You can hardly light a campfire without someone immediately launching into their favorite ghost story. But for every believer out there, there are just as many skeptics. After all, evidence of the paranormal is often scarce and inconclusive… or is it?
Take the case of Jason Asselin, who witnessed something strange while filming a music video on Lake Superior. Although there was definitely no one around for miles, something floating in the foggy distance caught his eye—and it terrified him.
Plenty of people love a good ghost story, but that doesn’t mean everyone believes them. For the most part, you can roll your eyes when someone starts telling one around the campfire. But Jason Asselin’s story might be worth taking seriously.
In October 2016, Jason, who lives in Michigan, was out on Lake Superior filming a music video for Nashville recording artist Kevin B. Klein. For the freelance videographer and YouTuber, a trip to the most northern of the Great Lakes was just a perk of the job.
As Jason captured footage of a rainbow—a shot perfect for the “My Michigan” music video, which commemorated some of the state’s most beautiful views—he happened upon something else on the horizon. It was something he couldn’t quite make out…
Jason wondered about the object on the YouTube video he uploaded later. “Was it a UFO?” he asked. It certainly looked like it. But Jason decided it was something else—a ghost ship—and it was easy to see why…
See, Jason had evidence to support his theory. According to Jason, the figure was bobbing on the water and moving with the crest of waves and currents. A UFO probably wouldn’t do that, and neither would a big oil rig.
As Bruce Lynn, the executive director of the Great Lakes Shipwreck Museum, told CNN, “If there was a ghost ship sighting, [Lake Superior] would be the place for it.” After all, that particular region of the country had seen its fair share of maritime disasters…
While Lake Superior may be known for its picturesque beauty, it wasn’t so kind to ships and sailors over the years. More than 6,000 ships have wrecked on its waters! For instance, this ship rests just below the surface of Lake Superior…
Where Jason was filming, there’d been nearly 200 shipwrecks in an 80-mile stretch over the past few years alone. Even local maritime historian Frederick Stonehouse said ghost ship sightings were a Great Lakes staple.
Still, not everyone bought Jason’s ghost ship theory. Some thought the figure in the video was actually more divine. That’s right: the video caught on in some pious circles, and people believed the figure was Jesus Christ himself!
That conclusion made sense, too—at least for the religiously inclined. They argued the figure resembled the son of God, dressed in the customary garb, and holding his staff, the Bachal Isu, as he crested the waves. Had Jason witnessed some sort of miracle?
CNN did a little digging into Jason’s video to try to get to the bottom of it all. They talked with experts from the area and asked if it was a ghost ship or Jesus? Or was it a UFO as Jason had first jokingly mused?
Unfortunately, CNN’s investigation turned up a slightly less-fun explanation. It wasn’t a mysteriously reborn, century-old sunken ship that Jason saw on the horizon, nor was it Jesus. Instead, it was a lighthouse—and a trick of the light.
The news network surmised that Jason had actually filmed the Granite Island lighthouse, a 19th-century structure that was eight miles off the coast. Looking at the lighthouse, you can see it shared the shape of the once-believed ghost ship. But that didn’t explain everything…
Jason had said he watched the figure “bob” up and down on the horizon for 90 minutes. If you watch the footage, you can make out the gentle rocking with your own eyes. He also said the figure “disappeared.” How could that be explained?
Well, it turned out that the explanation was pretty straightforward. Mark Becker, an associate professor of psychology at Michigan State University, claimed that Jason simply filmed an optical illusion.
Similar to how the moon appears enormous on the horizon, the distance between Jason and the lighthouse played a role. Mark said that the mind “tends to try to make sense out of what our eyes send to our brain.” Sometimes, our eyes simply don’t get their facts straight.
Considering how light passes through the different densities of air over Lake Superior, it’s obvious that the shimmering, bobbing effect was likely just a trick of the light—a mirage. Still, Jason wasn’t so ready to admit his theory was wrong!
“Whatever you believe in your mind, that’s what it was,” Jason said. “That’s what life is about—dreaming.” So maybe it was a ghost ship on the horizon. Maybe it was Jesus Christ returned. Maybe it was a lighthouse. Wondering, though, was half the fun!
Whether you believe in ghosts or not, you have to admit that whatever lurking out there in the heavy fog definitely looks supernatural!
We are a media startup founded with the goal of fighting boredom
worldwide by engaging our readers with
incredibly sharable content. We are on a mission to discover the most extraordinary and inspiring
stories from around the world, and share them with our audience.