Conducted by Peter van Doorn

Illustrations (unless otherwise stated) by Chris Chatfield

    Ball lightning makes many kinds of appearances, and is sometimes accompanied with very singular evolutions of cloud and tempest. A common variety occurs in some ordinary thunderstorms, running with great velocity along the ground, and is always very dangerous, setting on fire hayricks or other combustible matters in its way, and instantly killing sheep or cattle or men whom it may strike.

John Marius Wilson, 1859

ROR/E001: Loire, Southern France, 08.02.1860


On this date, a rolling fireball (GLO Roller) brought sudden and dreadful tragedy to the village of Bouin, situated in the département de la Loire.                                  

The drama began at 13:30, when the children in the schoolhouse were saying grace, having just finished their déjeuner. It would appear that a thunderstorm was in progress at the time and that an energetic discharge of some form descended upon the building:


The first sign that the room had been struck was the falling of fragments of chalk, wood, and stone among the children. Great confusion ensued, and a small fireball was seen rolling under the forms past the teacher, whose clothes were slightly scorched. His son, who was sitting under a lamp, was killed, as were also 3 or 4 of the other children. The ball then gained the open air by passing through a pane of glass, in which it bored a hole, without otherwise damaging it, while all the rest of the panes were smashed to pieces.


The horrifying brutality of this visitation is obvious, but it is the complexity of the event that is most remarkable, and the manner of the lethal object’s exit the most baffling feature of all. However, it is precisely this type of paradoxical behaviour that ultimately reveals purpose and direction. The perforated pane of glass, undamaged beyond the periphery of the hole, was not only conclusive physical evidence of a phenomenal passage it also provided a clear demonstration of the modus operandi of this most extraordinary invader. It clearly and deliberately bored a hole through the glass to facilitate its escape, while the panes in the other windows were simultaneously shattered to pieces - why? 

The answer is both inescapable and perfectly obvious, when the facts are examined. All the violent and uncontrolled injuries that occurred, the appalling deaths of the schoolchildren, the broken window panes, and the minor burning of the teacher’s clothes, were produced as an accidental, but sadly inevitable effect of contact with invisible yet powerful fields of electricity and electromagnetic force energy surrounding the intruder. 

The children were killed by lethal discharges from the electric field, the clothing scorched by mere contact, and the windows shattered by an electromechanical action of the energy fields. 

While this mayhem ensued, the nucleus of the object, under perfect control, proceeded onwards, and must have risen from the floor towards the closed windows of the schoolroom, quite oblivious to everything but the glass sheet that eventually obstructed its path. It dealt with this problem in a subtle and quite methodical way: it detached and absorbed all the molecules in a disc of glass, probably 25 mm (± 5 mm) in diameter, and 4 mm (± 1 mm) thick. The death and destruction that occurred might be regarded as unintentional, but its escape through the window appears to have been a controlled and deliberate act – how could a mere ball of energy achieve this?       

Land, Sea & Sky

ROR/E002: Worcestershire, English West Midlands, 03.07.1826


If the GLO ‘Fireball’ might be compared to an aerial bomb, artillery shell, 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. The following case, surely one of the weirdest and most chilling events of a phenomenal nature ever recorded, certainly bears out the latter analogy.

On a fine day at the height of the English summer, the three daughters and the eldest son of Joseph Hill, a wealthy resident of Lindridge, an attractive village in the valley of the River Teme, Worcestershire, set out for a walk over the nearby Malvern Hills. They were accompanied by several young ladies, staying as guests of the family, and a manservant bearing their provisions in a small handcart.

Around 15:00, the party reached the Worcestershire Beacon, at 425 metres above sea level the highest point in the range, and upon which there was a solitary building that had been erected on the orders of a Lady Harcourt. The robust structure, designed as a storm shelter and intended for the use of people walking on the hills, was built of stone and covered with a roof of iron plates. It consisted of a single room with a stone table in the centre and seats on each side; it had two apertures: a doorway and a window sited opposite the door.

Shortly after their arrival the sky took on an ominous appearance, and soon a great and furious electric storm advanced upon the hill. Brilliant discharges of lightning flashed from the skies almost incessantly, producing a succession of thunderclaps, the violence of which was so great as to make the ground itself shudder. Quite understandably the young people became fearful of being in the open at the mercy of the elements, and the entire party, with the exception of the servant, abandoned their picnic and fled into the shelter. No doubt feeling reasonably secure once they were within its sturdy walls, Eliza and Joannah Hill, and a friend, Ellen Woodyatt of Hereford, seated themselves at the table, while the rest stood and waited for the storm to pass. What none could have been aware of was the approach of a menacing phenomenon with all the energetic potential of the deadliest lightning bolt ever hurled into the earth, and yet so lethally different from an ordinary electrical discharge that it rendered those within as vulnerable as the poor servant left outside to face the tempest.   

After a while, Margaret Hill, aged about 15, who had been extremely upset by the storm, went to the door hoping to see some sign that the disturbance was moving away. 

Deliverance, however, was certainly not at hand instead she saw the remorseless approach of a thing unearthly and absolutely terrifying: a huge ball of ‘electric fire’ was rolling at high velocity along the surface of the hill, and directly towards the entrance of the party’s retreat! So rapid was the advance of this dreadful object that no sooner had the poor girl recovered from her initial shock, and before she could alert those within, it was upon her and she was hurled violently to the ground. Quite remarkably, though her shoes, and part of her dress, were burned, Margaret survived. Her brother, who had been standing nearby, was injured in much the same manner. 

Some other members of the party, however, were tragically and quite horribly less fortunate. The rolling fireball rushed into the building through the doorway and struck the stone table, which was instantly shattered into fragments. It then passed straight across the room and exited through the window, tearing out the frame and surrounding stonework. In its passage, the rampaging fireball also smashed apart many of the large stones that comprised the walls. Of the three young women seated around the table, two, Eliza and Ellen, were killed on the spot, and Joannah was left apparently more dead than alive.

The horror of the scene left the manservant, who alone had suffered no physical injury, almost deranged. When he looked into the shelter, it must have seemed like a massacre, for all the young persons had been affected; most had been struck down and lay dead or injured on the ground. He began to scream with hysteria, his pitiful cries alerting a labourer working nearby. 

This man rendered whatever assistance he could before seeking help. Eventually a physician reached the scene, examined the badly injured Joannah and, having discovered that vital signs were still present, proceeded to open a vein and relieve the victim of a quantity of blood - still a standard procedure in 1826. She was then taken to Great Malvern and lodged in the Unicorn Inn where she remained, possibly conscious but certainly unable to speak. Doctors were pessimistic as to her chances of recovery (optimism being somewhat unfashionable in the medical circles of those days).

An examination of the dead bodies, and the severe injuries to Joannah, revealed that all three had suffered burns to the face, neck, and breast, and that the hair on their heads was intact on one side while burnt off on the other. The clothes of each girl were also partly destroyed. A coroner’s inquest on the deceased would have been held within a few days, but, to the best of my knowledge, no further details were printed in subsequent issues of the two London newspapers* from which I have compiled this account. 

According to a paper in the Transactions of the Worcestershire Archaeological Society for 1957, an entry in the diary of Charles Dunne (1783-1850), rector of the manor of Earl’s Croome, refers to three women having died in the tragedy, while a footnote states that the victims were a party of seven, and that all three of the Hill girls were killed along with Miss Woodyat. 

The true number of fatal victims could be traced through burial records, and it is probable that at least one of the victims is interred in the churchyard at Lindridge where some form of memorial should be extant. The fate of poor Joanna is no doubt described in an article, or announcement in a local newspaper which should eventually be located. 

The nature of this terrible rolling fireball, if examined in terms of conventional atmospheric physics is totally inexplicable: An ‘ordinary’ discharge of lightning would have immediately gone to earth in or close to its point of contact in a fraction of a second, but this fearsome peripatetic manifestation was sustained, coherent in form, and evidently under control. 

The destruction of the stone table was an example of the awesome power of the GLO Roller, while its effects on the three victims seated around the table, demonstrates the complex nature of what was clearly a violent, yet curiously selective outpouring of energy. The dramatic fracturing of this rather formidable item of furniture would have actually been caused by heat, generated when electrical energy from the fireball penetrated this poor conductor and obstacle to its progress. Energetic discharges, projected out like tentacles, had much the same effect on the wall stones they contacted, and also removed the window and its surround in a violent but mechanical fashion. 

Contact with human tissue and clothing evidently brought about an almost instantaneous change of amperage and frequency in these electric and electromagnetic projections, a factor that prevented the victims’ bodies from superheating and exploding into fragments. Whatever the nature of the mechanism housed within the envelope of the GLO, it clearly operated at a phenomenal speed and seems to have endowed the object with a crude sense of purpose. 

* The Times, 07.07.1826, p3f; The Age v2, p482, 09.07.1826

Compare the above event with the GLO Transformer incident TRANS/E005, in which the Roller mode was adopted at one stage, and some idea of the actual complexity of these seemingly crude intruders can be established.

There can be no doubt that GLOs, whether descending as a Fireball or in the form of a quasi-lightning GLO Streamer, frequently transform into the Roller mode on contact with the ground or a water surface, and it is probable that the lethal Malvern intruder came to earth in this manner. 

She observed the electric fluid as a mass of fire rolling along the hill and approaching their retreat . . .   Illustration by Chris Chatfield

ROR/E003: SE England, c1990

While investigating a possible GLO Fireball event in Brighton and Hove, East Sussex, in late November 2000, I was given a verbal description of an incident of this nature that occurred, “about ten years before,” at Brighton General Hospital, built, like much of the city, on a hill or ‘down.’ During a violent thunderstorm a male employee saw a “ball of fire drop from the clouds” and actually land in the hospital car park. Instead of exploding on contact, or disappearing into the earth, the GLO transformed and proceeded to roll around over the tarmac surface before silently vanishing from sight. According to my informant there was no sign of any apparent damage in the area and no electrical or electronic equipment was affected. In this case no one came in close contact with the GLO as the car park was deserted. 

R0R/E004: Louth, Lincolnshire, England, 29.07.2000

‘Wisps of grey and black smoke projected’

During a thunderstorm of short duration on the afternoon of the above date, A GLO Streamer, or more probably a Fireball struck the spire of St James’ church, Westgate, producing a tremendous detonation. 

The Rev. Stephen Holdaway was in his rectory when the phenomenon occurred and, looking through French windows, was fortunate to have had a clear view of a GLO Roller as it travelled across the back lawn.

The GLO was 5-6 feet (say 1.50-1.80 metres) in diameter and red in colour, with an orange nucleus about 50 cm across. From the surface of the globe numerous wisps of black and grey smoke were projected. It moved quickly leaving a trail of light in its path and seemed to actually diminish in size as it progressed. The GLO remained in sight for a maximum of 5 seconds having rolled the full length of the garden.

The Rev. Holdaway confirmed the following points:

1. The GLO definitely rolled over the ground; it left no marks of passage and made no audible sound. 

2. The sound emitted when the stone spire (90 metres high, and the tallest on any church in England) was struck, was like a “bomb explosion,” not thunder, and he saw no actual lightning during the storm.  The explosion was the only sound produced by the ‘storm.’

The weathercock on the spire appeared to be undamaged when viewed from the ground. The lightning conductor also seemed entire and to have escaped any visible damage.

4. Interior lighting and electronic equipment in the church were damaged, and the floodlighting cable had to be replaced. 

Details of the event sent in writing to PvD by Rev. Holdaway

ROR/E005: France, 10.09.1845


On this date a most bizarre GLO Roller incident occurred at the small village or hamlet of Salagnac, in the valley of the River Correze.

The French writers, Camille Flammarion and Wilfrid de Fonvielle, both detail this event in books with the same title in the English editions: Thunder & Lightning. 

An illustration in de Fonvielle’s work, facing p37, purports to represent the rolling invader, and has been frequently used in subsequent books and articles on the subject to represent the actual appearance of “ball lightning.” In fact it is inaccurate and almost comical, as it seems to show an old-fashioned incendiary cannonball leaving clouds of smoke in its train, rather than an uncanny light-emitting phenomenon. 

‘The Rolling Invader at Salagnac'  (W. de Fonvielle)

Clearly the artist had little interest in the main subject, and amused himself by spending more attention on incidentals and superfluities such as the naked shoulder of a nubile peasant girl who also appears in the picture. 

De Fonvielle, an adventurous scientist, skilled aeronaut, and prolific writer, had a great sense of humour, but some of the illustrations in his work are rather gloomy and, as they do not appear to depict the phenomena described in the text, are of little value in an objective study of the GLO and allied phenomena. 
The event at Salagnac began at around 14:00, during a violent storm, when a GLO Fireball came down the chimney of a house and entered into the kitchen through the fireplace. Three women and a boy were present, and stood watching as the GLO landed and rolled over the floor into the middle of the room. 

The women, for some obscure reason, were not afraid and actually told the boy to put his foot on the ball as it passed by, but he, sensible lad, declined, and was unharmed. 

The Roller continued to roll, passing through an adjoining room and out of the house, and finally into a small stable where dwelt an over-inquisitive pig. Unfortunately, the animal directed its slimy snout towards this uninvited visitor, “in a most rude and unbecoming manner,” according to de Fonvielle. Whether actual contact was made with the object’s shell is unknown, but the energy field surrounding the GLO would have been penetrated and this, apparently, was sufficient to bring the event to an explosive and fatal climax. 

(Though ‘Porky got the chop,’ for the poor animal an instantaneous exit such as this would have been euthanasia in comparison to the usual and inhumane method of slaughter adopted on small farms.) 

However, the family were not to enjoy a premature feast of instantly barbecued meat, for, according to Flammarion, just 3 hours after its death the creature’s body had completely decomposed! 

The stable was also the scene of another paradoxical aspect of this incident: the GLO passed through the doomed pig’s bedding straw but did not set it on fire. 

It seems rather strange that the women were not afraid of this truly alien invader, and disturbing that they suggested the boy actually tread on the thing. Regardless of whether the foot that came in contact with the GLO was bare or enclosed in a sabot (clog), it, and the foolish person attached could well have been torn to pieces or partially incinerated - also the energetic discharge and hot gases released by the rupturing of the object’s envelope might well have injured or killed the girls. 

While it is remotely possible they were amateurs prepared to sacrifice the boy’s life in the name of science, it is more likely that they had already witnessed or heard of manifestations in which the globes had vanished both silently, and without causing any damage. Another possibility, of course, is that the girls were simply ignorant, and just as careless as the peasant boy in the commune de le Beugnon (PHYS/E001) whose stupidity caused a GLO to rupture with disastrous results.

Flammarion, Thunder & Lightning, pp63 and 150; W. de Fonvielle, Thunder & Lightning (1867), p37

A complex incident that occurred at New Harmony, Indiana, involved a phenomenon with a nature clearly analogous to the Salagnac Roller, and was personally investigated by the experienced meteorologist Robert Dines. 

ROR/E006: USA, 19.08.1886 


According to his detailed report, in the course of a severe electric storm, a bolt of ‘lightning’ struck the SE corner of a timber frame house, about 3 metres from the ground, and loosened some of the weatherboards. The discharge, which it can be assumed was actually a GLO Fireball, then transformed by dividing in two. 

One unit made a hole in the lath and plaster wall on the south side of the building - the opening was over 60 cm across, and about 15 cm high. Having entered the house, it then ascended up to a turn in the stairway landing leading to the second storey, and vanished. 

The other tore a hole, 20-25 cm across, through the plaster on the east wall of the landing, about 1.37 m above the floor. This object, a “ball of fire” about 25 cm in diameter, was seen to roll down the short flight of four steps into a room on the ground floor where most of the family were gathered. One member, an “intelligent” girl of 15, told Dines that after the GLO descended the stairs it rolled over the carpet and passed out into the yard through the east door. In its passage across the room, a distance of over 2 metres, it actually touched another girl on the foot, causing a severe inflammation of the big toe. The mother and youngest son were also physically affected, being “almost suffocated,” and “blinded for several minutes.”     

After entering the yard, the GLO continued rolling for a distance of about 5 metres, until it struck a wooden fence post, situated on the east side. The post, formerly 150 mm square, was reduced to a rough pole 75-100 mm in diameter. Two trees in the yard also suffered damage: One, about 30 cm in diameter, and standing a little over 4.25 metres from the door, lost some bark on its west side, and had “remarkable bruises” (50-75 mm in diameter) well above the stripped areas. A smaller tree, 2.75 metres directly south of the larger, was completely stripped of its bark over a large area on its NE side.   

Remarkable to relate, like the straw in the stable at Salagnac, the carpet over which the GLO rolled was not burned, nor did it exhibit the slightest scorch mark! 

American Meteorological Journal

The GLO Roller can be a brute, even a ruthless destroyer of that with which it has contact, but in those events where injury to the animate, or damage to the inanimate occurs, there is always evidence of inexplicable complexity in its actions. 

The ‘rolling fireball,’ as in the Malvern incident, has on occasion advanced on its victims like a terrible predator charging its prey, and struck without mercy. In the case of the party on Worcester Beacon, the unfortunate victims had no means of defence against their preternatural assailant, but in an astonishing incident that occurred on the waters of the Atlantic over 76 years earlier a similar GLO faced a victim that possessed the means to fight back.

ROR/E007: Atlantic Ocean, 04.11.1749 (Julian Calendar)


    One of the quartermasters desired I would look to Windward, which I did, and observed a large ball of blue fire rolling on the surface of the water . . .

The remarkable, and potentially deadly encounter between His Britannic Majesty’s ship, Montague and a “large ball of blue fire rolling on the surface of the water” has been described in the writings of a number of authorities on atmospheric phenomena, including the French scientist Arago, and the British ‘electricians,’ Snow Harris and Charles Tomlinson, however, to my knowledge the details have always been inadequate and often slightly erroneous. 

My own version, intended to be definitive, is inclusive of every essential detail recorded in the original account, even though at one vital point the latter is somewhat difficult to follow. It must be remembered that the narrator, Mr Chalmers, was a naval officer rather than a scientific observer, and he must surely be forgiven for a single lapse in what is an otherwise straightforward, circumstantial description of a terrifying and totally inexplicable occurrence. However, having studied the case in detail, and attempted repeated mental reconstructions of the incident, I feel that the most serious ‘grey area’ has now been elucidated.   

The Montague, a large and heavily armed (60-gun) ship-of-the-line, was sailing close to Cape Finisterre, Galicia, the most extreme northwest point on the coast of Spain (lat. 42°, 48’ N; long. 9°, 3’ W). At about 11:50, while Chalmers, who was the ship’s captain, was taking an observation on the quarterdeck, one of the quartermasters requested that he should look to windward. He complied and saw a truly incredible and terrifying sight: “a large ball of blue fire rolling on the surface of the water.” 

The Roller was about 5 km distant when he first saw it, but was approaching the ship at high velocity. Immediately, the topsails were lowered, the fore and main clew-garnet tackles were manned in order to haul up the fore and main sails. These emergency measures were taken in a desperate attempt to manoeuvre the vessel away from the menacing phenomenon. However, before they could raise the main tack, the GLO, described in the narrative as apparently the diameter of “a large millstone,” was seen to be closing upon them. 

Then, as if to avoid colliding with the ship’s hull, the object was observed to suddenly rise from the sea in an almost vertical ascent. After reaching a height of around 40 metres above the mainmast chain plates, the fireball ruptured with a terrific explosion. The main-topmast was shattered into more than 100 fragments, and the massive mainmast itself was rent down to its heel. The sound of the detonation, although Chalmers thought it lasted for just half a second, was like the simultaneous firing of “hundreds of cannon,” and left an odour of brimstone so great that “the ship seemed to be nothing but sulphur.” 

Heavy iron nails were drawn from the mainmast fish (a wooden reinforcement) and driven with great violence into the deck. These were embedded so fast into the timber that the ship’s carpenter was obliged to utilise a crowbar in order to remove them. Five crewmen were rendered unconscious by the explosion, and one of them suffered very serious burns.

Bad weather, strong winds with rain and hail, came from the NW to NNE for two days prior to the incident. However, no thunder or lightning occurred before or after the appearance of the GLO Roller, which appeared to the northeast of the ship, and travelled southwest on an apparent collision course.

With regard to the apparition of the GLO, a large millstone would be at least 110 cm in diameter, but as the object already seemed large when it was first seen by the ship’s officers, and estimated to be about 5 km distant, it seems reasonable to conclude that it must actually have been 150 cm or more across. The fiery blue of its envelope was not an unusual feature as the plasma gas produced by lightning, or any electrical discharge can be this colour. (A large blue fireball was seen to roll over the surface of a street in West Sussex, England, as recently as November 2000) Discharges of lightning and GLO ruptures also produce ozone and oxides of nitrogen, which in heavy concentrations can pollute the ambient air producing distinct acrid odours. 

However, the fact that an overpowering stench of “sulphur” assailed the crew to such an extreme that the vessel itself appeared transmuted into a mass of “nothing but” that infernal element, suggests that both the blue flame of the GLO and the toxic gas that burst from its interior were in actuality the product of brimstone, and that the matrix of the warship’s uncanny assailant was located in the ‘sulphurous nether regions’ of the earth: the GLO having risen to the surface of the Atlantic from beneath the depths of the abyss was indeed a Fireball from hell arrayed in the flamboyant azure cloak of the Prince of the Underworld!

Had Captain Chalmers been aware of the lethal nature of the great blue ‘fireball,’ and called the crew immediately to action stations, there would have been time for musket fire to have been sent in the GLO’s direction. It is also possible that his gunners might have been able to load and discharge some of its cannons in the general direction of the menacing fireball, this would have been a true historical oddity: an action between a ship of the British Royal Navy and a GLO. 

A direct hit on the ‘fireball’ though extremely unlikely, would almost certainly have resulted in the object rupturing, however, even if the thing exploded at some distance from the warship, this may not have prevented injury: the GLO’s energetic reservoir might have shot out horizontally as a deadly Streamer discharge and torn into the vessel with the force of a broadside of gunfire. 

Of course if the Roller had actually struck the Montague amidships, it is quite possible that it would have blasted a large hole in the hull that would have extended well below the waterline. The ship might also have caught fire, or its powder magazine been exploded. 

Original Report: The Royal Society of London, Philosophical Transactions 1749-1750: Transaction XIX. “An account of an extraordinary fireball bursting at sea, communicated by Mr Chalmers, who was at the time of the incident on board the Montague, under the command of Admiral Chambers. Read March 22, 1750.”

The Assault on the Montague, by Chris Chatfield

Considering the information provided by Chalmers, it seems quite reasonable to conclude that wooden ships probably have been sunk by GLO Rollers, whether through hull penetration, conflagration, or gunpowder detonation. Even modern steel hulled vessels, such as the vast ocean-going barges called ‘supertankers,’ and other VLCCs may have fallen victim to this preternatural menace. It would certainly explain some of the cases of mysterious explosions and sinkings that have occurred in calm seas. 

Marine disasters are as old as humanity’s first attempts to sail the seas, and the GLO must always have been around to lend a destructive hand, as it probably started rolling over the waves shortly after the great primordial ocean itself was created.  

Sir William Snow Harris, the revered ‘electrician,’ who campaigned long and vigorously for the installation of effective lightning conductors on naval vessels, relates (Athenaeum, edition 1086, p833, 19.08.1848) a remarkably similar event that occurred to an unnamed vessel sailing “close on a wind” with its topsails reefed. The crew observed two terrifying objects, bearing down on them from windward, which they described as “rolling millstones of fire.” The fireballs were almost upon them, when a great explosion occurred which shattered the topmasts to pieces. The apparently simultaneous rupture of the two Rollers produced an over-powering stench of sulphur. 

Unfortunately, as no date or location is given, the possibility that either Harris was erroneously describing the Montague incident, or was misquoted by the journal cannot be ruled out.

ROR/E008: SW Britain

Harris’ pupil, the knowledgeable, but dreadfully pedantic Charles Tomlinson, describes another incident, also undated (atmospheric conditions not mentioned), of a GLO rolling over water. Two “preventive” (customs) officers were guarding a ship at anchor in the Helston River, Cornwall, when they observed a large fireball that seemed to roll along the surface of the water like a blazing barrel of tar. The object passed close by the ship and travelled down river towards the open sea, where it disappeared from view. 

The remarkable capability of the GLO to actually go ‘rolling down the river,’ apparently in contact with the water surface, removes any possibility of it being a purely electrical phenomenon. Water, which is an excellent conductor of electricity, would invariably serve to disperse the discharge and destroy a ‘lightning ball’ (if such a thing could actually exist). A (theoretical) globular plasma (lacking the structure of a GLO) would also be disrupted on contact and therefore be unable to perform a rolling motion. The GLO, on the contrary, undoubtedly possesses the means to insulate itself against an aquatic doom, whether in salt, brackish, or fresh water. When GLO Rollers travel over a land surface, the same insulating factor serves to prevent their energy fields and reservoirs from immediately going to earth, regardless of whether the ground is waterlogged or bone dry. 

E009: Normandy, France, 20.12.1845


Flammarion describes an example of a terrestrial Roller that was remarkably similar in appearance to that seen moving over the waters of the Helston River: 

A GLO Fireball was observed to descend from the sky onto a lightning conductor situated in the centre of a chateau near Vire, a town in Calvados, Normandy (this area is famous for producing calvados, a fiery apple brandy). The GLO ran down the metal to the earth, causing a considerable amount of damage in its progress. On contact with the ground the object increased in size and was witnessed by a number of persons to roll over the surface “like a huge cask of fire.” 

This event was a clear and definite demonstration of a GLO Transformation: in this instance of a Fireball into a Roller. The movement down the lightning rod, being an intermediate stage, is very interesting and, rather weirdly, something like an electric locomotive travelling along its conductor rail but with the energy flowing out of, not into its motor. Note also that far from immediately dispersing by going to earth, the GLO actually expanded when it reached the ground. 
Interestingly this event occurred close to the end of the same phenomenal year that produced the GLO Roller incident at Salagnac (ROR/E000).

How can the contradictory behaviour of the GLO Roller, regardless of the particular mode it adopts, be explained by any known physical law? Certainly, by being insulated in a shell of electromagnetic force-energy, the wonderful globes are not only able to survive contact with land and water, but can even seem totally unaffected by these theoretically hostile mediums. How could such a long-lived insulating ‘shell’ be formed? There appears, on the surface, to be no rational solution for many aspects of this truly fascinating, but somewhat frustratingly paradoxical phenomenon. Good conductors, only too willing to relieve the GLO of its burden of electrical energy are shunned, almost with a sneer by the spherical invaders. Also, there is certainly no consistency with regard to the effects produced by physical contact with these objects, the contrast between examples being in fact extremely dramatic. In the case of the New Harmony invasion described above, a GLO that literally smashed its way into a house, injured a girl, gassed her mother and brother, severely damaged two trees, and whittled a fence post, was considerate enough to roll over a carpet but leave it apparently undamaged! Sometimes the agency of death and destruction utilized by the GLO is clearly electrical, or electro-mechanical, but in other cases it seems to emit energetic probes and even projectiles. Clearly the phenomenon is somehow able to actually control or modulate its behaviour, demonstrating, on occasion, a curious ability to avoid producing damage or injury to that which it contacts.   

ROR/E010: SW Pennsylvania, USA, March 1886


The Pittsburgh Commercial Gazette reported the following GLO Roller incident:

At an early hour yesterday morning, as Jacob Dull and a companion were walking up the Baltimore and Ohio yard, between Connellsville and Gibson, they noticed a queer phenomenon in the shape of a ball of fire about the size of a man’s head rolling silently along on the top of one of the rails.

It was ball lightning, a variety not often met with. 

It moved swiftly up the track and suddenly disappeared.


Reprinted in the Philadelphia Enquirer, 15.03.1886

Note that the GLO was in contact with a metal rail but retained its globular form, and that the climax was sudden, with no explosive dispersal.

The Nexus Project thanks Kay Darnell Massingill for sending this circumstantial but very interesting report.

Posted 28.05.2012


Conducted by Peter van Doorn

Illustrations (unless otherwise stated) by Chris Chatfield

SRO/E001: Shahabad District, West Bengal, mid-July 1810


This, one of the most destructive GLO events of recent history, began when a thing like a vast “fiery cloud” dropped from the “angry heavens” and came down upon the earth.
It would appear that on this occasion a GLO Super-Fireball, and its Matrix Cloud descended, however the event did not terminate with an explosive grounding of the phenomenon: this item of preternatural ordnance Transformed into a Super-Roller, which rolled across the countryside like a titanic machine of war.

Its passage, in which five villages and many, possibly hundreds of human inhabitants were destroyed, was accompanied by discharges of “blue forked lightning” that burst out of the GLO in all directions.

When this “great body of livid flame” vanished, it left behind a great ball of semi-molten debris, gathered in its rampage. This globular lump of ‘demonic excrement’ hardened, and ‘turned to stone.’ 

The remains of this pseudo-meteorite were probably broken up and the pieces sold as talismans.

Philosophical Magazine / Higginson, Official Report 

‘The Flaming Horror of Shahabad’ – illustration by Chris Chatfield