Wild Blue Yonder: San Francisco Photos indicate Shuttle Columbia was struck by Hyper-Lightning on Reentry

by Guy Cramer


The Photos NASA won't yet release to the public concerning lightning apparently striking the Shuttle Columbia on reentry over San Francisco minutes before the breakup have been released in the United Kingdom on a TV documentary called Megalightning. The Columbia Accident Investigation Board reviewed the photos but claimed that the anomaly must be due to camera shake and not an actual lighting strike as no thunder storm was in the local area as had been seen in previous research on high altitude lightning. I have posted these photos from the TV show below. Since receiving these photos in January 2005 provided from Andy Robins (used from the documentary), I have requested the actual photos directly from NASA Administration through the Freedom of Information Act but have not received anything in six months. The evidence within the photos is contrary to the CAIB expert evaluation which may be why the photos have been kept out of public scrutiny. 


I corresponded with NASA JPL about three years ago on a research program, they required an expert in Air Ions and had been told I was the expert. They said at the end of the research that I had saved them 10-15 years of time with the material I provided them. Understandably when the Columbia accident occurred, due to the region of the atmosphere where the initial problems occurred (ionosphere) I began to conduct my own research which was later reviewed by the CAIB.    


Four photos taken from San Francisco (Click each to enlarge)


Photo 1
Photo removed at the request of the photographer


Photo 2

Photo removed at the request of the photographer


Photo 3

Photo removed at the request of the photographer


Photo 4

Photo removed at the request of the photographer


San Francisco Photo #3 (contrary to CAIB there is no evidence of camera shake on any of the objects in this photo). The shutter on the camera was open for 4-6 seconds so the strike could have occurred right at the shuttle and not on the contrail as it appears below.

Photo removed at the request of the photographer


Note enhanced illumination of ionized contrail from the bolt on.

Photo removed at the request of the photographer



Photo #3 closeup (mark on the bottom of Picture is from the video and not part of the original photo)

Photo removed at the request of the photographer



NASA dispatched former shuttle astronaut Tammy Jernigan, now a manager at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, to the San Francisco home of the astronomer to examine his digital images and to take the camera itself to Mountain View, where it was transported by a NASA T-38 jet to Houston, these images above were never released from NASA or the CAIB to the public.


Prior to the accident NASA set up an investigation committee to analyze the dangers of megalightning for space craft and air accident investigators have recommended a six-fold increase in the resilience of some aircraft construction materials to protect fully against the powers of this positively charged super-lightning which can fire above the clouds to a height more than 20 times that of Mount Everest. Itís at least ten times more powerful than conventional, negatively charged lightning. Some experts fear some forms may eventually be found to be the culprit in a number of mystery disasters involving airliners and space craft.

New information in January 2005 based on the research of STS-107 (astronaut Ilan Ramon's experiments) shows a new form of high altitude lightning with no thundercloud activity called "TIGER" (Transient Ionospheric Glow Emission in Red). The reason the experts and CAIB dismissed the San Francisco (corkscrew Lightning) photo was the lack of thunderclouds in the region and no other objective examples of this new form of lightning. My review of the TIGER event shows a similar pattern to the San Francisco photo - no thunderclouds in the region and a corkscrew bolt. I have included the photos below of both the TIGER and the Hyper Lightning, a name I have given to the San Francisco bolt (Hyper-Lightning would be an artificially induced TIGER event which strikes a hypersonic vehicle without leaving detectable low-frequency sound waves - infrasound). I initially thought the term Hobbit would do but the term had little to do with the anomaly.


The TIGER event also has a corkscrew behind it, difficult to see but it's there (I did some enhancement on the entire picture to better show the corkscrew) which starts right under the T in the word TIGER and travels left to right. Air Ions charges do corkscrew with altitude as per my research in the Southern Hemisphere Study 1990.


Original Photo unaltered


Enhanced 1


Enhanced 2


Hyper-Lightning with similar corkscrew effect with Shuttle Contrail

Photo removed at the request of the photographer



If the Shuttle was struck by a high altitude lightning event(s) on re-entry this doesn't mean that there wasn't already wing damage, in-fact damage to the leading edge at MACH 18 and the resulting buildup of charge from the damaged area may have triggered this event as can be seen in the direction of the strike from the left side of the contrail, however, given the expected voltages of a lightning event at altitude and conductive material of the RCC panels may have turned the damaged area from a minor problem (where the shuttle may have been able to land) into catastrophic damage. 


My concern that if this potential is not recognized, future space craft may be put into the same danger where a few simple precautions can drastically reduce or eliminate this risk of Hyper-Lightning Strikes.


As I stated in the conclusion of my paper: Shuttle Columbia Disaster: Wrong Place, Wrong Time! "(Solar) Shockwaves detected by ACE and SOHO must be factored into future spacecraft landings and launching, any sign of a shockwave and the landing must be delayed. Landings and launchings should also take place when the landing path is not in sunlight so the spacecraft doesn't cross either the morning or evening sunlight transitions to avoid potential charged sheets in the ionosphere. The Russian results on acoustic testing of the Barun project should be reviewed for potential changes to the heat shield and structure modifications."


Ironic that the event that the CAIB dismissed because science had never seen an event like this without a thundercloud present was shown to be possible from the research later analyzed by Israeli researchers (almost 2 years after the accident) initially recorded earlier in the mission from the same Shuttle Flight.


Go to the Home Page www.SuperForce.com 



Shuttle Columbia Disaster: Wrong Place, Wrong Time!


Megalightning: Stranger than Fiction










This material is Copyright © 2003-2005, by Guy Cramer, All Rights Reserved.
This material cannot be reproduced in any form without the expressed written permission of the Author. Whole Copies may be printed for personal use; no changes are to be made to the content, names or references.


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