The Alleged Green Flash: Atmospheric Phenomenon, or Sailor’s Conspiracy?

July 8, 2024

Author: Nathaniel Martin, B Watch, Whitman College


Sunset as seen from the Quarterdeck. Optimal Green Flash Condtitions. Photo Credit: Natalia Sawicka

Ship's Log

Friday, July 5, 2024
Lat & Long: 18 deg 03.7'S x 168 deg 06.2'W
Ship Heading (degrees): 265
Ship Speed (knots): 7.5
Log (nm): 1417
Weather/Sail Plan: Many squalls on the horizon, BF 4 winds, 5 foot squalls.
Sailing on a starboard tack, under both staysails & the jib
General Location: ~170 nm south of American Samoan

It has been brought to my attention that the infamous "green flash" may
actually be a real atmospheric phenomenon. Allegedly. I still harbor many
doubts. Our 1st marine tech, Ed Sweeney, has informed me that despite his
long career with the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, he has
never actually observed this supposed "green flash." Several of the ship's
mates and deckhands have made claims that they have actually observed the
flash with their own two eyes, sometimes on multiple occasions. Clearly,
people have conflicting ideas about its existence. 2nd marine tech, Kenzie
Meier, has told me that while she has indeed observed the "green flash," she
still does not believe it actually exists. Curious. Until I actually see
this purported "green flash" for myself, I have made the bold decision to
personally relegate it to the realm of pseudoscience. Sharing in this
designation are similar phenomena and supernatural beings: Bigfoot, aliens,
the Flying Dutchman, Kraken, Saint Elmo's fire, and Danny Devito.

It may also be important to note that I, as well as 1st marine tech Ed
Sweeney, are red-green colorblind.

Nathaniel Martin
B Watch, Whitman College

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