- When one hears "the Phoenix Lights" almost
everyone generally has one image in mind and one idea; 7 to 9 intensely
bright balls of light forming a slight "V" shape in the night
sky over Phoenix, Arizona on the evening of March 13, 1997. That night
dozens of video-cam operators and thousands of Phoenix residents witnessed
the appearing and disappearing of brilliant UFO(s) which hovered over the
city just beyond the Estrella mountain range, a spectacle so astonishing
that even the national news could not cover it up or blow it off as a flock
of geese or mere space debris re-entry.
The Phoenix Lights
- But did you know that video footage
was shot earlier that same day, in roughly the same location, of equally
bright, glowing objects over Phoenix? While the military attempted to scrub
the UFO story in the days following the event with claims of flares being
dropped by nearby Luke Air Force Base, Jeff Willes, a Phoenix resident
and UFO hunter, knew better. He had videotaped the same intensely bright
objects hovering and maneuvering over Phoenix earlier that same day --
these were definitely not flares! (Jeff says that night he did indeed
see flares, so he saw the two different lights and doesn't believe they
are the same thing. His video more than proves this fact).
Local FOX 10 affiliate put Jeff's footage and story on the air, interviewing
Jeff and featuring the night-time Phoenix light footage as well. Remarkably,
FOX 10 didn't try to make Jeff look like a nutball, or dismiss the UFO
sightings, but presented a curious, journalistically sound exposé
on the anomalous event. I guess it's a little hard to pan a story that
so many thousands of other credible witnesses also experienced, but this
was unusually friendly television coverage. Perhaps this time, because
Jeff was simply not alone -- the whole city of Phoenix were guests to the
many sightings -- and his footage provided excellent evidence that turned
most of the debunking claims of the night-footage into vapor rather quickly.
FOX even offered its viewing audience some of Jeff's other remarkable UFO
footage, as he spends a lot of time outdoors shooting the skies, watching
for UFOs. It has paid off and Jeff has the goods, as we will see.
On the 13th of March, Willes
was taking his usual video survey of the Phoenix skies when suddenly strange
spheres of intensely bright light appeared hovering motionless in the sky.
Experienced in shooting UFO footage, Jeff framed the shot with the mountain
range for visual reference and several necessary zooms and pans. The orbs
of light seem to just dangle there, silently in the cloudy sky, slightly
twinkling but by no means strobing, neither did they exhibit any standard
FAA flashing lights. As the minutes passed, one of the objects began to
slowly move off in another direction until it disappeared beyond the looming
cloud bank. The movement was almost imperceptible. The remaining object,
still glowing brilliantly then began to move in the same direction and
Jeff tailed it steadily with his cam until it, too, moved out of sight,
becoming just a tiny glimmer in the distant atmosphere. On Jeff's video,
watching the full sequence in fast-forward mode really reveals the remarkable
movement of these utterly anomalous objects in the sky, and it becomes
abundantly clear they are below the low cloud cover. They very clearly
cannot be jets or planes, balloons, ultra-lights, flares, helicopters,
stars, planets or swamp gas.
- The entire taped event lasts approximately 30 minutes.
Later that evening, the startling appearance of the 7-9 shining UFOs in
the night sky in distinct formation all but serves to verify that what
Jeff Willes was shooting in the daylight came back to hover in the same
spot, only this time with a few 'friends.' Jeff says those lights were
directly over them, while the orbs he shot earlier in the daytime were
captured from the mountains west of the city. Willes footage also seems
to suggest that the Phoenix lights were not attached to one extremely large
object, as some conjecture, but was composed of many individual, glowing
UFOs (unless what Jeff captured were merely scout craft for the location
for a much larger UFO?).
In the digitized images below, what Jeff videotaped is laid out in sequence,
from initial appearance to final movement. The quality and clarity of the
video itself is hundreds of times greater. The lights at first hover, motionless.
The intensity of the lights appear to shift from very brilliant to dim,
then, each moves off becoming undiscernible to the camera.