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Marfa Lights

  1. Apr 17, 2003 #1
    I have heard tales of the Marfa Lights and seen them on TV but never experienced them in person. Has anyone here had the experience? In case no one has even heard of them, the Marfa Lights are a phenomenon outside of Marfa, Texas where shortly after dusk bright lights appear at ground level. Some blink on and off for a while, others sit still and all eventually go out. I believe research has been done to find the source (gas, "tectonic sparks", etc.) but none has been found yet. Any ideas besides the "Lost Dutchman"?
  2. jcsd
  3. Apr 20, 2003 #2
    at ground level? do u mean in the distance? like near the horizon?
  4. Apr 20, 2003 #3
    Not quite the horizon but not close enough to see anything from what I understand. A few shows I've watched showed that people were stationed at different intervals towards the light direction and when the lights appeared those folks saw nothing. I lean towards something atmospheric, but then again, what do I know?
  5. Apr 20, 2003 #4


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    Are there any pictures or something of what they look like?
  6. Apr 20, 2003 #5
    You can probably find them using any ol' search engine but to me they resembled an airliner's headlamp from far away.
  7. Apr 20, 2003 #6


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    Maybe thats what they were?
  8. Apr 21, 2003 #7
    that wasnt to hard to find
  9. Nov 23, 2003 #8
    Grew up near Marfa and saw the lights many times. Came to this site for a completely different reason but these lights have been an ongoing obsession of mine for many years. Every time I have them out of my mind something brings them back up.

    A remote observation camera capable of a fair spectrum detail is probably the best step to tracking the source down. There are fantastic thermal inversions near the ground like I have never seen before. There are also extinct volcanic vents all over that area. It is sesmicaly active and there is plate sublimation as well as two separate plate motions.

    Atmosphere can probably account for much of the sightings, but not all. That brings me to question the accounts that can not be explained by atmospheric conditions. I've got first hand accounts of some incredible stories that certainly raise my BS detector. Now I should not call a specific preacher a liar or a well respected mayor a yarn weaver, but they gave me stories that are nothing short of fantastic.

    All of what I have experienced personally with the Marfa lights can not be explained by any known atmospheric condition.

    I am very capable of placing such a remote observation camera in the desert. Solar power is not an issue. Getting a satellite link to the Internet is only an issue of working out the installation details with Hughes. I would like to place the remote observation system within a gated ranch area N, NE of Marfa or on the range just S of Alpine. Redneck bullet holes don't mix nice with electronics.

    From my first attempt of building a remote spectographic camera system 6 years ago, much has changed. Off the shelf components, software and good bandwidth communications are available for the complete system.

    Last time I investigated the lights, Hale Bopp was in the evening sky. I scanned the radio spectrum from 20KHz to 26GHz and only managed to find the unlisted frequencies of the Boarder Patrol radar balloon and ground sensors. I did see what appeared to be spectral line splitting on one light source with my 8" telescope/spectroscope. That is why I would go at these guys optically. Instantly know if you are looking at street lights, car lights or something unique.

    One simple and interesting experiment was a retroreflector set two miles down the road and a simple HeNe laser. The thermal inversion twisted that laser light all over the place. Even the yard lights from the nearby ranch houses were obviously distorting, and through the telescope revealed a very unsettled atmosphere near ground level.

    I live far away from there now but a few relatives could be lined out for battery and system checks. I only question is this something anybody really gives a damn about besides myself and is it worthwhile to upset the locals with a little science and maybe a solution to some of the mystery?
  10. Nov 25, 2003 #9

    Ivan Seeking

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    Here is more from the PF Earth Sciences forum:

    Since this is a duplicate topic, and since this conversation is science oriented and not claims based, I will closed this thread and refer you to the thread above. Again, I am only closing this here due to the duplication of the topic and the credibility of the phenomenon. :smile:
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