RELATED: Catastrophic Lightning Kills More Than 100 People in India. It was reported that he saw a cloud, thought that it was following him, tried to run away, but was struck anyway. A man in South Carolina has been hit 12 times. Digging through GenealogyBank’s Historical Newspaper Archives the other day, I found this article by weatherman Pat Shingleton about Walter Summerford, a man struck four times by lightning – three times while alive, and once after he was lying in his grave! According to the National Weather Service storm data, about 10% of people hit by lightning die, and 90% are left with various degrees of disabilities. '"[5], On the morning of September 28, 1983, Sullivan died at the age of 71 from a self-inflicted gunshot wound to the head. And, again, a few seconds after that, he recovers. How might the video have been created? Cal Misener, 50 years old, recalled being awakened by a thunderstorm at his Bowen Island residence. And it's spectacular. He was hiding from a thunderstorm in a, He was hit again in July 1969. However, lightning experts say the video, which appears to be security camera footage, is very likely a hoax. Martin Uman, an electrical engineer also at the University of Florida Lightning Research group, concurs. Curiously, for the first time, Sullivan recalled catching a glimpse of the bolt coming at him. He immediately ran to the restroom where he managed to put out the fire using soaked paper towels. Now Playing. He was avoided by people later in life because of their fear of being hit by lightning, and this saddened him. By clicking “I agree” below, you consent to the use by us and our third-party partners of cookies and data gathered from your use of our platforms. They say lightning never strikes twice, but try telling that to 61-year-old Melvin Roberts. [3], Tony was born in Greene County, Virginia, on February 7, 1912. Despite these astronomically low chances, Roy Cleveland Sullivan, a park ranger in Shenandoah National Park in Virginia, was hit by lightning not once, but seven times during his lifetime. "Only 5 amps typically flow through him." According to NOAA's National Weather Service, an annual average of 270 lightning-related injuries were reported from 2009 to 2018, resulting in an average of 27 deaths per year. Responding personnel even encouraged him to go to the hospital. Trending Today. These numbers do not quite apply to Sullivan, however, who by the nature of his work and his physical location was exposed to more storms than the average person. [4] Sullivan was described as a brawny man with a broad, rugged face, who resembled the actor Gene Hackman. Sullivan's wife was also struck once, when a storm suddenly arrived as she was out hanging clothes in their back yard. "The chance of survival in the case of a direct strike is essentially zero," Rakov told Life's Little Mysteries, a sister site to LiveScience. The bolt was redirected at another tree across the road in the exact moment he was driving by — with both side-windows open — knocking him unconscious and burning off most of his hair. The lightning moved down his left arm and left leg and knocked off his shoe. "The New York Times Archives: Roy Sullivan", "Shenandoah recalls park ranger struck seven times by lightning", National Weather Service Lightning Safety Information,, Short description is different from Wikidata, Wikipedia articles with WorldCat-VIAF identifiers, Creative Commons Attribution-ShareAlike License, Sullivan's first documented lightning strike was in April 1942. Additionally, he started carrying a can of water around all the time should he ever catch fire again. . Betwe… For Sullivan, that hit was the last straw. Severe weather brings bad luck for one North Carolina man who says he’s been struck by lightning three times — twice on the same street. Please deactivate your ad blocker in order to see our subscription offer. Top: World map showing relative frequency of lightning strikes. [6] Two of his ranger hats are on display at two Guinness World Exhibit Halls in New York City and South Carolina. When he came to, he was three meters, or almost ten feet, from his Ford, and the Crocs were off his feet. Use up and down arrows to change selection. Mountain Goat Edition, A City So Cold, They Drink Vodka to Stay Warm, Mysterious Fuel Could Make Spill Even Worse, Democratic Republic of the Congo | Français, State of Vatican City (Holy See) | Italiano. Remembering he left his truck windows down, he slipped on his pair of camouflage Crocs and went out. "It could have been simulated with footage of laboratory discharges overlaying the footage of the person walking," Rakov suggested. Between 1942 and 1977, Sullivan was hit by lightning on seven occasions and survived all of them. If the lightning strikes were independent events, the probability of being hit seven times would be (1:10000) = 1:10 . So it’s plausible this was a weak positive bolt originating from the bottom of … That was enough for the chief to suddenly turn at Sullivan and say “Well, I’ll see you later.”. This event was later recreated in the 2008 film The Curious Case Of Benjamin Button, in which Mr. Daws (played by Ted Manson) repeatedly claimed he had been hit by lightning seven times in his youth. 'Lost' chameleon rediscovered after a century in hiding. With the sole exception of Sullivan’s allegedly first encounter with a lightning bolt, all strike episodes were documented by the superintendent of Shenandoah National Park, R. Taylor Hoskins. This intense heat can burn tissue, cause lung damage, and painfully expand the chest by the force of rapidly expanding heated air. What happens if a president loses an election but won't leave the White House? This final strike was the most devastating: He suffered burns in the chest and the digestive tract up to the stomach, and hearing loss in one ear. His shoes were probably knocked away as the lightning tried to escape through his feet. He had been swimming in a lake with his friends when he saw a bolt of lightning strike the other end of the lake, which was about 11 kilometers (7 mi) away. [10] If the lightning strikes were independent events, the probability of being hit seven times would be (1:10000)7 = 1:1028. Not only did he survive each encounter with lightning, but also he never needed to be taken to an emergency room. Probably not, the experts say. "The video is probably a fake.". While it's extremely rare that someone survives a direct lightning strike, those who do can typically thank this same flashover effect.

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