Mysteries unresolved: The Marfa Lights

24th January 2018 // By Dhyan Praveshika Team // HomeArticles

Discovered in the late 19th Century, in Texas, Marfa Lights are yellow orbs seen floating over the high- dessert grounds near the Chinati Mountains. Since these orbs are seen in the vicinity of the region of Marfa (14 km East), they are called The Marfa Lights. Most often they are also described as twinkly, yellowish-white lights that glow, fade, disappear and reappear at a different place and most often look like lit basketballs floating above the ground. Witnesses have said that the ball of light also often changes colour and at times, spilts apart to make two different orbs. However, there have been reports which state that on moving closer to the site, the lights tend to disappear.
Marfa a small town, in Texas, was only found in the 1880’s, as a water stop andin WWII it become a training hub for the Marfa Army Airfield. It is this private land where the sighting appears. WWII pilots havealso reported seeing these lights. The lights have been spoke off by a few visitors in the 1880’s, however, the first written record is only from 1945. Since then The Marfa Lights have become a tourist attraction. The most important question is, why and how do these lights appear? A number of speculations have been made, some of them being extremely bizzare. Some of the earlier speculations include- the ghost of Apache Chief Alaste haunts the area, it’s the aliens trying to contact us and some others speculate that these lights are from a flashlight tied to jackrabbits. Surprisingly, no jackrabbits with flashlight have been found in the region! Some of the later and more scientific speculations suggest that the lights appear due to refraction of light that occurs due to the presence of layers of air of different temperatures. This is known as Fata Morgana; basically, a mirage.
A comparatively recent study carried out in 2011, formulated a conclusion suggesting that these were only car headlights on the U.S 67, that appeared warped, as the cars travelled 32km of flatland. However, as mentioned earlier, some of them saw the lights in early 1880’s, when automobiles were not driven in the region. Nevertheless, due to a lack of written records from the time, these claims cannot be supported. Local historian Lonn Taylor, says, “Most people who think they are seeing The Marfa Lights are undoubtedly looking at automobile headlights or ranch lights, but it is clear that there were other lights out there before there were either automobiles or electricity, and they are still out there." No research has been able to come to a clear conclusion, so The Marfa Lights could be an optical illusion, a mirage or could just be headlights! It is this mysterious element that makes the sighting all the more attractive.

Dhyan Praveshika Team