Anybody else hear explosions and gunfire off Sunset Cliffs Thursday night?

by on November 16, 2012 · 5 comments

in Environment, Ocean Beach

A reader has contacted us with the following complaint about being woken up Thursday night, Nov. 15th, by what sounded to her like explosions and gunfire off the cliffs. She says she lives a block from Sunset Cliffs.

Here is her communication to us (her identity at this point is confidential, but she may wish to disclose it if someone else heard similar noises):

I was wondering if more people reported gunfire late Thursday night just before midnight. Just before going to sleep, I was shaken up by loud explosions, followed by shots and automatic machine gun fire.

This went on for about 20 minutes and it appeared to come from the sea. I live one block away from Sunset Cliffs Blvd.

At one point I saw a flash coming from the sea possibly a flare or bomb.

Maybe it is a classified situation regarding the Navy, but for the last 13 years that I lived have here I have never encountered something like this at this time of night.

 Did anyone else hear this?

If you did, let us know – leave a comment here or email us at – you will remain anonymous if you wish.


{ 5 comments… read them below or add one }

Goatskull November 16, 2012 at 3:26 pm

Most likely it was the Navy doing live gunfire exercises. I work on Catalina Blvd and hear them sometimes coming from the Pacific.


Tony November 17, 2012 at 12:47 am

The reader then noted that the effects of the magical mushrooms began to wear off just about the time the sounds dissipated.


mr.rick November 18, 2012 at 7:29 am

There are a few biker types I’ve known in OB that have or do experiment with the effects of gun fire and explosions on the 911 system. They discharge different calibers of fire arms and then monitor the frequency of calls to 911. Just probing.


JHinPL August 15, 2014 at 3:05 am

We live on Pt Loma Ave above Guizot. 14AUG2014 about 9:30PM, from our back yard, wife and I saw and heard heavy caliber automatic gunfire and explosions on Sunset Cliffs. From our perspective it appeared to be near Osprey Point. Went on for about ten minutes and was NOT the Navy and NOT kids with fireworks.

We called 911 and they had no other reports so we drove down to investigate. Two kids near No Surf said they had seen and heard the gunfire and explosions just offshore. We ran into an older gentleman who had heard the sound from his home on Leon. So, we weren’t just hearing things!

Strangely, though, no crowds of looky-loos (other than us three) or cops! We thought it was a running gun battle or a film shoot. No evidence of anything! I’ve lived here 53 years and never heard anything like it!


Annonomus May 15, 2020 at 2:16 am

I lived here 8 years and my wife has lived here 30 years and other than a couple years back we heard cars screeching and guns tiered then the gun fire was being exchanged at one location after we heard police sirens then mother absolutely nothing. I’m sure someone got killed. But a couple few weeks ago there was a helicopter starting the coast firing machine gun rounds and not holding back they must have unloaded 4 belts of rounds and then it felt off and there was nothing this was at 11:00 to 2:am somewhere in there very alarming. And these last few nights we hear a helocopter circle ob at 2a.m. Without announcing anything really weird wtf are they doing at that time of night flying over residentual. We have years little planes fly over way beyond midnight and there is this super huge aircraft like an aircraft carrier in the sky that flys by weekylish sometimes in the twilight sometimes in the day time and some times very late night. Wtf is going on?


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