Texas UFOs were actually jets, Air Force says

Thursday, January 24, 2008

An F-16 fighter jet ascends into the sky.

The strange lights seen by dozens of Stephenville, Texas residents on the night of January 8 are now believed to have been F-16 fighter jets, according to a statement released by the Air Force Reserve.

The press release states that ten F-16s from the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in Fort Worth were on a training mission near Stephenville the night of the sightings. The planes were said to have been in the area from 6:00 to 8:00 pm, which is around the time residents reported seeing the lights.

Officials at the Air Force base initially stated that none of its aircraft were in the area that night, but now say they made a mistake in their reporting.

"In the interest of public awareness, Air Force Reserve Command Public Affairs realized an error was made regarding the reported training activity of military aircraft," the press release says.

Major Karl Lewis, an Air Force Reserve spokesman, says the error resulted from an "internal communications oversight" at the reserve base. He had previously stated that the lights may have been an illusion caused by two commercial planes and the setting sun.

Lewis did not go into further details. "What we do down there falls under operational procedures that cannot be released because of operations security for our mission," he said.

The Mutual UFO Network, which investigated the town last weekend, isn't quite convinced. Kenneth Cherry, the Texas director of the network, said, "I find it curious that it took them two weeks to 'fess up. I think they're feeling the heat from the publicity."

Steve Hudgeons, also of the Mutual UFO Network, said, "If this is a military exercise then I would like to see them get back over there in another 24 hours and repeat that exercise so that we can see them duplicate it."


This audio file was created from the text revision dated 2008-01-24 and may not reflect subsequent text edits to this report. (audio help)