Wilkommen, Bienvenu, Welcome... Sziasztok!

Welcome to The Lotus Position, an intermittent collection of extempore navel gazings, ponderings, whinges, whines, pontifications and diatribes.

Everything is based on a Sample of One: these are my views, my experiences... caveat lector... read the Disclaimer

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter

The Budapest Office - Castro Bisztro, Madach ter
Ponder, Scribble, Ponder (Photo Erdotahi Aron)

Guest Nutter/Kindred Soul: Bill Bailey


Wednesday, 1 August 2007

Triple Ball Lightning

Immortality beckons!

Actually, I just thought it was worth putting onto the memorious internet the phenomenon I witnessed many, many years ago... thereby ensuring that if anyone really digs for ball lightning eye-witness reports it might prove useful for its oddity value.

It was a summer's day in the south of France, in or around Juans-les-Pins near Antibes on a family holiday when I was 8-10 years old; I recollect my brother being with me, and since he is 3 years younger than I am, I couldn't imagine having taken a 4 year old with me, and I'm pretty sure I wasn't 11. To be explicit the year must have been around 1969-71. [Juan-les-Pins looks rather more developed according to Google Earth than I remember it, but this memory is now at least 36 years old, so no surprise perhaps!]

Anyway, there was a thunderstorm and suddenly out of the base of the cloud in front of us three equally spaced dots of light appeared and proceeded to travel in a straight, silent line towards the ground where they disappeared equally silently. Which is not to say they were absolutely silent because it was hard to tell how far away they were, and of course the rain itself was making some noise.

To see one ball of lightning is a once-in-a-lifetime event - to see three at once was (in mature retrospect) absolutely stunning; (my maternal grandmother said she had seen ball lightning - and she also said she saw "The Great Comet" "of 1908" - having specifically said she didn't remember Halley's Comet in 1910; I wonder if she saw Comet Morehouse, which had unusual tail structure - see also here.)

I have always wondered about their spacing and trajectory, particularly whether they were following the Earth's magnetic field; I (hazily) recollect the angle to the ground as being about 60 degrees but have never bothered to check the dip in the south of France. Nothing more to say really except that that they appeared as small dots (though not quite pinpoints of light) and not balls - I guess they were too far away.

Pity I didn't have a camera with me, but I would probably have missed the moment - they didn't take more than a second or so to travel from cloudbase () to ground.

The only specific conclusion I can draw from this is that the theory that says ball lightning results from a normal lightning strike on highly silicaceous soil is at best incomplete.

Alas I have never seen a UFO - let alone been abducted (though my plans are ready); I suspect Einstein, Newton and Pythagoras were right (in this respective ways) and that the Moon is not made of green cheese (for proof see Google Moon and zoom in to the max); and I know thanks to "Edmund" (?) that certain mental defence techniques are effective against most types of Alien mind-control (Greys, Nords, and, er, the other one) "but of course, not Reptilians" (How could I have been such a fool as to think I could go mano-a-mano with a Reptilian!)...

So I trust this report will be found credible