Richard G. Santos

I honestly expected copycat reports of unexplained lights in the Winter Garden Area. That has not occurred. Instead, some loyal readers have started to tell me about personal experiences they never told anyone for fear of being called crazy. For instance, a couple whose name I will not give you because the lady who works at the bank on Veterans’ Boulevard might not appreciate it, told me about an interesting incident on Highway 277. As Sergio related the incident, he and Chata had just left Eagle Pass heading toward Crystal City. Before reaching the INS Check Point they both saw a bright orange light flying parallel to them on the right side. That is, between Highway 277 and the Rio Grande. They thought nothing of it as some of the ranches in that area have their own airstrips and la migra also has patrol planes and helicopters in the area.
This changes when a second and third light suddenly appeared in the sky. This time one of the bright orange lights was reported flying from their left to the right and seemingly heading toward the first light. The third light appeared to the front and slightly to the right. It also seemed to be heading toward the first light which was still between them on Highway 277 and the Rio Grande. According to Sergio and Chata, all three lights came together but instead of forming one “ball of light” the object broke up “like a roman candle and disappeared”. There was no sound whatsoever! In other words, there was no sound of planes, helicopters, collision, explosion or anything. It must be noted that because this incident occurred between Eagle Pass and the INS check point, the site was/is too far north of the INS-Homeland security balloon immediately south of El Indio.
Meanwhile, over at the other bank on Highway 83 and 7th Avenue, a good natured loyal reader told me abut a lady who 15 to 20 years ago used to tell about the lights she was seeing in Dimmit County. That is, that almost every time she drove south on Highway 85 she saw a “large, round object hovering on the strip of land between the Nueces River and Soldier’s Slough”. As my dear friend says, “people did not pay much attention and after a while began to think the lady was crazy”.
It is interesting to note that other people had already told me about their vehicles “dying and losing power, lights and all” along the Nueces River, Espantosa Creek and Soldier’s Slough. In the past I have written about two students reporting such experience on FM 1433 over the Espantosa. However, I had kept quiet about the Nueces River, Soldier’s Slough and Highway 85 reports until I could get more than one reported incident. The report of the un-named lady who
experienced such incidents 15 to 20 years ago qualifies the stories. However, I must stressed I have not personally seen or had any such experience. Consequently, I can only share with the

readers what other readers are reporting. Hopefully someone will furnish a photograph or video tape of such an experience or sighting.
Meanwhile, stories abound about Highway 57 between Batesville and IH 35 and old Highway 90 between Del Rio and Alpine. Setting the inexplicable Marfa Lights aside, suffice it to say that for years numerous drivers on that section of desolate, desert-like old Highway 90 have reported seeing lights dashing, hovering and/or flying at high speed in that area. Because there has been no scientific study done, the lights are usually attributed to ghosts or UFOs. The reader is probably unaware that at one time the U. S. government was testing rockets at the atomic testing grounds at White Sands, New Mexico. You should also know that at least once a rocket went astray and landed right outside of Juarez, Mexico. The accident caused a minor international incident but most people were unaware that it had occurred. The rocket testing program was moved to Vandenberg Air Force Base in California. Unlike Florida’s Cape Canaveral, the military rockets launched from Vandenberg remain top secret and any misfires fall safely unto the Pacific Ocean instead of west Texas, New Mexico, Arizona or northwestern Mexico. This is important to note in regard to reported fast moving lights along old Highway 90 between World War II and the mid 1950s. One final comment, no one has yet connected the White Sands nuclear weapons and rocket testing program with the Roswell incident.
Highway 57 between Batesville and IH 35 has more than fast moving or hovering lights. A friend who used to be an Emergency Medical Technician (EMT) from 1980 to 1985 told me an interesting tale. That is, that the ambulance he used to work on always died on one of the hills on Highway 57 between Batesville and FM 140. “It never failed,” says Balta. “The ambulance always lost power when we reached the top of that hill at night. It was not until later that I learned two girls had been killed in a major accident on top of that hill where the ambulance always lost power.” The hill in question is the one approached on a straight line (no curve) directly west of the bridge on FM 140. Incidentally, I am told people in that area refer to that bridge as “puente de las brujas” (witches’ bridge). The reason being that after 10 PM and before dawn, drivers on that stretch of road see numerous lights in the sky. My source notes many of the lights are nothing more than meteors which are very visible due to lack of interference from city lights.
Finally, it is interesting to note several people have reported their vehicles losing power not only over the Nueces and Espantosa, but also where someone has lost their life on highways 57, 85 and FM 65. Again, I have not been able to verify this as I have personally never had such an experience. I can only report the stories to my present and future readers. This makes me wonder what some future reader-researcher will think of this column and some of the stories 50 to 100 years from today! I wonder if they will have peanut butter cookies, yelping puppies, lechuzas, llorona,, cucuys, things that go bump in the night and inexplicable lights dashing across night skies 100 years from now. Hmmmmmmmmm. Bueno bye and please do not forget email me your stories at Peanut butter and chocolate chip cookies go straight to my P. O. Box. Is that called a “hint”? hmmmmmmm

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Zavala County Sentinel – March 8/9, 2006

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