Residents in the Colerain Township area are reporting loud bangs, trembling houses and flashing lights, and officials haven’t pinpointed what might be causing it.
From one side of town to the other, the bizarre booms in Colerain Township has people talking.
Pam Denney heard the sound Friday night around 11:30.
“I just gotten into bed, and I heard what sounded to me like a large clap of thunder,” Kennedy, a resident, said.
For Alexis Makstaller, the rumble popped up three days in a row. Each time it was between 1 and 2 a.m.
“Like it felt like it was right outside the wall. It was loud,” Makstaller said. “I noticed out the window what seemed like a flash of light. The entire laundry room just kind of like shook, and we all just kind of looked at each other like what was that?”
Dozens of people are reporting the same things and have said it’s happened repeatedly in recent weeks.
“You’re always curious when there’s a strange sound or strange situation going on,” Denney said.
Police, fire crews and township leaders said they can’t put their finger on what it might be, but there are a wide range of theories.
“Some people were commenting fireworks. Some people were commenting Rumpke and dynamite,” Denney said. “Some people were commenting snow plows.”
Makstaller said some people seem to believe it could be “UFOs. They think it’s maybe sound barriers and sonic booms and all that.”
Although for many the mysterious noise has made for a playful guessing game, community officials said they are looking into it.
“The serious side to this is PTSD [Post Traumatic Stress Disorder] and scaring animals off just like you would during the 4th of July fireworks,” Greg Insco, a Colerain Twp. trustee, said.
They’re asking anyone who catches an earful to help them out.
“Report it, and we’ll try to triangulate something to figure out where it’s exactly coming from,” Insco said.
Another theory circulating is cryoseisms or “frost quakes.”
Chief Meteorologist Steve Horstmeyer said those are created when cold works downward through wet soil and subsoil. The upper layers freeze first, and when the lower layers freeze, ice expands and cracks the upper layers. He said it’s similar to freezing a sealed jar of water.
Horstmeyer notes that frost quakes typically sound like a low rumble or a rifle shot depending on how deep and how far away they are.
It’s hard to say whether that is what is at play in Colerain Township, but officials are continuing to investigate.
Enquirer media partner Fox19 provided this report.