Jets caused sonic boom

Published 10:28 pm Friday, January 20, 2012

Thursday night, Facebook became a sounding board throughout portions of Dallas County as residents tried to figure out what caused the large booms that rattled both windows and eardrums.

There were plenty of theories of what caused the sound.

There were those who said a crashing satellite caused the sound or even those who thought a UFO had crashed.

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Others even tied in an incident on Dallas County Road 79, where the Burnsville Volunteer Fire Department had blocked the road for more than four hours as evidence a crash had occurred.

Alas, it was none of these things as officials with Pensacola Naval Air Station confirmed to media outlets in south Alabama that three of the station’s jets had been in the area and had created sonic booms during their flights.

A sonic boom is caused when an aircraft flies faster than the speed of sound.

“I really didn’t know what it was,” Valley Grande Mayor Tom Lee, who said he was working in his shop, when he heard sounds that rattled his building. “I even went outside to see what might have happened.”

Chief Deputy Randy Pugh, with the Dallas County Sheriff’s Department, said he was at home when he heard the booms, leading him to question what might have caused them.