Paulding Light Explained & Debunked?

How do you guys explain the Paulding Light? What causes the mysterious Paulding Light in Watersmeet, Michigan?
At one time, Ripley's Believe It Or Not offered in excess of $100,000 to the person or persons who could solve a bizarre light phenomenon in Paulding, Michigan.
But no one has been able to debunk the mystery.

What could be the cause of these lights? Is it something paranormal or something natural?

asked by Jayson in Paranormal Phenomena | 17932 views | 08-13-2010 at 03:41 PM

Various legends have developed concerning the lights. One myth explains the lights as the ghost of a railroad brakeman, while other say it is the ghost of an Indian dancing on the power lines. Some locals attest to the fact that the lights start over Lake Superior and make their way inland.

Some have tried to explain the Paulding Lights with science. Seismologists say a few earthquakes left some small cracks in the ground that let out radioactive gases. That is an interesting explanation, but unprovable.

Other scientists say it is only swamp gases. But what about when the swamps are frozen and covered with a Yooper dose of snow? The light can be seen in the winter months. The concept of aliens may seem farfetched, but so are all the other possibilities to explain the Paulding Light.

But none of the explanations clarify the mystery.

Video of the Paulding Light.

answered by Junior | 08-13-2010 at 03:41 PM

Maybe one or two things
After viewing as much as I could about the Paulding Light, I can say a few things. First, there's no way it could be lights from the highway. The lights shine over trees, but it's not diffused by them, so it's not that. It's also not aircraft.
Is it alien? Probably not. As far as I can determine, there's been no definitive paranormal investigations regarding the lights despite Syfy's Fact or Faked. There was no definitive radioactive or gas readings, but also no other meter scannings done.
What is really needed is a way to examine mineralogical and meteorological data at the times of the appearance, as well as a study of the surrounding areas. Perhaps it's a combination of events that happens.

answered by Guest | 08-14-2010 at 02:45 AM

Are you kidding me? You can clearly see that it is head lights coming down the hill and the "red lights," are tail lights going up the hill. It is easy to see in the video.

answered by Guest | 08-23-2010 at 05:45 AM

Explained!
I did a lot of research on the paulding lights. I have seen many, many videos and writings about these lights. I wanted so bad for these lights to be unexplained but my conclusion is, that they are headlights. Take a close look. The white lights get really bright when they come over the hill and then disappear the red lights are to separate lights as the cars disappear over the hill. City people have a hard time understanding how they could see these so well. The city air is filled with smoke and other pollutants and the air in the paulding region is clear and nice so you can see a long way. Conclusion, there is no way it could be anything but headlights especially when you look at this video because you can even see them go slightly up the hill.

answered by Guest truth | 09-01-2010 at 06:41 PM

umm
They are not HEADLIGHTS. People have already tried to debunk that. On the show Fact or Faked on Scifi, they had the whole area closed just so the team could try to recreate it with headlights. The headlights could NOT be seen from the area. the closest that they could come to replicating it was using a plane and fly low with a bright light just slightly above the tree line.

answered by Guest | 09-11-2010 at 08:02 AM

yeah that is a car

answered by Guest | 09-25-2010 at 07:30 AM

It is definitely 100% headlights. This has been proven by over 10 investigations. It was first debunked in 1986. The first report of the Paulding Light did not happen until 1966, a few years after the rerouted HWY 45 opened and some drunk teenagers saw it. You have to know the law of light from physics to truly understand why the headlights can be as bright as they are and move the way they do from a distance. If you use a map and draw a line you will see that the headlights are from a road that is almost 7 miles away. The vantage point for the lights is eye level with the road at that point and none of the other hills which creates the optical illusion. That is why when you go toward it it disappears, its because your going downhill and away from the vantage point. When Fact or Faked investigated it they blocked off the wrong stretch of road. They blocked it only 3 miles back, but the source of the light is 6 to 7 miles back! Plus where the road is that the light is coming from has a left turn onto another highway which is why a car never goes by after awhile of seeing the light. Every Phyics teacher I know has had the Paulding Light debunked for years.

answered by Guest | 09-28-2010 at 08:27 AM

Disappointing
I went up there Oct 8th excited to see the lights. I brought my high powered binoculars (which two locals took interest in) and sorry to say you can very clearly see it's headlights and tail lights...absolutely no doubt.

The elevation of 45 increases north of Paulding and you can see the cars coming down on the west lane of the road and going up on the east lane. The northbound traffic will illuminate what is obviously a rectangular traffic sign as it approaches and you can see people turning their dims on for on coming traffic. Not to mention the lights followed the same path and the lines of traffic were easy to distinguish.

The clincher to me going to see these was "Fact or Faked" findings and my only guess as to why they didn't see this is because they didn't close off the right stretch of hwy 45 for their test. Even investigators make mistakes too I guess... It was also funny how the locals that were out there disappeared when my wife declared it was cars. It was as if they knew

answered by PI Visitor | 10-12-2010 at 05:22 PM

you're all wrong lol they closed down the highway
they closed down the highway and it still showed up no car has headlights that huge too

answered by Guest | 10-28-2010 at 04:49 PM

They are not headlamps we have tested for that

answered by Cop | 11-14-2010 at 10:14 PM

Wow.
Quote:
Originally Posted by Guest View Post
It is definitely 100% headlights. This has been proven by over 10 investigations. It was first debunked in 1986. The first report of the Paulding Light did not happen until 1966, a few years after the rerouted HWY 45 opened and some drunk teenagers saw it. You have to know the law of light from physics to truly understand why the headlights can be as bright as they are and move the way they do from a distance. If you use a map and draw a line you will see that the headlights are from a road that is almost 7 miles away. The vantage point for the lights is eye level with the road at that point and none of the other hills which creates the optical illusion. That is why when you go toward it it disappears, its because your going downhill and away from the vantage point. When Fact or Faked investigated it they blocked off the wrong stretch of road. They blocked it only 3 miles back, but the source of the light is 6 to 7 miles back! Plus where the road is that the light is coming from has a left turn onto another highway which is why a car never goes by after awhile of seeing the light. Every Phyics teacher I know has had the Paulding Light debunked for years.
Well I believe you are 100% wrong. How do you know fact or faked blocked off the wrong stretch? Have you tried it yourself?? Probably not. Anyways many many others have tested it too. They blocked off the right area and the lights still did show. Mist of the people that say headlights probably have not actually seen it. There is no way a car with 2 headlights can make 1 light. Plus Paulding is very rural and that highway does not have many cars. If the headlight theory is true then why do thousands if people still go see this light? You people definitely do not know what you are talking about.

answered by Guest | 11-15-2010 at 02:40 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guest View Post
Are you kidding me? You can clearly see that it is head lights coming down the hill and the "red lights," are tail lights going up the hill. It is easy to see in the video.
As much as I agree with you that it does look like headlights and taillights, when i was watching Syfy's Fact or Faked, they did a study to disprove exactly that. They had the local police shut down the road. The only vehicle that was on that road during the study shut off all its lights, but the mysterious light remained. Also when the light had gone out they tried to replicate the light with their headlights but couldn't do it. I'm not saying that its an alien, or even that its a ghost with a light like the legend would have us believe, but this light is not cause by headlights, or any other man made light for that matter

answered by Guest | 11-15-2010 at 04:22 AM

I saw the Paulding light twice last summer. We went there arount 2AM from Eagle River Wisconsin and we were thee only ones there. when we were completely silent the light got closer and brighter and when that happened we scream and it got scared away. I looked like it ran into the forest. evy time were got silent it would come closer and closer. it probably got as close as 10 feet away. It was something that I would love to experience again and actually let it get as close as it wants to. I beleive that this is a paranormal thing because different investigators examined this place such as, Ghost Hunters, Fact or Faked, and Ripleys Believe it or Not. None of them could figure out anything about the Paulding Light

answered by Guest | 11-16-2010 at 04:06 AM

It is car headlights and taillights. Here is an investigation by Michigan Tech http://www.mtu.edu/news/stories/2010/october/story32436.html

This was first debunked by a group in 1986.
Here is the investigation by the Wausau Paranormal Research Society. http://www.wprs.net/cases/Paulding%20Light%20-%20Paulding%20Michigan.html

There have been over 10 investigations into the source of the lights and the final conclusion is always car lights.

answered by Kuhrd | 11-17-2010 at 09:42 PM

It isn't headlight, when I saw the lights the lights were doing things headlights couldn't do, like going from a solid beam of light to splitting to two red lights then going to a greenish beam, plus, car lights dont shine that bright, they are brighter than air craft landing lights at times, and honestly, how could a car get up there and move around, its over grown and if you look closely, it shines over the trees. Explain that.

answered by Guest | 11-20-2010 at 11:08 PM

I'm not an expert, and i live in the uk so have not seen the lights. but i have seen fact or faked and also watched this video. the light seems to shimmer and flicker like a star. This looks to me like a mirage, a natural phenomena where an image can be projected onto a plane in the atmosphere when the conditions are right. Looking on google earth there seems to be a lot of water in the area witch would go into the atmosphere and could create this illusion. I camp out in the uk a lot and have seen this phenomena before. Apparently an object hundreds of miles away can look to be hundreds of yards away and usually around the level of the horizon. Just an idea, but whatever it is it looks pretty cool, and you could use it to scare your kids lol.

answered by Guest | 11-21-2010 at 09:35 PM

Paulding lights
OK, I saw the "Faked" show and as usual, was highly disappointed in their tactics. IF it IS headlights it would seem that the light would be momentary, unless there's a solid,constant traffic jam on the suspect road. All the reports say that these lights appear every night but no where does it seem to mention how long the light is visible. I mean, once "lit", how long does it stay lit? DOES it come and go , on and off, or is it solidly lit for 10 minutes,an hour,what??? I could see it being headlights somehow being refracted, but this as well would seem to, be easily proven. Perhaps certain "facts" are purposely left out to increase the urban legend mystique.

answered by Guest | 11-23-2010 at 05:28 PM

The average light lasts approximately 90 seconds starting when the car comes into view till the car makes it about 3/4 of the way down the hill and is out of view. This distance is about 1.4 miles when figuring out the distance traveled by a vehicle at 55MPH. If you have several cars in a group traveling south on Hwy 45 towards Paulding, then the proximity of their lights to one another on the horizon can make it seem as though the light lasts longer and is brighter since the distance makes them appear as though they are a single point source.

If you look at the light through a telescope it can sometimes appear hazy and hard to focus due to the atmosphere distorting the light over such a great distance but it is still very easy to tell that it is cars.

For those people who don't think a car headlight is bright enough at that distance, please note that the human eye in ideal conditions on a very dark night can see the light from a single candle 3-3.5 miles away. Most of today's car headlights are more than 50,000-100,000 candlepower and given that every car has two of them and that they can add together at that distance it can create what appears to be a very bright light. Add to that atmospheric distortion and the effects can be interesting.

answered by Kuhrd | 11-24-2010 at 08:18 PM

OK look at the video again. You can see the red tail lights going up the hill, and the white headlights coming down hill. Pause the video at 4.19 and you will see the "single" white light become two dim lights. Thus we arrive at the fact that we are watching a road. The only scary thing in this video is the dumb onlookers actually believing they are observing something paranormal. Come over to the UK and you can see this kind of stuff all the time.

answered by Guest | 11-26-2010 at 02:18 PM

The particular video that is posted in the first comment above was taken through a typical generic camcorder that most likely has a 10-12x zoom, automatic back-light compensation and auto-focus so it reacts poorly when filming low light events like the Paulding light. If you look at the light with the naked eye it appears much smaller and is a bit harder to tell it is cars right away without using magnification from binoculars or a telescope.

answered by Kuhrd | 11-26-2010 at 07:34 PM

Sorry, it really is car lights
I don't care what some show (done for ratings no less) says. I was there with high powered binos and CLEARLY could see the headlights...even a freaking traffic sign on the side of the road!

Obviously they botched getting the correct portion of highway they blocked off when they did the show!

The amplitude of the light is even easier to explain. Combine 4 or 5 cars headlights and of course it's going to be bright.

After seeing this, I took notice while driving down a stretch of road near by that is straight for 6 miles and guess what, the lights from the cars in the distance look IDENTICAL to what I saw with my naked eye at Paulding...the shimmering, amplitude, color changes...everything!

Sorry believers (and I WANTED to believe), but you're diluting yourself to think this is anything but traffic. Unless you've been there with high powered optics like I have, don't tell me I'm wrong...I know exactly what I saw!

answered by PI Visitor | 12-03-2010 at 10:42 PM

Paulding lights
Is pretty obvious is a headlight, but there is an optical phenomenon happening. The fact that the white light acts like it's coming over a hill and as it gets lower it dims and disappears. The red lights go up the hill....just like you'd expect.

What is odd is how the headlights appear to get so big. This is some optical illusion created by the atmosphere and possibly something that the light shines on (reflection) or through (lens effect). It could be as simple as a bottle on a wall or a reflective road sign critically placed.

So, just from my observation, it's a road light, but the big size is some optical phenomenon that I haven't seen explained yet.

answered by Guest | 12-09-2010 at 08:50 PM

Come On
Everyone who studies this video can see this is the headlights of cars coming over the hill and the red lights of cars going up the hill opposite way.

I think there are a lot of people who try hard to believe different. This is obvious as any I've seen.

answered by Guest | 12-09-2010 at 10:25 PM

I figure if it wasn't headlights it's just some back country folk keeping the town folklore alive by hiding in a hidden location a shining a spotlight.

answered by Guest | 01-14-2011 at 01:04 AM

The first time I ever heard about the paulding light was on unsolved mysteries back in the 80's. They said the first report of the phenomena was in the mid 19th century by some travelers camping out in the wilderness. Then it went another 50 years for the next report and then in the 1960's it became famous. That would debunk the headlight theory if the reports were true.

answered by Guest | 01-22-2011 at 03:59 PM

OK all you people saying its headlights and brake lights. I've been there twice, once it was green for 45 minutes and flickering and the second time it was orange for over an hour then nothing for a couple hours its not brake or headlights.

answered by Guest | 02-07-2011 at 08:49 PM

I went there with my girlfriend and the dog. The light was first small, then came towards us a little, then we walked towards it, and it stopped right in front of us, we got on our hands and knees and knelt before the light. What the light shed upon our inner soul was something extraordinary. We can now read each others minds and the light is always with us. We also do demonic rituals in our cellar, spirits and demons are real, and you can unleash them and become an evil demon.

answered by Guest | 02-23-2011 at 02:44 AM

Cars
Yep, I was there too, and the light is just cars.

It actually made me mad, because I drove up there just to see this. Strong pair of binoculars and you can see the cars. At least I had some fun at the casino while I was there.

Great area to vacation in, just don't make a trip up there just to see car lights.

answered by Guest | 06-28-2011 at 06:02 AM

Quote:
Originally Posted by Guest View Post
Are you kidding me? You can clearly see that it is head lights coming down the hill and the "red lights," are tail lights going up the hill. It is easy to see in the video.
I have seen the Paulding Light on several occasions. We even tried to "trap" it between two groups with walkie talkies.... I can assure you that it is NOT a car.

answered by Guest | 07-05-2011 at 04:02 PM

Its clear what it is.
OMG This video clearly shows what the light is! It's head lights of a car coming up over the hill then starting to descend down the hill. Then you can clearly see the tail lights of other cars going up the hill. It's very hard to believe that the people in the video can't see this.

answered by Guest | 07-07-2011 at 04:54 PM

Paulding Lights
What time do the trains run southwards around Rockland? There is a one mile section of track directly in line with Paulding. Lead engines on trains have three very powerful lights that can be seen for miles.
Check out the alignment on Google Earth.

answered by Guest | 09-01-2011 at 04:54 AM

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