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Arizona lights explanation

From: (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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