(Special to The Leader)
BEECHY, Nov. 30. – What is the mysterious illumination in the hills that is seen on clear nights, rising and falling, brightening and diminishing, like the approach of headlights of a car that never comes? This is the question that has puzzled the settlers of Buffalo Basin, a school district in the Beechy locality, for a number of years. Various conjectures have been put forth, many local arguments held, and visitors to the neighborhood consulted, yet no feasible theory for a possible solution of the phenomenon has been advanced.
As one stands some evenings between dusk and midnight on the road that runs past the little school house and looks in a southerly direction, one sees among the hills before him a glare in the sky, faint at first, but gradually increasing in volume and brilliance as though some powerfully illuminated car were breasting a rise a rise of the trail. The observer awaits the appearance of the headlights at the top of the hill, he listens for the hum of the engine, but neither comes. The light diminishes, and so he thinks that still another hill must separate him from the sight of the vehicle. Once more the illumination spreads; once more the watcher is aroused; once more he is disappointed. And so on through the hours of the night the phantom light continues its vagaries, now appearing, now disappearing, now rising, now falling, until the spectator turns towards the realism of one of the farm-houses.
During the 14 years in which the district has been settled, many attempts have been made to solve the phenomenon. A casual visitor suggests it is the light of a burning straw-pile. Do farmers burn their straw-piles every night throughout the summer and winter? The lights of a house, then? There is no house of any description within a mile of the spot, only wild, uncultivated hills and sloughs.
One night one of the men of the district, determined to settle the question, set out to track the light to its source. As he walked over the hills he saw the light before him, gradually appearing to come nearer and nearer to him as he approached it. Then it disappeared. He went on for a quarter of a mile, but could see nothing ahead of him. Mystified, he turned to retrace his steps. There was the glare between him and home! He went slowly northwards, with eyes fixed intently on the light. It disappeared, and then reappeared behind him. And so the search was continued. Somewhere within the limits of that 400 yards was hidden the origin of the light.
Such is the mystery that intrigues Buffalo Basin people. Will it ever be solved?