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What was that BOOM? Probably fighter jets

A McDonnell Douglas F-15 Eagle (this model is an F-15C-35-MC) flies over Washington, D.C., in October 2007. (U.S. Air Force photo — Staff Sgt. Samuel Rogers, public domain)

SARANAC LAKE — A loud boom heard throughout the Saranac Lake region shortly after 10 a.m. Thursday was likely caused by a fighter jet from a Massachusetts air base traveling at high speeds.

Eric Rhoads on Spitfire Lake in Paul Smiths said the explosive sound, “shook the whole house and paintings fell off the wall.”

Others said they heard it over Zoom calls with people in Saranac Lake. It was also felt in nearby Bloomingdale and Vermontville.

Some heard two booms. Some heard rumbling after the noise and some did not.

State Police Public Information Officer Jennifer Fleishman said troopers conducted an investigation.

“Several witnesses saw jets flying at the same time,” she wrote in an email.

She said the Vermont National Guard told her they were not flying jets in this area then.

Officials at the Fort Drum Army base near Watertown also said it was not their plane.

Julie Avey, from the public affairs office for the Barnes Air National Guard Base in Westfield, Massachusetts, said jets from that base had two possible routes they were flying Thursday morning, one out over the ocean and the other on land, which she said could have taken them over the Adirondacks.

The 104th Fighter Wing, which flies out of this Massachusetts base, flies F-15 Eagle jets, which have a top speed of 1,875 miles per hour. The speed of sound is around 767, and the F-15 is a Mach 2 jet, meaning it can travel twice the speed of sound. When a jet is traveling at supersonic speeds, it produces a “boom” sound.

The F-15 also has a maximum range of 3,450 miles, easily traveling across states.

Employees at Trudeau Sand and Gravel outside Saranac Lake also said it was likely not the Upstone Materials quarry they are neighbors with on state Route 3, as they did not see the “mushroom cloud” of dust they usually would when the quarry is blasting.

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