Mysterious white dust that falls from the sky at night, covering cars and gardens, leaves locals in Maryland and West Virginia mystified with conspiracy theories, while officials admit they have no idea what it is
- Social media users reported seeing content in the two states on Feb. 23
- Reports have led to an investigation to determine what the substance is
A mysterious white dust-like substance has been seen in the air, covering cars and gardens in Maryland and West Virginia, sparking bizarre conspiracy theories.
Social media users reported on Feb. 23 that they had seen the dust in the air and on vehicles in the two states.
The reports prompted an investigation by the West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection.
The department will work with state and local agencies to collect and analyze samples to determine what the substance is.
Residents of the Eastern Panhandle in West Virginia, about 100 miles west of Washington, D.C., reported seeing powder in several counties late Thursday night.
Social media users reported seeing the dust in the air and on vehicles in Maryland and West Virginia on Feb. 23
The Maryland Department of the Environment said the powder likely came from New Mexico and Texas.
DC News Now meteorologist Damon Matson said, “This is likely dust from the desert southwest, a very strong storm system that is causing all of the winter weather in the northern US and severe weather in the southern US.
“It picked up the dust at the back of the storm and dragged it across the country.
“The dust remained high in the atmosphere while the storm remained strong.”
Some users in Maryland have claimed that small aircraft were seen overhead dropping the powder.
“My friend in Maryland saw a small plane throwing white dust this morning. Something strange is going on,” one user claimed.
West Virginia Department of Environmental Protection spokesman Terry Fletcher said there was no reason to believe the substance was related to the Ohio train derailment.
He said the Northern Panhandles had not experienced any air quality problems since the train crash on Feb. 3.
The freight train, carrying hazardous materials such as vinyl chloride, derailed in East Palestine, Ohio.
Despite environmental officials continuing to claim air quality in the area is normal, residents have complained of health problems they believe are related to the crash, such as skin rashes, headaches and sore throats.