Monday, March 26, 2012

THE PHOENIX LIGHTS 15th ANNIVERSARY | The Mike Fortson Interviews

Bookmark and Share

By Frank Warren
The UFO Chronicles
© 2006-2012

Editor's Note-March 13th is the anniversary of one of the most significant UFO events in history; The UFO Chronicles will underscore the event with various articles both past and present, throughout the month-FW

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

Mike Fortson (Sml)     FW: Thank you Mike for agreeing to do this interview and being one of the first participants in the latest addition to our "Knowledge is Power" web-site i.e., "the interview section."

In our private correspondence you certainly have convinced me of the "gravity" of what has erroneously become known as the Phoenix Lights; that title certainly doesn't represent what occurred on March 13th, 1997.

In any event, why don't we start by informing the readers of who Mike Fortson is . . . give us some background.

MF: I was born February 24, 1953, in Hertfordshire, UK. My parents are both Americans from Indiana. My father was a staff sergeant in the USAF stationed in London. I spent the first 18 months of my life in England, then Georgia for 5 years or so. Then in 1959 we moved to Kokomo, Indiana where I spent the next 16 years.

I graduated high school in 1971 and unfortunately my lottery number for the draft (Viet Nam) was under 60 and I was headed into the military. Lucky for me my test scores were high enough that the US Navy took me with a 4 year enlistment. During boot camp I was asked if I would be interested in the USN Ceremonial Guard in Washington, D.C. I said, “yes”. I spent my entire Navy career (4 years) in DC doing military funerals in Arlington National, state dinners at the White House, participated in full honor arrivals for foreign heads of state. Highlights included; Nixon’s inauguration, funerals for Presidents Johnson and Truman. I participated in over 1500 military funerals in Arlington National. I had a White House security clearance.

In June of 1972, I married my high school sweetheart. We have now been married for over 34 years. We have 3 sons, now aged 29, 30 and 32. Along with that comes the grand kids; twin girls 11, another grand daughter 8, 7, and my only grandson, 5 months.

I have been in sales since I got out of the Navy in 1975. In 1979 the auto recession pushed us out of Indiana and we were part of the rush to Texas. I worked in the oilfields until 1986. When oil dropped to $6 a barrel and we loaded up again and moved to Arizona. I now sell real estate in Prescott Valley, Arizona. . . .

Interview With Mike Fortson - Eye Witness To Enormous V-Shaped UFO - AKA "The Phoenix Lights" (Part II)

FW: Mike we left off in "Part I" of this interview at the end of your narrative describing what you refer to as "your life-changing event," i.e., the sighting of a "huge" V-Shaped craft by you and your wife known as the "Phoenix Lights." This taking place almost ten years ago March 13, 1997.

I would like to begin the very next day, but first given what is now known about that night, calling it the "Phoenix Lights" certainly isn't accurate, to put it mildly; where and how did that name originate?

Mike Fortson (B)MF: Frank, that’s a really good question, and I don’t know if I have the right answer. I think several people will take the credit for the name, “Phoenix Lights”. The massive sighting occurred Thursday evening March 13, 1997. After I reported it to MUFONAZ, I was asked to be at Village Labs in Tempe, AZ., on Sunday March 16. There the “Strange Universe” crew met with us and videotaped our experience. I think the term was first used then. However, a few others may claim the term, I’m just not sure. Another, which I thought was first, was a producer from MSNBC. One fact does remain…I have argued this title since it’s creation as inaccurate. What was seen that night was witnessed nearly all over the state of Arizona. Today I equate the term “Phoenix Lights” to the 5 videos of a diversionary flare drop around 10 PM that night. These more than likely flares were dropped at around 16,000’ foot altitude and witnessed by a few people in Phoenix metro area. These “lights” weren’t over Phoenix. And truthfully, they weren’t even over Maricopa county. But the descriptive name for March 13th will forever be “Phoenix Lights”. Sad but true.

I do agree with the late Doc Barry; “The Massive UFO Flyover of Arizona March 13, 1997”, is the most accurate way to describe that wonderful night. . . .

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

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.

Scott 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. . . .

No comments :

Post a Comment

Dear Contributor,

Your comments are greatly appreciated, and coveted; however, blatant mis-use of this site's bandwidth will not be tolerated (e.g., SPAM etc).

Additionally, healthy debate is invited; however, ad hominem and or vitriolic attacks will not be published, nor will "anonymous" criticisms. Please keep your arguments "to the issues" and present them with civility and proper decorum. -FW