For the purpose of this article, the temblor was felt strongly in the neighboring state of Indiana; indeed initial reports were unclear about the epicenter, some stating that it did in fact originate in the Hoosier state.
I bring this to light because two days earlier (Wednesday the 16th) “loud explosions” (and earthquake like tremors) occurred near Kokomo, Indiana, accompanied with “strange lights”; some reports described “a bright light,” “fireballs,” and “flaming, falling, debris.” In response to the hoard of calls received by local police stations, the first notion was that a plane crashed; a massive search was initiated by emergency personnel to no avail, according to Larry Smith, Howard County’s emergency management director.
The search was conducted between Kokomo and Indianapolis, near U.S. 31 and County Road 300 North in Tipton County and by some reports included up to “50 emergency vehicles” from two counties, as well as city and state resources; barring a plane crash, Smith speculated that a meteor might have come crashing down; however, nothing turned up to support that dogma either . . . at least nothing from officialdom.
In talking to a nearby resident by phone who’s lived there his entire life and who’s had feedback from friends and family that live in Kokomo etc., he stated that this incident was unprecedented!
The explosions were so loud, and literally “earthshaking,” people ran out of their houses to see the streets filled with their neighbors fearing some major disaster!
After the initial explosion(s) scores of people got into their cars and converged near US 31 close to Sharpsville looking for the source of “falling, flaming debris.”
Important to point out that police officials in the course of their investigation contacted both the Indianapolis International Airport and the Grissom Air Reserve Base to inquire about the possibility of a downed aircraft, explaining the reports of explosions and mysterious lights; at no time (initially) did either entity attribute the presumed explosions and light phenomenon to aircraft, civilian or otherwise, specifically in relationship to an airplane crash of some sort; they stated emphatically that they “had no planes in the air!”
Along with the Air Force statements, an AP report states:
“Major Brian Martin, a spokesman North American Aerospace Defense Command, or NORAD, said none of the thousands of manmade objects – spent rocket vehicles, satellites – that government tracks re-entered the atmosphere over the U.S. on Wednesday night.”I offer the a fore mentioned points, because “the next day” Tech Sgt. Darin Hubble with the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard, stated,
“military officials are investigating if F-16 training might explain the Kokomo booms and lights and similar reports Tuesday over Logansport.Later in the day this preliminary statement was confirmed as “fact” by the 122nd.
Training often includes pilots shooting flares and can produce sonic booms that shake the ground below. We’re allowed to do training missions in that area and our F-16s are equipped with flares that erupt in order to evade heat-seeking missiles."
Although the more significant event(s) occurred on Wednesday night, and after sifting through various news reports, there were in fact similar accounts occurring “Tuesday night” (over Logansport northwest of Kokomo) as well, i.e., strange lights, tremors and booms.
It seems there is a pattern to these type of episodes, that is the “knee-jerk response” by military officials is to deny everything, ala “Stephenville” and or the “Phoenix Lights” events; although at least in this instance they didn’t wait “a week or two” before offering up the “familiar flare scenario.”
Personally, “at present” I don’t discount the “flare explanation”; however, one would think that since folks live so close to Grissom Air Force Base, they would be accustomed to “training missions” as well as being able to identify military aircraft. Granted, this isn’t going to be true for everyone, but out of the dozens of “first-hand reports” I’ve listened to and or read, people weren’t talking about F-16s, or any other military (or civilian) jet aircraft.
I find this very peculiar; I by no means am an expert on aviation or F-16’s in particular; however I can “distinguish” one from a good distance, most often during the day when the noise threshold is much louder due to traffic and daytime activity. Moreover, given the fact that the 122nd is stating they went “supersonic” (mach 1 or above) this would have made a tremendous amount of noise; I find it very uncharacteristic that this wasn’t predominant if indeed a “training mission” was the origin of all the commotion.
Additionally, the Military Operations Area (MOA) for the 122nd encompasses “Grissom Air Force Base” (north of Kokomo); however, “it does not include airspace over Kokomo,” or in this instance “south of the city.” Given the fact that this is a rural area, and the city of Kokomo would stand out at night against the surrounding countryside (from the air), the odds of flying over the area in question “by accident” are slim in my view.
Even within the designated MOAs, according to the “Air Force Center for Engineering and the Environment”:
“The Hill Top MOA is geographically located within the ROI, but is above the 8,000-foot ceiling of the airspace controlled by the base. The Twelve Mile MOA, located approximately 15 NM from the base, extends from 500 feet above ground level (AGL) up to, but not including, 9,000 feet AGL, and is in effect from 8 a.m. to 30 minutes after sunset, Tuesday to Saturday. . . . The Twelve Mile MOA, the Hill Top MOA, and the MTRs are owned by the 122nd Fighter Wing of the Air National Guard and are used primarily by F-16 aircraft.”The AFCEE also states that MOAs are subject to Air traffic Control (ATC) and are governed by the FAA under “Rules of Flight.”
That said, if F-16’s from the 122nd were the cause of the hullabaloo below Kokomo then there exists a severe dereliction of procedure on a number of levels; for example, if this was a training mission as stated, not only were the F-16’s outside the MOA, the exercise took place during a prohibited time period. Moreover, even within an MOA, F-16’s are prohibited from going “supersonic” during training missions.”
On top of that, all air traffic in a controlled airspace i.e., an MOA, is monitored and supported by ground communications, navigational aids, and ATC services; why then when emergency services contacted both Grissom AFB and Fort Wayne International Airport Air Guard Station before midnight on Wednesday did they “deny” having any aircraft aloft?
It’s certainly “plausible” that a “sonic boom” could have caused the “explosions” people heard and the “tremors” people felt that night; however, Colonel Jeff Soldner, the commander of the 122nd Fighter Wing in Fort Wayne, says:
“People in the area also reported seeing something akin to a fireball . . . since the training missions tend to be conducted at an altitude of 20,000 feet, the flares won’t be visible during daytime missions. they burn out long before anyone would see ‘em”This seems to contradict “eye witness accounts.” If the flares were ejected at the altitude stated, how is it that people reported flaming debris low to the ground? So much so that the culmination of the reports gave emergency personnel a search grid within a few block radius.
Finally, individual reports also suggest strange lights (UFOs) were also seen before the major event, as well as after; there seems to be much more to this story then the “official explanation” allows for.