March 10th, 1997, strange lights were seen over Phoenix and other parts
of Arizona. The following nights they were also sighted. And then on
March 13th thousands of people witnessed these lights in the Arizona
sky, and several people videotaped this spectacular event.
The first report that evening came from a retired police officer in
Paulden, north of Prescott at 8.16 pm. He reported seeing five red lights
heading south, and two minutes later a report came in from someone in
Prescott, 16 miles away; they saw one red light and four white lights.
By the time the objects
reached Phoenix people were seeing white lights only, and people saw
them in a 'V-shaped formation.
Witnesses also saw and videotaped lights blinking on and off in the
sky, starting with one light, and then blinking one after the other,
up to eight lights, and one trailing light. Some of the witnesses were
of military backgrounds, and some were pilots. They could not identify
the craft. They said it had no sound at night.
Other witnesses who saw it at Casa Grande said it was big enough to
land airplanes on.
Greiner, a truck driver, was driving on Interstate 10 when he first
saw the lights, and when he parked his truck at 10 pm he saw two illuminated
'toy tops, as he calls them, with red rings around them.
Mr Greiner then witnessed three F-16 tighter jets take off from the
nearby Luke Air Force Base. "One of the jets started to close in
on the 'toy top' object, which is glowing and pulsating with a red rim
around it. As the jet tries to intercept it just goes up and disappears."
Lieutenant Colonel Hauser from Luke Air Force Base admitted to having
F-16 jets in the area at the time of the sighting, and said that they
were on a training mission.
Sky Harbour Airport said they never picked up anything on radar that
night. The military said that the lights were flares, hut it is quite
obvious that these lights were much too bright for flares.
Flares don't hover in the sky like this, and there was no smoke or sparks
coming from them.
In other states people are seeing lights like this, and there always
seems to he some kind of cover-up story involving flares. More debunking
perhaps. There were no flares over Phoenix that night.
Since the first reports of this sighting came in other witnesses have
seen this V- shaped formation of lights.
It was first sighted at 7.55 pm Mountain time over Nevada, and then
between the hours of ( 7.30 - 8.00 pm in Lucerne and Bear Valley, California,
which is near Victorville.
John Greenwald submitted a request for FOIA (Freedom Of Information
Act) documents to be released from Luke Air Force Base. They replied
immediately and said they had no response to the lights over
Amazing 'Phoenix Lights' Event Sequence Of 13 March 1997
By Bill Hamilton
clarification on what happened on March 13, 1997 over Phoenix and Arizona
I made the following event analysis after initial investigation:
Event 1 of a Type 1 object is the sighting of the boomerang formation.
However, the number of lights in the boomerang seemed to vary along
the path of the object from 5 to 7 according to the witnesses. Some
of the witnesses described this formation or object as huge, even up
to 1 mile in span. It traveled, according to all witnesses, on a trajectory
from Northwest to Southeast. It traveled at slow velocity along most
of its course with one exception where it seemed to accelerate quickly.
Its altitude was estimated to be below 5,000 feet. We know this is simply
an estimate as it is difficult to determine the altitude of a flying
object in the night sky. The witnesses agreed they could hear no sound
emanating from the boomerang. The color of the lights changed between
white and red.
Event 2 of a Type 2 object was the big black triangular form that was
estimated by some witnesses to be as large as 2 miles in span! The lights
on this object varied from none to as many as 9 amber lights. Some saw
white lights, but they did not glow brightly. This object was seen to
apparently deploy one of the lights to the west as it was moving on
its southeasterly trajectory. The independent light-object has been
described as a small orb or sphere that glows, but does not cast a corona,
glare, or reflection from opaque surfaces.
Event 3 - lights were the formation of amber-gold-orange lights seen
arrayed near the Estrella Mountains and videotaped at around 10:00 p.m.
It turns out by actual count that 8 lights formed part of an arc and
1 light was separated from this arc by a downward 10-degree angle from
an imaginary coordinate system. This separated light from a closer perspective
was actually two lights extremely close together. These lights looked
to be perfectly round when seen through a telescope and had no corona
or glare emanating from them.
Event 4 of a Type 3 object were the 2 large top-shaped object with engirdling
pulsing rings of red light seen by Bill Greiner near Luke AFB. These
lights were also seen traveling North to South on the west side of the
valley. Bill reported seeing 3 jets take off from Luke AFB to intercept
the nearest object. That object then performed a rapid vertical ascent
leaving the planes far behind.
Event 5 - Globes were reported seen in the vicinity of the triangle
described as Event 2. These were large white luminescent globes that
hovered silently over Fountain Hills, east of Scottsdale. These were
somewhat similar to the objects seen by Bill Greiner, but no pulsing
ring was seen.
At this point in the analysis we knew that these objects were unconventional;
they did not behave like a conventional aircraft or natural objects.
They were unidentified; they were not identifiable as a known class
of objects or aircraft according to the descriptions given by witnesses.
They were unknown; the origin and nature of the objects are not generally
we probed further my co-investigator Michael Tanner came up with a further
1. FORMATION OF HOVERING ORBS - First observed in a hexagram pattern
at about 7:30 p.m. over the Superstition Mountains area east of Phoenix
in the characteristic 8+1(or 2) formation of amber orbs and was next
seen in two separate arc patterns with "trailing lights" over
Gila River area at about 9:50 and again at 10:00 at the southern edge
of Phoenix where they were seen by thousands and videotaped by a handful
who had camcorders close enough at hand to catch the fleeting minutes
of their displays. These amateur videos have immortalized the orb formations,
becoming known around the world as The Phoenix Lights. These are the
very same lights that started the controversy over "flares"
and that will be taken up in the next chapter. The last appearance of
the hovering orbs of the night was made over a now recognized "hot-spot"
of Rainbow Valley arrayed in a "V" formation at about 2:00
a.m. on March 14th (and again appeared on January 14, 1998).
2. "V" FORMATION OF FLYING ORBS - First seen leaving the Henderson-Las
Vegas area and entering Arizona at high speed, a V-formation of five
to seven orbs, variously seen as bright blue-white to a yellow-white,
came through the Prescott Valley area at low altitude by 7:50 p.m.,
turning south, where by 8:28, were videotaped (displaying their characteristic
movement within the formation) at the north end of the valley that comprises
the Phoenix metro area. In an apparent slower mode of flight, the orbs
appeared at that point as amber in color as the formation moved along
Interstate 10 angling toward Tucson after having been visually seen
(not on radar) to intersect air traffic coming in on approach to Sky
Harbor International Airport. After hovering for several minutes over
a car full of witnesses driving north on I-10 at 65 mph, the formation
was then picked up by observers in the Oracle area who reported the
orbs' color as red to red-orange before the formation split up, going
in separate directions while skirting the edges of the Tucson metropolitan
area. At various points independent of this very specific formation,
individual orbs were seen to shoot across the metro Phoenix valley with
some moving away from and then re-docking with one or more of the Very
Large Objects (VLOs) which came through later in the night.
3. CHEVRON VLO (narrow angle) - Observed first as a "V" formation
of five white lights moving slowly and silently toward Prescott Valley
from the northwest at about 8:15 p.m., the "chevron" was soon
clearly seen as a single object. The huge craft made a pivot turn over
the witnesses' home there while the lights shifted into an arc formation
while the lights turned red and then it shot off at blinding speed toward
Phoenix. At that time the next set of witnesses in central Phoenix saw
the object coming directly toward them (estimated at Mach 2 or 3) while
still in the "turbo" mode arc configuration, and then, as
if to slow back down again, was seen to change back into a "V"
whereupon it cruised silently and slowly right over their heads (only
100 to 200 feet above at 10 or 15 mph). The craft was later seen to
zigzag through the valley, even changing altitude at various points
and hovering for five minutes at the edge of Sky Harbor before proceeding
south (right over the Village Lab building) to Interstate-10. After
following I-10 several miles to Picacho Peak, the enormous craft (estimated
at 900 feet or more on each leading edge and more than a mile in length
to its "taillights") hovered once again for 10 to 15 minutes
until there was no further track of it. According to Michael, this is
a possible docking point for this craft and the giant triangle that
followed it down I-10 some fifteen minutes later. This same "chevron"
or similar craft was seen traveling east to west over north Phoenix
at about 10:50 p.m.
4. BOOMERANG VLO (wide angle) - This "V" formation, consisting
of five groups of three lights, was confirmed to be a single huge object
by various Prescott-area witnesses, being equivalent to a formation
of five 747s flying absolutely lock-step in formation toward Phoenix.
The craft was seen to make a southerly turn at about 8:25, once again,
in the Prescott Valley area, after first approaching from the northwest.
This VLO was later seen (although not clearly enough to identify) by
an America West pilot who called Sky Harbor tower wondering what "those
nine lights were", and an amateur astronomer in Phoenix who wrote
it off as a formation of conventional airplanes. It is possible that
this craft was the same as the giant triangle(wide angle) described
5. TRIANGULAR VLO (narrow angle) - This is the one seen by the family
in Chandler. It may be the same Triangle or Deltoid craft seen by others
as a wide angle craft. It had definite structure complete with panels
in a grid along with lights at each of the three corners and a larger
center light. Multiple witnesses confirm its northwest to southeast
flight path through the eastern part of the valley with some observers
seeing one or more orbs leaving and then re-docking with this VLO at
various points. This particular craft was seen to "split in two"
by a resident in Gilbert, south of Chandler.
6. BIG BLACK TRIANGLE (wide angle) - By all accounts the largest of
the VLOs in the March 13th parade of craft, this gigantic craft was
first seen at close range over north Phoenix between 8:30 and 8:45 where
the key witnesses (real estate people who subdivided the area) estimated
its size to be as much as two miles wide as its wingtip lights fell
over two parallel streets that are 1.8 miles apart. Its flight path
brought it low to the ground at this point (less than 2,000 feet) where
it was seen to not only have dozens of lights along its leading edges,
but also a row of windows wherein the silhouettes of "people"
were observed! At some point further south, other witnesses reported
that they saw nothing but the row of windows with beings (also in silhouette)
as all of the lights were turned off at that point. By the time the
VLO was seen over I-10 south of Casa Grande, however, three large lights
were seen to be turned on, one at each corner, with smaller lights on
along with the leading headlight. The witnesses here reported that it
took them one to two minutes to drive under this immense ship while
they were driving at 80 mph! They estimated the width of this VLO to
be at least two, possibly three miles wide and big enough for a C5-A
Galaxy or "Condor" troop transport (the largest conventional
aircraft known) to land upon it! The craft had definite structure to
it and the family of witnesses described its color as a flat blue-black
like the color of a shotgun barrel. They also reported seeing rectangular
"panel-like" structures on the underside of this craft.
Another large triangle was seen moving just north of Thunderbird Road
at around 10:45 p.m., but the configuration of the triangle was different.
That triangle had a V-cut into its trailing edge to give it a very distinctive
7. GIANT DISCOID VLO - Witnessed first by a retired airline pilot, his
sons and a friend, and seen coming down Scottsdale Road at about 10:20
p.m., this huge circular craft, featuring amber lights around its perimeter
(at an estimated one mile in diameter) was seen to make a purposeful
turn toward Sky Harbor at about Camelback Road where it also intersected
air traffic before disappearing from view over South Mountain. The corroborating
central Phoenix witness, also a former pilot (Vietnam) and retired U.S.
Marshal, described how the craft both reflected the city lights on its
underbelly and blocked out the stars with its upper half, attesting
to its being a single craft of spectacular "mile-wide" proportions.
This witness also claimed to have videotaped what he saw from the roof
of his apartment building, but his tapes mysteriously disappeared in
what may amount to a genuine "men-in-black (MIB)" episode.
This craft may also have docked with the "chevron" craft and
cloaked in "visual stealth" mode in its earlier pass through
Phoenix at about 8:20 to 8:30, but this is purest speculation. The two
craft reappeared (or two similar ones) in June and were photographed
together at high altitude over Phoenix by the same witnesses with a
35mm camera while also viewing them with binoculars. A separate set
of unconnected witnesses also reported the sighting of a huge discoid
craft (bigger than Sun Devil Stadium at ASU) hovering at treetop level
right off of the west end of the Sky Harbor runways at between 2:00
and 3:00 a.m. one morning about two weeks before March 13th.
8. MILITARY JET/UFO INTERCEPTION ATTEMPTS - We have to date identified
four such events (there may be more) that clearly point to the conclusion
that the Phoenix Lights UFO incident of March 13, 1997 was certainly
no secret "black ops" or classified military exercise as many
people would like to believe. A woman who lives next to Luke Air Force
Base in the west part of the valley surfaced to report that at least
6 pairs of jets and as many as 8 were "scrambled" out of the
base on the night of March 13th, something she could never recall witnessing
before. One researcher called Luke AFB and asked someone who was out
on the flight line if anything was seen by base personnel, and, unofficially,
he answered that "they" were all over the place. The response
from Luke spokesmen and their response to FOIA requests indicate that
they were receiving phone calls about the lights, but never scrambled
any jets to pursue them. Witnesses say different. Here are the witness
A) Crown King at 5:30 p.m. - A formation of 3 huge "Vs" were
seen hovering over this pine-topped mountain and were soon joined by
a diamond-shaped or triangular craft which appeared "out of thin
air" (at first seen as an amber light). As the four objects were
hovering together, two jets were seen to come low from the south (from
the direction of Luke AFB) at which point the UFOs went into a "stack",
collapsed upon each other while going "into a ball", then
totally disappeared! This would be called a case of high strangeness.
Finding nothing there, the two jets circled the Crown King area and
returned in the direction of the base. Similar disappearing acts of
formations of "Vs", one over Lake Mead that afternoon and
on March 27th over Elmont, New York were reported to Village Labs after
seeing the article published in USA Today.
B) Central Phoenix at 8:15 p.m. - A pair of F-15s were dispatched from
Luke AFB to attempt an interception of one or more of the Vs approaching
or entering the valley at that time. This was reported to NUFORC by
a ground crewman at Luke who stated that the aircraft were equipped
with gun cameras and that one of the pilots had to be helped out of
his plane because he was so shaken by his encounter. A cursory check
revealed that Luke AFB no longer has F-15s in its inventory and only
has the F-16 aircraft. However, at one time both were maintained at
Luke. Could these F-15s have been visiting aircraft? There is still
some attempt to locate the civilian witness who corroborated this story.
C) North Phoenix at 9:30 p.m. - One of the witnesses who had earlier
witnesses with his wife the giant wide-angle triangle reported that
when he was later at home, he saw in the distance what appeared to be
the return of the triangle, this time with only three lights on, one
at each corner. As the UFO hovered near the Deer Valley Airport in northwest
Phoenix, he saw two military jets approach the triangle, with one jet
seen to pass one side of it and the other seen to fly up under it, veering
down at the last moment to avoid midair collision.
D) Luke AFB at 10:00 p.m. - (The original Event 4 - the first aircraft/UFO
encounter to be reported). A truck driver who had been watching two
unusual amber lights move ahead of him to the south for fully two hours
as he drove down I-17 from Camp Verde, reported that as he neared his
destination, a materials plant near Luke AFB, the two UFOs seemed to
have stopped their movement and were hovering. Once at the plant, while
waiting for his truck to be unloaded, he stood on a pile of materials
to watch what were now seen as two identical, toy-top like amber orbs
(like hot air balloons without hanging baskets) having a white iridescent
sheen and a band of red pulsating light, with the nearest to him being
one to two miles distant right near the runway at Luke. Suddenly, two
F-16s, followed by a third, "blasted out of Luke with their afterburners
on full", made a steep bank directly over the witness and headed
straight for the nearest UFO. At the moment the lead jets were about
to close on the UFO, it shot straight up and disappeared "in an
instant" as the jets passed right through the very spot where the
object had been hovering. The second UFO also vanished, as it was no
longer hovering in the northwest.
As you can see by Michael Tanner's event analysis and my own event analysis,
there was a lot of activity on March 13th, yet the media chose to cover
only 2 of these events. The Big Black Triangle has been virtually ignored
by the journalists and is considered significant since these triangles
have been reported more frequently throughout most of the world.
The story on these events will be in the next issue of UFO magazine
and air on The Learning Channel March 5th.
Sincerely, Bill Hamilton Executive Director Skywatch International,
TODAY, PHOENIX, Ariz. Published on June18th1997
happened in-the skies over Arizona the night of March 13. No one is
sure what it was but thousands saw it dozens videotaped it and people
all over the state are haunted by it still.
never be the same," Bill Greiner, 51, a cement truck driver, says.
He was hauling a load down a mountain north of Phoenix when he saw two
brilliantly lit orbs, shaped like spinning tops. "Before this,
if anybody'd told me they saw a UFO, I would've said, 'Yeah, and I believe
in the tooth fairy.'
I've got a whole new view. I may be just a dumb truck driver, but I've
seen something that don't belong here."
what did Greiner and every- body else see? That question has rat- tied
around this state for three months. Officials at Luke Air Force Base
in nearby Glendale are bombarded with calls for an investiga- tion,
even though the US. government is officially out of the UFO business.
subject surfaces constantly on talk shows. And the army of people demanding
answers has grown to the point that a Phoenix city council- woman has
launched an inquiry.
could have been a hoax. It could have been an illusion. It could have
been almost anything. But the events of March 13 may add up to the most
contentious and confounding UFO report since the so-called UFO age was
launched 50 years ago by the legendary crash of a "spaceship"
outside Roswell, N.M.
sightings come at a time when interest in UFOs borders on a national
obsession, saturating the movie industry, television and literature.
A Poll this month by CNN and Time magazirie- found that 22% of adult
Americans believe intelligent beings from other planets have been in
con- tact with human beings.
Gallup poll last September found that 72% of Americans think there is
life on other planets. And 71% said they think the U.S. government knows
more about UFOs than it's telling.
fact is that more people are seriously interested in UFOs now than they
ever have," Don Ecker, research director and news editor at UFO
Magazine, says. "Convincing the govern- ment may be an exercise
in futiity, but it's not hard to find believers on the streets."
similar display of lights at Oneida Lake, NY State - May 1997