The 1951 Lubbock, Texas lights
The first sighting occurred on August 25, 1951, at just about 9 p.m. The first three people who witnessed the object(s) were three professors: Dr.
A.G. Oberg, Dr. W.L. Ducker, and Dr. W.I. Robinson, all who worked at the Texas Technological College, located in Lubbock, Texas. The professors
were in the backyard of one of their colleagues, who was one of the three professors, when they witnessed the lights. Possibly 30 lights were seen.
The objects were not stars, as, even though they appeared to be as bright as a star, they were larger than stars. Meteors were ruled out by the
professors, so these were neither stars, nor meteors. And in a relatively short time, another cluster of lights flew overhead.
Within a short time, the professors reported their sightings to a local newspaper called "Lubbock Avalanche-Journal". Shortly after, three women
reported their sighting that occurred on the same day, though from their description of the lights, it did not appear to be group of lights, but
rather a bright, flashing object. Another professor reported a similar sighting, as well as a member of the college's journalism.
The professors attempt to see the lights again
Following this, the professors attempted to see the lights again and identify what they are. And once again, the professors saw the lights; this time
on September 5, 1951. The professors were viewing the lights from Dr. Robinson's front yard. One of the professors, Dr. Grayson Mead, reported that
the lights "Appeared to be about the size of a dinner plate and they were greenish-blue, slightly fluorescent in color. They were smaller than the
full moon at the horizon. There were about a dozen to fifteen of these lights...they were absolutely circular...it gave all of us...an extremely eerie
feeling." He claimed that the lights were not birds. He also said that the lights "went over so fast...that we wished we could have had a better
look.", which supports his claim that they were not birds. The lights were apparently moving at a very high speed, as the professors noticed that the
lights were above a cloud at roughly 2,000 feet and, through this, calculated their speed, which was around 600 mph
Photographs of the lights taken by Carl Hart, Jr
On August 30, 1951, while in his room looking out the window, Hart, who was a Texas Tech freshman, witnessed 15-20 lights in the sky flying in a V
formation. After seeing this, he went to his backyard with his 35-mm Kodak camera to see if the lights will return.
Two rounds of lights flew overhead after, and so Hart was able to take four, possibly five photos of the lights.
(Four of the photos taken by Hart.)
(Though the photos appear to represent what the professors had seen, the professors claimed that the lights in this photo were in a different
formation than what the professors had seen fly over.)
Hart then took the photos to the local newspaper, to see if the newspaper would publish the photos. The newspaper editor, Jay Harris, examined the
photos of the lights, and wanted to publish them in the newspaper. Harris paid Hart $10 for the photos. After the photos became publicly known, being
in many magazines and newspapers, the Wright-Patterson Air Force Base physics laboratory scrutinized the photos. Soon after, the supervisor of Project
Blue Book, Lieutenant Edward J. Ruppelt, released a statement regarding the photos of the lights, saying "the photos were never proven to be hoax, but
neither were they proven to be genuine."
The US Air Force investigation of the sightings and photos of the lights
In the latter part of September, 1951, Lieutenant Ruppelt had decided to investigate the photos, as well as the sightings. The lieutenant traveled to
Lubbock, Texas to interview the professors, Hart, and others who had seen the lights. Ruppelt had concluded that the lights were a group of migrating
plovers, a type of bird. He concluded that the lights from vapor street lights were reflecting off the birds, thus causing the group of birds to
appear as if they are a group of lights, or perhaps UFOs. There were some people who had seen birds flying around the same dates that were
"reflecting" street lights. One person, T.E. Snider, had apparently seen birds reflecting lights over a drive-in movie theater on August 31, 1951.
Another person, Joe Bryant, had apparently seen a group of lights fly overhead on the same date as the original sighting while sitting outside of his
home with his wife. However, the "lights" started to circle around his home, and that is when, apparently, he and his wife could hear plovers
overhead, and so concluded that the lights were plovers. One of the professors had also concluded that they were plovers, after researching the
Not everyone had concluded the same. Many disagreed with the conclusion that these were birds. The chief photographer of the local newspaper, "Lubbock
Avalanche-Journal" had apparently photographed birds flying over the vapor street lights, and did not get the same results as the Hart photographs.
However, the photos could not be developed as they were too dark. Another person who disagreed with the plover explanation was Dr. J.C. Cross, the
head of Texas Tech's biology department. He had dismissed the plover explanation. And once again, another person who disagreed with the plover
explanation was a game warden Lieutenant Ruppelt had interviewed. He had deduced that they could not be plovers, as plovers usually fly at speeds of
around 50 mph, and fly in groups much smaller than the group of lights seen over Lubbock. Dr. Grayson Mead had also disagreed with the plover
explanation, stating "these objects were too large for any bird...I have had enough experience hunting and I don't know of any bird that could go this
fast we would not be able to hear...to have gone as fast as this, to be birds, they would have to have been exceedingly low to disappear quite so
In Ruppelt's book, The Report on Unidentified Flying Objects, he had apparently dismissed the plover explanation as well, so once again, another
person that disagreed with the birds explanation.
Were they real UFOs? A military project perhaps? Aliens? I do not know, but this is a very interesting UFO case.
Thank you for reading.
edit on 5/29/2013 by kosmicjack because: grammatical edits as per OPs request