A defense official says sonic booms heard and felt along the New Jersey coast and as far away as Long Island and Connecticut likely were caused by a fighter jet conducting tests.

The official tells The Associated Press that a U.S. military F-35 Joint Strike Fighter was conducting flight tests along the coast on Thursday. The flights were out of Naval Air Station Patuxent River in Maryland.

The stealthy, Lockheed Martin-made fighter jet has a top speed of nearly 1,200 miles per hour.

The official was not authorized to discuss the matter publicly and spoke on condition of anonymity,

U.S. Geological Survey geophysicist Bruce Presgrave says nine booms were recorded over the span of 90 minutes.