explosion

Were the explosions the result of the Quadrantid Meteor Shower reported as haven taken place the same night?

Shortly after midnight Jan. 4, a number of Tehachapi residents, including the police chief, reported hearing a series of three great explosions that rocked city neighborhoods and set off both car and dog alarms.

What was the cause of the explosions, you may ask?

Well, that's a good question.

The first explosion was recorded as having occurred at 12:42 a.m. on the Tehachapi Ask Facebook page.

Michelle Hensler wrote, "First one went off at 12:42:31... Second one went off at 1:08:03... Third went off at 1:08:58... It sounded like gun shots to me. I was able to play back on my cameras. I heard two shots about one minute apart."

The explosions were heard in many parts of the city as well as outlying areas, but centered on Curry Street up to Highline Road in the surrounding housing tracts of Central and Warrior parks. However, some residents heard it as far as Alpine, Bear Valley Springs, Lake Elizabeth and the east side of Bakersfield.

One Facebook follower who works in the Pasadena mountains reported hearing something around the time of the original explosion. 

"I heard it myself. My first thought was that it was a transformer or something, but we had no reports of a loss of power," Tehachapi Police Chief Kent Kroeger said Wednesday, adding, "We got several calls on it starting at about 12:48 on the morning of Jan. 4, all within that general area of Curry and Highline and Curry and Sutter."

According to Kroeger, several TPD units were dispatched to the area as well as several units from the California Highway Patrol.

"We were unable to determine the source of the boom or the explosion," Kroeger said. "I wish I could give you more information or tell you what it was, but I have absolutely no idea what it was."

Residents reported the explosions were so loud they shook entire houses and woke up many people from a sound sleep.

Some wondered if it was an earthquake, dynamite, a meth lab detonating, sonic boom, gunshots or a hit-and-run traffic accident reported on the California Highway Patrol website.

Or was it something more ominous?

Some reported a burning smell in Alta Estates.

Tina Richardson Easter wrote, "...my husband and I went outside and could smell something burning but no sirens or see anything??"

Kroeger, however, said TPD did not receive any reports of a peculiar smell, or any damage.

"Well if that didn’t get your heart pumping. (It) Did not sound like M80’s. Definitely stronger," wrote Evet Dumler. "Woke up our whole house. Literally sounded like it was right outside!"

The explosions were recorded on surveillance cameras of some residents.

"Whatever it was, it knocked my cameras offline," wrote Becka Wiggins Pickren.

Perhaps there is a scientific explanation for the curious explosions.

"Didn't hear anything in Stallion. But possibly a skyquake? Wasn't it last year or two years ago there was one. It doesn't fit exactly as skyquakes are usually felt in a much wider area," wrote Kristin Bailey Girvan.

A skyquake is a phenomenon where a loud cannon, trumpet or a sonic boom sound is reported to originate from the sky. The sound can produce shock waves that vibrate a building or a particular area.

Nick Altieri wrote, "The Quadrantid meteor shower will begin in the early morning of Jan. 4 perhaps a meteor entered close enough to cause a loud noise. Meteors are able to create sound waves. As they tear their way through the atmosphere."

Whatever the cause, the three curious explosions will have local residents scratching their heads for some time.

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