Monday, May 23

Sceptics unconvinced rumble caused by oil palm mill

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Datuk Fadillah Yusuf

KUCHING: Sceptics are still not convinced that the strange sounds heard over Samarahan on Jan 11 and 12 were emitted from the machines of a nearby oil palm mill.

Even though the findings announced by Deputy Minister of Science, Technology and Innovation Datuk Fadillah Yusuf were published in the various media, the phenomenon is the still the main topic of coffee shop talks, as many dispute the findings made by a special committee.

“I call upon sceptics who are not convinced of the official report to meet up with the researchers from the special committee,” said Fadillah yesterday.

He also said that the report was based on scientific and technological approach.

Fadillah also suggested that sceptics also meet the oil palm mill’s assistant manager or researchers at Unimas to see for themselves the methods and equipments used in the study.

He explained that the director-general of the national space agency Dr Mustafa Din was ever ready to answer queries on what caused the sounds, be they heard over Samarahan or globally, referring to similar sounds heard in Russia which happened at a different date and time.

“The sound is definitely not from a natural source but produced by mechanical elements such as railway tracks,” said Fadillah who is also Petra Jaya MP.

The whistling sounds were produced by steam which the factory emitted to the air in the wee hours of Jan 11 and 12, said a statement from the Ministry of Science, Technology and Innovation on Jan 31.

This was confirmed by the factory’s deputy general manager Yusmizan Desa when a team of investigators from the ministry, National Space Agency and Meteorological Department came to see him. The statement however stated the explanation provided by the team of investigators and the factory located at Kampung Endap was only based on their initial finding.

The probe was made following public queries and suspicions that it was supernatural.

Among the claims by residents were that the sounds were linked to an earthquake that occurred on Jan 11 in Sumatera and effects of the High Frequency Active Auroral Research Programme (HAARP) conducted by the US to study change of weather pattern.

The probe team, Fadillah said, used various methodologies including interviewing witnesses, identifying the possible sources, getting opinions from local experts over the sounds, getting feedbacks from the residents again and follow-ups. The factory was also required to conduct several demonstrations of the processes they did on Jan 11 and 12.

The rumble in the sky was the talk of the town and various versions were put forward by residents when explanation was not done immediately.

The witnesses also reported or shared their experiences with the local dailies after the incident.

The video recording of the sounds and an article of The Borneo Post Online over the matter had been picked up by a blog ‘Strange Sounds in the Sky’ dedicated to gather bizarre and eerie sounds from all over the globe.