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Report: Jets Caused Boom Noise

Navy jets were the source of the loud noise heard across San Diego County, according to reports.

Updated at 7:38 p.m.

Navy jets were the cause of the "mysterious" boom noise Friday afternoon, according to U-T San Diego.

The noise, which left thousands of San Diego County residents talking, were "sonic booms produced by a pair of F/A-18 fighter gets operating from the carrier Carl Vinson 32 miles west of San Diego," according to the newspaper.

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Thousands in San Diego County say they heard a loud explosion around 1 p.m. Friday, but authorities have no explanation or confirmations.

Twitter and Facebook were abuzz with reports and questions like "Okay SD, what is happening?? was that an earthquake, an explosion, or something going wrong at MCAS Miramar?"

Another tweet from @BriceAssociates read, "Just had an earthquake in La Jolla, CA -or something just quietly blew up nearby."

San Diego Patch sites in the coastal cities of Imperial Beach, Coronado, Oceanside, La Jolla, Carlsbad and Encinitas contacted emergency services in their respective communities who stated they have received no reports of an actual explosion.

Authorities from the Navy to the Sheriff's Department also could not immediately provide confirmation, or an explanation. 

San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said she felt downtown SDPD headquarters jolt a bit from inside her fifth-floor office. Likewise, Maurice Luque, spokesman for the city Fire-Rescue Department, detected structural jostling akin to a weak earthquake at his workplace.

Brown said two citizens, one in La Jolla and one in the Sunset Cliffs area, made emergency calls to report rattling windows and distant booms seemingly emanating from the west.

Sheriff's Lt. Paul Robbins said his agency had received "a couple" of calls from the public about the mysterious rumblings, but none that merited patrol call-outs.

No damage or injuries have been reported.

A Marine Corps Air Station Miramar spokesperson denied claims that it came from the base. Camp Pendleton is conducting range operations, but can't confirm that the sound came from the base, a base spokesperson said. 

The U.S. Geological Survey has measured no significant seismic activity around the time of reports.

A similar boom was heard and felt in April which was measured with instruments in multiple locations across San Diego's North County. At a Scripps Institution of Oceanography facility in Carmel Valley the lights were knocked out momentarily by what was believed to be an infrasonic tremor.

Infrasound means sound below what humans can hear, and tremors can be triggered by "volcanoes, earthquakes, lightning, aircraft, meteors, and ocean waves" or other activities.

Kris Walker, a Scripps geophysics scientist who wrote a report on the boom, concluded that he was not able to say with total certainty what caused the noise and rumble.

Lightning, meteors, earthquakes and volcanoes were ruled out, but he believed the noise may have come from military activity far off the coast.

On most days when military exercises are taking place far offshore the noise cannot be heard by the human ear. 

"However, certain atmospheric conditions may conspire to open up temporary 'infrasonic pipelines' that permit loud infrasound to travel far," he said in the report.

He believes the same traveling sound may have occurred Friday. 

"When you have really strong winds in the atmosphere blowing from the areas where there is sound toward us, you can sometimes get these tunnels that carry sound, and you can hear something that's happening 50 miles away," he said.

Similar trembles and noises were common in the past during naval warfare exercises off the coast, he said.  

"It would be interesting if there was top secret activities or a meteor or something, but I'm sure there's nothing unusual happening," Walker said.

City News Service contributed to this report.

Kevin George July 02, 2012 at 03:37 PM
Still laughing. Is your investigation still under way?
gdogncbd2 July 12, 2012 at 10:36 PM
god it was just a sonic boom,no big deal.years ago they used to occur all the time before they put the restriction on aircraft over populated areas.
safesantee July 13, 2012 at 12:43 AM
Yeah and the govt told us that the nuclear test in the north american deserts weren't going to harm us either, they're looking out for your best interests guys, so don't worry about it.
gigi July 15, 2012 at 08:17 PM
If it was a Navy Jet from that Friday then what was it in April and why hasn't it been stated that Navy Jets have been making those noises before? I don't buy it. There are all sorts of weird noises going on in California. I think they have some weird microphone or video experiment or something going on...something like mics,circuits or cellphones are amping up noises. I actually flew to California and taped noises on video and audio and it was nuts. Same thing is going on in Buffalo NY. There are certain people in California that know what is going on they are just keeping it a big secret, keep listening you will hear more weird sounds they are going on all the time. I even heard weird things going on at live shows and noise on the radio that shouldn't be there. Of course their explanation is simply a 'Jet' but do you notice how they don't give any explanation of why it was so loud and shook everything and was so 'amped'? Its because that isn't what is going on. Just another open ended solution that provides no details, no reasons and no clear answers. Big surprise. Maybe The Beatles know. ;-)
Nineties Guy September 10, 2012 at 06:07 AM
I think you are right. I heard about this a while ago on Art Bell.

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