My adventures with the Brown Mountain lights started in the Fall of 1987. A friend of mine told me you could see them more clearly and with less company from the top of Table Rock. So that is where we headed--we would climb out on the Gorge side and look toward the Brown Mountain Range long after sunset.
The first time I saw them it was a cool fall night around 50 degrees F. We watched about 5 lights dance all over the Brown Mountain Range traveling at speeds impossible for a car to travel. We saw lights like this several times where they would just appear and "dance around" for about 15 minutes then, just fade out.
But one evening the following year in 1988 it was fairly cold up there. My best friend and my then five-year-old daughter went with me to the overlook on Hwy 181. It was crowded there and we couldn't see anything after about an hour. So we and a young couple decided to drive up to Table Rock.
When we got up there everything was SO quiet. The mountains stretched out below us and we became very much at peace. (No, no one was smoking anything or doing any drugs.) It was just breathtakingly beautiful. After about another hour we still hadn't seen anything. My daughter was snuggled up to me between my legs trying to stay warm. My friend, Leigh and I were sitting beside each other. The other couple was sitting in front of us, over to my left sort of below us on another rock. I leaned back and we started looking at and pointing out constellations. Leigh asked me about the Big Dipper. Just as I pointed out the handle and the North Star, what appeared to be a very bright light "fell" out of the dipper, came down and went to the top of the Brown mountain range and then split into two lights which then raced to either end of the mountain and danced and swirled around, splitting into more lights. We were dumbfounded. I finally leaned over to Leigh and asked her if she saw what I saw and she just nodded her head. The other couple was sitting there with their mouths dropped open. When the lights split into several more, I can't tell you how many, we all started talking at once. It was quite exciting. Even my daughter was aware that something pretty magnificent had just taken place. We watched until the lights faded out about 20 minutes later. We waited about another 30 minutes, but saw nothing and as it was getting quite late, we decided to leave.
On the way down the mountain, through the trees, we saw what appeared to be a house on fire. As we came around a curve in that dirt road, we realized it was the trees on fire. I was driving and just gunned the car through the burning area. We live in Gastonia so the drive home was still long and it took me hours to calm down. It was quite an exciting night.
My family and I have been back up there several more times and have seen the lights again, but have yet to see anything like that one night in 1988. It was just phenomenal.
Dottie ScherGastonia, NC
source : Lemur