The mystery of what shook houses in Mullica township has apparently been resolved.
A resident and owner of nearby Hammonston vineyard, Rob Butkowski, told the New York Post that the booms were coming from his homemade “hail cannon” which he used to break up cloud formations and scare away the birds that eat his grapes.
“It looks like a passing jet,” Butkowski said in the report. “It’s like the loudest thing you’ve ever heard hissed in your chest – it’s amazing.”
Butwokski told the outlet that the shock waves created by his craft, which he tinkered with using scrap metal from street signs and other objects and a mixture of acetylene and oxygen in a propane tank, travel 30,000 feet within a 1.5 mile radius above his property.
Hammonton Police Chief Kevin Friel confirmed to the Post that Butkowski was the culprit for the Booming Sounds and that the device is legal and there are no plans to shut it down.
“It doesn’t fire projectiles, and it’s not a gun or an explosive,” Friel told The Post. “He uses gas – and that’s it.”
However, Mullica Township Police Chief Brian Zeck said in the report that the boom could have come from several sources and that the police were looking into “all other possibilities”.
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Chris Sheldon can be reached at [email protected].