Originally Posted by FlightRick
Holy crap, yes. And I don't know about "few seconds." I mean, a few seconds of actual panic, but the confusion and nervousness lasted a good half hour, as I recall.
Turned out -- in the end -- it was just Air Force One's security escort making an unauthorized jump to warp speed over a populated area.... but man alive did that brief period of confusion take a memorable day and make it even more so.
The sonic boom heard over the Dayton area was from a pair (I think) of vipers out of Springfield. As you mentioned, they were in full blower to meet up with Air Force One. One of the pilots who scrambled that day is a co-worker of mine. The details of that sortie are rather haunting in that he went from living his normal life to doing "whatever necessary" to protecting that 747 in a matter of a few minutes.
I don't remember hearing the sonic boom.
A few weeks later, I was playing the sectionals golf tournament at a course in Springfield when I saw a four-ship of vipers scramble. All I could think about was "Oh no, here we go again."
I found out about the events on this website (I was a junior in high school and working on a chemistry project). Like most, I thought that it probably wasn't any more serious than the plane that crashed into the Empire State Building. Five minutes later, my class was ushered across the hall into another classroom where there was a TV. When the second tower fell, it was obvious (at least to me) that the events were an act of war and that Bin Ladin was probably behind them. It was just a few weeks before that we discussed how Al Qaida "declared war" against the US and how funny we all thought it was.
When lunch came, everybody reluctantly got their food but nobody ate more than a few bites. Nobody spoke other than our principal who came up to us and told us to be sure to remember the date.
That afternoon, the local paper interviewed a few of us students and asked us about the prospect of a draft. I think most of us had already begun preparing ourselves mentally for the inevitable call. I also remember a female classmate asking what a 767 was. I've always been an aviation nut and could visually ID any airliner since I was probably the age of 7. I gave her a quick description of the plane in a very crass tone (wish I could have had a redo on that one).