Big UFO Puts Stephenville, Texas, on the Paranormal Map (2008)

By Zack Van Eyck on January 30th, 2012
Big UFO Puts Stephenville, Texas, on the Paranormal Map (2008)
Still photo by Constable Lee Roy Gaitan - enhanced for clarity. Taken 2/9/2008 on County Road 847. See video below.
Still photo by Constable Lee Roy Gaitan - enhanced for clarity. Taken 2/9/2008 on County Road 847. See video below.

It was one mile long and a half-mile wide, it flew faster and lower to the ground than any plane, and its lights changed configuration before it erupted in white flame and vanished.  The UFO was spotted again later and was followed by a pair of military jets and two massive red, flying orbs.

Just another uneventful night in the dairy cow pastures of north-central Texas?  Definitely not.   And the days that followed weren’t normal either, with high school kids donning tin-foil space helmets and no-nonsense cowboys wearing “Alien Capital of the World” T-shirts.

Jan. 8, 2008, was a night the folks in Stephenville, Texas, population 16,715, won’t soon forget.  Dozens of residents said they saw something peculiar in the skies that night, making Stephenville home of the country’s largest mass UFO sighting since the Lights Over Phoenix in 1997.  And folks who didn’t see the UFOs certainly noticed the media frenzy that descended on otherwise-peaceful Erath County shortly thereafter.

“You hear about big bass or big buck in the area, but this is a different deal,” said machinist Ricky Sorrels, who said he saw a flat, metallic object hovering 300 feet above a pasture behind his home in nearby Dublin. “It feels good to hear that other people saw something, because that means I’m not crazy.”

UFOs were reported in the area for a period of weeks, but the Jan. 8 sighting was the most prominent.

That’s when freight company owner and pilot Steve Allen, 50, and a small group of friends saw a mile-long, half-mile wide UFO that was “positively, absolutely nothing from these parts. … It flipped us all out.”  Allen said they saw brilliant white lights at the corners of the large object, which came within a mile of them.  The lights reconfigured to form an arch, then formed two vertical lines of flashing lights before the object burst into a dirty white flame and “simply vanished,” he said.

Ten minutes later, the group saw the lights reappear in the opposite direction with the military jets and large red orbs trailing behind.  It was about that time that Constable Lee Roy Gaitan stepped outside, looked up and saw the red orbs.  Gaitan, who was up for reelection and concerned about publicity, waited until others spoke publicly before admitting what he witnessed.

Two weeks later, after first denying it had any jets in the air that night, nearby Carswell Air Force Base announced that it had 10 F-16s in the air that night.   

Six months later, the Mutual UFO Network acquired the Federal Aviation Administration’s radar data from the night in question and discovered evidence of a UFO heading toward the so-called Western White House – then-President George W. Bush’s ranch in Crawford, Texas.

MUFON determined the F-16s came within a mile of the UFO, which did not have a transponder and traveled at between 49 mph and 2,100 mph.  Carswell Air Force Base gave MUFON its flights logs for that night, as requested, but all of the information was redacted.

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