A group of us from Iron Mountain, MI, about 80 miles east of Watersmeet, went to check the Paulding lights about 35 years ago.
One of our group, Al A., had been there and was fascinated and perplexed - and also had conjured up a half dozen theories.
We got to the site where Al had seen the lights about 5:00 PM, so it was still daylight. We had binoculars, cameras and telescopes. Al set up the telescope in the direction in which he had seen the lights. I was looking through it and moving it around slowly when I spotted a car at a considerable distance.
I told Al he was probably seeing headlights or tail lights. He pooh-poohed the idea. Fortunately, one of the pick-up trucks in our group had roof light flashers. Also, a couple of people had those devices that truckers used to chat and tell each other when "Smoky Bear", e.g. cops were in the vicinity. I believe they were called CB's.
We figured out where road the car I had seen was located. (I had also spotted a second car.) Between cars, you could barely see the highway. I told them not to touch the telescope. It was positioned exactly where I wanted it.
Gene C, the guy with the pick-up with flashers and I took off to find the spot I had seen the car. We said we would be flashing the lights and would be in constant communication with them. Sure enough, maybe twenty minutes later, the guy viewing through the telescope saw our flashing lights and communicated it to us.
We went back and forth on that road about a half mile in each direction a few times and they spotted our flashers every time through the telescope.
Now we had to wait until dark to see if the Paulding lights appeared coincidentally with the cars going by or shortly before or shortly after them.
The road was very lightly traveled. We saw only one or two other cars during the 45 or so minutes were on it.
It finally got dark. We saw our first and then many more Paulding lights. Sure enough, they were always associated with cars. It's been over 35 years ago, so I can't remember how soon before or after we could see the cars the lights appeared and disappeared, but it was consistent.
Other tourists/visitors came to view them that night, probably 25 or so in couple of hours. Most of them got pretty excited when they "saw the light."
We explained to all of them what caused the lights. We still had the telescope set up and told them to look through it. Would you believe hardly any of them chose to look - and I'm not sure any of them believe us? Our own party was made up of around 8 people, all of whom knew by that time the cause of the lights.
People will believe what they want to believe, I guess, and no one was about to change their mind.
We did manage to convince our friend Al, though. I believe he was a little disappointed that his UFO theories, power line theories, headless railroad engineer story (a local legend) and a few others he had dreamt up went down the drain.
We reported our results to the The Iron Mountain Daily News, the local newspaper, and got front page coverage. Our 15 minutes of fame, so to speak.
This article pretty well sums it up. I watched the video clip and, for me, it that was obviously car lights, as well.
One post suggested shutting down highway 45 for a few hours and then see if any lights appear. While it's a good idea and it is a lightly traveled road, a few people would be mighty ticked during the test iif it was their only way home.
I liked the flash bar test these guys used. Maybe someone can line up a dozen or so police cars, send them on Highway 45 one behind the other with lights flashing.
People who happen to be viewing that night would get the most best Paulding Light display ever!!