[The following information was sent by Phoenix-area UFO researchers Tom King and Robert Collins, and was partly compiled by Joseph Trainor, editor of the weekly online report UFO Roundup. To receive UFO Roundup, email Masinaigan@aol.com. Also visit Tom King's excellent web site OVNI Chapterhouse at http://personal.netwrx.net/xalium/ufovideo.htm]
UFOs are again active over many parts of Arizona. The latest flap began Sunday afternoon, January 11, 1998, when residents of Phoenix reported spotting "three shiny silvery objects flying at a high altitude" above the city, according to Tom King, director of Arizona Skywatch.
That night at 9 p.m., a TV station in Tucson, 117 miles southeast of Phoenix, aired an amateur videotape showing "a large bright orange glowing UFO" flying near Mount Lemmon and Spencer Canyon north of the city. The news broadcast described it as "a possible campfire."
King said park rangers investigated the event "and found nothing." Meanwhile, "hours later the orange object was seen traveling from Tucson to Phoenix at a very high rate of speed. It was two orange lights close together traveling in a tight formation. It pulsed brighter and dimmed at times during the observation. Reports were coming from all over the southern area of Arizona," King said.
On Monday, January 12 at 12:30 a.m., witnesses in the city of Mesa, 19 miles east of Phoenix, "saw the strange orange object. It brightened and dimmed several times," King reported. "It split in two and headed in formation toward Phoenix" at "three times the speed of any normal military aircraft."
On Wednesday, January 14 at 10 p.m., Arizona Skywatch received calls from several residents in the Broadway Road/Southern Avenue section of Phoenix. They reported videotaping "mysterious orange lights" over the Estrella Mountains south of the city.
Village Labs in Tempe, headed by well-known video analyst Jim Dilettoso, also received "hundreds of calls" on January 14 from local residents who sighted "orange lights" and "spherical red-orange UFOs" over the Estrella Mountains.
At 7 p.m. that night, "two large orange lights" were viewed for 11 minutes over the mountain range. Other witnesses described "a formation of orange lights" and a "giant triangle" of lights.
The Michigan Air National Guard issued a statement that their planes had dropped "military flares" over the area.
Village Labs received seven amateur videotapes of the January 14 UFOs for analysis.
On Thursday night, January 15 Tom King, staked out the area. He reported, "I took a position halfway between Phoenix and Casa Grande. We sighted some of the orange lights fifteen to twenty miles west of our position [i.e. near the western border of the Gila River Indian Reservation]. We took photographs and two separate videotapes, including the ultra-high- speed Super camera. These objects appeared under 1,000 feet [high] and did not have any sign of smoke," as flares normally do.
"If these were military flares, then we have proof that they are operating well outside their military boundaries," King declared. "This is illegal, and we will continue to push for people responsible to be prosecuted if they want to claim these objects are theirs. They could burn down houses or half the desert with these objects."
On Sunday, January 18, investigator Robert M. Collins observed a UFO "while I was driving up past Casa Grande. I pulled off (Interstate Highway I-10) onto Route 387 north of Casa Grande. At that time I counted 9 to 11 orange globes all the way from west to east north of my position, over Phoenix.
"I had Bushnell binoculars and thought I could make out some sort of 'disc' structure on one or two of them," Collins said. "But because the light appeared to be so cohesive and (due to Phoenix's air) pollution, I was getting a lot of atmospheric diffraction effects from the lights."
Collins observed the UFOs from 7:25 to 7:55 p.m. "Two orbs were still visible" when he left the area, he said.
[CNI News will continue to follow this developing story.]
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