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Mysteries

26 electricity poles in a row collapse on a street in Seattle for no apparent reason

© Ellen M. Banner / The Seattle Times

Mike Lindblom
Seattle Times

Two people were trapped in their car, center, for more than an hour after 26 power poles came crashing down on East Marginal Way on Friday afternoon. The two were discharged from the hospital late Friday.

The more than two dozen power poles that collapsed near the Museum of Flight on Friday underwent a “full inspection” three years ago, and showed no risks of a mass failure, said Debra Smith, the recently-hired CEO of Seattle City Light.

Some were replaced in 2016 as a result, some were due to be replaced within five years, and others had many years remaining, “but there were none that were outside of the identified life span,” Smith said in an interview Saturday.

Engineers this weekend are examining the 26 snapped wooden poles for clues, and walking East Marginal Way South to determine how and where to rebuild lines west of the huge roadway, she said.

City Light doesn’t have an explanation yet about why any of the poles suddenly toppled at 4 p.m. Friday, causing a domino effect where not just one but an entire row snapped.

The incident – which included the astonishing rescue of two people trapped inside a car by a tangle of live wires and a pole that had smashed through the windshield – raises questions: Why did poles break on the west side of the six-lane road but not the east side? Why would so many topple together? Were they carrying an excessive weight or number of distribution lines?

Some people who work nearby, or took photos, have conjectured that rotten wood succumbed during spring gusts.

Weather may have triggered the failure, but the showers and wind Friday weren’t unusual for spring in Seattle. According to the National Weather Service, gusts reached 30 mph. Further review didn’t show strong evidence of any freak “microburst,” and no other structures near Boeing Field were damaged, said meteorologist Carly Kovacik.

A witness reported seeing lightning, but that may have been a spark near a pole, a City Light spokesman said. The weather service said there were no lightning strikes.

The Tukwila Police Department released video of power lines striking a car in Tukwila on Friday, April 5, 2019. A couple in the car suffered minor injuries.

A possible factor, Smith said, is the posts are 90 feet tall to allow Boeing to roll airplanes out of hangars and cross the road to King County International Airport. If a pole falls, the torque is much greater than with shorter utility poles, she said. In addition, they carry large, heavy distribution lines from Tukwila toward central Seattle.

Utility workers quickly cleared the tangle of wires and broken posts overnight, and by Saturday only 13 customers remained without electricity. Power was out at some Boeing offices and buildings, while a few businesses in the area were using temporary generators, said City Light spokeswoman Julie Moore.

The street was fully reopened around 2:30 p.m. Saturday, with four-way stops replacing some traffic signals, Tukwila police said. The corridor is within Tukwila city limits but supplied by Seattle’s electric utility.

On Friday, officials reported 24 poles fell, but increased the count to 26 on Saturday.

Some metal streetlights and traffic signals were also pulled or knocked down, pictures show. For a time, live wires draped the museum’s tubular pedestrian bridge. The two people trapped in the car Friday were discharged from Harborview Medical Center late Friday, and Smith said she’s thankful they weren’t hurt seriously.

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About the author

Mike Lindblom: 206-515-5631 or mlindblom@seattletimes.com; on Twitter: @MikeLindblom. Staff reporter Mike Lindblom covers transportation for The Seattle Times.

Comment: Ok, now that is weird.

Some kind of power surge? Perhaps not via the power grid per se (which utilities and companies would have noticed), but from the atmosphere? From below ground? But then why would such an externally-sourced surge snap strong wooden poles in the same manner along a discrete, specific area?

An eyewitness in this King 5 Seattle News report describes seeing “a flash of light” and hearing “an explosion” just before “they all came tumbling down…”

This ABC News report includes footage from people’s camera-phones, recorded shortly aft it happened. The weather doesn’t look particularly windy, though there could still have been a super-brief meteorological micro-burst moments before…

Here’s CCTV footage of the moment it happened. It is overcast, raining, and somewhat windy, but the trees in the background don’t move as much as one might expect during the intensity of a micro-burst:

Also notice how, in the second angle CCTV view, beginning at 00:35, there’s a flash, followed by the pole in view beginning to keel over. Note also that it broke right at its base, at ground level…

More info from another Seattle Times report:

Meteorologists at the National Weather Service in Seattle said there were no Boeoi strikes in Western Washington on Friday.

There was a decent burst of wind accompanied by moderate rain earlier in the day, but nothing particularly alarming, said Carly Kovacik, a meteorologist with the National Weather Service in Seattle.

Around 16,500 customers in South Seattle, Tukwila, Burien and White Center lost power as a result of the incident, but power was restored to all but 300 of them by 6 p.m., according to Seattle City Light. Some Boeing offices in the area lost power, White said.

David Drum, a structural engineer who works at Boeing, said he left his office around 4:15 p.m. and saw at least 10 poles on the ground on the west side of the street.

“It was really dramatic. Really dystopian. The poles were snapped. They hit the ground with enough force and splintered,” he said. “It must have taken a lot of force to do what I saw.”

Indeed, it’s as if some powerful EM force bent everything – power poles, street signs, a couple of trees, street lights – over, in one direction and on one side of the street.

Also, Seattle City Light power company has announced that an unnamed “third party” will be conducting an “independent” investigation into what happened. Hmmm…

It’s very interesting that Boeing HQ is located nearby… in fact, it’s located RIGHT THERE!
boeing seattle power poles

Rough location of downed power poles in red. Known Boeing, Inc. facilities marked in yellow…

The mile-long stretch where these poles broke corresponds more or less exactly with the stretch of East Marginal Way in Seattle where Boeing offices, hangars and testing centers are located. Boeing Field airport, named after the founder of the major airplane and weapons company, runs parallel to this stretch of road…

Boeing’s run of bad luck continues…

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Mysteries

The Mystery Surrounding Abraham Lincoln’s Assassination

A great deal of mystery still surrounds the Knights of the Golden Circle (KGC). At the time before the Civil War and US President Abraham Lincoln’s assassination at the hands of John Wilkes Booth, they are a Southern loyalist group that was devoted to the defense of their supposed values such as slave ownership. However, there is much more to them than people know.

They had plans to conquer Cuba, Mexico, and Central America. The goal was to create a Confederate empire beyond what the Confederacy had accomplished. It was an ambitious goal for them, and they had many infamous members including the aforementioned Booth.

Jesse James was another well-known name. Supposedly, his robberies could have contributed to the increase of gold the KGC had. From the beginning, people have said Lincoln’s assassination may have been a KGC plot from the get-go since it was Booth who did it. This comes from the legends that have been passed on down the decades by word of mouth.

It stands to make sense that the KGC could have pulled off something like this. Headquartered in Cincinnati, Ohio and founded by George W.L. Bickley, who was an Indiana-born editor and doctor, the group started allegedly in Lexington, Kentucky by five men who came together because of Bickley’s request.

This comes from records of that KGC convention held in 1860. Bickley made his way to the east and south to push for a Mexican expedition and wanted to create a force to colonize the West Indies and Mexico.

They wanted to raise an army of 16,000 men to southernize Mexico and conquer it. The group expanded in 1859, as Confederate States Army Brigadier General Elkanah Greer started KGC castles in Louisiana and Texas.

During the spring of 1860, he became a grand commander and general of 4,000 KGC military knights in the 21 castles of the Texas division. When Lincoln was elected president, the KGC focused their support on the secession of southern states in the US from the Union. The KGC came into conflict with US Marshall Ben McCulloch, a former Texas Ranger when he began his expedition toward the San Antonio, Texas federal arsenal.

The arsenal had a force of 550 men, 150 who worked for the KGC from the six different castles there. US Army Brevet Major General David E. Twiggs chose to surrender to the cavalry force. These members also were important to the 1861 takeover of New Mexican territory by Lieutenant Colonel John Robert Baylor.

May 1861 saw the Confederate Rangers and KGC attack a building owning The Alamo Express, a pro-Union newspaper. The newspaper was owned by James Pearson Newcomb, a journalist and eventual Texas Secretary of State.

He did not have a phone transmitter at the time. Some KGC members also went with Brigadier General Henry Hopkins Sibley on the 1862 New Mexico Campaign. Word had it that Franklin Pierce, a former US president, was also a member of the KGC

The KGC began to spread into Kentucky, Indiana, Illinois, Missouri, and Ohio. This is where the KGC took a different turn. In 1863, the KGC became the Order of American Knights. 1864 saw it undergo another transformation into the Order of the Sons of Liberty, led by Clement Vallandigham, an Ohio politician and their supreme commander.

They allegedly went underground after The Civil War and Lincoln’s assassination without a phone transmitter. It was reported they sought to start a second confederacy against the US Government.

American Unearthed, a History Channel show, alleged the James-Younger Gang was the source of money for a second US Civil War. While there has been no further evidence out there, it definitely fits in with what the KGC has been responsible. Their greatest act appears to be the death of Lincoln.

What became of them after is left up to speculation. They might have furthered plots to overthrow the US government while others such as National Treasure: Book of Secrets allege there is KGC/Confederate gold, buried somewhere throughout the USA.

A California couple once found gold coins that are believed to have originated from the KGC. While the group’s crimes remained in secret, it is obvious there is much more this group could have possibly done beyond the killing of one of America’s greatest historical leaders.

About author: Tommy Zimmer is a writer whose work has appeared online and in print. His work covers a variety of topics, including politics, economics, health and wellness, consumer electronics, and the entertainment industry.

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Mysteries

Loud Boom that Shook Homes in South Texas, Remains a Mystery

Neighbors from La Vernia to Karnes City reported hearing a loud boom Wednesday afternoon on social media.

While many people are speculating as to what it may have been, right now the loud boom continues to remain a mystery.

Wilson County authorities said they began getting calls into dispatch reporting the boom around 1:30 p.m. Wednesday. Sisters Bailey and Molly Runty were at home in their home in Adkins when they heard it.

“We were just sitting in the room, and then we just heard it and then I started freaking out,” Bailey said.

The girls described the boom as being so huge that it shook their house.

“I was terrified,” Bailey said.

“She jumped out of her skin,” said her sister.

The family’s home video security captured the moment when the boom startled their dog, Yogi.

“He was barking a lot and ran up to our door because he got freaked out,” Bailey said.

Other people reported their houses shaking and windows fluttering.

Taylor Gault said that, the salon where she works, the floors shook.

“It was so big, it opened our door,” she said. “I thought someone hit the door and hit the wall.”

At another salon, patrons were still talking about what they heard, speculating on what it could have been.

“I was a little alarmed, but I figured, ‘Well, okay, there’s no terrorist attack,’ why would they want to blow up La Vernia?,” said a patron who only identified herself as Karen.

Neighbors in La Vernia said there are a lot of theories about the boom, but nothing has yet been confirmed.

“The officials can’t tell you what it is, I went as far as to call the city council,” Karen said.

Wilson County Emergency Management officials said they had reports of the boom from Karnes City to New Berlin, but they didn’t have any information as to what it may have been.

Some people say it may have been a sonic boom. However, officials with Joint Base San Antonio said they weren’t responsible.

There’s also a theory that a local company may have been using explosives to test materials. KENS 5 reached out to the company, Baker Risk, and company officials said the sounds were not produced by them.

So, for now, the loud boom reported by so many people, will remain a summer mystery.

Vanessa Croix
KENS 5

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Mysteries

Unnatural Hexagon Structure Spotted on Mars

A hexagon shaped structure with a possible dome was discovered in a photograph taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter on 17 August 2008.

Multiple disc-shaped objects with classic features similar to the classic flying saucers we are accustomed to here on Earth were discovered, as well as other unnatural looking structures that don’t fit in the surrounding landscape.

Could this be evidence of crashed flying-saucer type craft, or perhaps of a past civilization?

Link to original image taken by NASA’s Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter:
https://www.uahirise.org/PSP_009653_2275

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