|Occurred : 8/27/2003 21:45 (Entered as : 8/28/03 21:45)
Reported: 8/28/2003 9:50:22 AM 09:50
Location: Maricopa, AZ
Duration:approx. 2 hours
|Bright orange lights south of Phoenix
At approximately 9:45 pm on Aug. 28th I was leaving home from the southeast, driving toward Phoenix. I saw three bright orange objects in the western sky at what I estimate to be six or seven thousand feet altitude above the desert floor. Two of the objects were at the altitude mentioned, the third was below the other two at about two thousand feet. The objects appeared to be stationary and were approximately 30 to 40 miles distant. I estimated their actual location to be about 20 miles directly south of the city of Phoenix. This area represents the very eastern edge of the Barry Goldwater Test Range.
From my vantage point these lights were extemely bright compared to every other light source in that direction. After I first sighted them, I pulled off the road and watched them through my driver side window for about ten minutes. At the end of that period they quickly faded out and were replaced with two more similar objects at about the same altitude. I knew this location to be near the Goldwater test range and had observed lights there in times past. However, those lights were moving and weren't nearly as bright and bluish white in color. The lights I observed last night were incredibly bright with a bright orange, almost yellow hue. They were also pulsating irregularly. The second set of lights faded out quickly just as the first set had done. I then got back on the road and continued driving west. About ten minutes later I saw another set of lights pop on and decided to head to that location as fast as I could. It took me about 50 minutes to get to that location. En route the lights kept popping on and fading out as they had done before. When I finally approached the area a new set of lights appeared approx. 3 to 4 miles from where I stopped the car. At this point I could make out the diamond shape. Again, they were stationary. Had they been military flares on the test range, they would have been slowly descending and I would have seen smoke and small parachutes. However, that was not the case. At my close proximity I observed that they still had a bright orange color. There was no sound. I saw no other aircraft in the area except for commercial flights heading to Sky Harbor airport from the west. By about 11:00 pm, the activity ceased and I drove back home.
If this was a military exercise using flares, they are the most unusual flares I've ever seen. I would appreciate knowing if anyone else in the area observed them and if indded there was an exercise taking place on the test range.
((NUFORC Note: Date indicated by witness may be flawed. We suspect witness intended to indicate August 27, not August 28, and we have amended the date above.
Also, se believe that some type of pyrotechnic device being used over the BMG/Gila Bend Firing Range would have to be ruled out, before we could conclude that the witness observed something unusual. However, the witness seems to rule out that possibility, and we recognize that flares usually give off a smokey trail, which is visible, and the witness correctly reports. Please see somewhat similar report from Mesa, AZ, for the same date at 20:45 hrs.. If the events are the same, the data from the two reports could be used to triangulate on the location of the lights. PD))