Marfa, TX — When it comes to unexplained phenomena, the Marfa Mystery Lights rank right up there with the best of ’em.

Marfa, in the Big Bend region of southwest Texas, is an isolated former ranching and farming community which has gained great popularity in recent years, thanks to an influx of tourists and residents from the arts community, starting with minimalist contemporty artist Donald Judd in 1971.

The Marfa Mystery Lights have been around much longer, however.

Nine miles east of town on a lonely stretch of US 90, you’ll find the Marfa Lights Viewing Area. Every evening starting around dusk, hordes of visitors come, hoping for a glimpse of the legendary lights.

Sightings have been reported since the 1800s, but if you come here expecting to see the aurora borealisyou’re going to be disappointed.

What you’ll see are flashing lights in the distant mountains. To me, they looked like car headlights, or reflections of car headlights.

On the night I visited, I’d guess probably 50 to 100 people had gathered there, including a large group of middle school students on a field trip.

Some people seemed quite excited by the phenomenon, but others — myself included — left asking, “Is that all there is?”

Of course, no visit to Marfa is complete without a visit to the Mystery Lights Viewing Area — so I’ll leave it at that, and let you decide for yourself.

About Glen Abbott
Glen Abbott is a Florida-based travel writer & photographer specializing in motorcycle touring and travel. He is regular contributor to Harley-Davidson's HOG Magazine, and his travel features appear regularly in motorcycle magazines and other publications.

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  1. andrew

    June 4, 2013

    Nice post,No doubt Texas is a beautiful place for visitors.I also visit Texas every year for my business trips.

  2. Rocker79

    June 4, 2013

    my wife used to live there –u already know, and the Marfa lights are unreachable hehe, so many ppl has gone to chase them and they seem to evade from any who tries to catch ’em.

    • Bob Wagers

      July 14, 2013

      The explanations for unreachable lights and lights that seem to evade are now known. See the website for links to the book “Mysteries of the Marfa Lights – Revealed”

  3. christopher

    June 4, 2013

    Nice. It seems like someone would have cleared up this mystery, but then there wouldn’t be the need for this cool sign.
    christopher recently posted..Travel Essay Contest — Entry 2

    • Bob Wagers

      July 14, 2013

      You’re right Christopher. Someone has cleared up the mystery. It’s well documented in “Mysteries of the Marfa Lights – Revealed”. See our website at for links to the book on Amazon and Barnes and Noble.

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