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Has the Origin of the Mysterious Marfa Lights Been Found at Last?

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Jack Reed said that when people are watching from the viewing area on US-90, they are “looking at Shafter when they’re looking at [the lights]. That’s where they’re coming from.” A quick consultation of a map shows that this part of Reed’s story is most likely accurate.

Reed believed the ultimate origin point of the Marfa Lights was on Three Sisters Mountain, where the lights rose from a hole and vanished back into it. However, exactly what Reed meant by “hole” is up for debate, because when Brueske asked if he meant an old mining shaft, Reed gave her definite “no.” Reed described the lights as “capsule-shaped” with a height of about six feet, usually emitting a brilliant white light.

Has the Origin of the Mysterious Marfa Lights Been Found at Last?

Photo: Main Street, Marfa by Max McNabb

Some readers may laugh at the final part of Reed’s story, though others may find it chilling. While living in Shafter, Reed formed an explanation for what he believed the lights to be. In the rich history of folklore surrounding the lights, there’s nothing unusual about attributing intelligence to the orbs. Many witnesses have done so over the years, and supernatural elements often play a role in the legends. However, Reed takes this one step further. “The Bible says that Satan made himself a light and that his ministers are also light,” Reed told Brueske. “And in the Bible they’re suppose to form a false Christ and bring him back in the sky, and I think this is what they’re working on…” Reed apparently believed the Marfa Lights were demonic entities, disembodied spirits manifesting in our dimension. Just when you thought the Marfa Lights couldn’t get any spookier!

This writer has personally visited the ghost town of Shafter. The trip was a fascinating experience, although it was made during daylight hours due to the town’s proximity to the Mexican border. Those wanting to visit the origin point of the lights for themselves should be mindful of Shafter’s close location to the border and that Three Sisters Mountain contains dangerous mine shafts, many of which are abandoned, as well as a healthy population of Mojave rattlesnakes. Be respectful of private property at all times. If you choose to look for the Marfa Lights from the viewing center instead, it’s a good idea to bring binoculars for those lights that appear in the far distance on the desert floor. Also, don’t mistake the cars passing in and out of view along US-67 in the southwest for genuine Marfa Lights, as many uninformed tourists tend to do.