Boom heard across New York-PA border on Sunday was explosive

Loud boom jolts Southern Tier |

What was the “loud boom” numerous Chautauqua County residents say they heard Sunday evening?

News 4 received several phone calls and Facebook messages from viewers in Jamestown, Lakewood, Busti, Kennedy, Delevan, Ashville and elsewhere in Chautauqua County, describing the strange phenomena they experienced.

Our viewers report seeing and feeling something between 6:15 and 6:45 in the evening. Some people describe hearing a loud sound, “like thunder,” “a cannon,” or “an explosion.” Others say they actually felt tremors. One woman in Jamestown reported her house shook.

Local officials looked for seismic activity and flights that may have produced sonic booms. Curiously, this BOOM appears to have an explanation. And it’s NOT quite what you would expect.

Cops: man shoots target, causes “boom” |

Lakewood-Busti Police say a 20-year-old man was responsible for a very large explosion that rattled windows and could be heard for miles, even across the border into PA.

Monday afternoon, Lakewood-Busti Police say a 20-year-old man was responsible for the large explosion.

Police say the man told an investigator that he was in a ravine on Lawson Road in Busti, when he mixed three six-pound boxes of Tannerite together, and shot the product with a 30.06 rifle. When he shot the target shooting accessory, police say it caused an explosion and the noise residents heard.

Tannerite is an ammonium nitrate/aluminum powder-based explosive used primarily as a target for firearms practice. And it can cause some big explosions. But it’s not illegal.

That said, not everyone is convinced. Forum messages on this topic show that people heard multiple booms. Or, they reported flashes in the sky. But, people hear strange noises all the time, they aren’t necessarily all reporting the same thing. This was certainly something that caused the locals to jump.