Monday, December 17, 2012

Campfire Stories---Native American Sightings

Reported sightings by early Native Americans differ somewhat depending on who is telling the story.  Most BML authors refer to legends of Indian maidens carrying torches (or lanterns) searching for their brave warriors killed in an epic battle, while others refer to the warriors themselves carrying torches or burning fires on the battlefield, and still others refer to the spirits of the slain warriors.  The dates for the supposed battle or Indian legend are given as either 800 years ago (1200 AD) or 1,200 years ago (800 AD).  Unfortunately, no published author references the source of his/her data---probably a clear indication that the data does not exist in the first place.

The first report of Native American BML legends appeared in the 1942 Charlotte Observer newspaper article by Ashton Chapman; however, Chapman failed to reference the source of his data.   After extensive searching, we have been unable to find any authentic written or published reference supporting BML sightings by Native Americans, except in the BML writings themselves since 1942; thus we conclude that the varied stories are myths made up by recent authors in an attempt to enhance their BML story.

Indeed, on page 629 of the most definitive  and authoritanian collection of information on North Carolina Folklore ever published (1964), Dr. F.C. Brown makes the following comment concerning the BMLs:
".....there has been adduced no legend dealing with these lights prior to the twentieth century, and no evidence that the lights themselves had appeared before that time.  The lights seem to have been noticed only after the neighboring towns had developed to a certain size with a certain amount of electric illumination."

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