MONTESANO, Wash. -- Numerous people along the Washington coast and as far inland as Montesano on Wednesday night reported a loud boom and a flash in the sky, Grays Harbor Emergency Management said.
"Some report their home shaking," the agency said.
"Grays Harbor Emergency Management has contacted the National Weather Service in Seattle about our incident and was told we were not having a severe weather event at the time of the reported ground shaking, loud boom and flash of light in the sky," the agency said.
"The WA State Duty Officer contacted the FAA and the Western Air Defense Sector and was told they had no problems. There was NO earthquake. There are no reports of explosions or crashes on the ground. We will continue our investigation of the incident and will forward any information we receive."
Charles Wallace, deputy director of Grays Harbor Emergency Management, said, "They’ve got a ton of reports. Some said homes shook. Some saw a flash in the sky. Phones ringing off the hooks."
Wallace said it was possibly "a meteor that came over. No real explanation."
Q13 News Chief Meteorologist Walter Kelley said late Wednesday he believed it was a bolide, which is an extremely bright meteor, especially one that explodes in the atmosphere. In astronomy, it refers to a fireball about as bright as the full moon, and it is generally considered a synonym of a fireball.
Meteorologist Dana Felton with the National Weather Service told Q13 News on Thursday he also believed it was a bolide.
Security video footage of the flash from Fox Island:
Another video was sent in by Trina P. of Hoquiam:
A Facebook message to the Grays Harbor Emergency Management page wrote, "We are 17.5 miles out on the ocean commercial fishing and we seen the flash. The whole sky light up followed by a loud boom."
A Q13 News Facebook viewer named Leslie said, "Do you all know what the big flash of light was over the Olympics? We saw it here in Port Orchard. My parents who live in Ocean Shores said that there was a loud boom that shock their whole house. I’ve heard people saw it in Shelton, too.
"I was driving home on Highway 16 when I saw it. It light up the entire sky like a light switch was just turned on. My parents said it shook the house so hard in Ocean Shores that it knocked a few things off the wall," Leslie said.
Another named Michelle wrote, "I saw a it!! It looked like a huge meteor/fireball over Bellingham, Washington. I had to stop driving because I couldn't believe what I was seeing! It was massive!!"