The Phoenix Lights


The Phoenix Lights
by JiIaen Sherwood

On Monday, 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.

Bill 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

The Amazing 'Phoenix Lights' Event Sequence Of 13 March 1997
By Bill Hamilton

For 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 known.

As we probed further my co-investigator Michael Tanner came up with a further analysis:

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 below.

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 look.

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 reports:

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, Inc.

USA TODAY, PHOENIX, Ariz. Published on June18th1997
By Richard Price

Something 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.

"I'll 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.'

"Now 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."

So 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.

The 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.

It 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.

The 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.

A 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.

"The 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."

A similar display of lights at Oneida Lake, NY State - May 1997

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