In honor of the loss of Angelia Joiner, let us review her original articles on the Stephenville event:
Stephenville UFO: The Initial Reports
Possible UFO Sighting
By ANGELIA JOINER, Stephenville Empire Tribune
Four area residents witness mysterious object, lights in Selden sky
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.
Allen called it an unidentified flying object. And, because he's been a private pilot for more than 30 years, he has a little more experience judging air speeds and distances than most.
“We all flipped out,” Allen said. “I didn't sleep a wink last night.”
Allen was at the home of Mike Odom in Selden about 6:15 p.m. when they suddenly noticed flashing lights about “3,500 feet above ground level,” he said.
“The ship wasn't really visible and was totally silent, but the lights spanned about a mile long and a half mile wide,” Allen said. “The lights went from corner to corner. It was directly above Highway 67 traveling towards Stephenville at a high rate of speed - about 3,000 miles per hour is what I would estimate.”
Allen said the lights were not those of a normal aircraft. He said they were more like strobe lights, and while they were all watching, the lights reconfigured themselves from a single horizontal line into two sets of vertical lights.
“The two sets were approximately one-quarter of a mile apart,” Allen said. “Then they turned into dirty burning flames. The flames were not blue. They were white in color. About two seconds later it disappeared completely.”
Allen said they were all scratching their heads and talking about what it could have been, when approximately 10 minutes later, the object flew overhead again.
“This time it came from the west traveling east towards Glen Rose,” Allen said. “And it was about two or three miles south of 67, and two military jets, possibly F16s, were in pursuit.”
“I was asking, “Are you guys seeing that?” Allen said.
Mike Odom said he didn't have trouble sleeping but it was a “wild experience.”
“It's unexplainable,” Odom said. “It was something not natural; it was moving way too fast.”
Odom said he saw one other unexplainable object in the sky in 1978 when he was in Arizona.
“Back then something flew over with lights all around,” Odom said. “I think this thing bothered all of us, but it probably bothered Steve more because he's a pilot and he flies a lot.”
“It was neat,” Lance Jones said. “It was something. I've never seen anything like it before but it didn't scare me. I just figured it was military.”
Odom's wife, Claudette, said she was previously employed as a flight attendant.
“Lights were going up and down the side,” she said. “There was no sound, just the lights. It was moving so fast. It wasn't a plane. I know how planes move. Honestly, I think it was a UFO. It was so fast you couldn't have put your finger on it and move it fast enough to follow it.”
Allen said he has never seen a UFO until now, but he did suspect there was something to UFO stories all along.
“I was very surprised to finally get my eyes on one,” Allen said. “If anybody else saw this and got pictures I hope they will contact me.”
Allen said he has already reported the sighting to Washington, and is in the process of writing a report on the event.
Allen is the owner of L & S Enterprises and Texas Freight in Glen Rose. He can be contacted at 254-898-1117.
The group plans to return to Odom's house and keep an eye on the sky in the near future, hoping to see it again.
Mysterious Sightings Keep Locals Guessing
By ANGELIA JOINER
Stephenville Empire Tribune
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.
“It was like nothing I've ever seen before,” comes up over and over in their descriptions of bright lights in the sky. Accounts have come in from various locations and a few of those brave enough to come forward are listed below with stories of their own.
Major Karl Lewis of Naval Air Station Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth (Carswell Field) believes he might be able to solve the mystery in a couple of days.
Allen said his phone rang all day Wednesday with people reporting to him that they had seen the strange lights in the sky.
“I live 4.6 miles out on Hwy. 67. About 6:15 p.m. I saw something as I was turning in my driveway. I won't say it was a UFO but I will say it was UFL, meaning it was unidentified flying lights. They were real bright yellow and I thought I must be seeing the sun reflecting off a plane. I'm guessing they were five miles away from me. But, they were unusually bright like a welding arc being struck - it was that bright. I don't discount UFOs but I don't necessarily believe in them either. I got a call this morning saying there was story about a UFO in today's paper and it was out where I live. I immediately said, ‘Yeah, I saw it.' I was looking west/southwest.”
Dublin Constable Lee Roy Gaitan
“I was outside with my eight-year-old son, Ryan, when I saw lights. It was like nothing I've ever seen before. It was dark already. At first it was two red burning glows that went away and then came back on. I went inside to tell my wife. When I came back out I saw something like lights you'd see in a bar. My little boy and I counted and we came up with nine flashes and they were real spread out. But I couldn't see them attached to anything, just the lights. So I went to my pickup and got my binoculars to see if I could see a plane or something. Even with the binoculars there was no outline. It started moving towards Stephenville and moving so fast I had trouble following it with my binoculars. It covered a big area. It sounds crazy but we really saw what we saw. As a matter of fact I mentioned it to an officer in Stephenville and he called me up and said to get the Stephenville paper because I wasn't going to believe what was in it. I also went to the Dublin paper but they had no other reports on it so I just dropped it. But my little boy went to school the next day and told everybody all about what we'd seen.”
“I had just left the nursing home from seeing my husband. I was going down 914 towards Alexander. Just as I got to the hill at Alexander where Hwy. 6 crosses I saw them - the lights. It scared me. I thought two planes were about to collide. The lights were as bright as a school bus ahead of you but up in the air. They were certainly much closer to the ground than I would appreciate them to be. I looked in my mirrors and there were no reflections. Just as I got up to the top of the hill they were gone. It was about 6:40 p.m.”
“I was a navigational specialist in the Air Force and I don't know what it was that I saw while I was walking two friends to their car at my home. But as soon as I saw it I jokingly said to them, ‘Hey look - a UFO.' I saw two red lights acting unusual. There were two very bright red lights traveling in formation. By formation I mean they kept their positions respective to each other. They were so intensely bright that I realized they must be at a low altitude. But, there was no noise. The lights were not like a helicopter or a plane. I live near the courthouse, actually two blocks from it, towards the river. I was looking north. It was unusual.”
All Eyes On The Skies
By ANGELIA JOINER
Stephenville Empire Tribune
Mysterious lights in the sky and what some believe was an increased military air traffic in the past week has prompted the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) to schedule a meeting for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Erath County Dairy Sales & Livestock Commission located on U.S. Highway 377/67 South.
MUFON Texas Senior Field Investigator and Assistant State Director Steve Hudgeons said field investigators from Waco, Fort Worth, and Dallas will be on hand to interview witnesses and complete sighting reports. He said MUFON is interested in Steve Allen’s first hand account of intensely bright lights and military jets over the Selden community last Tuesday night as well as other accounts.
“I have read the papers and have been sent several e-mails from people that have heard of this sighting and it looks as if there are a good many people that have either seen this or have heard about it,” Hudgeons said. “I will bring down a team of investigators and we will do a mass interview and then do a later follow-up with a selected group.”
Hudgeons said it is the unusually high number of people that claim to have witnessed the event as well as the credibility of those involved that has prompted his organization to become involved.
Founded in 1969, the Mutual UFO Network, Inc., is a nonprofit corporation dedicated, through its volunteers, to resolving the scientific enigma known collectively as unidentified flying objects (UFOs), according to its Web site, www.mufon.com.
The world wide organization headquartered in Denver, Colorado has two publications; the monthly MUFON UFO Journal addresses all aspects of the subject, and The International UFO Symposium Proceedings offers a yearly in-depth analysis of the UFO subject by world-renowned researchers, according to their Web site. Each is available to MUFON members and the public.
Allen said he has received a barrage of phone calls from others witnessing the Tuesday night event as well as reports of military air traffic but also received calls from individuals describing similar accounts. The accounts include a woman that said she saw the same thing in 1967 and worked to solve the mystery with former Sheriff David Hale. But, she said no conclusions were ever drawn.
Allen said he has been speaking with a Hillsboro resident who wishes to remain anonymous but is offering a substantial reward for authentic local pictures or videos to assist with validation of the claim. Allen is the owner of L & S Enterprises and Texas Freight in Glen Rose and can be reached at 254-898-1117.
Hudgeons said he encourages anyone with photos or film footage to wait until he can view the material at the meeting before turning it over to anyone else.
“Even if someone says they are from MUFON, don’t turn it over,” Hudgeons said. “I feel that someone from a government entity will pose as MUFON and try to take them.”
Major Karl Lewis of Naval Air Joint Reserve Base Fort Worth (Carswell Field) reported Friday that no military aircraft from his establishment were in the area Tuesday night. When questioned about military air traffic in the Stephenville area he said there could be a number of reasons for that and most likely it’s because of training missions related to the Brady area.
“There were no F16s from this unit operating and no other pilots from our unit reported a UFO,” Lewis said.
He also said the jets could have been in the area but from a different base or they could have been F18s, which are similar in appearance.
Lewis said after reading newspaper accounts of what area residents saw he has a plausible explanation — something that he has witnessed himself in his 32 years as a pilot.
“I think it was a consortium of lights. It sounds like sun reflection of an aircraft traveling at high altitude,” Lewis said. “That can cause an intensely bright light like that. Sometimes you can’t look at it because it is so bright. As the angle of the sun changes, the color dulls because the sun is setting on the horizon and it’s hitting the aircraft at a different angle.”
Lewis said intense orange, red or white lights as well as other colors may be seen when this occurs. He also said it could have been natural light phenomenon or a visual illusion caused by natural atmospheric conditions.
Hypothetically, Lewis said, an object of the reported size traveling through the atmosphere would leave a catastrophic “sound signature or footprint.”
“An aircraft traveling that fast and at that low altitude would leave an approximate path of four miles wide of damage,” Lewis said. “Low and fast like what was described, would leave a path similar to that of a tornado - it’s a pressure differentiation.”
Another point, he said, was something that fast and low to the ground would create thermal heat, which would create a vapor trail and none was reported.
Lewis said he knows of a plane traveling at mach one speed at an altitude of 5,000 feet, which caused a cinderblock house to collapse, so he doesn’t believe what witnesses spotted was actually a craft of any kind.
(See Monday’s edition of the E-T for an eyewitness account of the Tuesday evening event in Cleburne. The witness first saw what he claims is a UFO in the Cleburne area in 1995 and will be interviewed on the X-Zone radio show in Canada Monday evening Jan. 14. He has lectured on UFOs and paranormal issues in Roswell, New Mexico and New York City.)
UFO Witnessed in Cleburne by Expert
By ANGELIA JOINER
Stephenville Empire Tribune
Jason Greywolf Leigh, an expert on UFOs and a resident of Cleburne, will go on the air tonight at 10 p.m. CDT, for the Canadian station xzone-radio.com hosted by Rob McConnell to discuss the sighting so many in the area witnessed the evening of Jan. 8.
But the best part is Leigh witnessed the same event from Cleburne in the east-northeast sky and had already started documenting his account before he saw the Empire-Tribune article on Jan. 10.
“I sent him (McConnell) an email Tuesday night after my sighting, or two days before I was contacted by Councilman Murphy about the sightings there,” Leigh said. “It adds more credence to not only that of your people's sighting, but to mine as well!”
Leigh is well known for having filmed the June 11, 1995, daytime footage of a UFO over Cleburne. He said it is rated as one of the top 5 films of UFOs in the world and is extremely rare because it occurred in the light of day.
“My broad daylight footage could not be disputed, as I had first gone in person to the small Cleburne airport and ‘looked' at the flight log and times: no planes in the area at the time, then I called the FAA in Fort Worth, tape recording the call, as I spoke to the operations manager who admitted they had booked a ‘bogey' in the Cleburne area that ‘disappeared' off the screen after ‘x' minutes,” Leigh said. “He even asked me what it was! After we had talked, I told him that not only was I a freelance journalist, but that I saw/videotaped the UFO and recorded our call.”
Leigh has appeared on several television shows with the dramatic footage and his eyewitness account including “Unsolved Mysteries,” and gives lectures on the subject. He has authored a book on UFO sightings and his uncanny ESP ability titled Power Glide.
Leigh said before you can prove a UFO - you must first prove what it is not - so after the Jan. 8 sighting of what appeared to be a “large blue star that zipped off as quick as that,” he got busy. And busier still, when he glanced at the north-northeast sky and saw a jet aircraft at above 20,000 feet, “zooming in the direction that the blue star took.” Then he noticed another jet as he was peering into the west-southwest sky and it, too, was at least 20,000 feet, as it was leaving a trail, he said.
He said the first thing skeptics will say is that what you saw was a star, in particular, Venus.
“The moon is the size of a quarter with your arm fully extended,” Leigh said. “This object would be the size of a dime with arm fully extended which is 60 times larger than any star.”
But to quiet naysayers, he logged on to starpathways.com and researched Venus. Leigh found on Jan. 8 there was a new moon so that would mean a black sky.
“Venus would be due west and as evening progresses it sinks below the horizon,” Leigh said. “Sunset was at 5:38 p.m. It was after six in the evening so it was dark. It was cloudless, although a brisk wind out of the south. You've got to do your homework with this sort of thing.”
Many area residents have questioned what appeared to be an increase in military air traffic in the skies and Leigh documented that as well.
The next day Jan. 9 at 10:30 a.m. he documented four jets, “leaving ‘chem trails' and making zigzagging patterns in the cloudless bright blue sky” and took photos.
“Until you see something as dramatic as a UFO; you will never be the same again - ever,” Leigh said. “I always suggest to those who have seen them for the first time to read a few of my articles, which gives some idea of how to prepare a report and how to go about ‘proving' what they saw as opposed to what else ‘it' or ‘them' could have been.”
The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) has scheduled a meeting for 1 p.m. Saturday, Jan. 19, at Erath County Dairy Sales & Livestock Commission located on U.S. Highway 377/67 South. The public is invited and field representatives will conduct interviews and complete sighting forms. Leigh said he would be in attendance.