Sonic boom from F-22 rocks the Central Coast
December 20, 2012
An F-22 fighter aircraft flying off the coast of California caused a sonic boom that shook the Central Coast Thursday morning, according to an Edwards Air Force Base spokesman.
People all over San Luis Obispo County said they felt shaking around 9:30 a.m., and some in coastal areas said they heard a big boom.
Sportscaster CJ Silas was hiking near Avila Beach at the time and said she heard a very mysterious boom.
“I heard a gnarly, big boom,” Silas said. “It was different than anything I’ve ever felt before.”
But, Edwards Air Force Base spokesman John Haire said the sonic boom was not out of the ordinary. The F-22 flight coupled with cool weather and moist air led to the loud boom and shaking, he said.
“It’s not unusual in the winter time,” Haire said. “Anytime you have cool weather like today, you have moist air, high humidity, it will make the sonic boom more audible for a longer distance.”
Haire said that similar F-22 flight tests occur on a near daily basis, but people usually do not notice due to different meteorological conditions. Haire speculated that the proximity in time of the sonic boom to the alleged apocalypse prophesied in ancient Mayan culture could have caused people to overreact.
“It’s not something they’d be used to hearing, and there are people who are going to have on the back of their mind this Mayan thing,” Haire said.
Haire added that people at Edwards Air Force Base, located in the Antelope Valley, hear sonic booms very frequently.
“At Edwards, we hear sonic booms and, unless it really rocks the building, it’s business as usual,” Haire said. “And if it does, we say that was a really good one.”
Some Central Coast residents initially believed an earthquake occurred, but the U.S. Geological Survey did not report any earthquakes in the area at the time.