When it became apparent that a major event was unfolding in and around Earth county, Texas, the Texas MUFON group put their investigative process into motion, under the direction of State Director Ken Cherry. The chief investigator was Steve Hudgeons. Eight certified field investigators were sent to the area, to interview witnesses, and to study photographic and video evidence. This would be the largest "mass sightings" investigation in MUFON's history.
Investigative reporter Angelia Joiner, who at that time was working for the Stephenville Tribune, was the first journalist to go public with reports from the Stephenville/Dublin area. She would also arrange a meeting place for the MUFON team. Donating space were the Dublin Dr. Pepper Company, and the Dublin Rotary Club. The first meeting of researchers and witnesses was held on January 19, with a follow-up meeting on February 23.
The meetings could only be described as being held in a "carnival atmosphere." The press was heavily represented, including many independent UFO investigators, which at that time only clogged the machine, with various reports and photographic evidence being begged, borrowed, and even purchased from different witnesses. It is not known how many of these were legitimate, and how many were hoaxed, or from unreliable witnesses.
MUFON's criteria for taking reports involves verifying the identity of the witness, even though this personal information is not released to the public. This is not the case with some UFO investigators. The witness list was extensive, with those submitting reports being of various occupational, and social status. The reports themselves were just as varied.
One witness who gained national publicity was Steve Allen. A businessman and a pilot, Allen would make one of the most sensational reports of all. I had an opportunity to interview Mr. Allen on a radio show, and he was very cordial, and forthcoming, with his attention to detail refreshing. Allen claimed that he, along with three other witnesses, saw an unknown craft a mile long, and 1/2 mile wide. The UFO moved at great speeds, made no sound, and was being chased by jet planes.
A military spokesman first denied reports of planes in the area, but later corrected this statement.
The MUFON team, in addition to taking many eyewitness reports, also studied photographic and video evidence. A number of the movies and photographs were easily dismissed as known objects, or camera lens flares. A well publicized photograph taken by Kentucky truck driver Sean Kiel was dismissed as a "sun dog." This anomaly occurs when the sun glows through holes in the clouds.