UPDATE: Yes, Those Were Sonic Booms We Heard Around 1:45pm Tuesday

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UPDATE 4:30pm 8/17/10: According to the Pierce County Emergency Management (PCWARN), the two loud booms heard around 2pm today were confirmed by the FAA to be from two F-15s intercepting an aircraft breaching the presidential no-fly zone. 911 dispatch centers in Pierce County were temporarily overwhelmed by calls from citizens but were never off line. All dispatch centers remain fully operational.

PREVIOUSLY: Numerous Readers, along with this Reporter, heard two rather large explosions on Tuesday afternoon (Aug. 17) around 1:50pm.

Initial Reader responses indicate that the sounds were heard in Eagle Landing Park, Three Tree Point, SW 148th and Ambaum (where it made a witnesses’ “door and window move”), Des Moines, and as far away as Federal Way.

Here’s what Rebecca Dare wrote us:

Around 1:50 p.m. there were two big booms (sort of like double-booms spaced apart).  It shook our house and seemed like an earthquake.  We headed out into the street and could hear a possible jet far away — don’t know if they were sonic booms or not.  But I’ve never heard or felt anything like that that wasn’t an earthquake.  Have you heard anything from anyone else?

Jm Branson wrote:

Two booms shook my windows near Eagle Landing Park.  My friend said they rattled her house in Federal Way.

My guess is military planes in association with Obama’s visit.

Cassandra wrote:

I am at SW 148th and Ambaum and it was strong enough to make my doors and windows move!

Shelby wrote:

We are over at SW 114th and Ambaum and our doors and windows were shaken as well. No idea what it was though.

Our first thought was a series of short, sharp earthquakes, but the sonic boom theory may be more plausible, as President Obama is in town, which means that accompanying fighter jets may have cause sonic booms.

We just received word from the Washington State Patrol, which says:

Washington State Patrol is reporting the loud booms heard over the South King County area minutes ago is possibly resulting from a Sonic Boom. Residents are encouraged not to call 9-1-1 in regards to this event.

Any questions, you may call Normandy Park Police Department at 206-248-7600.

Also, KING5 is reporting on their Facebook Page:

If you heard/felt the booms this afternoon – the FAA says they are sonic booms from military aircraft in the area.

So…did YOU hear them? Where were you? And what did it sound like to you? Please leave a Comment below:

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17 Responses to “UPDATE: Yes, Those Were Sonic Booms We Heard Around 1:45pm Tuesday”
  1. Elgeorgio says:

    Heard them both here in North Burien and yes they were sonic booms, probaby due to the extra military aircraft with the President in town today

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  2. Wynne says:

    I heard the two booms at 160th and 6th Ave SW in Burien. They both sounded like double booms (“boom-boom”). The first was followed after about 1-2 minutes by a second. It sounded too perfect/regular to be an earthquake or volcano. Still, I sought refuge under my door jamb because I thought the roof might cave in. Definitely shook the windows. Thanks for the quick report.

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  3. Christine says:

    Scared the heck out of me and the dog is still trembling! It shook the whole house!

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  4. Irv Stahlnecker says:

    We heard it loud and clear in South Tacoma and know people as far south as Roy who heard them.

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  5. Jennifer says:

    I know that sonic booms do seem to be a plausible cause of the explosions, but I have heard many sonic booms in my life and they never sounded or felt like that. I also went online and read official descriptions of sonic booms, they say it is very rare that they cause any shaking of ground structures and usually spread out at the farthest 30 square miles. It does not seem to fit the distance and the severity of what was experienced. I know it shook our house like an earthquake, I grew up in CA and know what a house shaking feels like!!I would love to hear other peoples opinions.

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    • Nate says:

      There was also a 2.8 earthquake at that time (possibly resulting from the boom?) that may have accounted for some of the shaking.

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  6. Joseph says:

    It felt like it hit the roof of my house

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  7. Erica says:

    We heard them way down here in the Kent valley where I work. Really loud. It shook the whole building.

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  8. T Taylor Simmons says:

    Well, yes, I heard them… and so did our cats, who cannot be located just over an hour since. I did not think that they were sonic booms, though. Thought they might be ceremonial canon shot due to the President being in town. [He is scheduled to depart soon, I believe]. But sonic booms make more sense – I think… But perhaps it was “air cover” of our skies for the very same reason…

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  9. Bob says:

    Heard 2 loud explosions about 2:00 about 20 seconds apart shook the water truck I was in. Sounded like dynamite explosions.

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  10. Bob says:

    Sorry i forgot to say I am near Napavine exit 68 along I-5

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  11. Jeff says:

    My ears are still ringing from this experience and I live in Steilacoom on the hillside. Environmental noise….

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  12. Jamie says:

    We heard it down in Winlock–about half way between Olympia and Portland.

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  13. jan says:

    Down here at Three Tree Point, it sounded like someone shot off a very very big cannon, twice. A perusal of the beach showed no pirate ships and no one coming on to land to seize the point. It was a window shaker. I’m glad BTB to know what it was. I’d like to know who’d breach a no fly zone?

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  14. Ronnie says:

    I was at the BJ’s at the Tacoma Mall with my mom eating lunch. We heard slight whistling, then the explosion which rocked the entire building followed by the other boom. I figured it was the howlitzer cannons from fort lewis. How cool to be a part of this rarity.

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  15. One week says:

    If the “jets” were sonic booming near seattle, why did the largest and most reports come from the south sound?
    I was almost knocked over and I am still deaf in one ear almost 12 hours later and I live in Lakewood.
    The sounds made the ground shake and almost blew me down.
    BUT if they say it happend near Seattle, they are wrong.
    I was facing southwest and had a 2 story building behind me and was pushed in the direction of Seattle.
    After reading about Sonic booms, the “planes” would have had to of been traveling in the southwest direction to have the air blow at me. right?

    And having lived next to a air base as a kid, I heard 10 or more sonic booms a day growing up. And even though they were very close they sounded and did nothing like this did.

    I don’t know what is was.. but sonic booms it was not.

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  16. karies says:

    My first thought was my dad was probably messing around in the backyard. LOL. My mom boss at work thought she blew up something in the kitchen. LOL. My sister coworker thought someone jump off the building. LOL. Now we all know, what really happened.

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