Local News

WRAL viewers talk about booming noises

Posted September 7, 2008

WRAL viewers reported hearing multiple loud booms or explosions in Johnston, northwestern Wake, southern Nash and northwestern Wilson counties around 5:45 p.m. on Sunday, Sept. 7, 2008.

  • "As was previously reported, there is currently no answer. I would like to suggest an alternative. It's quite possible that it was a meteor that burned up, or blew up, in the skies above NC. I have heard a similar noise during a meteor shower. One in particular made a sizzling or hissing noise. Several people that heard it also mentioned hearing something like this. Not sure if there is anyway to check o this, but it may be something to look into, as they will produce a sonic boom if big/low enough, and if exploded in the air, then it could have had many of the same effects as a bomb going off without making a crater or any other signs on the ground. Just a suggestion." - Chris
  • "Our neighbor actually saw jets right before the boom so we also thought that it was a sonic boom. It shook everything in the house" - Dana
  • "There was a major boom here at approximately 5:45 p.m. in Wendell. The entire house shook. (I) talked with my parents in Clayton approximately 15 minutes later who are at least 20 miles from here, and they heard it also and their house also shook." - Gary Stevens
  • "We live in the Powhatan area of Clayton just off Highway 70 and a loud boom noise shook our house. We checked and couldn't find any reason for the noise." - Teresa and Jesse Scott
  • "We have a decent size house (3500 square feet) and the boom shook the house on it's foundation. I went outside and dogs were barking all around us. I saw nothing that could cause it." - Rodney Radford
  • "Dust fell from celling, sounded like a crash. Our house shook." - Joey
  • "It shook our entire house! We thought someone had crashed into our home!" - Amy
  • "Boom, boom, boom. It shook the house like a car had hit the house. All the neighbors came running out. We don’t see any smoke. My son lives six miles away and he heard it as well." - Carol Gibbs
  • "It was pretty sizable. It was clearly an explosion. The house shook alright - from behind us." - Bob Greene
  • "Huge explosion heard. Shook entire neighborhood. No smoke seen. Seemed very close. Sounded like a bomb exploding!" - Scott Murphy
  • "There was just a noise in Clayton that sounded like a huge explosion that shook the houses of our neighborhood and surrounding neighborhoods." - Carla Cawthorn
  • "Heard two extremely loud booms a split second apart. Everyone in the subdivision came out of their homes to investigate but unsure of the cause." - Scott Hall
  • "My family and I were all eating dinner and hear a very loud boom and our house jolted. Felt as (though) a tree (had) crashed into our house. We went outside but didn't see a thing. No smoke, no fallen trees, no car accidents." - Brandon Beasley
  • "We heard a very loud boom that shook the whole house. It sounded like an explosion or crash. Our dogs went crazy. We ran outside only to find nothing but, heard a jet in the distance. We think it was a sonic boom!" - Elliott & Lisa Parrish
  • "We were on the back deck at approximately 5:45 p.m. when we heard the explosion and felt the vibrations being reported in Clayton and Wendell." - Felicia Britt
  • "My husband and I thought for a moment we were back in California, there was a low boom and the house shook, as if there had been a sharp (our terms) earthquake. Not one of the long rolling earthquakes, but a shorter one. A car's alarm was set off nearby and kept going for bit, similar to what happens in CA when earthquakes happen, or sonic booms. Or an explosion!" - Laurel W.
  • "The boom wasn't heard just in Clayton. I live (in) Selma, and we heard the same booms. It emptied every house on our street." - Chris Stafford
  • "Two rapid explosions shook entire neighborhood. Many people came outside to see what was going on. Local volunteer firemen were apparently called to duty, as we saw several of them quickly left the subdivision. We felt the shock while swimming in the neighborhood pool. We saw no smoke or other evidence of fire." - Tim Pursell
  • "I was sitting in front of the computer and suddenly a loud explosion shook the desk. It seemed so close that I thought something had fallen onto the roof. I went outside, but couldn't see anything. It was heard as far as JDs Country Store in Wilson's Mills." - Sheila Taylor
  • "I was in my apartment in the Cobblestone Village complex and it sounded as though a car had exploded in our parking lot. Scared me so bad. Was looking for smoke but saw none. What is going on?!?!?! I know others are aware which makes me glad; I didn't just imagine it!" - Rebecca
  • "My 7-year-old daughter heard a loud explosion when she was outside playing. She ran in talking about it." - Mark Brooks
  • "At about 5:45pm, I heard a loud boom, and also felt the walls of my house shake. The sound sound was reminiscent of the sonic boom that occurred when the space shuttle was landing at Edwards Air Force Base a few years ago. Very similar ..." - Gina Cross
  • "The ground shook and windows rattled. We only heard one boom." - Michelle Johnson
  • "An explosion occurred shaking the houses of everyone in the area. I walked outside but didn't see anything unusual. I know military aircraft fly above frequently and from my military experience it sounded like a sonic boom." - James
  • "We have no idea what the BOOM was, but it sounded like the shelving in my garage falling on the car, or a plane crash, or a huge THUD! It shook the entire house and neighborhood! Neighbors came outside to ask each other if they felt it and what it was? I've checked seismic web sites and do not see any activity... It was weird... We have 3 small kids... I thought one of them had fallen through the ceiling. My son thought the DISH had fallen off the side of the house or something... Can't wait to hear what it was and hopefully no one was hurt!" - Wayne Smoak
  • "My family and I were eating inside Los Ranchos in Clayton. We heard four loud booms. We did not feel any shaking." - Lowry
  • "I live about six to seven miles outside of Kenly off of Highway 42 and I heard the same loud boom at my house that shook my home." - Kathy Davis
  • "This did not sound like a jet sonic boom. Plus the brick house shook. Sounded more like (an) explosion and felt like (an) explosion." - George
  • "My neighbor and I were standing in the back yard and heard what sounded like a sizzle, then a loud pop and then a boom." - Tracy
  • "Around 5:47 p.m., I was inside the house, kids were playing with my wife outside. We heard 1 loud initial boom, followed by another short sharp, louder boom, followed by another longer boom. I ran outside, as did everyone in the neighborhood we could see, thinking a tree had fallen or something had detonated. We're near the new 70 Bypass and 42 intersection, and it literally shook the house for a few seconds. Our first thought was that they were blasting rock at the new Wal-Mart site, but the explosion was far stronger then anything you'd get at a construction site." - T.G.
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  • mmafighterwife Sep 8, 12:46 p.m.

    In March 2001, I lived about 4 miles from base in Goldsboro, and I will never forget it. My baby was 4 days old and I was asleep on the couch and this LOUD boom noise woke me up from a deep sleep and the pictures fell off the wall. Long story short I thought a car exploded, something exploded and called my mother who was 20 miles away in another county and she heard the same noise. It turned out to be a sonic boom that took place over Snow Hill and was NOT reported until 3 days later. The base denied it at first and then 3 days after that it was reported the pilot was in a lot of trouble for it, so maybe that is what happend if there is no visible signs of mother nature doing her thing.

  • ncguy Sep 8, 10:34 a.m.

    BTW, It was really close to game time for NC State and they had a fly over- It's possible that theye were late getting there and put the throttle down to make it there faster.

  • ncguy Sep 8, 10:17 a.m.

    Some pilots are getting chewed out today over this. The air force has denied it because they are not allowed to do it. The pilots were doing their Tom cruise Top gun stuff and are gonna pay for it by probably being grounded for a month...

  • dwillis Sep 8, 9:42 a.m.

    I grew up in Omaha in the 60's just a few miles from Offut Airforce base which is also Strategic Air Command headquarters. We frequebtly heard sonic booms created by aircraft breaking the sound barrier. The lower an aircracft flies, the louder the boom is. There is also 1 boom per aircraft. The booms we heard Sunday afternoon, (2 of them) were definitely caused by aircraft breaking the sound barrier. Seconds after the booms, we could hear the aircraft. We also experienced a low altitude flyover by 4 (what appeared to be) F18's flying at approximately 3,000 from east to west on Saturday afternoon.

  • Spittin Dat Knowledge Sep 8, 9:35 a.m.

    It was prolly a UFO ..lol

  • Centurian Sep 8, 9:17 a.m.

    I was outside and definitely heard the fading sound of a jet engine for about 4-5 seconds after the boom. No doubt in my mind, it was a sonic boom caused by a (military) jet. The military will not confirm or deny such events as is their standard protocol.

  • boomylar Sep 8, 8:48 a.m.

    wow i guess i missed that! lol, then again i live very close to base and i hear all the weapons going off that also shake our house on a daily base...guess that i got use to it

  • smurph92703 Sep 8, 8:28 a.m.

    We live in Clayton and also heard AND felt the explosive booms. I agree with Chris about the meteor. That's exactly waht I told my husband shortly after it happened. It was TOO widespread to be a sonic boom and it was way too short to be an earthquake and also to atmospheric. All I know is it scared the bejeezus out of me! Deb-Clayton