The Open Vault - Ball Lightning First-hand report of possible ball lightning.
Ball Lightning is a bizarre phenomenon where eyewitness reports suggest that a ball of electricity floats in the air, instead of behaving like normal lightning. Ball lightning has been reported to pass through walls, turn corners, and usually explodes after a few seconds or a few minutes. It comes in many colours and sometimes makes a hissing sound. While some accept Ball Lightning as a natural phenomenon, there is no scientific explanation for it. Skeptics claim those who see it are simply tricked by optical illusions after seeing a flash of (regular) lightning.
SENT IN BY: Joe Muñoz
Almost 18 years ago, in the fall of 1983, my brother, a friend,
and I had a
very interesting experience.
I'm not sure of the exact day or month, but it was after daylight
time because it was still before 7pm, but it was already getting dark. I
was 16 years old, my brother's friend Adrian was 12 and my bother Danny, 11.
We were getting ready to play a quick game of street football;
me. I was going to start the game off by throwing the ball to them. The
sidelines were the curbs, and the "field" was the street between our mailbox
and the mailbox of Adrian's house, three houses down. I was standing about
10 feet from our mailbox, and could clearly hear Danny and Adrian making
plans about who was going to catch the ball and how they were going to get
As I got ready to throw the ball, I noticed out of the corner of
that a tree in the yard to my right had suddenly lit up. Although I noticed
the light suddenly come on, I did not react. But then I heard branches
snapping and cracking. As I turned to look at the tree, a green sphere
popped out of the top of the tree. Danny and Adrian grew suddenly quiet.
The green ball slowly floated toward the street. It crossed the
about 20 feet in front of me. The sphere was about 10 feet off the ground.
It was larger than a basketball, and seemed to be made of a clear material
several inches thick. Inside the sphere there was a swirling viscous
liquid, which reminded me of Prell shampoo; it was the same color and even
seemed to have the same consistency. Around the sphere there was a glowing
green fog which extended maybe two feet from the sphere's surface. There
were small lightning bolts coming off the sphere's surface shooting off to
the edge of the fog, but no farther.
This thing was so close to me and so absolutely physically real,
of the first thoughts that crossed my mind was that I could hit it and maybe
knock it down with the Nerf football I was still holding. I cocked my arm
back, and was about to throw the ball when another thought came through. If
I was close enough to hit it, it was close enough to strike back. I slowly
lowered my arm and continued to watch the sphere on its trip across the
street. When it was right in front of me, I was able to hear the electric
crackle of the lighting shooting off its surface. The sphere crossed the
street, traveled across the lawn of the house next door to ours, came up to
the house and then rose to follow the outline of the roof as it angled up.
The sphere disappeared from our sight as it followed the roofline which
angled down behind the house.
I don't know how long I continued to stare at the section of roof
last saw the sphere. I just remember, looking back down the street to where
Danny and Adrian were still standing, also quietly looking at the house. I
don't remember if I yelled a warning or if I just threw the ball at them,
but we simply resumed our game as if nothing had happened.
About five minutes later, Danny turned to me and asked, "Did you
I said, "Yeah."
"What was it?"
I replied, "I don't know"
"Let's go home. I'm scared!"
This seemed like a good suggestion to me, so we walked Adrian
home and then
ran up the street to our house.
The most scientific explanation I have ever gotten to explain
what we saw
is that we witnessed ball lightning.
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