Sunday, December 6, 2009

Day 32 – Marfa, TX –On Our Way Home

Miles Traveled Today 146 – Total Miles To Date 2083

We departed Big Bend this morning and are now headed home. We are spending the night in Marfa, Texas at the Apache Pines RV Park. It is the a small RV Park along side the highway but it does have full hookups and cable TV.

The town of Marfa is best known for its “Mystery Lights”.

The Marfa Lights are reported to be from 1-10 feet in diameter. They are spherical and reddish-orange in color. They have been observed to vary their size and fly at high speeds. Numerous photographs and video footage have captured these lights in action. Marfa Lights are generally considered harmless. They are even rumored to have helped a lost man during a blizzard by providing warmth and guiding him home.

The ghost lights appear in many different ways to different people. Some swear they have seen them divide to form separate balls of light. Others claim that they have seen them move up and down. All agree that they glow as softly as a star at times, then brighten to the intensity of a stoplight. Sometimes they pop off and on. As they fade they seem to be receding. There are verifiable accounts of people being pursued by the lights.

Scientists have made numerous attempts to put the mystery to rest. In 1947, Fritz Kahl, a local war veteran and pilot, chased the Lights in an airplane, but came up empty. In 1975, Kahl made another attempt, this time with a team that included observers in Jeeps and planes. The "Marfa Ghost Light Hunt," as it was called, featured "more than a hundred carloads of observers gathered between the two observation points, one at Paisano Pass and the other at the entrance to the old Presidio County Airport," according to the Sul Ross "Skyline" newspaper. The searchers, "utilizing aircraft, survey instruments, multi-band radio equipment and about a half-dozen search teams," were no more successful than Kahl had been in his solo search of '47, and the legend grew.

Some believe that the lights are nothing more than high-powered lights from area ranches or the reflected headlights from nearby cars and trucks, but that doesn't explain why the Lights have been reported since before electricity or vehicles ever reached the Big Bend area. Nor does it explain why there have been reports of observers hearing a high-pitched, "tuning fork" noise in only one ear while watching the Lights.

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