UFO ~ Incident #3 (1997/1998) – Another true story. Roswell. Kind of amusing.

          As I’ve always been fascinated by astronomy, I joined several astronomical societies when I lived in Phoenix. It’s a great place to observe the heavens! A good friend’s husband is an astronomy professor, and would, on occasion borrow his school’s portable telescope so a group of friends from the Arizona Mining and Mineral Museum could go on private astronomical adventures from time to time.
          In March of 1997, we gathered at a small county park with a parking area atop a small butte, about twenty miles west of the city, to observe Comet Hale-Bopp, then low in the western sky. It was a marvelously warm evening, and by the time supper was over, the sun set.
          We deployed to start our observations.  
          Without warning, a squadron of seven or eight fighter planes flew over us, zipping up from behind shorter hills to the south. As they formed and reformed in groups of twos and threes, we realized there was no engine sound. How peculiar! They were so low to the ground we could see the pilots’ faces, and we waved. The pilots waved with their hands and by wiggling their crafts’ wings. Then they flew north and disappeared.
           For the next half hour, the planes appeared and disappeared. As it got darker, each craft’s body displayed a lit, round LED-powered circle of light. As the last of the daylight vanished, the formation flew around our area, turning the lights on and off just like a flashing advertising sign. Then, dipping their wings, they formed into a “V” and headed northeast – straight toward the city.
          I cracked everyone up when I said, “You wait for tomorrow’s headlines, guys. You just wait.”
           Little did we know.
           For the next two hours we admired the comet, the ice caps on Mars, globular clusters, the Milky Way, nebulae, and other wonders. As we finished, the planes returned in their “V” formation flashing their lights. Then, flew in their circle, flashing their round lights, and abruptly disappeared due West. One of our friends, an Air Force veteran, told us they were returning to California and Vandenberg Air Force Base.
            “How far is it, Doug?” I asked.
            “Mmmm – maybe twenty seven minutes, Liz. These guys are fast. Maybe twenty three.”
          The late news was full of the reports about a triangular shaped UFO buzzing the city.
            By morning, the entire Valley of the Sun was abuzz, as were parts of New Mexico that were flown over.  
           I immediately called several television stations, and gave all our names, including the professor’s, and also the name of the Museum’s curator. The curator, in turn, notified the newspapers.
           Because I knew the mayor and one of the councilwomen quite well, I immediately called their offices also.
           Alas! It was too late. Many people didn’t want to believe the truth. Despite specific proof about the truth, some people refused to listen. One politician was literally laughed out of office, and to this day, still claims there were UFO’s.
           There were no re-occurrences until January of 1998. I was returning from a trip east, and the pilot announced “UFO’s over the zoo on the starboard side, folks.” I immediately called the stewardess, identified myself, and she told the pilot. He chose to ignore me.
            I spoke to him after we landed and asked why he didn’t make the correction. “They’ll always fly our airline hoping to see “them” again,” he laughed.
            Somehow, the word idiot came to my mind.
            When I visited Roswell,NM several years later, I brought a copy of my official reports, as well as the reports of the other people on the star watch. I was told the Roswell experts were well aware of the truth, but often were visited by irate residents of Phoenix insisted they saw UFO’s.
           “We’ll put your paperwork in our files,” the director told me. “But there are those who will never believe 95% of UFO sightings can be explained.


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