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This section contains information about phenomena that are generally believed to have a supernatural, mystical nature, and the very existence of which is currently in doubt.Phenomena Hierarchy

Wandering Fire

Added Sun, 02/10/2016
Другие названия
Loose women
Swamp lights
Candles of the deceased
Lights of Marfa and Saratoga
Область распространения
United States
United Kingdom
Czech Republic
Характерные признаки
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This phenomenon includes two types of lights:

  • Ground-level (chasing travelers, but not rising above two meters from the road)
  • High (located high above the ground, at the level of clouds)

The first include the classic "Swamp lights" they are also "Will-o'-the-wisps".  They are usually described as "a light that moves by itself not far from the traveler."

They can also be called "lights of Marfa and Saratoga", "Min-Min". These lights intimidated travelers in ancient times, but they are also observed in our time.

The color of such a fire can be blue, yellow, greenish and white. Basically, these lights appear in swamps, cemeteries, sometimes in forests and even less often near reservoirs and fields. They are shaped like a candle flame, but more often spherical. The height of the "flight" is from the ground to the height of a person's raised arm. They move unevenly – they burn for a short time, only a few seconds, after which another one may flare up nearby.

Some legends say that such lights live where violent death has occurred (often more than one).

A small number of legends and eyewitness accounts claim that such lights, on the contrary, help to protect themselves from trouble and even escape.

In almost all corners of the world, since ancient times, there have been various legends about the appearance of phenomena similar in descriptions to Will-o'-the-Wisps.

In Slovak and Czech mythology, a similar phenomenon is called a Harlot. It is believed that these are swamp and water spirits that appear near the water in the form of will-o'-the-wisps.

There are similar lights in England. There they are better known as Jack O'lantem, Body Light or Body Candle.

There is some analogy in the Irish legend about the stingy blacksmith-drinker Jack, who twice deceived the Devil and received from him a promise not to plot against Jack, not to attempt on his body, and also not to claim his soul after death. However, Jack could not use the privileges he received as a drinker, because he soon died. After death, the sinner was not allowed into paradise. Neither God nor the Devil needed Jack. The restless Irishman, waiting for the Day of Judgment, was forced to wander the earth, lighting his way with a piece of coal, which the devil finally threw to him. Jack put a smoldering ember in an empty pumpkin and set off to wander around the world.

If the first option is associated with the souls of the dead, then the second option is tightly connected with the UFO phenomenon.

Now the most famous place for the appearance of such high lights is considered to be the southwest of Queensland in Australia (Alexandria Station). In the USA, the Saragoga and Marfa lights in Texas, the Brown Mountain and Mako lights in North Carolina and the "ghost Hornet lights" in Missouri are also known.

This can also include Fireballs are naked. It is believed that this is a natural phenomenon observed once a year on the river Mekong in Thailand (Isan region) and Laos. It consists in the fact that glowing balls, similar to reddish chicken eggs, rise from the depths of the river. The balls rise 10-20 meters above the river and disappear. The most frequent appearance of fireballs was recorded in October, on the eve of the holiday Pavarana, although they were also observed at other times of the year. In honor of the appearance of balloons in the city A festival is held in Nong Khai and neighboring villages, which together with the natural phenomenon itself attracts many tourists.

It is assumed that the balls appear as a result of fermentation of suspended matter carried by the river, which ignites as a result of certain atmospheric conditions.


Scientific hypotheses

Among the scientific hypotheses of the appearance of swamp lights , the following can be distinguished:

  • Spontaneous combustion of gaseous phosphorous hydrogen and methane formed during the rotting of dead plant and animal organisms.
  • Bioluminescence, for example, of honey bees or fireflies.
  • Ball lightning
  • The lights of St. Elmo. This is a discharge in the form of luminous beams or tassels (or a crown discharge) that occurs at the sharp ends of tall objects. 
  • A mirage. Jack Pettigrew, a professor at the University of Queensland in Brisbane, believes that these are mirror mirage phenomena from possibly small light sources that are sometimes even hundreds of kilometers away. For example, it may be the reflection of the front and/or rear headlights of cars moving along a remote highway.
  • Perhaps the explanation of the phenomenon may be similar to the cause of the appearance of Fireballs Naked, although they are completely incomprehensible. It is assumed that the balls appear as a result of fermentation of suspended matter carried by the river, which ignites as a result of certain atmospheric conditions.

Scientific hypotheses

There are also a number of hypotheses that are similar to scientific ones on the principle of explanation, but have not found support in scientific circles:

  • The lights are the glow of radioactive fallout
  • Triboluminescence is the glow of gas as a result of the friction of crystalline rocks in tectonic faults.

Mystical hypotheses

The most ancient explanations of this phenomenon are considered mystical hypotheses based on ideas about certain entities living in their own (parallel with us) world:

  • Plasmoids, as a special form of life.
  • The souls of people who died a violent death, and now stuck between worlds.
  • The spirits of the treasure light lights over the hidden treasure to point the way to it.
  • UFO

In the Archive, we will link only those facts with this phenomenon that relate to surface observations.


Authentic Wandering lights (ground lights) appearing in cemeteries and swamps have been explained for a long time - the result of the ignition of phosphine and methane.

Nag fireballs also probably appear as a result of fermentation of suspended matter carried by the river, which ignites as a result of certain atmospheric conditions.

The Min-min light dancing above the horizon, according to the conclusion of the Australian scientist Jack Pettigrew, turned out to be a mirage: the light from the headlights combined with the atmospheric "tunnel" effect (light travels, without scattering, in the layer of cold air between the earth's surface and a layer of warmer air and the curvature of the light rays occurs due to an abnormal distribution of the refractive index.

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