Something Went ‘Boom’ Near Tampa

Florida Sonic/Seismic Event via Cryptome:

Last night the USGS recorded an earthquake of unknown magnitude centered 2 km south of Tampa FL. The FAA was reported as saying this was a sonic boom cased by two F-18 fighter jets approaching MacDill AFB in Tampa. Anyone who has heard a sonic boom before (and living in Florida, we hear quite a few of them between the space shuttle landings and various military bases) will tell you what happened last night was much more than that.

At 7:41 pm EST, my 3-year old son and I were sitting on the couch when our sliding glass doors started to rattle. 10 seconds later the floor started vibrating, enough to send my son into a panic and inquire what was happening. Having been in earthquakes before, I assumed that's what it was. The entire event lasted about 30 seconds, and was felt in several surrounding counties. A sonic boom, no matter what creates it, is never more than a few seconds. I do not recall hearing the classic “thud” that accompanies the subsonic vibration, but I may have missed it…but the vibration lasted a good 25-30 seconds, and was severe enough to register on local seismic monitoring stations. You can varify the event at earthquake.usgs.gov.

Seeing as how the Air Force alerted the FAA with an explanation, you can probably deduce that this was some sort of military test and the F-18 sonic boom was the cover story. The event was reported in at least 8 surrounding counties, which is an area of a few hundred miles. Sonic booms are never heard or felt over an area that large, even when the space shuttle returns from orbit. Whatever it was, the military isn't giving us the full story, and as usual, the media is doing very little to find out what the real facts are. The Air Force spokesman was quoted as saying the jets would be departing either today or Sunday for the return trip, indicating we may have another “sonic boom”.

Bunker-buster anyone?

UPDATE: Actually, I my memory let me down on this one The bomb I was thinking of wasn't the nuclear bunker-buster, which admittedly is deployed out of Florida, but couldn't possibly have had such a small impact. The bomb I was trying to recall the name of is the “21,700-pound satellite-guided GBU-43/B Massive Ordnance Air Blast Bomb, or MOAB” also known as the 'Mother of All Bombs'. That's the one that got test-dropped on Florida in Nov, 2003.

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8 Responses to Something Went ‘Boom’ Near Tampa

  1. Anderson says:

    “Bunker-buster, anyone?”

    Isn’t that what we have Nevada for? Why on earth would they test such things near Tampa?

  2. Ed says:

    The invasion of Florida has begun!

  3. John says:

    Western WA experienced a large south-to-north fireball, a small (~3.3) earthquake, and two power interruptions blamed on two separate events, within a very few minutes of 8 p.m. PST Saturday 3/11. I didn’t see the first or feel the second (too far from the epicenter) but some who did apparently thought they coincided.

  4. Jason says:

    I Live in Lutz, a town north of Tampa. I was in my vehicle during this incident. I observed an unknown type of aircraft flying at low levels over my subdivision.The craft was flying at very low speeds also between 60mph to 75mph. I am a retired police officer and I have been trained how mesure and guess ground speeds, so I know I am in the ball park for the true speed. The craft was at about 500 feet above the ground. What made me look at this craft was the lights, at the ends of the craft, the lights were pointed up like lanterns and were visable from 360 degrees, these were not landing lights. Also there were anywhere from 4 to 10 lights in the body of the craft that changed in color, intesity, and location. I heard no noise as the craft approached but as the craft was close/almost overhead, it sounded like an avalanche, not like jet engines, or a rotary aircraft. The aircraft came from the East and moved northeast and the turned and moved south/southwest along us Highway 41. as the craft traveled south, two aircraft came from the west and turned south and followed the unidentified craft. My wife was at home and under the flight path of the craft and as it passed it shook our entire house for 30 to 45 seconds. Shortly after the incident, 15 minutes after, the news stations had already recieved a press release about 2 F18′s, that is fast for an Airforce press release. The next day all of my trees had had been shaken and all dead leaves and branches had fallen off. After 15 years Military and civillian law enforcement i have never seen or felt anything like this. And this is not the first time that this happened in our area.

    if anyone has any info email me at Jasestrong@aol.com

    Jason

  5. Melbourne Mom says:

    My husband & I noticed the sliding glass doors rattle about 7:45 pm – they shook for approximately 4-5 seconds, similar to what we experience when the shuttle lands. Earlier in the afternoon, the Atlas 5 launched with a heavy satellitte, but the house didn’t rattle then. Maybe the Air Force was performing some training in the center of the state? We had no planes going over head & live in a cul-de-sac at the back end of a neighborhood – no trucks passing to cause the doors to rattle.

    Melbourne, FL

  6. Ben + Lisa says:

    Hi
    I’m also thinking this was an airborne thing. As we have 3 glass sliding doors on the east of our house
    It shook only one of them. I ran out of my office to hear the strange noise coming from the living room. I can best describe it as blowing a piece of grass between your thumbs, but imagine glass not grass. It was a very low hum almost an oscollation noise
    Ben + Lisa

  7. Ben + Lisa says:

    Hi
    I’m also thinking this was an airborne thing. As we have 3 glass sliding doors on the east of our house
    It shook only one of them. I ran out of my office to hear the strange noise coming from the living room. I can best describe it as blowing a piece of grass between your thumbs, but imagine glass not grass. It was a very low hum almost an oscollation noise
    Ben + Lisa “Land O’ Lakes”

  8. Ben + Lisa says:

    Hi
    I’m also thinking this was an airborne thing. As we have 3 glass sliding doors on the east of our house
    It shook only one of them. I ran out of my office to hear the strange noise coming from the living room. I can best describe it as blowing a piece of grass between your thumbs, but imagine glass not grass. It was a very low hum almost an oscollation noise
    Ben + Lisa “Land O’ Lakes”

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