20 years ago, dozens of people in Phoenix, Arizona experienced something… out of this world.
By Daniel Oberhaus | MOTHERBOARD
The mountaintop and what occurs there has played a central role in the mythologies of civilizations gone by, and these stories speak volumes about how the people telling them interpreted the world around them. The Ancient Greeks had Olympus, which was believed to host a pantheon populated by immortals. Jews and Christians have Mount Sinai, which they believe Moses ascended to receive the Ten Commandments. And Phoenix, Arizona has the Sierra Estrella—a mountain range that many Phoenicians believe is presided over by UFOs.
The story begins on March 13, 1997, when thousands of Arizonans from all across the state reported seeing strange lights in sky. It remains one of the largest UFO sightings ever, but the details of the Phoenix Lights story ultimately depends on who is telling it—some contend that it was actually a composite of two separate events occurring simultaneously over Arizona, and there is little consensus as to whether these lights were extraterrestrial in origin.
As a longtime resident of Phoenix and UFO agnostic, I’ve heard the story of the Phoenix Lights retold countless times, each retelling rife with contradictions and inconsistencies. So, tired of the hearsay, I decided to visit the International UFO Congress to see if I could discover the truth about one of history’s most infamous UFO sightings.