Phoenix lights again?!

By Phil Plait | March 23, 2007 9:08 am

Wow, the story that keeps on giving.

I wrote about the Phoenix lights recently: it was a "UFO" formation seen over Phoenix, Arizona in 1997. Even though a lengthy investigation revealed that without a doubt, the lights seen that night were flares dropped from military airplanes, people refuse to let go.

The latest step back from reality comes from… wait for it… former Arizona Governor Fife Symington. Yes, the governor of an entire state says that the lights were from UFOs. And not just literally UFOs — that is, unidentified objects — but actual alien spacecraft.

Hey, I didn’t elect him.

He was interviewed on TV and CNN did us all the favor by putting it on the web. Watch it and be amazed. A guy who ran the government of a whole state says he thinks that (unless the military comes forward with an explanation — which, of course, they already have) these were actual little green men.

Now, ex-Governor Symington may be forgiven — maybe — because he’s just another guy duped by the credulous thinking in this country. What really gets me steamed is that CNN played this up as if the lights really were UFOs. In that video linked above they actually said that we still don’t know what these lights were over Phoenix that night.

Read this next part carefully, folks:


There was in fact a squadron of planes flying in that area that night. They did in fact drop flares with little parachutes so they took a long time to fall. These flares were in fact seen to disappear over the mountains as they fell. A young man saw the planes through his telescope (but has been almost totally ignored by the press). The pilot of one of the aircraft has in fact come forward to say these very things.

CNN has no excuse for the uncritical reporting of this. A Google search on "Phoenix Lights" returns the Wikipedia entry as the first result, and the flares explanation is clearly delineated there.

Now it turns out the story is a little more complicated; there were UFOs seen over the whole state that night, and not just in Phoenix. I have received some snarky emails from UFO folks about that. What could those have been?

Uh, I hate to break it to you folks, but they were airplanes too. Timothy Printy has the whole story, in a LOT of detail.

This kind of stuff makes me nuts. Why do people cling so tenaciously to fantasy? I would love to have conclusive evidence of alien life. And I mean love it; it would be the greatest thing ever. Ever. The problem is, people jump so massively to conclusions that they can sprain their brains in the process.

Shame on you, CNN, for perpetuating this. And shame on CNN reporter Gary Tuchman for not doing his research.

Tip o’ the tin foil beanie to the folks at JREF for the links and the many people who emailed me!


Comments (120)

  1. Aerik

    It is frustrating when people just can’t let it go.

    Earlier this year at Fark, a user submitted what was obviously a blurry picture of a street lamp, but claimed she couldn’t tell what it was and loudly denied it was not a street lamp. Forum and photoshop hilarity ensued. After a day they got her to repost new pictures of the “UFO,” and more photoshoppers put the pics together in animated .gif’s altering the brightness and contrast of the photos to animate the street lamp transforming from a sharp, crisp image to the blurry thing she insists is a UFO. After a few more days she finally relented and accepted that it was just a street lamp the entire time.

    But until she did, BLARG! Frustrating to talk to.

  2. Kevin Conod

    I wrote to CNN to complain what a lousy story that was – and pointed out that they had ignored the story about the pilot which was in the news just two weeks ago.

  3. Gary Ansorge

    Gee, my tin hat just exploded,,,

    My son, the software expert, believes we’ll never see real aliens, because, as he puts it, (paraphrase) why spend zillions of dollars to get to another solar system when you can have all the wealth in the universe in a virtual reality?

    As virtuals become more “real”, as the brain inputs become indistinguishable from “reality”, we should be able to experience every aspect of nature in our heads. All we really need are ‘bots to do the exploration and acquisition of new data for our virtual worlds.

    ,,,on the other hand, maybe that’s what’s “really” happening right now,,,

    ,,,but, I LIKE alien stories,,,oh well, guess I’ll just have to incorporate them in my own virtual,,,
    “Look, the little lights, they’re PEOPLE,,,”

    GAry 7

  4. Hey, I didn’t elect him. .. and I live and have voted in AZ since the 1970’s!

    Seriously, we also elected Evan Mecham, a used car salesman who not only repealed Martin Luther King Day (which had been declared by Bruce Babbitt when he was Gov), and became the only state to vote in MLK Day via intiative, but he also used the term ‘pickaninny’ to refer to Black Children and even got himself impeached.

    We’re much better now, thank you, we have Janet Napolitano, a reasonable woman in the Governorship.

    BTW… Fife, since leaving office when he was facing federal charges, has now studied Cordon Bleu cooking.



    Thank you, thank you, thank you!!
    You’re lucky. I have to listen to this &*%$@# stuff on ALL the LOCAL news stations as well. I’m an Arizona native and just to clarify, I didn’t vote for Symington either. … and NO, I don’t think he can be forgiven.
    By the way, my company manufactures flares similar to these, and they are really cool to test at night.

  6. dhtroy

    I have been waiting for you to jump all over this one; Thank you! I would love to see you send this to the editor of CNN. There is no excuse for a major news outlet to print, even on the internet, trash like this … it never ends.

  7. CNN – the mistrusted name in news.

  8. Ed

    When news agencies are given the choice to print the honest truth or a spin that will sell more papers…guess which one is always chosen! “Watchdog of Democracy” indeed!

  9. This is almost as bad as the uncritical coverage the media gives to Owl Gore’s claims!

  10. Drbuzz0

    I have seen some people give interviews to the press saying that they had gotten a good look at the “UFO” which was a solid metallic mass the size of a few city blocks and that each light was a recessed cavity in the metal craft and had a constant powerful, yet diffused glow, as if they were a bright light behind a large lens. The craft hovered for a while and they could make out the texture of the material, which was a dull metal….

    Oh yeah… none of the photos or videos (there are many) actually showed anything like that. Of course, if you look around a good sized city enough, I’m sure you can find some people who will claim that they saw something like that. Especially if you have a TV camera.

  11. old amateurastronomer

    I lived in Columbia, South Carolina for a few years while in graduate school. At one edge of the city is Fort Jackson, a major training facility for the US Army. Every once in a while there would be bright orange lights in the night sky in the direction of the fort. I could only speculate that they were flares to illuminate their night maneuvers. So, when I read about the ‘Phoenix Lights’ and saw some of the photographs, the only thing I could think of was… Hmmm flares for night maneuvers. That might not have been totally correct, but when I saw all of the hype concerning the flares and UFOs (alien ships, that is…). I thought, Oh no, here we go again!!

    BTW, to one previous poster – the ‘media’ HAS been critical of Mr. Gore’s message on global warning, very much so, maybe not all, but many articles have been unkind to Mr. Gore!

  12. Grand Lunar

    Did anyone else here about this story:;_ylt=AqdYYiaUfO.PypK3S6tv4F7q188F

    Appearently, France is releasing its UFO files to the public.

    I fear for the mental integrity of humanity.
    We need to get skepticism into the mainstream. Fight ignorance and shams!

  13. Michelle

    Sensational stories about green men get more ratings than the actual unsexy truth. That’s why CNN did that. Plain and simple.

  14. wright

    We live in a time when access to knowlege is EXPLODING. Not just for academics and science/technical specialists, but for any layperson with an internet connection. The opportunities to learn, to educate ourselves have expanded in ways we are still coming to grips with.

    We have spacecraft exploring other planets, robots mapping the deep sea. We can determine the basic characteristics of planets orbiting other stars. We are investigating the basis of intelligence, heredity and life.

    And there are still those who belive in UFOs and Jesus manifesting himself on pancakes…

    Wake up and smell the Martian dust and the waters of Enclaedus, people! What’s WRONG with you??

    (bangs head on keyboard, rips out already thinning grey hair)…

  15. tsmiljan

    It makes you want to go and bang your head against the wall. Not that CNN is such a paragon of responsible journalism (e.g., Larry King), but I would have expected this in the Weekly World News instead. Does Gary Tuchman have no shame that he was unwilling to do even a modicum of investigation, and instead opt for another titillating three minutes of air time?

  16. Tensor

    Good entry Phil. I also sent a comment to CNN, along wth links to the sites you provided (along with a link to here).

  17. Rich

    Tragic what people report. If they see something in the sky they don’t understand, it has to be something from another world. I lived for years in the San Luis Valley in Colorado, a supposed hotbed of UFO sightings ( home of the Crestone Flying Saucer Observatory, and that explains why I moved). In one interesting report, one young lady reported seeing a flying saucer being chased by Air Force fighters, and she was close enough to hear the bullets bouncing off it (obviously she was too close).

    I’m a very active amatuer astronomer, and all the years people were reporting this, that, and the other thing up in the sky, I only saw one thing I didn’t have an immediate explanation for. Years later though, I saw the same effect, but this time I knew what I was looking at. What I’d seen in the night sky was the exhause glow of a low flying F-117.

  18. Ruth

    I MUST remember when I Digg a post here NOT to stay on that site a second longer. It’s depressing how dumb most of the posters are (I strayed off onto other stories) :o/

  19. Chip

    If CNN keeps doing stuff like this they’re going to be down on the same level as Faux News.

  20. crf

    They’ll surely do a sciency story next week about how an asteroid is going to crash into the earth, which should balance things up.

  21. Ahruman

    ‘The truth may be out there, but lies are inside your head.’
    — Terry Pratchett

  22. I wanted to know the reasons for dropping flares, and not just in the case of “Phoenix Lights” but in general.

    — “But existing is basically all I do!”, Fry

  23. bkallee

    Not to worry, nobody around here, (phoenix), really takes Fifi seriously anymore.

  24. Ahsan Says: “I wanted to know the reasons for dropping flares, and not just in the case of “Phoenix Lights” but in general.”

    On a military site like that it’s usually for practice. These were flares designed to illuminate the battlefield at night. It could be infantry practicing operations under flare light, or artillery crews practicing finding and hitting targets, or even the air crews dropping the flares practicing dropping them where the field commanders need them.

    These flares are designed for maximum “hang time” so they have parachutes on them. The other type of flare that people think of is the self-protect flare used to decoy heat-seeking missiles. Those either drop down (hoping the missile will follow) or sprout little wings and fly level (more or less) hoping the missile will think it’s a plane (while the real plane does a serious turn).

    – Jack

    PS – The parachutes used on these flare make GREAT recovery systems for high powered hobby rockets. They can be had surplus for a few bucks whereas the military probably paid $100 or so for them. They are incredibly light, well made (nylon), pack tightly and are rugged as hell. It’s a shame their primary use is disposable.

  25. Chill Out

    Forget a state, try a whole country: this will open some floodgates.

  26. Tom

    > Why do people cling so tenaciously to fantasy?

    Because it makes life more interesting. Lighten up.

  27. K

    bklallee couldn’t be more wrong.
    And “John Paradox” calling the current governor a “reasonable woman” – ha
    …I suppose there really are ignorant people out there….sad

  28. Lo'ihi

    One evening when I was driving a pitch dark road near a military training camp, suddenly two bright objects were lit in the sky nearby. They were too high for street lamps, but too low and too close together for flying objects. Seemingly stationary, they looked mysterious and beautiful as if the Polaris has descended to guide the night traveler.

    When a beautiful rosy lenticular cloud capped the high peak at sunset, the local folks were abuzz with the UFO rumours. If only they observed a bit longer, it soon turned into a normal grey cloud withering their imagination.

    For the TV rating to go up, it requires gullible, unscientific folks who buy into the sham news. What I observed today in the local Borders may have something to do with this trend. A few years ago, the science section was about half the size of religion section. Today, I was flabbergasted to see only 2 shelves for science whereas the religion section expanded to 14 shelves. I wonder if this is a general trend all over the country.

  29. Quiet Desperation

    >>>why spend zillions of dollars to get to another solar system when
    >>>you can have all the wealth in the universe in a virtual reality?

    It’s like Scott Adams said in The Dilbert Future. He predicts the holodeck (or whatever form true VR takes) will be mankind’s last invention. Everyone will just seal themselves inside and never come out.

  30. Quiet Desperation

    >>>It makes you want to go and bang your head against the wall.

    Or, if one is a clearer thinker, to go and bang the head of someone at CNN. :)

    >>>If CNN keeps doing stuff like this they’re going to be down on the
    >>>same level as Faux News.

    Pfft! Where have you been? CNN was there when Fox News was a glimmer in Roger Ailes’ eye. C’mon, folks, maintain that skepticism level.

  31. Matt J

    I thought that most of mainstream American culture had sort of gotten the whole UFO thing out of its system by the late 1990s. You know, we had movies like Independence Day, Men in Black, Armageddon *vomits uncontrollably at mention of movie*, Contact, and shows on TV like the X-Files, etc, but after the Y2K “new millennium” fad ended the whole thing sort of lost steam (or so I thought). We’d just gotten over the whole “Heaven’s Gate” cult thing and it looked like UFO believers would finally be relegated to our cultural waste bin, but noooooo.

    It makes my brain hurt to think that humanity can do things like send people to the freaking MOON, but still have members of society who want so badly to have some excitement in their mundane, everyday lives that they would cling desperately (or casually) to the belief that little green men are flying around over our heads doing really annoying things with blinking lights. They’re called AIRPLANES, dummies! We invented the things over a HUNDRED FREAKING YEARS AGO! Welcome to the 21st century, goofballs.


    Oh, and CNN can go choke on a piece of polonium for allowing this kind of unbalanced garbage to get airtime.

  32. Amanda

    >> Why do people cling so tenaciously to fantasy?

    >Because it makes life more interesting. Lighten up.

    It is one thing to hope and wish that something might be true. It is entirely another to vehemently argue something for which you have no proof, particularly if you are in a position of power/influence (such that people might say “well, ____ said it was true, and I believe them!”)

    It does not just “make life more interesting” when people perpetuate false claims that might potentially hurt people.

  33. John Krehbiel

    Fantasy is fun. Believing that fantasy is reality is mental illness.

    Believing in life after death is comforting. Believing in talking to the dead is mental illness.

    I wish there was a way to make a faster-than-light drive without requiring the energy output of a medium sized galaxy, but so far that doesn’t seem to be the case.

    As far as the press is concerned. every time I read a story where I know anything about the facts, they get it wrong. When they quote someone and I heard the original statement, they get it wrong. When they report science, they get it wrong. If they get all the things I know about wrong, what is the chance they get the things I don’t know about right?

  34. Space Cadet

    Reading how seriously CNN is taking the story made me think instantly of The Discovery Network. Does Ted Turner own that, too? Does he own France? Maybe he thinks he’s an alien. (The next sentence was about Jane Fonda, but I decided to delete it.)

  35. Gary Ansorge

    Remember KArl MArk? He said,” Religion is the opiate of the people,.,,”.
    Religion, unfounded belief in aliens or parapsychology or whatever still fullfills that roll. The people(read, your average person with IQ less than 100) still has a need to believe there is someOne or someThing that will make everything hunky dorry. When disaster strikes, what recourse has the average Joe but to hope there is some rationalle that will compensate for his pain?

    Understanding that, as Jerry Garcia used to say, “,,,sometimes S**t happens,,,”, is little comfort when faced with the loss of a loved one.

    A little compassion for those less gifted than ourselves is a desirable trait. Perhaps someday WE can be that which will make it all come out right in the end. But that day is not yet and until it comes, we will just have to live with woo woo thinking on the part of billions, while trying to encourage bravery in the face of uncertainty.

    GAry 7

  36. Chill Out


    The IQ is a bell curve, the average person is at exactly 100, so if average joe is less than hes more like below average joe.

    And when Karl Marx said that (which is actually a poor translation of what he really said, but its popular) he was saying that as a result of the capitalist system the people will attempt anesthetize themselves from the pain inflicted upon them by the upper classes. He didn’t think the church was bad, just the necessary and inevitable response to oppression.

    That said, i don’t really know what you’re talking about, how is telling people the truth encouraging them to be brave? what uncertainty?

  37. Gary Ansorge

    Chill: When Karl said that, opium was a miracle that aleviated pain, which is what he was really talking about, something to deaden the pain, whether it’s from oppression or the random trials of life.

    Uncertainty? Ever experienced a hurricaine, tornado, earthquake, heart attack,etc? That’s uncertainty!

    The median IQ is 100. That means 50% of the human population is below that line.

    Most people will never understand physics, chemistry, or ANY of the scientific disciplines. How could they possibly be expected to have faith in pronouncements by the practitioners of such when the we consistantly put them down for being stupid?

    Just speaking the truth will never convince anyone we have their best interests at heart when we can give no assurance things will get better. That’s the one thing religion has to offer, hope,,, and all you need is a little faith,,,
    Hey, its worked for the Catholic church for two thousand years,,,

    Gary 7

  38. Melusine

    I don’t know what to make of the France business – I hope the BA read about that. Talk about opening the gates to conspiracy heaven!

    Fantasy is fun, but not coming off of it is like being stuck in a traffic jam -you’re there, you’re alive and functioning, but you’re not getting anywhere new anytime soon. We all have experienced some kind of denial/delusion in our daily lives (some worse than others), but those who cling to ET-UFO/alien abductions in the face of evidence are definitely stuck in a traffic jam of mental stasis. And the sad thing is, the more knowledge one has about reality, the better the fantasies (in a fiction-sense) can be!

    Last night I was looking at the 3-D Mars anaglyphs with my 3-D glasses, and Victoria Crater and some of the panoramas are soooo COOL. It’s like being there – the sci-fi mind was churning. The anaglyphed Moon photos are fun, too. (I also was looking at Greg Piepol’s sungazer dot net 3-D animations. The Sun just pops out of my monitor. And HINODE is proving to be a good investment – go to Spaceweather dot com.)

    When I was trying to see Venus and the Moon, I thought, it’s a good thing I like looking at clouds and airplanes with my binoculars, because I couldn’t see a darn thing. The airplanes going to Hobby Airport come in from the west mostly over my apartment. Perhaps if people spent more time looking up things wouldn’t look so foreign. But that’s stating the obvious, I know. :-/

  39. Damn you! The phoenix lights flares were in my dreams last night.

  40. Just one more obvious question (to add to the considerable heap) to the UFO folks out there: Why have the aliens been running around our skies without stopping to say hello, ignoring the guy who claims to have been probed waaaay out in the Montana desert who was probably just drunk? If they’re smart enough to traverse light years, then they’re smart enough to understand us. It makes no sense, it makes no sense, it makes no sense X infinity!

    It’s like people never saw that scene in “Platoon” with the illuminating flare. So much for the idea that movies generate this nonsense.

  41. I’ve seen stories about this pop up all over teh intarwebs. I linked to here for some clarification… dunno if anybody will actually follow the link, though.

  42. Forty-one years ago it was this story:

    [start paste]On a quiet day in March, 1966, seven eyewitnesses reported an unidentified flying object maneuvering over Livingston and Washtenaw counties. Ordinarily, these reports might have been dismissed by officials as the work of cranks. But this time, the seven witnesses WERE officials — police officers and sheriff’s deputies from the two counties.

    And their stories were backed up by more than 100 witnesses, including William Van Horn, a civil defense director, and dozens of students who watched the football-shaped object for four hours as it maneuvered near the University of Michigan campus, a nearby airport and a local swamp.

    The March 14 sightings caused an uproar and the area went on a wild UFO chase. “[end paste]

    This story was all over the national news back in 1966. The Swamp Gas theory became a household word for a time.

    Now, in the 21st Century, there is a 24/7 news cycle. CNN just ran out of stories to run and picked this “UFO sighting” up to fill the screen. The fact that the Governor believes that these flares are alien craft really gives me swamp gas….

  43. Grand Lunar

    -It’s like Scott Adams said in The Dilbert Future. He predicts the holodeck (or whatever form true VR takes) will be mankind’s last invention. Everyone will just seal themselves inside and never come out.-

    I hope that prediction doesn’t come true. It could mean the end of our humanity as we know it.

    Plus, I’d prefer to have a starship. I prefer to experience the universe in all its unrefined glory!
    Until then, I’ll settle for my second rate telescope.

  44. Rod

    I am quite the skeptic when it comes to the whole UFO thing. Having said that, I do have some firsthand knowledge of the Phoenix Lights that proves to me that they were certainly not flares. I don’t believe they were alien craft lights, but without a doubt the flare theory simply does not pan out either. I’ve lived 90 miles south of Phoenix for over 10 years and have three friends – a professional illusionist, a medical doctor and a Honeywell aerospace engineer – (all three quite sane) who saw the lights that evening up close and personal. The lights floated directly above two of them and my neighborhood. The other friend saw them at an angle just a few miles away. I was, unfortunately, not at home that evening. What they described to me was anything but flares. I have seen flares in the western skies for years, as have my friends. We’re quite familiar with their properties. The lights that floated directly above my neighborhood – parallel with the ground heading south at about 30 miles an hour – were clearly not flares. Flares were deployed by the military about 2 hours after the phenomenon my friends witnessed and the media often mixes the two incidents. So, what were the Phoenix Lights? No question in my mind they were NOT flares, but beats me what they were.

  45. Phil, they JUST DON’T CARE.

    The news outlets stopped caring years ago. The truth doesn’t matter to them anymore. All that matters is whether they move the needle or not. The truth just isn’t interesting enough.

    And Rod (previous poster) that’s what flares DO. Take it from somebody who served in this Army’s Field Artillery. They are dropped, they light up, float with the wind, and eventually extinguish. Don’t try to equate their motion relative to the ground with the wind conditions on the ground. They are (speaking as a meteorologist and pilot) frequently different aloft than they are on the ground.

  46. Sue Mitchell

    You wrote:

    Imagine a race of beings who live on the deepest ocean floor where the only heat is geothermal and the only light is bioluminescence. Now consider how you would explain to them i) a butterfly and ii) a rainbow.

    You have raised a false analogy. The butterfly and the rainbow have no effect on the beings you describe. As far as these beings are concerned, there is no difference between (a) a universe where butterflies and rainbows exist and (b) a universe where butterflies and rainbows DO NOT exist. However, it is claimed that psychics do have an effect on our world – they can supposedly remote view (help the police solve crime, for example), tell us our future, speak to the dead etc. So this is where psychics differ from the race of beings in your analogy, and it’s where your analogy breaks down.

    If something has any effect on our world at all, we should be able to measure it. It seems like you’re saying (by analogy) that psychics are real but have no effect on our world – they can’t predict anything, remove view anything or tell us anything we don’t already know by other means. In other words, psychics are real but they have no effect or influence on us at all. That’s no different from saying psychics don’t exist.

    The rest of your post is just fallacious appeal to “science was wrong before”. Of course science is sometimes wrong, but science has proved the most reliable method we know for evaluating claims and figuring out how the universe works. This type of argument is just a smoke screen to disguise the fact that there is no evidence for psychic ability.

    And yes, I am a sceptic. I don’t accept things at face value; I am constantly asking questions. Right now, I’m questioning the motives of skeptics.

    And yet the motives are irrelevant. The question is, are the skeptics right or not? The motives of the person answering the question has no bearing on whether their answer is correct or incorrect.

  47. OOPS!!

    Sorry – I posted the above to the wrong thread. Apologies – perhaps you could delete the above Phil.

  48. Rod

    Rich, take it from me, one who has seen numerous flares from a distance, through a telescope and very close up… these were not flares. The type of light described by my friends and many other witnesses is not at all the brilliant light emitted by flares. Nor, to my knowledge, do flares drift well over 90 miles in formation without decending to the ground and without a trail of smoke. I don’t subscibe to the UFO theory, but nor do I stretch the data to come up with a natural expanation that simply doesn’t hold water.

  49. “Why do people cling so tenaciously to fantasy?”

    My hypothesis is that they are too stupid/uneducated to know how to cling tenaciously to reality.

  50. csrster

    Gary Tuchman is a distant cousin of mine. Embarassing, ain’t it.

  51. Kate

    Umm, don’t military flares, or any flares for that matter, sort of….drift…down. These lights didn’t do that.

  52. Walker Evans


    I was not in Phoenix and did not see the Lights, but even without that first-hand experience I can say with dead certainty that you are 100% correct — these Lights were not any flares that exist in our military arsenal.

    Having had a 22-year military career does not make me an expert on any kind of science, but I have enough first hand knowledge to know that the flare story is blatantly untrue. I don’t know what the Lights were, but it bothers me that someone high-up in DoD decided to defuse the speculation by lying about it; it smacks of cover-up. I also have a difficult time ignoring the professional people (not necessarily scientists, but not kooks either) who reported a silent and massive object passing directly over them, one that occulted the stars.

    So, what were the Lights? I have no idea, but I feel we should be HONEST skeptics about the event. An honest skeptic will keep an open mind and not swear that something is impossible just because it is outside the realm of normalcy as we know it. It wasn’t that long ago that “everybody knew” life couldn’t exist a deep in the ocean in the outflow of a vent of superheated water — but, we did recently find it there. Let’s not close our minds to the possiblity that the Lights may be something that we know nothing about.

  53. Steve H.

    OK, enough of this Phoenix Lights nonsense. I know two America West pilots who not only saw the V formation of lights that night, they were told by Albuquerque radar that they were a formation of Tudors (Canadian jet trainers) flying at 19,000 feet. The captain of the 757 even spoke with the pilot in the lead formation. How is it that Sky Harbor radar did not pick them up? Sky Harbor ATC only reaches a maximum altitude of 300 feet AGL. Several amateur astronomers saw the V formation and saw them clearly as aircraft. Why have the so-called “researchers” bothered to include these witnesses in their reports?
    One thing about the other set of lights that night; they were flares, folks. I used to fly in and out of Buckeye Airport frequently and have witnesses such formation of lights many times. Apache attack helicopters from Yuma Marine Corps Station used to do night maneuvers (they still do) over the Barry Goldwater Range. Why did the “lights” appear to hover? Military flares hover because the burning chemicals create heat which keep them almost stationary. I have talked to civilian pilots who have witnessed this.
    Thanks for letting me rant about this continuing “non-story.” And yes, I am a Phoenix native. Have lived here my whole life (44 years).l

  54. Mike

    My wife and I were travelling along I-10 the evening of Feb 7th, 1997 on our way from Covina CA to Tampa FL, and observed similar lights, 6 of them all in a row. We were totally enthralled with them and how they appeared to travel so darned slowly.

    At first I figured the local airport must have a lot of incoming flights that were way too close to each other, but then they didn’t seem to be coming toward Phoenix from the east, but rather traveling west to east. We were in a rental truck pulling a trailer and coming up the hill from Calif and barely able to keep our speed around 60mph.

    The lights didn’t burn out for over 40 minutes and when they did finally fail/extinguish/disappear, it sure looked like they were going behind the mountains norhteast of the city. We were also astonished when we were passed (during the lights non-event) by a crop dusting airplane that was actually lower than we were. It was flying in a gully alongside the freeway and barely faster than us.

    My question about the flares – can they really float and burn for more than 40 minutes? I’d love to get some of those for emergencies, but I bet they’re pretty expensive.

  55. Jan

    Steve said “The captain of the 757 even spoke with the pilot in the lead formation”

    How did that occur? It could not have been in the air.

  56. Steve H.

    To answer Jan’s question: Captain John Middleton radioed Albuquerque and asked what the formation was. ATC reported it was a flight of Tutors at 19,000 ft AGL. The lead pilot of the V formation overheard the conversation between Middleton and Albuquerque and radioed Captain Middleton and told him who they were. Of course it was in the air. Pilots can overhear conversations between other aircraft and ATC.

  57. Fat Bastard

    Question for consideration:

    Why is it that almost every “UFO” I’ve ever read a report about, emitted some sort of light(s)?

    Suppose we have an odd, foriegn looking light in the sky. Probably from France…….just kidding, it’s a UFO from outer space. From what we can observe in our own solar system and reasonably beyond, we have a VERY strong case for the idea that the builders/pilots of this craft ARE NOT local. They must have come from a VERY long way away.

    We can gather a few things from this. We gather first that these ‘beings’ (we will refer to them as the French, for a name’s sake), the French, either live for a very long time to be able to travel these distances thru space AND/OR are VERY VERY unimaginably technologically advanced and have reached Ludicrous Speed with thier craft. Either way, the French are no BS. They are highly advanced.

    Why in the world would these highly evolved Frenchman want or need to utilize the same neolithic means of illuminating thier travels over our fetching desert sands? Is not the impressive navigation system that hurls these Frenchman thru vast reaches of space at warp 9, curving and dodging to miss the tiniest asteroids or weighstations, system enough to reveal the landscape of the Earth as the hover over it without shooting out some 50,000 candle power beacon?

    And why on Earth would they want to just announce thier presence as such if they are so unwilling to stop for a cup of jo and chew the fat about universal politics? I mean, I’ve never heard stories of them actually requesting an audience with the ruler of Earth, George W Bush…….they don’t come to my house……I see no evidence that these French visitors want a very active relationship with us, so why the lights?

    I could go on all day with the lights, and then start tomorrow on a dozen other things that make the whole idea absolutely retarded. I will tell you this:

    If/when we are reached by that highly evolved a life form:
    1) You will not know unless it wants you to.
    2) If it comes all this way, there will likely be a reason and it won’t involve anal probes.
    3)If it reqests audience with George W, he will shoot it. Twice.

  58. This is pure speculation, but, what if the initial lights were actually flares. And what if the giant ship people say that they saw was a separate occurrence. The military could have been attempting to signal to a lost aircraft because it was reported to be “wandering” over large distances. This would also explain the use of flares at that particular time.. because launching flares in that location was also considered to be odd.

  59. JON

    Oh, come ON…flares hanging from parachutes? Look at the photographs, look at the video tape. That cannot possibly explain the rock-tight formation of the Phoenix lights. I don’t know what they were, but an 8th grader can see they weren’t falling flares—fast OR slow…

  60. Biff

    You’re probably right, it was all just flares…and the V formation of weird looking lights that travelled over the northwest part of the state at something like 3000mph without making any sound, and then slowed down to like 30mph, was probably just the A-10’s that dropped them, or some other unrelated conventional aircraft, which somehow still freaked out all the people who saw them, despite those people’s probable familiarity with military and other aircraft that regularly populate their skies. Sure.

  61. Steve H.

    To John and Biff,

    The flares and the formation of Canadian Tudors were TWO SEPARATE INCIDENCES!!

    Also, tell me, how on earth can someone looking up into a night sky with NO points of reference tell altitude, speed or even direction, for that matter, of an object in the sky. I do both aerial and ground search-and-rescue for the Air Force (OOPS, I must be part of the conspiracy). I can tell you from experience that it is impossible, even with radar, to accuaratly determine these things for an object in the sky at night.

    There is no mystery here. The real mystery is why this non-incident keeps getting press.

  62. Biff

    I’ll be honest, I couldn’t really tell you the altitude at all…the direction seemed pretty easy to me to figure out, since I had the ground and a great many landmarks on it as a point of reference. The speed of the chevron formation (I didn’t personally notice any solid object), compared to some obvious jet aircraft that flew over earlier, was much much faster, and oddest of all the things didn’t make any sound…so if they (or it or whatever) were at a very high altitude and I just couldn’t hear the engines, then the airspeed must have been even higher than what I said before. If they were at a very low altitude, I would think I would have heard something from the engines.

    I agree that it’s pretty much impossible to determine accurate, exact characteristics of a moving object in a night sky…but airplanes still look like airplanes, flares look like flares, and weird things look like weird things.

    Steve H., that is a very good point about the separate incidences…and I don’t doubt that there were flares dropped near Phoenix that night. But if those lights in the V formation that passed over Paulden and Prescott just after 8:00 PM were CT-114’s with their landing-lights on for some reason, and somehow modified to be silent, I’ll tell you, we’d better not ever, ever mess with the Canadian Air Force.

    The reason this keeps coming up is, trust me on this, if you were there it looked very strange, and no explanation that people try to beat you over the head with–flares, airplanes, the planet venus, whatever–does away with that sense of strangeness (and outright terror, speaking for myself) that lingers even after more than ten years.

  63. Steve H.

    To John and Biff,

    Sorry to sound so angry. I didn’t mean to.

    The Tudors that Captain Middleton spoke to were above his altitude of 17,000 feet. Given air density, direction and a lot of other factors, you would not have heard them. When you see an airliner making vapor trails across the Valley, can you hear it?

    It is interesting, however, that no one has noted that the V-formation, according to all the witnesses, followed the EXACT, and I mean exact, VOR route that an aircraft, or formation of aircraft, would follow if they flew from Nevada to southern Arizona. I would think that aliens could find their way around rather than using an earthbound nagivation system.

    I’ve seen some weird things while flying, especially at night. Some I figured out, some I haven’t. Please trust me when I say that the atmosphere and the human eye can be very deceiving.

  64. Biff

    If they were at 17,000 feet, they must have been moving at about Mach 2.5 or so. With their landing lights on. Over Prescott. Directly over my position.

    I know I know, you can’t really judge airspeed from the ground and so on, but still….

    Also, from where I was it was very quiet, and yes, you could hear airliners very clearly, even the ones that seemed to be at high altitude…these things, no sound at all.

    I would love to hear from someone else who saw this, who is willing to say that these were conventional aircraft…because I’m still not buying it. Granted it was a long time ago, but really I’m not kidding that the “just regular airplanes” thing doesn’t jibe with my experience.

  65. JC

    They also debunked the Illinois observations – made by numerous people and law enforcement officers. I’m not convinced these crafts are alien – I don’t know why any really advanced civilization would waste it’s time here. However, it also makes no sense that a top secret military craft(s) (such as those allegedly developed at Area 51) would fly over a heavily populated metropolitan area for so many to see. Given all of the observations, and obvious calls that would have been made to the USAF, etc, I’m curious why no jets were scrambled to at least check these things out? What about NORAD – seems they would have been tracking “aircraft” that was hovering over US airspace. Having said all this, I’ve also always found it interesting that no one has ever gotten a really clear, up-close photos or video of anything. Every photo of Nessie, Big Foot, Champ, etc are always blurred. Wonder why?

  66. Steve H.

    Hi JC,
    I am SO GLAD you brought up this issue; why didn’t the local Air Force bases scramble jets to intercept these lights and the V-shaped objects. I have heard many posts on may websites about this.

    Here is the answer: Luke Air Force Base and Davis-Monthan Air Force Base are both schools. They train pilots. Neither base has aircraft on scramble status.

    Before you scoff, I am in the Air Force and know this for a fact. Why weren’t these “things” seen on Luke radar? The Luke tower routinely closes around 6 p.m. Why didn’t Sky Harbor radar pick it up? If it’s above 300 feet, it won’t. Aluquerque or LA would have tracked it.

    No mystery there. I like your question about the blurry photos. I have, on many occasions , been flying around Arizona photographing former airfields. I have a big, fat camera filled with film and a camcorder right next to me. I’ll make a deal with you, JC, that I will personally photograph and videotape any weird thing I see, and I will make DERN sure that they are not blurry.

  67. Laura

    I was driving home tonight on August 24 2007 in Raleigh NC.
    At approximatley 11:09pm I saw 5 or 6 huge round white lights that were not side by side but close together. I could not make out the exact specifications of the object holding the lights together but it was something, and I could not see any wings. I stopped to look at were I could pull over at and as soon as I turned back to the lights, it literally vanished. I was so freaked out I just sat there for 4 minutes trying to think of a logical excuse for what I saw. I will never forget that image as long as I live. I plan on calling the military tomorrow to see if there were any crafts on their radar at the same time.
    I realize the streotype of aliens and visiting earth and how bizarre it sounds and by nature Im very sensible and honest, but I know what I saw was NOT MAN MADE.
    When I got home I told my dad about my expierence and asked him about what it could have been because my dad used to fly planes and he knows about all sorts of aircraft. He told me to draw a picture of what I saw and then he realized it looked identical to the claims in AZ 10 years ago. Now, I just found this site and wanted to document my findings.
    I hope someone else who saw that is maybe just as freaked out as I am and will find this site and realize they are not alone in what they saw.

  68. Don’t get so worked up.. people like to speculate about everything. The military did go from saying, “There were no military planes over Phoenix that night,” to, “Oh yeah, there were.. with flares.” Why should we believe them? Why should we believe Stanley? Why should we believe the UFO enthusiasts? Stanley saw planes. Unfortunately, he’s one guy, and he presents no evidence.

    Your issue with the Phoenix Lights sounds more like your need for an immediate answer. Sorry to inconvenience you.

  69. michael

    why do people want to think these “lights” were flairs?? flairs are white, not orange. flairs are used to light up whatever is beneath them, these were a self contained light. the national guard stopped an hour to hour and a half before the lights were sighted. flairs DO NOT fall in a “flying V” formation. we are not alone…………

  70. Steve H.

    To Michael,
    The flare drop and the V-shape were TWO separate events that night.

    By the way, “flairs” is spelled flares.

    How could you tell that they were a self-contained light at that altitude? How do you know the color of military flares? They come in many colors. Flares used on military maneuvers that are dropped from high altitudes are not always used to illuminate what is below

  71. UFOlogist

    iT SEEMS obvious that everyone has either just watched CNN or the news. Discovery Channel did one show with all the filiming participants, and maps and etc. They then did a show where the government officials sort of gave some explanations (more than one including flares), including a military unit that was supposedly flying that night. Then Discovery Channel, did something interesting. They had some people, don’t ask me names, test the government answers for the lights. Well, they more or less rebuked (disproved each one of them) including the lights went out in a pattern. when they dropped flares, they did not. A military person attached to the military unit, stated, our planes were on the ground that night. So, the show was very compelling, if not convincing. Very nice rejection of theories. Some footage shows the lights as stationary (not moving) for a couple minutes. Last I checked I don’t think we have invented aircraft that does that, – – – yet. or have they?

  72. My friend Julio and I were driving out to my ranch in Snowflake AZ that night and we saw the lights (day after my daughter b-day to pour some cement)….it was very strange to us and we pulled over and watched them for a few minutes….we were driving on the 10 Eastbound and were about 1 hour west out of Phoenix when we noticed the lights off to the right…they were south of us.

    We thought at first, “What the f#*K?…is that a UFO?”

    We kept looking and trying to figure out what it was because we had never seen anything like that….but, who knows with the US military….we concluded that night that it was some type of flare…they didn’t look to us to be dropped from a plane…in fact, we saw streaks racing up from the ground…similar to watching a large firework go up before it explodes…there was a faint streak going up towards where the light source was finally displayed….we imagined some sort of flying light source to illuminate a battle field (pure speculation)….the lights went up…then floated down…extremely slowly and very bright, but the light seemed to be shining downward….although we were never able to positively identify them were knew that they had come from the ground… because we could see them being shot into the air….so, we knew they were not alien to earth….although we have never heard of such a weapon or seen one since….but, as a witness to this event I have always wanted to put my two sense in.

    If anyone has questions for me on this matter I can be reached at

  73. Jeff Yaki

    FLARE THEORY DOESN’T FIT WITNESS TESTIMONIES: First you have to acknowledge the staggering number of witnesses that were out on the evening of March 13th 1997 hoping to catch a glimpse of the Halle-Bopp comet. It was a perfectly clear night and thousands of people from all walks of life, including doctors, police officers, little league coaches with their kids, people jogging, drivers on the road, all kinds of people were going about their business when suddenly, out of the blue, they look up and see an enormous V-shaped, semi-transparent craft with an array of lights, travel slowly and silently by, very low to the ground. Some witnesses said it went directly over their heads.

    The shear number of matching witness accounts eliminates any possibility of a hoax, unless of course you are going to suggest that thousands of people got together and decided to make up some phony story, not only in Phoenix, but other countries that have reported seeing similar phenomenon, just so they could all have a good laugh. Frankly, I would sooner believe that we were being visited from beyond than buy into a mass hoax conspiracy theory. If there were only a handful of reports, coming only from a small group of people partying and drinking out in the desert, I would surely and quickly dismiss the whole thing.

    According to witness accounts at least one large V-shaped craft and possibly other triangular craft, flew across the entire state of Arizona, starting from Paulden all the way down to Phoenix and Tucson. The timeline of verifiable reports suggest that something did in fact travel across the entire state, which brings me to my first argument against the coveted flare theory; Flares don’t travel hundreds of miles, and witnesses in southern and northern Arizona couldn’t possibly see flares over the Barry Goldwater Range! Also, witnesses describe a large semi-transparent craft with strange looking lights, not flares with smoke trails. Some witnesses were directly underneath as the craft flew over and swear that it was anything but flares!

    DON’T INSULT THE WITNESSES’ INTELLIGENCE! Flare theorists seem to believe that witnesses can’t tell the difference between flares and something that by all accounts was completely out of this world. Many of the witnesses who came forward included active military personnel who work with flares on a daily basis. They were very adamant that what they saw were definitely not flares! You don’t have to be an expert on flares to tell what they look like. The burning magnesium from the flares illuminates the rising smoke above. They flicker and move about as they fall to the ground. The military staged a flare demo in 2000 hoping to convince everyone that what they actually saw were flares. The demonstration totally backfired as it gave witnesses an opportunity to make a fair comparison and conclude that there was no similarity at all to what they saw.

    FLARES DON’T STAY FIXED IN ONE POSITION RELATIVE TO THE GROUND AND EACH OTHER: There has been extensive analysis of videos submitted by witnesses that clearly show that the true unknowns don’t budge at all. Mike Tanner, a witness and key investigator, viewed a series of light formations and at one point used a spotter scope to zoom in on one of the orbs. The orb faded in and out over twenty minutes without ever moving as it stayed fixed within the scope. Another military witness claims that he observed similar orbs from his home near Luke AFB. The orbs stayed fixed in one position for over twenty minutes. He says they definitely were not flares and he works with flares on a daily basis!

    FLARES ARE NEVER DROPPED OVER POPULATED AREAS OR INDIAN RESERVATIONS DURING ROUTINE TRAINING MISSIONS: On November 21st 2005 I observed two amber orbs in a side-by-side formation from a Boeing 737 departing Sky Harbor Airport. They did not appear to be aircraft, flares or any natural phenomenon. What is most significant is that they appeared identically in two different locations. The first location was in front of the Estrella Mountain Range directly over the north end of the Gila Bend Indian Reservation. The second location was northwest of Glendale. I had an incredible bird’s-eye view on a perfectly clear night and I could easily see the horizon and topography (read about my sighting).

    They appeared in the same side-by-side formation, rigidly fixed in space and they were very bright and distinct from all other light sources. There were no visible military operations at either of the two locations, no visible aircraft deploying them and no sign of them being fired up into the air. The military would not deploy them over populated areas or Indian reservations. Flares are dropped over test ranges, military bases and oceans. Dropping flares over populated areas and Indian reservations is prohibited due to possible injury to civilians or unintentional ground fires and would expose the military to all kinds of law suits.

    NEW FLARE TECHNOLOGY? – Someone once suggested that these flares are of a new type not yet known to the public. If this were true we would surely know about it by now, almost 10 years after the fact. Illumination flares are used to help troops see better at night and spoofing flares are used to divert heat seeking missiles. There is nothing top-secret about flares or their use, even a new type that somehow can appear, then disappear, then re-appear in the same spot and stay fixed in one position. If the military had this kind of technology, why wouldn’t they just admit it to the public and put an end to all of the endless speculation? Why wouldn’t they have done so back in 2000 when they staged their flare demonstration?

  74. Howard Haraway

    Thanx for the website. I have been on UTUBE for the last 3 months checking out all the UFO sightings and couldn’t find anything to debunk most of this non-sense. I finally found your website and got the answer I wanted to hear about,”The Phoenix lights”. Seeing you know alot about it I have a few questions and comments for you. #1 . These people who saw the phoenix lights claimed that a big portion of the sky was blocked out by this so called aircraft. What was that all about ? My theory is the that flares glaring blocked out the sky in the triangle and it only looked like there was a solid object. #2. There where pictures of three lights in a tight triangle pattern not like the ones that spreaded out over the sky. They definetly did not look like flares.What’s your opinion on that ? #3. My BIG question to all these people is “Why aren’t there pictures from directly below this so called craft.From all the pictures I’ve seen,they are from far away . If there where pictures from that vantage point ,you would see or not see this huge triangular shaped object. I would like to know how many people are profiting off this event by writing books or whatever. I’m in your camp ,I’d love to have a Ufo land on the White House lawn and give us plans on making a spaceship like theirs ,or help solve the energy crisis so we can tell all those towl heads to pound sand ,but so far there is not one tangible peice of evidence we are not alone.Till that day happens ,or if it happens,I will read these ufo stories and pics with great skepticism . Take Care !

  75. Scott Jackson

    Thanks for the clarity on this event. I think this viewing of an unquestionably curious occurance does warrant explantion. It has been explained but the thousands that flocked like geese towards the extraterrestrial craft conclusion are an indication of the fervor for an “other worldly explanation”.
    This relatively recent event might be more interesting in a scientific context to those that delve into the human mind than those that study strange lights in the sky.
    The event in Phoenix took months to really grab the public. More and more diverse descriptions poured in and it led minds to wonder about a government cover-up. Here we go…Roswell all over again.
    Occam’s razor anyone? “All other things being equal, the simplest solution is the best.”
    I’d love proof of an alien visitation, that would be profound. No proof exists, just accounts by individuals and some film footage of something not identifiable. A UFO is not a spacecraft, just something UNIDENTIFIED.


  76. lol your a fool for buying into this flare issue, anyone with a brain can see that those are not flares. They moving in a perfect formation and the stars between the lights and behind them are blackened out which a flare clearly does not do. Also i have not seen any video footage of smoke around the lights, which flares would be leaving behind. It is a known fact that there were government planes out that night dropping flares, but that was hours after the lights were orignally seen in attempt to cause confusion amongst the public.

  77. Benjamin Lewis

    It is amazing to me how gullible all of YOU are!!! Were you there? Do you know that over 10,000 people witnessed a silent, low altitude, mile wide CRAFT with equidistant lights traverse the entire state of AZ for many hours??? Flares cannot do that!!!

    Thought you were an astronomer. The teen, the ONE person who said they were planes from the thousands who say otherwise, couldn’t have possibly seen the close formation of UNKNOWN LIGHTS through a telescope. I’ve tried myself. There were also military jets sent out to intercept them. That’s what he ‘might’ have seen. As soon as the military got close, the object blinked out, according to a Luke Air Force crewman who reported the event in detail to the UFO Reporting Center in Seattle Washington later that night. The crewman professed that he carried one of those pilots out of his aircraft because he was so shaken up by what occurred. There were also other witnesses who verified this.

    What’s more, air traffic controllers at Sky Harbor International, saw these anomalous phenomena hovering in a mile wide V formation in restricted Class B airspace two months before and during the mass sighting of March 13, 1997. We’re talking credible, knowledgeable sky watchers who didn’t know what these were – except that they DEFINITELY were not flares.

    if you’re truly interested in the REAL facts, you should read the data meticulously compiled by witnesses, Bill Hamilton or Dr. Lynne Kitei. Your uneducated pronouncements and lots more are debated intelligently, including the altered footage to make the case for flares in a televised program called “Anatomy of a Sighting” and the fact that flares WERE sent off during the mass sighting to divert attention away from the unknowns. Further, after three years of requests for a reenactment, three national guards tried to re-create the Phoenix Lights with disastrous results. They had their shot and blew it.

  78. This benjamin Lewis makes a very good compelling point. There are thousands of eyewitnesses and 10’s of videos and pictures telling a story contrary to the fact that this really did happen. thousands of people who said being there the sky in between the lights was not visible as if there was a concrete object affixed to these lights. Without going to into depth for the loads of information about this I think the part to stress about this whole case is in the governments involvement about how they themselves cannot answer the 3 w’s who, what, where(from where?). They consider this top secret and they themselves really don’t have a handle of exactly what is going on. Mexico came out last year and backed by their government(And video taken from a surveillance military jet track by 16 UFO’s for hours) admitted to the world they believe an extra-terrestrial presence is the only logical way to explain all of the 10’s of thousands of strange reports of UFO’s.

    The fact is the US knows about this but for the most part are as clueless as the rest of the world. The common American is look at like a sheep and they will move with the crowd and eat what they are fed. I’m not saying all UFO sighting are UFO’s probably many are not and explainable by some standard. For the rest that are not there is very real very intriguing implications of a presence with a technology among us far beyond anything we can touch upon. How it relates to this case look at the supposed debunkers(USAF).. look at who they work for(USA Armed Forces). They will do what they are told and not question it.. that is part of military training to follow command. If you research this whole case you will find there are reports of two sets of light one the infamous “Phoenix Light” and another set of light totally not related in formation, speed and size of the phoenix light. Almost as if jets were sent out 2 hours later to drop flares. I cannot prove 100% beyond a reasonable doubt that this was some type of extra-terrestrial craft. I’m a realist and I only come onto conclusion bases upon a bunch of facts I have put onto a scale back up by credible accounts facts and witnesses.

    I believe in the facts and look at the facts in this case, look the eyewitness accounts of what really happened, do the research and look at the facts. For those who just easily dismiss the gov. at the time as some flake take a look at this mans background, he is an experienced pilot and he at one time served in the AF. Yeah just because some pilot says he launched flares that night.. most of you unwittingly say” wow this guy is crazy, I didn’t vote for him”. He is a very intelligent man who if I’m not mistaken graduated from Harvard university and served in Vietnam. This guys know what he is talking about he is familiar with flares. with planes. I’m sure with a lot of other jets and helicopters from serving in the war. He cam out and even though at the time of sighting he publicly admitted to making fun of the even at the time(have his secretary or aid? dress as an alien at a press conference); he admits this was his light hearted attempt at a much more serious issue of easing the tension of would could quite possibly become mass hysteria if it didn’t already happen. This man said these light were most definitely NOT flares and was a witness to this event stating that in all his experience or any documented cases have flares ever travel in a affixed geometrical shape and hovered or moved very slow anywhere. Read up on this man (

    oh yeah and read up on flares also. how at night the light from the flare actually exposes a smoke trail)

    To end off I’m not very into organized religion but believe in some sort of higher power to why we are all here. Most of you probably do also and whatever this power or god or if you don’t faith is to your life gave you a brain that is highly advanced on this planet and capable of much. Don’t let people insult your intelligence and make conclusions in life based upon facts… weigh the facts. Do not just listen to somebody because they are in what is supposed to be a credible position. Over the years through out the world history has proven just because somebody or some force(dictator,president, military) is in the position of power, they do not have to tell the truth. The facts show quite the contrary. Knowledge is power- Truth

    oh also for you huge skeptics.. here is one interesting story though there are thousands just like it that have not been released. This is the .PDF of an actual event that took place over the skies of Tehran, Iran in 1976 by our USAF. Explain this one……. 😉

  79. My original comment was blocked becuase i had included too many links and was thought to be spam by this website. 1976 Tehran, Iran:

  80. Oh yeah the fox news coverage of Mexico becoming a pioneer in the sense of coming clean witht the people of their country and the world about the existence of an extra-terrestrial presence on this planet. I’m done this time.. seriously!…

  81. If this was sort of craft, i challenge anybody out to come up with anything even close to the description of this thing on our planet. A carpenters square with the two back points almost a mile apart. This thing flew close overhead to thousands of wintnesses who said it made no sound. It also hovered or slow almost to a stop and we do have jets that can hover but research jet engines or any means of propulsion and you will realize any propulsion system we have to move anything this big as close as it was would be VERY loud. If it was a craft it was definitely not from around here..not even close..where was it from?? you got me…

  82. Russ L.

    To Benjamin and all the other UFO “experts”,

    Here are the facts of the large V-shaped formation of lights. You and the other “X-Files” afficianados will not believe this, but here it is:

    I am a captain with US Airways. Two of my colleagues that night saw the formation near Lake Pleasant. They radioed Albuquerque ATC and were told that they were a formation of Tudors (Canadian jet trainers). The pilot of the lead plane in the formation heard the banter and radioed that they were indeed a formation of Snowbirds, the Canadian precision team. They were at an airshow at Nellis AFB that coming weekend.

    No jets were scrambled that night as Luke AFB does not have jets on scramble status. Whoever started that story is lying.

    Another witness, Rich Contry, saw the formation on I-40 near Kingman and heard the jet engine noise. He was closer to it at that elevation. Of course the “V” was silent to most witnesses. It was too far away.

    Why did this other-worldly “V” formation follow a perfect VOR navagation flight across the state? It’s because THEY WERE AIRPLANES!!!

    Why are you experts so quick to accept the “facts” that support your claims, but are so quick to dismiss the witnesses who offer more solid, logical, REASONABLE proof?

    If you and Dr. Lynne want to live in LA-LA Land, go right ahead. We pilots are having a big, continued laugh with all you New Age nuts.

  83. Warsaw

    It doesn’t matter because every fool believes in his own story because it’s easier to except , can you blame him ? When man awakes between fear and suffering man will have no hope .

  84. To Russ L., you just like most skpetics are very ignorant and instead of intelligently coming to conclusions based on research you have preconcieved notions that you base your findings on. I also find it funny that just because you claim to be a pilot, which i doubt but cannot prove so lets just say you are; that makes you exempt from doing research and finding facts just like anyone else who is so skeptical? You hear one rumor and then embellish on it until you claim is first hand information when you have been caught in a lie. If you took the time to research this matter or for that matter any other ufo evidence you wouild realized the 10’s of thousands of credible witnesses to these events across the world but i digress. Not to get away from the matter you claim that the Snowbirds were the Pheonix lights? The captain of the Snowbirds denied this claim smart guy. Next time you inusult somebody or make a comment that you clearly know nothing about why don’t you actually use your brain and do some research about the subject? Oh yeah and thanks to Tim Printy and Readers Digest for the reference which i can only give them credit for.

    Here it is:

    Mitch saw the objects low on the horizon as they were approaching and based on my calculations below, it is possible the objects could have remained in his field of view for 5-10 seconds, making identification an easy matter. As for the inversion, trained observers normally will mentally flip the image without a thought. These are bogus claims made by uneducated people who really do not know anything about astronomical equipment and are not experienced amateur astronomers. They belittle this report because it takes out the mystery and can possibly explain the events that night.

    Additionally, we discover there were more witnesses to aircraft in formation that night:

    …At 8:30 p.m. the cockpit crew of an American West 757 airliner at 17,000 feet near Lake Pleasant, Ariz., noticed the lights off to their right and just above them.

    “There’s a UFO!” co-pilot John Middleton said kiddingly to pilot Larry Campbell. They queried the regional air-traffic-control center in Albuquerque, N.M. A controller radioed back that it was a formation of CT-144s flying at 19,000 feet.

    Overhearing the exchange, someone claiming to be a pilot in the formation radioed Middleton. “We’re Canadian Snowbirds flying Tutors,” a man said…

    But Capt. Michael Perry, squadron logistics officer for the Snowbirds, denied that any planes were in Arizona that month. “We don’t travel in a V-shaped formation, and we don’t cruise with landing lights on,” he told Readers Digest. (Fitzgerald)

  85. Also, pardon my spelling in my last comment (was rushing a little).”Of course the “V” was silent to most witnesses. It was too far away.” was a quote again by Russ L. Once again if you did any research and didn’t jump to conclusions by your false preconceived notions you would have read about all the witnesses who had this thing fly directly over their heads under 2000ft and did not hear ANY noise. Your argument would fly if the only people that witness this thing saw it from many miles away. And one last thing, neither I nor any other people giving credible facts about this case have claimed to be an “expert”, only coming up with the best answer we can by weighing ALL the facts and deciding which make the most reasonable sense. Obviously based upon the information i have just provided you have not done this because you were caught with two clearly false claims. For some reason i have a feeling I’m wasting my time try to be logical on this forum. :/

  86. Funny how everyone always has some stupid explaination for a sighting in the sky. Can’t everyone just admitt we aren’t alone. It’s not so bizarre. People are just scared, if they wanted to hurt us they’ve had plenty of chances so why don’t we let go of THAT idea? There is… ALIENS. It’s NOT always some plane dropping something, a weather balloon, 5 jets that for some reason you couldn’t “HEAR” passing by. STUPID PEOPLE. No offense people but there is too much SPACE out there for there not to be something, we’re not that unique. Once you can accept it you’ll feel so much better. Read a Sylvia Brown book, (Mysteries and Secrets for example) you’ll learn a thing or two. Or you’ll just continue to think in your SIMPLE MIND that we are all there is and after that I can’t help you.

  87. Steed

    I was stationed at Luke AFB during the time of the first lights over Phoenix (1997). I work on the F-16 and have been for over 13 years. The aircraft are not outfitted with “flares with little parachutes” to slow their descent. The planes have flares but they are just sticks of magnesium and white phosphorous. They also twinkle a little while they fall as they are burning. Also, the planes don’t normally fly over downtown Phoenix as the training ranges are located N/NW from luke AFB.

  88. Reality Guy

    First to Steed: The flares were not dropped by F-16s. They were dropped from A-10 Warthogs. The V-shape and the lights in the western sky were TWO different events. The v-shape were planes. The string of lights in the western sky were flares.

    To Stacy: If you could spell and put sentences together in a better way, then you might, just might, be more credible. Also, anyone who thinks Sylvia Brown is legit needs therapy. Try getting a high school education.

    To Warsaw: What the h*ll are you talking about?

    To Aidemton: How could these “thousands” of witnesses know how high the object was? What was their point of reference? Also, of course the Snowbirds are going to deny it. They were doing something illegal (flying in formation at night). They were at Nellis that week and they did fly the length of Arizona that night. Albuquerque radar tracked them.

    But then, I must be another, GASP, dare i say the word . . . SKEPTIC!!!
    Call me what you want. But I prefer to live in the real world. I don’t believe in Santa Claus for adults, which is what the Phoenix Lights are.

  89. Mert

    Hey, gang, what about the “weird” red lights seen over Phoenix just a few days ago? Did you read some of the eyewitness accounts of their actions? People swore that they were controlled, flew away, hovered, etc.

    Come to find out today that it was some prankster in north Phoenix who released road flares on helium balloons.

    Sounds like the same kind of things people said about the 1997 lights. Hmm, could there be a connection?

  90. To Reality Guy: There are so many issues i would like to address i really don’t even know where to start. First off “To Warsaw: What the h*ll are you talking about?” LOL, I think he mistook this forum for a philosophy forum but I think his intentions were good. Aside from discussing the meaning of life with Warsaw I would like clear up some things. I also agree with you as far as far a the two events you are correct. It appears the second one was flares intended to confuse the situation and so a cover up could take place of the first V shaped sighting.

    First off as far as you quoting me saying “Thousands” of witnesses in this case you made a mistake. If you re-read what I said when I referred to thousands of witnesses it was in reference to UFO sightings around the world not to seeing this craft 2000ft off the ground. That one instance was actually witnesses by a group or realtors on the edge phoenix or in a nearby suburb before the lights flew over Phoenix. They were outside for some type of open house or business meeting and waiting to observe the Hale-Bopp comet When they were interviewed they actually said the thing was so close they could see the color of the craft which appeared to be “a shotgun black”(black/purplish hint). They also said that there appeared to be portholes in the side of the craft and “silhouettes of people”(Ref. Interview with investigator Billy Booth) this was also witnessed by other people in this neighborhood saying that they could not see from one end of it to the other estimating it to be easily over a mile wide. As far as you making a reference to how accurate 2000ft would be? It is a little less than 1/3 of a mile but just to put it into perspective bases on your knowledge if a 747 jet flew over your head at 1/3 of a mile in height would you be at a loss for the describing the distance and mistaking that for 5 miles or 10 miles? Basically saying 2000ft is saying it was flying very low, low enough to get a good description without the aid of binoculars or any other magnifying apparatus. Anybody with decent vision and two eyes facing forward giving them stereoscopic vision (which is for judging distance which most healthy people have and goes back to evolution when we were hunters and had to judge distance and continues to this day) would not have a hard time being able to estimate 2000 feet. Among the most reliable witnesses of the craft’s movements that first night were two airplane pilots, one retired from an airline, and another from Vietnam, who was also a U. S. Marshall. Though seeing the object at different times and places, both men described a craft of “immense size,” measuring up to a mile long. The Marshall could also see the city lights of Phoenix reflecting from the bottom of the massive object, while it “blocked out the stars.”(Billy Booth article) Even though you are just clearly going to write this off as false information and not credible people (cops, doctors, military personal) why don’t you take the time to get a book and read the interview or get a DVD and watch them before you discredit someone or base your answers on facts instead of what is clearly false.

    To answer your question about the Snowbird cover up? First off where did you ever get that information from? I’m not sure if I should go as far as to say you made it up but I would seriously question wherever you heard that from. It has no credibility whatsoever and to go as far as to say” well of course they did they were lying” is like me saying well of course the military covered this UFO sighting up they are lying with out giving any sources whatsoever. Just to go into a little of what you claim which was that they were doing some something illegal and they were covering up. Are you familiar with what class be airspace is? It is a 30-mile protective veil that surrounds every major airport in the country. This is part of an in depth research report done on this sighting, “First you have to convince me that a group of pilots would be stupid enough and brazen enough to think they could pull off such an elaborate hoax without being caught. Every pilot knows that penetrating Class B airspace without a proper ATC clearance would get them into serious trouble. There is no way a fleet of Cessnas could fly silently, even with the engines running at idle, and avoid radar detection. A fleet of aircraft entering Class B airspace without communication or clearance would be considered a serious threat and military pilots most certainly would have forced them down. Once on the ground the perpetrators would be arrested, heavily fined and face possible prosecution and prison time. The FAA would permanently suspend their licenses due to the magnitude of the crime. They would be thrashed by the media and lynched by the public.”(Steve Lantz” The Phoenix Lights) Not a chance it was a very famous professional group of pilots that would risk this and risk possibly being killed by military fighters jets for invading restricted airspace.

    To end this off as far as all of this being Santa Claus for adults well you should rethink your stance. Read a book called “The Cosmos” by Carl Sagon who was a genius and a very influential man. He makes a reference to how there are more stars in this universe than there are grains of sand on this planet and he is very much correct. You would realize that There are quadrillions of other planets out there which most likely (proven by light analysis from scientists) have a very similar composition to ours out there that could very well harbor life. I mean think about it a few hundred years ago the earth was flat and we were the center of the universe (there are also very well documented UFO sighting from hundreds of years ago and we have been proven to be very close minded and ignorant before evening threaten to kill Galileo for his theories) Really it is not crazy to think at all that if the chances of other life being so great that some of these cultures out there could be thousands if not millions of years ahead of where we are. Read a book by a very credible man named Philip J. Corso called “A Day After Roswell” who was the head of foreign technology who worked a program for integrating alien artifacts to military and American industry. Read about on all the famous cases and all the evidence. ( )
    Read about the sighting just last year at O’Hare which was quoted by somebody who works on aircraft day in and day out of something “Not of this world”(,1,7803436.column) and the English captain with his whole crew and everybody on board the plane who witnesses a mile wide UFO last year.( search: Ray Bower UFO). And Mexico just came out last year and backed by the government admitted to an extra-terrestrials presence on this Earth ( search: Mexico UFO Military) they released the video and announcement worldwide. The amount of information out there is overwhelming and it seems there is still a huge group of people who don’t’ even want to look at the fact I don’t’ know if it is because they are scared or whatever. I’m done here and I’m not replying to any more of these comments but I hope I opened at least somebody’s eyes to the truth. We are clearly being lied to by the government. The proof is everywhere and if you are going to try to discredit me well just read all those books and articles then think about it for a while.

  91. This guy also did an excellent article on this story.

    I cannot vouch for the accuracy of this article but i was told by more than one seemingly credible source that this is supposed to be true.

  92. Reality Guy

    Hey, Aidemton,
    Sure, read more websites and books. Let others do your thinking for you. Conspiracies everywhere!! Put on your tin hats!!!

    Hurry, “UFO Hunters” is starting in a few minutes!!!!

  93. feh am legend

    Wow, you skeptics are as dogmatic and tunnel-focused as the nuts you’re supposedly railing against. I’m as hard to convince as anyone, and bad science and mystical hoo-doo makes me want bang my head with a hammer. But to doggedly shoot down everything that you can’t explain with “facts” that don’t really hold up doesn’t make you look smart; it makes you look as gullible and foolish as the people you’re making fun of. Can’t you just admit that there’s some things that we can’t explain *at this moment*? Doesn’t mean it’s aliens or ghosts or an evil right-wing conspiracy. But offering up patently stupid explanations doesn’t help your case.

    I wasn’t there; chances are most of you weren’t either. But obviously those videos, while showing nothing definitive, aren’t flares. And “I know a guy who knows a guy who spoke to a guy who spoke with some Canadian fighter pilots who were breaking international air-space and it was definitely that” is just as bad as those who say “I could sense some higher intelligence speaking to me.” Hey, did you hear that the kid who woke up to find his kidneys had been removed? I swear, it happened to a friend of my cousin!

    There’s a lot of gray in this world, and the hardcore skeptics are just as guilty as the hardcore religious/paranormal folks of discounting a lot of evidence that is inconvenient to their argument.

  94. Reality Guy

    To all those “believers” in UFOs and the Phoenix Lights:

    After what happened this week in Phoenix with the heliumn balloons and the road flares, you must be turning red with embarassment.

    I’d love to see a scan of the inside of your heads. Like a fire drill at the asylum.

  95. A Real Pilot

    Can anyone who believes that the giant “V” shape was an extraterrestrial craft tell me something? If it really was from outer space, then why did it fly an almost perfect VOR flight pattern from Henderson Nevada to past Tucson?

    If you don’t know what VOR is, look it up.

    They were airplanes.

  96. Hey Reality Guy, I wasn’t even trying to make fun of you but since you want to patronize me you leave me no choice. All I was doing was showing that your buddy Russ L. made a comment that he tried to pass off as a fact that had no truth in it whatsoever. I think we will start off with the comment you made about reading facts from books and web sites in which the author has compiled facts from credible sources, done experiments and interviewed credible witnesses then come to a conclusion based on these facts is having other people doing your thinking for you. Honestly, that is the single most ignorant and unitelligent comment I have EVER heard. One person can only do so many experiments and research on their own. This is where science and other researchers come in to play. When there are groups of people that are all compiling information you are able to get facts from mulitple sources without necessarily having to do all of that work yourself which would be impossible. Make that thoughtless comment to anybody of high intelligence who has ever studied anything(doctors, scientist, physicists, lawyers, musicians, teachers/professors) and you would get laughed at so much it would not even be funny. If you have an interest on something how else are you supposed to learn more about it than to read facts about the subject and come to a conclusion based on that. It appears that because you are too lazy and ignorant to actually do any work that was the only pathetic answer you could manage to muster up.

    In a lame attempt to write me off as crazy and paranoid you made a dimwitted attempt to discredit me by saying “Put on your tin hats!!!”. It think it is pretty sad because I tore apart your answer in so many different ways I made you look like a fool. You felt dumb and because you were literally speechless you had nothing else to do by try to discredit me and say in other words that I’m nothing but crazy. Yeah that is a pretty easy cop-out when somebody has you beat to say”You are crazy so you must be lying”; when in fact I provided a wealth of information and references to back up what I was saying. It does not change the fact that you have absolutely no good points or facts to back them up. If you did ANY research on that comment I made about the government covering up certain aspects of UFO’s; you really wouldn’t have to dig that deep to find the truth. You told me to wear my tin hat and I’m telling you that your head is like an empty tin can.

    I’m only going to list these facts for the people that are smart enough to do the research because I know some people reading will not even look at the FACTS. In reference to the Phoenix lights where there were two different sets of lights the air force explained them both away as flares. The military staged a flare demo in 2000 hoping to convince everyone that what they actually saw were flares. The demonstration totally backfired as it gave witnesses an opportunity to make a fair comparison and conclude that there was no similarity at all to what they saw. I know the 2nd set of light was proven to be flares but it gave people the prefect opportunity to conclude that this was not even close to what they saw. They tried to pull a cover up and were greatly unsuccessful.

    Another example is of the a goverment covered up which is verified by the pilots and people operating the the radar equiptment happened in July, 1952 over the skies of Washington DC. Fighters were sent out to scramble UFO’s over Washington and could not catch them or explain them. The government had the chief of intelligence of the USAF General Samford hold a national press conference and report what happened to the media. He told the media that what happened was a atmospheric anomaly where a layer of gas caused an inversion where radar signals bounced off the layer and picked up ground objects such as car and displayed them on the radar screen. The media ate it right up and reported it the whole country. The senior air traffic controller at the time, Harry Barnes later wrote an article in the paper describing these objects making right angle turnes then hovering and traveling at speed up to 7,200mph. Sorry to point this out but this definetly does not fit the description even if these were cars caught on radar; which is a ridiculous explanation in the first place. The Air Force spokesman on ufo issues, Al Chop later came out on tape and said, “At that time I was convinced that these things were interplanetary machines of some kind…I’m convinced those objects are real, we don’t’ know what they are or where they come from but they are there”. As history went though, it was reported as a weather phenomenon and you don’t have to have and IQ of 200 to be able to figure what the true story was. Watch this video for these inteview an real footage of parts of this event: .
    Read this about how many astronauts have come out and spoken not only the existence of UFO’s and thier cover up by the government and NASA. The fact is this really did happen; astronaut Gordon Cooper officialy addressed the U.N. about UFO’s. He also speculates about why they are covered up saying, ”Why? Because authority is afraid that people may think of God knows what kind of horrible invaders. So the password still is: We have to avoid panic by all means.” . Yeah but even after seeing all of this I’m just being paranoid, wake up!.

    Once again some knucklehead supposedly pulls a hoax and ties some flares to a few balloons and it has morons like Reality Guy saying because one person pulls a hoax that all sighting are hoaxes. First of all there has to be more research done because droves of clowns came out of the wood work claiming to see or know of what happened with the lights back in 1997. I just exposed two people for the fools that they are in my earlier comments with great detail on some of these claims about the Snowbirds or that the first set of lights were planes; so do not believe everything that you hear. If this guy really did come forward and they find this to be true he is going to be in so much trouble this it will hardly be a funny hoax. Any responsible adult doesn’t have to put 2+2 together to realize how thoughtlessly moronic a stunt like this is. Talk about liability, such as one of these things landing on somebody’s house or starting a brush fire that could potentially hurt or kill large numbers of people. If once again you had the brain power to actually check your facts you would find out the scientific UFO community do not jump to conclusions and review ALL fact before they decide how to explain a sighting. Nobody from any serious UFO community has made any claims about this being true(meaning a UFO only explainable by extra-terrestrial means)because they do not have enough facts about it yet. There were not even any witness testimony that described these lights being attached to a craft like in 1997. At this point there is not much in common with these two cases minus location and being some lights in the sky. These were not proven to fly or float in any type of affixed geometrical pattern for any prolonged distance. So assuming that we believe this was a UFO and making an ass out of yourself does not embarrass anybody in the UFO community. Also to Feh am Legend, for being a coward only half-way agreeing you believe; calling the serious scientific community “nuts” and “paranormal folks” is hardly the truth. Looks like that you really believe but since you are scared to admit it and be called “crazy” you play it safe on the fence. Mufon(Mutual UFO Network) is a large group of respected people from the scientific community who do witness interviews and investigation on every sighting. They kicker is they actually try to explain a sighting. Just recently people were calling about strange lights in the sky above Orange County, California and they found the truth. After doing extensive research, interviewing witnesses and calling a military base they found out what the lights were; The Leap Frogs which is a Navy Parachute team doing tricks in the sky with pyrotechnics. Only if after an extensive investigation by all where all logical an explainable hypotheses have been completely ruled out do they state a real sighting as a conclusion. Actually by nature all UFO’s are real sightings because by nature people do not know what they are BUT most of them can be explained by investigations; it’s the one that CANNOT that are taken seriously. Where the hell do you get those stupid sayings from like, ”I’d love to see a scan of the inside of your heads. Like a fire drill at the asylum”. Did you spend time in an asylum of some sort? I can only imagine the unintelligent, incredible, moronic response I’m going to get from this comment that is not going be to even worth replying to. 😉

  97. Reality Guy

    Dear Aidemton,

    Thank you for the wonderful response. I have printed it out and distributed it among my fellow pilots here at US Airways.

    It has provided us with hours of howling laughter.

    As a satirist, you are tops!! If you are serious, it is scary to think that you are out there possibly pro-creating, voting, driving, serving on juries.

    Live long and prosper and may the Force be with you.

  98. Another Pilot

    I’d like to add my two cents here (without the name-calling). I fly commuter airplanes all over the Southwest United States.

    I love the comments here. What a hoot. But I do have an observation:

    Having read a lot of the accounts of the Phoenix Lights (not the flares in the southwest Valley), I have on an aeronautical sectional from 1997 made a chart of the path of the big “V” thing (according to the positions of all the witnesses), and discovered that one of the previous bloggers is absolutely correct.

    The V-shaped spaceship did in fact follow a perfect VOR path from roughly the Las Vegas area through northern Arizona to past Tucson. The formation of lights even followed Interstate 17, which is what high flying aircraft normally do (follow a highly visible, known path i.e. cars on an interstate).

    Why have none of the “believers” addressed this? I find it amazing that they will leap to the conclusion of extraterrestrial craft but have a harder time accepting logical, rational explanations. The believers seem so wrapped up in their desire to see something paranormal that they ignore the reasonable explanations right in front of them.

    OK, that is my two cents worth. Fire away, everyone!!! Good day to you all.

  99. Spaced Out Cadet

    A few years ago, I guy I worked with gave me a book called “The Day After Roswell.” It said in there that the modern stealth aircraft (i.e. the F-117 and the B-2) used technology that only could have come from the craft found at Roswell. I had to tell my co-worker that that simply was not true, that the Germans had designed and built (never flew) a prototype flying wing (called the Horton) whose shape greatly reduced it’s radar signature. I also had to tell him that the British had an aircraft called the Mosquito (built by deHavilland) that was made of plywood and bonded with an epoxy that helped absorb radar waves. Naturally, he didn’t believe me. It sounds like a lot of the other people on this blog. They don’t want to hear the truth or a reasonable explanation. Also, tell me something; what does one person’s belief or non-belief in extraterrestrial intelligence have ANYTHING to do with de-bunking obviously flimsy UFO reports? What does one have to do with the other?

  100. Larry

    I watched the Pheonix lights firsthand. They were flares.

  101. To answer a Spaced Out Cadets question, I think that using one claim made by a co-worker who read one book is hardly enough evidence to dismiss all claims on UFO’s. There have been a lot of witnesses who have come forward to back the speculation up about a cover-up over the purported Roswell crash. You are correct about such a thing called a Horton Wing. The Horton Ho-Ix or also referred to as the Ho 299 was the Horton’s brothers attempt to make a glider that had less drag and by cutting down on vertical surfaces or making a craft with one leading edge, they were successful. The Horton Brothers flying wing was made of wood and had sawdust with charcoal in the wings. Having little metal, it was not a good reflector of radar. Hardly the same as stealth technology what we are making stealth fighters today out of minus similarities in design. A big thing about the Horton Wing that is very controversial as to whether or not the plane was purposely made from wood because or stealth properties or just because there was shortages of the correct metal during the war. To say just because the German had a crude version of stealth technology does not prove we took our technology from that either. I’m saying that there is the possibility that we did take some technology from other countries but there are other possibilities. It sounds like because you found one fact to back up your claim you automatically wanted to dismiss everything somebody else had to say. That would be like me saying well because an equation has A on one side and A on the other side then the figure A must be the answer. Well that is correct if you are only looking at part of the equation so instead of it being A=A (which you may only be seeing), the true equation might be A+B=A/C*6(figures are for example explanation). Just because you were right in saying that you stated a fact, it leaves the possibility open that you were not stating the answer correctly due to the fact you are not looking at the full equation.

    Lt. Philip Corso even though he may have gotten some of his facts mixed up due to the overwhelming amount of information he had to deal with was a very credible man. During his twenty-one year military career he was honored with nineteen medals, decorations and ribbons for meritorious service.
    He served under General MacArthur and also worked under Arthur Trudeau who was a brave decorated veteran and who also was inducted into the Military Intelligence Hall of Fame.(link1)
    I’m sure these hard working, honorable veterans who spent much of their lives working with the military and some of that in intelligence had nothing better to do with their time than to claim they were involved in a project that dealt with a crashed space ship. These are very credible and honorable men who made most of their lives out of finding justice and fighting for their country. If a crime takes place and you have a witness, the first thing to do is to assess the credibility of the witness and as far as these men or at least Corso telling the truth he seems to be a person of that merits to be taken serious. I’m not acting on this one fact alone but his claim coupled with all of the other investigations that have taken place. If you read up on all the facts and controversy over the whole Roswell incident it is not very hard to believe at all. Take the newspaper covering the article of the crashed disc and then retracting the story a day later. A news reporter who was going to broadcast the story of the crashed saucer was told that if she did “she should find a new line of work” by the FBI. There was intimidation of witnesses and ten’s of people who came forward with first hand information about a cover up. Unlike the Phoenix lights were it was merely a visual observation of a UFO sighting Roswell has a lot of first hand witness involvement of the incident by many credible people. Here alone is an article of people who were involved in the incident and then threatened by the military about what they had seen. . Now you have to ask yourself, why are people getting threatened like that over a weather balloon? The same type of balloon that usually had a return tag on it so if it went down in the desert somebody could just return it to the military like finding a lost wallet, nothing special or at least nothing worth threatening people over. Also the whole thing about people seeing bodies that the government explained away as anthropomorphic testing dummies is preposterous. I have first hand information from somebody whom had spoken to the guy who was the head of the anthropomorphic test-dummy program and what he said was pretty interesting. The testing of the dummies didn’t start taking place until the year 1953 that is six years after people said they saw them. Also the dummies are six feet tall and weigh 175 and are tan in color. I can’t figure out for the life of me how somebody saying they saw small grayish creatures with large heads that stood about 4 feet tall is even somewhat close to the description of what the military gave as an answer. Let not forget the fact there was a 6 year discrepancy in the sightings of what the people saw and what the military claimed! That is worse than when in November, 2006 O’Hare airport said the saucer craft that hovered over an airport terminal then punched a hole in the clouds when it left in front of many credible people was really just lights reflecting off the clouds. So to answer your question yes it would be great if some people could just accept a logical answer. The fact of the matter is if you did the research on the whole event the reason why so many people have settled on the answer I explained is because the evidence strongly points that way. So the conclusion would be that the evidence is the logical answer just not the kind of logic people are willing to accept.

    As far as the pilots who claim because the phoenix light were traveling in a VOR path it had to be aircraft I could use the same basic logic that I used for Spaced Out Cadet. Just because you one fact does not mean it proves an answer. First off for people who do not know what a VOR path is it is a VHF (Very High Frequency) Omni-directional Radio Range used as a “air highway” that gives pilots a more direct path in their travels and does not require as much visibility when flying. The stations that emit these signals can be at airports but do not have to be. There are still a number of factors that go against that these were planes. Planes in this country do not travel in V-shaped formations. The military had nothing to do with the v-shaped formation and failed miserably to re-enact the phoenix lights in 2000 using flares. I already went over in my previous comments about the Snowbirds so I’m not going over that again. From first hand witness description there was no sound and I already went over that also. I’m going to quote a man who did much research on this because I’m actually through with repeating myself. Here are some reason about why they cannot be planes by Steve Lantz: “1) One of the air traffic controllers who was on duty that night admitted publicly that he saw the lights, but they did not appear on radar and he had no idea what they were. If the craft that flew right through the middle of Sky Harbor airspace was military or civilian, we would have known about it a long time ago, top secret or not. The controller would have admitted as much, but he didn’t. I personally spoke to him two years ago and he still maintains that he does not know what the lights were. This is an important fact in the Phoenix Lights case that is commonly overlooked — it is not possible for aircraft to enter into Class B airspace without the controller knowing about it, including military pilots who must comply with the same FAA rules in order to insure safe separation between aircraft in a busy airspace.2) As I explained in my Debunking article, a fleet of aircraft (and they would have to be a fleet in order to simulate the array that was seen by thousands), entering into Class B airspace without communication or clearance would be forced down by military pilots and we would have known all about those responsible. Military pilots would never risk their coveted flying careers by staging a hoax. I have personally spoken to several witnesses who are professional pilots and ex-military. They insisted that what they saw was no conventional aircraft. The thousands of witnesses that called into Francis Barwood’s office and the 911 call center claim that what they saw was an enormous craft flying low and slow and totally silent – all planes make noise and they fly over Phoenix all the time – It is a busy airspace. Does this guy expect you to believe that suddenly on one night, everybody looked up at planes flying over like they do every night and freaked out?!!! Thousands describe an enormous craft because the lights moved as if they were fixed to something, not a formation as this guy claims. It’s amazing how people will sooner believe in such nonsense rather than accept the “possibility” of the unknown. Many of the skeptical minds out there are quick to dismiss the ET explanation. For the record, there is no evidence at all, certainly no proof, that can categorically explain away all UFO sightings, so this remains an open possibility, like it or not!”

    As far as the negative comment from reality guy goes, it one of the best backhanded compliments I have ever gotten. Though I never considered by self a satirist, I’m cool with the idea even though it was dripping with sarcasm. I could easily have said a similar thing about you and your ignorance and suspect it was to direct the attention away from the fact I made you look like a fool. I believe that you were once again under the pre-conceived notion that the only people who believe in UFOs are people who wear tin hats and hide in their houses from the government; not people who might look at a case with the same type of scientific standpoint as any good researcher who constantly try to prove or disprove their theories to find an answer. Once again when it came to this you were wrong. Laugh it up man; laughing will actually make you live longer believe it or not.(link2) The dramatic irony of the whole situation to me is that from my standpoint I’m the one who is correct, so I see a bunch of fools laughing at their own stupidity. How funny do you think that situation is to me? I believe in the old saying that “He who laughs last, laughs best” and it seems there is no convincing some people so only time will tell.

  102. (link1)

  103. Larry

    Dear Aidemton,

    Try this link instead. You won’t like what it has to say. Your kind only accept explanations that fit into your pre-conceived “other worldly” conclusions. How can you call yourself legitmate researchers?

    Go ahead, rip the “New Times” article apart. We can’t wait to hear your further diatribes.

  104. To get an accurate representation of where an event occurs within space-time, triangulation is a good method. This is the method by which g.p.s. can accurately locate an object( You need 3 different witnesses from 3 different points in order to do this. The fact you have one witness who claims he saw something against 100’s of other witnesses is very weak evidence for it cannot be verified by anyone else. Once again imagine a crime takes place and you have a 100 witnesses who say they saw something and one other witness who claims he saw something else against the other 100, you have to ask yourself who is telling the truth?(Steve Lantz, Debunking the Debunkers): “After the Phoenix Lights event, a young man came forward and claimed that he viewed the Phoenix Lights using a Celestron Telescope and saw they were a fleet of Cessnas flying in formation. Despite thousands of witness reports to the contrary, local media focused on this singular report. First of all, to suggest that you could follow a moving Cessna with a Telescope is ridiculous. I personally own a telescope and there is no way you could follow a moving aircraft and focus in on it, especially at night. Based on this statement alone I would seriously question anything this witness had to say.

    First you have to convince me that a group of pilots would be stupid enough and brazen enough to think they could pull off such an elaborate hoax without being caught. Every pilot knows that penetrating Class B airspace (a 30-mile protective veil that surrounds every major airport in the country) without a proper ATC clearance, would get them into serious trouble. There is no way a fleet of Cessnas could fly silently, even with the engines running at idle, and avoid radar detection.

    A fleet of aircraft entering Class B airspace without communication or clearance would be considered a serious threat and they most certainly would have been forced down by military pilots. Once on the ground the perpetrators would be arrested, heavily fined and face possible prosecution and prison time. The FAA would permanently suspend their licenses due to the magnitude of the crime. They would be thrashed by the media and lynched by the public.

    Why would any pilot risk everything, believing that they could successfully pull off such an elaborate hoax, get away with it, go home, watch the 10’oclock news and have a nice laugh? Nobody ever got caught and nobody ever came forward to say “we did it.” Private pilots would never take such a risk, commercial pilots would never risk their flying careers, and airline pilots are constantly monitored by ATC. They would never attempt such a thing especially with a plane loaded with passengers. Obviously this witness concocted the entire story to get his mug on the six o’clock news!”

    I’m through with wasting my time here and trying to preach to the deaf. For those of you who are intelligent and have an open mind, all I’m trying to do is bring the truth out. This doesn’t bother any other hard working, tax paying citizens that we are being lied to? Personally I find it very insulting that our government is passing off such ridiculous lies as the truth. For those who doubt this information, there is clearly no saving you from your own ignorance. This is the last comment I will be posting on this forum and it would be wise for anybody who wants the truth to look at all the information I have left.

  105. John R.

    This is to Aidemnton: Please read the New Times story once more. No where has Mitch Stanley said that the aircraft he saw through his telescope were Cessnas. Where did that come from? Also, you claim that you cannot follow aircraft with that kind of telescope. Yes you can. I have been doing it on an almost nightly basis for the past 14 years. Also, your description of airspace restrictions is just plain wrong. I don’t know where you are getting this information, but it is seriously flawed.

    You claim that the government is lying to you. I propose that you just do not want to accept a rational explanation, therefore anything ANYONE says to the contrary is a lie.

    I also propose that you begin to question the very people you are blindly following that you believe are telling you the “truth”. I went and read Steve Lantz’ website and, to put it bluntly, he doesn’t know what he is talking about.

  106. Biff

    I recalled making a couple comments here a while back, and decided randomly to come back and read this again…and I am so glad I did, because Aidemton, you are hilarious. I can see you are fighting the good fight for open-minded reason, and I can also see how much of a sisyphean effort that is. In my experience, it’s pretty rare for anyone with an interest in the UFO phenomenon to be open to all possibilities, and to be willing to reason things out logically. It always seems to me that you have two camps: the Believers, who are convinced that any weird light in the sky must be an alien spaceship, and the Skeptics, who for whatever reasons of their own are absolutely unwilling to accept that there might be anything at all without a mundane explanation. So it’s nice to see someone who seems willing to entertain all options and to actually seek out the truth in specific instances.

    For the record, I do not “believe” in anything as far as all this goes. I am no kind of expert witness, but unlike a great many people who seem to have so much to say about the Phoenix Lights, I at least was there. It looked weird to me. I suppose the ‘vee’ formation (and to reiterate, what I remember seeing was a formation of separate lights over Prescott…I have nothing to say about any solid objects or anything at all that happened around Phoenix…I can only tell you what I saw) could have been planes, but as I mentioned in here before, I’ve seen a lot of planes in my life, and these lights did not look like planes except in the most superficial sense, being in the sky and all…and I did not hear any sound from them. It was weird and disturbing. It made quite an impression on me, and because of that I have read as much as I can find on the subject, including the “New Times” article above. As far as I’m concerned, none of it presents any conclusive evidence as to what I saw.

    It is both amusing and frustrating to have people tell me that “my eyes must have been playing tricks on me” and “I know a guy who knows a guy who heard from his buddy who knows an airline pilot who saw this and it was airplanes” and blah blah blah. Any of you pilots and other experts in here actually see the thing? Speak up. The formation roughly followed the VOR signals, it sounds like, so that might be something to work with. Or it might not…who knows? The “easy” explanations about a Canadian aerobatic team, or a bunch of reckless private pilots pulling off an insane and dangerous hoax sound patently absurd to me. If it were that simple, I would hope the Air Force or somebody would have been able to figure it out and tell us about it. Then again, the whole thing could have been some secret experimental aircraft or something, but if so then flying it over populated areas seems a bit contrary to standard operating procedures if you see what I mean.

    Anyway, I think there is a large segment of the population who simply can never accept even the possibility that we might not be able to explain some things. Assuming for the sake of argument that there are alien lifeforms who could be capable of defying all physics as we know it and visiting our planet, if an alien spaceship ever did do the proverbial landing on the Whitehouse lawn and all that, there would still be large numbers of people who wouldn’t be able to accept it. All the headlines in the world could suddenly be “WE ARE NOT ALONE — AND HERE’S THE PROOF” and they would probably just go completely insane or kill themselves in order to not have to face up to it. I think it’s probably on account of superstition or something. At any rate, thanks for the LOLs.

  107. 1st Lt. SH, Arizona

    Hi Biff,
    I am a pilot. I saw the formation. They were planes. No sound? Too high. Has to do with density altitude and the angle at which you see them. I watch planes take off all the time, some less than 2 miles away and never hear them. If you are parallel to them, little or no sound.

    Why no “investigation”? Nothing to investigate. Dozens, probably hundreds, of aircraft overfly Sky Harbor and Luke AFB (where I am stationed) every day. If they are above a certain altitude, Luke and Sky Harbor radar never see them. Albuquerque or LA would be tracking them.

    Impurities in the atmosphere can make aircraft lights look all different kinds of colors. Clouds can reflect light miles away and make them look like solid objects. I know. I’ve seen it before in the air. If you don’t fly on a regular basis, you will not accept this. So trust me.

    The Air Force (which I am a member) has better things to do than to investigate something in the sky that people cannot identify. The purpose of the Air Force is to protect the United States. Why won’t people understand that?

    Please answer me this: why is it when rational explanations are offered for unexplained aerial events, the person who challenges the “otherworldly” explanation is automatically ridiculed for not believing in extraterrestrial life? What does one have to do with the other?

    Also, I love the use of movie tag lines like “We Are Not Alone”. That comes straight from the movie poster from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. It was a work of FICTION, folks (although a good one, it’s one of my favorite films.)

    Well, I guess the believers will just think that I am part of the conspiracy.

    Have a great day, everyone.

  108. Biff

    Thanks for answering, Lt. May I ask where you were when you saw the formation, and when you saw it? I saw what I did from the woods just south of Prescott, at about 20:15. Assuming they were aircraft, that leaves a great many unanswered questions, like who in the hell flies with their landing lights on, in a V formation, hundreds of miles from wherever they were going? Were they just doing their level best to freak everyone out? And why hasn’t someone (ok maybe not the USAF, you’ve got a point that unless there is a threat to our airspace, it’s not really their problem) been able to actually identify them? The thing got a fair bit of publicity after all. You’d think that someone responsible or otherwise involved would have fessed up and apologized or something…unless it was a malicious, purposeful hoax.

    I’m not disputing any of your points, actually…I don’t fly regularly, but I’ve definitely had some double takes in the air that on second glance turned out to be reflected light, or just another plane, etc. At any rate, I would really like to be convinced that there’s a prosaic explanation…obviously the whole thing scared the living crap out of me or I wouldn’t still bother thinking about it after all this time.

    My perception was that the formation was indeed at a pretty high altitude, but just based on the way planes look and sound from the ground when I know their approximate altitude and airspeed…well, this still looked weird. I mean, from my experience, to move across the sky like these did, a plane would have to either at a low altitude, or moving incredibly fast. Like maybe a couple thousand feet up and moving at about 300-400 miles per hour. Certainly not out of the range of your average jet, but I’d think I would have heard something? All the other aircraft that I observed that day were clearly audible, even the ones that seemed to be above 20,000 feet. I was out in the woods, it was very quiet. So let’s say these were at a much higher altitude…they crossed about half the arc of the sky (before I lost sight) in a matter of about half a minute. If they were high enough not to be audible, how fast would they have to be moving to do that? 2,000-3,000 mph? I don’t know.

    As to your question about why people who put forth reasonable, earthly explanations for weird looking things in the air get ridiculed for rejecting the possibility of extraterrestrial life, I don’t know…you’re right, what has the one thing got to do with the other? It’s like I said, though, when it comes to UFOs, people tend to be set in their way of thinking, whichever side of the fence they’re on. I guess it’s just human nature. People shouldn’t assume that just because someone looks for prosaic explanations for things that this means the person doesn’t accept the possibility of life elsewhere.

    I think the simple explanation should always be sought. I’ve seen people get themselves all worked up about the “flashing red and green pulsating spaceship hovering in the sky” when it is obvious to me that they’re looking at the star Sirius. On the other hand, I think this goes both ways. All I meant before is that it seems that some people are patently unwilling to even entertain the possiblity that some things remain unexplained (for now). And some people definitely and vociferously reject even the mere possibility that life might exist anywhere but on earth…which I think does deserve ridicule, since it smacks of superstitious elevation of our planet to some unique status in all the universe that, to me, flies in the face of probability and logic.

    As far as I’m concerned, 99 out of 100 weird-looking objects in the sky are just something ordinary being perceived in an odd way, or with strange light or atmospheric effects involved. For me, the vee formation that I saw was still downright weird and unexplained even taking all those things into account. I didn’t observe anything but a formation of lights…no solid objects, and none of the apparently non-ballistic flight behavior that others have reported, just five lights in a vee, banking very precisely in formation, moving extremely quickly, and not making any sound that I could hear. If they were just planes, albeit very fast and quiet ones with very bright landing lights, then I guess I have five pilots somewhere in the world to be mad at for scaring me like that.

    Anyway, thanks again for your response, and thanks also for your service.

  109. Hey biff, I try to keep posted on any news that comes out about the Phoenix lights and read something pretty interesting recently. If you want me to send you the article you can reach me at

  110. Why is it that almost every response is one that backs up the original author and never questions the conclusions>? Similar to what the pilot above said , “Biff”- am I automatically a nutcase for thinking that they “might be” UFO’s? Speculate or conclude all you want- only the government knows the truth- and they will never tell us if the sightings were really otherworldly ships. What about the people who saw a ship go by thats bigger than anything man has ever made to fly? One mile, two miles long. There is of course the possibility that every one of them “wants to believe” something they didnt see or stretching what they saw. But the various similar accounts of a huge craft going by from different people who aren’t afraid and don’t want to be known as nutcases requires more thought than- “theyre just planes”

    To you old farts who think that because you were a pilot that you can prove/disprove any theory- in thousands of years when we’re all gone and humans are visiting other worlds – you’ll never know how just how shortsighted you were.

  111. WATTS

    phoenix lights was a genuine sighting and it really frustrates me that people buy the many excuses the government throws out to try to debunk sightings. If you are that naive to believe that our government is honest and tells us the truth about certain matters, then i am really sorry to say you were mentored wrong throughout life and cant think for yourselves. ufo sightings and crop formations are a real phenomenon. all you have to do is a little research. A step further i will go, do you really believe the great pyramid was built by egyptians. do some research on how much knowledge was needed to know about this planet which at that time, was not possible to build that pyramid. blame the department of education for that.

  112. WATTS

    how bout this .@#$% the people who are employed to control the minds of the people. Some of us are just not that stupid!!!

  113. Biff

    Checking in here again…this topic came up in a conversation recently, and I find myself still agitated by it after all these years. Still upset to the point of shaking even thinking about it in detail, especially when someone starts in with the “oh come on, the government explained this, it was just flares” nonsense.

    I thought I posted in here after my last entry up there, wonder what happened to it? Oh well.

    To tuffguy, are you a nutcase for thinking that things might be unidentified? No, of course not. Not in my opinion, anyway. As far as I’m concerned, and despite the various attempts, I still haven’t heard a convincing explanation for what I saw. Frankly I doubt the government knows the “truth” on this one either, but if they do, I’m sure you’re right, the odds of us hearing about it are pretty slim.

  114. Brian

    Your posts seem very levelheaded in respect to others here.

    It is funny that your questions posed to Lt. May in 2008 about where and when he witnessed the Phoenix lights went unanswered. And, if he was a pilot or an expert on airplane flight he should have also answered your question about how a formation of lights can travel silently at that speed. He is obviously another person who wants to be recognized as an authority (USAF) but runs and hides when pinned down on details.

    The Phoenix lights (not the flares at 10:00pm) were observed up close and reported to 911 by hundreds of people. Some say there are that many kooks and liars out there… but I don’t buy it. Those types do exist, but they are not the majority.

  115. Jimbo

    Why is the military still using flare? when you know we own the night during war, using infrared and night vision, the practice of using flare seems so outdated… even if it was 1997.

  116. Chris

    Just now saw this article. LOL…WOW!! What ancient generation are you all from commenting on the Pheonix lights as if you all are astrophysicists or actually a witness in Pheonix that night. It cracks me up that amateur writers think they know more than geniuses like Stephen Hawking, whom claims there is definitely other life forms out there. Or wait…what about the drake equation? Or famous astronauts who claim to have seen totally unexplainable UFO’s?? …you’re right…..I’m sure you know more than everyone. Get educated seniors…things change…there actually are people out there smarter than you. The truth is…there isn’t any evidence. Stop living a fantasy of thinking you know. These people make me nuts.


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