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THE MARFA LIGHTS PowerPoint Presentation
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  2. WHAT ARE THE MARFA LIGHTS? The Marfa lights or the Marfa ghost lights are unexplained lights (known as "ghost lights") usually seen near U.S. Route 67 on Mitchell Flat east of Marfa, Texas, in the United States.

  3. UNANSWERED QUESTION What causes the Marfa Lights?

  4. LANGUAGE OF THE DISCIPLINE Paranormal lights - of or pertaining to the claimed occurrence of lights without scientific explanation Static electricity - a stationary electric charge built up on an insulating material. Mirage – 1. an optical phenomenon, especially in the desert or at sea, by which the image of some object appears displaced above, below, or to one side of its true position as a result of spatial variations of the index of refraction of air. 2. something illusory, without substance or reality. Ball lightning - a rare form of lightning, consisting of a bright, luminous ball that moves rapidly along objects or floats in the air.

  5. LANGUAGE OF THE DISCIPLINE Spectroscope - an optical device for producing and observing a spectrum of light or radiation from any source Reflection – an image cast back from a surface. Piezoelectricity - Piezoelectricity  is the ability of some materials to generate an electric potential in response to applied mechanical stress. This may take the form of a separation of electric charge across the crystal lattice. Tectonic strain – When the earth’s plates move toward each other and collide.


  7. Paulding Light Ghost Light that appears outside of Paulding, Michigan Reports of the light have appeared since the 1960s, with popular folklore providing such explanations as ghosts, geologic activity, or swamp gas.

  8. The Oviedo Lights These eerie lights can be seen from a bridge where a young man killed himself after he lost his love.

  9. ORIGINS OF MARFA LIGHTS The first historical record of them recalls that in 1883 a young cowhand, Robert Reed Ellison, saw a flickering light while he was driving cattle through Paisano Pass and wondered if it was the campfire of Apache Indians. He was told by other settlers that they often saw the lights, but when they investigated they found no ashes or other evidence of a campsite. Joe and Sally Humphreys, also early settlers, reported their first sighting of the lights in 1885. Cowboys herding cattle on the prairies noticed the lights and in the summer of 1919 rode over the mountains looking for the source, but found nothing.

  10. MULTIPLE PERSPECTIVES METEOROLOGIST: A meteorologist is a person who studies the weather and he might explain the lights as ball lightning which is an atmospheric electrical phenomenon of which little is known. The term refers to reports of luminous, usually roundish objects which vary from pea-sized to several meters in diameter. It is usually associated with thunderstorms, but lasts considerably longer than the split-second flash of a lightning bolt. GEOLOGIST: A geologist studies the origin, history, structure, and composition of the earth. He might attribute the lights to the “tectonic strain” theory which states that even without actual release in earthquakes, tectonic plate strain is sufficient to produce glowing, ionized, light forms in the atmosphere above areas of such strain.

  11. BIG IDEA I believe change happens naturally or because of people best fits my investigation of the Marfa Lights because the highway built that runs parallel to the viewing area has raised the possibility of the lights being headlights, but they are evidently a natural phenomenon because there are reports of the lights before the highway or the invention of the automobile.

  12. THE THEORIES • A sub atomic particle called a “vorton” may be involved in the production of Earthlights.  • Some scientists think the lights are a form of ball lightning. • Others have proposed they are related to piezoelectric effects of tectonic strain. • Ignited swamp gas is also a theory • Various forms of mirages caused by weather conditions or white soils. • Some say they are simply stars or planets. • Many claim they are car headlights or tail lights from a nearby highway. • The lights are a result of glowing bunnies that have run through phosphorescent mineral deposits is another theory. • The superstitious believe they are souls or ghosts of Indians, railroad workers, or even the devil.

  13. PRIMARY RESOURCES EYEWITNESS ACCOUNT OF THE MARFA LIGHTS Posted by trib on September 10, 1999 at 16:35:35: In Reply to: MARFA LIGHTS posted by terry on September 09, 1999 at 20:53:08: I've been there. You can see the interstate from the "watch-zone" and you can see the tailights on same said interstate but the "marfa" lights appear above a field no where near the interstate and it's moving headlamps/tailights. You should see the territory surrounding the Marfa area....low bluffs covered in black granite, glimmering granite pebbles everywhere...the area is ripe for light shows like that of Aurora Borealis...i imagine that something similar might be happening. Sorry for being so scientific, hee!

  14. The problem is that the frontage is owned by the state of Texas but the "lights area" or where they appear to be moving is privately owned with nothing on it but cattle and fences. I did trespass into this field and walked for at least a mile but the lights did not appear to get any closer or clearer. My friends present with me on the trip also wondered if there must be another road or that the interstate must turn back in the direction of the field even so without a spy satellite or a helicopter or permission to trespass we'll never know....i know one thing,,the people of Marfa don't want to know. Posted by terry on September 09, 1999 at 20:53:08:


  16. Watch a video of the Marfa Mystery Lights: Click here:

  17. MY THEORY: I believe the best theory to explain the Marfa Lights is the “tectonic strain” theory.

  18. DETAILS This theory states that it is possible to produce glowing, ionized, light forms in the atmosphere above areas of strain even without an actual earthquake. I also think the car-light theory can not be correct since the lights were seen before the invention of automobiles or the construction of the highway.