Ball Lightning Lithograph

You know how you think you know what is real, what is possible on the earth in life, in terms of experience? I mean, all of you reading this probably have a pretty good grasp on “REALITY” and what that means, what it encompasses.

I did too. Until last year.

Late afternoon in a 5th floor room of a basic hotel in Surat Thani, Thailand. Laying on my side on the double bed, MacBook Air computer going and I was looking for something on Craigslist Thailand. I was laying at an angle, body and head facing the large window. The sky was cloudy, there was a light rain. There had been no lightning strikes near but I heard some thunder way off in the distance a couple of times. There seemed to be a storm about 30km (20 miles) from the hotel and the clouds were moving toward the hotel I was in.

I had the air conditioner on at 25°C, the air was damn cold coming out of the thing. The unit was located right above the window. The vent pointed straight down to the floor and the fan was on high. Curtains open and windows shut. No lights on in the room.

I hadn’t been drinking anything, smoking anything, or shooting anything up. I’m completely anti-drugs. I drink on average just two beers a week. I don’t smoke. I don’t have a history of mental illness. I’ve never seen a ghost. I’ve never thought they were real. I always figured the mind could conjure up a ghost or something weird that a person was focused on. I have a master’s in psychology, so I’m aware just how powerful the mind is when there is something troubling it.

I wasn’t troubled about anything. I’m not paranoid the world is ending, someone is out to get me, or anything like that. I’m the most well-balanced person I know. My life is normal. I have normal thoughts. I do normal stuff. I’m odd, yes, but only in that my personality is so different from other people. What I think about is odd, but it is always based in reality, not superstition or anything else weird.

I’m the most normal, logical, and realistic person you’d probably ever meet.

I saw a floating white ball of light that oozed into the hotel room through the glass like a long bubble a kid can make with one of those giant loops and a plate full of bubble solution.

Let me explain more.

I heard a very weird sound like the air conditioner was going to die. Then it kept going. Then it was going to die. Then going again… so on-off on-off over and over like that. Wrrrrr—rrrrrhhhhh-wrrrrr—rrrrhhhh. Like that. I didn’t move, just looked up at it.

For 1-2 seconds I saw nothing but what I was supposed to see. No smoke, no sparks, no light, nothing.

I glanced down at my computer again, thinking the air conditioner was just stuttering a bit.

Out of the corner of my eye I saw something white through the window. No, on second thought it was in the window. No, on third thought – it was in the fucking room and spreading out a meter long like a child’s bubble. It was pure white like snow. I mean the color, nothing else reminded me of snow. You know how when you look at snow – it’s pure white, and the whitest white you’ve ever looked at? It was like that. It didn’t SHINE white, it was just very white.

The borders of the light bubble were crisp. There was no smoke at the edges, there were no undefined edges… It was smooth as anything. Curved and flowing. It moved slower than a kid’s bubble might, you know because the kid is moving his hand fast to make a long bubble with the loop.

My first thought after seeing the white light coming into the room like that was… nothing. There were no thoughts. I didn’t think. I just couldn’t take my eyes off it. I didn’t want to move because I thought it might go away. I was completely enthralled by it. Not entranced… enthralled. I was captivated by the experience, and yet my mind still worked – it was hyperactively alert. I was absolutely lucid, and I’m sure my adrenaline started pumping immediately. I knew I had to study it closely and try to figure out what it was.

The bubble was about 1 meter long and the tail end popped through the glass. The bubble then shrunk, the tail moving into the front part which was very near the lower right corner of my bed and about 4-5 feet off the ground. It formed a sphere. An absolutely perfect sphere without fault. The white was also absolutely perfectly white. I could not see through it, nor into it at all. It was so white that it appeared as a solid sphere.

Once it morphed into this ball, it moved toward the head of my bead (another 2 feet maybe) and hovered there – same distance off the floor. It was about 3-4 feet from my face. Unmoving, it just stayed there in the air.

I took this photo as I cowered behind the bed, expecting the room to blow up after what I first thought was a ball of lightning. Seeing the place again makes me want to return to the hotel room and see if it happens again.

This photo was taken from the same place I was during the white ball of light incident. Water, orange juice and pizza on the nightstand. No beer! Air conditioner was off here, but the only thing different about this pic and when it happened minutes before was the air was on then. Seeing the place again makes me want to return to the hotel room and see if it happens again.[/caption]

I wasn’t scared yet. My mind wasn’t working emotionally yet. I knew it was a profound experience, and I just wanted to see it with my eyes as much as possible before it went away. I probably had time to go get my camera and fire off a few shots, but I didn’t know that. I dared not move a finger, an eye-lash. I stared wide-eyed at it and tried to come to grips with it.

As I looked at it I struggled to put it into some category. It was very odd because the light of the ball didn’t shine out. It was as if it was inside the sphere, or, or just the sphere was made entirely of white light. It didn’t hurt my eyes, it was just pure as any white I’d ever seen.

The sphere had a crisp edge, and yet there was nothing encapsulating it. It was just a perfectly formed ball. It didn’t sparkle, pulse, change color or form, dance around, talk to me, or anything.

After 3-4 seconds of staring my mind changed and I realized what I was probably looking at. Ball lightning. It was the only solution I could come up with at the time. I’d never seen ball lightning, only heard of it briefly somewhere before. I’d never studied the phenomenon and didn’t know anything about it except it was visible sometimes during storms.

Just as I became aware that it could be a form of lightning and fear entered my mind, the thing vanished. I don’t remember really how it went away, it just was instantly not there. There was no trace of it. No smell. No sound. No marks on the wall or window. The air conditioner was working fine. Though the object was pure white light, I saw no after effect – I mean like no inverse color retina effect of it once it was gone.

I lay there for a few seconds, not realizing it was gone. I haven’t said this before, because it made even less sense to say it back then when it happened, but I’ll say it now because I just want to give out as much information as possible about the thing.

I possibly lost some time during this.

I can’t account for an hour of time. An hour or a bit more. I do know it was late afternoon about 17:25 (5:25 p.m.) when I first saw it. When it left, it became dark outside very quickly. It doesn’t get dark until 6:30 – 6:45 p.m. I have no memory of missing the time. It was only when I go back and trace my steps – seeing it, writing about it, shooting the video about what happened, that I realize there is an hour plus that I cannot account for. I have goose-bumps right now as I write that and every time I think about it I get the same feeling.

After it left and I yanked the wire out of my computer and turned the air conditioner off, I dove behind the bed where I cowered in the corner farthest from the window. I don’t know why I didn’t leave the room, I was terrified, but I was also half-afraid to miss it in case it came back when I was out.

So, since April 15th, 2013 I’ve been asking myself what it was. I’ve done a lot of research on ball lightning, and my experience doesn’t appear to match other people’s experiences of it. Mine was different in many ways, not least of which being there was no lightning nearby before seeing it.

I wrote up a list of possibilities below.

Possible Explanations for White Sphere of Light in My Hotel Room

Ball Lightning. At first this was the only thing I could point to. Now, after much research, it doesn’t appear at all a good match for any report, and only some of the characteristics match ball lightning at all.

Floating Ball of Electricity. I don’t think this had anything to do with the electricity from the air conditioner coming out and floating through the air for a couple of reasons. 1. The ball of light came through or materialized IN the window, not from out of the A/C unit. 2. The air conditioner worked fine all the time, except during this occurrence and it didn’t happen again for my stay. 3. There was no burning smell, electric smell in the air. 4. No smoke. 5. No crackling sound of electricity.

Plasma. There are some reports online about balls of plasma that occur due to electricity and some atmospheric conditions. Some say they come through windows because silicone has something to do with it. This is a possibility I guess, except plasma in experiments I saw online looks cloudy. Mine was not. Scientists say it is extremely hot (see video) – mine wasn’t.

Dream. I wasn’t sleepy. I had slept enough over the past few days. I always sleep enough. I was in the middle of searching something online, not in the middle of feeling sleepy. Definitely not a dream.

Hallucination. This is a scary thought. I guess. I haven’t had one since though (15 months later).

Ghost / Spirit / Demon / Angel. I don’t know about any of these. Never believed in them. Not sure one of these would come and just stare at me and then leave again in a few seconds. What do I know though?!

Kasina. In meditation there is a white or other color ball of light that is a mind-sign that helps one get into the Jhana levels. I haven’t meditated for a while, and I only rarely saw any white ball kasina when I did. I’ve never seen one during the middle of the day with my eyes open and not meditating. Possible I guess, but extremely odd. I’ve never heard of anyone having seen one like this. Also, it started out as a long balloon shaped blob… kasinas are always small and round and just grow larger around. Always have been for me at least, other people do report other shapes.

Random Energy. Maybe energy for some reason just materialized there in the room. I don’t have any idea about this. I did think that if I touched the white sphere maybe I would spontaneously combust. Maybe this is what happens to people that do. The ball touches them and they burst into flames. Who knows, right? Two unexplained phenomena that might be explained a bit when combined. Read more about Spontaneous Human Combustion (SHC) here.

Alien or Being from Another Dimension. As much as it is hard to believe, there doesn’t seem to be any more rational explanation for this experience. I love the idea too, so, I’m leaning toward this one.

God. If God came here and floated in the air above me, there must have been a point. I don’t see the point because it seems nothing was asked of or communicated to me. I sincerely doubt this one. Maybe God doesn’t want me to write “Recipe for Chaos” but, no message like that was communicated, so the book will be written!

My video about the experience shortly after it occurred:

If you have had any experience similar to this at all, would you let me know in the comments section? It’d be interesting to hear all about it!

My wife and daughter and I will be traveling to Surat Thani this weekend to pick someone up from the train station there. We’ll stay at the same hotel and in the same room as where I had the weird experience. I’ll have a camera or two constantly ready to go so maybe I can get it on video or capture some photos.