Bunnell’s Investigation of Marfa Lights

The Marfa Lights have captivated the scientist James Bunnell, who has lived much of his life in this part of southwest Texas. For at least eight years, he has searched for them, photographed them, and analyzed the images captured; but a clear understanding of the more mysterious lights has evaded capture. I recommend his book, Hunting Marfa Lights, for anyone interested in the scientific analysis of relevant data.

Amazon.com Review by Whitcomb (first paragraph; under reviews, see “By jdw”)

Mr. Bunnell has spent years of work and considerable expense (purchasing and putting together equipment and housing for it) investigating the mysterious lights (“ML”) around Marfa, Texas. This book gives more than just a description of his experiences, interesting as they are: It gives us an objective evaluation of some of the most popular hyphtheses on the what and why of these lights. The pros and cons of different origination-suggestions do not give us a precise and undisputed explanation for what causes them, but it shows us how mysterious they really are.

Although I have not yet received any indication that Mr. Bunnell has reconsidered the possibility of bioluminescent predators in southwest Texas, his book (Hunting Marfa Lights) continues to provide me with hints that this biological explanation is the correct interpretation.

Now to other writings on the living-pterosaur possibility:

Indava of Papua New Guinea and Marfa Lights

Paul Nation’s two expeditions deep into the interior of the mainland of Papua New Guinea, in late 2006 and in 2007—those have given new knowledge of the indava, although he was not able to personally see any detailed features of the creatures he observed at night; he saw only the lights produced by those creatures. But his associate, Jacob Kepas, did see one of the creatures and in daylight: The large indava was sleeping high up on a cliff, near Tawa Village. . . .

. . . Have you noticed anyone comment on Jacob Kepas’s sighting in late 2006? It reminds me of a recent article printed in the Houston Chronicle, in which the things I have not experienced personally are emphasized and all the eyewitness sighting reports, seven years of investigations and eyewitness interviews, are completely ignored. What difference does it make that I, Jonathan Whitcomb, have not yet seen a living pterosaur, when countless people around the world see these creatures?

Marfa Light Encounter

. . . the Marfa mystery lights “have exhibited . . bobbing up and down, splitting and changing colors with occasional retrograde motion . . . Most of them have been red, occasionally fading to orange . . . I have seen individual ones split into as many as three, dance around each other and recombine.”

This behavior is easier to understand in terms of a group of bioluminescent flying predators, rather than non-living sources. Why would balls of energy fly in such complex ways, splitting and later rejoining? Without any reference to living organisms, all previous explanations for these truly mysterious flying lights have failed miserably to account for this complex behavior. But a group of intelligent . . . nocturnal flying predators could have a number of reasons for hunting with complex coordinated flights. Whales have shown remarkable intelligence in coordinated hunting behavior; why should not a species of intelligent flying creatures coordinate their hunting?

Old Accounts of Marfa Lights

. . . [Brian] Dunning does go into one detail about written histories in this part of Texas. He mentions the memoirs of Robert Ellison, whose descendants declare that he told them about the lights appearing in old times; but Dunning says that the memoirs mention nothing about those lights. Dunning says, “Curious that he would leave that out.” Why should that be curious? To those who have lived many years around Marfa, in old times (before Marfa Lights became famous), what is so special about those lights? Why should any of the old timers have written anything about those lights long ago, before any outsiders took notice? Those lights rarely had more than a gram’s weight of importance to old timers.

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