Tuesday, July 23, 2013

Fact or Fiction?

Jenna Mindel here, wondering which you prefer when it comes to those seemingly unexplainable things.... Know the facts? or stick with the yarn-spinning fiction?

My husband and I recently spent time vacationing on the border of Michigan and Wisconsin.  While there, we had to check out the legendary Paulding Lights.  We'd heard about them on the news or maybe it was one of those cable channels - anyway, since we were staying within 15 miles of the in- the-middle-of-nowhere viewing place, we had to check it out.  And what a fun adventure it was too!
Paulding Light viewing spot

Several people were gathered to catch the "spectre" and we got to hear all the local folklore.   One tale told was that the light belonged to the lantern of a ghostly railroad brakeman killed while trying to stop a train....  Of course we saw the lights, and it was fun contemplating and trying to figure out what they might be. 
When we got back to our hotel room, I looked up the lights online and sure enough, a group of Michigan Tech Students had figured it out.  The lights were reflections of car lights way across the valley on a highway.  The changes in color were the result of both brake lights and headlights being distorted by the heat from off the highway, as well as the stable air in the valley that allows that light to look eerily spectacular some 4.5 miles away.   Knowing the truth didn't ruin the mystery of it for me. It was still a cool thing to see.

What about you?  Would you have figured out what made those lights appear or revel in the sheer fantasy of what they might be?

Check out the article http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2010/october/story32436.html


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