UFO UpDates
A mailing list for the study of UFO-related phenomena
'Its All Here In Black & White'
Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jul > Jul 3

Re: Burning Gas In Tornadoes Causes Many UFOs?

From: Greg St. Pierre <StrmNut@aol.com>
Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 22:08:08 EDT
Fwd Date: Fri, 03 Jul 1998 01:46:39 -0400
Subject: Re: Burning Gas In Tornadoes Causes Many UFOs?

In a message dated 98-07-02 09:56:24 EDT, you write:

>From: Stig_Agermose@online.pol.dk (Stig Agermose)
>To: updates@globalserve.net
>Date: Thu, 2 Jul 1998 03:24:36 +0200
>Subject: Burning Gas Inside Tornadoes Cause Of Many UFOs?

>A new theory advanced by a University of Canterbury scientist suggests
>many unidentified flying objects are balls of burning gas trapped
>inside tornadoes.

>Researcher Peter Coleman said his theory, published in a book, Ball
>Lightning: A Scientific Mystery Explained, could apply to the Kaikoura
>UFO sightings of 1978 and 1979, the Tunguska explosion in Siberia in
>1908, human combustion, and numerous types of mysterious lights in the

>According to the theory, ball lightning is produced when natural gas in
>the atmosphere is caught in a vortex, then ignited by an electrical
>charge such as conventional lightning or static electricity.

>"If you had a tornado and you had a flame inside you would expect it to
>blow out but there is a property called vortex breakdown that allows
>the flame to survive in this high air speed environment. The vortex
>bursts and creates recirculation like an eddy in a stream which allows
>reduced air flow or stagnant air.

This person clearly knows very little about tornadoes. He seems
to be saying that people are reporting UFOs inside same. To my
knowledge, the only report that comes close is one of two
wherein a witness was able to look up inside a tornado as it
passed over. The witness described a shimmering cloud partway up
the funnel, whose sides did not contact the rotating walls. This
could have easily been accounted for by visible condensation
(tornadoes often have several distinct "walls") being
illuminated by light filtering in through the sides of the main
funnel. That doesn't even remotely sound like any of the ball
lighting reports with which I am familiar. In fact, I know of no
reports of ball lighting being reported in or near
tornado-producing storms (tornadoes themselves being relatively
rare). I just don't see the connection.

Additionally, ball lighting has been reported to pass through
electrically conductive materials, such as aircraft skin
(aluminum), and non conductive ones, such as glass. Apparently
they left their parent vortices outside to go in and have a look
around. Can natural gas be ionized, and would that change its
state sufficiently enough to allow it to pass through relatively
solid matter?

I know that plasma is one of the theories, but this guy seems to
be saying that the natural gas is merely on fire. If that were
the case, one would think the gas would be used up in short
order. There is also the matter of BL's apparent bouyancy. If it
were on fire, would it still remain dense enough to keep it from
rising up, or rather from having the cooler, denser surrounding
air slip underneath?

>It is like turning on your stove," said Mr Coleman, who has
>demonstrated the effect in his laboratory using a vacuum
cleaner, >pipes, and a camp stove.

I don't know....maybe I shouldn't argue with a man who sets
natural gas on fire inside a pipe with a camp stove and a