Regarding the Aug. 8 Science article “What are the Brown Mountain Lights?” I’ve seen them! In July 1969, I was an assistant instructor at N.C. Outward Bound by Linville Gorge. We were driving our Jeep back to camp and stopped at Wiseman’s View (above Linville Gorge) to see whether we could see the elusive lights. There they were! Two large lights, one on each end of the mountain, about 17 lights on the mountain itself (various colors), and lights that went up above the mountain and went on and off.
At the view were families from Morganton, couples and even Special Forces who trained in the area. It was like a scene from “Close Encounters of the Third Kind” where regular citizens hung out to watch UFOs.
Earlier in the summer, we had camped on Brown Mountain, and one of our campers from Lenore talked about his dad “hunting” them. The mountain on top had bedrock with obvious sites where lightning had hit it. My theory was that power somehow stored from lightning strikes released into the lights. Brown Mountain was a bit spooky: It was the only place the whole summer that we ran into poisonous snakes on the trail.
Henry H. Walker