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Ball lightning

I was reading this website http://www.exploratorium.edu/ronh/weather/weather.html and came across this statement about Ball Lightning

“The most controversial form of lightning is ball lightning. Ball lightning has never been observed scientifically and many doubt its existence altogether. It is reported to occur with or right after a nearby lightning stroke and is described as a luminous ball of light that floats along fences, rooftops, or through the open air. The jury is still out on ball lightning.â€￾

When I was a kid, we were driving in a LP storm at night when lightning struck a fence post or something along the highway. What appeared to be a “ball of fireâ€￾ then floated across the highway right in front of us. This is my only experience with ball lightning and was wondering if anybody else has seen anything similar.
 
Yes, I have seen lightning travel across a telephone wire like that, and I should have taken a picture! That would make me the first person to document this, I guess, since they have no photos (that's odd)?

Needless to say, it traveled down our phone line, moving at about 5MPH, throwing sparks everywhere, it then traveled into the phone box on the oudside of the house, causing it to explode/burst into flames, and then hit the telephone, blowing it off the wall (and melting it, LOL) :shock:

It was very scary at the time, but now it seems kind of funny...
 
I witnessed ball lightning in 2002 during an insane lightning storm at nite. It didnt travel along any object...but kind of appeared, moved across the sky for a couple seconds, and then was gone. I do have video of this event, and could put up some video captures later once Im on my computer that has the software. Definetly one of the most interesting things I've documented. Was also the same nite I got video of a tree being struck by lightning a mere 16 yards away from me. Successfull nite...
 
I witnessed ball lightning one afternoon at Chatfield Lake, CO. A bolt of lightning hit a tree and a luminous ball of plasma about the size of a basketball drifted downwind and then dissappeared after about 10 seconds. It was a very erie sight and one I will never forget.
 
I read several pages of accounts of ball lightning a couple of years ago. Most of the occurences were pretty much the same, but there were quite a few people that claimed that there was a certain "intelligence" and "mischeviousness" to these oddities. They all seem to describe a hissing or crackling sound, and a tingling sensation when nearby. One police officer said that he hit ball lightning in his cruiser and it exploded into thousands of smaller pieces.

If I can find the link for the reports I will post it. There are some really interesting stories.

I haven't experienced ball lightning myself, but I believe that something along those lines does exist. Ball lightning may be a misleading name for it, but what are you supposed to call something you know nothing about? Hopefully we can get some photos or video in the near future.
 
There are also reports dating from the middle ages of ball lightning chasing people or livestock.

(psycho or jaws music plays)

MP
 
I did a report on lightning way back in the late 70s (was a youngster). I remember seeing the info on Ball lightning then and it being pretty much isolated to FL. One thing that stands out in my mind from it is that they had said that it can crawl through a keyhole. Thinking about it now, why would that be? Wouldn't it just burn through a wooden door or take the path of least resistance? How could a larger ball go through such a small hole? :shock:

I haven't researched Ball lightning since then. Maybe I should.

Wish I would have kept all those weather reports I did back when I was a kid. Be very interesting to compare the info they had then to what we have now. :)
 
Originally posted by Morgan Palmer
There are also reports dating from the middle ages of ball lightning chasing people or livestock.

(psycho or jaws music plays)

MP

Middle Ages, eh? Well, I wouldn't doubt that...they had less of an understanding of such scientific occurences (well, still seems to be the case in general with ball lightning), and were obviously scared into thinking that it was "chasing" them out of ignorance, when it was really only coincidence. However, being into the paranormal, I'd give the reports the benefit of a doubt. It'd probably speed my heart rate up, too.
 
Here's a reprint of something I recently sent to wx-chase on the subject:

Ok, here's my story. I don't know what this was...it occurred years ago before I started chasing.
Not of a lot of scenario to it. I believe I recall there had been rain or a thunderstorm earlier in
the day or evening but not positive. I do know that most of the sky was clear at the time. Anyway I
was over at a friend's house at night (perhaps 10pm) and I had stepped outside the front door to get
some air and enjoy the night sky. I was back a bit from the house and could see over the top of it.
Suddenly there was a horizontally moving ball of swirling, hissing bluish purple flame cruising along
in what appeared to be over the house - although it could have been a bit further back. Not sure of
the scale because there aren't many references in the sky but it appeared to be fairly close to the
house - I'd say perhaps 50ft to 100ft over it. I'd estimate the size was around 3 or 4 feet. It
didn't emit any heat that I could feel. But it sure was freaky! It got my attention. It was
probably almost as bright as a full moon. While I had noticed, it had only lasted about 10 seconds
and I believe it just disappeared, disintegrated, or discharged. It was really cool to watch. IMO
it looked like what I would think a ball of plasma would look like. This event occurred in south
Austin, Tx in a rural/suburban area.

Anyone know anything more about something like this? Would this be considered "balled lightning" or
St Elmo's Fire?
 
I don't know if it's ball lightniing, but whatever I have on my May 26, 1997 video isn't an everyday occurence. It appears on Blake Naftel's 2001 Michigan spotter's guide to severe weather. It will also appear on a future DVD sometime next year.
 
ball lightning in KC

There were reports on the radio news aboutpossible reports ball lightning in KC last week. However looking on google and the Kansas city star I found nothing so far about these accounts, by whom or what after the radio shows.

I will keep searching. Just interested to find out what they heard around here.

Dr.Eric Flescher ([email protected]),Olathe, KS -Storm Satori-http://members.aol.com/kcstormguy/stormsatori/stormsatori.htm
 
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