Around 8 p.m. NewsChannel 15 received several phone calls and messages on Facebook about a large boom that shook many houses. On Monday an Horry County police officer confirmed there were military exercises being conducted but Tuesday the officer said he could not confirm that it in fact was a military exercise.
We had reports of the noise from Johnsonville to Aynor, all the way to Mullins and Marion.
Marion County dispatchers say they received more than 100 calls in ten minutes, but they aren’t sure what caused the noise or the direction it came from.
Dispatchers did confirm it’s not a plane crash.
The U.S. Geological Survey is not reporting any earthquakes in the Carolinas.
Many viewers said they saw bright light and heard a large explosion, so loud it felt like an earthquake.
“I saw the lights they looked like helicopters,” said Joe Johnson of Bridge Neck. “Then there was a loud roar.”
We contacted Shaw Air Force Base, they told us they are not performing any exercises in the area, although there are other bases along the East Coast that can fly over our area.
MARION, S.C. — Many residents in the Marion area — and those even in North Carolina — heard and felt a “boom” around 7:30-7:45 Monday night.
The sound has been described as “house-shaking” and very loud. Many folks say that there were actually two “booms” — with one seconds after the first.
Dozens of calls have come into the dispatch center in Marion. Other callers to WBTW heard the sound in Horry County and in Johnsonville. Folks on Facebook said it was felt in Nichols, Hannah and especially in Pamplico.
“We really felt it here in Pamplico.. lol… scared the mess out of us!!!” said Ashley Hudson on Facebook.
A caller to WBTW said he talked to his friends in Evergreen, NC, and that they also heard the boom.
Johnsonville Police Chief Ron Douglas said that the boom — a sonic boom — was “from a handful of military aircraft,” The Weekly Observer reported on its Facebook page.
Sonic booms are created when jets go so fast they exceed the sound of speed, thus causing the “boom.”
A reporter for the Weekly Observer in Hemingway also said that he saw several aircraft in the sky just after the loud noise.
“I saw six jet aircraft with more lighting behind them than normal. This would lead me to believe they were engaging their afterburners and thus the super-sonic speeds and sonic-boom that followed,” Matt McColl wrote on Facebook.
There was an Air Force training exercise scheduled for the Pee Dee region on Halloween morning, but nothing was announced for Monday. (See story about previous training)
A search of the US Geological Survey website revealed no activity related to earthquakes.