|There are two sides to the UFO controversy in the world -- there are the believers, and there are the nonbelievers. In Texas this year, there are certainly more believers than ever before.
Sure - the belief in and/or study of Unidentified Flying Objects has been at the center of pop controversy for a long time, at least since 1947, and no one would argue that Texans often like their tall tales and proportionate twisted sense of humors.
But in spite of thousands of UFO sightings in Texas every year - most of them innocent and often easily explained - there are those few than could be categorized as truly mysterious regardless whether you are a believer or not.
Just ask Stephenville business owner Steve Allen. Allen is also a pilot and accustomed to seeing all kinds of objects in the sky. But nothing, he says, like what he witnessed in early January. Allen, along with a number of other Stephenville residents, and a few residents spread across adjacent counties, reported seeing an overly large and silent object moving low to the ground and flashing brightly colored lights on Jan. 4. A couple of witnesses say they saw two military-style jets giving chase.
And it's not the only reported sighting of such an object in recent weeks. In the same general vicinity, Dublin resident Ricky Sorrells reports he has seen the same object on numerous occasions, and that he, for one, is glad others have reported seeing it. Sorrells says he doesn't want people to think he's crazy or one "of those whackos that believe in little green men", but says he has watched such a craft hover over a field behind his Dublin rural home. Once, he says, he observed it through the telescopic scope of his deer rifle, and describes it as being very large and without seams or nuts or bolts.
Allen says the object he has spied over Stephenville is about a mile long and a half a mile wide. Now how can you hide an object that large?
Erath County Constable Lee Roy Gaitan says he agrees there has been something strange in the skies in his area. But he falls short of calling it a UFO. Gaitan says he has seen flashing lights of various configurations in the sky, but has not see them attached to anything. But he says he is certain what he saw was not an airplane. He reported he is hoping it is a secret U.S. military project.
After the story was picked up the Associated Press earlier this month, investigators have talked with base commanders at several nearby military bases and airfields. But no one could confirm military jets were in the area about the time some reported seeing jets chasing such an object.
Military officials, in fact, speculate people are seeing aircraft lights in the sky, but nothing as ominous as an alien spacecraft.
So we end where we began. There are those that believe and those that don't. And the only certainty to this story is that in Stephenville, those numbers have recently changed.