• Perry Jones

What Were the Lubbock Lights?

What Were the Lubbock Lights?

Just five years after the famous Roswell Crash, several strange formations of orbs were sighted over the town of Lubbock, Texas. The unidentified objects were witnessed by a slew of residents including several extremely credible ones. The sighting bears more than a passing resemblance to other UFO sightings which I will discuss below as we attempt to figure out exactly what was seen over Lubbock, Texas the night of August 25, 1951.

Lubbock Lights Witnesses

The Witnesses

Researchers love credible witnesses, often writing off 'common man' eye witness testimony as the work of crazies. But the Lubbock sighting was nearly perfect in the evidence that was captured since it included the testimony of several highly educated men.

Around 9 PM on August 25th, 1951 three Texas Tech professors were hanging out in a backyard when a mysterious formation of lights appeared overhead. The men were trained in scientific fields which helps make their testimony especially valuable: Dr. Oberg was a professor of chemical engineering, Dr. Ducker was head of the department of petroleum engineering, and Dr. Robinson a professor of geology. These men were the first of many to report the sighting.

What Were the Lubbock Lights?
What Were the Lubbock Lights?

Researchers also love photographic evidence, and just a few days later an 18 year old freshman at Texas Tech captured photographs of the same Lubbock lights that his professors had seen. The student, Carl Hart, Jr., witnessed the orbs on August 30th and worked quickly to snap off the 5 photos on his Kodak 35-mm camera which was set to f3.5, 1/10 of a second.

His photos were published in the the Lubbock Avalanche-Journal. National media took notice when the photographs were published in Life Magazine in 1952, with Marilyn Monroe featured on the cover. In 1993, Hart was interviewed and said he still has no explanation for what he saw.

What Were the Lubbock Lights?

What Hart captured is fascinating - 18 glowing objects shaped like a boomerang shining more intensely than the planets they hovered in front of. The photos were taken in two separate events on the same day, shot at 5:30 pm and 10:37 pm.

"Oh, I think if I remember there were like three formations... of course they had been in the news here for a week or two before I happened to see them and they usually showed up in several flights when they would so... when I saw them I went on outside with my camera..."When asked if he knew how far away they were he said ""Not really... the only thing I saw was lights. Wasn’t any other objects associated with them. Wasn’t any noise..."

Hart asked his Texas Tech professors to examine the photos and they still had no explanation for what they had seen just a couple weeks before. A witness named Roger Dods reported seeing the lights at 10:37 as well and said he heard a slight rustling or whooshing sound as the objects passed over head - confirming what Hart said.

Other witnesses reported seeing three flights of the objects while stating that "dots" of lights flying in "U" and "V" shapes appeared in the northeastern part of the sky and proceeded in a straight line to the southwest. The lights passed by at two and three-second intervals in formations that ranged from 8 or 9 lights, to 20 to 30 lights.

Some reported that the lights were soft with hues of bluish or green, some white or with a yellow tinge; others said they were "about like the stars, only brighter." The formation was reported as being like a string of beads moving in semi-circles. It was just the beginning of ongoing unusual activity in Lubbock: Professor Ducker would observe 12 flights of the glowing orbs between August and November that year.

What Were the Lubbock Lights?

Air Force Investigation on the Lubbock Lights

By late late September, word on the Lubbock Lights reached the Air Force and an official investigation began. Lieutenant Ed Ruppelt who was leading Project Bluebook (AKA Project Sign), traveled to Lubbock and interviewed the witnesses directly. He would release the findings of his investigation as a book - "The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects" - though he would fail to provide a full explanation. The accounts of witnesses and the photographs were proven authentic in the sense that they were not faked. Additionally, the Air Force showed that no planes had been deployed over the area at the time.

What Were the Lubbock Lights?

Possible Explanations for the Lubbock LIghts

Ruppelt interviewed an elderly rancher in Brownfield who said he heard the "unmistakable call of the plover" which has led some to speculate that the sighting was a result of a flock of the small water birds flying overhead.

The explanation is that the city lights reflected off their bellies and back down. The birds had been seen over Lubbock around the time of the sightings, but the explanation sounds ridiculous. The plover has a one foot wingspan, which seems too small for the size of the lights, and even game wardens said that the birds rarely fly in flocks more than three. They also fail to fly in such perfect and symmetrical formation as the orbs in Lubbock are arranged.

The theory was tested and shown to be unlikely the cause of the sightings. Another witness, T. E. Snyder, Jr., reported "I saw something like people have been seeing and it definitely was ducks." So glowing ducks? That's as hard to believe as green men in flying saucers

Carl Hart said that someone tried to explain his photographs as a weather occurrence: "there was someone (who) tried to duplicate the light in a laboratory by reflecting light off a pan of water where they could cause a ripple run down the water and they could cause them to move and his theory was that it was a cold air inversion and that it had waves in it like the ocean and the sensation of them moving across the sky so I don’t know if that’s what happened or not."

What Were the Lubbock Lights?

Lubbock Lights Related to the Roswell Crash?

Known as the birthplace of rock ’n’ roll legend Buddy Holly, the town of Lubbock, Texas lies just three hours drive from the Roswell Crash. Though it lies in the same flight path, the Roswell saucer bears no resemblance to the lights in Lubbock. The proximity definitely makes one wonder what is going on the Southwestern United States, but there has been no proof of a direct connection to Roswell

phoenix lights similar to the lubbock lights

Similar Sightings

The Lubbock Lights bear a striking resemblance to one of the most known, and controversial, sightings of all time: The Phoenix Lights. In 1997, over large parts of Phoenix hundreds, if not thousands, of witnesses reported seeing eerie lights that appeared to move in a formation that is reminiscent of the sighting in Lubbock.

Another sighting was reported in Phoenix in 2005, and even more recently similar objects have appeared over the skies. Some have suggested that the Phoenix lights can be explained as flare drops, or by a B2 flyover - but that type of plane didn't exist in the 1950's.

What Were the Lubbock Lights?


We still don't have a definitive answer to what happened that summer night in Lubbock, Texas. Though the photographs taken by Carl Hart have never been disproved, they have never been confirmed as something extraterrestrial either. And they probably never will be. So much time has passed that the chances we get a definitive answer are slim.

It seems to me that the lights in Lubbock were most likely a highly classified craft from nearby Reese Air Force Base which is just 4 miles west of Lubbock. Though Air Force records officially deny any flight activity in the area that night - would you really expect them to confirm that a top secret craft was being tested? A craft classified at that level may not have even been disclosed to Ruppelt himself for Project Bluebook.

Some have estimated that the lights were traveling at speeds in excess of 600 mph. Add to that the fact that there were multiple sightings on different nights and I am led to believe that a military craft was undergoing a test phase. Project Bluebook itself was just a cover, possibly unknown to even Ruppelt himself, to lead us to wishfully speculate on more otherworldly explanations - rather than the simple truth that our government was hiding its secrets in plain sight.


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