Tuesday, 13 March 2018

Phoenix Lights: What caused one of the world's largest UFO sightings?

It has been 21 years to the day since a mass UFO sighting occurred in Phoenix, Arizona, with the mystery still unsolved.

On March 13, 1997, thousands of people reported a string of bright lights in a triangular formation flying in the sky like a UFO. Dr. Lynne Kitei witnessed the event and said she still doesn’t know what she saw that day.

“It was a mile-wide formation of these orbs and I caught them head-on turning into a V,” she told 12 News. The US air force identified the lights as flares dropped by an A-10 Warthog aircraft performing training exercises at the Barry Goldwater Range in southwest Arizona.

It’s a nice theory, but Dr Kitei doesn’t feel so sure it’s true.

“How can flares keep a formation, traverse the entire state and beyond for hours in a rock-solid V?” she said. Another person who claims to have seen the lights was Hollywood actor Kurt Russell. The Escape from LA star said he was traveling in a private plane into Phoenix when he spotted the phenomenon, quickly reporting it to the control tower at the airport.

“I’m going to declare it’s unidentified, it’s flying and it’s six objects,” he recounted during an appearance on The One Show.

Despite the many witnesses claiming the lights were from a UFO, aviation experts said the flare explanation does hold merit. Former F-16 pilot Ty Groh said flares in the sky act like hot-air balloons and go where the breeze takes them, with a strong gust able to propel all of the flares at the same time at a uniform distance.

He added that extremely bright objects, like flares, can appear closer than they are in reality when dropped at a distance. “You’ll be looking at airliners that look like they’re 10 miles (16km) away and they’re 400 miles (643) away,” he told 12 News.

Despite the air force’s explanation, the Phoenix Lights are still a mystery.

'Aliens have been here for a long time': 80s legend Kim Wilde claims

Adding: 'My husband went running in to find something to film it, but I felt compelled to watch it. It inspired me. It was a ufo, I can't believe I saw it.

She saw a UFO after a night in A&E and says 'they hold conferences in desperation over how humans treat each other'

She's an 80s legend, best known for hits Kids In America and Keep Me Hangin' On - Kim Wilde's latest music is more about paranormal activity than love songs.
The 57-year-old appeared Loose Women on Monday to talk about her experience of UFOs and she said she believes aliens are keeping an eye on us because we don't treat each other well. 
Speaking about her 'sighting' of a UFO, Kim said: 'It was in 2009. I was in our garden with my husband and a friend.

'Helicopters and a bright light came towards us. Maybe they were after someone. But then they left. 

The light remained behind a cloud in the sky and everyone thought I'd been on the pinot grigio. I'd been in A&E [for an undisclosed reason], all night but that’s a long story...'
Kim continued: 'I was looking up and it moved from 11 o’clock to 2 o’clock and again and again, then a smaller one joined it.' 

Kim became a household name in the 80s with hits such as Kids In America
and Keep Me Hangin' On

My husband went running in to find something to film it, but I felt compelled to watch it. It inspired me. It was a ufo, I can't believe I saw it.'
Kim, whose pop comeback has been inspired by her sighting, said: 'I believe aliens are here already, and have been for a long time.
'They have been keeping an eye on us for a long time, and are in despair because of the way we treat each other and the planet.

'And they are sitting around holding conferences talking about what they are gonna do with this lot.'
Kim has a new album out which is entitled: 'Here come the aliens,'  after she was inspired by the sighting. 
But she's not the only one to believe in aliens. Former TOWIE star Joey Essex, 27, also appeared on the show and talked about his own experiences.      
He said: 'I've never seen anything in the sky or a star. I believe in spirits. Are they aliens? I feel like I am an alien.

'I feel like I was on top of the clouds once. I was a child, looking down and wondering what’s going on down there.' 

A UFO on the A70 and other out-of-this world encounters

Castlecary railway viaduct

Events of a seemingly paranormal character are surprisingly common and can occur just about anywhere. Most of us spend a lot of time travelling on roads. Therefore, it’s perhaps only to be expected that many encounters with the strange will occur on our highways and byways. Reports have come from all over the British Isles, with Scotland producing its fair share. A popular view is that ghosts are spirits, but I have my doubts about that notion, not least because there are reports of inanimate objects, such as cars, appearing in an apparitional form. For example, a Dr Martin Moar informed me of an experience that he and a fellow climber had had while driving on the Isle of Skye in the early 1970s. Just before a small hump in the road, they pulled into a passing place to make way for an oncoming car. The approaching vehicle disappeared behind the hump but didn’t reappear, and there seemed to be nowhere it could have gone without being seen.

Peter McCue

Over the years, there have been multiple reports of motorists encountering apparitional figures on the A75 and B721 roads between Gretna and Dumfries. For example, in March 1995, a couple called Garson and Monica Miller were driving towards Annan on a stretch of the A75 known as the Kinmount Straight when the figure of a man jumped out in front of their vehicle. A Donna Maxwell had a similar experience on the old A75 (now known as the B721) in the summer of 1997. The most dramatic story about the A75 concerns two brothers who allegedly encountered numerous apparitional figures, both animal and human, on the A75 one night in April 1962. However, I strongly suspect that this particular tale is an invention. Furthermore, some of the material available on the internet concerning ghostly phenomena on these roads is inaccurate and unreliable.

Road users sometimes report seeing out of place big cats. In October 1980, a live female puma was found in a baited trap on the Cannich Estate in the Highlands. That could be seen as lending support to the view that a population of flesh-and-blood big cats is living wild in this country. However, there are aspects of the big cat phenomenon suggesting that many of these entities could be of an apparitional or paranormal nature.

In the 1990s, the Bonnybridge area of central Scotland acquired a reputation for UFO sightings. In January 1993, for example, a couple called Ray and Cathy Procek had a sighting while they were driving south on the busy A80 road. In the vicinity of the Castlecary railway viaduct, they spotted two large triangular objects low in the sky above them.In some cases, witnesses to UFO phenomena experience strange memory gaps (‘missing time’). An acquaintance, whom I’ll call Susan (not her real name), told me about a disturbing incident that she and a friend experienced in the east end of Glasgow when they were about 13. They were heading home from a cafĂ© where they worked part-time. They alighted from a bus around 10:45pm and saw a light in the sky, which Susan took to be a plane.

They set off down a quiet lane. A woman was walking ahead of them. The light in the sky seemed to be motionless, but then it moved, very quickly, to another position. It seemed to remain stationary for a few seconds, and then it moved again, at very high speed. Each of these movements brought it closer. Susan was able to make out some features. It seemed to be a large, black or dark grey circular object, with a protuberance on top. There were two flashing red lights opposite each other on the underside of the circular base. And there was a circle of other lights (not coloured) on the underside, close to the edge. They may have been shimmering.

The UFO made further movements, getting closer to Susan and her companion. The girls stopped and stared, unable to move. The woman ahead of them, who was closer to the UFO, screamed, “Oh, my God!” and ran back. She took hold of the girls, and the three of them ran towards, and huddled against, a locked gate. The woman made the sign of the cross, and the girls did likewise. The woman said, “Hold together!” Then, they were strongly illuminated from above. After what Susan took to be three minutes at the most, things went dark again. When she looked, she saw that the UFO was still quite close, perhaps 100 yards or so away.

The woman and the girls resumed their journey. After one or two further movements, the UFO took up a position in the sky in front of them, but somewhat to their right. Shortly after (perhaps within a few minutes), it shot up into the sky and disappeared. When Susan arrived home, it was some 50 minutes later than she would have expected, and she informed me that her friend had also experienced missing time. Gary Wood and Colin Wright had an unsettling experience one night in August 1992 while travelling on the lonely A70 road in West Lothian. In the vicinity of Harperrig Reservoir, they saw a two-tiered disc-shaped object hovering over the road. Wood was doing the driving. He put his foot down on the accelerator, hoping to get away from the UFO by driving under it. As they approached it, the UFO appeared to emit some sort of shimmering mist, which touched the car, whereupon Wood and Wright were temporarily enveloped in a black void for what seemed like seconds. The car shuddered and they regained their sight.

Wood had to fight to regain control of the car, since it was now on the wrong side of the road. When the men arrived in the South Lanarkshire village of Tarbrax, where they were due to drop off a satellite TV system, they discovered that they were much later than expected. Subsequently, they underwent hypnosis sessions, with each of them recalling an alien abduction scenario and being subjected to a medical-type examination, although there were some differences between their recollections.

The use of hypnosis to elicit recollections of supposed alien abduction experiences is controversial, given the possibility of fantasy and suggestion creating false memories. But setting aside the hypnotically elicited material, this case is still intriguing. In terms of an environmental theory, it might be suggested that Wood and Wright had experienced an electromagnetic event that had affected their brains, causing a period of amnesia. However, it’s noteworthy that Wood’s amnesia appears to have begun and ended at the same time as Wright’s. Since people’s physiology varies, that would perhaps be surprising if they were responding to some sort of ambient magnetic field or radiation.

There’s also the question of where they and their car were during the period of missing time. Did they pull off the road and sit in the vehicle in some sort of trance for an hour or more, and while still in that state, was Wood able to drive away before he and his companion snapped back into normal consciousness? On the other hand, if the event is construed as an actual physical abduction, there’s still the question of what happened to the car during that period.Paranormal Encounters on Britain’s Roads: Phantom Figures, UFOs and Missing Time by Peter McCue, published by The History Press, £12.99, is out now.

The military keeps encountering UFOs. Why doesn’t the Pentagon care?

We have no idea what’s behind these weird incidents because we’re not investigating.

In December, the Defense Department declassified two videos documenting encounters between U.S. Navy F-18 fighters and unidentified aircraft. The first video captures multiple pilots observing and discussing a strange, hovering, egg-shaped craft, apparently one of a “fleet” of such objects, according to cockpit audio. The second shows a similar incident involving an F-18 attached to the USS Nimitz carrier battle group in 2004.  

The videos, along with observations by pilots and radar operators, appear to provide evidence of the existence of aircraft far superior to anything possessed by the United States or its allies. Defense Department officials who analyze the relevant intelligence confirm more than a dozen such incidents off the East Coast alone since 2015. In another recent case, the Air Force launched F-15 fighters last October in a failed attempt to intercept an unidentified high-speed aircraft looping over the Pacific Northwest .

A third declassified video, released by To the Stars Academy of Arts and Science , a privately owned media and scientific research company to which I’m an adviser, reveals a previously undisclosed Navy encounter that occurred off the East Coast in 2015.

Is it possible that America has been technologically leap-frogged by Russia or China? Or, as many people wondered after the videos were first published by the New York Times in December, might they be evidence of some alien civilization? 

Unfortunately, we have no idea, because we aren’t even seeking answers.

I served as deputy assistant secretary of defense for intelligence for the Clinton and George W. Bush administrations and as staff director for the Senate Intelligence Committee, and I know from numerous discussions with Pentagon officials over the past two years that military departments and agencies treat such incidents as isolated events rather than as part of a pattern requiring serious attention and investigation. A colleague of mine at To the Stars Academy, Luis Elizondo, used to run a Pentagon intelligence program that examined evidence of “anomalous” aircraft, but he resigned last fall to protest government inattention to the growing body of empirical data. 
Meanwhile, reports from different services and agencies remain largely ignored and unevaluated inside their respective bureaucratic stovepipes. There is no Pentagon process for synthesizing all the observations the military is making. The current approach is equivalent to having the Army conduct a submarine search without the Navy. It is also reminiscent of the counterterrorism efforts of the CIA and the FBI before Sept. 11, 2001, when each had information on the hijackers that they kept to themselves. In this instance, the truth may ultimately prove benign, but why leave it to chance? 

(A Pentagon spokesman did not respond to requests from The Washington Post for comment, but in December, the military confirmed the existence of a program to investigate UFOs and said it had stopped funding the research in 2012.)

The military personnel who are encountering these phenomena tell remarkable stories. In one example, over the course of two weeks in November 2004, the USS Princeton, a guided-missile cruiser operating advanced naval radar, repeatedly detected unidentified aircraft operating in and around the Nimitz carrier battle group, which it was guarding off the coast of San Diego. In some cases, according to incident reports and interviews with military personnel, these vehicles descended from altitudes higher than 60,000 feet at supersonic speeds, only to suddenly stop and hover as low as 50 feet above the ocean. The United States possesses nothing capable of such feats.
On at least two occasions, F-18 fighters were guided to intercept these vehicles and were able to verify their location, appearance and performance. Notably, these encounters occurred in broad daylight and were independently monitored by radars aboard multiple ships and aircraft. According to naval aviators I have spoken with at length, the vehicles were roughly 45 feet long and white. Yet these mysterious aircraft easily sped away from and outmaneuvered America’s front-line fighters without a discernible means of propulsion. 

From my work with To the Stars Academy, which seeks to raise private funds to investigate incidents like the 2004 Nimitz encounter, I know they continue to occur, because we are being approached by military personnel who are concerned about national security and frustrated by how the Defense Department is handling such reports. I am also familiar with the evidence as a former Pentagon intelligence official and a consultant who began researching the issue after the Nimitz incident was brought to my attention. On several occasions, I have met with senior Pentagon officials, and at least one followed up and obtained briefings confirming incidents such as the Nimitz case. But nobody wants to be “the alien guy” in the national security bureaucracy; nobody wants to be ridiculed or sidelined for drawing attention to the issue. This is true up and down the chain of command, and it is a serious and recurring impediment to progress.  

If the origin of these aircraft is a mystery, so is the paralysis of the U.S. government in the face of such evidence. Sixty years ago, when the Soviet Union put the first manmade satellite in orbit, Americans recoiled at the idea of being technologically surpassed by a dangerous rival, and the furor over Sputnik ultimately produced the space race. Americans responded vigorously, and a little more than a decade later, Neil Armstrong set foot on the moon. If these craft mean that Russia, China or some other nation is concealing an astonishing technological breakthrough to quietly extend its lead, surely we should respond as we did then. Perhaps Russian President Vladi­mir Putin’s recent chest-thumping claims about propulsion breakthroughs are not pure braggadocio. Or, if these craft really aren’t from Earth, then the need to figure out what they are is even more urgent.

Lately, media coverage of the issue of unidentified aerial vehicles has focused on an expired $22 million congressional earmark for Bigelow Aerospace, a contractor with ties to former Senate Democratic leader Harry Reid (Nev.). The money mostly funded research and analysis by that contractor, without participation from the Air Force, NORAD or other key military organizations. The real issue, though, is not a long-gone earmark, helpful though it may have been, but numerous recent incidents involving the military and violations of U.S. airspace. It is time to set aside taboos regarding “UFOs” and instead listen to our pilots and radar operators. 
Within a roughly $50 billion annual intelligence budget, money is not the issue. Existing funds would easily cover what’s needed to look into the incidents. What we lack above all is recognition that this issue warrants a serious collection and analysis effort. To make headway, the task needs to be assigned to an official with the clout to compel collaboration among disparate and often quarrelsome national security bureaucracies. A truly serious effort would involve, among other things, analysts able to review infrared satellite data, NORAD radar databases, and signals and human intelligence reporting. Congress should require an all-source study by the secretary of defense while promoting research into new forms of propulsion that might explain how these vehicles achieve such extraordinary power and maneuverability.

As with Sputnik, the national security implications of these incidents are concerning — but the scientific opportunities are thrilling. Who knows what perils we may avoid or opportunities we might identify if we follow the data? We cannot afford to avert our eyes, given the risk of strategic surprise. The future belongs to not only the physically brave but also the intellectually agile.