One night in March of 1997, residents of Phoenix, Arizona were treated to an extraordinary sight in what was one of the most famous UFO occurrences on record, The Phoenix Lights. Phoenix is no stranger to UFO sightings, but the events that took place on the night of March 13th stand out because so many people observed the spectacular sights, and several people were even able to record the event.
The first event occurred around 8:30 that night with a series of orb-shaped lights flying through the sky in the shape of a giant V, observed by thousands of witnesses across the area. Many witnesses described a structure connected to the lights that blocked out the view of the stars as it moved through the air. They described a structure to the lights and the attached object that does not match the description of flares, the official explanation for the Phoenix Lights.
Witnesses include scientists, engineers, pilots, police and a whole range of other professionals, many of whom are convinced that there was a large craft that flew overhead. At least four known videos have emerged with recordings of the incidents that occurred that night, although witnesses are still coming forward today.
Original video of the Phoenix Lights incident can be viewed below. This is a video of the second set of sightings on March 13th that occurred after 10 pm that night, in which multiple lights were seen moving independently.
The event caused such a stir that the Governor of Arizona at the time, Fife Symington, even held a press conference to address the issue, albeit three months after the incidents had occurred. The Governor announced that he would conduct a full investigation into the issue to find out the truth of the matter.
Then later that afternoon, Governor Symington called another press conference to announce that he had arrived at an answer. An event that was widely watched was made into a mockery when the Governor announced that the case had been solved. He then brought in one of his aides dressed in an alien costume and announced that “this just goes to show that you guys are entirely too serious.”
It wasn’t until a decade later, on the 10th anniversary of the Phoenix Lights, that Governor Symington admitted on film that he had actually seen something that he was only trying to ease the tension at the time. He stated that he had viewed the object(s) himself and that it appeared to be an extremely large craft.
He also said he felt that the UFO had an “otherworldly” quality about it, and that “I suspect, unless the Defense Department proves us otherwise, that it was probably some form of an alien spacecraft.” Mind you, Symington served as a Captain in the United States Air Force during the Vietnam War, so he would have been familiar with various aircraft.
Although the military at first denied any responsibility, the Maryland Air National Guard later stepped up to take the blame. The National Guard stated that flares had been dropped by jets around 10 PM near the North Tac Range located roughly 30 miles southwest of Phoenix from an abnormally high 15,000 feet.
They reference an “Operation Snowbird” conducting night training on the night of March 13th, around the same time that the sightings were recorded. So perhaps there may have been testing of a secret stealth plane, or some other technology on that night. However, further digging suggests that Operation Snowbird may be a covert diversionary operation used during actual UFO sightings.
Supporting the official assessment, physicist Dr. Bruce Maccabee released a report later in the year, titled “Report on Phoenix Light Array.” This report concludes that “the triangulation data suggest flares at high altitude and great distance.”
The air force even attempted to reconstruct the event by releasing several series of flares to mimic the lights observed on March 13th, but many that had observed the original event noted discrepancies and remained unconvinced.
Several alternative theories have been floated to explain the Phoenix Lights. Some have even suggested that the Phoenix Lights were a psychological warfare experiment conducted by the military. You can also buy the book by Dr. Lynne Kitei below.
Suggested Reading: The Phoenix Lights: A Skeptics Discovery that We Are Not Alone
To add further fuel to the fire, the March 13th sighting was not the first of this kind to occur over Phoenix. Witnesses reported similar occurrences in the area dating back to at least 1995. In January of 1997, one witness reported seeing 3 large orange balls of light hovering in the sky near the city. There were even similar reported sightings earlier that year.
For more information, you can also check out the excellent documentary “The Phoenix Lights” on Youtube.
So what do you think is the cause of this captivating event? Was it really flares, as some have indicated, or is it possible that something else caused this?