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Aug-28-2010 01:11printcommentsVideo

The Phoenix Lights Phenomenon- in Yuma?

Were lights witnessed outside Yuma, Arizona also from the UFO sighted over Phoenix?

Phoenix Lights
This photo of the Phoenix Lights is posted at UFOpictures.info and they are very similar to what I saw on two occasions, though I recall seeing roughly twice the number. One fellow witness remembers a dozen.

(YUMA, Ariz.) - An award winning documentary, 'Phoenix Lights' examines the mid to late 1990's sightings of mysterious lights that thousands of witnesses reported passing over Phoenix, Arizona.

At one point the lights were 'hovering' in place near this desert city's Sky Harbor Airport. Air traffic controllers confirmed seeing them, though the lights failed to show up on radar.

They were witnessed by so many people, that it is virtually impossible that something wasn't in the sky, but what was it and what was their reason for being here?

The reason I am writing this, is because I believe this phenomena also visited the Yuma, Arizona area, and a point in between Yuma and Phoenix.

I recall two distinct, very similar sightings of lights, that were spotted once near Gila Bend, Arizona, by my wife Bonnie King and myself.

A few days later I saw something very similar while visiting an historic ruin on the edges of Yuma, with a woman who was a city of Yuma employee.

Dr. Lynne Kitei co-producer of: 'Phoenix Lights'
hosts a blog radio program on paranormal events.

These events always stood out in my mind to a degree because they were very hard to explain.

And while there will never be a real or full explanation, it is noteworthy that this happened in a relative timeframe to one of the Phoenix sightings.

As a reporter, I am not unaccustomed to reports of things that are unusual.

There was even a day in Las Vegas a few years later, when I saw objects in the sky that were very hard to explain, while taking a break with a weather anchor from the TV station I worked for.

Newspaper accounts in Arizona

We looked at the objects and talked about it, but nothing came of it. The point is that over 99% of the time that people see something, nothing comes of it. But the lights in Phoenix were really noticed and reported.

The airport radar can't see or record these things, but the fact that the Phoenix Lights are on the national public radar keeps the interest very much alive.

Dr. Lynne D. Kitei, M.D., Executive Producer with The Phoenix Lights Network, also CEO of Health Education Learning Programs, says the critically acclaimed and award winning documentary 'Phoenix Lights' features forty-four credible eyewitnesses from scientists to the military to the governor of Arizona.

The program is very thought provoking, and while I definitely had heard people talk about the lights in Phoenix, I had no idea until seeing Dr Lynne's program, that the description was so similar to my two observations, or just so interesting and well documented in general.

Dr. Lynne Kitei said regarding: The Phoenix Lights...

On March 13, 1997, while looking skyward for a glimpse of the Halle-Bopp Comet, thousands of Arizona residents also witnessed a mile-wide, V-shaped formation of lights slowly and silently gliding over their heads. ABC, NBC, CNN, MSNBC, The Discovery Channel and USA Today were just a few to report on the story. UFO buffs call it:
' the most documented mass sighting ever recorded.'

Sighting One


View Larger Map

Google Earth shot is directed at approximate stretch of Interstate-8, where
we witnessed unexplainable lights while driving through the area in late 1995.

Bonnie and I spent the years 1995 through 1997 working for the NBC station in Yuma, Arizona, located along the Mexican border where California intersects with Arizona. We spent many weekends visiting our friends Ken and Kris Grandlund, who lived in Scottsdale, Arizona at the time.

This particular visit took place on a Friday night in late 1995. Neither of us can pinpoint the date, but we are looking through old notes to see if we can.

We were driving east on Interstate-8 in our Mercedes 240D when we looked to the north and saw what appeared to be a factory, with the lights from smokestacks burning brightly against an otherwise black sky. The location was a number of miles past Gila Bend, heading toward Phoenix.

I said to Bonnie, "Is there a factory out here?"

"Not that I can think of", she replied. As I recall we actually pulled over and stared, but could not see anything more than the lights, which were stationary, bright and orange in color, close to the color of a flame.

We were able to note the freeway marker number and on our return trip the following Sunday, we remembered to check the area out. As we had suspected might be the case, there is not a factory or any other kind of structure or sign of human development in this location, or anywhere within miles of it.

Bonnie recalls seeing twice the number of lights that I recall. I can only be sure that I witnessed an anomaly; I'm really not sure of the number, but I knew as soon as I saw the lights in the main photo accompanying this story, that I was seeing something quite identical to what I do clearly recall.

We found it very interesting and discussed the unique sighting with people, though nothing really resulted from it. I didn't happen to encounter anyone else who claimed to have witnessed it.

Bonnie King recalls this about the sighting near Gila Bend:

"I remember thinking that there must be a factory or something way out in the middle of the desert, because there were too many lights staying in place to be anything that wasn't static. But as we passed it we could tell that it wasn't anything like that. The perspective changed and it looked different, very hard to explain."

Sighting Two

I saw this strange set of lights, or something very similar, a second time. Because we are going back a full 15 years, the whole matter is a bit fuzzy.

Perhaps writing this will bring back something that I can't otherwise recall, and as I continue to look through old notes, the chance that I will find something I wrote at the time rises incrementally, and perhaps there will be something significant that I noted.

The image on the right incidentally, also of the Phoenix Lights, is interesting but not similar to what I saw, except in color. There are many impressions and also a great number of photos take of these events.

I know that the reason I was out was to explore the ruins of Yuma's oldest western settlement; an adobe ranch that the city was placing on a historical roster.

I am sad to say that I don't recall the name of the Yuma city employee who accompanied me that day. I want to say the name 'Kim'. If that person is reading this, I would appreciate hearing from you and learning your recollection of what we observed.

I know we traveled to the adobe ruin during the day as I used the opportunity to videotape the remains of the building, but it was dark when we returned to downtown Yuma in the early evening.

Basically the site was the same to me. A row of (as I recall) six lights in the sky at an unknown altitude. Not that high would be my amateur estimation; only perhaps a few hundred feet up.

Again, it was dark and there was nothing else to see; nothing to compare it to.

The woman I traveled with whose name I can't recall, agreed that there was nothing in that particular location, certainly nothing that contained those lights.

Marine Corps Explanation

There is an Army base a few miles outside of Yuma known as 'YPG'- Yuma Proving Ground. Interesting things take place at this base; testing new objects, the military's advanced freefall jump school, etc. But this is not near the place where the sighting took place.

Too bad, that could have served as some type of explanation. It meant that the Marine Corps was the only possibility as far as getting any possible type of confirmation.

I returned home after dropping my passenger off at city hall, where I called the air control tower at the Yuma Marine Corps Air Station and aske what they knew.

I told them I was with the Eyewitness 11 news team, the local TV station, and asked if they had heard of any strange sightings of lights outside of town. Interestingly, rather than try to simply dismiss my informational quest, which honestly I expected, they told me I had seen lights for a training operation, a 'war game'.

They said they were "flares".

A rense.com article claims that the Phoenix Lights were flares
from the Barry Goldwater Range, but as I state in the article, as a
former Marine, I know what flares look like; they look like this
image, and not like the lights I witnessed twice in Arizona in 1995

As a former Marine who was actually based at Yuma for a time, I know the odds of what they described were slim. Yuma is not an infantry base.

There are Marine bases where infantry training takes place every day, but this part of the desert outside of Yuma, but not on the Marine base, was not ever otherwise used for this purpose.

I also know exactly what type of flares they were talking about, and the light that the objects I saw on both occurrences, were different in nature.

The Marines use flares that turn night into day, they descend on parachutes and only last so long. What I saw both times, was not falling gradually toward earth, instead very stationary.

The flare photo in the rense.com article shows also, that the flares leave a smoke trail as they descend. No matter what, they are always earthbound and the small parachutes don't delay their fall by very much.


Again, after having watched 'Phoenix Lights', I noted similarities, starting with the year it happened, and the fact that Phoenix and Yuma are only 180 or so miles apart.

In each event I saw them in an area remotely populated only by passing drivers, unlike Phoenix where they were viewed by so many people simultaneously.

I contacted Dr. Lynne Kitei, and advised her of this recollection and the number of similarities.

She was certainly intrigued, and agrees that it very likely could be the same phantom lights since so many story elements match.

Dr. Lynne said, "We actually had a very close sighting to our home in Feb. 1995 and the same phenomena appeared two months before the mass sighting in 1997. Wonder if we witnessed similar sightings???"

The dates do not exactly line up, as I hadn't moved to Yuma until March of 1995, but who is to say that these things are on a schedule?

If they are not observed by the Sky Harbor air traffic radar, then our chances of mapping their locations and movements with anything beyond our human eyes seems unlikely.

I strongly urge those reading this to watch the internationally award winning Documentary 'Phoenix Lights', conveniently located below thanks to YouTube. As a producer, Dr. Lynne had real success locating people to help tell the story. "No one can do it alone and I have been so blessed to have such wonderful colleagues and friends help in this important effort."

She also says people interested in this story should purchase and read her book, The Phoenix Lights...A Skeptic's Discovery That We Are Not Alone

Regarding this achievement, the doctor said, "There is much more to the story. Trust you will appreciate the contents."

So now I have a copy, her publisher sent one our way sothat I can write a book review. From what I have seen so far, it is going to be a sizzlingly good one.

Whatever passed over Phoenix, we can not be sure. But as you will see by watching the documentary, there are a great number of people who could never be convinced they didn't see exactly what they describe.

In Phoenix there are many varying reports; some people say they could clearly see a space craft.


Whatever it was, there is little or no disagreement over the idea that something, very likely from out of this world, spent some time in 1995 and 1997, in the desert Southwest.

These are the 'snowbird' months. Perhaps the craft was staffed with future retirees seeking a great location for their final days. If you ever spend a winter here, then you too might believe just about anything is possible!

But seriously...

Anyone who witnessed a similar phenomenon, is encouraged to drop an email to the address below. You can also just leave a comment. I am very curious about out of Phoenix sightings in Arizona.

The comment section of this story can serve as a good location for a gathering of witness statements, if there are any. If you leave a comment and want people to believe it, then please use a real name. Please keep it on topic. Rude comments will be dismissed, (deleted) so keep it clean.


To learn more, visit: The Phoenix Lights Network

Tim King: Salem-News.com Editor and Writer

Tim King is a former U.S. Marine with twenty years of experience on the west coast as a television news producer, photojournalist, reporter and assignment editor. In addition to his role as a war correspondent, this Los Angeles native serves as Salem-News.com's Executive News Editor. Tim spent the winter of 2006/07 covering the war in Afghanistan, and he was in Iraq over the summer of 2008, reporting from the war while embedded with both the U.S. Army and the Marines.

Tim holds numerous awards for reporting, photography, writing and editing, including the Oregon AP Award for Spot News Photographer of the Year (2004), first place Electronic Media Award in Spot News, Las Vegas, (1998), Oregon AP Cooperation Award (1991); and several others including the 2005 Red Cross Good Neighborhood Award for reporting. Tim has several years of experience in network affiliate news TV stations, having worked as a reporter and photographer at NBC, ABC and FOX stations in Arizona, Nevada and Oregon. Serving the community in very real terms, Salem-News.com is the nation's only truly independent high traffic news Website. As News Editor, Tim among other things, is responsible for publishing the original content of 65 Salem-News.com writers. He reminds viewers that emails are easily missed and urges those trying to reach him, to please send a second email if the first goes unanswered. You can send Tim an email at this address: newsroom@salem-news.com




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Lisa September 26, 2015 7:31 pm (Pacific time)

I seen the same lights July 1st 2011 in Medicine Hat Alberta Canada


Steve Pena August 16, 2012 1:51 am (Pacific time)

I saw the same lights.
At that time we lived at YPG.
my wife and I were on hwy 95,
near Barb,Az. coming from Yuma, they were not flares.

Tim King: Totally interesting Steve, thanks!


Paula February 23, 2012 8:31 pm (Pacific time)

In March or April of 1994 a friend and I were driving back from Camp Pendleton to Kansas, after seeing my husband off to Japan. He was a marine and was shipping out for 6 months. I moved back home while he was gone. We were driving near Yuma (I can't remember where exactly, but we had just crossed over from California into Arizona).. There was a small town to our right, with railroad tracks running perpendicular to the road. It was around 9 or 10pm at night when I see lights flying towards us from the right (south). Pretty soon there was a craft we could see, it came across the town, very low, and over the railroad tracks (there was at this time a train heading west on these tracks) and and headed in our direction. We watched it for several minutes and finally it came and flew VERY close to the top of my car. It was probably only 20-40 feet above my car, keeping pace with my car (around probably 70 mph) and it made absolutely NO noise what-so-ever. It flew above us for approximately 20 minutes or so, before very slowly flying off to our left (north).. It flew around to the north of us for quite some time (half an hour or so) and started "scanning back and forth between the north side of the road and then over again near the railroad tracks for a while. We never stopped, we were about 20 years old and scared to death. The thing was triangle shaped, though not shaped like the picture above. It was a solid triangle, while yours has the back end open. It had lights at each point. I don't remember windows or anything like that. We had intended to stop at the next town we could find, to get a hotel room and rest for the night, but we actually ended up driving for another three or four hours, just to get as far away from that place as we could. My friend still won't talk about it!! I will never forget it!

Tim King: Paula, thank you so much for that, wow.


Jim October 1, 2011 8:49 pm (Pacific time)

Sorry folks but reports of lights in the sky, no matter how numerous or how credible the witnesses is not really evidence of anything. The most logical explanation for the Phoenix lights is military flares.


Susan November 27, 2010 8:52 pm (Pacific time)

I also saw the lights south of I-8 near Gila Bend on 11/22/10. At first there were 3 bright orange/yellow lights lined up in a row at an angle, as if an airplane was banking; then the lights disappeared and returned in the horizontal plane, but the lights were blinking alternately.


The Coach September 25, 2010 4:58 pm (Pacific time)

On September 11 at approximately 12:30am while travelling east on I-8, three very bright lights appeared to the north of I-8 just above ground level. They travelled alongside I-8 and then came at my car at a high rate of speed only to rise quickly into the sky and vanish....surreal isn't the word.


Adriana September 3, 2010 5:06 pm (Pacific time)

Tim...I used to work with you and Bonnie at ch 11.  I saw the Phoenix lights in yuma. and i also saw the lights described near Gila Bend. I didn't know what they were but I hadn't seen them in that area before. i figured they were part of the military...get in touch with me if you want to hear about the Phoenix lights sorry. i think Bonnie is on my facebook

Tim King: Adriana:  It is so great to hear from you!  You were always one of our favorite people at that station, I would like to hear more about this, so I will send you a message on Facebook, thanks so much old friend!


Marco Garcia August 30, 2010 1:43 pm (Pacific time)

On Dec 9th, 2009, my wife and I were coming back from Phoenix, heading to Yuma: at around 8pm or so, about 20 minutes after we left Gila Bend, we saw these lights in the sky south of I-8, they kept appearing and disappearing vertically, sets of two or three lights at a time. We counted over 20 at one point. They were surreal to an extent, but they certainly were there.

Tim King:   That certainly is an interesting and similar experience, thanks very much for sharing this with our readers, it is a fascinating subject.


Danielis August 29, 2010 6:19 pm (Pacific time)

I wouldn't worry about it. It's part of the John McCain re-election campaign. Lots of money can buy lots of things. He's trolling for out-of-state votes.


Anonymous August 29, 2010 6:07 pm (Pacific time)

I'm a huge skeptic, but my boyfriend and I saw a cluster of orange lights last night, and a string of white lights the night before that, both above NW Yuma toward CA. Yeah, you could say I'm a little freaked out..I keep telling myself it has to do with YPG and YMCAS.. lol..


Anonymous August 28, 2010 6:00 pm (Pacific time)

Tim: the government has technology beyond our wildest imaginations..cures for disease, spaceships, think tanks..problem is, its theirs and we are not included..That is why so many presidents and philosophers warned us of this. Big government is not good, but feeling its too late now. Enjoy the bush/obama endgame.

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