Pocono Record Writer
April 7, 2012
Was it a secret military exercise, the beginning of the Mayan prophesy or an alien invasion?
A loud boom, heard by Pocono residents and others throughout northeastern Pennsylvania the night of March 30, remains a mystery.
The boom, heard at about 10:10 p.m., shook cars and houses from Long Pond to Bushkill.
Pocono Record readers at the time speculated it was a tanker wreck on Interstates 80 or 380, a bunch of semi-trucks rolling down a quiet street or an exploding meth lab.
Some residents reported a bright flash in the sky that didn’t appear to be lightning just before the blast.
But most readers agreed the sound was no routine thunder.
What it wasn’t
One thing it probably wasn’t was an earthquake.
The U.S. Geological Survey noted five reportable earthquakes worldwide between 10:02 and 10:22 p.m. The closest to the Poconos was a 1.6 magnitude quake in Seeley, Calif., more than 2,800 miles from northeastern Pennsylvania.
Ohio meteorologist and Pocono weather expert Ben Gelber said the sonic boom was probably due to thunderstorms.
“A similar boom was heard in Honesdale, which rules out a local explosion of some kind,” he said. “Acoustic ‘shock waves’ triggered by a lightning flash trapped in a cold surface can be uncommonly and frighteningly loud.”