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One Man's Journey Into The Mind Of America
|August 24, 2011 |
Louisa, Virginia: Scientists from the US Geological Service and the Lamont-Doherty Observatory have not been able to determine a specific reason for the 5.8 earthquake which rattled much of the east coast early Tuesday afternoon.
Dr. Samuel Ofsa, a seismic expert at the USGS, said that though there is a known geologic fault which runs under that section of the Piedmont region of Virginia, there was no sign it was under stress. "There might have been something that missed our eye," he said to reporters at a press conference in Washington, D.C., "But we've looked again and we just don't see anything that could have triggered an event of that size."
The "Central Virginia Seismic Zone" has produced small earthquakes before but instruments had not detected any significant stress in the area leaving scientists scratching their heads.
Seismographs in the region detected the earthquake at 1:51PM EST at a depth of 3.7 miles.
But Louisa, Virginia city manager, Peter "Bud" Lilly, says he knows what happened and he still cannot believe it.
"I was at the Mineral Baptist Church out on Shannon Road, listening to a sermon by our preacher, Timothy Cockrane. He was talking about how he had spoken to God just the night before and that The Lord told him that the only man who could save America from Obama's attempts to implement Sharia law, which is against what any American should stand for, was Texas governor Rick Perry."
According to Mr. Lilly, the Preacher had just said, "If any man does not believe me, if any woman does not believe me, if God himself does not believe me, let him open the earth and swallow me whole!"
In a written statement Mr. Lilly he wrote, "Just at that moment the earth shook violently and the wooden structure collapsed trapping some parishioners inside. When rescue workers showed up a few minutes later everyone was accounted for save Preacher Cockcrane."
State Police Captain Ed Bassett who was charged with leading the rescue effort told the press that once the debris from the building had been cleared a large hole he described as "straight, deep and emitting steam" was found under the pulpit of the church and he assumes Preacher Cockrane had lost his balance during the earthquake and had fallen in to it.
Voluisa Smith, a long time parishioner at the church, wiping tears from her eyes said, "I can't imagine where a hole like that came from or who would do something like that," She added, "we have no coal mines around here or anything like that."
Another parishioner who asked to remain anonymous said that there was a bright flash just at the moment the earth began to shake and that he saw Preacher Cockrane drop to the ground. "I didn't know that when he dropped he was falling into the pits of hell," the man said.
City Manager Lilly has asked everyone to remain calm and assures the community that the deep "laughing sound", as some who heard described it, was just a natural phenomenon common in earthquakes of that type.
"I sure wish we knew what happened to Preacher Cockrane," he said, "You'd think a man who can talk to the Lord directly would be protected from such things."
Mr. Lilly went on, "Why, I thought I heard the Lord Jesus Christ talking to me once," but never finished his sentence as an aftershock registering 4.7 on the Richter scale shook the municipal building at that very moment.
"I guess I have to think a little harder about what I heard that day," Mr. Lilly said, "It could have been just plain ol' thunder, I suppose."
Texas Governor Rick Perry could not be reached for comment.
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