Thursday, October 30, 2008

UFOs over Stephenville region – again

By Steve Hammons
The Fort Worth Star-Telegram newspaper and TV station WFAA, Channel 8, in Dallas-Fort Worth are reporting today that multiple witnesses saw unusual lights over Erath County, Texas.

The local newspaper, the Stephenville Empire-Tribune, is also reporting that dozens of citizens claim they saw odd lights in the sky the night of Thursday, Oct. 23.

Some residents are reporting that they have seen not just lights, but what appear to be solid objects in the night skies.

Reporter Matt Frazier of the Star-Telegram quoted Alejandro Rojas of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) research organization as saying many witnesses have claimed that they saw an oval shape with lights around the outside of it.

In fact, last week a high school student in Dublin, Andy Monrreal, shot video of what he says was a string of red lights in the sky. Monrreal claims the lights were in an oval configuration.

DEJA VU IN ERATH COUNTY

These recent sightings come after a period of apparent quiet in Erath County and the towns of Stephenville and Dublin.

In January this year, dozens of citizens said they spotted unusual lights high in the sky and low-flying solid objects. Several local law enforcement officers also witnessed both the lights and low-altitude objects and reportedly caught video from their "dashcam" police car cameras.

One officer reportedly tracked such a low-flying object with his radar-gun and clocked it at 27 miles per hour.

In a report released July 10, MUFON investigators Glen Schulze and Robert Powell used regional FAA radar data to examine some of the claims from witnesses. Their research report was titled "Stephenville Lights: A Comprehensive Radar and Witness Report Study Regarding the Events of January 8, 2008, 4 pm to 8 pm."

The report concluded that an unusual object was in the area at that time, that it matched several witness observations and that it came within 10 miles of the Bush ranch at Crawford.

In the recent sightings, as in those earlier this year, witnesses also reported seeing military F-16 jets.

BEING PREPARED

Earlier this year, several regional peace officers in Erath County were finding themselves in the same situation as dozens of citizens with regard to these unusual lights and objects.

Although training on this kind of situation is not standard for public safety officers, some people following these developments referenced the well-known 1992 firefighter training manual titled "A Fire Officer's Guide to Disaster Control" published by Fire Engineering Books & Videos.

In the training manual, authors and experienced firefighting experts William M. Kramer and Charles W. Bahme covered not only the usual important elements of this public safety profession, their manual also included a chapter titled "Disaster Control and UFOs."

Erath County residents and people who followed the previous sightings with interest might now be reviewing some of the cases earlier this year associated with these unusual incidents. The chapter on UFOs in the Fire Officer's Guide manual might come in handy to reassure the citizens of the area as well as public safety officials.

What had seemed like the end of an unusual chapter in north-central Texas looks like it might be an ongoing story.