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Large boom shakes homes near Tampa, cause unknown

Last Updated Dec 11, 2017 at 11:41 am EDT

TAMPA, Fla. – A massive boom shook homes across Pasco, Hillsborough and Polk counties over the weekend. Residents called government hotlines, and theories swirled online. Could it be military operations? An explosion? A meteor? Supersonic jets?

Half a dozen government agencies all had the same answer Saturday: We don’t know, but we didn’t do it.

Tampa Bay is surrounded by military bases and has a long history of mysterious booms often attributed to military tests. But those military bases said they didn’t cause the 1:45 p.m. boom.

The Tampa Bay Times said there was one possible explanation: Two F-15 fighters were given permission by NORAD to fly at supersonic speed — in excess of 760 mph — over the Gulf of Mexico, said Canadian Air Force Lt. Marco Chouinard, a NORAD spokesman.

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Information from: Tampa Bay Times (St. Petersburg, Fla.), http://www.tampabay.com.