I was pleased to read that the experimenters timed the duration of the Light to be about 90 seconds per appearance, because that is exactly what I reported in my post "A Skeptic Speaks Out" a few years ago, which I'm happy to say has become the most viewed and discussed post on this discussion board.
In my post I speak of the Light appearing for "about 80 seconds, give or take 5 seconds" each time it appears, which is what you would expect if the Light is car headlights.
No matter what you believe, you definitely want to follow the link and read the article!
What the heck, I figured I'd just copy and paste the whole article and post it here. Enjoy!
A GHOST LIGHT DEBUNKED
By Dale Kaczmarek
I entitled this article "A Ghost Light Debunked" because here we were able to find a natural explanation to a ghostlight which has mystified people for nearly 20 years. I would like to begin by quoting from the Watersmeet Business Directory, "While in Watersmeet you should see 'The Mystery Light'. The 'light' has defied explanation since it was first sighted about a dozen years ago, although theories abound. "To observe the phenomenon, one must drive north from Watersmeet on US 45 for 4 miles toward the neighboring village of Paulding, and take Robbins Lake Road for a short distance west - an umimproved rural lane once part of a military road authorized by Abraham Lincoln during the Civil War in anticipation of a British attack through Canada. "By tramping through dense woods to the summit of nearby hills, the mysterious light can be observed almost every night once darkness has descended on the northern wilderness. "It appears to rise slowly out of the forest and then hovers low in the sky for varying intervals - ranging from a couple of minutes to over a quarter of an hour. Often described as looking like a 'bright star' it first seems to be a campfire ember, reaching an intense reddish glow, then becoming a haze and finally receding to a mere spark before disappearing into the night. "Explanations vary from fanciful to factual. Some say it's the spirit of a long dead mail carrier ambushed by Indians over a century ago; others insist it is the ghost of an engineer killed in a nearby railroad accident in years gone by. One woman thinks it's a mystical sign of religious significance. In the meantime, 'The Mystery Light' continues to baffle, intrigue and mystify the visitor." I first learned about the Watersmeet ghost light several years ago at lecture in Chicago. The speaker said that this light was visible every night with very few exceptions and was a valid phenomenon. The next time the light was brought up to me was from a member of the GRS, (Ghost Research Society, PO Box 205, Oaklawn, Il. 60454-0205, (312)425-5163), Bill Kingsley, who wrote an article about his encounters with the light and included photographs, (see Vol. 4, No. 4 - Oct. 1985, Ghost Trackers Newsletter). He was quoted as saying, "My impression was that these lights were alive... I feel that these lights are definately not reflections from auto headlights or reflected light off of power line insulators. I feel that there is a natural explanation to these lights; but what?" Along with his article and photographs, he supplied with two newspaper articles about the light. One from the Detroit News dated 1-26-82 and the other from the Milwaukee Journal dated 11-30-80. James L. Kerwin, who writes for the Detroit News, said in his article, "Some suspect the mystery lights have something to do with UFOs. A New Jersey UFO club checked it out but failed to confirm its suspicions." Chris Roberts, a former Hazel Park resident who operates a small general store at nearby Paulding, was quoted as saying, "People have made tests by having a friend blink their lights, on and off, going up the highway. But the mystery lights appear above the blinking headlights." Bob Zelinski, who operates a canoe rental livery in neighboring Watersmeet, says, "Some say it's a ghost conductor killed in a train wreck many years ago, searching the tracks. Others think it may be a lost miner, looking for his claim. Then, the site near old Military Road, to Fort Wilkins, where robbers killed a man delivering mail in 1870. They say the victim is looking for his dead sled dogs." Harry Pease of the Milwaukee Journal writes, "The snow was thinning. Zelinski got out a topographic map and pointed out the lay of the land. Sure enough, the mysterious lights in the woods are auto headlights and taillights on Highway 45. You pick them up on the long hill at Maple Grove Cemetery, 11 miles from Dingman's Rock. The cemetery lies about 1,315 feet above sea level. Paulding is down in a hole between there and the lookout points. The village puts a little glow in the sky - just enough to give the onlooker a false horizon." With all this conflicting information and testimony, we decided to check out the reports ourselves. Two other members of the GRS, Richard Locke and Richard Kerscher, of Evanston and Glenview, Illinois respectively, volunteered to act as our guides and help with our investigations since they had both been to Watersmeet several times before and had seen the lights. Their conclusions were that the lights were simply auto headlights and taillights seen from a distance and nothing supernatural in nature. I still had to see for myself and be open-minded since I have observed many different ghost lights around the country and no two lights looked the same and no two areas were topographically similiar. The only item that is usually nearby is railroad tracks and, given that, there is always the legend concerning an engineer losing his head! The light that is seen is supposed to be his lantern carried by his headless ghost and he is looking for his disembodied head! Historically and legendarily interesting, but seldom true. We traveled to Watersmeet the week of September 13 - 21st of 1986. We stayed in Ironwood, Michigan which is about an hours drive west of Watersmeet. Our two other helpers were stationed in Land O' Lakes, Wisconsin about a half-hour south. Our first full day was spent trying to collect newspaper articles, interview witnesses and talk to various media personell who might know something about the light. Most of our efforts were fruitless. Even larger towns like Bessemer, Wakefield, Paulding and Bruce Crossing did not have any information about the light or it's possible origins. Our first nights viewing was somewhat obscurred by drizzle and haze but the light did make an appearance several times! We saw both the white and red lights as reported by Mr. Kingsley and many other reliable witnesses, but could not really determine what the cause of the lights were that particular evening. The next day was spent collecting topographic maps of the area and interviewing forest rangers who knew the area well. We were trying to locate Dingman's Rock, which was supposed to be the ideal vantage point. We did not find this area until the day before our departure. The name "Dingman's Rock" is apparently local in origin and not on any of the geographic survey maps of the area. That evening, we, again saw the light and were able to capture it through high-power binoculars. It diffused quite nicely into a pair of automobile headlights with an occasional taillight also coming into view. This wasn't positive proof yet, to me. The next morning we traveled north beyond the viewing points along US 45, toward Paulding and Bruce Crossing. We found the small cemetery mentioned in the Journal article and carefully plotted mileage from that point back to the observation points at Dingman's Rock and Robbins Pond Road. We found out that the mileage is close to 11 miles as reported but perhaps less because the point where the lights are first picked up are at the top of a large hill, elevation over 1,500 feet above sea level and nearly 200 feet higher than the elevation at Maple Grove Cemetery. From that point, it's exactly 8.3 miles to Robbins Pond Road which is old highway 45 and also points almost due north. What you are actually seeing is carlights topping the hill, occasionally dimming their bright lights for oncoming cars, taillights of those oncoming cars passing the first cars, their bright lights coming on again and then the cars disappearing into a deep slope in the road. If you could time when the car lights vanished from sight and then wait until those same cars pass behind you on US 45 at an average speed of 55 mph, it would be approximately 7 minutes! We conducted stopwatch tests to calculate the average amount of time the lights were in view at an average speed of 55 mph and found this to be 90.2 seconds. These tests were performed on the evening of September 17th between the hours of 9-10 pm. The next morning we arrived at the crest of the large hill, (already traveling at 55 mph), and drove for 90 seconds. We were relatively sure of the exact point on US 45 where the mysterious lights vanished from view. It was nearly three-quarters of the way down the large hill. You could no longer see the observation point from this area! The last evening was the final test or coup de grace, as I like to call it. We set up a video camera and pointed it in the direction of the lights, with generous help from Mr. Locke and Mr. Kerscher! My brother, Wayne, (a research director for the GRS), then drove my car to the top of the large hill with the four-way flashers going; which we quite easily picked up through binoculars. His instructions were to start back down at precisely 8:30 pm and to blink the bright lights every 5 seconds. The results were conclusive! We captured the oncoming car on video tape with the lights blinking every 5 seconds on cue. The view through binoculars was even more convincing because you could nearly see the outline of the car! This was proof enough for me! This is the only ghost light to date that has been debunked by myself and I disagreeistants; others are and have been more difficult, if not impossible, to disprove. The standard "headlight theory" seems to fit this light but none of the others that we have investigated. There are some readers that will read this article and still shake their heads, not wanting to believe, but the proof is in the pudding and all you have to do is to duplicate these very simple experiments yourselves if you are ever in the area and see for yourself. The mystique of this light is over but many others still lie waiting for future experimenters to puzzle over!
From crest of large hill to: Dingman' Rock is 6.1 miles and to Robbins Pond Road is 8.3 miles. Average amount of time that lights were in view was 90.2 seconds. Distance lights traveled in 90.2 seconds at an average speed of 55 mph is 7,275.32 feet or 1.377941666 miles. A car traveling at 55 mph travels approximately 80.66 feet per second. We can therefore conclude that the lights disappear approximately 4.73 miles from Dingman's Rock and 6.93 miles from Robbins Pond Road. This would be the closet approach that an observer could get to the lights. This would effectively put the disappearance of the lights very close to the town of Paulding which lies in a slope between two large hills. INVESTIGATING TEAM Dale Kaczmarek, President, Ghost Research Society, PO Box 205, Oaklawn, Il. 60454-0205, (312)425-5163. Wayne Kaczmarek, Research Director, GRS. Richard Locke, Member, GRS, Evanston, Illinois. Richard Kerscher, Member, GRS, Glenview, Illinois. Stephanie Willis, Trained Observer, GRS.
LMAO, that is great. Someone else solved the mystery of the car lights that everyone already knows you can see there. What they didnt solve is the actual paulding light that I have personally seen. It reminds me of a story i heard back in high school science where a group in the field is invesitgating a species of bird that has reportedly gone extinct but has been sighted. While searching they get bored and saw a frog. They say, hey there is a frog but being science students they decide to prove its a frog which they of course easily do. Shortly after they leave that frog gets picked up and eaten by the extinct bird that of course does not actually exist because the group was too busy proving that a d**n frog was a frog.
i do not agree at all with that. go to this link....look at the map. go north of town to robins pond rd. you are facing north west at the sight of the guardrail blocking you from traveling any further down robins pond rd. you are not even looking towards hwy. 45, or old 45! there is nothing in the direction you are looking at the correct spot on robins pond road. any also, the light lasts for longer than 90 seconds.....and also, why does it only occur in 15 minute intervals (when i have been there)? your telling me cars only travel that road you are talking about in 15-20 min intervals? i think you too were at the wrong spot watching your car lights. here is the link of the spot. www.mapquest.com/maps/Watersmeet+MI/ find robins pond rd....it goes northwest, you can only drive down that road approx. a mile to the viewing spot.
racerrx700 has hit the nail on the head perfectly, some people have been going to the wrong place for many, many years and nobody seems to care. I,ve posted this same info previously, it's good to know their is someone else who actually knows the correct place to go and see the real paulding light and not car lights on hwy 45. Keep getting the word out, thanks
Big Tom, I am a bit confused. I am pretty darn sure i have gone to the right place since i parked right next to the sign and yes i have seen car lights. I have also seen the real light. The problem with most of these people is that the real thing does not show up as often as the cars so they go and see the car lights and then leave. Its their loss!
As a science-minded person, I am definitely open to the possibility that there may be a "real Paulding Light" that is separate from the car lights. If true, I sincerely hope to see it someday. I've heard enough things from enough people to keep an open mind about it. But what bothers me is that I've never seen a single photograph or video of this "real Paulding Light" and of course I've never seen it for myself.
By the way I know where the observation spot is and you have to be pretty stupid or very misinformed not to know where to go. I find all this recent talk about people going to the wrong spot to be very strange. Where is the incorrect location that some people are going instead?
But anyways, if a "real Paulding Light" exists where are all the photographs? Why isn't youtube swamped with videos of it? I've never seen a photograph or video that wasn't obviously the same car lights that I've seen in person every time I've been there. So all you people who have witnessed the REAL PAULDING LIGHT, please bring your video camera next time and settle this.
Here is a link from utube. www.youtube.com/watch?v=OBzEs9baq5M I think this is actually a link from the cheesy movie promoted on this site but the footage is actually close to what i have personally witnessed even though the video is quite a bit less intense than my own experience. If you have been to the viewing area then this video will give you a good idea of the layout and distance involved. When he says that it is 5 miles away (from where it is thought cars would be visible) on the video he is pretty accurate. I think we all know that the size of a light when it reaches your eye is inversely proportionate to the distance the light travels. eg. the moon is not actually a half inch tall as it appears to us. Basically the source is bigger than what you see generally so the headlight theory is a tough sell. Also there is the matter of intensity. The light I have seen was so intense it lit up the entire area between me and the source including the viewing area. It was like there was a police helecopter above us with the spotlight on us. I have not seen a way that a car light is going to gain that kind of intensity over a distance when science theory tells us that it will lose intensity. As far as i know this is not a known scientific principle that is now known that would allow this to happen but perhaps you know a way that you could tell us. I have not looked through a telescope to confirm but i think you can indeed see car lights coming and going for brief intervals (maybe 30 seconds at a time) But as for the real light i think it is most likely a logical scientific explanation perhaps something to do with the iron ore concentrations and a magnetic field of some kind (a bit along the lines of ball lightening). It does seem to react to whats going on around however (cars pull in it goes away) so who knows.
If you've read other posts about "the sign", some say it's been down for two years while other swear it was there when they were there. It makes you wonder exactly where they were. I know for a fact that people are going to at least two differant locations and maybe three locations to view what they say is the paulding light. So where ever you are up there in the woods I agree, take lots video and pictures and let's figure this thing out once and for all. Also I don't think we need Phil treating us like six year olds and copying and pasting some article that I'm sure we've all read years ago.
Thanks for the links Distiller and Ed, but is this really the best that youtube can offer? You don’t honestly believe that there is anything special happening in either one of these videos, do you?
Distiller, the link you sent me is for a video from the movie just like you said. I commented on this exact video four years ago in my “A Skeptic Speaks Out” post: “The video on this website that is labeled Actual Footage Of The Light can be misleading. It looks small for the first 2-3 seconds and then suddenly the Light gets really big. I’ve emailed Robert Wiegert who shot the film, and he told me he zoomed in on the Light which magnified it 500%. Only the first 2-3 seconds of this video is what the Light looks like to the naked eye.”
Distiller, you claim that the light so you saw “was so intense it lit up the entire area between me and the source including the viewing area. It was like there was a police helicopter above us with the spotlight on us.” Do you know of any videos that capture anything like what you describe, because nothing like that is happening in either one of the videos found by following the links above. Both of these videos are obviously just cameras zooming in and out on the headlights of a car.
BigTom714, you claim that you “know for a fact that people are going to at least two different locations and maybe three locations to view what they say is the paulding light.” Where are these 2-3 other locations? I apologize that my posts make you feel like a six year old - I’m just trying to share links and information with other people in order to investigate the Light. Isn’t that the purpose of this discussion board?
One more time - I am open to the idea that a REAL Paulding Light MIGHT exist that is separate from the car headlights. If it does exist then I’d like to see photographs or video of it. Is that too much to ask? I’m sorry but the car light theory is the only game in town until someone produces something legit.