Sudden appearance of crack and some warping on drop down ceiling in Kitchen combined with weird random noises from attic.

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Jan 2, 2021
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This is a house that was built in 1967. We bought this home in end of 2020. In December of 2020 when we moved in, we had popcorn ceiling removed and replaced some areas of bad sheetrock. We had the whole ceiling repainted. A portion of our kitchen and entry way has drop down ceiling. There were no cracks or any visible warping until a month or so ago. All of a sudden a big crack started to appear (shown in pics). We thought it to be due to normal wear and tear but it seems to be getting worse at a very rapid rate. Initially it was a partially visible crack but now one side of the crack feels lower than the other side. When I run my finger along the crack I can clearly feel the difference in heights between either sides of the crack.

Upon further inspection, we started to notice some warping or unsettling in other areas of drop down ceiling. When I say warping, it looks like the location at which two pieces of sheetrock are attached is sinking down. I am not sure if it was there from the beginning (and we didn't notice) or if it is new. Any idea if this is a serious issue? Could this be caused due to settling of foundation? We did have an extremely wet winter this year. I do not notice any visible cracking on the foundation anywhere around the house. Who should I call to diagnose this issue?

Crack -

Close up of crack -

Wider view of crack -

Warping Location 1 -

Warping Location 2 -

In addition, we hear a random sound once every few hours. It sounds like a twig breaking or a heavy metal piece falling on the floor. It comes from somewhere in the attic but never from the same location. It is super hard to identify exactly where it is coming from. Now I am worried if something is going to collapse. This sound is very random and we hear it once every few hours, may be about 10 times in 24 hours. I recorded the sounds using a security camera over couple of nights and combined all of them into one. The camera remained at the same location. The loudness and type of sound varies for each one which indicates that its coming from different locations.

Sounds -

I am really scared this could be a major issue. I am not even sure who to call to diagnose this. Any ideas or suggestions are highly appreciated.

Have you checked the attic for critters? Maybe go up there with a flashlight and take some pictures above the problem ceiling areas too.
That dropped portion of your ceiling does not look structural. Probably, if you go in your attic, you will see the ceiling joists are a foot above that dropped area, level with the rest of the ceiling
The dropped area is possibly covering some ducts, pipes, or maybe just because at one point, somebody decided it looked nice.
It would seem that the framing on dropped area was not done very robustly.
You say you previously had "bad sheetrock" ---- possibly it was not the sheetrock that was bad, but rather the framing it was screwed to.