The story of Roy Sullivan

story-of-the-week-36

Statistically, getting hit by lightning seven times is about twenty-two septillion to one. That’s 22,000,000,000,000,000,000,000,000. to 1. Still that is what happened to Roy Sullivan, a park ranger a Virginia National Park.

In April 1942, Sullivan was in a fire tower when a thunderstorm struck. According to Sullivan himself,  the bolt created a half inch stripe down his right leg and caused the nail on his big toe to fall off.

The second time Roy Sullivan was struck by lightning in July 1969. A summer storm hit while he was driving his truck and a flash came through his open window, striking him, charring his wristwatch and burning his eyebrows.

The third time Roy was struck by lightning, he was home, tending to his garden, when a clear sky turned ominous and lightning struck a power transformer nearby. Besides the transformer being hit, Sullivan got a glancing blow to his shoulder. At this point, Roy was getting nicknames like “The Human Lightning Rod.”

Roy himself described the fourth time he was struck as, “There was a gentle rain, but no thunder until just one big clap, the loudest thing I ever heard. When my ears stopped ringing, I heard something sizzling. It was my hair on fire.”

The fifth one supposedly happened again while traveling in his truck in a storm. After he felt the storm had passed, he exited his truck only to be hit and knocking him to the ground.

The sixth time, he claimed he was convinced the storm was following him and out to get him. He was hit, resulting in serious burns on his chest and stomach area.

Finally the seventh time he was struck by lightning was while he was fishing. He once again sustained burns and nearly lost consciousness before picking himself up and heading to the car to go seek medical treatment.

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