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No. 31: Jan-Feb 1984

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The Min Min Light

The Min Min light occurs in the legends of the aborigines of Australia and in modern traveller's tales. In Queensland:

"...around Boulia and Winton, there appears from time to time an unmistakable light -- a luminous fluorescent shape that fades and brightens, recedes and advances across the flat never-ending plain. It has mystified men for centuries. It fascinates. It begs you to follow. And it can be eerie and frightening on that lonely dark plain at night."

The Min Min light is reputed to be oval in shape and to move in irregular circles and spirals. It has been seen close to the surface and as high as 300 meters. Riders claim that their horses are not disturbed by it.

(Shilton, Pam; "The Min Min Light," Journal of Meteorology, U.K., 8:248, 1983.)

Comment. Nocturnal lights rarely make the scientific journals, so it is a pleas-ure to discover an item on the famous Min Min light.

Reference. Other "nocturnal lights" resembling the Min Min Light are collected under GLN1 in our Catalog: Lightning, Auroras. Further information on this book here.

From Science Frontiers #31, JAN-FEB 1984. 1984-2000 William R. Corliss

Science Frontiers Sourcebook Project Reviewed in:


  • "A sourcebook of unexplained phenomena is therefore a valuable addition to a collection of scientific literature. William R. Corliss has provided this in the past with his source books of scientific anomalies in several subjects, and now he has provided it for astronomy. He has done an excellent job of collecting and editing a large amount of material, taken in part from scientific journals and in part from scientific reporting in the popular or semi-scientific press." -- "The Mysterious Universe: A Handbook of Astronomical Anomalies", reviwed by Thomas Gold, Cornell University, in Icarus, vol.41, 1980

  • "An interesting, systematic presentation of unusual weather [..] This book is recommended for a general audience" --"Corliss, William R., Tornados, Dark Days, Anomalous Precipitation, and Related Weather Phenomena, Sourcebook Project, 1983.", revieweed in Choice, September 1983
  • "..the science is necessarily somewhat speculative, but Corliss's symthesis is based on reputable sources." -- "Corliss, William R. (Compiler). Lightning, Auroras, Nocturnal Lights, and Related Luminous Phenomena" reviwed by Joseph M. Moran, Univ. of Wisconsin in Science Books and Films, Sep/Oct 1983

  • "Before opening the book, I set certain standards that a volume which treads into dangerous grounds grounds like this must meet. The author scrupulously met, or even exceeded those standards. Each phenomenon is exhaustively documented, with references to scientific journals [..] and extensive quotations" -- "Book Review: The moon and planets: a catalog of astronomical anomalies", The Sourcebook Project, 1985., Corliss, W. R., Journal of the Royal Astronomical Society of Canada, Vol. 81, no. 1 (1987), p. 24., 02/1987