By Steve Hammons
In a one-two punch within the past 24 hours, two more significant elements of the Stephenville, Texas, UFO sightings have occurred.
The information is astounding. And there may be more to come.
Late Thursday night, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) released an extraordinary report about radar evidence pertaining to activities in the skies in the Stephenville region on Jan. 8, 2008.
Then, this evening, the widely-watched CNN program “Larry King Live” featured the two authors of the MUFON report, several of the Stephenville witnesses, the former local newspaper reporter who first broke the story and other guests.
The combined impact of these two developments has again put attention on this rural region of northeast Texas approximately 70 miles southwest of Fort Worth, the people who live there, investigators looking at the situation and the news media reporting about it all.
The authors of the MUFON report, Glen Schulze and Robert Powell, obtained radar information through the filing of 10 requests through the federal Freedom of Information Act. They received information from the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA), National Weather Service, all nearby military bases, the U.S. Customs and Border Protection Services and the 21st and 30th Air Force Wing Commands, according to published reports.
They concluded that there were multiple non-military aircraft in the region that were unidentified and these correlated with witness reports. There was also unusually heavy military air traffic in the region that night.
BUSH RANCH AT CRAWFORD
Ever since news of the multiple sightings by highly-credible witnesses in areas around Stephenville and nearby Dublin, there has been speculation that the military jets seen in the area at the same time as the UFOs could be related to security for the Bush Ranch at Crawford, about 40 miles to the southeast.
Larry King asked about this on his show. Angelia Joiner, the former local newspaper reporter whose articles first caught the attention of the mainstream media, noted that many local people had wondered if there was some connection to the Bush ranch. But she indicated she had no specific information.
Now, the MUFON report clearly states that there were aircraft flying in the area that night without the transponders – aircraft identifier devices – and at least one appeared to be flying in the direction of the no-fly protective zone around the Bush ranch.
The MUFON investigators claim that one unknown object without a transponder was within 10 miles of the Bush ranch.
According to the MUFON report, "The object was traveling to the southeast on a direct course towards the Crawford Ranch, also known as President Bush's western White House.”
“The last time the object was seen on radar at 8 p.m., it was continuing on a direct path to Crawford Ranch and was only 10 miles away. During the entire episode of over an hour, there is no indication that any of the military jets reacted to this unknown craft," the report concluded.
The object was tracked by radar heading in the direction of the Bush ranch for approximately one hour, the report stated. Moving at a speed of 532 miles per hour at one point, the object primarily was traveling at 60 mph.
MEDIA ON THE JOB
As usual, CNN host Larry King asked intelligent and common-sense questions of his guests.
The MUFON investigators pointed out that the extensive radar data indicated an extremely high level of activity – and unusual activity at that – in the region that includes Stephenville and Crawford that night.
King also interviewed witnesses Lee Roy Gaitan, a local law enforcement constable, and Ricky Sorrells, a resident.
Gaitan spotted strange lights himself and has had contact with fellow law enforcement officers in the region who also witnessed strange objects. One local officer claims he was able to determine the speed a low-flying and slow-moving craft with his police radar gun used to ticket speeders.
Sorrells told King he saw a massive dark gray metallic object 300 above him in a wooded area where he was deer hunting one day. The object was so large Sorrells said he could not determine the edges of it as far as the eye could see.
He said it was in a stationary position above him one minute and then, in the blink of an eye, it had taken off at a 45 degree angle while remaining horizontal, and was gone.
While King has exemplified responsible reporting by the media about the Stephenville case, he has not been alone. Associated Press reporter Angela K. Brown first picked up the early indications that something was going on from reports in the small Stephenville Empire-Tribune newspaper by Angelia Joiner who was then a reporter at the paper.
When the AP article was widely published and posted on the Web, other media outlets and journalists followed up. In general, media coverage appeared to be professional, diligent and responsible.
Now, with the surprisingly thorough scientific data and conclusions in the MUFON report, we may see similar follow-through by the media.
Friday, July 11, 2008
By Steve Hammons