The Hebron Light
The Weather Conditions:
Note, The Salisbury newspaper says the weather conditions at the time of the 1952 sightings were
July 10 min = 60, max = 86
July 11 min = 64, max = 83
July 16 min = 76, max = 91.
There was some discussion of a 'heat wave' and when it might break.
The sighting was on July 10.
I checked the USNO Rise and Set calculator (http://mach.usno.navy.mil/cgi-bin/aa_pap.pl). On this day:
Sunset = 7:29 PM
End of civil twilight = 7:59 PM
Moonrise = 9:20 PM
Moon phase = waning gibbous with 86% of the Moon's visible disk illuminated.....JUST PAST FULL MOON.
The accounts say that the 'chase' happened along the 'extension' to East Church Street which runs northwest to south east. It is possible that if they were driving south, that the moon was rising along the same direction. There is no mention of the moon in the newspaper account. There is also no mention of the direction of travel.
Notes from 'The Salisbury' July 10, 1952 (page 1) Police Chase Mysterious Glow. Spooky Light Haunts Shore Road.
Old timers will vouch for such a light having been seen on scores of occasions.
It has been a legend around here for at least 50 years.
about the height of an automobile light
the same color as a headlight.
saw the brilliant globe about 10 P.M. last night.
It grows red when it gets ready to dim-out.
First its in front of you and then it darts behind you, he said.
Geometry for headlights:
There are three roads that cross East Church Street: Porter Mill Road and Old Railroad Road to the north west and Rockawalkin Road to the south east. There are no roads within about 2 miles of the center of town along East Church Street that run parallel to the road, and on which headlights would face directly along East Church Street. I need to look at a larger map to see where the nearest such roadways might be.
First, Church Street is parallel to the railroad tracks. If you sight northwest along the tracks, you will intersect the town of Mardela Springs about 5 miles distant.
If you sight southeast along East Church Street you run right into downtown Salisbury located about 6 miles away!
East Church street ends at Routh 670, but after a gap of 2 miles, there is a second road, Brick Kiln Road, to the southeast along the same axis as Church Street that parallels the Conrail tracks again for about 1.5 miles before turning east. See below: If a car was driving north on this road, its headlights would face directly towards Hebron and then as the car reached Rockawalking Creek, they would scan quickly to the east and fade out with the red tail lights possible visible. Traffic leaving Salsbury would take this back road northbound to enter the Rockawalkin town...but was this all there in 1952?
The general landscape:
Our drive to Salisbury on a Saturday afternoon In April, 2002 when temps were 60-70 showed numerous roadway 'water-on-road' mirages once we got to Easton and Cambridge. This landscape is mostly very flat farm country with corn fields. There are long stretches of Route 50 that are very straight and flat, sometimes exceeding 2-3 miles. The CONRAIL tracks run striaght as an arrow for 5 miles to either side of Hebron, so sighting down these tracks should be quite a view!
From the Spooklights Page (http://paranormal.about.com/library/weekly/aa080601a.htm)
Hebron has been home to the mysterious Hebron Light for decades. One of the most remarkable incidents involving the light occurred in July, 1952 when two officers of the Maryland State Police allegedly chased a 10-inch ball of light down a dark road in their patrol car. There have been sporadic sightings of the light before and since, but many say that it has been inactive since the mid-1960s.
From Ghosts and Hauntings in Maryland (http://www.ghostpage.com/Maryland.html)
" Hebron Ghost On a certain road before it was paved, a yellow ball of light used to follow cars while they were driving. Supposedly after the road was paved, this "haunting" apparently has calmed down and isn't as frequent."
Comments from the Enigma Project (http://www.research.umbc.edu/~frizzell/tephistory.html)
During 1979, and '80, the Enigma Project busied itself with the research and investigations of mysterious lights. Often referred to as ghostlights or spooklights--due to the attachment of an invariable death stigma, these nocturnal phenomena became quite a fascination for us. Much to our delight, Bob and I discovered that Maryland's Eastern Shore was the home of several such lights. Throughout the late '70s and early '80s we devoted much attention to the Hebron Light (Hebron, MD), Elsey's Light (Crisfield, MD), and Cal's Light (Andrews, MD).
Having first learned of the (now defunct) Hebron Light through a mention made in Mysterious Fires and Lights by Vincent Gaddis (Mackay- 1967), we performed literature searches on the alleged phenomenon and journeyed to Hebron for actual interviews of original witnesses. We learned that on a hot July night in 1952, members of the Maryland State Police were involved in what might be termed a bizarre "cat and mouse" encounter with a 10 inch sphere of yellow light. In their cruiser, two officers closely approached and then chased the luminous ball down a local road before it mysteriously vanished. Although media coverage of the phenomenon persisted for about two weeks beyond the main event, our investigation showed that a mandate was issued to the Salisbury barracks from Maryland State Police Headquarters in Pikesville that a any further confrontations with the light be kept under wraps. We subsequently discovered that this strange light had made sporadic appearances near the town of Hebron for many years prior to the '52 encounter, although the Maryland State Police episode has remained the most remarkable case on record. Due to the obvious integrity of the witnesses, this incident remains an outstanding example of Maryland mystery. Unfortunately, because the phenomenon has been inactive for so many years (locals say since the mid 1960s), Enigma Project investigators were not able to perform a firsthand examination of it [iv]. It was, however, our good fortune to have secured an interview with Robert Burkhardt, one of the two officers who chased the light. While Burkhardt (now retired from the police force) was very reluctant to discuss all the details of the 28 year old experience, he made it quite clear that the encounter represented one of the most bizarre and "trying" episodes of his life.
From Odd Places to Visit page (http://members.tripod.com/~Rhandi/namerica.html)
Maryland somewhere: Two policemen in a car saw a yellow light coming at them. They stopped, the light stopped about 20 feet away. The cops edged forward, and the light retreated. They sped up and the light retreated faster. Eventually the light or whatever it was, got tired of playing this game and left (or went out?) July 16, 1952.