From UFO to earthquake, 'sonic boom' from IAF flight conjures wild theories among Bengalureans

Cityscape, Bengaluru. Photo: Shutterstock

Bengaluru: A super-sonic sound rattled denizens of Bengaluru, sparking wild rumours of an earthquake, an explosion or a fighter jet cruising at high speed or even an alien invasion, which later confirmed to be a test flight of the Indian Air Force.

The sound was heard across the city from Kempegowda International Airport off Devanahalli in the north to Kengeri and Electronic City in the South at around 1:30pm on Wednesday.

Many people feared it could be a mild tremor as doors and windows shook after the noise.

Soon, the hashtag 'Bangalore' and 'sonicboom' started trending on Twitter with many likening the noise to that of an alien UFO, a Mirage 2000 aircraft, a dynamite blast among many wilder theories.

Following the incident, the Indian Air Force's Training Command issued a statement saying none of their aircraft was flying in the area during the time. However, they hinted at the possibility of test flights being conducted by the Aircraft & Systems Testing Establishment (ASTE) or the Hindustan Aeronautics Limited (HAL) which was later confirmed by the Defence Ministry.

"ASTE & HAL undertake routine test flying, which necessitates going supersonic at times. These are done well beyond the city limits in specified sectors. However, considering the atmospheric conditions and reduced noise levels in the city during these times, the aircraft sound may become clearly audible even if it happened way out from the city," they said.

By Wednesday night, the official handle of PRO Bengaluru of the Ministry of Defence tweeted that the 'boom' was caused by a routine IAF test flight involving a supersonic profile which took off from Bengaluru Airport and flew in the allotted airspace well outside the city limits.

They also confirmed that the aircraft belonged to ASTE.

“The sonic boom was probably heard while the aircraft was decelerating from supersonic to subsonic speed between 36,000 and 40000 feet altitude,” they said.

The city witnessed a similar incident in 2005 when a mysterious 'blast' sound was reportedly heard by several of the inhabitants.

Here are some of the wildest theories the tweeple came up with: