Residents in nearby Hazard reported seeing a fireball and feeling shock waves in an area near Lotts Creek Road around 9 p.m. Initially officials thought a plane may have crashed on a hill in the area. At least one resident had another possible explanation.
“A friend of mine saw a fireball in the sky,” Kathy Collins said. “If there’s no planes missing, I think it probably, could be, a UFO. If there’s no debris, it probably burned before it hit the ground.”
A helicopter searching the area located some charred trees, but crews called off the search around midnight for safety reasons. Before suspending the search, crews ruled out the likelihood of a plane crash, saying that the charred area matched the coordinates of an old mine. The FAA confirmed no planes were reported missing.
“We had the fire department up here with about 20 people in the woods on four wheelers, in pick-up trucks and on foot, and could find no evidence of a plane crash, as of right now,” Lotts Creek fire chief Chris Engle said.
Fire officials say a break in an abandoned mine is the best explanation for now.
“Old abandoned mines, they catch fire and smoke real bad. Sometimes, they flame up and it does kill the trees and shrubbery around,” said Chris Engle of Lotts Creek Fire Department.”
Sounds weird though. Airplane ? fireballs? and the earth shook… Is this at all related to other recent booms heard and felt in Louiseville, KY that have been ‘explained away’ as having been training drills coming from Ft. Knox?
To date, the cause of the explosion remains unknown.