Want to take a little more than a day trip from Dallas? Then Marfa Texas just might fit the bill. Why not take a road trip and discover the Marfa Lights? Tucked away in a corner of SW Texas and not on the road to anywhere, unless you’re riding the pipeline road from Mexico you’ll have to make a special trip.
Will anyone ever learn what causes the Marfa Lights? They have been observed just outside Marfa, Texas for well over a 100 years near the mountains. Some say the lights are caused by swamp gas, some claim vehicle headlights while others claim extra terrestrials or ghost of Native Americans wandering about at night with lanterns. The lights were seen before electricity and vehicles so it would stand to reason that the lights aren’t caused by those two suggestions. In fact the lights have been seen by so many people and so often that the State of Texas build a viewing platform with restroom facilities for viewers. For years there has been a spot on SH 67 where people pull over and wait for the lights to appear in the distance. It was a small area off the highway with a trash can.
The history of the Marfa lights on Wikipedia states, “The first published account of the lights appeared in the July 1957 issue of Coronet Magazine, the sole source for anecdotal claims that the lights date back to the 19th century. Reports often describe brightly glowing basketball-sized spheres floating above the ground, or sometimes high in the air. Colors are usually described as white, yellow, orange or red, but green and blue are sometimes reported. The balls are said to hover at about shoulder height, or to move laterally at low speeds, or sometimes, to shoot around rapidly in any direction. They often appear in pairs or groups, according to reports, to divide into pairs or to merge, to disappear and reappear, and sometimes to move in seemingly regular patterns. Their sizes are typically said to resemble soccer balls or basketballs. Sightings are reported occasionally and unpredictably, perhaps 10 to 20 times a year. There are no reliable reports of daytime sightings. According to the people who claim to have seen the lights, they may appear at any time of night, typically south of U.S. Route 90 and east of U.S. Route 67, five to fifteen miles southeast of Marfa, at unpredictable directions and apparent distances. They can persist from a fraction of a second to several hours. There is evidently no connection between appearances of the Marfa lights and anything else besides nighttime hours. They appear in all seasons of the year and in any weather, seemingly uninfluenced by such factors. They sometimes have been observed during late dusk and early dawn, when the landscape is dimly illuminated. They are said to be viewable year round. It is extremely difficult to approach an ongoing display of the Marfa lights, mainly due to the dangerous terrain of Mitchell Flat. Also, all of the land where the Marfa lights are observed is private property, and access is prohibited without explicit permission from the owners. he state notes the lights in travel maps, the city has erected a viewing platform, and the Marfa Chamber of Commerce promotes the peculiar lights.The weekend-long Marfa Lights Festival is held annually in the city’s downtown.”
There is an interesting video on the Marfa Lights by Pecos45 that was done several years ago. It has interviews with residents from Marfa and shows the lights. The lights have had many skeptics and even the US government make attempts at either disproving them or learning what causes them to appear. The lights can be seen nearly every night. This author has seen the lights a couple dozen times over many years. Only to be disappointed twice by a no show of the lights. Years past the lights were easily seen and traffic was slow to non existent on the highway at night. This has changed quite a bit through the passing years. There were times when this author and a friend were the only people sitting off the side of the highway in the very dark night. That can become rather nerve wracking as minds wander while waiting to see lights. A few times there were unsavory characters that were more threatening than the lights. The new viewing station gives the area a feeling of safety and a place to sit and relax. There are lights on the building, but they are red to help one maintain their night vision. Now the highway is busy day and night with large trucks running the pipeline highway from Mexico into the U.S. with goods to deliver.
It’s difficult to explain the feeling when observing the lights other than a great sense of wonderment. This comes from having no idea what creates the lights. Listening to other watchers inhale as lights are seen that appear to be headed straight toward them and then the exhale as they stop before coming too close. The light appear as one, many or as individual lights that split into more lights. The bounce, wiggle, move up and down. They go back and come forward and at times appear to pulsate and emanate different colors. This author spoke to a local resident who has come to view the lights throughout most of his life. He can’t figure them out. He told of an experiment he and several friends tried after receiving permission to go onto the private property that lies between the viewing station and the mountains. He said that a group of his friends stayed by the platform while another group headed onto the property in a vehicle. Both sets were armed with walkie talkies to communicate. While the group near the platform observed lights the other group tried to drive toward the lights, That group would lose sight of the lights almost immediately and were never able to get close to them. Each time they lost sight of the lights the group by the platform would has constant vision of the lights. He said when they were younger they camped on the desert floor and tried to walk toward the lights without success.
A search on the Internet will bring up many links to information about the lights. Some lead to the UFO version while others lead to the end of the world. Native Americans lived all over this region of Texas hundreds of years ago and there are ghostly tales of warriors and chiefs wandering at night with torches looking for something.
Have there been paranormal investigations done in this area? What would the investigators do? There is an article, Part 2 Where Paranormal Investigators and Ghost Hunters Tred that may shed light on how what is done. If anyone reading this article knows of any investigations into the Marfa Lights by a paranormal group, the author would like to know.
Could they by ghost lights? These are described as a natural phenomenon producing a ghostly light sometimes seen at night or twilight over bogs, swamps, and marshes. The main problem with those who believe they are ghost lights is that this area is desert and not damp and humid.
One thing the lights are most likely not would be Orbs!