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Anyone hear explosion at 5 a.m.?

Original post made by Nora Charles, Stanford, on Jun 13, 2014

At 5:01 a.m. (I looked at the clock) I hear a loud explosion in the direction of Stanford. Mr. Charles heard it, too. It was not as loud as the one I heard in January, but quite loud. Not a sonic boom. I'm very shaken and can't go back to sleep, and very curious what it might have been. Anyone else hear it?

Comments (46)

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Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:04 am

Heard that there were several reports of a loud noise at that time from residents on the Stanford Campus near Cottrell Way as well as Wing Place (off of Stanford Avenue and Junipero Serra Boulevard). SUDPS when to check, but found nothing.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:30 am

My wife has heard two these "booms", and I also heard one of these two. Very loud. Always from the Stanford area. They should not be ignored, because they could be training/experimentation for a very serious attack (e.g. Boston bombing). The FBI needs to be brought in, even if Stanford doesn't like it.


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Posted by rudolph
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:38 am

I am not sure how people living near California avenue,.hearing explosions in the middle of the night, can claim with certainty they originated on the Stanford campus. Claims that this may be terrorism are laughable.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:50 am

>I am not sure how people living near California avenue,.hearing explosions in the middle of the night, can claim with certainty they originated on the Stanford campus. Claims that this may be terrorism are laughable.

If you lived near California Ave., and you heard (and felt) these explosions, you would have little doubt. The concussion came from the Stanford area...not from south of here.

[Portion removed.]


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Posted by rudolph
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:58 am

A thread like this one pops up every do often. Mystery " explosions" supposedly coming from Stanford. No calls to the police about it (one would expect the police to be flooded with calls). Someone is having a laugh and certain people are feeding the troll


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Posted by Joe
a resident of Barron Park
on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:08 pm

Several people did call the police. An incident was dispatched over PAPD's primary radio channel this morning.

I don't know Nora Charles, but the individual has posted many times before. I don't always agree with the poster's comments, but I don't feel the question was inappropriate.


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:19 pm

Craig Laughton is a registered user.

>Claims that this may be terrorism are laughable.

Please explain.


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Posted by rudolph
a resident of Duveneck/St. Francis
on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:26 pm

A few people.hear something. A few people call the police. Nothing is found. So it is laughable to claim a link to terrorism. If you have any evidence of terrorism on campus you should call the proper authorities. Trying to start a panic does no good


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2014 at 12:50 pm

Craig Laughton is a registered user.

>A few people.hear something. A few people call the police. Nothing is found. So it is laughable to claim a link to terrorism. If you have any evidence of terrorism on campus you should call the proper authorities.

The proper authority is the FBI. The Stanford police have no real capability of investigating potential acts of terrorism, nor should they. Their job is about domestic issues on campus. They should invite the FBI in to do a real investigation. Multiple small 'bomb' concussions should not be ignored. The Boston bombing is an example of what can happen.


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Posted by Robert
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 2:11 pm

Craig, a smart guy like you should understand occam's razor; these terrorists, rather than train or test a few miles up the mountains where it is basically uninhabited, instead choose to do so in Stanford or Palo Alto, an area densely populated with what could be argued as the countries most nosy neighbors?


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Posted by Craig Laughton
a resident of College Terrace
on Jun 13, 2014 at 2:49 pm

Craig Laughton is a registered user.

>you should understand occam's razor; these terrorists, rather than train or test a few miles up the mountains where it is basically uninhabited, instead choose to do so in Stanford or Palo Alto, an area densely populated with what could be argued as the countries most nosy neighbors?

Robert, just let the FBI figure it out. I think occam's razor might suggest just the opposite: What better place to do the test, since any suggestion of a test at Stanford would be ignored?

Just let the FBI investigate...what's the harm?


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 13, 2014 at 3:17 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Joe, I appreciate your comments. It's good to know others called the police and there was a radio dispatch.

I hesitated to post this, as when I did several months ago there were all manner of weird replies. But what better place to discuss community incidents then here? I'm not suggesting a "War of the Worlds" scenario, but just trying to figure out the cause, and wondering if anyone else heard.

Maybe we should have called the police. Next time (heaven forbid there is a next time) I will. But for people to mock those of us who heard it or make accusations is just not cool. I assure the one poster that Mr. Charles and I were not laughing, but very alarmed.


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Posted by Rupert of hemzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Every citizen has the right to call the FBI, Did you call the FBI about this incident? If not, then why not ? Don't bother telling me that Stanford should call in the FBI. If this is a serious situation as you claim, then it is your responsibility as a citizen to call the FBI, Homeland security or any other agency that you feel is necessary. You don't wantbto be remembered as the person who knew about, but did not report terrorists in training [portion removed.]


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Posted by On Campus
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:35 pm

For those interested in trying to pinpoint the location/source - My house is near the back side of campus - closer to Junipero Serra than to the center of campus - and we didn't hear anything - nor did my immediate neighbors (I asked them).

We can usually hear parties coming from student housing along Mayfield up to White Plaza and also along Campus Drive between Mayfield and Junipero Serra (Enchanted Brocccoli Forest area). It must have been further east.

Ms. Charles - you should not hesitate to call the police. Over the twenty years that I've lived on campus I have found the Stanford Police to be attentive and helpful.


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Posted by Osama bin Gone
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 13, 2014 at 4:38 pm

Stop! I give up! You American experts are too smart for me! Where do I turn myself in?


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 5:05 pm

Mr. Laughton says the noises, that only the same cast of characters in College Terrace ever hears, "should not be ignored, because they could be training/experimentation for a very serious attack (e.g. Boston bombing)."

Stanford does not hold disaster exercises in the middle of the night. Emergency drills are always announced and never include setting off explosions.

And, there are no secret explosions or any kind, just as there are no alien landings of any kind. Geeeezzzzz -- Call the FBI??!!! For heaven's sake, they have a lot better things to do.

These "noises" only heard by a few at the end of the Quarter or academic year after finals sound like an after hours party and some kids messing around.




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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:35 pm

I am just shocked, shocked that someone would suspect terrorist activity and instead of reporting it to the FBI would just post on this thread that the FBI should be called in.


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Posted by MIchael O.
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:50 pm

Hey Craig, let us know what the FBI says when you call them.


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Posted by Serious
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2014 at 6:57 pm

I have twice heard very loud explosions, much louder than anything usual, once when we were in traffic around 8pm at El Camino and Page Mill, and the explosion was definitely toward the railroad tracks. We called the police.

The other time we were awakened by a loud explosion around 2am - there was a definite displacement, like an earthquake, only it was like a wave going from the bay side to the hills side. Nothing related to Stanford. I've heard two other reports that were very similar. This is extremely disconcerting. I do hope someone will actual take reporting it seriously. FBI, really? Why not the police?


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:17 pm

Serious-- so you didn't call the police after the incident you described that occurred at 2 AM?.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:24 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

I did hear something very early this morning. As I am across town, it wasn't as startling to me as it was to others. I also heard the other explosion that Nora references.

We've already had idiots lighting off fireworks, so given that I'd been asleep and was rudely awakened, I thought that it was fireworks. No, I didn't call the cops. Heck, with ShotSpotter, the EPA PD goes out to shots fired calls without anyone calling it in.

Solar flares? Sonic booms? Aliens? I dunno, but I know Nora isn't a crackpot.


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 7:53 pm

Once again: It's always the same letter writers who hear these noises and its always at the end of the Quarter/school year or a few days before/after July 4th.

Call 911.

The best guess = Fireworks. But I hope none of your neighbors is doing a little late night target practice on the open Stanford lands. Ask the police to look into that too.

But stay home and forget the middle of the night exaggerations (including the sarcastic one above). Also -- don't even think of getting out your gun!!!

REPEAT: Call 911. If the police don't find anything, go back to sleep. They are not lying to you. Stanford is not lying to you. And please don't write in to this site every time you hear a loud noise.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:05 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

[Post removed.]


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Posted by neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:19 pm

[Post removed.]


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:32 pm

I still recall Nora's similar post here on Oct 17, 2012 -- Web Link

Really was a meteor!

No idea about the current 5 a.m. mystery, but I certainly don't question the account.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:48 pm

Musical-- he is another one:


Web Link


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 13, 2014 at 8:53 pm

Let me try that link again

Web Link


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 13, 2014 at 10:14 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Hmmm,

As you're always a voice of reason and intelligence here, I take especially thank you for saying I'm not a crackpot. (I have my moments, of course, but they involve harmless matters!)

By the way, I didn't phone the police, as the noise of the explosion caused Mr. Charles to have a problem relating to a neurological condition he has, so that was my first concern.


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 13, 2014 at 10:24 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Neighbor (of another community),

I never suggested the police are "lying" about anything. I have only great respect for the Stanford and P.A. police.

As for commenting here; isn't that the purpose of a forum? To exchange information about local matters? If Palo Alto Online feels my queries about strange noises are not appropriate, I trust they will let me know.


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Posted by Hmmm
a resident of East Palo Alto
on Jun 13, 2014 at 10:54 pm

Hmmm is a registered user.

Nora - I am so sorry to hear that the loud explosion was detrimental to Mr. Charles. That is scary and definitely a cause for concern.

Well, you know me - and in a way, you do - I am quite opinionated and short-tempered w/the elitist, snotty and/or uninformed opinions that I frequently read. But most people that post regularly aren't crackpots. You especially re not one. You're not only nice, you are thoughtful and ask good questions. There's a lot I don't agree on with Craig Laughton, but he's a straight shooter and I know that these noises have disturbed him, too. It's not like the three of us, from our separate parts of the area, are making this stuff up. Part of why I recalled the noise this morning is because my better half got up soon after, and I mumbled something to him about it.

These strange, loud noises are quite mysterious. I wish I could be more helpful in trying to figure out their origin, as I'm on campus frequently. I've asked my better half, who also doesn't have a solid answer.

Now I have a question: Why did the other threads on these explosions get deleted? The links Rupert posted led to threads no longer there.

I hope that Mr. Charles is feeling okay tonight.


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Posted by Jetman
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 13, 2014 at 11:08 pm

I'm hearing a series of low rumbles right now (10:58-11:08pm). Sounds like very distant thunder or muffled fireworks, but I'm not seeing the sky light up. Seems more like it is coming from ground level, than from high above.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 14, 2014 at 5:41 pm

The other threads were not deleted, Rupert's links were missing a trailing hyphen. Maybe there's been some format change or renaming. Some link-urls contain embedded dates and others just have some serial number. I'll give Nora's January 26 post another try here -- Web Link

Jetman's rumbles could be from SFO, 17 miles away, generally upwind of us. Air currents have a way of bending and focusing upward sounds back to the ground at some distance.

Regarding the more local explosions loud enough to wake people up, either the mystery is resolved in the news, or we are left to ask around whether anyone else heard it. Like feeling an earthquake, difficult to tell whether it's local and small or distant and large.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 14, 2014 at 5:53 pm

Aha. If you copy a url ending in a hyphen, the hyphen gets dropped from the link
and appears as Web Link- (where Web Link is blue font and the hyphen is black).

When you see "The topic could not be found in the database" you can retrieve the article by manually adding the hyphen in your url window.

Permit me one more experiment -- Web Link -- %2D is ascii hex for hyphen


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Posted by Neighbor
a resident of another community
on Jun 14, 2014 at 6:01 pm

Stanford Graduation + party + fireworks = Boom!

Talk about uptight.


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Posted by Serious
a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood
on Jun 14, 2014 at 8:59 pm

The incidents I experienced were closer and louder than fireworks, and nothing like them.

The 2am incident was awhile ago, in winter. No firework I've ever seen causes an earthquake like displacement ofthe ground and the railroad-train-approaching rumble like that did.

@Rupert,
We did call the police after the other incident (which was actually the first) but we thought at first it was an earthquake. there were no reports of major seismic activity.

There is definitely something going on - not at all fireworks.

These are reports of explosions. The risk of investigation if it'snothing are low, but the cost of doing nothing if something is worth investigating are high. Our terrorism czar seems to not even return citizen phone calls or make it easy to report such incidents, might be a good use of time to start.


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Posted by Nora Charles
a resident of Stanford
on Jun 16, 2014 at 3:03 pm

Nora Charles is a registered user.

Hmmm,

Thanks very much for your concern about Mr. Charles and your nice words. We frequent posters do get to know each other, and that's one of things I like about this forum, that we're able to "talk" to people around the city and share opinions and experiences. When I see your name I know it will be a thoughtful, intelligent post.

Neighbor,

How do you equate hearing a loud noise at 5 a.m. with being uptight? This did not sound like fireworks, a sound I know well. Can't a person exhibit a natural curiosity about something out of the ordinary happening?


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Posted by TV News
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 25, 2014 at 10:47 pm

TV News reporting SLAC fire, black smoke and 280 closed


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Posted by Steven
a resident of Southgate
on Jun 25, 2014 at 10:58 pm

Here's the link for the discussion of the explosion Jan 26. Too similar to not be related.
Web Link


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Posted by Been There Frequently
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Jun 26, 2014 at 10:50 am

I worked off of Campus Dr for eleven years. Many, many times my drive home was detoured or extremely delayed due to HazMat spills, minor fires, etc. Yet no publicity or explanation were even given for these events, just denials that they ever happened when the proper authorities were questioned ( I.e., Stanford Security--a. Ranch of the county sheriff's office).

So etching simply isn't right here.


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Posted by Deep Throat
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2014 at 3:54 pm

Your link dropped the laast character (which is a hyphen), although that might be the fault of Palo Alto Online's software. Here it is again: Web Link


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Posted by Deep Throat
a resident of another community
on Jun 26, 2014 at 3:57 pm

Moderator,

As you can see from my prior post (and Steven's post), your software drops the hyphen at the end of the Web Link and treats it as a character that is not part of the Web Link. That is why attempting to use the link does not link to the January 26 article. Maybe the easiet fix is to drop the extra hyphen from the article's address so that the link works.


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Posted by Rupert of henzau
a resident of Midtown
on Jun 26, 2014 at 4:35 pm

Been there -- we have heard this story on this forum many times. Not true. There have been no " frequent" has mat spills or small fires.. There may have been denials because these incidents did not occur. Just like it does not take anyone an hour to get ff campus on a weekend.


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Posted by Been There Frequently
a resident of Esther Clark Park
on Jun 26, 2014 at 5:51 pm

Rupert: It does if there is a football game or a protest on campus.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 26, 2014 at 6:51 pm

I called the police once in the early hours hearing lots of gun shots. It turned out to be the duck hunters on the baylands - some of that property still belongs to Cargill and they hunt ducks in the early AM at day break during the hunt season.

Another thought is the wind tunnels at NASA. They try and do that in the off hours so they are not using the wind generators during the day hours.

Another thought is the Hwy 101 upgrade done at night when traffic is at the lowest. They have to move the concrete barriers - they try and do most of the work at night if the temperature is right. Imagine moving one and dropping it. No one is going to admit to doing that.


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Posted by musical
a resident of Palo Verde
on Jun 26, 2014 at 11:28 pm

@Deep, I noted the hyphen bug 7 posts above yours in this thread. I experimented some but did not want to belabor the point. Oddly I found that my attempt with %2D in the <href> found the article in Internet Explorer but Firefox still said topic not found. I poked around in the html source code looking to identify and inform the software developer -- but they didn't leave any hints.


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Posted by resident 1
a resident of Adobe-Meadows
on Jun 27, 2014 at 2:40 pm

After reading the article on the waste facility it could be that the explosion took place there - methane gas - or some other chemical reaction that was unexpected. Somehow I don't think that anyone is going to admit to that - a lot of people would be very upset.

That - along with the work on the 101 in our area at Embarcadero could have cut into a gas line. All of the work in that area could produce some unexpected events concerning gases. There was a lot of earth digging on East Bayshore next to the highway.

When the Shoreline side in Mountain View on Charleston was under redesign there were a lot of methane problems.


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