- These are the events that occurred on
March 13, 1997 as uncovered by Michael Tanner and myself:
- 1. FORMATION OF HOVERING ORBS - First
observed in a hexagram pattern at about 7:30 p.m. over the Superstition
Mountains area east of Phoenix in the characteristic 8+1(or 2) formation
of amber orbs and was next seen in two separate arc patterns with "trailing
lights" over Gila River area at about 9:50 and again at 10:00 at the
southern edge of Phoenix where they were seen by thousands and videotaped
by a handful who had camcorders close enough at hand to catch the fleeting
minutes of their displays. These amateur videos have immortalized the
orb formations, becoming known around the world as The Phoenix Lights.
These are the very same lights that started the controversy over "flares"
and that will be taken up in the next chapter. The last appearance of
the hovering orbs of the night was made over a now recognized "hot-spot"
of Rainbow Valley arrayed in a "V" formation at about 2:00 a.m.
on March 14th (and again appeared on January 14, 1998).
- 2. "V" FORMATION OF FLYING
ORBS - First seen leaving the Henderson-Las Vegas area and entering Arizona
at high speed, a V-formation of five to seven orbs, variously seen as bright
blue-white to a yellow-white, came through the Prescott Valley area at
low altitude by 7:50 p.m., turning south, where by 8:28, were videotaped
(displaying their characteristic movement within the formation) at the
north end of the valley that comprises the Phoenix metro area. In an apparent
slower mode of flight, the orbs appeared at that point as amber in color
as the formation moved along Interstate 10 angling toward Tucson after
having been visually seen (not on radar) to intersect air traffic coming
in on approach to Sky Harbor International Airport. After hovering for
several minutes over a car full of witnesses driving north on I-10 at 65
mph, the formation was then picked up by observers in the Oracle area who
reported the orbs' color as red to red-orange before the formation split
up, going in separate directions while skirting the edges of the Tucson
metropolitan area. At various points independent of this very specific
formation, individual orbs were seen to shoot across the metro Phoenix
valley with some moving away from and then re-docking with one or more
of the Very Large Objects (VLOs) which came through later in the night.
- 3. CHEVRON VLO (narrow angle) - Observed
first as a "V" formation of five white lights moving slowly and
silently toward Prescott Valley from the northwest at about 8:15 p.m.,
the "chevron" was soon clearly seen as a single object. The
huge craft made a pivot turn over the witnesses' home there while the lights
shifted into an arc formation while the lights turned red and then it shot
off at blinding speed toward Phoenix. At that time the next set of witnesses
in central Phoenix saw the object coming directly toward them (estimated
at Mach 2 or 3) while still in the "turbo" mode arc configuration,
and then, as if to slow back down again, was seen to change back into a
"V" whereupon it cruised silently and slowly right over their
heads (only 100 to 200 feet above at 10 or 15 mph). The craft was later
seen to zigzag through the valley, even changing altitude at various points
and hovering for five minutes at the edge of Sky Harbor before proceeding
south (right over the Village Lab building) to Interstate-10. After following
I-10 several miles to Picacho Peak, the enormous craft (estimated at 900
feet or more on each leading edge and more than a mile in length to its
"taillights") hovered once again for 10 to 15 minutes until there
was no further track of it. According to Michael, this is a possible docking
point for this craft and the giant triangle that followed it down I-10
some fifteen minutes later. This same "chevron" or similar craft
was seen traveling east to west over north Phoenix at about 10:50 p.m.
- 4. BOOMERANG VLO (wide angle) - This
"V" formation, consisting of five groups of three lights, was
confirmed to be a single huge object by various Prescott-area witnesses,
being equivalent to a formation of five 747s flying absolutely lock-step
in formation toward Phoenix. The craft was seen to make a southerly turn
at about 8:25, once again, in the Prescott Valley area, after first approaching
from the northwest. This VLO was later seen (although not clearly enough
to identify) by an America West pilot who called Sky Harbor tower wondering
what "those nine lights were", and an amateur astronomer in Phoenix
who wrote it off as a formation of conventional airplanes. It is possible
that this craft was the same as the giant triangle(wide angle) described
- 5. TRIANGULAR VLO (narrow angle) - This
is the one seen by the family in Chandler. It may be the same Triangle
or Deltoid craft seen by others as a wide angle craft. It had definite
structure complete with panels in a grid along with lights at each of the
three corners and a larger center light. Multiple witnesses confirm its
northwest to southeast flight path through the eastern part of the valley
with some observers seeing one or more orbs leaving and then re-docking
with this VLO at various points. This particular craft was seen to "split
in two" by a resident in Gilbert, south of Chandler.
- 6. BIG BLACK TRIANGLE (wide angle) -
By all accounts the largest of the VLOs in the March 13th parade of craft,
this gigantic craft was first seen at close range over north Phoenix between
8:30 and 8:45 where the key witnesses (real estate people who subdivided
the area) estimated its size to be as much as two miles wide as its wingtip
lights fell over two parallel streets that are 1.8 miles apart. Its flight
path brought it low to the ground at this point (less than 2,000 feet)
where it was seen to not only have dozens of lights along its leading edges,
but also a row of windows wherein the silhouettes of "people"
were observed! At some point further south, other witnesses reported that
they saw nothing but the row of windows with beings (also in silhouette)
as all of the lights were turned off at that point. By the time the VLO
was seen over I-10 south of Casa Grande, however, three large lights were
seen to be turned on, one at each corner, with smaller lights on along
with the leading headlight. The witnesses here reported that it took them
one to two minutes to drive under this immense ship while they were driving
at 80 mph! They estimated the width of this VLO to be at least two, possibly
three miles wide and big enough for a C5-A Galaxy or "Condor"
troop transport (the largest conventional aircraft known) to land upon
it! The craft had definite structure to it and the family of witnesses
described its color as a flat blue-black like the color of a shotgun barrel.
They also reported seeing rectangular "panel-like" structures
on the underside of this craft.
- Another large triangle was seen moving
just north of Thunderbird Road at around 10:45 p.m., but the configuration
of the triangle was different. That triangle had a V-cut into its trailing
edge to give it a very distinctive look.
- 7. GIANT DISCOID VLO - Witnessed first
by a retired airline pilot, his sons and a friend, and seen coming down
Scottsdale Road at about 10:20 p.m., this huge circular craft, featuring
amber lights around its perimeter (at an estimated one mile in diameter)
was seen to make a purposeful turn toward Sky Harbor at about Camelback
Road where it also intersected air traffic before disappearing from view
over South Mountain. The corroborating central Phoenix witness, also a
former pilot (Vietnam) and retired U.S. Marshal, described how the craft
both reflected the city lights on its underbelly and blocked out the stars
with its upper half, attesting to its being a single craft of spectacular
"mile-wide" proportions. This witness also claimed to have videotaped
what he saw from the roof of his apartment building, but his tapes mysteriously
disappeared in what may amount to a genuine "men-in-black (MIB)"
episode. This craft may also have docked with the "chevron"
craft and cloaked in "visual stealth" mode in its earlier pass
through Phoenix at about 8:20 to 8:30, but this is purest speculation.
The two craft reappeared (or two similar ones) in June and were photographed
together at high altitude over Phoenix by the same witnesses with a 35mm
camera while also viewing them with binoculars. A separate set of unconnected
witnesses also reported the sighting of a huge discoid craft (bigger than
Sun Devil Stadium at ASU) hovering at treetop level right off of the west
end of the Sky Harbor runways at between 2:00 and 3:00 a.m. one morning
about two weeks before March 13th.
- 8. MILITARY JET/UFO INTERCEPTION ATTEMPTS
- We have to date identified four such events (there may be more) that
clearly point to the conclusion that the Phoenix Lights UFO incident of
March 13, 1997 was certainly no secret "black ops" or classified
military exercise as many people would like to believe. A woman who lives
next to Luke Air Force Base in the west part of the valley surfaced to
report that at least 6 pairs of jets and as many as 8 were "scrambled"
out of the base on the night of March 13th, something she could never recall
witnessing before. One researcher called Luke AFB and asked someone who
was out on the flight line if anything was seen by base personnel, and,
unofficially, he answered that "they" were all over the place.
The response from Luke spokesmen and their response to FOIA requests indicate
that they were receiving phone calls about the lights, but never scrambled
any jets to pursue them. Witnesses say different. Here are the witness
- A) Crown King at 5:30 p.m. - A formation
of 3 huge "Vs" were seen hovering over this pine-topped mountain
and were soon joined by a diamond-shaped or triangular craft which appeared
"out of thin air" (at first seen as an amber light). As the
four objects were hovering together, two jets were seen to come low from
the south (from the direction of Luke AFB) at which point the UFOs went
into a "stack", collapsed upon each other while going "into
a ball", then totally disappeared! This would be called a case of
high strangeness. Finding nothing there, the two jets circled the Crown
King area and returned in the direction of the base. Similar disappearing
acts of formations of "Vs", one over Lake Mead that afternoon
and on March 27th over Elmont, New York were reported to Village Labs after
seeing the article published in USA Today.
- B) Central Phoenix at 8:15 p.m. - A
pair of F-15s were dispatched from Luke AFB to attempt an interception
of one or more of the Vs approaching or entering the valley at that time.
This was reported to NUFORC by a ground crewman at Luke who stated that
the aircraft were equipped with gun cameras and that one of the pilots
had to be helped out of his plane because he was so shaken by his encounter.
A cursory check revealed that Luke AFB no longer has F-15s in its inventory
and only has the F-16 aircraft. However, at one time both were maintained
at Luke. Could these F-15s have been visiting aircraft? There is still
some attempt to locate the civilian witness who corroborated this story.
- C) North Phoenix at 9:30 p.m. - One of
the witnesses who had earlier witnesses with his wife the giant wide-angle
triangle reported that when he was later at home, he saw in the distance
what appeared to be the return of the triangle, this time with only three
lights on, one at each corner. As the UFO hovered near the Deer Valley
Airport in northwest Phoenix, he saw two military jets approach the triangle,
with one jet seen to pass one side of it and the other seen to fly up under
it, veering down at the last moment to avoid midair collision.
- D) Luke AFB at 10:00 p.m. - (The original
Event 4 - the first aircraft/UFO encounter to be reported). A truck driver
who had been watching two unusual amber lights move ahead of him to the
south for fully two hours as he drove down I-17 from Camp Verde, reported
that as he neared his destination, a materials plant near Luke AFB, the
two UFOs seemed to have stopped their movement and were hovering. Once
at the plant, while waiting for his truck to be unloaded, he stood on a
pile of materials to watch what were now seen as two identical, toy-top
like amber orbs (like hot air balloons without hanging baskets) having
a white iridescent sheen and a band of red pulsating light, with the nearest
to him being one to two miles distant right near the runway at Luke. Suddenly,
two F-16s, followed by a third, "blasted out of Luke with their afterburners
on full", made a steep bank directly over the witness and headed straight
for the nearest UFO. At the moment the lead jets were about to close on
the UFO, it shot straight up and disappeared "in an instant"
as the jets passed right through the very spot where the object had been
hovering. The second UFO also vanished, as it was no longer hovering in
- As you can see by Michael Tanner's event
analysis and my own event analysis, there was a lot of activity on March
13th, yet the media chose to cover only 2 of these events. The Big Black
Triangle has been virtually ignored by the journalists and is considered
significant since these triangles have been reported more frequently throughout
most of the world.
- Bill Hamilton
- Executive Director
- Skywatch International, Inc.