04:53 AM CDT on Monday, May 19, 2008
By TAWNELL D. HOBBS / The Dallas Morning News
Whether a UFO visited two Central Texas towns will remain a mystery – at least for now.
"All the video that we've analyzed hasn't provided substantial proof," Ken Cherry, Texas state director of the Mutual UFO Network, said Sunday. "Without definite evidence, we're left with the word of our witnesses."
The Erath County towns of Stephenville and Dublin were thrust into the national spotlight in January after dozens of people – including a pilot and business owners – said they saw a large, silent object with bright lights flying low on Jan. 8. Two military jets were in hot pursuit, the witnesses said.
Mr. Cherry and the UFO network's chief investigator, Steve Hudgeons, delivered their findings at an Irving public library. Mr. Cherry said the case is at a standstill unless someone produces better evidence.
Several dozen people who attended the meeting Sunday are convinced that Texas was visited by something not from this world.
"I think that 200 people didn't make something up," said Dallas resident Jackie Schroller, a new member of the network, which has chapters all over the U.S.
The investigation looked at various pieces of evidence, including a cellphone video that was too dark to be conclusive. Mr. Hudgeons said most of what witnesses saw could be explained, such as a light display being caused by an unsteady camera focused on a bright star.
Mr. Cherry said the findings "will not satisfy the believers or the debunkers."
Some at the meeting said they believe the U.S. government wants to keep secret about what was in the sky.
The military initially denied having any planes in the area on Jan. 8. About two weeks later, it said some F-16 fighters had been flying near Stephenville that night.
The flip-flop was blamed on "an internal communications error."
Mr. Cherry said the witnesses are very credible and difficult to ignore. He said three police officers, who do not want to come forward publicly, also reported seeing light patterns in the sky.
"One was close enough to it to use his radar gun to track the thing," he said. "It moved away at 27 miles per hour and then vanished."
source & references:
Archived UFO Articles and News Items, 2008
UFO Casebook Home Page