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No. 69: May-Jun 1990

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Lightning In The Family

What follows is hardly a scientific report, but we have no reason to doubt its accuracy.

On last Saint Patrick's Day. G. Patterson, of Phoenix, Maryland, north of Baltimore, was in bed sick during a hard rainstorm, when the bulb in her bedside lamp exploded. Lightning had struck her house.

She got out of bed and rushed over to her daughter's house nearby to find a red ball of fire on the house's baseboard outlet. Her daughter's house had also been struck by lightning! Worse yet, the TV and VCR had been destroyed.

Later on the same day, Patterson's daughter in Bel Air, northeast of Baltimore, called to say that the chimney of her house had been struck by lightning, scattering fireplace bricks all over the floor!

(Simon, Roger; "After Lightning Strikes a Family Thrice, Call Priest," Baltimore Sun, April 9, 1997.)

Reference. Lightning's "pranks" are cataloged in GLL11 in the catalog: Lightning, Auroras. Information on this book can be found here.

From Science Frontiers #69, MAY-JUN 1990. 1990-2000 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