At approximately 11:20 p.m. on Monday, Dec. 3, residents of Warwick and Cranston reported a loud, thunderous, explosion-type noise. And as of 10:30 this morning, the source of the noise was still a mystery.
Readers took to social media to report they heard the noise in neighborhoods like Buttonwoods, Hoxsie, Conimicut, Lakewood, Edgewood, Warwick Neck, Gaspee and Governor Francis Farms. Other media outlets have since reported that the noise was heard as far as Somerset, MA.
According to scanner reports, multiple calls flooded into local police departments, including those across the Bay in Barrington. Many were awoken by the noise, and some reported that it shook their homes.
Southern New England Alerts, a Twitter feed devoted to police and fire activity, said both Warwick and East Providence Marine crews were dispatched at around 12:30 a.m. to investigate a potential vessel in distress between Conimicut and Bullocks Point.
Readers listening in on scanners said there were reports of a flash of light and loud noise over the Bay.
Then, about a half hour later:
At around the same time, those in both Warwick and Cranston reported hearing a humming or droning noise coming from the Bay. One reader from Gaspee, who said the initial noise shook their home, said the humming was particularly prominent.
Others identified the droning noise as a type of distress signal or fog horn. Some said it was a tug boat.
As of 1:20 a.m., residents said they could see boats searching the coastline.
At 1:27 a.m., this update:
As of 1:28 a.m., crews were cleared to return to shore by the Coast Guard.
Without an official explanation, readers came up with their own ideas for what might have caused the sound. Here are some of the most colorful (and clean) answers:
And perhaps our favorite:
Please comment below with any additional information.