Bemused curiosity is turning into worry and aggravation for families in a small Wisconsin town longing for peace and quiet after three nights of mysterious booming noises that have sent some residents into the streets — sometimes still in their pajamas.
The strange disturbance sounds like distant thunder, fireworks or someone slamming a heavy door. At first, many people were amused. But after a third restless night Tuesday into Wednesday, exasperation is mounting. And some folks are considering leaving town until investigators determine the source of the racket.
“My husband thought it was cool, but I don’t think so. This is not a joke,” said Jolene Van Beek, who awoke early Sunday to a loud boom that shook her house. “I don’t know what it is, but I just want it to stop.”
The booming in Clintonville continued Monday and Tuesday nights and into Wednesday morning, eventually prompting Van Beek to take her three sons to her father’s home, 10 minutes away, so they could get some uninterrupted sleep.
There have been no reports of injury, despite some residents saying they could feel the ground roll beneath their feet.
City officials say they have investigated every possible human cause. They checked water, sewer and gas lines, contacted the military about any exercises in the area, reviewed permits for mining explosives and inspected a dam next to City Hall. They even tested methane levels at the landfill in case the gas was spontaneously exploding.
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