Globular Light-emitting Objects



October 27, 1697: 

A ‘fiery cloud’ dropped a ‘wonderful great, round body of fire’ on to the powder magazine of Athlone Castle, Ireland.  The magazine immediately blew up and most of the town was ruined.  Remarkably, only 7 persons were killed and 36 injured.

Painting ©Chris Chatfield



         An Exploration of the Earth’s Greatest Mysteries:

‘Ball Lightning’ (GLOs)



‘Plasma Vortices’

Matrix Clouds


& other ALP (Anomalous Light-emitting Phenomena)

such as Ghost Lights & Luminous Phantoms

Co-Directors (UK): Christopher Chatfield & Peter van Doorn

Peter van Doorn, Director, since April 2000, of the Ball Lightning Research Division of TORRO (Tornado & Storm Research Organisation)

Christopher Chatfield, Deputy Director of BL Research Division, and Official Artist of TORRO


Examinations to include:

The History of Ball Lightning

The Behavioural Modes of Ball Lightning

Destructive Ball Lightning Events

Ball Lightning as a Plasma Vortex

The Matrix of Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning & UFOs

Residential Ball Lightning

Swarms of Ball Lightning

Amorphous Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning and Ghost Lights

Ball Lighting as an Omen of Doom

Vampires & Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning as a Sentient Probe

Ball Lightning as a Preternatural Life Form

Ball Lightning from Outer Space

Ball Lightning from Inner Space

Ball Lightning as an Energetic Weapon

The Strangest Ball Lightning

Humans Inside Ball Lightning

Ball Lightning Inside Humans

Ball Lightning & Preternatural Combustion

Humans Killed by Ball Lightning

Humans Cured by Ball Lightning

Impossible Ball LIghtning

The Nexus Research Project needs your Reports of Ball Lightning & other Strange Phenomena

Please see below for our address and other details  

Contact us at


What in Heaven or Hell is ‘Ball Lightning’ ?

That indeed is a very good question, for not only are most of the inhabitants of this planet in ignorance of its existence, virtually the entire scientific community is also in the dark with regard to the circumstances of its formation, almost clueless to its structure, and, perhaps most disturbing of all, apparently unaware of its actual significance.


As for the abode of ‘ball lightning,’ the Nexus Project will demonstrate that mysterious objects having the appearance of ‘balls of fire’ do fall from the heavens, also that they can ascend from hell

Astonishingly little has been written about what is without doubt one of this planet’s most baffling conundrums, even though reports of its appearance go back to the time of the Prophet Moses, more than three millennia ago. Sadly most references that are made to these mysterious globular intruders are given with little thought, and some betray a woeful ignorance of even the most basic facts regarding their manifestations.

Margollé & Zürcher, in their Les Météores, published in 1869, gave a vivid description of the phenomenon based on actual manifestations:

    We have seen the appearance of a third kind of lightning, which the physicists call ‘globular lightning,’ without being able so far either to explain it, or to imitate it with their electric machines, as they do with ordinary lightning.

These globes of fire, which are sometimes as large as a bomb, descend to the earth with a motion slow enough to enable an observer to note their shape. Their colour varies from a dull white to brilliant red. In advancing over the ground they appear to avoid contact with the surface of objects, and emit no sensible heat. They are sometimes seen to pause for an instant, then to advance again; and can even rebound like elastic, or divide into several smaller globes. Sometimes, at the end of their course, a jet seems to issue from them just before they explode with a noise like that of a cannon, releasing zigzag lightning on all sides that produce the most fearful damage.

Although written over 140 years ago, this abstract is far superior to those found in all too many more recent or contemporary writings on atmospheric phenomena: a situation that is in our opinion shameful and quite inexcusable.

In fact the majority of works on the weather, and meteorology  published in recent years, either fail to mention this great enigma, or quite grudgingly devote a mere sentence or two to the subject. Were it not for the efforts of a very small number of dedicated researchers and the positive attitude of the editors of certain science journals, the entire subject of ‘ball lightning’ would have been consigned to oblivion well before the end of the last century.  

The ancients were well aware of the reality of ‘thunderbolts’ and ‘fireballs,’ and considered them to have their origin in the manufactories of the gods. Though the observers of the distant past had no real idea of the true nature of such wonders, they were certainly not so obtuse as to deny their existence.

Since the mid-1800s, however, there have been intermittent assaults on the credibility of ‘ball lightning’ observations, despite indisputable evidence having been published in scientific works such as the Philosophical Transactions of the Royal Society.  

In France, from 1770, when the first tome of the Abbé Jerome Richard’s 10-volume work, Histoire naturelle de l’air et des météores was published, scientists were made aware of just how mysterious the earth’s atmosphere actually is.

After Richard came Dominique François Jean Arago (1786-1853), a noted physicist and astronomer, he was also a courageous politician, who served as prime minister of the provisional government of France for a brief period during the revolutionary year of 1848.

A pioneer in the field of electromagnetism and atmospheric electricity, he became one of the world’s greatest authorities on the phenomena of thunderstorms. The posthumously published Meteorological Essays (1855) contains an introduction by Arago’s very close friend, the revered German naturalist and explorer, Baron Alexander von Humboldt. In this excellent work are detailed accounts of some of the strangest events ever witnessed on earth: so extraordinary in fact, that they can only be described as visitations from another existence.          

(All of Arago’s most important and detailed accounts will be presented on this website: it would be unforgivable to exclude them.)

Scientists across the planet were now appraised of the physical existence of something that challenged their concepts of the natural world. Despite this knowledge few showed any interest in taking the subject further, although journals such as Nature were more than willing to publish any serious reports they received. 

The intelligent public’s knowledge of the subject was advanced when Camille Flammarion (1842-1925), published Les Phénomènes de la Foudre (‘The Phenomena of Lightning’) in 1905. A much abridged version appeared in English the same year, with the title, Thunder and Lightning.

Flammarion was a famous astronomer (he founded the Astronomical Society of France in 1887), but also an able meteorologist, and therefore his descriptions of the remarkable, seemingly incredible antics of these curious balls of ‘fire’ could not be ignored.

The fact that certain manifestations of la foudre globulaire indicated that the phenomenon was possessed of intelligence, proved too much for this scientist.

Despite being a leading amateur amongst the Spiritualist Movement, and attending seances where the ‘dead’ sometimes appeared as spheres of light, he could not bring himself to state outright that ‘globular lightning’ could be a life form.

The author purchased a copy of Thunder & Lightning in 1965, forty years after Flammarion’s death, and found within its pages facts that led to a major turning point in his attitude towards aerial phenomena such as UFOs. It is definitely a work of popular science, full of anecdotal evidence of inexplicable phenomena related in fascinating and often gruesome detail. Any open-minded and intelligent person, having examined Flammarion’s curious monograph (despite the numerous errors in the English translation), could never again watch the gathering of electric storm clouds, view the first flash of a lightning bolt, or listen to the explosive reverberations of its thunder without a distinct feeling of the presence, the mystery and, it must be admitted, the menace of the preternatural.

A considerable number of the events he recorded will be re-examined on this website as they represent an integral part of the prima facie evidence for the case we are about to open.       

It was not until 1923 that the first monograph specifically on the subject was published: Der Kugelblitz (‘Ball Lightning’) by the German scientist, Walther Brand. This work was a genuine and dedicated effort to inform the scientific world of the importance of the phenomenon. Unfortunately the restrictions imposed by the woeful financial state of the new German Republic, frustrated Brand’s efforts to firmly establish the ‘Kugelblitz’ as a subject worthy of serious investigation.

Since then only a very small number of books have been written on the problem of ‘Ball Lightning,’ but none of these, despite the time and effort that must have been expended in their creation, have enjoyed a wide readership in scientific circles, and are almost completely unknown to the general public.

The most accessible, and certainly the only one written in the ‘popular style,’ is The Taming of the Thunderbolts (1969) by C. Maxwell Cade and Delphine Davis, which is rich in data, and a very interesting, open-minded and objective work.

It is also the only recent book to actually confront the real mystery of the phenomenon.     

Ball Lightning’ (often abbreviated to ‘BL’), in fact, presents one of the greatest problems to plague those whose lives are governed by science and logic, and therefore demand an existence where every event that occurs, and all things encountered therein conform to accepted physical laws.

This totally perplexing phenomenon manifests in the form of bizarre light-emitting objects, usually globular, but occasionally ‘distorted’ or elongated into other shapes, that have been seen falling to earth, floating in the air, and even rising out of the ground or from bodies of water. Some appear as perfect spheres, their outlines sharply defined, while others are reported as being surrounded by luminous mists or halos, even, on some occasions, by ‘smoky’ black envelopes. Globes with luminous or ‘fiery’ tails are not at all uncommon, and brilliant beams of light are also reported to have been seen bursting forth from the phenomenon. There are also cases where the symmetry of the object is broken by strange projections such as ‘horns,’ ‘spikes,’ ‘ribbons’ and ‘streamers.’

Varying in size from barely visible ‘sparks’ or points of light, to huge and terrifying ‘fireballs’ many metres (or even kilometres) across, the behaviour of these weird prodigies can be even more dramatic in its diversity, ranging from objects dropping out of the sky and exploding like bombs or artillery shells, to truly uncanny ‘navigating fireballs’ that can enter artificial structures - including aircraft in flight - and reportedly execute manoeuvres so utterly confounding as to generate a belief that they are either devices under sentient control or even exotic life forms! Whatever the nature and origin of these intruders, their undeniable presence represents conclusive evidence that activity of a kind that is totally alien to our existence, actually occurs on and around this planet.

That strange globes of light have frequently been observed during electric storms, their appearance often coincident with what seem to be discharges of lightning, cannot be denied, however, it remains an indisputable fact that there is no conceivable situation wherein a discharge of natural atmospheric electricity, isolated from the source of its generation, could be transformed into a sustained spherical body. There are instances in which ‘St Elmo’s fire,’ a natural phenomenon produced by high voltage, but low amperage electricity, has been witnessed to discharge naturally and very slowly into the atmosphere in a near globular form; but in all these cases the phenomenon is attached to another object such as the mast of a ship, a church steeple, or the metallic body of an aircraft.

Manifestations of the truly detached forms of ‘BL’ during thunderstorms are unlikely to be the product of any recognised process occurring in the atmosphere, but the highly electrified conditions may well have the effect of rendering detectable something that might otherwise not be visible to our sight.

It is the opinion of the author, based on indisputable evidence, that the behaviour of these light-emitting objects is so inexplicable they cannot be regarded as possessing a nature that lies within the known parameters of science, therefore, despite their frequent manifestation during atmospheric disturbances, the ‘globes’ must always be considered as quasi-meteorological phenomena.

Moreover, the preclusion of lightning as a source of actual generation is justified by the evidence: the globular anomalies are often seen before or after electrical storms, frequently in the total absence of true lightning discharges, and, even more conclusively, sightings of light-emitting phenomena, identical to “ball lightning” in every detail, are repeatedly made when the prevailing weather situation is described as clear and serene, or at least in a state not conducive to the production of unusual electrical effects.

It is perfectly reasonable, therefore, to conclude that this phenomenon is by nature autonomous, and that it must also have the capacity to manifest spontaneously regardless of ambient conditions.

Another crucially important factor is the inexplicably long period of visibility recorded for most ‘BL’ events. A whole series of ‘normal’ lightning discharges from cloud to earth, and vice versa, can occur in a fraction of one second producing, to human eyes, the illusion of a single stroke. It is a very different story with the enigmatic globes; even though, according to the evidence, they seem to be mainly energetic in composition, these prodigies are veritable objects with life spans of such magnitude that they must also possess a nucleate and complex structure; sightings with a duration of over 10 seconds are quite common, but the globes may remain clearly visible for several minutes and, though such instances are quite rare, have been observed for much longer periods!

For the purposes of this examination the Nexus Research Project has adopted a label of its own creation for this bizarre and flamboyant invader: the Globular Light-emitting Object.

The initial letters of these words form the acronym GLO, which is both easy to remember and conservative of writing space. Throughout this work the reader will observe that ‘GLO’ is the term most frequently utilized to describe the phenomenon under examination. As far as the Nexus Project is concerned the term ‘Ball Lightning’ is now finally obsolete following an unjustifiably prolonged period of obsolescence.

So paradoxical is the GLO, so adamant its refusal to in any way conform to patterns of behaviour considered explicable or acceptable to conventional science, many meteorologists have refused to accept its existence as having an objective reality.

Most sceptics, it appears, have rejected the GLO purely on the grounds that it cannot exist, and therefore does not exist. In fact, despite overwhelming documentary evidence to the contrary, reinforced by indisputable physical effects, attempts have been made to explain away GLOs as nothing more than mental or optical illusions. The most common ‘solution’ advanced being that the witness, startled by the sudden effulgence of an ordinary lightning discharge, imagines the stroke has taken a globular form.

Another dismissive ‘explanation’ is that the image of a lightning flash is retained on the retina of the eye as a disc of light. This would of course be a positive (+) afterimage as opposed to the more common negative (-) form. Whilst agreeing that lightning does on occasion produce positive afterimages, it cannot be considered as a feasible solution to the GLO Phenomenon. An optical illusion of this nature, whether a retained image of lightning, the sun, or an artificial source of intense light, would obviously remain on the retina for a considerable time, possibly minutes, and only gradually fade away. However, the initial brightness would last for only a second or so, followed rapidly by the image shrinking and probably breaking up into 2 or more parts.

In contrast, the appearance of the GLO remains either constant or alters in a manner totally transcendent of any conceivable non-pathological illusion. The GLO’s exit from view, regardless of the duration of its visibility, seems to be achieved in an instant, an aspect quite inconsistent with the behaviour of any form of afterimage.

Most important of all is another factor, totally damning to the + afterimage ‘theory,’ and, quite astonishingly, completely overlooked by the sceptics: any illusory effects of a retinal nature, regardless of the circumstances in which they were formed, would definitely move with the observers’ eyes, no matter what the direction of their gaze, remaining visible if they stared at the sky, the ground, or even directly at a solid brick wall from a distance of a few centimetres!

Afterimages, whether positive or negative, would still be visible with the eyes closed or masked, and with different backgrounds both the colour and the intensity of such illusions would alter quite dramatically.

Finally, no sceptic, to our knowledge, has ever made even an attempt to explain how an optical effect produced by an ‘ordinary’ stroke of linear lightning could appear as a disc or globe, rather than a simple line or streak of brilliant light.

Many manifestations of the GLO phenomenon have been observed by a multiplicity of witnesses, and in virtually all such cases there is a quite remarkable consistency in the individual descriptions of the objects seen. Surely it is extremely unlikely that a number of persons would simultaneously ‘observe’ the appearance of a non-existent light-emitting source, and then describe what they have ‘seen’ with the degree of similarity that occurs in a significantly large number of GLO events.

It is, of course, quite obvious that no afterimage, negative or positive, can produce an emission of sound, yet frequently the passage of the mysterious globes is attended by distinct acoustic phenomena. Something that has no existence beyond an image on the retina of the eye could, for instance, hardly be responsible for a deafening explosion as loud as overhead thunder, or the detonation of a massive bomb!

The coup de grace, albeit somewhat superfluous, to all ‘theories’ suggesting that the GLO has no objective reality, is that on a very considerable number of occasions it has demonstrated its capacity to produce totally inexplicable ground effects. This palpable evidence ranges from bizarre excavations in the earth, to the disturbing and sometimes fatal injuries suffered by animals and humans that have come in direct or near contact with the phenomenon. The significance of such incidents cannot easily be overstated, and many examples have been included in this work.

Those who adhere to the belief that the GLO can be dismissed as a myth or illusion can only have made a very cursory examination of a minute portion of the vast amount of data that is available for purposes of research. Sceptics, while undoubtedly correct when they dismiss any possibility of isolated lightning taking a sustained spherical form, are totally in error when they deny the reality of the GLO as a physical phenomenon.

It would be extremely unfair, and quite misleading, however, to suggest the scientific world has the same regard for the GLO or ‘BL’ that it demonstrates in its attitude to ‘paranormal’ subjects such as ‘ghosts’ and UFOs.

Without doubt, the consistency of the sightings, the high calibre of many observers, and the sheer weight of the evidence supporting its existence, places the GLO firmly within the category of unexplained but veritable physical phenomena, and therefore demanding of a solution that is acceptable to science.

Indeed, for well over two hundred years, GLO manifestations have been scrutinized by diligent researchers, possessive of a sufficient knowledge of physics to enable them to identify some superficial aspects of the enigma and to theorise on what lies within its usually brilliant and symmetrical exterior.

At this point the reader may well be confounded by a seeming absurdity: If some of the answers to the GLO/‘BL’ mystery can be found by a careful study and analysis of the wealth of research material that has been available to both amateur and professional investigators for a very considerable number of years, why has the matter remained unresolved?

Sadly, those making a serious effort to study the subject have always been pitifully few in number, and in most cases their work has been either largely ignored by a scientific ‘community’ that generally has ‘something more important’ to concern itself with or, usually with little or no justification, simply dismissed out of hand.

Obviously many theories, ranging from the pointlessly simplistic to the downright absurd have been proposed to explain away such weird (and distinctly annoying) visitations: None of these, though some may appear quite plausible, can explain every feature of even the most undemonstrative ‘specimen.’

In their manifestations, each and every GLO, including the most transient and fleetingly observed, endeavours, without exception, to display at least one aspect of its nature that is so totally perplexing, it must inevitably frustrate any attempt at ‘logical’ explanation. Those who have sought a solution to the mystery, but at the same time refused to consider that which might be condemned as unacceptably controversial, must inevitably encounter an obstacle quite impossible to ignore or circumvent: The consistently paradoxical nature of the GLO phenomenon.      


Though undoubtedly real, the GLOs present an obvious barrier to any investigation by conventional science in that they contradict a basic tenet of its philosophy, which is that all natural phenomena, no matter how superficially bizarre, must be explicable within those parameters that define the limits of the cosmos according to the (latest) established conception of the physical laws by which it is governed; ergo how can something have an objective reality if it transgresses the demarcations of conceivable existence?

Yet, seemingly unaware of the very impossibility of their being, these anomalous glowing spheres continue to make their appearance. Faced with such an apparent defiance of that which is believed logical, even the most brilliant of (dogmatic) scientific minds are incapable of truly objective reasoning and resort to the very same stratagem that the most undisciplined ‘paranormal’ researchers adopt: Advance a theory based on the acceptable aspects of a series of inexplicable events, whilst excluding all those factors, regardless of their obvious or potential significance, that would seem to compromise, or even totally contradict that theory.

Serious and objective investigators of remarkable and unexplained phenomena are constantly plagued by hypotheses, often possessing little or no foundation in fact, being elevated to the status of proven conclusions. When something is discovered that may partially explain no more than an aspect of a single facet of a highly complex mystery, it is frequently inflated to such a degree that it becomes transformed into a comprehensive solution. This unreasonable and totally illogical process serves no useful purpose, and must seriously hinder genuine research.

One of these ‘distortions through inflation’ has a particular relevance to the GLO mystery: Plasma is an ionized gas in which the positive and negative charges are about equal; it is produced, for example, when a powerful electric current is discharged into the atmosphere: lightning creates plasma when it tears its way from a cloud to the earth (air that is not ionized is a very poor conductor of electricity, while plasma is highly conducting).

The down stroke or path-forming lightning bolts, usually described as ‘leaders,’ having formed a channel filled with plasma gas in their descent, tap a reservoir of terrestrial electricity that ascends the channel as an upstroke. When the ascending discharge passes through the plasma it causes the gas to glow brilliantly producing the familiar ‘flash of lightning’ (like a fluorescent light tube, but on an enormous scale).

Over the centuries a very large number of GLO sightings have been carefully recorded, and in most of these, regardless of the atmospheric conditions, the objects displayed an outward appearance suggestive of a covering of plasma gas.

It is this distinctive feature of the phenomenon that has led to the unsound but prevailing conclusion that GLOs, and a very large proportion of otherwise ‘unexplained’ UFOs, are nothing more than isolated pockets of glowing plasma. Such a dénouement is quite untenable, as we shall prove conclusively in the course of this examination; it is however considered quite acceptable, with regard only to ‘BL’/GLOs of course, by those who persist, against all logic and reason, in their belief that this planet is being visited by interplanetary (even intergalactic!) spaceships at the rate of several every hour of every day.

Most proponents of the Extra Terrestrial ‘Hypothesis’ (ETH) demonstrate an antipathy towards ‘BL’/GLOs, the reason for which is quite obvious to the members of this Project: 

Mysterious Globular Light-emitting Objects, though among the strangest of aerial phenomena, are clearly not visiting spacecraft, and their very existence undermines the already spurious credibility of the argument that only extraterrestrial devices could be responsible for the strange light forms reported as visiting the skies of our world so frequently since the 1940s.

In fact it is very probable that the GLO has a remarkably ancient history, its intrusions occurring long before even the first terrestrial life forms developed in the primordial oceans or sulphurous nether regions of this planet, while the evidence suggests an origin for these mysterious visitants that is far stranger, and yet very much closer, than some quite improbable techno-civilisation in an unidentified solar system of this or another galaxy. The author’s personal opinion regarding the GLO, having examined a quite considerable number of what would seem to be reliable accounts of its manifestations, is that it represents an intrusion into our world from another existence: the manner of its entry being suggestive, not of visitations from a distant planet, but rather from a parallel universe, simultaneously intimate, and yet disturbingly remote from what we consider to be reality.

Despite the extreme weirdness and seeming impenetrability of the GLO enigma, it has been possible, through an intensive examination of certain highly detailed records of its appearance, for the author to reach some quite definite conclusions regarding the actual nature of these visitants.

This was only achieved through adopting an open-minded approach to the subject at the inception of his research. The evidence supporting the existence of these anomalous balls of light seemed quite overwhelming, and the idea that they were simply an unidentified form of lightning discharge seemed implausible, but beyond that he had no definite or preconceived ideas as to what these curious objects might be.

Actually collecting the reports proved to be a genuine revelation and, for the first time in the 30 years that had passed since first taking an active interest in researching events of a phenomenal nature, he truly felt that there was a real and objective purpose in this work. While finding the quantity of available data quite staggering, it was the reliability, high quality, and remarkable consistency of the reports, often by actual eyewitnesses of GLO intrusions into our world that created the greatest impression on him.

Each and every account, no matter how concise, had some value and all, without exception, could be correlated with one another. In the world of the ‘unexplained,’ and the author is speaking from long and painfully frustrating experience, such accordance is in itself a veritable phenomenon. Through studying the GLO, not only has he established to his own satisfaction that visitations into this world from another existence are a definite reality, but he has also discovered a significant nexus between these enigmatic objects and other seemingly distinct ALP (Anomalous Light-emitting Phenomena).

Anyone carefully studying the content of this website will soon observe a definite and quite unmistakable process of development, for as the evidence reveals more facets of the mystery, so the GLO becomes more, not less complex. Something else will be quite evident as the examination proceeds, and vital aspects of the mystery are revealed: What lies behind this enigma is actually more alien to our understanding of the cosmos than most researchers could ever have imagined!  

Each compartment of the site contains a themed examination of the evidence, and  will attempt to be as comprehensive as possible, however the subject of the GLO and its concomitant phenomena is so astonishingly vast and complex, and still largely unexplored, that this site can only claim to have broken the surface of a truly colossal enigma.

It is a beginning, and hopefully sufficiently powerful enough to create the momentum required to ensure the GLO receives the status it deserves.

Far from being rare events, as some ‘authorities’ suggest, the occurrence of GLOs and other ALP is actually extremely frequent, and subsequently, even though most incidents probably go unreported, and only a small percentage are recorded in sufficient detail to be of any great value to research, the available amount of data suitable for correlation and analysis is overwhelming, and the largest of volumes, or websites could hold no more than a minute fraction of these.

However, the reader will find there is more than sufficient evidence offered here to demonstrate, with absolutely no impediment, that these mysterious luminosities are completely unrestricted in their activities, can make their appearance in the most diverse and perhaps unlikely of environments, and that they bear little or no resemblance to the conventional accounts of their nature and activities.

‘Ball Lightning’

The mysterious appearance usually described as ‘Ball Lightning’ (BL) is an Anomalous Light-emitting Phenomenon (ALP) that in fact cannot be any form of actual lightning. In an attempt to rectify the erroneous belief that ‘BL’ has a similar nature to ordinary, or linear lightning, The Nexus Project has adopted the term Globular Light-emitting Object or


to describe unidentifiable balls of light that appear in the atmosphere regardless of weather conditions.

There are no specific circumstances in which the GLO phenomenon manifests, and it usually has no connection with actual lightning discharges. The GLO is highly complex in nature and all statements that it has been or can be replicated in a laboratory should be treated with extreme caution.

It should also be stated that the GLO is an energy capsule of immense and deadly power and that its replication by scientists would lead to the production of a weapon more deadly than a thermonuclear bomb. For the sake of life on earth may it remain a wonderful enigma to exercise our imagination and stimulate intellectual thought.

The Globular Light-emitting Object (GLO) is usually reported as a ball or disc of light, however its spherical form may be distorted (fusiform, pear-shaped, ovoid, oblate spheroid etc.), or apparently absent altogether (flame, cone, cylinder etc.). On some occasions its symmetry is interrupted by a streaming or pointed tail, rays or ribbons of light may burst from its envelope, and even horns or spikes have been displayed. It may also appear as an amorphous mass or a stream of light.

A reminder: The GLO is not a form of lightning

These are some of the atmospheric and geophysical environments in which the mysterious balls of light can appear:

In electric storms, regardless of duration and intensity

During falls of rain, hail, or snow

In windstorms or cyclones

During the passage of tornadoes over land or water

Throughout periods of volcanic activity

During any kind of seismic disturbance, from violent earthquakes to mild tremors

During curious low altitude ‘auroral’ displays

From the sea, and bodies of fresh water

From out of the ground – even if flooded or covered in ice

In fact the GLO can manifest anywhere - regardless of atmospheric or geophysical conditions)

The Modes of the GLO (or ‘Ball Lightning’)

The Nexus Project has established beyond all doubt that the GLO manifests in distinct behavioural modes:

1. The Inchoate GLO or ‘Streamer’ – In this mode the GLO has no globular form and is perhaps best described as ‘Quasi-lightning.’ It may descend from a cloud or erupt from the earth emitting a brilliant light though usually less intense than that of linear lightning.

A recent manifestation occurred in the county of West Sussex, England, where in clear atmospheric conditions a horizontal GLO Streamer was witnessed to pass at low level over downland – the witness described the discharge as looking extremely powerful and she expected a tremendous explosion of thunder, however the phenomenon disappeared with no audible sound. 

2. The GLO Fireball

Through the centuries humans have witnessed and suffered injuries from non-meteoric ‘fireballs’

The hail mingled with fire that assailed Ancient Egypt at the time of the Exodus appears to have been a GLO Fireball storm: each GLO about the size of a child’s head. 

In 1697, Athlone, in the county of Westmeath, Ireland, was devastated after a huge GLO Fireball descended on the town’s castle and exploded its powder magazine. This catastrophic event is depicted in Chris Chatfield’s dramatic painting as displayed above.

GLO Fireballs continue to fall from the skies producing loud and terrifying explosions. Witnesses of recent incidents have described the sound of detonation as remarkably similar to that of the ‘landmine’ bombs dropped on Britain by the Luftwaffe in WW II. The long-held belief that the Fireball sometimes appears as the crisis or climax of a thunderstorm has been confirmed by recent events.

Two distinct variations of the GLO Fireball Mode have been established:

2A. the Rocket Fireball – a GLO having the appearance of a large pyrotechnic rocket that erupts from a cloud in the manner of an air to ground ballistic missile.

In 1780, one of the sons of King George III came close to be being killed by a Rocket Fireball, that flew out of a sinister black cloud and collided with his neighbour’s house, leaving two male employees dead. This occurred at a resort on the coast of East Sussex, SE England

In September 2000 a Rocket Fireball struck and destroyed the radio antenna of the fire station at Kingston-by-Sea, West Sussex

2B. The Pillar Fireball descends as a column or tube – sometimes as a distinct cylinder but usually as a beam of light. The shorter cylindrical type appears to contain a battery of Fireballs arranged like legumes in a pod, and these are liberated on rupture producing a number of additional explosions sounding like gunfire.

Pillar Fireballs were seen descending on the South Downs and the town of Shoreham-by-Sea, West Sussex at the same time as the Rocket Fireball explosion at Kingston mentioned above.

In November 2005 the descent of a Pillar Fireball created considerable comment in Hemel Hempstead, Hertfordshire, England. Two days later a GLO Fireball came down at Ware in the same county. Any public interest in these incidents was soon eclipsed by the great explosion and fire in the Buncefield Oil Storage Depot situated at Hemel Hempstead on December 11.  

All forms of the GLO Fireball should be regarded as modifications of the GLO Streamer Mode.

3. The GLO Apparition: The Fireball and the Apparition are the most commonly reported forms of ‘ball lightning.’ The latter is rarely reported in clear-weather conditions and is usually associated with exceptionally violent thunderstorms - however, Peter van Doorn has received a first-hand account of a definite sighting in fine weather.

The GLO Apparition is the least demonstrative of the Modes: it manifests either in mid-air or on the ground, and has been observed to spontaneously appear within a room in the manner of a ghost. Though apparently the most undemonstrative form, the Apparition may climax in a loud explosion and produce definite physical effects.

The most remarkable and well-documented case occurred in 1772 and was reported to the Royal Society of London: Two clergymen inside a Wiltshire vicarage that had just been struck by a GLO Fireball were suddenly confronted with a globe of fire and smoke that seemed to have been transported ‘hot from hell.’ This Apparition, or demonic mine, floated in mid-air emitting toxic fumes. One of the men was poisoned by gases and struck down and severely injured by a discharge from the GLO, but somehow survived – for which he was most grateful and equally surprised!

While generally reported to exhibit no movement (Static Apparition), a pendulum-like motion (Oscillating Apparition) may occur, and according to some reports the phenomenon can spin rapidly (Revolving Apparition).

Very recently the eye witness of a GLO Apparition described its appearance to Peter van Doorn, stating that it looked like a red dahlia flower – each petal being quite distinct.  

4. The GLO Roller: If the GLO ‘Fireball’ might be compared to an aerial bomb, or depth-charge, and the ‘Apparition’ to a floating mine, then the ‘Roller’ is perhaps best described as the ‘battle tank’ of these phenomenal invaders.

In July 1826, a party having a picnic near Worcestershire Beacon, in the Malvern Hills, England, were assailed by a dreadful thunderstorm and sought refuge in a purpose-built shelter: this proved to be a death trap when a large rolling ball of fire advanced over the surface of the hill and entered the building, killing two young women on the spot and leaving another severely injured.

The GLO Roller is not always lethal: In November 2000, a globe of ‘fire’ entered a bedroom in a convent and rolled across the floor without harm to the two nuns within. One described to Peter van Doorn how the “beautiful ball of light” rolled up to her feet and vanished without sound: she had looked into the GLO and saw that it was composed of thousands of sparks of light of various colours – but mainly yellow and white.

5. The GLO Navigator is a globe of light with a ‘brain,’ that has been observed to both enter and exit buildings (even the Faraday Cage that is the fuselage of an all-metal aircraft) apparently ‘under control.’ This is the GLO phenomenon in its most perplexing mode, but, as it has been carefully and closely observed, reports of its manifestation cannot be ignored. It is not an electrical phenomenon and can ignore the most attractive of conductors.

An examination of the evidence suggests the Navigator is either a living thing or an intelligent probe: no other conclusion is possible short of a dramatic revolution in all theories of physical existence.

October 1885: A typically remarkable manifestation of the Navigator phenomenon occurred in Constantinople (Istanbul), then capital of the Empire of the Ottoman Turks:

At 20:25 a violent storm was in progress over the city when a “globe of fire” entered a room on the ground floor of a house through an open window. The GLO was observed to manoeuvre around a burning gas jet, before directing itself towards a table where it passed between the two persons seated there. It then proceeded to travel around a lamp suspended over the centre of the table. Having ‘examined’ the light fitting, the GLO then exited the room through the open window and exploded in the street “with an appalling crash.” The ‘curious’ object caused no injuries during its survey of the room, or through its detonation. It was described, in a somewhat unscientific manner, as being “of the size of a small apple,” but presumably a fruit large enough for consumption, which suggests a diameter of 6 cm ± 1 cm.

The attraction of the GLO to the gas jet and lamp, sources of both light and heat, is strongly indicative of the ability of the phenomenon to see or sense sources of radiant energy. Another important feature of this incident was the object’s use of the open window as both a point of entry and exit.

Across this planet, for hundreds, probably thousands of years, human beings have witnessed curious, and apparently intelligent balls of light that manifest with total disregard to atmospheric or environmental conditions. So common are these appearances that they have become part of the folklore of various lands: from Wales to the Malay Peninsula, from Texas to Tasmania, from the Lochs of Scotland to the Mekong River, and so on. These ‘lights’ are remarkably similar in appearance to GLO Navigators, and, despite the fact that no specific ambient conditions are necessary for their existence probably have the same origin. The ‘Witch Fireballs’ of the Rio Grande, the ‘Min Min’ lights seen in Queensland, and the Will o’ the wisps of Britain and Ireland, all belong to the same phenomenal family, and the exploding Navigator of Constantinople was simply a highly energetic cousin.

The GLO is highly complex and to a degree unfathomable in nature, however behavioural modes have been established and certain Functions determined:

1. GLO Transformer Function

The evidence indicates that all GLOs have a similar nature and though the phenomenon appears initially in a particular mode it has the ability to instantly transform into another. For instance we have established that a Streamer can become a Fireball. In the same manner a Fireball can become a Roller and a Roller a Navigator.

Peter van Doorn was informed of an event in which a Fireball was seen to fall into a hospital car park and on landing immediately became a Roller: it travelled over the tarmac surface without causing any noticeable damage. This occurred during a thunderstorm c1990.

Chris Chatfield’s mother Irene had a close encounter with a GLO Fireball/Roller Transformer c1930:

During a heavy thunderstorm over London, England, she was one of a group of about ten children in Maryon Park, Charlton, who were terrified to see a yellowish-red ball of fire fall from the clouds. As it descended towards them, they could see the globe spinning, or “whirling round and round.” They all fled in terror, believing “the sun was dropping out of the sky.”

When Peter van Doorn first met Irene, in April 2003, she added that the globe actually landed on the ground, and then rolled towards her at great speed before disappearing.

This circumstantial account of a “ball of fire” that fell to earth has some remarkable similarities to the “Miracle of the Dancing Sun” that was witnessed by thousands of people at Fatima, Portugal, on October 13, 1917.

2.  GLO Splitter Function

The GLO has the capacity to split or divide into distinct Units or apparently identical Clones. This amoeba-like faculty will be described in detail on this site at a later date.

The following remarkable and ‘wonderful’ phenomena will also be presented:

Matrix Clouds:  These are not ACCs (Aqueous Condensation Clouds) but generally amorphous objects that emit or ‘give birth to’ GLOs, Quasi-Lightning, Quasi-Auroral Rays &c.

Anomalous Tornadic Formations (ATFs)

GLO Super-Navigators: Indisputably Alien UFOs

Luminous Phantoms & Ghost Lights

The Klonos or Poltergeist Phenomenon

Other mysterious phenomena with a probable link or nexus to the GLO 

The above is merely an introduction to this website and it is our intention to expand its content at regular intervals.

As a first step towards the setting up of a database The Nexus Project invites reports of ALP (inclusive of UFOs, ghosts etc) from observers around the planet. These would be carefully edited, and either extracts or full accounts posted here.

Some reports may be selected to be published in Nexus Project books or journal articles so please remember to state that which you would or would not wish to appear in print.

If you have something to report from any time or location please mail us the details and where possible include the following:

Your name and present address, with telephone number if available

The date of the event (if unsure, please give approximate date)

The time of day (clock time am/pm; or morning/afternoon/night etc.)

The location of the event

Weather/sky conditions at time of event

Your own description of what occurred to the best of your memory

A drawing or simple sketch of the appearance of the phenomenon (with your permission to publish)

Photographic evidence (with your permission to publish)

Any given info you do not wish to be published.

Contact us at

Our sincere thanks to all who have taken the trouble to read this introduction, and we look forward to your assistance in The Nexus Project’s efforts to appraise the planet of the existence and significance of its most remarkable mystery

Chris Chatfield & Peter van Doorn

© The Nexus Research Project 2011

Website set-up January-February 2011

Webmaster: Christopher Chatfield

Counter installed February 2012

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