The Andes Lights of South America have been compared to the Brown Mountain Lights. They are reportedly streams of light that sometimes appear around the peaks of the Andes. However, the phenomenon does not occur below 15,000 feet. At this elevation, the clouds rush around the peaks, building up powerful charges. Effects like St. Elmo�s Fire, when a corona of blue light develops around high points, are caused by the moving clouds. However, at its highest point, Brown Mountain is only 2,750 feet high. Clearly, the Andes activity is a separate phenomenon.

How about radiation? Though mysterious lights can reportedly be created by uranium, there is no conclusive evidence of radioactive material on Brown Mountain. There is also no special documentation of cancers associated with the area around the mountain.

This rock from Brown Mountain contains granite, quartz, iron, and rubies.

The Brevard Fault, a major force in shaping the Blue Ridge Mountains, does run through the vicinity of the ridge. However, according to geologists, it hasn�t moved in 185 million years. Is it possible, however, that smaller faults around the mountain may indeed move? Brown Mountain contains lots of quartz. Might fault movement sometimes apply pressure to the quartz crystals, producing electricity? Great pressure applied to all rock, but especially quartz, produces electricity. This is called the �piezoelectric effect.� This might explain how a substance could become �excited� or ignited by energy on the mountain . . . but then, what substance? Scientists have detonated dynamite on the mountain in an attempt to stimulate the lights, but nothing substantial occurred.

Others have blamed the illuminations on atmospheric reflections and refractions of both artificial and natural sources of light. Some researchers have even wondered if starlight could be refracted in some unusual way. However, evidence for these theories has never been presented. Besides, many research teams like ORION (researchers from the Oak Ridge National Laboratory) and L.E.M.U.R. have documented anomalous energy fields when the lights appear. These include readings on standard EMF meters, IR scanners, and even Geiger counters! Optical illusions could not cause these types of objective fields.

Lights from campers and off road vehicles are commonly mistaken for paranormal illuminations. However, the ORV park was only installed in the 1980s, and the lights have been seen for at least the past century. In fact, the scientists from ORION conducted most of their research in the 1970s and early 80s, before the ORV park was constructed.

Of course, there are those who insist the lights are simply �ghosts,� or some form of spiritual materialization, as well as aliens, UFOs, or giant fireflies! Theories on all from inter-dimensional activity to fairies and glowing �little people� have been put forth. Despite the speculation, no one has ever proven what the lights are. We can only be sure of one thing: they DO exist.

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