SyFy - Original Air Date: 5/14/2013
In 1978, a weird glowing ball of light appeared to a boy in Bell Island, Newfoundland, before vanishing. Other people on Bell Island reported strange electromagnetic effects from the light, including shock waves and exploding fuses and TVs, and 3 holes "drilled" in the ground. It was like a bomb had gone off, without a bomb. The RCMP concluded it was lightning, but some people claim that three men from Los Alamos Lab (in the US) came and questioned witnesses. Journalist Brian Dunning believes it was part of a series of booms at the time and was likely caused by overflight by the Concorde Super-Sonic Transport passenger plane -- a new phenomenon at the time. Engineering professor Karl Stephan thinks it might have been caused by a super lightning bolt - a positive-charged freak of nature. (Most lightning is negatively charged.) Superbolts usually occur in the upper atmosphere over oceans, but can cause severe damage on the ground. He thinks it could also have caused ball lighting (seen by the boy), which is so incredibly rare it can't effectively be studied. One researcher, though, believes the effect was caused by accidental EMF build up caused by a Soviet early warning system called the "Woodpecker Signal."
Does a deadly time-bending fog haunt Lake Michigan? One woman reports a series of disorienting events, including a boat spinning around and "losing" two hours. One man calls it "electronic fog," and believes it can magnetically attach to a vessel and disorient both people and instruments. He thinks it may be associated with freak lighting storms. But Dr. Donadrian Rice believes the explanation is much simpler: hallucinations caused by disorientation, and the time loss is merely a result of that and normal human perception of time flowing at different rates. He's conducted experiments in sensory deprivation where subjects report strange visions and believe the experiment lasted 5 minutes, though it actually lasted 20. It's caused, he says, by the human brain trying to make sense out of situations where the senses have been deprived. One paranormal author believes that the effect is caused by "ley lines" -- lines of paranormal force -- encircling the earth. Where the lines cross in "powerful areas," vortex hyperspace spots/portals are formed. (Too bad he has no actual proof of this.)
In 1979, two blinding flashes of light (seen by satellite) lit up a remote area of the southern Indian Ocean and sent world powers into high alert against possible nuclear war. But planes and inspectors checking for radiation found nothing, so the event remains a mystery. One nuclear weapons designer, Thomas Reed, believes it was a nuclear test, and satellite data seems to confirm the signature "double flash" of energy. He thinks that the test was conducted over the ocean and when weather (a typhoon) would wash the radiation away; he thinks it was an Israeli test (with support from South Africa). Physicist Richard Muller, who investigated the incident for the government, came to a different conclusion. The two satellite meter readings don't match, and Muller believes that a micrometeorite knocked dust in front of the two satellite sensors -- and a dim flash close up was mistaken for a bright flash thousands of miles away on the Earth's surface. Muller dismisses conspiracy theories, saying these things "...were pretty much settled by people who understood the arguments at the time."