|Occurred : 3/4/1999 20:45 (Entered as : 03/04/99 20:45)
Reported: 3/4/1999 00:58
Location: Phoenix, AZ
|We saw a very bright light that looked like a comet, with a smoke looking trail coming from behind the light.
We viewed the light while traveling West on Interstate 60, the Superstition Freeway at about 8:45PM. My brother saw it first, as I was driving. He remarked something to the effect of "What the hell is that a comet?" I looked up and saw an extremely bright light traveling at a very slow rate of speed in a north to south direction. It looked exactly like pictures of comets that I have seen, a very white part, followed by a long smokey trail. It appeared fairly close to the ground, perhaps 2,000 feet. It was very bright for about twenty to thirty seconds and then it went out. You could see what appeared to be a smoke trail after it. It did not have any type of blinking navigation lights like an aircraft. The bright light was at the aft end of the object as it traveled south. It could not have been a search light from a helicopter or a landing light as it was pointing in the wrong direction(unless some crafts have landing lights on the rear of them). We continued to look at the apparent course of travel for about 2-3 minutes. Suddenly the light appeared again, perhaps 3-5 miles south, south west of the first sighting. I viewed the first incident through the front windshield. I wanted to rule out reflections so I rolled down my window and viewed the lights clearly through the drivers side window. It exhibited the exact same characteristics, very bright, no Nav lights, "smoke" trailing from behind it. It stayed illuminated for about fifteen or twenty seconds and went out again. You could clearly observe some type of "smoke" trailing from behind the object. The smoke did not swirl or appear to move as if acted upon by rotor blades, jet engines, etc. The object could not have been a jet, as if in afterburners, as it was moving far too slow to be a jet in burners. Further, the color exhibited was very pure white and had not blue colored flame to it like a jet engine does. It could not have been a balloon as it was too low, you could have easily seen the balloon being illuminated by the flame, furt! her it was moving too fast to be a hot air balloon. It obsolutely was not any type of flare as has been reported by many in the past. It was moving too fast to be a flare floating in the wind, and it would have been low enough to see a parachute suspending it. Further, I am unaware of a flare that can relight itself after traveling five miles at a constant altitude. There were no aircraft in the immediate vicinity of the light which could have released a flare. The closest airforce base would be Luke some twenty miles to the north west and no military aircraft of any type were seen. However, there were about a dozen commercial aircraft in the pattern around SkyHarbor. They were very obviously aircraft with Nav lights. Several were traveling south of the airport in an Easterly direction. It would have been very easy for them to see the lights, at a lower altitude and directly in front of them.