Recent Texas UFO Sightings Are Not a New Phenomenon

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Michigan researcher describes her personal connection to the January 2008 mass UFO sightings near Stephenville, Texas. In the wake of the media hoopla surrounding the release of the MUFON investigation, Lisa A. Shiel notes that similar sightings have been occurring for at least the last four years in the same area. Shiel knows. She was an eyewitness.

On January 8, 2008, 17 witnesses spotted unidentified objects in the skies over Stephenville, Texas, touted as the largest mass sighting event since the 1997 Phoenix Lights. However, UFO researcher and author Lisa A. Shiel notes that a nearly identical sighting occurred four years earlier just 65 miles northeast of Stephenville. Shiel knows because she witnessed the incident herself.

In July, the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) released its report about the Stephenville mass sighting with extensive corroborating radar data and an artist's rendering of eyewitness descriptions near the town of Selden. That sketch is nearly identical to what Shiel and her mother saw in January 2004. The Selden witnesses described four lights arranged in two slightly offset, parallel rows of two lights each. The Shiels witnessed six lights in two slightly offset, parallel rows of three each. Just as reported by the Selden witnesses, the brightness of the lights Shiel saw made it difficult to tell whether the lights hung from a large object or were separate objects as they hovered about 100 feet off the ground at the crest of a hill.

"They were huge," Shiel says, "and so bright you could see the glow from the other side of the next hill."

During the sighting Shiel also experienced missing time, a well-known phenomenon wherein a witness cannot account for a significant period of time during or immediately after a UFO sighting. As the Shiels sat in their car watching the lights for what they both thought was only a few minutes, at least 25 minutes actually passed.

The experience played a key role in spurring Lisa Shiel to start her own paranormal research group, Backyard Phenomena Investigations (BPI). Shiel also discussed the sighting in her book Backyard Bigfoot.

As the former chief investigator for MUFON's Michigan chapter, Shiel knows that most of the sightings reported to such groups go uninvestigated.

"All-volunteer organizations like MUFON are often spread too thin," Shiel says. "People's work and family lives come before their UFO investigations."

When mass sightings like the Stephenville case attract media attention, UFO researchers clamor to interview witnesses. Yet sightings like Shiel's and other witnesses', openly listed in online databases like the one on MUFON's website, demonstrate that similar objects have been spotted repeatedly over many years in the same geographic area.

Lisa A. Shiel is the author of Backyard Bigfoot: The True Story of Stick Signs, UFOs, & the Sasquatch, published by Slipdown Mountain Publications in 2006. She has a master's degree in Library Science and currently pens a blog, Backyard Phenomena, as a companion to her research website. To contact her, e-mail or call (906) 523-6101.


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