Each year 240,000 people around the world are struck by lightning and 10% will lose their lives as a result. Thunderstorms cause more deaths than hurricanes and tornados combined. Those lucky enough to survive are often plagued with debilitating side effects. Burns, amnesia, memory problems and nerve pain are commonly experienced. Some will incur damage to their vision and hearing. Others, however, report something even stranger: an increase in psychic abilities.
In 1960 a pregnant woman by the name of Greta Alexander was living in Illinois with her husband and four children. One night during a severe summer storm her young daughter became frightened and went into her parent’s bedroom. Since Alexander wanted to get a decent night’s sleep she decided to move into the guest room. As she drifted into slumber she watched the sky flash and admired mother nature’s powerful beauty. After that Alexander can only recall waking up to her bed engulfed in flames. She noticed that all the windows were shattered and her venetian blinds were wrapped around the metal bed frame.
A cold bolt of lightning had struck Alexander and she was rushed to the hospital. Luckily both she and her baby survived. Soon after this incident, Alexander began to notice that things were different. Suddenly she could see images and hear sounds that were not physically present. She knew when the phone would ring or when her parents were coming over for an unexpected visit. Within a few years she began working with police officers across the country on missing persons cases. Alexander was able to lead authorities to a number of bodies including a three year old who had fallen into an abandoned well, a young woman who was murdered by her boyfriend and an elderly couple that had drown.
An Australian man named Brian Skinner had similar experiences after an electric shock. While taking photos of a passing storm, a phantom strike passed through his hand and melted his gold wedding ring. When the bolt hit there was a sensation of time slowing down. Like Alexander, Skinner gained the ability to see and hear things. When he would look at someone he would know exactly what they were going to say before they uttered a word. These heightened sensory capabilities also included “superhuman powers”. Skinner could now lift objects three times heavier than he could before. People whispering were audible from over a half mile away. Ever since the strike he could predict approaching storms. Involuntarily, Skinner’s arm would aim upwards and there was a strong surge of energy felt surging through his veins.
Many experience other bizarre after-effects which remain unexplainable. Orthopedic doctor, Tony Cicoria, is described as an acquired savant. At the age of 42 he nearly died as a result of a lightning injury that occurred while he was using a public phone. After going through cardiac arrest he was resuscitated by a bystander who happened to be a nurse. Only a few weeks later, Cicoria developed an obsession with playing piano despite having no prior interest. In his dreams complex arrangements of music began to appear and during waking hours he could hear elaborate musical pieces in his mind. Cicoria went on to become a renown composer and master pianist.
Industrial shocks received from man-made equipment have a voltage level of 20-60kV while lightning generates an astounding 300kV. As a result, its impact on the body is truly astounding. Some experts theorize that the energy transmitted supercharges the human system. Only a portion of our brains is actually utilized on a daily basis. Might it be possible that a strong enough electrical current could activate previously dormant lobes? Or perhaps a near-death experience opens doorways between unseen realms. Whatever the case may be this phenomena remains a perplexing mystery. Until an answer is discovered we can only continue to study those lucky enough to survive a lightning strike.