View Full Version : Loud bangs heard the length of UK

30th Nov 2014, 20:36
Yesterday evening, Southern UK, Around 8.30pm I heard a half minute firework performance in the distance and commented in Victor Meldrew style that "It was a bit bloody late for Guy Fawkes night!" and then forgot about it. Today, in various media outlets it transpires that I was not alone and people from Cornwall up to Scotland heard the same. Obviously sound travels and in certain atmospheric conditions a very long way, but as to what it was, no-one knows. My guess is some kind of discharge in the upper atmosphere. Any guessers ?


30th Nov 2014, 20:42
Alien spacecraft with decoys and chaff dispensers heading for the Isle of Islay to stock up.

30th Nov 2014, 20:47
Chemtrail sprayers no doubt.

30th Nov 2014, 21:03
Fairly certain I heard it too, but I just thought it was fireworks, which are quite common around here in the NW from Halloween to New Year. Talking to a friend on the edge of The Peak District today who also heard it and he thought the same.
Maybe a fragmented meteoroid or space debris? If the latter, RAF Fylingdales would possibly have known about it, as I believe tracking that stuff is part of their task.
On the Daily Mail website there are 2 or 3 recordings of it. I don't know what the cloud cover was like across the U.K. last night, or whether any associated optical effects were observed.

30th Nov 2014, 21:04
Now, Cape, please don't go starting rumours. There is no evidence that any alien spacecraft have been sighted fitted with chemtrail sprayers of the sort that are so often fitted to commercial airliners and freight-carrying aircraft (except Ryanair of course).

Added - dammit I'm wrong !


30th Nov 2014, 21:07
Heard a long series of rapid fire bangs sometime yesterday evening; after 10pm I'd have thought but could have been earlier. Went out into the garden and the flats down the road were silhouetted by flashes somewhere southwest of Purley. Certainly fireworks - or so I thought at the time - least ways I don't seem to have been abducted.

Coffin Dodger
30th Nov 2014, 21:11
Alien spacecraft with decoys and chaff dispensers heading for the Isle of Islay to stock up. Well I do hope they made arrangements to pay UK alcohol duty on it or George Osborne won't be terribly chuffed.

30th Nov 2014, 21:26
I remember reading about a phenomenon called 'The Barisal Guns' in a book about unusual meteorological events, several years ago.
Unfortunately, I can't get the link to work, but if you Google Barisal Guns you should find some information on it.

30th Nov 2014, 21:43
Daily Mail ;

Listen to explosions that were heard last night and decide for yourself | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2854551/What-loud-bangs-heard-Britain-Twitter-bombarded-reports-mysterious-noises-military-denies-RAF-jets-cause.html)


30th Nov 2014, 21:50
Thanks Coldair, yep, that's what I heard and and around the right time. Croydon Police said there had been a firework display, be interested to know where and when. Flashes I saw were looking towards Coulsdon/Kingswood/Dorking.

Big Tudor
30th Nov 2014, 22:06
Any connection to the explosion heard near Catterick on Friday night?

A1 road reopens near Catterick after 'explosion' - BBC News (http://m.bbc.co.uk/news/uk-england-30258728)

30th Nov 2014, 22:27
I heard ongoing bangs similar to the ones reported but put them down to fireworks. I remember thinking now it's three weeks on, it was time for Guy Fawkes celebrants to give it a rest; my dog gets stressed.

30th Nov 2014, 22:30
That Daily Mail audio sounds just like a firework display.

Treaders will know of a small collection of London suburbia (although technically in Surrey) known as Woodmansterne or Chipstead where someone in a big house had a good firework display last evening with several large aerial shells or mortars. I was in Banstead and it was clearly visible from the ale house at the east end of the High Street. Given the right weather conditions clearly audible from Chez Treaders.

Sadly no Aurora - unless there is a STOL version that can operate out of RAF Kenley.

30th Nov 2014, 22:53
I heard bangs to the north of Redhill at that time. I guess those fireworks must have been really big!

30th Nov 2014, 23:02
If it was about 10:30pm Cremeegg, then undoubtedly so - right direction and I can walk to the Woodman in an hour! Hic...

30th Nov 2014, 23:02
Probably weather balloons :E

tony draper
30th Nov 2014, 23:16
They'll probably find it was just some kids playing Muslims.:rolleyes:

Among The Living!
30th Nov 2014, 23:28
How strange! I heard the bangs in Cambridge, they sounded very like fireworks so I popped outside the house for a look but saw nothing. I didn't think anything of it until I read this post!

Espada III
30th Nov 2014, 23:56
A hot summer night a few years ago with the windows open I heard what sounded like gunshots. Called the police. A few hours later we identified the noise as firecrackers at a Chinese restaurant at least two miles away. I had got the direction right but was a factor of ten out on the distance. That's what happens late on, on a quiet, still evening with little other sounds around.

Boudreaux Bob
1st Dec 2014, 00:27
Probably just Drape's Purse snapping shut after he tried to force himself to buy a Round down the Pub!

1st Dec 2014, 00:40
My first thought was Aurora flying from RAF Macrihannish's newly reinstated underground runway, possibly heading down to the recently installed one beneath RNAS Predannack. On further consideration I realised that those are not yet ready to be made public knowledge, so Cap'n Drapes is probably right:


1st Dec 2014, 01:51
Manchester had one earlier in the week, and the wife and I, and a near neighbour, also heard one on Tuesday evening. Went outside - all barn roofs in place - no smoke, no cars on their roofs, went back in - but - curious it is!:confused:

1st Dec 2014, 02:00
Pop-up urinals reaching the end of their life expectancy?

1st Dec 2014, 07:42
Mystery solved thanks to the good ol' DM :}

Listen to explosions that were heard last night and decide for yourself | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/news/article-2854551/What-loud-bangs-heard-Britain-Twitter-bombarded-reports-mysterious-noises-military-denies-RAF-jets-cause.html)


1st Dec 2014, 08:18
Indeed yes. Sounds almost but totally unlike a pulse engine as might be fitted to the aircraft shown in the artist's impression of what the aircraft might look like if the artist had seen it which he hasn't.

Other than that, well done Daily Mail !

1st Dec 2014, 09:25
An online Chinese model shop have started selling these (I know because Mechta's brother in Oz just bought one):


Maybe the UK buyers decided to have an evening of trying to start the things?

Word of advice from Mechta Senior, based on first hand experience. If using a trembler coil to start the thing when fitted in a control line model with metal wires. Once its running, mind you don't drop the trembler coil leads onto the control lines, otherwise the pilot starts doing a strange dance...

1st Dec 2014, 09:40
People all over the UK reporting hearing bangs? I was struck by the similarity to The Day of the Triffids which BBC4 is re-running at the moment, with the meteors being replaced by unexplained explosions.

Keep a good look-out for funny looking plants wandering about :eek:

1st Dec 2014, 11:11
Keep a good look-out for funny looking plants wandering about

Especially in constituencies where a by-election is due.:E


1st Dec 2014, 11:25
funny looking plants

Here in Spain they are harvested in back gardens (front gardens also where the police are tolerant) and turned into Whacky Baccy.

1st Dec 2014, 11:39
Around each 5th November, the Round Table organise an enormous firework display at the nearby town, some 5 miles away to the west.
The explosions can be clearly heard (and seen) from outdoors.

surely not
1st Dec 2014, 12:10
I'm not a reader the D.M. so I wouldn't have thought anymore about the unusual late fireworks sound I heard on Saturday evening down here near Haywards Heath in West Sussex. Surprisingly the recording on the mobile link is pretty much what I heard, but looking outside it was impossible to see any evidence of fireworks.

It seems to be a wide spread of locations across the UK that have heard the noise which does suggest whatever was responsible for the noise was airborne, either man made or atmospheric.

Very pleased to report no sightings of odd plants or little green men yet......

1st Dec 2014, 12:32
with the (Gloster) meteors being replaced by unexplained explosions. Happened a lot in the 40s, 50s & 60s by all accounts.

Keep a good look-out for funny looking plants wandering about :eek: Oh no, not another Lord of the Rings movie?


1st Dec 2014, 13:44
A little bit more from the Daily Mail ;

Were mysterious bangs heard on both sides of Atlantic the Aurora spy plane? | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2855802/Is-proof-mysterious-bangs-heard-sides-Atlantic-caused-secret-jet-Footage-hypersonic-engine-action-reveals-sounds-identical-unexplained-noises.html)



1st Dec 2014, 14:34
The Russians. :eek::eek::eek:

1st Dec 2014, 20:03
Santa s sleigh and a few reindeer on a pre Christmas eve test run. ( just as credible as any other explanation )

joy ride
1st Dec 2014, 20:18
Is a top secret spy plane much use if it is so loud and can be heard so far away?

1st Dec 2014, 20:30
so loud and can be heard so far away?

Of course, that's the beauty of it - the engine exhaust is disguised as fireworks !

1st Dec 2014, 20:31
I suppose that if it is, and if it's a hypersonic craft, then by the time any missile would react the craft will be some distance away.

I never could understand all the secrecy, because those that would know (enemies etc) would know, not all the details, but enough to give a broad idea of what was what.


1st Dec 2014, 20:34
Saturate a wide enough area with noise and the enemy has no idea where it is at all :ok:

joy ride
1st Dec 2014, 20:44
Saturate a vast area with noise from a spy plane and and warn people to hide anything which they don't want to be seen?

1st Dec 2014, 22:00
Soft kill.

Krystal n chips
2nd Dec 2014, 02:57
Thankfully, the Mail, in conjunction with an equally stunning and informative American contribution, has solved the mystery !

The question is, did the announcer write the script, and for that matter compile the footage, herself, or was she simply the first convenient passer by....

Is THIS the SR-72 spy plane? Mystery aircraft spotted flying over Kansas just weeks after being seen in Texas | Daily Mail Online (http://www.dailymail.co.uk/sciencetech/article-2607840/Is-THIS-SR-72-spy-plane-Mystery-aircraft-spotted-flying-Kansas-just-weeks-seen-Texas.html)

If only a former US Marine and some "skywatchers ".....that's an interesting new term... had been available when similar loud bangs were heard over the Peak District in the late 90's.....

2nd Dec 2014, 08:19
From the Croydon Guardian:

A company who put on a firework display at the Old Walcountians Rugby Club, Banstead, took the credit for causing the bangs in the local area.
Plantinum Firework Tweeted: "Yes, the #loudbangs heard on Saturday night was US! (Well in the South London area)"

4th Dec 2014, 18:28
I wonder if it might have been a relatively small and harmless meteorite?

4th Dec 2014, 20:31
Air in the radiators...

4th Dec 2014, 20:55
Meteorites have radiators ?

6th Dec 2014, 23:09
Just took the dog out for a pee at 2250 and heard loud irregularly timed distant 'crump' noises reminiscent of distant explosions - took me back to the sound of 4.5 guns on a naval County Class destroyer when about a mile away from the ship. It went on for about five minutes and there were no lights in the sky which could relate to fireworks - we're on a hill in a 'dark sky' environment with no lighting for miles so would have seen that. I thought it was the two wind turbines a couple of miles away but a) we never hear them and b) the wind was in the wrong direction and it was too irregular to be them. Very odd! I'm 20 miles SW of Aberdeen and the noises were to the south. Sounded similar to the sound recording in post #9. Calm clear weather conditions here, checked the lightning maps and the whole of the UK was clear of lightning so not a thunderstorm.

6th Dec 2014, 23:50
That sound file sounded like fireworks or ammo.
Possibly a special forces or diplomatic protection exercise... gunfire refracted by atmospheric conditions?
Sounded like semi automatic MP5 or similar.
Definitely not a pulse detonation engine.

7th Dec 2014, 00:47
For all the world the sound we heard, sitting in the Bow Garrett, where I am now, was that of a building collapsing or an HGV going over - but there was neither, locally, or in the area.

We had the TV on, just as I have now and it was clear above it. Another farm owner nearby heard it - but others didn't.

If it hadn't been for the "bang" heard over Salford the night before, but not traced we would probably not have taken this as seriously as we have - but it was some "crump" we heard!

"Bow Garrett" the extension to many local houses where the small farmers augmented their income by hat making.

Loose rivets
7th Dec 2014, 01:19
Such an interesting forum. The great aunt that played a major part in my mother's life came from that hat making centre of the world. I now have another term to research.

Loose rivets
7th Dec 2014, 01:26
Arn't sonic bangs very distinctive - or is the later generation different?

7th Dec 2014, 13:40
TBirdFrank wrote: For all the world the sound we heard, sitting in the Bow Garrett, where I am now, was that of a building collapsing or an HGV going over - but there was neither, locally, or in the area.

It's quite intriguing to read how people 'describe' sounds. I've never been physically present at the scene of any building collapse (even a smallish one) or a HGV going over 'in progress'. Though I was once a passenger in a car that did several 'rollovers' at about 60MPH: as I recall, it was mostly and eerily quiet except for a couple of distinct but gentle 'thumps' each time the car rolled and then a louder 'crump' at the end. I'm guessing that this may have been due to my brain suffering from temporary overload as all my 'senses' were suddenly used to try to understand what was happening. And perhaps from the affects of 3 or 4 pints of 'olde Thumpers' bitter: we were on the way back from a pub in the country after closing time...! We 'walked away' from the accident without injury though the car was a write-off. An old couple living in the only cottage on that stretch of road about 50 yards away actually 'heard' the crash and came out. They invited us in and poured us large whiskys 'to steady the nerves': which complicated matters for the driver who was breathalysed when the police arrived 15 mins. later. I'm digressing.

I do wonder if I and perhaps most people's ideas of what something 'sounds like' comes from movies etc. or even just 'hearsay'? Who hasn't seen eyewitness reports of tornadoes? "It sounded like a freight-train...". But why a freight-train? Does a passenger-train sound different? Thanks to Hollywood, I think I know what both the X-wing and TIE fighters should sound like at least when flying in our atmosphere with doppler shift. But how to properly describe them in words? For example, here's my dog impression: "WOOF"! I could just use bark like a dog (deer bark too) instead. But ideally, I should use something like: "Aaaarooofff...ouff" to more accurately convey the sound. So using "loud bang" etc. is just being so lazy...

I know, I know. I'm going out with a whimper...

PS. Here's my other dog impression: "WOOF...WOOF. WOOF"!

7th Dec 2014, 14:25
Thanks to Hollywood, I think I know what both the X-wing and TIE fighters should sound like

In fact many of the source sounds used in the Star Bores, sorry Star Wars films were recorded at air shows in the USA, some are large radial engines. Obviously these were modified somewhat but if one knows......




wings folded
7th Dec 2014, 15:12

I know, I know. I'm going out with a whimper...When will you invite her to meet your parents?