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Loud boom remains a North Whidbey mystery

A loud sound, described by many who heard it as a “boom,” occurred around 10:45 a.m. Wednesday in the Crescent Harbor area.

The source of the noise remains undetermined.

On the Whidbey News-Times’ Facebook page, some speculated it was aircraft operations in the area or an unintended sonic boom.

While air operations were being conducted that morning, representatives at Whidbey Island Naval Air Station said that they weren’t doing any sort of training or operations that would have caused the noise.

The boom sent some Oak Harbor residents rushing outside to look up to the sky.

Aircraft could be heard flying overhead in Oak Harbor at the time of the boom.

Troy Taylor and Mike Harris were working at Jiffy Lube on State Highway 20 in Oak Harbor when they heard a sound that Taylor compares to a gunshot or car backfiring.

“I thought he fell down the stairs,” Taylor said, pointing to Harris. “That’s what it sounded like.”

“He would have been making noise if it was that.”

Owners of Dogwood Pet Resort John and Rita Cline reported that the noise was so loud at the Taylor Road location it sounded like something fell on the roof.

Skip Potilla, city council candidate and Navy veteran, said that his first thought after an aircraft was that maybe a meteorite had passed through the atmosphere.

“It shook the house,” Potilla said. “It was almost like something had hit the house.”

The Island County Sheriff Department and Oak Harbor Police Department reported receiving hundreds of calls about the noise, though they remain unsure of the source.

The Pacific Northwest Seismic Network, which monitors earthquake activity throughout Puget Sound, said they recorded no ground disturbances that day.

Puget Sound Energy said that none of its transformer had exploded and there was no power outages in the area of the boom.

A public affairs officer with the Federal Aviation Administration said “our air traffic people have gone through the radar data for that date - before and after 10:30 - and nothing showed up that was even close to breaking the speed of sound.”

 

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