Life's Little Mysteries
Wed, 19 Jun 2013 16:43 CDT
© YouTube screen grab from Peter James
This image may show the famous Marfa Lights of West Texas.
The Marfa Lights, mysterious glowing orbs that appear in the desert outside the West Texas town of Marfa, have mystified people for generations.
According to eyewitnesses, the Marfa Lights appear to be roughly the size of basketballs and are varyingly described as white, blue, yellow, red or other colors.
Reportedly, the Marfa Lights hover, merge, twinkle, split into two, flicker, float up into the air or dart quickly across Mitchell Flat (the area east of Marfa where they're most commonly reported).
There seems to be no way to predict when the lights will appear; they're seen in various weather conditions, but only a dozen or so nights a year. And nobody knows for sure what they are - or if they really even exist at all.
The Native Americans of the area thought the Marfa Lights were fallen stars, the Houston Chronicle
The first mention of the lights comes from 1883, when cowhand Robert Reed Ellison claimed to have seen flickering lights one evening while driving a herd of cattle near Mitchell Flat. He assumed the lights were from Apache campfires.
Ellison was told by area settlers that they often saw the lights, too, but upon investigation, they found no ashes or other evidence of a campfire, according to the Texas State Historical Association
During World War II, pilots from nearby Midland Army Air Field tried to locate the source of the mysterious lights, but were unable to discover anything.