A Brief History
On November 2, 1957, the North Texas prairie town of Levelland (population around 10,000 at the time) was the scene of one of the better documented UFO incidents. Numerous witnesses reported seeing an extremely bright object, often described as egg shaped and 100 feet long, often at or near the ground.
Among the witnesses were many credible people, including the fire chief and the local sheriff. Some witnesses reported that the bright object landed or hovered on the road in front of their cars, causing the cars to experience electrical and motor problems such as dashboard gauges going wild, lights going out and engines sputtering or even dying. Some witnesses reported a bright red object going across the sky at high speed.
The U.S. Air Force was contacted and sent a team from Project Blue Book out to investigate. (Project Blue Book was an ongoing Air Force investigation of UFO incidents from 1952 to 1970. Previous studies had been started in 1947.) The investigation team discounted some of the witnesses as not reliable due to confusion and/or poor education, and their official conclusion was that the remaining witnesses had been experiencing “ball lightning,” also known as “St. Elmo’s Fire,” the weather that evening of the incident being ideal for it. That was their explanation for the visual phenomena as well as the effects on automobiles.
Prior to closing Project Blue Book, the Air Force produced the Condon Report summarizing the events that had been compiled and recorded and concluded that there had been no evidence found of extraterrestrial activity.
Critics of the investigation of the Levelland UFO and of Project Blue Book find it questionable that the Air Force did not interview 9 of the 15 witnesses and that the incident was not mentioned it in the project’s final report. Outside investigators claim the alleged ball lightning was not the cause of the phenomena, as their study of weather reports indicated no sign of an electrical storm or conditions favorable for ball lightning. They also expressed their doubt about the ability of ball lighting to cause electrical disturbances and to even stop cars.
Did the Air Force cover up yet another UFO incident? Are the folks in Levelland good intentioned but deluded at the same time? Which “experts” do you believe? Let us know what you think.
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