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Letters to Nature
Nature 224, 895 (29 November 1969); doi:10.1038/224895a0

Ball Lightning

R. C. JENNISON

Electronics Laboratories, University of Kent, Canterbury, Kent.

THIS communication records the observation of ball lightning in unusual circumstances. I was seated near the front of the passenger cabin of an all-metal airliner (Eastern Airlines Flight EA 539) on a late night flight from New York to Washington. The aircraft encountered an electrical storm during which it was enveloped in a sudden bright and loud electrical discharge (0005 h EST, March 19, 1963). Some seconds after this a glowing sphere a little more than 20 cm in diameter emerged from the pilot's cabin and passed down the aisle of the aircraft approximately 50 cm from me, maintaining the same height and course for the whole distance over which it could be observed.

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