It produced a blast hundreds of times stronger than the atomic bomb, was seen hundreds of miles away and narrowly missed obliterating an entire city — but 100 years to the week after the mysterious explosion in Siberia, no one is any closer to understanding what caused it.
Despite countless investigations, the so-called Tunguska Event remains one of the 20th century’s greatest enigmas — seized upon by mystics, UFO enthusiasts and scientists as evidence of angry gods, extraterrestrial life or the impending threat of a cosmic collision.
But says Stanislav Krivyakov, who has spent the past 35 years investigating the Siberian blast, despite intense interest in the event — which has featured in several episodes of “The X-Files” — no conclusive evidence has been found to support any theory.
“There are many people who build their hypotheses based on scanty information,” he told CNN.
“But there are many aspects to the phenomenon that don’t fit any standards or analogies. In everything about it we find something complicated, problematic, vague. It’s truly out of the ordinary.”
A couple of nights ago (after watching King of Kong) I woke up to the sounds of the smoke alarm, insanely loud wind, and shaking. I turned to the alarm clock and saw 3:40am. Two things registered in my mind: 1) I didn’t know that fire alarms could detect forces other than smoke 2) What the crap is going on outside?!? I opened the shades a crack to see nothing but rain-smeared glass, and constant lightning.
It was crazy, because the lightning never let up, it was as if someone had a strobe light mounted outside and was flashing it in for a surprise neighborhood rave. *BEEP* *BEEP* *BEEP*….There goes that fire alarm again. (I was later informed they are indeed wired to detect more than plumes of smoke in the vicinity) Then, a brilliant flash snapped, following by loud thunder, and out went the power. Luckily I had my Coleman personal LED mini-lamp for the occasion. It’s very nice and runs for 20-30 hours on only 2 AA batteries. Getting to sleep was a challenge, but eventually made its way back into my brain after an hour or two.
The next morning was interesting….I spent about 30 minutes picking bits of branches and leaves stuck into the edges of my car. Thankfully there wasn’t an entire tree on my car, like so many others I heard about on the battery powered radio that morning (no, we didn’t have power yet). Driving around that day revealed many large trees uprooted, fences knocked in, and roofs peeled clean off the tops of homes. I heard reports on the radio about an entire tractor trailer which had been overturned by the wind off the highway. Many of the traffic lights were out also, not blinking, completely OUT….which was causing wrecks on intersections in the area. Entire power grids and electrical towers had been knocked down, cutting service to over 170,000 residents. Wow, sounds less like a storm, more like Godzilla.
By good fortune the power was restored that evening and I was able to continue work as usual. So that was the past two days for me. I managed to get through it without a tree hitting me in the face or wrecking at an intersection. Yay.