I have not experienced that on HubPages yet. However, when I had a blog a several years back when Michael Jackson passed away along with several others around the same time my page views increased from a steady dozen or so a day to getting over 1,000 page views in a couple days just from writing a post in remembrance to Michael Jackson, and spending a little time creating back-links.
This is because if it's in the news, more people are going to be searching related keywords. This is great if you have taken time to SEO your article. Although there's also a down side, while a topic may be hot news today, tomorrow it could be old news. Just depends on the topic how long it stays extremely popular.