Greatest Unsolved Mysteries of the Lone Star State
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:
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.
On January 8, 2008 nearly 30 citizens of the town of Stephenville, Texas reported seeing a mile-long, half-mile wide unidentified flying object in the sky.
Several witnesses claimed the object was traveling at an incredible rate of speed, with one estimate clocking the object at 3,000 miles per hour. Others alleged to have seen fighter jets in pursuit of the UFO.
The mass sighting brought global attention to the sleepy burg of about 17,000 residents. After initially denying any activity in the area, the US Air Force admitted to conducting aerial exercises near Stephenville on the day in question, though no official explanation for the UFO was ever given.
The JFK Assassination
One of the most infamous days in United States history, November 22, 1963 was the date in which President John F. Kennedy was shot and killed in Dallas, Texas. The JFK assassination is synonymous with conspiracy theory due to numerous suspicious circumstances surrounding the murder of the president:
–The only suspect ever arrested in connection to the shooting – Lee Harvey Oswald – was himself murdered a few days later;
-Dozens of witnesses along the parade route through Dealey Plaza reported hearing shots coming from a grassy knoll in front of Kennedy, despite Oswald’s sniper’s perch being in a building behind the president;
-Footage of the assassination supports the idea of the kill shot coming from the front, not the rear of the president, as Kennedy’s head can be seen snapping “back and to the left” when struck by the lethal bullet.
The FBI and Warren Commission concluded Lee Harvey Oswald acted alone. A later investigation conducted by the House Select Committee on Assassinations found evidence pointing to the high probability of a conspiracy behind the death of President John F. Kennedy, making this the greatest unsolved crime of American history, let alone one of Texas’s greatest unsolved mysteries.
Wild Man Of The Navidad
Considered the first recorded sighting of Bigfoot in Texas, stories of the Wild Man of the Navidad go back to the mid-19th century. Folks living along the Navidad river near modern-day Sublime, Texas reported seeing a creature covered in short brown hair which moved more nimbly than any human could.
The Wild Man was also referred to as “The Thing that Comes” due to the tendency of the creature to evade detection when entering dwellings to steal supplies, leaving only slight indications of his presence for inhabitants to find in the morning.
One account alleges the Wild Man was able to snag items of food stored behind sleeping guard dogs without waking them up. Although attempts were made to capture the creature, none proved successful, with the identity and exact nature of the Wild Man of the Navidad river remaining a mystery.
On the night of December 29 1980, Betty Cash, Vickie Landrum, and Vickie’s seven-year-old grandson Colby were driving back to Dayton, Texas after grabbing a bite to eat. About halfway during their trip, the trio claimed to have encountered a diamond-shaped, brightly lit UFO being chased by over 20 helicopters.
In the days after the incident, all three reported illness similar to radiation sickness. Vickie later alleged to have overheard a military helicopter pilot mention he was pursuing a UFO the same night of her close encounter and that after she related her experience to him he refused to speak further about the incident.
On the grounds that the US military was somehow involved in exposing them to an unknown source of radiation, Cash and Landrum sued the US government for $20 million. The case was eventually tossed out by a federal judge for lack of evidence connecting military activity to the helicopters observed that evening.
Texarkana Moonlight Murders
The spring of 1946 brought horror to the citizens of Texarkana, Texas when a serial killer began striking the town of about 15,000 people.
Typically targeting couples seated in parked automobiles, the “Phantom Killer” or “Phantom Slayer” as he came to be known would fire several gunshots into the vehicles, aiming for the back of the victims’ heads. A total of five people were killed by the Phantom Killer, with three others lucky enough to survive their injuries.
One prime suspect was tracked to Georgia and arrested, but the primary evidence against him was the word of his wife who later refused to testify in court.
While the police rounded up hundreds of other possible suspects, the identity of the person behind the Texarkana Moonlight Murders remains a mystery 70 years onward.