That shaking you felt Thursday afternoon has now been officially explained by the U.S. Navy.

The United State Geological Survey confirmed a sonic boom outside of Hammonton Thursday afternoon that may have caused the earthquake-like shaking across much of South Jersey.
The Navy Air Station Patuxent River released this statement later Thursday concerning the sonic boom we experienced...

"Flight test likely cause of sonic boom
Aircraft from Naval Test Wing Atlantic were conducting routine flight testing in the Atlantic Test Ranges this afternoon that included activities which may have resulted in sonic booms.

The test wing is critical to the safe test and evaluation of all types of Navy and Marine Corps aircraft in service and in development and is primarily based out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River, Md. Other military aircraft, including both Navy and Air Force, also frequently use the ranges for testing and training.

An F-35C from Naval Air Station Patuxent River, MD was conducting supersonic testing in a cleared military flight area off the east coast earlier today. An F/A-18 aircraft accompanied the F-35C during the test.

As with all flight operations, the Navy takes precautions to lessen the impact of testing and training activities on the community. Military aircraft routinely conduct supersonic flights offshore in an area called the Test Track, which parallels the entire coast of the Delmarva Peninsula.

Test aircraft from the naval air station execute supersonic flights almost daily in the test track, and most of these sonic booms are never felt on land. However, under certain atmospheric conditions there is an increased potential to hear the sound. "

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