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Thread: Strange phenomenon during intense lightning storm

  1. #31
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange phenomenon during intense lightning storm

    Quote Originally Posted by Illum View Post
    Ionized air for sure. I have never seen something like that but have built earth grounded LEDs to tell me if the thunder was getting too close. Wire two LEDs together in opposing ends so that both sides had both a cathode and an anode, ground one end to earth and the other connected to an "antenna." When the strike zones are passing over, LEDs would sometimes glow. The last time where it glowed brightly was Hurricane Charley back in 2004. When I saw more than one of these things glowing in the house I started unplugging everything. Then, as predicted, within seconds every flash came with a simultaneous crash. Theres a funny feeling in the house [especially smells of something metallic burning, ozone maybe?] and I can feel my skin tingle. I have, however, never witnessed the red cloud in the house. We lost two trees and a stepdown transformer that year, the latter was a direct strike that blew out all of the house's built-in offline smoke detectors.
    What you are describing is a potentially catastrophic situation, as anything with inductive properties all build up a charge, wires in conduits will heat up, breakers can open but the house circuit will still be charged... purple aura could have been ionized nitrogen... red, I'm lost on red.
    What an instriguing idea. I must try this.

  2. #32
    *Flashaholic* fyrstormer's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange phenomenon during intense lightning storm

    Quote Originally Posted by Illum View Post
    This is true, many houses have their earth ground tied to the same copper pipes that carries your water. I try to avoid showers and washing when the thunder and lightning is most severe. If I have to wash, I have a few buckets of water [called "technical water"] in the washtub to handle occasional uses.
    Newer houses use PEX plastic pipes to carry water. The water itself is still electrically conductive though.

  3. #33
    Thread Killer Illum's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange phenomenon during intense lightning storm

    Quote Originally Posted by fyrstormer View Post
    What an instriguing idea. I must try this.
    I had the idea from reading a historical article about Ben Franklins' lightning Bells.
    The concept is simpler than mine, two bells with one knocker ball suspended in between and isolated from both. One bell is grounded and the other is tied to a rod. When a storm is overhead the bells, acting as an air core capacitor, builds a charge. When either side reaches the potential to attract the ball is when the jingles begin. This only occurs when the storm is directly above and, as your house had seen: ambient ionization. Having bells like that in your vicinity acting as a lightning rod is a very dangerous contraption to risk.

    So, I considered something with modern technology. I used red LEDs, whose foward voltages are low enough to light up dimly when theres a hefty amount of charge in the air. At some point I do recall putting in a few nonpolarized capacitors to give me a solid reading. Unfortunately I have nothing to show for it because being outdoors what I have had installed all expired from corrosion. Let me see if I can find the ones I had indoors. After our last paint job I have them removed, as they were connected to the AC receptacle's "ground" screw.
    Last edited by Illum; 06-03-2012 at 04:45 PM.

  4. #34
    Flashaholic* LightSward's Avatar
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    Default Re: Strange phenomenon during intense lightning storm

    Ionized air for sure. Two separate things happened to me that together sound like what you had happened. I was out camping when a storm kicked in from nowhere, bolts of lightening crashing all around us. I opened the tent and noticed all the air around us was glowing green, brighter near the ground. It looked kind of like it was slowly flowing down the hillside. I could smell ozone, hear bees that weren't there and figured the next lightening bolt was hitting my tent or the pool of water forming instantly everywhere around our camp spot. A big crack of lightening a hundred yards or closer, and the storm ended, glow subsided. I felt strange through all this but figured maybe just an adrenaline rush, I don't know, but I was almost crying to God about being a better person, sort of thing when the ground was glowing.

    The second strange "Ionized" air occurrence was when I built a Van De Graaff, (yes spelled with two a's and f's), generator. Static is killed by moisture and dust, so during my construction of the generator, I kept a sterile environment and ran a dehumidifier and cleaned every part with rubbing alcohol and purified air purged everything in a ten foot radius. The results where "shocking"...if you'll pardon the pun. I not only generated two foot long sparks, (which feel really good on tight sore muscles), making LED anything in the vicinity of ten feet or more, light up, new in box or burned out CFL's light up for a minute, but most dramatically, managed to generated 'roaming bands of "Saint Elmo's Fire"' in the room the Van De Graaff generator was operating in. These literally looked like classic sheet covered ghost, that seem to interact with anyone in the room, sometimes releasing a big spark if you got too close...totally awesome...my link to after I got some dust in the machine, sparks still pretty big. "click 'it'" or copy and paste --->>>

    :http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=LgH4v..._UPHDN7obFXz4Q
    Last edited by LightSward; 03-02-2013 at 08:37 PM.

  5. #35

    Default Re: Strange phenomenon during intense lightning storm

    Quote Originally Posted by get-lit View Post
    Some years ago I experienced something I'll never forget and I still don't understand what was occurring. It was during the most intense lightning storm I'd ever seen. As it began, I watched through the front window of my house as a flurry of lightning strikes slowly approached our neighborhood from across the field. I ran to grab my video camera to capture the strikes, but as it drew closer I became frightened and went to the back of the house and filmed through the back sliding door.

    The lightning came over the house and the constant onslaught of explosive strikes was terrifying. As the lightning continued to strike around the house, the air inside the house began to glow reddish orange. The glow was in the form of a large fog within the room and it spiraled down the hall into the smaller rooms. My camcorder seemed to still be on because the LEDs were on, but the LED screen was white and tape spools stopped rolling. I put it down and noticed a cigarette lighter with LEDs laying on the counter was flashing as if it were being used. The microwave next to me beeped and the LED display lit up all eights. I heard several other electronics beeping throughout the house. I was too terrified to budge an inch. I yelled to my wife in our bedroom down the hall, "are you ok?" and "are you seeing this?" she yelled back yes to both and stayed put as well. The TV in the living room was glowing brightly, the same reddish orange as the air in the room.

    The strangest, most intriguing, and most terrifying effect of the phenomenon is much harder to describe, because it was more of a sensation. It felt like some sort of reality warp. It very well could have been an electrical field affecting my head but the sensation seemed as if it were something straight out of the Philadelphia Experiment. While I stood there, it just seemed like I was standing in the middle of a timeless nowhere, with everything around me, including myself, being nothing more than energy. Again, it was probably an electrical field affecting my head, but it felt surreal.

    I continued to stand completely still. The lightning strikes subsided as the flurry passed over the neighborhood. The glow slowly faded away. My wife and I ran to each other, held each other, and then cautiously explored around the house together. The TVs throughout the house all continued to glow for several more minutes and I smelled strong ozone. Outside, car alarms were going off and the discharge street lights were still glowing. A house behind ours caught fire and the the emergency vehicles came.

    Can anyone tell me what the heck happened? Over the years, the closest thing I could find online is ball lightning, but this didn't match the characteristics of ball lightning. Any ideas?
    Many years ago, I was at a community pool with family and friends when a storm hit. We initially went under a large canopy with many others but the loudspeaker called us away. People ran off while my friend and I were in the back, delayed. He looked at me and said "your hair, your hair!" and I felt a tingling sensation and saw his hair was slightly sticking up (70's). We ran from the canopy and heard a blistering blast as lightning hit a pole next to us. Since we were teens, we thought it was exhilarating. Years later, we thought how dopey we were for delaying to leave the large canopy.

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