MARCH 12, 2007 - Posted at 7:40 a.m. CST
ARKADELPHIA, AR - The head of the physics department at Henderson State University says many of the theories seeking to explain the mysterious Gurdon Light have problems.
Those who have seen the light say it is seen along a railroad track off Highway 53 south of Gurdon in southwest Arkansas. The railroad was built in that area in 1910.
There are several explanations for the light, including swamp gas, and geological theories about pressure on quartz, which emits energy. Others say the light is actually the ghost of a railroad man who was murdered along the tracks in 1931.
Charles Leming, chairman of the physics department at nearby HSU, says he's not sure of any theory. Leming recently made a presentation that explored various possible explanations for the mystery.
He said that people have said they recalled seeing the light before 1931, which would debunk the ghost theory. Others claim the light is merely the headlights reflecting off vehicles on nearby Interstate 30. But he said that can't be the case since the light was seen long before the interstate's construction.
Leming said he and his wife saw something one night while looking for the Gurdon Light. Leming said that, rather than a light, it was more of a misty, foggy image that appeared between him and his wife. Even after seeing the image, Leming still attributes it to one or more natural phenomena, which include swamp gas, foxfire, atmospheric optics and earth lights.