From the NY Times:
"It was the odor associated with natural gas — the telltale, unpleasant sulfur scent that typically signals a gas leak. But this time, it was lingering in many areas of Manhattan and northeastern New Jersey, coursing through buildings and leading to fears that it could ignite or that a dangerous chemical had been deliberately released.
Emergency medical technicians outside Madison Square Garden Monday as the city and parts of New Jersey investigated a widespread gas odor.
Schools and office buildings were evacuated. A subway station was shut, and commuter trains were rerouted. Government security officials were put on alert. Fire trucks raced through the streets, while Coast Guard vessels patrolled New York Harbor, communicating with tugboats and container ships. Twelve people with complaints of minor illnesses or injuries were taken to hospitals.
The source of the odor? As of last night, city officials still did not know. But it lingered for an hour after first being reported around 9 a.m., leaving New York with another mystery on its hands and more than a few conspiracy theories to sort through.
With anxieties about gas leaks rattling the nerves of the city, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg held a press conference to assure residents that the city’s air-quality detectors had found no cause for alarm. He hypothesized that the odor could have been caused by the release of mercaptan, a compound that smells like rotting eggs and is added to natural gas so people can detect and report leaks.
Throughout the day, possible culprits — among them a minor gas leak in Greenwich Village and natural-gas pipelines in northeastern New Jersey — were considered and ruled out.
The olfactory mystery in the New York region was matched by strange activity elsewhere. In Austin, Tex., police cordoned off 10 blocks of the downtown business district early yesterday after more than 60 birds were found dead overnight along Congress Avenue, which leads to the State Capitol. Air testing there failed to find a cause, but preliminary results determined that people were not at risk.
In New York, the piercing odor was the talk of Manhattan, and it called to mind another mystery: the maple syrup odor that people reported smelling on separate days in late 2005 and whose source has never been established. In yesterday’s case, several people said they were overcome by the odor."
Mystery odors! No gas leak could be found! It's almost as if someone was testing the capability to commit a city-wide release of a gaseous chemical or something.
But who would do such a thing? Certainly not the United States government, with its pristine track record concerning its release of biological and chemical agents on its unsuspecting public...
What this story really reeks of is DOD special ops. Seems like they've developed a massive and discrete chemical gas delivery system.
The question is, do the bird deaths in Texas figure in, or is that a coincidence?