Despite night flight training off the coast, a spokesman for the 177th Fighter Wing of the New Jersey Air National Guard said he could not confirm the unit's planes were the cause of the booms heard by many South Jersey residents Wednesday night.

The fighter wing, based out of Atlantic City International Airport, conducts night flying as part of its normal operational readiness training, Master Sgt. Andrew Moseley said. Moseley added that it was not confirmed that the flights, 25 miles off shore, caused the noises heard by locals.

“We want the public to know that we try to minimize any disturbance to the greatest possible extent,” Moseley said. “We want to be good neighbors, and we try to minimize plane noise as much as possible.”

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Moseley added that there were thunderstorms and lightning from Cape May to Little Egg Harbor Township, and “quite possibly that could have caused it as well.”

National Weather Service meteorologist Greg Heavener said there were storms off the coast from 2 to 5 a.m. Thursday, though while there were no reports of cloud-to-ground lightning and thunder, there may have been cloud-to-cloud lightning.

“So there were heavy storms, and it’s entirely possible that what they did hear was thunder,” Heavener said. Many reports of booms on social media, however, came during the 10 p.m. hour Wednesday.

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