Widespread reports of a loud boom heard across the Tampa Bay area in Florida have left authorities stumped.
According to FOX13, the noise was heard on Saturday, Dec. 9, at around 1.55 p.m. The network said their newsroom was flooded by residents calling in to report the noise.
Law enforcement agencies and other officials across the area said they were aware of the reports but “do not know what caused it.”
We are aware of the loud boom heard across Polk and parts of Hillsborough County but do not know what caused it. We will share any additional info we receive
— LakelandPD (@LakelandPD) December 9, 2017
Residents all the way from Pasco County to Lakeland reported that the noise sounded similar to an explosion. However, according to FOX13, there were no reports of smoke or fire that would usually follow if a large explosion took place.
According to NBC affiliate WFLA, some residents said the boom shook their homes.
One person sent a video to WFLA that was captured by his home security camera the moment the sound occurred. He told the network that the sound on the video is much smaller than in person.
Another resident, Army infantry veteran Fred Krauer Jr., 43, told Tampa Bay Times that “It sounded like a plane had crashed.”
He told the newspaper that the noise rattled every room in his home north of State Road 52 and west of Hicks Road. “I felt it in my feet in the shower.”
There are bombing ranges located in Avon Park and Ocala National Forest but both locations have not commented on the incident, as of writing.
The area of Tampa Bay is filled with military bases. This is not the first time a mysterious boom has reported in the area. But according to the Tampa Bay Times, all the air force bases in the area said the noise was not caused by them.
As of writing on Sunday it’s still not clear what exactly caused the boom.
“We have no records of fighters in the area,” Terry Montrose, spokesman for the 6th Air Mobility Wing at MacDill told the Tampa Bay Times. He said that the base received about a half-dozen calls on the sound.
“It’s a little unnerving, as with anything with the unknown,” said Krauer. If we don’t have the answer for something, your mind starts reaching.”
One possible explanation was that two F-15 fighters were given permission by the North American Air Defense Command (NORAD) to fly at supersonic speed over 760 mph about the Gulf of Mexico, Canadian Air Force spokesman Lt. Marco Chouinard told the Tampa Bay Times.
NORAD is an organization of the United States and Canada that provides an aerospace warnings, air sovereignty, and protection for Northern America.
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