Tag: lightning

Eye of the Storm – Part 1

Happy Holidays! Sorry I have not published for so long. It has taken me some time to figure a few things out. Now that I have done that, for your Christmas present, I will explain how the Earth was formed. You can thank me later.

Earth’s geology and weather is a result of capacitance in Earth’s electric circuit. Forget anything you’ve been taught about geology. It’s wrong – provably wrong – from evidence you will soon see.

Geology we are taught to associate with billions of years of “tectonic forces” is actually the result of capacitor discharge across Earth’s atmospheric layers. The Earth’s own electric circuit electroplated, etched and arced to form the land, patterned by the Earth’s electric field.

The first evidence of Earth’s electrical formation is provided by the landscape – all one need do is look at it. In this article you will be shown features created by electric winds. The challenge is to believe your eyes and take a serious look at the theory behind it, or to hide yourself in the consensus.

The following images are just a teaser. An explanation and even more dramatic evidence will take some explaining, but first, look at these basin and range mountains and contemplate what caused them..

pakitwist2pakitwist1

They look as if a blow torch blasted the land, don’t they? Admit that they do. They are coherent flow patterns formed in concentric waves, and this is undeniably so. Just look.

This is a visual coincidence according to consensus geology. According to accepted scientific explanation for these fluid curves in mountains and basins, that rise and fall in coherent fashion, requires a long sequence of unrelated events.

First, the rocks have to be made at some depth, miles below the surface under millions of years of heat and pressure. Then the ground has to roll in an unproven act called “subduction” which stretches and heaves the land such that the rocks come to surface as mountains, and deep basins form between.Imprimir

The rocks have to push up by faulting from earthquake. And with this violent up-heaval, huge slabs of rock do not get broken, or crumbled to dust as would be expected, but remain largely intact, somehow always ending up in horizontal shelves of rock at consistent dip angles.

Then much of it has to erode away, sand grain, by sand grain, over millions of years of rain and wind, which strangely sharpens the angles of what remains and produces slab-sided triangular buttresses on just one flank of each mountain.

Remarkably, after all these chaotic processes of stretching, lifting, falling and eroding, for millions of years, instead of a pile of rubble, coherent forms of parallel rows of ridge lines, and oval, round and swirling structures of repeating fractal forms emerge. It makes one wonder at the marvelous coincidence of it all. How does a mix of ad-hoc “theories” – guess-work really – and very poor guesswork at that – add up to anything as coherent as these structures. The answer is they don’t.

At least, not in the Electric Universe. Coincidence isn’t a scientific explanation in EU Theory. These features are easily identified as coherent wind-blown features created by winds of primordial times, when Earth was in a different Solar environment. The entire process of their formation will be explained.

The environment was not unique, and that is why it can be explained. It exists today on another planet in this solar system. So, we can look at these bizarre features on Earth and see that the same winds that shaped this land, are very similar to the winds that we see on Jupiter today.

wqod5siuupzkvo4po6ql (2)
Earth———————————————————————-Jupiter
junoeye
Earth————————————————————Jupiter
Iran1
Earth
jupiter_vgr1_grs_mosaic_crop
Jupiter
wqod5siuupzkvo4po6ql (7)
Jupiter
close1
Earth
juno30 (2)
Jupiter
auspep2
Earth

Take a close look at all the features, because they aren’t just similar, they are almost identical. You have just looked at – in a half dozen pictures – more conclusive evidence than any other theory about Earth’s Geology ever presented. Now let’s expound.

The cyclones on Jupiter produce violent downdraft winds like tightly rotating hurricanes. The “craters” on Earth are the result of super-sonic downdraft winds, as would be produced by such powerful cyclones.

Not only that, but on close inspection, the mountains that form the rim of these “craters” display clear and indisputable sonic shock wave patterns, as described in previous “Arc Blast” articles. These features were indeed “blow-torched”.

shockwave

The reason these land-forms on earth and the clouds on Jupiter are similar is no coincidence. As will be shown, they trace to the same electrical formation endemic to planetary circuitry. That is capacitance.

The sustained storm called the “Great Red Spot” (GRS) is electrically analogous to primordial weather here on Earth. In fact, so similar is the Great Red Spot on Jupiter to the storms that once raged on Earth, we can visually correlate features. Why that is so, will be explained in the course of these “Eye of the Storm” articles.

GRS1_LI

The Colorado Plateau

Let’s focus now on the Colorado Plateau, because this high desert plateau and mountain region in North America has a special structure that makes it very easy to understand. It’s easy because, it was the eye of a storm where specific types of winds occurred that can be identified on the land. This will be shown as the result of three simple processes in Earth’s electric circuitry,

  1. Capacitance
  2. Inductance
  3. Ring Currents

Electric storms produced the Plateau, the Rocky Mountains, the Great Basin, and the Sierra Mountains. Storms like hurricanes and thunderstorms we experience today, but of primordial origin, when Earth’s place in the Solar System was a different environment.

It was the electrical environment that was different. The electric field in the Solar System affecting Earth was very different, and it caused the voltage potential between ground and sky to go off-the-charts, rising to trillions of volts. It produced storms that covered the Earth with erupting volcanoes, lightning arcs, winds and tsunami’s that changed the face of the planet.

Winds screamed at Mach speeds, volcanoes erupted country-sized sheets of magma and shrouded Earth with ionic dust. The land became charged with electricity. Arcs erupted from Earth’s interior and scoured it’s face with bolts of surface conductive lightning. Pools of mineral and moisture ionized below deposits, and lifted mountains of earth away in drift currents, in a powerful electric field, the likes of which we have never experienced in our time.

What caused Earth’s electric field to jump to a state of hypertension, and generate the kind of storms that drifted mountains into form – as if made of whipped cream – is out of scope right now. I will explain this in the future … oh yes I will, but for now let’s stay on Earth.

There is evidence of layers upon layers of successive events. It’s apparent that storms of varying magnitude recurred over time, just as they do today. What formed continents and blew mountains into shape was the culmination of many cycles of creation that left the thin veneer of surface geology we now observe.

The geologic onion must be peeled one layer at a time, and looked at with fresh eyes and electricity in the geophysics tool kit. We now look at the outermost layer. Evidence that Earth’s geomagnetic field amped-up to ‘electroplate’ this layer is obvious everywhere, so we start with that evidence and follow where it leads.

Where it leads today, is an overlay of the Great Red Spot of Jupiter, onto Earth, that shows the approximate shape, location and proportion of the multi-vortex storm that created the mountains and high desert plateaus of North America.

ass

The storm left its imprint on the land: it’s vortex outline, it’s internal turbulence, it’s vertical and horizontal jet-stream winds and lightning arcs. The Great Red Spot is, as will be shown, the single most important key we have to understanding weather, geology and our ancient past on Earth. I will, in these articles, put NASA and the rest of academia to shame. This will take some explaining, though. So please be patient and pay close attention.

Before we compare, and explain, the features of the Great Red Spot, and the Colorado Plateau, bear in mind the evidence of electricity in geology and weather that we have already looked at. Each past article features an expression of the primordial storms we are discussing now, and should be understood in that context.

In “Arc Blast Parts 1 – 3”, and “The Monocline”, we looked at triangular, harmonic wave forms on mountain flanks created by supersonic winds and reflected shock waves.

In “The Maars of Pinacate”, we looked at volcanoes, and discussed evidence of their cause being electrical discharges within, or beneath Earth’s crust, and how blossoms of violent eruption drew cinder cones to them by in-flowing, rising winds similar to an air-burst nuclear explosion.

In “Lightning Scarred Earth, Parts 1 – 3″, we looked at craters, pinnacles, dikes and buttes formed by lightning, and how the combination of lightning arcs and ambient winds form mountains.

In “Sputtering Canyons, Parts 1 – 3”, we looked at how dust laden electric winds deposit plateau’s, and how an electric field can diffuse charge through the landscape and cause sputtering to eat away layers of those deposits.

And in “Summer Thermo-pile”, “Tornadoes – The Electric Model”, and “Nature’s Electrode”, we looked at electrical models to explain the form and behavior of lightning, thunderstorms and tornadoes.

The Electric Earth Approach

Each essay presents hypotheses for how electricity is the common denominator in every phenomena. The formula is quite simple. First assume electricity is the one true force in Nature. In other words, accept that acoustics, thermodynamics, fluid dynamics, chemistry – all are emergent properties of electricity acting in different phases of mediums. Ignore the emergent effects and identify the underlying electrical process – the wave-forms and circuitry involved.

In every case, an electrical circuit can be found. The emergent effects simply fall into place. In the atmosphere, thermal layers and convection; wind-flow and condensation; high pressure and low; all of these macro-properties follow the thermo-electric properties of air and water vapor in a circuit. They form patterns of plasma currents diffusing as a result of capacitance in the earth and atmosphere.

Virtually every field of physical science; nuclear physics, geophysics, fluid- and thermo-dynamics, chemistry, climate models, you name it – critically rely on mathematical models based on known electrical processes, such as charge diffusion, harmonics and feedback. These are common denominators found in every large scale, time dependent, coherent feature of Nature – which consensus science arbitrarily and incomprehensibly attributes to chaos. The “chaos” is not random, or arbitrary, and actually belies it’s underlying, non-chaotic electrical make-up.

Also, to see the underlying, non-chaotic electrical make-up of Nature, one must recognize electricity is a fractal phenomenon. How current diffuses in a medium, whether plasma, liquid, or solid, takes form in fractal elements that repeat in harmonic scales. So … their form can be identified.

Charge diffusion, whether a z-pinch discharge like a lightning bolt, partial plasma discharge like flames and vertices, or solid state diffusion as in semiconductors, takes form in scalable, harmonic, fractal patterns according to the laws of classical physics, until it’s charge is neutralized in atomic and molecular bonds. The patterns can be seen at every scale, from tiny crystals of silica to continental mountain arcs, and properly identifying them and their cause is the first-level proof of electrical formation.

Geologically, neutralized matter takes form as rock.  Ionized dust deposited by electric wind carries excess charge that must either find a bond, forming crystalline rock, or migrate along the electric field in currents until it finds a place to bond, and neutralize its charge.

If you need laboratory proof, look at any welding process, crystal fabrication, or electro-chemical process where slag is produced. Rocks are manufactured without millions of years of pressure and temperature if electric current is applied. Electricity, even in small currents, can produce temperatures and pressures that exceed that of the Sun. Rocky outcrops, boulder fields, quartz veins, gravel beds, sweeping slopes, triangular flat-irons, volcanic fields, canyons and river beds, all display the effects of electrical diffusion and the secondary effects it produced.

mysterious-stone-spheres-arctic-island
Stone spheres are evidence of electric storms.  They were not formed in the ground subject to gravity, nor were they carved by giants. The spheres were formed by dust drawn into lightning channels and fused in the atmosphere like hailstones, which accounts for the spherical shape. Why they appear at or near beaches will be discussed in future articles.

In the atmosphere, it takes form as clouds. Clouds should be regarded as aerial crystals, because electrically, they form identical to crystals, with a nucleation, aggregation and diffusion process that expands condensation in the atmosphere the same way crystals grow.

file-20180320-80634-1l34xxc

The liquid crystal growth of clouds will organize into rotating storm systems as a result of capacitance in Earth’s circuitry. In effect, Earth stores energy as a build-up of charge in it’s layers of crust and atmosphere. Then it dissipates the built-up charge in violent winds, lighting and downpours. Storms are predictable phenomena of capacitor charge build-up and discharge across a partial plasma layer. Vortex winds, updraft winds and down burst winds; anvil clouds, mumatus, meso-cyclone, and tornadoes; all are displays of energized cold plasma in a capacitor’s electric field.

 

Because these forms are fractal, they repeat their predictable forms wherever the electrical process that forms them is present. What changes from case to case are the elements in the circuitry – impedance, dielectric, voltage, degree of ionization and polarity of plasma. Just as no two snowflakes ever match, they still follow identifiable patterns of crystallization which is fundamentally a process of charge diffusion. Likewise, the variables in the environment create chaos that never produces identical results; but the electrical processes, circuits and fractal patterns they form remain the same and are identifiable.

So, fractal patterns should appear everywhere, including other planets. And that is exactly the case with the Great Red Spot on Jupiter, because it is also a capacitor induced storm. In Part Two of “The Eye of the Storm” we’ll explore the electric winds of Jupiter and discuss how they work.

Electric Weather

Re-posted courtesy of the Thunderbolts Project

A three part examination of electricity and it’s role in severe weather.

Thunderstorms exhibit precisely the attributes of plasma discharge between an electrode and ground. I show that laboratory produced coronal emissions from a point electrode, through an air gap, to a flat plate electrode, produce the same effects as a thunderstorm. I correlate these effects with the morphology of a super-cell and the lightning, rain, downdrafts and vortex winds they produce.

Yes, dear reader, everything is electric.

Related articles:

Nature’s Electrode

The Summer Thermopile

Tornado – The Electric Model

The Summer Thermopile

Re-posted courtesy of Thunderbolts.info

In a previous Thunderblog, we talked about Nature’s Electrode… how a cold plasma corona is the proper electronic model for lightning genesis, and how mechanisms for ionization in a thunderstorm work.

Now let’s take in the bigger picture to get a more coherent look at a thunderstorm.

classicsupercell

The proper electrical analogy for a super-cell storm is a thermopile.

A thermopile is an electrical circuit that you’ve probably seen in use. Ice coolers made for cars that plug into the cigarette lighter are one example.

Thermocouple_circuit_Ktype_including_voltmeter_temperature.svgThermo-couples are an instrument to measure temperature used in your car and home air conditioning and heating units.

The thermo-couple is a circuit that couldn’t be simpler. All it takes is two, or more wires of different conductivity connected in series. The effect can also be made with solid state materials similar to solar cells.

220px-Thermoelectric_Generator_Diagram.svg
Current generation from thermo-electric effect.

The different electrical properties of the dissimilar wires create a temperature difference – one conductor chills and the other heats up  in the presence of current; or vice versa, current is produced by a temperature difference.

Now, hold that thought for a moment – current is produced by a temperature difference. Temperature is wholly a consequence of electrodynamics. There are all kinds of complexities about temperature and radiation and how it’s transported by conduction and convection, but the bottom line is electricity.

There are three mathematical relationships that describe the conversion of current to heat and heat to current in terms of a circuit, called the Seebeck, Peltier and Thomson effects. The details aren’t needed for this discussion because they describe different conditions and aspects of the same thing. Current produces heat, and heat produces current, provided the right dissimilar materials are properly arranged in the circuit.

The relevance to a thunderhead is in the central updraft core of the storm, which becomes a thermo-couple circuit. It’s a flow of wind bearing ionic matter which produces a current.

In Nature’s  Electrode, we discussed several mechanisms for how ions form a cold plasma corona by virtue of field emissions in a strong electric field. The updraft rapidly chills as it rises, becoming more saturated with condensate and ionization. It also shrinks. The central updraft column gets denser as it rises, so the column has to shrink in volume, and this causes it to speed-up.

250px-ShelfcloudThe many changes to the state of the air in the updraft changes the conductivity of the air in the column. The updraft column is electrically no different than a wire of changing conductivity, which in the presence of current, will exhibit a thermo-electric effect.

It won’t maybe do it, it’s gonna do it. It has to do it. In the presence of a huge electric field, a wet, surface-wind rising into the cold dry stratosphere is going to cause a whopper electric current. If anyone doubts this, go look at a thunderstorm.

When there is a sequence of several conductors of different conductivity in series, the thermo-electric effect can be amplified by adding more junctions. This is called a thermopile. It’s several thermo-couples connected together.

Thermopile2
Thermopile Circuit

A super-cell thunderstorm is a thermopile. It has more than one ionization event and each one changes the column’s conductivity in a feedback that increases current and amplifies ionization.

The rising central updraft ionizes where the moisture is saturating and condensing, or freezing, at specific temperature layers. All around the column is a shear zone between it and the surrounding air, and this is where the ions go to collect. The shear zone is an interface – a dielectric barrier that attracts charged species to it.

Again, let’s refer back to our previous discussion of Nature’s Electrode: we discussed how ionization occurs at different altitudes as the moisture in the air condenses, supersaturates and freezes.

It’s been known since the beginning of the twentieth century, that a fast-moving charged particle will cause sudden condensation of water along its path. In 1911, Charles Wilson used this principle to devise the cloud chamber so he could photograph the tracks of  fast-moving electrons.

In 2007, Henrik Svensmark published a theory on galactic cosmic ray influence on cloud formation, and later demonstrated his theory in a cloud chamber at Cern, demonstrating certain cloud formations are catalyzed by cosmic rays ionizing the atmosphere.

These are examples of ionization causing condensation. Now let’s consider condensation causing ionization.

Water vapor condensing into droplets self-ionize into cations and anions. In the huge electric field of a thunderstorm, the ions are torn apart as they form, filling the rising air with charged species. This condensation event forms the first corona, a negative corona around the central updraft with charge density concentrated in the lower clouds where condensation first occurs.

Above 1% volume of charged species, the air will exhibit the dynamics of a plasma. Plasma acts as a coherent fluid organized by the electromagnetic field. It seeks balance in an equi-potential layer transverse to the electric field, so it spills out from the walls of the column and forms ‘sheets’, which is what is detected in thunderstorms: ‘sheets’ of charged species.

noaaelectrical-charge-in-storm-cloudsThey actually have more complex geometry than a ‘sheet’. They organize into plasma coronas that actively spit out electrons and ions in channeled currents. Coronas have a geometry and produce effects that depend on the polarity of the charged species mix.

The channels of discharge they create explain every aspect of  a super-cell thunderstorms. Coronas explain rain, downdrafts, tornadoes and lightning.  They explain cloud-to-ground lightning and positive lightning; intra-cloud lightning and inter-cloud lightning. They explain sprites, elves and gnomes – electrical discharges to space that are the Earth’s equivalent to a solar flare, caused by the same thing – corona. They explain the shape of wall clouds, beaver-tails, the meso-cyclone and anvil.

Slide4

Because this is the electric model of a thunderstorm it’s closer to the truth. It’s not that convection doesn’t occur, it does. But convection is heat transfer and that is fundamentally electric, like everything else. Pressure and temperature are intimately related as physical expressions of electrodynamics.

290px-Chaparral_Supercell_2The anvil top is another coronal expression where the water freezes to ice. The ionic mix here is different and a positive corona is the result. It has a different shape, being a broad diameter and less dense in terms of charge density.

The coronas are the thermopile’s different current junctions, where charge bleeds out of the central updraft column, just as it will from a power line if the insulation is damaged. Atmosphere is a leaky insulator. It’s the strength of the electromagnetic field that gives the storm it’s shape.

And once the motor gets started – the conveyor belt of wet wind in the updraft keeps rev’ing as charge density builds. The rain curtain and downdraft are the same current looping and dumping hydrolyzed charge in the form of rain at the exhaust of the updraft.

It’s a looping current from ground to atmosphere, and back to ground, in a continuously changing conductive path through several temperature regimes – in other words, it’s a thermopile circuit.

And so builds the strength of the corona, until it spits electrons that avalanche into lightning bolts. If conditions are right, a charged corona will lower towards the ground, abating it’s lightning to send downwards a twisting tendril of plasma, while stirring ground winds below into a vortex. A tornado is born of a corona.

Slide2In the diagram, a point electrode generates a corona opposed to a plate electrode connected to ground, with a gap in between. This is a similar circuit to a storm except the corona in the clouds would not have the geometry of a point electrode, but likely a flattened toroidal shape.

In the region in the gap labelled drift region, channels of current are created based on the charge density of the region of corona from which it radiates. The outer edges where charge density and electric field tension is lowest, the corona can’t make lightning, but it still spits electrons that drift towards ground. The drift region of a corona creates unipolar winds as drifting electrons drag ions and neutral matter along by electrokinesis.

Slide3Sudden and intense down-bursts and mammatus clouds are highly mysterious to atmospheric scientists and they attribute them to density bombs – pockets of dense heavy air that rapidly sink from the clouds. These violent downdrafts will slap airliners from the sky. They aren’t density bombs – they are unipolar winds and ionizing tufts from the anvil corona.

slide2

The entire morphology of a thunderstorm is explained by a thermopile circuit with leaky insulation. But that isn’t all it is. In Electric Earth Theory, there is a more significant meaning.

The looping circuit of a super-cell is a weak form of electrical expression known as a coronal loop. Coronal loops are the result of the corona’s themselves moving relative to the plate electrode. The differential movement creates an offset between the center of charge density in the sky versus the center of charge density on the ground, distorting the electric field. It’s a dog chasing a cat that can never catch-up – negative chasing positive polarity in a wave.

Slide7

The result is it bends the current into a loop. It goes up in a wind born discharge of current and comes down, energy expended and recombined into rain. If charge builds enough, though, the loop breaks out into a fully realized discharge. The current breaks through the dielectric barrier of the atmosphere to splash charge into space. On the Sun we call them Solar Flares, and Coronal Mass Ejections. On Earth we call them Sprites, Elves and Gnomes.

So, here we are in the world of plasma. Double layers, Alfven waves, z-pinches and corona – it happens in our everyday lives as much as it does on the surface of the Sun – because it’s all the same thing.

Prominence_(PSF)So too, we have symmetry. Not the artificial symmetry of mathematical equations and categories consensus science keeps force fitting to Nature, but Nature’s true symmetry of nested harmonic repetition.

Traceimage
Solar Coronal Loop

Such organization and harmonic resonance between phenomena across all orders of scale is not the result of random anything. It’s the result of electricity.

The same phenomena is found on any planetary body that carries an internal current that forms an electromagnetic field. The coronal loops are ultimately caused by the voltage between the magnetosphere and Telluric currents below Earth’s crust, just as they occur above and below the photosphere of the Sun and in the atmospheres of Jupiter, Saturn and Venus.

The electrical stress across the layers of atmosphere and crust is charge building on layers of dielectric, which is what a capacitor is. A storm is an expression of capacitor discharge.

Tornadoes are a harmonic fractal repetition of the super-cell storm as a whole. They are nested coronal loops inside the bigger loop of the storm. Because they are smaller and generate from an intense charge density region of the corona, the energy is more concentrated.

Look again at the image of a solar coronal loop and see there is a smaller loop of higher intensity. This is the effect of an embedded harmonic repetition; and that is what a tornado is to the storm it’s born from. But, as always, it’s more complicated than that. We’ll delve deeper into tornadoes next time to complete the picture of a thunderstorm.

Trailer Park Cosmology – 4

Chapter Six – King Roach

A tornado is nature’s demon. Rotating winds, tight as a knot, with a body and energy that give it life, coherency, and a dislike for trailer parks. It’s lucky for me they are rare in Tucson. This town has so many trailer parks, and so few tornadoes, I hardly worry about them.

We do get hellacious thunderstorms, though. They make a lot of lightning and rain – never enough, of course – this is a desert, but it all comes down in the “monsoon” season, so for the moment it can seem like a lot. Monsoon season is July through September. It’s often spotty. Storm days can be separated by weeks of blazing, cloudless, dog days.

Tornadoes and lightning are intimately related. You might not get that impression from consensus science – they don’t treat them as related in any physical way other than the fact thunderstorms produce them both. Gee, that doesn’t imply any connection does it?

No, say the consensus. Lightning is just a static discharge from hailstones rubbing together, and tornadoes form by some chance circumstance of cross winds into spontaneous, coherent spirals of death. The only connection is the winds that rub the hailstones and spin the tornado come from the same storm – that’s all. Nothing else to see.

I beg to differ.

Tornadoes and lightning are two forms of electrical discharge from corona. Since the storm itself is a coronal construct of looping electrical current from the updraft core, it has to dump all that energy. Making rain, in some cases, isn’t enough.

Three facts help help illustrate the connection. One is that the faster the updraft wind flows, the more lightning the storm makes. Another is that when a tornado forms, the lightning abates. And finally, tornadic storms are prone to produce more positive lightning.

It’s a motor running. Plug it in and it sparks and spins.

SAM_0366
Back Porch

My own experience with lightning began watching summer thunderstorms from the back porch. The roof of the porch extended the length of the house, facing north with a view of the mountains. Thunderstorms formed over the mountains, and spread across the valley to engulf us. Lightning was often intense before and during the downpour.

Watching thunderstorms form was more than casual entertainment. Thunderheads building over the mountains gave hope – hope that there would be rain to break the heat. In the sweaty days of August, the evaporative coolers – the only means of cooling the house – didn’t work. The air is already saturated with moisture, so the damn things just blow hot air.

Thunderheads start with bright white cumulus piling over the nine-thousand foot peaks of the Rincon and Catalina mountains. The updraft can be seen doing its work, pushing the cloud into a tower, broadening its base until it turns black. Under the blackness is rain, winds and licks of lightning we see striking the peaks.

We will that horror to come our way, because it is preferable to the horror of melting alive in 110 degree heat. If the clouds lower and swallow the mountains, that is a good sign it’s spreading out to get us, too.

As a child, I remember my Dad paid a lot of attention. He’d say, “Nope, that one will miss us. They have to form over there to reach here,” and he’d point to the north-east. He also kept tabs on weather in the gulf of California and Mexico. “If they have a cyclone, it’ll come our way,” he’d say, anticipating days in advance the effects.

SAM_0360
Dad’s Antenna Tower

My Father was a ham radio operator. He also had several CB radios, and had erected a large truss tower for all of his radio antenna. I think he violated code when he installed it, and had to remove the top section to bring it into compliance. It’s still there, though, the bottom section at least, used as a permanent ladder to the roof of the house.

When the lightning struck, I was in the living room with my niece.

“Holy crap,” we said, or words to that effect. After that, it was, “Do you smell smoke?”

This quote I’m sure of. Dad’s radio room was full of it. One of the CB’s was still flaming when we got there. We found the CB antenna fifty yards away. It had speared off the tower like the crucifix on the church in the “Omen”. Fortunately, there was no priest below to catch it (I doubt my Dad would have allowed a priest on the property).

I had another experience like this in Sumatra. For a few months, I lived in an oilfield work camp in the jungles of central Sumatra, a place called Duri. I and a colleague from another oil company were doing a feasibility study for a joint-effort project to be located there.

011
About to eat at a Padang cafe in Sumatra

We lived and worked in a three-bedroom bungalow with the address, Jati 103. Every day our team of a dozen local engineers and analysts would assemble in the bungalow and work with us on computer models and power-point presentations – that is how building a power plant begins.

It was like working from home – I never had to put my shoes on. After work when everyone left, Gary and I would pop bottles of Bintang, and relax with cockroach target practice.

Sumatran cockroaches are very large and wily. Jati 103 had a resident roach that was as big as a baby’s shoe. He was the only one I saw there – apparently it was his territory.

The whole camp were these family bungalows for expats and local management. It was like a little suburban neighborhood sitting in the middle of the jungle. There was a golf course, if you didn’t mind the cobras. Also a gym, a community store and a club with a nice restaurant and pub. And that was it.

I spent spare time at the gym, or taking a run through the camp. No one else ran there. I figured it must be the heat, but then found it was because of the monkeys. They ran in packs like coyotes. They’d tear into garbage and run across the roof of the bungalows at night. They were as big as chimpanzees and dangerous. They were not cute monkeys.

I found myself far at the outskirts of the camp on one run. I went all the way to the fence, behind which was a wall of green rain forest. My attention was drawn to a single huge tree. I didn’t know why, but something seemed off about it.

After I stared at it for a minute, I saw a branch move, and one of these monkeys stared back. Then another branch moved, and another face appeared. This kept happening faster and faster, until I was being stared-down by a tree with a hundred monkeys. I ran for my life.

007
Lightning in Sumatra

Gary had brought a set of juggling balls with him for a time-passer.  The cockroach had a timetable and was always punctual – at six P.M. he’d appear. The only uncertainty was where he’d appear, but he always came out like clockwork. So most evenings we’d drink beer and lay in wait with the juggling balls.

I don’t know how, but King Roach always moved out of the way. We were both good shots, but never hit the thing even though it was as big as the side of a barn. We did hit some computers and lamps, I recall, but never the damn roach. Anyway, we were so occupied when Jati 103 got hit.

Wham! It was like a sledgehammer hit the ground. The house shook and we smelled ozone. Then the telephone wire began to buzz. A sparkling ball of discharging electricity passed down the wire in slow motion, maybe a foot from my elbow. It took at least three seconds for it to pass down the wire from the ceiling to the phone jack, where it exploded in blue flame.

It was way better than King Roach for excitement, however briefly it lasted.

Those storms in Sumatra were like storms in the mountains. The cloud comes right down to the trees and the lightning just pounds out of it. There is no flickering, no peeling crack, no counting seconds… just wham. Flash, crack and destruction in a single moment of awe.

I’ve seen a tree blown apart in the Sierra’s. At ten thousand feet in the mountains you’re part of the storm. Lightning damaged trees litter the high passes and ridges, and huge rocks are blown apart. Lightning has much more to do with erosion than it’s given credit for.

Let’s take a look at lightning, and tornadoes and see if we can’t make sense of it all.