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Bell Island is an island located off Newfoundland's Avalon Peninsula in Conception Bay. Measuring 9 km in length and 3 km in width, Bell Island has an area of 34 km². The soil is composed of Ordovician sandstone and shale with red hematite. It is home to three communities, the largest of which is the incorporated town of Wabana. The provincial government operates a ferry service from Portugal Cove to Bell island daily. It is primarily used by commuters who work in the St. John's metropolitan area. On April 2, 1978, there was a loud explosion on Bell Island that caused damage to some houses and the electrical wires in the surrounding area.

Two cup-shaped holes about two feet deep and three feet wide marked the major impact. A number of TV sets in Lance Cove, the surrounding community, also exploded at the time of the blast. Weather men confirmed that atmospheric conditions at the time were not conducive to lightning. The blast was heard 45 kilometers away in Cape Broyle. Apparently U.S. Vela satellites picked up the event. The incident was investigated promptly by two representatives from a U.S. weapons laboratory at Los Alamos, according to the news media.(1) It has been speculated that the explosion was ball lightning. However, a recent documentary aired on The History Channel about electromagnetic pulse weapons speculated that it may have been a result of top secret experiments by either the Russian or U.S. governments, involving high energy beams focused into the ionosphere that were attracted by the iron in abandoned mines.

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