A loud boom was reported in Morristown, Tennessee. in the late night hours of January 23rd, as reported in the Citizen Tribune. Staff writer Aletheia Davidson reports:
“Numerous reports were called into 911 about loud “booms.” Other callers told dispatchers it sounded like someone was breaking into their homes. Hamblen County 911 Director Eric Carpenter said several calls came in beginning around 1 a.m.”
Much speculation by officials and witnesses has led to no solid conclusion as to what caused the boom.
“The loud booms and shaking experienced Monday morning was too localized to be an earthquake and the U.S. Geological Survey had no data indicating an earthquake had occurred.”
“So what was it?” Davidson writes.
“Local authorities said there are no known documented maps of the caves in Hamblen County so it is impossible to tell if there is—or was—a cave under the Meadows subdivision that collapsed.”
She quotes Dr. Robert Hatcher, Professor of Geology at the University of Tn., who says that much of the land in the area is made of limestone. He calls it “Karst”:
“Karst is a term used to describe areas where land is formed from the dissolution of limestone bedrock. Sinkholes and caves are characteristic karst features.”