On the evening of January 8, 2008, dozens of people observed a mysterious phenomenon in the skies above the small farming community of Stephenville, Texas. Eyewitnesses throughout the town and its suburbs saw impossibly bright lights of red, yellow, blue, and brilliant white that glowed, danced and flashed before rocketing away at incredible speeds. The lights spanned huge distances, and they seemed to originate from a curiously low altitude for an aircraft. The entire event was eerily silent. A few recall observing military jets resembling F-16s trailing after them, into the darkness.
Two days later, after the Stephenville Empire-Tribune ran a front page story with the headline “Possible UFO sighting”, the otherworldly lightshow was the talk of the town. Reporter Angelia Joiner spoke with four area residents who witnessed something supremely odd while taking in a tranquil sunset over suburban Selden. As dusk closed in, the friends were startled to notice an array of intensely bright flashing lights in the distance, several thousand feet in the air. Steve Allen, a seasoned pilot, offers a detailed account of the events:
“The ship wasn’t really visible and was totally silent, but the lights spanned about a mile long and a half mile wide”. The lights went from corner to corner. It was directly above Highway 67 traveling towards Stephenville at a high rate of speed ” about 3,000 miles per hour is what I would estimate.”
As they stared on in disbelief, the lights suddenly shifted configuration from one long horizontal row to two vertical groups. “Then they turned into dirty burning flames,” Allen continues. “The flames were not blue. They were white in color. About two seconds later it disappeared completely.”
As the friends puzzled over what they had just seen, the lights reappeared ten minutes later moving across the sky to the east, this time pursued by a pair of military jets. Bewildered by the incident, they got in touch with the town paper to share their story. Before long, other Stephenville area residents began to come forward with their own reports of inexplicable lights in the sky that same evening. Joiner followed up the next day with an article titled “Mysterious sightings keep locals guessing”, quoting four additional eyewitnesses including a county constable and an ex-Air Force serviceman.
Alongside striking similarities in their descriptions of extremely fast-moving, intensely bright lights, the humbled observers share a sense that whatever was behind this luminous phenomenon defies simple explanations.
“It was like nothing I’ve ever seen before,” says Dublin Constable Lee Roy Gaitan. “It started moving towards Stephenville and moving so fast I had trouble following it with my binoculars. It covered a big area.”