We had something very frightening happen last night, around 1:15 AM.
I was up late working on my computer, which is located next to a set of double French doors that open out onto the front porch of our house. These French doors are always kept locked, and they are covered on the inside by thin blinds that let light in but prevent people from seeing either inside or out. A family member was asleep in a bedroom directly above the room I was working in, and another family member was asleep at the back of the house.
Suddenly, and with no warning of any kind, there was what I can only describe as a soft explosion right in front of me, just outside the French doors on the front porch. At the same time, an extremely bright white light shone directly into the room I was in. My first thought was that someone had thrown some sort of incendiary device onto our porch.
A second or so later, all the lights in our house went out and my computer switched over to battery mode, meaning the power had gone out. A second or so after that, another soft explosion just like the first went off outside on the porch, and again the very bright white light came shining into the room with me through the blinds on the French doors. Both times, even with the blinds in between, the light shining into the room with me was almost blinding.
Again, the light only lasted a second or so. As soon as it went out this time, our electric power suddenly came back on. The entire event from start to finish lasted only about 10 seconds, but the power was out long enough that we had to reset all the clocks in the house.
The noise from the explosions on the front porch woke the family member who was sleeping above me, and they went running to their front window to see what was going on. This family member got to the window just as the power went out, and they said they saw all of the lights in the houses on the hill above us go out at the same time ours did. They also said that everyone's lights came back on at the same time. However, this family member never saw the bright white light, even though it came on for the second time while they had to have been standing by their window looking outside and the light was nearly blinding me directly below them.
The third family member woke up briefly only when they heard us talking about what had happened. Because they were at the back of the house, they never saw or heard anything.
It should be noted that there were never any shock waves of any kind associated with the explosions we heard. All of the energy from the explosions appeared to be associated with the bright light, which clearly was being aimed directly into the room where I was and nowhere else. Whatever was being done seems to have caused a power overload trip that was rectified amazingly quickly; alternatively, the lights may have been put out to prevent us from being able to see the perpetrators. (Note that there was no moon out last night.)
The incident was most definitely not a transformer blowing out and sparking. Our transformers are all located along the street up the hill from us, where the family member above me would have been the one to see lights instead of me. The family member at the back of the house would also have been likely to hear and see a transformer blow and spark, because they were on the same side of the house as the closest transformer.
A reliable source I described the incident to believes I might have been the victim of a "strobe weapon", an electronic flashgun that looks rather like a large lantern-type flashlight.