Fwd = Ball Lightning Gets Some Scientific Respect
- Forwarded by: fwestra@... (Frits Westra)
Originally from: uasr@...
Original Subject: Digest for uasr@..., issue 813
Original Date: Sun, 05 May 2002 03:56:04 -0700
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Date: Sat, 04 May 2002 19:45:54 -0700
From: "Terry W. Colvin" <fortean1@...>
Subject: Ball Lightning Gets Some Scientific Respect
Science Frontiers, No. 141, May-June 2002, pp. 3 & 4
Ball Lightning Gets Some Scientific Respect
Many scientists have doubted the reality of ball lightning, placing it in
the same category as UFOs and the Loch Ness monster. But a recent number
of the prestigious *Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society*
devoted 152 pages to seven technical papers on this elusive phenomenon.
A couple dozen eyewitness accounts are sprinkled throughout this thick
collection of reports. We have room for only two of the more intriguing
1954, Iowa, account from N. Stouffer.
A glowing ball, about the size of a basketball, fell from
the clouds, about twenty feet in front of my car, and to
the left side of the road. It bounced about three times,
and I was completely amazed by it, when, the next time it
touched the earth, it detonated with a noise unlike
anything I had ever experienced! My engine quit cold
and I coasted to a stop on the very top of the hill. I
was in shock! To my horror, more balls continued to fall
around me, some to the side, very close...They fell in slow
motion. They seemed to have buoyancy. And when they
bounced it was the same kind of motion. Like a balloon
bouncing. The closest thing to the color of them was a
good strike of lightning, close by. Bright, but not
bright like the Sun. There was movement within a surface
tension. It was like lightning, writhing within a
There was no normal lightning at the time. Of extra interest to the
anomalist, of course, is the failure of the car engine.
June 1972, Kopos, Ukraine, account from V.N. Nezamaikin.
In the morning I went hunting to a shore of the Dnieper
River. The sky was clean, with no thunderstorm or
precipitation. I came to an open place on the high
shore of the Dnieper and noticed a luminescent object
7 m from me in the reeds. It was a ball 100 mm
diameter, of a bright blue color. It radiated light
like an incandescent lamp of 100-200 W. Its matter,
dense in appearance, was swaying, also resembling a
soap bubble. The ball stayed motionless in the air,
600-700 mm above the grass. Not thinking for long,
I made a shot into it with my shotgun. The bullet
consisted of lead pellets. The ball's size increased
by 1.5 times, and after that it decayed with a bang.
It broke into uneven pieces. They dissipated and then
disappeared near the surface of the water. The whole
event lasted for 1-1.5 min.
(Abrahamson, J., et al; "Recently Reported Sightings of Ball Lightning,"
*Royal Society of London, Philosophical Transactions, A*, 360-11, 2002.)
Terry W. Colvin, Sierra Vista, [Cochise County] Arizona (USA)
Primary: < fortean1@... >
Alternate: < terry_colvin@... >
Home Page: < http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Stargate/8958/index.html >
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