Science

Paulding Light Mystery Solved; Alien, Ghost Theory Debunked?

By Jiran , Sep 07, 2016 03:45 AM EDT
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Science has a knack of always solving mysteries known to mankind. The half century-old Paulding Light mystery is certainly not an exception. But people still continue to get a glimpse of this popular attraction in the upper peninsula of Michigan.

The History Of The Paulding Light

The history of the Paulding Light legend goes way back in 1966. An innocent group of teenagers saw it. They reported the sighting to a local sheriff. More residents have been seeing it nearly every night.

Word of mouth has been instrumental in attracting thrill-seekers, ghost hunters or merely curious people. Its widespread popularity spawned several theories about the mysterious light. That includes paranormal or supernatural explanations.

The Ghost Of A Railroad Brakeman

Perhaps the most popular legend involves the ghost of a railroad brakeman. There used to be railroad tracks in the valley where the light appears. A brakeman was killed in an accident. Apparently, he tried to stop an oncoming train from colliding with railway cars on the tracks. Local residents say that a number of railroads are now actually buried. The light is said to be the lantern that he was holding.

More Ghost Theories

According to John Carlisle of USA Today, some believe that it's the light of the ghost train. Others say that it's the ghost of a grandparent who is searching for his lost grandchild. This might clear up why the Paulding Light seems to come and go. The grandparent needed to constantly relight his/her lantern.

The list of paranormal explanations gets even longer. It can also be the ghost of a slain mail courier or an Indian dancing on the power lines that run through the valley.

Aliens And Other Speculations

The mysterious light can also be an unidentified flying object (UFO). Hence, the alien or extraterrestrial speculation. Others say that it's only a swamp gas. Or something related to the spectacular Northern Lights.

Is The Mystery Solved?

As far as Jeremy Bos is concerned, the mystery had been solved in 2010. He was still an electrical engineering grad student at Michigan Tech in Houghton then. He inadvertently came across the Paulding Light mystery.

He decided to solve it with the Society of Photo Optical Instrumentation Engineers. Bos and the members of the club brought spectrographs and telescopes to Michigan. They discovered that the said light came from the headlights of cars. These cars were coming down on a road near where the light shone.

Bos also added that the flickering of the light was caused when the cars went over a hill.

Locals Are Not Pleased Of Bos

Bos has a scientific evidence to debunk the light's ghost or alien theories. However, many people still choose to believe that the Paulding light is not just headlights. They are not pleased of Bos. They say that its brightness and movement doesn't fit that of a car. 

In response, Bos said that people view science as taking away the mystery of things. They don't want that. Instead, they want to hold onto that mystery. Bos is now a 39-year-old engineering professor at Michigan Tech in Houghton, according to Daily Mail.


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