Levelland, TX & Other Locations in W. TX & E. NM
November 2 and 3, 1957:
I recall these sightings in 1957. The sightings were covered extensively in the media. These incidents created somewhat of a public "panic" as many people saw bright hovering lights over roads in Western Texas and Eastern New Mexico. The sightings began late in the evening hours of Saturday, November 2 and early in the morning hours of Sunday morning, November 3. The sightings continued until November 5. In most cases car engines shut down when the lights were sighted. Engines would become operational when the lights disappeared.
I have obtained some documents from the Air Force "Project Bluebook" archives which summarize the Air Force investigation of the Levelland and other cases in the area. Click here to read Air Force Report on the Levelland sightings (PDF 40K). Officially the Air Force said that the lights could have been "ball lightning," downed power lines, burning gas from oil operations, etc. These explanations are unlikely considering that car engines shut down in the vicinity of the lights. The car engines operated normally after the lights left.
On the same night an incident occurred at Canadian, Texas (see map above) whereby a person was driving and saw an object about twice the length of a car. Immediately his head lights extinguished. Click here to read the Air Force Report on the Canadian, Texas sighting (PDF 376K).
A few hours after the Canadian and Levelland, Texas sightings (3 AM local time) an Army Patrol near White Sands Missile Range in New Mexico saw a bright large egg shaped object about 75 to 100 yards in diameter. Another similar sighting occurred 17 hours later (8 PM local time). Click here to read Air Force Report on White Sands sightings. (PDF 237 KB.)
On November 3 at 11:53 PM Near Amarillo, Texas a Navy test pilot reported a UFO maneuvering around his aircraft. Click here to read brief report found in Air Force Archives (PDF 16K).
November 4, 1957:
On November 4, 1957 at 1:30 PM local time about 10 miles south of Orogrande, New Mexico (about 20 miles northeast of El Paso, Texas) a US Navy chief petty officer saw an egg shaped object to the northeast that was airborne. The witness was driving south on US Highway 54 towards El Paso. He stated that six other cars were pulled off the side of the road looking at the object. His car radio went done and engine shut down when he saw the object. After the sighting he noticed a "severe burning" on his skin.
On November 4, 1957 at 7:31 PM about 3 miles southeast of El Paso, Texas International Airport a man was driving and noticed an egg-shaped object that was brownish with a blueish glow. The object emitted a whirring sound similar to an artillary shell. Immediately the man's car stalled and the headlights "blew out." Bluebook investigators considered the witness to be unreliable. (No justification for this conclusion was presented.) Click here to read the the 5 page Air Force (Bluebook) Report. (PDF 224K.)
November 5, 1957:
At 7:31 PM Motors West of Hobbs, NM See Mysterious Light (See Article in El Paso Times below):
November 7, 1957 Issue of the El Paso Times:
Other Information Sources
Another document containing statements about a civilian UFO investigative group (NICAP) has been found in the Project Bluebook archives. The document makes reference to the fact that NICAP was immediately dispatched to the area to investigate the sighting. Click here to read this one page document (PDF 1.2M). NICAP is the abbreviation for the National Investigations Commitee on Aerial Phenomena.
The details of the Levelland case are discussed by Dr. J. Allen Hynek in his 1972 book "The UFO Experience." Dr. Hynek was the chief scientific consultant to the Air Force Project Blue Book. Click here to read Dr. Hynek's account of the Levelland case (PDF 19K).
Anyone with information about the Levelland sightings is urged to file a report.
A Few Thoughts - UFOS Northwest Comments:
It is preposterous that the Air Force can debunk all of the above sightings that occurred in a short period of time in Eastern New Mexico and West Texas. The sightings had many details in common and most were associated with car interference. Some of the witnesses were highly credible (military). It seems like if the Air Force couldn't discount the data, then they would attack the witness. Donald Menzel's explanations of the sightings as mirages and air bubbles in the newspaper Article in the El Paso Times are ridiculous. Does this guy really think that people are that "stupid?"