Flying above the U.S. Midwest, scientists using high-speed video cameras have caught the first 3-D images of sprites, elves, blue jets, and crawlers—in the form of lightning, that is.
First seen by scientists in 1989, sprites and their menagerie of exotically named kin are bursts of electrical energy that form about 50 miles (80 kilometers) above Earth, sometimes leaping all the way from the tops of thunderheads to outer space.
…sprites are so bright that it’s amazing nobody saw them until 20 years ago, although, he noted, high-flying pilots had apparently spotted sprites before then but kept mum.
“No pilot was willing to admit they had seen anything up there, because it would cast doubt on their mental state,” he said.
Source: Fortean Times
Here is case of an actual reported/suspected phenomena being captured by scientists. Anecdotes can point us in the direction of where to look, but they are not real evidence. With this phenomena, we were able to develop technology to capture these natural wonders.