A Cherokee County dispatcher field 911 calls, which is how the mysterious booms have been reported. (Mar. 7, 2013/FOX Carolina)
GAFFNEY, SC (FOX Carolina) -
Mysterious booms and the sounds of explosions have been reported more than two dozen times in part of the Upstate in the past week.
A lot of the incidents have happened at night and have left some residents of Cherokee County living on edge.
Authorities are investigating what is making such a racket but said it is not a sonic boom or an earthquake.
The 911 call center in Gaffney said they've received numerous calls in the past week about loud booms rattling homes in a western part of the county, all made about the same time at night.
"I heard about four or five gunshots, and all the sudden, and then about 30 seconds ago, it sounded like a bomb went off," one 911 caller said. "I mean it really shook me and about knocked me out of my chair."
"[It's] like an explosion. Sometimes it'll sound real close like right out here in the woods, but then other times you can tell it's further off," Jennifer Yost, who has heard the booms, said. "But it's still the same loud boom."
Authorities believe the booms could be Tannerite, which is a mix of ammonium nitrate and aluminum powder that, when combined, can cause a loud explosion.
Cherokee County authorities don't know for sure if the sounds are Tannerite, but similar reports of mysterious booms and explosive sounds across South Carolina have many agencies pointing to Tannerite as the source.
Robert Brackett works with Cherokee County 911 and said it would make sense that Tannerite is the cause. For now, the booms are being treated as noise complaints.
"When it does get real loud and shake the house, it makes you wonder what kind of damage it could do," Yost said.
Tannerite chemicals have to be sold separately, and the Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms said the chemicals in Tannerite are not dangerous by themselves, but there are regulations regarding the storage and sale of them when they are mixed.
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