A new witness to the March 13, 1997 UFO sightings wave has come forward with a detailed report, which has been turned into an equally detailed animation by the Phoenix UFO Examiner and French UFO investigator/animator Laurent Chabin. This is part of a growing trend of witnesses to the 1997 events, popularly and inaccurately known as 'The Phoenix Lights', to go public with their observations.
Clips from the animation will be shown today at the annual screening of the award winning Phoenix Lights Documentary, produced by Dr. Lynne Kitei, Executive Director of The Phoenix Lights Network. The screening will begin at 1 PM at the Harkins Theater at Scottsdale and Shea. In addition to the new witness report, the event will feature Q & A session after the documentary with the Navajo Rangers, Phoenix MUFON, Dr. Rebecca Hardcastle and others.
In addition, the event will see the premiere of the Phoenix Lights music video by local band, The Swamp Coolers celebrating the sightings.
In January 2014, a witness to the overflight of an object in west Prescott contacted Dr. Lynne Kitei, executive director of the Phoenix Lights Network and announced his willingness to come forward with his observations. Kitei contacted Phoenix UFO Examiner Larry Lowe and arranged for a meeting in which the witness recounted his observations in sufficient detail to allow forensic recreation of the event. Paris based UFO investigator/animator Laurent Chabin and Phoenix based Lowe collaborated intensely over the ensuing months via the internet to engineer a recreation to match those details.
The process is one that Lowe has evolved over the last half decade, using Google Earth as a geospatial tool to extract detail from reports and images. This work is showcased at the GAP project section of the Phoenix Lights Network website.
Based on the recollection of the witness of the relationship of the lights to a characteristic mountain on the distant skyline, the size of the object was determined. Using several key points, a course for the object was determined.
This report is valuable in that the object was first observed as an array of lights and later resolved to be a large dark object connecting them. Chabin's first remark upon seeing the initial point in the observation was that due to the slant of the array, the lights reminded him of a set of lights seen over South Mountain at 10 PM that night. It may turn out that many of the sightings of formations of individual lights were in fact of large craft, not visible at distance in the dark.
Unique to the observation were several details, including a pattern of faint lighting on the bottom of the object and 6 trailing artifacts the witness describes as Exhaust plumes. The accompanying slide show highlights the details as animated by the team.
The object's course took it over the witness location and west Prescott before it disappeared to the Southeast. The witness's report is similar to Sue Watson's and other accounts in that while it approached slowly it appeared to leave 'quite quickly'. This is a consistent and possibly significant detail. Perhaps this consistency is a clue to time/space distortion resulting from advanced technology, although that is at best, enlightened speculation.
The appearance of the object left an indelible impression on the witness. In his words:
"There is no doubt in my mind at all, that that was a spaceship that flew over my house."
— Prescott Witness 'J.R.'
The witness, who prefers to remain unnamed, provided exemplary cooporation with the animation team, reviewing and revising details to insure that the recreation is as accurate as possible to his recollection. At one point during the interview the witnessed remarked about a Photoshop reference image being derived that "That's just how it looked."
According to work by KPHO 5 reporter Scott Davis, details of the animation match Watsons memory of an object that she observed later that evening over Camelback mountain.
Appearances by Dr. Kitei on local news programs and a recent Science Channel appearance by the Phoenix UFO Examiner have already prompted several 'new' witnesses to the 1997 events to come forward. The animation team hopes that enough witness reports can be recreated to draw a more complete picture of the events of that night, which remain unexplained to this day.
In the words of witness Kitei, "I don't know what it was, I only know that it was." This echoes the feelings of Sue Watson, whose exasperated statement "I know what I saw" -- a massive, silent, boomerang shaped wing with an array of lights on the front -- became the title of Jame Fox's documentary on the subject.
The short film developed to present the new animation, Prescott Witness, is intended to overview the issue of witness reports and showcase one that has come forward in an effort to provide primary education to the public new to the material and most of all two encourage new witnesses who will see they will get a fair hearing to come forward. The film is dedicated to the memory of Village Labs investigator Michael Tanner, who passed away last year.
As cultural perception has shifted in the ensuing 17 years reticence on the part of witnesses to talk about their observations is evaporating. Hopefully the large number of witness reports collected by then city councilwoman Frances Barwood, which have since gone missing, can be reconstructed.
If you were a direct witness to the events of March 12, 1997 or similar occurrences over Arizona and are willing to describe your encounter in detail contact the Phoenix UFO Examiner.