Stephenville Texas UFO Sightings Myths and Facts

Residents of Stephenville, Texas were astounded when they saw bright lights hovering about their town on an otherwise quiet January evening. Multiple people, as well as a county constable witnessed the event, some even recording it with camcorders. This was enough to rapidly bring local and national media attention to the sleepy little town to document and report on the phenomenon.

After the onslaught of news reports and public release of videotaped evidence of the supposed UFO, the U.S. military claimed that the sightings were in fact military aircraft. Major Karl Lewis, a spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing at the Naval Air Station – Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base said in a news release that an “error was made regarding the reported training activity of military aircraft” and that “10 F-16s from the 457th Fighter Squadron were performing training operations in the Brownwood Military Operating Area.” Lewis had previously said that there were no F-16s or other aircraft from the base in the area the night in which the sightings were reported.

The controversy was deepened by the original denial of this military maneuver in the area, leaving many to wonder why Naval Air Station officials had initially failed to disclose this information. The first response from the major at the air base suggested the incident might have been an illusion caused by the sunset and commercial jetliners. Dozens of townspeople disagreed with this assessment. According to eyewitnesses and reports, the alleged UFO had very bright lights, moved at impressive speeds, and flew noiselessly through the sky.

UFO theorists automatically point to a cover-up. If what the military says is true, then this was either a case of mistaken identity, or the U.S. military possesses a craft or crafts with advanced technical capabilities unseen before by the general public. One very credible witness, a medical helicopter pilot, was flying that evening and also witnessed the phenomenon. The former military pilot thought it looked like the aircraft were dropping flares. This doesn’t explain the additional lights witnessed by spectators, or the aircraft’s speed and lack of any discernable jet engine noise.

In another strange twist to the story, Angelia Joiner, the local newspaper reporter who wrote the original stories about the UFO sightings, left her job at the Empire-Tribune as a result of her involvement with the case. Management at the paper asked her to back off of the story, either because of public pressure, or the embarrassment of local officials. As a result of the situation, Joiner offered her two week notice of resignation, and was immediately asked to leave the newspaper.

Joiner and many others in this small Texas town remain changed by the events which occurred there; whether they were secret military tests, normal aerial maneuvers, or a truly unexplainable phenomenon. The truth regarding what people saw that evening in Stephenville may never be known. For the time being, this is just another case in the ongoing saga of UFO related sightings for which no definite explanation can be given.