Image: Standing near the area where he saw a large silent object in the sky, Ricky Sorrells talks about the sighting, Monday, Jan.14, 2008 in Dublin, Texas. (AP Photo/Donna McWilliam)
McWilliam)STEPHENVILLE, Texas - In this farming community where nightfall usually brings clear, starry skies, residents are abuzz over reported sightings of what many believe is a UFO.
Several dozen people — including a pilot, county constable and business owners — insist they have seen a large silent object with bright lights flying low and fast. Some reported seeing fighter jets chasing it.
"People wonder what in the world it is because this is the Bible Belt, and everyone is afraid it's the end of times," said, a freight company owner and pilot who said the object he saw last week was a mile long and half a mile wide. "It was positively, absolutely nothing from these parts."
While federal officials insist there's a logical explanation, locals swear that it was larger, quieter, faster and lower to the ground than an airplane. They also said the object's lights changed configuration, unlike those of a plane. People in several towns who reported seeing it over several weeks have offered similar descriptions of the object.
Machinist Ricky Sorrells said friends made fun of him when he told them he saw a flat, metallic object hovering about 300 feet over a pasture behind hishome. But he decided to come forward after reading similar accounts in the .
"You hear about big bass or big buck in the area, but this is a different deal," Sorrells said. "It feels good to hear that other people saw something, because that means I'm not crazy."
Sorrells said he has seen the object several times. He said he watched it through his rifle's telescopic lens and described it as very large and without seams, nuts or bolts.
Maj. Karl Lewis, a spokesman for the 301st Fighter Wing at the Joint Reserve Base Naval Air Station in, said no F-16s or other aircraft from his base were in the area the night of Jan. 8, when most people reported the sighting.