City Mirage Phenomenon Over Lake Huron
As those of you who follow my work know, I can often be found down at the beach around sunset and evening time, making use of the beautiful light and just enjoying my surroundings. Tonight was another of those summer nights; warm, with a cool breeze coming off Lake Huron, just a few wispy clouds overhead and on the horizon. I was at the north side beach. The sun set. I took photos. The afterglow deepened. I left the beach, and threw my backpack on a bench near my car, packing up my camera. I turned one last time to take in the view of sky and water. Am I ever glad I did.
I called my in-laws and they came to the pier and watched the ghostly city for a while. That's two lake city mirages for my father-in-law! It had been at least half an hour since I first saw the shimmering city, and it was still there, although it was quickly fading as full dark set in. The towers became just dots of light like the rest. I went home, and grabbed my tripod, hoping against hope that the strange apparition was still there when I returned.
With a long exposure photograph and a steady tripod, we can finally see a bit of detail here. The lights to the very left of the photo are the street lights along Boiler Beach Road, which runs along the shore of the lake south of Kincardine. The land point ends almost right after that line of lights. Now we are supposed to have dark lake with no possibility of seeing any civilization out there. But in the middle of the photo, you can see the glow from the city, and right on the horizon, several red dots from the windmills or airport, then the brighter lights of the city core, and just to the right of that, the glow from cars coming and going on a freeway, I think. All of the lights in the centre of this photo should absolutely not be there, and they are not boats. This was a writhing, living, breathing city, visible out on the lake.
Here's a close-up crop of the red blinking lights stretching far across the horizon, and the bright city centre with glowing red taillights.
I stumbled upon this blog post after searching to find answers for myself.
I saw the same thing a few months ago in mid June just a few km's north of Grand Bend at a friends cottage.
It was late at night and the fire we were having on the beach had died down , I was just staring off into the dark Lake when I noticed (what seemed to me) city lights. All the people I was with thought I was crazy thinking that we could see a city all the way across Lake Huron and decided upon themselves that it must be a lot of boats (far too many for THAT to be the answer in my opinion)
Your night shot of the mirage is EXACTLY what we had been seeing that night!
I am glad that I am not the only one to witness this phenomenon, and with the proof of having daylight photos of this it solidifies my thoughts even more.
Thanks for sharing this!
I witnessed a similar phenomenon in early August of this year while vacationing in Harbor Beach,along with a mirage city there was a black sphere moving across the water really fast, and then coming to a dead stop and shooting up above the water. It then shot back down and started moving fast again and repeating. Me and my husband watched it for a while. I still don't know what it was we saw.
In the early 1990s I saw a sky line of lights on Lake Huron. It included car head lights, city lights . I was on the cliff top 10 km south of point clarke near kintail . During the day I saw what I think was a light house and several other objectsfrom the michigan side.
in the mid seventies as my now wife and i were on boiler beach we saw what appeared to be a drive-in across the lake and cars driving.everyone wanted to know what we were on but we knew what we saw and would tell our kids about it and now we can show them we werent crazy.thanks for the pictures.they are great
Peter J Humble(non-registered)
i have also seen this, on two occaisons . the details i saw buy eye where stoplights car lites moving and building' s, just after sundown (i have forgotten the name of the town accross the lake) . if you would like to find out more info. contact Jim Young (meteroligist and all round weather guy) you can find his email buy contacting Kincardine independent, as he oftens writes about weather for the independent (i believe he has wrriten articles on this). he can tell you all about this. if you do tell him peter humble says hi.
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