This bizarre electrical phenomenon usually occurs during thunderstorms and lasts for up to thirty seconds. Balls of lightening are said to behave in strange ways, hovering, rolling, hissing and sometimes passing through walls, in a way that seems completely unnatural. As a result, ball lightening has long been associated with aliens and ghosts, and the kind of pseudo-psychic head-cases who believe they can communicate with the other side. Thousands of people throughout history have reported seeing ball lightening, including Benjamin Franklin and my grandmother, but until recently their claims were largely ignored. However, with an increasing amount of photographic and video evidence available, scientists have now begun to take ball lightening seriously and are now attempting to recreate this entirely natural phenomenon within the confines of a laboratory.
Saint Elmo’s Fire
Described by scientists as a plasma phenomenon, St Elmo’s fire is caused by ionization in the atmosphere. Named for the patron saint of sailors, the phenomenon was historically witnessed emanating from the lightning conductors atop tall ships, however it can occur almost anywhere, particularly during thunderstorms. Whilst the phenomenon may appear to be flame-like when a lightening rod is it’s source, it has been more accurately described as a blue-green glow.
The Goat Suckers
Goat suckers, or Chupacabras, are the hypothetical creatures blamed for a recent series of cattle mutilations in South America. In the past decade hundreds of cattle have been found mutilated across Brazil alone. Often the cattle are found to have had huge amounts of blood drained from their bodies but other signs include the removal of the jaw, tongue or anus in startling similarity to cattle mutilations in the US.
The goat sucker myth began in Puerto Rico where a series of sightings during the 1970s first made headlines. At first it seemed that goats and sheep were the only item on the menu but this soon changed when the creatures were reported in Mexico two decades later and began attacking cattle. There are a number of theories explaining the sudden appearance of this critter in South America. Perhaps the most logical explanation is that their species is native to the Amazon and that deforestation has forced them to leave the rain-forest for the first time in search of food. Another popular, if somewhat unlikely explanation is that the goatsuckers are of extraterrestrial origin, owing to the fact that goat sucker attacks often coincide with UFO sightings.
Descriptions of goat suckers vary hugely and whether they actually exist is a matter of huge debate. Many say that predatory animals could be behind the rise of livestock mutilations or blame covert government experimentation, but the truth remains a mystery.
Spontaneous Human Combustion
This phenomenon is extremely rare and no plausible, scientific theory has yet been offered to explain how a person can suddenly burst into flames, but it would appear that some few unfortunate people have done exactly that.
Most deaths thought to be caused by spontaneous human combustion can be attributed to the "wick effect", whereby a person’s body fat acts like candle wax, causing a person to burn in an intensely hot but extremely well contained fireball. Strangely, all that is left in most cases is the lower part of the victims legs, which contain little fat, and their feet, which are usually found to be still wearing slippers. This would seem to explain how homes are sometimes left undamaged after a victim’s body has been burned to cinders along with their favorite armchair. However, whilst the "wick effect" explains the way in which a human body might burn it offers no explanation for the cause of the fire.
Whilst UFO sightings vary so widely in description that would seem to defy logic entirely, the amazing commonality between individual alien abduction stories would seem to suggest that more is at work here than a few over active imaginations. Psychologists have linked abduction stories to a deep routed fear of pregnancy in both men and women, explaining why so many self-proclaimed abductees claim to have been implanted with alien fetuses. Another well established theory behind alien abduction is that strong electromagnetic fields, perhaps occurring naturally, could cause a person to suffer an epileptic fit whilst simultaneously causing nearby electrical equipment (such as car radios) to malfunction. The person would subsequently see flashing lights before blacking out. Waking up from such an experience, the word “aliens”, would surely be the first on your lips.