Advertisement
  1. Bizarre News

A mysterious boom baffles Tampa Bay, and official sources shrug

Published Dec. 9, 2017


Whatever it was, the boom shook walls and swayed chandeliers.

"It sounded like a plane had crashed," said Fred Krauer Jr., 43. 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."

He rushed outside. There were no flames or smoke, just another overcast day in Hudson.

A massive boom shook homes across Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties around 1:45 p.m. Saturday. Residents called government hotlines, and theories swirled online. Could it be military operations? An explosion? A meteor? Supersonic jets?

Half a dozen government agencies all had the same answer Saturday: We don't know, but we didn't do it.

Pasco County spokeswoman Tambrey Laine said dispatchers got dozens of calls.

Tampa Bay is surrounded by military bases and has a long history of mysterious booms often attributed to military tests. But MacDill Air Force Base said it wasn't them. So did Eglin Air Force Base at the edge of the Florida Panhandle, Tyndall Air Force Base in Panama City, and the Space Coast-based 45th Space Wing and Kennedy Space Center.

"We have no records of fighters in the area," said Terry Montrose, spokesman for the 6th Air Mobility Wing, based at MacDill. He said the base received about a half-dozen calls about the booms.

"It's a little unnerving, as with anything with the unknown," said Krauer, an Army infantry veteran. "If we don't have the answer for something, your mind starts reaching."

There was one possible explanation: Two F-15 fighters were given permission by NORAD to fly at supersonic speed — in excess of 760 mph — over the Gulf of Mexico, said Canadian Air Force Lt. Marco Chouinard, a NORAD spokesman.

NORAD is the North American Air Defense Command, an organization of the United States and Canada that provides aerospace warning, air sovereignty and protection for Northern America.

The jets were not responding to any incident, Chouinard said. There was no way to be sure they caused the noise, he said.

ALSO IN THIS SECTION

  1. Check tampabay.com for the latest breaking news and updates. TMCCARTY  |  times staff
    The Fort Myers woman stepped in front of the plane and was struck.
  2. Michael Psofimis is accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl. Pasco Sheriff's Office
    Deputies said the incident happened in September.
  3. A power boat appears to have run up on the jetty across from Demens Landing Park downtown. "BOYZELL HOSEY   |   TIMES"  |  BOYZELL HOSEY  |  Times
    Two people were hospitalized. The Florida Fish and Wildlife Conservation Commission is investigating.
  4. Sara Barnes (left) was convicted of burning down the Senator (right), one of the world's oldest trees, while she smoked meth inside of it in early 2012. She was arrested again Friday on a charge of trafficking meth. Seminole County Sheriff/Associated Press
    Sara Barnes was sentenced to 30 months in prison for burning down the fifth-oldest tree in the world. She now faces a new charge of trafficking meth.
  5. After appearing in federal court, where cameras are not allowed, Ramon Christopher Blanchett emailed this photo of himself in a library at Hillsborough Community College, where he is a part-time student. Ramon Christopher Blanchett
    Ramon Christopher Blanchett pleaded guilty Tuesday to the theft of government funds.
  6. A deer stands by clothes after crashing into a shop in Cortina D'Ampezzo, Italy, Tuesday, Oct. 1, 2019. A dazed and confused deer has been trapped in a clothing store in the fashionable mountain resort of Cortina d'Ampezzo, on the Italian Dolomites, before been saved and freed. Local authorities said the deer, a four-five years-old big specimen, entered the shop, specialized in tirolese outfits, by mistake as the assistant was away. Authorities said It was necessary to isolate the whole Cortina's square to allow vets to catch the deer, anesthetize it and then bring him back into the wild. Ufficio Stampa Provincia di Belluno via AP
    The deer, estimated to be 4 or 5 years old, entered the shop, specialized in Tirolese outfits, while the assistant was away.
  7. Carson King, of Altoona, Iowa, center, waves to patients in the University of Iowa Stead Family Children's Hospital at the end of the first quarter of an NCAA college football game between Iowa and Middle Tennessee, Saturday, Sept. 28, 2019, in Iowa City, Iowa. King plans to donate more than $1 million to charity after his decision to display a hand-written sign before the Sept. 14 Iowa State-Iowa football game seeking money for beer prompted an overwhelming number of donations. CHARLIE NEIBERGALL  |  AP
    Things did not end well for a reporter who called out a man who is donating millions of dollars to a children’s hospital.
  8. Siemers was taken by ambulance to West Yellowstone and airlifted to a burn center in Idaho Falls. He could not be reached for comment. BETH HARPAZ  |  AP Photo/Beth Harpaz, File
    Cade Edmond Siemers told rangers he was walking near the famous geyser late Sunday night without a flashlight when he tripped into a hot spring.
  9. [Times files] LEAH MILLIS  |  Tampa Bay Times
    “Excited about the idea to take a space like this and see God do something amazing in it,” the church’s pastor said.
  10. Michael Joseph Smith, 54, of St. Petersburg is charged with burglary after stealing two lamps valued at $330. Pinellas Park Police Department
    Michael Joseph Smith, 54, of St. Petersburg is charged with burglary after stealing two lamps valued at $330.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement