Wednesday, March 13, 2013 marks the 16th anniversary of one of the most enigmatic events in Arizona and UFO history, a state-wide sequence of observations and reports that has come to be known as the Phoenix Lights. This is a misnomer. Given the scope of the sightings reports and the nature of the real unknowns, the event would better be named the Arizona Objects.
More than a decade and a half later, the general public and the historical record is no closer to an understanding of the events of March 13, 1997 than the night the reports flooded over Arizona, despite any number of books, documentaries and radio shows on the subject.
And we are not a Post-it note closer to understanding what happened than when the Phoenix UFO Examiner reviewed the situation two years ago. Which is why the easiest way to write a piece worth reading on the events is to revise that article. Or I could just give you the link.
"This is because there has never been a full, formal investigation, properly funded, headed up by experienced researchers and staffed with an interdisciplinary team, tasked with determining the origin, method and motive for presenting to the populace of cities stretching from Henderson, Nevada to the Mexican border an apparent overflight of as many as 8 different very large, silent objects that seemed to defy both gravity and physics as we know it." — Phoenix UFO Examiner
In the meantime, data is lost and so are the diligent private investigators who attempted to make sense of it all.
We must note the passing in the last year of Richard Motzer, MUFON field investigator and Michael Tanner, one of the principles at Village Labs, which served as the defacto center of inquiry into the reports. Both left behind significant amounts of personal data on the events, how, when and if any of that information will come to light is anyone's guess.
For those of you who want to see a documentary version of the event unfold on the big screen, including remarks by Apollo 14 astronaut Edgar Mitchell, there will be the annual commemorative screening of witness Lynne Kitei and director Steve Lantz's film, developed from her book, at 1 PM, Sunday, March 17 at the Scottsdale Harkins Shea 14 Cinema. After the screening there will be a talk and Q&A with Navajo Rangers Ret. Lt. Jon Dover and Sgt. Stanley Milford Jr. It is clear now that the origin history of the ancient native peoples of the southwest is part of the larger picture.
The reasoning behind that clarity was presented in a recent podcast by Paul Von Ward, who has assembled the grand unification of the ancient aliens meme. UFO researchers are increasingly realizing and speaking out on the notion that the UFO enigma is best understood as an unrealized aspect of the nature of consciousness itself. Von Ward was one of the first to make that connection but not the first.
"Defined by Jenny Randles in her 1983 book, UFO Reality, as "the sensation of being isolated, or transported from the real world into a different environmental framework...where reality is but slightly different, [as in] the fairytale land of Oz." E.g., UFO witnesses commonly report that their neighborhood strangely lacked, during the sighting experience, the usual background sounds of barking dogs or other animal sounds. UFO investigators may note that there were no other witnesses to a daylight sighting in a populated area, or that no motor vehicles were seen on what is normally a busy city street. Randles adds: "There appears to be a zone of influence surrounding these close encounters. If you are inside of it, then you experience the episode in all its glory and as a total reality. If you are outside of it, then the UFO sighting might as well not have happened.
"The Oz factor certainly points to consciousness as the focal point of the UFO encounter...Subjective data that override objective reality could be internal [from our subconscious], external [e.g., from some other intelligent agency], or both...The encounter has a visionary component. You might interpret that as meaning it is all in the imagination. But it really means that there is a direct feed, if you like, from the source of the encounter to the consciousness of the witness...Some witnesses report a strange sensation prior to the encounter -- a sort of mental tingling as if they are aware that something is about to happen. They just have to look up and see what is there, as if it had called to them silently...Then time seems to disappear and lose all meaning." See MUFON UFO Journal, June 2004, pgs.18-19; also Reality Transformation.
A direct feed, from causative agency to consciousness of the witness, appears in cases of astro-alignment. E.g., witnesses may be sky watching, perhaps with binoculars or small telescope, and see a lighted object slowly approach the moon and then move precisely around the edge. Parallax would prevent other observers, even a short distance away, from seeing the same display. Witnesses get the impression the display was staged precisely for them. An isolated case of such astro-alignment could be coincidence but there are multiple instances. See CUFOS International UFO Reporter, October 2009.
– UFO Help
For those willing to take in a double-header, former British MOD UFO Desk manager Nick Pope will be speaking at Phoenix MUFON, 2 PM, Saturday, March 16 at University of Advancing Technology in Tempe, with a skywatch following in the evening. Pope will discuss the events at RAF Bentwaters and the deeper questions behind the UFO enigma.
Two years later, the basic questions remain unanswered -- What did every one see? Why so few photographs taken? Why did the then-Governor mock the witnesses and then, a decade later, make the claim that he was a witness?
If it was a test of advanced, experimental terrestrial aerospace technology, why was it conducted in the 5th busiest airspace in the country at the time? If it was a test of advanced mass perception management technology what was the point, how much did it cost to develop and how is that technology being used?
What do we make of the reports that Luke Air Force base was closed down briefly at 9 PM while a large black triangular object made a short stop on the ramp and took off again, headed northwest? What do we make of the reports that Air Force operations rooms around the state were very concerned about the events unfolding in the skies over Arizona?
What do we make of the continuing and now increasing number of people coming forward over a decade later, to file a report on a cold, cold case for which there is no publicity value, most of which tend to match the kinds of reports delivered in the immediate aftermath of the evening?
What happened to the 650 odd observer's names and contact information that was delivered to Village Labs by Councilwoman Frances Barwood? And what happened to the videotape of the overflight of a downtown hotel that was intercepted on the way to her office from the witness who took it?
How do we correlate other reports from around the nation in the days prior to and following the event of other similar large, silent black objects?
Who had the means, motive and opportunity to perpetrate a wave of reports of phenomenally large objects across an entire state on the occasion when the appearance of a comet would insure some percent of the population would be looking at the right direction at the right time? Who benefited by the wave of reports? What was the benefit of such a display?
The list goes on and on.
But the biggest question of all remains unasked.
How could an event of this magnitude go un-investigated by responsible authorities and unexplained -- other than the unsatisfying and debatable assertion that a small number of lights captured on video were military illumination flares?
The answer can only be that the authorities do not want to reveal the true nature of the origin of the reports -- if they know it -- for whatever reason. Which makes us wonder why that would be the case. What is so secret that it requires keeping a major event of this nature an enigma, relegated to cultural myth, thinly shrouded in a flimsy wrapping of late night training operations?
And why don't we, as a society, care?
In his final book, the late Dr. J. Allen Hynek decried the lack of investigation into the subject by presumably responsible agencies -- The FAA, USAF and NASA. A thoughtful treatise on this subject was penned by author Leslie Kean in 2002.
Beyond the events across Arizona a decade and a half ago, the entire UFO enigma remains officially unaddressed, relegated to non-status by a kangaroo court of sham investigation by the University of Colorado in the late '60's. By not even looking into it properly, our political and academic leadership is denying a path of inquiry that could presumably lead to a paradigm shifting moment in the development of our civilization.
What are they afraid of?