If you live near the Melford Office Park in Bowie, you may have heard some strange sounds Wednesday morning.
Bowie residents reported hearing loud booms, gunfire and helicopters in the area of Routes 301 and Route 3, near Melford, in the early morning hours.
"Did you hear any loud booms last night? I hear 15 loud booms (sounding like bombs) after 3:20 AM. Around the area of 50 & 301. Also heard automatic weapon fire between the booms. Then saw & heard helicopters over Melford. Wonder what happened?" Bowie resident Cindy Larson Calloway tweeted in a message to Bowie Patch this morning.
"Does anyone know what all the noise was about in Bowie at 4:00 AM? Occasional explosions/gunshots?, plus something that sounded like automatic weapons?" asked Kathleen Little Sorokin on the Bowie Patch Facebook page.
The noises, which resembled heavy police activity, were actually just the sounds of a training exercise being conducted by the Institute for Defense Analyses, according to Bowie Police Chief John Nesky.
The Institute for Defense Analyses has a federally funded research center in the Melford Office Park to "provide objective analyses of national security issues, particularly those requiring scientific and technical expertise, and conduct related research on other national challenges," according to the organization's website.
So, although things were a bit noisy Wednesday morning, there was no real police activity in the area, said Nesky, who added that he'd received several calls about the noise Wednesday.