Thursday, February 7, 2013

Lightning Phenomena and Paranormal Phenomena

Catatumbo Lightning is a phenomena found in Venezuela mostly at the mouth of the Catatumbo River. This small region receives so many concentrated lightning strikes that it is considered the largest generator of tropospheric ozone.  It can happen 160 nights a year, up to 9 hours of continuous lightning each night.

It originates from a mass of storm clouds that create a voltaic arc at more than 5 km of height, during 140 to 160 nights a year, 10 hours per day and up to 280 times per hour. It occurs over and around Lake Maracaibo, typically over the bog area formed where the Catatumbo River flows into the lake (Wikipedia).

Just when we think we know all about our natural world, there are so many huge mysteries to be found. I find this subject of unusual weather to be a poignant posting on this blog as we deal with paranormal phenomena and look for answers for its existence as well, and yet we are regarded as "believers" but those who witness the lightning are not "believers," they have seen the lightning, but us paranormal investigators have seen phenomena and are not treated with the same respect for our curiosity.

Ball lightning is an atmospheric electrical phenomenon. It travels like a burst of light that is anywhere from pea-sized to a few meters in width and usually associated with lightning storms.  Because it is only witnessed by people and not well reported, the nature of ball lightning is a very difficult thing to peg down.

In 1596, it was reported in England by John Stowe, "There entered in at the west window of the church a dark unproportioned thing about the bigness of a football, and went along the wall on the pulpit side; and suddenly it seemed to break with no less sound than if a hundred cannons had been discharged at once; and therewithal came a most violent storm and tempest of lightning and thunder as if the church had been full of fire."

St. Elmo's Fire is plasma from a coronal discharge from a pointed object to the atmosphere.  Sailors often witnessed it, naming it for the patron saint of sailors.  When the air molecules glow from the electrical charge in the atmosphere, it becomes a blue or violet light.

Red jets and blue sprites are a recently found phenomena

These transient luminescent events occur in the upper atmosphere and were only discovered not too long ago by a high flying craft that witnessed them. Sprite occur high above storm clouds as discharges of positive lightning from the ground to the cloud, and were first discovered in 1989. Whereas sprites are associated with actual lightning strikes, jets are not necessarily associated with them.

These phenomena are witnessed by many and research taking place to understand them better. Funny how science can jump in and chase these atmospheric conditions and not the ones that make paranormal phenomena possible to witness, especially when one considers that the very storms that cause these conditions often coincide with the phenomena we see on investigations.

The inventive TV show, "Ghost Lab" actually tackled the concept of lightning and hauntings including the mining town of Tombstone where copper runs throughout the ground. Check the 17-minute mark to learn more (below)

Phenomena--nature's way of saying "you don't know it all yet!"


  1. I remember when we lived in the country... my Mom told me of an afternoon after a rather nasty storm had passed through... she was standing at the kitchen window... she had just run a glass of tap water.. and was drinking it. She said she saw this fire ball (ball lightning) coming across the field towards the house... and that it came right through the window and hit her. She said that she still had her right hand resting on the water tap, and that the ball hit her, traveled through her arm and down the pipe.

    Truly amazing.


  2. Yow! That's wild. It's amazing what it can do. She's lucky she was okay.

    1. Yeah, she had burns. The doctor told her that because she had her right hand on the tap, that she was grounded, and the lightning ball just passed through her. He told her that had it been her left hand, that it would have passed through her heart, and probably would have killed her...