Talk:Upper-atmospheric lightning/Archive 1

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Article creation

This article was created to allow expansion of the section located in the lightning article. The knowledge of the phenomena is becoming better known and documented requiring more room to allow proper expansion. As can be seen ja:レッドスプライト other languages have started separate sprites articles. EnviroGranny 14:12, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Good work! The lightening article definitely needs to be broken up.Joelholdsworth 14:26, 21 April 2007 (UTC)
Thanks, support is good as editors sometimes get cranky and over-protective when articles break up. EnviroGranny 14:33, 21 April 2007 (UTC)

Shuttle Challenger

I removed the tiny section that says:

Columbia allegedly hit by Sprite

The Space Shuttle Columbia might have been damaged by a sprite.[1][2][3]

Because the three references do not provide any significant support for the idea the a sprite hit the shuttle, and "might" doesn't say anything anyway. I read the referenced articles carefully, and there's really not much there. No official or scientist is on record with an opinion that maybe a sprite hit the shuttle. The photo is almost certain an early bit of shuttle disintegration, and certainly doesn't look like a sprite. The fact that the SF Comical played up a local photo doesn't mean much. The middle ref doesn't even mention the word sprite, and neither does the photo. The one that does says "The lab has been listening to the sounds of ghostly electromagnetic phenomena in the upper atmosphere, dubbed sprites, blue jets and elves. For some time, scientists have speculated on whether these events could endanger airliners or returning spacecraft. ... A study conducted 10 years ago for NASA found that there is a 1-in-100 chance that a space shuttle could fly through a sprite, although it concluded that the consequences of such an event were unclear" and "Originally, it was thought that the electrical charges in the thin atmosphere 50 miles above Earth were too dispersed to create infrasound. But Los Alamos National Laboratories physicist Mark Stanley said that, on closer inspection, "we've seen very strong ionization in sprites" indicating that there were enough air molecules ionized to cause heating and an accompanying pulse -- a celestial thunderclap, as it were" and "NASA administrators confirmed Thursday that the photograph, taken from Bernal Heights in San Francisco by an amateur astronomer, is being evaluated by Columbia crash investigators. However, Shuttle Program Manager Ron Dittemore told reporters at a Houston news briefing that right now NASA is trying only to verify "the validity" of the image." Nothing there says the shuttle may have been hit by a sprite. Dicklyon 16:19, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

There is plenty of information from neutral third party sources that support it might have been "Positive Lightning" from a Sprite including the actual picture of the occurrence; therefore, the information should stay in the article. It is overzealous to remove cited information from Wikipedia, without first discussing it on the article talk page. EnviroGranny 18:36, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Hi. I'm stopping by based on the request for a third opinion. I agree with Dicklyon here; the references given are not strong enough to support keeping the statement in the article. However, that NASA considered sprites as a possible source of harm to shuttles in general might be an interesting and supported thing to add. William Pietri 18:59, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
This individual is not neutral, he is mad that I made a request at the third party opinion page and asked me to delete it, so he posted here to get back at me. See my talk page for confirmation. EnviroGranny 19:40, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I am in no way mad, EnviroGranny, and encourage people to make requests to the page. I suggested you remove the request because you hadn't actually discussed the problem with your fellow editor, and because the request was made, contrary to instructions, in a way likely to bias the answer. However, I'm glad to leave your request up for another person to look at. Good luck to all sorting out the dispute. William Pietri 19:52, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
You are clearly biased, now move along and stop distracting the actual topic of the discussion. EnviroGranny 19:53, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

(Third opinion) These articles indicate it was once considered a possibility. They also indicate the investigation was ongoing and that the validity of the photograph had yet to be verified. The information from the sources would support a mention that NASA investigated the possibility, since it is a potential concern. However, saying that a sprite may have been a cause and stating that it was once considered a potential cause are very different things. It is four years since the publication of those articles about the then on-going investigation into the shuttle accident. If we wish to assert it was, or might have been, the cause of the accident, reliable sources discussing the result of the investigation into that possibility need to be referenced. We cannot seriously cite everything authoritatively as a probable or potential cause that has been considered at one point or another. This is particularly true when references explicitly state that that cause had yet to be investigated and the potential evidence yet to be verified, such as in this instance Vassyana 20:03, 5 May 2007 (UTC)

Hello, thank you for getting involved. I agree with much of what you have said. However, it has never been proven by NASA that the picture is NOT a sprite, they suggested it might have been camera wobble, who knows. It looks legitimate to me and is certainly has the possibility of a sprite, the newspaper articles provide plenty of back up information on sprites as they pertain to this picture. Should we also delete the articles on Sasquatch simply because pictures or information might be correct? EnviroGranny 21:07, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
The Sasquatch article has a tons of refs to who found what when. Attributed opinions and third-party writings are what we need. But even if you find a better example of an article with undersourced or unverifiable information, that's never a valid argument for whether we should do the right thing in the present case.
You've stated above that "There is plenty of information from neutral third party sources that support it might have been "Positive Lightning" from a Sprite." If that's true, all you have to do is to cite those sources and we'll be good. As I pointed out above, in trying to verify the statement using the provided refs, I found nothing in support of it. I think you may have been led to think that way by a headline writer, which, if you know anything about newspaper journalism, means nothing. Dicklyon 22:25, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
Obviously, you refuse to intelligently read the citations, which even have a Sprite picture at the top of one. These two articles were written in regard to the photo taken showing the "bolt of light" as you call it. It might be a Sprite OR it might be camera wobble. I think that this fact is significant enough to be added to the article. It might be interesting to note that one of the tests this shuttle trip performed was the potential threat of Sprites on a shuttle. EnviroGranny 23:28, 5 May 2007 (UTC)
I quoted what I found about sprites and shuttles. If I missed something more important, you can help by pointing it out. I'm not refusing, but I may have missed something. Dicklyon 00:03, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I also came here from third opinion, and I don't think this story belongs in Wikipedia. Extraordinary claims require multiple reliable sources and all we have is one photo that was briefly the subject of speculation when NASA was checking out all leads as to what may have happened. NASA subsequently carried out an investigation and reported that it felt it understood what caused the breakup. Their version does not involve any form of lightning. There is no source given that anyone currently belives a sprite hit Columbia. This doesn't even make it as a fringe theory. We don't publish every speculation that ever happened.--agr 05:20, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Refs and verifiable statements

EnviroGranny, you can't just change the statement that a ref is attached to; you need to see if the ref verifies what you wrote, and if not, find a new one. I reverted to before your most recent edits, and may have lost some useful bits of other edits as well. It's hard to fix once the connection to verifiability is lost. I still insist that if you want to say someone believes that sprites were involved in the shuttle incident, the you have to attribute that belief to somebody; otherwise you're just using weasel words. I wasn't totally comfortable even with "the image led to some speculation about sprites," which I wrote, because it didn't say who speculated; but the references do at least support that the newspaper headline writer speculated about sprites and that NASA was looking into sprites; it does NOT say that a sprite might have hit the shuttle, because I couldn't find the evidence for that. I do believe that such speculators exist, but if we can't find a source for them and say who they are then they shouldn't be mentioned. Dicklyon 06:36, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

I was the one who found the citations and I am the one who read the citations and I am the one who is quoting from the citations. You seem to be reading the citations with a pre-conceived notion of the facts putting your own slant on the outcome. Speaking of deleting cited information, you deleted the full section that was fully cited, which started all of this and now you are complaining ?! EnviroGranny 10:05, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
EnviroGranny, instead of focusing on what's going on in other people's heads, which you can't know, it'd be more productive to focus on the content of the article and the source material. If you think some particular bit of a reference supports you adding something to the article, just quote both the new text and the reference here and explain your reasoning. You don't own the citations or the quotes, and you will have to arrive at consensus with your fellow editors on what ends up in the article. William Pietri 15:22, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
Dick Lyon - The title of this article is Columbia downed by Megalightning. The word Megalightning reflects the "Positive Lightning" coming down from a Sprite, there is even a picture of a sprite in the article as well as in the other articles. There is your citation, which was already there before you reverted it. EnviroGranny 17:00, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
You may have something in that one, though I'm still having trouble pinning it down. If you follow his link to what he origially said (here), he quotes the SF Chronicle author and then gets into the weasel words again ("Suggestions were made that the shuttle might have been struck by a 'red sprite'") in which the passive voice lets him avoid attributing it to anybody. But who is this "holoscience" writer? Is his page a "reliable source"? He refers to himself, but does he give a name? Should we, in a scientific topic, be quoting an anonymous writer who also refers to global warming as "secular myth"? Ah, found his name: Wal Thornhill. Let's attribute to him. Dicklyon 17:25, 6 May 2007 (UTC)
One more thing: what I think the picture shows is irrelevant. What matters for wp is what others think and have published. So we need to just find it and cite correctly. But unattributed assertions like "the picture suggests" or other weasel words are specifically against wp policy. Dicklyon 17:27, 6 May 2007 (UTC)

Envirogranny, if you have an issue with identifying and characterizing the source, please just say so. I reverted your most recent, back to the version that attributes the sprite idea to Wal Thornhill and gives a clue about who he is, from the references site (different page though; I can add that ref if you like). It's not OK to the say that the "image suggests"; a person makes the suggestion, and for such a wild and proven incorrect speculation, an attribution is at least required. Dicklyon 02:47, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I'm not sure I agree with adding a comment about Mr. Thronhill's other beliefs. That seems POV. The key point is that is a self-published web site, and that makes it unacceptable as a source for this discusssion. See WP:V. To stay on Wikipedia, the claim that the shuttle may have been hit by a sptite requires multiple, reliable sources. So far, there aren't any. Also from WP:V "Be careful not to go too far on the side of not upsetting editors by leaving unsourced information in articles for too long". Finally, any well-sourced alternative view of the Space Shuttle Columbia disaster should first be added to in that article.--agr 03:01, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
  • There is a section in that article stating virtually the same thing we are stating here using the same sources: "Purple streak" image you guys are making a mistake if you delete that section. It is clearly about sprites with multiple reliable sources, therefore, it stays. EnviroGranny 10:20, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm OK with removing it, but I don't think it's POV to say something to characterize the source when it is an otherwise unknown name. POV would be if I expressed a value judgement on his beliefs or statements. Dicklyon 03:10, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I agree that it is improper to say "the image suggests". As Dick Lyon points out... objectively, images don't suggest anything; people see things in images and believe that a subjective conclusion is suggested by what they see. --Richard 04:52, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I'd agree with that as well; any suggesting should be attributed to the source. Also, why would we have a photo of camera wobble here? It seems to me that if NASA concluded that this isn't a sprite, the photo doesn't belong on this page. William Pietri 06:25, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
There are plenty of citations in the article stating the image reflects it might be a sprite, it will never be known for sure. The articles even have pictures of sprites in them. EnviroGranny 10:00, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I agree that a picture of a sprite would be good in the article on sprites. Some people said this photo might be a sprite, including expert headline writers. The NASA scientists who investigated it said it was a camera wobble. The best answer we have, therefore, is that it's a camera wobble. "The threshold for inclusion in Wikipedia is verifiability, not truth.". Ergo, we call it a camera wobble. Perhaps there's an article on camera wobbles or misunderstood images that needs this photo, but it doesn't belong here. William Pietri 14:40, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
The US government also stated there were WMD in Iraq before the 2003 Iraq war and that was not only wrong it was a lie. You can read about that in the book At the Center of the Storm: My Years at the CIA. In other words, just because NASA says something doesn't mean it is a the gospel truth, it is a fact and should be added as a citation. EnviroGranny 10:00, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
That the government is occasionally wrong is not proof that everything they say is wrong, and that a handful of idelologially motivated people lied is no reason to impugn the other 1.6 million federal employees, especially ones working on unrelated things. In this case, NASA's a perfectly good reference. William Pietri 14:40, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
The web site certainly apears to be self-published and therefore wouldn't be a reliable source. Addhoc 09:44, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Many articles on the Internet are self published and used as references on Wikipedia. EnviroGranny 10:00, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
That's true. We still have a long way to go to get wikipedia articles into conformance with policy. Dicklyon 14:30, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I have to agree with the people who believe this image is invalid and has no Verifiability. The whole thing is speculation, NASA not saying one way or the other. Until this is confirmed, it should not be here. I can't even find sources that say this particular photo is even the one NASA was talking about. Wikidan829 17:28, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

No, I'm sorry but Wikidan829 gets a bunch of things wrong.
  1. The image is verifiable because it was published by the SF Chronicle and posted on
  2. However, the image is unusable because it's copyrighted and therefore cannot be used in Wikipedia even if it were valid.
  3. Mention of the possibility of Columbia being hit by a sprite can be included in the article because NASA was concerned that sprites could hit shuttles, estimated the risk as 1 in 100 and did consider the possibility that Columbia was hit by a sprite.
  4. However, after studying the possibility, NASA has said that it does not believe Columbia was hit by a sprite.
  5. I think the sources do say that this particular photo was the one that was sent to NASA
In conclusion, we should discuss the photo and what it suggested to some people as well as what NASA concluded. We just can't display the photo because of copyright issues.
--Richard 17:50, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Whoa, hold the phone.
  1. This image was not posted by according to the above references. The first two are SF Chronicle and do not show any images, the 3rd one with the picture is a link to, whatever that is. How can we say that they are even related? Where is the verifiability?
  2. Even if it is copyright, I think it should stop at the point where we cannot prove that this was the photo. I think it should have stopped at it being an unreliable source. Neither links to the picture appear to have a relation to SF Chronicle.
  3. Mention of the possibility of it being hit by a sprite is one thing, showing a picture of the "supposed" strike, with no credibility is another.
  4. Ok
  5. Maybe I'm blind, but can you point to me exactly where the two SF Chronicle sources point to this image? I looked at them both and they appeared to be pure text.
Wikidan829 18:00, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
In general, I'm finding Dan more persuasive here. Regarding point 1, that IP address is from, and that person claims that this photo is the one. I don't think that's a reliable source. By weird coincidence, the apparent photographer is a friend of friends, so I'm going to ask him for more information. William Pietri 18:24, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Good call. Thanks Will. Most of this talk page is consumed in the controversy behind this photo, it'd be nice to get a speedy conclusion so we can focus on what the article really is. Wikidan829 18:28, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Removal of shuttle photo

Dicklyon removed the image. Can you please explain the rationale for this? —This is part of a comment by Richardshusr , which got interrupted by the following:

I didn't see how the image actually contributed anything to the article content, and it's a copyrighted image. Dicklyon 15:17, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Uh-oh? Copyrighted? Now, that's a different kettle of fish. I guess I don't have the right instincts regarding image copyrights. Leave it out then. I can't see this being a "fair use" justification. --Richard 15:47, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
If you think it's needed, and meets the stated fair-use criteria, I'd be OK with it coming back, but not if it has to have EnviroGranny inserting his opinion of what it appears to show. When he took out attribution and identification of the source of the Sprite interpretation, he said it was not encyclopedic, so I'm looking for a solution that doesn't have that problem. William Pietri also suggested this above, saying, "Also, why would we have a photo of camera wobble here? It seems to me that if NASA concluded that this isn't a sprite, the photo doesn't belong on this page." So with two of us, that's as close as we've gotten to a consensus about it. Dicklyon 15:17, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Um, the issue is not about "camera wobble". The whole issue about Columbia is that NASA took seriously the possibility of a sprite having caused damage. According to the Chronicle article on SF gate...
Late Tuesday, NASA dispatched former shuttle astronaut Tammy Jernigan, now a manager at Lawrence Livermore Laboratories, to the San Francisco home of the astronomer to examine his digital images and to take the camera itself to Mountain View, where it was to be transported by a NASA T-38 jet to Houston this morning.
Now, if there was no possibility of sprites hitting shuttles, NASA might have dismissed the image as a crackpot theory. However, if it dispatched Jernigan, it at least took the theory seriously (say with at least 0.1% probability) until it could be shown that another explanation made more sense.
This article is about sprites not about Columbia. The only reason to mention Columbia is that it tells the reader something about sprites. Thus, while this incident, as a discarded theory, may not be of much interest in the Columbia disaster article, it is of some interest in the sprite article.
I would lose the image and probably the Thunderbolts citation since there is dispute as to how reliable they are. But I would keep the section with references to the SF Gate and NASA reports. I think the image would be good to have if we could get it with acceptable free licensing.
--Richard 15:47, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

I was about to insert "Electrical theorists believe that the photograph suggests a strong possibility that the shuttle was struck by 'lower ionospheric megalightning'.[1]" but decided to hold off rather than start what might be perceived as an edit war.

--Richard 14:38, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Richard, I would be fine with such a statement if it was backed up by a reliable source. But seems to be another Wal Thornhill site, and it says "Electrical theorists associated with the Thunderbolts group", which means it's another self-published opinion. So no. Dicklyon 14:45, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
(edit conflict) Could you tell me more about how you are seeing that site as a reliable source? The article is unsigned, and their contributor list does not fill me with confidence. Thanks, William Pietri 14:45, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Dicklyon removal of the photo and all the cited information is again proof, that he is not interested in a mediated solution. He wants the section fully deleted as he originally did on his first edit when he showed up here, without any discussion. I am not going to simply revert it back. I am going to let the meditators do their job and let the wiki-group come to a consensus. If you want my input just simply ask me and I will respond here. Thank you EnviroGranny 15:31, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Just to be clear, there are no "mediators" in this discussion. Well, at least, I'm not one. I do try to adopt a neutral stance and mediate in disputes when I can but I'm not here in any formal or even informal capacity as a mediator. I'm just an ordinary Wikipedian, same as you. --Richard 15:49, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

<sr>::If you wish to, you can ask for formal mediation via WP:MEDCOM or informal mediation via WP:MEDCAB. --Richard 15:49, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Richard, pls go to the top of the article and see the MEDCOM +tag EnviroGranny 22:37, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Yes, I saw that after I wrote my last post. The point I was making is that I don't think any mediator has responded to your request yet. --Richard 22:39, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

Reviewing the bidding

Forgive the lame reference to the card game of bridge...

I re-read section 2 "Shuttle Challenger" of this Talk Page and found the following comments:

  1. "saying that a sprite may have been a cause and stating that it was once considered a potential cause are very different things."
    Yes, we should be careful to say "it was once considered a potential cause" rather than "it may have been a cause". The first asserts far less than the second and we should not advance a theory if no reliable source does so currently.
    Even saying "it was once considered" is unacceptable without saying WHO thought that and providing an attribution and reliable source. That's the crux of the matter here. Dicklyon 18:44, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
    I think, at this point, we should focus on figuring out what NASA has said about the possibility of a sprite having hit Columbia. I did a google search and came up with this article (forgive me if it has already been discussed here)
    SF Chronicle - "No sign nature downed Columbia"
    A team of experts in the science of low-frequency sound wave detection completed their analysis for the Defense Department two months ago and made the study public Wednesday. Inside NASA, their report helped put to rest theories that an electrical discharge or a collision with a meteorite might have played a role in the tragedy.
    "There had been a suggestion of a high-altitude lightning strike," said study leader Henry Bass, director of the National Center for Physical Acoustics at the University of Mississippi. "But had that been the case, we would have seen other data. There were no such data."
    Looks to me like NASA seriously considered the theory but subsequently dismissed it. Hey, any investigation has to avoid jumping to foregone conclusions and consider all reasonably plausible theories. This may never have been a front-runner but it was obviously plausible enough to warrant serious consideration as a possibility.
    I think we should put a summary of the above quoted text in the article.
    --Richard 19:38, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
    Even a reliable statement that NASA ever seriously considered the possibility that there was a sprite involved, or that they seriously considered the possibility that the photo showed a sprite, would be enough to allow a mention. So far, all I've seen is an SF Chronicle staff writer who drew that connection; all the guy who shot it says is that NASA gave him a receipt for the photo, or something to that effect. The quote above basically just said that they had an unattributed suggestion that they discarded. Dicklyon 00:38, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
    OK, I read that new reference now, and found an actual statement about NASA that would OK to use: NASA officials took the photograph seriously enough that they enlisted experts in low-frequency sound waves, or "infrasound," to look for evidence of a faint thunderclap at the time the photograph was taken. That's the first source I've seen that said that NASA actually did anything based on the photo. If I missed something, my apologies. Use this ref, and go don't go beyond what it supports, and I'll be OK with it. Dicklyon 03:53, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
  2. However, it has never been proven by NASA that the picture is NOT a sprite
    I don't think it needs to be "proven by NASA" that the picture is NOT a sprite any more than the USAF needs to prove that every picture of a UFO is NOT a UFO. We should restrict ourselves to saying NASA has considered that sprites could pose a risk to shuttles, it considered the possibility that a sprite hit Columbia and subsequently discarded that theory in favor of another theory.
    --Richard 15:58, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

AFD, merge or rename?

I hate to even suggest this after so much effort has been wasted (um...I mean) spent on the Columbia photo and associated text.

However, almost all of this text is duplicated in the Lightning article and about half of the content of this article is not about sprites per se but about blue jets and elves. This suggests that this article is at least a content fork if not a POV fork of Lightning and may not have a reason for independent existence separate from the Lightning article. Alternatively, it could suggest that this article should be renamed Upper-atmospheric lightning and expanded while the "Upper-atmospheric" section of the Lightning article is reduced to a short summary.


--Richard 19:59, 7 May 2007 (UTC)

It appears that you are correct. Lightning has separate subsections on sprites, blue jets, and elves, and this article is almost totally duplicative. I'd support a merge proposal, which is easier than an AfD. Dicklyon 21:58, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
I moved the article over to allow expansion, see the first entry on this talk page. The Lightning article has become to large and lacks room for expansion. EnviroGranny 22:35, 7 May 2007 (UTC)
Ah, yes, I see you posted a talk item to that effect on April 21, when you made the new article. A split proposal would have been a good idea, because now we don't know what the consensus is and might do a merge proposal to find out. Dicklyon 03:34, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
As I review the article contents, I think I agree with EnviroGranny that there's plenty of scope for a good article here, beyond the scope of normal lightning. But a lot of work is needed. Both ligthning and this one are sorely in need of sources to make their contents verifiable. I marked a section and a bunch of statements that need sources. I'm willing to help find them if others will cooperate, too. Dicklyon 03:42, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
Well, what do you think of renaming this article to Upper-atmospheric lightning, then? My point here is that this article is only 50% about sprites and, if it were not for the Columbia stuff, it would only be 25-33% about sprites. --Richard 19:15, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
I would agree with renaming it, summarizing the information in Lightning, and providing a link here to get more detail. Generally, when people think "lightning", they are thinking of the stuff that hits the ground, not upper-atmospheric phenomenon. Wikidan829 19:30, 8 May 2007 (UTC)]

Since no one has objected, I plan to move this article to Upper-atmospheric lightning in the next 24-48 hours. --Richard 07:55, 12 May 2007 (UTC)

Assume good faith

I posted this on User Talk:EnviroGranny, but then he objected on my talk page to my posting there, threatened to report me for vandalism, and said to bring it here instead. So here it is (I removed it from his talk page): Dicklyon 03:20, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Envirogranny, re this sprites disagreement, you should at least continue to assume good faith. Calling my edits "tantamount to vandalism" when they are much more aligned with the consensus than your own are is verging on incivility. I have invited you several times to quote the sources that support your points, and I've asked you to WP:Avoid weasel words, but you keep putting back stuff with the same problems. Get with the program, OK? Dicklyon 00:00, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

One more thing. Noticing Wiliam's remark above, I just now saw that you complained about me on WP:3O. I think it would be a common courtesy to let me know when you're complaining about me, though as he said, you should not have been mentioning me there at all. If you do ask for third opinion, however, then informing the person you disagree with would still be a normal courtesy. Dicklyon 00:06, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Based on the talk above, I also just noticed the mediation case that EnviroGranny wrote about him and me two days ago. Again, it would be normal politeness to inform someone that they have been made the subject of a mediation case. Dicklyon 04:00, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Image Poll

This is a poll to gain group consensus on whether we should "Keep" or "Remove" the image.

  • Keep - The image reflects the occurrence being discussed and is relevant to the specific section of the article. EnviroGranny 13:16, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Remove - The article could use a photo. The most reliable source I've seen says the image is of camera wobble, not a sprite. We should find a photo that is undisputedly of a sprite. William Pietri 15:08, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Remove - No reliable source says it shows sprite. --agr 15:11, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Remove absent verifiable evidence that this a sprite. No original research applies. Guy (Help!) 17:05, 8 May 2007 (UTC)
  • Remove - This could be anything.. Wikidan829 17:18, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Please note that polling is not a substitute for discussion; we seem to have had the discussion. William Pietri 15:08, 8 May 2007 (UTC)

Permission denied to use photo

Hi. I've had a nice chat with the photographer, and he denies Wikipedia permission to use the photo. I believe that means it should not be re-added to the article. I also believe the fair-use rationale is invalid; we are not analyzing the work, but using it to illustrate an article. And honestly, given our sources suggest that this isn't even a sprite, the link to this article on sprites is tenuous anyhow. Thanks, William Pietri 00:22, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Finally! Thanks for your research. Can we clean up this mess now? ;) Wikidan829 00:37, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm all for it. From his talk page I believe EnviroGranny has been blocked for 24 hours, so perhaps we should give him time to respond here before we call this closed. William Pietri 02:37, 9 May 2007 (UTC)
Agreed Wikidan829 03:05, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Shuttle update

Based on the SF Chronicle article that someone pointed out above, which said NASA did investigate the photo by hiring a sprite infrasound expert, I added that info and the ref. And I pruned some other refs. This little section still has four refs, which should be plenty, and it now says what EnviroGranny wanted to say, I think, which is that NASA took seriously the sprite possibility, if briefly. Dicklyon 04:40, 9 May 2007 (UTC)

Dick, this shows commendable dedication, but in the end I believe that the shuttle section lacks evidence of significance. Sprites are reaosnably common, space shuttles less so. A section on danger to high-altitude aircraft, if it could be referenced, would undoubtedly be good. Guy (Help!) 13:05, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
Guy, if you look above, you will see that it's in question whether this separate article for sprites is even legit. Please feel free to add to the discussion above. Wikidan829 13:10, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
To JzG, as space shuttles are less common than sprites, so are space shuttle disasters. Columbia was a huge event in American history, which I believe is enough to prove significance. Wikidan829 21:30, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
The sprite photo is mentioned in the Columbia disaster article. That should suffice. NASA has considered the dangers to the shuttle from all forms of lightening, as well as hail, jet stream winds, birds, frost, thunderstorms, fog, and just about any other conceivable natural threat. I wouldn't be surprised if there was consideration of crew flatulence. None of these topics need a section on risks to the space shuttle and neither does this article.--agr 22:50, 10 May 2007 (UTC)
I'm fine with the whole section gone, as it proved to be little to do with sprites. It might still be a good idea to mention that NASA has investigated the threat that sprites pose to aircraft and spacecraft, but preferably not via one of those articles where the SF Comical was hyping the shuttle photo. Dicklyon 04:01, 12 May 2007 (UTC)