Sunday, February 22, 2009

Phoenix Lights:
The Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona-March 13, 1997
12 Years of Retrospect

Phoenix Lights Craft

By Mike Fortson
The UFO Chronicles
© 2-4-09

Mike Fortson     As we near the 12 anniversary of what is commonly and erroneously labeled the Phoenix Lights, in retrospect it’s difficult to believe so much time has passed; it seems as if it were only a couple of years ago that my wife and I witnessed the “Massive V-Shaped Craft” from our then home in Chandler Arizona; for almost 4400 days that image has been seared into my mind’s eye. I still vividly remember the entire sighting, which occurred at 8:30 pm MST. I’ve been told on many occasions that over time, thoughts and memories fade and total recall starts to diminish. Well, not this one!

I still give thanks almost daily for being allowed the opportunity to view with my own eyes one of the greatest UFO sightings in history. We (my wife and I) were at the perfect angle at the right time and place to have the opportunity of a lifetime. Being able to witness a mile-long “alien craft,” from which I believe comes from another dimension, has been by far the greatest visual experience of my 55 years of life on earth.

I’m not writing this to sway public opinion or change anyone’s mind. I am writing this to express gratitude for what I was a part of and to publicly say, “Thank you Lord” for allowing me to see this for myself; something that we have been told all of our lives “does not exist!”

I first came forward on Saturday morning March 15, 1997, in a phone call to Mr. Walter Andress of MUFON in Sequin, Texas; from that point on I haven’t stopped talking about this life-changing experience. I have met and shared our encounter with hundreds of other “eight o’clock witnesses” and the database is overwhelming as to the scope and magnitude of the event throughout the great state of Arizona. What was once thought of as a mere set of lights beginning near Kingman, is now known to be much larger in scale with multiple mile long V shaped objects, a massive 2 mile-wide triangle and a mile wide disc (and that’s not all).

Not just one set of lights by a long shot!

It’s a fact that the listening and viewing public have been lied to from the very beginning! Without a doubt the real story has never been told. This is what motivated me to write, The Non-Investigation of the Phoenix Lights. I have known from my very first interviews that the media (producers) do not care if the truth is ever told. They wish to sanitize the story so it is more believable (accepted) by the public. In other words; they change or don’t report all the facts; thus, they lie to you. Because they feel that sometimes the truth is much too strong for the sheeple and the truth needs to be altered so we can sleep tonight without worrying about something we have no control of. Sickening, isn’t it?

Concerning the Phoenix Lights case: “they” changed the facts and continually show the 10 PM flare videos (there are 6 of them) while interviewing the eight o’clock witnesses. This deception is a huge slap in the face to the witnesses of the “actual craft,” and a total lie to any who read or watched the events and testimonies of The Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona, March 13, 1997. All one has to do is ask a non-witness about the Phoenix Lights sightings on March 13, 1997, and most will say, “Oh, yeah they were flares!” The eight o’clock witnesses just shake their heads left to right in frustration. The diversion has succeeded and the truth will probably never be told as minds have already been made up.

So, I ask myself, “What can I do?” Does anyone other than the witnesses really care? Does anyone know about or care about the MSTI-3 satellite that was disabled early on March 13th 1997? Does anyone care about the witnesses who watched in awe at 5:30 pm near Crown King, AZ., as 3 massive V shaped craft in daylight pancaked on top of each other”; then turned into a white ball of light and vanished as 2 fighter jets approached from the south? Does anyone care that the 8:16 pm MST witnesses in Paulden, AZ., included retired US Army Major named Lyle Vann, not a retired police officer as was written in summaries and books? Does anyone care about being “historically correct” as much as we possibly can? I do!

Does anyone care that drivers on I-17, I-10, US60 and many other highways and roads throughout the state pulled over and got out of their vehicles to watch in disbelief what was passing in their field of vision? Does anyone care if a little league game came to a halt as a massive craft silently passed overhead? And does anyone care if a police search and rescue team practicing in the north valley witnessed the same thing and the helicopter pilot absolutely refused to go up and check it out? What about the airborne flight instructor from Embry-Riddle? As he looked down he assumed there was a power outage, only to become aware of the massive V shaped craft passing under him; in his own words he stated, “I thought he was going to die!” Does anyone care? Does anyone care about the retired airline captain who claimed he could land his 737 on the wing of the massive V shaped craft? Again, does anyone really care?

I mean, after all it was just flares, right?

Throughout the past twelve years, I’ve looked back and realized just how lucky I’ve been. I mean I’ve done 2 episodes of Strange Universe, 2 documentaries for stations in Tokyo, Japan; I’ve also been privileged to do dozens of television interviews and at least 60 radio interviews. I was invited to do the Leeza Gibbons show, as well. How often does one get to fly to Los Angeles, get a limo ride to Paramount Studios, have your name on your door, a catered private lunch and get to meet Leeza! Wow! Well, I did. It was very cool indeed and one of the best times I’ve had.

I have for the most part always been open to share my experience—again without requiring compensation. There have been a few witnesses and or investigators who’ve penned books and or produced DVDs etc; however, making a buck hasn’t been a precedence for me.

I did an interview with Dr Lynne Kitei for her book and DVD. Actually, I’m a large part of the video she sells and my 8:30 sighting is told in great detail. I do appreciate her for allowing me to do that. She asked me dozens of questions and allowed my views of March 13, 1997 to be told in my own words. I do not agree with her on her 10 PM video as UFO; rather I pretty much agree that those 10 pm videos are more than likely flares, intentionally ignited at high altitude (17,000’) to create a diversion to take away attention from the earlier events of the massive crafts.

The strangest part of my association with Dr Lynne took place at a MUFON meeting in Mesa, AZ a couple months ago; she approached me and said, “I’m also an eight o’clock witness to the massive V shaped craft! I just never came forward because I didn’t take any pictures!” What? So, for the last 11.5 years why have you been focused on the 10 pm video you shot, trying to divorce it from the other flare footage and claming it was of an authentic UFO? Most agree that the 10 pm videos are in fact flares, so now you claim to be an eight o’clock witness as well? Are you kidding me??? And for the past 11.5 years with all your interviews, television and radio shows—you never made this claim! Now you are a witness to the large craft?

Does anyone else find this peculiar? Very early on, the majority of eight o’clock hour witnesses became cognizant of the disparity between the “large craft” cruising “low and slow,” opposed to the distant lights up and beyond the Estrellas; to say that people were adamant about their “craft sighting,” in contrast to flares would be an understatement! Dr. Lynne has fought tooth and nail for her “10:00 video” to be disassociated with flares—never during this time has she given any inkling that she observed the “craft” in the eight o’clock hour! I find this new revelation very curious to be polite.

One part of the March 13th massive statewide sightings that never really gets examined is the official statements made by the USAF and government pertaining to the events; they did not claim that the dropping of flares were responsible for the “earlier events” (eight o’clock hour). Instead what was said was this, “at no point in time was there a threat to the security of the United States”. Thus, my interpretation would be that since there was no threat, then it (the UFOs) would be considered a friendly. The FOIA from Luke AFB did not call the earlier events as planes, flares, blimps, balloons, or any other man made objects. Instead the FOIA reports the USAF as calling the “objects” as unusual aerial sightings. They also report that no Luke AFB craft were involved in the “phenomena” reported on the night of 13 Mar 97.

Since our sighting nearly twelve years ago, my wife and I have become very good sky watchers. We have spent many hundreds of hours watching the skies for a return visit, hoping this time to get “it” (or them) on film. I really feel that what we got to see that night might be considered a “once in a lifetime” sighting and we have accepted that as a possibility. However, whenever outside no matter what the length of time might be, I am always aware of my surroundings and I still take a moment to scan the skies.

So, in closing I wish to say something from my heart, “I do not believe in UFOs or aliens—I know “they exist!”


  1. Hey Mike,

    You talk about getting the facts straight. Well, seems to me that in all of your 'interviews' and even in the Documentary, you have stated right along that you saw a BOOMERANG - not a V shaped craft like thousands of others throughout AZ profess. With the recent revelations by the military 'Al' that flares were deployed earlier than 10 pm, south of Phoenix, coupled with your adament appraisal of the boomerang footage being flares, seems that's exactly what you saw. And your 'like looking through water' statement confirms that you were probably seeing the visual flare effect in your minds eye - and I dare say brain. With all your blubbering about the truth, the truth is that YOU witnessed flares!

  2. Good Day Norm,

    Thank you for your comment.

    A few points:

    Most folks feel that "V-shaped" and "boomerang shaped" are analogous to each other.

    Additionally, "Al" didn't say that flares were dropped earlier, what he did say about flares was:

    "When the official explanations of the incident were released (mainly the story about Maryland ANG A-10 "Flares" story), myself and everyone else that had anything to do with the incident itself were deflated, as we knew it was false.


    "It was obvious to all with access that there were other aircraft in the area, with orders to drop flares (whether this was the Maryland ANG is unknown). It was felt that this was indeed a "deception" measure to keep curiosity focused on one space in the sky . . .."

    In conclusion: there were "no flares dropped in the eight o'clock hour"; there were no reports of flares dropped in the eight o'clock hour.

    I'm afraid you've fallen victim to one of the main points of Mike's article i.e., the deception created by the 10:00 pm flare drop and the blending of that event with the 8:00 pm craft sighting by the media.


  3. Norm,

    Mike Fortson writes:

    Hi Norm,

    Thanks for your incorrect response. Although everyone has a right in this great country to speak his or her thoughts openly and freely, I accept your incorrect opinion on the 8 o'clock events as flares.

    You may have not read my original report I wrote back in March of 1997 where I described the object as boomerang, chevron shaped or even as a massive V shaped craft. I said all apply. One might even describe it as similar to the symbol Accura uses. (except the nose of the craft was closed.) You see Norm, it didn't pass over my wife and my heads. It passed in front of us. As it passed in front of us, all we could see of it was the left wing of the craft. As it passed to the south of us, then we could see the end of the right wing and knew then it was V shaped, boomerang shaped or even chevron shaped.

    Never has anyone who was present or had access to the reports of....5:30/Crown King, 8 o'clock hour/throughout the entire state of Arizona, or 10:20 pm near Cave Creek used the word flare.

    I happy for you as being the one who solved this great mystery. (At least in your own mind)

    Thanks again for taking time to read my missive.

    Mike Fortson

  4. So tired of hearing about flares. Let's be real, they were dropped by the military on March 13 '97 to confuse the issue. Who cares what time and where.

    We also know that there were unusual things happening throughout the state that still remain unexplained. Can't we just acknowledge and celebrate that instead of pointing the finger at who saw what for one's own ego massage?

  5. Norm,

    I'm going to assume that readers following this colloquy are as confused as I am; in your first missive, (a criticism of Mike's article) you seemed to be taking the position that the incident known as "The Phoenix Lights" was precipitated by the military launching flares.

    You now seem to have reversed yourself, and are agreeing with what Mike has been saying for almost 12 years i.e., that the military dropped the flares as a "diversionary tactic"; one can only wonder what your next comment will be . . .

    By the way your pejorative remarks against Mike do nothing for your argument(s) or your character.

    In Bewilderment,

  6. No confusion here. Hundreds, maybe thousands did see something extraordinary while military flares where also dropped as a diversion. The fact that Fortsen states multiple times that he saw a boomerang craft ??? makes one suspect that what HE really saw was the same boomerang thing filmed later, that he insists were flares.

    HIS pejorative remarks do nothing for his argument(s) or character. And your defense of them speaks volumes.

  7. Good Day Norm,

    You wrote:

    "No confusion here."

    You've made (3) comments; in the first one you wrote:

    You talk about getting the facts straight. Well, seems to me that in all of your 'interviews' and even in the Documentary, you have stated right along that you saw a BOOMERANG - not a V shaped craft like thousands of others throughout AZ profess. With the recent revelations by the military 'Al' that flares were deployed earlier than 10 pm, south of Phoenix, coupled with your adament appraisal of the boomerang footage being flares, seems that's exactly what you saw.

    I explained that most folks assume that the descriptions, "Boomerang," "Chevron" and or "V-Shaped" are analogous to each other. Moreover, Mike wrote that he has commingled all of those descriptions in referring to the craft--those references are and always have been in his written and or oral accounts, for those that have read his written word, or listened to any of his interviews.

    Additionally, as I mentioned earlier, the person calling himself "Al" never indicated that any flares were dropped before 10:00 pm. Moreover, this person, whom I've been in contact with privately, has never been vetted, and has gone silent; henceforth anything he (or she) says is suspect.

    Finally, the Fortson's sighting was in the "eight o'clock hour," and there never have any reports of flares during that time--period! Accordingly, the flare drop was done at high altitude, over and slightly behind the Estrellas; the Fortson's sighting was of a "slow, huge craft 'under 1200 ft altitude" very near to their then home in "Chandler!"

    You further wrote:

    And your 'like looking through water' statement confirms that you were probably seeing the visual flare effect in your minds eye.

    "No one" who witnessed the flares, described a "looking through water effect";same can be said in viewing the videos of the flare drop. For that matter there is no "looking through water effect" and or "blurry" effect regarding the observation of flares period!

    Mike, from the very beginning along with the majority of the "eight o'clock hour witnesses" has stated that he felt that the flare drop was a diversionary tactic.

    In your second missive you wrote:

    So tired of hearing about flares. Let's be real, they were dropped by the military on March 13 '97 to confuse the issue. Who cares what time and where.

    Here you seem to be siding with Mike!

    I would argue that your comments contradict each other, and are nothing but confusing.

    Finally you wrote:

    HIS pejorative remarks do nothing for his argument(s) or character. And your defense of them speaks volumes.

    Unlike you Norm, Mike made no "pejorative remarks" in his response to you. . . at worst he was mildly sarcastic in his final sentence. He stated your comments were "incorrect" and he was right as I have pointed out in my rejoinders.

    It would appear that erudition, along with the details of The Phoenix Lights Lights are two areas that require a little more homework on your part.

    Ironically there is something that we agree on (believe it or not) my support of Mike Fortson and his declarations(s) do speak volumes!

    Frank Warren

  8. Frankly Frank,Fortsen sounds full of himself and you're buying it.

    As I wrote, "So tired of hearing about flares. Let's be real, they were dropped by the military on March 13 '97 to confuse the issue. Who cares what time and where."

    You wrote, "Here you seem to be siding with Mike!"

    Not at all. What Mike saw were flares, whatever time it was, and I'm sticking to it.


    Norman G.

  9. Norm,

    You made an initial comment that was sarcastic, contemptuous (unnecessary) and more importantly erroneous (and you haven't stopped yet).

    Mike replied and chose not to employ like pejorative remarks, innuendo and or ad hominem attacks. He, along with his wife (and thousands of others) saw a UFO that was grandiose in size; the event literally changed their lives! What you label "full of himself" is in fact his fervor precipitated by the experience. Moreover, he has become what I have called the "reluctant Ufologist" and over the years has attained "encyclopedic knowledge" of what has become known as the "Phoenix Lights!" I would say that it is safe to state that Mike Fortson's knowledge of the events that took place on March 13, 1997 surpasses that of anyone I know. If you want to associate that with "his ego," then that's your prerogative, but you would be in error (again).

    As to your longing for Mike to have seen flares regardless of the evidence, that is a phenomenon unto itself; however, FYI, this is what Mike witnessed:

    I awoke from a brief nap in my recliner and leaned over to tell my wife that I was going to bed. I glanced to the clock on the television, it was 8:30 pm. As I walked down the hallway to the master bedroom, I noticed the bedroom window was open. The weather was most pleasant this March 13 evening, temp. 75 degrees, clear and no wind.(Jim Schnebelt Fox 10 weather) Typical Arizona spring evening.

    As I pulled the window closed, my eyes were attracted to the three huge, bright white lights angled down and very low to the ground. "Plane crash!" I thought. These lights were way too low and angled in a way nothing I know of could pull out of.

    I ran down the hallway, grabbed my glasses off the bar and yelled to my wife, of 25 years, "get outside right now!" Without hesitation she followed me out the back arcadia door to the edge of our patio. (I have timed this since and it took app. 8-10 sec)

    Standing at the edge of our patio, facing west, and looking north, confussion struck me. For there was no plane crash, but coming from the north and heading south was one, single structure that looked like a giant boomerang. (the description of boomerang, chevron (best), and V shaped object all apply). This object stuck out like a sore thumb in the evening sky due to the fact we were looking north towards the Phoenix metro area, and the city lights gave us a grey background in which to view this huge black V shaped object. It was so low to the surface we could not believe it. I remember saying, "what the hell is that?"

    The huge V shaped craft was moving slowly to the south. At this point, still northwest of us, we both saw a 737 in landing approach pass over the object. The plane was coming in from the west heading east. The V shaped craft was heading south from the north. As the 737 passed over the V shaped object, I said, "did you see that! Why didn't the plane get the hell out of there?" But it didn't. The pilot nor the planes computers saw nothing. (Just like the radars at Sky Harbor and Luke AFB. Nothing was detected.)

    I would like to explain more on this incident. We live app. 23 miles ESE of Sky Harbor in Phoenix. Planes coming in to land (most of the time) will come out by us, bank to the north (left), proceed for app. 10-12 miles, bank left again (west) and land at Sky Harbor. This is normal landing pattern. I have talked to airline pilots, tower operators, and investigators about the altitude of planes coming in to land at Sky Harbor, at the point of the first bank north where we live. The altitude..1200'. The massive V shaped craft we saw was under 1200' altitude!

    As the huge V shaped craft proceeded south, it was almost in front of us, when my eyes followed the left wing to it's end. We live 1/2 mile south of Chandler Blvd. The end of the wing was well past that and at least half way to Ray Rd. (1 1/2 miles north!) I remember saying to my wife, "that son-of-a-bitch is a mile long! As it passed in front of us all we could see is the left wing. That's how low it was. At arm's length the object was at least 30"+ long. I reported it was app. 1 1/2 mile west of us, going down Alma School Rd. But the closest part of the huge V, the end of the left wing was much closer. Maybe within a 1/2 mile. One thing that I remember the most is how this craft "floated" app. 30-40 mph. There was no visual means of propulsion and absolutely no noise. The altitude and speed of the craft never changed.

    This same "craft" was seen by countless of others. Once again "there were no reports of flares" . . . "by anyone" . . . "in that area" . . . or "during that time"--ever!

    Re the flares:

    To reiterate-The reason that it's important to know when and where the flares were dropped is because the powers-that-be along with the media have tried to pass it (the UFO event) off as the launching of flares.

    Verifying the facts concerning the flare drop eliminates the possibility for that being the causality of the event--it's called scientific investigation.


  10. Thanks for your post Frank. Nice details. Your bud has obviously been 'touched'. And to his volumes of minutia knowledge, except for UFO groupies, as Mike asks himself, "does anyone care"?


  11. Good Day Norm,

    You wrote:

    Thanks for your post Frank. Nice details.

    Your welcome.

    Your bud has obviously been 'touched'. And to his volumes of minutia knowledge, except for UFO groupies, as Mike asks himself, "does anyone care"?

    "Most" of the "direct witnesses" in the eight o'clock (that have come forward) were affected in a similar way, i.e., they all relate that it was a life changing experience.

    The "people who care" about the "details" of any unexplained phenomenon begin with researchers/investigators, scientists etc., and are followed by erudite, curious folk who want to get a logical understanding of what is happening.

    Generally, the people who don't care about an issue, tend to ignore it.

    Conversely, based on this discourse, methinks another category exists entirely . . .


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