Many residents across the southern England counties of Devon and Cornwall have reported loud bangs and buildings shaking. They believed they had witnessed an earth tremor but officials are saying it could have been a meteorite.
There were no reports of any geophysical activity in the Devon and Cornwall according to the USGS but there is an Orionids meteor shower set to peak this weekend, as reported in Digital Journal and with the British Geological Survey reporting no specific tremors in the region, it has determined it "could have been a sonic boom from a meteor falling to earth", reports in the BBC suggest.
Police officers in Devon and Cornwall say they received the reports at around 1615 BST (1115 EDT) on Thursday and staff working in the police station at Newton Abbott reported the floors were shaking. The reports were widespread over the region with some callers reporting noise and bangs in Harrowbarrow, which is a small hamlet in the south east of Cornwall and the bleak moors of Dartmoor, some 50 miles away.
It was reported in The Independent that Inspector Gareth Twigg, of Devon and Cornwall Police told the BBC:
The first calls reported sounds like an explosion. Further calls also described noise and then objects shaking. One lady on Dartmoor who was alive during World War II said it was like a bomb going off.
It has been widely speculated that the shaking and loud bangs were caused by the first arrivals of the Orionids meteor showers. The meteor showers will peak during Saturday night - with the moon setting around 2345 BST in the UK, it should be possible to see a clear display of around 20 meteors per hour if there is no cloud cover.