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  #1  
Old 03-31-2012, 07:47 AM
scamartistry scamartistry is offline
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Man hit by lightning SEVEN times. Is this possible?

Read about this guy in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He claims to have been struck by lightning seven times. I thought it was urban legend but it seems somewhat legit. would love to get some straight dope on this.

second question if this is true, what is the explanation - just bad luck?

Last edited by scamartistry; 03-31-2012 at 07:49 AM..
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  #2  
Old 03-31-2012, 07:49 AM
benbo1 benbo1 is offline
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must be an attractive guy (I crack myself up)
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  #3  
Old 03-31-2012, 09:16 AM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is offline
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Originally Posted by scamartistry View Post
Read about this guy in the Guinness Book of World Records.
He claims to have been struck by lightning seven times. I thought it was urban legend but it seems somewhat legit. would love to get some straight dope on this.

second question if this is true, what is the explanation - just bad luck?
It's nothing surprising- he was a park ranger who spent a lot of time in those really tall fire watch towers in national parks. Basically, the reason he's been hit so many times is because he's spent so much time in situations that would expose him to more opportunities to be hit.

I've been hit twice. The first time I was standing on a mountain watching a thunderstorm roll in, and the second time I was kayaking down a river in a thunderstorm. Neither one of those would've happened if I'd had the sense to stay inside.
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Old 03-31-2012, 09:24 AM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
Basically, the reason he's been hit so many times is because he's spent so much time in situations that would expose him to more opportunities to be hit.
That was what I was going to say. I have had several very close calls. I like to kayak. I have vitiligo, so I especially enjoy kayaking under cloud cover. I'm often in situations where I'm scurrying for shore/cover as the big storm rolls in.
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  #5  
Old 03-31-2012, 10:02 AM
johnpost johnpost is offline
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Originally Posted by scamartistry View Post
second question if this is true, what is the explanation - just bad luck?
i would call that very good luck.
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  #6  
Old 03-31-2012, 10:22 AM
Tom Tildrum Tom Tildrum is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
It's nothing surprising- he was a park ranger who spent a lot of time in those really tall fire watch towers in national parks. Basically, the reason he's been hit so many times is because he's spent so much time in situations that would expose him to more opportunities to be hit.
But he was also hit in his front yard, in his truck, and while fishing somewhere.

It's sad that he survived all those murder attempts from the gods and then killed himself.
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  #7  
Old 03-31-2012, 12:36 PM
Thudlow Boink Thudlow Boink is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
I've been hit twice. The first time I was standing on a mountain watching a thunderstorm roll in, and the second time I was kayaking down a river in a thunderstorm. Neither one of those would've happened if I'd had the sense to stay inside.
Hence the username?
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  #8  
Old 03-31-2012, 07:08 PM
Airman Doors, USAF Airman Doors, USAF is offline
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Originally Posted by Tom Tildrum View Post
But he was also hit in his front yard, in his truck, and while fishing somewhere.

It's sad that he survived all those murder attempts from the gods and then killed himself.
Yeah, he just couldn't survive the last time he was struck by lightning. Women will be the death of us.
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  #9  
Old 03-31-2012, 09:32 PM
t-bonham@scc.net t-bonham@scc.net is offline
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Originally Posted by benbo1 View Post
must be an attractive guy (I crack myself up)
Or just well grounded.
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  #10  
Old 03-31-2012, 09:47 PM
Kimstu Kimstu is offline
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Cecil has covered this story. As he noted, given that some 31 million lightning bolts reach the ground annually in the US alone, what's surprising is not that some people get hit more than once but that so many never get hit at all.

This is largely due to the fact that most people have the option (and the sense) to get indoors out of harm's way when thunderstorms are in the area. For a guy like "Seven-Strike Sullivan", though, who in addition to being a park ranger seems to have been fairly indifferent to weather in his personal outdoor recreation, getting in the way of multiple lightning bolts doesn't seem like such a crazy coincidence as it would for the rest of us.

Given his comment quoted on the OP's linked wiki page about having hit bears with sticks some twenty times in the course of his life, in fact, Sullivan seems to have been a fairly enthusiastic risk-seeker. Either that or a bit self-dramatizing, or both.

In any case, there's nothing in the evidence that suggests Sullivan's record was anything more than an unusual combination of coincidences in circumstances unusually favorable to that kind of coincidences.
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  #11  
Old 04-02-2012, 11:38 AM
Snickers Snickers is offline
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Originally Posted by kayaker View Post
That was what I was going to say. I have had several very close calls. I like to kayak. I have vitiligo, so I especially enjoy kayaking under cloud cover. I'm often in situations where I'm scurrying for shore/cover as the big storm rolls in.
I'm confused. Could you explain why you prefer to kayak under cloud cover? If it's to avoid being sunburned, I feel honor bound as a Person of Pallor* to state that there's still a lot of UV being tossed around even when it's cloudy out. It's fully possible to get sunburned when it's overcast; furthermore, people often get more sunburned when it's cloudy than they would if it were sunny because they neglect to put on sunscreen, thinking they don't need it.

* Seriously. I'm white white white. Uber-white, even. So white that even the color white says to me, "Man, you make me look dingy." In August, people will say, "Snickers, it's too bad you don't have a tan." I respond, "this is my tan!" Sunscreen - learn it live it love it.

Last edited by Snickers; 04-02-2012 at 11:39 AM..
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  #12  
Old 04-02-2012, 12:12 PM
Lightnin' Lightnin' is offline
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Originally Posted by Snickers View Post
I'm confused. Could you explain why you prefer to kayak under cloud cover? If it's to avoid being sunburned, I feel honor bound as a Person of Pallor* to state that there's still a lot of UV being tossed around even when it's cloudy out. It's fully possible to get sunburned when it's overcast; furthermore, people often get more sunburned when it's cloudy than they would if it were sunny because they neglect to put on sunscreen, thinking they don't need it.

* Seriously. I'm white white white. Uber-white, even. So white that even the color white says to me, "Man, you make me look dingy." In August, people will say, "Snickers, it's too bad you don't have a tan." I respond, "this is my tan!" Sunscreen - learn it live it love it.

In my case it was because I was kayaking down a river which is incredibly fun at flood stage... but sedate and boring when it's not (if it's even got water- most of the year it's completely dry). We'd had a bunch of storms all week long, but I thought I'd be able to get in and out before the storm hit.

Yeah, that didn't work.
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  #13  
Old 04-02-2012, 12:18 PM
Shagnasty Shagnasty is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
In my case it was because I was kayaking down a river which is incredibly fun at flood stage... but sedate and boring when it's not (if it's even got water- most of the year it's completely dry). We'd had a bunch of storms all week long, but I thought I'd be able to get in and out before the storm hit.

Yeah, that didn't work.
You have been hit only twice but that was true for the ranger at one time too. Maybe you are just getting warmed up. Don't kill yourself after seven times though. I think it is a cool way to distinguish yourself.
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  #14  
Old 04-02-2012, 12:21 PM
kayaker kayaker is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Snickers View Post
I'm confused. Could you explain why you prefer to kayak under cloud cover? If it's to avoid being sunburned, I feel honor bound as a Person of Pallor* to state that there's still a lot of UV being tossed around even when it's cloudy out. It's fully possible to get sunburned when it's overcast; furthermore, people often get more sunburned when it's cloudy than they would if it were sunny because they neglect to put on sunscreen, thinking they don't need it.

* Seriously. I'm white white white. Uber-white, even. So white that even the color white says to me, "Man, you make me look dingy." In August, people will say, "Snickers, it's too bad you don't have a tan." I respond, "this is my tan!" Sunscreen - learn it live it love it.
I slather on high intensity sunscreen no matter what the weather. Clouds just seem to help a bit. With vitiligo, even with 50 SPF I will burn a bit, so I wear kayaking gloves, a hat, etc.
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  #15  
Old 04-02-2012, 02:19 PM
WordMan WordMan is offline
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Originally Posted by Lightnin' View Post
I've been hit twice. The first time I was standing on a mountain watching a thunderstorm roll in, and the second time I was kayaking down a river in a thunderstorm. Neither one of those would've happened if I'd had the sense to stay inside.
Wow. I have to assume the situation, the sensations and the overall experience is worth a story or two. Have you done an "Ask the..." thread over in MPSIMS? Not that getting struck by lightning is mundane or pointless, mind you.
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