El Paso Times from El Paso, Texas on April 23, 2000 · 68
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El Paso Times from El Paso, Texas · 68

El Paso, Texas
Issue Date:
Sunday, April 23, 2000
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El Paso Times Sunday, April 23, 2000 TRAVEL If you go Viewing site: The official viewing site for the Marfa Lights is nine miles east of Marfa on U.S. Highway 90. During dark, scan the southwestern horizon, looking toward Chinati Peak and the red tower light as a marker. It is said that any light to the right of the marker, which appears and disappears, is a ghost light. Around Marfa: Marfa is host to the Marfa Lights Festival each Labor Day. When the festival started in the late 1980s, it offered seminars and panel discussions about the lights. Now it has turned into a Tejano music festival, says Judith Brueske, author of "The Marfa Lights." The book is on back order, but if you're interested in getting a copy, write Ocotillo Enterprises, P.O. Box 195, Alpine, TX 79831 to put your name on the waiting list. Brueske isn't sure what the price will be. Marfa Lights mystery, mystique persist By Kathryn Straach Dallas Morning News MARFA I want to believe. I really do. My friend Cheryl and I came to Marfa looking for the mysterious Marfa Lights, and we saw them. I think. At least, we saw lights out on the horizon where unexplained lights have been reported for more than a century. But what we saw were more of the white headlight variety instead of the multicolor, dancing-through-the-sky, chnsing-after-cars performances reported by some. For two chilly nights, Cheryl and I stood atop a picnic table at the designated viewing site nine miles southeast of Marfa. We gazed intently to the south toward a red television transmission tower light, mentioned in materials about the Marfa Lights as the place to look. The lights appear almost night ly on the mesa between Marfa and Alpine, east of the Chinati Mountains across an area called Mitchell Flat, but they have also been reported at other places in the area. The viewing site is nothing more than a roadside park with three picnic tables. The land was donated by a former Texas gubernatorial candidate, Clayton Williams, in 1988. We expected a crowd, but there was none on this Thursday evening only a pickup with music blaring. We got out and went directly to the picnic table recommended to us earlier that evening by a couple at dinner in the nearby Tunibleweed Grill. The pickup viewers stayed in their vehicle behind foggy windows. Almost immediately, I saw a light in the distarce that turned from white to purple, and I hadn't had even a single glass of wine with dinner. It swirled briefly be fore disappearing. As it turned out, that sighting was the high point of both evenings. The lights were entertaining, but I guess 1 had hoped for something more distinctive. Some reports of the lights are Disney-esque, with soft yellows, pinks, blues dancing through the sky. But no one can predict what the lights will do from one night to the next. Reports of the lights started long before car headlights and paved highways. According to the state historical marker at the designated viewing site, the first recorded sighting of the lights was by Robert Ellison in 1883. The marker says: "Variously explained as campfires, phosphorescent minerals, swamp gas, static electricity, St. Elmo's Eire and 'ghost lights,' the lights reportedly change colors, move about and change in intensity." Theories range from aliens to ball lightning. One of many local legends concerning the lights is that they are the ghosts of the Apache Indian chief Alsate. Some locals tell their children they are witches, to keep the children inside at night. Judith Brueske, author of the book "The Marfa Lights," a big seller in the region, says the lights could be electromagnetic hot spots or possibly "earthquake lights." "There is a lot of electrical stress in the rocks," she says. The area has several short fault lines, and when quartz rubs together, it glows, she says. "Also, people's vision at night plays tricks on them," she says. Yes, this author who devoted a year to gathering firsthand accounts of sightings and has updated the book each year since 1989 is a skeptic. She has never witnessed firsthand extraordinary lights only those that she calls atmospheric distortions. And she says that lights are seen most often on Friday and Saturday nights, when the traffic on U.S. Highway 67 to Presidio is heaviest. Brueske does believe that if anyone is going to solve the mystery of the lights, it will be Edson Hendricks of San Diego, Calif., an MIT graduate who is an electrical engineer, computer systems designer and scientist. He first saw the lights in 1991, carefully distinguishing the unexplained from car headlights, and is certain they are more than optical illusions. "I suspect a combination of solar activity and small seismic movement may cause a sort of underground lightning that is normally undetectable," he wrote in a report shortly after observing the lights. "However, on occasion it may produce something above the ground similar to ball lightning, which we observe as the Marfa Lights." Iceland, New World celebrate 1,000th year since Leif Ericson PUZZLE ANSWERS By June Sawyers Chicago Tribune They might not have stayed very long, but they surely made a huge impact so big that their short sojourn in the New World continues to reverberate around the globe. One thousand years ago, Leif Ericson and a band of 35 or so men set foot on the shores of what is now North America. They called the area Vinland, so named because of the wild grapes growing in profusion. Today, historians believe these Norsemen, the Vikings of legend, had landed in what is now L'Anse aux Meadows in Newfoundland and Labrador. During the year 2000, Iceland particularly will mark the 1,000th anniversary of the Viking discovery of North America. It is planning more than 230 Icelandic cultural events at 70 venues in the United States and Canada, from New York to Winnipeg, Manitoba. "Now that archaeological evidence of the Norse site at L'Anse aux Meadows has been found, virtually all historians agree that the Vikings arrived in America 5U0 "years before Columbus," says William Fithugh, director of Arctic archaeology and chief curator of the Smithsonian Institution exhibition "Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga." "Virtually all historians agree that the Vikings arrived in America 500 years before Columbus." William Fitzhugh, director of Arctic archaeology and chief curator of the Smithsonian Institution exhibition "Vikings: The North Atlantic Saga." The year 2000 is also the anniversary of the millennium of Christianity in Iceland. A huge festival is planned at the Thingvellir, the ancient Icelandic parliamentary site. The newly opened Icelandic Emigration Center in the town of Hofsos in northern Iceland promotes cultural links with Icelandic descendants. It has three floors of xhbitspace, a library, a genealogy center, gift shop and conference room. It maintains close ties with the New Iceland Heritage Museum in Gimli and the Glaumbaer Folk Museum in Skagafjordun in northern Ice land. The voyage of the Viking ship Islendingur (Icelander) is to sail from Reykjavik on June 17 and re-create the 2,600-mile journey Leif made 1,000 years ago. The ship will make stops en route from Greenland and Newfoundland before heading to New York. New York City will also add considerably to Viking fever this year. The Big Apple will play host to various events, including the inauguration of Scandinavia House: The Nordic Center in America, a Scandinavian cultural center. Operated by the American-Scandinavian Foundation, it is scheduled to open Oct. 21. Many Canadian cities and towns will also celebrate the Norse discovery of. America. The Viking ship Islendingur will arrive at L'Anse aux Meadows July 28 and will be greeted by Iceland's foreign minister, Hall-dor Asgrimsson. The ship will go into harbor in 12 other ports around Newfoundland. Smithsonian's Fitzhugh is not surprised at the flurry of activity- "Viking millennium fever is a- natural outgrowth of the recognition of the importance of this anniversary by a country that has never officially acknowledged Leif Ericson's achievements," he says. Travel advice Go online for Winter Games updates By Jean Allen Sun-Sentinel. South Florida Question: My family is planning a trip to the 2002 Winter Olympics in Salt Lake City. We plan on staying for five or six days. When will tickets go on sale, and how will they be made available to the public? How much will the tickets cost? Will hotel rooms be readily available, and how soon in advance can they be booked?- Is it better to rent a car vs. public transportation? Are there other local attractions we should visit? Please comment on the culture of Salt Lake City. - .W.. Harrisburg, I'a. .... Answer-The Winter Games in Salt Lake City will be Feb. 8 through 24, 2002. Tickets won't go on sale until fall 2000, and Tickets.com, the official ticket supplier, says a "major advertising campaign" will be run before then to notify the public about the ticket process. For now, the Salt Lake Organizing Committee's Web site, www.slc2002.org, has ticket information that includes a way to sign up for regular updates of ticketing by e-mail. It will be an Olympic first for online ticket sales. They will be available on the Internet, by mail or telephone. Tickets.com will also offer some tickets by Internet auction, and a random selection process will be used for events where demand exceeds supply. Prices will range from S20 (for speed skating) to S425 (for the ice hockey medal round). Figure skating tickets, one of the hot categories, will range from $35 for the first preliminaries to $400 for the medal round. About 800,000 tickets will be for sale in the United States, and about 20 percent of these will be allocated to Utah residents. Not all the event schedule has been determined. Many events will be at ski areas outside the city, and judging from past Games, it's usually better to rely on public transportation than brave heavy traffic and parking problems in a rented car. If you plan to do some sightseeing, though, you might want a car to drive out to see the Great Salt Lake, or some of Utah's scenic wonders such as Bryce Canyon, Zion and Arches national parks. Hotel policies and prices also haven't yet been determined, but there are sure to be hotel packages offered by tour operators. To get you started: Call the Utah Travel Council, (800) 200-1160, to order a free state travel guide and ask questions. Call the Salt Lake City Convention and Visitors Bureau, (800 ) 541-4955, for information and publications about the city and to request lodging specifics when they become available. Salt Lake City was built on the site chosen by Brigham Young for a Mormon city. It was at the end of a long trek from Illinois to find a place outside the United States (which it was at that time) where polygamy could be practiced in peace. Polygamy is now illegal but reportedly continues in some rural areas of the state. Two-thirds of Salt Lake City residents are Mormons, members of the Church of Jesus Christ of Latter-day Saints, and the city is built around Temple Square, site of both the temple and tabernacle. The state Capitol sits on a hill beyond the square. Salt Lake City is noted for its broad, very clean streets and its sparkling air. Jean Allen's column runs weekly in the El Paso Times. She welcomes questions about travel. Send them to Advice and Dissent, Sun-Sentinel, 200 E. Las Olas Blvd., Fort Lauderdale, FL 33301-2293. Sorry,-no personal replies. PMDS 6 days5 nights from $729 Round-trip Air from 0 Paso on Continental Airlines 5 nights Hotel, Breakfast Daily Continental Airlines IWa-rwTtiftlM ,M,wlidiiml(VHA l',U( WlnmMVMIW Smriwrmmiifr1' T,n. ,irr. 16" (-VMWIft- g Motel & Cabins -- IN THE PINES IN HISTORIC PIN0S ALTOS 2 12 Hour Drive from El Paso Gateway to the Gila Wilderness... 3 nil! Dollmp Gila River Urn Rolvm i n..... ni. .. r . r :..is : n urau note ror weum vmwns t -rv Complete kitchens, color TV, v phones and firewood Spend the night, visit the Old Fort.thc Historic Museum and dine at the famous Buckhom Saloon. 1-888-388-4515 (505) 388-4501 P.O. Box S30R2 Pinos Altos. NM 88053 T Hm Mm m Nimitii o Sham Or T Hps'? TODAY'S CROSSWORD ANSWER h am mTVJ lambcawseno lTa l m a jtl v a o ne o is o d o i C. JS R.AJL B I T R A i B Bjl T F O O D I N D E E D Y H B O flT Ar" m"1T f 1L A L-3 (s T o n TQf e e Tl I P I A R O "d"IyJ aU RE pT I A M j R j A M L E A V EmA B "b I I I T B l A L L sIJa B E usb eJTs a x IT 1 1 d e smh BAR m o bQp e t e rTrT B B I TLJR I B B Y S P I I R ; I T E" DME M" I L EJJA E R I A L I ' ITlEjP TroTlS M I K Eljl N S E Tfl Hi A PjPjElNnD O U S ELJA N D Elms PIN A D U l!tJJWE L S hIr A B B I tHf R A T I N YMT ART! IN O 0 Njfs OAK EN c ABB TjT I R I E D U jHT MOT E D j A H Lfo" B E JJJH" 0 N 0 0 TED I ' ' IaIl l situ i o!n si fplE R kI I pp ortoTntaiTs JLAH J- " B I R I E ) R R A B B I I T L I N j T L E R O Tj L I I M A F ) R j A j Y J E I X j I j T . J E D j E i N WORD SLEUTH ANSWER THINGS WE DRIVE PUB) Unlisted clue: NAILS A I R I A B I E .RABJLL T A R E I N PIE LEGj SATURDAY CROSSWORD ANSWER DIAIMlM E D I G U AINIA EIP DiEiC -- Ci A 4 S L 4Gi' N M A X I E S AIR D K I 'O S W I SIElTiO IN WIS BANDIT IACKEY Answer ; BOILED HANSOM NUDISM FACING What the bridge players warned " on the cruise GOOD "DECK" HANDS CRYPTOQUIP ANSWER HAVE YOU PURCHASED A CD PLAYER YET? I'M TOLD THAT IT'S A SOUND INVESTMENT. If you don't check with us... cnuisn.cof.i rOU'llMHWMH,' OpwiTDayi 800-245-2745 a" D j E IP T IsTj O P T I S M E R lIeQA L ERT ill IT b'oio'tIi E SkQk I j N ' T ; A K j E tIwioIsUt e l i l i e j r CHEAP FARES EXPRESS 1-888-88-CHEAP SUNFItl 7- UT 7-4 (PT 24J27 TWIN $285 MCKS0 $221 HfWTBW $285 UIIMOHt ZB3 MNSAS 271 MflFHK BIRMNGHAM 221 LOWSVIUi 271 MUWDO I0STW 28$ MEMPHIS 270 rmOlPHU CHARLOTTE 28$ MINNEAPOLIS 270 PORTLAND CHICAGO 250 NASHVIUE 270 RALEIGH HARIfORO 285 N. (WHAMS 221 SEATTLE VISIT OUR SITE WWW.QOCHEAPFARES.COM fin 'I ir Wi im im tiiEiw it twin itrvwa Around & About Tours Inc N.M. Space History May 20th : (915)833-8650 A&S FUN TOURS 8906 OTYOKWA WAY 915-859-5006 79907 CO-ORDINATOR NIEVES ANCHONDO 130 May 20th - 25th July 1st 5th 1 Day 1 Night Laughlin 2 Days 2 Nights LasVegas 4 Free Mals DISNEYLAND si!8ctoJune 3yrsoU liKV, i((lf: ; lill u;-sKr,sM (Eh fftffiiO) A 4 A BounceBack Weekend provides everything you need to relax and refuel including a free Continental breakfast. And now. for a limited a time, when you enjoy a BounceBack Weekend at one of the great Hiltons in New Mexico and West Texas, you'll receive two free upgrades to a full breakfast. So in addition to great accommodations, pools and a host of other thoughtful amenities, you can enjoy your breakfast favorites. For reservations visit www.hilton.combounceback Or call your professional travel agent, 1-800-HILTONS or one of the Hiltons listed below. Ask for the BounceBack Full Deal. Hilton Albuquerque 505-884-2500 $88 Olympic-sized outdoor pool, fitness center, three restaurants, two lounges Hilton El Paso Airport 915-778-4241 $75 standard$85 suite Enov our 21 1 loot watersllde, pool and cabana bar Hilton Garden Inn" Rio Rancho 505 896-1111 $64 located minutes fiom shopping, restaurants, goll and casinos Hilton Las Cruces 505-522-4300 $77 Goll Getaway Packages availablu with local 18-hole championship courses Otter valid Thursday-Sunday through b3000 Saturday mghl stay required it check-in on Thursday Rate exclusive ol tax and gratuities and does not apply to groups or other otters Rate, day ot week availability and slay requirements vary by hotel Early check-out subiecl to payment ol higher rate or early departure fee Limited availability Advance reservations required (Advance deposit required ) Kids 18 and under stay tree m their parents' or grandparents room in the U S Other restr ctions apply (2000 Hilton Hospitality. Inc. T i i

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