Mysterious Hole In Basking Ridge Yard Puzzles Officials, Experts

BERNARDS TOWNSHIP, N.J. (CBSNewYork/AP) — A Basking Ridge homeowner would really like to know why there’s a crater in her front yard.

“To me it looked like something blew out of the ground because the grass was folded back, the rocks and dirt were all spewn out into the cul-de-sac and across the driveway,” Sue, who asked not to be identified out of concern that the hole may draw unwanted onlookers and crowds, said.

1010 WINS’ Steve Sandberg reports: Mystery In Basking Ridge

Her son, Jeff, believes something fell from the heavens.

“Something clearly came out of the sky and just hit it from an angle and then it all shot up the other way,” he said.

Officials and experts are also scratching their heads. For now, it appears the small crater that splayed debris across a 100-foot area wasn’t caused by a meteorite. Beyond that, it’s a mystery.

“It’s just really, really weird,” said Jerry Vinski, director of nearby Raritan Valley Community College’s planetarium, who conducted tests on the site. “We dug around and couldn’t find anything. We used metal detectors because all meteors have metal in them, and we couldn’t find anything, large or small.”

Bernards Township Police Capt. Edward Byrnes said whatever hit the front yard left a crater about 18 inches deep and roughly the size of a coffee table.

A State Police bomb squad ruled out explosives, Byrnes said.

According to Byrnes, no one in the neighborhood heard or saw anything at the time of the May 6 incident. The homeowner called police upon arriving home.

“The weather was clear, there were no reports of lightning strikes; nobody reported seeing anything,” Byrnes said. “I’ve never seen anything like this in 23 years.”

Vinski said that the hole could have been caused by an object falling from a plane. He said if the object was a meteorite, the impact would have been significant and would have been felt nearby.

“When you see meteor showers in the upper atmosphere, they’re traveling 50 miles a second,” he said. “Even if it’s slowing down through the atmosphere, you’re still going to have a sonic boom. And it would have left something behind, it wouldn’t have completely disintegrated.”

What do you think created the hole? Let us know below

(TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Radio Inc. and its relevant subsidiaries. CBS RADIO and EYE Logo TM and Copyright 2011 CBS Broadcasting Inc. Used under license. All Rights Reserved. This material may not be published, broadcast, rewritten, or redistributed. The Associated Press contributed to this report.)

  • KPy

    Somebody uncovered their stash or the neighborhood has a new family of wild pigs.

    • Will

      I have seen this before; it has the signature of a waste hole from Big Foot. Most people don’t realize that like cats they bury their waste. Likely was scared off by a oncoming vehicle and left the hole before he could do his business and cover it back up.

  • Chris

    I think the irrigation company got the wrong address and quickly left for lunch.

    • davec

      illegal mexicans ran for the border, if its how irrigation goes here.

      • Huck Pituey

        No, it’s the other end of the tunnel from Tiajuana!

    • stewged


    • Robert

      it was obviously Obamas birth certificate

      • Mark


    • Fanny Forbes Franklen

      It’s the Osama story version #186 … The Navy seals conducted the raid and found Osama hiding in their yard. Who knew? Good job administration.

    • dave

      How about one of those big ice chunks dropped from a plane!

      • Timothy

        Bingo… I think this is the most likely cause… Either that or someone got a real good signal on their metal detector and just had to dig it.


    Hoffa? Could be… First the Birth Certificate, then Ben Ladin. Obama seems to be able to dig up just about anything to boosthis poll numbers!

  • Special K

    Maybe it was made of ice?

    • beelzebubba

      Yeah, those Immigrations and Custom Enforcement people can pop up anywhere.

  • Garth

    Dear Fools:
    It’s plainly obvious someone or some animal has beeng digging.
    Case closed.

    • ricky rick

      Dear bigger fool,
      no. Theres no way an animal could dig that big of a hole without anyone seeing..from a dog to a bear….

      • Elroy Jetson

        If a bear came out at night(which is what a bear might do to avoid people), that’s exactly what it would look like. Very common to see this in bear country. Looks to be a black bear in my estimation. Yes , there are still bears in New Jersey, that’s what keeps the devils population down.

  • Dave Shaffer

    Not an impact crater & not a sinkhole. Man-made, if you ask me.

  • Steve

    Here in Florida we call that a sinkhole. And apparently volume is measured differently in NJ than it is here…. I could swear that the bucket is a 5 gallon pickle barrel.

    • Frankentrina

      Here in Texas, sinkholes don’t spew dirt out of the ground and all over the place. sinkholes are holes where the ground has sunken in, hence the name. And maybe your 5-gallon pickle barrels look like 50-gallon utility trash cans, but ours don’t. I have one of those in my back yard, only its grey.

  • CAH57

    I must be missing something. If you don’t like C2C, why are you here? Would it not make more sense to show your disapproval by not coming to this web site . By logging on you boost hits to this site and prove by your comments that you listen to the show.

    • SkyPilot'66

      You’s guys are nuts !
      Leave George alone or I’ll Fly ChemTrails over you’s house !!!

  • Don Bailey


  • No mas

    I agree C2C has really fallen off. All credibility is lost. Not even much to “ponder” anymore. Agenda pushing and fear mongering typical of other programs.

    No Mas

    • Mugsy

      That’s because George Noory is as dumb as a block of wood. He drives every interview into the ground with his inane questions and comments.

      • muse

        George Noury does ask dumb questions and never follows the conversation. Ian Punnet does a nice job.

  • JTeague

    One Big Gopher

    • Honesdale stalker

      Somehow this is Bushs’ fault.

  • scott

    drunken alien crop circle maker.

  • danny

    Gas pocket?

  • Ed

    This picture is obviously a fake. A 30 gallon trash can is smaller than the sidewalk? Give me a break.

    • lumpy

      Looks like a driveway to me.

  • Truth

    Nothing fell or came down, it came out.

    • Alan Whitney

      Yes, AND IT’S HUNGRY!!!!

      • Huck Pituey

        Are there big, shiny tripod thingies towering overhead?

  • Ray Williams

    While it has little to do with this article, I also have to admit, C2C is NOTHING like it used to be. Bell had better guests, did NOT interrupt with silly ass comments as Noory does and why the hell Art ever left the show to him is beyond me. Even when LMH is on giving her impressive reports, Noory has to interrupt with his inane remarks. Guess that’s why I usually only listen when Knapp is on…too bad HE didn’t get the show full time!

    A LONG time (14+ years) listener.

    • Long time listener2

      Yep, I agree. Also Long time listener.

    • Ohmaar

      Oh, come on! You say you’ve been listening for 14 years and you DON’T know why Art left the show? Isn’t it OBVIOUS?

    • Rene

      I so Agree! thanks,
      let your guests talk George!

    • artemis133

      Ian Punnett is pretty good, too. Noory tends to get on my nerves.

    • Mark

      I’ve been a listener since early 96, and I agree partly with you. No one can replace Bell; he was a true natural in the genre, however, he did interject plenty of silly comments, the difference was, his timing was better and it didn’t sound like a script. It was natural humor, whereas others sound like they’re filling a quota.

      Also……….Bell had the best bumper music by far, and it matched the mysterious nature of the show. Noory’s music is just awful, random radio crud that completely ruins the mood, and what’s with that “sponsor a bad musician” program?

      I actually liked it better when there was a regular rotation of various hosts, right after Bell left. That was really the way to go.

    • muse

      I’m glad I am not the only one who thinks that about George Noory. I love when he says that he has always called the interconnectedness of all minds as “the wireless internet.” Always? I like George, he seems nice, but he does a lousy interview. I like Punnet, and Knapp as well. Art got bad when he couldn’t leave his personal life off the radio. It was too much.

  • rayray21

    Did the woman happen to ask her son about it>? Sounds like someone dug a hole and spewed the dirt all around.

  • Roger Knights

    This could be similar to the Washington state cookie cutter mystery divot of 1984. Here’s a link to what a Google search brings up:

  • skeptic

    Chinese Lantern?

  • bro j

    daily UFO round-up as seen through the eyes of the world wide web


    wild hogs are able to run in packs and tear up soil if there is edibles underneath. the damage they can cause is staggering.

    • James

      Wild hogs leave hoof-prints, dude.

  • smith32

    Yep, Coast is all about being cute nowadays. The bumper music is sooooo cute too. Just cute as a little button. I miss the old Coast. Ahh, the days of Art Bell. He was not worried about looking cute. He just wanted to scare the hell out of everybody with the truth.

    • Trev

      I agree with you both

    • Craigo

      Agree. Wish Art would come back.

    • Ohmaar

      Art can’t come back. Or I guess I should say Art already DID come back. Oh, bother! These intradimensional paradoxes are so confusing!

  • paiman

    It must be some secret government ground breaking technology….

  • Ed

    You forgot to blame Bush.

  • Ed

    I had the same thing only bigger. The builder buried left over materials in the yard. They decomposed and formed gas. The gas bubble fianlly escaped and caused a blowout hole. I my case the hole was a lot bigger, took 18years to happen and I was outside when it blew. I really did think something was coming up out of the ground.

  • Mr Peabody

    Google UFO Reporting Center.Go to Event heading,go to States,scroll down to New Jersey.Go to date 8-7-88.Sighting over Basking Ridge with 50 plus eye witness’es.Are they back?Was this hole made by some type of laser or beam weapon?!

  • Cato

    Mayber a chunk of ice from an aircraft. Falling several miles, it would hit, make the crater, then melt, evaporate and disappear leaving no trace except the resulting hole.

  • apple

    a huge white chthonian worm , like Tremors but uglier !

  • Daniel P

    Or according to Einstein’s Theory, it was caused by a microscopic Black Hole that oozed up out of the ground and that disrupted the space-time continuum. Happens all the time.…. Move along folks, nothing to see here…..

  • Daniel P

    It’s from an iceberg from the Atlantic Ocean or Iceland (That’s why they call it Iceland)……. Move along folks, nothing to see here…..

  • Edward May

    All meteorites are not metal (iron-nickel), most are stoney type with little or no metal in them. The metal meteorites are easiest to find ( for collectors)but are not the majority.

    • Mark

      Wrong. Prove it.

    • Guest1290

      There is a crater that covers a large area near Sudbury, Ontario, Canada which was believed to be caused by a large meteorite that crashed into the area 1.8 billion years ago. It had left behind a large crater known today as the Sudbury Basin. The full extent of the Sudbury Basin is 62 km long, 30 km wide and 15 km deep, although the modern ground surface is much shallower. The large impact crater filled with magma containing nickel, copper, platinum, palladium, gold and other metals. For more information on the Sudbury Basin, go to:

    • Frankentrina

      Still, a meteorite would leave molten debris, even if it were non-metal and completely stone. The force and velocity by which it comes through the atmosphere, and the force of hitting the ground causes at least part of it if not all to become molten. Our area here contains a lot of non-metallic iron-ore rock, and we’ve found hundreds of perfectly round stone nodules both in creek beds and in digging, that was caused by such impacts.

  • doctor skinstick

    it was clearly a big qeef from one of the tools that reside in basking ridge. Like fojo

    • Dr. Pipepounder

      Comign from another doctors point of view, i think this doctor might know what hes talking about.. i really think hes on to sumthing

      • Colonel Sanders

        I may not be a certified doctor… however, if there’s one thing I do know about it’s large brown holes. I’ve seen all shades and sizes and judging by the depth of this particular brown eye, I have to agree with both these highly-respected doctors.
        -The Colonel

  • jeff

    Landshark. No doubt. I’ve seen these before.

  • Tyler

    there could be a pocket of air under that spot and could have collapsed



  • Where's the water?

    wouldn’t ice big enough to make that hole melt and leave behind noticeable damp soil or mud?

    • JM in San Diego CA

      If it fell from a plane, it would leave a tell-tale smell. Anyone who has used an aircraft lavatory knows that the blue flushing water always smells “perfumey.” If no characteristic smell then no aircraft source.

      Confirmation via a lab test for the human waste product creatinine is cheap and easy.

  • Sukie Crandall

    I’m in Basking Ridge. We are on an ancient basalt flow topped by shale layers with cracks that date back to the flood from a huge Pleistocene lake which left behind swamps and mudflows that solidified. (It results in springs in many places and when the quarry was active those would shift with large blasts — kind of our own non-focused version of fracking.) A leak from a gas line which traveled along cracks could come up a distance away, or perhaps even more likely may be methane leaking from an old cesspool.

    It would pay for the town to bring in some Rutgers geologists, probably. Natural gas explosions are pretty common things but for safety’s sake are worth investigation.

    • Silhouette

      I’m leaning toward Sukie’s explanation….plausible.

  • niklu

    A really bad attempt at a crop circle

  • jerry boucher

    Could be a hoax

  • lol over this

    A fart… What ? … You’re all thinking it.

  • GW


  • RobbleRobble

    The CHUD have escaped!!!!!

    • Aries4

      LOL! Classic movie reference!

  • Ryan

    1) A squirrel desperately trying to find his stash of nuts
    2) Previous homeowner came back for something they buried

    • Guest1290

      It would have to be an awful large squirrel to do that!

      • Uther

        Marabunta army squirrels. Very dangerous.


    A secret military object (CLASSIFIED)

  • nygrump


  • Gregory

    Could be a pocket of methane that naturally collected from a leaking gas line or buried building material. Best to have your property, especially your basement check for natural gas seepage.

  • Chris McDonough


  • Keith

    Ice from a plane makes sense, but maybe some underground gas collected and spewed out.

  • Jerry

    ice meteorite

  • Norm D

    Blue ice from a plane which melted before the crater was found.

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