The state of Texas has had more than its share of great UFO cases, four of them legendary:
The Aurora Crash of 1897
The Levelland Landings of 1957
Cash-Landrum Incident of 1980
The fourth is the well-documented "Lubbock Lights" case of 1951. The case began as three Texas Technological College professors, Dr.
W. I. Robinson, Dr. A. G. Oberg, and W. L. Ducker were chatting in Robinson's backyard at 9:10 PM, August 25. Without a warning, the three men saw a number of lights fly across the clear, dark Texas sky.
30 Luminous Beads in Sky:
The lights appeared to be made up of glowing beads, and the grouping, looking at it straight on, was a boomerang shape. A second group would soon make its appearance. The following day, the three professors checked with Air Force personnel, who claimed that there had been no traffic in the air the night before. From the initial sighting until November, Ducker alone saw 12 different groups of these lights.
Three Flights a Night:
Talk of the lights brought a public awareness, and there would soon be reports of what seemed to be a systematic schedule of as many as three sets of lights in one night over Lubbock. Many eyes were trained on the night skies, and within a few days of the initial sightings on August 30, 18-year old Carl Hart Jr. would take five photographs of the lights with a Kodak 35-mm camera at
f3.5, 1/10 of a second. Texas education officials could find no reasonable explanation for the objects in Hart's photographs.
More Intense than Venus:
With the objects caught on film it was simple now to count the number of light spots. The number ranged anywhere from 18 to 20. It was determined that the brightness of the objects was greater than that of the planet Venus. There could be one or two groups of the
boomerang-shaped lights at any one time. Some photographs seemed to show one larger light separate from the group. It was surmised that this lone object might be a mother ship.
Air Force Examines Photographs:
As one would expect, soon the United States Air Force would become involved in the matter. During the later part of September, they would make a detailed examination of the Hart photographs. The Air Force could not authenticate nor debunk the photographs. Captain Edward J. Ruppelt was sent to Lubbock to examine the mystery. He would later become the first director of Project Blue Book.
Just a Plover Bird?:
Hoping to get away from any extraterrestrial explanation, several earthly explanations for the lights would be offered. One was that
the objects were plover birds, similar in size to a quail, another a flock of ducks, and another of shooting stars, or comet fragments.
The most likely cause, the plover bird, was quickly dismissed by game wardens. They explained that the plovers never flew in groups of over 3.
Still Discussed Today:
The case of the Lubbock Lights is still being discussed today, with different theories being offered to explain what was seen and
photographed over the Texas city in 1951. The photographs taken by Carl Hart Jr. have never been debunked as to their authenticity, but the question remains. What were the strange lights that moved across Lubbock, Texas in 1951?