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

Strange Lights in West Texas

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 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Aug. 15, 1996

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IN MY PLACE

From the national correspondent for PBS's MacNeil-Lehrer Newshour: a moving memoir of her youth in the Deep South and her role in desegregating the Univ. of Georgia. The eldest daughter of an army chaplain, Hunter-Gault was born in what she calls the ``first of many places that I would call `my place' ''—the small village of Due West, tucked away in a remote little corner of South Carolina. While her father served in Korea, Hunter-Gault and her mother moved first to Covington, Georgia, and then to Atlanta. In ``L.A.'' (lovely Atlanta), surrounded by her loving family and a close-knit black community, the author enjoyed a happy childhood participating in activities at church and at school, where her intellectual and leadership abilities soon were noticed by both faculty and peers. In high school, Hunter-Gault found herself studying the ``comic-strip character Brenda Starr as I might have studied a journalism textbook, had there been one.'' Determined to be a journalist, she applied to several colleges—all outside of Georgia, for ``to discourage the possibility that a black student would even think of applying to one of those white schools, the state provided money for black students'' to study out of state. Accepted at Michigan's Wayne State, the author was encouraged by local civil-rights leaders to apply, along with another classmate, to the Univ. of Georgia as well. Her application became a test of changing racial attitudes, as well as of the growing strength of the civil-rights movement in the South, and Gault became a national figure as she braved an onslaught of hostilities and harassment to become the first black woman to attend the university. A remarkably generous, fair-minded account of overcoming some of the biggest, and most intractable, obstacles ever deployed by southern racists. (Photographs—not seen.)

Pub Date: Nov. 1, 1992

ISBN: 0-374-17563-2

Page Count: 192

Publisher: Farrar, Straus and Giroux

Review Posted Online: May 20, 2010

Kirkus Reviews Issue: Sept. 1, 1992

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