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From: firstname.lastname@example.org (Jim Dawdy) Date: Fri, 28 Mar 1997 23:08:56 mst Subject: Arizona lights explanation I may be able to shed some light (pun intended) on the recent sightings of lights over Arizona. The glowing orange balls were almost certainly battlefield illumination flares. I worked for the Pima County Sheriffs Dept. in Ajo, AZ for 3 years, which is next to the Barry Goldwater Gunnery Range, and these flares were a weekly occurance. They are visible for a distance of up to 30 miles, float in the air for up to 15 minutes, and are amazingly bright. If dropped over the NE end of the gunnery range they could easily float toward the Phoenix area. I believe they are used to illuminate targets on the ground for the A-10 pilots from Davis-Monthan and F-15s from Luke to attack at night. I've always wanted the parachute from one. As for the triangles, thats somewhat trickier, as they could be many different things, including "black" aircraft. However, I have seen a similar incident where it appears a huge 3 pointed triangle (ie lights at the points) slowly floats overhead, completely silent. After seeing an air refuleing drill during the day, I realised that was what I had seen at night, with the jets all too high to be heard, and the tanker in the lead followed behind by two other aircraft. I'm not sure, but my guess would be the running light configuration might be changed to only 1 "safety" light to better simulate conditions during wartime, hence the lack of red/green lights on the triangle. Again, this is just one possible explanation. Jim Dawdy Certified Emergency Paramedic
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