xt7jh98zct60_49 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/mets.xml https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086.dao.xml Bevins, Martha 0.05 Cubic Feet 55 items archival material 2015ms086 English University of Kentucky The physical rights to the materials in this collection are held by the University of Kentucky Special Collections Research Center.  Contact the Special Collections Research Center for information regarding rights and use of this collection. Martha Bevins letters to Tom McCarthy Radio broadcasting. Agriculture -- Kentucky. Birds Women air pilots. 1958 December 18 text 1958 December 18 2016 https://exploreuk.uky.edu/dips/xt7jh98zct60/data/2015ms086/Box_ms_42/Folder_1/Item_49/1958_12_18_Bevins_Sonic_Boom_p1.pdf 1958 December 18 1958 1958 December 18 section false xt7jh98zct60_49 xt7jh98zct60 I ' “QTY 9 ’ ‘4
morning View Kentucky
18 December 1958
, Hello Mr. McCarthy,
Though I have lacked time to write about it, I clearly remember
each detail of the interesting and somewhat amusing opportunity I
had to note wildlife reaction to a Jet plane sonic break—through
several weeks ago.
It was a cloudy afternoon, but not too cold, consequently, after
walking through the tree patch to refill bird feeders, I remained
standing near one to give peanuts to those birds and squirrels
who preferred personal service.
To the north I heard the engine sound of approaching Jet planes,
at such an angle that ihe planes themselves must have been almost
directly overhead as I told a peanut-laden titmouse that he would
be in sunshine if he were above the overcast as were they.
Hardly had I spoken, when we Were enveloped in the most terrific
thumping boom I have ever experienced. I have heard many other Jet
breakthroughs, but they were always off in one direction or another
. and approached in a great speeding save of sound. Not so this time.
‘here was no left or right, no up or down to this thundering
Concussion which filled the entire bowl of the sky and seemed to
drive into my feet from the ground on which I stood.
after an instantaneous, automatic flash of panic, followed by
equally instantaneous realisation and reassurance, I could take note
of my surroundings. I was beset by the same feeling I experienced
once in an earthquake, that I stood firm while the earth beneath my
feet shuddered and twitched.
Countless dead twigs rattled down from the big oaks. The birds who
~ had been gathered about me made little, darting, panic-stricken
flights in all directions, too confused by the all-encompassing sound,
to select a course to safety. Some were silent while others called
in alarm. One blue Jay eating nearby dropped his peanut, but maintahned
his hold on the twig, and flew not at all. He huddled, motionless
except for bristling top-knot, until it was all over.
a squirrel, busily shelling the peanut I had Just given him, was
sitting, quite relaxed, upon a little branch about ten feet high.
The great thudding sound waves Jarred him from his perch and he
plopped to the ground, his feet beginning to run, I believe, before
he quite made contact With it. He flashed up a tree and into a hole,
his peanut still clutched firmly in his teeth.
Down the road, several big black pigs lunged through a wobbly wire
\ .

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fence near which they had been standing, and made short, bewildered
dashes back and forth on the roadway. hey, like the wild creatures,
could not tell in which direction to flee. In a neighboring pasture,
cows scattered wildly, then grouped into a compact mass, and finally
ran down the slope into the bottom of flieir little valley, where they
remained wedged close to one another in motionless fear.

Within seconds, another break-through followed the first. While it
was almost as terrific, and more twigs rattled down, it was definitly
to the anuth, and therefore less overwhelming. The birds fled from
it, swirling to the northern portions of the tree patch like gale-
driven leaves. “1th the exception of one Carolina wren. When I
stooped to pick up the coffee can in which I had been carrying
sunflower seeds, I discovered him sitting therein, his bright little
eyes sparkling furiously from beneath his white eyebrows. Sputtering
indignantly, he emerged from the can and darted under the tool house
where he remained for some minutes, shouting at the top of his voice
the while.

Far down the road hurried the black pigs, their short legs twinkling
as they ran.

Curious about the permanence of their panic, I called the birds back
to me, and whthin a short time most of them nervously returned. All
was normal Within half an hour. Wildlife adapting itself to progress,

, I suppose.

When, recently, you built a Spoonerism with "hose nozzle", it
reminded me of one that I found particularly pleasing. last year,
a local newscaster spoke blandly of "Senator Hoopenlicker”, which
I found the more delightful because the senator represents the corn
state of Iowa. .
I hope, Mr. McCarthy, that you and your listeners enjoy a glorious
holiday season, and that the Nevaear is a wonderful one for you
a]. 1 0

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