|Occurred : 3/13/1997 20:15 (Entered as : 03/13/97 20:15)
Reported: 3/12/2006 4:51:27 AM 04:51
Location: Black Canyon City (5 miles N of), AZ
Duration:appx. 2 minutes
|Phoenix Lights on I-17 near Sunset Point Rest Area
Hi Peter, I heard you on Coast to Coast with Art Bell last night, and you finished the show asking for Phoenix Lights eyewitness reports. Here is one more for you.
I think my sighting was somewhat unusual, because I saw the craft flying southward above Interstate 17 about 60 miles north of Phoenix. I've heard reports from the Prescott area, and of course in Phoenix, but not many from in between.
Please refer to the following map: http://maps.google.com/?ll=34.174885,-112.136593&spn=0.099698,0.100079 This shows I-17 north of Phoenix. The map is centered on the Sunset Point rest area, which is about 1/2 mile up the road (north) after my sighting ended.
I was driving home from Phoenix, and the time was approximately 8:15 pm.
Don't take that time too seriously -- I didn't check the time while watching the UFO, and came up with an approximation later based on the time I got home. (I was used to making the trip and new how long it took to drive between Phoenix to the Sunset Point halfway point, and then home in Sedona.) See where I-17 is split lower in the map area? That is the stretch of the interstate that connects the Sonoran Desert with a mesa area at higher altitude.
The road there is curvy and is on about a 7% grade, with little or no shoulder.
It was getting dark, and while driving about halfway up that part of the road, I noticed an inverted V of bright lights far off in the distance. They seemed low near the horizon, and at first I thought they were lights on a distant mountain.
But that didn't make sense, because the mountain is off to the left (west), and the lights were just about 5 degrees left of straight ahead. Also, they were white color and steady, not flashing red as with a radio tower or something like that.
While I was thinking those thoughts, I realized there was no way the lights were on the ground, since they were getting higher in the sky and nearer (bigger)! Obviously, it was something or some things flying through the air.
It was getting difficult to watch the lights, because I was in traffic, navigating curves uphill on a road with almost no shoulder and a cliff to my left in case I messed up! (BTW, I was in the left lane of traffic.) As the lights got nearer, I had to push my head forward toward the windshield and look upwards. It was a little tricky...
The lights stayed on the left of my car, apparently flying over the southbound part of the interstate. I could clearly see there were five lights, one at the tip and two each on either side, in the V shape. The lights were white, but not pure -- slightly yellowish, like an incandescent light bulb.
As the lights were just a short distance away, I thought, "That is either 5 military jets flying in formation, or a UFO." I watched to see if I could see a solid shape of a big ship, but it was too dark. As the lights got the closest, I thought, "That is either an alien UFO or some secret government project." It didn't seem to be jets in formation. There were only the 5 whitish lights, and no green or red lights, or flashing lights of any kind.
Another thing I remember thinking at the time was that I wondered how big the craft was. If it was flying low, it might have been the size of a commercial airliner, but if it was higher up (tens of thousands of feet), it would have been huge and moving very fast.
When I first spotted the lights off in the distance, they were about the apparent size of my thumb held at arm's length. When the lights flew by, they were about the size of my fist at arm's length.
By the time the lights had passed by my car, I had driven all the way up the hill to the mesa where the Sunset Point rest stop is located. I thought of pulling over since there was some shoulder there, but realized that by the time I got out of the car, the lights would already have flown far away, and I wouldn't see much.
So I didn't stop.
Two days later (Saturday) I was out socializing around town, and mentioned to some friends that I'd seen something while driving home from Phoenix. One guy looked at me and said something like, "Oh, you saw it! You saw the UFO that was reported on the Phoenix TV news!"
If it weren't for that, I probably would have never connected my experience with the big UFO sighting, which I otherwise would have heard about months or years later, after I'd forgotten what day it was I saw them.
I don't watch TV or read newspapers, and if other witnesses are anything like me, that would explain why you don't get many more reports. It wasn't until months later I decided to do a search on the Internet and learned that people were calling the UFO the "Phoenix Lights". When I learned that the UFO was a mile wide, I realized that when I saw it, it must have been at a high altitude and really moving! I haven't tried to do any of the math -- the calculation would be rough at best -- but I guess it must have been going about 2000 miles per hour. (?) If I can figure out how many apparent angular degrees my thumb is, and use a stopwatch the next time I drive home from Phoenix, maybe I can come up with a better number.
I'll be happy to do my best to answer any questions you have regarding my sighting.