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Mystery Boom In San Diego Likely Caused By Supersonic Military Flight

The rumblings that rattled some San Diegans were likely caused by aircraft that went supersonic about 35 miles off the coast during a flight demonstration for the USS Carl Vinson family day cruise, Navy officials said.

Sailors and guests observe an air-power demonstration from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during a friends and family day cruise.
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Above: Sailors and guests observe an air-power demonstration from the flight deck of the Nimitz-class aircraft carrier USS Carl Vinson (CVN 70) during a friends and family day cruise.

Shortly after 12:30 p.m. Friday, San Diego-area authorities in various coastal communities began to receive reports of mild ground movement and rumbling sounds of unknown origin .

The U.S. Geological Survey, which tracks seismic incidents, said an earthquake was not responsible and representatives of the Navy and Marine Corps initially said there were no ongoing training exercises that could have caused the temblor-like phenomena.

Friday afternoon, a message was posted on the U.S. Naval Air Forces Facebook page that stated the boom that was heard and felt was likely caused by some aircraft associated with the USS Carl Vinson family day cruise.

"As part of a flight demonstration, two F/A-18 aircraft went supersonic about 35 miles off the coast. Sorry for any inconvenience this may have caused,'' Lt. Aaron Kakiel said in the post.

San Diego police Lt. Andra Brown said she felt downtown SDPD headquarters jolt a bit from inside her fifth-floor office. Likewise, Maurice Luque, spokesman for the city Fire-Rescue Department, detected structural jostling akin to a weak earthquake at his workplace.

Brown said two citizens, one in La Jolla and one in the Sunset Cliffs area, made emergency calls to report rattling windows and distant booms seemingly emanating from the west.

Sheriff's Lt. Paul Robbins said his agency had received "a couple'' of calls from the public about the mysterious rumblings, but deputies were not called out.

No damage or injuries were reported.

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