Loud Explosion Wakes Up San Francisco

Filed Under SF Bay Area on 2008-08-05, 23:45

It was a few minutes after 11pm and Heather and I had just parked the car at Lyon St and McAllister when there was an incredibly loud boom and a flash of light out of the corner of my eye. Just suddenly, out of the blue. The alarm for the car across the street was set off by the shock wave and quickly windows and lights started turning on in the apartment buildings. I could be completely wrong, but it felt like we were incredibly close to the source of whatever this was as there was no measurable time between the flash and the boom, and that a car alarm was set off. If this had been further away, we would have seen the flash and then heard the boom, and several car alarms would have gone off if it was capable of setting the one across the street off.

As usual, I quickly Twittered it and then jumped on Twinkle’s “Nearby” view and Twitter’s Search page to see if anyone else had heard it. A couple twitters popped up quickly. GGJeffy, rockbandit, jklmnt, dewitt, and shannonk all reported hearing it.

We briefly heard a quick siren about 5 minutes later, but not the barrage of fire trucks and cops one would expect from an explosion as large as it sounded. I still have no idea what it could be. There was no smoke, just a white flash and loud crack. There doesn’t appear to be any damage on transformers of anything around here. It happened just as a bus was passing by, so I wonder if there was some kind of crazy electrical arc since it was a white flash, no damage, and no smoke. Others are suggesting a rogue firework or stick of dynamite. I’ve set off my share of fireworks, and this was much louder than even most mortars. Other theories point to a transformer blowing up. And the weird thing was there was no echo. Aliens.. must have been.

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