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What Exactly Triggered 'Loud Bangs' Heard Across Thousands of Miles?

"We can't say for sure what this sound was..."

Virtual image of the "Aurora" U.S. spy plane some suspect to be the cause of loud noises heard from London to New York state (Image source: Twitter)

Loud bangs heard all the way from south London to New York state Saturday night still has residents wondering what in the world was caused all that noise.

Bhupendra Khandelwal, an aerospace researcher at the University of Sheffield in the central part of the United Kingdom, who is working on pulse detonation engine technology said the noise was a familiar one.

University of Sheffield Researcher Bhupendra Khandelwal (Image source: The University of Sheffield) University of Sheffield Researcher Bhupendra Khandelwal (Image source: The University of Sheffield)

"It makes the same kind of pulsing sound as the one on this audio ... When we run a test engine it’s a real industrial noise and you can hear it for miles. We have people coming to us asking to make less noise or keep it to the daytime," Khandelwal said.

Pulse detonation engine technology on which Khandelwal is working uses the force of fuel and air-intake explosions to power planes five times faster than the speed of sound. So far, test flights using the technology have only lasted a few seconds but conspiracy theorists maintain that the engine will be used to power spy planes once it is fully developed – unless governments have already fully developed the pulse detonation engine without making it known to the public.

Some have cited what they believe is an ongoing spy plane project called "Aurora," a name mentioned by a report from the Pentagon in the 1980s but officials have denied the existence of such a project.

Virtual image of the "Aurora" U.S. spy plane some suspect to be the cause of loud noises heard from London to New York state (Image source: Twitter) Virtual image of the "Aurora" U.S. spy plane some suspect to be the cause of loud noises heard from London to New York state (Image source: Twitter/@CerezaAnon)

"Of course we can’t know for sure if someone else could have the technology already," Khandelwal said. But the University of Sheffield researcher was hesitant to conclude the loud noise was the result of a spy plane: "We can’t say for sure what this sound was ... It's possible, but even if it was a PDE, I think half an hour would be a bit too long," he said.

Andrew Taylor, a senior lecturer in aviation at Buckinghamshire New University said the sound could be geological or meteorological, but "certainly not aeronautical." But a spokesman for the U.K.'s national weather service, or "Met Office," dismissed that idea too: "It definitely wasn't meteorological," he said.

So what exactly was it that reportedly shook homes and rattled windows?

Police in London suggested a fireworks show in Croydon could have had something to do with the deafening boom, but it's difficult to imagine how that could explain a similar noise heard around the same time in Buffalo, Cheektowaga and Clarence, New York – more than 3,000 miles away.

Claudia Angiletta heard the sounds as she was watching TV at her home in south London. "It was very distracting as it went on for ages," Angiletta said. Angiletta went outside to look for fireworks but when she didn't see any she started to record the bizarre occurrence.

After Angiletta found out her family seven miles away could hear the same thing, she took to Twitter to find out what other people were saying:

Hear the noise that caught Britons and New Yorkers by surprise and left skeptics confounded:

(H/T: Daily Mail)

Follow Jon Street (@JonStreet) on Twitter

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