When A Giant UFO Appears Over A Major U.S. City, Panic Ensues (And Lasts)
In 1997, all of Phoenix, Arizona, came to a standstill when these mysterious lights appeared over the city. They've yet to be explained.
Mike is ViralNova's resident Editor of the Weird. If it makes you say "OMG! That's terrible!!!" then Mike probably wrote it. Despite the subject of his articles Mike is surprisingly well adjusted. When he's not writing, he's making music, performing, and producing podcasts. On March 13, 1997, the people of Phoenix, Arizona, experienced something that changed many people's perceptions of the world around them forever. The Phoenix Lights hovered over the city almost 20 years ago, and the phenomenon has yet to be fully explained.
Starting around 7:30 p.m., reports began flooding into police stations and news agencies of mysterious lights appearing in the sky about 300 miles from the Nevada state line through Phoenix, and all the way to the edge of Tucson.
The most famous of these lights were the ones over Phoenix, which you can see in the image below. Thousands of witnesses claimed to have seen these lights hovering over the city. They lingered for a few hours before disappearing.
Witnesses who were close enough to the lights claimed to see a V-shaped UFO nearby. Below is a newspaper clipping containing a drawing by one witness who had been at a higher elevation when the formation passed over the city.
Needless to say, the sudden appearance and disappearance of lights in the sky stirred up some controversy. The government was quick to step in with an explanation.
Air Force officials claimed that the lights spotted over Phoenix were actually slow-falling, long-burning LUU-2B/B flares dropped by crafts on a training exercise at the Barry Goldwater Range at Luke Air Force Base.
Many still cling to the explanation that the lights seen over Phoenix belonged to a massive UFO carrying out surveillance.
What actually happened over Phoenix back in 1997? While the flare explanation does make sense, I still find it weird that the Air Force wouldn't warn the city ahead of time about the exercise. I think there's more to this story than the government lets on.