Struck by lightning

As most of my friends know, I’ve been struck by lightning four times – once directly, once off a tree, once off a railing and once through a land telephone line. I was also once briefly chased by ball lightning but it didn’t catch me. (Some of my theist friends say God’s throwing it at me, but if that’s the case He has been getting feebler each time and has given up or died for some years now.)

Apart from the first, which knocked me out for some indeterminate period of time (I suspect it was only a couple of seconds though) and gave me blinding headaches for a week, none of them did me any lasting harm, so I guess I’m pretty lucky. You might say that a really lucky person wouldn’t have been struck at all, but it does give me a story to tell that not many people can match.

The downside to that, of course, is that I’ve got no actual proof that it happened. There’s a medical report with an EKG in my military service record from after the first one, but it didn’t show anything unusual, so I don’t suppose that counts for much. That’s why I have to envy this lady who got struck in the same manner as my #3, with one important difference: she was filming the storm at the time!

Now that’s lucky! Her camera even kept working! The most fortunate aspect of all of course is that, like me, she took no harm from it. I hasten to add that lots of people struck by lightning (most, I expect) are hurt or killed by it, and anyway it hurts like you wouldn’t believe, so I strongly discourage my readers from trying this for themselves!!!


~ by B.T. Murtagh on July 16, 2008.

7 Responses to “Struck by lightning”

  1. Hot Damn!

  2. Holy moley, BT, you are one lucky dude. Lightning is so scary, close up.
    When I was matriculating (GaTech, ’85), we had a solar collector site on campus, with air terminal (lightning rod). I sought shelter from a big thunderstorm (Atlanta gets pretty hellacious storms) in the viewing area, which had a roof, and was maybe 100m S of the collector tower. I figured I would get a great opportunity to see lightning hit the terminal, so I watched, hoping, hoping… I just about jumped out of my skin when it struck, despite expecting it and seeing it. Then I hoped, hoped, it wouldn’t happen again.

  3. I have gained all the respect that lightning deserves. I thought that I had been giving the respect that lighting deserved. But then that one bolt that changed my life. I now go indoors when I hear thunder or see lightning. I don’t take a shower when there is a thunderstorm. I stay back from the windows during a thunderstorm. I don’t use a land line phone or the computer during a thunderstorm. You may think this is overkill but I know that doing the above will decrease my chances of being struck. All because of that “one” strike. On May 24, 2008 I lost my son to a lightning strike. He was only 20 years old.

  4. Troy, so sorry to hear about your son. You must miss him dreadfully.

    I had a scary near miss a couple of months ago. Clouds were gathering and thunder was grumbling a couple of miles away. Suddenly, sizzle-spit-CRACK! a bolt of lightning sounded right overhead. I don’t know how far away it was but it was too close.

  5. […] and luckily, does not seem to have taken any permanent harm. He does say it hurts. He links to a video of a storm. Posted in people, science, world. Tags: people, physics, science, […]

  6. That is very interesting. I’ve had 3 indirect hits: #1 on a phone, #2 leaning against a metal gate (on a wire fence), #3 leaning against a large drill in iron shed. All three gave me fright that I will never forget. #3 was the worst as it blew me to the ground and left me with a week long head ache and a sore neck. Luckily (ha) I was was with two other people for that strike so I have a bit of proof. Although, I don’t tell many people because I’m sure they’d think its all a lie. For some reason I’m not afraid of storms although I do take precautions.

  7. I was struck by lightning crossing the street on my way to sunday school. I will remember how it felt for the rest of my life. The sidewalk is still cracked in my home town and I still carry a scar at the back of my head. My hair was melted to my clothes and all other body hair was melted off. My skin was badly burned to the point that I thought it would never be white again. To this day I suffer sever migraines whenever a storm approaches or the temperature is going to change more than five degrees in a short period of time. I have recently been diagnosed with early stages of Parkinson’s Disease which I blame on the strike… to top it all off last year I was in my cottage with my children when another bolt shot through the cottage narrowly missing me. The cottage was struck four times that day and I can tell you with a lot of feeling that I was not a happy camper.

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