Mysterious Sonic Booms in Florida

Message posted by Norio Hayakawa on November 01, 2002 at 21:33:05 PST:

Here is an interesting item I saw on the net today, somewhat reminding me of the early 90s' Southern California's series of "sonic booms" (allegedly caused by the alleged "Aurora") but this happened in Florida on Thursday, October 31, 2002: (perhaps it may have a prosaic answer, but nevertheless, it is interesting, so here it is:)


Orlando, Florida -- Callers flooded 911 centers across Central Florida Thursday evening to report three loud booms that rattled windows from Seminole to Volusia counties.

Many described the noise as sonic booms, but exactly what caused them remains a mystery, WESH NewsChannel 2 reported.

The only thing that is certain is that a lot of people heard them and picked up the phone to find out what happened, WESH NewsChannel 2 reporter Amanda Ober said.

There was no space shuttle landing, but many people thought one did.

"It's a surprise to me because it sounded just like a shuttle landing", a resident said.

The sound was the talk of the town. The boom was heard in three loud bursts, causing a stir across Seminole and Volusia counties. Operators at 911 said the calls were overwhelming and began around 4:30 p.m.

"I've never heard anything like this. This shook my whole house. This was huge", a caller said.

"I just heard a huge explosion about two minutes ago. For a moment there, I didn't know if it was thunder or not, but my gut tells me it was more of an explosion", another caller said.

About an hour later, sheriff's dispatchers said they were told the booms were created by the Navy Blue Angels, who were rehearsing for an air show in Jacksonville, but the Blue Angels and Jacksonville Naval Air Station denied the report.

Officials at Kennedy Space Center and Cape Canaveral Air Force Station, as well as Patrick Air Force Base, also denied responsibility.

Most of the 911 calls came from west of Interstate 4. A source with the Federal Aviation Administration said Patrick Air Force Base was investigating reports that the booms originated about 30 miles northwest of Lake Mary, which would place them in the Ocala National Forest.

The forest has long been home to military bombing exercises, which as of late feature 1,000-pound bombs, but the last exercise was Tuesday and none were scheduled for Thursday.

Contacts at the area's FAA control towers said they're not investigating, but they also heard reports of the booms. It seems, for now, people will be left to wonder.

An important point to be made: Sonic booms are created when the sound barrier is broken, and it is against FAA regulations to do that over land. As of Thursday night, there was no word of any explosions or other disasters, so it does remain a mystery.



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