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Lightning strike wrecked my TV

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A PENSIONER had the shock of his life when ball lightning shot through his front window.

A PENSIONER had the shock of his life when ball lightning shot through his front window. Roy Falla, 80, was watching TV at his home in Lowlands Road, St Sampson's, when the phenomenon struck, causing the set to fail.

Amateur meteorologist Paul Domaille has investigated more than 50 reports of ball lightning from Thursday last week ' seen at the same time as a Flybe aircraft was struck twice in mid-air.

So-called lightning balls penetrated at least four homes in the north of the island. It can enter and exit properties without leaving a mark. Mr Falla was about to go to bed when the loudest clap of thunder he had ever heard went off.

A split second later, a lightning ball entered his lounge through the window and closed curtains and the television broke.

'I was absolutely petrified,' he said.

'It made a hissing noise and I would say it went dead centre into the back of the TV.'

Mr Falla examined that the set, which he expected to be warm, but could find nothing obviously wrong. As he opened the curtains to look outside, he heard an aircraft, which he believes was the Flybe Dash 8 that had been forced to abort its flight to Exeter.

'I pulled the curtains back to see, but the glass was fine.

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'The thing that amazed was that the ball came through the window without causing any damage. The thing I don't know is where it really went.'

The ball was a yellow/white colour and about the size of a football.

Mr Falla said he went to bed 'shaking like a leaf'. He was so worried that he had imagined the whole thing that he did not tell his daughter of his experience for a week.

'I thought that no one would believe me and I certainly hope I don't see another one. Just what can a thing like that do?'

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Others also heard the clap of thunder.

'My neighbour told me she'd been having a bath and she'd never got out so quick.'

Mr Domaille, 49, is a member of Torro ' the Tornado and Storm Research Organisation. Last Friday, he overheard a conversation in a shop suggesting that a person from St Martin's had seen ball lightning, which is unusual.

He asked the Guernsey Press to help him find that person. The following day after a story was published, he received more than 50 calls from people who had seen the phenomenon and was on the phone for about five hours.

One or possibly two balls were seen around Jerbourg Point and another above the Crown Pier. Mr Domaille posted his findings on the Torro forum and amateur meteorologists from as far afield as Russia and Australia have shown an interest.

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