‘Sonic boom’ mystery that felt like ‘explosion’ to people across country solved

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    The mystery of a "sonic boom" that caused "ground shakes" across the country has finally been solved.

    Hundreds of people in the Midlands and the south of England, including Leicester, Oxford and Northampton, reported hearing the sound today (March 4), which some believed to be an explosion.

    Several people even said the bang had caused their houses to shake.

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    One resident said: "Very loud boom in Leicester about 15 mins ago. Felt the air shake – cats scared and ran indoors Very unnerving – what the hell was it?"

    Speaking to the Mirror, another said the sound was "like a bomb had gone off."

    But the cause of the worrying noise has finally been found, with the Ministry of Defence confirming it was two scrambled RAF Typhoon jets that created the boom.

    Essex Police posted to Twitter: "A flight has been diverted to Stansted Airport after communications with the pilot had been lost.

    "The plane, which had been flying from Iceland to Nairobi via Southend was escorted to the airport by RAF jets and landed shortly before 12.50pm today (Saturday 4 March). Two people – a pilot and co-pilot – were on board.

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    "After questioning, officers were satisfied the loss of contact due to an equipment malfunction and 'nothing of any concern'." It added: "The plane and those on board have now been released to continue their journey."

    An MoD spokesperson added: "Typhoon aircraft from RAF Coninsgby offered assistance to a civilian aircraft and were authorised to fly supersonic."

    Sonic booms occur when an object travels faster than the speed of sound, known as Mach 1.

    The noise created as a result typically sounds like an explosion.

    Aircrafts produce sound waves when in transit and can create a sonic boom by breaking the sound barrier, producing a noise similar to a clap of thunder as they fly past.

    The first plane to fly faster than sound was the Bell X-1 Glamorous Glennis on October 14 1947, which reached speeds of 700 miles per hour (1,127 km/h), or Mach 1.06.

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