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. Hillsborough County Superintendent Jeff Eakins, right, and  school board chair Tammy Shamburger speaks on newly raised concerns of a undiscovered cemetery for indigent African Americans that may be within the vicinity of King High School in Tampa on Friday. OCTAVIO JONES  |  Times
    Much is unclear at this point, say Hillsborough school officials, who promise to be open and transparent with the community,
  2. Charles Jerkins. Pasco County Sheriff
    The victim suffered non-life threatening injuries after a 10-foot-long log was dropped on his legs.
  3. Brooklyn-based product design company MSCHF retrofitted a dozen Nike Air Max 97 shoes with holy water injected into the bubble soles to create its "Jesus Shoes". YouTube
    Brooklyn-based product design company MSCHF retrofitted a dozen Nike Air Max 97 shoes and injected holy water into the soles.
  4. Paul Bedard rescues a nearly 9-foot gator from a Parkland pool on Tuesday, Oct. 15, 2019. Paul Bedard
    Unlike many trappers around the state, Paul Bedard tries to save gators from harvest.
  5. This satellite image shows Hurricane Michael on Oct. 9, 2018, as it enters the Gulf of Mexico. It made landfall near Mexico Beach in the Panhandle as a Category 5 storm. Florida State University professor Wenyuan Fan said the storm probably created "stormquakes" offshore in the gulf, too. [Photo courtesy of the National Ocean and Atmospheric Administration]] NOAA
    Analysis of a decade of records shows hurricanes causing seismic activity on continental shelf
  6. Screenshot of Austin Davis from a Vice News documentary on Youtube. Vice News/Youtube
    The 20-year-old Keystone Heights resident has selective eating disorder believed to stem from childhood trauma.
  7. Leonardo Urena of Napa, Calif., reacts after learning his pumpkin weighed in at 2,175 lbs., a new California weight record on Monday, Oct. 14, 2019, in Half Moon Bay, Calif. BEN MARGOT  |  AP
    Leonardo Urena of Napa won $15,000 Monday when his pumpkin logged 2,175 pounds.
  8. 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.
  9. Michael Psofimis is accused of molesting an 11-year-old girl. Pasco Sheriff's Office
    Deputies said the incident happened in September.
  10. 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.
Advertisement
Advertisement
Advertisement