Earth Shakes Galaxy Overhead


Back End of the Galaxy

We heard a loud, low roar and ran out to look straight up as the Galaxy passed directly over our heads. I almost swear I could count the rivets. I had to look side to side to see the plane’s entire wing span. Oh, yes, this isn’t the Milky Way Galaxy but a C-5 Galaxy transport.

The jet cruised ever so slowly over our heads and out across the marsh, looking like it would fall from the sky at any moment. It appeared to skim the mountain across the valley from us before vanishing from sight. In a rare demonstration of laxness I did not have my camera in my pocket so I didn’t get an underbelly photo. Will ran into the cottage and grabbed it so I could shoot the retreating plane. By then it was heading for the hills. That is the biggest bird I’ve ever bagged.

This is not the sort of thing we normally get here. Occasionally we see a helicopter or small plane and the rare big one way, way up high. But not monsters like this looking like they are coming in for a landing in our driveway. This was an event!

I’m fairly certain that the jet was flying below the peak of Sugar Mountain to our north. That’s about 2100′. We are located at about 1600′. The jet cleared the plateau field at the top of the ridge behind our house which is 1800′ and skimmed over the mountain on the other side of the marsh which is also 1800′. Probably a military training flight according to some people I showed the photo to. Good thing they were not any lower or we’d be passengers!

That was “Pretty cool” event #1.

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This isn’t the only excitement we had this week. In addition to the Galaxy flying over our head I felt what I was sure was an earthquake at 12:30 am on Monday morning. Roughly 20 seconds of very low rumble. Turns out I was right! It was a small earthquake! Looking it up on the USGS site I found it as an event just north of us at 44.310°N 72.365°W. That isn’t the time of day they do blasting in the Rock of Ages quarry over in Barre so I had been pretty sure that was not what I heard and it sounded different. Pretty cool event #2.

Outdoors: 51°F/27°F Mostly Sunny, some Jet Planes
Tiny Cottage: 66°F/66°F

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About Walter Jeffries

Tinker, Tailor...
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9 Responses to Earth Shakes Galaxy Overhead

  1. Mel says:

    Nice! It’s amazing how slow those big boys can move, it really feels like they should be falling out of the sky. Glad it didn’t, though. :-)

    I’m impressed that you felt a 1 point something earthquake – I thought the threshold for humans noticing was over 2. I know people have missed 3s when they were driving or otherwise not sitting still, it doesn’t take much. We in Seattle haven’t had a really noticeable one since 2001, when we usually get them every three or four years. Makes me worry that it’s saving up.

  2. Nance says:

    Two, too cool, events. I would have been awed by both too. To have to turn your head to see both wings! Awesome! Way too many twos in here, too!

  3. Three things I do not understand. Electricity, planes that fly but don’t fall, and Walter walking around without his camera.

  4. Pam R says:

    Here in the Connecticut River valley, an ancient rift valley, we regularly have earthquakes. The way we tell them from the coal trains on the tracks 1/2 mile away is to listen for train noises. No noises, it’s an earthquake.

    Last big one, epicenter Plattsburgh NY was about ’97 or 98 I think. That one set the wood stove in the living room hopping around.

    Pam R.

  5. Coop says:

    When I was stationed in Naples, Italy the building I worked in was next to the International airport runway. Have you ever seen the Beluga Airbus? They transport pieces of the space shuttle into it. It looks like it would never get off the ground.

    I never felt earthquakes till I moved out here to San Diego. What a crazy experience to have the earth move like some amusement park ride.

  6. Peter says:

    Where I live in Maryland, we are in (one of) the flight paths for not only Andrews but also Camp David. Seeing Air Force One is an occasional treat while at the pool. More commonly it is C-17s, Marine One formation (usually 3-4 choppers) and the occasional C-5.

  7. John says:

    Last paragraph spelling check “earthquate at 12:30”

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