Friday, July 18, 2008
On January 8, 2008 in Stephenville, Texas, one of the larger UFO sightings in the United States occurred. A few days ago the UFO investigative organization Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) released a 77-page report on the sighting. MUFON is a UFO investigative organization in the United States. Founded in 1969, it now has 3,000 members and is headquartered in Fort Collins, Colorado.
The MUFON report, entitled “Special Research Report Stephenville, Texas” was written by Glen Schulze and Ropert Powell. Shulze has radar experience from working at the White Sands Missile Range. Powell has a chemistry degree and has extensive experience with semiconductors from working for Advanced Micro Devices.
The report is an analysis of radar records from the Federal Aviation Administration and the National Weather Service, obtained through several Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests, and comparing them to witness accounts.
Shulze/Powell concluded that the radar data confirms the witness observations of an object, as well as the Air Force’s statement that said ten aircraft were operating in the area. They say that it is too difficult to say what the witnesses saw, but that there was something there. Twice, they say, radar picked up an object travelling at nearly 2,000 mph, and at other times it showed a slow moving object.
Much media attention has been focused on the report’s observation that radar records show one of two objects moving directly toward the Prairie Chapel Ranch in Crawford. This is the home of United States President George W. Bush, which has been nicknamed the Western White House. They did not draw any conclusion as to why such movement was observed.
The authors also concluded that military air activity was heavy at the time, but that the radar records show no overt action toward the unknown object. They express concern about the possibilty that this could have been a terrorist aircraft with no transponder.
Shulze/Powell stated that they felt that they had been stonewalled in some of their FOIA requests by some government agencies. They encouraged the government to more readily provide more information about the incident.
The Stephenville incident on January 8, saw dozens of witnesses reporting a large object in the evening sky that hovered above the community before it took off at high speed. Steve Allen, a pilot, observed the object from the ground and described it as being a half-mile with flashing strobe lights. He also said that it was pursued by two fighter jets, when it disappeared at a speed he estimated to be 3,000 mph.
“I don’t know if it was a biblical experience or somebody from a different universe or whatever but it was definitely not from around these parts,” Allen said.
Another witness was local law enforcement officer Leroy Gateman who reported it as a red glowing object suspended 3,000 feet in the air. “It was so fast I couldn’t track it with my binoculars,” said Gateman.
Rick Sorrells says he saw the object while deer hunting in the woods. “You look at the trees, and it was right here,” he told ABC News. He estimated it to be the length of “three or four football fields,” though he could not be entirely sure due to his vantage point.
Sorrells has later claimed that military helicopters have since overflown his property at low altitude and that he has been getting strange phone calls. He also claims that an unknown man came to his door, even once told him that,”Son we have the same caliber weapons you have, but we have more of them.”, after Sorrells grabbed his rifle, and, “You need to shut your mouth about what you saw.”
“I’m trying to decide whether or not to open the door,” Sorrells said to the Empire-Tribune. “We’re just standing there face to face looking at each other. I’m thinking he’s dressed for the elements and the dogs are raising such a ruckus he must know he’s in danger of being caught. That’s when I realized he wanted me to see him.” The man then turned away and walked into the woods.
The United States Air Force initially said witnesses must have seen reflections coming from commercial airliners. However, they later clarified that ten F-16 Fighting Falcons had been on a night-time training mission in the area on January 8.
“In the interest of public awareness, Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs realized an error was made regarding the reported training activity of military aircraft,” said the statement.
According to Air Force spokesperson Karl Lewis, the aircraft were from the 457th Fighter Squadron and the error in the initial report was due to an internal communications problem between offices at the base.