# The Paulding Light Mystery

DaveC426913
Gold Member
I had a clear view of all the lights with a digital camera that has 26x zoom. What makes this light strange is that from my experience, I can focus on a star, the moon, headlights, bright lightbulbs, and fire. Take a picture of all those light sources and not have any problem capturing a crystal clear infocus picture of the source of light. But, last night. I was able to focus on the light and take a picture of it. but what turned out after the picture was captured was a huge flood of light on the screen. all the pictures of the paulding light turned out like that. but the pictures I took of the headlights and tail lights came out very clearly.
Don't suppose you'd care to post any of your pics?

Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
I would be looking for any south-facing light along Hwy 45 and the old hwy 45, up to at least Bruce crossing. There has to be a source.

I am even wondering if people are seeing the lights from Rockland; or in the extreme, perhaps even the lights of Thunder Bay, across lake Superior, due to a mirage or looming. If atmospheric effects play a role here, that might explain why the light seems to disappear when one changes viewing locations.

Does this in any way seem to be related to the temperature? Does the light disappear in the winter?

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Staff Emeritus
Gold Member
When watching this video, it is really hard for me to believe these aren't car headlights and tailights on the hwy; or perhaps on a nearby road. I can all but see tailights just looking at the video. Note that the red lights always appear to the right of the white light.

CEL
When watching this video, it is really hard for me to believe these aren't car headlights and tailights on the hwy; or perhaps on a nearby road. I can all but see tailights just looking at the video. Note that the red lights always appear to the right of the white light.

I agree with you. The white lights appear to be approaching the observer, while the red lights are getting away. Exactly what we would expect from headlights and taillights.
As for the light flooding the field of view of the camera, the CCD sensors can saturate, when focusing a bright light. This does not happen when you focus a lamp in your living room because there is plenty of ambient light and the diaphragm of the camera is almost closed. In the dark it is wide open, so focusing a light directly will saturate the sensor.
If the phenomenon happens early in the night, the air near the ground is still hot, while the upper air is cold. This forms a refraction gradient, that can originate a Fata Morgana effect.
If this is the case, you are seeing not the lights of the nearby road, but those of a more distant one. This is why you can see simultaneously the headlights of near cars and the mysterious lights.

Although I live in Michigan and have driven all through the upper peninsula, I truly doubt 100% that there is enough traffic to keep this phenomenon for hours. If you ever go up in the UP at night you can easily drive an hour or more without viewing any cars through most of the state. But, It is probably wrong of me to say this since I haven't been to this particular spot though. Does anyone have any experience of the traffic on this highway at night?

But on the other hand, since the phenomenon is viewed at a local area and some say it moves up down left and right, there could be some kind of reflective device on the highway like a large freeway sign that is aimed at this particular area. If you visualize a reflective material aimed at the viewer, you can see how a light of approaching traffic may go left and right due to the cars angle of headlights and the sign. It would also go up and down considering the angle of the headlights and elevation change of the highway (if any). Also, the red lights of cars coming the other way could have a similar effect but dimmer. This would also explain why the light is viewed as one due to a diffuse reflection that would blur together. Only problem with this, is the constant traffic and I don't think a sign that is far away would be this bright.

But in the end, until I see them for myself, all my speculation comes frome some grainy videos...

Having just recently watched the video from "faked or fiction", my above comment is kind of void in regards to reflections of headlights. I definitely believe it to be some kind of optical trick or electromagnetic phenomena though.

This is nothing more the blurry footage shot through dew-dampened windshield of cars on a road. Despite the blur and moisture, you can clearly see taillights heading away, uphill, while headlights are coming towards the camera, going downhill.

I live in the area and this is car lights. After all, isn't physics a field of science and as far I can remember, emotion and hype unreliable?

My wife and I busted this myth a year ago. We each drove separately, I parked at the viewing area with my brights on. My wife drove back up the hill to Tunlund Rd and turned around and parked and looked for my lights. She only had to drive south 30 yards to see me parked. She parked there with her headlights on. I called her on my cell phone and talked to her and we both acknowledged we could see each other. We had a poor cell signal so it took a few connections to get it verified. We each shut off our lights and flashed them on and off and yes it is so obvious. We did this an hr before dark and again at dark. I even took a pair of cheap binoculars and you can see cars driving by. You can tell what kind of car and color. You can view the light as the car drives south and you see the headlights. They travel down us 45 at a fair grade with some deviation in plane so the brightness glares on and off depending on the road pitch. The stretch you can see the light is close to a mile in distance and as many have guessed, the alignment is right on till the road turns out of sight. This is why the white lights come towards the viewer and the red tail lights go away. Once we found the "sweet spot" we had friends use a million candle power flashlight do the same on different nights. Sorry to end the hype but I have see the lights for years and from the first sighting I thought it was cars so finally I took the time to understand it for myself. Regardless, many will not believe me and they will be the one's to never see it for themselves. They'll make claims from the comfort of their PC with natural human hype dictating their understanding, I know this because as I offered this info to many as it was happening, they refused to "believe." It's our nature, we love exciting, scary feelings, it drives us. The reason many claim the light goes away as the go towards it is simple, they walk down a hill from the viewing area and are to low in elevation to see over the crest of the first hill. So, "believe" what you will for what ever reason you will but I have observed and drawn a reasonable conclusion based on the observed data and that my friends, is science. Please don 't forget, the casino is only 4-5 miles from there so yes, there is traffic, more than you think. Also, trucks deliver from Eagle River and Rhinelander to the UP so night time traffic is there

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DaveC426913
Gold Member
That's cool. Thanks for the verdict badboy.

It's too much to ask, but it's a shame you didn't videotape your experience. That owuld get some Utube hits.

I can easily do it all again. Right now I am looking for a camera binocular, they are available and affordable. Seeing that I live close to the area and how many people go to see it, there is a local economy that would feel the effects if people lost interest in this light. That's a bit of a dilemma for me.

FlexGunship
Gold Member
I would hate to be a downer here, but using the show "Fact or Faked" as a reference in any discussion is kind of an automatic disqualification. This is the same group that was stumped by a car rolling down a hill until they used surveying equipment to verify a "hunch." You can do the same test with a bottle of Dasani (or Aquafina, if you own Pepsi stock). Simply observe which way it rolls, or pour some on the ground and see which way the water runs. Instead they used... surveying equipment. They later went on to make a mountain out of a molehill and killed a fly with a surface to air missile.

The show is fun to watch and laugh at sometimes, but you shouldn't take anything they do too seriously.

...until they used surveying equipment to verify a "hunch." You can do the same test with a bottle of Dasani (or Aquafina, if you own Pepsi stock).
Lol, or a bowling ball!

Simply observe which way it rolls, or pour some on the ground and see which way the water runs.
Ah, yes... the old "water always runs downhill" trick...

FlexGunship
Gold Member
Ah, yes... the old "water always runs downhill" trick...
If only it weren't a "trick" to these "investigators."

I went to see the lights about 7 years ago. I'm not sure what made me think of them today, but I woke up and was just reminiscing on past memories and got curious about what the lights really were after thinking back on my experience there. I have to say after looking at the google maps and geology of that lookout point, and the old 45 road, it seems almost overwhelming to say it is cars; However, up till today there has been almost no doubt that it was something unexplainable, and not man made. I have to add also that that video posted in this thread does not even compare to the light that I witnessed.

The light appeared at around 1:30-2:00 am it was pitch black. It was only one large sphere of very bright white light that first began to shine at the ridge of the other hill across from the lookout. It was certainly anything but stationary. It moved in wavy, bobbling, very unrigid movements as it started descending down the hill. It then bounced it's way back and forth continuously getting closer to us, but for the most part it seemed to just linger around 75 to 50 percent of the way between the ridge and the observing point. Let me clarify this a bit, there is nothing but forest on either side: deep, dark, thick, nothing for miles woods, and the light is dancing around inside of them. It started at the ridge, but it moved from there quite quickly. Anyways, my one friend, my cousin, and I were all in my car, and after about 10 minutes or so of watching this light dance around the forest we got kinda bored. So being 19 and cocky as I was then, I decided to blare my horn at it a good nine or ten times. Mocking the so to speak spirit, or what ever it was they told me before we had made the trip out. Immediately the light straight bolted towards us. I couldn't make this up if I tried. I swear that for whatever it's worth, this is what happened. It just bounced it's a really really fast from the mid forest area straight to my car. The damn thing was bouncing around so close to the observer area we all just freaked out. I dropped my car into reverse, my buddies screaming, and must have peeled out to just get back from the thing. It's light completely illuminated my car, and was shining directly into my windows very brightly. After getting a decent distance back from the ridge it just disappeared. We pulled the car forward and parked again, but the light was gone. So we waited around, and about 15 minutes or so later the light came back and bounced down the hill back to it's general forest area where it had lingered before.

We didn't try our luck with the horn anymore, and after observing the light bounce around some more we took off. By the way again it is anything but stationary, it moves closer and further and seems to bounce to the left and right a bit, it even crosses the side of the old road path it's on. It was certainly unexplained to my eyes. I can only suggest checking it out for yourself, because none of the videos I have found even come close to looking like the light I seen. It did not resemble a beamed light or lamp at all.

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FlexGunship
Gold Member
OMG guys, I love these!! <cracks knuckles>

I went to see the lights about 7 years ago. I'm not sure what made me think of them today, but I woke up and was just reminiscing on past memories and got curious about what the lights really were after thinking back on my experience there.
7 years? Seems like a long time for your cognitive biases to reshape the event. What you think you saw shapes your memory of what you observed. This becomes reinforced over time.

I have to say after looking at the google maps and geology of that lookout point, and the old 45 road, it seems almost overwhelming to say it is cars;
Yes, that does seem likely. However, you mean "geography" not "geology." The composition of the rocks in the area do not strongly contribute to your hypothesis.

However, up till today there has been almost no doubt that it was something unexplainable, and not man made.
Some man made things are unexplainable (or resist explanation).

Edit by Ivan: Off topic

Remember that airplanes and helicopters are often misidentified or are listed as unidentified (sic. UFO phenomenon).

The light appeared at around 1:30-2:00 am it was pitch black.
Edit by Ivan: Inappropriate comment

Tired and observing in the dark. This is literally the Martha Stewart recipe for eye strain. We will remember this when you begin your description.

It was only one large sphere of very bright white light that first began to shine at the ridge of the other hill across from the lookout. It was certainly anything but stationary. It moved in wavy, bobbling, very unrigid movements as it started descending down the hill.
In much the same way that headlights might appear as cars go over a hill or suddenly become visible. We understand.

It then bounced it's way back and forth continuously getting closer to us, but for the most part it seemed to just linger around 75 to 50 percent of the way between the ridge and the observing point. Let me clarify this a bit, there is nothing but forest on either side: deep, dark, thick, nothing electrical for miles woods, and the light is dancing around inside of them.

You're right, I see NOTHING electrical. Is this a joke? (Image source: http://hauntednorthamerica.webs.com/michigan.htm)

It started at the ridge, but it moved from there quite quickly. Anyways, my one friend, my cousin, and I were all in my car, and after about 10 minutes or so of watching this light dance around the forest we got kinda bored. So being 17 and cocky as I was then, I decided to blare my horn at it a good nine or ten times. Mocking the so to speak spirit, or what ever it was they told me before we had made the trip out.
As an observer you were hardly unbiased. You are taunting... a light... with a car horn.

Immediately the light straight bolted towards us. I couldn't make this up if I tried.
Oh, I beg to differ. Seriously.

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First, I edited nothing electrical out almost immediately after I made my post. You really responded quickly. Seriously, like within 30 seconds I did the edit so... Geography in replace of geology doesn't add to credit or discredit anything. It's just a mistake. And finally, your picture does not represent what I seen. What we observed was far different than a far off speck of light. My theory, you can observe both headlights, and the unexplained paulding light. Maybe ghost don't like you so you've only witness the first of these two? Lol, just kidding man, or woman, but really that's what I seen.

Anyways, like I said go check it out if you can't believe me, and don't think the sceptics are correct either. Beside there's no argument in my statements to anyone here, I was just outputting my experience there when I was younger, and it has stuck with me. It was very interesting to say the least. To each their own, and lets just try not to flame this thread.

And to clarify, I knew when typing out my story it was unbelievable. I can barely believe it myself. Like I said it has remained completely unexplainable to this day for me. The reason I decided to post it anyways was just to share my experience with this phenomenon, and let people laugh about it. It is funny. It doesn't change what I seen though; It was truly astounding. And going into the situation being told we were going to see "ghost lights" some 2 hours away from our cabin with my two friends, of course I was unbiased while observing it. I blared my horn for the reason to piss it off, because I didn't think this light would ever do anything in response to it. It's when it actually did react that freaked us all the hell out.

FlexGunship
Gold Member
I blared my horn for the reason to piss it off, because I didn't think this light would ever do anything in response to it. It's when it actually did react that freaked us all the hell out.
I'll try to edit my own response this time for content.

Is this repeatable? If not, then the most likely cause is an confused observation or faulty memory.

Anyways, like I said go check it out if you can't believe me, and don't think the sceptics are correct either. Beside there's no argument in my statements to anyone here, I was just outputting my experience there when I was younger, and it has stuck with me. It was very interesting to say the least.
You made an unsubstantiated claim. It didn't go unchallenged. Judging by your response, it seems that you believe it is repeatable. Is this true?

Staff Emeritus