The Unexplained: The Human Lightning Rod

Not only was William Cowper killed by a lightning strike, lightning came again to strike his tombstone and leave it in a pile of rubble. Photo: A Quirky Driven Life

While William Cosper was still recovering from a lightning strike, he was struck by lightning, again.  This time, it was fatal

In strange feats of lightning, I have mentioned Roy Sullivan, also known as The Spark Ranger in previous writings.  Roy has the dubious distinction of a number of lightning strikes to the body—especially from someone who lived to tell about it.

He was a natural conductor of electricity and a favorite park ranger for Shenandoah National Park in Virginia.

Even though there were no witnesses to the lightning strikes, there was plenty of documented after-the-fact evidence—so much so, that the Guinness Book of World Records awarded him the honor of Most Lightning Strikes, Survived.

Between 1942 and 1977, Roy was struck by lightning seven times.  Roy Sullivan was born in 1925 and died in 1983.  His death was not the result of lightning.

Sara Marie Hogg

That record is impressive in a bad way, but there is an equally macabre feat accomplished by a man from Talladega County, Alabama.

William Yeldell Cosper was born in 1844 in Childersburg, Alabama.  In 1919, at age 75, he was standing on his front porch when he was struck by lightning.

He was no spring chicken.

He survived but the recovery was long and difficult.

When he was still in the process of recovery, now in Louisiana, William was struck by lightning, again.  This time the lightning strike was fatal immediately, and this time it had to go in the window to hit him.

Since he was in Monroe, Louisiana, during the fatal strike, he was taken back to Alabama to be buried in the Childersburg Cemetery.  He was laid to rest there and rested in peace for a time.

One day William Cosper’s tombstone was struck by lightning and blown to bits.  His family scrimped and saved to replace the tombstone and make things right again.

Again, the tombstone was struck by lightning.

Because they could not afford to keep replacing the tombstone, the broken bits are piled up to serve as his memorial.

The recipe for human body chemistry is not universal, often mysterious, and far-reaching.

Sara Marie Hogg is the author of Dark Continent Continental. Please click HERE to find the book on Amazon.

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