'Booms' reported in Clayton, Wendell
Posted September 7, 2008 6:15 p.m. EDT
Updated September 7, 2008 11:57 p.m. EDT
Clayton, N.C. — Emergency officials said residents in Johnston and surrounding counties reported hearing loud booms that shook their houses Sunday evening.
Most of the reports came in from Clayton and Wendell, starting around 5:45 p.m. WRAL viewers in Selma and Middlesex also reported similar experiences.
"I was inside on the computer, and all of a sudden, I just heard this big, old boom," Clint Banks, of Clayton, said. "This one lady said that her house shook when it happened. But I heard a lot of it, and it lasted, I'd say, about 15 seconds."
"My mom thought something to us happened, because she was downstairs, but it was just a loud boom," Zulit Callejas, of Clayton, said.
Emergency crews searched the area for the source of the noise but could not identify what the noise was, said Capt. Buck Pipkin, with the Johnston County Sheriff's Office.
Some residents have speculated that the noise might have been the result of a sonic boom, a term that is commonly used to refer to the shocks caused by the supersonic flight of a military aircraft.
Pipkin said the sheriff's office has called surrounding air bases and airports, and none reported a missing plane.
Officials at Seymour Johnson Air Force Base in Wayne County said planes are not allowed to produce a sonic boom. All of the base's F-15s completed landing at 4:15 p.m., officials said.
The National Weather Service officials said they did not know of any events – including an earthquake – that would have caused the noise.