Wednesday, June 15, 2016

Rumbling in Indiana

Here is an odd account published in the Indianapolis Sun on October 17, 1896:

The excitement at the Newport house, on N. Capitol-ave., continues. Friday evening, shortly after 7 o'clock, Mr. Newport was in the front room and Blacksmith Ambuhl was sitting at the table in the dining room, when a series of shocks began and, before ceasing, 18 were counted.

The occupants ran out as people do in earthquake countries. Mr. Newport confesses that the series of frightful shocks made him nervous, and he has decided to sleep in the house no more until something more is learned of the affair. Saturday morning, at 8 o'clock, there were seven distinct shocks. The characteristics of the quakings resemble earthquakes. There is no house nearer than 100 feet to the house in question. The rumblings of the Newport house can be heard at times by the neighbors, but they have never yet been felt by them.

The property owners in the immediate neighborhood are signing a petition which asks the state geologist to make a complete and thorough investigation. This is to be presented to Geologist Blatchley when he returns from the oil fields of Indiana Saturday evening. Those in the neighborhood are beginning to realize that it is a serious matter and that if Mr. Newport's house is destroyed by an eruption of some sort, their property will also be injured. The Board of public safety will be asked to do something. It has the power of ordering the house torn down if it is found unsafe. The shaking house, however, is well built and it is a question whether it could go so far as to condemn a house on account of disturbances under the foundation.

The yard was crowded with people Saturday morning, and they came and went until noon. Many of the visitors have advice to offer. It's "Well, I tell you," and "If I were you" until the Newports are weary of life. At present the family is living with Mrs. Newport's mother, on Pratt-st. A man came in from Plainfield, Friday, and offered to trade his farm for Newport's property. He offered a "Dick-nailin'" good trade, but Newport says he's going to stay with it until he finds out what the matter is.

If you look in the news, there has been mysterious shaking land and loud booms throughout the world. In fact, Indiana has a history of similar phenomena.

A few months after this report, drilling commenced on the property. After going down nearly a thousand feet without anything of significance being found, the project was abandoned according to local records. I don't know if the family returned to the property.

The Big Picture: On the Origins of Life, Meaning, and the Universe Itself

The Field Guide to Natural Phenomena: The Secret World of Optical, Atmospheric and Celestial Wonders

Weird Weather: Tales of Astronomical and Atmospheric Anomalies (Astronomers' Universe)

National Geographic Rarely Seen: Photographs of the Extraordinary

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