I reply to a blog post (Houston Press Blogs) by Richard Connelly: “Marfa Lights Solved!! It’s a Giant Bird!!” His brief remarks of December 7th were surely occasioned by the December 6th press release about my hypothesis on Marfa Lights. I don’t mind the brevity of his post, for it was just ridicule. I commented twice, in detail, on his blog, but more detail seems in order here. (By the way, “Giant Bird” is Connelly’s invention; I never used that expression.)
The first problem, appearing to me to need immediate clarification, relates to a misunderstanding about the basic nature of the true ML (James Bunnell’s designation for “Mystery Lights”) around Marfa, Texas. It seems Mr. Connelly needs to read Bunnell’s book, Hunting Marfa Lights, more than he needs to read my book, Live Pterosaurs in America. I quote part of my comment on Connelly’s blog:
. . . the investigation by the Society of Physics Students at the University of Texas at Dallas. It’s brief and easy to read. Note that those two nights of observations were done with the assumption that car headlights were the cause of all the appearances of strange lights. Since they assumed “car headlights,” that is where they looked on those two nights: [towards] Highway 67.
Did those students of the University of Texas at Dallas really solve a controversial mystery? I think not. Ask the right question in the beginning, for it can lead us into enlightenment; asking the wrong question (even if answered correctly) can lead us into ignorance. This appears to be a critical error that doomed those students to failure, for they seemed to have formulated a question like, “Can car headlights near Marfa, Texas, appear mysterious?”
What scientist or investigator doubted the possibility of night mirages of car headlights? None of which I am aware. Perhaps the best that can be said of the student experiment is this: It confirmed that visitors passing through the Marfa area, when they stop at the viewing platform, often see distant car headlights on highway 67 and find their appearance mysterious.
Questions about the true ML near Marfa could include, “Is it biological or geological in origin?” The flat assumption of Richard Connelly, that there are no mysterious flying lights near Marfa—that may have come from his avoiding any critical evaluation of that student experiment and his eagerness to ridicule a strange-sounding interpretation.
“Big Bird” may have been avoided, in favor of “Giant Bird,” for the Sesame-Street-sounding name is the title of a nonfiction cryptozoology book about sightings of strange flying creatures (at least some of which are like pterosaurs), especially sightings in the state of Texas. Indeed Big Bird (the book, not the Sesame Street character) competes with my own nonfiction cryptozoology book, Live Pterosaurs in America.