Lightning, etc...

From:  Robert W. Stephens [SMTP:rwstephens-at-headwaters-dot-com]
Sent:  Tuesday, June 02, 1998 7:33 AM
To:  Tesla-at-pupman-dot-com
Cc:  hvlist-at-Anchorage.ab.umd.edu
Subject:  Lightning, etc...


This past weekend I was priviledged to be able to attend the 
Rochester hamfest.  Because of some stupid regulation imposed by my 
government I must stay away from the country which I was born in for 
48 hours before I can return with up to $200 US worth of new toys.  
Since I had to comply with big brother on this technicality, and at 
the same time get back home ASAP to take care of my beloved cats who 
really don't appreciate it when I leave them in the house alone for 
several days, I found myself driving home to Ontario and passing through
Buffalo, NY, at 5:30 AM Sunday morning during the wildest lightning storm
I have ever experienced in my life!

When I was sitting waiting at Canada Customs on the Canadian side of 
the Peace bridge,  I witnessed a direct lightning 
hit on the building-top flagpole just about 200 feet right in front 
of me.  I happened to be looking right there at the time.  It was a long connect, 
maybe 100 milliseconds, and when it ceased it dissolved into a string 
of beads which then morphed into little traces of yellow-orange flame 
like the evaporating plasma from a high power Jacob's ladder which 
remained visible for a very brief instant as the wind carried the 
cooling remnants of the plasma channel column horizontally to the

Totally AWESOME!  : )

Just a side note for those who might be interested, the customs guy 
with all his hi-tech computer stuff didn't key anything into his 
terminal when I was *processed* by him (they normally do this because 
Canada seems to have all the latest hi-tech stuff at the Ontario border 
crossings), but simply asked me a few verbal questions and then passed 
me through.  I can't help but think that their *system* had been shut 
down by either the hit I witnessed, or some earlier one.  I'm a fan! 
Mother Nature One, Canada Customs Nothing!  : )  I respect the job 
they need to do, but overzealously hassling their own $20K/yr citizens over
what trinkets they bought at a US fleamarket is hardly *protecting Canada from 

Gee I hope this e-mail is being monitored.

Robert W. Stephens
Lindsay Scientific Co.
RR1 Shelburne, ON Canada L0N-1S5
Tel: 1-519-925-1771   Fax: 
*Custom built Tesla coils, etc., for museum display 
 and special effects work.
*Canada's largest publicly accessible wall-to-wall
 indoor lightning show...by appointment.
*Future home of Electric Science World, 
 educational/entertaining Theatre of Electricity.
*Antique TV Museum...in search and acquire mode now.
~~~~~~~~~~~~~ Inquiries welcomed! ~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~