Mysterious Boom of May 11

Posted 3pm on 12 May 2022

I was trying to take a nap when I heard something much louder than normal. I sat up and wondered what the heck was going on, but there is usually a lot of noise around here, and being half asleep, I wasn't sure exactly what I heard. I peeked out the window, saw nothing unusual, and proceeded with my nap. A few hours later, my father said someone asked him if he heard the boom or explosion and told him that folks were talking about it on social media, so I realized that was what I had heard. I've searched online but was not able to find much useful information. Here is one page:

https://www.volcanodiscovery.com/earthquakes/quake-info/6794581/quake-felt-May-11-2022-Near-Rocky-Mount-North-Carolina-USA.html

It says it occurred at 2:39 PM with the epicenter at 35.91505°N 77.85097°W, placing it in the West Mount Drive area of southwest Rocky Mount. In an odd coincidence, there is a place called Impact Pointe about 500 or 600 feet away from the stated epicenter! It seems to be an apartment building. Here is a satellite image from Google:

https://www.google.com/maps/place/Impact+Pointe/@35.914574,-77.8544589,1273m/data=!3m1!1e3!4m5!3m4!1s0x89ae815b524fffff:0xd6250f6bc647c905!8m2!3d35.9150967!4d-77.8531724

Earthquakes don't make noise, right? So I'm assuming it wasn't an earthquake as we understand earthquakes.

If it was a sonic boom from an supersonic aircraft or missile, why was it heard in one area at one time only and not along a long line over time? Anything supersonic is travelling at least about 11 miles per minute. Considering that it takes time to speed up and slow back down, is it even possible to produce a sonic boom over one city only? And producing sonic booms over populated areas is generally prohibited these days.

I suspect that if it wasn't a test of some supersonic or hypersonic missile or aircraft by the military or a mad scientist, the most likely explanation is a small asteroid or a chunk of a comet that exploded in the atmosphere, known as an air burst, though parts may have even struck the ground. If it was a bolide, it doesn't mean we might be more vulnerable to future impacts. The planet is continuously turning and flying around the Sun, making it difficult for asteroids or comets to hit the same spot again even if they wanted to.

Just last year on November 10, an asteroid exploded over Macclesfield in the Rocky Mount area that was seen in eleven states, and it happened during a SpaceX Falcon 9 rocket launch. Learn more about that at the following link:

https://www.charlotteobserver.com/news/state/north-carolina/article255726886.html

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