Mystery boom rattles region


April 4, 2006

By: North County Times

NORTH COUNTY ---- A mysterious booming sound rocked the region Tuesday morning, causing a flurry of phone calls to authorities who couldn't explain the cause.

"It sounded like someone was dropping a 500-pound bomb," said Sgt. J.T. Faulkner at the Poway Sheriff's Station.

Officials said there was no definite evidence to link the blast about 8:55 a.m. to atmospheric conditions, earthquakes, sonic booms or explosions from artillery training at Camp Pendleton.

"We really don't have anything to confirm the cause," said Stephen Rea, emergency services coordinator for San Diego County's Office of Emergency Services. "There was no damage throughout the county."

The U.S. Geological Survey didn't register anything in the immediate area.

"We felt something shake our building," said Lt. Jim Bolwerk at the sheriff's communication center in Kearny Mesa, where dispatchers immediately fielded phone calls from concerned residents.

Cpl. K.T. Tran, spokesman for Camp Pendleton north of Oceanside, said he didn't feel any shaking in his building. The base started training at 6 a.m. with 81mm mortars that can sometimes be heard up to 50 miles away.

"I felt it at my home, University City," said forecaster Philip Gonsalves of the National Weather Service. "All that happened was that my windows rattled. There's a lot of speculation (about the cause), but that's all it is."