Stephenville, Texas UFO (2008)

ideamug

New Member
I haven't seen a thread on this, and it's one of the more compelling incidents.
Date: January 8th, 2008

Witnesses: Numerous residents of Stephenville reported seeing the object, with some estimates reaching hundreds of witnesses.

Description:

  • Size: Described as massive, possibly a mile wide or larger.
  • Shape: Varied accounts, including disc-shaped, rectangular, or a cluster of lights.
  • Lights: Bright white lights, often described as being in a formation.
  • Movement: Extremely fast and erratic maneuvers, surpassing the capabilities of known aircraft. Some reports state it hovered at times.
  • Sound: Most reports indicate a silent object.
Additional Notes:

  • Military Presence: Some witnesses claimed to see F-16 fighter jets seemingly in pursuit of the object.
  • Media Attention: The incident received significant national media coverage.
  • MUFON Investigation: The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) conducted a thorough investigation into the sightings.

 
  • Size: Described as massive, possibly a mile wide or larger.
  • Shape: Varied accounts, including disc-shaped, rectangular, or a cluster of lights.

Breaking the laws of physcs is always a good start for such claims. However, the killer aspect is having the reports disagree with each other. What A says is false (or unsubstanciated) because of what B and C say, what B says is false (or unsubstanciated), because of what A and C say, and what C says is false (or unsubstanciated) because of what A and B say. I won't even say "case dismissed", as there's no coherent "case" to answer. It is indistinguishable from people just telling tall tales.
 
Form the UK i get:
1713952701449.png
 
I haven't seen a thread on this, and it's one of the more compelling incidents.
Date: January 8th, 2008

Witnesses: Numerous residents of Stephenville reported seeing the object, with some estimates reaching hundreds of witnesses.

Description:

  • Size: Described as massive, possibly a mile wide or larger.
  • Shape: Varied accounts, including disc-shaped, rectangular, or a cluster of lights.
  • Lights: Bright white lights, often described as being in a formation.
  • Movement: Extremely fast and erratic maneuvers, surpassing the capabilities of known aircraft. Some reports state it hovered at times.
  • Sound: Most reports indicate a silent object.
Additional Notes:

  • Military Presence: Some witnesses claimed to see F-16 fighter jets seemingly in pursuit of the object.
  • Media Attention: The incident received significant national media coverage.
  • MUFON Investigation: The Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) conducted a thorough investigation into the sightings.


Is there any video of the incident or is this video of eyewitnesses describing what they saw?

I'm not watching a 40 minute video to find out. If it has video of the incident please include a time stamp as per the Posting Guidelines.
 
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Regarding the video in the OP. As noted above, the thing is over 40:00 and would have been an hour-long episode on TV with commercials. The rights to the NatGeo channel were bought by Discovery Network or something like that, as was turned into a standard mystery mongering network. Not to say there is no evidence in this show, just that I would suspect a particular slant.

Sure enough, in the first 2:00 we get an anonymous guy, could be an actor, describing a number of bright lights that were 1. coming at them at a high rate of speed but then, 2. craft moving east to west at a speed no conventual aircraft could do and then 2 F16s "chasing" them. With an artist rendering (cartoon) of the event.

This is quickly followed up by Larry King talking about it, before we move on to UFOlogist Stanton Friedman and UFO evangelist journalist Leslie Kean confirming that the US government has been covering up the existence of UFOs since the '40s. So not a very open-minded take so far. With in 2 minutes the show confirms the presence of UFOs, and the government cover up of said UFOs setting the stage for what I assume will be a number of mutually exclusive versions of something in Texas that was obviously a UFO (alien). Maybe some of this is just the show's opening.

The next 5:00 or so is just Kean running her mouth about UFO cover ups and her "groundbreaking" NYT article in 2017 where she was told stories by Elizondo and she discovered the largely non-existent AATIP program and more government cover ups blah blah blah....

By 7:00 we get back to Texas and are told that "a large number of people" saw this UFO (the guy claiming this is not named but I think it's Chris Mellon), though we're still just treated to the same guy from the opening. Turns out he's a private pilot named Steve Allen. He describes it in 2021, as 7 blinking lights across the back of it that change shape from rectangle to heart shape to straight line and bigger than a Walmart:

1713975082153.png


The problem is he described it as 2 intense red lights with 1 white light in the middle back in 2008:

1713974901666.png


So less than 10:00 in we have a lecture by Leslie Kean and are primary witness is missremebering what he said on video 13 years prior.

Maybe I'll watch a bit more if I get have time. Better yet @ideamug could provide timestamps for anything compelling in this 42:00.
 
The video is there an an introduction to the incident.

What’s most compelling about the case is how radar data comports with eye witness testimony.

And that the Air Force backtracked on their first claim of there not being jets in the air that night.

The MUFON report has great details

As you're a new member, it's best practice to present the evidence to the forum, not tell people to go look it up. Just posting a link is violating the "No click policy". If there is something compelling in the link than it is incumbent on us to post it.

Copy and paste the relevant parts and then use EX tags to offset what you copied so we know it's from a source. Then cite your source. There are different ways to use EX tags, but s simple way is to type the letters EX inside [ ] at the beginning of your quoted material and /EX inside [ ] at the end.

So, using your MUFON source I might copy and paste this quote and in my posting box it would look like this:

1713981319621.png

Then it looks like this when posted with the source cited:

External Quote:
Witness Steve Allen, pilot and businessman, went on record describing a large object one mile long and half a milewide, moving away at high speed, soundless, and being chased by jet aircraft on after-burners breaking the sound barrier. Three other witnesses (who did not file reports) were with Allen at the time of the sighting and also observed the object.
https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/MUFON/Journals/2008/May_2008.pdf

You can use the "preview" button in the upper right to check your post before posting. The EX tags let everyone know this is not the poster saying something, rather it's from a source.

In addition, like the 42:00 video, this MUFON journal is 25 pages. It's not my job to read through it and figure out what's relevant or compelling, that's the job of the person bringing or introducing the claim.
 
I have read the Mufon report, several years ago. The lack of videos and photos is suggestive, and it could easily be just another flight of terrestrial jets flying over an unsuspecting town.
Here's Tim Printy with another detailed analysis.
http://www.astronomyufo.com/UFO/svilletx.htm
There seems to be a recurring theme in these plots. That being that a lot of jets were flying through the same airspace that the UFO supposedly traveled through about the same time. The UFOlogists who wrote the radar report make a great deal about how each individual jet would have been very small and impossible to see but what they fail to mention that the formation, with all their associated lights could have looked like one large object. Remember Hendry's description of how people like to play connect the dots with lights to produce a shape. The formation was spread out over a large area in the Radar report. Perhaps a mile or more. This would cover at least several degrees of the sky. Even more interesting is that none of the witnesses report the jets for the 6:15 PM sighting (which is an approximate time) but they do report seeing lights flying through the same airspace!

A possible scenario that could explain the entire event is that Steve Allen and other observers saw one or both flights of F-16s as they proceeded to their Military Operating Area (MOA) that night. The cluster of lights associated with the formation could easily have been perceived by observers as one large object moving across the sky. Steve Allen made a point of mentioning the multiple strobe lights that made up the UFO. These were probably the anti-collision beacons on the aircraft's tail (see this video and note the very bright strobe on top of the tail at the end of the clip), which seem to flash twice at about a 1 second interval. He even told Bill O'Reilly that the lights looked like an aircraft formation!
 
January 8th, 2008

Witnesses: Numerous residents of Stephenville reported seeing the object, with some estimates reaching hundreds of witnesses.


  • Size: Described as massive, possibly a mile wide or larger.
  • Shape: Varied accounts, including disc-shaped, rectangular, or a cluster of lights.
  • Lights: Bright white lights, often described as being in a formation.
  • Movement: Extremely fast and erratic maneuvers, surpassing the capabilities of known aircraft. Some reports state it hovered at times.
(My emphasis).

So over an American town in 2008, hundreds- let's be conservative and say 200- witnesses see a large UFO, possibly a mile wide or larger. Again, let's be conservative and say half a mile wide (804.67 metres).
That's 12.495 times the width of a Boeing 747-400's wingspan (64.4 metres),
2.388 times the length of aircraft carrier USS Gerald R. Ford (337 metres).

It has bright white lights. It hovered at times (if it didn't hover, and those witnesses are telling the truth, presumably it moved very slowly at times).

But none of the 200 witnesses, in an American town in 2008, is carrying a 'phone with a camera. Or gets one.
No CCTV footage emerges.

I don't think this is credible.
 
The wikipedia article on Stephenville briefly mentions it:
In January 2008, dozens of people in Stephenville reported seeing patterns of lights in the night sky. Some described it as a single large unidentified flying object.[7][8] The Air Force Reserve issued a statement from the NAS Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base that jets from the 457th Fighter Squadron were in military airspace designated for training during the time people reported seeing the lights.[9] The F-16s had been engaged in training maneuvers and dropping counter-measure flares used to confuse heat-seeking missiles.[10] Following news reports of the UFO sighting, "media calls came from all over the world", and local police Constable Lee Roy Gaitan gave more than 100 interviews. The town reacted in a "UFO frenzy"; T-shirts proclaiming the town "Alien Capital of the World" and "Erath County -- the New Roswell", were rushed into production, and the local high school suddenly received $7,000 for college scholarships.[11]

7. Dozens Claim They Spotted UFO in Texas National Public Radio, "All Things Considered" – January 16, 2008.
8. NPR archive link, archived August 7, 2023. Archival of "Dozens Claim They Spotted UFO in Texas] National Public Radio, "All Things Considered" – January 16, 2008."
9. Mount, Mike. "UFOs? Nope. They were fighter jets, Air Force says". CNN. Retrieved August 11, 2023.
10. McGaha, James; Nickell, Joe (March 2015). "Alien Lights? At Phoenix, Stephenville, and Elsewhere: A Postmortem". skepticalinquirer.org. Skeptical Inquirer From: Volume 39, No. March 2 / April 2015. Retrieved August 11, 2023.
11. Gellene, Denise (June 14, 2008). "How UFOs took over a town". Los Angeles Times. Retrieved August 11, 2023.
 
Just starting to read through the MUFON report. First of all, it has the hallmarks of a MUFON report. That is, their "investigators" tend to start from UFO and proceed. So, a number of "credible" but "anonymous" witnesses give credence to back up one witness:

External Quote:
Three other witnesses (who did not file reports) were with Allen at the time of the sighting and also observed the object. Witnesses in general were highly credible: pilots, police officers and city officials, most of whom wish to remain anonymous.
And of course, city officials in an out of the way town would NEVER hype up a UFO encounter for something as tawdry as marketing and tourism.
It continues with this strange claim (bold by me):

External Quote:
An estimated 500 people attended the MUFON-arranged meeting held on January 19, including the media. Over 50reports were taken. We received a larger than expected number of reports, some as old as 30 years. The witnesses told us that they fel tit was okay now to come forward to tell what they had seen.
Sounds like people were reporting lot's of older UFO encounters. Not sure if these reports are part of the total.

In MUFON's defense, they did eliminate several potential UFO videos and photos:

External Quote:
In most cases we were able to identify and or explain the photos and videos, and therefore classify the report as an “identified flying object” (IFO). As has been most often true throughout our years as MUFON Investigators, the “Smoking Gun” they were not.
Then there is the discussion of the Dopler radar:

External Quote:
Object appears on Doppler radar.

The Doppler radar jpg graphic (see Figure 5) is part of the data made available in response to an FOIA request by William Puckett, a retired meteorologist from the National Weather Service and EPA (and also a MUFON Member and Field Investigator). His report is as follows:

“At 6:34 CST, Doppler radar showed one return [pickup] about 10 miles to the northeast of Stephenville. However, the return does not indicate a “radar hit.” This is interesting because [Doppler] maps 10 minutes before and 10 minutes after [this time] did not show this return.

“I found one fast-moving target moving on an eastwardvector of about 700 MPH. This was clearly not a passenger jet. It could have been a military jet or an unknown object. The object was not transponding.
I don't know. Here is the doppler radar image from the report. MUFON has circled the "target" in the lower left. I have circled that and some other returns that look real similar on the outskirts of the massive amount of weather going on in the middle of the image:



1714008267794.png


Is this return evidence of a UFO, or just more of the same that was occurring all over the place at the time?

Time to make dinner, so I'll have to continue tomorrow.
 
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havent watched yet but mufon? did a history channel documentary.. starting dec 2007 a ufo flap hit the region. "within a month the number grew to over 200 sightings. (just for some context)

Ahhh. So, the area may have been primed for UFO sightings.

maybe the aliens liked that mega walmart

Off topic as hell, but the biggest, nicest, cleanest Walmart I've ever been in was in Acapulco MX in the early 00's. Was there with my wife's company as kind of her "trophy husband" :D (she made way more than I ever did) and before the cartel violence unfortunately took over.
 
Ahhh. So, the area may have been primed for UFO sightings.
dont watch that UFO hunters show. it was... trying to think of a nice word... astonishingly full of nothing ness. i thought we might get witnesses interviewed early . no usable witness statements. no witnesses whose names have been in this thread thus far.

the only semi useful thing was this graphic or where teh military training area is.
moa.png
 
a bit off topic, as this occurred january 19th in Stephenville (as part of the flap), but i see @Mick West has a thread on squiggley lines, and the UFO Hunters do debunk with experiments the "squiggle/ribbon ufo" claim in Stephenville.
https://www.metabunk.org/threads/de...ctions-squiggly-lines-and-dancing-dots.12802/


stephenville (14 mins of video from claimant) but generally looks like this:
examples 13:50-13:55ish
1714014114950.png


unnecessarily complicated debunk 17:45-19:00
"camera was in night mode and it was taking longer exposures per frame"
1714014342431.png
1714014605093.png

https://tubitv.com/tv-shows/490040/s01-e10-invasion-texas-2008
 
Information on the Brownwood/Brady MOA.

Military Operating Areas
Military Operating Areas (MOAs) are a type of SUA. MOAs are airspace with defined vertical and lateral limits to separate certain military activities from non-participating traffic. Vertically, MOAs are separated into High and Low to allow for simultaneous operations in each section of airspace and to prevent certain maneuvers from occurring too close to the ground. Each MOA has controlling authority that is responsible for the scheduling and use of the airspace. Information on the controlling authority, using agency, altitudes of operations, and hours of operations for each MOA is provided in the U.S. aeronautical sectional charts.

NAS Fort Worth JRB tenant units conduct training activities at the Brownwood and Brady MOAs, located approximately 70 nautical miles southwest of the Installation (see figure 1). These SUAs are operational from sunrise to 11 p.m., Monday through Friday, or as posted by FAA-issued Notices to Airmen (NOTAMs).

The Brownwood MOA is owned by the Navy and encompasses approximately 3,200 square miles of training airspace. Altitudes range throughout the area from a low of 7,000 feet above mean sea level (MSL) to a high of 18,000 feet MSL when in use. Brady MOA is located directly south of the Brownwood MOA. It is owned by the U.S. Air Force and encompasses approximately 1,500 square miles of training airspace. The Brady MOA altitudes range from 500 feet above ground level (AGL) to 18,000 feet MSL. The Air Force’s 301st Fighter Wing schedules use of the Brownwood and Brady MOAs

Figure 1: Brownwood and Brady Military Operating Areas
1714022238872.png


Military Training Routes
National security and military readiness require our armed forces to train in a wide range of airborne tactics, including low-level combat tactics at high speeds. Military Training Routes (MTRs) are designated
air corridors, mutually developed by the FAA and the Department of Defense, for low-altitude, high-speed military flight traffic and training. MTRs are defined by a series of segments along the centerline of the route with horizontal and vertical dimensions. Horizontally, MTR segments show the variation of the route’s width from the centerline. Vertically, the segments vary by floor height. MTRs are typically
established below 10,000 feet mean sea level (MSL), and military aircraft can conduct operations in excess of 250 knots (287.7 miles per hour). MTRs are divided into Instrument Routes (IR), Slow Routes (SR),
and Visual Routes (VR).

The Air Force’s 301st Fighter Wing schedules use of MTRs to access training areas. Commonly used MTRs include IRs 103, 105, 123, 124, and
139; VRs 101, 104, 118, 143, 186, 1110, 1124, 1128, and 1137; and SRs 228 and 270 (see figure 2).

Figure 2: Local Military Training Routes
1714022265451.png


Location of Stephenville in relation to the MOA:
1714022594713.png

From https://sua.faa.gov/sua/siteFrame.app
 
https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/MUFON/Journals/2008/May_2008.pdf

Continuing on with the MUFON report we're told that this was a significant event:

External Quote:
The Stephenville cluster of sightings has been said, by some, to be the most significant UFO event in recent history. The most often stated reason is the credibility and number of the witnesses. Three police officers (constables) witnessed this large craft. The officers were each at separate locations at the times of their sightings, yet they describe the same large craft. They declined to file an official report or to allow their names to be made public.
I assume "by some" refers to MUFON people and other UFOlogists who put great value on witness testimony, often because it confirms their own beliefs and it's all they have. In this case we have yet more anonymous witness, but this time they are highly credible Police officers:

External Quote:
Police officers are trained to be observant, exact, and credible. When they testify in court, you can be sure the questioning attorney will make a point of establishing their credibility.
Sort of. My dad was in law enforcement for 30 years including being a detective at a large Bay Area Shereff's department to a small-town police chief. He taught Homicide Investigation at the academy as well. He is rational and enjoys science. He also thinks when he finds a penny in his shower, it didn't fall out of his pocket, rather my late mom put it there as a sign to him. He's human, like every other cop.

Even so, in things like collection of evidence, questioning witnesses, knowledge of the penal code and other police stuff, officers will be trained. It's like a trade, same as a plumber knows what size drain line to use for a sink or toilet. Police will probably be more credible that the average person when talking about POLICE work, not identifying lights in the sky.

I could just dismiss the supposed accounts of the supposed police officers because it's all anonymous:

External Quote:
Unfortunately, these officers declined to provide any written statements to MUFON. They did, however, give verbal descriptions and provide illustrations. (See Figures 7–10.) Even today, some people are afraid to come forward to report a UFO because of possible negative ramifications on the job.
Note in the paragraph above the 3 officers gave "verbal descriptions and provide illustrations". Even if these are anonymous, we can at least compare the 3 descriptions and illustrations as provided to the MUFON investigators. Right?

Alas, all we get is paraphrased jumble-up of the 3 descriptions which still don't completely agree:

External Quote:
Each officer saw a large craft, each reporting that it was gray. Each said it had red strobe lights on top. Two of the officers said the craft was silent. The third officer was in his car with the windows up, and could not say whether it was silent or not.

Each officer said that the object moved off to the northwest. One officer viewed it moving slowly in a vertical position.
All the vaunted credible Police officer testimony amounts to the 6 sentences above. No notes or quotes about the individual descriptions, just a second hand wrap up.

As for the "illustrations" the report just contains what appear to be computer generated graphics not the sketches one would expect to collect from a witness. It's possible that 1 or maybe 2 officers were versed in computer graphics and that's how they provided their "illustrations", but all 3? And all using the same program? I think these are like the verbal testimony, a MUFON filtered approximation of whatever these guys doodled:

1714063167578.png


What is consistent is an aircraft with a red strobe. Either the aliens know to put a red strobe on their UFOs so as not get hit by terrestrial aircraft, or the supposed officers saw terrestrial aircraft with common red strobes.

MUFON then moves onto the Caron video which @deirdre covered in post #17 above. As she noted it's a mid '00s video camera in night mode recording a star. Of note in the MUFON report is that they brought in the big guns to figure this out:

External Quote:
Caron 15-minute Film: Photoanalyist Dr. Bruce Maccabee; Ken Cherry, MUFON Texas State Director; myself; and representatives of the History Channel UFO Hunters TV show, including Ted Ackworth, Ph.D., viewed a 15-minute video from a digital camera taken on January 19, 2008.
Maccabee is a long time proponent of UFOs, maintains that the Kaikoura Lights, likely shrimp boats of the coast of New Zeland are in fact UFOs and to my knowledge still considers the Gulf Breeze photos genuine:

External Quote:
Beginning in November 1987, The Gulf Breeze Sentinel published a number of photos supplied to them by local contractor Ed Walters that were claimed to show a UFO. UFOlogists such as Bruce Maccabee believed the photographs were genuine; however, others strongly suspected them to be a hoax. Pensacola News Journal reporter Craig Myers investigated Walters' claims a few years later, criticizing the Sentinel's coverage of the story as "uncritical" and "sensationalist". In 1990, after Walters and his family moved, the new owners of Walters' house discovered a styrofoam model UFO hidden in the attic. Myers was able to duplicate the object in the Walters photographs almost exactly using the model UFO found in the attic. Walters later claimed that the model UFO had been "planted" in the attic. [1][2]
n.wikipedia.org/wiki/Gulf_Breeze_UFO_incident

Also discussed here: https://www.metabunk.org/threads/kaikoura-lights.12064/

But here, even Maccabee concluded it was a camera artifact:

External Quote:
Dr. Maccabee remarked that the pulsing aspect of the light was attributable to the camera running on night mode at two frames per second versus the normal mode of 30 frames per second. According to Maccabee, filming an object at a great distance (such as the Dog Star, Sirius) would not allow the camera to focus properly, which would also cause a vibration, causing the appearance of “drawing” a glyph or symbol. Dr. Maccabee concluded that the color source was due to the elevation combined with atmospheric conditions while fixed on an out-of-focus star.
The rest of the report is a list of some of the cases investigated by MUFON. One thing that can be determined is that nothing was determined. That is, the basic or should I say the now canonical version of the Stephenville UFO case as presented in the OP video is not really in the report. The claim is that "dozens of credible witnesses saw the same thing, a huge craft that was bigger than a Walmart and up to a mile long on January 8, 2008 in Stephenville TX".

The evidence presented in the MUFON repost does not support this. First of all, the report contains sightings from December 2007 through February of '08 from a variety of locations around East central Texas.

Pilot Steve Allen, the guy in the video, made the claim of it being 1 mile long and 1/2 mile wide:

External Quote:
Witness Steve Allen, pilot and businessman, went on record describing a large object one mile long and half a milewide, moving away at high speed, soundless, and being chased by jet aircraft on after-burners breaking the sound barrier. Three other witnesses (who did not file reports) were with Allen at the time of the sighting and also observed the object.
Something someone in Old Boston TX, about 275 miles to the East claimed in December:

External Quote:
The witness reported that at 8:13 PM on December 21, 2007, near Old Boston, Texas (near Texarkana on the Texas-Arkansas border),

The witness believed that the object he saw was approximately 1 mile long by ½ mile wide with a rectangular shape. This is based on comparisons with commercial airliners that fly over. The object made a low humming sound, not loud but audible. The witness thought the object’s speed was about 10 times that of a regular commercial airliner. He said the object appeared to be about 10,000 feet high.
As a side note, the above description has 1 mile by 1/2 mile (1600m x 800m) "craft" travelling at approximately 3000-5000mph (commercial airliners over my house travel at around 300mph as the head into SMF and up to 500mph if it's SFO to LHT or similar X 10). Or Mach 5-7:

1714079101231.png


It's a wonder he saw anything at all. But as MUFON says, these are all good quality credible witnesses.

In addition to Steve Allen's mile long UFO sighting we have the supposed police officers, who don't describe anything like that.

The rest of the witness reports are more about blinking lights or bright lights on various days in various places. If I just pick reports about stuff that happened on January 8 generally near Stephenville, here is what they describe:

External Quote:
Four of the witnesses were from the Fort Worth area. Two of them reported large stationary objects with bright lights to the southwest of Fort Worth. One of these two witnesses reported seeing a bright cigar-shaped object to the southwest of Fort Worth moving fast to the west and at along distance away. The second witness saw an unusual object with eight stubby wings flying southwest over Burleson, a suburb south of Fort Worth.
External Quote:
I saw two very bright lights shining in no apparent direction. The lights were very bright, like a welding arc. The lights were dancing around and then they split different directions at a very fast rate of speed. I do not know what it was that I saw, but I don’t think that it was aplane, weather balloon, a reflection of the sun or anything manmade. Thank you, Harlan Cowan.”
External Quote:
I looked around to see if there were any stray animals that they might bark at, and that is when I saw the lights. They were moving at a very fast pace. I thought that it might be military jets information because of all the lights, funny thing though, there was no noise coming from all of them
External Quote:
I saw what looked to be two welding arc strikes at a distance of arm’s length and pea-sized between my index finger and thumb. First one appeared and then another as the first bleeped out. They were like pearls on a string and looked like bubbles with a light encased inside. They were incredibly bright...beyond halogen color temperature. Just like an arcwelding strike. There was no sound and they just trailed off to the west. They were traveling just as a plane had passed and along the same trailing heading. They were probably one minute behind the plane and seemed to be moving at about the speed of a plane.
External Quote:
Caregiver “C. B.” in Aubrey, Texas, observed two lights approaching rapidly from the east. Before reaching the witness they “made a sharp turn” south towards Denton. Aline continued through Denton would take the objects straight to the Stephenville area.
External Quote:
As they topped a small hill they saw huge bright yellowish blinking lights in front of them. The lights were scattered and very close to the ground. They stopped the car and watched the lights blink on and off a few minutes".
External Quote:
The witness, 45, was traveling on Hwy 4 from Granbury to Action, Texas, and observed a large blimp-size craft that was too low to be an airliner. It was not the kind of blimp that sometimes flew over football stadiums. She could hear a hum like a generator. It had red lights on the front and rear. The craft appeared to have large turbine engines on each side and moved slow and low. It was last seen heading southeast from the Granbury area.
Apart from some people seeing what they called "welding arcs" not much of these sound alike or what Steve Allen was describing, other then "lights". As @MonkeeSage noted above, there is a military training area in the sky and "welding arch" would be consistent with flares.

This sure seems to be a case of various people seeing various things in various places at various times that was then shaken up like tiki cocktail to make a whole out of disparate parts.
 
But none of the 200 witnesses, in an American town in 2008, is carrying a 'phone with a camera.

This particular position is unreasonable; iPhone 1 only debuted summer 2007, was incredibly expensive for the time and most camera phones otherwise (if an option yet) were trash. I didn't have a good one myself till around 2009, and I was not exactly poor. This was a farming/remote town in Texas.
 
They would not. But they would not intentionally frame it out either.
the business, university and park cams on their 'crime stopper' fb seem to intentionally frame it out. as i see no sky on that page back to 2016 at least.

not arguing your general point, but ..cctv is supposed to be filming for crimes so they should be facing where the people are, in theory. Maybe they had a highway cam though or weather cams?
 
This particular position is unreasonable; iPhone 1 only debuted summer 2007, was incredibly expensive for the time and most camera phones otherwise (if an option yet) were trash.
Phone cams, and the ability to video short clips, were common years before smartphones.
You're right that their performance would be considered abysmal now (and low-light performance was practically nil).

But we are told the UFO was

External Quote:
Size: Described as massive, possibly a mile wide or larger.
Lights: Bright white lights, often described as being in a formation.
Movement: ...Some reports state it hovered at times.
A mile-wide UFO, with bright lights, that hovered. And no-one, out of "hundreds", caught anything on camera that we know of (and we've seen there was considerable local publicity after the event).

I think it's reasonable to expect that in 2008 some people, out of hundreds, would have had a phone with a cam with them or close by (I did, and I wasn't rich!) and that a proportion of those might have been at least tempted to attempt filming of the gargantuan alien craft with the bright lights.
 
Phone cams, and the ability to video short clips, were common years before smartphones.

is that true? i dont really recall any phone video from 9/11. granted that's 6 years before jan 2008 , but i dont myslef think the lack of phone video is at all suspicious in a small town.
 
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This particular position is unreasonable; iPhone 1 only debuted summer 2007, was incredibly expensive for the time and most camera phones otherwise (if an option yet) were trash. I didn't have a good one myself till around 2009, and I was not exactly poor. This was a farming/remote town in Texas.
Your argument wouldn't even work even if he did say "iPhone", which he didn't, as that would be an example of synechdoche, or metonymy if you view it as a kind of antonomasia: use of a closely related concept to describe any member of a larger class. This is particularly common when it comes to trademarks - aspirin, heroin, hoover, kleenex, ... iphone....

If we're in Texas, then I'm guessing Motorola would be the brand most likely to be relevant - they had cameras on their phones back in 2003, including in some of their cheapest phones.
Take your pick: https://www.gsmarena.com/motorola-phones-f-4-4-p10.php
Summarising a bunch of click-throughs therefrom (specifically the bottom row, the oldest):
E365 Released 2003 Q2, Main Camera Single VGA
T725 Released 2003, Main Camera Single QVGA
A760 Released 2003, Main Camera Single CIF
A830 Released 2003, Main Camera Single VGA

(EDIT: and by 2008, they'd hit the market hard with ROKRs and RAZRs - the RAZRs were very popular in the US: https://www.nielsen.com/insights/2008/tops-in-2008-most-popular-mobile-phones-mastertones/ - "Motorola’s RAZR V3 series handset was easily the most popular mobile phone in use in the U.S., as of Q3 2008.")
 
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Apart from camera phones, wouldn't at least some people have had a non-phone camera at their home or even on their person? I didn't have a smartphone at the time, but before they became ubiquitous lots of people had digital cameras of many different makes and models that were way better than the phone cameras at the time. That year, if I recall correctly, I bought an Olympus μ850SW (known as Stylus 850SW in the US, I think) digital compact camera*. Sure, it doesn't compare to the modern digital phone cameras even in cheaper phones, but it could still produce photos of 3248 x 2436 pixels and 640x480 video.

Also, at least here in Sweden, the introduction of affordable bridge and digital SLR cameras some years earlier had by that point in time made those much more capable (than my compact) cameras very popular. I grew up in a town half the size of Stephenville and even know I can still recall at least four people I knew personally that had a DSLR camera in 2008. And we're not talking rich people, three were the same age as me (just two years out of high school) and one was my sister (just out of high school). And facebook was a thing in 2008, so at least some people would presumably have found out that way and went out with their camera in hand, purposefully looking for the UFO. So I am fairly confident that had a UFO of that size passed and for some time hovered over my old hometown, it would have been photographed a lot and I who no longer even lived there would have seen the photos online the same day.

Sure, Sweden ain't Texas, but I still find the lack of photo evidence quite implausible if it were indeed a Walmart-size UFO flying through the air. To me, that in itself is suggestive of something more mundane that not everyone who observed would attribute to a gigantic UFO. Not to mention there seems to be some confusion as to whether every report attributed to this particular sighting actually took place during that date or if there is an overlap with other sightings during the "ufo flap" where the dates have been muddled, misremembered or lost.




*though at the exact date of the Stephenville sighting I might not have purchased it yet and thus be constrained to my older, less capable Olympus μ400
 
This particular position is unreasonable; iPhone 1 only debuted summer 2007, was incredibly expensive for the time and most camera phones otherwise (if an option yet) were trash. I didn't have a good one myself till around 2009, and I was not exactly poor. This was a farming/remote town in Texas.
To add to the chorus, From Wikipedia
External Quote:
"In the United States the V3 (and its variants) was the most popular cell phone in 2005, 2006 and 2007[1] and remained best-selling until November 2008"
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Motorola_Razr_V3

Most models had a camera, So its very unlikely no-one had a camera on them, of course most of the camera phones back then were potato quality but still
 
i dont myslef think the lack of phone video is at all suspicious in a small town.
Speaking as somebody raised in a small town, I think it's a mistake to assume that folks living there-in would not be about where the rest of the country was in adopting new technologies or trends or what-not. Heck we even had indoor-plummin! :D

I had a flip phone with camera by about 2005
Likewise. It took TERRIBLE pictures. But it is not just a lack of GOOD pictures we have here, far as I can tell it is a lack of any pictures at all.


where are we getting this "hundreds' idea for this specific event?
That is a good point. It is, of course, not unknown for the number of claimed witnesses to creep upwards over time in multiple witness cases. Further looking-into on that point is probably in order. Were the 17 different reports one person each, and all that could be found? Or did 17 out of hundreds file a report? Or what?
 
Most models had a camera, So its very unlikely no-one had a camera on them, of course most of the camera phones back then were potato quality but still
i posted pics taken from a 14 minute video earlier in the thread. but that was ufo on Jan 19th. Not Jan 8th the mile long ufo.
He was at home so he went and got his camera which he gave to the investigators so they could test it.

1714145353884.png


On the 8th..the three witnesses found for triangulation [in the UFO Hunters film]were all oldish people and didnt look to me like the type of people who would care about a camera in a telephone. The oldest who saw it from his porch likely had a camcorder in the house.. why he didnt go inside and get it i dont know. it didnt look a mile long to him, it was just small thing he could see between some tree branches. He didnt sound impressed, he just came forward after the other reports were in the paper.

The three "stars" [steve allen and friends] were outside burning leaves. Today you can buy a 35 acre ranch for 1.2 mill. or a 10 acre for 600k.. maybe they werent close to a house to get a camera. Maybe they didnt think about it.

Mufon found 17 reports of the Jan 8th ufo. and only 8 cared enough about whatever they saw to remember what direction they were looking when they saw it. we know the three on UFO hunters knew direction, then the three burning leaves, ..that's 6 right there.

If people want to argue that Steve Allen [or one of the other 4 i haven't seen] would have had a capable enough camera phone on him, that's fine.
 
That is a good point. It is, of course, not unknown for the number of claimed witnesses to creep upwards over time in multiple witness cases. Further looking-into on that point is probably in order. Were the 17 different reports one person each, and all that could be found? Or did 17 out of hundreds file a report? Or what?
The local radio stations put out calls for witnesses to come forward. If people didnt come forward..because they werent impressed enough or they were shy, we dont know if one them took pics.

and stephenville wasnt THAT small. in my neck of the woods 17k is a decent size town.
and many of the witnesses werent even in Stephenville, so 'county' numbers is likely a bit more accurate.
1714147131192.png
 
Speaking as somebody raised in a small town, I think it's a mistake to assume that folks living there-in would not be about where the rest of the country was in adopting new technologies or trends or what-not. Heck we even had indoor-plummin! :D
i'm from cowtown usa. :) I'm mostly going off similar accusations about 9/11 being fake because people didnt film it with their phone cameras and very few people filmed it on camcorders. Conspiracy theorists find this highly suspicious and that was Manhattan.
 
Phil Klass always asked for a copy of the police report along with a list of the names of those "hundreds of people" that were witnesses. Seldom if ever does that occur. It all sounds so good until you try to find detail. Accounts of this type are almost always secondary, "witnesses" are people that read the story in the National Enquirer. UFO books quote other UFO books and articles in a circular fashion.
 
My bad, or maybe just the nature of the opening post but there is yet another report about this incident. As @ideamug seems to only post links in violation of the "no click policy" which are then removed, I missed the link to Official MUFON Casebook report on the incident. I had been looking at what I guess is a preliminary write up of sorts in an issue of the MUFON UFO Journal #481 from May of 2008:
https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/MUFON/Journals/2008/May_2008.pdf

This was followed up in July of 2008 with a MUFON Casebook Report: https://documents.theblackvault.com/documents/MUFON/Journals/2008/May_2008.pdf

@deirdre has already quoted from it in a couple of posts above, but I didn't notice it was from something different than I was looking at.

This one is a bit different and focuses mostly on radar returns and logs obtained through FOIA and witness testimony. It's a dense 77 pages written by a radar engineer with lots of explanations about radars. Along with some suggestions of nefarious goings on as @deirdre mentioned above.

Just some highlights in random order from the report. First, as this is the "official" MUFON Casebook Report about the incident we can go with 17 people claiming to have seen a UFO on January 8, 2008 in and around Stephenville, though only 8 are really usable (copy and paste not allowed on this document so screenshots):

1714144886205.png


So, the "dozens" to "hundreds" of witnesses are just hype and/or confabulations with multiple sightings over several months in various locals. It's just become one of the talking points and part of the canonical version of the story we have now.

Before looking at what the witnesses saw, I would argue there is a bit of an elephant in the room here. MUFON sighting reports are by definition, self-selecting. That is, if the average person sees some lights in the sky, they don't think "I better make a report to MUFON about this". Most people don't know what a MUFON is and have likely never heard of it. A large number of people involved in MUFON or who would think to contact MUFON when they see lights in the sky are interested in UFOs at the very least.

From MUFON's website:

1714145528690.png


Also from their website, the notion that the government is covering up UFOs. For the government to cover up something assumes there is something to cover up. Something that will be in this MUFON Casebook Report:

1714145756598.png


In short, the majority of MUFON members believe in the existence of UFOs, as in aliens. Therefore, one can suspect that when people are compelled to report lights in the sky to MUFON, they also assume UFOs (aliens) to be a likely explanation.

As far as the witness statements in this case, the MUFON Casebook Report sums them up this way:

1714146163881.png


Assorted red to orange to white lights. Some as bright as "welding arch" other fading, some moving fast and few thought it was huge.

I'm not going to show all the details of all 17 reports, just touch on the highlights. For general info, here is the sunset time for nearby Dallas TX for the year. The sighting started at dusk:

1714146611305.png


As I have to use screen shots, I'll try to just get what's needed, rather shoot whole pages. First up is witness "A":

1714159349405.png

1714159473401.png


1714159509433.png


So, 2 welding arch lights that were stationary and then moved off.

Witness "B" is a pilot and is most likely Steve Allen, the guy in the OP video along his friends "C" and "D". He has by far the most elaborate sighting:

1714159916760.png


Then "B" and "C" told "E" what they had seen and then saw more stuff, including the pursuing F16s.

1714160130246.png


1714160241081.png


Witness "F" is one of our police men:

1714160326062.png

1714160509011.png


Lastly the authors list witness "G":

1714160596459.png

1714160742972.png


The authors use these various descriptions of various lights numbering between 2 and 10 and plot them with the radar data they had obtained. Note in there plot they have removed most of the radar data and concentrate only on the F16s operating int he area at the time. These radar returns correspond to logs they got through FOIA. In fact the authors note that between 6-8pm in the Stephenville area on 1-9-08, there was an UNUSAL amount of military traffic:

1714161139084.png

So, there was anywhere from 8-10 and maybe more F16 buzzing this area on that night along with the usual air traffic:

1714161388312.png


As well as an AWACS and low flying small planes and helicopters:

1714161461074.png

1714161489534.png


It would seem a case of a few people seeing a lot of military aircraft or others and maybe some flares being dropped. Instead, the authors go on about 2 radar hits they suggest are where the witnesses looking that indicate a UFO traveling at over 2000mph (the yellow with red X):

1714161645022.png



1714161737997.png

1714161781239.png


It would seem a BIG IF, because as the authors note:

1714161917338.png


So, normally something like these 2 yellow with red X points would be considered spurious or false returns, but because we believe the witnesses where all looking in exactly the same spot, a likely false radar return is instead interpreted as "craft" moving at 2100mph+.

Note also in the witness reports, only "B", Steve Allen, the guy from the video, and maybe his buddy "C" mentions any kind of actual craft, the rest just see lights. Allen's other friend "D" refused to talk to anyone and left after the first sighting. The linking of the "craft" on radar with the witnesses also requires that their notion of where they were looking is accurate. We're told 1 witness, "G", couldn't even comprehend the concept of "degrees" of sky and elevation. If the others are off by a bit, then across 20+ miles or more they may be looking somewhere else. The whole linking seems tenuous.

I'll try to delve into some of the sightings that happened a bit later in the evening time permitting. It's a very wordy report.
 

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where are we getting this "hundreds' idea for this specific event?

From the OP.
Witnesses: Numerous residents of Stephenville reported seeing the object, with some estimates reaching hundreds of witnesses.


The point I was trying to make was that if hundreds of people witnessed this event, and believed they were seeing a mile-wide flying craft with bright lights, we might expect the witnesses to act as if this were an event of extraordinary significance, and at least a handful to attempt to photograph / film it if they had cameras available
(and it seems likely that if the claimed hundreds of witnesses in the Stephenville area were broadly representative of Americans in 2008, some would have had camphones).

I think there are parallels between Stephenville 2008 and Farmington, 1950:

External Quote:
...over a three-day period in 1950 in Farmington, New Mexico, in broad daylight, no less, over a thousand residents of the area witnessed instead, a fleet of “flying saucers” – anywhere from 200 to 500 in total – hovering and maneuvering in the skies above them.
From the referred-to article (on ufoinsight.com)

MUFON, like with Stephenville, appear to accept that there were large numbers of witnesses to striking events that, at face value, are hard to explain without invoking the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

At Farmington, where supposedly 100s of "flying saucers" were witnessed over three days, not a single photograph was taken. There is no evidence that photographers or film crews (let alone scientific investigators or military personnel) from out-of-town were called for, or attended.

In both cases, there is no evidence of a serious State or Federal security response or of significant academic interest
(and frankly little evidence that the local populations requested this). In both cases, the local police chiefs are remarkably unperturbed. No fire appliances are put on standby in case of a crash (TBH I'm guessing this!) Normal life carried on as per usual.

At Farmington, and at Stephenville, there does seem to have been something in the sky that caught the attention of numbers of people- at Farmington, possibly airborne cotton seeds and fluff, at Stephenville, a flight of F-16s maybe dropping flares.

As @deirdre points out re. Stephenville, the number of people known to have claimed that they saw something highly dramatic and inexplicable is much, much lower than the "hundreds" of claimed witnesses. Same at Farmington.
The accounts of these "key witnesses" conflict, at Farmington over just about everything, at Stephenville, the UFO is said to be over a mile wide and carrying bright lights- but it's described as rectangular and disc-shaped in different accounts (suggesting that at least some of the small number of key witnesses were mistaken in their attempts to resolve the shape of the "craft").

And at both Farmington and Stephenville, there's no indication that a substantial part- even a significant minority- of the population act as if they've made one of the most significant observations in human history. Most don't even bother to sketch what they've seen.

Meanwhile, UFO enthusiasts associate the possibly already-inflated numbers of witnesses, most of whom might have seen something briefly of interest but not much more than that, with the much smaller number of witnesses who claim to have seen something inexplicable or exotic, but who are unable to provide any supporting evidence.

______________________________________________________________________________________________________________________________

i dont really recall any phone video from 9/11.

External Quote:
The first mass-market camera phone was the J-SH04, a Sharp J-Phone model sold in Japan in November 2000.[107][106] It could instantly transmit pictures via cell phone telecommunication.[108]
https://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Camera_phone

9/11 was just 10 months after the first release of a practical phone with camera in its home market, Japan;
the Wikipedia article implies that cam-phones were initially, c. 2000-2003, mainly taken up in Japan and South Korea.
The Stephenville events (Jan 2008) were more than 6 years after 9/11, during which time camphones had become widespread.

External Quote:
...In 2003, more camera phones were sold worldwide than stand-alone digital cameras largely due to growth in Japan and Korea.[109] In 2005, Nokia became the world's most sold digital camera brand.
...In 2008, Nokia sold more camera phones than Kodak sold film-based simple cameras, thus becoming the biggest manufacturer of any kind of camera.[citation needed] In 2010, the worldwide number of camera phones totaled more than a billion.[110]
Wikipedia, ibid.
 
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@deirdre has already quoted from it in a couple of posts above, but I didn't notice it was from something different than I was looking at.
i assumed you were using the same thing as me too! lol. its so long i only looked at the bits ideamug pointed out.
 
MUFON, like with Stephenville, appear to accept that there were large numbers of witnesses to striking events that, at face value, are hard to explain without invoking the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
I'm not sure accusing MUFON without evidence is intellectually honest.

the MUFON guy, Robert Powell, in the OP national geographic video (13 years later) says "dozens". but if that means 24 its not so far off.

Screenshot 2024-04-26 173419.png



Steve Allen [not MUFON] says in the same Natgeo doc:
9:03
after that I spoke to probably two or
9:05
two or three hundred people that witnessed it
business owners city councilman
policeman
but no one could say what we saw that


now 1. theres a big difference between 2 and 3 hundred people. so which was it steve?
and 2. if there was a military (possibly with flares) operation happening, is it so weird if a bunch of people saw it?

in 2012 the lead guy on the Mufon report says in an interview
A subsequent investigation by the Mutual UFO Network or MUFON turned up radar evidence that seemed to back up the claims. According to researcher Ken Cherry who headed up the main inquiry, there were hundreds of residents that described sightings, though Cherry feels that many of those can be written off as mass hysteria. He did tell me via phone recently that he felt “convinced there was something there,” based on the radar findings and testimony of several law enforcement officers.



as i noted from the Tubi "UFO Hunters" documentary that was filmed n Stephenville 1.5-2 months after "the jan 8 sighting", showed that the local radio stations put out calls for people to come in basically to be on the UFO Hunters tv show. So yea, i imagine alot of fake reports.

UFO Hunters (with one mufon guy with them) had a hard time even finding three to do a triangulation.

Even the "welders arcs" that @NorCal Dave highlighted above sound more like people who had seen the squiggley ufo footage above, which of course was taken on Jan 19th not the Jan 8th.
 
MUFON, like with Stephenville, appear to accept that there were large numbers of witnesses to striking events that, at face value, are hard to explain without invoking the extraterrestrial hypothesis.
I'm not sure accusing MUFON without evidence is intellectually honest.

I don't feel that that the difference in meaning between "...large numbers" [of witnesses to a single UFO event] and "...dozens", in the same context, is really sufficiently robust for me to be accused of intellectual dishonesty.
 
I don't feel that that the difference in meaning between "...large numbers" [of witnesses to a single UFO event] and "...dozens", in the same context, is really sufficiently robust for me to be accused of intellectual dishonesty.
well you spent time conflating it with Farmington where you highlighted "100s", which is what we were discussing about Stephenville claims.

MUFON, like with Stephenville, appear to accept that there were large numbers of witnesses to striking events that, at face value, are hard to explain without invoking the extraterrestrial hypothesis.

At Farmington, where supposedly 100s of "flying saucers" were witnessed over three days, not a single photograph was taken.

I accept your clarification that you weren't implying a similarity.
 
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