Mysterylights Group Message 0376

Subject: Re: exactly what can and cannot an earthlight do
From: rowlf@...
Date: 05 Apr 2006 08:30

Quoting sean_b_palmer <sean@...>:

> On Thu Apr 14, 2005 8:38 am, Mike Williams wrote: 
> > What does the "earthlight" have to do or display to separate itself 
> > from being just a ufo. Because at the moment it sems an "earthlight" 
> > can do/be anything the researcher wants it to be. 
> The main distinguishing characteristic is the tight coupling to the
> earth. Many of the reports that Devereux originally reproduced were of
> light phenomena that were observed at close range and were seen to
> specifically have come from the ground, or appeared in flaps where
> others of the lights had been seen to come from that source. The Egryn
> Chapel lights of 1907 are a good example of that.
> On the other hand, Peter Hassall was right in his follow up when he
> said that "Ball lightning, UFOs, earthlights, spook lights, ghost
> lights, etc.are all intermixed and given interchangeable labels!" For
> example, St. Elmo's Fire has been called the Will-o'-the-wisp on more
> than one occasion (see, e.g., Observations on Popular Antiquities,
> John Brand, 1777). And Ball Lightning is sometimes reported as having
> appeared when no clouds were apparent. No cloud, no lightning, if you
> ask me. It doesn't make taxonomic sense.

Thanks for the kind words. BTW, I am impressed by your site.

To simplify, there appear to be two main types of ball
lightning. One is generally seen during storms, is noisy,
moves rapidly, causes damage (and sometimes injury), and 
disappears by exploding. the other type is seen during
calm conditions, is silent, moves more purposefully, causes
no damage, and usually just winks out or fades away silently.
There is also a subgroup (nearly always seen only inside
houses) that changes shape (many reports in the UFO literature
e.g. Flying Saucer Review magazine). 

In addition to the two type sof ball lightning there are
spooklights/ghost lights seen repeatedly in one area (e.g
the Hornet Spooklight, Min Min lights, etc.). many of these
reports may be explained as car headlights,e tc. but some 
close up sighting are difficyult to explain.

Then there are earthquake lights which may or may not be the
same as spooklights.

Lastly, there are generally accepted light phenomena like
swamp gas, St. Elmo's fire, etc. 

> Both of these approaches are valid to some extent, but they both have
> pitfalls. Using the former approach, you're trusting the
> interpretation of the observer, which is bound to be invalid in a huge
> majority of cases, not least through to cultural bias ("I saw a
> spaceship!"). With the latter, you're trusting your statistical
> analysis to have included enough trustworthy data along the right axes
> to provide you with some good output; and then you'll probably find
> yourself assigning arbitrary names to arbitrary groups anyway.
> I've tended to concentrate on the former approach, whereas people such
> as William Corliss have concentrated on the latter. As I say, either
> approach is flawed, so it's best to do some of both--I'm currently
> trying to shift my focus to the latter approach and do a more
> neutrally characteristic based assessment of the lightforms.

I mostly agree with Corliss' categories but sometimes an
event is listing in what (IMHO) appears to be the wrong
category. Are you using his volume Remarkable Luminous 
Phenomena in Nature: A Catalog of Geophysical Anomalies
(an updated version of Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal 
Lights: A Catalog of Geophysical Anomalies (see )? It
is well worth getting this updated one if you only have the 1982 version.
packed full of extra examples.

> And the whole thing gets very complicated when you consider, for
> example, that what is traditionally viewed as several different
> phenomena such as earth lights, ball lightning, and earthquake lights
> may have different energy sources but the same atmospheric carrier
> mechanism...

I agree.



Peter Hassall
Stunt Performer 
Fight Choreographer
Ph 021-167-1837 
PO Box 27432, Marion Street, Wellington, 1, NEW ZEALAND
NZ Stunt Guild & Independent Fight Directors Guild member

Mailing list run by Sean B. Palmer
These are archived posts of mailing list messages: see the "From" line at the top of the page for the actual author. I take no responsibility for contents of mailing list posters, but feel free to email me if you have any concerns.