Flying Under the Radar in Marfa, Texas

Why does it seem so difficult for some Marfa Light investigators to accept obvious evidence of a biological source for the ghost lights of southwest Texas? It seems that nocturnal flying predators are literally and figuratively flying under the radar near Marfa. What is the best hiding place for what may be living pterosaurs near Marfa? It’s probably not the caves that are said to be scattered around the old volcanic landscape, nor the suspicions of ranchers who don’t like trespassers, nor the dark of night, nor low flights of the predators. What best hides possible pterosaurs near Marfa is Western dogma about dinosaurs and pterosaurs becoming extinct millions of years ago: universal extinction dogma.

A recent newspaper article (by Claudia Feldman, Houston Chronicle) is indirectly instructive:

. . . the Marfa Lights, a very occasional, naturally occurring and much-discussed light show in the vast night sky. . . . “Here is a real scientific puzzle that still exists in this modern day and age, and nobody has solved it yet,” says retired aerospace engineer James Bunnell. . . . There’s no shortage, however, of theories. . . . Just the other day reporters and editors around the country received an e-mail about California videographer and self-described cryptozoologist Jonathan Whitcomb. [the press release itself is not quoted by Feldman] . . . Whitcomb’s theory about the lights? He thinks they may be flying dinosaurs.

Feldman’s article gives limited little attention to my ideas (and no mention is made of any of my books), giving much more attention to Mr. Bunnell’s investigation of the Marfa Lights. I suspect this was probably for the best, since my ideas could seem like the epitome of the ridiculous if it were not for Mr. Bunnell’s years of research, an investigation that has proven that some of those mystery lights around Marfa are extraordinary, not from any common source, some of them differing greatly from car headlights.

That’s not to say that Bunnell has given any serious thought to my pterosaur interpretation. But his countless hours of work, including photographing low-flying mystery lights (with automatic cameras), have given us much valuable data, and I have found a number of details that suggest flying predators cause some of the Marfa Lights.

But why is that Houston Chronicle newspaper article indirectly instructive? The writer makes no examination of the possibility or impossibility of a biological interpretation. The opinions of two non-biologists (James Bunnell and Karl Stephan) receive most of the attention, concluding with a quote from Stephan:

 I encourage Mr. Whitcomb to come to Marfa and spend six months there before he says anything more about dinosaurs.

That seems to close the door to any further consideration of “dinosaurs” flying around Marfa, Texas. But do we really need another tourist from California visiting the Marfa Lights Viewing Platform? We have had distant sightings enough. It seems to me that more productive would be for Mr. Stephan to spend (not six months) a few minutes talking openly with the respectable citizens of Texas who have told me about their encounters with obvious living pterosaurs. Would it not be easier for Mr. Stephan to stay in Texas and do that than for me to travel to Marfa, Texas, and duplicate what other scientists have already done?

I will continue to write about the possibility of pterosaurs flying around Marfa, Texas, as long as the scientific data from scientists like James Bunnell continue to point to the possibility of that conclusion and as long as respectable citizens of Texas continue to report to me their encounters with obvious living pterosaurs. I suggest that Mr. Stephan look objectively at the data that may be staring him in the face.

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