[The following text is summarized from a column in the Arizona Republic newspaper of March 18, 1998, written by Steve Wilson.]
Looking back on the one-year anniversary of the controversial "Phoenix Lights" of March 13, 1997, Arizona Republic columnist Steve Wilson talked with many witnesses and heard many unusual stories. One of them was so strange that he decided not to print it.
"I omitted it because the account came from only one source, because it had no corroboration, and because it seemed preposterous. It simply didn't have enough credibility to be published," he says.
But then he changed his mind. Thinking about the recent reporting on Clinton's alleged sexual misadventures, Wilson reasoned that "the standards for what constitutes a news story have fallen so significantly that the UFO account can now qualify as newsworthy. Since the story involves the president, I'm even more sure it merits public disclosure."
Wilson says his one source for this story is a "nationally known UFO expert" who wishes to remain anonymous. According to this source, Wilson says:
"The strange lights over Phoenix were only one unusual happening on the night of March 13, 1997. A U.S. reconnaissance satellite, which presumably could have picked up the source of the lights, went dead for no apparent reason. About the same time, the Pentagon increased the country's military preparedness to DEFCON 3 (the highest state of readiness for peacetime conditions)."
Readers of CNI News may recall that way back in September 1997, American Computer Company president Jack Shulman said that a certain reconnaissance satellite of his acquaintance had not only mysteriously gone dead on the night of March 13, but had also faxed a distress message to American Computer which Shulman passed along to the CIA. Shulman hinted that his company was a software provider for sensitive military satellites, accounting for the mystery fax. [Shulman elaborated on these claims in an interview with Linda Moulton Howe, broadcast on Art Bell's "Dreamland" radio program on September 14, 1997.]
Steve Wilson notes another odd wrinkle in the events of March 13. That night, he reminds us, President Clinton was staying at the Florida estate of golfer Greg Norman. Late that night, Clinton reportedly tripped on a step and seriously injured his knee, a widely reported event which required him to walk with crutches or a cane for several weeks. But now for the rest of the story...
"What really occurred, my source reports, is that the commander in chief was notified of the UFO activity and had to be moved quickly to a more secure location where he could oversee U.S. defense activities. In the rush by the Secret Service to hustle him away, he tripped and damaged the knee," Wilson says.
Like Steve Wilson, CNI News has not discovered any further information to corroborate these rumors. There is, however, a certain logic in Wilson's tale. If the widespread events over Arizona in March 1997 were perceived by the military to be unknown aerial activity, despite official denials, then it is not impossible to imagine that the president could have been informed and could even have ordered DEFCON 3.
Official denial of these allegations would be in line with other denials of that period, including for example the statements made by officials at Luke Air Force Base in Phoenix that no planes were scrambled that night. Based on multiple credible eyewitnesses, CNI News is firmly convinced that planes were scramble from Luke for the purpose of approaching and inspecting the unusual objects in the air over Phoenix.
Columnist Wilson implies he doesn't know and hardly cares whether the rumors of DEFCON 3 are true. "In fact," he writes, "passing along the bizarre UFO tale in this column is just mildly irresponsible by comparison" with the incredibly sloppy reporting of Clinton's alleged sexual activities. Besides, he says, the UFO story is so lackluster it hardly raises eyebrows.
"If only my source had gone a step further and told me that aliens years ago had abducted Clinton and jacked up his libido, I might have made the network news," he concludes.
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