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Reality Checking—Alternate Perceptions Magazine, April 2024

The Alabama Spooklight returns

by: Brent Raynes

Picture taken of strange light on January 6th, from Chisholm Road at Stateline between Tennessee and Alabama.

Here’s a segment of video taken of the light on February 24th, at Cloverdale, Alabama: https://www.facebook.com/brent.raynes/videos/416001431076587

The "spooklight" activity down around Cloverdale, Alabama and other areas nearby seems to have picked up significantly, wherein even Joan and myself recently were present on three separate evenings and saw these odd lights that would appear for a while and then just fade out. We were with others on two of those nights and good pictures and video were obtained. It was actually seen on three straight nights (Friday through Sunday, Feb. 23, 24 & 25) and Joan and I went back to the same location on Sunday, March 3, and saw more of the same activity twice, at 8:15 and 8:18 p.m. It may be concentrating, from where we were seeing these lights, around a cellphone tower. At least, it always seemed near it, though we were not exactly sure how far away these lights were. But there was an interesting snag when one member of the team tried to go over there and find out.

Jim Noble of Florence area said he had earlier found a man out in his driveway, and he gave the man a copy of Wyatt Cox's book, Spooklights: The Amazing Cloverdale, Alabama Spooklight Mystery (2007). Also, I should note for readers interested, Wyatt additionally authored a book entitled UFO and Bigfoot Sightings in Alabama (2004). Meanwhile, the man in the driveway said something like, "My wife sees them all the time." Jim told him that the lights were out between 9 and 10 the night before, but the man said they were inside at that time. This was on County Road 8, one of the houses near the cellphone tower. Jim told the man the lights looked like they were in their area, which was about a mile away from our position on Route 272.

Jim explained that on Friday, Feb. 23, that he knew he saw 11 of the lights. "I saw the first one and I didn't say anything to anyone because it came and left so quickly, but then I started pointing them out, and the last three Friday were these huge orangish yellow beautiful ones that went from north to south and then last night (24th) there was four of us out here and just about 9 o'clock - I had everything pointed in that direction - I thought we might get a repeat - just about 10 minutes till 9 the very first one showed up. You see that top power line? It was actually above it. It was higher than the rest of them, but it was huge and yellow. So, it was close. It went from south to north. If you held a ruler out at arm's length we saw it for about 5 inches. Just turned on, went for about 5 inches, and then turned off. And when it turned off there wasn't much light. It faded out. I went, 'Oh look, they're back!'"

"And over the course of the next 40 minutes or so I saw 7 - Wyatt says there was a total of 9 - but the very last 2 that we saw that evening came out from behind that tree - they were orange yellow, and they were huge. One was above the other one. The bottom one was about an inch in front of the other and they went along slowly, and then they merged. You didn't see a physical turn but the whole time they were going along you didn't realize one was going up and one was going down. When they got - see where the cell tower is at - if you hold a ruler out about two inches to the left of the cell tower - it merged, but it was -well, they didn't just merge into one. It was like when the other one hit the whole thing kind of spun a couple of times and then one got slung back out. But the one that got slung out was smaller than when it went in. When they merged together they were both the exact same size and the one that got slung out was about half the size. [I repeated "And it was spinning like?"]

"When it hit it - have you ever seen one of these computer simulations of two galaxies merging together - how they do that elliptical dance before they - and it's kind of elastic? That's what it kind of looked like. Like one didn't go and merge directly into it, but like hit the edge of it or something, kind of spun and emerged. And my impression was there was too much energy for one to sustain it and it had to sling some out in order to survive or - you know what I'm saying? It spun about 2 or 3 times, slung a smaller one out, out to the right, back to the north. The small one came out, to the north, sat there about two inches away from that one and then they both just gently faded out at about the same time."

Jim said that when they first emerged from behind the tree, if you had held out a ruler, one was about an inch higher than the other one. He also said that when they "merged" they stopped moving to the south. After the spin out they both sat in place for "maybe a full second and then just faded out." I asked Jim how long his longest sighting had lasted and he said not long at all. He estimated five seconds at the most. "You could almost draw a little square. All of them were right there within that square. They would light up, and when they would light up it wasn't like turning on a light. They would come on gently. They would either float south or north for 2, 3 or 4 inches and then fade out. Friday night they were lower. They were about the elevation of the cell tower. Saturday night they were actually above that top powerline, and they seemed like they were closer."

He said that when the merging and spinning occurred a woman was looking at it through binoculars - he was watching with the naked eye. "She said when the small one branched off there was a blue spark, through her binoculars. I didn't see that with my naked eye." The woman witness verified this detail.

The woman in this instance was April Killian, an area journalist for an online publication called Newsbreak. Besides covering regular local news, she also had written stories of alleged cryptid activity, paranormal phenomena, and the Cloverdale light (prior to actually joining author Wyatt Cox and others on a “spooklight” skywatch). “I was looking through my binoculars when I saw the blue flash,” she confirmed. “We saw one at first, appearing a little higher in the sky than the previous night. Then we saw what looked like one light appear directly below it.” To April though the higher one seemed to fade out and then the lower one seemed to either split into two lights or maybe it was two lights together the whole time. At any rate, she saw a light shoot off in the opposite direction and then they faded from sight. “It was not a long sighting, but I consider it to have been a significant sighting,” Wyatt said.

On February 25 (a night Joan and I were there again) Jim Noble drove over near the tower and got to an open field, during which time he was on the cellphone with Wyatt, and while we were seeing the lights he wasn't, on three separate occasions, which seemed pretty odd to us. He said he had a full open 360 view of the sky. Why didn’t he see the lights we were observing from our position, about a mile away? Quite a few people joined us that weekend. Three days straight. It seemed the lights might appear a little before 9 and make a number of appearances up till near 10 o’clock perhaps, but then it would cease and no one staying there up till around 11 or a little later would see anymore.

I was sharing with Barbara Becker, a Missouri researcher and author who contributes articles for our magazine, and she recalled how what sounded like similar anomalous light displays that appeared around three cellphone towers in a town called Elsberry, Missouri back in 1978. “The activity around the towers started in April and continued to July and then kind of changed. Sightings seemed to lessen somewhat.” The lights, she added, often appeared between 9 and 10 p.m., rarely later than 11. “In the distance they appeared orange-red, but when closer they were white. On the first night in Elsberry I saw what looked like a small light approaching. It turned into a ‘vehicle’ about the size of an American car. It had three ‘windows’ with light coming from inside.”

“We kept vigil at one of the towers and never had a light come close while we were there,” Barbara continued. This reminded me of how over the years I had heard both Wyatt and his close friend and investigator Greg Keeton mention how with the Alabama lights it seemed at times that when they decided to move to an area closer to where they were seeing activity, the activity would then change to another location later. Coincidence?

“We did have a flash of blue white light come from a place on the ground about 500 feet from us,” she explained. “I saw the flash at the ground. Have you ever spilled milk or some liquid on a table and watched it flow? The liquid is wet but what is in front of it is dry and you can see the demarcation of the two areas. The light flashed and I watched it, the edge of the light moved down the hill toward a house, lit up everything, and then it stopped and began to recede still showing the line of demarcation till it went back to the spot on the ground. Have no explanation.”

Getting back to Cloverdale and our first night of what became three nights straight of skywatching and seeing odd lights, close to the same time period, always off towards the western horizon from our observation point on route 272, a number of people actually captured these lights on video. “I saw it twice,” B. C. Clemmons, a content creator on YouTube who enjoys doing video of local history, often doing interviews. “Free free to use the footage. I saw it twice. The first time I did not get the phone camera ready in time, but the second appearance I got the footage.”

Another person had taken about four hours of video of the night sky on Saturday, February 24th. There were a good number of very excellent sections in the video showing these lights. “The recurring lights did not act like aircraft, satellites, shooting stars, the ISS, ball lightning, swamp gas, fireworks, fireflies, weather balloons, drones or any other known entity,” he noted. Because he has a professional background he prefers I not use his name, though he’s very interested in continuing to join us in the field some more and has purchased some more equipment to help capture more nighttime footage of these mystery lights. Within a short time after our sightings Wyatt was notifying me of other recent sightings around Lauderdale County, at other locations. One of a large orange light photographed several miles from Cloverdale, up near the Tennessee and Alabama stateline on Chisholm Road, on the night of January 6th. Whatever it was it looked like it may have passed over a house across the road from the witnesses home. The sighting had reportedly lasted approximately five minutes and was said to have moved slowly above the trees and made a 90-degree turn, shortly before disappearing from sight. He captured a photo of it. “He was excited and thus not a steady hand with the camera,” Wyatt added.

From this same area on Route 272, a few years earlier during another skywatch, Wyatt and researcher Daniel Erickson had a most mystifying sighting, something they saw south of that location. Here’s Dan’s report: At approximately 10:45 p.m. on November 28, 2018.Daniel Erickson and Wyatt Cox witnessed a tube-shaped illuminated object descend from an angle of 87 degrees to the horizon. A flash of light above piqued our interest. The object resembled the fuselage of an aircraft, minus the wings and tail. It had rounded ends like a large natural gas tank. The object emitted a bright white, bluish glow. Along the side, there were five dark oval-shaped windows. The craft appeared like a photographic negative. A plane would have a dark fuselage with light coming through the windows. The object did not have navigation lights or a sound. The distance between our location and the object is estimated to be one mile. Meteors were seen earlier in the evening in the Northern sky. The meteors took a path that was 70 degrees to the observer and horizontal to the surface.

The unknown object appeared to be 5 times longer than it was tall. It was brightly illuminated and white with a blue tint. As it approached the ground, the object appeared to maintain the same distance. It did not vanish over the horizon. As the object moved, it appeared to jitter back and forth, as if a camera were being shaken horizontally. It zigzagged downward from a high angle. As it got closer to the ground, it seemed to slow down slightly. Aside from the object's brightness and rapid descent, this back and forth horizontal movement was unlike an aircraft in terms of both velocity and abrupt changes in direction. It descended into the forest. There was silence. There was no evidence of a subsequent explosion or impact.

I was perplexed by what I was seeing as I observed the object. The object appeared to be solid and capable of holding people. I was aware that if the craft collided with the ground, it would cause a large explosion, and that we would be out of the blast's path but would feel the impact. As the craft descended below the tree line, I instinctively braced myself for the impact. There was no sound or impact.

The following day, I traveled to the suspected impact site. I took off with the drone near Piscah First Methodist Church. There is a large cemetery nearby, as well as a panoramic view of open, freshly plowed fields. A densely forested area is also nearby. There were no landings marks or impacts in the area that I could detect. It is worth noting that there is no nearby regional airport.

Dan and Wyatt's UFO

Tuesday, July 16, 2024