**You can click here to see some of the video footage that was recorded by a number of citizens that night. This article has detailed descriptions of what exactly was seen by thousands (millions after it went mainstream) of witnesses. Something like this was just too big to cover up.**

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On March 13th, 1997 something extraordinary happened, an event that sparked an onslaught of books, documentaries, and more attempting to explain what exactly occurred on that day. The anomaly has been dubbed “The Phoenix Lights,” and it is one of the most famous UFO events of the 1990’s, and possibly one of the most famous UFO events to ever take place, given the fact that it was witnessed by thousands of people and caught on camera, where it was then made available to millions of people around the globe.

This is quite an interesting topic, and one that has a tremendous amount of evidence to back it up. If you would like to learn more about the UFO/extraterrestrial phenomenon, you can check out our most recent articles on the subject in the exopolitics section of our website by clicking here.

What Happened

samOne thing is for certain, something very important and inexplicable happened on this day, and such occurrences are not uncommon. These types of sightings have been recorded throughout human history. To the left is a broadsheet picture by Samuel Coccius that illustrates many flaming and “large black globes” that were reported to have appeared in the skies over Basel, Switzerland in 1586. This one is from the Wickiana Collection, Zurich Central Library, Switzerland. It’s one of many examples of art that depicts objects hovering in the sky and people pointing at them.

Today we have video cameras, witnesses, filed documents ,and more. For a more modern day example of what happens when a UFO is spotted and tracked on radar, you can click here. If the “Phoenix Lights” event had occurred hundreds of years ago, this illustration is the format in which it would have been captured.

So what happened in Phoenix on that day? It began with Luke Air Force Base, the media, the National UFO Reporting Center, the Governor’s office, and the police receiving a number of reports from people in Nevada of a very large craft hovering in the sky. Some people were reporting it as a boomerang formation of lights.

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The object (or objects) began moving south towards Arizona where even more people would see it. Again, people were not reporting just lights hovering in the sky, they were reporting an actual solid object, a craft of some sort, spanning the size of one or two football fields. The witness reports detail lights, sometimes multiple lights, in a pattern that ranged from a few all the way up to a dozen, all in some sort of organized formation. Witnesses reported them as white and in some cases they were orange, red, or yellow. Reports indicate that at some point, the lights moved at very rapid speeds, while at others, they moved slowly and were also reported to hover. Some people described it as a huge, wedge-shaped craft with five lights on it. Some people claim that it passed directly over their heads and even hovered there for extended periods of time. People reported seeing, again, a large solid object, even going into detail about certain features they could spot on the craft.

“It was a giant V, and the right side of the V went over us, the left side was a couple blocks over.” – One (out of thousands) of the witnesses ( source)

Again, this object has been described as massive, the size of one to two football fields.

There were a number of these types of descriptions from people who witnessed the object.

These types of reports came in at a time where it was much easier to make out the object or objects that were in the sky, as there was still some daylight. It was not until later that evening at approximately 10 pm when people in Arizona witnessed something truly spectacular. As UFO researcher Richard Dolan describes it:

“People in Phoenix were treated to an amazing display of hovering lights over the city. These lights appeared to be motionless and in perfect formation. They were truly an astounding sight to behold: an enormous semi-circular string of lights in the night sky.” (1)

Mass Media Attention

Despite the fact that the event had been photographed and recorded by multiple residents in Phoenix, there was no media coverage of the event until over half a year later. When the public affairs office at Luke Air Force Base announced that the lights were flares launched from an aircraft, the story became quite large and attracted a boatload of media attention, from mainstream news all the way to alternative media.

Consider for yourself – this craft (or crafts) was reported multiple times and at different time periods, and appears to have been in the sky for a prolonged period of time, starting (as mentioned above) in Nevada and then working its way over to Arizona. Again, it was seen and reported by thousands of  people, and when mainstream news got ahold of it, millions of people were able to view the video footage.

How can flares stay up hovering in the sky in perfect formation for hours? What about all the reports of a very large craft? The explanation coming from the air force just doesn’t seem to make sense, does it?

“Behind the scenes, high ranking Air Force officers are soberly concerned about UFOs. But through official secrecy and ridicule, many citizens are led to believe the unknown flying objects are nonsense.” Former head of CIA, Roscoe Hillenkoetter, 1960 (source as quoted by the New York Times)

Fife Symington, the Governor of Arizona at the time, even held a press conference that featured a large and costumed alien mocking all of the UFO enthusiasts, but it seemed goodhearted in nature and, according to him, was done to lighten the mood.

What is interesting to note, however, is that Fife was keeping something to himself – he actually witnessed the event, and the former Air Force veteran spoke out years after the event (when his stint as governor ended) saying:

He also said this (below) in a CNN interview about the event:

“If you had been here 10 years ago, standing out here and looking out there at the lights, you would have been astounded, you would have been amazed. I suspect that unless the Department of Defense can prove otherwise, then it was probably some form of alien spacecraft. It was enormous and it just felt otherworldly, in your gut you could just tell it was otherworldly.” (source)

This footage, as well as the pictures, has been analyzed by a number of experts and many have come to the conclusion that there is no possible way that what people were seeing in Arizona that day were just flares, and this seems to be pretty obvious given the witness testimony coming from thousands of people. That being said, there are a few experts who have publicly stated that the explanation coming from the Air Force is probably true.

Something definitely extraordinary and inexplicable happened here. Perhaps there was a reasonable explanation but it was concealed, but there is no way to know. It’s also important to note that there was a great deal of pressure put upon the Phoenix City Council not to investigate this event.

“It even led to the ouster City Council member Francis Barwood, the one member who called for a genuine investigation.”  – Richard Dolan (1)

This isn’t the first time a massive flying object has been spotted. Perhaps the most dramatic of all were two encounters by  by the Chilean Air Force (one out of many examples):

“Two pilots on a training mission, each flying an F5 fighter aircraft, tracked the object on their airborne radar. It gave a return equal to ten or more aircraft carriers – except this object was in the air, not floating on the water. Each pilot assumed his radar equipment was faulty, until he learned that the other pilot was also getting the same return. Not only this, but ground radar from a nearby airport also picked up the object and confirmed its huge size. The pilots also saw the object with their own eyes. One pilot later said that at a distance of twenty miles, it looked “like a plantain banana swathed in smoke.” The pilots were frightened, having no missiles or weapons. As they approached the massive object, which had been motionless all this while, it took off at an unimaginable speed. All at once, it vanished from the three radar screens.”(1)(2)

The very next morning, the Chilean Air Force gathered some F5 fighter jets to intercept another very large UFO. The pilots described this one as very bright, and very large. The Chilean Air Force has officially acknowledged these events, but could not explain what occurred. (1)(2)


(1)Dolan, Richard. UFOs For the 21st Century Mind: New York: Richard Dolan Press, 2014

 (2) Huneeus, J, Antonio, “A Chilean Overview,” MUFON UFO Journal, 6/86; Huneeus, J. Antonio, “A Historical Survey of UFO Cases in Chilie,” MUFON 1987 International Symposium Proceedings (MUFON, 1987.)

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