Mysterious Bay Ridge ‘Bing’ Attributed to Verizon-Sanctioned Liftboat

The elusive Bay Ridge “bing” may be a mystery no more.

A three-legged liftboat spotted over the weekend in the waters near the Verrazzano-Narrows Bridge is the cause of the sound heard ‘round the hood, Councilmember Justin Brannan proclaimed Sunday, Nov. 18.

The noise — described by local residents as an ominous “bing” which mirrored the sound of “metal on metal” — became a hot topic on social media when Brannan, earlier this month, asked community members if they’d also heard the “mysterious bing.”

“[It] sorta sounds like an enormous grommet banging on a giant flagpole,” he wrote on Facebook.

Just one of Brannan’s posts — the question was posted to various group pages — has since garnered over 150 responses, the better part of them a resounding “yes.”

Local resident Donna Russo told this paper that, until Brannan’s post in a group called “Bay Ridge Parents,” she’d thought she might be going crazy.

“That bing drove me nuts!” she said. “I had to ask my daughter if she heard it as well. I thought I was losing my mind. When I saw the post on BRP I felt better that it wasn’t only me.”

The sound — which residents allege seems eerily timed (“not all over like construction,” wrote one resident on Facebook) — is loudest in the early morning hours, though it has also been heard at night. It has also been recorded by residents on all ends of the nabe.

Russo, who lives in the 90s, said she has heard it more than once in a given day.

“It was funny, as I would hear it early in the mornings and then again when I got to work later in the day,” she said. “I was like, ‘Oh no, I truly am losing my mind, and now it’s following me!’”

The sound, Russo’s neighbor Matthew Kabel said, brought him back to his childhood.

“When Justin posted about the bing weeks ago, I said it sounded exactly like when I was a kid in Buffalo and we had to bang poles into the ground for our snow fences,” he told this paper, adding that, when going for a run by the water Sunday, the structure stopped him in his tracks.

“[I had a real] WTF moment,” he said.

According to Levingston Offshore, “The Worldwide Pioneer of Liftboat,” the watercraft is a “self-propelled, multi-purpose, self-elevating vessel” most often used to carry equipment in support of mineral exploration or other offshore construction activities.

This one in particular, Community Board 10 District Manager Josephine Beckmann said, had been contracted by Verizon to determine whether or not it could drill fiber-optic cables there in the future.

“They started in Staten Island and they’ll only be here for a few more days,” she told this paper Monday morning, Nov. 19.

When asked if she, herself, had heard the bing, Beckmann said no, but that it was clear by the flood of phone calls the board’s district office received that most of Bay Ridge most certainly did.

It’s unclear as of press time whether the liftboat is responsible for the mysterious bing, as the vessel is said to have arrived in local waters after Brannan’s initial posting.


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