Date: January 8, 2008
Location: Stephenville, Texas, United States
Several dozen people — including a pilot, county constable and business owners — insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it. Locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. People in several towns who reported seeing it over several weeks have offered similar descriptions of the object
Standing near the area where he saw a large silent object in the sky, Ricky Sorrells talks about the sighting, Monday, Jan.14, 2008 in Dublin, Texas. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
Ricky Sorrells drew for Earthfiles his perspective looking up through the trees on his property at a “tin barn grey” metal emitting “mirage heat waves” and embedded with cone-shaped holes he thought were equally separated by forty feet over the entire surface of the aerial craft above him. Ricky judged that the aerial craft was 300 feet above him and the trees. He also estimated the surface diameter of the cones was about six feet, tapering another six to eight feet down into a cone-shaped hole that ended in a three-foot-diameter circle. Below is a drawing focused on one of the cone-shaped holes. Drawings © 2008 by Ricky Sorrells for Earthfiles.com. (Credit and Copyright: Earthfiles.com and Linda Moulton Howe.)
Ricky Sorrells saw the sky replaced by a "barn tin grey" and flat metal embedded with cone-shaped holes as far as he could see - "at least three football field lengths (1,000 feet)." Each cone-shaped hole was separated from the others by an estimated 40 feet; each cone-shaped hole was about 6 feet in diameter and 6 to 8 feet deep. Computer illustration based on Ricky Sorrells' sketches © 2008 by Gregory Watters (Credit and copyright: earthfiles.com and Linda Moulton Howe)
"It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts," Steve Allen, left, says during an interview with Mike Von Fremd of ABC News. Allen described the unidentified object as being an enormous aircraft with flashing strobe lights — and it was totally silent. He said the UFO sped away at more than 3,000 mph, followed by two fighter jets that were hopelessly outmaneuvered. Allen said it took the aircraft just a few seconds to cross a section of sky that it takes him 20 minutes to fly in his Cessna. The veteran pilot said the UFO, an estimated half-mile wide and a mile long, was "bigger than a Wal-Mart." (Photo: JESSICA HORTON/Stephenville Empire-Tribune via AP)
Associated Press picked up Angelia Joiner's story from the Stephenville Empire-Tribune on January 15, 2008, featuring a photograph of Ricky Sorrells at his Dublin, Texas, residence. (Credit and Copyright: Earthfiles.com and Linda Moulton Howe.)
Constable Lee Roy Gaitan in Dublin, Texas. (Image Credit and Copyright © 2008 by Linda Moulton Howe.)
Constable Lee Roy Gaitan reported that another police officer had seen a huge cigar-shaped aerial craft with two “antennas” topped by red lights moving slowly about 300 to 400 feet in the air near the Stephenville, Texas, courthouse. He described it as approximately two to three football fields long. Computer illustration(s) based on documented reports. © 2008 by Gregory Watters (This is an artistic rendition of the object at dusk for clarity. The police officer said he saw the object as a silhouette against the night sky.)
Type of Case/Report: MajorCase
Hynek Classification: CE1
# of Witnesses: Multiple
Special Features/Characteristics: Group Sighting, Witness Photo, Silent, Police, Witness Sketch, Mass Sighting
Report by Lee Roy Gaitan about another police officer who reported to him a sighting of a large cigar-shaped object flying slowly and low over Stephenville on the same night. R
This is the Official Web Site of the Stephenville Lights - the strange objects seen in the sky in Erath County, Texas. Website is maintained by Angelia Joiner, the former reporter for the local Stephenville newspaper.
The announcement did little to satisfy residents of Texas dairy country who swear that what they saw in the sky Jan. 8 was no airplane. Some said it even bolstered their claims, because several people reported seeing at least two fighter jets chasing an object. R
Transcript of second program on Texas UFO sightings on Larry King Live. R
Sorrells believes military officials have been harassing him by flying military aircraft over his property at low altitudes, at all hours of the day and night. R
Interview with the Stephenville constable
Steve Allen, Mike Odom and Lance Jones were out admiring a beautiful Texas sunset Tuesday evening when they saw something none of them can explain. R
A number of area residents have come forward saying they also saw the mysterious lights witnessed by Steve Allen and friends Tuesday night in Selden. R
Transcript of CNN Larry King Live program on the Stephenville, Texas UFO sightings of January, 2008. R
Interview with witness Ricky Sorrells by UFO researcher Linda Moulton Howe. Includes sketches by Sorrells.
Audio interview with UFO witness Ricky Sorrells, with UFO researcher Linda Moulton Howe, on the radio program 'Dreamland.'
The U.S. military has owned up to having F-16 fighters in the air near Stephenville on the night that several residents reported unusual lights in the sky. But the correction issued Wednesday doesn't exactly turn UFOs into Identified Flying Objects. R
This report presents the results of a lengthy and detailed analysis made into the sightings of an unidentified flying object on the evening and night of January 8, 2008, in the Dublin-Stephenville area of north Texas. Radar data from five different radar sites as well as witness testimony was reviewed...
MUFON's report, entitled "Special Research Report Stephenville, Texas" was written by Glen Schulze and Ropert Powell. The report is an analysis of radar records from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Weather Service, obtained through several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and comparing them to witness accounts.
Source: Associated Press, January 15, 2008
Dozens Report UFO Over Texas Town
Many, Including Pilot, Constable Describe Similar Huge Craft Flying Low Over Stephenville
By ANGELA K. BROWN, Associated Press Writer
Jan. 15, 2008
(AP) In this farming community where nightfall usually brings clear, starry skies, residents are abuzz over reported sightings of what many believe is a UFO.
Several dozen people - including a pilot, county constable and business owners - insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it.
"People wonder what in the world it is because this is the Bible Belt, and everyone is afraid it's the end of times," said Steve Allen, a freight company owner and pilot who said the object he saw last week was a mile long and half a mile wide. "It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts."
While federal officials insist there's a logical explanation, locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. People in several towns who reported seeing it over several weeks have offered similar descriptions of the object.
Machinist Ricky Sorrells said friends made fun of him when he told them he saw a flat, metallic object hovering about 300 feet over a pasture behind his Dublin home. But he decided to come forward after reading similar accounts in the Stephenville Empire-Tribune.
"You hear about big bass or big buck in the area, but this is a different deal," Sorrells said. "It feels good to hear that other people saw something, because that means I'm not crazy."
Sorrells said he's seen the object several times. He said he watched it through his rifle's telescopic lens and described it as very large and without seams, nuts or bolts.
Maj. Karl Lewis, a spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing at the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth, said no F-16s or other aircraft from his base were in the area the night of Jan. 8, when many sightings were reported.
Lewis said the object may have been an illusion caused by two commercial airplanes. Lights from the aircraft would seem unusually bright and may appear orange due to the setting sun.
"I'm 90 percent sure this was an airliner," Lewis said. "With the sun's angle, it can play tricks on you."
Officials at the region's two Air Force bases - Dyess in Abilene and Sheppard in Wichita Falls - also said none of their aircraft were in the area last week. The Air Force no longer investigates UFOs.
About 200 UFO sightings are reported each month, mostly in California, Colorado and Texas, according to the Mutual UFO Network, which plans to go to the 17,000-resident town of Stephenville to investigate.
Fourteen percent of Americans polled last year by The Associated Press and Ipsos say they have seen a UFO.
UFO sightings have been reported all over the world for centuries, including the infamous 1897 crash of a cigar-shaped object near the tiny Texas town of Aurora. While some thought it was a hoax, decades later investigators from UFO groups said evidence suggests the disfigured pilot's body buried that day was an alien.
In Chicago in late 2006, some United Airlines pilots and other employees reported seeing a saucer-shaped craft hovering over O'Hare Airport before shooting up through the clouds. But federal officials said nothing showed up on the radar and explained it as some type of weather phenomenon.
In 1997, dozens of people saw lights in a V-formation over Phoenix, a mystery that was captured on videotape and spurred calls for a government investigation. A few months later people reported a similar sight over Las Vegas.
One of the most famous cases was the 1947 crash on a ranch near Roswell, N.M. Although the government said it was a top-secret weather balloon, an Army officer who helped recover the debris came forward 30 years later claiming a cover-up, asserting that an alien spacecraft had crashed. Reports later surfaced that a base nurse told someone that autopsies were performed on aliens from the wreckage.
A few months after the New Mexico incident the U.S. Air Force started Project Blue Book, which investigated more than 12,600 reported UFO sightings - including 700 that were never explained - before the program ended in 1969.
Erath County Constable Lee Roy Gaitan, who said he isn't sure about the existence of UFOs, said one night last week he first saw red glowing lights and then white flashing lights moving rapidly across the sky.
"I didn't see a flying saucer and I don't know what it was, but it wasn't an airplane and I've never seen anything like it," Gaitan said. "I think it must be some kind of military craft - at least I hope it was."
Case ID: 1156
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