Military jets performing training maneuvers over Gulf of Mexico waters are being credited with creating sonic booms heard along Florida's west coast earlier this week, to include Pasco, Hillsborough, Marion, Levy, Hernando and Citrus counties.

The sheriff's offices in Pasco and Citrus counties have said the most likely explanation is that jets based at Eglin AFB in Florida's Panhandle had created the booms that shook windows and rattled dishes.

That was confirmed by an Eglin AFB Public Affairs spokesman, who said the "atmospheric conditions" most likely caused the booms to be heard as the military was performing maneuvers over the Gulf.

Military exercises have been going on over Gulf waters for decades, and this week's reports of "booms" being heard is not the first time sonic booms have caused public confusion.

In November 2009, the Sun Herald newspaper in Mississippi reported a story about this same "mystery" that covered a large swath of Mississippi waters. The newspaper noted that Eglin is the base that controls military training ranges - airspace over the Gulf of Mexico used for military maneuvers in that part of the Gulf. An Eglin AFB spokesman said, however, that the type of jet being flown at the time of the booms would not produce sonic booms because they weren't fast enough. [ Story here ]

In March 2009, other booms were reported near Mobile, Ala. and Pensacola by WKRG-TV. Reports had the TV station checking out possibilities for the source of the booms, such as earthquakes, Eglin AFB, sheriff's offices and emergency management officials. [ Story Here ]