Shreveport, Louisiana gets a fair number of visitors. And with recent movie activity, some might even be called stars; however, a guest from the heavens might literally have dropped in.

About 6 p.m. Thursday, people near Cross Lake saw a bright flash and heard an explosion that rattled windows and brought them out of their houses and onto their yards to look over the water. Speculation over what it could have been included a bomb and a methamphetamine laboratory hidden in the woods.

It took a while for people to arrive at the logical conclusion: It probably was a meteor.

"Meteors happen all the time," says Kevin Kilkenny, fireball coordinator for the North American Meteor Network. It's part of international consortium of agencies that track and monitor meteors, which are asteroids and other celestial objects that enter the atmosphere, and meteorites, which are those that actually strike the Earth. "The problem is that very few people look at the sky anymore and are not familiar with the sights that can be seen all the time."

Caroline Thomas lives on South Lakeshore Drive, not far from Barron's Landing, and said it was just getting dark "when I heard this horrible ... the loudest explosion I've ever heard and saw this big flash."

She called Shreveport police's Cross Lake Patrol and joined the gaggle looking onto the lake.

Bob Terrell at Barron's Landing and his boss, Tanya Luker, heard the explosion.

"It was very quick," Terrell said. "But there was an extremely loud explosion and fire that lasted an instant, and then it was gone. It was that quick."

He said he served in the Air Force and heard many sonic booms in his life. "But this was louder than any sonic boom, and it was very scary, to say the least."

Luker agreed. "It rattled the glass. It was an intense explosion."

While the lake patrol got calls about the object, state police, units at Barksdale Air Force Base and the National Weather Service did not.

Lake patrol officers checked for any debris, damage or cause but came up empty-handed, Shreveport police spokesman Randy Patrick said.

"It rattled windows. But they have no idea what caused it."

Kilkenny said there are major and lesser meteor showers going on nearly every night of the year.

"The major ones, like the famous Perseids and Geminids, have the possibility to produce from dozens to hundreds per hour. Minor showers like the Taurids may only produce a few meteors per hour," he said.

"But each year, tons and tons of space 'rock' falls to Earth. Most are micro size."

"So far, yours is the first notice we're receiving about this 'exploding meteor,'" Kilkenny said. "If we hear more about this fireball from Louisiana or neighboring states, we will certainly let you know."

Thomas, who hasn't seen or heard anything like this in the more than 36 years she's lived on Cross Lake, said it was enough excitement for one afternoon.