Friday, March 28, 2008

from Elementary Meteorology, 1893

(page 176)

The following report of an appearance of globular lightning in the Glendowan Mountains, in the County Donegal, Ireland, by Mr. M. Fitzgerald, is very remarkable:

"I noticed a globe of fire in the air floating leisurely along. After passing the crown of the ridge, where I first noticed it, it descended gradually into the valley, keeping all the way about the same distance from the surface of the land, until it reached a stream about 300 yards from where I stood. It then struck the land, and re-appeared in about a minute, drifted along the surface for about 200 yards, and again disappeared in the boggy soil, re-appearing about twenty perches further down the stream; again it moved along the surface, and again sank, this time into the bank of the stream, which it flew across, and finally lodged in the opposite bank, leaving a hole in the peat bank, where it buried itself.

"I at once examined its course, and found a hole about twenty feet square, where it first touched the land, with the pure peat turned out on the lea as if it had been cut out with a huge knife. This was only one minute's work, and, as well as I could judge, it did not occupy fully that time. It next made a trench about twenty perches in length, and four feet deep, afterwards ploughing up the surface about one foot deep, and again tearing away the bank of the stream about five perches in length and five feet deep, and then, hurling the immense mass into the bed of the stream, it flew into the opposite peaty brink. From its first appearance till it buried itself could not have been more than twenty minutes, during which it travelled leisurely, as if floating, with an undulatory motion through the air and land, over one mile. It appeared at first to be a bright red globular ball of fire, about two feet in diameter, but its bulk became rapidly less, particularly after each dip in the soil, so that it appeared not more than three inches' diameter when it finally vanished."

No comments: