CHESTERFIELD, VA (WWBT) – Just before 9:00 a.m. Friday Chesterfield residents from Bon Air to Woodlake say they heard a noise louder than a trash truck, but had no idea where it came from.
It's an unexpected wakeup call that sent fear running through Faye Airhart.
"As I was falling asleep this big boom went off and I sat straight up in bed," she said.
Around 8:53 a.m. she ran outside, worried the crew working on underground cables nearby was in trouble.
"It sounded like several transformers going off at the same time," said Airhart.
Her friends also heard the noise that she reported to police. Chesterfield County dispatchers got 6 calls about the loud noises. Units were dispatched to the locations but nothing was found. Police probably checked out Rey Lowe's Deer Run neighborhood.
"It sounded like thunder. So I stepped up and looked out the window to see if maybe there was a trash truck or something outside and didn't see anything," said Lowe.
A Facebook post about the mysterious sound prompted dozens of comments: people wondered what was that? Could it have been an earthquake? Whatever it was it was enough to scare the dogs.
"A lot of my friends around in the area were noticing it, from Bon Air to Woodlake to Brandermill," said Lowe.
Each location came with its own description; the thud of a phonebook magnified by a hundred, a tree falling, sheet metal plummeting, or something slamming into a house.
Dr. Martin Chapman with Virginia Tech's Geo-Sciences Department says it wasn't an earthquake. It was likely a sonic boom- possibly a plane breaking through the sound barrier. Fort Lee and Fort Pickett say no test flights ran Friday morning. Whatever it was, it did show up on Tech's seismograph-- and was unusually strong.
What do you think it is? "I have no idea. I have no idea," Airhart said.
If you ever hear a loud noise, similar to an explosion call your police department's non-emergency line.