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4          UFO Myths : Stephenville, January 8, 2008

             UFO Myths: A Special                         his wife, Claudette, who came outside in time to  Telegram. CNN showed up, along with ABC,
                                                          see the second display.When  Allen returned    the BBC and other TV crews from as far away
                  Investigation into                      home, he phoned friends at the local airport who  as Japan. So did Bill O'Reilly and Larry King. A
                                                          checked with the Fort  Worth airport tower.    longtime UFO fan, King devoted a segment to
             Stephenville and Other                       "Both said nothing was flying," Allen says.    Stephenville and interviewed Gaitan and Joiner.

                   Major Sightings                               That night, James Huse, a former  Air   Jake and Dorothy's Café, near the courthouse
                                                          Force navigation specialist, was in downtown   square, became a favored journalist hangout.
                                                          Stephenville saying good-night to a couple of  "One day I went into Jake and Dorothy's for
              By Phil Patton, with additional             friends. "Out of the corner of my eye I saw two  coffee, the way I always do," Huse says, "and
             reporting by Davin Coburn, Erin              red orbs moving overhead," he says, "the       there was a  TV crew on one side of me and
           McCarthy, Joe Pappalardo and Erik              reddest things I'd ever seen in the sky.  They  reporters on the other."
                                                          came right in front of me at 2000 ft about half a     The Stephenville sightings had all the
                                                          mile away. They weren't going that fast, maybe  elements of a classic UFO incident--first reports,
                                                          60 mph. They didn't make any noise."           official denials, independent witnesses stepping
          What were the speed-shifting, color-                   Outside Dublin, about 15 miles          forward. The Texas dairy town of 17,000 with
          morphing UFOs that mystified                    southwest of Stephenville, Constable Lee Roy   the statue of a cow in the main square had joined
          hundreds of eyewitnesses around                 Gaitan finished eating a slice of his wife's   Roswell, Area 51 and other small places as an
          Stephenville,  Texas, on January8,              birthday cake, then headed out to his patrol car  iconic name in the annals of UFOs.
                                                          to get his wallet so his family could watch Mr.       On the December night I drive from
          2008? Optical Illusions? Secret
                                                          Bean on pay per view. That's when he saw the   Dallas to Stephenville, the moon is in
          Military         Operations?          Alien
                                                          lights. "First, I saw a yellow-red orb the color of  congruence with  Venus and Jupiter:  The two
          Spaceships? Despite months of                   lava in a volcano," he says. "Then, instead of the  planets and crescent suggest a flag's heraldic
          “investigations” by UFO enthusiasts             red orbs, there were nine or 10 flashing lights  pattern. By the end of the evening, the sinking
          investigating as well as UFO                    maybe 3000 ft in the air, bouncing and very    moon is huge and orange, like a Ferris-wheel-
          conspiracy theories, the mystery                bright. They hovered there, strobing for 2 or 3  size slice of cantaloupe hung in the trees.
                                                          minutes, bright like German auto headlights.          The illusion that the moon is bigger near
                                                          Then they shot off at blazing speed like a school  the horizon is just one of the tricks our eyes play
                                                          of fish, you know, when it's frightened." Later,  on us when we observe objects in the heavens.
          It was Jan. 8, 2008, and the trucking
                                                          Gaitan says, two jets flew over.               Humanity has long infused these mysterious
          entrepreneur was sitting around a fire outside
                                                                 The next day  Allen called  Angelia     shapes and lights with portents and meanings
          the Selden,  Texas, home of Mike Odom, his
                                                          Joiner, a reporter at the Stephenville Empire-  interpreted according to the cultural notions of
          friend since first grade. Then he saw the lights-
                                                          Tribune, and told his story. The paper published  the day. The star-related deities of the Egyptians,
          -orbs that glowed at first, then began to flash.
                                                          Joiner's piece--"Possible UFO Sighting"--on    the godlike comets of the Greeks, the mysterious
          "There was no regular pattern to the flashing,"
                                                          Jan. 10. It was the first of her numerous articles  shapes in the skies of Renaissance frescoes--all
          he says. "They lined up horizontally, seven of
                                                          about the lights. On Jan. 11, Joiner called Maj.  were forerunners of flying saucers. "The
          them, then changed into an arch. They lined up
                                                          Karl Lewis, public affairs officer of the 301st  tendency to believe in the paranormal appears to
          vertically, and I saw two rectangles of bright
                                                          Fighter  Wing at the Naval  Air Station Joint  be there from the beginning," Christopher
          flame.That's when I knew it was a life-changing
                                                          Reserve Base Fort  Worth (formerly Carswell    Bader, a Baylor University sociologist, told
          experience." He watched the lights drift north
                                                          Air Force Base and now used by all the         LiveScience. "What changes is the content. Few
          toward Stephenville, the seat of Erath County.
                                                          services). Lewis said the base had nothing     people believe in fairies and elves these days.
          "They came back a few minutes later," Allen
                                                          flying the night of the sightings. Other nearby  But as belief in fairies faded, other beliefs, such
          says, "this time followed by two jets--F-16s, I
                                                          bases issued similar denials.                  as belief in UFOs, emerged to take its place."
          think." Allen, who owns and flies a Cessna, has
                                                                 It all added up to the most dramatic UFO
          seen plenty of military planes over the years.
                                                          incident in more than a decade. "Texas  Town                           (Continued on Page 5)
          "The jets looked like they were chasing the
                                                          Abuzz Over Dozens of UFO Sightings," wrote
          lights, and the lights seemed to be toying with                                                              SimulTV Is Here!
                                                 "Are UFOs Invading  Texas?"
          them. It was like a 100-hp car trying to keep up                                                     Over 130 International Channels
                                                          asked Texas Monthly. "UFOs Put Stephenville
          with a 1000-hp one."                                                                               Videos on Demand, and Much More.
                                                          in World Spotlight," said the Fort Worth Star-
                 Odom also saw the lights and called to                                                            Visit -
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