Unsolved Mysteries Wiki

Case File: Valley Hill Lights
Location: Springfield, Kentucky
Date: 1995
Description: Valley Hill is a community near Springfield, Kentucky. The phenomenon is described as random bursts of color to showers of golden flakes.


History: Thousands of people have flocked to Valley Hill in Springfield, Kentucky, because of several visions of the Virgin Mary, along with random bursts of color and showers of golden flakes. The first person to have seen the visions was the owner of Valley Hill, Iona Wright, who claims to have seen several different visions for many years.
On the day Unsolved Mysteries arrived, several eyewitnesses claimed to have seen several things in the sky, including strange dots and visions. Others saw people with gold on their faces. The most dramatic episode involved a Sunday School teacher, Ann Mudd, and her eight students on April 6, 1995.
One of the girls, Mandy Mattingly, claimed to have seen some strange colors around the Sun; soon, the rest of the girls saw strange colors around the Sun, claiming that it was pulsating. Soon, strange gold colors appeared on the girls, and their teacher took pictures of them. One of the pictures showed Angels around a girl. Another showed what they claimed was Jesus and the Virgin Mary with a veil. Sabrina Ballard claimed that a picture had the name of her deceased cousin, Kate Ballard, on it, on a tombstone. The mothers of two of the girls were, at first, skeptical; however, they began having several visions, and soon became believers.
Many people who were first skeptical about the Valley Hill have since became believers after having visions. The Valley Hill, Kentucky visions have never been completely explained.
Background: Springfield, Kentucky, is located off of Route 55, about an hour's drive from Louisville, Kentucky. Iona Wright is the owner of the area in which Valley Hill is located.
Investigations: Dr. Joe Nickell is a paranormal investigator from the magazine known as "The Skeptical Inqurer." He investigated the photographs and claims that the cause of the Angel pictures were due to cartridge leakage. He claims that the Jesus and Mary picture was due to pareidolia. With the "tombstone" picture, he determined that the "writing" was from a chart that was in the back of the Polaroid photo pack. Comparisons with the chart seemed to confirm this. Overall, he believes that most of the phenomenon is just mass hysteria.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the October 27, 1995 episode. Jackie Hays, of WAVE-TV in Louisville, helped present the segment.
Results: Unsolved