Phenomena of Brown Mountain lights is a tourist attraction

Mysterious orbs confound NC county for decades

Two orange orbs, just about 10 feet off the ground, floated past Steve Woody and his father as they hunted deer more than 50 years ago. The mysterious lights passed them, then dropped down the side of a gorge in the Blue Ridge foothills.

For at least a century, the Brown Mountain Lights have confounded residents and tourists in a rugged patch of Burke County, bobbing and weaving near a modest peak. Are they reflections from automobile headlights? Brush fires? A paranormal phenomenon, or something natural not yet explained by science?

Unexplained mysteries like the Brown Mountain Lights have been the subject of cable TV documentaries and have fueled vast online communities of amateur investigators. Ed Phillips, Burke County’s tourism director, is hoping to capitalize on that.

Source: CBS News

The U.S. Geological Survey issued a report concluding the lights were reflections from automobiles, trains and brush fires but that doesn’t seem to explain all the observations these days? Is there something more? Is there something unique about this area that causes unusual phenomena like plasma balls or electrical discharges? Hard to say. Amateurs have been interested and promoting the spooky location. I think this paranormal angle deters serious study. But, as we have seen, paranormal tourism is growing in popularity.

For more Origin of the Brown Mountain light in North Carolina. USGS circular 646, 1971.[pdf]

Skeptoid episode: The Brown Mountain Lights