On New Year’s Day at approx. 11:25 AM or 11:26 AM EST, there was a sonic boom in Allegheny County or Washington County Pennsylvania.
Immediately, Yinzers took to social media to ask what was going on. Some armchair experts already had all the answers.
The first link shared was from a website called Volcano Discovery. It posts user reported incidents before they’re certified as seismic events before the USGS. At least it’s a url right? It’s on the internet. It must be true.
The next thing that circulated was a phone screenshot of a news story from 2010 about detonating munitions at the airport. The date was left out. No link. Just a screenshot. I saw it all over the place.
Then, the meteor theory started to come out. A blip on an image from a satellite meant to detect lightning showed a flash in an area with no discernable storm systems. A known asteroid being close by for a meteor shower to peak in our area on Jan. 3rd, my be related. I read somewhere but can’t find it now that a chunk of the asteroid most likely entered our atmosphere (now a meteor) at twice the speed of sound, and burned up… resulting in the sonic boom & shockwave.
Yinzers on social media immediately forgot elementary school science class, put on their tinfoil hats, and stated emphatically that there was no flash or no crater, so it could not have been a meteor… therefore had to be anything from top secret military testing of airplanes, to subterranean bomb testing, to nefarious manufacturing at any number of local industrial businesses, to fracking, to gas buildup in mines, to extraterrestrials, fireworks (Yinzers do love their fireworks), and of course… to flatulence related to consumption of the Pennsylvania Dutch classic Pork & Sauerkraut dish as is new year’s tradition. So many fart jokes. Some blamed themselves, some blamed their significant others, one even blamed a cat.
I’m also sort of mad that I didn’t notice it. I was apparently at Sheetz at the time. Good to know I will not see any cataclysmic apocalypse coming. I’ll be taken out before I even know what happened.
Thanks to all the credible sources that reported on this and pieced it together. Thanks to the people who shared video. Thanks to the Illumi-nutty for the wild baseless yet endlessly entertaining
fart jokes speculation.
If you want to go down the rabbit hole, let me at least turn on the lights…
- WTAE | What was the boom that rattled Western Pennsylvania?
- KDKA | A ‘Booming’ Start To 2022: Possible Meteor Explosion Felt Throughout Pittsburgh Region
- WPXI | Could the loud booms heard and felt Saturday been from a meteor?
- CBS Pittsburgh | The “Boom” That Shook Southwestern Pa.
- TribLive | National Weather Service says meteors are likely to blame for New Year’s Day boom in Pittsburgh
- CBS Local | Unexplained ‘Boom’ Startles Pittsburgh Region, NWS Says Meteor Explosion ‘Most Likely’ Explanation
- PG | Loud boom rocks region; possible meteor explosion
- NWS Pittsburgh on Twitter
- US News | Meteor Eyed as Cause of Pittsburgh-Area Boom, Shaking Ground
- NY Post | Exploding meteor blamed for ground shaking, loud boom in Pittsburgh
- Fox | Mysterious boom rattles parts of western Pennsylvania
- YouTube | Zenith Institute | Meteor Pittsburgh 2022
- reddit | Loud Bang at Approximately 11:26am?
- reddit | The “seismic boom” this morning from Overbrook.
Then, these… These are the greatest minds of our time speculating:
- Nextdoor | Just felt a large boom in my chest and shook the house somewhat. Anybody else. Around 11:26 AM
- Nextdoor | Cubbage hill loud boom. Did anyone hear that? It’s 1126 am. It little just happened. It honestly reminded me of a quarry blasting rock. But I know that’s not right.
- Facebook | The News Alerts of Beaver County | Video / Thread
- Facebook | You know you’re from Bridgeville when………. | What were you doing during the Big Boom… [xxx] and I were watching “Titanic”. Happy New Year Bridgeville.
- Facebook | You know you’re from Bridgeville when………. | Unexplained Boom
- Facebook | You know you’re from Bridgeville when………. | Did anyone else just hear a huge rumble or explosion?
- Facebook | You know you’re from Bridgeville when………. | Quake Info link
- Facebook | What’s Going On In Scott | All these complaints about sirens and fireworks but not 1 about the earthquake????
I’m sure this is just the tip of the iceberg too.
Happy New Year!