Roy Sullivan - Lightning Rod Man

Roy Sullivan in a lightning-seared hat

According to statistics, the probability of a person being struck by lightning is low - about 3, 000 to 1. But in the Guinness Book of Records, the fact of lightning striking the same person as much as 7 times is registered.

Roy Sullivan was born in 1912 in Green County, Virginia. Since 1936, he has worked as a caretaker for Shenandoah National Park. It was here that lightning struck him in 1942. Sullivan was at this time on the observation tower. He got off relatively easily: an electric discharge only tore off his thumbnail.

The next time he suffered from lightning only 27 years later, in 1969. At this time, Roy Sullivan was driving along a mountain road, his eyebrows were burned, he lost consciousness from shock.

After that, lightning began to pursue the poor fellow more and more often. In 1970, Roy was struck by lightning while he was on the lawn of his own house.

In 1972, lightning found its old acquaintance again. Roy's hair caught fire, and after this incident he always carried water with him.

In 1973, the unfortunate caretaker was injured for the fifth time. His hair flared again, and his shoes were ripped off his feet.

In 1976, lightning struck Roy Sullivan's ankle.

The last time, already the seventh in a row, Sullivan was injured in 1977. During a thunderstorm, he was fishing. After being struck by lightning, Roy was hospitalized with severe burns to his abdomen and chest.

It's hard to say who Roy Sullivan was - a lucky one or a chronic loser? The fact that a person is struck by lightning seven times is, of course, little good. But stay alive at the same time! For this, you really need to be born in a shirt.

I must say that Sullivan's life ended tragically, however, lightning has nothing to do with it. In September 1983, 71-year-old Roy committed suicide by shooting himself in the stomach. They say that because of unrequited love. This is how the life of the "lightning rod man" ended.

No less interesting is the story of the American Major Summerford (according to other sources, he was an Englishman). His lightning struck three times. After the third blow, Summerford was completely paralyzed and died a few years later. And four years after his death, a lightning strike destroyed the monument on the grave of Summerford.

Another incredible coincidence happened in Italy. In 1899, one of the inhabitants of this country was struck to death by lightning. In 1929, his son died from a lightning strike, and in 1949 his great-grandson died.