The Unexplained Min Min Lights Of The OutbackFirst Published: December 22, 2018 Estimated Reading Time: 6 minutes
Although the Min Min Lights are witnessed throughout the Australian outback, they take their name from a small settlement near the town of Boulia where they were witnessed by a stockman traveling through the area in 1918. These glowing orbs, of a variety of colors of red, blue, green, yellow, and white have been witnessed since the early years of the twentieth century. And they very much continue today.
These strange lights can also be found in the myths and folklore of indigenous Aboriginal tribes of the area. This suggests they have been present long before the early-1900s. Interestingly, many other tribes around the world have traditions and legends, untampered with for thousands of years, that speak of similar lights. What’s more, they, like the tribes of the outback, believe these strange lights are spirits of their descendants. Is this simply an ancient belief used to make sense of strange sightings going back thousands of years? Or might these legends contain more truth than most would think? Might they, if only in part, help explain this strange phenomenon?
“Approached But Never Identified!”
Sightings of these strange lights are quite literally in their hundreds. Indeed, as you approach, a sign declares “For the next 120 km you are in land of the Min Min Light”. These lights, according to this large orange sign at the roadside, “at times follows travelers for long distances”. And just to add more mystery to these very real sightings it states the lights have “been approached but never identified”.
While many in the UFO community have an interest in these strange aerial shows for obvious reasons, indigenous tribes state they are the “spirits of their ancestors” who roam the outback. As European “settlers” encroached on these areas more and more in the early decades of the twentieth century, it would appear sightings of these strange glowing orbs began to increase. This is an interesting point. Did they actually increase? Or were there simply more reports because of the increase of European settlers who were not at all familiar with these strange glows? Or, if we accept the beliefs of the Aboriginal tribes of the area, that these lights are the spirits of long-deceased tribes’ people, is the increase in sightings a sign of a disturbance of their realm by the modern world?
Perhaps a side-note point of interest here would be the similar case of Clifford Muchena, who in La Rochelle near Mutare, Zimbabwe, appeared to have an extremely close-up experience with a glowing orb. One that the witness would describe as a “ball of fire” that went on to climb the side of the buildings as if inspecting them. Interestingly, local legends – themselves passed down from long-established tribes of the area – state these orbs are “shavi”, a spirit who is lost.
The Encounter Of Henry Lamond
There are several specific accounts worth looking at. The case of Henry Lamond, for example, who in 1937 claimed to have been riding his horse through the region when what he believed to be a car approached him out of the distance. It was a little after 2 am, which caused him to wonder what someone would be doing this far out at this time of night. He continued on regardless. Although cars “were not rare” you still didn’t see too many out in the harsh environment of the outback. Then, however, things changed.
“Suddenly, I realized it was not a car light” he would state years later. The object was one obvious ball of light which “didn’t divide into two headlights” as he had expected it to do as it came closer and into focus. Furthermore, the light was much too high from the ground to be a car light. There was, he would state, “something eerie about it”.
It was moving around ten miles per hour and hovered at around ten feet. From his perspective, the light was approximately the size “of a new-risen moon”. He continued in the direction he was heading, and the mystery light did likewise. Then, at a distance of around 200 yards, “it just faded and died away”. He would describe its disappearance akin to “the gradual fading of the wires in an electric bulb”.
Does this suggest a physical object, for sake of argument, a large bulb-type object that simply “switched off” leaving the previously glowing “elements” still in sight for several seconds? Or might the strange light have a more otherworldly explanation?
Remnants Of Alien Abduction Cases?
A similar incident, although more in the modern age is that of James Birch. Birch, from the nearby town of Kimberley, would experience the incident while driving back home one evening. He would claim that local legends, like that of the tribes of the area, stated the strange lights were “old people’s spirit’s looking after the country”.
This particular evening following a hunting trip, a strange light appeared in the distance. He, along with his fellow hunters were all in instant awe of the enchanting light. What happened next, though, has echoes of alien abduction cases.
Without realizing it, having been heading into town only moments earlier, they were now following the strange light “going back into the bush”. It isn’t clear if there was any missing time, although there must have been at least some minimal unaccounted-for moments as they couldn’t recall turning their vehicle around. What might have happened to cause their memories to blank out? And why were they suddenly heading in the opposite direction? Was their change of direction a conscious decision? Or was it a result of some kind of close contact?
Our next account is altogether more spine-tingling with definite hints of the paranormal. And adds yet another layer of mystery and dark intrigue to these most bizarre glowing orbs.
The “Near Miss” Of Bill Bowyang
If we go back to 1937 for a moment, there is another strange incident from Bill Bowyang, a newspaper columnist of his day. He and several others were on a camping expedition in the area when they had a most bizarre encounter. One evening, a strange light was visible ahead of them. It moved around slightly, as though “someone were waving a lantern” in the distance. However, the higher this strange light would rise into the air, the more obvious it was that whatever was behind the glow, it was unlikely a person.
Bowyang, now extremely intrigued got up and urged his group that they should follow the light. However, several of them suddenly grew frightened, refusing to go with him. They would claim it to be a “ghost light” that would “lead them to their doom”, possibly to the depths of a rocky chasm. However, despite this, and despite being the only person wishing to do so, he went ahead to investigate what was behind these mysterious glows.
He continued on into the darkness, eager to see what the cause of the light was. When he got to around twenty yards of the “huge ball of glowing embers” it suddenly moved to one side.
That’s when a voice called to him from behind warning that a huge fall was only yards away. He did indeed stop himself. However, in front of him he could see “the strange light had drifted out over the great chasm”. If he had taken just several more steps, he would have fallen to his death. The light would float back to him several times, as if enticing him to follow. When he began to move away, the light suddenly “dropped from sight”.
A Dark Intelligence From Elsewhere Or A Natural Phenomenon?
Such encounters as those experienced by Bill Bowyang and James Birch would suggest a definite intelligence surrounding the lights. Particularly in Birch’s case, who would completely turn his vehicle around. And followed the lights with no memory of having done so. If we accept there is an intelligence of sorts behind these lights, then, what kind of intelligence are talking of? Is it an entity that we would describe as an extraterrestrial? And are these lights some kind of strange vehicle unknown to us? Or are they a “spiritual intelligence”, perhaps an entity from another realm or even dimension?
There are several explanations for the strange lights, although none of them addresses the apparent “mental control” they can assert over those who see them. Perhaps unbelievably to some, the “swamp gas” theory makes an appearance as an alternative explanation. As do “bioluminescent insects” or “a flock of fireflies”. Perhaps one of the most interesting theories comes from neuroscientist, Jack Pettigrew. He believes the Min Min Lights could be a “nocturnal form of the rare Fata Morgana”. This is a natural phenomenon. In specific conditions, it sends light traveling over huge distances, essentially, making objects appear closer than they actually are. It can also make things appear to float.
Pettigrew’s theories make a lot of sense. Other than the strange mental control mentioned earlier. Is this simply the pure fright in people, meaning their mind’s shut out such memories? Or is there really more to the Min Min Lights than just simple illusion?
Check out the short video below. It looks at this most fascinating phenomena a little further.