New Jersey Mystery Crater Baffles Experts

New Jersey Crater

What caused this crater in suburban New Jersey? A meteor? Explosives? Experts can't say.

Scientists and police have visited the yard of a Basking Ridge homeowner to attempt to figure out what ripped a hole in the ground and scattered debris across a 100-... on May 8, the Associated Press reported.

The hole is 18 inches deep and the size of a coffee table, according to Bernards Township Police Capt. Edward Byrnes.

"To me it looked like something blew out of the ground because the grass was folded back, the rocks and dirt were all spewn out into the cul-de-sac and across the driveway," said the owner, Sue, who didn't give her last name, because she didn't want crowds coming to gawk at the pit.

The director of the nearby Raritan Valley Community College planetarium inspected the mystery crater and concluded that a meteorite hadn't struck the area.

"It's just really, really weird," said planetarium director Jerry Vinski. "We dug around and couldn't find anything. We used metal detectors because all meteors have metal in them, and we couldn't find anything, large or small."

State police also ruled out explosives.

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Comment by Corey Young on May 26, 2011 at 3:09am
Carol brings up a good point...I am leaning more toward a 'methane' burp of released gas from the momevent of plates under the area.
Comment by Teresa Eddins on May 24, 2011 at 6:51am

Prior to the earthquakes in 1811 at the New Madrid area and prior to the earthquake in Charleston, South Carolina shortly after the Civil War there occured sand blows or sand geysers. Could this perhaps be something of a similiar nature.  Could they be a sign of something going on below the surface instead of something that happened above?

Comment by carol campbell on May 23, 2011 at 3:56am
How about a methane burp??
Comment by Malou (Marie Louise) Geleff on May 21, 2011 at 5:37pm
I saw somewhere in a similar story that a brown bear was suspected - but you wouldn´t really have a lot of brown bears in Basking Ridge, N.J...

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