Who Forted? Magazine

More “Mystery Fumes” and Burn-Like Side Effects Prompt Housing Evacuation

unexplainedsmells

A housing complex in Bangor, Maine is the latest location of 2013′s rash of “mystery illnesses” caused by unexplained odors.

Whether it be clearing out a Wal-Mart, evacuating an elementary school, or causing a panic in a Jamaican postal depot, mysterious odors with extreme side effects are one of this years strangest new trends in the unexplained, and they don’t appear to be stopping any time soon. The latest odd olfactory occurrence took place at a small housing complex in Maine two weeks ago.

In February, residents of Autumn West apartment complex at 678 Union Street began complaining of a “God awful” smell that they couldn’t quite put their fingers on. Some thought it smelled a bit like burning rubber, others like a kind of musty, dirty smoke. One resident, Laurie Baker, even began to notice strange symptoms that coincided with the appearance of the odors; a sunburn-like skin rash appeared all over her body and her dog, Bella, began to experience respiratory problems.

The mysterious smells and their accompanying side effects eventually got so unbearable that many of the renters had to be evacuated to a local hotel.

Both the police and local fire department were called out to the location on separate occasions, and while the air tests showed elevated levels of ethanol or other chemicals often found in “clandestine laboratories” (read: meth labs), each investigation came up empty handed for a source of the mystery fumes. The housing authority and an air quality testing company have also conducted their own tests which have yielded similar dead ends.

“I wish we could have found something,” housing authority director Mike Myatt told The Bangor Daily News. “We’re hoping that it’s resolved quickly and that we can get these people back in their homes.”

While these weird events remain unexplained, the last mystery odor caused a panic in Jamaica and had me considering the chances that all of these very similar occurrences were somehow related. One commenter had an interesting response to that idea:

Either this is a neurotoxin being released in public places for testing or there are natural vents opening up exposing an unknown set of fumes from within the earth.

Could there be some truth to either of those theories? We might never know for sure, but I want to know what you think. Send your thoughts to me on Facebook, tweet me @WhoForted, or leave a message in the comments below.

Greg Newkirk

Greg Newkirk

Senior Editor at Who Forted
Documentary film-maker, professional monster chaser, and mystery monger, Greg is the senior editor for Who Forted? 'Zine. When he's not occupied by writing about the wide world of the weird, he's busy directing and editing documentary films like The Bigfoot Hunter: Still Searching or writing about offbeat travel for Roadtrippers. He's currently in production on his new project: an original documentary web series titled Planet Weird. He currently lives in Cincinnati.
Greg Newkirk
Greg Newkirk

4 Comments

  1. Coppertop

    03/28/2013 at 10:50 AM

    I know it says “ethanol and other chemicals,” but do we have an actual chemical breakdown, item by item, of the substances that were detected? Because “other chemicals” is one hell of a catch-all phrase to come up with.

    My explanation for this: the derro are getting into meth production to fund their war against the self-replicating machine elves.

    • Greg Newkirk

      03/28/2013 at 6:44 PM

      Here’s the direct quote from the Bangor Daily:

      “Last week, tenants in four one-bedroom units at the complex on Union Street were evacuated after air quality tests revealed “significantly elevated” levels of ethanol and some other chemicals, including isopropanol, isobutane and acetone, according to a report from Brewer-based TP Environmental Consulting.”

      I’m with you on the Dero. Bastards would totally resort to meth.

  2. Lisa

    12/14/2013 at 5:50 AM

    Look at what is happening at Hokes Bluff Middle School (Alabama) right now. 12/12/2013.

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