Brown Mountain: Lights, Bigfoot, Mummy, Abductions and More!

Brown Mountain in North Carolina is a lovely wilderness area. It has seen a great deal of history and retains even more mysteries.

The first unexplained featured noted about Brown Mountain are the infamous "Brown Mountain Lights." The lights can be seen from the Blue Ridge Parkwayat mile posts 310 (Brown Mountain Light overlook) and 301 (Green Mountain overlook) and from the Brown Mountain Overlook on NC Highway 181 between Morganton, NC and Linville, NC.

The source of the lights has never been officially announced, but many thing it might have correlated with flooding and the lights from the city and cars caught on odd air currents that made them appear as if they were in another location, a phenomenon we call fata morgana that can cause a sort of mirage apparition of something on the horizon, making it seem as if it were floating - 

Some say that the lights are happening less and that the phenomenon is dying out (LINK). But, given the hundreds of years these have been reported, it is likely that some natural phenomenon is transient in which conditions are just right for the lights to appear or retreat. 

What is more intriguing than the lights, however, are the myriad of other phenomenon going on in the same area. That, combined with the lights, makes one wonder if this might be a "weird portal" type of region.

Abductions and the Mummy

Ralph Lael, a furniture salesman in 1961, decided to go check out the Brown Mountain Lights, but what he described was more than just witnessing lights. It involved an abduction and a mummy!

He went out into the wilderness to investigate the curiosity. What he reported was an encounter with a 10-12 foot wide perfect circle with a brown center suspended inside a glowing ball with three hand-like appendages on each side that seem to extend from it. 

He apparently felt the odd glowing ball scan him as he remained in a paralyzed numb state. When he came-to from it, he chased the light to a cave at the base of the mountain, where it entered and Lael followed. 

The tale takes on an even more incredulous interpretation as he stated that a voice told him not to fear it, that it was a gas-based life form from Venus. The speaker announced that humans on earth were colonized here from another planet that destroyed itself from "splitting the electron." And, the voice announced that man was nearing that situation again in which the Venusians would have to destroy them.

The furniture salesman was then told to not tell anyone of the cave and if he kept the secret, he would be given secret knowledge of the universe.

His story goes on to say he kept the promise and the Venusians then allowed him on a vehicle to their planet to meet their people who were all male, exception one beautiful female that he was allowed to mate with.

He was sent back home to warn people about splitting electrons. He was taken back to the cave where he found the mummy of a small person with a huge head and splindly limbs. He was told he could take the mummy as proof of his experiences.

Eventually, Lael wrote a book Brown Mountain Lights that told about his experiences. He placed the specimen in a glass case with a blanket over its lap and teeth baring and people came to see the oddity. 

The body got more attention than he imagined when some supposed MIBs came to check it out. When he died in 1978, his shop was bulldozed and the body never accounted for again. (LINK)

Legends of abductions on the mountain have happened for many centuries, going back to as far as 1200 with the local Native People who believed the lights might be the spirits of their men who died in battle, and into the Civil War Era when people believed they were slaves lanterns. Explanations for the lights go back centuries, proving they have existed a very long time and worked their way into local lore.

Citizens had gone missing on the mountain over time and each of these became associated with the lights and strange goings on. It gave the mountain even more odd mystique. 

Project Blue Book, a government program to seek out and explain UFO phenomenon, had categorized Brown Mountain Light as "unexplained." (LINK)  As with any Appalachian area wilderness, lots of hikers have gone missing and others turned up dead. Within the setting of this unusual place, it makes it seem all the more premeditated.


The Brown Mountain location is an ideal Bigfoot territory - mountainous, woodlands, waterways, wildlife. It has it all! And, Bigfoot has been sighted there often. 

(LINK) 2001 - OBSERVED: It was dark and we noticed we were running low on fire wood. we walked down a trail on the south side of the campsite to get some wood from a small clearing we had noticed earlier. We were watching some lights move across Brown mountain trying to determine if they were the Brown Mountain lights (investigator's note: apparently this is a locally known phenomenon), or just motorcycles. At any rate it was about this time we heard the noise.

We had our flash lights off cause we were watching the lights on Brown mountain, then we heard this long scream. We stopped in our tracks and listened carefully. The scream repeated. It was coming from the south west of our location deep in the valley. We hurried back up to camp and turned off the radio in the truck. The scream continued. Now this has been going on for a couple mins and the scream changed. It would scream for a few seconds and then the sound would start to break up. At the time we described it as a cackle like sound, but the newspaper article (that was found in the BFRO media files) described it as a yodeling sound, which is more accurate.

This continued on for several mins, every few seconds another scream continuing on to the yodel. Both of us are avid campers, and camp in this same area every October. But we had never heard a sound like this before. We first thought perhaps a mountain lion, because we had heard their cries compared to a woman in pain screaming. We debated for a while and at last decided to move to another campsite for the night as we had not explored our surroundings much prior to nightfall. We have yet to be back, but we have full intentions of going back and exploring the valley from which the sound came.


One couple went to see the lights and sat there for two hours, but as they drove off, they reported a very aggressive UFO encounter - 

(LINKAfter watching and waiting for two hours the couple finally saw some lights to the west, but rather than sitting back to enjoy the spectacle the pair were instead confronted with a strange flying object that headed towards them and actually bumped in to the top of their car. The bizarre tale goes on to claim that as the couple attempted to drive away the object held the vehicle in place, preventing their escape. During the struggle, the object allegedly hit the roof with such force that the back window smashed and the car was crushed by about eight inches. - 

Once again, another location shows evidence of a multitude of weirdness, putting into that "portal" category that keeps us pondering. There are many such locations with ghost lights, missing people, UFOs, alien sightings, Bigfoot, and more weirdness. What is going on? It doesn't necessarily have to mean that something is coming and going from another realm, but that there is something about that location that either supports oddities (has the right ingredients) or draws odd things. 

I continue to look for more such examples around our world. 

Video by researchers (LINK)
More on how the lights might happen (LINK)


  1. I just watched the WCNC news video. I was under the impression that the lights were seen more frequently than what the said in the vid.

    -Allan "RocKiteman" Gaines

  2. Me and a friend had 2 large rocks thrown at us one night while camping at brown mtn orv area in fall of 2001. We would hear the rocks hitting tree branches for a few seconds before they hit the ground 10-15ft from our tent. Dont know who or what it was but i dont know anybody who could throw a grapefruit size rock that hard or far. After the 2nd rock was thrown we went outside to investigate but never saw anything or heard anything walk away. Strange thing is we were the only ones camping there that night since it was late in the year.


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