Between 8 and 8:30 p.m. on the night of October 26, 2008, residents in Westmoreland County, southeast of Pittsburgh, reported observing an odd brilliant light show in the sky, which some observers felt was not related to thunderstorm activity. I also have received observation reports from as far away as Somerset County in Pennsylvania, and into Ohio.

The first reports I received were from the Mount Pleasant Township area. Later reports came in from various other areas of Westmoreland County, including North Huntingdon Township, Greensburg and Latrobe.

The initial reports from Mount Pleasant Township, described an intense flash of white light which lit up the sky in all directions. The flash lasted only a fraction of a second. Observers felt certain that this was no lightning bolt. The exact position of where the flash was originating from could not be determined since all sections of the sky were illuminated.

The sky was very clear and full of stars. There was absolutely no thunder or other sound heard at the time.

About 45 seconds to a minute later, after the initial flash, another brilliant flash lit up the sky just like the first. Then as though the timing was synchronized, the same flashing effect occurred about two more times, then suddenly ended. Once again, no sound of thunder.

It appeared to the observers that this was a very close event, and they would definitely have heard thunder.

One witness described the flash as, "a blinding light up." That witness told me that she was so disturbed by what she saw, that her first impression was that our country was under attack. She quickly turned on the television to look for any breaking news reports.

In another report from Latrobe, a witness looking west, described the flash as looking like a giant spotlight beam of light, which was very bright. Other reports also indicated flashes to the west of Greensburg.

The National Weather Service Office in Pittsburgh has confirmed, that an arctic front was coming through western Pennsylvania that evening between 8 and 9 p.m., and thunderstorm activity was being reported. It is quite likely that some people did see lightning associated with those storms. Some witnesses however, are convinced that what they saw was not storm related, and they are seeking an explanation for the sky phenomena which they observed.