Phoenix Lights UFOs

UFO Lights

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While some choose the catchy paraphrased title, "Lights over Phoenix," most use the best-known label, "Phoenix Lights." However, by whatever name or popular moniker, this series of reported UFO sightings in Arizona and Sonora, Mexico during mid-March of 1997 is definitely among the most famous events of its kind

Two distinct UFO sightings reported during Phoenix Lights

Phoenix Lights actually denotes a duo of two very different UFO incidents. The first sighting featured a triangular light formation passing over Arizona, but the second episode proved to unfold with a series of still lights clearly visible throughout Greater Phoenix.

Several thousand witnesses to both events reported seeing very strange lights suddenly appear across a large segment of local skylines with an estimated 300-mile total length. That huge heavenly backdrop had a spatial range that spanned from Nevada's border, across Phoenix, to the edges of Tucson's geo territory.

U.S. Air Force officials subsequently announced that the latter Phoenix Lights sighting was simply flares discharged by an A-10 Warthog aircraft during a training exercise at Barry Goldwater Range in southwestern Arizona.

Substance of Phoenix Lights UFO Sightings eyewitness statements

Witnesses consistently reported watching an enormous V-shaped, dark-colored UFO travel across the sky in a coordinated manner whereby stars briefly disappeared as the spaceship was passing, but reappeared once it had passed the same spot. Witnesses further reported hearing no sound, but seeing five symmetrical lights that might have been emitted by engines attached to the main UFO's fuselage.

One first-hand witness was then Arizona governor Fife Symington. While dismissing any notion that the flying object was of extraterrestrial origin during his term in high public office, Symington later described the lights as "otherworldly" during a public admission of having previously sighted a very similar UFO.

Details of Phoenix Lights photo documentation

All visual images captured during the Phoenix Lights UFO Sightings purportedly fall into two basic categories that include: 1) the triangular light formation sighted before 10pm MST in Dewey and Prescott, Arizona; and, 2) the Phoenix sighting at about 11pm MST. Virtually all known visual imagery depict the latter event and was produced with various commercially manufactured camcorders and video cameras.

First Phoenix Lights UFO Sighting photos

Very few known visual images of the Prescott/Dewy sightings exist. Despite this, the area's TV station (KSAZ) reported that local resident Richard Curtis recorded a detailed videotape that supposedly revealed a spacecraft's outline. However, the video was lost shortly afterward. The only other known videotape of the first phase of Phoenix Lights was very low quality and depicts a light formation, but no visible spacecraft.

Second Phoenix Lights UFO Sighting photo documentaries

Numerous still images and videotapes reveal a distinct series of lights that appear at regular intervals with several minutes of illumination, and then abruptly disappear. Such imagery has been repeatedly broadcast by TV documentary stations such as Discovery Channel and the History Channel.

The most often publicized visual sequence depicts what seems to be an arc-shaped formation of lights that appear one at a time, and then go out one by one. UFO proponents cite this image as conclusive proof that depicted illuminations were "running lights" attached to the leading edge of a large aircraft. Skeptics counterclaim that such videotaped footage is merely evidence of some mountains that are invisible at night partially blocked the view from certain angles, thus supporting a popular theory that lights were located farther away than UFOlogists claim.

UFO advocate Jim Dilettoso performed spectral analyses that allegedly proved the videotaped and photographed lights could not have been of any manmade origin. However, UFO skeptics contend that it's impossible to ascertain the precise spectral signature of any light source, based solely on photo or video imagery thereof. Their underlying rationale is that film or electronic media necessarily alters the spectral signature of light sources by adjusting hues within the visible light spectrum.

Furthermore, spectroscopy experts dismiss Dilettoso's claims as scientifically invalid. Similar analytical testing by various independent labs and media organizations reflect a mixed bag of findings as to the validity of Dilettoso's hypothesis.

Proffered alternative explanations for reported Phoenix Lights UFO Sightings

First V-shaped formation

Initially sighted above northern Arizona, this incident gradually broadened over a southerly direction that eventually covered almost the full length of the state. UFO proponents concede that no objectively demonstrable explanation seems forthcoming and some evidence does exist that the sighted lights were actually emitted by airplanes.

Second nine-light set of sightings

This event consisted of the set of nine lights that seemed to hover above Phoenix around 10pm PST. It also garnered more thorough media coverage, partly due to a correspondingly higher volume of visual images documented by the public. U.S. Air Force spokespersons proffered an explanation of the second event as merely long-burning, slow-falling illumination flares dropped by an A-10 Warthog aircraft during a then in-progress training exercise at Luke AFB.

Such military flares are visible from several hundred miles under ideal environmental conditions. Subsequent comparative luminosity analyses revealed high similarity of known military flare drops and reported Phoenix Lights UFO sightings.

Last words about Phoenix Lights UFO Sightings

Like most other similar reported incidents, separating fact from fiction is far easier said than done when it comes to the case of alleged Lights over Phoenix. Numerous directly conflicting witness accounts, combined with equally plausible but competing theories lead this writer to call it a complete toss-up and unbreakable tie that might prove to bind many a bright human mind - perpetually.