Phoenix Lights

Daves!

Member
So this is my first thread! Sorry for my bad English.
Im very fascinated by one well known ufo story : the Phoenix Lights.
It seems that no one realy took the effort to debunk it, or so it seems. My question is can someone enlight me or inform me more about this mass sighting ? The US departement of defense said those were flare's but watching an eyewitness video didnt convince me that it were flares or were they ?

Source: https://youtu.be/xOULfp5vKUs
 

Mechanik

Active Member
They look like flares to me. They disappear in the sequence in which they first appeared, which would be consistent with flares burning out. Phoenix also has an Air Force base and a whole section of off-limits desert which is used for a variety of military activities.

My guess is that one or more planes were laying down flares in different directions as a training exercise. It’s rare for the military to comment on anything at all, so if they decided to say it was flares, then it was probably flares.
 

Greene

New Member
Not long after the event, someone overlaid the video with a daytime version. The lights disappeared at the same points that they met the Sierra Estrella mountain range (indicating that they were passing behind the ridgeline).

There was also an amateur astronomer who viewed the lights of the V formation (I'm not sure if those reports correlate directly with the flares themselves) through his telescope & said they were clearly individual aircraft.
 
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Daves!

Member
Not long after the event, someone overlaid the video with a daytime version. The lights disappeared at the same points that they met the Sierra Estrella mountain range (indicating that they were passing behind the ridgeline).
Interresting do you have a link to that video ?
 

Greene

New Member
Interresting do you have a link to that video ?
I'm looking for it now. I remember watching it on broadcast TV at the time. I'm not sure if I've ever seen it online.

Unfortunately that puts it in the fallibility of memory category but I'll keep looking.
 

Greene

New Member
OK I found this article...

The ‘Phoenix Lights’: 20 years later, still the same set of planes and flares over Arizona

Which includes the following passage:

To its credit, the Discovery Channel did perform another, and apparently solid, test to the flare hypothesis. The network submitted Krzyston’s footage to Dr. Leonid Rudin at the Pasadena image-processing firm Cognitech. Rudin was also given a daytime shot from Krzyston’s yard showing the distant Sierra Estrella, which is invisible in the nighttime video. Rudin matched the day and night shots frame by frame, lining them up on a distant ridge. The result: an animation loop showing that the flares are not only above the Estrella, but blink out as they reach the top of the mountains, precisely as distant flares would.

In a “10-Files” episode, KSAZ Channel 10, however, questioned the Cognitech analysis. Krzyston insists to Channel 10 that the objects were hovering below the Estrella ridgeline and couldn’t have fallen behind the mountains. Channel 10 suggested cryptically that Cognitech purposely faked its test — “Has the footage been altered? And by whom and why? The mystery continues” — and showed its own test, which a Channel 10 production man claimed took “not long at all,” proving that the 10 p.m. lights in Krzyston’s video were well below the Estrella ridgeline.

New Times asked Scowen to perform the test himself, using two frames grabbed from Krzyston’s original video and a 35 mm daytime photo taken from Krzyston’s yard by UFO researcher Dick Motzer. After a half-hour of careful scaling, positioning, and rotation with imaging software, Scowen found a good match for the ridge visible in both shots. His results: The flares are just above the Estrella ridgeline or right at it, just as Rudin at Cognitech had found.

Afterward, Scowen was shown the “10-Files” episode and its claim that Channel 10 matched the frames quickly. He wonders how they could have checked several parameters in only a short time. “You have to make sure that the zoom is set the same way. If it’s a standard camcorder, there’s no numeric readout of the zoom. . . . Did the guy at Channel 10 match the scale? My guess is that he just laid the two pictures on top of each other.”

Rod Haberer, producer of the “10-Files” piece, says that he’s “comfortable with what we put on the air.” But when he’s asked what software the station used to match and scale the daytime and nighttime shots, he admits that they didn’t use a computer at all. Channel 10 simply laid one image from Krzyston’s video atop another in a digital editing machine.

Scowen says it doesn’t surprise him. “We’re used to dealing with this with the lay public. People do the minimum until they get the answer they want. In science you have to go back and check and recheck to make sure you’re correct. I think Cognitech did a great job,” Scowen says.

Rudin says his firm took its job seriously when the Discovery Channel asked it to match the images. “I testify in a court of law routinely; I’m a diplomate of several forensic societies,” Rudin says. “Basically, you’re talking to the guys who do this for a living.”

Told that an astrophysics professor found the Cognitech experiment more convincing, Haberer suggested that his station had merely presented a different point of view, as if the question of a flare falling either behind or in front of a mountain had more than one answer.

So the video does exist and I probably saw the original on the Discovery channel documentary at the time. More importantly it tells us who did the actual analysis.
 

Daves!

Member
OK I found this article...

The ‘Phoenix Lights’: 20 years later, still the same set of planes and flares over Arizona

Which includes the following passage:



So the video does exist and I probably saw the original on the Discovery channel documentary at the time. More importantly it tells us who did the actual analysis.
Amazing discovery! For years i thought this was a real deal video of actual ufo's. It was backed by eyewitnesses who said they saw a huge massive triangle shaped or V shaped ufo flying over the city.

What i always found a little bit odd, plus that if a whole state or city with "hundreds or thousands" no one made pictures or video's from a massive ufo and so close by.
Sure in 1997 there werent people with current day cellphones to make a picture but it was a time that digital camera's were more common as videocamera's. The absence of police records or people calling 911 in panic was another thing i found remarkable.
 

JMartJr

Senior Member
Not long after the event, someone overlaid the video with a daytime version. The lights disappeared at the same points that they met the Sierra Estrella mountain range (indicating that they were passing behind the ridgeline).

There was also an amateur astronomer who viewed the lights of the V formation (I'm not sure if those reports correlate directly with the flares themselves) through his telescope & said they were clearly individual aircraft.
Looking for that link as well, I've seen the video as well, will post link f I find it before you do.

While looking, I also found this, which I had not seen before
https://www.livescience.com/2483-mysterious-phoenix-lights-ufo-hoax.html, pull quote below:
The case took a twist two days later when a local television station aired a startling confession by an anonymous hoaxer: He had created the UFO lights using road flares tied to helium balloons, launching them in one-minute increments. Some people were amused by the hoax, others were angered, and many conspiracy-minded UFO buffs were skeptical of such a mundane explanation.

It's true that just because a person has confessed to a hoax doesn't mean the case is solved. After all, people often falsely confess to things they didn't do—including murder (for example, John Mark Carr falsely confessed to killing JonBenet Ramsey in 2006)...

I don't know if I believe the hoax confession, but it belongs in the pot of "thing to consider."
 

Daves!

Member
Looking for that link as well, I've seen the video as well, will post link f I find it before you do.

While looking, I also found this, which I had not seen before
https://www.livescience.com/2483-mysterious-phoenix-lights-ufo-hoax.html, pull quote below:


I don't know if I believe the hoax confession, but it belongs in the pot of "thing to consider."
What i know about the Phoenix Lights it happend 2 times. The first time around the same time the lights were filmed there were according to the Airforce indeed F-16 ( i recall ) in the air. So if the hoaxer did hoax it the 2nd time, he did a a fantastic job in repeating the first sighting.

Plus i found this video of 2 ufo researcher who dont believe it were flares. Almost making fun of that theory.
In my honest opinion a researcher shouldnt ever make fun of any possible explanation.

Source: https://youtu.be/npeCDLsyJwE
 

Daves!

Member
There's an article on Wikipedia too: Phoenix Lights
Thank you for that tip. I read it. Although its Wikipedia and its easy to alter information on it and change the text, it still can be informative.
I find it the following interesting ; ( despite the proven claim that the lights were flares ) and i will quote Wikipedia :

"... Other similar sequences, reportedly taken over a period of 30 minutes, show differing numbers of lights in a V or arrowhead array. Thousands of witnesses throughout Arizona also reported a silent, mile-wide V or boomerang-shaped craft with varying numbers of huge orbs. A significant number of witnesses reported that the craft was silently gliding directly overhead at low altitude. The first-hand witnesses consistently reported that the lights appeared as "canisters of swimming light", while the underbelly of the craft was undulating "like looking through water". - end quote.

So if thousands of people reported this - i would like to know where are these thousands reports and where or to who did they reported this ? The police ? News reporters ? Government agencies ?
I would love to see and read all these reports.

But then there rises another question up into my mind :

If over a thousand people saw the same thing and describe the same thing, seprately from each other and without knowing each other, what kind of credibility does that give ?
Does that necesarily mean that the flare theory isnt true ?
Video evidence of the lights showed after examination flares so how come people reported a craft ?

Also a 30 minute observation is a pretty long time and thats long enough to get recorded so why isnt there more photographical or video evidence especialy in a dense populated area.
 
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Alphadunk

Active Member
They just look like flares to me. I've never understood the fixation on this event, it doesn't seem all that interesting in hindsight.
 

Ulrich

New Member
I watched several documentations about that event. Most of them you can find on youtube. The footage you can see at #1 is labeled as flares, used by the military nearby. Unfortunately, the real phenomena is not on photo or film. The media use this flare-footage as a symbol.

On the other hand, there is a huge and impressing amount of eye witnesses. Including a governor. Its interesting stuff. There was another big event. So called Belgium-Ufo-Wave. Many, many eyewitnesses there as well. Including clueless Military and Police. Interesting stuff as well.
 

Alphadunk

Active Member
Perhaps. Unfortunately without photos, video, radar data, etc. there really isn't much to discuss. At that point it's just a story. Personally I find stuff like Roswell and the Nimitz encounter a little more interesting just because, however unlikely it may be, there exists the possibility of tangible evidence that hasn't been revealed to the public. I suppose you could make the same argument for the Phoenix lights but I'm not aware of anyone ever really making any headway as far as getting FOIA's approved or anything like that.
 

Ulrich

New Member
Yes. You are definitely right. Nothing really to debunk regarding the Phoenix Lights. Regarding the belgium Ufo Wave, there were press-conferences where fighter-videos were shown. Maybe I am going to offer that topic in a thread for discussion. But I dont know how much data is available.

Source: https://youtu.be/s7psGj4M1ZI
 

Vattic

New Member
If over a thousand people saw the same thing and describe the same thing, seprately from each other and without knowing each other, what kind of credibility does that give ?
Does that necesarily mean that the flare theory isnt true ?
Video evidence of the lights showed after examination flares so how come people reported a craft ?
From my understanding the sightings took place on March 13, 1997. It's claimed that there were two separate sightings that day, the second being where almost all of the video footage comes from, and which is commonly explained as flares. Part of the confusion I believe stems from the two instances being conflated, with help from the media.

There were allegedly two distinct events involved in the incident: a triangular formation of lights seen to pass over the state, and a series of stationary lights seen in the Phoenix area. The United States Air Force identified the second group of lights as flares dropped by A-10 Warthog aircraft that were on training exercises at the Barry Goldwater Range in southwest Arizona.

Witnesses claim to have observed a huge carpenter's square-shaped UFO, containing five spherical lights or possibly light-emitting engines. Fife Symington, the governor at the time, was one witness to this incident; he later called the object "otherworldly."
Quote from https://mufon.com/phoenix-lights---1997.html (Archive)

When it comes to credibility people saw something. Their descriptions are quite varied however. According to the MUFON site the second event was localised to the Phoenix area at around 10 pm. I'm going to quote testimony reported to be from from before this time to try and only get descriptions of the first event. Obviously there are issues with this, for one people might not be able to accurately remember when they had their sightings.

At about 18:55 PST (19:55 MST), a man reported seeing a V-shaped object above Henderson, Nevada. He said it was about the "size of a (Boeing) 747", sounded like "rushing wind", and had six lights on its leading edge. The lights reportedly traversed northwest to the southeast.

An unidentified former police officer from Paulden, Arizona is claimed to have been the next person to report a sighting after leaving his house at about 20:15 MST. As he was driving north, he allegedly saw a cluster of reddish or orange lights in the sky, comprising four lights together and a fifth light trailing them. Each of the individual lights in the formation appeared to the witness to consist of two separate point sources of orange light. He returned home and through binoculars watched the lights until they disappeared south over the horizon.
Lights were also reportedly seen in the areas of Prescott and Prescott Valley. At approximately 20:17 MST, callers began reporting the object was definitely solid, because it blocked out much of the starry sky as it passed over.

John Kaiser was standing outside with his wife and sons in Prescott Valley when they noticed a cluster of lights to the west-northwest of their position. The lights formed a triangular pattern, but all of them appeared to be red, except the light at the nose of the object, which was distinctly white. The object, or objects, which had been observed for approximately 2 to 3 minutes with binoculars, then passed directly overhead the observers, they were seen to "Bank to the right", and they then disappeared in the night sky to the southeast of Prescott Valley. The altitude could not be determined, however it was fairly low and made no sound whatsoever.

The National UFO Reporting Center received the following report from the Prescott area:

While doing astrophotography I observed five yellow-white lights in a "V" formation moving slowly from the northwest, across the sky to the northeast, then turn almost due south and continue until out of sight. The point of the "V" was in the direction of movement. The first three lights were in a fairly tight "V" while two of the lights were further back along the lines of the "V"'s legs. During the NW-NE transit one of the trailing lights moved up and joined the three and then dropped back to the trailing position. I estimated the three light "V" to cover about 0.5 degrees of sky and the whole group of five lights to cover about 1 degree of sky.
At the town of Dewey, 10 miles (16 km) east of Prescott, Arizona, six people saw a large cluster of lights while driving northbound on Highway 69.
Tim Ley and his wife Bobbi, his son Hal and his grandson Damien Turnidge first saw the lights when they were above Prescott Valley about 65 miles (100 km) away from them. At first they appeared to them as five separate and distinct lights in an arc-shape like they were on top of a balloon, but they soon realized the lights appeared to be moving towards them. Over the next ten or so minutes they appeared to be coming closer and the distance between the lights increased and they took on the shape of an upside down V. Eventually when the lights appeared to be a couple of miles away the witnesses could make out a shape that looked like a 60-degree carpenter's square with the five lights set into it, with one at the front and two on each side. Soon the object with the embedded lights appeared to be coming right down the street where they lived about 100 to 150 feet (30 to 45 meters) above them, traveling so slowly it appeared to hover and was silent. The object then seemed to pass over their heads and went through a V opening in the peaks of the mountain range towards Squaw Peak Mountain and toward the direction of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport. Witnesses in Glendale, a suburb northwest of Phoenix, saw the object pass overhead at an altitude high enough to become obscured by the thin clouds; this was at approximately between 20:30 and 20:45 MST.
Quotes from https://mufon.com/phoenix-lights---1997.html (Archive)

David Holthouse and Michael Kiefer were in separate parts of the Valley that night, but their reports are remarkably consistent: Each saw a V-shape of five lights moving slowly from north to south. The lights were bright and yellow-white, and seemed very high in the sky. No sound accompanied them. Holthouse says he perceived that something connected the lights in a boomerang shape; Kiefer disagrees, saying they didn't seem connected.
That night Mitch and his mother, Linda, were in the backyard and noticed the lights coming from the north. Since the lights seemed to be moving so slowly, Mitch attempted to capture them in the scope. He succeeded, and the leading three lights fit in his field of vision. Linda asked what they were.

"Planes," Mitch said.
It was plain to see, he says. What looked like individual lights to the naked eye actually split into two under the resolving power of the telescope. The lights were located on the undersides of squarish wings, Mitch says. And the planes themselves seemed small, like light private planes.
Quotes from Phoenix New Times - The Great UFO Cover-up by Tony Ortega

You also have broader claims made in the media about mile long and multiple football field size craft.
On March 13, 1997, during Symington's second term as governor, thousands saw a vast triangular and V-shaped object, gliding slowly and silently across the Arizona sky. Witnesses throughout the state estimated that the eerie, lighted objects were bigger than many football fields, as much as a mile long.
Quote from The Daily Courier - Symington confirms he saw UFO 10 years ago (Archive)

Though Symington, did claim it was vast and slow.
I witnessed a massive delta-shaped, craft silently navigate over Squaw Peak, a mountain range in Phoenix, Arizona. It was truly breathtaking. I was absolutely stunned because I was turning to the west looking for the distant Phoenix Lights.

To my astonishment this apparition appeared; this dramatically large, very distinctive leading edge with some enormous lights was traveling through the Arizona sky.
Quote from CNN - Symington: I saw a UFO in the Arizona sky

The most consistent elements are lights in a V shape, apparent slow speed, and their south-ish direction.

The size and altitude varies a lot from a group of small planes, lights only filling 1 degree of the sky, to a Boeing 747, vast, mile long, and bigger than many football fields. Anything from fairly low, 100-150 feet, to very high. Whether the lights were part of a single object or were separate objects flying together is disputed.

One anecdote I heard years back was about how the object disappeared when one witness saw it fly in front of the moon. That they thought it was some kind of cloaking device. The only mention I can find of this now.
In a very telling case, a man who swore he saw a black shape joining the lights of the vee saw it pass directly in front of the moon. At that point, he saw not a black shape but wavy lines pass over the undimmed moon. But rather than conclude that he’d seen the contrails of planes, the man, whose perception had already been heavily influenced by the UFO explanation concluded instead that the pilot of the alien craft had turned his spaceship transparent right at that moment so the man could see the moon through it.
Quote from The Phoenix Lights Explained (Again) by Tony Ortega
 

Daves!

Member
Yes. You are definitely right. Nothing really to debunk regarding the Phoenix Lights. Regarding the belgium Ufo Wave, there were press-conferences where fighter-videos were shown. Maybe I am going to offer that topic in a thread for discussion. But I dont know how much data is available.

Source: https://youtu.be/s7psGj4M1ZI
The Phoenix sighting and the Belgium sighting Eupen only connection was that hundreds people saw it and describing a Triangle or V shaped slow hovering craft. There is only one picture of that craft which seems hoaxed. But other than that they have nothing in common. Somehow people do connect those two cases for what any reason is beyond me.

Attached picture is the one form Belgium Belgian_ufo4_actual.jpg
 

Ulrich

New Member
The Phoenix sighting and the Belgium sighting Eupen only connection was that hundreds people saw it and describing a Triangle or V shaped slow hovering craft. There is only one picture of that craft which seems hoaxed. But other than that they have nothing in common. Somehow people do connect those two cases for what any reason is beyond me.

Attached picture is the one form Belgium Belgian_ufo4_actual.jpg
Yes. This picture is claimed to be hoaxed. But there is just this one statement of this belgian guy, who says he did it. I am more curious about these fighter Videos shown on these press conferences 1990. We discuss a lot of fighter pilot stuff here so maybe that would fit.
 

Daves!

Member
Yes. This picture is claimed to be hoaxed. But there is just this one statement of this belgian guy, who says he did it. I am more curious about these fighter Videos shown on these press conferences 1990. We discuss a lot of fighter pilot stuff here so maybe that would fit.
I live in the Netherlands not so far from the border with Belgium and i recall it was also in the Dutch news. But i think we should make a separate thread for it. The fighter footage is something i think can be debunked too.
 

Mauro

Active Member
But i think we should make a separate thread for it.
Pretty true. Anyway the Belgian UFO flap has been thoroughly debunked already. As usual Wikipedia is a good place to start to look for infos.
 
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JMartJr

Senior Member
The Lennie Rudin video seems to have no independent existencebon the Internet, at least to the limit of my search engine skills. I find references to it as being in a Discovery Channel documentary, and one still from the vid. I swung and I missed, coach! FWIW, my recollection is that the significance of it was that while witnesses thought the lights were closer to them than the mountains were, Rudin's piece demonstrated that they were beyond the mountains -- and so in the area where the military exercise was dropping flares. And also that the lights were sinking slowly until they set behind the mountains, which is how parachute flares would be expected to move.
 
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