LAKE OF THE OZARKS, Mo. — A sudden boom shook homes and rattled nerves for Lake-area residents on Wednesday afternoon, but so far, no one is claiming responsibility.
The incident occurred between 4 and 5 p.m. on Aug. 24, and Camden County Sheriff’s Office Sergeant Scott Hines acknowledged the department’s dispatch office received a flurry of phone calls immediately afterward. But Hines said he has no idea what caused the boom.
Many speculated the noise and vibration came from a sonic boom—created by an aircraft breaking the sound barrier. Fort Leonard Wood is only about 40 miles from the Lake of the Ozarks, as the fighter-jet flies, but the base’s communications office pointed out that while the National Guard does fly out of there, they only fly A-10 Thunderbolt II “Warthogs”, which have a max speed of about 439 miles per hour, far short of the 768 mph needed to break the sound barrier.
No aircraft flying out of Fort Leonard Wood could have caused a sonic boom, the FLW communications office said.
The B-2 Stealth Bomber flies out of nearby Whiteman Air Force Base—in fact, the base hosts 20 bombers. But the B-2 only hits Mach 0.95 (630 mph) at top speed.
However, the T-38 Talon training jet flies out of Whiteman, and it can reach Mach 1.3 (858 mph). Could the boom have come from a T-38 training session? A public affairs officer at Whiteman stated, "The aircraft stationed at Whiteman Air Force Base all fly at sub-sonic speeds, so the noise would not have resulted from one of our aircraft."
Could Boeing be the culprit? The company’s St. Louis facility focuses on defense, space and security. As of Thursday at close of business, multiple calls to Boeing had not produced any clear information about the matter.