(WFLA) – From Lakeland to Land O’ Lakes and all the way to Avon Park, many people heard a loud “boom” this weekend.
Now, military officials are confirming what caused it.
Marsha May heard the noise at her home in Frostproof.
“It sounded like a very loud explosion. First of it scared me, it frightened me, my dogs went under their covers, everything got really quiet. I went outside to look around to see if I could see smoke anywhere,” said May.
John Cavanaugh also heard the sound at his home near the Avon Park Bomb Range.
“Well the sound was similar to a sonic boom,” said Cavanaugh.
The sound was so loud, it moved a door at his home.
“It moved the door at my home about a quarter inch. I have a glass door,” said Cavanaugh.
He grew up on military bases, served in the Air Force and lives near the bomb range, so he is accustomed to the sounds of military aircraft, but to him, this noise was different.
The Highlands County Sheriff’s Office says they’ve been receiving an increased number of calls related to activity at the Avon Park Bomb Range.
“A few weeks ago when there was a big exercise at the bombing range, they didn’t really tell us about [it] and there were a lot of low flying helicopters and planes. Some of them didn’t have lights and our dispatch got somewhere around 100 calls in an hour,” said Scott Dressel with the sheriff’s office.
The commander of the Avon Park facility says the sound people heard didn’t come from his facility.
“No, none of those sounds were associated with the range,” said Lt. Col Daniel Edgar with the United States Air Force.
However, Edgar did hear the noise while outside at his son’s soccer game this weekend.
“We heard the sonic booms, which is pretty disturbing, and then the aircraft,” said Edgar.
A spokesman for NORAD confirmed what the Lt. Colonel witnessed.
Two F-15’s went supersonic this weekend and broke the sound barrier.
NORAD posted this on their Twitter account: “The loud noise reported Saturday afternoon in the vicinity of Tampa was likely the result of a sonic boom caused when 2xF-15s from the 159FW, operating under the direction of #NORAD, went supersonic to meet mission requirements. An investigation of the event is currently underway.”
NORAD is not confirming what the mission of the F-15’s was, but a spokesperson says it was not in response to any threat.
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