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Evil Rays

Mystery of the 1978 Bell Island Boom: Ball lightning, melted power lines and other weird electrical stuff in Newfoundland


An artist's impression of the ball lightning seen by many local residents on Bell Island, Newfoundland in 1978
Was it ball lightning, an overhead meteor explosion or a test of a top secret electromagnetic weapon of some kind? What caused the explosive phenomenon on Bell Island, Newfoundland in 1978 that electrocuted livestock, melted power lines, and produced floating orbs of fire? Enough energy was released that day to set off the American nuclear test watch satellites, and weapons researchers from the Los Alamos National Laboratory soon showed up at the site. CBC Reporter, Rick Seaward, was at the scene in 1978. He investigates the mysterious phenomenon and the shadowy events that followed in this broadcast from the following year.

Part 1

Comment: See also:

Ball lightning strikes twice in southern Russia?

Signs Supplement: Fortean Fire

Fireball 5

Another massive fireball meteor fragments over U.S., seen this time from Minnesota and Indianapolis, 27 December 2013

© LunarMeteoriteHunter / Google Earth
Minnesota, Indianapolis fireball meteor, approx. 22:30 CST, 27 Dec. 2013
Initial Meteor Sighting Reports

27 Dec. 2013 - Tiffany, Stillwater, Minnesota, USA 20:33:00
4 secs duration. West sky, shot straight down. No sound, bright light with orange and blue and green bursts. Less bright than sun, slightly. It seemed so close, like it could have been a firework a neighborhood over, but it was no firework. It shot straight down fast out of the sky. Seemed so close.
27 Dec. 2013 - Jessica, Tintah, MN, USA 2230 CST
5 secs duration. S-N. Blue, very bright, brighter than the moon. Lit up the car. Largest/brightest I've seen!

Fireball 4

Large meteor event reported over Michigan, Iowa, Missouri, South Dakota, Illinois, Minnesota, Kansas, North Dakota, Ontario 26DEC2013

Seen in at least 10 states! US and Canada! Likely MORE! Updates pending - Now 75 Reports! TWO Videos!


Fireball 4

Amateur video of Iowa fireball streaking across the sky breaking into 3 pieces

An amateur meteor spotter caught the moment when a fireball flew across Iowa's sky Thursday evening. Tim Cline says he has two cameras pointing at the sky at his Williamson observatory. He says the footage shows a meteor flying north towards Des Moines. Consistent with witness reports, the timestamp puts the bright object flying by at 5:41 p.m.

Channel 13 received several reports of a colorful fireball across the metro and even on the Iowa/Missouri border.

The National Weather Service said they also caught some footage of it. They later backtracked saying the moving object in their video was more likely Venus.

The evening sky was well described by our viewers. Mercedes Sholley posted on the Channel 13 Facebook page, "I watched it change colors from the yellow red and orange to green blue and purple right before it sizzled out and went black and I watched it break off into at least 3 pieces."

Jakob Kranovich also described it, "I literally drove right underneath it. It looked like a giant firework going sideways. It gave off a bright green glowing color (I'm dead serious) and broke up and sparks showered everywhere and faded out. Happened too fast to get a picture and I was driving as well."

"It was awesome. Unfortunately no pics but I don't think I'll get that image out of my mind," Jamie Croatt commented.

Schoolnet8 camera

Fireball 3

Possible meteor reported this evening over central Iowa

It probably wasn't Superman who drew central Iowans' eyes to the sky Thursday evening. A meteor is the more likely explanation for the streak of light that reportedly lasted just a few seconds.

The National Weather Service was able to catch a ball of light on one of its cameras in Iowa City, but thinks its footage may show the planet Venus, which was also visible around the same time.

Kurt Kotenberg of the NWS said the agency has received accounts of people seeing a "fireball."

"We're looking at the reports, also," Kotenberg said. "The interesting thing's about it, Venus was visible in the sky just after sunset."

Social media posts from Iowans claiming to have seen the potential meteor indicate it appeared over central Iowa skies about 5:40 p.m., although it seems few eyewitnesses had a camera ready.

Fireball 2

Fireball lights up sky across Missouri, Illinois, Indiana and Tennessee

© Tim Maune
The fireball was spotted in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee.
St. Charles County - NewsChannel 5 has gotten reports of a fireball streaking through the sky near St. Charles Thursday night.

As of 9:15 p.m., the American Meteor Society had recorded six reports from people who spotted this fireball in Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, and Tennessee between 4:17 p.m. and 4:35 p.m. CST.

One of our Facebook fans, Tim Maune, was able to capture the image on camera.

All of the fireball spotters say there was no sound accompanying the fireball.

So what was it? According to the AMS, a fireball is another name for a very bright meteor, one with about the same brightness as Venus in the morning or evening sky.

If you saw the fireball, the AMS wants to hear from you. File a report online, with as many details as you can remember


Mysterious Christmas Eve 'boom' heard and felt around Greater Toronto Area

Did you hear it?
© Frederick Florin/AFP/Getty Images

On Christmas Eve, many people in and around Toronto reported hearing a loud "boom," like something had fallen on their house.
Around 11 p.m. Christmas Eve, people reported hearing a loud "boom" in Toronto, Newmarket, Aurora, Belleville, Richmond Hill, and Sutton. Not only was the boom heard, but it rattled houses, leaving many to believe that a tree had fallen on their rooftop.
Loud boom in #YorkRegion around 11pm last night. Heard in #Newmarket #Aurora and #RichmondHill. #meteor? #earthquake? #sonicboom? #santa?

- Rob Jones™ (@blindedbtflash) December 25, 2013

@NebulousNikki that's what we thought too! Lots of neighbours heard it too. Can't figure out what it was... #Kingston

- Kate Kaminska (@katekaminska1) December 25, 2013

@NebulousNikki @RodSinclair1 same in Durham / Brooklin. Over 20 friends in area reporting it at 7:45, again around 11 and about midnight

- Micheline Robichaud (@SweetMinxy) December 25, 2013
But so far, there hasn't been an official explanation.

Even more mysterious is that some people reported hearing booms at other times during the day as well, ranging from 2 p.m. to 6 p.m. to 1 a.m. on Christmas morning.

Snowflake Cold

Video: Snow in the Middle East, floods and fireballs in the first half of December 2013


Strange explosions and flashes of light reported in Montgomery County, Maryland

Strange noises and flashes of light are what hundreds of people say they saw and heard Wednesday night in Montgomery County.

The Montgomery County dispatch says they got a few hundred calls from people reporting hearing several loud noises, and some people reported seeing flashes of lights.

Local gas companies did not report any ruptured lines.

"Could be fracturing from the mountains when they fall, but that doesn't explain the flashing light. We do have meteor showers right now. Could be meteors coming through and the sonic booms were from them entering the atmosphere," said resident Janet Johnson.

The cause of those noises and lights are still under investigation.


Propaganda Alert! UK astronomer claims 'mystery bright light' in skies above UK was 'fireball meteor', even though it could not have been

© Gloucester Citizen, UK
A mocked up image of what the meteor is said to have looked like.
The mystery of the 'bright object' seen falling out of the sky over Churchdown has been solved - it seems that it was a fireball meteor.

Scores of Gloucestershire people have reported seeing the object. The most recent sighting was at 8am yesterday but there have been reports of other meteor sighting earlier in the month.

It is also thought 2014 is going to a bumper year for meteor attacks.
Daytime fireball spotted over Sweden yesterday and another over the UK this morning! This can only mean one thing #omgwearallgoingtodie

- Virtual Astronomer (@VirtualAstro) December 19, 2013
One eyewitness Gill Brimfield said: "My husband and I were driving home from Evesham last Wednesday evening and spotted a really big bright light in the sky, which was not a star. It was not moving and by the time we got to Churchdown it was still there.

Comment: A 'mocked up image', 'expert' claims that bear no resemblance to eyewitness reports, and a warning about meteor fireballs "attacking us in 2014".... what a strange news report.

What we've generally found to date is that the media is reluctant to acknowledge fireball meteor sightings at all, nevermind that their numbers are increasing all the time. But lately, there seems to be some prestidigitation, some sleight of hand, going on with the news around this topic, something which really jumped out at us in the above article.

Here we have a local UK news outlet uncritically accept the explanation provided by 'virtual astronomer' that this 'bright light in the sky' was a 'fireball meteor', despite the eyewitnesses all stating that the object was stationary, and that it reappeared in the same spot in the sky on successive nights... so, obviously, they were not seeing a 'fireball meteor'.

We wonder in what direction the eyewitnesses were facing, because it rather sounds like it could have been the planet Venus. Along with Sirius, Venus appears in the evening skies this time of year, making them seem brighter than usual.

So why then would a regular newspaper
  1. publish a story about a non-event with a 'mocked up image' that looks nothing like what eyewitnesses described, but which does look very similar to photos that have been taken of daytime fireballs streaking through the sky in recent years;
  2. suggest that "2014 is going to a bumper year for meteor attacks", thereby tacitly acknowledging that fireball meteor events are increasing worldwide, and - more importantly - priming people to expect a lot more fireball activity;
  3. quote an 'astronomer' who falsely claims that this non-event was a fireball meteor, yet who acknowledges that they're being reported worldwide;
  4. simultaneously mock the phenomenon by including the 'astronomer's' tweet that included 'Oh my God, we're all going to die' as a Twitter hashtag?
Why are the 'authorities' playing this silly game?

We suspect that what's going on here is a combination of ignorant people seeing stuff and the authorities playing on their ignorance to confuse the issue.