Town's mystery noise nuisance revealed
A mysterious booming noise that's been plaguing a US town is apparently caused by a homemade 'hail cannon', according to reports.
The device that has been heard across the town of Hammonton in New Jersey over the past weeks was designed by a vineyard owner to protect his crop from bad weather, the New York Post reports.
Rob Butkowski said he has been firing the sonically loud cone-shaped invention. The cannon blasts shock waves into the sky to disperse cloud formations and scare birds from his grapes.
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"It sounds like a jet going by," Mr Butkowski said.
"It's like the loudest thing you've ever heard just blew through your chest - it's amazing."
But nearby residents have been less impressed by the noise pollution.
"Every time it goes off, I think there's been an accident," said neighbour Shawn Guevara, who lives next door.
"It scares the poop out of us."
Local police have confirmed that Mr Butkowski's invention is the source of the boom.
Hammonton Chief of Police Kevin Friel said officers had received many complaints about it but the gas-powered device was legal.
"It doesn't fire projectiles, and it's not a firearm or an explosive," Mr Friel said.
Residents living as far as 20km from Mr Butkowski's property had complained to police during the past weeks.
With the opening of the hunting season, some people believed it was from gunfire caused by shooters.
The only potential legal issue would be a noise violation after 10pm, but Mr Butkowski stops firing the machine at 8pm.
He declared that he had no plans to cease using the cannon.
"I'm gonna do whatever I want as long as it's legal," Mr Butkowski, said.