The Arizona skies are like a black ocean flipped upward, leaving much to the imagination as day turns to night. And when the sun sets, the stars begin to outweigh the blackness ten fold. But on March 13th, 1997, something unusual stretched beyond imagination and would be witnessed not by just a few chance glancers, but thousands of residence throughout the Phoenix area and beyond. The Phoenix Lights is broken down in to what many consider two different incidents, as you will soon see why.
It was about 8pm when local authorities began receiving call after call about an object hovering above surrounding houses. Having first been spotted in the eastern mountain ranges, the object was now heading over a major city. The object, which was first described as having five points of light and were in a flying V formation. The object, enormous in scope, seemed to be hovering silently, blissfully floating on its own flight path. Many witnesses had reported the lights of the object as a brilliant amber color, changing ever so slightly to a blue and yellow tint. The amount of witnesses steadily grew, with credibility ranging from every walk of life, including several airline pilots who stood dumbfounded, seeing something much larger than any aircraft they were aware of. Most witnesses also described being able to see the city lights reflecting off of the object, which was blocking out the stars above, thus suggesting that this wasn’t just lights in the sky. This was an enormous solid craft. This was considered the first incident, with the second following in swift procession.
At approximately 9:30pm, the second incident, or what most would consider the main event, took center stage over the entire city of Phoenix. A brilliant semi-circle formation of lights were now hovering effortlessly in the sky. Unlike the sporadic reporting of the V-shaped craft earlier, literally thousands of residents began phoning the local authorities. Being unable to handle the barrage of reports, the calls began to be rerouted to the local air force installation, Luke Air Force Base, and also to the National UFO Reporting Center, a national repository for the FAA and other aviation agencies to report such incidents to. With phone lines across the state jammed, more and more people flooded the streets to witness the spectacular event. With photos and video capturing everything, this was turning out to be one of the most well recorded UFO sightings in history.
Ironically, the media didn’t really pick up on the event until several months later. Like a hose being clogged and then flushed, the floodgates opened and the people of Phoenix demanded a proper investigation into just exactly what was happening over their city. Francis Barwood, a City Council member, called for an official investigation. Conveniently, she was ousted from her position shortly after, some theorizing that it was because of the ridicule that came with the UFO investigation. But the public continued to press on, and eventually a press conference was held by Arizona Governor, Fife Symington. Playing the entire event as a joke, an individual was led to the podium wearing a silver-suited alien costume. Symington warned the public that they were “taking this way too seriously.”
It would later be announced that Luke Air Force Base had launched A-10 warthog jets that night to drop flares as part of a test mission. Now, the air force was taking responsibility for the second event and that what the people had seen was simply the fading of flares that just so happened to be launched, floated, and descended in perfect unison (Highly unlikely but no improbable.) But, even if this were true, it would not explain the V-shaped craft that had been reported earlier in the evening, and many also believe that the flare story, if true, was only set in to motion to dismiss the earlier event, thus confusing and distorting any previous reports. If the mass sighting could be contributed to flares, than the enormous V-shaped craft could be grouped in with this, and fade away in debunking fashion. Either way, something strange occurred that night over the city of Phoenix, and those involved adamantly claim that they know what they saw. They also continue to argue that a clear cover-up was set in to motion. Perhaps this all could have been solved and/or thoroughly researched if, in the words of UFO historian, Richard Dolan, “the entire event had occurred a few hours earlier, when daylight would have left the matter in no doubt.”
Check out the video of the Phoenix Lights, 17 years later, and let us know what you think of this spectacular mass sighting in the comments section!