Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 24: Nov-Dec 1982

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











Balls Of Fire Enter Room Through Metal Screens

"Thunderstorms are frequent in the Entebbe Peninsula, Lake Victoria (Uganda). During one of these storms, which usually come at night time, there was a simultaneous flash of lightning and its associated clattering crash of thunder. A second or less later, several balls of brilliant blue light, about 4-6 cm diameter, entered the room through a window on the south side and 'floated' across the room to leave by a window on the east side. My wife and I were already awake (it would have been difficult not to be) and independently exclaimed aloud on what we had just seen."

Both windows were open but had metal screens. The same phenomenon occurred again during the same rainy season.

(Gillett, J.D.; "Balls of Fire," Nature, 299:294, 1982.)

Comment. Ball lightning is fairly rare; repeat performances are virtually unheard of. For the many other varieties of ball lightning, see Section GLB in our Catalog: Lightning, Auroras. More information on this volume is located here.

From Science Frontiers #24, NOV-DEC 1982. 1982-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987