Mysterious Sonic Boom Scares The Bejesus Out Of People In Several States

Tremors in New York and New Jersey had residents heading for high ground on Thursday — and though they apparently weren’t the result of an earthquake, the cause is still a mystery.

There were reports of up to five waves of tremors throughout southern New Jersey before 2 p.m., according to Patch. An employee there likened the shaking to “a large truck passing by on the street, strong enough to rattle the house.”

Local police agencies were investigating while simultaneously begging residents to stop calling 911, according to reports.

The U.S. Geological Survey ruled out an earthquake, pointing to a sonic boom as the probable cause. The National Weather Service confirmed one on Twitter:

Did you fell shaking in S NJ?? We have confirmation of a sonic boom, not an earthquake, in S NJ today. #njwx #sonicboom #sonicnotseismic

— NWS Mount Holly (@NWS_MountHolly) January 28, 2016

But who — or what — could have caused the sonic boom?

A military jet is the go-to explanation for a sonic boom, which is defined as “the thunder-like noise a person on the ground hears when an aircraft or other type of aerospace vehicle flies overhead faster than the speed of sound,” according to NASA.

But there were no planned military training exercises at Joint Base McGuire-Dix-Lakehurst on Thursday, NBC Philadelphia reports. Federal aviation regulations state that no civilian jets are allowed to fly at supersonic speeds over residential areas in the United States, and military jets are under similar restrictions when flying below 10,000 feet, according to a Department of Defense flight manual obtained by The Huffington Post.

Meteors have been known to cause sonic booms, even if you’re not able to see them breaking up in the atmosphere. —> Read More