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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 food: Steak and shrimp, and any food on campouts.

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

Favorite news memory: 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. The 2007 Southern California Firestorm and being at Sky Harbor Airport when the first plane lifted off several days after 9-11. Seeing the American flag on the tail of the Salt Lake City-bound Delta airliner as it took off still gives me goosebumps.

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

First job: Spinning records at KLER Radio Orofino, Idaho 1980.

First concert: KISS/Cheap Trick 1977 Spokane, WA Coliseum.

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

Outside interests: Sports, camping, fishing, traveling.

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