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The Ghost lights of Marfa

The Ghost lights of Marfa

The ghost lights of Marfa are still just as strange and mysterious as they were when they were first seen 126 years ago by the early settlers and the cowboys who drove their cattle herds into the Marfa area in 1883.

When Robert Ellison came to Marfa in 1883 to drop off some of his cattle before driving more of the herd further on west, he never expected anything out of the ordinary was going to happen. On his second night camping just outside of Paisano Pass, he saw some odd looking lights off in the distance. Ellison ‘s first thought was that these lights could be the signal fires from a roving band of Apache warriors, and decided to investigate. Ellison saddled up and rode all over the countryside looking for the source of the mysterious lights. He found no Apaches, no fires, and no explanation for the lights. Many of the other settlers in the area told him that they had also seen the lights on many occasions and they too had never been able to identify their source.

The strange, unexplainable became known as the Marfa Lights because they always show up near the small town of Marfa, Texas. The town of Marfa has been a little ranching community that sits on the Chihuahuan desert plateau area of west Texas. Due to the now famous Marfa Lights, this small community that is surrounded by beautiful mountains now can add tourism to the list as a means of local community income.

Anyone who has seen the Marfa Lights says they range from 1 foot to 10 feet in size. They look like balls of reddish-orange light and have been reported with the ability to vary their size and move at very high speeds. There are plenty of documented photographs and video footage that show these unexplained lights in action. There has never been a report of the Marfa Lights ever causing harm to anyone and there is a tale of these lights having helped save a man who got lost in a blizzard by keeping him warm and guiding him safely to his home.

The Marfa lights have appeared in various ways to folks.  Sometimes splitting into multiple colored balls, or appearing to jump up and down. Anyone who has seen the lights will say that they will glow as gently as a candle or be as bright as a megawatt flood light. They have been observed to blink off and on like Christmas tree lights and have been known to follow people on occasion. There has never been a daytime sighting of the Marfa lights–which would seem to make it purely nighttime phenomenon.

There have been countless attempts by various scientists to explain this strange phenomenon, all to no avail.  This is partly due to the fact that surround terrain is extremely treacherous and that the land is where these lights seem to dwell is private property.  Over the years the ranch owners have become quite reluctant to allow anymore people on their property and getting permission has become a bit more difficult due to the high amount of people requesting access.

What are these strange and mysterious lights? Where do they come from and where do they go?