Thursday, December 29, 2005


Damn scientists and their damn science!

It figures! 2006 was going to be the year I actually dragged Dr. ER to Marfa, Texas, out in THE middle of nowhere, on the outskirts of the Hell City Limits, about a 10-hour drive from Oklahoma City to the OTHER side of Midland, Fricking, Texas, to see the famous Marfa Lights.

(Read a summary here.)

And some bunch of dang eggheads done went and took all the dang fun out of it. Well, I ain't a-gonna let 'em.

I ... I ... I BELIEVE!!!!

Marfa Lights "explained."

We just cain't have nothin' nice!

WHAT "unexplained" phenomena do you have in your neck of the woods? What do you want to go see before some dangnab egghead scientists rurn it? :-)


Headlights they are?

How about back in 1883 when the young cowhand saw them? What were they then?

Here in NC we have ghost stories, ghost stories, ghost stories. I work in a haunted library!
Ghosts in NC! There any connection to that and the highway signs out yonder that say "Burn Headlights After Dark"? :-)
The only unexplained phenomena in my neck of the woods is ER hisself.

Ok. I read the legend and I read the so-called explanation. How do the scientists explain the lights before automobiles?

Lots of so-called ghost stories in this area, near the Antietam and Gettysburg battlefields.

Back home in Wichita, they have Theorosa\'s bridge
, where legend has it that the ghost of an indian woman searches for her long lost baby.
Hey, I used to live near Midland, Texas. (Lubbock) I never knew there were ghost lights out there.
"Near" IS relative in West Texas. :-) It's 150 miles from Lubbock to Midland -- and Marfa is another 3 and a half hours southwest of Midland.
Pssst. I wonder if the 1883 cowboy reference might be a little chamber of commerce hype. The egghesads noted that they couldn't find any historical references to the Marfa Lights.

Naaaah. I BELIEVE!!!!!
No, no connection between the ghost legends and the traffic signs. You can thank the not-so-erudite rednecks out here for those.
You know, it just NOW occurred to me that there were TWO amusing elements to those signs.

I always smiled at the admonition to "burn" headlights, a colloquialism, I'm sure, dating to when car head lights actually were lanterns.

But I guess it sort of should go without saying that you should burn, ignite, switch or other wise turn on the dadgum lights WHEN IT'S DARK!

Sometimes I am about as sharp as a handful of mashed taters.
Whatever geography and optics that cause today's lights could have been there in 1883 as well. The seemingly missing element would be the headlights. However as you noted in you last post, headlights are not a 20th century invention. If the road was in the same configuration in 1883, a carriage light could have caused the same phenomena, even down to the red color of some of them, in that the back of a carriage or wagon light has a red lens.
In fact the origin of the light could coincide with some ranchers buying a new rig for his wife. Things like that used to be discussed in the local papers of the time.
The carriage/wagon light hypothesis, with the addition of a camp fire clause, looks even better. It seems that current U.S. Highway 67 was part of the Western Chihuahua Trail established in 1868 for Frieghters hauling goods from San Antonio to Chihuahua Mexico. Wagon lanterns and camp fires would have been along that road as early as that date. If you remember from your Civil War readings, camp fires at long distances will seem to flicker off and on as soliders, horses, etc. walk by them cutting off their light to the far observer for a few seconds or longer.
For example, Lee had a company of his soilders walk back and forth in front of the camp fires after the battle of Antetiem to give the appearence of normality as he slipped his main body of troops back across the Potomac and into Virginia.
There is one small flaw in the original 1883 story however. It said the ther cattleman was afraid that lights may have been from Apaches.
1.No Apache would make a fire in a place, or so big, as to be seen by a white man.
2. The Apaches were in chains in Florida or Oklahoma, or on reservations in Arizona by 1883.
Now there might have been Comanches, but they weren't actually mentioned were they.
Drlobojo, someone is yanking your chain about the Western Chihuahua Trail.

That was a well-known trade route used to move herds of those teeny-tiny yappy dogs wearing cowboy hats and sombreros, much like the video E.R. showed of herding cats. Many of the descendants of the dogs went on to serve as spokesmen in Mexican food commercials.

I thought you had a better edumacation. Sigh.
Trixie, herds of Chihuahuas were an important commodity, and still are, in Mexico. What do you think went into the original tamales?
Dog was a primary meat source next to turkey in pre-Columbian Mexico.
Oh yes, about the cats, they are on their way to the Chung King packing plant.
Trixie, as I told ER, most of those felines will end up in Catonese foods.
Hi ER. Saw you listed over at SL's page, and being a fellow Southerner, I thought I'd stop by. :)

I've actually heard of this before. Saw it on "Unsolved Mysteries" back in the day.

And of course it's real. Ghost stories are always true in the South.

Here in Arkansas, we have tons of things like that. One being a railroad crossing with ghostly lights. They say it's just headlights and such, but we know better, now don't we?

Damn Scientist... ;)

~ Ash
Howdy, Ash!

Yer durn tootin'.

Come back anytime! :-)
here in san francisco, we must endure the mysterious phenomenon of "dragon's breath", a wet vapor that covers the region during the mornings, mercifully dissipates during the day, then rolls back in in the eveneing. scary....

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