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Symington: I saw a UFO in the Arizona sky


Michael Hogan
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(Apologies for typo in topic title)

Former Arizona Governor Fife Symington will be moderating a November 12 event at the National Press Club where he will discuss the Phoenix Lights incident. He says he will be joined by 14 former high-ranking military and government officials from seven countries who will share evidence from what they call their own UFO experiences and investigations.

By Fife Symington

Special to CNN

November 9, 2007

(CNN)
-- In 1997, during my second term as governor of Arizona, I saw something that defied logic and challenged my reality.

I witnessed a massive delta-shaped, craft silently navigate over Squaw Peak, a mountain range in Phoenix, Arizona. It was truly breathtaking. I was absolutely stunned because I was turning to the west looking for the distant Phoenix Lights.

To my astonishment this apparition appeared; this dramatically large, very distinctive leading edge with some enormous lights was traveling through the Arizona sky.

As a pilot and a former Air Force Officer, I can definitively say that this craft did not resemble any man-made object I'd ever seen. And it was certainly not high-altitude flares because flares don't fly in formation.

The incident was witnessed by hundreds -- if not thousands -- of people in Arizona, and my office was besieged with phone calls from very concerned Arizonians.

The growing hysteria intensified when the story broke nationally. I decided to lighten the mood of the state by calling a press conference where my chief of staff arrived in an alien costume. We managed to lessen the sense of panic but, at the same time, upset many of my constituents.

I would now like to set the record straight. I never meant to ridicule anyone. My office did make inquiries as to the origin of the craft, but to this day they remain unanswered.

Eventually the Air Force claimed responsibility stating that they dropped flares.

This is indicative of the attitude from official channels. We get explanations that fly in the face of the facts. Explanations like weather balloons, swamp gas and military flares.

I was never happy with the Air Force's silly explanation. There might very well have been military flares in the sky that evening, but what I and hundreds of others saw had nothing to do with that.

I now know that I am not alone. There are many high-ranking military, aviation and government officials who share my concerns. While on active duty, they have either witnessed a UFO incident or have conducted an official investigation into UFO cases relevant to aviation safety and national security.

By speaking out with me, these people are putting their reputations on the line. They have fought in wars, guarded top secret weapons arsenals and protected our nation's skies.

We want the government to stop putting out stories that perpetuate the myth that all UFOs can be explained away in down-to-earth conventional terms. Investigations need to be re-opened, documents need to be unsealed and the idea of an open dialogue can no longer be shunned.

Incidents like these are not going away. About a year ago, Chicago's O'Hare International Airport experienced a UFO event that made national and international headlines.

What I saw in the Arizona sky goes beyond conventional explanations. When it comes to events of this nature that are still completely unsolved, we deserve more openness in government, especially our own.

http://edition.cnn.com/2007/TECH/science/1....ufocommentary/

Edited by Michael Hogan
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I wonder if there is some correlation between being a top tier Arizona Republican politician who served in the Air Force and believing in UFO’s. Barry Goldwater Also believed in them.

Acording to Wikipedia:

During his first term, Symington was the subject of an investigation over his involvement with Southwest Savings and Loan, a failed Phoenix thrift. He was later cleared, and was handilly reelected in 1994.

Later, he was indicted on charges of extortion and making false financial statements, and of bank fraud. He was convicted of bank fraud in 1997. The Arizona state constitution does not allow convicted felons to hold office, so Symington was forced to resign.

This conviction, however, was overturned in 1999 by the Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals. Six days into jury deliberations, the trial judge had granted the government's motion to dismiss a juror because she was leaning toward acquittal and the other jurors complained that she was keeping them from reaching a unanimous verdict. The appeals court ruled that the dismissal violated Symington's right to a fair trial.

He was subsequently pardoned by President Clinton near the end of his presidency in January 2001. The pardon terminated the federal government's seven year battle with the former governor.

These claims aren’t sourced but a quick googling turned uo various citation including from the NY Times. I wonder if the stress he was under led him to imagine things.

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These claims aren’t sourced but a quick googling turned uo various citation including from the NY Times. I wonder if the stress he was under led him to imagine things.

I wonder the same thing about Len Colby sometimes.

Len could have done a "quick google" of phoenix lights before drawing such an uninformed conclusion.

Another viewpoint: http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/runninsc...zonas_worst.php

Edited by Michael Hogan
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These claims aren’t sourced but a quick googling turned uo various citation including from the NY Times. I wonder if the stress he was under led him to imagine things.

I wonder the same thing about Len Colby sometimes.

Len could have done a "quick google" of phoenix lights before drawing such an uninformed conclusion.

Another viewpoint: http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/runninsc...zonas_worst.php

There were thousands of witnesses to the PHOENIX LIGHTS. There are

videos and stills of the huge craft online easily found by googling. Why

would someone comment on the Phoenix lights without being familiar

with them?

Jack

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Guest David Guyatt

I confess to be a sceptic on UFO's these days and am somewhat of a poacher turned gamekeeper. There are a variety of black budget aircraft out there that could easily account for such sighting, I think. The wedge shaped aircraft seen by Fife Symington strikes me as possibly being the touted "Aurora" spyplane series that includes the replacement for the Lockheed SR-71 Blackbird. I believe the designation for the Aurora spyplane is the SR-75 Penetrator which has some remarkbale characteristsics by some accounts. I'm not much of an aircraft buff and I'm sure Evan knows more about these things than I do.

The below is a photo of a UFO snapped in Belgium some years ago that some aircraft enthusiasts consider to be the Aurora ( or TR3-A Black Manta or TRB-3 Black Triangle):

belgium.jpg

The below website appears to have some information available that may be of interest (although I am not at all qualified to judge the veracity of otherwise of these things).

David the sceptic

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These claims aren’t sourced but a quick googling turned uo various citation including from the NY Times. I wonder if the stress he was under led him to imagine things.

I wonder the same thing about Len Colby sometimes.

Len could have done a "quick google" of phoenix lights before drawing such an uninformed conclusion.

Another viewpoint: http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/runninsc...zonas_worst.php

For once Mike you’re I should have looked into it before asking that question. But I seriously doubt you would have made an issue of this is some one else asked it. Do you really expect members to research a trivial subject before making an off hand remark? I’ll rephrase my question 'I wonder if the stress he was under led him to misinterpret what he saw?’ Not a very big difference. Presumably thousands if not millions of people saw the “V” and were able to figure out it was planes flying in formation.

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These claims aren’t sourced but a quick googling turned uo various citation including from the NY Times. I wonder if the stress he was under led him to imagine things.

I wonder the same thing about Len Colby sometimes.

Len could have done a "quick google" of phoenix lights before drawing such an uninformed conclusion.

Another viewpoint: http://www.villagevoice.com/blogs/runninsc...zonas_worst.php

For once Mike you’re I should have looked into it before asking that question. But I seriously doubt you would have made an issue of this is some one else asked it. Do you really expect members to research a trivial subject before making an off hand remark? I’ll rephrase my question 'I wonder if the stress he was under led him to misinterpret what he saw?’ Not a very big difference. Presumably thousands if not millions of people saw the “V” and were able to figure out it was planes flying in formation.

1. There were NO planes flying in formation according to the military.

2. Planes flying in formation do not have bright lights.

3. Planes are fast, the lights moved very slowly.

4. The lights were attached to some huge object.

5. Planes make noise, the lights made no noise.

6. Many of the observers were aviation experts, who know airplanes.

They specifically said that the lights were not known aircraft.

Please cite your evidence that the lights were planes. Or did you

just make it up?

Jack

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For once Mike you’re (sic) I should have looked into it before asking that question. But I seriously doubt you would have made an issue of this is (sic) some one (sic) else asked it. Do you really expect members to research a trivial subject before making an off hand remark? I’ll rephrase my question 'I wonder if the stress he was under led him to misinterpret what he saw?’ Not a very big difference. Presumably thousands if not millions of people saw the “V” and were able to figure out it was planes flying in formation.

You're the one that used Google to post some irrelevant information about Symington. But no, I don't expect you to look at both sides of a story before posting your so-called rebuttals. In your Forum discussions with me, I've learned to treat most of your remarks as "off hand."

No, not a big difference between your two questions. Both show you're not about to let facts get in your way.

On what basis have you concluded that it was a case of planes flying in formation? Where are your citations? Since you presumed thousands if not millions of people saw the "V" and figured out it was planes in formation, this should be easy for you. One kid with a telescope is not enough.

I made an issue of this (to borrow your phrase) because you constantly employ the tactic of besmirching someone's reputation (in this case Symington's) when it is not pertinent, nor called for. You do so at the expense of your credibility. You've done it before and you did it this time.

Every time you're proven wrong, your recourse is to come back with wisecracks about the person that pointed out your mistake(s). No wonder you're not taken very seriously by most here. Go ahead and call me arrogant again.

Maybe you should look at yourself. Why are the overwhelming majority of your posts so contentious?

This is a Forum about conspiracies. Why you think many would agree with you here, especially when you serve up such poor reasons for your arguments is beyond me.

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A surprise to some it may seem, but I actually believe in UFOs.

Firstly, I believe in the strict definition: Unidentified Flying Object. There are many objects which people see, that have a quite mundane explanation.

Secondly, I believe there are craft out there that may very well be of extraterrestrial origin.

I guess that a good 99.9% of sightings are not 'traditional' UFOs - but the remainder defy explanation.

I do, on the other hand, freely admit I have not a shred of evidence for my opinion. It's something I believe but have not yet found proof of.

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1. There were NO planes flying in formation according to the military.

2. Planes flying in formation do not have bright lights.

3. Planes are fast, the lights moved very slowly.

4. The lights were attached to some huge object.

5. Planes make noise, the lights made no noise.

6. Many of the observers were aviation experts, who know airplanes.

They specifically said that the lights were not known aircraft.

Please cite your evidence that the lights were planes. Or did you

just make it up?

Jack take a look at the Voice article Mike linked, it makes a strong (though far from conclusive) case that the lights were planes (or at least individual objects). It contradicts several of your points. And speaking of evidence can YOU site any to support your claims? Don’t expect me to debate this topic with you any further it is only of marginal interest to me, the main reason for my initial post was to point out the (probably coincidental) similarities between Symington and Goldwater.

Mike wrote:

No, not a big difference between your two questions. Both show you're not about to let facts get in your way.

I’m not especially interested in this subject. When I debate questions I’m more interested in 9/11, Wellstone etc I’m normally very through about documenting my claims. But since my POV is different from yours on most issues that come up here you seek reasons to dismiss my arguments.

On what basis have you concluded that it was a case of planes flying in formation? Where are your citations?

See my reply to Jack.

Since you presumed thousands if not millions of people saw the "V" and figured out it was planes in formation, this should be easy for you. One kid with a telescope is not enough.

I assume that because relatively few people seem to be going about how they saw a UFO.

Every time you're proven wrong, your recourse is to come back with wisecracks about the person that pointed out your mistake(s).

Every time? How often have I been proven wrong? How often have I reacted in the way you claim? Can you cite more than a handful instances? This sounds like your false claim that I frequently posted links to 911myths without commentary.

No wonder you're not taken very seriously by most here.

Based on PMs and e-mails I’ve received from various members several of who are moderators and/or CT regarding the JFK assassination I’m taken seriously by more people than you imagine.

Maybe you should look at yourself. Why are the overwhelming majority of your posts so contentious?

That depends on what you mean by “contentious”. If you are asking why I dispute peoples’ versions of events it because I have a different POV and like them think the issues important enough to warrant debate. If you want to know why they are so acrimonious my best guess is that some people don’t like having their views challenged, I’m very rarely the one who initiates the hostile tone. I’ve debated issues with Ron, Paul (Rigby), John (Simkin), Craig and others and our exchanges rarely if ever turned personal. I can’t same the same about my exchanges with Charles, Peter, Duane, Jack, Fetzer, Healy and you but rarely was I the person who “started it”.

Debating this issue is a waste of my time each time it comes up we go over the same ground again. Unless you say something especially egregious or obnoxious I’ll let you have the last word.

All – I probably won’t be very active here for the next couple of weeks because I’m going to travel and when I get back will be busy with a local event. Thus delays in replying should not be interpreted as me being unable to counter peoples’ arguments.

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Jack take a look at the Voice article Mike linked, it makes a strong (though far from conclusive) case that the lights were planes (or at least individual objects). It contradicts several of your points. And speaking of evidence can YOU site any to support your claims? Don’t expect me to debate this topic with you any further it is only of marginal interest to me, the main reason for my initial post was to point out the (probably coincidental) similarities between Symington and Goldwater.

Translation: My idea of a strong (though far from conclusive) case that the lights were planes is a young boy with a telescope claiming that he saw airplanes through his telescope. Never mind how unlikely that would be, it's the only article I read and it's all the information I have. Since I was too lazy to fact check for myself, I expect you to do it for me even though I'm not going to debate you any further. I know I would lose. So I'll claim that the subject is of marginal interest to me. The purpose of my original post was to cast aspersions on Symington's character and insinuate that he imagined the whole thing.

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One of the most detailed narratives of the event is at the UFO CASEFILES website:

....

The Phoenix Lights, 1997, Arizona

The Evidence

UFO researchers and writers today are tantalized by the increasing reports of alien abduction, possible photographs of alien beings, physical trace cases, and implant removals. In a way we have become spoiled-expecting the sensational. This desire for ultimate proof has caused us to overlook the seemingly mundane, everyday reports of night lights, which were at one time sensational in their own right. With the ever growing technology of our era, pictures and video are often times called into question because of the ease of manipulation and creation afforded computer graphics experts. Called into question, that is, by those who are waiting in the wings to debunk any and all visible proof of UFOs as suspect of being hoaxed.

This is especially true in cases with one or two photos taken by one witness. This has always been a pitfall to researchers who scratch and claw for authentication of a particular photograph or video. There are, however, those cases which have multiple photographs of the same object, taken by many witnesses. This type of case carries the heaviest weight for those who remain on neutral ground on the subject of UFOs. One of the best of these is the Phoenix, Arizona lights case of 1997. Supported by many photographs and videos, this fantastic event is still discussed and analyzed today.

The Lights Appear

Evidence points to March 13, 1997 as the onset of this extremely compelling account of various and sundry phenomenal lights which moved over the state of Arizona. These lights, though referred to as the "Phoenix Lights," were actually witnessed in at least five other cities. Phoenix has the distinction as the first Arizona city to report the unknown light sources, which were initially spotted over Superstition Mountains, east of the city, at about 7:30 PM. The first reports indicated an object of six points of light, immediately followed by a report of eight connected lights, with a separate ninth, which moved in unison with the eight.

The formation was seen again over the Gila River just before 10:00 PM. In a matter of minutes, the enormous, lighted structure had made its way over the southern part of the city of Phoenix. At this time, literally thousands of people witnessed the object or objects. It was at this time, that the first photographs and videos were taken. The final sightings of the night were in Rainbow Valley. Witnesses there reported a very distinct "V" formation. This sighting occurred at about 2:00 AM on March 14.

The Mothership

It is important to note that there are various descriptions of the lights from the Nevada border throughout Arizona. Some witnesses described a very clear "V" shape, while others said that the lights were circular or cresent-shaped. It is only common in night light cases for these differences to come to light. Many factors can attribute to these varying descriptions. One specific object can be seen from different angles, with the angle of the object only reflecting part of its light system, depending on atmospheric or weather conditions, or the very way a witness looks at the object can make this difference. It is very possible that two witnesses can see the same object at the same time, and give two completely different accounts. This fact has been proven in scientific studies of eye witnesses accounts in crime cases. Another possibility in the case in point is that there may have been several different objects of different shapes and sizes. In my own research into this case over the years, I have come to the personal conclusion that the main object over Arizona was of a circular shape, and this is corroborated by the various still and video film taken. There were other shapes observed, but it appears that the "mother-ship" was circular.

Eyewitness Accounts

Though the huge lighted formation seemed to move in a tauntingly slow speed over Arizona, it was reported that strange lights had sped from the Henderson-Las Vegas, Nevada area toward Arizona, and seemed to slow down as it entered the Arizona area. Initial reports described anywhere from 5-7 points of light, and ultimately 8 with a trailing ninth. The enormous object was extremely low, and mountainous areas could be seen behind the craft in pictures, therefore giving photographic experts scale to approximate the elevation from the ground, and the distance from the camera. This would enable an estimate of the craft being a whopping one mile or more in length! The color of its lights were described as "blue-white," to "yellow-white," to "amber." Again, these differences of description do not necessitate there being more than one object. During the crafts fast moving period, it was estimated to be moving at Mach 2-3. As it slowed down as if posing to be filmed, the speed dropped to an estimated 10-15 MPH. At one point over Sky Harbor, it reportedly hovered for several minutes. The object was also reported to change shapes, speeds, and colors, as it made its way across the skies of Arizona.

Various photographs of the Phoenix Lights

(click on pic to view larger image)

Between 9:00 and 9:30 PM on the 13th, one extraordinary description was made by a family in Mesa. They said that an enormous craft with a distinctive structure flew over their area. They described a triangle-shaped object with lights at the three corners, and another larger light in its center. Amazingly, they could clearly see panels on the craft which were in a grid pattern.

There were also, about this same time, several reports of two round objects which seemed to detach from the larger "V" shaped object, only to later rejoin the mother-ship. One witness described the "V" shaped mother-ship dividing itself into two separate craft as it moved toward the city of Tucson.

Another dramatic description of the mother-ship was made by a group of real estate agents who had subdivided property over the northern part of Phoenix. They would also get a close-up view of the gigantic disc. They estimated the craft to be a staggering two miles wide as it flew at a low altitude near Phoenix. They could see dozens of bright lights along the leading edges, and also a row of windows with "silhouettes of people." It also seems highly probably that for some reason, the giant craft turned off its lights, as observers could see only the windows with what appeared to be people shadowed in the glow of the inside. Another family got a brightly lit view of the unknown object, and described its color as "flat blue-black, like the color of a shotgun barrel."

Among the most reliable witnesses of the craft's movements that first night were two airplane pilots, one retired from an airline, and another from Vietnam, who was also a U. S. Marshall. Though seeing the object at different times and places, both men described a craft of "immense size," measuring up to a mile long. The Marshall could also see the city lights of Phoenix reflecting from the bottom of the massive object, while it "blocked out the stars." One of the pilots also videotaped the UFO, but had the tape confiscated in a "men in black" encounter. In a completely separate incident, a group of witnesses had reported a "huge discoid" craft which was "larger than Sun Devil Stadium at Arizona State University." This object was hovering just above tree tops at the west end of Sky Harbor runway between 2:00 and 3:00 AM about two weeks prior to March 13.

Military Involvement

It was almost inevitable that the United States Air Force would become involved in an event of this magnitude, and the Phoenix lights mystery would be no exception. While driving down Interstate-I-17 from Camp Verde, a truck driver had been seeing two amber colored UFOs moving ahead of him southward for two whole hours. His destination was a materials plant near Luke Air Force Base. Upon arriving there, the two UFOs hovered nearby. While his truck was being loaded, the driver walked upon a pile of materials to get a better look at the two UFOs. He could make out two identical "toy, top-like amber orbs" with a white glow to them. A band of red lights pulsated on the craft as it hovered near the Luke AFB runway. Suddenly, two F-16s "blasted out of Luke with their afterburners on full." Soon, a third plane followed, and all three made a direct run toward the hovering UFOs.

As the first two jets were about to reach the UFOs, the unknown objects shot straight upward, and disappeared "in an instant." The two jets flew right through the exact spot the UFOs had previously occupied. A Luke ground crewman later confirmed to NUFORC that the driver's account was true. He also stated that upon returning to the base runway, one of the pilots had to be helped from his cockpit. He was visibly shaken from what had just happened.

According to Peter Davenport of the NUFORC one of the more intriguing reports was submitted by a young man who claimed to be an Airman stationed at Luke Air Force Base, located to the west of Phoenix in Litchfield Park. He telephoned the National UFO Reporting Center at 3:20 a.m. on Friday, some eight hours after the sightings on the previous night, and reported that two USAF F-15c fighters had been “scrambled” from Luke AFB, and had intercepted one of the objects. Although the presence of F-15’s could never be confirmed, the airman provided detailed information which proved to be highly accurate, based on what investigators would reconstruct from witnesses over subsequent weeks and months. Two days after his first telephone call, the airman called to report that he had just been informed by his commander that he was being transferred to an assignment in Greenland. He has never been heard from again since that telephone call.

The Flare Theory

The Phoenix lights case is not without its controversy, much of which originated from the Air Force. In May of 1997, Luke AFB Public Affairs Office stated that Air Force personnel had investigated the so-called "UFOs," and had solved the case. They claimed that flares dropped from an A-10 "Warthog" had caused the numerous reports of night lights. This explanation is totally unfounded for several reasons. First of all, flares do not move in unison, fall toward the ground, and then fly back up into the air, and move across many miles without changing their relative positions. Secondly, many witnesses had made reports of the giant lights hours before the reported time of the launch of the flares.

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