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Encounters Episode 1 – What Happened in Stephenville, Texas?

Encounters Netflix Stephenville Texas

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In the newest UFO reporting and documentaries world, Amblin Entertainment and Netflix document the story of what happened in Stephenville and Dublin, Texas during a four-part docuseries. The first episode of Encounters is titled ‘Messengers’ and will be live with 3 other episodes on September 27th on Netflix. Let’s take a deep dive in what Episode 1 is about. 

What Happened in Stephenville and Dublin, Texas?

In early 2008, there was a series of unexplained UFO sightings in and around the small central Texas town of Stephenville. These sightings were reported by hundreds of people, including local business leaders and law enforcement officials. Some of the notable accounts include:

1. Steve Allen, a trucking company owner, described witnessing blinding lights and experiencing a profound sense of peace during the UFO sighting.

2. Pat Leatherwood, a bank chairman, claimed to have seen a UFO that resembled a “flying Dorito,” suggesting an unconventional and distinct shape for the unidentified flying object.

3. Constable Lee Roy Gaitan and his son reported watching an orb suddenly appear in the sky and then swiftly zoom away, highlighting the mysterious and rapid movements of the UFO.

Encounters on Netflix
Encounters on Netflix

The significance of these sightings led some to question the reality of UFOs. One former military analyst argued that the Stephenville event and the surrounding data provide strong evidence that we should no longer be asking whether UFOs are real, but rather, we should be contemplating different interpretations of reality. This suggests that the UFO sightings in Stephenville challenged conventional beliefs about extraterrestrial phenomena and encouraged a broader conversation about the nature of these unexplained aerial phenomena.

According to, some people also reported that the UAP as “faster than a speeding bullet and bigger than a Wal-Mart.” 

Pilot Steve Allen had a remarkable encounter with an unidentified object while he was engaged in clearing brush off a hilltop near the town of Selden, about 60 miles away from Stephenville. According to Allen’s description:

1. The unidentified object was of enormous size and had flashing strobe lights.

2. Strikingly, the UFO emitted no sound, remaining completely silent.

3. The UFO exhibited incredible speed, zooming away at a staggering rate of more than 3,000 mph.

4. Following the UFO were two fighter jets, attempting to intercept it, but they were clearly outmaneuvered and unable to catch up.

5. The UFO’s speed was so extraordinary that it covered a section of the sky within just a few seconds, a journey that typically took Allen 20 minutes to complete in his Cessna aircraft.

The Stephenville story was covered on National Geographic
The Stephenville story was covered on National Geographic

This account highlights the puzzling nature of the UFO sighting, particularly its silent operation, immense speed, and the inability of fighter jets to keep up with it. Such encounters fuel speculation and debate about the origin and capabilities of these unidentified flying objects.

Military officials, however, expressed skepticism regarding the UFO sightings in Stephenville, attributing them to residents’ overactive imaginations and suggesting they may have been a result of an optical illusion, potentially caused by sunlight reflecting off two airliners. Similarly, officials from a nearby air force base claimed that their fighter pilots had not pursued any objects that evening. This incident bore a striking resemblance to a previous UFO sighting at Chicago’s O’Hare International Airport just over a year earlier when up to 12 United Airlines employees observed a similar object and filed reports with the airline.

Encounters on Netflix The Messengers
Encounters on Netflix

And according to Wiki, the Air Force Reserve unsurprisingly issued a statement from the NAS Fort Worth Joint Reserve Base, indicating that jets from the 457th Fighter Squadron were operating in military airspace allocated for training during the period when individuals reported observing the lights. The F-16s had been involved in training maneuvers and deploying counter-measure flares, which are utilized to confuse heat-seeking missiles. Subsequent to the media coverage of the UFO sighting, there was a surge in global media inquiries, with Constable Lee Roy Gaitan conducting over 100 interviews. The town of Stephenville experienced a fervent response characterized by a “UFO frenzy,” leading to the rapid production of T-shirts declaring the town the “Alien Capital of the World” and “Erath County — the New Roswell.”

When Can You Watch The First Episode of Encounters?

The Stephenville incidents will be shown in the first episode of Encounters and will air at 3a.m. Eastern, midnight Pacific, on September 27th on Netflix.

The official synopsis on Netflix reads “As told from the perspective of firsthand experiencers – in the places where the sightings occurred – and guided by cutting-edge scientists and military personnel, the series goes beyond the science to highlight the profoundly human impact of these encounters on lives, families, and communities. A timely and timeless cosmic detective story, what will be revealed from this puzzle of seemingly unrelated encounters across different places, times, and cultures is a set of uncanny similarities, and one astonishing truth: extraterrestrial encounters are global, awe-inspiring, and unlike anything we’ve ever imagined.”

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    Valerie Anne is a Type 1 diabetic, mother, tree-hugger, self-proclaimed granola who loves a good horror story through literature, video games, and movies. She also streams art over at

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