Louisiana - A loud sound similar to an explosion that rattled windows in the region late Monday afternoon was most likely a sonic boom caused by high-speed aircraft or a meteor coming through the atmosphere, a pair of local experts said.

The apparent sonic boom happened just before 5 p.m. and affected the area southwest of Shreveport to around Vidalia.

"Looking at the path of the reports, there's a definite linear path," said Don Wheeler, a meteorologist at Louisiana Delta Community College.

Wheeler said there was no irregular seismic activity in the area during the period immediately before and after the apparent sonic boom.

"If indeed there was a meteor, they can come in at supersonic speeds," Wheeler said.

There have been no reports of area residents seeing a meteor, but seeing a meteor was unlikely because overcast and daytime conditions, Wheeler said.

John Anderson, an assistant professor of physics at the University of Louisiana at Monroe, said the more likely culprit behind the sonic boom is a jet or high-speed airplane.

Anderson said the aircraft could have moved over the affected area in about 90 seconds if it was travelling at 750 miles per hour or faster.

"If it was an airplane, somebody's in trouble," he said.

Some residents reported seeing two planes.

A spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration did not return a call and an e-mail seeking comment.

"There's a lot of questions and few answers," Wheeler said.