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Mystery remains 17 years after the Phoenix Lights event

PHOENIX -- More than 10,000 people statewide saw what many believe was a mass UFO event on March 13, 1997. It became known as the Phoenix Lights, but calls came in from Las Vegas, Kingman, Sedona and many other places.

"It wasn't just one event, there were many events across the state for more than 12 hours," said Dr. Lynne Kitei with the Phoenix Lights Network.

Kitei said the event remains unexplained even though though the military tried explain it.

"The military tried to explain it as flares five months after the event," she said. "Some people saw the mile-wide craft glide over their heads at rooftop level silently. Some saw it take off at lightning speed. Some people saw orbs detach from the main object."

One witness from Prescott who wishes to be known only as J.R. said he watched a boomerang-shaped object glide over Granite Mountain, and it was at least a mile wide. He says there's no way it was from this planet.

"We don't have anything that big," he said. "It was totally silent. I've never seen anything even close to the colors from the exhaust that propelled that thing. It was as big as downtown Prescott and completely blocked out the stars."

Kitei said a program is scheduled for Sunday at 1 p.m. at the Scottsdale Harkins Shea Cinema to celebrate the 17th anniversary of the historic and still unexplained mass UFO sighting. For more information, visit http://www.thephoenixlights.net/.

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About the Author


Position: Senior News Reporter. Started with KTAR July 4, 1999.

Favorite spots in Arizona: Pinetop-Lakeside, Alpine, Greer.

Have covered some of the biggest stories in Arizona including nine of the top 10 largest wildfires in state history. The Wallow Fire in 2011 became the largest fire in state history. Rodeo-Chediski Fire in June 2002, which is the second largest fire in Arizona. Covered the Yarnell Hill Tragedy in June 2013 that left 19 Granite Mountain Hotshots dead.

Favorite movies: True Grit, both 1969 John Wayne classic and the remake with Jeff Bridges and Lonesome Dove.

Sports Teams: Washington State University Cougars, Texas Longhorns, The University of Montana Grizzlies.

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