Phoenix Lights

March 1997
Screengrab of a video AZCentral video of the Phoenix Lights. Provenance unknown.
Screengrab of a video AZCentral video of the Phoenix Lights. Provenance unknown.

"Bigger than anything I've ever seen in the sky ... absolutely silent." Thousands of people across Nevada and Arizona witnessed two different sets of lights in the sky on March 13, 1997. The U.S. military explanation has left many in the public unconvinced.

On March 13, 1997, thousands of people across a geography that spanned across Southern Nevada and much of Arizona described seeing varying lights in the sky between approximately 7:30 PM and 10:30 PM MST.

V-shaped Object Traveling SE

Just before 8 PM in Henderson, Nevada, a witness reported a large object with five lights in a v-shape (or boomerang formation) passing overhead, traveling in a southeasterly direction towards Arizona. Many people subsequently spotted this object across Nevada and Arizona, continuing over Phoenix, and as far as Tucson and even parts of Mexico. This object was, according to on-the-ground observers, moving slowly, close to the ground, and silently as it passed overhead.

The Governor of Arizona at the time, Fyfe Symington, witnessed this object, and gained notoriety for publicly joking about it in a press conference, but later describing it with awe and the opinion that it was not made by humans. A pilot and former member of the Air Force, he said, "It's nothing like I've ever seen ... it was pretty breathtaking. Bigger than anything I've ever seen in the sky. It was absolutely silent."

Falling Lights

Later on this same evening at about 10:00 PM MST, many people in metro Phoenix described lights hovering or slowly falling from the sky. Distinct from the other objects, witnesses described them as extremely bright and moving vertically.

Possible Explanations

According to the U.S. military, the v-shaped formation was actually five A-10 Warthog aircraft flying over Phoenix participating in Operation Snowbird, and that the "falling lights" from 10pm were flares that were ejected by A-10 Warthogs. This explanation has been accepted by some, and dismissed by others, including former Governor Fyfe Symington.


The Phoenix Lights Explained (Again)
Phoenix Lights Network: Evolution to a New Consciousness
Wikipedia: "Phoenix Lights"

Official Explanation

Flares dropped from A-10 Warthog military planes.

Counter Argument

Some witnesses described a large object that obscured the sky, and did not map to the official explanation of A-10 Warthogs and flares.


Thousands of eyewitnesses, video and photos.

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