UFO's Over Arizona
Arizonans Buzz Over Lights in Sky
By STEVE ELLIOTT
PHOENIX (AP) - One night in March, Sue Krzyston heard her
husband call from outside: strange lights again in the sky. They
had occasionally seen odd lights before from their hilltop home in
north Phoenix, but these looked different.
``They were very bright, very large - amber or orange-colored,''
she said. ``They almost looked flamelike, although it wasn't the
shape of a flame.''
And this night there was another difference: Mike Krzyston had
his video camera and captured three minutes of what appeared to be
lights hovering above the city.
They weren't the only people who saw strange things the night of
March 13. People from Tucson in the south to Kingman in
northwestern Arizona called authorities and groups that track UFO
sightings to report lights, many saying they were in a boomerang
Radar screens showed nothing and officials dismissed the
But the issue won't go away quietly.
``You can't ignore that something happened. Something was out
there,'' said Frances Emma Barwood, a Phoenix city councilwoman.
She didn't see the lights, but enough people have called her
about them that she is convinced something happened, and she wants
someone to investigate.
And then the Arizona sightings hit the big time. USA Today ran a
story on the phenomenon last week and other major media outlets
followed. The Krzystons' videotape was played on national
Gov. Fife Symington even got into the fray, getting headlines
during a break in his federal fraud trial on Thursday when he said
he'd ordered a state investigation of the sightings. He called a
news conference later to say it was all a joke, and dressed his
chief of staff as an alien for comic effect.
Even with the snickers, Barwood and others see the recent
attention as vindication and proof that the phenomenon is worthy of
Even if the phenomenon turns out to be manmade, Charles Painter
would like an answer. ``Somebody knows what it was,'' he said.
He thinks it was Stealth bombers that he saw that night while
driving from Tucson to Phoenix.
``They have to test those periodically to make sure they don't
have any radar track,'' he said.
Painter saw lights in a triangle formation. While Sue Krzyston
saw several lights, Painter said he saw just three, which appeared
much larger than the landing lights he saw on planes heading into
Phoenix. He pulled off the highway to listen for jet engines but
Sue Krzyston is quick to say she isn't claiming to have seen a
spacecraft. But she said she and her husband had always attributed
previous sightings of odd lights to Luke Air Force Base, which sits
west of Phoenix.
``This particular night they were farther to the east than
they'd ever been before,'' she said.
Peter Davenport, head of the National UFO Reporting Center, a
private organization based in Seattle, said his office received
hundreds of calls about that night. He said the reports were
remarkably consistent in terms of time, location and description.
``Without a doubt, I think the events over Arizona are the most
dramatic UFO sighting that has been reported to the hot line in the
three years I've been director of the hot line in Seattle,'' he
Barwood wrote to Sen. John McCain, R-Ariz., urging him to ask
the Air Force to investigate. McCain forwarded the letter to the
Air Force. There's been no reply.
Whatever the cause, Barwood said people deserve an answer.
``Why are so many people afraid of saying, `Hey, let's get to
the bottom of what happened?''' she said.
Copyright 1997 The Associated Press.
Military Takes Blame for UFO Lights
By STEVE ELLIOTT
PHOENIX (AP) - Military flares - rather than UFOs - might be
behind those mysterious, bright lights that caused such a stir in
Arizona four months ago.
Visiting jets from the Maryland Air National Guard were using
high-intensity flares over a bombing range near Phoenix the night
of March 13, when many people reported seeing lights, military
officials said Friday.
The flares would have created quite a light show in southwestern
Arizona, where many people reported seeing the lights in a
boomerang formation. The lights, captured on videotape, created a
media frenzy when the tape aired nationally last month.
Capt. Drew Sullins, a spokesman for the Maryland Air National
Guard, said eight of its A-10 ground-attack jets were flying
training missions that night over the Barry M. Goldwater Air Force
Range, 60 miles southwest of Phoenix.
The planes were dropping high-intensity flares from 15,000 feet
to illuminate the target area, Sullins said. The flares fall slowly
by parachute and illuminate a wide area.
Before returning to Davis-Monthan Air Force Base in Tucson that
night, the planes dumped all their remaining flares at high
altitude, which would have created what one pilot called ``one hell
of a light show,'' Sullins said.
But the flare explanation may not solve the mystery. It doesn't
explain sightings that came from northwestern Arizona - up to 200
And Frances Emma Barwood, the Phoenix city councilwoman who's
been pushing for the Air Force to investigate the lights, said the
explanation was just too convenient.
``If that is their explanation then they need to do a
re-enactment so people can say that's what they saw or not what
they saw,'' she said.
Copyright 1997 The Associated Press. The information