Thursday, February 14, 2008

Interview III With Mike Fortson - Eye Witness To Enormous V-Shaped UFO - AKA "The Phoenix Lights"

Phoenix UFO 2
By Frank Warren
© 2-14-08

Note-As we approach the 11th anniversary of the so-called "Phoenix Lights" of March 13, 1997, and in lieu of recent "similar events" in Stephenville, Texas, the following is a continuation of a series of interviews/articles with and by direct eye witnesses of this monumental event.

Although many who witnessed this huge "V-shaped craft" have come forward, there are a great deal more who haven't; research concerning this case is ongoing to this day, and it is our hope by highlighting the event(s) and the individuals who witnessed it, more people will come forward and share their experiences. Comments are always welcome, and if requested confidentiality will be honored-FW

Part III

FW: Mike we left off in "part II" of our interview retracing your movements shortly after your life changing experience; you mentioned Dr. Bruce Maccabee's arrival in Phoenix, as well as the first meet at the "Village Labs" . . . let's begin there.

Previously you wrote:

Those present at the first get together at Village Labs on March 16, 1997 were: Jim Dellitoso (sp), Michael Tanner (both of Village Labs), Bill Hamilton (MUFONAZ), Tom King (shot 10 PM video from Steve Blonder’s home with Bill Hamilton), Richard Motzer, Tom Taylor (Both with MUFONAZ), Scott Montgomery and his wife (he shot video of F15’s chasing the orbs), Ozma Linderman and her boyfriend, both are 8:25 witnesses from Scottsdale), Mike Krysten and his wife Sue (he shot the famous footage at 10 PM), Mike Fortson and wife Nannette (8:30 PM witnesses), there were a couple radio people there, and Strange Universe filmed the entire meeting. There were probably others but my memory fails as this was nearly 10 years ago as to the rest of the visitors. MUFONAZ had acquired 4 or 5 videos and they were played for us. That’s when I stood up and said, “that’s not what we saw!”.

Village Labs

Can you elaborate a little more for our readers about the Montgomery's sighting of the F-15 pursuit of "the orbs?"

Mike Fortson (C)MF: Gladly. First of all I need to try to clarify which type of fighter jets Luke AFB sent up that night. Luke Air Force Base is located near Glendale AZ., and is home to the 56th Fighter Wing and is a training site for the F16 Fighting Falcons. From the very beginning there have been questions as to which fighters went up to investigate the strange aerial objects reported that evening. Were they F16’s or F15’s? It is true that the training fighters are the F16. But, it has been reported that there are at least 2 F-15’s on base for “special reasons”. Although it is not proven, it has been suggested very strongly that the fighters that pursued the enormous V shaped craft were F-15’s.

I met Scott Montgomery for the first time at Village Labs on March 16, 1997. As I wrote earlier, this was the first meeting of those witnesses who made the early calls to speak of their sightings. There were a variety of videos that were played. The "5" 10 PM videos, the only known 8:25 PM video, and Scott Montgomery’s video. One that I really found interesting and got a real kick from was Scott’s video which he shot in the late evening on March 13, 1997, from his home near Goodyear, AZ., which is west of Phoenix about 35 miles or so and much closer to Luke AFB than any of the other videos. Scott’s video by professional standards is a terrible video. He did not use a tripod. But, in my opinion, it isn’t what is recorded on the video of Scott’s film that is so interesting, but the audio. Scott was filming strange orange “orbs” that were being chased by fighter jets (2) either F-15’s or F-16’s. The major issue the so-called UFO investigators disliked about Scott’s video is he never stayed with one object. He kept going from the jets to the orbs…back to the jets….back to the orbs, etc. This was constant and really not that good of a video. But what the investigators failed to do was listen to what Scott was saying while filming. They failed to hear the immense excitement in his voice. This young man was incredibly excited over what he was seeing/filming. He was trying to get all this while looking thru the viewfinder. He didn’t have the luxury of using the pull out window of today’s video cameras. Remember this was 1997. In his defense, it is very hard to film such an impossible sighting while trying not to lose important observation time. The video is moot. The audio will better help explain the adrenaline rush one gets during such an extraordinary sighting. Truth is Scott’s video is better understood with your eyes closed. Just listen to what he’s screaming while filming.

Scot Montgomery and his wife are not mentioned in any reports by any investigators, nor have they been interviewed by any media outlet; because of his age and his poor video, Scott’s sighting is not to be found anywhere and is treated by the so-called investigators as if it did not happen. In my opinion this is a shame, because Scott’s excitement and the way he was trying to describe what he was seeing/recording is the real important factor here. I still smile when I think of his video. If you would be fortunate enough to see it, (hear it) you also would get a “kick” out of it. If anything humorous was to be written about of the incredibly strange sightings of March 13, 1997, Scott’s video wins first place.

FW: You say, Scott's video was "shot in the late evening" . . . do you know the exact time, or close to it?

Bill Greiner(Sml)MF: No. I don’t know for sure. I’m pretty sure that his sighting was well past all the 8 o’clock activity. And I’m also assuming that what Scott has on video is what truck driver Bill Greiner also saw and reported that night as well. Bill Greiner’s report and stories are available online and also Greiner was interviewed in the June 18, 1997 USA Today. He’s the one who claimed, ”I’ll never be the same!”

FW: One account attributed to Greiner is as follows:

"Bill Greiner, a truck driver, was driving on Interstate 10 when he first saw the lights, and when he parked his truck at 10 pm he saw two illuminated 'toy tops, as he calls them, with red rings around them.

Mr Greiner then witnessed three F-16 tighter jets take off from the nearby Luke Air Force Base. "One of the jets started to close in on the 'toy top' object, which is glowing and pulsating with a red rim
around it. As the jet tries to intercept it just goes up and disappears."

Lieutenant Colonel Hauser from Luke Air Force Base admitted to having F-16 jets in the area at the time of the sighting, and said that they were on a training mission."

To the best of your knowledge is this accurate?

MF:Yes. Bill Greiner’s report has not been debunked by anyone. I have met him, shared our experiences, and I believe him.

Luke AFB

Funny thing here …originally Luke AFB claimed all the jets were tucked away for the night and did not participate in any chasing or involvement to the strange aerial objects that night. Most of us know differently, as there were at least 3 or 4 separate events where fighters pursued the massive V’s. One-5:30 pm., MST, near Crown King (north of Phoenix app.80 miles) 2- 8:25 or 8:30 near Phoenix metro area. 3- 10:25 or 10:30 near downtown Phoenix and the 4th between 9:30 and 11 PM west of Phoenix near Goodyear. All sightings witnesses claim fighters approached or tried to approach the massive V shaped craft.

FW: If the a fore mentioned account is accurate, then that gives a us a time-line presumably for Montgomery's video, even if the video is "poor," the fact that "military aircraft" were involved, mush less in pursuit of "unknowns" is prevalent to the so-called "Phoenix Lights case." Additionally, you're now saying that there was "military activity" as early as "5:30" . . . can you please elaborate.

MF: There are several reports called into Village Labs by witnesses who were off I-17 south near Crown King at a rest stop called Sunset Point. It’s a nice touristy type stop with beautiful mountains on the west side of the interstate. According to reports that would be in the possession of Michael Tanner, witnesses described 3 massive V shaped craft in close proximity of each other, in low altitude and within a mile or so from the witnesses. This got the attention of several drivers and it was intriguing enough to make them pull over and observe the massive crafts. The time is app. 5:30 pm. On March 13, 1997, this would still be daylight! Reports claim that as 2 fighters approached from the south, the 3 V shaped craft “pancaked” on top of each The Phoenix Lights Mystery By Bill Hamilton (Sml)The Phoenix Lights By Dr Lynne Kitei (Sml)other, formed a white ball of light and vanished! The fighters circled the area for a few minutes and left the area heading south. This event is also mentioned in Bill Hamilton’s book, “The Phoenix Lights Mystery” and Dr Lynne’s book, “Phoenix Lights”. For over 11 years now, there haven’t been any TV producers willing to air this report. They all claim that it’s just too far out there and the general public would have a hard time dealing/believing the reports. I would also add that no photos or videos were taken as well, unfortunately. This is one of several fantastic reports surrounding “The Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona, March 13, 1997” and proving my missive, “The Non-Investigation of the Phoenix Lights”. It’s an unbelievable shame so many of the reports will never get out. Everyone (producers) tries to simplify things so the public can better understand what happened. In other words, the public is being misled, intentionally.

FW: Working backwards . . . mainstream media in general are poor investigators/researchers regarding Ufology, (for starters) and their actions certainly indicate they have "other goals" then to "get the story straight" or get "all" the facts.

Mike, in my view the ramifications pertaining to "military involvement" as early as "5:30" is monumental! This means "they were on alert" and had time to not only "gear up" for any "emergencies" but to "ponder" responses to public and or media inquiry.

This definitely puts different light (no pun intended) on the "10:00 PM flare drop!"

I don't want to get to far off track, but are you aware of the "other sightings" outside of Arizona before the 13th?

MF: Well, I’m going to answer this one two different ways…first of all, prior to our sighting, on March 13, 1997, up until about 8:29 PM, MST, I would not have known or paid any attention to any “UfO reports” in my area, your area, anywhere. Truly, I would not have even given it a second take.

Now since our sighting, that’s a different story. Since I started meeting other witnesses and getting involved in this so-called investigation, I have found that this V shaped craft could have been in southern Nevada on the 12th. I have also received e-mail from folks in Iowa, that witnessed the V shaped or as they called it, “arrowhead shaped UfO” on March 12 and again on the 13th of March 1997. We also have the mystery of the MSTI-3 satellite, which became disabled (battery failure) in the late hours of March 12th or early hours of March 13, 1997. But that’s one for a later time.

MSTI3 (Sml)
FW: What more can you tell our readers about the sighting(s) on the 12th?

MF: Once the discussion on the Internet had begun, I was asked to come into a newsgroup and answer some questions and maybe possibly shed some light on the so-called “Phoenix Lights” case. At this point in time all that was really understood was the 5 - 10 PM videos of distant lights that many were claiming were the massive UFOs seen earlier throughout the state. Hardly anyone knew of the 8 o’clock events of the massive V shaped craft. Most looked at the videos and assumed that this is what the 8 o’clock witnesses were describing. Once there was a little acceptance of the earlier events, a lady who is (was) a RN and was on her way home (Iowa) after her shift at the hospital, e-mailed me describing her sighting of a “arrowhead shaped UfO” that was massive in size and very close to what I was describing in the newsgroups back in 1997. To my knowledge hers is the only one. One would probably check the archives at NUFORC to be sure. The southern Nevada sighting would be there as well.

FW: To be clear: from the first gathering of witnesses--initially the main fracas was the "10:00 PM flares"; in your view is this because the local media was airing those videos every time there was mention of the event(s)?

Flare Shot

MF: Absolutely! I’ve been told so many times that without video, viewers will not pay attention. It’s like we are not intelligent enough to listen and comprehend what’s being said. I have for years now felt insulted by this attitude taken by so many producers. I know and accept that written print is based on a 6th grade education, but telling the truth on television should not have to be distorted and created just to satisfy the viewer’s attention span. It was those 5- 10 PM videos that in the early stages of the so-called investigation that led so many away from any type of true investigation. It was as if they started at the end and were satisfied without going to the beginning to start the investigation. It was like, “why waste the time? We have all we need in these videos!”

One of the biggest complaints I had was while giving video interviews they (producers) would insert the 10 PM videos while I was telling of our sighting. So, while describing a massive V shaped craft that passed slowly in front of us, they insert the high altitude 10 PM flare footage. All because there is no good quality 8 o’clock video, they lie to the viewer, thus making the 8 o’clock witnesses look foolish as well.

FW: For our readers NUFORC shows sightings of either "orbs" and or a "triangular craft" in California, Oregon, Michigan, Texas, Nevada, Georgia, and Virginia during that time period.

MF: Yes, I was contacted by William Warwick about the Norfolk, VA. sightings; he claims that theyare identical to the V shaped craft seen in Arizona on March 13, 1997. I think he even wrote a book titled, “The Norfolk Incident.” I had forgotten about that until I saw Virginia.

FW: Additionally sightings occurred in England, Canada, and Cyprus as well. Obviously, labeling this incident, "The Phoenix Lights" was/is fallacious to be polite!

MF: You are absolutely correct, sir! I have argued this title for many, many years. I have talked to witnesses from Flagstaff, Camp Verde, Paulden, Chino Valley, Prescott, Prescott Valley, Wickenburg, Dewey-Humboldt, Cordes Junction, Black Canyon City, Cave Creek, Scottsdale, Chandler, Gilbert, Mesa, Glendale, Goodyear, Casa Grande, Gila River Indian Reservation, Tucson, Yuma, Gold Canyon, and Phoenix. I’m sure this is not all the towns/cities that had witnesses but to call what happened on March 13, 1997, “The Phoenix Lights” is ridiculous. I believe the real title to all this should be, “The Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona, March 13, 1997”, but I’m constantly being told that title is way too long and complicated. But what happened on March 13, throughout Arizona was a long and complicated trail of events, was it not? Hey, if the shoe fits….

Funny thing about those “holy grail” videos taken around 10 PM that got all this going as the “Phoenix Lights.” They are of distant lights. No one has come forward that was any closer than the Blonder/King videos. It is true that these videos are of lights NOT over Phoenix and probably NOT even over Maricopa county. But, more than likely these lights were over the North Tac range of Barry Goldwater Test Range. And, as Dr Maccabee suggested, they would have been more that likely flares ignited at or around 16,000’ in order to be seen by witnesses on mountainside homes in the Phoenix area.

97% of all witnesses are in the 8 o’clock hour. Very few witnessed the more than likely flare drop around 10PM.

FW: Where exactly were "Blonder and King" located and please explain why that is important for our readers.

Blonder Video Still

MF: They were at 40th street and Chandler Boulevard in a suburb called Awhatukee. It’s south of Phoenix and just south of South Mountain. It’s a very nice residential area of mountainside homes. Two of the five “Phoenix Lights” videos were shot from this house. There would have been a third, but the batteries in Bill Hamilton’s camera were not charged and his camera failed as the more-than-likely 10 PM flare drop began.

To me this is important to the readers because this is the closest so far that any witness or video was to the lights. And still they were probably 35-45 miles away. This is why I keep repeating that the so-called Phoenix Lights videos weren’t over Phoenix or even over Maricopa County!

There are no known witnesses south or southwest of these two videos. So the distant lights may really not come to conclusion as to what they were due to this point. This is where I put my beliefs on Dr Maccabee’s conclusion that they are more than likely flares ignited at app. 16,000’ altitude as a diversionary tactic to draw attention away from the 8 o’clock events of massive V shaped crafts.

FW: To be clear, you are saying there are "no known witnesses" of the 10:00 "flare drop" south of Awhatukee, correct?

MF: To the best of my knowledge…that is correct.

FW: We'll pause here, and will continue in part IV posthaste.

1 comment :

  1. I do believe that Tom King, Bill Hamilton and myself were the closest to the lights March 13th and also believe that the lights most likely did go behind the Estrella Mountains but there are more facts that have gotten lost in the story.

    First, I began seeing the lights in the same location in the southwest sky on March 10 where they appeared between 8:30 and 10:30. I called the news stations that evening to report it and began correspondance with Joe Trainer at UFO Roundup which eventually got to Bill Hamilton at MUFON.

    Second, the lights appeared in same part of the sky at the same times each night following until the 13th. On the 13th before Hamilton and King arrived I had been filming them from 8:30 onwards and also identified them in the Southeast part of the sky for the first time. When Hamilton and King arrived at around 9:30 I told them they has "missed the show". We are on the balcony around 10 when one reappeared for awhile before the larger array was set off.

    The array that King filmed and only King filmed was in the same portion of the southwest sky I'd seem the lights each of the previous three nights and earlier that Thursday night. Dilletoso is running an analysis as I write this that will prove the lights filmed on all four nights were the same lights with same characteristics and properties.

    If this analysis proves this (I am being interviewed this Saturday by the History Channel's UFO Hunters show) then the only possiblities left open are that either I filmed flares each night and the army didn't bother reporting the flare drops each of the previous three nights or that these lights were not flares at all.

    Let's remember that the Maryland National Guard story came out in late June - the day after the local news team somehow was able to arrange for a flare dropping demonstation. I've kind of wondered over the years how one goes about arranging a flare drop demonstration - and since when does a local news channel have the budget to arrange such a thing. Would they have approached the army and said - hey I've got an idea that those lights were flares so send up some planes - drop 'em and we'll film them.

    I think the more likely scenario is that the military approached the news channel and told them they were going to drop the flares and they should film - be in a position to take a look and decide if they want to release the exericise to the public.

    I just saw the Discovery Channel special yesterday - there are flaws in their account. They show a picture of lights I took in a triangular pattern as 10:04 - they were shot around 8:30 or 9:00. I have a bunch of film from earlier on March 13 they could have shown but didn't.

    I didn't shoot the array Tom shot because he had just given me a lesson in how to shoot manual focus and indeed I somehow did not hit the record button. All the March 13 video in camera (probably close to 30 minutes) was from 8:30 - 9:30.

    Also, when you look at the array Tom show and array from North Phoenix they are not the same. Our array was in line - there's in an arc. This tells me that there were various lights and light shows going in the entire evening. I have a theory as to what the meaning was behind this display which you can find in my book "Oracle of the Phoenix"


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