A decade ago, amid the popularity of "The X Files" television show on Sunday night on FOX 4, Richard Ray ran a periodic series of reports called " The Tex Files ," which focused on legitimate Texas mysteries worthy of X Files' plots. This week Richard brings us a new case that's widely known as the Stephenville UFOs.
It was a story that attracted international attention. Dozens of credible people reported seeing unidentified flying objects over Stephenville, Texas. Erath County Constable Lee Roy Gaitain risked ridicule and abuse to publicly describe remarkable things they'd seen in the skies over Stephenville on January 8th, 2008.
The initial reports sparked a media frenzy and attracted the attention of the Mutual UFO Network, or MUFON, a group of UFO enthusiasts. The group organized an event for witnesses to come forward and tell their stories. Despite the circus-like atmosphere, more credible witnesses came forward including three police officers who wish to remain anonymous.
More than three years later MUFON's Steve Hudgeons says the reports keep coming in. The sightings are consistently west of Dublin, very near the Brownwood Military Operating Area, a place where aircraft from bases all over the southwest United States routinely conduct tests.
When the mass sightings began to be reported in early 2008 an Air Force spokesman at the Joint Reserve Base in Fort Worth speculated publicly that they were all the result of illusions. He specifically denied reports that F-16s had been flying in the area on January 8th. A couple weeks later the Air Force changed their story, confirming there were ten F-16s flying training operations that night.
MUFON says the most significant sightings with the best witness reports actually happened in the Fall of 2008, though they never made news. Hudgeons has NEXRAD radar images from 8:34 p.m. on the night of October 23rd. He says eyewitnesses consistently report seeing a huge object with giant orange lights going off in a sequence.
The Air Force's changing story and its general reluctance to talk about what people are seeing has fueled speculation that what's really going on is some sort of experimental aircraft that the military just doesn't want to talk about. Teresa Turner got involved as MUFON investigator after being angered by the ridicule those who've come forward endure. She says the witnesses aren't trying to find fame or fortune but rather they just saw something and want to know what it is.
KDFW FOX 4
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