Friday, April 8, 2011

Ball Lightning

I've had a wonderful adventure this morning in using the internet as it was envisioned. It started on the BBC's Tech page following articles about the Bletchley Museum's computer collection, and from there I went to the Science page which led to the World Wide Lightning Locations page and from there to following links about about ball lightning. In one of those articles were these sentences:

And Dr Abrahamson believes their theory will even explain how ball lightning passes through windows and walls.

"Most, especially old, houses have cracks around their windows and cracks near doors," he says.

I've always been interested in ball lightning because of a story told in our family. I've no date for the story, but am guessing it was sometime in the 1920s or '30s. The house it happened in burned in 1937, so it was before that. The house was located in the northwestern corner of Fletcher, Vermont on the Buck Hollow Road. The house was likely close to 70 or 100 years old at the time.

My grandfather was sitting in the kitchen near the old cast iron wood stove when a ball of lightning came in, circled around the stove and wandered out through the wall again.

My family is not given to made-up stories, so I do put stock in this.