Post a New Topic
Original post made
by Nora Charles, Stanford,
on Jan 26, 2014
We heard it as well. It was extremely loud and our house reverberated. I thought something was exploding... a gas pipeline. It was actually quite scary. We live in College Terrace near Stanford university and Stanford ave.... where are you located?
I was hanging out on the corner of University and Emerson at that time, shortly after the Stanford movies let out, and I did not hear anything. Must have been a ways south.
I heard it too, woke up everybody in the house. There was some sort of explosion on Stanford campus. There were some people who were reporting about it on twitter. No official word yet.
Here's what PAPD have posted on their Facebook page
Palo Alto Police Department
Did you hear a loud "boom" last night around 11:20 p.m., especially in the College Terrace neighborhood? If so, you weren't alone. Our 24-hour dispatch center received several calls about it. Our officers did an extensive area check, but were unable locate the source of it, nor any damage anywhere. We believe that it was most likely caused by an extremely large firework!
If you have any information to the contrary, please let us know
Last night at around 11:15 I happened to be outside looking at the stars...facing Stanford University...when a massive explosion occurred. The entire sky lit up and there was a large orange half-dome bubble over what looked like Stanford, but hard to tell. The shock wave hit me and nearly knocked the wind out of me, and set off all the car alarms in the neighborhood. I haven't seen anything on the news and called the Palo Alto Police Department this morning to see if they knew what it was. The gentleman said they didn't know, but he speculated it could have been a meteorite...which would make sense if it exploded above the ground. We could have had our own little Tunguska. I have been in contact with NASA in Moutain View, and they've provided me with a phone number of one of their researchers, which I'll try shortly. I cannot describe adequately how loud and bright that explosion was, and that big orange bubble was spectacular. Not to mention the shock wave that hit me. It was a very unusual sounding explosion as well...
I heard it too, and could hear the car alarms going off, so it had to be fairly close to the El Camino side of Stanford/College Terrace/Escondido area. If it were a meteorite, wouldn't the police have found something? I don't beleive it was fireworks, but would think that such an explosion would cause some more phone calls.
Steven, I agree...no way that was a firework. I saw it actually happen, and I've never seen or felt anything like it before. If a meteorite explodes above the ground, and if it's small enough, it more than likely wouldn't leave evidence. An example of an above-ground meteorite explosion was the one that happened over Tunguska, Russia, in the early 1900's. Of course, that example was MUCH MUCH larger than what may have happened last night, as it leveled an entire forest, but it left no trace of itself. If it was a meteorite that exploded last night, it was more than likely the size of a pebble or small rock.
No way was that a firework. I have never heard something so loud and scary in my life. It shook my entire apartment complex. I still cannot believe that the police couldn't find the cause of something like this.
Check Twitter for #paloalto or #collegeterrace, a few people reported with those hashtags, and there were a couple of pics. checking #stanford turns up way too many Richard Sherman comments. I did hear sirens last night, and did see a number of police cars about.
It had to have landed VERY close to someone's house. From the pics on Twitter, it looks to be somewhere near Escondido Village. How can the police claim it's a firework???
OK. This time I hope all of you will try to contact our alleged terrorism and emergency czar (they are AWOL anytime I have ever tried to call, so also contact the police), and make sure this gets TRACKED DOWN.
Nora, you reported one in October of 2012
I reported one last year (I can't remember now and can't find it using search, but I think it was in the spring), when we were stopped one evening at El Camino and Page Mill, HUGE explosive bang around 8pm, somewhere off to the right toward the railroad tracks. I did call the police.
Once about two years ago, I was awakened by a loud bang and then a shock wave that actually went through the house and could be felt, going from the bay side toward the hills.
Here's something that is probably (hopefully) unrelated
I wonder if there are very many unexplained reports of explosions? Even one unexplained explosion is too much, but this is a concerning trend!!
another resident, your first link is now dead. Where did it go? Can you please replace it? Did someone purposely remove that site?
Curiouser and curiouser. The one twitter photo time hack is 2014/1/27 15:54:54, which if accurate must be Tokyo time (or Seoul), corresponding to 10:54 pm last night, which would explain why I didn't hear it because I was still inside a reasonably soundproof theater at that time. Impressive photo.
This is the Weekly's online editor. Police did confirm that the sound was caused by fireworks. Several officers checked the area and did not find any damage nor reports of anything unusual. Lieutenant Zach Perron said that any car alarms going off weren't out of the ordinary; even a single firework can touch off a car alarm.
No way in hell that was a firework. I smell a cover up.
I'm with Sarah on this one. Maybe it's Alf?
I think they were having a little trouble with the nuclear reactor at the university? A buildup of hydrogen gas that ignited?
From Palo Alto online daily news:
"College Terrace residents who might have been alarmed by a loud explosion-like noise late Sunday night will be relieved to know: It was fireworks. Palo Alto Police Lieutenant Zach Perron said several officers checked the area where people heard the noise and didn't find any damage nor reports of anything unusual. He added that any car alarms going off weren't out of the ordinary. "Even a single firework would touch off car alarms," he said."
We didn't find anything, therefore it was fireworks. What kind of logic is that?
ever googled any bad news about Stanford?
a way to waste time
I am really quite surprised and concerned that there isn't an investigation, especially in a neighbor so close to Stanford. Anyone who lives in College Terrance can tell you that last night's explosion was horrifying and was 100% NOT a firework. Every neighbor that I have come in contact today has asked me about the EXPLOSION, not firework, and if I knew anything. How can you not investigate what was most likely a bomb or a meteorite? Come on Palo Alto Police, get your hands dirty and figure out what the hell that was last night! Residents were afraid and the police have done nothing to alleviate that feeling.
Here's the October 2012 story:
Oh please. I've seen home made fireworks so shockingly powerful that they would alarm the next state. Yes Virginia, it very well could have been a firework. A bomb done for kicks rather than damage is a firework. I think that's what the police are trying to say.
Yes Way is obviously in on it! ;)
I slept through it, but my wife, still awake, came to me and wanted to know how I could sleep through it. She claimed it was extremely loud, and our windows shook. She said she has never felt/heard anything like it in this neighborhood, before.
If it was fireworks, it must have been a huge cherry bomb...emphasis on 'bomb'.
I was on the hopper and heard it a huge boom but was confused by the sounds inherent to my activity at the time and thought I'd might have been overreacting. My digestion has been a little dicey these days but I could not have been responsible for something heard all the way on University.
It was probably Taylor Swift letting off some steam.
I live in College Terrace (near Cameron Park) and heard and felt the explosion. Impressive.
On Sunday afternoon I happened to be looking out my kitchen window (southwest) and saw a daytime meteorite "burn out", causing a brief, bright and silent flash quite high in the sky. I see daytime events like that every couple of years. Not saying they are related, just saying that's what I saw.
yes SARAh it is COVERUP! if noty UFO why ''coverup''!
I suppose it depends on the definition of firework.
One theory is that Stanford students were experimenting with some type of new fangled explosives or other top secret research.
It's really interesting to read everyone's ideas. I wish there were more people writing in. No way that was a firework display...
you're right, no way a fireworks. ufo maybe. check you tube videos ''meteor ufo's'' and rthe like. welcome mr. spock!
This picture of the explosion was posted on twitter: Web Link
I saw it from my window too. Doesn't look like firework to me!
It looks like their entire fireworks display went off all at once. That happens now and then.
I love the way the police post says no reports of damage (and by implication there is nothing wrong). IMO, this is like saying no one in the hit and run vehicle went to the hospital therefore the no one was hurt.
Fireworks are illegal here. That's the most benign explanation. Someone should be tracking this down to make sure it's nothing worse.
From the photo, it looks exactly like a fireworks explosion -- no secret experiments, no bombs, no aliens, no secrets, no conspiracies.
Get over it.
has anyone from Stanford made an official statement about the explosion?
There may be some confusion/exaggeration but there really does need to be a thorough explanation. I do not believe the public is buying the "firecracker" theory.
Probably some kids with a WMD, like that Russian kid from San Carlos. Damn thing was big enough to rattle my windows
I hear illegal fireworks from my house every year and it's never been anything like that.
Police should do due diligence. If it's nothing, as you suspect, that's great. If it's not, then they will have prevented something worse. Part of their job is not to bury their heads in the sand just because it's possible to find an easy out or explanation. Illegal incendiary devices created a large explosion. There have been other unexplained, abnormal explosions in town in the last few years. They should figure out what gives.
If nothing else, the person we hired for emergency and (yes) terrorism prevention could us what they do to earn that executive salary. Right now, it's hard to even figure out how the current person is and what they do all day.
^ Hell I hear gunshots every 4th and new years from EPA
Thanks Stanford resident, for the direct link to that Twitter photo. Sharper image and slightly different pattern of illuminated cloud than the photo I saw earlier with the Nikon D200 annotations. Nearly identical elevated vantage point, which I'll venture to say is an upper floor of Blackwelder (Escondido Village). The steam plant at Via Ortega is on that line-of-sight about twice the distance to Hoover Tower. "As others observed, smoke was likely unrelated to boom," noted one twitterer. Plenty of steam rising there and long exposures accentuate the brightness of scattered sodium-discharge lighting. The source of the boom remains a mystery, but had to be closer than way across campus.
Again, I saw the explosion. Saw the sky light up and the orange bubble dome. Felt the shock wave that almost knocked the wind out of me from a couple miles away and caused car alarms to go off across the city. That was not a firework. I set off M80s and M120s all the time when I was a kid, and needless to say have seen countless fireworks shows. Saying that was a firework is ludicrous. I saw that Twitter photo, and although it looks like it could've been from the general area, it could potentially be that little power plant next to Stanford Shopping Center. But, if it was a transformer that blew up, we would have heard fire engines, police cars, and potentially hazmat teams. Plus, the police would have told us it was simply a blown transformer. But, a blown transformer doesn't create what I saw and felt. And it certainly wasn't fireworks. I spoke with NASA and they said they have no knowledge of a meteorite in the area...although what I saw & felt would qualify as a small meteorite exploding above ground. So, it appears we're not going to get an answer on what happened. No one got hurt, no property damage, so all's apparently well.
"Felt the shock wave that almost knocked the wind out of me from a couple miles away"
Really, where are the reports of broken windows then, that kind of a shockwave would have broken glass.
That picture is just a long exposure, I bet I could reproduce it on any given night by leaving my shutter open long enough in the direction of the steam plant.
ok ok ok -- it was a Martian spaceship that landed on the Stanford campus. Androids from the ship are infiltrating Palo Alto as we speak.
Seriously...a campus explosion would have left evidence. This was a firecracker mishap that happened outdoors.
From Blackwelder that frame would be 11x zoom (165mm) at f/5. Two or four-second exposure at iso 1600 should do it.
Yes...a shock wave. They don't necessarily break windows. I felt it, a neighbor felt it, and it set off car alarms. And a "firecracker?" Seriously? I saw a better photo from a friend of that plume of smoke that shows what looks like a fire that corresponds to where the explosion may have happened. It was probably from either that little power station or from campus. Whatever it was, it's strange that there were no sirens, people in that area don't know what it was, the news hasn't covered it, and the police are saying it was a firework. Oh well...just have to chalk it up to a big bang in the middle of night.
I was walking the dog and felt the shock wave too. My dog was knocked a little sideways. It was so loud and nothing I have ever heard before. For sure not a firework. Tommy can you attach the pictures?
Regardless of what it was (fireworks, a million cherry bombs, meteorite), there should be some sort of forensic evidence, right? And the photos should pinpoint the epicenter.
Nobody got hurt and no buildings seem to have been affected, so the police are probably not too interested.
Ok, it's evident we're not going to get an official straight answer as to what happened. BUT...an anonymous source from SRI stated that it was a meteorite. Off the books and unconfirmed. Apparently the pics being circulated of the smoke/steam/whatever is unrelated. David, sorry but there's no option to post pics on this thread.
So Tommy are you claiming that we are not being told because it being kept quiet? Thats just silly.
The meteorite has no comment at this time. The meteorite is part of the Witness Protection Program (the meteorite accidentally witnessed a murder in the Andromeda Galaxy) and values its anonymity. The meteorite apologizes profusely and would just like to get on with its new life. Thank you.
cops called it ''loud boom'' same terminmology of earthfiles.com articles. another thing, cassandra who saw daytime ''meteor'' same day, that raises attention. some things that look like ''meteorites'' are actually ''ufo's''. saw one of those in palo, to slow and controlled casual flight to be streaking fizzling out ''meteorite''. to see that casually looking out window same day is interesting. maybe no ''coincidence'' anybody with a mind would be checking ''earthfiles.com'' for similar reports. or listen to ''coast to coast a.m.'' on thursday. better yet,editor, contact linda moulton howe with this compelling report. unexplained in this day and age pf fear not to know what this is in a high profile area like palo alto for sakes.
Well, must have been something, and given the lack of physical evidence there is no reason to believe anyone can do more than speculate. Was this event the "suspicious circumstance" on Williams noted at 23:19 in the PAPD log?
I guess the meteor hypothesis is as good as any at this point, but seems awfully localized to me. It takes awhile to come through a hundred miles of atmosphere, and any rock big enough to survive would have left a blazing ionization trail visible across the entire Bay Area, especially on a clear nearly moonless night.
Tommy, was there any significant time-delay between the sky lighting up and the shock wave? Sound takes five seconds to go a mile, I think we've all estimated lightning distance that way. Nobody has compared the Sunday night explosion to the rolling sound of thunder, seems to be agreement that it was more bomb-like. Sorry I missed it.
Thank you for the update Tommy. I served in Desert Storm and heard all manner of explosions but nothing like that. The meteorite theory sounds solid.
I heard the explosion, way over on the west side of E. Palo Alto. It reminded me of the time my boyfriend was staying at a friend's in south Palo Alto, and heard an explosion and actually saw something small. He was convinced it was a meteorite. The cops never found anything, either.
This is, literally, like an episode of The Twilight Zone. Lots of suspicions, speculation -- all irrational
Yelling terrorism to justify the abuse of the TSA and the erosion of our constitution, but something blows up in our town and all we get from the authorities is this lame fireworks explanation?
I saw the explosion and heard the boom about 1 second later. This was from Stanford ave / bowdoin intersection.
It is strange that no one can figure out what the heck happened and there seems to be no physical damage. There must have been people closer to the scene (like Stanford dorms) that would have noticed.
The twitter pic looks like a frame from a video. Is it possible to find that or other video?
I've been without the internet for awhile, so it's fascinating to now read the responses. Tommy's experience was especially intriguing! I also thought it odd not to hear sirens afterward, as it sounded really dreadful. It did not sound like fireworks to me. The last noise of that magnitude I'd heard was that meteorite a couple years ago or so. I'll ask around on campus and report back if I learn anything.
Thank you Stanford resident for the quantitative data point. I guess the direction of the source was ambiguous -- often the case for sudden deep sounds or for bright flashes that momentarily light up the whole environment. Tommy indicated seeing an "orange bubble" apparently in the general direction of Stanford -- I'll be curious whether he recalls a similar time-delay.
The widely observed October 17, 2012 fireball meteor had reports of a 1 to 2 minute sound delay and rumbling for up to 30 seconds. This past weekend's event doesn't fit that kind of profile.
One morning many decades ago I was awakened before dawn thinking maybe I heard an explosion, maybe not. Three minutes later as I headed back into slumber the sirens started. Looking outside there was an impressive orange glow toward the southwest. It was a wing of El Carmelo Elementary School ablaze after a natural gas leak. Windows were blown out over the entire block. Let's never have a repeat.
It's either metors or hydrogen sulfide and methane are coming out of the Earth at an alarming rate ( Google methane levels from Artic, they are off the charts, scary levels).
For one, huge explosions in the skies around the world, often accompanied by a 'flash of light', sometimes damaging homes. Explosions like that indicates a chemical reaction, which means...chemicals. What chemicals, and why are they in the atmosphere around the planet NOW, just as the waters are heating up? Well, in Earth's history, hotter waters leads to hydrogen sulfide and methane eruptions. Nothing else really explains those gigantic atmospheric explosions.
2014-01-26 - Mysterious explosion rattles windows in Syracuse (Nebraska), flash of light reported:
Quote: "Several residents reported hearing a loud explosion in Syracuse Saturday night around 7 p.m. One reported smoke drifting across a park and another seeing a flash. The explosion was said to be strong enough to rattle windows."
2014-01-26 - Mysterious explosion shakes homes and rattles residents in Claremore (Oklahoma):
Quote: "A sergeant told FOX23 that several of officers heard a large boom that shook the buildings and police received several reports from all over town and surrounding communities. Despite all the reports, no one has been able to locate any evidence of an explosion or a site where the sound originated."
Note: Claremore is near Oologah Lake and is northeast (downwind) of the Arkansas River. These mysterious city-shaking booms really started escalating a couple of years ago, right around the time methane began heavily splurting from the Arctic, off the coast of Israel, off the US East Coast, etc. That's also when mysterious HazMat incidents, sometimes involving odors, began sickening people. These explosions are highly likely caused by atmospheric clouds of methane and/or hydrogen sulfide finding an ignition source and detonating. Once these explosions start destroying towns and cities instead of merely shaking homes and terrifying residents then our time of living on the surface of the Earth will be just about over...
I'm a Stanford student, living on campus and saw the sky outside our widow light up then a huge explosion and the windows and dorm shook. It felt like our bodies vibrated from inside. We ran to the roof and we saw nothing. No sirens, no fires. A couple of our friends were walking back to their rooms when it happened and they said it happened over their heads and they were almost knocked down. Tommy, David, Musical, Sean's ideas are good. I'm not a conspiracy theorist, but why hasn't this been on the news and why are the police saying it was a firework? No way it was a firework or pipe explosion.
For those of you who have not figured out what is happening, one person is taking a minor incident ( the setting off of a large firework) and tryingbo turn into a major incident ( the building shook, a large dome like fireball, my dog was knocked over, car alarms went off) and is having some fun with us.
As others have pointed out, there were no broken windows or other results that would have been seen from a large explosion.
You had your fun time to move on
To "Lets exaggerate": If you had experienced it you would not be making comments like that. We want to figure this out, not accept the firework explanation from people who didn't hear or see it.
No mention in the Stanford daily. No mention in the local papers. The police say it was fireworks. Conclusion-- hoax being perpetrated by a single poster. Time to move on.
That the meteorite is a source of the light and the meteor's just what we see and the meteoroid is a stone that's devoid of the fire that propelled it to thee. The meteorite's just what causes the light and the meteor's how it's perceived. The meteoroid's a bone thrown from the void that lies quiet in offering to thee.
Lets exaggerate: Are you saying all of the people who saw, heard and felt the explosion at the exact same time all over the area are making it up and are only saying it because someone posted a hoax? That is crazy. You make no sense saying it is a hoax yet you keep clinging to a firework explanation. Yes Lets exaggerate, time for you to move on.
No, Ashley, I am saying 1 person has made it up-- do the math yourself on what I am saying about "1" person.
It was fireworks-- no broken windowsn, no news reports, comments from the police, a long exposure of picture. All of this hoax is Lainey very neatly. One person is having fun. And as for " all the people" you refer to are one person.
[Portion removed.] It's been happening all over the nation, especially since 2011. Go to you tube or google booms. I posted 2 similar incidents that happen the other day above. As a matter of fact Vermont has been going through this lately, Montreal also, look it up people. I'm not making it up. Research its right in front of us! The police and media are not going to cause hysteria!
2014-01-26 - Mysterious explosion rattles windows in Syracuse (Nebraska), flash of light reported:
2014-01-26 - Mysterious explosion shakes homes and rattles residents in Claremore (Oklahoma):
What do your stories have to do with the firecracker incident in palo alto? Do you think if itbreallynhappened as per your hoax, people would be quiet about it?
Let's Exaggerate - do you think that Nora Charles is perpetrating a hoax, or that someone else has grabbed this fireball and run w/it?
Hmmm- I think Nora Charles heard a fireworks explosion ( note, no comment from her about fireballs, buildings shaking, people being blown off their feet etc) and then ONE person decided to have some fun
Hey 'Let's Exaggerate'...are you saying I'm lying??? While you were asleep or watching reruns of Seinfeld on TV, I was outside and facing in that direction when the explosion happened. You keep waffling between saying it was a firework and everyone lying about their experiences. Then you get your shorts in a bind when those of us that witnessed this event call you out on your ridiculousness. Get off this forum. Practice what you preach and move one.
Let's see.....Hmmmm. There's no physical evidence of any bomb or fire damage. It happened on the weekend before Chinese New Year. Yup, a meteorite or aliens from outer space. For sure.
Tommy-- there was no evidence of physical damage, no broken windows, no fire, no reports in the local paper etc. there was a firework-- that is what Nora Charles heard-- the rest ( claims of domes of light, dogs blown over, car alarms going off, buildings shaking etc) are all a hoax perpetrated by ONE poster. I have not been waffling about anything.
Now are my comments clear? Time for that person to move on
Let's Exaggerate...I saw the explosion, heard the car alarms going off, felt it (as did my neighbors and others on this forum)...so you are saying I'm lying about my experience. Furthermore, you're stating I'm doing it because I read a hoax someone wrote on the internet. I suggest you stop shooting your mouth off. If you didn't see it or hear it, there's no reason for you to be adding your moronic comments. Adults are talking here, so please go back to watching your cartoons.
Sorry, guys. I was wrong and I'll go back to playing WoW. I'm a level 76 mage.
There are numerous episodes on the Twilight Zone about community imagination and hysteria. Perhaps there will be another TZ marathon during the Superbowl. But, wait a minute, the Superbowl and Chinese New Year are this weekend. I expect there will be lots of meteor and alien reports, so this thread will continue for days.
Let's Exaggerate...ok, that Wow comment was actually pretty good. :)
Just out of curiosity...why are there people commenting on this forum who didn't see or hear it yet seem to know exactly what it was or wasn't?
Some people on this thread seem to overlook the possibility that this noise came from a nearby large institution filled with bright curious young adults with access to many things that go boom and the creativity to cause them to go boom. That seems like a much more probable explanation than these other theories.
Just to clear the record, this comment:
"Posted by Lets exaggerate, a resident of Downtown North
14 minutes ago
Sorry, guys. I was wrong and I'll go back to playing WoW. I'm a level 76 mage."
Is not from me the original let's exaggerate.
Obviously I have hit a nerve with ONE person who is pushing this hoax and he/she is so desperate that they are stealing screen names.
More proof that there was just a firecracker going off and nothing else.
And tommy, just to answer your question, the reason people are commenting is there is no evidence to back up your claim.
Let's Exaggerate...you are exhausting. What happened was NOT a hoax. But if it makes you feel better to say that I and the other witnesses are lying, and if that makes the world a more comfortable place for you...you go right ahead. Arguing with you reminds me of a quote from George Carlin, "Never argue with an idiot. They will only bring you down to their level and beat you with experience."
I don't think anyone doubts something happened. However some of the conclusions of what it was are very far fetched.
Don't miss out on the discussion!
Sign up to be notified of new comments on this topic.
Local picks on 2015 Michelin Bib Gourmand list
By Elena Kadvany | 8 comments | 3,498 views
Ode to Brussels Sprout
By Laura Stec | 20 comments | 2,670 views
Go Giants! Next Stop: World Series!
By Chandrama Anderson | 1 comment | 1,987 views
Politics: Empty appeals to "innovation"
By Douglas Moran | 9 comments | 1,476 views
It's Dog-O-Ween this Saturday!
By Cathy Kirkman | 2 comments | 504 views
Home & Real Estate
Shop Palo Alto
Send News Tips
Circulation & Delivery
Mountain View Voice
© 2014 Palo Alto Online
All rights reserved.