Worried residents in the small village of Glooston were awoken terrified in their beds after low-flying aircraft were seen hovering above their homes.
Two planes were seen in the skies above the village at about 11.30pm last Thursday.
One villager, Alison Chapman, described seeing a silhouette similar to a Lancaster bomber. She added: “I spoke to my mum, who lives opposite, who also heard them.
“She said the first one had a flashing light on its tail but the second one didn’t.
“My son, mother and myself all heard and saw them – the house shook due to the noise – it was very frightening.”
Another unnamed villager said on Facebook: “We rang the Civil Aviation Authority. We thought there was going to be a crash and it was very frightening, just listening out in case.
“Other people should complain or check that it’s not going to become a regular flight path.”
Initially it was unclear what the strange aircraft were and the Civil Aviation Authority denied any reports had been made.
But an RAF spokesman soon cleared up the mystery.
The spokesman said: “We believe the aircraft were two C130 Hercules aircraft, based at RAF Brize Norton in Oxfordshire.
“The aircraft were authorised to operate at a minimum of 250 feet above ground level.”
The C-130 Hercules is a four-engine turboprop military transport aircraft built by Lockheed Martin.
They are capable of using unprepared runways for take-off and landing. The C-130 was originally designed as a troop carrier, for medical evacuations or for cargo transport.
But its versatile frame has found uses in a variety of other roles, including as a gunship, for airborne assault, search and rescue missions and aerial firefights.
Twitter-user James Bolter responded to a Mail message last week, saying: “If the pilot was doing their job properly, no-one should have seen a tactically flying aircraft.
“A good pilot will be gone before you can see/hear them.
“They were probably trying to get back to base very fast and low to beat the bad weather – lots of hot-spots to practice for right now.”