“The Human Lightning Rod”


A U.S. forest ranger in Virginia’s Shenandoah National Park, Roy Cleveland Sullivan (1912-1983) survived being hit by lightning seven different times:

  1. In a lookout tower in 1942, the first bolt struck him in the leg. He lost a nail on his big toe.
  2. In 1969, a second bolt struck him in his truck, knocking him unconscious and burning his eyebrows.
  3. The third strike, in 1970, hit him in his front yard, burning his left shoulder.
  4. The next bolt struck in a ranger station in 1972 and set his hair on fire. After that, he began carrying a pitcher of water with him.
  5. In 1973, a bolt hit Sullivan in the head, blasting him out of his car and again setting his hair on fire.
  6. The sixth bolt struck him in a campground in 1974, injuring his ankle.
  7. The final bolt hit him in 1977, when he was fishing. He was hospitalized for burns on his chest and stomach.

Sullivan shot himself in 1983 … reportedly over a rejected love.