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No. 77: Sep-Oct 1991

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Hovering Ball Of Fire

June 12, 1991. Braintree, Massachusetts.

"One of Earth's rarest and most mysterious weather phenomena occurred in front of Olga Perrow's Braintree home yesterday afternoon.

"Ball lightning, an orange-reddish glow of luminosity that Perrow said "looked like a bowling ball," greeted Perrow and her two grandchildren as they drove into the driveway at 665 Commercial St. during the height of yesterday's thunderstorm.

"'I was stunned,' Perrow said. "It was so smooth-looking. It was like a big ball of fire.' "Perrow said the ball moved alongside the car up to the front wheel and 'exploded' when the car went into the garage.

"'It sounded like a bomb,' she said. "We expected to see a hole in the ground, but there was none.'

"Chase Trowbridge, Perrow's grandson, said the ball was hovering about five or six inches off the ground. 'It moved very slowly; we were watching it for about 10 seconds,' he said. 'It was weird.'"

(Macrae, Scott; "Powerful Storm Hurls Rare Ball Lightning," Quincy Patriot Ledger, June 13, 1991. Cr. B. Green wood)

From Science Frontiers #77, SEP-OCT 1991. 1991-2000 William R. Corliss