General Descriptions

The Brown Mountain Lights are one of the most famous of North Carolina legends. They have been reported a dozen times in newspaper stories. They have been investigated at least twice by the U.S. Geological Survey. And they have attracted the attention of numerous scientists and historians since the German engineer, Gerard Will de Brahm, recorded the mysterious lights in the North Carolina mountains in 1771. "The mountains emit nitrous vapors which are borne by the wind and when laden winds meet each other the niter inflames, sulphurates and deteriorates," said de Brahm. De Brahm was a scientific man and, of course, had a scientific explanation. But the early frontiersman believed that the lights were the spirits of Cherokee and Catawba warriors slain in an ancient battle on the mountainside. One thing is certain, the lights do exist. They have been seen from earliest times. They appear at irregular intervals over the top of Brown Mountain - a long, low mountain in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. They move erratically up and down, visible at a distance, but vanishing as one climbs the mountain. From the Wiseman's View on Linville Mountain the lights can be seen well. They at first appear to be about twice the size of a star as they come over Brown Mountain. Sometimes they have a reddish or blue cast. On dark nights they pop up so thick and fast it's impossible to count them. Among the scientific investigations which have undertaken from time to time to explain the lights have been two conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. The first was made in 1913 when the conclusion was reached that the lights were locomotive headlights from the Catawba Valley south of Brown Mountain. However, three years later in 1916 a great flood that swept through the Catawba Valley knocked out the railroad bridges. It was weeks before the right-of-way could be repaired and the locomotives could once again enter the valley. Roads were also washed out and power lines were down. But the lights continued to appear as usual. It became apparent that the lights could not be reflections from locomotive or automobile headlights. The Guide to the Old North State, prepared by the W.P.A. in the 1930s, states that the Brown Mountain Lights have "puzzled scientists for fifty years." The same story reports sightings of the lights in the days before the Civil War. Cherokee Indians were familiar with these lights as far back as the year 1200. According to Indian legend, a great battle was fought that year between the Cherokee and Catawba Indians near Brown Mountain. The Cherokees believed that the lights were the spirits of Indian maidens who went on searching through the centuries for their husbands and sweethearts who had died in the battle. There are innumerable stories of the lights. But perhaps the best description is that the lights are "a troop of candle-bearing ghosts who are destined to march forever back and forth across the mountain." The lights can be seen from as far away as Blowing Rock or the old Yonahlosse Trail over Grandfather Mountain some fifteen miles from Brown Mountain. At some points closer to Brown Mountain the lights seem large, resembling balls of fire from a Roman candle. Sometimes they may rise to various heights and fade slowly. Others expand as they rise, then burst high in the air like an explosion without sound. Late in 1919 the question of the Brown Mountain Lights was brought to the attention of the Smithsonian Institution and the United States Weather Bureau. Dr. W.J. Humphries of the Weather Bureau investigated and reported that the Brown Mountain Lights were similar to the Andes light of South America. The Andes light and its possible relation to the Brown Mountain Lights became the subject of a paper read before the American Meteorological Society in April 1941. In this report Dr. Herbert Lyman represented the lights as a manifestation of the Andes light. The second U.S. Geological Survey report disposes of the cause of the Brown Mountain Lights by saying they are due to the spontaneous combustion of marsh gases. But there are no marshy places on or about Brown Mountain. The report also states that the lights from foxfire would be too feeble to be seen at a distance of several miles. The report rules out the possibility that the lights are a reflection of mountain moonshine stills. "There are not enough such stills and they probably would not be in sufficiently continuous operation to produce lights in the number and regularity of those seen at Brown Mountain." St. Elmo's Fire, that electrical phenomenon familiar to sea voyagers, was dismissed by a scientist from the Smithsonian Institution. He stated that St. Elmo's Fire and similar phenomena occurred at the extremity of some solid conductor and never in midair as in the case of the Brown Mountain Lights. Some scientists have advanced the theory that the lights are a mirage. Through some peculiar atmospheric condition they believe the glowing balls are reflections from Hickory, Lenoir, and other towns in the area. The only drawback to this theory is that the lights were clearly seen before the War between the States, long before electricity was used to produce light. In recent years scientists have been more concerned about exploring outer space. Perhaps they have forgotten that there are mysteries on our own planet still unsolved. The Brown Mountain Lights are one of them. (http://www.ibiblio.org/ghosts/bmtn.html)

THE BROWN MOUNTAIN LIGHTS - Morganton, North Carolina For a over a hundred years there have been reports of mysterious lights on Brown Mountain and accompanying Chestnut Mountain in North Carolina. Eyewitnesses who have claim to have seen the lights at close range reported seeing "fifteen inch balls of yellow or blue-white fire that emitted sizzling noises." Brown Mountain has an elevation of about 2700 feet and made up almost entirely of "cranberry granite" (remember the old 'Nova' episode I mentioned on the main Spooklight page). Brown Mountain is also located near the Grandfather Mountain fault (which is reportedly inactive, but it is still interesting that it is nearby). The true Brown Mountain Lights appear very rarely, but on occasion do put on an exceptional show. One such show was witnessed by Mike Frizzell in 1974. He had driven out to the Route 181 overlook in hope of seeing the lights. After dark, the lights gave him a spectacular show. For ninety minutes he was able to view them weaving their way along the faces of Brown and Chestnut Mountains. At times there would be as many as four or five lights in view at once. Frizzell has made numerous trips back to Brown Mountain since then, but has yet to see the lights as active as they were during that first experience. The best place for trying to view the lights is from a scenic overlook on Route 181. Just head north from Morganton on Route 181 for about 12 miles. The overlook is a gravel parking lot off to the side of the road. The overlook affords a good view of Brown Mountain which is about 3.5 miles due east. Much thanks to Mike Frizzell of The Enigma Project for graciously providing information on the Brown Mountain Lights. The above information is largely condensed from the book "True Tales of the Unknown" edited by Sharon Jarvis. (http://www.busprod.com/michael/spooklight/BrnMtn.htm)

The Brown Mountain Lights Burke County, North Carolina THE BROWN MOUNTAIN LIGHTS In the western hills of North Carolina stands a mountain that is not particularly striking, or even high, but it plays host to perhaps the strangest mystery in the state. The mountain is called Brown Mountain and it lies in the foothills of the Blue Ridge and for many years, it has attracted the attention of people all over the nation and even the attention of the United States government as two separate investigations have been conducted by the US Geological survey into the strange anomalies of this mountain. The strange events that are occur here have been called the Brown Mountain Lights for more years than most can remember. They appear along the ridges of this mountain on a regular basis and are faithful enough that in clear weather, you can see them just about any night that you care to. The best place to view them is at Wiseman's View on Highway 105 near Morganton. Curiosity -seekers will line this stretch of road in the early evening hours and are rarely disappointed. By looking to the southeast, the watchers will suddenly see a light appear that is about the size of a basketball, or so it appears. The light will be reddish in color and it will hover in the air for a moment and then disappear. In a few minutes, it will appear again, but in another location and then all through the night, the lights will come and go, appearing and vanishing against the night sky. As is normal with this kind of thing, almost every person sees the lights in a different way... some see them as white and bobbing; others as pale and stationary; while others see them coming and going quite rapidly. Regardless, of how they are seen, they remain a mystery. No explanation yet exists as to what the lights really are... although many have tried to solve the riddle. Some have suggested will-o'-the-wisp, that elusive gas that resides in swamps, and yet no swamps are found in this area. Others have suggested fox-fire or some sort of phosphorus; radium rays; strange gases; geological anomalies with the rocks; and more.... but all of them have been dismissed. Always popular is the explanation that the lights are simply headlight reflections from Rattlesnake Knob in the distance... but this hardly explains the fact that the lights were reported well before automobiles were even invented. Some have even suggested that the lights could be firing of moonshine stills by liquor makers on the mountain and while this theory is certainly a romantic one, it has been quite some time since moonshine was made on the slopes of Brown Mountain. As is the case with most ghost light reports.. there is a fantastic explanation and a spooky legend to explain the source of the lights. The story dates back to 1850 and a night when a woman disappeared in the area. There was a general suspicion that the woman's husband had murdered her and everyone in the community turned out to help search for her body. One night, while the search was on, strange lights appeared over Brown Mountain. They were not like lights that anyone had ever seen before and many believed they were the spirit of the dead woman, coming back to haunt her killer. The search ended without the woman being found. Shortly after, the woman's husband disappeared without a trace and many wondered what may have become of him. A number of years later, a skeleton belonging to a woman was found on Brown Mountain and the lights that had been seen during the search started to appear again.... and have been seen ever since. Brown Mountain is located in Burke County, between Morganton and Lenoir, in the western part of the state. The best observation area is marked with a US Forest Service sign, which explains the history of the lights. Copyright 1998 by Troy Taylor (http://www.prairieghosts.com/brownmt.html)

The mysterious brown mountain lights Since before the American Revolution, the mysterious lights of Brown Mountain in Western North Carolina have attracted attention - scientific and mythic. In 1771, Gerard Will de Brahm, a German engineer, wrote about the lights. He believed them to be the result of nitrous vapors carried on the wind. This theory of flammable fumes has been a popular one but there have never been recordable levels of flammable vapors, and it is hard to blame swamp gas when there are no swamps! Brahm was not the only scientist to show an interest in the Brown Mountain Lights. There have been two investigations conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey, one by the United States Weather Bureau, one by the Smithsonian and one by a group called ORION. What did these learned scientists decide? In 1913, the first Geological Survey investigation decided the lights were caused by reflected light from locomotive headlights in the Catawba Valley, south of Brown Mountain. However, when the great Catawba Valley flood of 1916 knocked out power lines, roads and railroad bridges, suspending train traffic for weeks, the lights still appeared. Apparently, the lights were not caused by reflected light. Dr. W.J. Humphries, of the United States Weather Bureau presented a paper before the American Meteorological Society in April 1941, which concluded that the Brown Mountain Lights were similar to the Andes light of South America. While not exactly an explanation, Humphries findings did let folks know that Brown Mountain had a cousin to the South. The second U.S. Geological Survey returned to the flammable gas theory and pronounced that the Brown Mountain Lights were the result of the spontaneous combustion of marsh gas. Since there are no marshes on or near Brown Mountain, the report was met with some skepticism. They did, however, dispute a number of other theories about the Brown Mountain Lights stating the foxfire light was too feeble to be responsible for the sightings and that moonshine stills would not be in "sufficiently continuous operation to produce lights in the number and regularity of those seen at Brown Mountain." In 1977, the ORION group conducted a test, which proved that reflected light could produce lights above the crest of Brown Mountain. However, they rejected the theory that the Brown Mountain Lights could be solely explained by reflected light since the phenomenon had been observed long before electricity. The ORION group tried to reproduce the lights through seismic activity but was unable. Naturally, with a phenomenon as old as the Brown Mountain Lights, there are a number of folk explanations. One legend says that the lights are the spirits of Native American warriors killed in battle. Another romantic tale attributes the lights to the spirits of Native American women who were searching for their husbands who had died in a great battle between the Cherokee and the Catawba Indiana. For those who like a scarier tale, one gruesome story dates back to 1850. A young woman disappeared in the area. A search was begun, during which strange lights appeared over Brown Mountain. The searchers concluded that the lights were the spirit of the young woman, come back to haunt her killer. Locals believed the woman was killed by her cheating husband and soon after, he disappeared as mysteriously as his wife. Perhaps he is still running from his wife and the lights that are seen are simply the torches of the vengeful spirit and her murderer, forever pursuing and being pursued on Brown Mountain. These days, some people attribute the lights to the presence of extraterrestrials paying a repeat visit to the mountain. Whatever the cause, the Brown Mountain lights remain visible on any clear night to those who seek them. The best viewing spots are found near Morganton, NC. On Route 181, about 12 miles north of Morganton is a scenic overlook. From the overlook, the mountain is about 3.5 miles due east. Another good spot is at Wiseman's View on Highway 105, and cars often line up along the side of the road for a good view. From there, look southeast to see Brown Mountain. Observer descriptions vary. The lights can appear red, blue, green or white and will disappear if approached. Some have described them as balls of fire. They may rise slowly and fade away, or seem to burst soundlessly in the air. All agree that the phenomenon is worth the drive to see one of America's mysterious places. Written by Janis Fields Title: The mysterious brown mountain lights Description:The Mysterious Brown Mountain Lights have fascinated scientists since 1771, and there is still no accepted theories about them. Copyright 2001 by PageWise, Inc. (http://pa.essortment.com/mysteriouslight_rgks.htm)

Brown Mountain lies in the foothills of the Blue Ridge Parkway with an elevation of only 2,600 feet. The Brown Mountain Lights of Burke County, near Morganton NC, have intrigued residents and visitors for hundreds of years. The lights are mentioned in local Native American mythology, and by Geraud de Brahm, a German engineer and the first white man to explore the region, in 1771. The lights have been described in many ways from being a glowing ball of fire, to being a bursting skyrocket, or a pale almost white light. The fact that they never seem the same is as fantastic as the lights themselves. At times they seem to drift slowly, fading and brightening and at other times they seem to whirl like pinwheels, then dart rapidly away. One of the legends explaining the Brown Mountain Lights was of a planter from the low country who traveled to the mountains to hunt, and became lost. One of his slaves came to look for him and was seen searching through the hills with a lantern, night after night. Now, according to the legend, the old slave is gone, but his spirit remains and the old lantern still casts it's light. Another such legend is of a woman who disappeared about 1850, the general suspicion was that her husband had killed her. Almost everyone in the community joined the search for her and one dark night while the search was on the strange lights appeared on Brown Mountain. Some of the searchers thought that this was the dead woman's spirit come back to haunt her murderer and warn the searchers to stop looking for her body. The search ended without a trace of her body, but long years afterwards a pile of bones was found under a cliff and were identified as the skeleton of the missing woman. The Cherokee Indians were familiar with these lights as far back as the year 1200. According to Indian legend, a great battle was fought that year between the Cherokee and Catawba Indians near Brown Mountain. The Cherokees believed that the lights were the spirits of Indian maidens who went on searching through the centuries for their husbands and sweethearts who had died in the battle. Early frontiersman believed that the lights were the spirits of Cherokee and Catawba warriors slain in an ancient battle on the mountainside. Some say the lights are just a troop of candle-bearing ghosts destined to walk back and forth across the mountain forever. Of the many scientific theories made to explain the Brown Mountain Lights, none have been proven. Some suggest that the lights are caused by a combination of several minerals and gases in the area. One geologist suggested that possibly deposits of radioactive uranium ore in the area may be responsible for producing the lights. Another suggests phosphorus, but this element oxidizes quickly and is not found here. Pitchblende Ore, from which radium is derived, has been mentioned, but the rays from radium are invisible. Some scientists have advanced the theory that the lights are a mirage. Through some peculiar atmospheric condition they believe the glowing balls are reflections from Hickory, Lenoir, and other towns in the area. The only drawback to this theory is that the lights were clearly seen before the War between the States, long before electricity was used to produce light. A U.S. Geological Survey decided in 1913 that the lights were locomotive headlights from the Catawba Valley south of Brown Mountain. However, three years later in 1916 a great flood that swept through the Catawba Valley knocked out the railroad bridges. It was weeks before the right-of-way could be repaired and the locomotives could once again enter the valley. Roads were also washed out and power lines were down. But the lights continued to appear as usual. It became apparent that the lights could not be reflections from locomotive or automobile headlights. A second U.S. Geological Survey report disposes of the cause of the Brown Mountain Lights by saying they are due to the spontaneous combustion of marsh gases. But there are no marshy places on or about Brown Mountain. The lights can be seen from as far away as Blowing Rock or the old Yonahlosse Trail over Grandfather Mountain some fifteen miles from Brown Mountain. At some points closer to Brown Mountain the lights seem large, resembling balls of fire from a Roman candle. Sometimes they may rise to various heights and fade slowly. Others expand as they rise, then burst high in the air like an explosion without sound. Brown Mountain is located in the Pisgah National Forest, in the Blue Ridge mountains of Western North Carolina. There are several places where the lights can be seen, here are a few of the more popular places. Brown Mountain Overlook Located 20 miles north of Morganton, on NC highway 181, 1 mile south of the Barkhouse Picnic Area. Wiseman's View Overlook Located 5 miles south of the village of Linville Falls on Kistler Memorial Highway a.k.a Old NC 105 or State Road 1238. Lost Cove Cliffs Overlook Located on the Blue Ridge Parkway, at mile-post 310, 2 miles north of the NC highway 181 junction.

The Brown Mountain Lights are a somewhat rare occurrence, and are not always visible. To see the lights you need good visibility between your viewpoint and Brown Mountain. Clear weather conditions with little or no moonlight are the most favorable for viewing the lights, but the lights have been seen during hazy conditions and light rain. The lights have been reported to be seen at all hours of the night between sundown and sunrise, but the best noted times are at 10:00 PM and 2:00 AM. The locals also say they are much more prominent in the months of September and October. One thing is certain, the lights do exist. They have been seen from earliest times. They appear at irregular intervals over the top of Brown Mountain. They move erratically up and down, are visible at a distance, but vanish as one climbs the mountain. From the Wiseman's View on Linville Mountain the lights can be seen well. They at first appear to be about twice the size of a star as they come over Brown Mountain. Sometimes they have a reddish or blue cast. On dark nights they pop up so thick and fast it's impossible to count them. Who knows what causes the Brown Mountain Lights, but if you view them, as I have, you can say you have viewed a natural phenomenon that scientists have yet to explain. (http://www.westernncattractions.com/BMLights.htm)

The Story At the foot of the Blue Ridge Mountains in North Carolina is Brown Mountain, and though they might not be as well known as some of the other North Carolina legends, the Brown Mountain lights are one of the more persistent mysteries of the Tarheel state. One of the stories begins on a night in 1850, when the wife of one of the locals disappeared without a trace. The woman's husband was the prime suspect in her disappearance, but the thick forest of the mountain was loathe to reveal any clues as to her fate. One evening, while a search party was still out looking for her, strange lights appeared in the sky, and many of the residents believed that the lights were the ghost of the woman, coming back to haunt her husband. Unfortunately, soon after the lights began occurring the husband mysteriously disappeared, dashing whatever hope the townspeople might have held that he would ultimately confess to his crime. Though the lights subsided for a while, a few years later some hunters on Brown Mountain found the skeletal remains of a woman believed to be the murdered wife, and the lights returned in full force shortly thereafter. Another story relates the lights to the lamp of a slave, out searching the side of the mountain for the remains of his estate. Great tales, but in fact the lights were observed well before there were any established towns in the area; the Cherokee and Catawba Indians believed the lights to be spirits of their warriors slain in battle on the mountain. Various people report the lights in various ways; some people describe them as whitish, and some say the lights move either quickly or slowly. But the vast majority of observors say the lights are the size of basketballs, reddish in color, and hover for an instant, disappear, and then reappear a few moments later in another location along the ridge. And none of the explanations offered for the lights ever seem to pan out- no cars, towns, swamps, or planes are able to reproduce the phenomenon. Today, a U.S. Forestry Service sign even marks the best area for viewing these mysterious lights. What I Found This place far and away generates the most mail from readers telling me when and how they saw these lights. Which is great, because the Brown Mountain Lights are apparently something you have a pretty good chance of seeing so long as the conditions are right. But I was told by almost everybody that it had to be a clear night. So of course, the two nights I manage to take off happen to both be rainy and very non-clear, to say the least. Got some nice pictures, as Brown Mountain is in a beautiful part of the state, but no lights. I'll try again later this year, maybe when the leaves start to turn colors up there. If You Want to Go Take Highway 181 North out of Morganton. At Milepost 20, you'll come to a large turn-out area on the right that affords a great view of the countryside, even if you don't see any lights. But on clear nights, of course, this parking area fills up rather quickly, so you might want to plan on getting there a little early to ensure a parking spot. Wiseman's View on Highway 105, just outside of Morganton, is also supposed to be one of the best places to catch the lights on a clear night, but this is a dirt road, so leave your porsche at home. Write to: tarheel@unforgettable.com (http://members.nbci.com/ncghosts/lights.htm)

UFO UpDates Mailing List Brown Mountain Lights? From: Doc Landry <landryp1@home.com Date: Tue, 08 Sep 1998 20:15:15 -0400 Fwd Date: Thu, 10 Sep 1998 06:52:56 -0400 Subject: Brown Mountain Lights? Hello everyone: I was wondering if anyone else had a different version of these events, or a different story relating to the lights on Brown Mountain. Below is all the info I could find. I am working on a research paper and would appreciate any info you may have. Please send your replies to me personally as not to interfere with the list. Thank you all for you patience and time;-) Doc Brown Mountain Lights Brown Mountain in North Carolina at the end of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain, is as we all know famous for it's enigmatic nocturnal lights. In May 1977, ORION (the Oak Ridge Isochronous Observation Network) placed a 500,000 candlepower arc light in Lenoir, which is 22 miles east of Brown Mountain. At the same time, a group of observers gathered on an overlook on Route 181, which is 3.5 miles west of Brown Mountain, a favorite spot for watching for the Brown Mountain lights. An experiment showed that when the arc light was switched on, the observers saw an orange-red orb hovering several degrees above the crest of Brown Mountain. Final conclusion; the majority of the so-called Brown Mountain lights, particularly those seen above the crest, are refractions of artificial lights. The real Brown Mountain lights, the mysterious ones, are those that flit through the trees well below the crest.These lights are extremely rare. Various observers descriptions are that they commence as a brilliant blue-white or yellow light, which tapers off to a dull red before disappearing, all in 2 to 10 seconds. Horizontal motion is often only a degree or so, although some older reports have the lights wandering greater distances at speeds faster than a human could manage in the difficult terrain. In an experiment to determine whether the "true" Brown Mountain lights might be seismic in origin, ORION detonated small charges on Brown Mountain in July 1981. No artificially stimulated lights were recorded. The lights seen on Brown Mountain are according to my research the subject of a family legend. At any rate here goes. Brown Mountain was named after a plantation family who owned slaves. During the Civil War, one man was a colonel in the Confederate Army. He was wounded, and came home in 1863 or thereabouts. One day he went up the mountain and did not return. After a few days, they sent the man's personal servant after him. The servant's name was Jim. He took only a little food, some water, and two lanterns. He had grown up on the mountain, and did not expect to look for long. Brown Mountain is not a big place. The servant also never returned. No trace of Jim or his master was ever found, and no one knows what happened to them, to this day. Shortly after they disappeared two bobbing lights started to appear on the mountain. The legend has it that these lights are the lanterns Jim took with him and that he is still looking for his lost master .Another version says that the lights are Jim and his master, each carrying a lantern, trying to find their way back to the home which is no longer there. I don't know how accurate any of this is but it was all I could find on the Brown Mountain lights. (http://www.ufomind.com/ufo/updates/1998/sep/m10-014.shtml)

EXPERIMENTS ON BROWN MOUNTAIN Brown Mountain, in North Carolina at the end of the Blue Ridge Mountain chain, is famous for its enigmatic nocturnal lights. In this article M.A. Frizzell summarizes the most important attempts to come to grips with this phenomenon during the past 70 years. He concludes by describing recent experiments conducted by The Enigma Project and the Oak Ridge Isochronous Observation Network (ORION). Rather than repeat once again the older published observations, let us concentrate on the Enigma/ORION work. In May 1977, ORION placed a 500,000 candlepower arc light in Lenoir, 22 miles east of Brown Mountain. Simultaneously, a group of observers gathered on an overlook on Route 181, 3.5 miles west of Brown Mountain, a favorite spot for watching for the Brown Mountain lights. Brown Mountain itself was inter-posed between the arc light and obser-vers. When the arc light was switched on, the observers saw an orange-red orb hovering several degrees above the crest of Brown Mountain. Conclusion: the majority of the so-called Brown Mountain lights, particularly those seen above the crest, are refractions of artificial lights. The real Brown Mountain lights, the mysterious ones, are those that flit through the trees well below the crest. These lights are extremely rare. Typically, they commence as a brilliant blue-white or yellow light, which tapers off to dull red before disappearing, all in 2-10 seconds. Horizontal motion is often only a degree or so, although some older reports have the lights wandering greater distances at speeds faster than a human could manage in the difficult terrain. In an experiment to determine whether the "true" Brown Mountain lights might be seismic in origin, ORION detonated small charges on Brown Mountain in July 1981. No artificially stimulated lights were recorded. (Frizzell, Michael A.; "Investigating the Brown Mountain Lights," INFO Journal, 9:22, January/February 1984. INFO = International Fortean Organization.) Reference. The Brown Mountain lights are classified under GLN1 with other "nocturnal lights." This category appears in our Catalog: Lightning, Auroras. To order, see: here. From Science Frontiers #33, MAY-JUN 1984. (c) 1984-2000 William R. Corliss (http://www.science-frontiers.com/sf033/sf033p17.htm)

Brown Mountain Lights Brown Mountain, North Carolina The Brown Mountain Lights are one of the most well-known cases of Ghost Lights. The lights are described as red, blue, green, or white balls which disappear when approached. Legend holds that these lights are the spirits of Native American tribesmen killed in battle long ago. Other theories, put forth by such organizations as The U.S. Geological Survey, have at various times suggested that the lights are ignited swamp gas, the reflected lights of local towns, or train/car headlights. However, there is no swampland in the area, and the lights have been seen since long before the time of automobiles and electric lights. Thus the Brown Mountain Lights remain a mystery. There are two stories in the story archives about these lights: Brown Mountain Mountain Lights More information: A short experience with the lights An interesting observance on Brown Mountain An unusual manifestation of strange lights in the Brown Mountain area A traditional folktale of Brown Mountain Some links to other sites: The Brown Mountain Lights An interesting article at UNC The Brown Mountain Lights, August 1962 Articles from the Charlotte Observer The Brown Mountain Lights On the Spooklight Page The Mysterious Brown Mountain Lights Some helpful information on where to view the lights A true story of the Brown Mountain Lights A personal experience with the lights Experiments on Brown Mountain An article from Science Frontiers (http://www.ghosts.org/ghostlights/brownmtn.html)

Mountain Ghost Stories and Curious Tales of Western North Carolina by Randy Russell and Janet Barnett While a body of folktales has grown up around the Brown Mountain Lights, it should be pointed out that no scientific explanation for the appearance of the lights exists. Unimpressive as far as mountains go, Brown Mountain rises to but twenty-six hundred feet and is best described as a long, low ridge when viewed from higher points in Burke and Avery counties. Numerous sightings of the strange lights have been documented over the years, and the lights are still visible today from vantage points along the Blue Ridge Parkway and from points between Blowing Rock and Linville. Margaret Jordan of the Davenport Weekly Record of Lenoir, North Carolina, wrote in April of 1922 that "the mysterious light on Brown Mountain . . . has again been seen by the Burke County people." She went on to recount one of the first attempts to explain the lights, noting that on June 8, 1908, "a body of men was immediately dispatched from Morganton to learn the cause of the light, but the expedition was a failure." Those curious men from Morganton shouldn't have felt too badly, even though they trooped over to Brown Mountain again three nights later when the light was spotted once more. Every scientific attempt since then to explain the appearance of the ghostly Brown Mountain Lights has failed. In 1913, a United States Geological Survey investigation verified that the lights did indeed exist. After a brief examination, the investigators determined that the lights were nothing more than the reflected headlights of trains traveling through the Catawba Valley at the base of Brown Mountain. The locals knew that there was not a chance that his was true. The lights had been seen long before the coming of trains to the area. A severe flooding of the Catawba Valley in 1916 proved them right. The flood washed away railroad tracks and bridges and tore down power poles in the valley. Throughout the weeks it took to restore the tracks, the Brown Mountain Lights continued to appear regularly. The flood was nature's way of disproving the scientists who attempted to write off one of her mysteries as another matter of routine reason. Later in the decade, the United States Geological Survey again investigated the mystery lights, this time along with the United States Weather Bureau. Using a wide array of modern instruments, they determined that lights appearing above the mountain arose from the spontaneous combustion of marsh gasses. They also suggested that any remaining lights were the reflections of brush fires. March gasses? Perhaps they were paying too much attention to their instruments and ignoring their surroundings. There are so marshy areas on or anywhere near Brown Mountain, no swampy holes where such gasses might gather. It didn't take other scientists long to discount this theory. It was noted that phosphorous combustion could not have been seen from great distances even if marsh gasses were present; phosphorous combustion is more visible as you approach its origin. The Brown Mountain Lights, on the other hand, seem to disappear as you approach, and they are rarely visible at all from lower altitudes, where swamp gas would be likely to accumulate. Again, the lights are seen high above Brown Mountain. In a 1940 report, Hobart A. Whitman concluded that the lights were not the result of natural ground sources. He analyzed rocks and soil from Brown Mountain and the surrounding area for any unusual elements. The rocks and soil didn't differ from rocks and soil across the entire western region of North Carolina. As for brush fires, the mountain would have long ago burned down to support so many fires for so many years. The Smithsonian Institution discounted the popular theory that the Brown Mountain Lights were a manifestation of St. Elmo's fire, the electric-glow phenomenon occurring at the edge of a solid conductor such as an airplane wing. St. Elmo's fire does not occur in midsky as do the Brown Mountain Lights. Eventually, it was suggested that the lights were a mirage, the best scientific explanation of the regular appearance of the mysterious, floating globes over Brown Mountain to date. Legend has taken over where science failed. If the lights cannot be explained by science, they must exist outside the world of science. Unexplained lights at night are often personified in folklore and Indian legend as a lover in search of his or her beloved in the eternal hereafter. This is true of the Brown Mountain Lights as well. One legend has it that a storm swept away a beau on his scheduled night of elopement; his faithful lover waits still with a lantern in her hand for his arrival. Another version has it that a lover burns a candle as she searches for her beloved, who was murdered by a jealous rival. (http://www.invink.com/x308.html)

The Brown Mountain Lights The Brown Mountain Lights are one of the most famous of North Carolina legends. They have been reported a dozen times in newspaper stories. They have been investigated at least twice by the U.S. Geological Survey. And they have attracted the attention of numerous scientists and historians since the German engineer, Gerard Will de Brahm, recorded the mysterious lights in the North Carolina mountains in 1771. "The mountains emit nitrous vapors which are borne by the wind and when laden winds meet each other the niter inflames, sulphurates and deteriorates," said de Brahm. De Brahm was a scientific man and, of course, had a scientific explanation. But the early frontiersman believed that the lights were the spirits of Cherokee and Catawba warriors slain in an ancient battle on the mountainside. One thing is certain, the lights do exist. They have been seen from earliest times. They appear at irregular intervals over the top of Brown Mountain - a long, low mountain in the foothills of the Blue Ridge. They move erratically up and down, visible at a distance, but vanishing as one climbs the mountain. From the Wiseman's View on Linville Mountain the lights can be seen well. They at first appear to be about twice the size of a star as they come over Brown Mountain. Sometimes they have a reddish or blue cast. On dark nights they pop up so thick and fast it's impossible to count them. Among the scientific investigations which have undertaken from time to time to explain the lights have been two conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey. The first was made in 1913 when the conclusion was reached that the lights were locomotive headlights from the Catawba Valley south of Brown Mountain. However, three years later in 1916 a great flood that swept through the Catawba Valley knocked out the railroad bridges. It was weeks before the right-of-way could be repaired and the locomotives could once again enter the valley. Roads were also washed out and power lines were down. But the lights continued to appear as usual. It became apparent that the lights could not be reflections from locomotive or automobile headlights. (http://members.tripod.com/jayboy74/story12.html)

Brown Mountain ORV Area Written by David S. and Clay D. Four of us and our quads spent the weekend at Brown Mt. Located in Pisgah Nat'l. Forest in the western end of NC. Had a ball! There are trails for just about everyone. Except those who enjoy a good mud bog. It was very dusty due to lack of significant rain. I highly recommend trails 9 & 10 at night! The parking lot was pretty full, but the area is large enough that we rarely ran into traffic. There are some pretty good grades, some rock climbing, and nice twisty trails with great whoops. We camped right outside the trailhead. Camping is primitive so if you go, be sure to take everything you think you will need. (esp. water and fuel) Brown Mountain has a number of challenging trails, 38 miles in all. Trail 1 is 11 miles long. There are three degrees of difficulty: easiest, difficult, and most difficult. Brown Mountain is also the subject of a local legend. The following is an excerpt from a Pamphlet published by McDowell County Tourism: Brown Mountain Lights - The region's most popular mystery! On certain clear evenings, small but brilliant spherical lights or orbs can be seen bobbing up and down, disappearing and then reappearing. This mystery has attracted thousands of curiosity seekers over the centuries. Extensive scientific research has failed to explain the phenomenon..." - "Mountain Treasures" (Tourism Brochure) One of the members of the ATV Connection may have solved the mystery: MyScrambler wrote: "I plan on taking it easy on the trails during the day so I can site see but at night I plan on being one of the faster UFOs in the hills. Ya'll have heard the story of the Brown Mountain Lights haven't ya. The X-Files even did a show on them. It seems many people over the years saw the atv and truck lights bouncing around up on the mountain from far away and thought they were UFOs." Other information may be obtained at the Forest Rangers office at exit 90 of I-40. They will provide detailed instructions, a brochure on the Brown Mountain ORV area, a Map of the Trails, and a list of Emergency Phone Numbers. They also have a gift shop and a one-room museum. There is a Kawasaki dealer on the other side of the exit, if you need one. UNOFFICIAL DIRECTIONS: Nearest to Morganton, NC. I-40 to Morganton, North on 18 through town then 181 North. About 15 miles past Grandpas Music Barn on left. Right on Brown Mountain Road (right after Space Station). After first bridge, take a left on dirt road., continue to top. DIRECTIONS (from Brown Mountain ORV brochure) From I-40E take exit 100. Turn left. Drive without turning until you come to a T intersection with Highway 181. Turn left and travel on 181. Turn right on Brown Mountain Beach Road (State Road 1405) at a small wooden church on the right. The OHV entrance is about 5 miles east on the left side, 300 feet from a small concrete bridge at the Forest service sign. A map of Pisgah National Forest, including allowed activities, is provided at Pisgah Home Page For camping information, you can call Grandfather Ranger District (828) 652-2144. There is a daily users fee of $3.00 per ATV. Payment is through a voluntary pay system in the parking area. The Brown Mountain ORV area closes from January 2 through March 15. (http://trailrunners.bizland.com/reviewpage.htm)

Brown Mountain Lights, nr.Linville & Morganton, North Carolina, USA. The Brown Mountain lights are almost as famous as the Marfa lights, and probably equally as famous as the Maco Station Light. The lights have been observed since about the 1890's, and were often thought to be souls of American Indian braves killed in battles long ago. Although they are famous, they do not appear all that regularly, but when they do, they are often spectacular. They are often seen as yellow, red, blue-white, or green balls of light, about one and a half feet wide (18cm), which makes them classic earth lights. Importantly, they have also been heard to make 'sizzling' noises, which may indicate that they are fairly hot. Brown, and nearby Chestnut mountains, are located in the very north-western corner of North Carolina. Interestingly (as it may tie up with the Tectonic Strain Theory), the there is a fault, 'the Grandfather Mountain fault', which runs very close by to these mountains. The usual theories have been put forward to explain these lights: reflections from nearby towns, ignited swamp gas, and car headlights, but as these lights were seen in the previous century when there were no cars, and as there are no marshes in the area, we can assume that these theories aren't very scientifically sound, and therefore may only be explained by one of the other theories surrounding earth lights. That being said, there was an experiment conducted once that disproved some of the sightings from the nearby highway. A 500000 candlepower light was placed 22 miles away, and the observers saw this (white) light as a red light floating a few degrees above the horizon. This does not account for some of the more 'formal' sightings, the usual outline of which follows:- The lights appear rarely on some nights in the gorge, with no set appearance pattern. Usually they start out as blue/white or yellow lights, decaying to a dull red before disappearing. They weave and flit in and out of the trees (well below the crest) until they reach the edge of the river, then they disappear, sometimes reappearing in another spot. When they are seen, they are usually only visible for 2-10 seconds. For more info about these lights click on one of these links:- http://www.ghosts.org/ghostlights/brownmtn.html. Brown Mountain Lights. The well known ghost lights of Brown Mountain, North Carolina. http://metalab.unc.edu/ghosts/bmtn.html. The Brown Mountain Lights. An interesting article at U.N.C. (http://www.mysterylights.com/cases/#brown)

Legend of Brown Mountain The legends of the Brown Mountain Lights are many and varied, and have been told down through the years, perhaps as early as 1879. To this day, people still are undecided as to their origin and the stories of yesteryear are as thrilling as those of today. The mysterious lights can be seen from several spots in and around Blowing Rock, looking back toward Lenoir and Morganton, at what is known as"Brown Mountain" The lights have been described as flashing from one side of the mountain to the other, and in some cases lave been seen in colors, such as red and blue. Scientists and other interested investigative parties have sought to explain the lights, but each and every explanation has been discarded by those who had rather keep the legends in tact, and still today, in 1976, the "lights" remain mysterious and unexplained. The most popular legend came from Shepherd M. Dugger, author of "The Balsam Groves of Grandfather Mountain" in 1937, when at the age of 83 he related the following story and description of the "lights": "I'll tell you a story I heard many years ago about those lights. I don't say that it's true, although there are a lot of people who believe it's so. "Over on, Jonas Ridge, near Linville Falls a man killed his wife about sixty years ago. That is, she disappeared and everybody thought he killed her. The whole community helped to search the mountain sides, but they couldn't find the body of the woman. One dark night while they were searching the hills some strange lights appeared over Brown Mountain. They weren't like any lights anyone, had ever seen before. Those who hadn't seen them wouldn't believe the ones who said they had, but pretty soon nearly everyone had seen them. Some people got scared and said that the lights were the spirit of the dead woman come back to haunt her murderer, or to keep people from searching for her. The search ended without anyone seeking any trace of her except some blood stains on a rock near Brown Mountain. Her husband said that they were from a pig he had killed a few days before. "A little while after that, a stranger in town left with a fine horse and wagon that had belonged to the dead woman's husband. The husband said the stranger had bought them, but everyone knew that he didn't have any money. He was never heard of again, and folks thought that he had helped with the murder or had known of it and had been bribed to leave. "The lights have been seen ever since. No one had ever seen them before that time. They weren't car lights, like some people say today, because that was long before the days of the automobile in this country. "Well they found. the woman's body under a cliff on Brown Mountain long years after, but without any signs of a head. The legend then took a little twist, of how it was this woman, out with a lanterr4l; looking for her head in the dark of a clear night, and the lights were the woman's lantern, going. from one side of the hill to the other and around the mountain, looking for her head." This was Mr. Dugger's story, and as far as many people are concerned that's still the story of how it happened close to l00 years ago. Other legends are even older that of Mr. Dugger's. One takes the lights back to the 1700s, during the Revolutionary War, a fitting time for this bicentennial issue. A family had migrated across the mountains ' of Western North Carolina, finally settling close to Blowing' Rock, at the foot of what is now known as Brown Mountain. At the outbreak of the Revolutionary War the father left his wife with her three small children to fight for his country. After the war, he returned to find only the charred remains of his home. Half crazed by despair and grief, he searched frantically for any signs of his lost family. All day he hunted and when night came he continued his long search, lighting his way,with a crude torch. Constantly roaming, it is said that, overcome by hunger and fatigue, he died on the top of Brown Mountain. Thus it is his restless, ever-searching spirit that wanders over that mountain to this very day, haunting it with his eerie beacon. (http://www.watauganet.com/anniversaries/brownmtn.html)

1997-98 University Research Council Competitive Grants Program A Scientific Investigation of the Brown Mountain Lights Final Summary Report October 1, 1998 Daniel B. Caton Introduction The Brown Mountain Lights have been reported for at over a century. The individual reports vary in nature, but all share a description of colored, moving lights sighted over the Linville Gorge, seen from various overlooks. The only serious investigation of this phenomenon was made 70 years ago by members of the U.S. Geological Survey, who investigated it from a geologist's perspective, only. Results were inconclusive, with the report only listing a number of natural and manmade light sources that could be the origin. It has never been carefully checked out using modern instrumentation, or by an astronomer-a person experienced in the study of stellar images. In this project we are using modern detectors to investigate the phenomenon, to determine the source of the lights and lay rest rumors of UFO's, etc. In this first phase of the study the lights are being imaged and recorded using several different camera setups. We intend to eventually obtain spectra to allow discrimination among a variety of different sources of light. However, since we were not fully funded we have delayed the attempts to do simple spectroscopy using an objective prism placed in front of the lens of various cameras. Instead, we are concentrating on characterization of the light sources first. Spectroscopy also requires a knowledge of the motions and appearances of the lights, in order to provide tracking. The System Developed In this project a system has been assembled for providing image acquisition using VCRs and cameras powered by a DC battery and AC power inverter. Mounted on a hand truck, the equipment is easily transported to the observation site. The setup assembled is shown below: The equipment includes a modern, scientific quality (color) digital camera (not shown here since it was used to take the photo!) and a high-quality VCR (black, in the aluminum slide-in rack). A 12-volt battery is shown at the bottom-left, in a custom-built swivel bracket to keep it upright when the cart is tilted down for transport. The blue device is a DC-to-AC power inverter, and below it is the battery charger. All fabrication and assembly operations were done in the College of Arts & Sciences machine shop, by instrument maker Robert Miller. Equipment already on hand included a low-light level (but monochrome) CCD video camera and an image intensifier ("night vision" device). A wide-angle lens was obtained to use with an existing 35-mm camera. An existing camcorder is also used, as well as computers and software for image analysis. The proposed audio equipment was not acquired due to partial funding of the project, and was considered the least likely needed equipment proposed, at least in the initial stages. Project Status Because the project was only partly funded, it was decided to wait a few months before purchasing the digital camera, allowing prices to fall to where most of the needed equipment could be purchased. During this period the components for the cart were assembled, with some additional delays due to preparations under way to move the shop to the new science building. The system is now ready for use, and we intend to use it regularly over this fall, winter, and spring-the periods when the Brown Mountain Lights are reported seen most frequently (cool, clear, moonless nights). Budget All allocated funds were expended, with only slight changes from the Proposal. We indeed acquired the digital camera specified, the wide angle lens, S-VHS VCR, and components for the power system and cart. We have delayed spectral and acoustic investigation and thus did not acquire the parabolic microphone system or wedge prism. Dissemination We anticipate publishing results in the journal Skeptical Inquirer, as well as in the popular press. Indeed, in order to show that science does investigate so-called paranormal phenomena, the PI has mentioned this project in a column to run in the Charlotte Observer on October 6, 1998. Images and results will be posted on a Web site that was set up for this project, located at http://www.acs.appstate.edu/dept/physics/caton/BML/BML.htm which now contains a copy of this report. In addition, the PI has met an amateur astronomer from the Atlanta area who has done some work on the Lights, and we will continue to collaborate during the study. (http://www.acs.appstate.edu/dept/physics/caton/BML/BML-URC.htm)

In History: September 13th, 1913 marks the first known printed reference to the mysterious Brown Mountain Lights. The nature of the lights which appear near Brown Mountain North Carolina have baffled people for many years. The newspaper reported that "the mysterious light is seen just above the horizon almost every night." Some researchers contend that the lights can be explained by such common things as cars and trains. Others think that lights are "spooklights" or "earthlights" that are somehow generated by seismic activity. (http://www.unmuseum.org/soearch/over0900.htm)

Brown Mountain Lights Linnville, North Carolina Stop by Lonas Ridge at night and you might see a ghost in the mountain mist. Locals say it's a 150-year-old slave looking for his lost master. Rational, thinking types explain it away as static electricity and reflections from car headlights. If you're a real road tripper you can suspend your brain activity long enough to get hooked on the superstition. US 221 about 18 miles South of Blowing Rock, North Carolina, just off the Blue Ridge Parkway. Hours: When it's dark and the ghost feels like showing up. Telephone: Unlisted (http://www.cnn.com/EVENTS/1996/back.on.track/road.trip/)

Brown Mountain Lights The region's most popular mystery! On certain clear evenings, small but brilliant spherical lights or orbs can be seen bobbing up and down, disappearing, and reappearing. This mystery has attracted thousands of curiosity seekers over the centuries. Extensive scientific research has failed to explain the phenomenon. There are several vantage points along NC 181, north of Morganton, and from Wiseman's View on the Kistler Memorial Highway (SR 1238), near Linville Falls. 828-652-1103 (http://www.mcdowellnc.org/heritage2.htm)

Close encounters of the skeptical kind Like many other scientists, I have been accused by True Believers of ignoring 'evidence' for UFOs. Daniel Caton Special to The Observer Published: Tuesday, October 6, 1998 Section: VIEWPOINT Page 13A "Have you ever seen anything in the sky that you didn't recognize?" This is one of the most common questions I get when I have the opportunity to show the stars to a group. There is usually a gleam in the questioner's eye, a reflection of the hope that there is something out there we are keeping secret. So, have I seen anything outside the usual? Well, actually, yes. Thrice. Like many other scientists, I've been accused by True Believers of ignoring the 'evidence' for UFOs. However, the important difference between my sightings and theirs is not the sighting but the reaction. Skepticism instead of obsession. There is a difference between an open mind and one that accepts all theories equally. And, quoting Sagan, "extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence." My first encounter of the First Kind occurred as I was driving home from the observatory late one night. On a straight stretch of road I became aware of a beacon-like light extending up from the horizon about a third the way to the zenith. I slowed the van to a stop and turned off the headlights. Still there. I turned off all the lights and got out. Still there a faint, narrow fan of light, slightly to the south of due west. I kept it in my sight until I turned south, and picked it up again after resuming my westward travel toward Boone. It stayed off my port bow until lost in the glow of the town. I would sight it on two more occasions, always while alone (thus feeling some of the angst that UFO sighters experience!) My students would kid me about it and call it "Caton's Light." What was it? I don't know, but I know what it wasn't likely to be: an alien spacecraft, Elvis' return, an angel making a landing. We must apply Occam's Razor the criterion that says that we must accept the simplest explanation that will suffice. It may have been related to the gegenschein an faint glow sometimes seen in the direction opposite the sun. Maybe a distant spotlight or the occasional aurora seen this far south. It would be fun to figure it out and write it up for a journal article but, in "Skeptical Inquirer" rather than the "National Enquirer." Sadly, like UFOs, Caton's Light is difficult to study since it appeared randomly and not recently. On the other hand, there are some phenomena that are repeatable enough to investigate. In our area there are the Brown Mountain Lights mysterious luminaries seen from several vantage points around the Linville Gorge. A year ago I began an investigation of this phenomenon, allotting a small amount of time to the project. On the trips so far I've only seen one Light that was unexplainable a soft, bluish horizontal beam clearly under the tree canopy in an area devoid of roads. My second Encounter.. What are these lights? Swamp gas at 3,000 feet? Probably not. Perhaps some kind of geological 'Certs Effect' of stressed rocks (chew some of those wintergreen breath mints in front of a mirror tonight for a glimpse of some physics only recently explored!) Or, some kind of electrostatic discharge, a bigger version of the flash seen when pulling your socks off in the dark on a dry winter night. Further study may tell, but again, I don't think the Lights are likely to be ET taking a Parkway cruise. The trouble with this kind of work is that it is difficult to do and brings few rewards. I would not bet tenure or promotions on such speculative research. Yet it is important, not only for whatever knowledge to be gained but to show that science does investigate the 'paranormal.' The real downside is that after something is proved to be natural or nonsense it will in all likelihood still live on as a legend anyway. What is the point of research if the results are ignored? You simply can't have it both ways if you want us to investigate then you will need to accept our best conclusions until they are overturned that's the game of science. This is what drives us away from studying and debunking pseudoscience. At least in mainstream science my results will be (rightly) challenged by peers, and on the basis of logical reasoning. Not mocked by those who are arguing from authority ("I say [begin ital]it works[end ital]"), confusing correlations with causality, generalizing from anecdotes, ignoring the bulk of the evidence, and cutting themselves on Occam's Razor. And my third Encounter? To be continued ... mail: catondb@appstate.edu (http://www.acs.appstate.edu/dept/physics/Encounters.htm)

Introduction To "Tales From The Fort" Tales From The Fort:The Charles Fort Files, is an effort to bring the work of Charles Hoy Fort to a wider audience and to put online a source of information which should be of much use to all who study any type of paranormal or otherwise unusual phenomena. Tales From The Fort gathers all of the information on a single topic from Fort's books and compiles it under a single topic heading in order to create a comprehensive "document" on each subject ( in the original books, the information tends to be very widely-dispersed). This project is one that will be under constant revision and expansion. The information contained within these pages is gleaned from extensive study of the four non-fiction books published by Charles Fort in his lifetime. These books are: The Book of the Damned Lo! Wild Talents New Lands These books are currently available in a single, hard-bound edition entitled (not surprisingly): The Complete Books Of Charles Fort from Dover books. If, upon viewing Tales From The Fort, you decide that you would like to invest in this 1125 page (including index) book, please let me know by e-mail and I will send you the address for Dover, or you can special order it at any bookstore. BTW, Tales is not in any way associated with Dover Publications--- just appreciative that they have kept these works available to the public by keeping them in print. The information contained in Fort's books was gleaned by him through an exhaustive twenty-seven years of research in the New York Public Library and the library of the British Museum. Fort read through innumerable manuscripts, scientific journals, newspapers and magazines and noted every oddity he encountered. For many, the works of Charles Fort is as close as they will ever come to these original sources. This makes his work of added importance because, otherwise, this information would have been largely lost to the greater public. "Brown Mountain Lights "From time to time, luminous objects, or beings, have often been reported from Brown Mountain, North Carolina. They appear, and then for a long time are not seen, and then they appear again. ...The luminosities travel, as if with motions of their own. They are brilliant, globular forms, and move in the sky with a leisureliness and duration that exclude the explanation in meteoric terms. For many years, there had been talk upon this subject, and then, in the year 1922, people of North Carolina, asking for a scientific investigation, were referred to the United States Geological Survey. A geologist was sent from Washington to investigate these things in the sky. One imagines, but most likely only faintly, the superiority of this geologist from Washington. He heard stories from the natives. He contrasted his own sound principles with the irresponsible gab of denizens, and went right to the investigation, scientfically. he went out on a road, and saw lights, and made his report. 47% of the lights that he saw were automobile headlights; 33% of them were locomotive headlights; 10% were lights in houses, and 10% were bush fires. Tot that up, and see that efficiency can't go further. The geologist from Washington, having investigated nothing that he had been sent to investigate, returned to Washington..." (Page 624) (http://members.tripod.com/Dragonrest/sky_obs.html#brown mountain)

 

Copyright (C) 2001 Dr. Sten Odenwald