Turns it out it wasn’t the Americans after all.
A Canadian CF-18 jet on its way from Boise, Idaho to Victoria was the source of the noise that rattled the Greater Victoria region Sunday evening, and sparked countless speculations, according to multiple reports.
Many residents immediately speculated on social media and Reddit, a popular discussion forum, whether Sunday’s boom came from an EA-18G ‘Growler’ jet operating out of the U.S. Naval Air Station on Whidbey Island.
Located some about 45 kilometers southeast across the water from Victoria, the base is home to 82 fully operational Growlers, whose operations have been audible across the region, with their rumblings prompting neighbourhood concerns from residents on Saanich’s Ten Mile Point in the past.
But Tom Mill, a spokesperson for the naval base, said Monday morning that none of its planes were operating over the Greater Victoria region. “It would not have been one of our aircraft,” he said.
Less than a hour later, the mystery surrounding the loud noise lifted.
Confirmation of the plane’s identity, however, appeared to contradict a tweet from the Canadian Armed Forces.
We can confirm that there were no RCAF aircraft airborne over Victoria this evening.
— MARPAC/FMAR(P) (@MARPAC_FMARP) November 20, 2017
“We can confirm that there were no (Royal Canadian Air Force) aircraft airborne over Victoria this evening,” said a tweet from the Canada’s Navy Army and Air Force in the Pacific.
But the incident also sparked several humorous interjections, and revived an earlier story involving the naval base on Whidbey Island. It recently made national news after a pilot based at the station drew sexually suggestive sky graffiti using the contrails of his Growler jet over the Okanogan Valley in Washington state.
The Saanich News also reached out to Transport Canada for additional information, but did not receive a response by deadline.