|Occurred : 6/9/1999 20:50 (Entered as : 06/09/99 20:50)
Reported: 6/10/1999 21:53
Location: Phoenix (north Scottsdale), AZ
Duration:1 hr +
|Two bright amber lights seen over Phoenix
At approximately 8:50 PM, I was looking south-south west from my front yard in North Scottsdale and saw what appeared at first to be distant commercial aircraft landing lights climbing out of Phoenix Sky Harbor. As I continued to watch I noticed that the lights did not move and they also were a distinctly different color than landing lights. I got my binoculars and the lights can only be described as a two separate very bright but deep amber in color with one light slightly lower than the other. There appeared to be no connecting structure between the lights and no other lights associated with the object(s). I initially estimated the distance at about 10 miles (incorrectly). The sky was clear with many stars visible. Visibility in the Phoenix area is nearly unlimited and lighted objects could easily be seen at night 100 miles on the low horizon. My wife, and daughter also watched the lights as they remained perfectly motionless. Suddenly, one light dimmed and turned off, then perhaps two seconds later the other turned off. Then a moment later both lights came on again in exactly the same location. My daughter and I decided to get in the car and investigate at this point. We drove in the direction of the lights all the way into Phoenix, approximately 25 miles south while observing the objects on and off. The separation between the lights widened as we got closer. During the drive the lights turned on and off at least two times. Finally, upon rounding the big bend going southbound at the top of the Squaw Peak highway the lights were clearly visible and obviously much closer. My best estimate of their physical location was approximately 3/4-1 mile west of the South mountain antenna farm, and at an altitude of perhaps 3-4000 feet above ground level. At this point the lights were approximately two and a half fingar widths apart at arms length and still at the same inclination angle but higher above the horizon. They appeared to be literally glued in place...no movement whatsoever. All of this was occuring in Phoenix Sky Harbor's very busy Class B controlled airspace!! Certainly the tower operators could have had a clear view of these objects to the southwest as they were only about 3 miles away. At this time the objects were at an approximate 35 degree angle above the horizon. I am an aerospace engineer and private pilot. I roughly estimate the distance between the lights to be 500 feet gauging from the rate of change of spacing and elevation above ground over the distance. Upon reaching the turnoff to Sky Harbor airport the lights turned off and did not return. At home the lights were perhaps 5-10 degrees above the horizon. Our home north of Phoenix is actually 1000 feet higher in field elevation than central Phoenix, plus we had a clear an unobstructed view initially. The following morning I listened on the radio for any reports of the objects, but unbelievably there were no reports! People see so much in the air that even if something is unusual it is simply shrugged off. I would like to know if anyone else has seen these objects. They were visible for over an hour. I know these were not an aircraft lighting system, and they were too stationary to be an aircraft or airship.