Freeport, Illinois — Were you one of the residents of Freeport who heard a loud boom in the skies over the city this past Saturday night? If you answered yes, you wouldn’t be alone.
Seems a number of residents heard a loud, what they call explosion or sonic boom, over the Lincoln Mall / Sullivan Foods area Saturday night around 8:00, and another around 10:00 p.m..
“I just heard a deep bass loud explosion. I now smell heavy smell of sulfur”, one person reported to us. Another wrote, “So what is the loud boom I heard last night? Sounds like Dynamite. Over by the Lincoln Mall”.
That weekend we do know the always fun Joe’s Fest was going on, so in an attempt to try and figure out what happened, we reached out to them to see if they knew anything. They replied, “I was out of town… my dad and Todd said they heard it as well… but down by Sullivans Area.”
We also spoke with a person at the event that evening, who told us they had heard the sound as well. A number of people also reported hearing planes flying in the sky. Going on a hunch we reached out to the airport folks to see if they knew what it was.
They replied, “… it is not related to planes flying over. It would not be a “loud boom” sound unless they were dropping something and we would have known by now if that was the case. Not sure what it was, but sure it wasn’t a plane.”
Interestingly enough when we did some digging around about “loud booms” over Freeport, we discovered there was another time residents heard a loud (sonic) boom over the city.
In Dec. 2014 one person had wrote;
- Has anyone in Freeport heard sonic boom noises from fighter planes? cuz ive been hearing weird noises like that
In Jan. 2014 this discussion took place on social media;
- Who remembers the Luecke kid that flew over Freeport with the fighter jet? Did he do it twice? Cause a sonic boom? Remember what year?
- Yes! I will always remember that it was the loudest thing I had ever heard up until then……….late sixties?
- There was 2 of them. I think it was mothers day too. We lived on American st at the time. We lived there 67 – 71. I want to say 69
- I remember the exact spot where I was playing in the yard
- There were two! One was the Luecke son, and the other was Roger Gugger.
- It was in the summer. I was on the golf course at the Country Club.
- He (Luecke) was SO low we could see his helmet! I am serious!
- He was a Naval pilot on his way to Vietnam.. He recently retired as a Vice Admiral.
Then of recent, this was the conversation from Sat. July 28th, 2018 around 8:00 and 10:00 p.m.
- I just heard a deep bass loud explosion. I now smell heavy smell of sulfur.
- So what is the loud boom I heard last night? It happen around 830 & 10 pm. I hear it often. Sounds like Dynamite. Over by the Lincoln Mall.
- My dad and Todd said they heard it as well… but down by Sullivans Area
Trying to nail down what this loud boom over Freeport could have been, we also reached out to the Freeport Police Department to see if they knew of anything.
Freeport Police said they had received complaints of loud fireworks in the area of Mesa Drive. The map below indicates where resident reports of the loud boom came from, and where Freeport Police received complaints of Fireworks.
Freeport Police did add that officers were not able to locate anything within the city.
Other cities have reported loud booms also. In Springfield they too want to know what’s causing the booms.
In an article written Jan. 31, 2018, city spokeswoman Cora Scott said that the city has received two formal service requests and nine calls about the booms in the past few weeks.
The Springfield News Leader says that resident Angela Edwards, 47, has lived her whole life in Springfield and said she has never heard anything like what she heard early Wednesday morning.
“This is something huge. This is something big … I wouldn’t know how to describe it. It was like a deep, loud boom,” Edwards said. “It wasn’t normal — whatever it was.”
Kim Roberts said she lives in north Springfield and heard a boom Jan. 25 at about 5:20 a.m.
“Everything rattled,” Roberts said. “My husband heard it from the shower.”
This is not the first time booms have perplexed the Springfield area either.
In 2004, the Springfield News Leader reported that a NASA scientist suspected a meteor was behind a loud boom that shook buildings in Webster County.
It turned out the mysterious boom was caused by a fighter jet that broke the speed of sound during a test run, according to a Boeing spokesman. One woman said she wrote a letter to the governor about the jet, asking then-Gov. Bob Holden to do something about it.
“My dear old dog was throwing up all day from it,” she said. “Our neighbor’s cattle stampeded.”
Freeport and Springfield aren’t alone either. Reports of “loud booms” in the sky have come in from Tampa to New York and from Alabama, Oklahoma to Plano Texas.
As for Freeport, at this point no one seems to know what the “loud booms” were that many residents heard over Freeport this past Saturday night.
What do you think they are?
Thoughts? Comments? Chime in.
UPDATE: One of our viewers just sent in these photos captured of a fighter jet they noticed in the skies on Saturday. The photos were taken by the Verizon store on Rt. 26 South at around 10:20 a.m..
The viewer said, “One flew over the store so close it shook the windows. I ran outside and snapped a picture”.
These are the photos they took.