In Search of Blue Ghosts

7 thoughts on “In Search of Blue Ghosts”

  1. My first thought was also the Brown Mountain Lights. I spent an evening at Wiseman’s View a couple of years ago and some people at the overlook swore they saw something. The fireflies are a good candidate.

    1. I read an interview with a resident of the area, and she said she had seen the lights. Of course, she also said that you 1. have to look, and 2. have to believe you saw something. Sounds like the people you encountered, Dwight.

  2. These fireflies and the Brown Mountain lights have nothing to do with each other. I have seen both. The BML are large “blobs” of floating light…these fireflies are TINY little soldiers hovering over the ground. Very few come above the ground to “head height”. They are currently “out” and are putting on a fantastic display!!!
    They stay “out” for about 2 weeks and are VERY sensitive to light…be it a full moon or street lights.
    As for the neighbors…we are fully aware of a “stray” car, but don’t routinely pull out the shotgun!

    1. Helen – thanks for the update on the fireflies. I hope to get back out there to see them.

      I don’t think we implied that the Brown Mountain Lights and the Blue Ghost are related – only that I can see how both can contribute to tales of other-worldly events. I would still like to see the BML at some time, though.

      Glad to hear that the Blue Ghosts are putting on a good show.

  3. I once had the fortune to see these little guys. I got stuck in the mud during a gold prospecting excursion into the Talladega National Forest and had to stay overnight in the truck with my girlfriend. At some point during the night I noticed these strange blue lights floating through the trees about 50 yards away. There was no moon that night, so they looked almost like someone walking through the woods with a flashlight to me. I’d never seen blue fireflies before, and there were so many of them moving through the trees that I thought it had to be a group of people. I watched for almost an hour alternating between awe and apprehension. Eventually I realized they must be some type of firefly, but they definitely earned the “blue ghost” moniker. After we got back to civilization I contacted someone at a local university that studies fireflies. They confirmed that Phausis reticulata was probably what I was seeing. I’d love to see them again under better circumstances, but they really spooked me the first time I saw them.

  4. Hi Tom!

    I was one of the members of the Furman Outdoors Club that went on this trip. That’s my car door cutting into the frame right behind Clayton’s truck in picture #3. I was also a chem major and glad to see Dr. Wright come out towards the end of a long semester of “Techniques”!

    Was just discussing the synchronous fireflies of Congaree swamp, which led the the blue ghosts and this post via Google. A pleasure to stumble upon this documentation of a great Furman memory! Keep up the good work!

    Luke Rogers, c/o 2012

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