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A Curiosity Tour: Come Search For The Marfa Lights With West Texas Wonders

You're invited to help Marfa Public Radio celebrate the one year anniversary of our listener curiosity-driven series, West Texas Wonders!

On the evening of Thursday, August 22nd, we will trek down to the Shurley Ranch, about 20 miles south of Marfa on Highway 67. There, Mike Shurley will be our guide as we scan the horizon for the mysterious Marfa lights -- just as reporter Diana Nguyen did in the first ever West Texas Wonders story, The Marfa Lights — Underground Lightning, Wandering Ghosts, Or Something Else?

In the Big Bend region, sightings of the mystery lights go back more than a hundred years. Accounts vary from lights chasing vehicles, to orbs dancing in the distance, to gigantic luminous balls that appear suddenly. And explanations range from the supernatural to unverified science. 

Most people end up watching the mystery lights out at the Marfa Lights Viewing Area, which was built in 2003. It’s a roadside stop off of Highway 90 — about nine miles east of town.

According to former NASA engineer James Bunnell, you  can see the mystery lights from here. But the crucial mistake people make is looking towards Highway 67, the road to Presidio. When you look in this direction, Bunnell says you’re likely not seeing the Marfa lights. “They look very much like some of the (Marfa) lights and so people look at see them and think they’re seeing the Marfa lights when they’re just seeing car lights.”

But on his ranch, Mike Shurley has an unobstructed view of Mitchell Flat. He's been seeing the lights from his property for decades, and he says they're the real deal.

We'll meet at Marfa Public Radio, 106 E. San Antonio St., on Thursday, August 22 at 7:30 p.m. and carpool to the ranch shortly after.

SPACE IS LIMITED. Please call the station at (432) 729-4578 to reserve your spot.

Sally Beauvais is a reporter at Marfa Public Radio.
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