[meteorite-list] Suspected Sonic Boom Heard Over England

From: Ron Baalke <baalke_at_meteoritecentral.com>
Date: Mon Nov 8 16:36:27 2004
Message-ID: <200411082136.NAA06540_at_zagami.jpl.nasa.gov>


UFO boom - Unidentified Foreign Object
EDP24 (United Kingdom)
November 8, 2004

A suspected sonic boom heard across north-east Norfolk today was not
caused by a British aircraft, it was confirmed tonight.

The loud bang, heard at least from Sheringham to Halvergate near
Yarmouth, startled hundreds of people going about their daily business
at around noon.

But a Ministry of Defence spokesman said it was not a domestic fighter
that caused the incident, although he was unable to confirm the source
of the sonic boom.

"We believe there was a sonic boom, but it was not a British aircraft
that caused it," said Lt Col Stuart Green. "t was not one of ours."

Whether the aircraft was European or American was not clear, but they
would be the most likely suspects. But it would have been a military
aircraft, as no civilian plane is capable of going fast enough to make a
sonic boom.

A spokesman for the UK Civil Aviation Authority said the now out of
service Concorde was the only civilian craft that had ever been able to
travel fast enough to create the phenomenon.

North Norfolk MP Norman Lamb described how he had been sitting in his
office in North Walsham when he heard an "incredible boom".

"The building shook and like many people I was shocked. I thought 'has
there been some sort of gas explosion?'"

Mr Lamb said he felt the "disturbing" incident begged questions that
needed to be answered. He pledged to approach ministers for an explanation.

Ben Dunnell, assistant editor of Aircraft Illustrated and formerly from
Norfolk, said sonic booms were rare in the UK. "There are regulations
governing supersonic flight, but it is not clear what happened on this

When the sonic boom was heard, windows and homes shook while some people
were reported to have been running for cover.

"I heard this enormous explosion," said John Hilton, who was in Stalham
at the time. One or two people were very worried, although most realised
fairly quickly what it probably was. But I don't feel things like this
should be happening."

Police and RAF bosses received scores of calls from those concerned at
the explosion.

A sonic boom is a loud noise generated when an aeroplane travels faster
than sound waves, which move at approximately 750mph at sea level.
Pressure waves merge to form shock waves, which are heard as sonic booms
when they hit the ground.

Although there has been no official confirmation of the noise being a
sonic boom, a spokesman at RAF Coltishall said there had been an
assumption it was. He added that the Ministry of Defence in London was
handling the investigation into the incident.

A spokeswoman for Norfolk police said it was possible the noise was a
sonic boom and that the investigation was in the hands of the RAF.

The noise was heard in Overstrand momentarily before it was heard in
Cromer, suggesting it came from an aircraft travelling east to west.
Received on Mon 08 Nov 2004 04:36:23 PM PST

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