UFO sightings in dispute

The Province
Monday, January 26, 1976

United Press International

CLOVIS, N.M. — Representatives of two organizations studying reports of unidentified objects disagreed Sunday on whether residents of eastern New Mexico have been seeing UFOs or refracted starlight on recent nights.

James Eppes, 42, Valley Centre, Calif., a member of the UFO Education Centre, said he had not had time to develop any “final conclusions,” but “it is quite obvious there have been quite a lot of valid sightings by many different people.”

Tommy Blann, 29, Waco, Tex., the director of the Texas UFO Study Group, said most of the reports apparently involved “an optical refraction of the light from stars,” created by a temperature inversion.

“The majority of these reports were stimulated through misidentification of natural phenomena”, Blann said.

The reported sightings began last Wednesday and have reoccurred each night since. Police said most callers described the objects as cigar-shaped with colored lights.

Eppes, whose organization plans to report on the sightings when it has had time to study available information, said not all the reports of alleged UFOs can be explained by natural phenomena.

“I’m not saying that every single one of these sightings are valid by any means,” he said, “but I know some of the things that happened can’t be explained that way."


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