Mike Conley's Tales of the Weird: More on the Texas UFOs
UFO By Mike Conley


Wednesday, January 30, 2008- A couple of weeks ago, this column took a look at the strange UFO sightings in Stephenville, Texas. At first, a military spokesman said that the weird objects in the sky people in Stephenville were seeing could just be an optical illusion. He added that no fighter jets were in the area on Tuesday, Jan. 8, when most of the sightings occurred.

Now, it seems the military is telling a different story.

Earlier this month, folks in Stephenville reported seeing a massive silent object with bright lights flying low and fast in the sky. Many of the sightings happened on the night of Tuesday, Jan. 8, according to the story by the Associated Press.

One person who reported seeing the UFO was Steve Allen, a freight company owner and pilot in Stephenville. He said the object he saw was a mile long and half a mile wide. "It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts," he said in the AP story.

Others reported that the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those on an airplane. Several reported seeing at least two fighter jets chasing the UFO.

A spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing at the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth at first said what these people were seeing could have been an illusion caused by two commercial airplanes. He also said no F-16s or other aircraft were in that area the night of Tuesday, Jan. 8.

But last week, Air Force Reserve officials backtracked from their earlier statements and said fighter jets were training nearby after all that night.

Meanwhile, members of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) traveled to Stephenville to look into the situation. MUFON is a non-profit organization dedicated to the scientific study of UFOs. It has chapters all over the United States, including North Carolina.

The director of the Texas chapter of MUFON took more than 50 reports from folks in Stephenville. He said the Air Force Reserve's latest statement supports the theory that there was indeed some strange activity in that area.

"I find it curious that it took them two weeks to fess up," said Kenneth Cherry, director of the Texas MUFON chapter. "I think they're feeling the heat from the publicity."

Officials at the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth first said none of their planes had been in the area. But later they said 10 F-16s were there that day. The officials stated they were mistaken and wanted to set the record straight "in the interest of public awareness," according to the AP story.

Maj. Karl Lewis, a spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing, declined to comment further on the sightings.

But folks in Stephenville said they know what military aircraft looks like and what they saw on Jan. 8 was completely different.

"I couldn't begin to say what it was, but to me it wasn't planes," said Anne Frazor, who owns a fabric store in the city.

Since the sightings were first reported, residents of Stephenville have been making the most of the phenomenon. Some high school students created T-shirts depicting a flying saucer and the slogan "Stephenville: the new Roswell." Several stores put up messages on their marquees, including one that says "Aliens welcome," according to the AP story.

Members of the Mutual UFO Network simply want the government to quit making evasive statements and talk straight to the American public.

"What we want is the government to admit there are UFOs and what they know about them," Cherry said to the AP.

Contact Mike Conley at 652-3313, ext. 3422 or e-mail nconley@mcdowellnews.com.

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