The cause of a boom--a pretty darn loud BOOM--heard Saturday night at least as far west as Sand Creek, and at least as far east as Westville, remains unknown.

One Chesterton Tribune reader reported that the boom, sounding like a "loud explosion," occurred around 10 p.m. and "rumbled houses for five seconds." A Duneland firefighter, meanwhile, reported that it also activated car alarms.

Tom Shapen, assistant chief of the Liberty Township Volunteer Fire Department, met Westville Fire Chief Sean Jacks at the scene--to the extent that there was any scene at all. Together, Shapen told the Tribune, he and Jacks conducted a search of their two jurisdictions but were unable to find any sign of an explosion or any indication of what the boom might have been or what might have caused it.

"It remains undetermined," Shapen said.

Porter County Sheriff's Police officers also responded, Sheriff Dave Lain said, and similarly turned up nothing. "No damage, no isolation even of where exactly it occurred."

Lain's best guess: "Some sort of a firework." If so, a very loud one.