Mysterious mountain lights once lit La Quinta Cove, too

December 17th, 2013 | by Liz Kelly Nelson | Comments
mysterious mountain lights

Mysterious lights on a ridge above La Quinta Cove in 2011. The arrows point out their locations. (Photo courtesy

In January 2011, a cluster of mysterious lights appeared on a ridge above La Quinta Cove. No explanation was given for the sudden array. They were simply there. Theories about lost hikers, UFO landing sites, weather stations and even drones were traded. No one ever claimed responsibility.

Sound familiar? If so, it may be because a similar display captured the imaginations of locals and tourists last week when they suddenly appeared on the mountains above Palm Springs. The lights, in the shape of a crescent moon, are still visible and, for the time being, officials seem to be letting the display endure.

The La Quinta lights were gone by the end of February, but not before several curious residents took pictures and guessed at the source of the lights on a La Quinta Cove message board. One reader, who seems to have rightly guessed that the lights were — like those currently on display in Palm Springs — solar-powered, posted a gallery of several pictures at the time:

“Seems unusual to me for someone, or a group, to go to such effort and expense – to place solar panels, batteries, charge regulators, inverters, high-intensity lights, voltage and light sensors, and wiring, in 6 locations (there was a 7th light to the south that I couldn’t see) across a half mile, on 3 separate ridges – and then to take all 7 sets of gear down between Feb. 16, 2013 and Feb. 20th, the day it snowed,” wrote the photographer, identified only as Sam.

Another La Quinta resident created a Facebook page to allow interested speculators to trade theories about the Cove lights, which seem to have made another appearance in 2012.

In the meantime, questions about the current Palm Springs display remain — but with evidence of at least two more instances of the mysterious mountain lights, it’s starting to look like a coordinated effort.

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