E X P L A N A T I O N S ?
There are places on earth where unexplained, ghostly lights sometimes appear at night. They�re generally called spooklights, will-o-the-wisps, foxfire, jack-o�-lanterns, or ignis fatuus (Latin for Fool�s Fire). Some claim that �swamp gas� (principally methane) released by dying plant and animal matter spontaneously ignites and creates the effects. However, most enduring spooklights do not behave in a manner consistent with traditional gaseous activity.
The Brown Mountain Lights are perhaps the most visually-spectacular of all unexplained, natural illuminations. They occur on the side of a mountain where no swampy areas exist. However, they don�t appear �gaseous,� anyway. When gas is released into the air, it spreads and diffuses into the atmosphere. The Brown Mountain Lights appear to be self-contained, concentrated balls of light which can maneuver the mountain indepdendently. While traveling, and clearly not attached to a stationary �fuel port,� they can continue to �burn� for a minute or more. The lights can also be extraordinarily bright (even when viewed many miles away); seemingly far too bright for known natural gas to produce. They frequently appear when the conditions are dry. Why wouldn�t balls of ignited gas burn up the mountain as they move through the trees? They�ve never been known to start a fire.
Another theory is that the lights may be an electrically charged plasma: some form of ball lightning. But of course, the formation of such manifestations is, in itself, a mystery to current science.
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