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And it acted like it was under control, which caused me no end of trouble later on.
It was a bit more involved than that.
In a nutshell, we were in Germany at the time. Actually, my home base was in Germany about 200 km away, so it was sort of a short hop.
There was a Pershing missile battery not far from Neu Ulm, and the Greens had killed a missile maggot to get his ID. They also had put up a bunch of posters in the area offering a lot of money to kill an officer or one of the guard detail to get some more IDs, so they could get on the base and cause a nuclear accident or launch an unarmed missile.
That was taken fairly seriously, we were in the chute for the next wacky thing, and we got the detail to do some close watch. That night, they were in the woods near the missile emplacement watching the guards, and we were in the woods watching them.
Anyway, to cut out all the boring detail, what was later determined to be ball lightning came wafting through the trees, did a circle, picked me out of the half dozen guys in that area (the other half dozen were a few hundred yards off) and homed in on me from across a clearing that we were scattered around the verge of in the trees.
It made several course corrections to avoid stuff in the way, but it was very obviously heading for me. I got told to run for it, instead I stood up and stepped into the clearing. It floated about two feet off the ground, circling until it was dead in front of me and about an arm's length away, then floated up to eye level and stopped dead. We looked at each other for about half a minute, then it contracted to a point and vanished.
I got reamed for not running, applauded for not running, questioned on whether it was Russian spy ball lightning, reamed for standing up in the open, praised for standing up and being ready to carry out said running away order, and basically it turned out that there wasn't any by the book response for being personally singled out by an electromagnetic phenomenon and the whole thing was dropped.
But we weren't THAT near the weapons, it was several hundred yards away, so I'm not sure it applies to your supposition.
edit: it probably didn't help matters any that when I saw the damn thing drop out of the trees into the clearing that I said "It'll head right for me, you watch", meaning that it would be my luck that something spooky and bizarre would pick me for a target. Later that was a big deal, how did you know it was going to head for you, and it was sort of hard to explain away. Thus do little comments cause unforeseen reactions, I guess.
jfarkinB: erewhon: The first episode was fairly short, maybe 10 seconds, the second one, though, that one went on a while, maybe 3 minutes or more and had multiple eyewitnesses including myself. The whole thing is sort of tl;dr unless you really want the details.
I do, in fact, really really want the details. Please?
Hm. Well, the first time, I was on the front porch and lightning struck a tree in the front yard. Bang, flash, lightning flashes, sparks shower, in a blink you have missed it sort of thing. However, it left behind a ball about the size of a softball, hissing, which floated across the yard for maybe four meters before popping and going out. Two of us saw that one.
I recall (maybe about 5 years old?) seeing what I later assumed was ball lightning but while I have mental images of it I can't say it was real. It did make an impression on me.
The long adult one was sort of back-hair bristling weird.
Ok. Some background, although hopefully not TMI: was in the Army in the eighties, and was nominally in Germany for the last five or so, although while I was stationed there I was often away on jobs. Anyway, there were a number of Germans who had their nose in a twist that we had Pershing II missiles all over their mostly sovereign landscape. So, there was a time when the Greens snagged this guy from Neu Ulm right outside the base using the 'hey there big boy' ploy. They killed him to get his ID, and dumped his body back outside the base. Then they put up some posters offering rewards with pictures of various tactically advantageous service members. The stated goal was to get IDs and uniforms that would allow them to get onto a missile installation and wreak some sort of unstated havoc.
Anyway, intel had it that they were going to try to get onto this Pershing base. So, since we weren't busy elsewhere, we ended up tasked to do something local, namely, the Greens were in the woods watching the base, and we were in the woods watching them. Six of us were on one side of them, the other six were over there somewhere.
So, it's a nice cool spring night, we're bored mindless sitting in the woods in the dark being all sneaky and invisible, waiting for a signal to do something unsocial. We're spread over the edge of a clearing, there's a pile of brush in the middle, there's about a quarter moon high in the sky, the sky is clear. Doesn't seem like a leadup to ball lightning, and in fact, there wasn't any normal lightning.
There we sit, with the occasional terse radio message. Nothing? Nothing. They're just sitting there. We're just sitting there. And then, then on the far side of the clearing, at the top of the trees, sort of back in the woods, there's a flicker of purplish light. Pop. Hiss. Flicker. Radio traffic. WTF? I don't know. Settle down. Pop. Hiss. Flicker. Ok, that's two. We see it from this side. (we see it from THIS side...) not sure what it is ok get quiet watch for it. In the night vision goggles it's really bright. So I take them off and watch. And there at the top of the trees on the far side of the clearing, there's this purple ball of light that drifts down maybe ten feet and goes out. Pop. Hiss. Then further down the trees the ball pops into existence again, drifts down to ground level, goes out.
I get the impression that it's traveling at a steady rate, just with about a 1:1 mark space ratio, and we're only seeing it about half the time. It starts traveling toward our side of the clearing, half there, half not. Then it hits the pile of brush. we don't know what it is it's coming this way move back into the woods settle down And it wafts up over the brush. Pop. Hiss. Flicker. Like a purple basketball. Only as it gets closer, you can see it's got details inside the purple ball.
It comes down on THIS side of the brushpile and starts toward where we're lurking, maybe 10 seconds there, 10 not. I get the conviction it's coming MY way. Yay. I decide to say it out loud. it's going to come to me what do you mean oh hell yeah, it's coming my way why do you think that my luck, it's going to come after my ass you watch then move back into the woods asshole oh hell no I want a look at it you will not break cover it's a farking purple ball we don't know what it is might compromise our position you think it's a purple spy ball? who knows screw it back into the woodline you go warrant i'm going to move into the clearing and look at it up close no you don't asswipe we need to know what that is move away into the woods everyone until we know what this is. Tom, you idiot, run away, that's an order.
So I stand up and walk forward, which is bad. But hell, it's dark, mostly. It turns a few degrees and comes toward me. Right towards me, about three feet off the ground. Pop. Hiss. Purple ball....out. Purple ball...out. It gets about three feet from me, rises up to my eyelevel. Only now it doesn't go out. Purple ball, about 10-15 cm in diameter. Only...inside it, it's incredibly detailed, and it's all in motion. It's like we're looking at each other. I step forward, it moves forward, we're about six inches apart. Detail on detail. It's like something fractal...anywhere I look at it it's got more detail to study. Pop. It's gone, That's it.
Later, the trouble commences. But what would you expect me to do? It came toward me, it was really weird, we needed to look at it, I'm not running from a purple ball. Why did you say it was going to come to you? Did you have some sort of prearrangement? Believe me, you don't want to have said "It's coming for me" early on, if it actually does that later, at least in an Army setting. It really gets the creative juices flowing in the intel guys later. In the end, it was decided that it was a natural phenomenon, with slight suspicion that it came towards me after I said it would. But man, I could have stared at it for an hour.
Anyway, tl; dr
originally posted by: Jukiodone
There are lots of other transitional states of matter that might resemble plasma -dont see why plasma seems to be the dish of the day...maybe should be described as "looks like plasma".
Bose Einstein Condensate or Degenerate Matter might look like Plasma but act completely different/have a different purpose or application.
If the transitional state of matter has a wide spectrum of manifestations, we might only be scratching the surface based on our rudimentary understandings- a kind of Animal, Vegetable or Mineral game where the object is a Radome for e.g.
originally posted by: bottleslingguy
a reply to: ken10
Plasma Life Forms in the Laboratory
This is not the first time in recent years that plasma life forms have been studied. In 2003 physicists; Erzilia Lozneanu and Mircea Sanduloviciu of Cuza University, Romania, described in their research paper Minimal Cell System created in Laboratory by Self-Organization (published in Chaos, Solitons & Fractals, volume 18, page 335), how they created plasma spheres in the laboratory that can grow, replicate and communicate - fulfilling most of the traditional requirements for biological cells. They are convinced that these plasma spheres offer a radically new explanation of how life began and proposed that they were precursors to biological evolution.
The researchers studied environmental conditions similar to those that existed on the Earth before life began, when the planet was enveloped in electric storms that caused ionized gases to form in the atmosphere. They inserted two electrodes into a chamber containing a low-temperature polarized plasma of argon - a gas in which some of the atoms have been split into negatively-charged electrons and positively-charged ions. They applied a high voltage to the electrodes, producing an arc of energy that bolted across the gap between them, like a miniature lightning strike. Sanduloviciu says this electric spark caused a high concentration of ions and electrons to accumulate at the positively charged electrode, which spontaneously formed spheres.
Each sphere had a boundary made up of two layers - an outer layer of negatively charged electrons and an inner layer of positively charged ions. Trapped inside the boundary was an inner nucleus of gas atoms - which was surrounded by a luminous sheet. An electric field was present between the boundary and nucleus, within which electrons are accelerated. The evolved sphere appears as a stable, self-confined, layered, luminous and nearly spherical body - much like the "orbs" described in the paranormal literature and discussed below. The amount of energy in the initial spark governed their size and lifespan. Sanduloviciu grew spheres from a few micrometers up to three centimeters in diameter.
Lozneanu and Sanduloviciu describe a rhythmic "inhalation" of the nucleus which mimics the breathing process of living systems and results in pulsations. The spheres could replicate by splitting into two. Under the right conditions they grew bigger, taking up neutral argon atoms and splitting them into ions and electrons to replenish their boundary layers. Finally, they could communicate information by emitting electromagnetic energy, making the atoms within other spheres vibrate at a particular frequency. "This is no different from the vibrating diaphragm in a telephone which enables information to be communicated from one point to another," says David Cohen, reporting in the journal New Scientist. This would give these plasma spheres an ability which would be described as telepathic if we did not know how electromagnetic waves worked.
originally posted by: The GUT
a reply to: Bedlam
IF, and I made that a big "if," the government is hiding things about the UFO phenomena, I suspect it's in this area and closer to home than sometimes imagined.
(john phillip) Bessor later stated that, in his view, UFOs were a form of living creature (which he christened an ideoplasm) composed of a highly attenuated substance, enabling them to materialise or dematerialise at will, utilising telekinetic energy for propulsion. As would be echoed by Constable in relation to his critters, Bessor opined that these entities must be capable of becoming visible, invisible, and changing colour, all very rapidly. He even submitted his thoughts to the U.S. Air Force, and, remarkably, was informed by them that they considered his notion to be “one of the most intelligent theories we have received” regarding the possible nature and identity of UFOs.