The Sound Of Security: This 1950s Film Used To Educate The Public About Sonic Booms Is Wild – F-104 Starfighters In Action!


The Sound Of Security: This 1950s Film Used To Educate The Public About Sonic Booms Is Wild – F-104 Starfighters In Action!

In the 1950s, the United States Air Force was facing a bit of a public relations problem. See, with the advent of super sonic jets like the F-104 Starfighter, the sounds of sonic booms were being heard by many people in cities and towns across America and they didn’t like it or understand it. This was a country still about 10 years off the back of WWII and hearing massive thuds in the sky or off in the distance was quite literally freaking people out. That’s where this film comes in.

Not only does the film explain the why and how of a sonic boom, it also appeals to the public to effectively accept the fact that the sonic booms that occasionally break a window or cause photos to fall off the wall are not only necessary but should be embraced as “the sound of security”. These sonic booms were the representation of the speed, technology, and prowess of our Air Force and like a wise man once said, if you are going to make an omelette, you’ve got to break a couple of eggs in the process.

If you love old school aircraft like the F-104, if you love the look and feel of the 1950s, or if you simply love a time period in America when people could be told, “Hey, get over it, this is what’s keeping Russia out of your front yard,” and have them understand, you’ll dig this.

We never knew about the “sonic boom problem” until we saw this film and read up on it. A fascinating and forgotten piece of mid-20th century history!

Press play below to see this awesome 1950s film about sonic booms and what they mean –


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One thought on “The Sound Of Security: This 1950s Film Used To Educate The Public About Sonic Booms Is Wild – F-104 Starfighters In Action!

  1. Loren

    Nice video, cool nostalgia. Growing up not too far from the Lockheed Burbank plant, in the ’60s we’d hear the occasional boom, but then not for years until the Space Shuttle would come in over L.A. and deliver a good set which was more like a couple hard deep thumps than an explosion. Yeah I thought we might lose a house window. The film’s depiction of the shock cone dynamic that occurs during mach 1+ travel (and only then, no matter how long or short that duration may be) could even now help educate some LSR folks who still think, as also noted in the film, that sonic booms happen at the point the “sound barrier is broken” and you can hear them everywhere.

    Once while driving in what must have been the perfect atmospheric condition for it I witnessed an incredible shock cone from a rocket sent from Vandenburg AFB heading south toward polar orbit. I pulled over to watch and found myself standing next to someone who did the same. It must have been ten miles or more in diameter at it’s outer reaches, and you could see it narrow at the craft gained speed.

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