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National UFO Reporting Center
Sighting Report
Occurred : 6/28/1996 19:00 (Entered as : 06/28/1996 19:00)
Reported: 8/23/2013 1:22:17 PM 13:22
Posted: 8/30/2013
Location: Tempe, AZ
Shape: Changing
Duration:30 minutes
Huge pearl-like object over South Mountain

On June 28, 1996, I was 17 and riding passenger-side by my mother. It was 7PM and still very sunny and clear. We came out of the grocery store and got in the car. We were driving west down Guadalupe Rd. in Tempe, AZ. My mother gasped, leaned forward to look into the sky and pointed at something. I leaned forward too. We saw a silvery streaked object falling southwesterly at a 120° angle against the blue sky. It was leaving a small tail behind it but not falling as fast as a meteorite and much bigger and duller than a meteorite. My first thought was space debris or a missile.

But then it stopped suddenly about 50° above the horizon. When that happened, the tail ended, the shape changed to spherical and the color went to a lustrous pearl color. It appeared to be over South Mountain, maybe 5 miles away. My mom managed to drive home.

A few minutes later, we drove into our parking lot, having never lost sight over the treeline. From the parking lot, I ran into the apartment to grab my binocs, at which point I informed my dad and sister that there was a UFO outside. I ran back out, rejoining my mom. All four of us watched it. The bottom had opened up into a “V” shape and it seemed like hot gases were coming out of the bottom, like the steam rising from car hoods in the summer. It was soundless.

I was the only one who saw it through the binocs and when I looked, I saw little sparks flying off the pearly surface, which flew chaotically around the UFO and would fizzle out, as if composed of electricity. I also saw more specifically clear-colored heat waves coming out of the “V” shape.

The UFO hovered there while people on the street were calmly driving their cars past us. It seemed to hover in exactly the same place in the air while the Earth turned underneath it. Sunset approached and after thirty to forty minutes, it was getting further away and more back against the horizon. It seemed to be over Estrella Mountain at this point. It was going to disappear soon. The sun was already down below the horizon so we just turned and left at around 7:30 PM.

We watched the news that night expecting it to make the news. We were frustrated that it didn't. Certainly in a city the size of Phoenix, people are not that busy.

I did write down all these details that very night and I called Luke Air Force Base, spoke with a secretary and asked her if anything strange was seen on the radar. She was nonplussed about my UFO sighting. I have since learned that on that day, there was a funeral procession for a fallen soldier at Luke Air Force Base at appr. 7PM and so somebody at the base must have seen it. Personally, I think it was experimental unmanned aircraft out of the NASA testing facility south in Maricopa.