Inside the Mystery of the 'Phoenix Lights'

The official explanation is a military exercise, but...
By Evann Gastaldo,  Newser Staff
Posted Mar 13, 2017 7:32 PM CDT

Two decades after mysterious lights were seen in the sky above Phoenix, the so-called "Phoenix Lights" are still confounding—and controversial. On March 13, 1997, many people saw the lights; some theorized they were from military flares or hot air balloons, while others suspected extraterrestrial beings. The story has since become UFO lore. Former Phoenix City Councilwoman Frances Barwood talks to Fox 10 about her experience speaking out about the lights; she brought them up at a City Council meeting and asked for them to be investigated but "was met by a whole bunch of stares," she recalls. A city manager even told her she shouldn't have asked the question. But hundreds of people who'd seen the lights started calling her, and "they all described exactly the same thing," she says.

Per the Arizona Republic, the lights were described as being in a V-formation and they reportedly traveled over a 300-mile area. Barwood was convinced the witnesses must be telling the truth, but she was ridiculed in the media and in local government as a conspiracy theorist. Years later, Arizona's then-governor, Fife Symington, has admitted he saw the lights: "I saw a huge craft come right over Squaw Peak," he says. But there are still no answers, though physician Lynne Kitei, who also saw the lights, is still investigating the phenomenon, and has published a book and a documentary on the subject. "We need to address it," she says. "Accept it and study it, so we can find out who is driving these things as well as move forward in our own evolution." The official explanation? A military exercise involving planes flying in formation and dropping high-intensity flares. (More strange stuff stories.)

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