Sonic booms heard over parts of the UK on Sunday were caused by RAF jets, it has been confirmed.
An Essex police spokesman said there were several reports of sonic booms around the county "caused by military aircraft engaged in routine operations".
There were also reports of bangs as 'loud as a thunderbolt' as far away as St Ives
A jet as it breaks the sound barrier
A sonic boom is the sound associated with the shockwaves created when an object travels through the air and breaks the sound barrier.
The noise contains large amounts of sound energy, meaning sonic booms are often mistaken for explosions.
The Ministry of Defence said it was caused when the jets were responding to another aircraft which lost communication.
A spokesman said the jets soon established "everything was fine" with the aircraft.
Police said there were no reports of damage to homes or property.