June 23 lightning storm. Jackson died June 25, 2009.
Photographer John Plashal said he was unaware of the Jackson imagery when he first submitted photos to the WTVR CBS 6 Facebook page following the storm. He said a storm chaser app, not a higher calling, compelled him to set up his camera outside Satterwhite's Restaurant in Goochland where took several photos of the lightning storm.
"The image that you see of Michael Jackson just happens to be there," Plashal said. He insisted he added nothing to the photo. "It's pretty wild.
"There is something magically dangerous about a lightning storm.
Thank you John Plashal for sharing these photo from Goochland with us.
"I didn't know what I had until this morning, to be honest with you, when my phone started blowing up."
Plashal, 45, said he was a fan of Michael Jackson and said he particularly recalled how the music video for Thriller changed MTV. He also said Jackson's death six years ago was one of those 'I know where I was' moments.
"I was at the pool with friends. My friend got a text that Michael Jackson had just died," Plashal said. "He was an icon."
Plashal said his 17-year-old daughter Caroline is also a Jackson fan and would be thrilled to know her father's photo has caused such a stir.
With more severe weather a possibility tonight, Plashal said he planned to be back out storm chasing with his camera. We wonder who he will find in the sky tonight.
The King of Pop Michael Jackson died six years ago.
He submitted the photo to a local meteorologist, who posted the photo on social media, where it became viral.
"I see it. I see it now," he said. "It's pretty wild. It's one of those things — believe what you will."
Jackson died of cardiac arrest on June 25, 2009. The music icon was 50 years old.