A loud noise that prompted Nassau residents to call police Wednesday afternoon was attributed to a sonic boom from fighter jets.
“The reported sound of an explosion in Queens was two military F-22 aircraft flying over the area,” the NYPD said in a post on Twitter.
Nassau police agreed. “We’re saying it was a sonic boom from a military plane overhead,” a police spokeswoman said.
No military branch has claimed responsibility and the type of aircraft that caused the sonic boom was uncertain Wednesday.
Earwitnesses from Queens to Nassau, including Valley Stream, all heard the explosive sound, an experience that for some was intensified by the recent Chelsea and New Jersey bombings.
Breanne Ayala, 30, director of development at the Valley Stream Christian Academy, who was working in her office Wednesday afternoon, initially shrugged off the unsettling thud.
“At first, I honestly just thought it was a slammed door,” she said.
Then she heard people talking about it. “They’re realizing that this noise came from all over,” she said. “Then my heart started racing.
“It was a little scary, especially with this past week, and all the stuff going on, the crazy people,” Ayala said.
Military officials could not immediately say which service branch’s aircraft caused the blast.
Though the North American Aerospace Defense sent F-15s out this morning to enforce the temporary flight restrictions in the metropolitan area during the United Nations General Assembly, those jets were not believed to have caused the sonic boom.
“From all indications, loud noise heard in New York and New Jersey not caused by any NORAD aircraft,” NORAD said.
In January, what felt and sounded like a series of mini-earthquakes also unnerved many Long Islanders, but military officials said that, too, was caused by sonic booms from a U.S. Navy stealth fighter jet tearing across the sky on an afternoon test flight.
Sonic booms can register at close to 200 decibels, making them nearly twice as loud as thunderclaps. They are caused by shock waves produced when an aircraft exceeds the speed of sound, which is 761.2 mph.