As you drift off to sleep tonight, angry that the toddler upstairs won't stop doing jumping jacks or that your next door neighbor's cat is in heat again, just remember that it could be worse. You could live in Clintonville, Wisconsin, where a series of mysterious booms has been occurring for the past few nights. They're so loud that they're keeping people awake, shaking the ground, and sometimes even driving people into the streets in their pajamas. No one can figure out what's causing the loud noises, which sound something like thunder or fireworks or someone slamming a door, but it is starting to annoy the hell out of local people. Says resident Jolene Van Beek, whose house was rocked on Sunday by one of the booms, "My husband thought it was cool, but I don't think so. This is not a joke. I don't know what it is, but I just want it to stop."
She's not alone. Some 300 sleepless people turned out to a public meeting tonight to get an update on what the hell is happening. Unfortunately, there aren't really any answers. Investigators have looked at everything from gas lines and the like to asking the military about exercises in the area to methane levels in the landfill—and they've got nothin'. Officials are telling people not to worry about things like the ground opening and swallowing houses in a sink hole (well, that's a relief!), but some say the ground could be the key to this mystery. Steve Dutch, a geologist at the University of Wisconsin-Green Bay, says the granite under ground has cracks in it that water can flow into, but when the water table gets low, the water seeps out, leaving gaps which cause rocks to resettle and make loud noises. He says the especially dry winter might be to blame.
Other, less scientific explanations abound too. Jordan Pfeiler, pictured above, has decided to have fun with the situation and posits that either "the White House was building an underground bunker in the area or that mole men had found a home there." She adds, "And the aliens, of course, there's always the aliens." Indeed, nothing ruins a good night of sleep like those damn aliens. Here's an idea: If all the residents start leaving out plates of delicious Wisconsin cheese, maybe whatever mysterious creatures are causing this problem will be satisfied and stop with the torturous late night booms.