Another meteorwrong

By Phil Plait | June 3, 2009 7:00 am

If a rock that falls from space is a meteorite, then one that’s misidentified is a meteorwrong. And I am sure that’s what we have in Texas.

Texas meteorwrong
Photo from Fox 4 and Steve Hudgeons

A land owner there claims to have found a long ditch with a large teardrop-shaped rock at one end. It looks just like a scene from Superman, when Kal-el’s ship crashed into Kansas, in fact. Experts were called out, but the object is limestone, a sedimentary rock that is clearly and most certainly not a meteorite.

I was rather surprised to see a news segment about this that was actually even-handed– not because it was Fox, but because local news in general does not treat scientific stories very well, and tend to be very credulous when it comes to meteorite stories in particular.

So what is this? I’m not sure. It could be a hoax, and that’s the most parsimonious explanation. But it could also be natural, like a channel carved by torrential rain which unearthed the rock. It looks like the ditch is up on a small rise, though, so this is peculiar. A wider shot would help, I think.

Most reports of meteorites are misidentified terrestrial rocks. Slag from factories, ejected teeth from industrial grinders, weirdly-shaped stones, and the like are endlessly shown to scientists. But sometimes a true piece of an asteroid is found, so if you do find something you’re not sure about, it’s better to tell someone! Call a local university and see if they have a geology or astronomy department member who’s willing to take a look. If what you have is real, it could be valuable, both to science and to your wallet.

My thanks to my old friend Mike Fanelli and to BATweep IanDavidB for alerting me to this!

CATEGORIZED UNDER: Astronomy, Cool stuff, Skepticism

Comments (43)

  1. Typo in fifth paragraph: “ejected teeth form from industrial grinders”

    My thoughts on the picture…maybe a sinkhole?

  2. I think that the closest SCIENCE department to this backwater bayou is in Tallahasse… That is actually rather telling…

  3. Joe Meils

    Funny… It looks like some of the holes I’ve seen where the local rednecks go out for an afternoon of playing with “Dine-E-mite…”

  4. Chris

    @3 that is what it looks like to me as well.

  5. I just noticed the trees that were uprooted to the left side of the picture.

  6. Stone Age Scientist

    I wonder if tests exist that could help determine whether or not the hole was blown by a dynamite.

  7. Bryan

    Larian- The “science” department at Tallahassee does not operate a world class observatory:

    http://mcdonaldobservatory.org/

    Not everyone in Texas is a hillbilly. There are plenty of real astrophysicists at UT Austin, UT Arlington, and the University of North Texas.

  8. dhtroy

    It’s most likely those giant worms from tremors coming up and eating people.

    It’s all true. I’ve seen it on TV and Kevin Bacon doesn’t lie, I know a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend of a friend that knows him, and he says, Kevin’s movie is for real.

  9. Stone Age Scientist

    Now that you’ve mentioned it, dhtroy, that thing does look like scat. Imagine all the people that it ate. Eeeeeks!

  10. chili

    Seems most likely to have been faked. But…

    We have seen meteorites from the moon and Mars. Mars is known to have had a watery past (like Earth presently does) to create sedimentary rocks. Could it have been ejected from Mars (or Earth for that matter) from an earlier larger meteor impact? Granted sedimentary rock is not the known or common composition of meteorites we’ve studied in the past. Maybe this type of rock is too soft and fragile to survive any form of re-entry.

  11. Adam

    Kinda looks to me like the entrance to a giant ant mound…..

  12. Terrance

    Judging by the elevated presence of smaller sized stones on the surface visible in the image, I’d suggest that someone was extracting gravel for construction or re-surfacing purposes. A wider field of view would be useful.

  13. Odd, how all that dirt seems to be above grade. Even the “crater” bottom is above the level of the surrounding terrain.

    Also odd how the “meteor” seemed to land in an area curiously devoid of trees, when it appears from the video in the news story that the property is heavily wooded. Pretty good targeting for a random rock from space.

  14. The only way to tell for sure if it was a meteorite is when the Blob starts consuming people.

  15. David D.

    @Larian and QUASAR–

    To echo Bryan #7, your prejudice and ignorance is showing. Not all of us in the South are hillbillies and yokels. There are a lot of respectable scientists doing real science across the South, from Oklahoma to Florida. There are also vibrant skeptic communities in the southern states–check out the back pages of “The Skeptical Inquirer.”

    And I could have sworn that Quasar was recently and unceremoniously shown the door by Phil.

  16. Were they trying to say that that ditch is a crater? I’m not terribly convinced, especially if there wasn’t some other phenomenon like a fireball in the sky or a noise that woke up the neighborhood.

  17. Looks to me like the type of hole that’s left by the root ball of a large tree has been blown over by strong winds. Notice the large trees in the background. If it was a tree it looks like it would have been more isolated from the others and thus more subject to wind damage. The landowner would have most likely cut up the tree to be used as firewood and not bothered to fill in the hole.

    BTW, this comment is coming from a local “redneck” within the “black hole” of science.

  18. @ RTFM:

    Yup. Yup. Yup.

  19. That “crater” doesn’t seem very… crater-shaped. And other than proximity I’m not sure what the limestone boulder necessarily has to do with the ditch. Maybe it was placed there? Kinda weird if there’s no vehicle tracks.

    Guess for now I’ll also assume it’s the kidney stone from a giant Tremors worm :p (those have kidneys, right?)

  20. RMlind

    Randy Korotev at Washington University has a great site for meteorite identification at http://www.meteorites.wustl.edu/meteorwrongs/meteorwrongs.htm.

  21. Torbjörn Larsson, OM

    Looks to me like the type of hole that’s left by the root ball of a large tree has been blown over

    My thinking too, I’ve seen many of those around here, albeit most often with a vegetation coverage ripped up.

    Large stones exposed that may or may not have blocked the tree from getting a sturdy grip – check. Loose gravel that definitely didn’t help – check. Blown over tree right (well, left in that picture :-) at the hole facing outwards – check.

    Typo in fifth paragraph: “ejected teeth form from industrial grinders”

    Oh, I don’t know, but the sentence would work that way too. You can buy my Ejecto-Toother™ industrial strength grinder at the nearest tool depot.

  22. BJN

    The “crater” appears to be too big to be the hole of a rootball of one of the trees around the site. I’d guess that the line of felled trees is from a microburst, and the hole with trough is partly from treefall and partly from flooding but it’s really impossible to have any confident opinion based on this image and video.

    I doubt anybody tried to fake anything. It’s an interesting micromystery. The first thing I’d look for in the area would be other limestone boulders with similar rounding and surface texture. I’d bet these are common, and if so this boulder is likely just a heavy rock that stayed in the hole when it was formed.

  23. Mike

    Maybe someone got carried away with their catapult.

  24. Scamp

    By God you are all missing the obvious answer here.

    It’s a sedimentary rock that fell from the sky!

    Proof positive of liquid water on other planets.

  25. Crux Australis

    Didn’t I read somewhere on this very blog that craters are almost always round (or at least slightly eccentric ellipses), independent of the approach angle? Or maybe there was an angle below which there was a trench. Whatever. This ain’t my bag, baby.

  26. RE: Tremors

    So, the Graboids are back? Uh, oh, next up are the ‘shriekers’, then ‘ass-blasters’…..

    J/P=?

  27. MadScientist

    I’d say hoax, and a very poor one too. The alleged impact region doesn’t look anything like what would be expected from a meteorite; I guess the hoaxers didn’t bother to look at the typical appearances of actual meteorite impact sites. A simple hole in the ground without a huge mound of dirt at the opening would be far more convincing. Looking at the not-so-good images, I can imagine a few things:

    1. someone was digging for some reason – maybe leveling the terrain – and found a rock (similar to what Terrance #13 suggests)

    2. someone playing with explosives – maybe just for fun, maybe they were trying to remove a tree stump and didn’t know what they were doing, or maybe just being stupid and going “hey, what if we use that whole barrow full and see how it launches this sucker?” (already suggested in #3).

    @#6: Yes, we can test for residuals from explosives using a very cheap test in the field. If the test is positive, then a sample can be taken to the lab to see if the particular type of explosive and its manufacturer can be identified. Of course if you wait too long, rain might eventually wash away all trace of evidence.

    @RTFM: I have my doubts about the root ball; I don’t see other indications of a tree simply blowing over, and for that sized hole that’d be a pretty big tree and I’d expect other signs to be pretty easy to spot. It’s not too hard to blast a hole that size if you’re trying to remove a stump using explosives though, so I favor the “being silly with explosives and blasting out a stump or live tree” over the tree falling over and being carted away as firewood. Of course I say that in complete ignorance of any evidence except for what little can be seen in those shots.

  28. Brad

    The Lyndon B. Johnson Space Center (“JSC”) is the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s center for human spaceflight activities. The center consists of a complex of 100 buildings constructed on 1,620 acres (656 ha) [1] located in southeast Houston, Texas. Johnson Space Center is home to the United States astronaut corps and is responsible for training astronauts from both the U.S. and its international partners.

    -those HillBillies in Texas think they are a buncha rocket scientists!

  29. Dave

    I recall seeing this on TV at the time. The video coverage was MUCH more impressive then that funky photo, and the on-site reporter later commented that the impact was obvious, and the shots they took could not really do justice to the shear power of whatever had struck the ground.

    This thing appeared to come in at a shallow angle, took out several trees in its wake, then tore a hole in the ground 50 feet long before finally coming to a rest. Clearly not the sort of thing that could be caused by either a tree root ball, or dynamite, as some have suggested, but looked very much like what you suggested – Kal-el’s ship carving itself into a cornfield. The object itself appeared to be aerodynamically shaped into a teardrop, and badly scorched.

    A few days later, there was some brief follow-up comments in one of the newscasts, that there had been something anomalous about the object (magnetic, or had some metals, I don’t recall exactly), that made it different from a regular limestone rock, and the local University was analyzing the unusual samples they had collected from it for further clues to this mystery.

    The most interesting thing about all of this, however, was the location they showed – Chalk Mountain, near the road towards Stephenville!

    If those two names didn’t make you sit up and take notice, then you might want to take a gander at the following -

    http://www.mufon.com/documents/MUFONStephenvilleRadarReport.pdf

    So, I don’t know, perhaps some weird form of alien dodge-ball? ;)

  30. Mike C.

    It is most certainly not a sinkhole. And it doesn’t remotely resemble any sort of impact crater.

    One obvious question would be is the limestone of the suspected meteorite in fact a local material ? Lots of limestone terrains in Texas.

  31. Adesh Maharaj

    they do not know ,so they give us stupid idea . If every thing we have here on earth come from space them is a world made of cake and icecream.
    scientis would bet their last dollar on gravity which is true ,gravity attract this force is common in the universe.what about the force that repel
    and is out their in the universe we do not here them talking about it or they do not know and can not explain.

  32. Greg in Austin

    Adesh Maharaj said,

    “what about the force that repel
    and is out their in the universe we do not here them talking about it or they do not know and can not explain.”

    If you are talking about anti-gravity, which would simply negate the attractive force of gravity, then there is plenty of information on that subject.
    en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Anti-gravity

    If you are talking about a hypothetical opposite force that actually repels matter, rather than attracts, well, then that’s still completely in the realm of science fiction. Its not that such a thing cannot exist somewhere in the universe, but that such a thing has never been observed, nor are there any mathematical formulas that would predict such a thing.

    Let me rephrase that: Until you or I or someone else can observe or come up with a equation for repelling forces of gravity, its safe to say such a thing does not exist at this time. If you or I DID discover some fundamental force that acts in the opposite of gravity, we’d be rich and famous beyond belief.

    8)

  33. Greg in Austin

    Dave said,
    <blockquote?"The most interesting thing about all of this, however, was the location they showed – Chalk Mountain, near the road towards Stephenville!"

    You mean the same Stephenville where the UFO sightings turned out to be military flares dropped by planes from the nearby military base? A more likely explanation for the hole in the ground then would be a military rocket or bomb, where the remains of the rocket were removed from the site before the photos were taken.

    Of course, I don’t see anyone else here claiming the hole was caused by a military projectile. I wonder why that is?

    Possible explanations from those of us who have never actually seen the actual hole in person:

    Sinkhole
    Dynamite
    Microburst (or other weather related phenomenon)
    Fakery
    Military device

    All of those (and many more) would have to be ruled out before claiming it was something non-terrestrial.

    The hole is not consistent with thousands of known meteor impacts, and the rock itself is said to be limestone – in other words, the rock was there before the hole was made.

    8)

  34. Joe Deertay

    We call it a Boeing Bomb
    Airplanes they dump their toilets at 36,000 feet. The stuff freezes and falls to earth.
    Cant you see the peanut?

  35. KZnextzone

    Maybe the black box from Air France…
    Too soon?

  36. Dave

    RE: Posts 32 & 33 (Adesh Maharaj, Greg in Austin) -

    “If you are talking about a hypothetical opposite force that actually repels matter…that’s still completely in the realm of science fiction…such a thing has never been observed”

    What about “dark energy”? It’s certainly a repelling force in opposition to gravity! How does it affect matter – we don’t understand it well enough to know yet. It would be interesting to see, if we could find a way to generate it, and pointed the beam at an object, what would happen?

    Magnetic fields can also produce repulsive force (that it the basis for things like a maglev train). Two magnetic fields with the same polarity will repel each other.

    A magnetic field can also repel matter directly – a magnetic field cannot penetrate and will repel any superconducting matter. The classic example of this is to place a superconductor above a strong magnet – the repulsive field will cause the superconductor to “float” in mid-air.

    But the biggest problem with trying to do any kind of anti-grav thing, is that we don’t really even understand gravity yet! We’re still trying to detect a gravity wave. We still don’t have a workable theory for quantum gravity. We don’t know why it’s so weak compared to the other fundamental forces. We’re debating if this is because some of it is actually leaking into higher dimensions. We don’t even know if these other dimensions exist or not yet (but are trying to find out). We don’t know how to generate it. We don’t know how to block it. We don’t know if we could block it completely, if it would generate a repulsive effect like magnetism does (which might create the propulsive effect you were looking for!) In short, compared to EM energy, we know almost nothing about gravity.

    This lack of knowledge severely hinders our ability to find ways to manipulate, block, counter, or otherwise control gravity. It’s like a caveman trying to invent a bulletproof vest, when he doesn’t even know what a bullet is!

  37. Dave

    @Greg in Austin -

    Not unless a flare can outrun a jet fighter running full bore with afterburners engaged!

    Or perhaps it was swamp gas (in the desert?) Or the planet Jupiter aligned with Mars (that was tracked on FAA radar for over an hour?)

    Nor was this a nearby military base – the chase jets were dispatched from Carswell AFB in the Dallas area (also tracked on radar).

    (Indeed, the Air Force’s original story tried to deny their planes were even IN the area – even with eyewitnesses of the chase and radar data to the contrary!)

    But, like the author of this blog observed above, that’s what you get when you count on a local TV station for your science news. ;)

    If we dismiss something out-of-hand, simply because it offends our personal belief system (or worse, blindly accept some lame, generic excuse that does not match the actual facts), we are no better than that young-earth creationist fella that is arguing against the big bang, cosmic expansion, and the Hubble constant, simply because it contradicts his personal religious beliefs!

    That is NOT how science is supposed to work.

    Rather than relying on a TV “sound bite”, I would strongly suggest you read that report – I found it very interesting (and certainly more informative than the sensationalist news coverage we had back then!)

    While I found the evidence quite intriguing, I draw no conclusions as to the cause or source of those events, other than to say 1) none of the offered “official” explanations match the facts; and 2) I don’t plan on doing any overnight camping in the Stephenville area anytime in the near future!

    (Don’t want my tent taken-out by any of those hypersonic dodge-balls! ;) )

    I did, however, find the fact that both of these anomalous events occurring in the exact same area rather odd, particularly given that we don’t know when this object actually hit (the impact was not observed), so it’s possible that both of these events may have also occurred at around the same time?

    With regards to this impact object, as I already discussed in my previous post above, even from what can be seen from the video, most of the options you mentioned simply do NOT match the evidence. The astrophysicist from UTA that was on-scene did state that the object looked just like what he would expect a meteorite to look like, but he was perplexed by it’s limestone composition.

    However, the military projectile theory raises an interesting point. When I saw the video, one of the things that came to mind was those huge guns on WWII battleships (you know, the ones that can hurl a projectile as heavy as a car over 20 miles), if loaded with a non-explosive round, might leave a hole like that.

    But, aside from the fact we don’t normally park battleships on a mountain in the middle of Texas (or the obvious difficulty of trying to propel a large “rock” down a long canon barrel without blowing the whole mess up!), I don’t think even our Navy’s biggest guns could accelerate a projectile to the speeds necessary to ablatively re-shape and charbroil a boulder!

    There is one thing that MIGHT be able to do it, however…

    a railgun.

    Indeed, from a purely hypothetical standpoint, and considering the other events in the area, if you wanted to shoot-down an object that was too fast for conventional weaponry, and you didn’t have something handy (like the StarFire facility) nearby, then a railgun might make for a good weapon of choice!

    Or from the opposite viewpoint (again, PURELY hypothetically), if you were traveling great distances, wanted the option of a kinetic-based weapon, but didn’t want the inconvenience of having to lug-around a bunch of projectiles, a weapon that could simply pick-up any nearby object (like a boulder), and hurl it at hypersonic speeds, would be a pretty cool thing to have! ;)

    (I’m sure there’s a video game in there somewhere!)

  38. Greg in Austin

    @Dave,

    I have looked at the Stephenville reports, including the ones from the traffic helicopter pilot who saw military flares at the same time as people on the ground claimed to see a giant ship of lights. Regardless, no physical evidence has been found that the lights were non-terrestrial. Unless you have proof that says otherwise, I say it was flares or military activity. Without any evidence you might as well say it was a group of flying pink unicorns with glowing noses.

    As to the rock in the hole – its limestone. No limestone has ever come from outer space. That doesn’t mean it couldn’t, but so far it never has. You still haven’t shown me how you have ruled out any other possibility for the hole, nor have you shown me any evidence that this is a meteorite or a hole blasted by imaginary craft from outer space.

    This has nothing to do with beliefs, but with evidence.

    8)

  39. Dave

    @Greg in Austin:

    I’ll start with some of your claimed explanations on the impact object, as those are pretty cut-and-dry.

    I’ll give you the benefit of the doubt, and assume that you didn’t see the same local TV video coverage I did (understandable, as you don’t receive the same TV stations in Austin), and that you didn’t see my description of the evidence in my post #29 above (as some of the explanations you offered made no sense in light of that).

    But to clarify -

    “Sinkhole” – there is no way in hell a sinkhole is going to create that kind of shape. Nor can it explain that teardrop-ablated projectile, perfectly aligned at the end of the notch it carved, like a bullet exiting a rifle barrel. Nor (assuming you’re not contenting this sinkhole is part of an active volcano!) can it explain the extensive charring.

    “Microburst” – ditto on all of the above.

    “the rock was there before the hole was made” – nope, same reason.

    “(or other weather related phenomenon)” – I considered this, but was at a loss to come up with any reasonable option. Not even an F5 tornado could hurl a boulder with the speed necessary to cause all of this!

    “Dynamite” – you listed this as a separate item from fakery, so I assume you mean innocent use of dynamite, like blowing a tree trunk out of the ground. No, dynamite wouldn’t do this. Several shape charges and a special-effects team, maybe. Dynamite also doesn’t explain the projectile. So unless you are talking about fakery, no.

    “a military rocket or bomb, where the remains of the rocket were removed” – if the hole was empty and the projectile that had created it had been removed, then perhaps. But it was not, so again, no.

    “Fakery” – always possible, but how? This thing even had the astrophysicist from UTA scratching his head! From what I saw, this would be a pretty tough thing to fake, even if it were possible. But more importantly, why? Not for publicity, the rancher insisted they hide his location, in order to protect his privacy! And if all he wanted was to see his face on TV for a few seconds – he lives by Chalk Mountain, hell, there are PLENTY of other things he could have said that would have accomplished that!

    “Military device” – I said railgun, but you ignored that suggestion. Traditional cannon doesn’t seem likely, for reasons already given. I suggested something else entirely in jest (and made it clear I was doing so), and you still jumped on it to criticize me. So if none of those, then what kind of weapon were you suggesting?

    “nor have you shown me any evidence that this is a meteorite”

    I never claimed that it was – only that after having seen better evidence than that funky picture above, that it appeared to defy most of the explanations being suggested here.

    Need to check what direction it appears to have come from – perhaps N. Korea is using missile tests to chuck sub-orbital rocks at us out of spite! ;)

    I had some better pictures I think I saved of this thing, if I can figure-out how to upload them to this blog, perhaps people will get a better idea.

  40. Dave

    RE: regarding your dismissive claims about the earlier events in that same area -

    Greg in Austin says:

    “traffic helicopter pilot who saw military flares at the same time as people on the ground claimed to see a giant ship of lights”

    Traffic helicopter??? You’re kidding, right?

    This did not happen near any major metro area, where you have traffic helicopters to tell you which freeway to avoid during your morning commute – these events happened out in the middle of rural Texas!

    Stephenville is a small rural town, with a population that can’t even match your local college! Heck, you could buy every single man, woman and child in that entire county a seat in Cowboy’s stadium – and they wouldn’t even fill it up halfway!

    Yea, I can see why they need that traffic helicopter – never know when farmer Joe’s dang cow is gonna block that dirt road again! ;)

    If this isn’t just a made-up story, tell us – What city was this traffic helicopter from? What TV station? (not FOX, right?)

    And how was it that a traffic helicopter just happened to be flying so very far away from it’s home city, that it was in a position to witness these events?

    “at the same time as people on the ground claimed”

    At WHAT same time? The “people on the ground” WHERE?

    Your incredibly vague claim MIGHT make more sense if these events happened at a single time and location.

    But they did not!

    As you should know if actually read those reports as claimed, there were MULTIPLE incidents, at DIFFERENT times, observed by DIFFERENT groups of people, located in 9 DIFFERENT cities, in MULTIPLE counties, and spread out across a wide swath of Texas!

    Your talk about facts and evidence, but your claim is wantonly bereft of either, and is so lacking in substance as to sound like an urban myth (or something you made up). Provide us some details & facts, please, and not just some fairy tale you heard from God knows where.

    “Without any evidence…”

    Actually, I provided a link to evidence to support what I was saying. You need to do the same.

    If you are going to convince me THAT YOU DID NOT JUST MAKE THIS STORY UP, then PROVIDE US A LINK, so that we can judge the credibility of this “alleged” witness for ourselves.

    “pink unicorns”

    Actually, if those pink unicorns of yours are capable of powered flight and can out-run an F-16, then they actually match the physical evidence and witnesses better than your other story does! ;)

    But while waiting for you to provide us some actual PROOF of your fabled reporter, how about a few tidbits of evidence for the rest of us to ponder? -

    These objects were observed by reliable witnesses (including law enforcement officers in different cities & counties, a chief of police, a former air traffic controller, and a pilot) at different times and locations, in multiple counties across a wide swath of Texas, including the areas of Chalk Mountain, Selden, Gorman, Lake Proctor, Alexander, Cisco, Dublin, Stephenville and Comanche.

    The objects were tracked on radar.

    Radar tracking data and eyewitness testimony MATCHED. Specifically, at different times, in different cities, involving different groups of witnesses, both the time, location, compass direction from observers, and direction of travel reported by the witnesses and as shown on radar ALL MATCHED.

    The objects were observed on radar engaging in aerodynamic feats not possible by manmade aircraft. Testimony of witnesses on the ground also saw this, which AGAIN matched the radar tracking data.

    Two groups of Air Force jets were observed on radar breaking-away from their squadrons, exiting proscribed military flight corridors, and traveling deep into civilian airspace after the objects. In one case they flew so far afield that they (accidentally?) crossed into the landing corridor and into the flight path of several incoming civilian flights at Dallas/Fort Worth International Airport!

    Two additional military jets that were returning to Carswell from operations in Oklahoma at the time were also re-directed from their original flight path, first west (directly away from Carswell), and then a big loop south directly towards the objects, before finally coming back around north to land at their original destination.

    An AWACS plane was also seen flying in a search pattern over the area (civilian airspace) for over 4 hours, looking for…unicorns?

    Numerous witnesses saw Air Force jets chasing these objects. For example, several witnesses (including a pilot) observed the objects being chased by two F-16′s running full bore with afterburners engaged!

    Damn, those unicorns of yours are fast! ;)

  41. Greg in Austin

    My mistake. It was a medical helicopter heading from Ft. Worth to Granbury, 30 miles from Stephenville.

    The orginial article is no longer available on the DFW NBC website, but there are lots of links that reference it.
    http://blogs.usatoday.com/ondeadline/2008/01/dozens-report-s.html
    http://www.ufocasebook.com/2008/pilotsays.html

    “FORT WORTH, Texas — A Fort Worth medical helicopter pilot said he knows what caused the strange lights that appeared in the sky near Stephenville last week. Chuck Mueller was flying a medical helicopter from a Fort Worth hospital, heading south just after sunset last Thursday. He said he saw unusual lights on the horizon near Granbury.

    “We were maybe five minutes into the flight when we saw the lights come on, one little orange light, and then another one and another one in sequence across the sky,” he said.

    His description is similar to what a county constable and dozens of others in Stephenville had described seeing two nights earlier.

    “And it was something that I’d never seen before,” Mueller said. “And I looked at the medic and he looked at me, and we were like, ‘What was that?’”

    Muller, a former Army pilot in Iraq, said an explanation “kind of hit” him.

    “I’ll bet that was an airplane dropping flares, dispensing flares as he was flying along,” he said. “It all makes sense. The color was right.”

    Stephenville is close to the Brownwood Military Operations Area, a major training area for fighter jets. “

    FYI, Stephenville is about 70 miles from DOWNTOWN Ft. Worth. which puts it at less than an hour’s drive from thousands of suburbs, and well within visual range of a helicopter.

    Take 5 minutes to look up the words “Occam’s Razor.”

    8)

  42. Greg in Austin

    @Dave,

    I watched the video. The experts scratched their heads when they first got there, but by the end of the video, they all agreed that the rock was limestone. Do you know how limestone is made? It could not have come from outer space.

    I’m not a physicist nor a Mythbusters expert, but I’d guess that the terminal velocity of a rock that size would pretty much prevent it from actually creating a crater like that if it fell from the sky.

    So, thank you for giving your opinion, and for admitting that it could be a hoax or could be made with dynamite or explosives. In the real world, those would be considered the highest possibilities, far far more likely than “aliens did it.” Until the rock (including the “burned” portions) is analyzed, we are just speculating as to whether or not it was there before or after the hole was made. Even the guy who owns the property said it could be a hoax.

    And a news video does NOT equate to scientific evidence.

    8)

  43. Ang

    I occasionally search this topic just to see if there has been any follow-up because I am familiar with that area. The man who reported this owns a heavy equipment rental company. Possibly a fabrication to boost profits.

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