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Old 12th March 2019, 08:35 AM   #1
isissxn
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UFO Attack!

Skeptic friends, help me out here. I know there's a logical explanation.

Sunday night, I was minding my own business at home, when the power abruptly went out. No storm or rain or high winds were occurring, so I hoped it would just be a blip. I went and looked out the window - houses and streetlights were all dark. As I stood there, the ENTIRE SKY suddenly lit up. I mean, it lit the hell up. It was like some god flipped on a massive fluorescent light switch.

So I'm startled as hell, trying to figure out if this was dry lightning or something, when the ******* sky was illuminated again with something unlike anything I've seen. It was a blue explosion - I don't know how else to describe it. I didn't hear any sounds this whole time, but it genuinely looked a blue nuclear explosion in the sky. I saw a sort of mushroom cloud, almost. A big blue mushroom in the sky. I know that's a stupid way to describe it, but I truly can't think of another.

I was convinced it was the apocalypse and ran hysterically to pound on my neighbor's door. My neighbor, however, could probably sleep through an actual nuclear bomb. He'd been dozing, hadn't seen anything, and just didn't seem that concerned despite my obvious upset. Obviously phones and internet were out. I didn't see people flooding out into the streets or anything. So, hell, I just went home and peered nervously out the windows for awhile. I didn't see anything else. About 30 minutes later, the power came back on.

I checked the next day. Nothing in the news, nothing on the electric company's website. Nothing even on the local subreddit. I did some googling "blue flash in the sky," "blue explosion power outage" and the like. I came up with a few videos of some power surge event that happened in New York once, but I honestly can't tell if it's the same kind of thing I saw. I was so startled, the memory is already wonky.

So, what was this? I know it wasn't an alien UFO, although that's the explanation my woo-loving friends prefer. They think I had a close encounter. I'm more concerned I'm seeing things!

Last edited by isissxn; 12th March 2019 at 08:40 AM. Reason: it was Sunday night, not Saturday night :)
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Old 12th March 2019, 08:39 AM   #2
Spektator
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Power transformers can do that when they short out.
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Old 12th March 2019, 08:44 AM   #3
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Originally Posted by Spektator View Post
Power transformers can do that when they short out.
I saw some things in my later googling about transformer shorts making blue light, but this was the SKY. It didn't look like it was coming from the power lines, though I wouldn't be qualified to say. It looked like it was coming from bloody heaven, lol.

Just to be clear, I'm not disputing you. Just making sure I clarified my description of the event. I do not believe in aliens or gods, and it would take a great deal to change that fact.
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Old 12th March 2019, 08:45 AM   #4
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
I saw some things in my later googling about transformer shorts making blue light, but this was the SKY. It didn't look like it was coming from the power lines, though I wouldn't be qualified to say. It looked like it was coming from bloody heaven, lol.

Just to be clear, I'm not disputing you. Just making sure I clarified my description of the event. I do not believe in aliens or gods, and it would take a great deal to change that fact.
The explanation is a valid one. If the transformer was beyond trees or past a hill and the sky was overcast (or some other confluence of factors) the light could seem to originate in the sky while actually originating at the transformer. I've seen it, too.
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Old 12th March 2019, 08:51 AM   #5
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Wow, that's actually pretty awesome! I have to say, I hadn't felt cosmic fear like that since I was a tiny child and thought the moon looked like it was falling. (My mom had a hellish week the time I got that into my head, hahaha.) I just had absolutely no idea what I was looking at, and by the next day, I'd started wondering if it was even real. Which actually scared me more, since I knew I hadn't been asleep. I'd honestly begun to consider delusion.

I'm quite relieved to know it was more likely just the magic of electricity!
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Old 12th March 2019, 09:15 AM   #6
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Quite possibly a percusor to an Alien invasion. Many reports have started out as a blue mushroom flash in the sky as you describe, followed by multiple sightings by groups of people. The blue mushroom flash is what happens when you leave hyper space. Your neighbours may have been mind wiped, hence the collective amnesia.

Stay vigilant.

Power transformers indeed.....
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Old 12th March 2019, 09:20 AM   #7
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Originally Posted by Spektator View Post
Power transformers can do that when they short out.
^Bingo^

I've witnessed a transformer blow at a P.G. & E. substation at night while responding to an unrelated call.

Scared the living **** out of me (the explosion was closer to an HE detonation that gunfire) and it first turned night into day and then as it wound down turned the sky purple/blue.
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:26 AM   #8
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You could call the electrical company ask about your power outage.
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:44 AM   #9
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An FB friend not far from you reported same mystery explosion. Since no one is reporting nuclear devastation today, it was likely a transformer blew.
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:47 AM   #10
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
An FB friend not far from you reported same mystery explosion. Since no one is reporting nuclear devastation today, it was likely a transformer blew.
Well, of course no one reported nuclear devastation. If there was nuclear devastation who would be around to report it. Since no one reported nuclear devastation this must in fact be taken as evidence in support of there being nuclear devastation.
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:54 AM   #11
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Wow, that's actually pretty awesome! I have to say, I hadn't felt cosmic fear like that since I was a tiny child and thought the moon looked like it was falling. (My mom had a hellish week the time I got that into my head, hahaha.) I just had absolutely no idea what I was looking at, and by the next day, I'd started wondering if it was even real. Which actually scared me more, since I knew I hadn't been asleep. I'd honestly begun to consider delusion.

I'm quite relieved to know it was more likely just the magic of electricity!
We were out sitting in a hot tub under the stars one night (in 2002, I think), when the sky began rolling and boiling with eerie orange and red light. This was in Northern California where aurora displays are very rare.

At least one of us (not me) had his experience enhanced by "Humboldt Gold." So by proxy we were treated to an apocalypse.

Later we learned that a huge solar flare was responsible for our light show.
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Old 12th March 2019, 10:59 AM   #12
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Originally Posted by Garrette View Post
Well, of course no one reported nuclear devastation. If there was nuclear devastation who would be around to report it. Since no one reported nuclear devastation this must in fact be taken as evidence in support of there being nuclear devastation.
Undoubtedly the entirety of North America was wiped out!
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:01 AM   #13
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What time did this happen? You said night, but for some people that can be anytime between sunset and sunrise.

Did you hear a loud explosion, rumbling, anything?
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:03 AM   #14
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
An FB friend not far from you reported same mystery explosion. Since no one is reporting nuclear devastation today, it was likely a transformer blew.
She has not yet said that she heard any sound.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:04 AM   #15
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When I was a kid I lived in a wooded town, but fairly near a state highway. One day I looked out my window down the valley, and a huge sky-filling blue flash was occurring. It lit up the sky and reflected off the clouds making its precise location difficult to pinpoint. Quite spectacular. A little later the power went out. The cause was that a squirrel had electrocuted itself on a transformer (e.t.a. about a half mile from my location). Great wonderment was expressed by many that a single squirrel could have caused such a light show, not to mention the power outage. But it did.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:53 AM   #16
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Originally Posted by Jungle Jim View Post
You could call the electrical company ask about your power outage.
I thought about that, but calling them is a pain in the ass. You end up on hold forever, and they usually list info about outages on their website anyway. But not always.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:55 AM   #17
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Originally Posted by Apathia View Post
An FB friend not far from you reported same mystery explosion. Since no one is reporting nuclear devastation today, it was likely a transformer blew.
Ah, I knew I might be missing others commenting on the incident since I'm not on social media. I'm not acquainted with most of my neighborhood, and I didn't figure that telling them I saw blue lights in the sky would be a great opener.
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Old 12th March 2019, 12:04 PM   #18
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
What time did this happen? You said night, but for some people that can be anytime between sunset and sunrise.

Did you hear a loud explosion, rumbling, anything?
Yeah, I should have been more specific. It was late, between midnight and 1 am. Street was dead, accordingly.

One of the creepy parts about the whole thing was that I heard no accompanying sound at all. No booms, no popping sounds like fireworks, no rumbling or vibrations like something had blown up somewhere. At the time, that made it seem much more surreal.

Oh - before anyone thinks I'm the turd of the century for waking up my neighbor at that hour, he works late and hadn't even been home long. (I know because my walls shake every time he closes his front door, yay.) He was dozing on the couch with a beer, not properly in bed.

Although, since I thought it was the apocalypse, odds are I would have gone over regardless.
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Old 12th March 2019, 12:16 PM   #19
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Originally Posted by bruto View Post
When I was a kid I lived in a wooded town, but fairly near a state highway. One day I looked out my window down the valley, and a huge sky-filling blue flash was occurring. It lit up the sky and reflected off the clouds making its precise location difficult to pinpoint. Quite spectacular. A little later the power went out. The cause was that a squirrel had electrocuted itself on a transformer (e.t.a. about a half mile from my location). Great wonderment was expressed by many that a single squirrel could have caused such a light show, not to mention the power outage. But it did.
Oh wow, that actually sounds pretty similar to what I saw, except for the fact that the power went off first in my case. Thinking back, I guess the "mushroom cloud" type visual may have been caused by the blue flash lighting up a cloudy night sky.
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Old 12th March 2019, 01:42 PM   #20
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
She has not yet said that she heard any sound.
Ah, then, it's like that tree that fell in the forest. And it's anecdotal only.
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Old 12th March 2019, 02:17 PM   #21
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Yeah, I should have been more specific. It was late, between midnight and 1 am. Street was dead, accordingly.

One of the creepy parts about the whole thing was that I heard no accompanying sound at all. No booms, no popping sounds like fireworks, no rumbling or vibrations like something had blown up somewhere. At the time, that made it seem much more surreal.

Oh - before anyone thinks I'm the turd of the century for waking up my neighbor at that hour, he works late and hadn't even been home long. (I know because my walls shake every time he closes his front door, yay.) He was dozing on the couch with a beer, not properly in bed.

Although, since I thought it was the apocalypse, odds are I would have gone over regardless.
So most people were asleep because of the time that it occurred. Many wouldn't have awakened at all if it was silent.

The sky illuminated after the power went out. That seems unusual for a blown transformer. Maybe there was a flash illumination when it first went out which you didn't see because you weren't looking outside at the instant that you lost power. Then maybe the sudden illumination that you saw was a second transformer blowout. Hell I don't know.

Quote:
Nothing in the news, nothing on the electric company's website.
How can the electric company not have any mention of a widespread power outage? Go look at their site again. Also try Google by naming your area and "power outage" maybe put the date. You cannot be the only person to see such an amazing light show so there has got to be some people talking about it.
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Old 12th March 2019, 03:55 PM   #22
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
How can the electric company not have any mention of a widespread power outage? Go look at their site again. Also try Google by naming your area and "power outage" maybe put the date. You cannot be the only person to see such an amazing light show so there has got to be some people talking about it.
My guess is that it wasn't widespread. My view from my window isn't extensive. There's still nothing mentioned on the website. They don't always put it there. The power was back on within 30 minutes. I'm just wondering what the hell the flashes were all about.

I'm sure at least a few people are mentioning it on Facebook, but I can't see.

Google turned up a few people describing what seem to be similar experiences. The answer I see proposed the most involves transformers doing... something.
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Old 12th March 2019, 04:02 PM   #23
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Ten years ago by timestamp, a guy on the Starman forums (whatever those are, I was just googling) posted about something similar to what I saw. Power outage, weird blue illuminations in the night sky, no sounds, no storm, power back half hour later. One of the only serious responses he received included the following explanation:

"You saw the flash of an electrical arc on the power system that services your house. An automated breaker started regulating the power by cutting the power to the arc (and your house) which was probably releasing more power than the lines can handle. Then either another portion of the power system upstream of the breaker also shorted and caused the second flash, or the automated breaker attempted to reestablish power automatically and had a second fault, which probably kept your power off until cleared by the power company."

Does that sound correct to people here who understand such things a bit better than me? Could it cause what I described?

This guy didn't mention "mushroom cloud" imagery, but the sky might not have been cloudy for him that night whereas it was for me. This is my hypothesis now.

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Old 12th March 2019, 04:23 PM   #24
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Probably a power transformer, there were no reported meteors on Sunday night:

https://www.amsmeteors.org/?mod=article_inline
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Old 12th March 2019, 04:30 PM   #25
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Typical pole mounted transformer explosion:

YouTube Video This video is not hosted by the ISF. The ISF can not be held responsible for the suitability or legality of this material. By clicking the link below you agree to view content from an external website.
I AGREE


This is similar to my experience:

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Old 12th March 2019, 04:33 PM   #26
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Did'nt they have a few "Twilight Zone" and "Outer Limits" episodes like this?
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Old 12th March 2019, 04:55 PM   #27
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Originally Posted by BStrong View Post
Typical pole mounted transformer explosion:

This is similar to my experience:
Those don't seem to be anything like she is describing. The entire sky illuminated for her. The heavens lit up.
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Old 12th March 2019, 05:33 PM   #28
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Those don't seem to be anything like she is describing. The entire sky illuminated for her. The heavens lit up.
Well, from my considerably startled and confounded perspective, that's what it seemed like. But I can't say that's exactly how it was.

I know what I saw wasn't really like the second video. Not sure about the first.
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Old 12th March 2019, 05:56 PM   #29
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The two possibilities I would favour is the one already mentioned (transformer exploding) or a sectionalizer tripping out. Transformers tend to serve a reasonably large area, but sectionalizers service smaller areas.

Sectionalizers are designed to cut power to a small section of the grid in the case of an electrical short, for example when lines touch together in high winds, or a power line is brought down. If you ever have all the lights in your house suddenly dim, this can often be a sectionalizer tripping out in an area not directly serving your area. Those in the area it serves lose power but your area just sees the dimming as all the voltage drops before the sectionalizer trips out to isolate the fault.

Sometimes, linesmen will manually switch a sectionalizer for an area they wish to work on (if you ever see a power pole that has a long lever part way up the pole, that power pole has a sectionalizer installed, and the handle is for switching it manually).

A sectionalizer tripping put can be a spectacular sight, arcing and flashing. It could be even worse in a humid or damp atmosphere, and I could easily see how it could appear to light up the whole sky if there is a low cloud base and/or a small amount of haze or fog. That lighting up could also be a very local phenomena, and might not be visible to anyone more than half a mile away.

Finally, tripping sectionalizers are a lot more common than exploding transformers.
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Old 12th March 2019, 06:02 PM   #30
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Oh wow, that actually sounds pretty similar to what I saw, except for the fact that the power went off first in my case. Thinking back, I guess the "mushroom cloud" type visual may have been caused by the blue flash lighting up a cloudy night sky.
That's what I was going to say. A ground-based light source reflecting off the underside of a cloud layer.
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Old 12th March 2019, 06:07 PM   #31
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Is it safe to say UFOs are still unidentified.
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Old 12th March 2019, 08:48 PM   #32
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I'm sorry, it was me, I was lighting farts in your neighborhood.
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Old 12th March 2019, 11:30 PM   #33
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I posted here about a similar experience where the sky and ground lit up a brilliant blue-white as if the world's biggest arc welder had struck an arc.

IIRC there was no sound though, and no power failure.

I discussed it here, but I can't find it now.
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2 prints, same midtarsal crock..., I mean break?
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:05 AM   #34
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:11 AM   #35
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When I was in my teens, a friend and I had just got off work at the local Jack-in-the-Box at 3 am, and I was giving him a ride home. As we started to pull off the lot, the whole sky lit up blue for a moment, freaking us out quite effectively. Being teenagers with nothing better to do, we drove in what seemed like the primary direction the light came from. A few blocks away we came across a very fresh, very nasty accident. A long, fairly straight section of downhill road with a curve to the right at the bottom had a car go straight at the curve, and clean through a power pole, splintering it from the ground to the transformer at the top. The car, a full sized 70's something-or-other, was a mangled blue ball, it's occupant killed on impact. Pretty gruesome thing to run onto, but it did quickly explain what we'd seen minutes earlier. What you saw could have been a car accident with a power pole too.
The commonality seems to be, it very likely involved a lot of electricity going someplace it wasn't intended to be, and the resulting effects of it's arrival there.
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:28 AM   #36
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Originally Posted by William Parcher View Post
Those don't seem to be anything like she is describing. The entire sky illuminated for her. The heavens lit up.
Did you not watch the second video?
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:30 AM   #37
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Originally Posted by isissxn View Post
Well, from my considerably startled and confounded perspective, that's what it seemed like. But I can't say that's exactly how it was.

I know what I saw wasn't really like the second video. Not sure about the first.
The second video went on and on but it's quite common for one large light-the-sky-blue flash when a transformer station blows up. There are dozens of videos on the net.

Was it like this one? Scroll down for the longer video.

I've never heard of one lasting that long but now I have.
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:33 AM   #38
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Originally Posted by LTC8K6 View Post
I posted here about a similar experience where the sky and ground lit up a brilliant blue-white as if the world's biggest arc welder had struck an arc.

IIRC there was no sound though, and no power failure.

I discussed it here, but I can't find it now.
The power outage could have been a distance away or there could have been a power rerouting that kicked in.
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Old 13th March 2019, 08:38 AM   #39
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Originally Posted by Skeptic Ginger View Post
Did you not watch the second video?
Yes I did, and the entire sky does not illuminate. Those blue flashes are large but localized.
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Old 13th March 2019, 09:38 AM   #40
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Originally Posted by smartcooky View Post
The two possibilities I would favour is the one already mentioned (transformer exploding) or a sectionalizer tripping out. Transformers tend to serve a reasonably large area, but sectionalizers service smaller areas.

Sectionalizers are designed to cut power to a small section of the grid in the case of an electrical short, for example when lines touch together in high winds, or a power line is brought down. If you ever have all the lights in your house suddenly dim, this can often be a sectionalizer tripping out in an area not directly serving your area. Those in the area it serves lose power but your area just sees the dimming as all the voltage drops before the sectionalizer trips out to isolate the fault.

Sometimes, linesmen will manually switch a sectionalizer for an area they wish to work on (if you ever see a power pole that has a long lever part way up the pole, that power pole has a sectionalizer installed, and the handle is for switching it manually).

A sectionalizer tripping put can be a spectacular sight, arcing and flashing. It could be even worse in a humid or damp atmosphere, and I could easily see how it could appear to light up the whole sky if there is a low cloud base and/or a small amount of haze or fog. That lighting up could also be a very local phenomena, and might not be visible to anyone more than half a mile away.

Finally, tripping sectionalizers are a lot more common than exploding transformers.
Thanks for the detailed explanation! This all makes a lot of sense. Sounds like a likely culprit.
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