Was it a plane? Mystery deepens over Suffolk’s big bang

PUBLISHED: 20:33 25 April 2019 | UPDATED: 06:57 26 April 2019

An F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from RAF Lakenheath. Picture: Tech Sgt Matthew Plew

An F-15C Eagle from the 493rd Fighter Squadron takes off from RAF Lakenheath. Picture: Tech Sgt Matthew Plew


Neighbours in Martlesham, Kesgrave, Great Blakenham and Claydon are still wondering what caused a series of loud bangs across Suffolk last night.

Earlier today we reported on a big bang in Claydon and Great Blakenham that was strong enough to shake a room and wake up a sleeping baby.

The initial bang was heard at 6.45pm on Wednesday evening, since then we have been contacted by families in Martlesham and Kesgrave who also heard noise later in the evening at around 8pm.

One of the theories about the mystery bangs was that they might have been caused by an air training exercise being carried out by the US Airforce.

A spokesman for RAF Lakenheath said: “The 48th Fighter Wing located at RAF Lakenheath had F-15E Strike Eagles flying over the North Sea off the coast of Suffolk last night as part of a 48-hour continuous readiness exercise.

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“While none of our aircrew have reported such an event, the F-15 is capable of travelling at supersonic speeds, and when they travel that fast a loud noise is generated that can be heard over great distances.

“Training exercises like this are critical to maintaining the readiness our forces require to defend sovereign skies and the NATO alliance, and 48th Fighter Wing aircraft adhere to strict restrictions on supersonic flight to mitigate the effect of this type of noise.”

Benjamin Cooper, a spokesman for the US Airforce based at RAF Mildenhall said: “While we were conducting training exercises last night our aircraft are not capable of breaking the sound barrier to cause the “loud bangs” that you received reports of.”

Others on social media suggested the sound might have come from Sackers, a scrap metal and recycling company based in Great Blakenham.

However a spokesman for Sackers confirmed that their shredder machinery, that sometimes causes small explosions, was not in use after 5pm last night.

Back in 2017 Suffolk was shook by what sounded like a massive explosion.

It later emerged the sonic boom was caused by a RAF fighter jets scrambling to transport a Ryanair plane to Stansted Airport following a security alert on board.

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