The Paulding Light Mystery


by Ivan Seeking
Tags: light, mystery, paulding
Ivan Seeking
Ivan Seeking is offline
#1
Sep6-08, 01:56 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Ivan Seeking's Avatar
P: 12,493
PAULDING -- Hidden on the back roads of Paulding is a mystery, something that brings locals and visitors alike out in the middle of the night, hoping to catch a glimpse.

Our location was on Robbins Pond Road, off of Highway 45. We arrived early; our team was Vicky Crystal, Bill Roth, his wife Shana, their dog Moose, and I. That gave us time to scope out the valley where the light is said to appear on most nights.[continued]
http://www.wluctv6.com/news/news_story.aspx?id=185121
Video
http://www.wluctv6.com/news/video.aspx?id=185121

They say that these lights have been observed for 40 years.
Phys.Org News Partner Science news on Phys.org
Going nuts? Turkey looks to pistachios to heat new eco-city
Space-tested fluid flow concept advances infectious disease diagnoses
SpaceX launches supplies to space station (Update)
dlgoff
dlgoff is offline
#2
Sep6-08, 02:00 PM
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
dlgoff's Avatar
P: 2,632
Quote Quote by Ivan
They say that these lights have been observed for 40 years.
I remember hearing about this years ago. Hasn't anyone tried to move toward the light to see if it remains?
bassplayer142
bassplayer142 is offline
#3
Sep7-08, 10:58 PM
P: 422
We need thousands of people to cover the area. If it appears someone will be close.

joris20
joris20 is offline
#4
Sep9-08, 10:16 AM
P: 5

The Paulding Light Mystery


Quote Quote by bassplayer142 View Post
We need thousands of people to cover the area. If it appears someone will be close.
+1 imo

but that seems relatively easy to do... which makes me think its a well-organized scam :S
CEL
CEL is offline
#5
Sep11-08, 05:00 PM
P: 639
May be the explanation is the same that was found for the Marfa Lights:http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4038
Ivan Seeking
Ivan Seeking is offline
#6
Sep11-08, 05:11 PM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Ivan Seeking's Avatar
P: 12,493
Thanks CEL. I didn't know that the Marfa lights had been definitively explained.

...May I have the envelope, please? The winner is ... the car headlights combined with some fascinating atmospheric phenomena. In 2004, The University of Texas sent the Society of Physics Students, a highly respected professional association, to investigate the Marfa Lights. Their official report, available at spsnational.org, found conclusively that when the lights appeared, they were precisely correlated with car headlights on Highway 67. The lights were completely predictable and the phenomenon was fully repeatable, based on cars on the highway. [continued]
http://skeptoid.com/episodes/4038

Thanks to the good ole SPS.
bassplayer142
bassplayer142 is offline
#7
Sep11-08, 10:00 PM
P: 422
I have a hard to believe it is headlights. There are so many cars in so many conditions that you would think these lights would appear everywhere in the world considering the many highways and many unique conditions. North Michigan can't be one of the only places where car headlights are lined up right. Something more is playing its part if it is car headlights.
Ivan Seeking
Ivan Seeking is offline
#8
Sep12-08, 01:41 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Ivan Seeking's Avatar
P: 12,493
It looks an aweful lot like headlights and tailights to me.
http://www.pauldinglight.com/clip.html

I would guess that we are looking a highway cresting a hill. The bright white lights first appear as a car approaching the observers crests the hill from the other side. At points we can also see taillights heading away from us and going up the hill [on the right side of the road]. We get some interesting optical effects that make it seem more mysterious.

I have seen similar optical effects with flashlights in the fog.
CEL
CEL is offline
#9
Sep12-08, 05:07 AM
P: 639
Quote Quote by bassplayer142 View Post
I have a hard to believe it is headlights. There are so many cars in so many conditions that you would think these lights would appear everywhere in the world considering the many highways and many unique conditions. North Michigan can't be one of the only places where car headlights are lined up right. Something more is playing its part if it is car headlights.
To be lined is not enough. The atmospheric conditions must be such that the Fata Morgana phenomenon is present. That is why the lights are visible only in certain nights.
SoapDish
SoapDish is offline
#10
Apr4-09, 09:50 PM
P: 2
I live relatively close to Paulding, MI and am planning a trip to go see the light. I'm guessing that none of you have been to the Upper Peninsula (UP). It is sparsely populated, compared to the Lower part of the state. In my opinion there is no way that it can be headlights. I have been in the area once before and I'm not sure I would even call Paulding a town. The only thing there was a bar, which would constitute a town in the UP. There are very few roads and the nearest "real" towns are at least 10 miles in either direction. The site is really in the middle of nowhere. I will see if I can wrangle up a video camera and I will try to tape the event.

By the way. The people I've talked to who have been there and have seen the light say it disappears if someone tries to walk towards it.
Ivan Seeking
Ivan Seeking is offline
#11
Apr5-09, 10:21 AM
Emeritus
Sci Advisor
PF Gold
Ivan Seeking's Avatar
P: 12,493
Quote Quote by SoapDish View Post
I live relatively close to Paulding, MI and am planning a trip to go see the light. I'm guessing that none of you have been to the Upper Peninsula (UP).
I spent Christmas in Iron Mountain one year. My sister-in-law used to live there.

I think you Yupers are nuts!!! It gets cooooooooold back there.
SoapDish
SoapDish is offline
#12
Apr10-09, 11:19 AM
P: 2
I too think that they are nuts, but not because of the cold. It takes a different kind of person to make it up there. Its not THAT cold up there. if you want cold you should check out International Falls, MN now that's freaking cold!
hoosierkid
hoosierkid is offline
#13
Oct8-09, 06:17 PM
P: 1
I was just talking to someone about the paulding light. I live 40 minutes from it. So i googled it. And i see a few people are in the dark on the situation. The bar u are talking about is jarvi's bar and then there is a gas station and ice cream store before you go to bond falls. Anyways i have gone there several times and do not believe it every time i go i hear people say they see it...its head lights and tail lights on highway 45. some people say it comes right up to the gaurd rail. but never have. People go there for something to do and yeah some people drink at the end of the road and walk around. But what i want anyone who wants answers is to go to google go to maps and search paulding michigan. follow highway 45 and go south. Your going to notice a road running north/south to the west of it, Keep going south untill 45 intersects with that road. and you will see the name of the road. Old US Highway 45. zoom out you will see how it is vehicles. idk why they closed it but it is kinda a steep grade. Me personally i go there every once and a while to laugh. don't get me wrong i went there with and open mind, but after going there about 10 times its too funny. bring some friends go crack jokes on the people who will believe anything as far as that video i do believe its out of focus or having someone with highbeams on was too much for the camera to handle going from dark to bright. If your going to come up to the paulding light and waste time and money might as well go maybe an hour more north to see lake superior its way better then the light.
ideasrule
ideasrule is offline
#14
Oct8-09, 11:35 PM
HW Helper
ideasrule's Avatar
P: 2,324
Quote Quote by SoapDish View Post
I live relatively close to Paulding, MI and am planning a trip to go see the light. I'm guessing that none of you have been to the Upper Peninsula (UP). It is sparsely populated, compared to the Lower part of the state. In my opinion there is no way that it can be headlights. I have been in the area once before and I'm not sure I would even call Paulding a town. The only thing there was a bar, which would constitute a town in the UP. There are very few roads and the nearest "real" towns are at least 10 miles in either direction. The site is really in the middle of nowhere. I will see if I can wrangle up a video camera and I will try to tape the event.
Would you mind bringing a few friends over and triangulating the position of the lights? The news teams meant in that skeptoid link failed at triangulating, but if it is possible to see the lights from widely separated locations, I don't see why triangulation shouldn't be successful even if they are mirages.

By the way. The people I've talked to who have been there and have seen the light say it disappears if someone tries to walk towards it.
If you walk too close, yes; that makes sense. The Fata Morgana mirage is due to light going up, bending, and coming down again into the observer's eyes. As the observer moves closer, the light is forced to take a higher path; light rays on a low path travel a large horizontal distance between meeting the low-refraction-index air that bends them down again, meaning they'll overshoot the observer. Eventually, the angle required exceeds the critical angle for total internal reflection and the mirage disappears.
BigFairy
BigFairy is offline
#15
Oct9-09, 06:05 AM
P: 100
sceptical?
ideasrule
ideasrule is offline
#16
Oct10-09, 05:02 PM
HW Helper
ideasrule's Avatar
P: 2,324
Quote Quote by BigFairy View Post
sceptical?
Me? Yes, but I was completely serious when I suggested the trigonometry experiment. If it's successful, and four different lines of sight to the lights converge on the same point on the same highway when plotted on a map, that's pretty conclusive evidence. If one person moves in on that point to monitor car activity there and discovers that the Paulding Light is perfectly predictable, even better.
russ_watters
russ_watters is offline
#17
Oct10-09, 06:33 PM
Mentor
P: 21,999
Quote Quote by ideasrule View Post
Would you mind bringing a few friends over and triangulating the position of the lights? The news teams meant in that skeptoid link failed at triangulating, but if it is possible to see the lights from widely separated locations, I don't see why triangulation shouldn't be successful even if they are mirages.



If you walk too close, yes; that makes sense.
If they are headlights, triangulating them will not work. They'd have to be pointed at you (so you can't get angular separation) to see the phenomena.

The best bet would be for one person to move toward them while another stays where they can be seen as the "Paulding Lights". It is essential to coordinate, otherwise confirmation bias will cause believers to reject the car as the source and just assume the lights didn't come out that night.

Also, for that ine video taken at dusk, it really should be possible to positively identify the source with binoculars or a telescope - or just drive down the road, it looks like the lights are seen on the road the people are viewing it from!
trkarraker
trkarraker is offline
#18
Oct14-09, 03:00 PM
P: 1
the Paulding light is real. I have been there and seen it. You can move closer to the light as you walk to it you will not realize that it is over the top of you and you can not follow it. They belive that it has to do with the rocks that are around the area. It is creepy there. You are down a dead end road that has no light any where around it. there is nothing but woods around it behind and it is light up like you are in the city.


Register to reply

Related Discussions
The mystery of geodesics . Differential Geometry 14
the mystery of dreams Medical Sciences 1
Painting mystery General Discussion 6
New light on Martian mystery: BBC General Astronomy 0
The Mystery Within General Discussion 45