Saturday, March 3, 2012

LET THERE BE {a little} LIGHT! ... maybe.Part Two.

Part two of another strange walk in the dark. One good thing to start with though is that while I was muddling about on this blog's history on BOLs, I stumbled across one of Wayne Laporte's photos of the Gold Hill lightball phenomenon that I'd posted back in 2009. So it sits there above in all its glory. My memory is that Wayne was able to get off more than a half dozen shots of this particular manifestation, and a smaller number of a second one during that research session at Gold Hill. I do not remember the date. It was very early in my active going-to-meetings phase of renewed UFO interest once I became a college prof, so perhaps very early 1980s or 1970s.

What is presented below is on topic but from a different perspective. This may not be good internet manners but I think it's OK. When I was thinking of doing these posts, I surfed about and came onto a website specializing in North Carolina mysteries. They were "doing" the Brown Mountain lights in the entry that Google burped up. It was a good presentation, but not particularly additive to what we generally know... except in one particular: a LOT of people responded to the post. A great deal of these responders were disgusting jerks with nothing better to do with their time than to spew forth cheap shots from the safety of their mother's basement, but several were from people who felt that they had seen the phenomenon or had something productive to contribute. I'm going to present those selected remarks here.

Hopefully you can read the remarks in this first panel [Just clicking on it should do the trick but if not you probably have a "magnifier" function handy on the computer to blow this up a bit --- my own computer is "reading" this pretty well, so hopefully yours will too]. I find many of these remarks interesting in a variety of ways.

Easy to notice is that the posting elicited many reports of having seen this or similar BOLs in locations all over the globe. The comments are calm and adult. Very matter-of-fact. The proper use of the English language [a rare trait in internet posting] points to intelligent persons with a genuine desire to share what they feel is a real encounter. Several people are aware of the ball-lightning hypothesis and some are sophisticated enough to know that this doesn't quite sound like it. Someone even knows about "amateur" but disciplined attempts [ex. Vestigia] to make scientific studies. VERY impressive group of comments.

In the next panel of comments are a few specifically referring to witnessing the Brown Mountain lights themselves. One report of genuine ball-lightning occurs, but also another comment distinguishing it from these BOL manifestations. A person knows about Project Hessdalen, and another about the lights of upper Michigan, many cases of which have been seen near the lake for at least decades. Two of the respondents speak, in their different tones, about a possible spiritual element in the experience. Again, the difference between the sensible reporting of these people and the braindead remarks made by armchair debunkers and streetcorner jerks [two varieties of the same species --- one just uses bigger words] boggles the mind.

The third panel of comments shows another phenomenon familiar to UFO researchers: get a conversation going [among real people; academics need not apply, usually] about anomalistic phenomena and all-of-a-sudden all manner of people are unloading the "strange encounter which happened to them". This is, of course, the John Timmerman phenomenon which happened to him as he carried the CUFOS UFO exhibit all over the country, and well over a thousand people came up to him to tell him of their stories. J.Allen Hynek always was astonished at how many people at his lectures put up their hands when he asked if anyone had sighted something that they considered a UFO [and how few said that they told it to anyone but family and close friends]. What this SHOULD tell us is that the encountering of an anomalous phenomenon is NOT a rare thing. It might be rare for any individual to have many of such things, but cumulatively we humans are encountering true mysteries all the time. Recognizing this would massively expand the consciousnesses of we human critters as we go about our typically mundane business.

As the map above indicates [this is a part of a map made by Teodorani and published in one of his very informative lectures], there are a vast number of lightball sites known in the Americas, and a great cluster of them are on the East Coast including the Carolinas. Whether de Brahm or his informant saw the mountain lights phenomenon right at Brown mountain or not is pretty irrelevant. Lights happen all around that environment.

The panel to the left is composed of reader posts responding to another regional blog which is interested in ghosts, ghostlights, et al. The particular posting was about the Thomas Divide Lights near Cherokee, NC. Once again, the original posting has catalyzed a flurry of previously unreported incidents of seeing the anomalous phenomenon. These brief descriptions are relative calm, literate, and intelligent, making no elaborate claims. In short, they would be great beginnings for a UFO field investigation, both interviews and on site mapping and precise descriptive inclusion of the environment and its circumstances. Of course, that will never happen. These stories will stay as they are untouched until they are lost forever in the electronic dissipation of cyberspace. So that is where all of the joy falls down.

The internet has been the enemy of real research on anomalous phenomenon because it encourages everyone, witnesses and potential researchers alike, to just "stay at home" and not make the effort to engage in a studied case investigation. The positive aspect of it is, however, that it has broken the psychological barriers to make some sort of report to the outside world. In UFOlogy we have had a saying that every investigating entity needs "an open door". That door needs to be easily seen, and ostensibly sympathetic/non-threatening. John Timmerman was one such "open door". But really responsible open doors are rare. The internet initially killed many open doors by turning the public out of organizations like UFO groups, and allowing "private" isolated shallow personal exploration of things with no sounding boards to maintain sanity, no personal discipline required, and no place anymore to effectively report. Therefore we went into a hey-day of do-nothingism. This has allowed debunking to achieve a nearly unopposed playing field for its misbehavior. Who can oppose? With that, all these matters threaten to become nothing but goofy entertainment, and relegate such real encounters to things that people don't want to talk about.

But now the internet is in its odd ways striking back. It IS an astounding expression of "democracy" and a liberating facilitator of expression. So here we have perhaps more persons being willing to mention their anomalous experiences than ever before.

But how to repair the investigation gap? How can this huge bounty of encounter micro-reports be harvested and the "good" ones competently investigated? We have not figured that out yet. When we do get a system [which will almost certainly need to have the cooperation of many website masters to inquire as to whether their posters would allow a real investigation], we might indeed enter a new age of plentiful data collection.

The occasionally-producing lightfields like Brown Mountain, Yakima [above top] and Hessdalen [above bottom] are rarities which can fight off the reporting problem above because the are "prolific". Real researchers feel that it might be worth their time to go there whether they have witness reports to collect or not. We are particularly fortunate that the Italian scientist Massimo Teodorani has been willing to robustly take these challenges on.

The photo above is of a Hessdalen object from one of Teodorani's presentations.

This is the scientist which this field has needed. He has gone to many locations around the US, Europe, Canada, and Australia to set up his equipment and scientifically [yes, the word is used precisely accurately in regards to this] measure what is going on as the phenomena allow.

There is no question, despite anything that debunkers want to claim, that SOMETHING is going on. Teodorani has demonstrated that at least in spades. That something may be purely the product of Earth forces [just geological or some more complicated mix of things], or there may be more to all of this well beyond that. The phenomenon may be part of the conventional plasma physics of the future, but it is NOT in any conventional sense "ball lightning". Whatever is going on, there is a lot of physics involved and some chemistry apparently... that is, there is a physicality to this manifestation, not only photographable, but analyzable by spectral displays. But what really IS it?

With one of Teodorani's lightball pictures above [this one from, I believe, Ontario], I am reminded of an old blog posting that I made early in all this business [10/1/09]. The posting was reflecting on the close encounters which people were having with BOLs--- not at famous lightfield locations, but the sorts of reports that find their way into the UFO files. These reports seem extremely germane to the lightball "solution". The UFO literature is much "closer" to these BOLs than the typically long-range sightings at Brown Mountain or Hessdalen. And the "action" seems different when one of "us" is nearby.

This may be BS, but the BOLs seem much more "perfect" when we are near --- perfect spheres rather than flexible blobs are the norm. What might that mean? Your guess. Also, the BOLs seem sometimes like J.Allen Hynek's randomly "meandering nocturnal lights', but sometimes their "meanders" are not random at all, but seem to be directed or purposeful. THAT of course sends us immediately WAY Out Proctor. [As a side thought: the "nocturnal" part of this may be just the ability to see them at night, not that they are only out at night --- they could be flitting all around in the day, too dim to really notice]. The title for that 2009 blog entry was: BOLS-- Curious, Mean, or just Brainless? And THAT is the $64,000 question isn't it?

Are BOLs made by a complex of just right conditions in the Earth and the atmosphere and that's all there is to it? Or when these areas of force and light and gaseous substance do manifest, do they provide some kind of opportunity for someone/something else to "jump in" and "drive about"? Manic Musings? I suppose....

WHO or WHAT is really behind those orange balls of light??


  1. Enjoying these BOL and Brown Mountain posts very much. I've always had a soft spot for these mysteries, like the Joplin spotlight, well. I'll have to find these sites and discussion boards as they are worth keeping.
    I've had the same experience in finding discussions that veer into personal accounts. A Northern Michigan on-line discussion about cougar sightings in the Sleeping Bear Dunes area brought forth the (strangely inevitable comparison, I've found) jump from cougars to UFOs, with several genuine sounding sightings over Lake Leelanau dating back to the 1950s, accompanied with the usual "I didn't tell anyone since I figured no one would believe me" asides.

  2. hmmm. I found a recent interview with Teodorani online which covers a lot of territory. It also includes links to quite a few articles. It's hard to know how to take some of his comments re: what seems to me to be an extreme variability of plasmoid phenomena (don't see how it could rightly be called 'plasma' per se GIVEN that variability). If some of the explanations given by scientists quoted therein for what BOLs are (esp. the Hessdalen) then we are in for a revolutionary turnover of some sciences it seems to me. I mean: mini-black holes?!
    As well as some interesting ruminations at the end on 'intelligent plasmas'....of course james constable was there first (I guess).

  3. On Constable: i think that he thought that his "space creatures" were more like organic blobs than the way these lightballs seem to be. But I'm no expert. Regardless, I think Teodorani is heading towards something a lot more sophisticated.

    The intriguing, but probably outside-of-science's-grasp, idea to me is whether natural conditions can create a subtle plasma-like opportunity for some form of intelligence to "join" or otherwise utilize it as a focus point for some localized real [physical] world activity.

    Then again, I can also easily imagine some spatial-jump technology manifesting itself as a spherical intrusion expressed mainly as light.

    As was said on a British science fiction show once, the situation has the advantage of no facts to impede the full flow of the imagination.

  4. Interview: Massimo Teodorani: "I started to consider quite seriously the possibility that some behavior of Hessdalen-like lights might be explained as plasma life forms�: and this is another work hypothesis that I have decided to ponder and evaluate in depth......."

  5. Yes. That goes along with what I've heard rumored. Teodorani may be deciding that his evidence points him on a path well Out Proctor. Of course we on this blog live about half our lives Out Proctor, so I at least am in standing applause for his courage in breaking out of the conventional restrictions and going for the Truth regardless of the bias-locked "authorities".

  6. Thanks Prof for these last two posts. Your quote " the situation has the advantage of no facts to impede the full flow of the imagination" made me actually laugh out loud. This should really be carved in stone somewhere.
    The thing that strikes me is how more easily observable these lights are/can be compared to other anomalistic stuff and the lack of real credible research (Teodorani being of course the exception). I can be sympathetic to those who find researching UFO's "difficult", having spent decades sitting looking at the sky and never seeing one. (Well maybe two....and of course then I wasn't trying) But these things are around for seeing. Case in point: my daughter, going to college in Kansas City a few years ago make a road trip with a fellow student to Joplin MO. Got the maps, spoke to a few sympathetic locals, then drove out to a well chosen site and after a time actually saw "something". After speaking with her I was tempted to go out with an army of investigators armed to teeth with surveying instruments, cameras, nightscopes, etc. Those who claim that there things are merely "natural" are basically saying "we dont know either".

  7. It is important to know about the daylight sightings and have them as a backdrop when you consider observations of the type “lights in the sky”. Internationally Hessdalen is known as "Hessdalen lights." I want to create a more complete picture of what has been observed, and still is being observed in Hessdalen;

    Still it is done daylight sightings of solid, metallic objects in Hessdalen and the surrounding area. The researchers estimate the percentage of solid objects to be somewhere between 5% (Teodorani) and 15% (Strand). The remaining percentage of observations are “lights in the sky”.

    We do not know if “lights” and solid objects are two very different phenomena, or whether in fact the same phenomenon is observed under different physical stages. One can for example speculate that these objects are surrounded by ionized gas (plasma) as part of the propulsion (?) and that what appears to be lights in the sky, in reality are solid, metallic objects surrounded by ionized air (plasma)?

    In some cases, it seems to be a gradual transition from solid objects, to "plasma lights". (“ was surrounded with red smoke”, “...the metal had its own "glow"”, “... a slightly reddish, glow above”, “... you could sort of make out a dark mass in the middle” etc.

    Other cases indicate that these are two different things.

  8. Your comments on the Hessdalen phenomenon are welcome. They are much like what I have heard Erling Strand say, and he has spent more time at the site than anyone. On a different topic, I do not buy the idea that these, nor any other UFOs have anything to do with Nazi technology however, and would say to readers of this blog who decide to go to and read yours, that they approach that theory cautiously. It did not take the USAF long to discard that hypothesis, and it was dead in military intelligence circles by about 1951.



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