History Research See the Lights Legends Theories References Contact


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This site is devoted to unbiased, scientific information on the Brown Mountain Lights. Faculty and students at Appalachian State are investigating the Brown Mountain Lights, and our team includes other specialists, including geologists and outdoor adventure providers in the Brown Mountain area. The lights are reported visible from several viewing points in the Linville area of the mountains of North Carolina. The lights are most often reported as small, star-like dots of light of a brightness comparable to stars. Motion of the lights has varied by reports, from slow movements to almost firework type action.

We are now running two cameras that take images during the night, of Brown Mountain and of Linville Gorge. Camera one, looking at Brown Mountain from the Gingercake area, generally is run dusk to dawn, sometimes starting late due to us not having the opportunity to do the nightly start early. It can be found by clicking here. Brown Mountain is the long ridge that spans the whole image in the foreground, in front of the lights of Lenoir. Camera 2, looking up the Linveille Gorge from the south, only runs from midnight to 5am due to expenses of its satellite Internet connection. It may be viewed by clicking here.

Some of the first reports and investigations are described in the History section. Our efforts to study the phenomenon is covered in the Research section. Go to "See the Lights" for directions to the most common viewing sites. Some of the quaint myths for the origin and cause of the lights are found in the Legends area. Modern thoughts about what their cause could be is found in the Theories section. We have scanned or reproduced some of the commonly quoted historical documents and posted them under References. For further information, the investigators may be reached via phone numbers and addresses found under Contact.


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