Tuesday, October 30, 2012

The Marfa Lights

Author: Bryce Saunders

Every small town in America has its local legends and folklore. However, none are quite as concrete and easy to spot as the mysterious Marfa Lights. The town of Marfa, Texas is located not far from the Mitchell Flat.  Looking out onto the flat from Marfa on most clear nights, you can see strange floating, blinking, and moving lights.  The source of these lights has been controversial ever since they were first reported. 

Marfa Light on the Mitchell Flat by J. Bunnell, 2007.
 Most critics believe the lights come from some type of reflection through the desert from headlights on nearby roads.  However, there are reports that date back to the late 1800s which would refute this idea altogether. Cars did become prominent in America until the 1900s. Many frontiersmen would search for these lights through the desert thinking they were actually Native Americans who intended to hurt or kill them, their families, or their livestock.
 However, cow herders and ranchers are not the only ones who have gone searching for the source of these lights though.  One local war veteran tried to chase the lights down with his plane, however could not find anything.  A group of scientists conducted experiments to find a scientific solution to the lights. They discovered that the lights matched up very precisely with cars passing on the near by highway. 

Video of the Marfa Lights in Marfa, Texas. 

However, this still does not explain how the lights were seen before cars came into existence.  Neither can scientists explain the high pitched noises many hear while observing the lights or the playful nature that the lights seem to have as people chase them (Kelley). Because the lights playfulness, there are also many ghost stories about the ghost lights, mainly by Native Americans.  Many believe the lights are lost lovers forever searching for each other.  Many others believe they are fallen warriors who will wander the Earth forever.  As much as people search and hypothesize theories for their existence, it is likely we will ever know for sure and that we should enjoy their sight rather than question their existence. 

Works Cited:

 Kelley. “The Marfa Lights”. Dave Republic. N.p. n.d. Web. 24 Oct, 2012.

J. Bunnell. “Marfa Lights View Park”. Photograph. “Mystery Lights”. Marfa Lights Research. Marfa Lights Research, 23 July 2007. Web. 25 Oct, 2012.

PJNARS. “Marfa Lights up close”. Youtube. 18 Feb 2007. Web. 25 Oct, 2012.

Links for Further Research:

Gives more information about the Marfa Lights and their existence.

Night Orbs
Gives general information about what the Marfa Lights are.

Gives a scientific explanation towards what the Marfa Lights are.

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