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Marfa Lights, More Car Headlights

Many explanations have been offered for Marfa Lights, including the conjecture about car headlights. That explanation takes up much space on the Wikipedia page for the mystery lights around Marfa, Texas. It deserves a brief reference.

A group from The Society of Physics Students at the University of Texas at Dallas spent four days investigating and recording lights observed southwest of the view park . . .

It seems that those students were looking specifically at the highway where car headlights are often seen from the Marfa Lights Viewing Platform (The state-erected park as a whole is better known as the “Marfa Lights Viewing Park”). Perhaps nobody argues against the assumption that many visitors to the park see car headlights and take those for “Marfa Lights.” But there is something much deeper here in this remote area of southwest Texas.

Wikipedia makes almost no mention of James Bunnell, a scientist who has spent years photographing and taking video of the more mysterious Marfa Lights, some of which he calls “CE-III mystery lights.” But it is that type of light that is nothing like the night mirages of car headlights that Bunnell acknowledges may also appear mysterious, at least to common visitors to the view park.

Getting back to those four days of observations by those university students, what if CE-III lights had appeared to the south or southeast of the view park? Would any of the students have noticed? Perhaps not, for they were deeply involved with car headlights on a highway to the southwest. More important, the truly mysterious flying lights that are labeled “CE-III” only appear a few times a year, with many weeks in a row without any sightings. Four days in a row of observations of car headlights does not even come close to a sufficient investigation, if the nature of the truly mysterious lights are to reveal any of their secrets.

Let’s look at this from another perspective. Many kinds of night light can appear mysterious in unusual circumstances. Look in your rear-view mirror while driving through a fog at night; a train following your car might cause a mysterious light. A shooting star larger than one you have ever seen, if you see it near Marfa, Texas, may appear mysterious enough for you to tie it to accounts of “Marfa Lights.” The point? Those university students did not prove that train lights and meteors near Marfa are actually night mirages of car headlights; those students did not prove that trains and meteors cannot exist near Marfa.

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One comment on “Marfa Lights, More Car Headlights

  1. It should be noted that the CE-III lights differ greatly from not only car headlights but also from meteors and train lights. They behave with apparent intelligence and fly mostly horizontally a few feet or so above the ground where there are no highways, roads, or railroad tracks. They also have no trails commonly seen trailing meteors.