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The Boston Globe

Nation

Wis. town longs for relief from mysterious booms

CLINTONVILLE, Wis. - Sleepless families in a small Wisconsin town longed for quiet Wednesday after mysterious booming noises over the past few nights roused them from bed and sent residents into the street - sometimes still in pajamas.

The strange disturbance sounds like distant thunder, fireworks, or someone slamming a heavy door. At first, many people were amused or merely curious. But after three restless nights, aggravation is mounting. And some folks are considering leaving town until investigators determine the source of the racket.

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The booming in Clintonville continued Monday and Tuesday nights and into Wednesday morning, eventually prompting Van Beek to take her three sons to her father’s home, 10 minutes away, so they could get some uninterrupted sleep.

There have been no reports of injury or damage.

City officials say they have investigated every possible human cause. They checked water, sewer, and gas lines, contacted the military about any exercises in the area, reviewed permits for mining explosives, and inspected a dam next to city hall. They even tested methane levels at the landfill in case the gas was exploding.

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