Stories have popped up across the region of a loud bang or noise that occurred in Swansea in southern Massachusetts just shy of 4 p.m. Wednesday (11/17/21).
Hundreds of comments kept the conversation flowing, everyone with their own take and opinion on identifying the foreign sound, but that's the nature of the Facebook beast. It was mostly Swansea town locals, and speculation quickly turned to theories with everyone thinking they had the answer.
While there isn't any confirmation as to what the loud noise specifically was; some people are leaning towards an earthquake while others are convinced that it was closer to a furnace explosion.
So, how exactly was the bang? Fall River residents such as Michael O' Reagan heard it all the way in the South End and Kristy Oliveira felt it in Tiverton. As it rang throughout the town and SouthCoast, the mystery begins to thicken.
I contacted the Swansea Police Department, who unfortunately were unsure themselves. Once again, the plot grows hefty. From the golf course by the country club to Ocean Grove, residents raced to Facebook in search of answers, only to be left without confirmation. Some described the sound as more of a cannon explosion or a firework, while others are convinced that it was a minuscule earthquake.
Now I'm no expert, but since everyone else is mustering up their own theories, I might as well throw my hat into the ring also. Judging by the coverage area of those who heard the bang, my instincts automatically point to an earthquake. It's not rare these days on the SouthCoast as Dartmouth alone had two incidents within weeks of each other back in November of 2020. However, as of yet, the USGS Earthquake Hazards Program has not reported any seismic activity in the area, and they usually have confirmation of any earthquakes pretty quickly.