Marfa lights history

An Annotated

History of the Marfa Lights



Documented accounts from observers of mysterious light phenomena in the Marfa area go back to 1883.  So the history is now over 130 years old.  If you think this duration of sightings would lead to a lot of items on the Marfa lights, you’d be right.  Recently, we did a Google search on the phrase “Marfa lights” and got about 90,000 hits.  Somewhere in these 90,000 web pages, and other material that Google didn’t find, there is a thread of history that can inform us about this mystery.

But most of the “chatter” you’ll find is not serious documentation.  Rather, it is mindless copying of often-repeated tales — hearsay that has no chance of ever being confirmed.  Additionally, people who want to enhance the truth (and mythology) of the Marfa lights have no trouble leaving out important details or giving voice to a variant interpretation of the facts that leads to erroneous conclusions. 

In this history we sort through this ambiguity and present the stories that have been most accurately documented.  With the exception of two very important authors who documented the mythology of the Marfa lights, the stories in this history are from people who saw the mysterious light phenomena themselves and recorded their experiences with the apparent attempt to be factual.

Part I covers the history from 1883 up to the mid-20th Century at which time the lights had gained wider popularity.

Part II picks up the story and carries the history on to the present.

You will find full documentation for the stories included in this history on the Sources tab.

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