by Taylor Leonard
The only US state to formerly be its own country, Texas is a vast and uncompromising land unlike anywhere else on Earth. With nearly 27 million people living throughout the Lone Star State, there is always something strange, scary, or otherwise unnerving happening within its borders. Over the decades, most unexplained and wicked events occurring in Texas eventually get solved and sorted out, but sometimes the answers never come. As of 2016, here are some of the greatest unsolved mysteries still hanging over the heads of men and women living in the Lone Star State:
Houston UFO Mass Sightings of 2014
On August 11, 2014, amidst a lightning storm, hundreds of Houston area residents independently reported spotting an unidentified flying object hovering in the rain clouds above. Several eyewitnesses managed to take photographs and video recordings of the phenomenon, each depicting a similar looking light pattern in the sky.
Explanations range from reflected streetlights to secret NASA experiments, to extraterrestrial visitors. In the nearly two years since, the phenomenon has never been seen again, and a solid theory has yet to be put forward.
Identity of the Servant Girl Annihilator
From December 1884 to December 1885 the city of Austin, Texas was home to a brutal serial killer preying on people asleep in their beds. Eventually known as “The Servant Girl Annihilator,” the never-identified maniac would begin the attacks indoors before dragging the still living victims outside where they were murdered and mutilated. Seven women and one man were killed, while six women and two men managed to survive the vicious assaults.
Three years later, Jack the Ripper would strike upon the East London slum of Whitechapel with a similar M.O., immediately igniting speculation that the two killers were the same person, a theory which persists to this day.
Source of the Lubbock Lights
Considered by many ufologists as the first significant UFO case in the United States, the Lubbock Lights were a V-shaped array of separate light sources appearing above the small Texas town in the fall of 1951. The existence of the lights is without doubt, as multiple photographs were taken showing the phenomenon. The US Air Force was seemingly moved enough by the reports to actively seek answers to the source.
The military’s conclusion was that the lights were caused by migrating birds reflecting the town’s street lamps below, though most eyewitnesses dispute this claim. 65 years later, the true source of the Lubbock Lights remains unknown.
Levelland UFO Case
Six years after the Lubbock Lights, the neighboring town of Levelland, Texas would be the site of another legendary event in the annals of unidentified flying objects. For two days in early November, 1957, several citizens of the small town reported interactions with an egg-shaped orb of light while driving their cars. The object would either block the road or hover over their vehicles before leaving the area at a high rate of speed.
Like in Lubbock, the US Air Force looked into it and eventually concluded the phenomenon was most likely an extreme case of ball lightning, an explanation which ignores the lack of electrical storms in the area on those days. Further casting doubt on the official government theory is the fact that Air Force investigators only interviewed six of a total of 15 witnesses to the UFOs.
The Icebox Murders
One of Houston’s most notorious unsolved murder cases happens to also be one of the city’s strangest missing persons case as well. On July 23, 1965, Houston police entered the residence of Fred and Edwina Rogers after family members reported phone calls to the house going unanswered. Opening the refrigerator, responding officers saw the butchered remains of the elderly couple, a grisly discovery leading to the press calling the case “The Icebox Murders.”
The Rogers’ son Charles, who lived with his parents at the time, was nowhere to be found and has never been seen since. Though considered the prime suspect in his parents’ murders, an alternative theory alleges Charles Rogers was, in fact, an operative of the CIA and directly involved in the assassination of President John F. Kennedy two years earlier in Dallas.
Texas is a very big place, with miles of desert and plains between sprawling urban cores. Bizarre events happen around the state every day, with the overwhelming majority being solved and explained almost immediately. Some, however, have remained mysteries for months, years, decades, and even centuries.
Stay tuned for Part 2 coming soon…