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Phoenix Lights

The Phoenix Lights UFO incident is a complex series of events that took place on March 13, 1997 over the states of Nevada, Arizona, and possibly New Mexico, and which would quickly become known as the “Phoenix Lights” sightings. It involved sightings by tens, or perhaps even hundreds, of thousands of witnesses on the ground, and it gave rise to a storm of controversy over what had caused the event. Most of the controversy that arose from the incident centers around a cluster of lights that was seen, and videotaped, to the south of Phoenix at between 9:30 and 10:00 p.m. on the same night as the sightings.

key articles, documents & resources

Lights Over Phoenix (About.com)

Loy Lawhon, About.com

Overview and analysis of the Phoenix Lights incident from About.com and Loy Lawhon.  R

other articles & documents

2nd Anniversary of 'Phoenix Lights' Incident

Peter B. Davenport, Director, National UFO Reporting Center

Saturday, March 13, 1999, marks the second anniversary of the dramatic UFO sighting event that occurred two years ago over both the states of Nevada and Arizona, an event generally referred to as the “Phoenix Lights” case. Many aspects of the case still remain unexplained and controversial, but a considerable body of data and evidence has been collected by many capable investigators, which suggests that the event was extraordinarily dramatic and bizarre.  R

Phoenix Lights (Altered Dimensions)

Altered Dimensions

On March 13, 1997, one of the most massively witnessed UFO sightings occurred in the skies over and around Phoenix, Arizona. Witnessed by thousands of people and photographed by hundreds, there is no doubt that something was seen over the skies of Phoenix that night. The question remains - what did they see?

'Phoenix Lights' witnesses credible, hard to dismiss (Arizona Republic article)

Steve Wilson - Columnist, The Arizona Republic,March 11, 1997

When the "Phoenix Lights" were reported last year, I yawned. I didn't see them, and breathless TV broadcasts were underwhelming. It seemed easy enough to dismiss the lights as flares or military aircraft. UFOs? You've got to be kidding. Still, as the March 13 anniversary of the sightings approached, I was curious enough to seek out some witnesses.  R

Phoenix Sightings Summary Report

William F. Hamilton, MUFON Field Investigator

Even though this summary report constitutes a fraction of witness testimony for the night of March 13, it conveys a fair idea of the remarkable series of mass sightings that have occurred over Arizona and further reports could be made at some future date. R

Recap: Phoenix Lights Flying Triangle

UFO Updates Mailing List, Fri, 17 Oct

What further analysis on this dramatic series of sightings has been published over the last 2.5 years?  R

Report On Phoenix Light Arrays

Bruce Maccabbee

Although there have been numerous sightings of bright lights in the sky south of Phoenix by various witnesses over the years, the lights seen on the nights of March 13, 1997 and January 14, 1998 were particularly valuable for study because (1) rather unique arrangements of lights within the arrays made the identification of specific lights that appeared in two or more videos quite conclusive and (2) the witnesses were in widely separated locations so it was possible to use triangulation methods to determine the locations of the lights to within, say five to ten miles.

Summary of “Phoenix Lights” Event

Peter B. Davenport, Director, National UFO Reporting Center

At approximately 6:55 p.m. (Pacific) on Thursday, March 13, 1997, a young man in Henderson, Nevada, reportedly witnessed a V-shaped object, with six large lights on its leading edge, approach his position from the northwest and pass overhead. This sighting is perhaps the earliest of a complex series of events that would take place during the next 2-3 hours over the states of Nevada, Arizona, and possibly New Mexico, and which would quickly become known as the “Phoenix Lights” sightings. It involved sightings by tens, or perhaps even hundreds, of thousands of witnesses on the ground, and it gave rise to a storm of controversy over what had caused the event.  R

Tim Ley Family -- Eyewitness of 3/13/97 Arizona UFO Flyover Called 'Phoenix Lights'

Tim Ley, 1998

There were four of us standing together that saw "something" pass over our heads on March 13, 1997 in Phoenix. What follows ismy impression. Until this event happened here in Phoenix on March 13th, I was not a believer in Ufos.  R

UFO Events Over Arizona - The Phoenix Lights

Peter B. Davenport, Director, National UFO Reporting Center

The following is a preliminary summary of perhaps the most dramatic UFO sighting that has been reported to the National UFO Reporting Center over the last 2-3 years R

USA Today on UFOs in Arizona

Richard Price, USA Today, 6-19-97

Something happened in-the skies over Arizona the night of March 13. No one is sure what it was but thousands saw it dozens videotaped it and people all over the state are haunted by it still.  R

What were those lights in the Phoenix sky? (CNN article)

CNN, June 19, 1997

When it appeared in the Arizona sky on the night of March 13, it was witnessed by hundreds of people. Neither researchers nor witnesses have yet figured out what Arizonans saw in the event now dubbed "the Phoenix Lights." But that hasn't stopped them from trying to puzzle it out.

X-Files is Opened Into Phoenix "UFO" (Arizona Republic news article)

Susie Steckner and Chris Fiscus, The Arizona Republic, May 11, 1997

It's not exactly the kind of made-for-tv case those X-files agents would investigate. But, says Frances Emma Barwood, those strange lights in the Phoenix sky should be checked out by city staff, at the very least.  R

websites & organizations

The Phoenix Lights (The Why? Files)

The Why? Files

The event which is referred to as "The Phoenix Lights" comprised of a series of incidents, involving a number of different craft and orbs which took place during the evening of March 13th 1997.

The Phoenix lights (UFOs at Close Sight)

UFOs at Close Sight (Patrick Gross)

On March 13, 1997, residents throughout the state of Arizona witnessed various airborne phenomena that remain unexplained. Commonly known as the "Phoenix Lights", these sightings, witnessed in at least six Arizona cities, continue to receive international media attention and interest; and new sightings continue to be recorded.

The Phoenix Lights, 1997, Arizona (UFO Casebook)

UFO Casebook

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.

Video clip of Phoenix Lights (CNN) (Apple Quicktime - '.mov' format)


Brief video clip of one of the videos taken by witnesses of the Phoenix Lights. In Apple Quicktime video format ('.mov' file).


The Phoenix Lights Mystery William F. HamiltonStraight forward and fascinating look that separates the truth from the myth behind the lights that appeared over Phoenix AZ in 1997. The Phoenix Lights, a series of UFO sightings that occurred on March 13, 1997 over the state of Arizona from sightings in the Northwest part of the state down a path to the Southeast and witnessed by thousands in the greater Phoenix area on the night that residents were out scanning the sky for the comet Hale-Bopp has gone down in history as one of the most significant mass sighting events of the century. Buy from Amazon Buy from Barnes & Noble more info...
The Phoenix Lights: Skeptic's Discovery That We Are Not Alone Lynne D., Md. KiteiDuring the evening hours of March 13, 1997, thousands of Arizona residents witnessed a mile-long, v-shaped formation of lights flying in the skies overhead. The UFO sightings garnered headline news, catching the attention of both USA Today and the CBS Evening News with Dan Rather. One person, however, was not surprised by the appearance of the lights. Dr. Lynne Kitei was simply grateful that a phenomenon she'd been witnessing--and documenting--for months was being validated by the experience of thousands of people statewide. Buy from Amazon Buy from Barnes & Noble more info...