THERE WAS NOT A CLOUD IN THE SKY! This was not lightning! In the back of the radio station were DEAD FRIED BIRDS! Their wings, tails and feet severely burned. Station secretary Jennifer and sales manager Steve found a small bird still alive hopping around with its wings and tail feathers burned off. Many of the birds were still alive but badly burned.
These are smaller birds. The wingspan is not large enough for them to get fried from getting across a powerline to ground. This was not just one bird.
Steve (sales manager) told me he heard a loud electrical overload sound then the power went out. He told me he has never heard anything like this ever in his life. There was no blown transformer near the radio station. The closest burned transformer was at least three city blocks from the building.
The editor of the Vidette said she was sitting with her back to the window. She heard a loud roaring sound like an overload and something came through the window and a flash of light went through the entire building. The Vidette is next door to the radio station.
The Power Company, Tri County Electric and Bell South seem to be at a loss to explain the situation.
This is not the first time WJKM has had strange power surge problems. It has been difficult to keep computers up and running at the Hartsville studios and transmitter site.
We have called the local power company and complained to no avail. They seem to be as puzzled by the problem as we are. They have placed monitoring equipment on the lines and have seen nothing unusual.
Yet in this outage the editor of the Vidette told me she keeps all the computers in the building unplugged. The newspaper publishes once a week so they only plug the computers into power once a week. Friday the Editors calculator was plugged into the wall outlet and it was destroyed by the surge.
These surges are not just coming into the power lines. They are also entering the radio station through phone lines and the antenna system. This is evident in blown telephone equipment. Sometimes the equipment is not destroyed but the program settings are scrambled or wiped out.
We have surge protectors plugged into surge protectors. We keep MOV's by the boxfulls.
We have been at a loss to make a determination as to the cause of these surges. The only clue as to what the cause may be has been suggested by our listeners.
Many of the callers to the radio station seem to think that there is some sort of activity at the old Hartsville nuclear power plant site. My first trip to the site left me a bit cold as the place looks like an abandoned ghost town. With heaps of things lying around, it looks like a good set for a futuristic movie.
The nuclear power plant is a site that cost the general public millions of dollars that was supposedly never finished. The construction of the plant came to an abrupt halt some years back leaving the community devastated. TVA (Federal Government) will tell you it is being used as a storage area only. Yet I have calls at the radio station from listeners who claim to hear strange humming sounds coming from the location. Listeners have seen strange objects overhead. Listeners have claimed to see triangular shaped craft overhead. Silent black helicopters at all hours of the night. Huge military C-130's heading in as if to land or leaving the area nose up as if they have just taken off.