It’s not difficult to find the basic information on the recent Texas UFO sightings in Stephenville. NPR, Fox News, etc.–it’s being reported and covered in the mainstream news media. But aside from a couple theories (superior mirage, military flares) thrown out by commentators who have not actually observed the UFO, there’s not a lot of insight within these forums.
In mainstream and news accounts, I’ve heard and read this sighting compared to the Gulf Breeze sightings, Phoenix Lights, and even the Billy Meier craft. Yes, those are UFO sightings, and to a general audience, perhaps it’s fine to group them all together. But to get a real sense of what may be going on, it’s wise to look past smarmy, smirking news anchors to people who have been studying and involved in the UFO realm for years. Below are a few sources for those interested in delving beyond the surface.
Stanton Friedman and James Fox on Larry King Live
Last Friday, on January 18, ufologist Stanton Friedman and researcher-filmmaker James Fox talk with Larry King, astronomer/skeptic James McGaha, and Stephenville UFO witnesses. The transcript is available here, and the video is available (in four parts) at Youtube.
At UFO Mystic, Nick Redfern links to a post at Stuart Miller’s website. Miller is a longtime UFO writer, and currently is the editor of the smart Alien Worlds Magazine. In his post about the Stephenville sightings, he compares them to the Phoenix Lights of 1997, and writes,
“I don’t believe that what floated around over the capital of Arizona on that evening of March 13th in 1997 was an extraterrestrial craft. I think the event was deliberately staged to reinvigorate the UFO story for intelligence purposes. I think it was a brilliantly acted out performance that involved a deliberate confusion of sightings and a conflict involving flares. The actual object seen was some sort of dirigible, possibly some sort of lifter, or maybe even something especially rigged up for the occasion.”
“In my estimation, we’re just being dragged over the coals again, played and poked with by the theatrical department of AFOSI in their “genuine” pursuit of the psychological examination of the propagation of myth and rumour, and their ability to manipulate it and us via modern media outlets i.e. the Internet and the Press.”
Miller seems here to be expressing a sentiment I have likewise found within other insider commentaries. There’s a sense of exasperation.
Lesley at The Debris Field
For some commentary on McGaha’s appearance on Larry King Live, check out UFO writer Lesley’s post at The Debris Field about the show. She writes. “The only thing that kept me from totally enjoying it was James MaGaha. Why do they bring this person on? His claims to know what other people saw totally baffles me, they are more esoteric than any UFO sighting…The sheer nerve of MaGaha is what really bothers me. He wasn’t there, he didn’t see what they saw and yet has the nerve to tell them that they saw something that doesn’t in the least resemble what they have been describing.” I agree.
She also writes in another post, “I have yet to figure out why certain UFO events cause such a media frenzy and others don’t. There are plenty of sightings each year that are witnessed by numerous people and they don’t get the attention the Texas one is.” I have to agree that it does seem random. So many similar sightings go completely unreported in the mainstream news. Of course, in reading Miller’s ideas, there may seemingly be somewhat of an explanation in it.
In addition to Lesley’s own ideas about the sightings, The Debris Field is also a great place to get the latest news on the Stephenville sightings (and other UFO info) from all over the web.
Other links of note
On the UFO Report Show, UFO Casebook proprietor and UFO About.com guide Billy Booth is interviewed by Sam Willey about the Stephenville sightings.
It seems that with the Stephenville sightings, the skeptic argument in general is great fodder for commentary by UFO writers. In a new article at UFO Digest, Are You Qualified? Regan Lee shares her views on James McGaha’s appearance on Larry King, and questions the skeptic “logic” in general.
UFO Digest, Regan Lee, Are you Qualified? http://www.ufodigest.com/news/0108/areyouqualified.html
Lesley,The Debris Field, http://thedebrisfield.blogspot.com/
BJ Booth Interviewed, http://www.ufocasebook.com/2008/stephenvilleshow.html
UFO Mystic, Nick Redfern, http://www.ufomystic.com/the-redfern-files/miller-on-the-tx-ufo/