What Are The Phoenix Lights?

On March 13th 1997, residents of Phoenix, Arizona started reporting a formation of bright lights moving over their heads The cluster of lights was seen by as many as 20,000 people, making it one of the biggest mass UFO sightings of all time

The event was caught on video from multiple angles, and has been famous among UFOlogists and alien fanatics ever since Can these strange lights be explained? Or were they of alien origin? At 8:15 pm PST, Arizona police received a call from a man named John Kaiser He claimed he could see a cluster of lights moving in a V formation over his house in Prescott

Only half an hour later, those same police were inundated with calls as thousands of people in Phoenix reported the same “v” of flying lights above them Early eyewitnesses saw the lights moving in unison over the city But at around 10 pm the reports changed

People stopped claiming to see the lights moving in a “v” formation, and reported nine of them hovering over the Sierra Estrella mountain range Shortly afterwards the lights disappeared behind the mountains The story was picked up by local media Many residents believed the lights were the front of a giant “v” shaped alien spaceship Arizona Governor Fife Symington even had to address the story at a press conference

He tried to make light of the situation by bringing an aide dressed as an alien onstage It wasn’t until four months later, in July, that the US military finally came forward with an explanation Local Army Captain Eileen Bienz claimed that a squadron of A-10 jets had been flying over Luke Air Force Base, a US air base southwest of Phoenix

The jets had been on a training exercise, Operation Snowbird, and had dropped a series of high-intensity flares, which people then mistook for the alien lights Three Maryland pilots, Lieutenant Colonel David Tanaka, Captain Drew Sullins, and Lieutenant Colonel Ed Jones came forward to confirm the official story They say they were flying that night But if this is true, it still only explains part of the mystery According to Captain Bienz, Operation Snowbird began at 10 p

m PST It cannot then explain all the sightings that occurred earlier that day, especially those seen in Prescott, far away from the area of the operation On top of this, the reports of early sightings don’t seem to fit the behaviour of flares As journalist Tony Ortega worked out, if the lights were above Prescott at 8:15 and Phoenix at 8:45, they must have moved at 400 miles an hour

That’s a pretty fast flare Surprising new witnesses have further complicated the story In April 2017, actor Kurt Russell told The One Show that he was flying his personal plane over Phoenix when he saw six orbs of light darting across the city He called them in to Air Traffic Control, who said that there was nothing in their flight plan Also, despite dismissing the incident in the press conference, in 2007 Governor Fife Symington claimed he had witnessed the event too, saying: ""As a pilot and a former Air Force Officer, I can definitively say that this craft did not resemble any man made object I'd ever seen

” Furthermore, he claimed that, as governor, he requested information from the commander of Luke Air Force Base, and the general of the National Guard; both of whom were just as confused as he was by the incident However, the rapid movement of these flares can be explained if you see them as two separate unrelated instances Reporter Janet Gonzalez says footage shows the lights seen over Prescott were just a formation of planes moving together Mitch Stanley, a witness who observed the lights through a telescope, confirmed this analysis that it was actually just a squadron of jets And while many witnesses in Phoenix claimed the “v” formation was silent, witnesses in quieter areas like Prescott recalled hearing a whooshing noise like a jet engine

The nine lights seen after 10 pm in Phoenix could be military flares from Operation Snowbird, which would also explain the change in the number of lights people claimed to see The Phoenix lights have since appeared again in 2007 and 2008, although this time the military were quick to explain these events as training exercises conducted by F-16 aircraft The explanation that the Phoenix Lights were not one but two separate events has some pretty compelling evidence behind it Yet there are plenty of unanswered questions

If the earlier lights were a formation of jets, what were they doing there? Why haven’t their pilots come forward to put the story to rest? And why did air traffic control not find any squadron flights in their schedule? Unfortunately, even amongst all the frantic phone calls and investigations about the sighting, no-one thought to request the radar tapes from the FAA Radar tapes are typically deleted after 11 days, meaning the best lead on the lights is gone forever We may never know the full truth behind the mystery of the Phoenix Lights

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