|In 1951, many Lubbock residents saw odd lights forming a V-pattern and flying at high speeds in the night skies.
Mysterious light formations spotted racing across Lubbock skies
1951 The "flying whatsits" continued to zoom through Lubbock skies Friday night as numerous residents reported seeing flashes of light flying at "unbelievable speeds" - and at least one person showed up with photographs of what he said he saw in the sky.
Identity of the strange objects continued to baffle all who claimed to have seen them and three Texas Tech professors who examined photographs taken by Carl Hart, Jr., 18-year-old amateur photographer of 2332 Nineteenth Street, could offer no explanation.
The objects - whatever they are - were reportedly seen over Lubbock at least three distinct times, from 8:40 p.m. to 10:37 p.m. Friday. Morning Avalanche editorial offices received numerous calls from persons who said they had seen the light formations.
All those reporting the objects described them as flying in V-shaped or U-shaped formations and passing through the sky almost directly overhead within from 3 to 5 seconds. The number of "dots" reported in the formations ranged from eight to "20 or 30".
Dr. J.C. Cross, head of Tech's department of biology, examined photographs taken by Hart and said he could offer no explanation as to their identity. In answer to the theory of some that the dots may have been birds leaving a phosphorescent glow, he asserted, "It definitely wasn't caused by birds."
A Lubbock County farmer, T.E. Snider, Jr., of Lubbock, Route 3, reported later in the night that "I saw something like people have been seeing and it definitely was ducks." Although not accounting for the unbelievable speed reported by others, Snider said that a reflection from the Westerner drive-in theater where he was about 9 p.m. caught some ducks in flight and caused them to be illuminated.
Everyone else seeing the objects agreed "they" were flying too fast a speed to have been birds, however Hart, who took the pictures at 11:30 p.m. Thursday, said "they were flying faster than any jet plane I ever saw."
Officials located at Reese Air Force Base west of Lubbock reported late last night that "to our knowledge" there were no jet planes flying in the area last night.
Persons seeing the objects said they crossed the Lubbock sky from north to south and were visible for only a matter of seconds. Some said the color of the lights was "about like the stars, only brighter," while others said they had either a blue or a slight yellow tinge to them.
Roger Dods, a Texas Tech student living in the 3200 block of First Place, was the only one to say he "might have" heard a noise accompanying the objects. He said he may have detected a slight russling or whooshing sound as the objects passed overhead. He reported seeing them at 10:37 p.m. Friday after deliberately watching for them.
Dods said he could offer no explanation of the phenomenon, although "I wouldn't rule out the possibility it was a brief reflection from the northern lights." He said he had seen the northern lights on numerous occasions.