Strange Lights in West Texas

A required field manual for chasers of illuminated orbs that lacks a wide appeal.

An author sums up his research into an ongoing, unsolved mystery, the enigmatic lights seen at night around ground level near Marfa, Texas.

Bunnell, a Texas native with 37 years in the aerospace industry, relates his investigation of the Marfa Lights, which he also chronicled in three previous books (Hunting Marfa Lights, 2009, etc.). The lights are famous throughout North America, but particularly in the Lone Star State. These illuminated orbs have a history dating back to the Native Americans (who thought they were stars fallen to Earth) and cowboys (who mistook them for Native American campfires). Now they are a major attraction in Marfa, complete with an official public viewing area overlooking Mitchell Flat. While an ideal vantage point, Bunnell writes, the area also encompasses passing traffic, mirages, all-night ranch lights, aircraft navigation beacons, and even a tethered Air Force blimp. Cumulatively, these look-alikes, often mistaken for the genuine article, inspire dismissals from skeptics. The Marfa Lights (which Bunnell calls “MLs” for “mysterious lights”) really do exist, he claims, and he presents many full-page color reproductions captured on film and video and with a specially modified Canon digital SLR camera able to show infrared sources. His judgment: MLs exhibit both electric-plasma and heated-chemical (burning) qualities. The lights themselves, significantly, resist wind currents, though their heat signatures do not. Conspiracy theorists and believers in aliens, UFOs, and ghosts will likely be disappointed by Bunnell’s amazingly speculative but rational geological (para-geological?) explanation for MLs. Because the author has written extensively about the lights before, this summation has a bit of a patchy feel, more technical manual than a cohesive narrative of one man’s decadeslong search for an incredible truth. And, while some close-up MLs encounters were evidently unsettling to witnesses, Bunnell isn’t out to scare anyone. This is specifically for the benefit of aspiring Scullys and Mulders who Want to Believe and investigate for themselves, complete with numerous maps, do’s and don’ts, and tips on the terrain.

A required field manual for chasers of illuminated orbs that lacks a wide appeal.

Pub Date: N/A

ISBN: 978-0-9709249-7-1

Page Count: -

Publisher: Lacey Publishing Company

Review Posted Online: Nov. 30, 2015

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NUTCRACKER

This is not the Nutcracker sweet, as passed on by Tchaikovsky and Marius Petipa. No, this is the original Hoffmann tale of 1816, in which the froth of Christmas revelry occasionally parts to let the dark underside of childhood fantasies and fears peek through. The boundaries between dream and reality fade, just as Godfather Drosselmeier, the Nutcracker's creator, is seen as alternately sinister and jolly. And Italian artist Roberto Innocenti gives an errily realistic air to Marie's dreams, in richly detailed illustrations touched by a mysterious light. A beautiful version of this classic tale, which will captivate adults and children alike. (Nutcracker; $35.00; Oct. 28, 1996; 136 pp.; 0-15-100227-4)

Pub Date: Oct. 28, 1996

ISBN: 0-15-100227-4

Page Count: 136

Publisher: Harcourt

Review Posted Online: May 19, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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TO THE ONE I LOVE THE BEST

EPISODES FROM THE LIFE OF LADY MENDL (ELSIE DE WOLFE)

An extravaganza in Bemelmans' inimitable vein, but written almost dead pan, with sly, amusing, sometimes biting undertones, breaking through. For Bemelmans was "the man who came to cocktails". And his hostess was Lady Mendl (Elsie de Wolfe), arbiter of American decorating taste over a generation. Lady Mendl was an incredible person,- self-made in proper American tradition on the one hand, for she had been haunted by the poverty of her childhood, and the years of struggle up from its ugliness,- until she became synonymous with the exotic, exquisite, worshipper at beauty's whrine. Bemelmans draws a portrait in extremes, through apt descriptions, through hilarious anecdote, through surprisingly sympathetic and understanding bits of appreciation. The scene shifts from Hollywood to the home she loved the best in Versailles. One meets in passing a vast roster of famous figures of the international and artistic set. And always one feels Bemelmans, slightly offstage, observing, recording, commenting, illustrated.

Pub Date: Feb. 23, 1955

ISBN: 0670717797

Page Count: -

Publisher: Viking

Review Posted Online: Oct. 25, 2011

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Feb. 1, 1955

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