Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Olesen Family

Real Name: Olesen Family
Case: Unusual Phenomenon
Location: Elgin, Illinois
Date: May 1899 to present


Details: Since 1899, ten members of the Olesen family of Illinois have been struck or had close encounters with lightning. Two members of the family have died as a result. The first to die was twenty-three-year-old Christ Olesen. In May of 1899, Christ was visiting his fiancee and her father when a bolt of lightning shot through the house and struck him. Somehow, the other two were not injured. Twenty years later, in 1921, Christ's older brother, Ole, went out in a summer storm to feed his livestock. At the barn door, lightning struck him dead. The Olesen family began to suspect that they were targets of lightning. Afterwards, their sister Christine lived a life in fear.
In Spring 1941, Christine's grandson, Bill, came to visit her. One evening, a storm passed over the house. Christine, fearing for her and her grandson's safety, woke him up and convinced him to go out to her car. As they went through the living room, a bolt of lightning made a hole in the wall and bounced off of the metal ceiling. Fortunately, they were not hurt.
Two decades later, in 1961, ball lightning went into Bill's kitchen, hit the toaster, and barely missed him and his young daughter. Five years later, in 1966, Bill's cousin Connie was walking to her sister Karen's car after leaving work when she was struck by lightning that shot up from the ground. Fortunately, Connie was not harmed, although parts of her body were temporarily numb. When Bradley Hampbel, a fourth generation Olesen, visited his grandmother in Burlington, Illinois, he was nearly struck by lightning that went into the barn door.
Many believe that it is just a coincidence, but the family believes that their attraction to lightning may be related to genetics, or may even be something supernatural.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the February 21, 1997 episode.
Some sources spell the last name "Olsen" or "Olson" or Oleson".
Results: Unsolved