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I can't report that we have solved the mysterious noise behind the car wash, but we are getting closer.
To recap, I used last week's column to ask readers to help figure out what's keeping awake at night a woman who lives in the subdivision behind The Soap Factory, located off the southbound lane of U.S. 127 Bypass.
She called a couple weeks ago asking for my help to determine what is making the loud steel-on-steel slamming sound which begins around 3:30 a.m. several times each week.
She requested anonymity, so I have since begun referring to her as "Sleepless Behind the Car Wash."
Almost soon as my column hit our website and newsstands, the opinions starting flying into my e-mail box.
Lawrenceburg's Earl Riley Jr. was first to respond. He lives in the same area and frequently hears similar noises. He said when he first moved in, he thought it was the Dumpsters being emptied at the high school or the gas station next to the car wash. Another theory - I love this one! - is that the noise comes from empty tractor-trailers barreling down the bypass.
"There's a dip in the highway there and if a truck is loaded, you won't hear it. But if the truck is empty it bounces the trailer, which makes a noise very similar to what she is describing," Earl said.
Lora Woods, who lives on the other side of the highway, said she, too, hears the noise at night.
"This woman you wrote about is not the only one hearing this," she said. "I have heard this noise when I sleep with my windows open, and it wakes me up. It is definitely something large and made of metal/steel making the noise."
She once thought that it was tractor-trailers at night, but has since dismissed the idea and wants to find out what's causing it.
"It certainly is frightening to women who live or stay alone at night by themselves."
Next up was Lawrenceburg's Tommy Vaughn, the perfect man for the job. Tommy's a retired police officer and leaped at the chance to help solve the mystery.
Here's what he had to say:
"I got out this morning around 4:30. I started at The Soap Factory and followed the noise. It's coming northeast of The Soap Factory. A train went by at about 5:10. I couldn't hear the noise after that. It could be the train unhooking and hooking up cars. That's done at the tracks off Industry Road. Universal Fasteners was working with its doors open, but I didn't hear the same noise. I would guess it's the trains, but can't say for sure. I'll try again one morning."
Lawrenceburg's Cindy Gentry said Vaughn's train theory is probably correct.
"I've witnessed these events from time to time in my life and have found them to be a very loud event," she wrote. "It's possible that the sound could carry as far as a mile or so. Tell her to check it out."
She added: "We all know that the 'bumps in the night' can make anyone nervous, but with me, it's not the big bumps that unnerve me, it's the small ones."
Earl was still on the case Thursday morning and shared a fresh bit of information he gained after falling asleep on the couch. He said he awoke around 2 a.m. and went to his desk to do some writing. Around 2:29, the noise began.
"I stepped out onto my back deck. I could clearly see a trash truck and distinctly heard a noise much like the sound of one slamming a tailgate on a pickup.
"Although the timing was earlier than the woman stated she heard noises, this is probably due to scheduling or the whims of the driver.
"The housing area behind The Soap Factory is elevated above the terrain of Lawrenceburg business district. At night when traffic has died down, sounds are more distinct and travel much farther, accounting for the longevity, perhaps. Hope this clears up the mystery."
Maybe, maybe not, but at least "Sleepless Behind the Car Wash" should be able to rest easy, assured that these strange bumps in the night are likely nothing more nefarious than banging Dumpster lids or train cars.
Of course, this case remains open, should Earl, Tommy, Lora, Cindy or you care to submit further evidence.