The Stephenville Incident! What’s Special About This Part Of Texas?

Marcus Lowth
Published Date
July 16, 2017
Last Updated
November 9, 2021
Estimated Reading Time
6 min read
Posted in
UFOs, Sightings

The sightings of strange lights over the small town of Stephenville, Texas, in January 2008 – witnessed by multiple people – is largely considered one of the biggest sightings of the early twenty-first century.

Perhaps further adding to the credibility of the incident, was how various government agencies would respond. They would “stonewall” attempts by groups such as MUFON to determine just what dozens of people had seen that evening.

Stephenville UFO (drawing).

Stephenville UFO (drawing).

The state of Texas is no stranger to UFO sightings and bizarre lights in the sky. And what’s more, these accounts date back to the late-1800s. Might this latest mass sighting simply have been a continuation of sightings that have been happening for over a century?

Check out the video below. It is one of the initial news reports in the Stephenville sightings.

Stephenville, Texas, January 2008

On the evening of 8th January 2008, multiple people would witness a strange array of lights [1] – seemingly belonging to one “solid object” – in the night skies over Stephenville. There were dozens of official reports to go on record. All matched each other in terms of detail, description and times of sightings.

The object had several lights along its side, all of which were flashing.  Their sequence seemed to be of a predetermined and purposeful order. Maybe even stranger, for an object as huge as this was, it appeared to produce no noise. It simply silently hovered over the bemused residents of the town.

One witness, pilot, Steve Allen, would use his professional experience to judge the object’s size at around half a mile, while he estimated its speed upon ascending to be around three-hundred mph. Another witness, the police officer, Leroy Gateman, independently verified Allen’s claims as to the speed of the craft. He would state it was “so fast he couldn’t track it with his binoculars!”

The media presence made sure the story spread far and wide, including on the Internet, where speculation was rampant.

Check out the video below. It features some of the news reports from around the world concerning the Stephenville sightings.

Military Presence?

There were consistent reports of military fighter jets [2] appearing to actively “pursue” the object. Their presence is perhaps the reason for the sheer speed with which it vanished.

Rick Sorrells, who would witness the object from the woods while hunting deer, even claims to now be a target of the US military – or at least an arm of them – since appearing on ABC news stating to the audience that the object was real “and it was right there” over the top of him. From where he was, he could see it was easily “the length of three or four football fields!”

Following that brief interview, Sorrells has since claimed that military helicopters regularly fly over his home at increasingly low altitude. Several “strange” phone calls have also been received, and on one occasion, a menacing man appeared at his door. He would tell Sorrells in no uncertain terms, “you need to shut your mouth about what you saw!”

Sorrells claimed to have reached for his rifle and ask the man to leave his property. To this, the mystery person stated coldly that “we have the same weapons as you – only more of them!” Make of that what you will.

For their part, the military and the government agencies to which they link wished to simply brush the matter aside. They would insist that the jets witnessed by residents were “on a training mission” and that any object must have been “a commercial liner” coming into land.

The video below looks at the evening in questions and the aftermath in a little more detail.

The Lubbock Lights

Although there were sporadic reports of sightings in the Lone Star State during the first half of the twentieth century, it seemed with the 1950s, came an increase in aerial activity. Many point to the (then) recent Roswell incident still being fresh in people’s minds, as well as an increasing interest, culturally, in science-fiction as simple reasons for this. Although this way of thinking may prove to be exactly that – a little too simplistic and even dismissive.

Beginning in August 1951, reports of strange “boomerang-shaped” lights over the skies of Lubbock, Texas, would arise. These were from very credible witnesses for the most part. Not people looking to make easy money and to find their “fifteen minutes of fame!” Reports would come from college professors to amateur photographers.

One such sky-watcher, Carl Hart Jr., even managed to capture five photographs of the bizarre light formations. The military would deny involvement or knowledge of any such activity. The sightings themselves would last for around twelve months before seeming to cease. However, several years later came another evening of considerable activity, which we will look at shortly.

Check out the video below which looks at the Lubbock Lights incident a little closer.

The Levelland Incident

In November 1957, literally in the town next to Lubbock, Levelland, came another mysterious sighting, which would result in a total of fifteen separate reports on the same evening. Several of those reports would come directly from the town’s police officers.

A cigar-shaped object was clearly seen overhead, with several claims of electrical interference. Some reports would even state that an “egg-shaped” object had landed in the middle of a quiet road. One person stated his car had failed, forcing him to leave it and take cover at the side of the road. The object eventually rose and took off.

A similar incident happened to the college student, Newell Wright. His vehicle cut out as he returned home from Texas Tech University campus. As he inspected under the hood in an attempt to restart his car, he suddenly noticed a strange, long object resting on the road ahead. He stood watching the craft without moving before it suddenly ascended into the sky and disappeared.

By morning, the small, normally quiet and sleepy town, was in the spotlight of national media. All those people surely can’t be wrong. That something was very much present over Levelland that evening is without doubt.

While it is tempting and even sensible to draw attention to the location of several military and air force bases sitting in the middle of these sightings, the main drawback from that is they have been happening since long before these bases existed.

Before we look at some of those sightings, check out the video below. It features one of the original radio news broadcasts on the Levelland Incident.

The 1891 Dublin Sightings

UFO Sightings in the United States as a whole are in abundance throughout much of the 1800s, and Texas is no exception. In fact, one particular sighting on 13th June 1891 [3] occurred over the skies of Dublin, very close to Stephenville.

Local newspapers would report that many residents of the town saw an oblong craft that “dazzled” in the afternoon sun. One witness would state that the strange object was akin to “a bale of cotton suspended in the air!”

The craft was seen over one of the main employers in the town, the Wasson and Miller Flour Mill and Cotton Gin. The object would glow so intensely, it physically hurt people’s eyes to stare at it for too long.

As the townsfolk looked on in amazement, without warning, the object suddenly exploded above their heads. Ruined and burnt out pieces of the craft fell to the ground below, sending local residents scattering for cover. The explosion was so loud “nearly everyone in that portion of the city” could hear it.

The following day, an unnamed Dublin resident, returned to the scene of the incident. He would find great chunks of metal from the ruined craft. It had the same color as lead, and within parts of this outer shell, were strange stones, like “lava from a volcano!”

Bizarre writings and symbols were also clearly visible on what the witness could only compare to a type of paper also discovered among the wreckage. According to the report, no persons who have looked upon these mysterious writings, have yet been able to decipher them, nor offer what they might be.

Speculative Theories and “Out of the Box” Considerations

The site of the aerial explosion, the Wasson and Miller building, still stands today. Perhaps, some of the wreckage may still be present under the ground? If we assume the reports are correct, then the equipment, nor the ready manpower, would have been immediately available to move such wreckage. The chances are that it simply remained there, waiting to be overgrown. Or perhaps dragged short distances to a more discreet location.

Incidentally, descriptions of the fragments of the object, and elements of the account are similar to the Aurora Incident of 1897. Could it be that the activity over the skies of Texas in the late 1800s were the same “beings” in the same crafts? And if so, what is important about this area? Is there some kind of “alien base” there? Or perhaps the land was rich in minerals sought after by the pilots of these strange airborne objects? Maybe the area hosts a strange portal, serving as an entry point to the planet?

And what of the presence of those US military bases? If we are looking for a connection between the sightings of the end of the nineteenth century, and those reported from the 1950s onwards, maybe it might be worth considering a more “top secret” answer, rather than an extra-terrestrial one.

Perhaps we need to consider the possibility of time-travel, and a time-machine being in the military’s possession. As highly unlikely and merely a speculative theory at very best, perhaps those sightings in the 1890s were actually time-travel experiments, with the object appearing in the past near to its location in the present?


1 The Stephenville Lights – dozens of credible witnesses report seeing glowing orbs in the Texas sky, Altered Dimensions
2 Stephenville UFOs Case, Educating Humanity
3 Dublin 1891, Texas UFO Museum & Research Library

Marcus Lowth

Marcus Lowth is a writer with a love for UFOs, aliens, and the Ancient Astronaut Theory, to the paranormal, general conspiracies, and unsolved mysteries. He has been writing and researching with over 20 years of experience.

Marcus has been Editor-in-Chief for several years due to his excellent knowledge in these fields. Marcus also regularly appears as an expert on radio talk shows including Troubled Minds and Unexplained Radio discussing these topics.

Read Marcus' full bio.

You can contact Marcus via email.

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  • David B says:

    The Stephenville incident had lights that blinked and changed shape. Perhaps someone should go under hypnosis to figure out the exact sequence of these lights because it could have been some kind of communication. Please do not email me back, thanks.

  • lupe delgadillo says:

    Tx.Aliens alive in Aurora, dressed like white power Rangers..

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