Oddball

Famous Lightning Picture From 1975 Explained

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A story behind this 1975 picture of Sean, then 12, and Michael McQuilken, 18, with their hair standing on end, moments before lightning struck them, has been revealed.

The incident happened on top of Moro Rock in the Sequoia National Park in California, recalls McQuilken in his blog SocialPositive.com.

McQuilken, now 56, recalled that he hiked with his brothers Sean and Jeff, sister Mary and her friend Margie.

At the top of Moro Rock, they all noticed the weather got worse and their hair had started standing on end, which they did not realize was a sign that lightning was about to hit.

Mary shot the famous picture of Sean and Michael with a Kodak Instamatic camera, seconds before they were struck, reports NBCNews.com.

McQuilken wrote of the lightning strike: "The flash of white light as bright as arc welding, the deafening explosion, the feeling of becoming weightless and being lifted off the ground."

"Sean was collapsed and huddled on his knees. Smoke was pouring from his back. I rushed over to him and checked his pulse and breathing. He was still alive. I put out the embers on his back and elbows and carried him down the path towards the parking lot, with the rest of the group following."

Sean suffered third-degree burns, but could have been killed had he been fully grounded.

The family encountered another man, who was also hit.

McQuilken added: "All of the hair on his body was completely burned off, and from what I have been told, it had never grown back. He was unconscious at the time, and did not recover consciousness for about 6 months."

Source: SocialPositive.com and NBCNews.com

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