The “Phoenix Lights” refers to a series of widely sighted “V” formation unidentified flying object (UFOs) that was observed by multiple witnesses in the skies over the U.S. states of Arizona and Nevada on March 13, 1997. The object was even reported by then-Governor Symington. The lights were reported to have reappeared in 2007 and again in 2008.
Strange Lights Over Phoenix
On a clear spring evening in Arizona, thousands of people witnessed what came to be known as the Phoenix Lights. A formation of lights drifted southward across the Phoenix skyscape and disappeared as it neared the mountains. The USAF asserts that what was seen over Phoenix that evening was flares, ejected at low altitude while the plane gradually banked, in an exercise performed by the Maryland Air National Guard, allowing for the angular formation of the lights. Numerous videos are easily accessible of this event, and the USAF claim appears to be valid, at least on the surface .
Sightings south of Paulden, Arizona took place at approximately 8:15 on the evening of March 13, 1997. Reports from multiple witnesses support that these lights were moving south-southwest, and appeared to be moving slowly. The most well-documented of the Paulden sightings was made by a former police officer to the Daily Courier at 8:16. His report of the incident states that as he traveled north in the direction of Paulden, an angular aircraft with five large bright white lights flying south towards him passed overhead at an estimated 1,000 feet. This event has supposedly been explained away by a claim made by Mitch Stanley that he saw, firsthand, three planes with “squarish wings” flying in formation and told this to his mother, who then told her coworkers the following day, though this claim has not been corroborated by any of her former coworkers as of the date of the publication of this article.
More Reports Of UFOs – Phoenix Lights
The next reports that can be verified to have occurred at the date of the incident were those that began flooding into the Maricopa County Sheriff’s Office and Luke Air Force Base shortly before 10 P.M. Witnesses described a wide v-shaped formation of several very bright orange lights Descriptions of these lights differ; some witnesses described a low-flying aircraft with a span of thousands of feet, while others hold that it was multiple crafts flying at a higher altitude. The number of lights in the descriptions varies between three and nine lights, and some witnesses said that they saw the lights successively blink on, from eastern- to westernmost, which coincides with later witness accounts, as well as video footage, of the lights blinking off one by one in the same order as they moved south southeast toward Tuscon.The witness statements and videos from the Phoenix metropolitan area show that the lights passed beyond the South Mountains at approximately 10:00. (Though Phoenix is in a valley, differences in elevation do alter when an observer would see it move past the foreground of the mountains.)
The USAF officially maintains that eight A-10’s were deployed from Davis-Monthan AFB at 8:30 for special training exercises involving illumination flares over Barry M. Goldwater Air Force Range, southwest of Phoenix. They are reported to have returned at 10:00 P.M., and enroute back to the base, had ejected several flares southwest of Phoenix, near Gila Bend, due to regulations barring planes from landing with unused flares. According to a statement in the March 5, 1998 issue of the Phoenix “New Times” newspaper made by Captain Eileen Bienz, she “had determined that the flares had been dropped at 10 p.m. over the North Tac range 30 miles southwest of Phoenix, at an unusually high altitude: 15,000 feet.” The article went on to say “Captain Drew Sullins, spokesman for the Maryland Air National Guard, says that the A-10s, which have squarish wings, never went north of Phoenix, so they could not have been responsible for the formation of planes seen at 8:30 p.m.” Based on all of the evidence, it is clear that what was seen around 10 P.M. over Phoenix was a line of parachute flares drifting lazily along the same path as the prevailing winds that night, though this lucid explanation is still debated by UFO enthusiasts.
Granting the flare explanation, several compelling questions remain: Why would the Air Force practice their exercises in such close proximity to highly populated areas? If the exercises never went north of the latitude of Phoenix, how can one explain the multiple sightings prior to, and north of, the flare ejections near Gila bend? Was this an intentional diversion? If so, what were they diverting the public’s attention from? Numerous released CIA documents refer to the possibilities of UFO’s as a psychological weapon. Was this a psychological experiment? The only thing for certain is that it is unclear if we will ever have answers to these questions.
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