Residents of several Rogers County towns report hearing a loud "boom" Saturday night, but there are no reports of any explosion or public safety issue, according to authorities.
People in Claremore, Catoosa, Inola Verdigris and Pryor have called in or written to report hearing and feeling the noise. Some say it took place at about 8:30 p.m., others report 9 p.m.
News On 6 contacted Rogers County Sheriff's Office, Mayes County Sheriff's Office and Claremore Police who say no explosions have been reported or found. They have received calls reporting the loud booming noise, however.
It's possible, maybe even likely, the boom was caused by an airplane breaking the sound barrier. The Federal Aviation Administration has banned civilian aircraft from creating sonic booms over the United States since 1973. The only exception was the Concorde, a jet liner flown by British Airways and Air France, which is no longer in service.
The FAA allows military aircraft to break the sound barrier over the U.S. as long as they're above 10,000 feet. The Air National Guard in Tulsa flies F-16s and Vance Air Force Base near Enid flies the T-38, as does Whiteman Air Force Base near Kansas City. Both the F-16 and T-38 are capable of easily breaking the sound barrier.
Two of the U.S. military's newest fighters, the F-22 and the F-35, also have top speeds far in excess of the sound barrier. The F-35 is being built in Fort Worth and one of the bases of the F-22 is in New Mexico.
The Air Force does not usually discuss, much less announce, when its aircraft break the sound barrier.