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Booms And Sinkholes

Weird Happenings In Louisiana

By James Donahue

After Hurricane Katrina, the Deepwater Horizon explosion and oil spill and this summer’s flooding by Hurricane Isaac one would think the people of the State of Louisiana have had enough. But the assault by nature, human foolishness and perhaps even alien intervention is also slamming the state ways no one might ever have imagined.

Mystery Blast

At about 11:26 p.m. on Monday, October 15, residents in Northwest Louisiana were rocked by a massive explosion that seemed to have its origins near Minden, a community about 30 miles east of Shreveport. The Weather Service captured images on Doppler Radar and said the blast sent a plume of smoke and debris an estimated 7,200 feet into the sky.

Some people said they saw the sky light up in bright orange and observed "fire sparks" above the trees. The blast was so powerful it shattered windows and shook people out of their beds.

Some people reported seeing a bright object, possibly a meteor, falling from the sky just before the blast. This stirred speculation that perhaps an alien ship crashed. But then military officials reported that it was an explosion at an old munitions storage and recycling facility at Camp Mendon located in Webster Parish. There was speculation that nuclear ordinance was involved. Soldiers blocked I-20 East of Shreveport, prohibiting locals from further investigation.

Well known researcher Linda Moulton Howe, on her website Earthfile, has propagated the UFO crash story. She notes that the Shreveport Weather Service also captured "a mystery object flying" on radar, moving from Bossier City northeast across I-20 near Haughton to the Minden area just before the explosion. She quoted a local as saying "hardly anybody believes the cover story of a bunker explosion."

Howe wrote that people had been reporting UFO activity in the area for days before this incident, and they said they witnessed "odd activity in the sky" the night of the explosion. The news outlets on the following morning reported the phenomenon as a possible meteor impact and showed a loop of the radar signature of an object crossing I-20 between Haughton and Minden, and crashing near Dixie Inn. Early reports ruled out the possibility of an explosion of a gas well or seismic activity.

Because of the military intervention, and that Barksdale Air Force Base is located not far from the alleged explosion site, the truth of what actually happened at Shreveport may never be made public. Was it really an underground munitions explosion or was it a cover-up of another UFO crash?

Well Explosion

At about 3:30 a.m. Friday, October 19, a gas well near Kaplin, just southwest of Lafayette, exploded and burned, forcing the evacuation of about 250 residents from their homes. They said flames shot 200 feet in the air. The people were evacuated with such speed most of them left in the clothes they were wearing when they went to bed. They were temporarily relocated in Indian Bayou Elementary School.

Assumption Parish Sinkhole

The sinkhole was first noticed by aircraft flying over a wooded and swamp area in Assumption Parish near Bayou Corne in early August. At that time the hole was about 200 feet wide and trees along the edge were reportedly falling over into the wet muck that filled it. It was obviously growing in size so about 150 nearby homes were evacuated. There was concern about Highway 70, located about a half mile away, and a propane gas well nearby.

The Office of Conservation ordered the Texas Brine Company to evaluate the structural integrity of an inactive salt mine near the sinkhole. The mine operated as a brine producing facility between 1982 and 2011 before it was plugged.

The sinkhole has continued to grow larger and larger. At last count it was about four acres in size and still growing. The old salt mine is considered the cause of the collapse and Texas Brine Company is working to clean up the problem. People are reporting bubbling hot water and natural gas coming to the surface of the muck that fills the massive hole. No one is sure just how large the sinkhole will get before it stops growing.

State officials have probed the cavern area below and say they believe a side wall of the old salt mine collapsed. When this happened, natural gas and crude oil that had been trapped underground began seeping to the surface.

Texas Brine closed the mine after pressure readings showed possible problems. Wilma Subra, a chemist working with the state Environmental Action Network, said it appears that the mine cavern cut too close to the edge of a supporting salt dome. It collapsed, causing the sinkhole on the ground above.

Bayou Corne is located about midway between Kaplin on the west and New Orleans on the east.Lake Peigneur Disaster

On the morning of November 21, 1980, workers on an oil drilling rig located in Lake Peigneur, then a 1,300-acre freshwater body of water located near New Iberia and a few miles between Kaplin and the Assumption Parish sinkhole, accidentally drilled into an operating salt mine about 1,230 feet below.

The 12 men on the Texaco oil rig realized something was wrong when their drill bit seized up. While attempting to work it loose the workers heard strange popping noises and then felt the drilling rig begin to tilt. They escaped the $5 million rig in time to watch as it fell on its side and then disappeared in the lake. Then the water in the lake began to swirl in a giant whirlpool as the water in the lake began to disappear. They said it was like watching the water in a giant bathtub disappear down the drain.

The water was flowing into miles of tunnels in a Diamond Crystal Salt mine where about 50 miners were forced to flee for their lives. Some were working as far as 1,500 below the surface. Miraculously all of the workers escaped alive.

The original hole was 14 inches wide. But as the water poured through it dissolved the salt causing the hole to get larger and larger. Soon a torrent of water was pouring into the mine. The water dissolved huge salt pillars supporting the ceilings of large caverns, and everything began to collapse.

As an estimated 3.5 billion gallons of water flowed through that hole the powerful sucking power of the whirlpool swallowed a second drilling platform, a barge loading dock, a 70-acre island which was the home to a botanical park, trucks, trees, buildings and a parking lot. The force of the rushing water reversed the flow of a 12-mile long canal leading into the Gulf of Mexico and dragged 11 barges from the canal into the vortex. It also overpowered an operating tugboat on the canal forcing its crew to abandon ship as it was drawn into the maw.

The whole disaster was over in about three hours. When it ended, the massive hole that had been Lake Peigneur was a bottomless saltwater pit. It took about two days for the salt water to refill the crater. In the meantime nine of the sunken barges popped back to the surface. The drilling rigs and tug were left entombed in the ruins of the salt mine far below.