|Occurred : 6/3/2004 02:44 (Entered as : 06/03/2004 2:44)
Reported: 6/3/2004 2:42:42 PM 14:42
Location: Bainbridge Island, WA
|This is a report of an unusual sound. I am submitting this because I heard that lights in the sky had been seen at this time by others.
The sound began with a series of soft booms like distant fireworks in rapid succession, lasting about 5 seconds. It then gradually smoothed to a low rumble, and maintained the same volume for perhaps another 5 seconds. During the next and final 5 seconds it very gradually faded away, so gradually that I was not sure when it was completely gone. I am familiar with the tendency for people to overestimate the duration of events, so this morning I ran several timed tests with a stopwatch, reciting to myself the changing nature of the sound, and only looking at the watch after. I consistently measured within 2 seconds +- of 15 seconds, trying 4 times.
The sound occurred at 2:44 am according to my nightstand digitial clock, which I subsequently found to be about 15 seconds fast relative to WWV. I do not know the time more precisely - there is no seconds indication on the clock.
The sound was not loud: it did not awaken my wife sleeping next to me, and I only heard it because I happened to be awake. At first I thought it was the precursor rumbling to an earthquake, having experienced the 2001 magnitude 6.8 Nisqually quake. When I realized that it was not being followed by shaking, I thought it must be a heavy jet transport leaving Sea-Tac airport. We can occasionally hear those, although they typically do not depart at 3 in the morning. Then I recall noting that the sound had a real "feel" to it, even though it was muted, and I could sense the pressure waves, not just hear the sound.
I went back to sleep thinking it might have been a distant earthquake. The next morning, the 6 am local news mentioned that a number of people had reported lights and fireballs in the sky "a few minutes" before 3 am. I did not see any lights, but I was not facing a North-facing window. This sound may be connected to those sightings.
((NUFORC Note: Dramatic meteor. PD))