By Steve Hammons
March 10, 2010

What was flying over Arizona and Phoenix the evening of March 13, 1997?

Was it a formation of several aircraft with odd bright lights? If so, there seem to be several unusual aspects to the flight.

Was it one huge triangle, boomerang or V-shaped craft? If so, was it a U.S. advanced aircraft or spacecraft of some kind? Was it an extraterrestrial craft? Was it some combination of both?

The so-called “Phoenix lights” case is widely recognized as one of the more interesting incidents involving unidentified flying objects.

The upcoming 13th anniversary of the incident on Saturday, March 13, 2010, offers an opportunity to review and consider a range of information that has surfaced.


For example, a recent article on the Phoenix lights UFO incident by long-time researcher, writer and editor Randall Fitzgerald brings forward more information on this interesting case.

Fitzgerald is a former editor for Reader’s Digest and is the author of several nonfiction books related to government, health and science. His articles have appeared in major mainstream media publications.

Part One of his recent article on “Were the 1997 Arizona Lights a psychological warfare experiment?” was posted on Feb. 24, 2010. Part Two was posted on Feb. 28.

In the article, Fitzgerald presents more details from his 1997 two-month fulltime investigation on the case that was funded by Reader’s Digest where he served at the time as “roving editor.” He reports that he interviewed more than 50 witnesses.

Some key points emerge in Fitzgerald’s investigation. He says that although many credible witnesses saw what they were sure was one massive flying object or craft, witnesses who used binoculars saw individual lights and apparent individual aircraft of some kind.

In addition, some witnesses reported that they could see the stars and the moon through the craft, though these seemed visually altered. In other words, what they were seeing, at times, appeared to be translucent or somewhat transparent.

According to Fitzgerald, civilian radar operators at Phoenix’s Sky Harbor International Airport did not pick up the craft on radar, although commercial pilots were asking them what the lights were.

He cites an anonymous source who said that F-16C Air Force jets from nearby Luke Air Force base scrambled that night to respond to the incident picked up “radar clutter” jamming. Details of the incident were reportedly kept secret, including a “deception operation” involving the dropping of flares later that night.

Fitzgerald also notes that the flight seems to have originated near the Area 51 region in southern Nevada and ended near U.S. Army Fort Huachuca southeast of Tucson. Fort Huachuca is a major intelligence training facility.

In his detailed article, Fitzgerald proposes an interesting possibility to explain various aspects of this complex incident: It might have been a psychological operation of some kind using several special aircraft equipped to broadcast a visual hologram to test reactions of the public and local officials (including public safety and military).


Large, black flying triangle-shaped objects have been reported in the U.S. and other countries. These have also been the subject of rigorous research and investigation by reputable scientists and others.

These objects are often said to be huge, silent and have various configurations of unusual lights. They reportedly sometimes cruise slowly at low altitudes.

Theories have been proposed exploring whether these could be some kind of advanced U.S. aircraft or space craft, possibly using innovative propulsion systems or even unique anti-gravity technologies.

Since it is generally accepted that the U.S. probably has highly-advanced and secret aircraft, these flying triangles could be related. Some researchers even claim that the U.S. might also have a secret space fleet, using far-advanced spacecraft technologies and conducting surprising and exotic space activities.

These more advanced craft might patrol Planet Earth at low-Earth orbit (LEO) or even conduct other missions further out into space, some researchers theorize. Could the Phoenix lights object or objects be related in some way?

As noted, although several witnesses with binoculars reported separate objects over Phoenix that night, in other cases around the U.S. and internationally, witnesses have reported large black triangles that were solid. Were they mistaken as were some of the Arizona witnesses?

When we consider the theories that highly-advanced craft might be either U.S. or coming from extraterrestrial and/or extra-dimensional locations, some “outside-the-box” thinking seems appropriate.

For example, Phoenix lights witnesses believed they saw individual lights, a translucent form and a solid object at various times. Randall Fitzgerald concluded that this sounds like a hologram.

However, might some kind of camouflage, stealth or cloaking technology have been involved? This might even explain changes in appearance of an advanced U.S. craft as well as something more exotic.

In addition, some theories in modern quantum physics include the possibility that objects, beings or craft might emerge into and exit our physical reality, our dimension, in unconventional ways.

That is, they could fade in and fade out of our dimension through wormholes, stargates and portals, similar to some kind of teleportation. They may change from forms of energy to more solid forms.

Again, it might even be possible that the U.S. has this technology. Or, maybe someday we will.

Could this also explain Phoenix witnesses varied accounts and perceptions?

The natural question in the Phoenix lights incident that seems central is why would such a craft, or the holographic illusion of a craft, fly low and slow over a huge U.S. city like Phoenix? And, why do similar craft apparently visit other parts of the U.S and the world?

Are extraterrestrial and/or extra-dimensional visitors here, want to look around and want us to know that they are here? If so, are they conducting some kind of missions or activities, and what are they?

Are advanced U.S. craft flying low and slow over populated areas for surveillance purposes or some other reason such as the psychological operations tests that Fitzgerald wonders about?

Could it be that both scenarios are happening? Visitors from elsewhere are here, the U.S. has advanced craft (possibly related to these visitors in some way) and unusual UFOs seen around the world could be from both sources?

Some speculation includes reports that several types of extraterrestrial and/or extra-dimensional visitors may be here. Some may be friendly, some may be hostile, some may be neutral observers or researchers themselves.

The U.S. could even have joint activities underway with friendly visitors.

When we ponder all these possibilities, it seems like the Phoenix lights case could very well have been a psychological operation of some kind. Maybe it was a U.S. test to see how people might respond, as Fitzgerald points out.

But, rather than a conventional test of a psychological warfare weapon against other countries, maybe it was something else.

Maybe it was an exercise to prepare, educate, orient and acclimate people to emerging, more unconventional situations.

Steve Hammons writes on many topics. For more information, visit these websites: Joint Recon Study Group, Transcendent TV & Media and American Chronicle.