While the Brown Mountain Lights have managed to elude spectators, researchers, scientists and curious-minded tourists for almost a century, the phenomena has yet again sparked the interest of a larger audience. This time, the ghost light phenomena has been incorporated into the subject of UFOs and UFO encounters.
UFO (Unidentified Flying Object) or UAP (Unidentified Aerial Phenomena) have been a hot topic for most of 2019 and 2020. With the “Storm Area 51” movement taking over Social Media in the Summer of 2019, and more recently the US Government declassifying documents pertaining to procedures on reporting UAP experiences, the subject has become nothing short of Water Cooler discussion at the workplace or among casual enthusiasts.
As the UFO phenomena garners more and more attention from the general public, Small Town Monster’s latest documentary series On The Trail of UFOs explores the truth and experiences behind one of the world’s oldest phenomena. The multi-part series available on Amazon offers eight episodes exploring topics like Alien abduction, mass sightings (UFO sightings reported by large groups or groups of people over a large distance), UFO hot-spots, and components of UFO history not commonly explored.
One of those uncommon UFO subjects is the topic of Ghost Lights. Ghost lights (aka “Spook Lights”), or Atmospheric ghost lights, are lights or fiery balls of light that appear in the sky without an obvious cause. As these lights do not have a discernible origin, the folklore and history of spook lights fall within the subject of UFOs. On the Trail of UFOs touches on the local ghost light: The Brown Mountain Lights.
Brown Mountain is located in the Pisgah National Forest, crossing Burke and Caldwell counties in North Carolina. The Brown Mountain Lights, a series of ghost lights reported near Brown Mountain can be seen from multiple spots along the Blue Ridge Parkway. While there are scientific researchers observing the phenomena, the legends surrounding the Brown Mountain Lights and anecdotal experiences allow for the mysterious lights to live on as a part of Appalachian culture. The lasting legacy of the lights have allowed them to garner the attention of researchers, photographers, conspiracy theorists, and now, filmmakers.
Ohio Filmmaker Seth Breedlove of Small Town Monsters chose to feature the Brown Mountain Lights and other ghost lights due to their significance in regional phenomena, as well as his local ties to the area. Says Breedlove:
“The strangest thing about the Brown Mountain Lights is that I grew up traveling to Marion every year for Youth Camp and despite spending large amounts of time in Marion over the years, I’d never heard of them.
“Historically, there’s a huge importance that should be placed on the Lights. They’re culturally a big piece of the local lore, and there are some fascinating stories and research about the lights that help to illustrate the way the area has changed with time.”
During an expedition last year in the Linville Gorge Wilderness area, local paranormal research and podcast group CreepGeeks Podcast captured footage of the Brown Mountain Lights from the Wiseman’s View overlook. The 4K camera footage of the lights, as well as an interview with Greg C. (host of CreepGeeks Podcast), are one of many featured interviews in the series discussing their experiences with Unexplained Aerial Phenomena. Says Greg C.:
“My family is from here, so I grew up hearing about the lights, but never sought them out until I returned to the area. Using tips from locals, the team traveled to both the Brown Mountain Lights Overlook and Wiseman’s view. The Wiseman’s view location provided the best photographic and video results with the (camera) gear we had available.”
The podcast host went on to add that they continue to explore other regional spook light phenomena in North Carolina with local enthusiasts.
The footage and evidence, while brief, make up a larger body of experiences surrounding the lights and aerial phenomena in the area. According to the National UFO Reporting Center, or NUFORC, the earliest reported UFO sighting in Marion dates back to June of 1967. According to NUFORC data, North Carolina ranks 12th-highest in the number of reported unidentified flying objects sightings in the US.
While local lore varies depending on who you talk to, allegedly the best time to see the Brown Mountain Lights is during the early evening when a drastic temperature change occurs, and either right before or after precipitation. As always, caution is recommended when exploring the Linville Gorge area, and it’s recommended to check the forecast before exploring for yourself.
On the Trail of UFOs is now streaming for free for Amazon Prime Members, and can be watched in it’s entirety online. For the Amazon series, On the Trail of UFOs, go to Amazon.
Small Town Monsters is an indie production company documenting unusual events and phenomena throughout “small town” America. Subjects such as Bigfoot, werewolves, Mothman, Thunderbirds, UFOs, and other unexplained phenomena are explored in the episodic series or full length documentary films. Their focus is to explore the folklore and legend that grow from small towns, telling stories through the experiences and of witnesses while exploring the greater cultural impact across America. Current projects include “Mothman Legacy” and “The Mark of the Bell Witch” legends that took place in small, rural areas and left a lasting impression on American folklore. Visit www.smalltownmonsters.com.
For unbiased, scientific observation and research on the Brown Mountain Lights, the Appalachian State students and faculty set up online information at www.dancaton.physics.appstate.edu/BML/index.htm.
For a detailed State Report Index of UFO sightings in North Carolina, visit NUFORC’s page on NC at www.nuforc.org/webreports/ndxlNC.html.
Note: Article and photo provided by Omi Salavea. Footage captured by Omi’s CreepGeeks Podcast is featured in the “On the Trail of UFOs” documentary.