around town, Marfa Some Theories on the Marfa Lights West Texas Weekly February 25, 2009 ← Backwoods Home Magazine Your Editor Gets a Little Exposure → 21 thoughts on “Some Theories on the Marfa Lights” George February 18, 2009 at 10:18 am Headlights: shmaybe-not? I’ve never seen the real Marfa lights but there are so many witnesses, I’m sure they’re real. Most people that visit probably think they are headlights, because you can clearly see headlights coming up 67 from the “viewing area”, like #18 says. But they’re just seeing headlights. According to the Lujan bros (all 3 of whom were in town last weekend!), when they were passing Valentine at about 2 am they saw them. They pulled over and the lights started out in the distance just above the horizon and were green and orange orbs. They moved around and came closer, and just as they were getting fairly close and moving towards the road, the orange merged with car headlights just as an SUV started to become visible up the road. The car passed them, then the green lights did almost exactly the same thing with a train coming the opposite direction (there were green lights on the track or something). Months earlier a green orb chased Los’s car in almost the same spot. The fact that they chase lights and seem to follow the contour of the earth — too bad I know nothing about electromagnetism or maybe I could make it all make sense. admin February 18, 2009 at 1:57 pm Yeah… someone used the term ‘burrowing’? Pockets of cool and warm air can refract/reflect light… The problem is that people were seeing them BEFORE there were automobiles! Strange, huh. Dr J.P. Schwartz February 18, 2009 at 9:01 pm I have my own postulations that could eventually form into a testable hypothesis and eventually a theory. It is a little tedious, but I’ll try to present it in a step by step way, as just a possibility. Certain minerals can store electical charges, and hold them just like a bucket. This is called capacitance. Some new types of batteries for electric cars do this to be almost “instantly charged” or like old fashioned strobe flashes for cameras back in the 70’s and 80’s. Now other minerals have a different effect on electical current. They allow current to flow when they are slightly bent or vibrate. The crystals in a microphone do this. It is called the piezoelectric effect. Sound causes the crystals to bend and the electricity flows thru. The louder the sound, the more bending, the more electicity flows through. Whatever forces there are, store charge in the earth for whatever time it takes, then hold that charge in storage. Then either the ground cools (like at twilight or early evening) or there even could be ever so slight seismic activity (the same heat that warms Chinati springs)in the area that distorts the rock structure in the ground above the rock containing the stored charge and allows that current to discharge into the atmosphere. This is only a rough working hypothesis, but it could account for the ground hugging characteristics of the energy of the lights. At times they almost have a plasma type quality, and that is why I invoke the idea of a large stored charge. It would be released in a large amount all at once causing ionization of gases in the air. It also would not require a + and – pole to travel between as lightning does. Please someone take this and run with it, because I will never in my lifetime be able to further refine or test this idea. I am more familiar with principles of electronics, and have seen similar effects using electical components that produce glows that resemble the Marfa lights… In short, there’s no way in Hell it could be refelctions of headlights or any other lights. If so, you would see this effect on every surface on earth, and you don’t. The answer what ever it is, will be highly unconventional, and may even border on the fringes of particle physics theory. All ideas must be considered until an explaination can be tested. Then after that, someone can do something easy like explain the origion and behavior of gravity in every aspect and all of it’s forces… admin February 19, 2009 at 2:53 am I disagree a tiny bit… for instance, you only see mirages on open sea or in the desert. This is for reasons of temperature gradient and being able to see a far distance… some unique combination of heat and cold could be responsible. I do agree that it is unlikely they are headlights though. Venus distorted larger perhaps? Dr J.P. Schwartz February 19, 2009 at 9:35 pm 1. Have you seen the Marfa lights themselves? I have many many times over the past several years. It is simply not an mirroring or similar optic phenomena. Mirages are DAYTIME ONLY PHENOMENA. Totally dependent upon heat distorting cooler air causing a reflection of the sky immediately above. The lights have a definite incandescence. Mirages do not. They wax and wane over long periods of time. The Marfa lights merge, split, wink out and reform, sometimes in multiple places, independently of each other and also simoultaneously. They also can move in contrary directions. Mirages only move in one direction, based upon the motion of the observer. Mirages persist until either the air changes or position of the observer changes. The Marfa lights do not. Rather, they move independently of the observer. Also mirages are highly weather and environmentally sensitive. The Marfa lights are not. They can appear when the atmosphere is clear, dusty or even wet or damp. Go out and view them. Seeing is believing. Since they are BRIGHTER than Venus and objects in the heavens, they cannot be reflections, which are never brighter than their orgional sources. Car headlights are constant in brightness, and do not have a quality that I can only describe as “flaring” which the Marfa lights have. Personally I just enjoy them for the wonder they are, just letting us all know we are not as smart as we would like to think we are! Dr J.P. Schwartz February 19, 2009 at 9:49 pm I forgot. Mirages can happen on any highway or surface or anywhere where there is a temperature gradient. Not just on oceans or in deserts. I regularly viewed mirages resembling large pools of water on the road in East Texas while driving on roads running through forests during spring and summer months whenever it wasn’t raining. (which is rare in East Texas!) They would disappear as the distance between the car and the mirage decreased. And guess what? No Marfa lights there! admin February 19, 2009 at 10:14 pm Well, the horizon is generally not visible there in East Texas… also humidity and ambient light lowers visibility of anything. A mirage is a reflection of the sun’s light… I am thinking that the lights (which I have seen) are maybe reflections of Venus or another bright celestial body. Again, I am not certain about this… it is total conjecture. The sun looks distorted through a mirage, that distortion could resemble twinning, reflection, etc. Frankly, they did not look like a mirage… It’s difficult to describe them. I appreciate your theory though and would like to hear more about it. admin February 26, 2009 at 12:36 pm I’m going to make my final guess. They are aliens from the planet Neptune who want some authentic West Texas tacos! Seth S. February 28, 2009 at 1:35 pm Those look like the headlights of cars coming from Presidio on Hwy 67. The real Marfa lights are not constantly in line with each other (like their driving on a road) and also do insane things like loops and such. I think…. admin February 28, 2009 at 1:42 pm I agree completely. Visitors aren’t used to the distance you can see out here in West Texas, so the distortion of a car headlight at five or six miles looks strange to them. Ring Huggins March 1, 2009 at 9:26 pm Hello Campers, Back in ’65 Foster Cox of Sanderson and I did a little test. We were Sul Ross students in those days. Foster parked up on the Presidio highway and I parked out on one of the old runways at the old airbase. The airbase or what’s left of it is not far from the current viewing site. Foster and I had CB radios ( we built them ourselves in those days)and communicated as I saw the lights sometimes as many as seven of them at one time. Foster reported to me that there were no cars on the highway coming over the pass! So forget that theory. We were out there for hours. Ring in Terlingua admin March 1, 2009 at 9:28 pm Well… that’s interesting. It rules out some common theories. rufustflirefly February 12, 2010 at 9:43 am Can the lights be seen from the other side of the viewing area, say from the highway? BigBeast February 12, 2010 at 10:37 am Man ITS ALIENS TAKING BONGHITS! THEY HAVE SPACE LIGHTERS THAT LOOK LIKE lights as they rip off awesome bonghist of crystallized space weed. BarMChopper July 30, 2010 at 5:18 pm What people who are not familiar with the west, and the desert in particular, don’t understand is distance. When you see the lights at night, they appear to be following the contour of a mountain range a few miles away, generally drifting from left to right as you face south/southwest. And yes, at first it would be easy to think you’re looking at car headlights coming down a mountain pass (if you ever watched cars coming across Trans Mountain Highway from west to east El Paso at night you’ll know exactly what I mean). However, if you go out to the viewing sight in the daylight, especially on a hot, clear day, you se that the nearest mountain range is 40 or 50 miles away, at least. And yes, Highway 67 bisects the desert between Highway 90 east where the viewing area is located and the apparent location of the lights, but simple observation– never mind a little triangulation and mathematical calculation –will relieve you of any notions cars on Highway 67 are responsible for the lights. Not unless they can fly, split like cells, multiply instantly, vanish instantly, do loop-de-loops, and change colors at a wink. There are plenty of theories out there, some of them unbelievably stupid, some of them untested but worth considering, but the fact remains that neither NASA, meteorologists, laymen, the military, nor anyone else with respectable credentials has ever been able to come up with the answer. And by the way, for all of you wannabe physicists and debunkers, if this is a phenomenon, natural or nor otherwise, it should be occurring elsewhere in the world, not just here. Why isn’t it? fireice October 1, 2010 at 9:32 am that is odd right? Anonymous October 1, 2010 at 9:40 am odd right fireice October 1, 2010 at 9:42 am :b fireice October 1, 2010 at 10:51 am They might be UFOs Voni October 6, 2010 at 10:24 pm You never know . . . Troy October 10, 2010 at 10:22 am I’ve drove truck over the road in the area for many years,and have seen them several times in those years at different times.I will tell you they are most certainly the reflections of traffic headlights.This is simply another example of planting a seed of hysteria in a portion of the populations head.The first few times you see it you get caught up in it’s mystery but after time and time again the mystery wears off and you start to think for yourself rather than believing all of the hype that surrounds it.In the video above they say one just popped off and then oh now it just popped back on when you can clearly see it was a vehicle turning and heading in a different direction than it was traveling.As you can tell by the back round noise of traffic this area is well traveled.By the way there were never any reports of strange lights in the area in the horse and buggy days before automobiles and this isn’t the only place on the planet were this happens.Sorry to you believers out there,but it is what it is.