The Phoenix Lights - Debunking The Debunkers
Common myths and misconceptions. Get the facts straight and ask the right questions!
by Steve Lantz
Copyright ©2007 Steve Lantz
Posted: 01:30 March 3, 2007
On March 13th 1997, an extraordinary event occurred across the state of Arizona that has become the subject of great debate in the UFO community. Hundreds, and perhaps thousands of witnesses from all walks of life reported seeing a large V-shaped craft, over a mile across with unusual lights, travel slowly and silently by at a very low altitude. Some witnesses who reported being directly underneath it as it passed, said it drifted right over the housetops, so close it seemed "they could almost touch it." Witness accounts suggest that at least one unknown craft and possibly others passed directly over Phoenix and penetrated through Sky Harbor airspace, before drifting off to the south towards Tucson. At least one air traffic controller, who now refuses to be identified, admitted in a televised news interview that he saw the lights from the tower using binoculars, but did not see anything on radar.
Photo by Lynne D. Kitei, M.D.
Skeptics and debunkers dismiss the event as flares or a host of other manmade or natural explanations while thousands of witnesses insist that what they saw cannot be explained in any known terms. There are many facts, photos, witness accounts and notable circumstances that are attached to the event and similar events that have occurred all over the world that are largely ignored by the media and completely ignored by a few staunch skeptics and debunkers who get way more media attention than they deserve. First and very importantly, to avoid confusion we need to classify the Phoenix Lights Phenomenon into two categories:
LIGHTS ON MOVING CRAFT: These are the lights associated with the March 13th event (shortly after 8pm) that appeared to be fixed to a large V-shaped or triangular shaped craft. There are varying witness descriptions of different light arrays, patterns and number of lights which could suggest the possibility of multiple craft or a singular craft that changed as it flew across the Arizona skies. Witnesses all unanimously agree that the craft, or multiple craft, were completely silent and flew very close to the ground. One craft was over a mile wide according to hundreds of documented witness accounts.
ORBS: These are luminescent amber orbs that randomly appear individually, in pairs or groups. They can appear together in rigid formation or separated by miles. These orbs defy explanation and are the variety I personally witnessed on November 21st 2005 (read about my sighting). They do not flicker or emit any smoke trails and remain perfectly fixed in their position relative to each other and to the ground. Dr. Lynne Kitei, a well-respected Phoenix physician and key witness to the Phoenix Lights, personally observed these anomalous lights very close to her mountainside home in 1995. She had the unique opportunity to observe a trio of orbs in close proximity (less than 200 feet away) and described them as balls of amber light approximately 3 to 6 feet across. They did not glare, emit any beam of light or illuminate their adjacent surroundings. She could not identify what they were, but managed to capture them in a photograph. She said they dimmed out one by one "as if on a dimmer switch."
The orbs are a separate phenomenon from what happened on March 13th 1997, which by all accounts was a massive UFO flyover. The orbs are fiercely argued to be flares dropped by the military due to their similar appearance. Skeptics have thrown out many explanations, none of which have been substantiated by any facts or witness accounts.
FLARE THEORY: By far the most common theory and the official theory given by the local Phoenix military. First let me point out that I am fully aware of the Barry Goldwater test range. I know where it is in proximity to Phoenix and I have an excellent understanding of the activity that takes place there based on numerous sources including military personnel. I know what flares look like, both from personal observation and analysis of video footage and photos, and I have personally spoken to military personnel who work with flares on a daily basis, including a highly qualified pyrotechnic expert. I don't dispute that the military drops flares over the Barry Goldwater Range and that pilots often jettison their remaining flares before returning to base. I also agree that some, not all of the reported sightings of strange lights and a number of photos and videos that have been circulated around were indeed flares.
The big question here is; "If flares are routinely dropped over the Barry Goldwater Range and they have done so for many, many years, wouldn't it be logical to assume that most Phoenicians would be used to seeing them and that any reports by people (i.e. newcomers and visitors) mistaking them for a UFO would be relatively few and far between? What would prompt thousands of people to suddenly call into local newspapers, police stations, news stations, radio stations and Luke Air Force base, all on the same night and all around the same time? It is plainly obvious that many people saw something very strange (not something as mundane and routine as a flare drop) and felt compelled to report it and find out what it was.
I challenge the debunkers who insist that ALL Phoenix Lights reports were actually flares, to consider looking at the real facts rather than dismiss the hundreds of verifiable witness reports, photos and investigative evidence out of hand. If there is conclusive evidence that can explain everything away and prove it was only flares, bring it to the table and let the public see it! The flare theory is a nice convenient way to explain glowing lights in the sky and seems like the most logical explanation for the Phoenix Lights until you consider all of the reasons why the theory doesn't work:
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