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Possible Ball-Lightning? Prolongued sighting.

Locus: S.E. Scotland, United Kingdom.
Approx. date: 1980-1982, Wintertime.
Time approx: 1800-2100 duration.
Weather: Cold, with perfectly clear night sky.

This report was of events that happened when I was teenage. I was heavily into amateur astronomy back then, and enjoyed viewing the moon, Jupiter, Saturn, star-clusters and nebulae. A 70mm refractor isn't much use for anything else.

I set-up my telescope at a grassy area at a gable-end of a row of houses in my estate around 100 metres from my house. There, streets lights were not so close as to wash the dark sky with that annoying orange fog they create. I set-up my telescope about 6 metres away from the building-end, under the line of the vertex of the roof gable-end.

I was by then very familiar with the night sky, and aware, though only open-minded of strange phenomena in the skies, including UFO's. I had no knowledge back then of any ?earth-light? hypothesis?. At the time, the only thing that puzzled me in the skies, were frequent 'flashes' which illuminated the entire night sky. These will not be remarked upon in this account.

Around half-an-hour into my observations, I became aware of something catching my peripheral vision, above my head.

I looked-up, to see a great many spherical, animated shapes of light, hereafter referred to loosely as? light-balls? for the sake of legibility. Quoted measurements are of course my best estimate too.

These light-balls each described sinusoidal paths along a 5 metre-long flight-path of common direction, which was both parallel and in-line with the apex of the roof of the building I stood near.

Each light-ball was observed fading in from invisibility and out the same way, smoothly at each end of this little flight path.

As stated, the flight-path was in-line with the gable-end of the roof of the end of the terraced row of houses. Indeed the 'end' of the flight-path where the balls 'faded out' was right beside the end of the roof vertex.

The lights kept a tight formation within an area all around the visual centre of the flight path, of around 1 metre maximum deviation around the centre. There was never any deviation from outside of this area at all.

There was no sound detected from the display. The estimation of the altitude (from my ground position only) could be fairly accurately judged by returning to the locus and measuring the roof-vertex, but I estimate it to have been around 6 metres. Moving either side of the display, even slightly, produced strong visual 'triangulation' by the parallax effect, confirming this was no phenomena mistaken by high-altitude.

I climbed a seven foot fence next to the building-end, just under the display and stood (tottered is more accurate!) on the top of the fence, bringing me very close to the display (I am 6-foot, plus the fence, brought me to within a couple of metres).

From this closer position, I strained my eyes and brain trying to find a rational explanation for what I was seeing, but could not. I even threw a few small sticks into the middle of the display to see if anything reacted, without result.

So close, I could clearly see the light-balls were simply spheres of soft light. To settle the armchair sceptics, the light-balls were not birds, nor self-luminous insects. It was too cold for the latter anyway, as I was out with the scope in the middle of winter, looking at the Orion Nebula among other things. Reflections off birds? or insects? bodies were out, as I have already mentioned I specifically chose the locus for the overt lack of street-lights. Glowing fiery-embers from chimneys are out (my first instantaneous assumption), as the area was, and is, a smokeless zone. Everyone used gas central heating in the locale then.

Perhaps 150 to 200 light-balls were in view at any moment, I can only estimate roughly. All were around the size of an orange.

The luminosity of each individual light-ball varied between the hardly visible to as bright as a close-viewed candle. Each light-ball 'faded-in' from the blackness, then grew in luminosity to a maximum brightness which was then maintained uniformly throughout the 5-metre flight-path, before 'fading-out' to invisibility in the blackness again, at the same rate as they materialised.

The colour of the luminosity was white.

From when I saw each light-ball appear up to when each disappeared, there was no acceleration at all, the velocity was constant from start to finish with respect to each individual light-ball.

There were two components to the ?speed? of the light-balls. Their speed along the ROUTE of the flight path per-se, and the speed of the ?WAVING? motion each light-ball described, in their ?sine-wave? or ?zigzagging? passage along the flight-path.

The velocity of the actual WAVING was constant to all light-balls. I estimate it to have been quite slow, 1 ms-1.

Some moved along the ROUTE at slow pace of only 0.5 metres per second (ms-1) whilst some really belted along, giving little viewing time, of around 5 ms-1.

Given that the 'sinusoidal' WAVING velocity of the light-balls along the flight-path was constant, but that the ROUTE velocity was variable, gave the visual effect of some balls tracing a very high frequency of 'waves-per-metre' because of a slower ROUTE velocity, giving a pronounced 'zigzag' trace. In converse, some had a very low visual frequency of 'waves' due to a higher ROUTE velocity and so traced nearly a straight path or perhaps only 1 or 2 cycles between positive and negative amplitudes of the sine-wave.

As you can imagine, what with 150 to 200 of these light-balls, all moving along this small, tightly-confined flight-path, all with differing luminosity and ROUTE-velocities tracing different 'wave patterns', it was quite spectacular.

I add, that my mother and the woman whom lived in the house under the gable-end roof all came-out and saw them (I summoned my mother as I had to have this corroborated as it was so weird and the woman wondered what the voices were about). Some of the neighbourhood youngsters also saw them, but they were too young to take any real interest and they left the scene without fanfare. Both of the adult witnesses, my mother and the other woman, simply had a short look, gasped, then all immediately went back indoors to watch the television! To this day, that casual lack of interest still niggles me.

The lights remained above me for many hours as I stayed out for ages with my 'scope. When it was time to go home, I began to unscrew the tripod from my telescope to pack it away. It may have been a pure coincidence, but simultaneously the lights quickly but gently faded away in number, kind of like the way snow-flakes at the end of a snow-shower reduce in-number at the end of the shower.

I never saw such things again.

My recall of the date is poor, as back then I just regarded the display as 'ball lightning', not repeatable, and not worth fussing over. If the date is to be sought, the only clues I can give to the year, is that Jupiter and Saturn were very close in the skies, and on the lowest ?spotter-scope? magnification of my telescope, I could see them in the same field of view. TASCO were also marketing their telescopes with the brand-name ?Luna Grossa? or something pronounced similarly, I don?t know if that has a date relevance.

The display itself lasted for so long, that I had it burned very accurately into my memory, that its like it happened yesterday. All in all, I feel very privileged that I got to see something only a handful of others on the planet ever would. I also feel the account may be of use to researchers of ?earth-light? hypothesis?.

'Earth-Lights', 'Ball-Lightning' ?? Take your pick. I am open-minded as to what I saw. I am mindful about the 'coincidence aspect? of such a thing happening, as it did, right above the head of a teenager out with a telescope in the backwaters of Southern Scotland. Perhaps though it was merely luck.

One interesting line of enquiry is a large number of ?earth-light? reports I have read in books on the topic, do seem to mention a disproportionately large number appearing near roof-ends, especially church roof-ends. What is it about roof-ends that attracts these light-balls? (assuming they are not disparate phenomena) Perhaps the shearing of air-currents up the sides caused an electrostatic effect? or a ?focusing? or ?lens? effect for atmospheric or even earth (ley) energy? Who knows.

Thanks for reading this long account.

Lynsay <Lynsay a>
Scotland - Monday, April 26, 1999 at 10:15:31 (PDT)

Was it ball lightning? The police department told me to call the fire department, who told me to contact the local newspaper, who then told me they'd never heard of anything like that and were not interested... Pasadena, Ca, in the late 70's. It was a clear, warm day, late morning. I was in a bedroom when I saw a bright white-yellow baseball-size glowing ball with a tail pass along the wall. almost simultaneously, I heard my sister scream in the adjacent room. She also had seen it, and it passed the length of the wall and exited the house. The trajectory that we witnessed was about 50' and didn't last more than a second. A few minutes later my brother and friends came home and as we excitedly explained what took place(we were still in pajamas looking wild-eyed), we were from that moment on branded as being a little mad... No one has ever given an explanation as to what might have happenned until reading this site. I know live in the south of France where weird happennings are a part of daily life...
Deb Jones Brothier <debfrance a atsat com>
Pasadena, CA USA - Saturday, May 01, 1999 at 02:18:03 (PDT)

I often find myself up at odd hours of the night and, during a big thunderstorm I sometimes even brave the barren outdoors to get a good close-up look. I have two concerns that i would like to bring to your attention.... 1) With regards to whether or not lightning has MASS as we know it. I do believe through basic physical properties that direct forms of energy(electricity being one such form) do indeed have mass. If physical mass weren't an issue, then the effects of lightning upon a tree limb would be merely burn damage. How many of us have seen the aftermath of a forestfire? The trees aren't usually uprooted or torn apart by heat and flame. They are merely burnt. Yet many reports abound of physical damage being caused by lightning to trees and even homes, in addition to burn damage. I submit to you that without at least a state of QUASI-MASS, physical damage as such would not, indeed could not occur. I am willing to accept that I could be mistaken, but anyone who has ever felt the physical effects of a substantial amount of electricity(which I have) should be able to feel the potential of form and mass. 2) Ball Lightning. I have heard many stories regarding this phenomena, but have seen it only once. Still, I imagine somewhere that a person should be able to get a decent photograph or video footage or some such media. I find the concept of ball lightning to be the most fascinating relating to electrical energy and physical manifestations I have ever witnessed. I long for the day when we can see this phenomena documented and shown to a mass of people. Too few men and women are blessed with such sights as the earth and its skies provide. I would ask that anyone who has or has tried to duplicate ball lightning under artificial conditions please contact me and share your methods and results. I am most intrigued. Thank you for your time.
Christopher J. Citty <cjc1127 a yahoo com>
Melbourne, FL USA - Saturday, April 24, 1999 at 21:07:44 (PDT)

I thought I would post this account of a strange lightning event that my father and me witnessed back around 1980. When I surfed to this site and saw 'ball lightning', I figured my experience may fit that category. My dad and me were driving down Hwy 61 in the midst of a really bad summer downpour one afternoon. We have some good ones in south Louisiana. Lightning was hitting power poles and trees as we were driving along. We commented how bad it was. Some guy was driving a pickup truck about 20-30 feet ahead of us in the left lane. We were in the right lane. He had a pair of those little CB antennas that are about one foot long attached to the roof of his cab over each window. Lightning hit the one over the driver's window. As the lightning bolt disappeared, a ball of greenish white light instantly formed and started dancing around on top of his truck cab. If you've ever seen a "jumping jack" fireworks dance around, this was kind of similar. We were staring at this saying "WOW! Look at that". It was really cool looking. The ball danced back and forth for about 5 seconds and then with and explosion like a large firecracker, it disappeared. We looked at each other and said "What was that?!" or something like that. I don't know if this was ball lightning but whatever it was, I've never seen anything even remotely like it since. As we passed the guy in the truck, he was just driving along without a clue as to what just happened inches over his head.
Thomas Carroll <tcarroll a>
Albany, La USA - Wednesday, April 21, 1999 at 06:57:16 (PDT)

I experienced ball lightning some 15 to 20 years ago at my present residence in Houston. During an intense thunder storm a sphere of basketball size appeared on the elevated (12 to 15 inches) brick hearth in my living room. I don't recall seeing it descend, rather it suddenly seemed to rest atop the hearth and without hesitation moved along it's surface, from left to right. The surface appeared to be formed of a great number of electrical discharges not dissimilar to miniature lighting bolts. They covered the surface entirely and formed a rather perfect spherical shape. It seemed the ball might be translucent but little if anything was seen of an interior. The whole visible surface appeared to be covered uniformly with the electrical discharges. I would guess the patterning would equate roughly to diamond shapes of 3/4 inch to 1 inch dimension on each side. The total event lasted 3 to 4 seconds. I reported the sighting to my wife immediately and told her I had just experienced "ball lightning".
Les Heaberlin <hbrln a>
Houston, Tx USA - Monday, April 12, 1999 at 18:31:15 (PDT)

Ball Lightning

I was on a country highway when the rain became so heavy everyone pulled off to the side of the road. The rain ended but I was having trouble getting back onto the road because of traffic. Close to me I saw a ball of electicity (yellow) the size of a basket ball come down slowly and hit the wood of a hydro pole. It exploded, but only slightly and disappeared without any noise.
Alex Fenwick <uphill a>
Kirkfield, ON Canada - Monday, April 12, 1999 at 17:14:36 (PDT)

About five or more years ago I was relaxing on my bed listening to music, when I heard thunder outside. This caught my attention because living on the north coast of california you don't see much lightning muchless hear any thunder. It was storming outside and I figured if its an electrical storm, I better play it safe and turn off my stereo--electrical storms have a way of sriking power lines which can find their way into the house circuit and damage any connected to the outlet. Anyway, just as I looked up and reached over to turn my stereo off, I noticed and came in contact with an eary blue halo around the stereo, which gave me a powerful shock and cause my hand to ach and tingle for about an hour afterward. I've been shocked many a time by the normal 120 ac voltage going through house circuits, I use to shock myself just for the hell of it, but this shock was strange it wasn't a continuous tingling sensation that you feel from a house circuit after a few seconds jolt. This was a zap, I didn't have time to feel any distinct feelings, except for afterward. I am a physics student and I know saint elmo's fire can't shock you and nor can an electrical field of some kind in mid air shock you. And a corona discharge of somekind can't shock you, you have to be touching the lead terminals of a high voltage circuit to get shocked--such as a kirlian photography device. What I think happened was that lightning struck a powerline nearby and tried to ground through the house circuit, to which my stereo was hooked up to. How there was a blue light around my stereo and most of all, how I got shocked by this light or whatever still continues to puzzle me. I do know that I am one of those electrical people that effect radios, getted zapped constantly and occationally blow out more than one light bulb at once. If anyone out there with more of an electrical or physics background has an explanation, I'd be glad to here it.
Darren Wright <dew1 a>
Arcata, CA USA - Thursday, February 11, 1999 at 22:25:32 (PST)

First of all, I am a licensed psychologist and am quite guarded against reports of the paranormal, etc. Not a skeptic, just guarded. An incident from over 25 years ago has remained very puzzling to me until I began looking up "ball lightning". I was a camp counselor, telling ghost stories to a group of 7-8 year old boys when the other boys' counselor came into my cabin and told me I had to hear what his boys' story was. Two boys described in detail a "red man" who appeared to be on fire, moving slowly in front of the cabins. This "red man" appeared to be running in slow motion, then he lifted off the ground and disappeared! I went back to my cabin and asked the boys if they had seen anything unusual the night before. To my complete surprise, two of the boys corroborated the story in detail that they could not have possibly concocted. Since then I have often wondered what it was that created such a powerful story that literally had the hair on my arms and neck on end. I believe the mystery is now resolved for me after reading the other stories of "ball lightning". I believe that at that camp in Michigan, in 1973, at least four boys in two different cabins witnessed ball lightning that to them resembled a burning man running in slow motion who lifted off the ground and disappeared. There was no evidence of anything being burned. The night had been very calm and muggy, I believe the sky was clear, there were no lightning storms in the area, to my recollection. It has been great to read the stories of others and to find such similarities, it helps to put to rest a phenomena that, though it makes for a great campfire story, has puzzled me ever since.
D Christiansen <docdlc a aol com>
Greeley, CO USA - Saturday, December 26, 1998 at 10:43:09 (PST)

My son was about 8 or 9 when he came home from school on a rainy day. He told me about a glowing ball that was just floating by as he looked out his classroom window. He tried to tell his teacher and other adults at school but they would not believe him. when he came home and told me about it I knew exactly what it was... Ball Lightning. I told him he is very lucky, most people never see one in there entire lifetime.
Kathy <KatinCA>
Tujunga, CA USA - Monday, March 08, 1999 at 18:22:12 (PST)

Possible Ball Lightning Caught On Video.

While at my home in Italy, I was on my roof deck recording an incoming storm. Being surrounded by mountains, the lightning in the area seemed to be consistently severe. I was shooting straight ahead of me when I recorded something I have never seen before. Two balls of light which look to be about a half a kilometer apart and quite large appeared suddenly on the ground. They were followed by a huge lightning strike right in the middle of both balls. The footage I captured is high resolution and looks incredible. If anyone has an explaination for this, I would be interested in hearing it. My e-mail address is TranZit a webtv net
Ermanno Ceniccola <TranZit a>
St catharines, ON CANADA - Monday, March 08, 1999 at 12:08:12 (PST)

It was somewhere between 1980 and 1989 when I witnessed ball lightning. It was a bright, sunny summer day, with only a few scattered high clouds in the sky. There were multiple balls, ocurring usually one at a time, but sometimes 2 or 3 were visible at the same time. They all followed approximately the same trajectory, which appeared to be about 20 feet high, and drifted downward to a point about 100 yards or so away. Not all the balls made it all the way; some dissipated (with a sort of crackling sizzle, sort of like a dud firecracker) along the way. Their color was mostly white, with perhaps a sparkle of blue or yellow at times. They appeared to be approximately basketball sized, and their movement was mostly smooth, but sometimes got a little jerky. I gather this had been going on for some time, because as I walked closer to the point where they seemed to be falling, I saw a fire truck parked by a house. I saw one of the balls hit the roof of the house, and saw a couple of scorched places on the roof. I heard later on that there had been several reports of ball lightning in various places in town that day. (This was a relief to me, as I had never heard of ball lightning before, and it had ocurred to me to question my sanity! :)
Jim Glover <psykey a>
USA - Saturday, March 06, 1999 at 00:43:14 (PST)

Not sure if this was ball lightning or not. But I can remember this like it was yesterday. When I was in about the 3rd or 4th grade, there was a thunderstorm off in the distance that woke me up. My bedroom window faced the backyard and when I heard the lightning I woke up, and looked out the window.

About 250 yards from the house both my family and the neighbor had gardens. The neighors had just tilled theirs about 3 days earlier. The storm was off in the distance and it never did rain that night.

Anyway I saw a very bright white light on the ground in the neighors garden. It was about the size of a basketball. It never moved just layed in the garden glowing. I watched it for at least 10 minutes and wondered what it could be. I thought about going outside to look, but was to chicken. Something about it scared me. After watching it for 10 minutes I got tired and layed back down and went to sleep.

Next morning as soon as I got up I went outside and into the garden. I looked everywhere, even for pieces of glass or metal that may have reflected light from something. I found nothing by the dirt tilled 3 days earlier.

To this day I wonder what that was, to have glowed so brightly for the time I was looking at it. It was as bright as todays Halogen lights and almost the same color but the size of a basketball.

It's one of those things that make you go HHHUUMMMM.
James W Brohard <brohard a rsn.hp com>
Decatur, Il USA - Friday, March 05, 1999 at 11:53:14 (PST)

Ball lightning of a different type:

About 2 years ago I observed ball lightning of a different type. A storm was occuring and as I was driving home I observed lightning strike a power line.

After the strike the electrical wires started whipping around (from the induced charge) about a second later a blue glow occured at the insulator of the first power pole. The glow was about the size of a basketball.

A second later the wires on the other side of the pole started whipping around, then a blue glow appeared at the insulators on the next pole. A second later the wires on the other side of the pole started whipping around and a blue glow at the next pole.

The charge induced by the lightning was TRAVELING RIGHT DOWN THE POWER LINES FROM POLE TO POLE. I work at a super computer company about a 1/2 mile from that spot. The machines are sensitive to power glitches and usually crash. I kind of chuckeled to myself thinking, "there is goes on its way to the plant".
James W Brohard <brohard a rsn.hp com>
Plano, TX USA - Friday, March 05, 1999 at 11:38:55 (PST)

Ever since I could remember, I have often experienced the phenomena of streetlights turning off and on as I approached them, and getting static shocks incessantly. But being a skeptical person, and finding no reason as to why these things happened, I just wrote them off to bizarre coincidences. However I have a couple of lightning stories to relate. About the time I was 13 yrs old, back in 1973, I was living with my family outside of Brandon, MB on a small hobby farm. One evening, my mother and myself were outside by the fence of the horse pasture. The air was still, yet an upcoming storm was palpable in the air. We went inside, but continued to observe the horses from the kitchen window, because they were racing around the field and seemed visably upset. All of a sudden, about 20 feet away, we saw an orange ball of light about the size of a basketball by the pasture fence. It seemed to bounce off the ground and brake off into two spheres, which then travelled along the top of the fence in an undulating fashion until they were out of sight. Amazing.

A year later, another strange electrical event happened. On this day, the whole family were out in the yard. Dad was barbecuing in fact. The sky was clear except for a few dark clouds far (I mean really far) in the distance. I was standing bare footed, leaning against a spruce tree watching my Dad flipping steaks. "Could you get the BBQ sauce dear?" I took two or three steps toward him and away from the tree when I felt an incredible, forceful aura that caused the small hairs on my arms and neck stand up. I felt myself being thrown as I then heard a deafing "Ker-ack." The tree had been hit by lightning. It had thrown its lumber as far as over the roof of the house. I had felt a surge and was thrown, yet I was spared. Shaken, we all went into the house. An hour later the clouds rolled over, and it rained. This evening, I was out running my usual 5 mile route and I managed to flicker off 3 street lights...should tomorrow, I try for a 4th? Maybe I need to buy a treadmill and stay Christie
christie thorsteinsson <christiethor a>
winnipeg, mb canada - Wednesday, March 03, 1999 at 00:33:46 (PST)

My experience happened to me approximately 10 years ago in Canton, OH. I happened to wake up after what had been a sever storm and decided to check to see if there had been any damage. While I was at the window, I saw a ball of light moving along the ground across the street from my house. It seemed to be about 10" in diameter. I had seen a documentary about "ball lightening" years prior to this experience so, I was sure it was "ball lighting" that I was seeing. I saw the light move through the window of a church building across the street. The light moved in and out and I was not aware of any damage. In fact, it seemed rather friendly or, curious and not something frightful. I continued to watch the light "explore" the building, and move into a tree- again without any sign of damage. This went on for several minutes-I finally becamed bored and went back to bed rather pleased about the experience.
Eugenia Tufuoh <etufuoh a>
Martins Ferry, OH USA - Friday, February 19, 1999 at 21:04:16 (PST)

Saw ball lighting during a thunderstorm. Lightning struck near powerlines and I observed a greenish blue ball of light about 10 inches in diameter travel down a power line for about 200 yards at approx 50 mph.
walt <walted a mindspring com>
Reelsboro, NC USA - Friday, February 05, 1999 at 20:41:04 (PST)

My name is David and I think that I personaly witnessed ball lightning. I do not remeber the year,But it can be documented by the year that centerville ele.was taken out by a tornado. It was the night before,We were under tornado warning and I was told to sleep in the hallway.It was a straight narrow house and you could look from the front door down the hallway and out the back door. I was to afraid to sleep with the lightning and thunder and wind blowing the shutters on the house,And as I lay there it happened the flash out side the house and the ball appeared at the back door traveled down the hallway past me and out the front door and up and out of sight. I jumped up and told my grandparents what had happened, and all they said is that is not possible you were dreaming, But I knew that I had not been asleep. I have not told anyone of my experience since untill now... The place and time are not clear as that was 34 years ago. It was the year the elementry school was lost and we lived about 5 miles out side of centervill Alabama/The ball was very bright about the size of a basket ball and I could feel the heat from it as it passed by me. I did have times that I had my doughts, But with the recent proff of ball lightning their is no dought what I seen that night.
David Kinard <>
Los Angeles, Ca USA - Wednesday, January 27, 1999 at 00:25:01 (PST)

First of all, I am a licensed psychologist and am quite guarded against reports of the paranormal, etc. Not a skeptic, just guarded. An incident from over 25 years ago has remained very puzzling to me until I began looking up "ball lightning". I was a camp counselor, telling ghost stories to a group of 7-8 year old boys when the other boys' counselor came into my cabin and told me I had to hear what his boys' story was. Two boys described in detail a "red man" who appeared to be on fire, moving slowly in front of the cabins. This "red man" appeared to be running in slow motion, then he lifted off the ground and disappeared! I went back to my cabin and asked the boys if they had seen anything unusual the night before. To my complete surprise, two of the boys corroborated the story in detail that they could not have possibly concocted. Since then I have often wondered what it was that created such a powerful story that literally had the hair on my arms and neck on end. I believe the mystery is now resolved for me after reading the other stories of "ball lightning". I believe that at that camp in Michigan, in 1973, at least four boys in two different cabins witnessed ball lightning that to them resembled a burning man running in slow motion who lifted off the ground and disappeared. There was no evidence of anything being burned. The night had been very calm and muggy, I believe the sky was clear, there were no lightning storms in the area, to my recollection. It has been great to read the stories of others and to find such similarities, it helps to put to rest a phenomena that, though it makes for a great campfire story, has puzzled me ever since.
D Christiansen <docdlc a aol com>
Greeley, CO USA - Saturday, December 26, 1998 at 10:43:09 (PST)

i have a clear recollection of seeing ball lightning many years ago, when i was in fifth grade, in california. i had left my class to use the restroom and witnessed this phenomenon over the empty schoolyard. what i saw is consistent with many other accounts i've read: it was raining. the ball in this case was rather bright white, perhaps 4 inches in diameter, and spherical. when i first noticed it, it was perhaps 25 feet over the ground. it floated diagonally, rather serenely to 10 feet over the ground. i can't really remember the duration, it was probably between 10 and 15 seconds. i remember no unusual sound or odor. it ended in a rather interesting way. my perception was that it instantaneously "grew" from a dot into a blinding flash of lightning, like a quick circular film wipe, after which it was gone.
mike rosen <osmosis a aol com>
new york, ny USA - Friday, December 11, 1998 at 14:44:41 (PST)

I was testing the microwave BL phenomenon, when an interesting thing happened to me. I was just experimenting away, using a matchstick (i didn't think we had any toothpicks) and it got boring, so i went to look for some toothpicks. I found some in the cabinet, and i put one in a glass candleholder about 1" in diameter, leaning up against the side. I performed the experiment, and about 1 minute into it, a bright purple flash and some INTENSE humming occured, and the glass holder broke without shattering or even making a noise as if it was shattering. At the exact second that the glass broke, the phenomenon stopped, although the toothpick was not yet burned out... anybody know what happened?
Jared Nance <ekofron a>
Topeka, KS USA - Friday, December 04, 1998 at 17:31:17 (PST)

What happened to me took place about a year ago, and it is just know that I have any explanation for it. I saw a glowing ball floating deep within the bushes of my house. It almost pulsate, and gave a green glow. I could not dismiss it as a firefly, because of it's size. It was about as large as a basketball. I didn't know what the hell it was. I thought maybe it was someone in the bushes, with some type of bulb of glow stick. I ran inside and grabbed a baseball bat, but when I came back out, it was gone. I guess it was ball lightning, but I really can't be sure
Frank Kafka <www a acidfix com>
Bumblebee, az USA - Friday, October 09, 1998 at 00:04:30 (PDT)

When i was 14 my step mother sent me and my brother out to get the sheets from the clothes line. It didn't look like it was going to rain; but it was a little hazy.I started to take the sheets down and when i turned to hand them to my brother i saw a bright ball of white light about face height and 2 1/2 feet in diameter headed straight for me. It was moving pretty fast although i dont know how fast. It knocked me on the ground and i felt what was like electricity all over my body. When i got up i ran to the house where my step mother and brother where waiting.From what they said my face was green.Im sure from being scared half to death. The first thing i said was "Ive been struck" my step mother replied. "If you'd been struck you would be dead" My step mother said just before my brother and i saw this light it had come through the front window screen and exited through the back porch screen without leaving a single mark. She also said it lit up the house like a christmas tree.
Cynthia Hall <Bullion a>
Inverness, Fl USA - Thursday, October 08, 1998 at 13:40:44 (PDT)

9/6/98,10:30pm,my husband and I had just got done watching a movie and I was rewinding it and we both saw a red ball bouncing and hovering in our dining room. It was about the size of a super ball,it seemed to last 3-4 min. It hovered above my computer stuff (it had power,but not on) then it ziped in to the pantry. We were speachless ,my husband got up to see where it went,what it was etc. Around 12:30,9/7/98,we had the worst sheer wind storm ,like a tornado,winds at 115+,lightening 100per min. 2people killed,one after the storm.
Sue <ss1234 a dreamscape com>
Jordan, N.Y. USA - Monday, September 21, 1998 at 20:05:07 (PDT)

Well, about five years ago when I was seventeen, my friends and I used to go to this spot out in the middle of nowhere to get drunk. The place was nicknamed "Witches Peak" because it is this small mountain in Mansfield on which there's a one hundred year old federal grave site which contains graves marked with a pentogram. There is a federal warning outside of it that forbids trespassing. Another interesting fact is that some local cult used to perform animal sacrifices there back in the eighties. But anyway, because of all of the weird history, it was an interesting place to visit. So one night two of my friends and I decided to go and drink out there. We drove around for awhile and there are no lights or roadsigns out there so we eventually got lost. We would only actually find the graveyard about half of the time we went out there. So instead of just going back, we parked next to this very small mountain(actually its more like a big hill) and got out of my truck. Now pay attention to this part cause when we got back and told this story to our friends they thought we were drunk. We got out of the truck and sat in the bed and were PREPARING to drink when out of the darkness we see this really bright light up at the top of the hill. So I get out and start getting ready to leave because I figure its probably some old redneck coming out to scare us off of his property or something because at this point the light could have been maybe one of those heavy duty flashlights. So we start watching the light as it slowly starts to move down the hill, and as it gets closer(about halfway down the hill) it starts hopping down the hill, now there's not too much strange about that but the light was hopping probably twenty feet into the air! And as it gets farther down the hill, closer to us, it stops hopping and starts creeping in our direction. Once it gets about fifty feet away we could see clearly that there was no one holding the light! Looking closely it looked like a purely white sphere of light maybe one foot in diameter. So my friends and I start getting back into the car because this thing is just creeping closer and closer to us. Curiosity made me stay until it got to about right across the street from us and then i flipped and hit the gas! Now I've heard these accounts of ball lightning and i've seen pictures of simulations too, but what I saw just doesn't seem like what ive heard of ball lightning. What i saw was a perfect sphere. Ball lightning looks like, well, it looks like lightning. I don't expect to find any answers to my questions about what I saw, but I sure hope I see it again!
default013 <default013 a hotmail com>
Arlington, TX USA - Sunday, September 06, 1998 at 23:54:41 (PDT)

I saw ball lightning when I was about seven or eight years old. I am now 22. I live in Florida, which has a lot of severe summer thunderstorms. One summer day, I was home with my Mom and it was lightning and raining. I was in my room laying on my bed and she was a room away reading a book on the living room couch. A lightning bolt struck near the house and I remember seeing this bluish-white ball come floating towards me on the left side of the bed. It was about the size of a softball. I remember shooting off the bed and running to my door, which was closed, and trying to open the door as quickly as I could because I could have sworn this thing was chasing me. I got the door open and ran towards my Mom and literally jumped in her lap. She told me she had seen this glowing ball too and told me it was ball lightning. I think she read about this in the newspaper. Anyway, I remember being scared, shaking, and asking my Mom why this thing would come into my room. I remember there was a hissing sound from the ball and it didn't follow a straight path. It kind of swerved as it traveled. I remember being alone in my room one second and then having this thing move towards me. Our house didn't have any damage to it, though something could have needed replacing like an electrical appliance. It has been a while since this happened. I am living in a different house now. Whenever I tell friends about this story they always have never heard of ball lightning. Last night there was a bad storm and I woke up thinking about this event that happened years ago. I decided to see if I could find anything on the internet about it and I'm glad I found this site so I can see that I'm not the only one this has happened to.
Lauren Holzwart <jericho76 a yahoo com>
St. Petersburg, FL USA - Monday, August 31, 1998 at 08:27:31 (PDT)

Ball Lightning, I was pulled over because the rain was so heavy I and others could not see to drive. The rain stopped and we slowly resumed driving. I saw a basketball size lightning desend at a slow rate of speed into a powerline post. It exploded when it hit the wood but the explosion was cut short as it just disappeared.
Alex Fenwick <uphill a>
Kirkfield, ON Canada - Sunday, August 30, 1998 at 20:01:06 (PDT)

During a light thunderstorm before any rain occurred in July of 1991 a ball of plasma about 3 inches in diameter entered through my den window during a very close lightning strike. The ball passed thru the window leaving no marks on the plastic screen or the window glass. The ball was orange and blue in color and made a frying sound as it moved across the room through the door into the living room where it exited thru the front storm door back outside leaving no marks on the glass. I was sitting on the couch with my two cats who both stood up and hissed at it. It lasted about 20 seconds following a meandering path thru the house. A few weeks later I discovered a strange twisted bloom appear on my large sunflower which was tied to a 1 inch copper pipe driven one to two feet into the ground for support. This pipe was hollow and had been in the ground for about 7 weeks. I believe the pipe had accumulated standing rain water and created a gas that ignited creating the plasma when a streamer of lightning occured. No damage was done anywhere to my house this time. In years past the house has been struck twice by lightning splintering 2x4's in the attic and punching 2 inch holes in the wallboard enroute to the water heater downstairs.
Joanna Bosse <jbosse a>
Nashville, Tn USA - Tuesday, August 18, 1998 at 03:18:30 (PDT)

Ball Lightning-Early this morning, 8-17-98, at about 12:55 A.M. There was a thunderstorm tracking about three or four miles north of my home. I stepped out to smoke, and I looked up to the sky to watch the lightning in the storm. From South of where I was standing and from over the roof of my home came a basketball sized, perfectly shaped glowing globe that was bluish white and gray, opalescent, with the colors inside churning, as those you see in those noclear balls or Teslaa things. It sailed or floated across the sky for about 10 seconds approaching the thunderstorm clouds. It did not reach the thunderstorm clouds and it turned purple and disappearred. It did not make noise. It was moving too slow to be a meteorite, it did not have a tail like a meteorite and it was the wrong color. It was floating/ sailing slightly inclined upward. I figured it must be ball lightning but I could only find where ball lightning was supposed to be orange or red. Mine was definatly bluish white to gray to purple. Thanks others have seen the bluish too. towards the sky.
Michelle Meyers <mmeyers a>
Sioux City, IA USA - Monday, August 17, 1998 at 21:57:13 (PDT)

I will be moving at the end of August 98 to Crestone, Colorado, where I am sure I will see more of these balls of lightning. Yesterday, on August 11, 1998, my two co-workers and I witnessed the occurence of ball lightning outside the window of our workplace. During a violent severe thunderstorm, a bolt of lightning struck a nearby tree and suddenly spawned an extremely bright blue shimmering ball of light which hovered 15 feet off the ground and traveled 30 yards to the left for about 5 to 10 seconds. During this event, there was a loud humming sound which sounds like feedback from a sound smplifier. I heard a low bassy hum while my friends heard a higher humming. After this it went "poof" and was gone. My current home phone number is (972) 264-8185 and would greatly appreciate a call from anyone else who has seen a similar occurence. I wish I had a video camera. Thank you for your attention.
Steve Blount Jr <immortal a>
Grand Prairie, TX USA - Wednesday, August 12, 1998 at 09:57:41 (PDT)

August 5 1998, Orlando Me and my dad were driving home at the end of a bad thunderstorm .The traffic light turned green and our car was 20 feet ahead of all the other cars. Without warning, a white ball of light about the size of a cannon ball was comming right for the wind shield. In an instant,I heard a loud blast and it was as if the ball exploded because the bright light surrounded the whole car .
Jon Doe <Twocat2kid a aol com>
Rochester, Ny USA - Friday, August 07, 1998 at 19:22:25 (PDT)

ref: Ball Lightning

In 1989, we were experiencing a sever thunderstorm. A bolt of lightening struck a large pine tree at the house across the street from us. My wife was sitting at the dinette table where there were four windows. When she heard the lightening strike she observed, out the windows, a ball of fire over our patio, which is at least 500 feet from the main lightening strike. She was not injured in any way, but a TV, Microwave oven, and the garage door opener were all knocked out of service. Later when I went out onto the patio, I could see all of the appliances that were effected through the windows. The energy from this ball not only went through the dinette windows, but also through the glass in a door leading from the kitchen to the garage in order to get to the garage door opener. Bill Campbell
Bill campbell <blcampbell a mindspring com>
Decatur, AL USA - Sunday, August 02, 1998 at 10:13:36 (PDT)

About 11 pm on a summer evening in 1956, in Lincoln NE, my wife and I witnessed about 10 minutes of continuous "ball lightning", indoors. At that time, we lived in a basement apartment. We had gone to bed for the night; all lights were out, and a typical severe midwestern thunderstorm was in progress. It was not yet raining, though later it did. For about 15 minutes, there were always one to four small balls of "lightning" drifting around our bedroom. Most of the time there were just one or two such balls. They all appeared to be of equal size, and all were spherical in shape. They were slightly larger than a golf ball, and all were a glowing pale yellow color. The color became more intense away from the center of the ball, toward the edges. From this, I concluded that they were probably hollow, with a thin, glowing translucent shell surrounding nothing but air. Each individual ball appeared out of thin air, moved in a straight line for a few seconds, and then disappeared. Sometimes they would disappear with a soft popping sound, sometimes they disappeared silently. They all moved at an angle from the perpendicular, some up, some down; the motion was always more nearly horizontal than vertical, and toward rather than away from the north wall of our bedroom, which was an outside wall. All the balls appeared to move at about the same lazy speed, less than one foot per second. My wife was afraid and hid under the covers. I just lay there and observed them in as much detail as possible. There was no damage of any sort to the room, though there was a faint acrid odor at the time. The odor quickly disappeared. I've never seen anything like that since, but the memory is a vivid one for both my wife and myself. I have never talked to anyone who had a parallel experience, either, so I thought I would report it when I saw this page.
Ron Burke <rr63200 a>
Stromsburg, NE USA 68666 - Wednesday, July 08, 1998 at 01:11:31 (PDT)

This unual event happened approximately two years ago near the Jersey shore. Around 2am in the morning I was driving with two co-workers of mine. All of us were intensely involved in a conversation when I noticed something moving towards the road on my right. I was driving my Isuzu Rodeo and approximately 20 feet in front of me was a Jeep Grand Cherokee. The night lights and headlights, reflections and exhauts emissions were easily distinguisible. Keep in mind, this all happened within a 10-15 second time period. At first glance it was unclear what I saw. It was headed right for the road in front of me. I thought it might be a person as it dash in between me and the car in front. I almost hit the breaks when what appeared to be a ball of osillating light of the full color spectrum. It went right threw my vehicle and came between me and the passenger who also witnessed this thing before disapearing. It did not react like a reflection and it did not break up like any form of gas. Although I did get a good look at what I thought I would hit, this thing was moving on its own and did not break up or make any noise or emit any heat that I know of . The person in my forward passenger seat discribe it as I saw it too. The person in my back seat did not see it.

Just for the record, as were the the object intercepted my right forward engine were my alternator resides, I needed to replace it 5 times. I'm not saying that this phenomena may have had something to do with it but who knows. Any way this was something unusal and did not fall into the laws of physics as I know it. Ball lightning? Again, who knows. Help me figure this one out.

H. Chris Reese
Harold Christopher Reese <creese a hs-ideas com>
NYC, NY USA - Wednesday, July 01, 1998 at 10:48:51 (PDT)

We have lived in our house six years. For the first five years the house was hit by lightning at least three times a year if not more. When it happened you could usually hear a crackling noise as zaps followed the electric wires through the house. Fortunately none of our electrical appliances were ever damaged.

One evening during a thunderstorm our cat starting running back and forth and underneath things. She eventually burrowed under some laundry. There was sheet lightning one right after the other. I looked outside to see if there was a funnel cloud present but there was none. What I did see was little fuzzy lights about 4" in diameter zig zagging down from the sky. At first I thougt of lightning bugs but the wind was blowing too hard for insects. They would zigzag down slowly then suddenly increase speed and disappear into the ground. All of a sudden a ball zigzag down about the size of a softball. It got about two feet off the ground then suddenly zipped out of sight horizontally to the ground. Then another ball came down about the size of a cantelope and it disappeared into the ground. In all there were about three softball sized bright white (almost) blue balls, lots of little white ones, and one cantelope white one. Needless to say I gathered the family into the hallway until it was all over. I stood at the door so long because I was so suprised! My mother was born in 1918. She said as a child she saw lightning like that in Illinois. She said it was "ball lightning". She had never seen ball and sheet lightning in the same storm.

I eventually called an electrician to check out our house. He said that it was not grounded properly. The house is on the highest hill in our small community.
AR USA - Tuesday, June 23, 1998 at 14:15:29 (PDT)

This happened Tuesday night, June 16 around dusk in Lizella, Georgia during a thunderstorm next door to me. A red fire ball came through my sisters-in-law's kitchen window during a thunderstorm.They said it traveled a straight line from the kitchen to the laundry closet and disappeared into the wall. The breakers popped and they reset them and everything was fine. I searched the web this morning and found out it is called ball lightning. Amazing! One of them said she saw the same thing about 17 years ago.

Also, it looked like a bolt of lightning came through my paladium window (which is very high) and went through the burn marks. Did the bolt actually come through the house? This was Sunday June 14th.
L. Rushin <rushin_l a>
Macon, GA USA - Thursday, June 18, 1998 at 09:17:52 (PDT)

1st off, in new york we have just gone through a day of harsh storms and humid weather. It is the day after, june 1st, And I just went into the garage at 7 pm est and all of the doors were closed and there was no light in it. When I saw a blue light ab out the size and shape of a "football" and it was very stringy. it seamed like the sparks coming off a telsa coil, anyways this floating blue light started at the left side of the garage, went to the right and back to the left. After that happened it just vanished. I have never seen anything like this before, anyone out there that has?
John Matthews <fishboy a>
central ny, ny USA - Monday, June 01, 1998 at 19:45:49 (PDT)

We lived in a house at the end of a power line .The power pole was in an untended field in front of the house.Weeds were about 3ft. high in the field and when there was a thunder storm we could see a yellow ball floating just above the weeds.This was i n the late 19 40's. I also saw a yellow ball floating just above one of the rails on a railroad during a thunder storm at night after it had quit raining!
David Priddy <djp a>
Hampton, Va USA - Saturday, May 23, 1998 at 08:01:20 (PDT)

The day I saw ball lightning was a mild and overcast November day (no storms). This was 25 years ago when I was growing up in a rural area near Ontonagon, MI on Lake Superior. I first saw the ball lightning when it came out the front of the stereo. There was an explosion, smoke and debris and a large orange ball. It went into the front of the television set and exited through the wall behind the TV. With the explosion, cupboard doors flew open and were torn from the hinges, glass jars broke, the refrigerator door blew open and eggs cracked inside. Later inspection of the house found structural damage including a broken floor joist. After leaving the house we think the ball traveled to the car parked in the driveway. The car radio never worked after that. After the car it continued to an outbuilding where all of the cement floor was busted up. The power and damage caused by ball lightning is incredible. We were later to find out that our neighbor across the road had been outside and the ball lightning traveled beside her, down a hill, across a river and up a hill to our house. We were also told that people heard the explosion up to 10 miles away in the nearest town. I am trying in vain to convince my coworkers of this phenomena and so have stumbled across your page. I admit it would be hard to believe if I had not felt and seen the force of it.
Kim LeVeque <kimlv a>
Ann Arbor, MI USA - Tuesday, May 19, 1998 at 10:51:12 (PDT)

In the mid 70's, my wife and I were staying at a lodge in Bi Sur, California. Individual cabins were the order of the day. That Night I awoke startled and sat up in bed. Directly in front of me, over the ghas stove, was a bluish-white ball hoverinbg and absolutely stationery. I felt incredibly awed. The interior of the ball was like animated electric spaghetti, twisting and turning. Quite beautiful. I turned to awaken my wife and by the time she wakened, and I turned back to look, the ball was gone. No sound or odors accompanied this phenomenon. I
Bill Colburn <rrgp a juno com>
Los Gatos, ca USA - Saturday, May 02, 1998 at 01:02:55 (PDT)

Ball Lightning?

When young and traveling with my mother, father, and uncle in a car. Traveling at night, east-bound, on Main street, Mesa Arizona at around 2200 hours. We observed a colored ball, floating alongside the passengers side of the car. It was close enough you could've reached out and touched it-however all the car windows were rolled up. It kept pace with us for some time. My uncle went to roll the window down/my mother told him no (worried). Other than that we felt no threat, only fasination. We all saw it and talked about what it was, my father kepth the car moving at about 40 miles per hour. We discussed if possibly it was a reflection from store windows, but when we crossed intersections the ball was still there. Eventually it just veered off and went down another street. I have always wondered what this could have been. I recently heard stories about ball lightning and wonder if my story could be this also?
Daniel Armer <danielarmer a hotmail com>
Glendale, Az USA - Monday, April 20, 1998 at 22:04:48 (PDT)

Before I started working with time travel, I tried to make ball lightning a couple of times, with varying degrees of success. When I was on a weird science list, some people said they created ball lightning in the microwave. The best results I got was taking one of those flat candles, about 1 cm high, and 3 cm wide, and putting a toothpick about 1 mm away from the wick. I then lit the wick and waited for the toothpick to light up. When it did, I put it in the microwave (those ones with the rotating trays)and turned it on. After a few seconds, little orange balls about the size of ping pong balls formed. They made a loud buzzing noise and stayed near the roof of th MV. The roof started to blacken, and I turned it off immediatlly. I haven't attempted this experiment again.
blake bowyer
woodbridge, va USA - Monday, March 30, 1998 at 08:47:32 (PST)

A long time ago (8 or 9 years ago) I was vacationing in a certain part of Russia (whose name I do not remember.) The weather was completely horrible and it kept raining for about a week. While it was raining I became friends with a small group of youngsters. We sat around a fire and drank hot chicken soup. Then one day, one of the teenagers picked up a wire that was electrically charged. The wire was wet & water was dripping off. Funny thing was that this water was electrically charged and was green and blue. I tried to duplicate the effect but had no success. It looked like a liquid form of ball lightning. Oh, and the wire was charged up by itself. It was not connected to any power source where it could've gotten the electricity. P.S. If anybody has the plans on how to make a time travel device, please email me the plans and an explanation why/how it works. I have my own theories but they are all based on Einstein's theories.
Leo Zeygerman <LZ01 a hotmail com>
Brooklyn, NY USA - Thursday, March 26, 1998 at 18:58:14 (PST)

My boyfriend and I were driving at night in Wyoming when, in the distance, we saw light. This was an extremely desolate area, with no ranches, so the light seemed bizarre. As we got closer to the light, I noticed that it was only 1 1/2 - 2 feet tall off the ground and was hovering. The best way I can describe the light is "self-emminating." It was flat on top and had crisp, scallopped edges. It was oscillating across the road and was about the width of the road (a country highway with two lanes). We then drove through the light. We noticed no odd sensations. The light was bright but not bright enough to have noticed too much in daytime. I'm really hoping someone knows what type of phenomenon this is. My boyfriend and I are both originally from the rural West and we've never seen anything like it. Could it be a gargon-type situation?
M. Ziegler <Ziegler a>
Washington, DC USA - Wednesday, March 04, 1998 at 13:52:18 (PST)

A few years ago... 80's I guess it was...

I was at my grandparents house, even though i dont remember it raining or storming my mother and grandmother says it was when ever we talk about it. I was walking into the kitchen, were my grandmother and mother were talking. Through the north wall of the kitchen came a 1' (aprox.) ball of light, it came clean through the outside wall of the house. It hung for a split second above the phone, wich the bell inside it weekly rang (it was old rotary phone). The ball continued through the center wall of the house, and passed through it with out a trace, and then passed out the front of the house. The ball passed through 3 walls total with out leaving any visible mark what so ever. My grandmother had a cup of coffee or tea in her hand, and almost dropped it because the ball came extremely close to it if not hitting it. After this happen my mother called across the street (the direction it was heading) with the very phone that rang (it worked fine, still does to this day) the people living there also saw it, and I think they said it hit a tree and made a popping noise or some sort of bang and then no longer existed. This ball of lightning (only thing I've seen talk about that it can be..) was aprox. 1 foot dia. and looked like some one used a cut and paste program on a photo of the sun and my grandmas kitchen to make it, it looked like a miniature sun (be cool if thats what it was!!). The ball never changed altitude and was always about 3 feet from the ground the whole time we saw it. I still have no idea what it realy was came from or any thing. It never changed color, never flashed, no noises, or nothing fancy, just freeked the heck out of me.

I have seen a few shows on TV saying that ball lightning does NOT EXIST, all I can say is BS it dont!! Some of those shows have created ball lighting on cammera, they did an experiment (in japan i think?) were it blew apart bricks, and then with a minor change it passed right through, so this has to be what I saw BALL LIGHTNING. Although I dont remember it, my mother says that lighting struck outside just before it entered through the wall. Some one who might be able to answer this send me a email. I hope those people that say it dont exist read this, cuz it does.
Ron <Draconious a>
Troy, MI USA - Monday, March 02, 1998 at 22:28:50 (PST)

I was at our pond when a gloing ball flew out of it.It went a about 150ft strait up it came down and hit me square in the chest.I lost it.Ipeed all over myself and passedout.
Nick Oittinen <oittinen a>
Granite Falls, WA USA - Friday, February 27, 1998 at 15:07:27 (PST)

SARASOTA, FL USA - Tuesday, February 17, 1998 at 18:39:57 (PST)

This falls under Ball lightning; When I was 15 years old me and some friend were walking along a set of railroad track near the Miami Intl. airport, This area has two lengths of track running on either side of wooded embankment. They then converge into a junction after passing under a highway overpass next to a hotel. Well, as you can guess, a thunder storm was approaching and caught us running in the downpour. We headed for the overpass for shelter and were about 50 yards from it when a flash from a bolt blinded me. As the crackling report of a thunderclap was heard, We saw a small ball about a foot in diameter slowly traveling along the rail for a good 20 feet. It then dimmed and appeared to fade into the rail with a soft glow. We ran to investigate, but there was no evidence of anything. Just a heavy smell of ozone like when a fuse is blown
J. Viejos <GWIZAH a Geocities com>
Miami, FL USA - Friday, February 06, 1998 at 13:19:51 (PST)

On ball-ligting, this happend more than 30 years ago. I have always been fascinated by lighting. When ever a summer storm would (or still) develope I would set by a window (against everyone's advise) and watch the lighting. On one occurrence (and one only in 30 odd years of watching) a bolt of lighting hit a rock out croping, on top ridge known as Little Waker Mountain in yhe Blue Ridge Mountains of Virginia. Instantly a ball of yellow light bounced into the air very much like a balloon that had been slaped on the bottom. It then slowly fell over the side of the rocks, to land and bounce one more time before going into the trees and out of sight. I have not had a chance to see the area of an actual strike very often. It would be hard to say how many times this occures, for this only lasted for a few seconds.
Anthony Ratcliffe <thebear a>
Draper, Va. USA - Friday, December 26, 1997 at 07:45:57 (PST)

I wanted to do some hiking in Rocky Mountain National Park, near Boulder, Colorado, on a summer afternoon. It had been cloudy that day, but there was no indication, at least to me, that a thunderstorm would occur. I had just gotten out of my car at a trailhead parking lot when I experienced somthing I had never seen before, or have never seen again. I saw a approximately 10 inch diameter ball of fire shoot horizontally at about 15 feet above the ground for about 30 feet. A moment later, there was a very loud white colored explosion where the ball had stopped. This happened about 150 feet from me. I got back into the car and waited until things quieted down and the storm passed by. Things cleared up and I finally got brave enough to start my hike. I came across another hiker who was on the way out who was pretty shaken up as well. He had'nt seen what I saw, but he did hear it. A friend of mine that works as an EMC engineer in Boeing told me that my description sonded like ball lightning and it's not very often that people see this.
Roland Mueller <rmueller a novagate com>
Holland , MI USA - Tuesday, December 23, 1997 at 05:45:10 (PST)

Hello! I think that I was able to make somesort of ball lightning like plasmoid my own original way but i wouldn't be surprised if someone else has done this also. I'm familiar with the microwave oven type ball lightning and was able to produce this but this isn't what I did. What I did was build a solid state tv flyback driver I found in a older popular electronics magazine(which produced about 10kv), then I melted some candle wax in a bowl and placed the exposed lead of the insulated HV wire in the liquid wax so that all of the exposed wire was under the wax then I took the ground wire made an arc above on the surface of the wax and after a little experimenting with wires was able to get a green flame with blue colored balls coming out of it smaller than a pea. I would really like to hear from someone who has managed to do it also or could tell me why this is happening.
Alex Moyer <Juego14 a aol com>
Boulder, CO USA - Tuesday, December 09, 1997 at 17:18:59 (PST)

I had an event with ball lightening that happened to me back in the early seventies. I was running home home from school in the pouring down rain during a thunderstorm that suddenly blew up just as I got out of school. As I was approaching my house and already soaked to the bone, I remember feeling suddenly odd like a tingly sensation in my arms and head, when all of a sudden a lightening strike hit about ten feet in front of me knocking me back into the water logged yard. I vivildy remeber seeing the lightening and a lightening ball about the size of a basket ball emanate from the tip of the stike and rise and disipate about fifteen feet in the air. I have always thought of it as a natuarally occuring phenomenon. I know ball lightening exists, be cause I was nearly struck by it.
C. T. Northrop <northrop a>
Newton, TX USA - Thursday, December 04, 1997 at 06:07:53 (PST)

It was about 7 years ago durring a winter blizzard. We were trapped in our house without power. I dont remember any other types of lightning besides what I saw. I was looking out the window into the sky and saw a globular shaped ball of blue lightning. It was about 100 ft up. It small bolts coming out from all around it. It seemed to be hovering about moving in one direction. It lasted about 1 minute then all of a sudden disapeared. I have told many friends about this but they do not seem to believe me . If any one can explain what was going on, or also witnessed this in GrassValley California please mail me at: YBEHAVE a webtv net
Steven Pappas < YBEHAVE a>
grassvalley, ca USA - Monday, November 24, 1997 at 21:16:43 (PST)

Hello I'm a 14 yearold electronics experimenter and was able to reproduce a ball lightning experiment on the web. Basically I put a tile (Dry) inside a microwave oven put it on the highest setting and simply put a piece of burning cardboard on the tile when I turned on the microwave oven immediately bright orange balls errupted from it and rolled around the top of the oven for about 2-3 sec. before dissapearing. Each of these balls also seemed to emit a loud buzzing sound which caused the microwave to vibrate. The power specifics of my microwave are about 1.2 Kw. When I tried this at my high school with a 2.8 Kw oven the plasma balls lasted much longer and were of a bright blue color and were incredibly sphericle but were smaller than what I made in my oven which were about the size of a golf ball. I really think it is the ionization of the smoke or something with the carbon so I would appriciate a reply but anyway pretty wierd huh?(You might want to try it to get the idea but make sure to put the sample in the center of your oven and on a insulating surface so you won't mess up the bottom of your oven :) -Alex Moyer
Alex Moyer <Juego14 a aol com>
Boulder, CO USA - Saturday, November 08, 1997 at 17:26:33 (PST)

my name is steffen caston and I had a simliar event. when I was younger I got a paper clip and bent it so the paper clip would go in the wall socket. as I put it in there was a blinding flash and five lightning balls came off the paper clip and hit the ground and bounce in a straight line. bounce was about 5 inches apart. they all ended when they hit the wall and put burn markes on it. All expect one. this one bounce of the wall and did not disappear until it slowed down and stopped. no more came out(maybe because the circuit beaker when of) and my mom got the bent paper clip out. see (if you dare)to do the same. please write back at rcaston a concentric net
steffen caston <rcaston a>
Detroit, MI USA - Sunday, September 07, 1997 at 13:47:02 (PDT)

In the beginning of the summer we had a big thunderstorm. I was looking out of the window on the back of the house. I heard a big bang and saw light (it was about 14.00) and some flashes. I then heard my children cry in the living room. I ran down: my son had seen a bow of light, about one half of a soccer ball. There came rays of light out of the ball. Later he could show me where the ball landed: a piece of some roof was on the ground. (I don't know the english word: 'the black kind of paper you can have on small roofs). The neighbours on the back of our house had seen the ball, coming over our house and turning back. Two other householdings reported they had seen the ball. One of them saw where it landed: on the roof of a garage, with a bang. The roof had a black spot but was intact. However, there were laying around a lot of pieces of the same roofpaper. It seems the ball had taken quite some pieces of it and at least two pieces had landed on different places than the rest. If anyone is interested, I can try to make things clearer with drawings. Barend Maaskant
Barend Maaskant <ramses a>
Raalte, Netherlands - Monday, August 25, 1997 at 13:45:14 (PDT)

I personally did not witness the following sighting, merely relating it as it seems pertinent, as you hopefully will see:

Some years back I worked as staff artist in a local planetarium, and, having some background in astronomy I was sometimes called upon to field questions on the phone about the sky and related matters. One afternoon I took a call from a woman who claimed to have seen an unusual object in her house during a thunderstorm. She related that she was sitting on her bed talking on the phone, with her back to the door, and as she spoke, she got the impression that she should look over her shoulder, and when she d id, she saw a glowing, non-opague, cylindrical-shaped object floating in through her bedroom door; it was about a foot-and-a-half long or so, and along it's central axis there was an electrical discharge that reminded her of that which a Jacob's Ladder cr eates, and in fact there were several of these discharges inside the cylinder, running continuously. It floated toward the bed, and she jumped up, incredulous, staring, and the object stopped over the bed. It then moved back toward the door and went out o f the room, where she saw it float up the hall and out of her line of sight. Moments later, there was a somewhat-loud report and the windows in the house shook.

She asked me what this thing might be... she seemed truthful enough, and very puzzled and confused and everything else that one can get when confronted with the unknown. Well, I himmed and hawed and suggested from what little I knew about related phenomena that maybe it was some type of ball lightning... heck, it was a guess. I explained the bit I knew about BL, and some of what they are reported to behave like this thing seemed to mimic.

About a week later I was in the local library, and ran across a book called 'Unusual Natural Phenomena' that, as well as relating many reports of everything from weird haloes in the sky to rains of strange objects, the chapter on ball lightning described almost exactly a species of BL almost exactly like the object the woman on the phone described. Imagine my surprise. For this reason alone I give the story some credit as being factual. -Brian Matthews
Brian Matthews <mattone a>
Bradenton, FL USA - Friday, August 08, 1997 at 20:41:42 (PDT)

This past Sunday evening, 8/3/97, the southwest suburbs of Chicago was hit by a heavy thunderstorm. I consider the storm heavy because of the amount of rainfall, the strong winds, the large hail, and the area electrical outage. When the rain subsided, I went out in the street to access any damage and to check the extent of flooding in the street. As I was stepping onto the curb to head back into the house, I caught a glance of a lightning bolt over my right shoulder. I turned to watch it, and saw what I later described as a "fireball" moving horizontally approximately 20 feet above the ground. The yellow-white ball looked to be about 5 inches in diameter and moving quite slowly, maybe 20 miles per hour. It lasted five seconds or less, and sent me running into the house! My family and friends were skeptical, but I knew what I saw, so I decided to check the 'Net to see if I could find anything to explain what I saw. Now I know that my "fireball" was a phenomenom known as "ball lightning".
USA - Tuesday, August 05, 1997 at 11:56:33 (PDT)

In about 1986 I did see what I believed was ball lightning. This was up in the Laurentian Mountains north of Montreal. It appeared as a redish orange ball floating around in a parking lot. It seemed to be about 2 feet or so in diameter, and was about 20 feet above the ground. After a minute or so, it dissapeared. It seemed to travel in a sort of slow eratic way. I met several people that have seen it before. One friend had it actualy go into his house, and travel around in the kitchen before it disapeared. It came in through an open window. It disapeared with a snapping noise. I have been studying physics for a number of years now, and do have some theories about what ball lighning most likely is. I am convinced that it is elictrical and plasmatic in some way. It retains itself from atmospheric pressure effect. I can also see that its internal energy level is extreemly high, and I can be sure it is very dangerous at close range. Its eratic movement would be from changes in atmospheric pressures, and movement. It is also very magnetic field sensitive. It has also seems to exibit very low mass effect. This is only a very brief description from my own research. People who claim that they made ball lightning may only be fooling themselfs. It is more complex than a simple electric spark or a bit of microwave radiation. Most of the times when seen, it is around lightning activity. Lightning is extreemly powerful, and can produce amazing magnitic fields and combinations of energy effects. jerryg a total net
Jerry Greenberg <jerryg a>
Montreal, Quebecv Canada - Wednesday, July 16, 1997 at 18:04:38 (PDT)

Disclaimer:If you hurt yourself in the following entry by repeating the experiment its your own damn fault. Not mine.
Chris Rigg
This is an incredibly simple way to make your own ball lightning at little to no costs whatsoever. A friend and I were sitting in Biology when he constructed a short circuit by sticking a small amount of chewing gum to the end of a pen. He then attached a U shaped piece of aluminum foil and stuck it into an electrical outlet on the desk. A small(1mm) ball of lightning bounced five or six times across the desk before falling to the floor with an explosion and snapping sound.
Chris Rigg <brig a westnet com>
Ventura, CA USA - Friday, June 20, 1997 at 02:08:36 (PDT)

I was camping last night with three mates. I was led with my head outside the tent, when an orange circular shaped object I cant say how big circled the plough.I dont know its altitude but the speed was amazing. It traveled past the plough and back in about 3 sec.There was no sound so it was high.
Daz Storey <Dazstor a aol com>
Barnoldswick, Lancashire England - Wednesday, May 21, 1997 at 13:54:51 (PDT)

Okay, I'm not sure if this was a weather phoenomena or a work of the third kind. This is what happened, It was May 13 and I was coming home from a friends house. I saw the clouds start circling in a area of app. 1half mile start to circle. Then these green glows fell from the sky. I went there to check it out there were burn marks on the ground. There was nothing else though.
Brooks Poole <ici1347 a>
Kinston, NC USA - Wednesday, May 21, 1997 at 12:40:51 (PDT)

During a thunderstorm some 10 years ago I as usually wet out to have a look. Standing at the east side of our house facing the neighbours house suddenly a Ball of Lightning appeared. It was about sized smaller than a medicine ball, but bigger than a basket ball. It was some 7-10 meters away and about 5 meters up in the air. This means that it was aprroxiamtely 5 meters away from the neighbours chimney. It hung completely still, and as I remember it made no sound even though it looked like it was. This is since the edge of it was "sparkling" a bit. The colout was the colour of the sun (not as bright though) and it dissaperad without a trace after approx 10-30 seconds. I might add to the story that since during this part of my life i was reading lots of Tintin books so i didn't thing anything special of the event.
Mattias <mattias a>
Lund, Sweden - Wednesday, May 21, 1997 at 04:43:49 (PDT)

My mum reported to me that a truck backed into a pylon supporting high voltage cables, there was a loud crash and then a glowing ball came racing from the pylon through the flyscreen and down the coridor of the house. Distance of pylon to flyscreen a 12m.
Erl Winter <aral a>
Perth , WA Australia - Saturday, May 10, 1997 at 01:34:48 (PDT)

Well, plain and simple. Was coming home one night and before getting into my car I saw a circular shape about 6 inches from the ground which stood still and took off at 10 feet a second and dissappeared. Diameter: 9 inches, white. No pets founds on scene, of course this happened at night... I know what you're thinking, a UFO encounter, maybe so but there might be a physical explanation other than.. Refraction, vision, esp, whatever it was, I didn't stick around to find out..
SJ <scormier a >
Qu canada - Wednesday, April 23, 1997 at 02:32:36 (PDT)

My friend ( Lassi ) and his friend tried connecting two electrodes from power outlet to metal powder and when they turned it on There were a small plasma ball on the powder ! And it also burned out the fuse. I'm about to repeat this experiment with 4000 V neontransformer.
Calle Laakkonen <laakkone a>
Turku, Finland - Saturday, March 01, 1997 at 10:53:01 (PST)

In the Spring of 1947 I was in my eighth grade Civics class on the second floor of the high school building in Plain Dealing, Louisiana, gazing out the window to the East (my left) instead of listening to the teacher. The day was very hazy; I don't recall any clouds although there may have been a cloud cover above the haze.

I saw a large, perhaps twice the size of a basket ball, ball of "fire" slowly descend at about a 45 degree angle toward the Elementary School building, perhaps 200 feet away. The ball contacted the building at the point of a corner and exploded. At the time, it reminded me of a balloon that had been stuck with a pin. The explosion was heard by everyone in both buildings. The Principal came to our room, which he thought was the source of the explosion and I pointed out the damage to the other building and told him what I had seen. I was told that this could not have happened since there was no such thing as ball lightning.

Even at thirteen years old, I wondered why, if there was no such thing as ball lightning, did they have a name for it.
T. W. Tyner <tom a firstnethou com>
Humble, TX USA - Sunday, April 06, 1997 at 17:47:45 (PDT)

While a kid, back in the late '50's, I was watching television (they were comparatively new, then) during a thunderstorm. There was a loud, close peal of thunder, the television blew, and a ball of lightning about a foot in diameter came out from behind the television set, rolled about 15 feet along the floor, then hit and went through the front screen door. At that point sparks flew again and there was a loud bang. The television set was beyond all hope, but there was no damage to the floor and relatively little (burn marks) to the screen door. That was the first and last time I've seen ball lightning in person.
Harold Smith <htsmith a erols com>
Jessup, MD USA - Wednesday, April 02, 1997 at 10:59:14 (PST)

Well one time I was on a air plane going to Hawaii. I really had to go to the bathroom. After I did that I was going back to my seat when I looked out the window and saw two glowing balls of Light. one was Yellowish and kind of bouncing along. The oth er was whitish and turning the droplets of water to steam. They both were gone before I chould get the camera. When we got home we had brang back a Hawaiian plant. A few days later some small spider like insects began to crawl out of it they proceded to c ocoon the plant. A few days later they all left. A few years ago my toilet flushd by itself. I had This nickel I was Looking at I loo away for a fraction of a second and it was gone. Lot,s of other weird stuff has happend some of witch make this look like small potatoes. But I think I'll decline from sa ying anymore for now.
Danny Ichinose <Jen_Dan a msn com>
Evanston, Illinoise USA - Sunday, February 23, 1997 at 19:08:52 (PST)

Waterbury CT, Aug 1988. It happened in town with witnesses reporting it from miles away. I was visiting at the home of a friend. We were watching TV when suddenly the lights flickered and a bright light emerged outside. When I say bright it was as if aircraft search lights were just outside and and aimed right at the windows, the light cut through the drapes on the windows! There was a crisp crackeling sound and a low electrical hum. It lasted a few seconds. I headed outside to investigate and it happened again. I did not have a direct view but the light reflecting off the surrounding buildings was very intense. As I came around the house it happened a third time but I had a much better view. A bright flash from behind a house across the street, then a rising ball of light came into view. It move straight up to about 40 ft above the ground. This large ball of light attached itself to a power line, became smaller, zipped down the line as it grew smaller and smaller then vanished. The sequence would repeat itself one more time and on that occasion I was able to see it emerge from what seemed to be right out of the ground or just above it. The light was very intense. Later, we called the power company, they reported no problems, no record of a power bumps or of a transformer going. The next day in the paper was a short report that several people had seen a tremendous flash of light over Waterbury. It was seen miles away. I would guess what made it note worthy was the lack of thunder but I don't recall reading that. What does stick in my mind is the the deep electrical hum and the initial brightness which was so intense it illuminated the sky overhead. I found no trace of anything to indicate there was any heat involved. Nothing charred, burned or damaged. No evidence anything unusual had happened at all. My search was limited however to a quick scan because I did not know the people who owned the property and they were not at home to ask.
Bill Carels <372070 a>
Austin, TX USA - Sunday, January 19, 1997 at 22:07:29 (PST)

We were out taking a walk at around 9:30P.M. We were nearing our home and suddenly, from over the house across the street, there came a small, egg shaped oval of bright, whitish-yellow light. It flew silently in a very straight line at about a stead y 40 mph. It continued on its path (north to south, across the street) for about 4 seconds and then disappeared as it went over the forest in our backyard. It did not explode, or make any noise like many ball lightning reports. This happened in the summer of 1996, I do not remember the exact date. We came home and told our sons, and our 14 year old remembered a phenomena called ball lightning that he had heard about. I guess he researched it for a while after hearing our account. Today he presented us with his "ball lightning" theory and showed us a lot of web sites dealing with it. Then he took us to this site and I wrote this out. Please give us more information about this phenomenon. I am an electrician, and am very knowledgeable in physical matters such as this, but this is honestly the strangest thing I have ever seen in my life. Thank you. Roman Karas.
Roman & Kris Karas <rkaras a aol com>
parma, oh USA - Friday, January 17, 1997 at 16:31:44 (PST)

Dec. 24th 1996 2:07PM I charged a bank of 7 capicitors rated at 2uf 12Kv with a HV Xformer I made and I realized that I needed to discharge them because I had to move them. The closest thing was a Stanley flat head screwdriver, I placed the screwdrive across the Al bussbars and with that a giant report sounded and a ball of bright light was sent into the air and vanished in a smoke-ring about 24" above the bank. The ball was only about 1/8" in diameter. The screwdriver was coated with chrome so that might have something to do with it, I have discharged the caps many times and have not had this happen before but I always used a piece of copper.
Kevin Nardelle <knardell a>
New Orleans, LA USA - Tuesday, December 24, 1996 at 12:20:03 (PST)

A few years ago in 1990, I was out at the beach here in Florida around 3:00 P.M. An angry, afternoon strorm was moving over the water about two miles south of where a friend and I stood. The storm was very interesting to watch because there was a lot of lightning and thunder. As my friend and I began to leave the beach, I noticed a particularly BIG bolt of lightning that was fairly close, and over the water. It discharged once, then again, but on the third flicker, the lightning bolt broke up into separate even spaced balls of light, or electricity. They were not as bright as the original strikes, also the balls were purple violet in color. The balls of light were stationary, faded slowly, then winked out.

Later, I found a great book called "Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomenon" Which described and gave examples of the kind of lightning I saw....Said It was called beaded lightning. An interesting point about this is that the examples mentioned in the book are also described as lightning striking over water...There seems to be a connection. There is another example in a story from the book "Fire in the Brain" This example also happened out at sea, over water. (note) If any of you are interested in strange forms of lightning, and weather anomalies, try to find a copy of the book "Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomenon". Its very interesting, and has just about every kind of super bizzare weather and natural phenomenon. It also has many short examples written by people who have seen them...much like this page. There's also many technical illustrations.

ERIK BARTON <http://www.naplesnet com>
Naples, Fl USA - Tuesday, December 24, 1996 at 18:11:33 (PST)

I personally experienced ball lightning while driving down a nearly country highway, with no street lighting in Jackson County, Michigan. The occurrance was between July 1970 and November 1970. I was driving along a two-lane M-50 highway, and I was about to cross a set of railroad tracks before turning on the entrance ramp of US 127. Along with me were two or three younger girls, children belonging to my parent's friends. All of a sudden, three or four bluish white balls of energy swooped my car, rising in a parabolic over my car. The B-L seemed to come within feet of my windshield before heading upwards. My passengers and I were quite startled, but were not believed by our collective parents. The B-L was spheroid, appearing to be approximately 6" to 1 foot in diameter. They appeared as fast as they disappeared. It was dark outside, perhaps 7-9 pm at night, perhaps earlier, it was medium warm, and my memory of the weather is not extremely clear, but it seems like it may have been ready to storm or the weather was changable. That point I cannot quite remember. I don't remember any lightning strikes or rain, if there had been any, it was very light. I have always wondered if there was a connection between the steel railroad tracks that I had crossed or was about to cross. But I don't know what deflected the B-L, but I am very glad that it didn't hit my car, but it did definitly leave a mental impression on me and probably my passengers, too...
D. Wilson Nash <dilwin a erols com>
Washington, DC USA - Friday, December 20, 1996 at 11:40:33 (PST)

One night in the early 70's I woke up to see what appeared to be a small sun at the foot of my bed. The "sun" passed through the window to the side of my bed. Of course I was scared shitless. I jumped up out of bed and ran out of my room into the hall. Then just as quickly as it all happen- ed, I wasn't frightened anymore. I went back to bed. Several years later when I came to know about Tesla, I realized that I had seen ball lightning. In my lifetime I have had more close encounters with lightning and other Tesla type phenomena than most people would wish for. I have seen St. Elmo's fire on top of Spruce Knob, the high- est point in W. Va., I have seen finger lightning so close that I could observe the white fire core and blue halo around the bolt, and I have observed an earth stress light at the Serpent Mound in southern, Ohio. My belief in such phenomena is from seeing.
Captain Static <cpstatyk a usa.pipeline com>
Cincinnati, OH USA - Monday, December 16, 1996 at 20:03:03 (PST)

Subject: Observation of Unusual St. Elmos Fire

I would like to describe an observation of St. Elmos fire on a commercial airline flight one night.

I was the co-pilot aboard a Boing 757 twin engine jet on an evening when a line of fast moving thunderstorms were moving across the arrival route to the Dallas/Fort Worth airport.

At 11,000 feet and in heavy clouds and light precipitation, our radar showed that we would skirt the heaviest of the thunderstorms by only about 2 miles. Our approach controller was unable to allow us to venture further away from the thunderstorms due to other airplanes coming the other way. The front windscreens were dancing with long filaments of electrical discharges quite normal for this airplane in these types of clouds and electrical activity.

We were then hit by lightening bolt, later discovered to have hit the right side of the fuselage in the area just outside the my copilots window not but perhaps two feet from my right shoulder.

The lightening stroke moved down the right side of the fuselage burning each door hinge on the right side of the airplane, and exited the right aft tip of the horizontal tail, blowing a hole, nearly the size of a softball in a panel designed by Boeing to route a lightning strike.

That experience, being as you might expect an unpleasant awakening and occurring outside the aircraft, was not at all the most disconcerting, for the most unusual part of this event occurred inside the cockpit very near to me.

A large flash and loud bang occurred somewhere near my right wrist. The percussion was about the intensity of a small firecracker and the shock wave was felt blowing the hair on my right arm, eyebrows and hair.

The cockpit was very dark and the blast resulted in a basketball size ball of blue gray glowing gas just above my right hand not but 18 inches in front of my nose.

The ball of glowing gas remained suspended between my head and dashboard for some 30 seconds, during which time I was unable to view the electronic navigation instruments looking directly through the glowing mass.

However and this is when I discovered that this was a glowing gas ball, I was able to shift my torso towards the center of the cockpit and literally, look around the gray blue ball to see the instruments from another angle. The glowing ball slowly dimmed and I was once again able to view the instruments from a normal viewing angle.

Yes, the captain did assume control of the airplane during that time and confirmed the glowing gray-blue ball suspended just in front of my head.

Many thanks to Boeing and the instrument makers for their superb electromagnetic pulse suppression designs. We were to make an uneventful landing a few minutes later, with the only system lost was the automatic braking system disabled. All other systems were normal!

Can anyone venture and explanation for this glowing gray-blue ball which I was unable to see through?

Library books have been to no avail.

Jim Craft <r2jcraft a>
Monday, November 25, 1996 at 018:55:33 (PST)

More to my report on an aircraft occurrance in the 1960's: I just discovered a remarkably similar account by Adrian Asheford in AA&ES Magazine, June 96 "Spectre in the Storm". Find it at http://dspace.dial.pipex com/aaes/earth/ball/. Where my ball moved from the rear to the front, his went from the cockpit to the rear! Like his, I do not recall any transparency.
L. Behr <jrz1 a skantech com>
USA - Monday, October 28, 1996 at 22:28:38 (PST)

BALL Lightning: In the late 1960's I was project manager on a classified airborne communications project. Relevant to the story was our use of a large transport aircraft with installed low frequency RF transmitter putting out 10KW at about 50KHz into a five mile long trailing wire antenna. Visualize a large insulated reel structure at the rear of the aircraft terminating the antenna, and a passageway through the center of the aircraft fuselage, about three feet wide, lined with steel equipment racks on both sides and extending forward about 75 feet to the cockpit area which was separated by a closed, painted, metal door. During one notable test flight at about 20,000 feet well out over the Atlantic, we encountered significant thunderstorm activity while transmitting. Intermittent corona formed at the antenna reel, then an intense spewing began (very loud hissing), followed by transmitter overload shutdown. However, the spewing continued unabated, and significant electrical circuit problems began. At that point, one of my engineers threw a "grounding stick" over the antenna cable exit. An electrical explosion occurred and a deep red ball core about 4 cm diameter with a bright corona about 15 cm diameter detached itself from the reel and proceded slowly (20 - 30 cm/sec?) toward the cockpit, maintaing relatively a central position between equipment racks, roughly shoulder high. The four of us in the experiment area crammed into spaces between equipment to avoid contact, but could feel an intense emf effect on our body hair. The ball eventually impacted on the cockpit door, exploded loudly (you should have seen the flight engineer erupt in to the passage moments later!), and burned the door paint (no metal damage) in about a 40 cm diameter. A significant odor of ozone and insulation were evident, but could have come from some of the other electrical problems. We headed back to base, and on reeling in the antenna, found that a 2000 pound "bomb" previously attached to the cable had departed during the event due to cable melting. Numerous metal "weld" spots were found throughout the cable. No damage to the aircraft electrical system was found, but the independent, tail mounted, generator system for the experiment was badly damaged. This incident was thoroughly documented to the appropriate military authority at the time, with damage photos, etc. and statements of my engineers. Probably now declassified, there is no telling where this info is now.
Lencho <jrz1 a Skantech com>
USA - Friday, October 18, 1996 at 23:20:18 (PDT)

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