Strange Golden Lights Captured on Camera in Northwoods Wisconsin

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A man camping with his family on private land in northern Wisconsin reported seeing a floating cloud of glowing golden lights at approximately 3 a.m. on July 28th.

The sighting took place roughly 65 miles south of Lake Superior, near Wisconsin's northern border.

The man told the Singular Fortean Society that he had awoken from a "dead sleep" and saw the lights hovering next to a lantern.

He managed to take a video with his cellphone camera, which captured some of the golden lights floating near the blue-white light of the lantern.

"[The lights] had a lot of smaller spots that floated around, zig zagged, and left glowing lines in the air inside this aura of gold color," he said. "And then larger brighter golden lights that winked in and out, and sort of moved around but slower, which is about all you can see in the video," 

The unusual aerial display lasted for around 15 minutes, at which time the lights disappeared.

"They winked out in the same place, the smaller ones first and then the big ones," the witness said. "Since they were appearing and disappearing it was more like they just went out one by one and didn't come back. Then the entire golden aura/blob went out that contained the lights."

The area in which the lights appeared was northeast of their campsite, and a hill obscures the only house in that area, which stands about 1/2 mile from the site--meaning the lights could not have come as a result of distorted houselights.  Otherwise, the campsite exists within nothing but hundreds of acres of woods and water.

Historical weather data from the date and location of the sighting shows that the temperature at the time was hovering near 47 degrees, which is much cooler than fireflies prefer, making it unlikely that the glowing insects were responsible for the sighting. Fireflies prefer warm, humid air, and are significantly less active when the temperature dips below 60 degrees; they also don't often swarm in such tight, cloud-like formations.

"[There were] no insects really," he reported. "Normal flies during the day, but no biters and almost no skeeters. Then at night, nothing."

Other natural phenomena like ball lighting and swamp gas can likely be ruled out, since they do not appear as dozens of tiny individual glowing lights, but rather as a single object.

The witness and his family do stay regularly at the site, and he has promised to investigate the phenomenon should he see it again.

"If I see it again I'll hit it with a high powered flash light," he said. "But I had that sitting on my truck."

"Believe it or not getting out in the woods with 'something' isn't really an attractive thing when you're there."

Tobias WaylandComment