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From the Files of the RJ's Surrealist Research Bureau

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From the Files of the RJ's Surrealist Research Bureau

A Norwegian light show reminds us of the mysteries in light

The incredible light show over Oslo, Norway in early December of last month, despite being later traced to a failed Soviet missile launch, was at first assumed to be yet another anomalous manifestation of the Northern Lights (Aurora Borealis). It serves to remind us that eerie phenomena still holds more than a few mysteries behind its undulating, curtain-like folds of shimmering lights.

For instance, according to modern Northern Lights researchers, the lights cannot descend below 80 kilometers, yet there are hundreds of well-attested accounts, many done with instruments, of auroras appearing between observers and nearby terrestrial objects. Out of scores of accounts I’ll quote just one, from a radio engineer in the Northwest territories: “The auroral curtain was pale green and a two-story building could be seen beyond and through it. No sensation could be felt on walking right into the curtain, which disappeared from the view of anyone approaching closely; however, other people a hundred yards away could readily see the observer enter and pass through the curtain.”

Occasionally too are reports of auroral “odors,” chiefly ozone and sulfur, or auroras with unusual geometries (such as the spiral-shaped Russian rocket trail over Norway) like loops, arches, balls of fire, sawtooth shapes and more. Then there’s a possible related phenomena called “sky-brightening” in which these rare, milky-white enhancements of the night sky are strong enough to read newspapers outdoors at midnight. I’ll quote from only one of hundreds such accounts; “I awoke briefly at 3 am and noticed my room was bright as day. Knowing there was no moon, I went out to the patio and to my surprise saw everything illuminated with a pale greenish light so intense we could read by it, the atmosphere was hazy and we could not make out the stars and the light seemed to be general and came from no fixed direction.”

Then there’s still other poorly understood auroral phenomena; so-called “black auroras,” intensely black, well-defined arches, streamers, and curtains similar to regular auroral displays only obsidian black! There’s also banded skies—vast arrays of luminous strips or bands stretching from one horizon to the other. The “Andes Lights” may be yet another form of poorly understood auroral display, “There are, at times, a constant play of searchlights about the Andean summits, the color pale yellow. The most striking feature is that during earthquakes they are especially magnificent. During the Great Chilean Earthquake of 1906, along the entire Andes the whole sky seemed to be on fire from searchlights flashing wildly from the peaks and summits.”

I could go on in this vein for a while but space forbids, and the bizarre, related phenomena of St. Elmo’s Fire or balled lightning both rightly deserve bloody, despicable, columns of their own so I’ll leave you for now. For those interested in researching further, most of the witness quotes I’ve used are from the book “Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights and Related Luminous Phenomena” by Wm. Corliss. ‘til next time; Yours for a Strong America and All Homage to Xena!

“That is the way,” he pointed.

“But there are no steps” I replied.

“You must throw yourself in,

there is no other way.”

          George MacDonald

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Jody Forest Jody Forest When he's not hidden behind the palatial gates of his Dover estate, Casa de Bozo, Jody is out using outdated and corny pickup lines on various gullible women.

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