Symington Confirms He Saw UFO 10 Years Ago!
Special to the Daily Courier
Associated Press/Scott Troyanos --- Arizona Gov. Fife Symington pulls a mask
off of aide Jay Heiler, dressed up as an alien, during a late afternoon news
conference at the state capitol in downtown Phoenix Thursday June 19, 1997.
Symington, earlier in the day, said he would order the Arizona Department
of Public Safety to look into the mysterious lights seen over Phoenix, but
later insisted he was joking.
Ten years after the "Phoenix Lights" UFO incident, former Arizona Governor Fife Symington, III, now says he saw an unidentified object that night, even though he originally did not say so publicly. "It was enormous and inexplicable," he said in an exclusive interview from Phoenix. "Who knows where it came from? A lot of people saw it, and I saw it too."
On March 13, 1997, during Symington's second term as governor, thousands saw
a vast triangular and v-shaped object, gliding slowly and silently across
the Arizona sky. Witnesses throughout the state estimated that the eerie,
lighted objects were bigger than many football fields, as much as a mile long.
Sen. John McCain, a friend of Symington's whom the former Republican governor
describes as "open-minded,"
acknowledged the Arizona lights at a 2000 press
conference. "That has never been fully
explained. But I have to tell you that I do not have any evidence whatsoever
of aliens or UFOs," he said.
evidence for a possible UFO, which simply means something in the sky that
no one can identify, lies in the fact that countless witnesses reported
seeing low, gigantic, technological flying machines that blocked out the stars
- not merely lights. Symington says he saw a large triangular "craft
of unknown origin" with lights. "It
was dramatic. And it couldn't have been flares because it was too symmetrical,"
he says. "It
had a geometric outline, a constant shape."
sometimes confuse the sightings of the objects at around 8:30 that evening
with the row of lights videotaped at 10 p.m. and shown repeatedly on television
news. These later lights most likely were flares, according to video analysts.
People who saw the earlier objects were outside watching the Hale-Bopp Comet,
and saw something entirely different. Symington's latest statement marks a
turnaround. He is famous for spoofing the incident at a 1997 news conference,
where he introduced a handcuffed member of his staff in an alien costume as
the culprit responsible for the Phoenix Lights.
now wants to set the record straight. He explains that Arizona was
"on the brink of hysteria" about
the UFO sighting at the time, and the frenzy was building. "I
wanted people to lighten up and calm down, so I introduced a little levity.
But I never felt that the overall situation was a matter of ridicule,"
he says. The former governor says the incident
remains unsolved, and deserves an official investigation. The
U.S. government has never acknowledged that something was in the sky that
Phoenix city councilwoman Frances Barwood, now living in the Prescott area,
was the only elected official to launch a public investigation in 1997, but
she said people stonewalled her at every turn. Barwood spoke with more than
700 witnesses. "The
government never interviewed even one," she
called the commander at Luke Air Force Base, the general in charge of the
National Guard, and the head of the Department of Public Safety to request
an explanation. None of them had answers, and they, too, were "perplexed,"
In 2000, the U.S. Department of Defense maintained that it could not find any information about the triangular object, in response to a search ordered by a U.S. District court in Phoenix on behalf of witnesses. Bolstering Symington's announcement is independent documentation of similar unidentified flying triangles in the early 1990s by the Belgian Air Force and the British Ministry of Defense. Both called the objects genuine unknowns, and not U.S. aircraft.
Kean is a widely published New York investigative reporter. She is a co-founder
of the Washington-based Coalition for Freedom of Information.
Her e-mail address is firstname.lastname@example.org.