Monday, February 25, 2008

MUFON Investigates more Erath County UFO Sighting Reports

UFO Heading Toward Stephenville
By ANGELIA JOINER
Stephenville Lights Reporter
2-24-8

Angelia Joiner      Investigators with Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) collected seventeen new UFO sighting reports in Dublin, Texas, on Saturday, Feb. 23.

Not knowing what to expect in the way of numbers of witnesses, eight field investigators attended from the organization from Austin, Waco, Dallas/ Fort Worth, and said they were pleased with results.

Chief Investigator Steve Hudgeons was asked if he believed the new reports were credible and said investigators are often faced with reports from individuals only wanting to get in on the action.

"Of the reports I have reviewed, I didn't get an impression that witnesses were not honest in their accounts," Hudgeons said. "As I have said before, this is a very, very, significant sighting."

Hudgeons conducted an interview with star witness Ricky Sorrells, who was first interviewed by Angela K. Brown of the Associated Press, on Jan. 14. After that interview was released, his story of the daytime UFO sighting at his property just outside of Dublin, quickly traveled around the world and major news outlets converged on Stephenville, Texas, the next day.

"I knew most of his (Sorrells') report because we had talked on the phone days earlier, but you never know a person until you have met them face to face," Hudgeons said. "I found him to be a man of his word because he told me he was going to see me for an interview, and he did come in, even though he was sick and not feeling well. We talked alone for almost an hour. I learned a good deal about his sighting that I hadn't known prior to our visit. He was very direct with his questions and answers. I admire and respect that quality in a person."

Hudgeons said, according to MUFON records, the total number of sighting reports in Texas, beginning in 1977 and continuing through late 2007, is slightly more than 400.

"From November 2007 to date, the number of sightings are in the neighborhood of about 150," Hudgeons said. "We are still investigating nearly 100 reports across Texas."

Media had been warned off the Saturday gathering due to several witnesses leaving when cameras turned in their direction at the Jan. 19 meeting with an estimated crowd of about 400, and more than a dozen media outlets. But a few local reporters attended, as well as one from the Los Angeles Times, although no cameras were allowed inside the building.

Frank Wachowe, 32, with Mamone Productions, traveled from St. Louis, Missouri, spending about 17 hours on the road, and plans on producing a documentary film on the UFO phenomenon occurring around the area.

His plans include investigating the "personal and emotional side of witnessing a UFO."

Wachowe said he is interested in documenting the impact of the sighting on the various communities involved in Erath County.

"How does something this extraordinary impact the culture of a community?" Wachowe said is one area he will explore.

Wachowe said he holds a Bachelor's in media productions from Webster University in St. Louis and another in anthropology from the University of Missouri in St. Louis.

Autumn Humphreys with The History Channel's UFO Hunters was also in attendance, and said a crew from her company will arrive on Sunday, Feb. 24. In an earlier interview, she said the episode, which will include interviews with area witnesses, will probably be aired in late April or early May. Humphreys said the company has set up a temporary office in downtown Stephenville on Graham Street.

Meanwhile, Hudgeons said he and others are working nights and weekends in an effort to expedite a final report, which will be made public.

"I am a project manager for a commercial construction company and I have my own company as a side job drawing blue prints for other construction companies," Hudgeons said. "I am basically working seven days a week. Now, having said that, the events in the Dublin area have been occurring and are continuing with no foreseeable let up. All of the members on the investigation team work for a living and we cannot continue (the investigation) forever."

"I woke up this morning (Sunday after the meeting) with three new sighting reports in Texas," Hudgeons said. "I haven't looked them up as yet to see where they are so I can make assignments."

Hudgeons said a full report in a timeline format will be issued by MUFON soon. The report will include the final analysis of Stephenville resident David Coran's video, of Jan. 19 and 20, which was seen on many news broadcasts and Web sites. Some have referred to the lights in the video as being similar to hieroglyphic symbols.

"It (final report) will be posted in the April issue of the MUFON Journal, and I plan to hold a news conference at the Dublin Rotary Club in April," Hudgeons said. "Once again I wish to thank the Rotary Club for hosting our two meetings. MUFON was greeted warmly, and we are very appreciative."

Hudgeons said he and other members always enjoy visiting Dublin Dr Pepper, as well as meeting the friendly folks in Dublin.

Hudgeons said investigators for the organization are not paid and cover all of their own expenses.

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