I knew the one inch wire rope was under severe strain, that's why I was watching it when it parted (broke). First, a few of the individual steel wires broke with some small time interval between each break. Then more wires broke at a faster rate until the remainder broke all at once. It was possible to see when each wire broke because it was dark and as each wire parted a flash of neon blue light was emitted at the break. I have some fuzzy idea of how electrons/photons might be "shaken loose" as a wire was stretched to its breaking point, but that's not my question. The question is: Why blue light? It has been suggested to me that this was because the emitted radiation was traveling faster than the local speed of light through a transparent medium (air) ie it was Cherenkov radiation. Is this a realistic explanation?