11 June 2010

A Human Lightning Rod

A man who has been struck by lighting seven times.

Roy Cleveland Sullivan, a retired forest ranger from Waynesboro, Virginia, was known as the Human Lightning Rod because he was struck by lightning SEVEN times in the course of his thirty-six-year career.

The first strike, in 1942, caused the loss of a big toenail. Twenty-seven years later a second bolt burned his eyebrows off. The following year, in 1970, a third bolt seared his left shoulder.

After Sullivan's hair was set afire by a forth strike in 1972, he began hauling a bucket of water around with him in his car. He was driving on August 7, 1973, as a bolt came out of a small, low-lying cloud, hit him on the head through the hat, set his hair on fire again, knocked him ten feet out of his car, went through both legs and knocked his shoe off. Sullivan poured the bucket of water over his head to cool off.

Sullivan was struck for the sixth time on June 5, 1976, hurting his ankle. The seventh blow from above hit Sullivan on June 25, 1977, while he was fishing. He required hospitalization for stomach and chest burns on that occasion. Though he was never able to explain his peculiar attraction for lightning, Sullivan once said that he could actually see the bolts as they headed for him.

At 3 A.M. on the morning of September 28, 1983, Sullivan, aged seventy-one, took his own life with a bullet. Two of his Ranger hats, burned through the crown by lightning blasts, now reside in Guinness World Exhibit Halls in New York City and Myrtle Beach, South Carolina, proof that lightning DOES strike the same place twice.

Unbelievable? Believe it!

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