December 22, 2010

Ghost Lights vs Science?

It may seem like science is pitted against the mystery of those Marfa Lights of southwest Texas, but in truth scientific investigations are making progress in unraveling the mystery, notwithstanding one hypothesis that makes the result appear to be science fiction.

James Bunnell is a scientist, with years of experience investigating the mysterious flying lights. He has written books on the subject, the most recent one being Hunting Marfa Lights. A quote from that book seems in order here, regarding the question, "Do mirages explain all MLs?" (ML means Mystery Light.)

"It is fair to conclude that night mirages are a likely source of many ML reports given the frequency of nighttime temperature inversions in Mitchell Flat. We must consider the question of whether or not night mirages are a possible explanation for all mysterious and otherwise unexplained light encounters. I submit that the correct answer to that question is no . . ."
Bunnell then lists six reasons why mirages cannot account for all ML. One of those reasons relates to a sighting on February 19, 2003, and that light display deserves attention. From page 166 of the book:
"It is difficult to imagine any light source that would account for the combustion-like images captured in Figures 30 through 32 . . . like strings of small explosions or eruptions . . . [The ML] was moving at a pretty good clip and traveled for many miles while I was photographing it. . . . vehicle lights do not look like a string of small explosions."
So if scientific investigations, by scientists like James Bunnell, have made progress in unraveling the mystery of these mystery lights, where is the apparent science fiction? The scientific explanations like "earth lights" and "atmospheric conditions" fail to address the apparent intelligence of the flights of some of those lights, and the one explanation that fits is strange: nocturnal bioluminescent flying creatures like the ropen of Papua New Guinea, and that creature is said to be a giant Rhamphorhynchoid pterosaur (a long-tailed "pterodactyl," AKA "flying dinosaur").

1 comment:

  1. Agreed John; when Herb Stine and I went there back in 2005, what we saw was obviously car headlights, as incredible and strange as they were. It really was a sight to see! The temperature gradient across the desert gave the lights the appearance of moving at incredible speed, which they were not. They also looked deceptively close - when in fact they were literally 20 miles away. And as we discovered, the highway was built on the old railbed - which would explain testimonies of seeing strange lights from before the time of cars.
    That deals with what *we* saw.

    That does not, however, explain some of the eye witness testimonies we heard of some of the lights which were radically different than the generic "Marfa lights" that you so typically see, which are the car headlights 20 miles away being distorted by an air temperature lens.


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