Mystery of the Marfa Lights remains unsolved over a century later

Texas

MARFA, Texas (KMID) — There are many mysteries in West Texas, but perhaps, none are more mysterious than those found in Marfa.

Dating back to the 1880s, the Marfa Lights have puzzled investigators for almost 150 years.

Way back then, members of the Apache Indian Tribe called them “ghost lights” and explained them almost as mysteriously as the lights themselves.

“There’s a legend that it’s an Indian chief looking for his tribe,” said Jessi Silva, of the Marfa and Presidio County Museum. “They just don’t know what causes them. … It’s a phenomenon. It’s a mystery.”

But even today, these lights are very curious.

And the lights also attract a lot of visitors from all over the world who want to catch a glimpse of something possibly paranormal.

“Excited to be here and very much looking forward to seeing the lights,” said one visitor at the Marfa Lights Viewing Area just east of town.

Fern Teems, left, points to what she believes may be one of the mystery lights near Marfa, Texas, as her husband James Teems looks on, June 1, 2005. Whatever’s out there sparkling or dancing across Mitchell Flat and toward the Chinati Mountains has both befuddled people and attracted them to this remote area east of Marfa for well over a century. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)

Herc Lee-Torres of the Presidio County Paranormal Society has an explanation for some of the sightings.

“Yeah, that’s due to technology. There are rumors of secret Air Force bases out here also and there’s a highway that’s built so it’s kinda hard to kinda like you know discern which is the actual phenomenon and which is just like headlights coming from the highway you know,” he said.

Silva said she’s had a few personal experiences with the lights

“I’ve been out there to see the lights and there’s a lot of activity and I’ve been out there when there’s hardly any activity, she said. “They’re on almost every night. And you just don’t know what you’re going to get when you go out to see them.

The traffic does look markedly different than some of the other lights that can be seen on the mountains, away from any roads.

While nobody knows what the lights are, it isn’t for lack of trying.

“I have a cousin in the Dallas area who did a study and she thought they were a gas, some sort of a gas that is heated up with the sun during the day and cooled off at night time — because you know this is the desert and it’s warm during the day and cool at night, Silva said. “And she thought they had something to do with it until I told her they do follow automobiles.”

It does appear that the lights have even reportedly interacted with vehicles

“One lady I know says the lights bounced on her car twice but it didn’t leave any sign of burning or any sign that they bounced on her car other than it scared the wits out of her,” Silva said.

If you would like to try your hand at solving the mystery, or if you’d like to see something that has been unexplainable for almost a century and a half, head to the viewing area in Marfa. More likely than not, you’ll be able to see these lights yourself after dark.

“Always after sundown, ideally it shouldn’t be cloudy, and the conditions do have to be bright for it,” Torres said.

Marfa is located about 60 miles north of the U.S.-Mexico border.

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