Ducks’ Butts? …The Phoenix Lights

The Government can’t keep a secret…? Here are some historical references that I feel begin to shed some light on the motives and techniques of official secrecy…

“In 1943 the neutral press printed some strange news about an apocalyptic experimental American bomb that had destroyed every living thing on a small island during its first test. The facts as reported were not true, but the rumors were based on concrete data, or on the first rare leaks that were coming out of the frenzied preparation of the super secret atomic center at Oak Ridge. The news, then, was in advance of the appearance of the new bomb–a kind of science fiction before the proper time.
Two years later vague references to unknown, large-scale phenomena  (“a deafening roar and a towering column of smoke”) that had been noted in the desert region of New Mexico appeared in some Texas and Arizona newspapers. Mass hallucination or a meteor, the military authorities declared brusquely. Then it was learned that precisely at 5:38 AM on July 16, 1945, under the code name “Trinity”, the first American atomic bomb had been detonated on the top of a high steel tower a dozen or so miles from the air base at Alamogordo. “We learned of the existence of the A-bomb at the same time the Japanese did!” the surprised citizens of the United States claimed. And it was perfectly true.”
(From: Intercept UFO, by Renato Vesco.1974 Zebra Publications.)

Nocturnal lights are, for me, the toughest ‘sell’ as far as UFO reporting goes. Considering my background in UFO illustration, the most convincing reports have always been solid, three-dimensional objects photographed or seen in broad daylight. Anomalous lights in the night sky are more challenging. Yet in March of 1997 a classic nighttime UFO sighting over Phoenix, Arizona made national headlines and to this day sparks a spirited controversy.
I’m still amazed, considering the volume of air traffic over Arizona’s capitol city, that anyone even noticed them at all. The Phoenix skies are filled with aircraft lights all night long. And yet out of this perpetual light show witnesses did detect something out of the ordinary.

A decade later, former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, rekindled interest in this notorious sighting once more by publicly admitting that he too was one of the thousands of eyewitnesses who saw this mysterious formation of lights that night.
“It was absolutely breathtaking.” Symington claimed. “I mean when I saw it, I said this is definitely a UFO.”

Back in 1997, I had the opportunity to interview eyewitnesses to this event as well on our UFOAZ TALKS TV show when they shared their impressive account of seeing, silhouetted against the faint light of dusk, a gigantic boomerang shaped object almost a mile in diameter drifting over their property.

We later followed-up by interviewing Phoenix City Council-woman, Frances Barwood, who justly called for an Air Force investigation into this strange incident. Exactly how secure were the skies over a major American city such as Phoenix? Her expressed concern was prudent and reasonable, but it devastated her political career.
Aside from a dazzling, entertaining light display, it is disturbing to think how many tactical weapons this behemoth could have launched in it’s unchallenged sashay across the Valley of the Sun.

Luckily it’s intent was benign, but an embarrassed Luke Air Force Public Affairs Office issued a dour disclaimer, two months later, stating the lights were nothing more than flares dropped by an A-10 “Warthog” airplane. Then noted debunker, James McGaha, put us all at ease by pontificating, “There is simply no evidence that a spacecraft from another world has ever visited the Earth, none.”
Well, I got news for you Jimmy, there’s NO evidence that we HAVEN”T been visited by spacecraft from another world, either!  The simple honest truth is—we don’t know what flew over the Phoenix valley on the night of March 13, 1997.

However nocturnal sightings of gigantic boomerang or delta-shaped UFOs are NOT unprecedented. On the night of August, 25, 1951 a formation of lights were seen flying over Lubbock, Texas.

Flying in a uniform pattern, these lights also formed a gigantic boomerang shape, and became labeled the famed “Lubbock Lights”.  Debunkers, struggling to find a prosaic excuse for this UFO sighting, explained them away as the reflection of mercury-vapor streetlights reflecting on the undersides of ducks flying in formation—in other words—ducks’ butts! How’s that for some ingenious ‘debunking’!
Then again, in December of 1981 the boomerangs appeared over the Hudson Valley of New York. These sightings continued regularly for the next two years. Eyewitnesses reported seeing huge craft flying too low and too slow for conventional aircraft.

Yet, once more, debunkers rose to the occasion. This time they dismissed the lights as a formation of small privately owned aircraft staging a hoax—something like “Pussy-Galore’s Flying Circus” in the James Bond movie Goldfinger, buzzing their formation of Piper Cubs over Fort Knox! Of course nobody could track down these mischievous pilots and eyewitnesses claimed the UFOs themselves flew almost silently, making no more noise than a low humming sound.

In late 1989 and on into 1990 another wave of large delta shaped craft was reported in the night skies over Belgium. And during the ‘Gulf War’ in 1991 researcher Bill Hamilton reported a huge ‘flying-wing’ UFO was seen entering unchallenged into restricted airspace over Edwards Air Force Base in California. So, as you can see, the ‘Phoenix Lights’ UFO sighting was not totally unique.

However, left with no solid explanations, the field for conjecture as to the origin and purpose of these lights is left wide open.
So, assuming the Phoenix Lights were something other than flares, how do we account for such UFOs?  Applying “Occam’s Razor” as a deductive guide—meaning the simplest answer is always the best—here we have an unknown craft obviously constructed by intelligent design that isn’t OURS. The only conclusion left is, it must be THEIRS—in other words, a vehicle of extra-terrestrial origin: a perfectly reasonable conclusion given the evidence at hand, and considering Earth human’s limited knowledge of the cosmos in general. We don’t know who’s out there. And, until we have made a detailed, comprehensive, first-hand study of each and every world in our galaxy (not to mention the rest of the universe) and have proven otherwise, the possibility that UFOs are machines of alien, off-planet origin remains a viable and reasonable explanation.

Of course applying this option to the Phoenix Lights poses other problems. The fact that an uninvited intruder could traverse the entire length of the state of Arizona with complete impunity suggests either gross negligence on the part of our military air defenses or an ‘unofficial’ tacit approval, and that would imply an undisclosed working agreement between the Pentagon and an off-world civilization. Oops, better fall back to the DUCK BUTTS, explanation!
Luckily we don’t have to settle for just the extra-terrestrial hypothesis. Theories can splinter in other directions as well: instead of extra-terrestrial why not ‘extra-dimensional’—craft that slip in and out of our time-space dimension. Or how about the holographic projection explanation: somehow someone could possibly beam what appear to be three-dimensional objects into our reality. And lastly for those who prefer a more cerebral solution, this phantom craft could be a thought projection from the ‘collective human consciousness’–a theory once posed by famed psychiatrist, Carl Jung. Who knows?

But hold on–just to throw a final hunk of tantalizing conjecture into the mix, I invite you to check out this unverified report. It sounds like pure science fiction, but these days anything goes! Described in an April 2003 internet article is a fantastic top-secret aircraft know simply as ‘the wing’. This monster is reported to have a wingspan six times that of a B-52, and allegedly carries a crew of twelve—all pilots–and can carry a payload of 2000 nuclear bombs. After lift-off, this plane can turn ninety degrees and go straight up, leaving the atmosphere. The ‘wing’ can stay aloft in orbit for weeks on end, or if it needs refueling it simply reenters the atmosphere converting the surrounding oxygen and hydrogen envelope to its fuel. It is reported to be the ultimate ‘stealth’ weapon that flies silently and has been repeatedly mistaken as a UFO.

This curious internet tale disappeared, but the craft it described sounds suspiciously similar to another one of the latest high-tech stealth flying machines engineered by the U.S. Defense Department and rumored to be presently operational called the ‘Astra’, otherwise known as the TR-3B. This astounding craft is delta shaped and comes in two sizes; one 300 feet long and the other 600 feet long. The Astra is capable of vertical lift and all the other radical moves typically associated with UFOs. Its propulsion is described as:  “Magnetic Field Disruptor”, [I.E. anti-gravity] created by spinning mercury plasma at 50,000 rpms. Pressurized to 250,000 psi. This reduces the craft’s gravitational mass by 89%. Multi-mode impulse rockets at each corner of the delta configuration supply the remaining 11% propulsion.”

Confused now? Like I stated earlier, the truth remains, we just don’t know what flew over Phoenix the night of March 13, 1997–but somewhere out there I’ll bet somebody does!

Jim Nichols