By Casey Holt
On 1/17/99 a loud bang was heard and a hole in the ice of a local lake was discovered. The hole was small and had radiating elements around it. Divers found nothing of significance. Below is a Minnesota MUFON Field Investigator’s theory on what caused the hole.
Atwater Incident Explained?
I was at the attempted recovery operation on Tadd Lake Saturday 1/23/99 when the divers searched for evidence of something breaking through the ice. Since then a theory came to me as a possible cause.
The reported appearance of the hole being melted instead of broken gave me the impression of a high energy plasma burst. This might sound odd but It was almost like it was hit by lightning. I didn’t know if that would be possible so I looked through some books and they said that lightning does strike in winter occasionally.
I then looked at last Sundays paper for the weather forcast on that day of the event 1/17/99. The prediction was for a band of heavy wet snow across the middle section of Minnesota with blustery winds and a high temp. of 30 degrees. The Saint Paul paper also predicted a few thunderstorms as far north as Des Moines, Iowa.
A nearby lightning strike (especially within 100 yards) does produce the effect of a sonic boom as the lady described and is more than enough to rattle some windows. I don’t know what it would do if lightning hits some ice on a shallow lake but it might be enough to whack a hole through it. Lighning can do funny things.
One book said that a lighning bolt can produce 3 billion joules of energy and reach temperatures of 25,000 degrees C. That might explain the ice being melted or vaporized in the 2 foot by 3 foot hole that was found. It would be interesting to see if there has been any other known reports of lightning hitting a frozen lake a what were the results.
I noticed the aeration system about 100 yards from the unusual hole. I wonder if bubbles in the water could have built up a static charge on the ice to help attract lightning to that area. There was a large tree on the shore close to the hole that might have helped too although I did not pay attention to see if it was damaged.
I am not saying this is what happened for sure but just that it might be possible. It would still be quite odd and possibly rare. Maybe you could run the idea past your weather people and see what they think.
I wonder if more people would have thought of this explanation were it not for the distraction of the possible meteor theory and the impression of something falling from the sky to make that unusual hole. Its shape could have tricked us.