Ball lightning

Has anyone ever witnessed ball lightning? I was just doing a little research on it, and what I thought was interesting is it is thought to possibly be made up of plasma. This type of plasma is what is usually out in "space", not here on Earth. The fact that it can act in so many different ways is very interesting. What I find particularly interesting is the way it can go right through walls, and even seems to come through open doors like it's meaning to. It doesn't seem to act at all like lightning, but because it seems to occur during electrical storms the name ball lightning was produced I assume.

Has anyone here ever experienced or researched this phenomenon? Do you guys think this could be related to sprites in any way?
 
I know one of my cousins out in Arizona has experienced this and has one case documented on video. He was standing on his back porch and had streak of it go by. Very scary stuff! I'll have to see if I can get my hands on that and maybe post a clip here soon.

I have done a little bit of research on this topic in the past, and have learned that it's not always related with thunderstorm activity. I know a few cases have been documented under "clear blue sky" conditions and the flashes came out of nowhere. I remember there being one case where some lady had it come right through her car window, and she thought it was some electrical problem with the vehicle itself.
 
I'm skeptical about any artificially produced ball lightning, as no one is sure exactly what real ball lightning is and how it is formed in nature. In other words, if we don't know how it is produced naturally, there's no way to produce it artifically and know for sure that what is produced is the same thing. There are a multitude of things that look a lot like ball lightning, namely power flashes on power lines and glowing metal shards from lightning-struck objects, that account for a remarkably high percentage of ball lighting reports.

A few years ago I had a web page devoted to ball lightning reports (you might be able to find it on the wayback machine, I don't have a copy of it anymore). Almost all of the 20-30 or so submissions I got were describing obvious power line arcs, so I eventually discontinued the page.

I'm still on the fence about ball lightning actually existing. And if it does, I have doubts that it is actually going to be a type of 'lightning' but some other unexplained natural phenomenon. I've heard a few compelling stories, some by experienced chasers, but I've yet to find any evidence or photos that really convince me. And I've seen quite a few. Of course, that's just my opinion.

One thing is for sure, if it DOES turn out to be real, I want to see it in person before I die!
 
It does exist. I've seen it. Apparently real ball lightning is very extremely rare. I witnessed it and it wasn't associated with any other powerline arcs or even lightning at the time. It was simply a small 3 to 4 foot glowing orb that was purplish blue that was "swirling", hissing, and travelling very slowly horizontally across the ground at what appeared to be about 40 to 50 feet off the ground. It was probably about as bright as the full moon, or almost that bright. The one I witnessed lasted about 10 seconds. Back then I didn't know what the hell it was. It was just wierd. Now I know it is what is referred to as balled lightning. I agree it is probably something related to a plasma.

Check stormtrack archives for ball lightning.
 
There is a strange and credible (I think) report of a ball lightning inside a room. Just read the third text of this page with the title "The Strowger Telephone System". There is something left from the ball lightning...

:shock:
 
The only ball lightning that I have seen traveled from a utility pole down the telephone line above my head, to the box on the side of the house, blowing it out. Several seconds later, the phone receiver blew off the wall, and was smoking. The obvious cause was a lightning strike about 100 feet away from me. The ball was about 12 inches in diameter, and was throwing tons of sparks all over, but it definitely was concentrated into a visible sphere... Probably not your basic "freeform" lightning ball, but it was interesting to say the least.
 
Thanks for the feedback guys. Some interesting information indeed.

Even though ball lightning isn't fully understood (and in some cases still not thought to even exist by some folks) it's kind of cool that there are still a few things in nature that are not fully understood.
 
A book I've been reading at home talks about ball lightning and an account of a plane being struck by it in 1963.
An Eastern Airlines plane was struck by a ball of lightning while flying through a storm over Atlanta,Georgia on November 1,1963. The pilot reported smoke in the cockpit and the smell of ozone. Upon landing, investigators found and 18\" section of the rudder lost, a hole in the radome, and burn spots on various parts of the fuselage. Just another reason not to fly. In Nature magazine, J. Abrahamson and J. Dinnis theorized that\".....silicon nanoparticles evaporated from sand by the lightning form a ball and by their oxidation illuminate the ball.....\"
 
Not having an idea what ball lightning is give me your thoughts on this from friday the 26th.
I just found this while going through the video from friday night.
http://stormdriven.com/sitebuildercontent/...ossibleball.wmv

editorball.jpg.w300h225.jpg


posballlightning1.jpg.w300h225.jpg


There are 4 frames that I grabed here http://www.stormdriven.com/balllight.html
when the frames are grabed it shows as just 2 balls and not 4 as it does in the editor.
I'll mess with it more this week to see if something is around where I was to explain it if it's not ball lightning.
It was a very active night of lightning. I spend 8 hours watching and following.
 
Shane Adams has video of what appears to be ball lightning. Maybe he can post either a clip or some stills from it.

I was going to include this on my Tenacity video but I can't find the master. However I do still have a few VHS copies lying around, I might put something up if I can ever get around to it.
 
Not having an idea what ball lightning is give me your thoughts on this from friday the 26th.
I just found this while going through the video from friday night.

...

There are 4 frames that I grabed here http://www.stormdriven.com/balllight.html
when the frames are grabed it shows as just 2 balls and not 4 as it does in the editor.
I'll mess with it more this week to see if something is around where I was to explain it if it's not ball lightning.
It was a very active night of lightning. I spend 8 hours watching and following.

Dave, were you in a vehicle when you filmed that? If you were filming through a car window, it's possible that what you have is just a reflection of a distant car's headlights. It's easy to be fooled. I remember spending hours looking at a few frames of some lightning video I had been given, absolutely certain that I was looking at a true anomaly, most likely ball lightning. It was quite a while before I realized the truth, that it was nothing but a reflection in the windshield of a passing car's lights. A letdown, to be sure... So it goes. I dunno, it's possible that you've shot something truly interesting, but the dual nature of the light source makes me suspect headlights.

Shane, I'd love to see your video. I've researched this topic before, and there is almost no video of true ball lightning available anywhere on the internet.
 
Not having an idea what ball lightning is give me your thoughts on this from friday the 26th.
I just found this while going through the video from friday night.

...

There are 4 frames that I grabed here http://www.stormdriven.com/balllight.html
when the frames are grabed it shows as just 2 balls and not 4 as it does in the editor.
I'll mess with it more this week to see if something is around where I was to explain it if it's not ball lightning.
It was a very active night of lightning. I spend 8 hours watching and following.

Dave, were you in a vehicle when you filmed that? If you were filming through a car window, it's possible that what you have is just a reflection of a distant car's headlights. It's easy to be fooled. I remember spending hours looking at a few frames of some lightning video I had been given, absolutely certain that I was looking at a true anomaly, most likely ball lightning. It was quite a while before I realized the truth, that it was nothing but a reflection in the windshield of a passing car's lights. A letdown, to be sure... So it goes. I dunno, it's possible that you've shot something truly interesting, but the dual nature of the light source makes me suspect headlights.

Shane, I'd love to see your video. I've researched this topic before, and there is almost no video of true ball lightning available anywhere on the internet.

Actually the video from this cam at that time period was hand held outside .I was behind the vehicle shooting north and the other cam was inside shooting east. The fact that I was holding the cam is why I'm suspect myself . I plan on finding the tape and running it to make sure I hadn't pointed it down or at something. I know my canon digital flashes a light when it's shooting, so that is the first area I'm going to check on..
The light is very fixed which does make the headlight the more favored thought . It's the wavy and curve look that throws me , unless I was twisting my hand to cause it? I just wanted to see if it resembled it
 
yea David after personally seeing a ball lightening episode hit and bounce on the ground this year, I am suspicious about the way the light goes upward in a curve and in a series of numerious lights as if to be a reflection of sorts
but its not to say you dont have proof - its to say - what were the circumstances LEADING UP TO THIS that leads you to believe that its truely BL
trust me I believe in the BL phenomanim after witnessing an episode it myself - it was purely magic and left me speechless
 
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