Sound possibly a sonic boomOne reader (username Quido) had the following to say: "This 'boom' actually originated from the New Page mill in Rumford. A whole dryer section was taken out when a WOMAN accidentally LEANED on an e-stop button." A follow-up comment by another reader denied that this type of equipment stop would make such a loud noise, heard over such a wide area.
Friday, August 15, 2008
NORWAY - Several people in parts of Androscoggin and Oxford counties reported hearing an explosion-like noise early Thursday morning. The noise reported just before 9 a.m. may have been a sonic boom, officials said.
An Oxford County Communications Center dispatcher said several calls came in from Oxford and Hebron but a firetruck dispatched to Hebron Station Road was unable to determine the source of the noise.
Several people speculated it was a sonic boom from a military aircraft. A spokesman for the Brunswick Naval Air Station said he was unaware of any military training exercises in the area and that the noise was not created by aircraft from that base.
John James, public affairs director for the air station, said it's "aerodynamically impossible" for any of its aircraft to go supersonic.
James, a retired naval aviator, said the culprit wasn't from Brunswick. He said the sound barrier can vary depending on altitude and atmospheric conditions, but that the only military flights in the area that could break it would be Vermont Air National Guard F-16 fighter jets, which might be able to do low-level flights over northern Maine.
Aircraft from the Otis Air National Guard station on Cape Cod in Massachusetts also conduct occasional jet-fighter training in the region.[Source]
The Sun Journal followed up with a story in which officials from various military bases who are known to practice maneuvers in the area were interviewed. Possible activity of flyers from Otis, Massachusetts, and Burlington, Vermont, were eliminated, but according to the article, "David McKivergan, a SAD 43 board member from Rumford, said he saw three jets fly over his residence between 8:45 a.m. and 9:30 a.m. Thursday. He said the jets remained in the air for 45 minutes, but he did not hear a sonic boom." More discussion on the sonic boom theory can be found in the article by clicking here: [Source]