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A while back I pointed out a fascinating anomaly witnessed occasionally in meteor sightings: Electrophones. These are sounds (such as buzzing and ‘whooshing’) heard at the same time as the sighting – something which should be an impossibility due to the difference between the speeds of light and sound. Researcher Colin Keay wrote a fascinating piece on them in Volume 7 (PDF) of the Journal of Scientific Exploration.

I noticed that Forgetomori has posted on the same topic this week (with a few tangential topics mixed in):

For years some observers have noted that in rare occasions it was possible to hear meteors. And not because they were coming over their heads, but at a distance, at the same time they were seen very high in the sky. That’s outrageously absurd – just like lightning and thunder, there should be a significant delay between sight and sound. So those observers usually kept those crazy things to themselves.

The only thing is, this phenomenon has been recorded, and there’s a proposed physical explanation for it. It involves meteors emitting low frequency electromagnetic waves that are transduced into sound near the observers by things like glasses or, possibly… tin foil! Oh, the irony.

Mori’s article links to the research page of Dejan Vinkovic, and also the page of the Global Electrophonic Fireball Survey (GEFS). There’s also a link to a NASA news story that I hadn’t come across before, where the phenomenon is discussed due to many people reporting it during the 2001 Leonids shower. Fascinating topic, with mention of VLF radio waves and plasmas – especially once you move from meteors into UFOs and ‘paranormal’ encounters.