A series of sonic booms that rattled part of the Eastern seaboard Thursday afternoon — felt from southern New Jersey to Long Island — may have been caused by Naval aircraft testing in the area, the Navy said.
The Naval Test Wing Atlantic, based out of the Naval Air Station in Patuxent River, Md., was conducting routine flight testing in the Atlantic Test Ranges this afternoon “that included activities which may have resulted in sonic booms,” the Navy said in a statement. Other military aircraft, including both the Navy and Air Force, frequently use the ranges for testing and training.
“The test wing is critical to the safe test and evaluation of all types of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft in service and in development,” the Navy said.
Some initially believed that it was an earthquake.
— USGS (@USGS) January 28, 2016
Earthquake confirmed in Hammonton New Jersey. No injuries reported.
— Ocean County Sheriff (@OceanCounty911) January 28, 2016
The boom was centered north of Hammontown, NJ, around 1:30 p.m. It was the first of nine booms reported in southern New Jersey and along the Eastern Seaboard to Long Island, New York in the hours following the initial boom, the USGSsaid.
The National Weather Service in Mount Holly said it contacted researchers at Columbia University who confirmed that the trembling was not an earthquake.