By: Bill Knell
On March 13, 1997, unexplained lights appeared over Phoenix, Arizona. I was in town when the mysterious event took place. While authorities would like you to believe that these were merely military flares, former Arizona Governor Fife Symington says there is much more to the story.
Symington now admits that he was among the hundreds of witnesses who saw a huge triangular object in the skies over Phoenix. The former Governor made a number of statements about the Phoenix Lights mystery to Leslie Kean, Special Correspondent to The Prescott Daily Courier. The statements were included in an article by Kean published in the Courier on March 18, 2007. In that article, the former Arizona Governor describes what he saw on March 13, 1997:
“It was enormous and inexplicable,” he said. “Who knows where it came from? A lot of people saw it, and I saw it too.”
Symington was referring to a V-shaped object with lights on it seen in the skies over Phoenix ten years ago. Some estimated the lights to be the size of a football field, while others said they could have been a mile long. He continued to describe his own sighting of the triangular object: “It was dramatic. And it couldn’t have been flares because it was too symmetrical.” The former Arizona Governor revealed the object to be a “craft of unknown origin.”
While Symington hasn’t been the only political figure in Arizona to comment on the Phoenix Lights, he stands alone in his admission that they were more than just flares. When asked to comment on the Phoenix Lights in 2000, Senator John McCain said, “That has never been fully explained.” He also quickly added, “But I have to tell you that I do not have any evidence whatsoever of aliens or UFOs.”
Fife Symington says he called the commander of Luke Air Force Base, the Arizona Department of Public Safety and a General with the Arizona National Guard back in 1997 to ask about the lights. None of them were able to provide him with any answers and seemed “perplexed.” One of the problems with the sightings were the multitude of explanations available at the time.
The V-shaped object with lights was seen in the sky around 8:30pm. The lights that were videotaped and seen around 10:30pm are what most people call the Phoenix Lights. These are often explained away as flares, but not everyone agrees. People that videotaped the 10:30pm event back in 1997 say the lights were in a triangular shape. Some of them had seen military flares being dropped on other occasions and say this was something completely different. However, authorities stayed with the flares explanation and explained the earlier events as a sighting of the Hale-Bopp Comet.
Synmington called for an investigation into the Phoenix Lights shortly after the sightings occurred, but the statement was a hollow one. Either he was not able to obtain cooperation from military authorities, or he never made much of an effort. However, with pressure mounting from the public, UFO researchers and news gathering organizations, he had to eventually take some action.
On June 19, 1997, Governor Fife Symington held a press conference in Phoenix. Dressing one of his aides up as an Alien, the Governor said that the Phoenix Lights were flares and nothing to get upset about. He also said that he was only joking when he ordered the Arizona Department of Public Safety (Arizona State Police) to investigate the sightings. Today, he still defends those actions.
“I wanted people to lighten up and calm down, so I introduced a little levity. But I never felt that the overall situation was a matter of ridicule,” Symington says about the infamous press conference. But not everyone was laughing. Former Phoenix Councilwoman Frances Barwood made a serious effort to investigate the sightings in 1997.
According to her recent statements, Barwood was unable to convince federal authorities to interview even one of the seven hundred witnesses that she spoke to about the Phoenix Lights. Big surprise! Being an elected official isn’t enough when it comes to getting answers about UFOs from the Military. Just ask current Arizona Governor Janet Napolitano.
Janet Napolitano called for an investigation into the Phoenix Lights during her 1997 campaign to become Arizona Attorney General and was elected to that office in 1998. Despite her former position as a U.S. Attorney for the District of Arizona, we can assume that she was served the same plate of disinformation from the U.S. Military that the rest of us received. What does she think of Symington’s new revelation and the Phoenix Lights overall? We have asked and are awaiting her answer.
My own experience earlier that day was frightening and likely related to one or both the sightings of March 13, 1997. I was driving in from Flagstaff (north to south) on I-17 in the early afternoon. On a day when traffic was already heavy and almost at a standstill, State Patrol vehicles suddenly appeared and caused vehicles to pull over to the far right lanes. A few minutes later, military vehicles filled with troops and equipment covered by tarps went flying by at high speeds. The military procession lasted several minutes.
I was later told by other drivers who attended a seminar I was giving in Phoenix that the same thing happened that night and the next day. Others who attended my seminar reported being almost ‘buzzed’ by the lights while driving on various local roadways. They described huge balls of light which seemed to come down very low and keep pace with traffic. Apart from all the witness reports, more than a few people took photos and video of the Phoenix Lights.
Huge triangular objects have been a constant part of the UFO phenomenon from the very beginning. Some believe the triangle sightings date to prehistory and many point to sightings that may have occurred in the late 1800s. Most witnesses at that time assumed they were experimental kites of some sort. Then, there were all the unexplained triangle sightings in the 1950s, with and without lights. Two of the most famous involved the U.S. and British Military.
Beginning on September 13, 1952, Military Personnel aboard ships involved in NATO Operation Mainbrace saw and tracked a triangular shaped object flying at over 900 mph between Denmark and Norway. Witnesses said the object emitted a bright white light. There were additional UFO sightings during the NATO exercise as well which may have included saucer and cigar shaped crafts.
In July of 1955, a dark colored boomerang hovered completely still over Lasham Airfield, Hampshire, England, during the National Gliding Competitions. Seen by trained military observers, experienced civilian pilots and untrained spectators, the object hovered for thirty seconds before moving off to the southwest.
A triangular-shaped UFO captured the attention of the world’s press in November of 1989 when a huge, dark triangle with sparkling bright lights underneath was seen by citizens and police in Liege, Belgium. More sightings followed. In 1990, Belgium Military Officials announced that two F-16 jet fighters scrambled from a NATO base chased a triangular shaped object for over an hour. One jet locked the object in on radar. On the pilot’s screen it looked like a diamond.
There have been recent sightings of unexplained lights near Phoenix and triangular shaped craft over New Mexico and other parts of the Southwest.
The International Paranormal UFO Society asks anyone with information about the Phoenix Lights, triangular-shaped craft or other unexplained events related to the 1997 or current sightings to email us at ipus@CanYouStandTheTruth.com or write to: IPUS, PO Box 203, Lebannon IN 46052. All confidentiality requests will be honored. You can also contact our Arizona Representative by email at bill@CanYouStandTheTruth.com IPUS is the International Paranormal UFO Society. Visit our website and sign up for our free newsletter at http://www.CanYouStandTheTruth.com
About the Author
Bill Knell is a veteran Paranormal Researcher, Author and Speaker. Permission is grant to publish this article online or in print without alteration and with the inclusion of the last paragraph and IPUS url http://www.CanYouStandTheTruth.com
(ArticlesBase SC #123186)