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N4T Investigates: Baffling Booms Update. - KVOA | KVOA.com | Tucson, Arizona

N4T Investigates: Baffling Booms Update.

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After months of mystery one man says he knows what was causing a series of explosive like sounds in Oro Valley.

Airquakes, low frequency sounds that move unheard until they bounce off the base of the Santa Catalina Mountains.

"I guess the easiest way to explain it is it's kinda like being in your car and you hear a car roll up next to you. You can hear the bass noise but not the rest of the music. So low frequency waves can propagate a long distance below the spectrum of hearing, then you get rattled by the velocity of the wave," said Keith Morin.

A former research engineer, Morin says he learned about airquakes while studying earthquakes in California.

"As soon as I saw the story you did I knew what it was," said Morin.

What's causing the noise that's causing the airquakes is more of a mystery.

John Peters says the loud booms started in May and lasted for about a month. They were only heard in the morning, always seemed to be coming from the southwest, and could only be heard in the Pusch Ridge neighborhood near the intersection of Linda Vista and Oracle Rd.

One of the booms was so loud it knocked items out of Peter's china cabinet.

"I jumped out of bed and went out and walked around looking for flames or something somewhere that blew up and I saw absolutely nothing," said Peters.

Residents have suggested construction, traffic, cars backfiring, old mines, new recycling trucks, and a vacationing neighbors pool as causes. But, Morin says the airquakes are being caused by sonic booms.

Specifically sonic booms created during supersonic aircraft testing in California.

"They can travel 2300 miles. It goes right by you and you would never even know it," said Morin.

To check out Morin's theory News 4 Tucson investigators contacted several nearby Air Force bases.

Davis-Monthan and Luke Air Force base are not allowed to perform supersonic flights.

Edwards Air Force base in California does share supersonic testing corridor with NASA.

But at more than 500 miles away, official with NASA's Armstrong Flight Research center say the corridor is too far away.

Officials with the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range are still checking to see if testing at the range may coincide with the noises in Oro Valley.

Some residents we spoke too say they're just glad the noises have stopped.

"It was like a car backfiring, like an explosion every time it happened," said Dale Diamond.

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