Wednesday, November 15, 2017

The Sulphur 'Mystery Boom' of 2014: What We Found

February 22, 2014: Sulphur, Louisiana, and a portion of the surrounding area, was literally left shaken.

The area had already been primed for alarm (so to speak). Less than a month beforehand, on January 26, a rattling series of sirens in Lake Charles had gone off in the middle of the night for no immediately discernible reason. Residents were startled, and on top of that, baffled. Little clear explanation was given in the way of what would cause the alarms to sound. Local and federal agencies were denying it was their alarms. When on the morning of February 1 the sirens blared to life once more, SWLA residents were more demanding about wanting answers. The most concrete one they were given amounted to 'mechanical malfunction.'

So when an unexplained explosion shakes your house after nine o'clock at night just a few weeks after the Lake Charles siren debacle, you want better answers. Especially since this wasn't SWLA's first run-in with 'mystery booms': just a couple months back in December, another powerful detonation was felt emanating from Houston River Road between Westlake and Sulphur. As they did with the sirens, people took to Facebook attempting to gather information. And of course, they turned to local media.

KPLC did their piece on it, of course. But many residents were disappointed with the lack of clarity. There was speculation as to a cause, but no real detail or solid leads to go on. As far as some could tell, the explosion seemed to come from the area of a local steel industry building and Kap Electric off of the east end of Fairview Avenue. What was happening in our area? What did these booms and alarms mean?

In an effort to answer this, The Old No. 7 Society filed a FOIA (Freedom of Information Act) request with the Sulphur Police Department a few months ago. Sulphur PD was more than cooperative, and for the first time, we present you with facts from responding officer reports on the night of February 22, 2014.                                             
                                                                                                                 (Kap Electric)

There was a cloud over the area thought to be the source of the explosion.
According to the report, smoke had risen '40 feet in the air.'

There had been a smaller explosion the day before.
A Superior Steel employee, from the business next door, had said that this had already happened.

Evidence of Tannerite was actually spotted by officers at the scene.
Per the report, a responding unit claimed to have spotted the remains of a tannerite target.

Looking at the facts presented, it would seem near conclusive at this point that the Sulphur event was likely the result of someone shooting Tannerite within city limits. The real question begged here is: why didn't local media more thoroughly cover the story? Did it have too much of a 'spooky' aspect to it? If that is the case, how many other stories have they chosen to turn their back on?

But, that's why The Old No. 7 Society exists. We ask those 'spooky' questions--and sometimes, we get answers.