Multiple Connecticut museums reportedly received a bomb threat on Saturday, launching a police search and halting operations.
According to Joshua Torrance, executive director of the Florence Griswold Museum in Old Lyme, numerous museums received the bomb threat in a group email sent from an unidentified account.
Torrance told CT Examiner on Sunday that he was out of the state at the time, and was unaware of the threat until late Saturday morning.
“One of the museum directors, whom I know well, who was also on the list, called me and said, ‘Hey, have you guys seen this, too?” he said.
Florence Griswold staff immediately contacted police and closed the museum for the day, he said.
“We had a considerable amount of people there, and we didn’t want to cause a scare,” Torrance said. “And so we immediately evacuated the property completely.”
After closing operations, Torrance said, state police arrived and searched the entire property, finding nothing out of the ordinary.
In an emailed statement to CT Examiner, state police said officers observed “nothing suspicious” and deemed the threat to Florence Griswold to be “non-credible.”
Torrance declined to provide a copy of the Saturday email or a list of the other museums included in the email, as he said he was unsure of the status of the police investigation.
Asked for the list, state police said local bomb squads likely dealt with other museums.
“With regard to bomb threats in other areas of the state, it is likely that the local bomb squad was notified and/or responded to those scenes,” said police. “There are four bomb squads in Connecticut and depending upon the location, CSP is not always the bomb squad that responds to the scene.”
Asked if the emailed threat is under investigation, state police said anything beyond responding to the call and searching the property would be under jurisdiction of the Federal Bureau of Investigation.
“State and local police departments are responding to reports of anonymous threats to determine if they are credible or non-credible. Any follow up investigations are being conducted by the FBI,” police said.
In addition to evacuating attendees, Florence Griswold staff posted on Facebook that they were closed on Saturday due to “unforeseen circumstances.”
The Mystic Seaport Museum Facebook account published a similar post, and later sent a statement that the police had determined the threat to the museum was not credible.
Editor’s note: After this story was published, the Mystic Seaport Museum sent a statement in response to CT Examiner’s call. This story has been updated.