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Home > Travelogues > 2009 Travelogues Index > Boulia > Min Min Lights > More sightings

The mysterious Min Min Light.  Is it just a myth?  Is it real?  What can cause this phenomenon?  Who has seen the Min Min Light?  Authentic sightings as reported by witnesses. 

Have you seen the Light?  If so, I would love to print your description (with or without your name as you prefer).  Please email me through the Contact page. 

Similar lights have been reported from other places throughout Australia, but many of the sightings have been from the channel country of Queensland.  Does this finally explain the phenomenon?  Read on -
 
 
 
What happened next I state below as an honest and truthful report:
 
I came out of the van after tea at around 8.30 pm and said to Jude. “Look! There is your Min Min Light.”   The light was glowing quite brightly behind a clump of trees about 200 metres away.   I walked over to the front of the 4by and the light seemed to follow me to its left so that it was exposed out across the plain and still about the same distance away fro me.  Then it went back to its original spot and rose up a few degrees above the trees and then lowered again to its original position.  We then went into the van to have some after dinner snack and about ten minutes later looked out again and the light was gone.
 
We shook our heads and wondered if it wasn’t perhaps the Evening Star Venus shimmering in the haze and mirage of the evening atmospherics.
 
At around 3 am I awoke with a start to see a bright light shining outside my window.  It seemed to hover there for a few seconds and then drifted away to its left.
 
I got out of bed, peeped through the window at first and then went outside.  Only a clear starry night was there to greet me. Being a logical and practical person I figured that I must have dreamt the whole thing.  Or did I?   Reading the story of the Min Min Light throws up too many variables and leaves a doubt in ones mind.

 
                                 'Quote taken from Diamantina River Run 2010...
www.kempen.id.au with permission of author'
 
We started opal mining ninety odd kilometres. WNW of Eromanga in 1996.
 
One evening after dark I went around the back of the van and noticed a light travelling slowly through the scrub at what seemed to be about 300 - 400 metres distant.
 
I said to my wife I did not realise there was someone camping so close to us. She thought it would be a planet low on the horizon, but it moved horizontally, not at any angle to the horizon.
 
The next morning I took a walk towards where I had seen the light shining, a flat area between fairly high breakaway mesas.
 
No camp or sign of people but plenty of cattle sign (the station is a Brahman fattening holding).
 
Next time we were in town I mentioned this phenomenon to a mate at the pub who replied it was certainly a "Min Min".
 
Since then we have worked several leases in the area (between April and September) and during the course of the season will often see these strange lights.  Sometimes they are quite stationary until suddenly extinguished, other times moving along the scrub level and once one that "bobbed" up and down.
 
The most prolific was on a location between Quilpie and Eromanga where there was a ten kilometre clay pan in front of our camp. We have seen multiple ones here.
 
Michael Hayes 

Many of us may have seen bright lights when out driving at night, but unless you are in a remote area where a house or vehicle light is out of the question, probably dismiss it as a truck in the distance or a bright outdoor light at a homestead or shed without much further thought.   I certainly experienced this with truck lights when camped out on the Barkly Tablelands in the Northern Territory.  A light appeared to the north, and it was a long time before it became evident that it was indeed a truck approaching, but seen possibly eight or nine kilometres away.  As this happened several times that evening I foolishly thought I had discovered the cause of the Min Min Light, but I was yet to reach Queensland; the real home of the Min Min Light.  Sightings with no such logical explanation are sometimes told, and most fit a pattern of a clear cold winter’s night.  Sightings have been made year round across the country, but the majority of reported sightings come from the channel country.  Other common factors of sightings are absence of any sound, and the fact that animals seem unconcerned about its presence.  Some people are willing to share their stories with us here, so hold onto your chair and read on. 

For more stories and studies, you may like to obtain a copy of Maureen Kozicka's book "The Mystery of the Min Min Light."  This is an oft quoted research reference. Professor Pelligrew credits her with the following statement:

Maureen Kozicka spent two years researching Min Mins before her untimely death and produced the only book devoted to the phenomenon. Although she interviewed many who had seen the light and spent much time in the Channel Country, Kozicka never saw the phenomenon herself and was not able to reach any firm conclusions about it.

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While explanations over the years have included fireballs (ball lightning), gases escaping from the earth, a distant vehicle or traveller’s lantern, clouds of luminescent insects, birds which have brushed against a luminescent fungus, visitors from outer space, magic, delusions or even ghosts, I believe that the explanation offered by Emeritus Professor J Pettigrew from the Queensland Brain Institute at the University of Queensland is the answer.  Professor Pettigrew has personally spent much time in the Diamentina region observing and studying the Min Min phenomenon and has seen the light on many occasions.   Read the full explanation in Professor Pettigrew's paper  

The Min Min Light and the Fata Morgana. 

 

The Min Min Light mystery solved. 

In the ten years since Professor Pettigrew published his paper, Professor Pettigrew has retained an interest in the Min Min Light; something he has studied over two decades.  Knowing the reason for the phenomenon has enabled him to predict the right weather conditions for Min Min Light occurrences hence he has made many sightings.  He will shortly visit the Diamentina area yet again to make more observations of the fascinating Min Min Light, a light which may come from a natural or man made source, and may be hundreds of kilometres away. 

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From 1984 to 1994 I was working at an oilfield which is on Mt Margaret station to the South of Eromanga.  The station is 1.3 million acres.  Our camp was on the western side of the station close to what was known as Gumlah Bore.  Locally it was known as “bush paddock” and it’s about 80,000 acres.

 

In 1984 or 85 (can’t remember if it was summer or winter) I was outside the donga one night and saw a light to the north-east of our camp.  Definitely no roads in the area for at least fifteen kilometres.  Our camp was in a large flat treeless plain for maybe a one or two kilometres then there was quite a bit of low mulga scrub between us and the closest road.  The light was not behaving like a vehicle or a spotlight, it was moving back and forth and sometimes up and down in no particular pattern, just random movements.  Another bloke and I watched it for maybe ten minutes, then we jumped in a vehicle and drove directly at it.  It just disappeared.

 

I have no idea how far away it was, but we guessed it must have been our side of the tree line if you get what I mean.  So if I had to guess I’d say I must have been within the two kilometres to the tree line.  The next morning we drove over to where we recon it had to be and there was no sign of any wheel tracks.  There were not many tourists around then and if there were strangers or shooters on the station we would have heard about it.  The light appeared to be very close to the ground; it wouldn't have been higher than the tree line in the distance. 

 

I worked in that area for over twelve years, mainly at Mt Margaret but also Durrie Station between Betoota and Birdsville, Jackson across to Innamincka and places in between.  That is the only time I have seen it.

 

I had an experience about three years ago whilst working at the Argyle Diamond Mine in the Kimberley that was very strange. Whether it was a Min Min light or something else more "plausible" it mirrors some of the above experiences.

 

I was driving a Troopy at about 11.30 pm from the Wandarrie construction campsite out to the airstrip that services the minesite to collect something I needed for the following morning. About a thirty minute drive. There is little to no traffic on this service road at this time of night which is why I found it very strange when a very bright light seemed to appear out of nowhere and start behaving erratically behind me. The best way I could describe it would be like a motorbike being behind me and zig zagging as if impatient and waiting to pass but the light was too high to realistically be a bike. I was trying to see if it was a vehicle with only one headlight operational but between trying to keep my eye on the road and figure out what was behind me in the rear vision mirror it completely disappeared. The spooky thing was it happened on a stretch of road where there is nowhere to turn off so if it was a vehicle they would have had to switch their lights off and pull over.

 

The only light that would be visible from where I saw it would be from the gatehouse back at the camp but as I had travelled quite a distance I can't see how that could still be visible. It also doesn't explain it's erratic movements. Also, although the terrain in that area is generally quite rugged, this particular stretch is very flat and open and the light seemed very close......like a giant motorbike right up my a** with it's brights on. I was very tired that night though as had worked three eighteen hour days in a row.  Maybe I was seeing things!  It definitely gave me the creeps at the time, I remember that much!


To this day I don't know what it was and I'm not saying it was a Min Min light but it was very very strange!

 

Craig

Around 1968 or 1969 around two in the morning we was travelling south between Moonie and Goondiwindi. I do remember it was a freezing night and very clear.

 

A light appeared to our right travelling close and horizontal to the ground. It moved slowly across our path and then out to our left where it eventually disappeared. This took around five minutes and we never seemed to get closer to it.

 

The first reaction from the person I was travelling with was “That must be Howard Sparks or roo shooters". Then the words. "No it can't be Howard as we aren't up to his property yet. There were no breaks in the fences or gates in that section of road.

 

Even if there had been the light just kept up a steady pace so it was not a vehicle. The light was like a headlight of that era facing us but moving sideways. When I say that era as you know headlights around that time were not dazzling or very bright. It was quite a white light though.

 

I haven no explanation for what both of us saw and I never really considered it to be a Min Min light due to where it happened.

 

Rob

Mysterious lights have been reported from many countries, some of which may be Fata Morgana reflections.

In USA, ghost lights seen east of the Texan town of Marfa has become a tourist attraction with a viewing platform.  These lights have been proven to be Fata Morgana reflections of vehicles lights travelling on Route 67.  Professor Pettigrew's report on the Min Min light and the Fata Morgana has been quoted as the explanation of this occurrence.

In late May of 1993 we were up on the Mitchell Plateau of WA.  Back then, there was supposed to be a camping area on Camp Creek near where the current track crosses Camp Creek.  We were trying to follow the map in the then current edition of Moons' guide but there was a maze of tracks and we couldn't find a proper camp area.  We finished up putting up the tent between the creek and a track in a long grass area near a party of CALM scientists. Across the track from our camp was a low rise, so we didn't have a distant view at all. 
 
One of the nights we were there, John got up about two am. He saw a ball of light - described as about basketball size - bounce along the ridge line and then down the hill over the space of several minutes. There was no-one out and about from the CALM camp, and no one else camped in the area.  He said it made the hairs stand up on the back of his neck.
 
Whilst the area is still remote these days, back in 1993 it was little visited and we were early in the season. We couldn't see how it could be reflected car lights or similar. 
Wendy V

We can't say for sure if it was a Min Min but it’s the only explanation that we could come up with at the time.  We were camped at the Old Andado Homestead and were the only people there at the time apart from the caretakers.

 

It was a cool, clear night in July 2008.  We were sitting with our backs to the campfire and facing the sand hill opposite the homestead when we saw a light 'bouncing' along on the side of the sand ridge.  The light we saw appeared about 150 metres away maybe. It bobbed around the sand hill just like it would if someone was walking with it on.  We thought it was the caretaker walking the dog while wearing a 'headlight' as that was about the size of it.  

 

When we mentioned it to him the next morning he said he had seen it regularly but was not him.  We even checked the hill for footprints and found nothing.  So, we put it down to the Min Min.

 

Nick and Glenda

 

In May 1959 I was travelling with my sister and brother in law from Darwin to Brisbane in an Austin A40.  We left Mt Isa but because of the road conditions it was well and truly dark as we approached Kynuna.

 

As we proceeded slowly along a road of many tracks we all saw a light in the distance which appeared to be moving with a swinging action as a person walking with a lantern. You will appreciate that in this period it was common for people to move around with hurricane lights so we believed we were close to our destination.  The light moved away as we thought we were getting nearer and then changed to a completely different spot on the scene and no human could have moved so quickly.

 

These lights followed or surrounded us for about an hour and during that period we did not see or hear any other traffic. Three very quiet people when we eventually reached Kynuna.

 

It quite disturbing as none of us had read or heard of the Min Min lights at that time and it was only later that we discovered what we had experienced.

 

In the period 1970 to 1976 I travelled extensively in western Queensland and saw the lights on at least three other occasions.

 

The light appears to settle about a meter above the ground and in the main about 200 to 400 metres from where I am standing or sitting.  The light is moving in an erratic fashion and varies in light intensity just like someone walking along a path swinging a hurricane lantern.

 

Any attempt to come close to the light will see it disappear and most often re-appear in another location. I have never seen two lights simultaneously.

 

The time of night has varied but as I recall all my sightings have been when the evenings were clear and cool. I cannot recall ever seeing a light in summer.

 

All my sightings have been in the area Mt Isa - Hughenden – Longreach region.

 

After the first time it was always an adrenalin moment full of wonder and mystery.  I offer no explanation.

 

Kevin J 

My special thanks go to those who have freely agreed to have their stories of mysterious light sightings published on the following pages.  Also my grateful thanks to Professor Pettigrew for his discussions with me – more about Professor Pettigrew on this page.

More first hand sightings continue on the next page

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