Residents of Worcester County found themselves quaking in their boots recently and repeatedly due to a series of sonic booms.
Everyone assumed they were sonic booms, since no one really knew what they were or where they came from.
It’s been reported that yes, indeed they were sonic booms and yes, indeed the government is responsible.
The Navy confirmed that the Naval Air Station Patuxent River was the cause of the clamor. Apparently the Navy was testing aircraft 20-30 miles offshore. If good news travels fast than sonic booms travel far. A Navy spokesperson said atmospheric conditions allow the booms to travel a lot farther than they normally would. The spokesperson added there is nothing to be alarmed about and all is well.
Typically, according to officials, flights that could produce sonic booms are scheduled in the middle of the day for obvious reasons. Other times, when the man says you go – you do.
The “boom” part of the equation was not expected to carry quite so far, or local residents would have had a quieter go of it – something they are used to.
The series of 5 reported booms began in the middle of October and left residents mystified as to the cause or continuation of the phenomena. Some theories attributed the noise to a local defense contractor who had won rights to perform tests involving ordinance but had apparently not yet begun blasting. Those tests have since been scrapped.
No other bumps in the night have been reported since the first set in mid-October, but there’s no guarantee that they won’t suddenly resurface somewhere down the road.
The interesting bit for the conspiracy-minded: The Patuxent River station admitted responsibility for three sonic booms overheard in Worcester and other neighboring counties, but a total of five booms were reported. We’ll go ahead and leave the remaining two booms up to you because our imagination muscles are tired.
We’re not sure if we helped by providing an explanation or hurt with the 2 boom difference but at least some of the facts appear to have been established. While we have every intention of helping we can’t be everywhere at once. Still come explanation is better than none. We hope this doesn’t keep you up at night the same way an aircraft exceeding the speed of sound in your general vicinity might.