The Hebron Light and Others

During 1979, and '80, the Enigma Project busied itself with the research and investigations of mysterious lights. Often referred to as ghostlights or spooklights--due to the attachment of an invariable death stigma, these nocturnal phenomena became quite a fascination for us.

Much to our delight, Bob and I discovered that Maryland's Eastern Shore was the home of several such lights. Throughout the late '70s and early '80s we devoted much attention to the Hebron Light (Hebron, MD), Elsey's Light (Crisfield, MD), and Cal's Light (Andrews, MD). Having first learned of the (now defunct) Hebron Light through a mention made in Mysterious Fires and Lights by Vincent Gaddis (Mackay- 1967), we performed literature searches on the alleged phenomenon and journeyed to Hebron for actual interviews of original witnesses.

We learned that on a hot July night in 1952, members of the Maryland State Police were involved in what might be termed a bizarre "cat and mouse" encounter with a 10 inch sphere of yellow light. In their cruiser, two officers closely approached and then chased the luminous ball down a local road before it mysteriously vanished. Although media coverage of the phenomenon persisted for about two weeks beyond the main event, our investigation showed that a mandate was issued to the Salisbury barracks from Maryland State Police Headquarters in Pikesville that a any further confrontations with the light be kept under wraps.

We subsequently discovered that this strange light had made sporadic appearances near the town of Hebron for many years prior to the '52 encounter, although the Maryland State Police episode has remained the most remarkable case on record. Due to the obvious integrity of the witnesses, this incident remains an outstanding example of Maryland mystery.

Unfortunately, because the phenomenon has been inactive for so many years (locals say since the mid 1960s), Enigma Project investigators were not able to perform a firsthand examination of it. It was, however, our good fortune to have secured an interview with Robert Burkhardt, one of the two officers who chased the light. While Burkhardt (now retired from the police force) was very reluctant to discuss all the details of the 28 year old experience, he made it quite clear that the encounter represented one of the most bizarre and "trying" episodes of his life.