Thoughts on the military and military activities of a diverse nature. Free-ranging and eclectic.

Saturday, June 24, 2006

Ball Lightning!

This is coolbert:

"It is not uncommon for engineers to accept the reality of phenomena that are not yet understood, as it is very common for physicists to disbelieve the reality of phenomena that seem to contradict contemporary beliefs of physics" - H. Bauer"

There does seem to be a reasonable and naturally occurring explanation for the phenomenon of ball lightning.

A phenomenon that has a military connection.

Ball lightning is of course, as I have said, ephemeral. Short lasting and fleeting. NOT easy to observe and make readings on. NOT the sort of thing that modern science CAN or WANTS to study.

"Foo fighters" have been speculated to be ball lightning, as I have just blogged about.

Ball lightning, or a similar phenomenon greatly resembling ball lightning was also observed in diesel powered submarines.

Diesel powered submarines, WHILE RUNNING ON THE SURFACE, of course, use a diesel engine for propulsion. WHILE SUBMERGED, the submarine uses a electric motor powered by a large array [banks] of batteries.

These battery banks are/were switched to be on-line with the electric motor by several large mechanical switches. Switches that were manually operated by crew members when the order was given by the ship's Captain.

Crew members, when operating the switches, did report seeing unusual phenomenon occurring. Phenomenon none of them had ever encountered before.

"An artificial version of ball lightning has been reported on submarines that use huge batteries to operate their engines. Improper connection of the battery causes an electrical discharge that sometimes reportedly spawns glowing, hot balls."

When these mechanical switches were being thrown, all sorts of incredible amperages were being connected and circulated in the electrical system at the same time. This is ordinarily NOT the sort of thing scientists would do in a lab. The combination of such large battery banks is not found elsewhere but on military submarines.

Upon hearing the phenomenon as experienced by submarine crews, civilian experimenters DID attempt to replicate the occurrence. Results were:

"Professor James Tuck, of Los Alamos Laboratories, heard about this and attempted to duplicate with effect using a submarine battery stored on campus. Most of his tests produced nothing resembling ball lightning, but in a final experiment before the lab was disassembled Tuck introduced a low concentration of methane around the area of the discharge. The result was an unexpectedly large explosion and the end of the experiments. Later, film from movie cameras operating during that last test showed something Tuck hadn't seen at the time: a four inch round glowing ball."

Well, this is reasonable. NO results as that occurring on the sub. ONLY after introducing a gas into the environment was he able to get results. And the glowing ball was found only after looking at films. Like I said, ephemeral!!

It MUST have been that in the very closed and confined environment of a submarine, a lot of gases were present that were NOT present in the controlled experiment. ONLY by adding certain gases was the phenomenon replicated. This is understandable. In a sub you have a lot of outgassing from those batteries, or at least I would assume there is. NOT detectable by the human nose [??!!], but still present. This outgassing COMBINED with the sparking from the switches was responsible for the observances that were made!!


Labels: ,


Post a Comment

Subscribe to Post Comments [Atom]

<< Home