to tell how he had seen the bluish-green lights. I was wrong; what he said knocked me out of my boredom.
The same night that the college professors had seen their formation of lights his wife had seen something. Nobody in Lubbock knew about the story, not even their friends. He didn't want anyone to think he and his wife were "crazy." He was telling me only because I was a stranger. Just after dark his wife had gone outdoors to take some sheets off the clothesline. He was inside the house reading the paper. Suddenly his wife had rushed into the house, as he told the story, " as white as the sheets she was carrying." As close as he could remember, he said, this was about ten minutes before the professors made their first sighting. He stopped at this point to tell me about his wife, she wasn't prone to be "flighty" and she "never made up tales." This character qualification was also standard for UFO storytellers. The reason his wife was so upset was that she had seen a large object glide swiftly and silently over the house. She said it looked like "an airplane without a body." On the back edge of the wing were pairs of glowing bluish lights. The Albuquerque sighting! He said he didn't have any idea what his wife had seen but he thought that it was an interesting story.
It was an interesting story. It hit me right between the eyes. I knew the rancher and his wife couldn't have possibly heard the Albuquerque couple's story, only they and a few Air Force people knew about it. The chances of two identical stories being made up were infinitesimal, especially since neither of them fitted the standard Lubbock Light description. I wondered how many other people in Lubbock, Albuquerque, or anywhere in the Southwest had seen a similar UFO during this period and hesitated to mention it.
I tried to get a few more facts from the rancher but he'd told me all he knew. At Dallas I boarded an airliner to Dayton and he went on to Baton Rouge, never knowing what he'd added to the story of the Lubbock Lights.
On the way to Dayton I figured out a plan of attack on the thousands of words of notes I'd taken. The best thing to do, I decided, was to treat each sighting in the Lubbock Light series as a separate incident. All of them seemed to be dependent upon each other for importance. If the objects that were reported in several of the incidents could be identified, the rest would merely become average UFO reports. The photographs taken by Carl Hart, Jr., became number one on the agenda.
As soon as I reached Dayton I took Hart's negatives to the Photo Reconnaissance Laboratory at Wright Field. This laboratory, staffed by the Air Force's top photography experts, did all of our analysis of photographs. They went right to work on the negatives and soon had a report.
There had originally been five negatives, but when we asked to borrow them Hart could only produce four. The negatives were badly scratched and dirty because so many people had handled them, so it was difficult to tell the actual photographic images from the dust spots and scratches. The first thing that the lab did was to look at each spot on the negatives to see if it was an actual photographic image. They found that the photos showed an inverted V formation of lights. In each photo the individual image of a light was badly blurred due to motion of the camera, but by careful scrutiny of each blurred image they were able to determine that the original lights that Hart had photographed were circular, near pinpoint sources of light. Like a bright star, or a distant light bulb. Next they made enlargements from the negatives and carefully plotted the position of each light in the formation.
In each photograph the individual lights in the formation shifted position according to a definite pattern.
One additional factor that was brought out in the report was that although the photos were taken on a clear night no images of the stars could be found in the background. This proved one thing, the lights, which were overexposed in the photograph, were a great deal brighter than the stars, or the lights affected the film more than the light from the stars.
This was all that the photos showed. It was impossible to determine the size of each image of the group, speed, or altitude.
The next thing was to try to duplicate what Hart said he had done. I enlisted the aid of several friends and we tried to photograph a moving light. When we were talking to Hart in Lubbock, he had taken us to his back yard, where he had shot the pictures. He had traced the flight path of fights across the sky. We had him estimate the speed by following an imaginary flight of lights across the sky. It came out to about four seconds. We had a camera identical to the one that Hart had used and set up a light to move at the same speed as the UFO's had flown. We tried to take photographs. In four seconds we could get only two poor shots. These were badly blurred, much worse than Hart's, due to the one-tenth-of-a-second shutter speed. We repeated our experiment several times, each time with the same results. This made a lot of people doubt the authenticity of Hart's photos.
With the completed photo lab report in my hands, I was still without an answer. The report was interesting but didn't prove anything. All I could do was to get opinions from as qualified sources as I could find. A physiologist at the Aeromedical Laboratory knocked out the timing theory immediately by saying that if Hart had been excited he could have easily taken three photos in four