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Ball lightning is an unexplained atmospheric electrical phenomenon.
19th March 1963, the Eastern Airlines late night flight EA539 from New York to Washington encounters a storm, there’s a sudden loud bang and bright flash. Seconds later a glowing ball emerges from the pilot’s cabin. The blue-white sphere hovers above the aisle and floats slowly towards the rear of the plane maintaining the same height. It reaches the back of the plane and vanishes.
Remarkably the plane continues unharmed. But this wasn’t fantasy, this was fact and it wasn’t the first account of its kind. The eye witness was R.C. Jennison, a professor of the Electronics Laboratory at the University of Kent. Suddenly scientists sat up and took notice.
Pilots in World War II described an unusual phenomenon for which ball lightning has been suggested as an explanation. The pilots saw small balls of light moving in strange trajectories, which came to be referred to as “foo fighters”.
Clip taken from the Naked Science documentary “Lightning”.
Watch it here – Coming soon!