What Were the Phoenix Lights?

By | June 14, 2019

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The Phoenix Lights. Source: (theblackvault.com)

The 1997 event known as the Phoenix Lights has gone down in history as one of the largest UFO sightings ever. While many consider the rumors of extraterrestrial origin to have been debunked, accepting the explanation that the lights were flares, others insist there is more to the story and many link the Phoenix lights to the Hale-Bopp comet which passed the Earth that year.

The sighting occurred on March 13, 1997, and has been described as “a slanting line of bright lights” which appeared one at a time in the sky over Phoenix, Arizona, before disappearing over the Sierra Estrella mountains. Over the next few weeks, witnesses from all over the state, as far away as Henderson, Nevada, reported seeing the lights. These witness accounts were backed by hundreds of photos and videos, making the Phoenix Lights not only one of the largest, but also one of the most documented UFO sightings in history.

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Newspaper coverage of the first incident. Source: (youtube.com)

However, not all of the witness accounts are the same. In fact, many of them posit that there were actually two incidents that night. The first occurred around 7 pm. A large craft was allegedly seen passing overhead in northwestern Arizona. The first phone call to the National UFO Reporting Center was made by a retired police officer in Paulden who claimed to have seen a “cluster of red-orange lights arranged in a V-formation.” The phone call was followed by numerous reports from cities south of Paulden. While some details varied, all of the reports stated that it was an enormous craft moving slowly and silently, occasionally stopping to hover. The second event, which occurred around 10 pm, was the one to appear in the photos and videos. Rather than a V-formation, this one was an arc which consisted of blinking orbs.