Monday, September 28, 2009

NOCTURNAL LIGHTS: How many different phenomena are we dealing with?

Taking a research break today--this stuff can wear you out if you want it to have any substance or novelty. The pictures are one alleged "fairy light" photo, one nice piece of art from Russia, and a bunch of bonehead art by me, trying to illustrate cases of Somethings-or-other which have been presented to the UFO community. Now you have to go to work; is all this the same thing or four or five different phenomena? Hint: some of these sorts of cases seem to indicate clear "intentionality" while others seem to just blunder about. Scientists are a LOT more comfortable with the latter. And now for a nap.

1 comment:

  1. Great balls of fire (er something)! We've got big bols vs. small bols, white bols vs. colored bols, indoor bols vs. outdoor bols, bols in formation vs. singular bols, expanding bols vs. contracting bols, static bols vs. active bols, bols seen with the naked eye through glass vs. bols seen with the naked eye through nothing but the atmosphere, bols at night vs. bols during daylight (St. Petersburg pic), bols captured on film vs. bols captured in the mind...many different types of bols and potentially many different ways in which the bols were seen. The one thing that they all have in common is that they're all bols, at least, that's what we're calling them.

    What do we mean by "balls of light" any way? Are the observers witnessing some sort of electromagnetic radiation or the product of some other kind of reaction? Might the light source be the effect of a controlled or an uncontrolled (except by natural laws) reaction? I suppose that we could look at each example and determine natural causes based upon the bol's environment. ie. A bol at one's bedside might be more difficult to attribute to ball lightning than a bol seen over a hillside.

    Without any measurable evidence, other than memory and description, it seems logical to wonder if the perceived bol really exists outside the mind of the observers in the first place. That is not to say that they are hallucinating without reason. There could be a known substance in the environment that could be triggering the bol vision in the eyes of the observers. The nocturnal aspect of the sightings might play into a more neurological-based explanation of the bol visions. I realize that all of these thoughts on bols do nothing to discourage or support a spirit-world hypothesis.

    Ignoring the physical source of these bols, I suppose that there are plenty of other observations that can be made superficially from the pictures. For instance, it's interesting that so much symmetry exists in the bol formations. There's either a big bol flanked/surrounded by an even number of bols or there's just an even numbered group of same-sized bols. What's the take-away there? My oddbol observation seems to be related to "intentionality", although the source of the intention is certainly open for debate.

    It does make me wonder how much filling-in-of-the-blanks is happening when people are reporting their bol sightings. If I were to see a lei of lightballs in the sky, I am not confident that I would be able to recount how many lightballs there were (even if I hadn't just finished drinking a Mai Tai). I imagine that the enormity of the moment would leave me with more of a vivid impression than a photographic recollection. I could be wrong, but I feel that in the past, for harmony's sake, I have guiltily inserted order into my memories of chaotic, traumatic, or dreamlike experiences. I think that most human beings are predisposed to that kind of mental housekeeping as a coping mechanism and because of that, we are subject to encoding realities that differ from what really happened. I think that can also be true when the details of mundane experiences are encoded into memory (ex. "There were 10 people in front of me standing in line to buy ice cream the other day."). All that being said, getting lost in the details does nothing to refute the bols' connection to the spirit-world. If anything, our brain's circuitry and predilection towards alternate realities might actually help support the reality of the bols' presence in the minds of the observers, making them as real as any spirit would need to be in order to exist. Hey, are we talking about bols or spirits?




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