Home Page Science Frontiers

No. 77: Sep-Oct 1991

Issue Contents

Other pages

Other Interesting Sites











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

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