Residents across Oklahoma and Texas were jostled from their daily routines after hearing a loud boom Tuesday afternoon. Many were left scratching their heads and watching the skies for the source of the explosive phenomenon.
While the US Geological Survey has not reported any earthquakes in the region, the National Weather Services in Norman, Oklahoma has said it is possible that the deafening boom was the result of “a ‘bolide’ or the breaking up of a meteor.”
Reports of a 'shaking boom' across central Oklahoma shortly after 4 pm today. Based on visual reports of meteor streaks in Oklahoma and Texas, and no earthquake reports from the USGS, it is possible the region experienced a 'bolide' or the breaking up of a meteor.
— NWS Norman (@NWSNorman) March 13, 2018
A flurry of baffled residents shared their comments online, trying to make sense of the afternoon shocker. One nearby resident offered his account of the mysterious heavenly “green light” he spotted that afternoon.
“Meteor flew over Oklahoma City today at about 16:20, with a sonic boom and some shaking in nearby Norman! Was beautiful green and orange streak in the daylight,” he tweeted.
Meteor flew over Oklahoma City today at about 16:20, with a sonic boom and some shaking in nearby Norman! Was beautiful green and orange streak in the daylight.
— Orion Sirius (@Orion_Sirius103) March 13, 2018
Chief Meteorologist for KFOR-TV OKC Mike Morgan was completely befuddled by the extraterrestrial visitor and asked others to clarify.
So it's 5:45PM on Tuesday in Oklahoma and we are getting quite a few suspected Meteor "Boom" reports at about 520PM. Y'all got any more info. on this out there folks??
— Mike Morgan (@MikeMorganKFOR) March 13, 2018
One resident’s speculation revolved around reports that China’s first space observation station was due to fall into Earth’s orbit at any moment.
“I was wondering if the meteor reports in North Texas and Oklahoma were actually Tiangong-1, but it looks like we’re still a week or so from that possibly happening,” he said.
I was wondering if the meteor reports in North Texas and Oklahoma were actually Tiangong-1, but it looks like we’re still a week or so from that possibly happening. https://t.co/SMhC8Za0yC
— Joel Buchanan (@djelmacho) March 13, 2018
Oklahoma is no stranger to unexplained booms, which have been attributed to an assortment of different causes. Last year, Midwest City residents were perplexed by large underground booms comparable to underground explosions, one witness stated.
“It turns out, this is a really neat deal. It has to do with water underground,” said Meteorologist John Slater. “With these cold fronts coming through, the water just freezes rapidly. And as it turns out, when it freezes, it expands.”
On January 25, 2014, News On 6 speculated that F-16 fighter jets from the 138th Fighter Wing division in Tulsa peppered the area with sonic booms powerful enough to rattle furniture and windows. However, the cause of the disturbances still remains a mystery.
Another shockwave dubbed the “Bama Boom” was felt across cities in Alabama on November 14, 2017. No explanation was offered other than either a hypersonic aircraft or meteorite shower.
Re: loud boom heard: we do not see anything indicating large fire/smoke on radar or satellite; nothing on USGS indicating an earthquake. We don't have an answer, and can only hypothesize with you. 1) sonic boom from aircraft; 2) meteorite w/ current Leonid shower?
— NWS Birmingham (@NWSBirmingham) November 14, 2017
Were they underground nuclear tests? Fracking adventures in the Midwest? No one will ever know.