I remember thinking: “Lightning,” and then counting my “Mississippi’s” to figure out how far away the strike was. The thunder never came. The flashes originated from the northeast – over JBER. But then they started appearing to the northwest, and directly east – over the mountains. First blue, then white, and red. Very patriotic in retrospect, but that wasn’t the sentiment that washed over me at the time.
All that my mind could process was that it appeared my experiment on Earth was over. This scene playing out in front of me was exactly the kind of thing a hapless person sees before Cloverfield happens. My stomach recoiled as I began to recognize my role as the arbitrary ensign being sent down to the planet’s surface to assist Captain Kirk. My odds did seem too good.
The first round of lights lasted about a half hour, and I stared in disbelief throughout it, as the storm pounded down around me. About an hour later, it started again. I grabbed the camera and went out on my porch. Because I’m often incredibly unintelligent.
I’ve talked to a handful of friends who also saw this display play out during September 5th’s hurricane that we aren’t calling a hurricane. One friend saw it from my neighborhood, another from west Anchorage, and another in the south end. The consensus is that it was transformer explosions. Unless Optimus Prime was the transformer involved, I’m not so sure. I’ve also heard it excused as ball lightning, static lightning, auroral activity – even HAARP. I am not an expert and don’t play one on the internet. At least not on this topic. But I am a very curious person who would like some clarity, for my own sanity.
Can anyone say with any certainty what we’re looking at here? Because, on the horrible stroke of luck that I see it again, I’d really like to have a stronger grasp on what it is I am seeing, and whether or not it has anything to do with giant alien killer robots. Because that would suck… but damned if it didn’t cross my mind.
About The Author
John Aronno is a co-founder and managing editor at Alaska Commons, 2013 Alaska Press Club Award winner for best political reporting print-small, and recipient of the 2010 Alaska Press Club’s Suzan Nightengale Award for Best Columnist in a small paper. Aronno has had his work featured in the Huffington Post, the Anchorage Press, the Alaska Dispatch, and the Rachel Maddow Show, and is listed among the state's top reporters on the Washington Post's "The Fix." He writes the weekly column “On Politics” for Alaska Commons.