By Mike FortsonThe late Doc Berry said it best—“The Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona, March 13, 1997”; his title best describes what happened that Thursday evening. Moreover, nine years later, I (we) still look for a return visit from our alien friends. I don’t have a problem saying that feared word “alien” at all. “Nothing of this earth” describes what we saw pass in front of us around 8:30 PM that night. Nothing!
Recalling the event as if it were yesterday, while in the process of closing a window at our then home in Chandler, Arizona I noticed, "three huge, bright white lights angled down and very low to the ground"; after shouting to my wife to come outside we witnessed this “massive V shaped” craft entering our field of vision from the northwest giving us an almost perfect angle for viewing the UFO. This massive black boomerang shaped object was easily determined to be one solid mass as the gray background from all the lights in the surrounding Phoenix metro area allowed this UFO to be visible. It stuck out like a sore thumb!
The reports of our experience have been published on the Internet for over 9 years; I have done over 50 televised shows and been on dozens of radio shows; I have done four documentaries, even one for “UFO’s, Fuji TV from Tokyo, Japan, ABC’s Peter Jennings Reporting, Seeing is Believing” and the best by far was “Out of the Blue,” by James Fox.
To date, as I write this, I am still encountering new witnesses and hearing new stories of that wonderful day; so many reports will never make the Internet, television, radio, or ever be told to the general public. This is so distressing! One goal I had when we moved to the high country of northern Arizona was to find new witnesses and meet many of those who were just too concerned for their jobs, worried about ridicule from friends or family or just not knowing who to contact. There are many more who I feel have yet to tell their story.
This became apparent shortly after Thursday March 9, 2006, when The Daily Courier in Prescott, Arizona did a full-page article on my wife and I and our life changing experience. The article was titled, “Eyes on the Sky”, and was also posted on UFO Updates on March 11th, as well as Frank Warren’s blog, “Knowledge is Power” on March 13th, the nine-year anniversary date.
The purpose was to find more witnesses who never had a chance to tell their story or maybe never wanted to “then,” for reasons listed earlier. My e-mail address was posted in the article along with parts of our story and our determination to keep looking in hopes of a return visit so this time I could get it on film.
In the following couple weeks I had received some 200+ fascinating e-mails. One especially promising was from a flight instructor from Embry-Riddle. He and a student were flying over Chino Valley when it appeared that all the city and area lights went out; after realizing the lights had not gone out but were “being blocked” by what they described as a “gigantic black chevron shaped craft” that was massive in size and at least a mile long! They literally feared for their lives as they flew above this massive unknown object! However, it quietly passed on it’s way south towards Phoenix. The instructor is retired, the student pilot is now on active duty in the USAF; neither will go on camera to tell their story. Also, I spoke with a family of 5 who was at the Dairy Queen on HWY 69, in Prescott Valley; they described a huge V shaped craft, a single object for sure, pass over their heads low and slow. No one said the word flare or “ours” in reference to the craft. No one! One thing most, if not all “8 PM witnesses” say . . . what we saw was not ours!
This is what is so frustrating about this wonderful experience. Very few people ever get told the truth, and thanks to the intentional blunders of the media, they probably never will! Let me try to explain this. First of all, certain members of the media claim that they cannot report a story and have the viewing audience pay attention to it without video. So, enter the five “10:00 PM, MST, videos” of a “military flare drop.” These are the famous, “Phoenix Lights” seen at a faint distance at high altitude. These 5 videos of a flare drop were shot around the same time at different locations. All enjoy higher altitudes and none were shot on the desert floor! These videos were shown worldwide, and are more than likely an intentional flare drop by A-10’s from Davis Monthan AFB in Tucson, Arizona.
A lot of money has been made off these videos as well as some books, but the truth is no one was close enough to the lights to really know for sure what they were. Both Tom King and Dr. Bruce Maccabee * have determined that these lights are more than likely flares, which had to be ignited around 17,000’ to be seen in the Phoenix area. This is what I call the intentional diversion! Nearly every time a report on television is shown they interview an 8:00 o’clock witness of the alien events, while showing the 10:00 video of flares in the background-thus presenting erroneous information and confusing everyone!
My worst fear of all this is that in 50 years or so when the so called “real” UFO investigators decide to examine the 8:00 o’clock events of March 13, 1997, everyone will be dead or lack exact memory of that wonderful night. Giving us another “Roswell type quagmire” of did it happen or not?
I blame almost all the confusion and pretense on two “MUFON investigators and the strange Dr X”; all they did was battle each other for local TV time and argue the lights on the 5 videos. No one made any efforts to record witness testimony early on. There are no MUFON AZ reports to be found. Everyone involved relied on the phone calls to Village Labs or to the office of “Frances Emma Barwood,” who was then the noted Phoenix Councilwoman who asked, “why don’t we investigate the strange events?” Even to this date there are no archives of witness testimony. What little they (the investigators & Dr. X) did record went to their books or DVD documentaries—not to get the word out, but to make a buck.
My name is Mike Fortson and The Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona, March 13, 1997 changed our lives! As you’ve read I have ardent feelings about the subject and will continue to speak out, as I believe it prudent; I am very disappointed in the erroneous reporting and the complete falsehood that what we were allowed to see that night was flares or some government special project. What I saw that night was an alien visitation craft of unbelievable size that paraded thru the Phoenix metro area undetected and without noise. It was there for anyone who was outside to see. It was not “ours,” and it was not a flare!
I now reside in Prescott Valley, Arizona where I sell real estate. I have multiple cameras at the constant ready, just in case; I want to get the next visit, if possible, on film.
If I am fortunate enough to film our visitors, if in fact they do return, I promise you this—it will not be for sale—I will share this with the world for free. It’s not about greed, but about the truth.
Note-Mike Fortson continues to investigate what has become known as the Phoenix Lights-he is actively seeking "other" witnesses to the event who have yet to come forward; witnesses are incouraged to "comment" in the section below or can write in here to the e-mail address found in the left side-bar. Mike can be contacted directly at Mike Fortson
* Dr. Bruce Maccabee has done an extensive "photo analysis" of the various videos taken of the flares dropped that night, March 13, 1997 and can be examined Here.
See Also: The Fortsons Recount Their 'Phoenix Lights' Experience On This Nine Year Anniversary