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No. 55: Jan-Feb 1988

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Presumed Ball Lightning

November 24, 1987. Tulsa, Oklahoma.

"Circa 3:20 P.M. CST. Location: 2800 Southwest Blvd. in said city. Parents of Keith L. Partain saw a lightning strike near an oil refinery storage tank. Immediately after the strike they saw a bluish sphere with red and yellow highlights, not more than 9 feet in diameter, some 100 yards away, near the tank. The sphere lasted in that form some five seconds before fragmenting in a loud detonation. During the act of detonation the sphere became an irregular spheroid before fragmentation. Mr. Partain reported that he could feel the heat from the detonation. Both individuals, seated in a truck, were quite astounded by the apparition. The weather was quite stormy and violent in its gales, rain and lightning."

(Partain, Keith; personal communication, November 24, 1987.)

Comment. K. Partain checked the Catalog Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights and classified the phenomenon as GLB1 or Ordinary Ball Lightning. The above book is described here.

Ball lightning seen near Albany, New York. The ball lightning figured left was seen near an Albany, NY, factory in 1975. The event closely resembles that reported by the Partains.

From Science Frontiers #55, JAN-FEB 1988. 1988-2000 William R. Corliss