Naked Eye Accounts

Chinati Peak to the right. Cienega Peak to the left. What I don't understand about this picture is that the topographical map (MapQuest) shows Highway 67 cutting between the two peaks nearly at the mid-way point. The 2-3 lights near Cienega are in the wrong place to be on Highway 67...I think. The two lights under Chinati are cars on the Highway? The ones to the left of Chinega are in the position of the roadway as it crosses between the mountains? The dot near the ground just to the west of Cienega Peak is claimed to be the Radio Tower?



Texas Historical Society: They move about, split apart, melt together, disappear, and reappear. Presidio County residents have watched the lights for over a hundred years. The first historical record of them recalls that in 1883 a young cowhand, Robert Reed Ellison, saw a flickering light while he was driving cattle through Paisano Pass and wondered if it was the campfire of Apache Indians. He was told by other settlers that they often saw the lights, but when they investigated they found no ashes or other evidence of a campsite. Joe and Sally Humphreys, also early settlers, reported their first sighting of the lights in 1885. Cowboys herding cattle on the prairies noticed the lights and in the summer of 1919 rode over the mountains looking for the source, but found nothing. World War Iqv observers feared that the lights were intended to guide an invasion. During World War IIqv pilots training at the nearby Midland Army Air Fieldqv outside Marfa looked for the source of the elusive lights from the air, again with no success. She cites the following sources: (Item 5) Dallas Morning News, July 4, 1982. Fort Worth Star-Telegram, August 3, 1980. Elton Miles, Tales of the Big Bend (College Station: Texas A&M) University Press, 1976). William Edward Syers, Ghost Stories of Texas (Waco: Texian Press, 1981). Wall Street Journal, March 24, 1984. (Item 6) Russell Gardinier, "The Physical Geography of a Significant Border Region, La Junta de los Rios," Journal of Big Bend Studies 1 (January 1989). John Ernest Gregg, History of Presidio County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1933). Cecilia Thompson, History of Marfa and Presidio County, 1535-1946 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1985). (Item 11) John Ernest Gregg, History of Presidio County (M.A. thesis, University of Texas, 1933). Cecilia Thompson, History of Marfa and Presidio County, 1535-1946 (2 vols., Austin: Nortex, 1985)


"The ghost lights have entranced area settlers and visitors for more than a century and have eluded precise scientific examination and explanation for at least half that long. Some viewers claim to have seem them up close, describing them as one or two (occasionally more) red or yellow or bluish lights about the size of basketballs, or one colored basketball-sized light, or as a single, startlingly bright light. But most people view them from afar, the way Hallie Stillwell has done for more than 75 years. " ( Janet Christian. Urban Legends. July 23, 1993. marfa_lights.html)




Marfa Lights are famous floating balls of light that have been seen in the mountains near Marfa for over 150 years. They are yellowish-green and appear above the horizon at dusk The sometimes split into two or more separate lights. ... The lights appear in an area SW of Chinati Mountain, on Mitchell Flat, near Twin Peaks, and over the flat prairie north of Cuesto Del Burro Mountains.. A roadside plaque on US 90, 8 miles E of Marfa commemorates the lights. An abandoned USAF base is nearby... The Lights, which most people describe as spherical, appear south of Marfa each evening. They appear to bounce around, vanish, then re-appear elsewhere. According to the legend, these lights have been observed since the 1800s. The Lights have become an important tourist attraction in Marfa, a town that has seen much better days. On a nice evening, dozens of people will stop and view the Lights at the "official" viewing area, about 10 miles east of town on Highway 90. (http://







Copyright (C) 2001 Dr. Sten Odenwald