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Case File: Marfa Lights
Location: Marfa, Texas
Description: Marfa was a railroad water spot in West Texas surrounded by cattle farms. It has since become a UFO tourist spot due to the local unexplained activity.
History: In 1883, in the fields near Marfa, Texas, cattle was being herded by the thousands, and one night, Robert Ellison, a cow hand noticed something strange in the distance. It was a strange light hovering a few feet above the ground, a few miles away. His daughter claimed that they thought that it was a campfire, Indians, or other travelers, until they kept seeing it several times within the next few years. In 1916, eighteen-year-old Hallie Stilwell was coming to Marfa for business when they were driving and saw lights on a nearby mountain range. They first thought it was a campfire, or Indians, or ranchers, until it started moving strangely, and they soon believed that it was "ghost lights". In 1943, the mysterious lights were seen again near Marfa's air base by Fritz Kahl, but he could not figure out what it was. The lights have been seen by hundreds of people in Marfa, but not many are scared of them, but instead like them. Several people have tried to investigate the lights and truly find out what they are, but all attempts have been unsuccessful.
Background: Some legends claim that the lights are the ghost of an Apache Indian who refused to give up his home.
Investigations: Kirby Warnock and several friends wanted to find out what the lights were, and they soon realized that nobody could find the lights because they were using motor vehicles, so the men decided to go on foot. They tried to get closer to it, but the lights kept moving away. In July of 1989, Unsolved Mysteries asked three scientists from a local observatory and university to investigate the lights. One was a chemistry professor, another an astronomer, and the third a geologist, with them were eleven other technicians. The lights have been seen by the Chinati Mountains, and through them goes a highway, and a radio beacon. In order to distinguish the Marfa Lights from car lights, the investigators placed two marker lights on the borders of the road. If there are any lights not in that area, then they cannot explain the lights. At 11:59 pm, an unknown light appears to the investigators, and in the middle of an empty plain, the ghostly light can be seen, but they had no explanation for it. One scientist thought the lights might be refracted starlight, or luminous gases produced by earthquakes, but they could not determine it for sure.
Extra Notes: The case was featured as a part of the October 25, 1989 episode.