ISF Logo   IS Forum
Forum Index Register Members List Events Mark Forums Read Help

Go Back   International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal
 


Welcome to the International Skeptics Forum, where we discuss skepticism, critical thinking, the paranormal and science in a friendly but lively way. You are currently viewing the forum as a guest, which means you are missing out on discussing matters that are of interest to you. Please consider registering so you can gain full use of the forum features and interact with other Members. Registration is simple, fast and free! Click here to register today.
Reply
Old 15th March 2007, 10:05 AM   #1
Azure
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,536
Phoenix Lights?

Recently a friend of mine living in Phoenix told me about this.

Pretty interesting stuff I must say, especially if you see the videos, pictures, etc.

I do believe that it was actually a military exercise, and not UFOs which others want to claim.

What do you think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Lights
Azure is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2007, 10:14 AM   #2
ksbluesfan
Graduate Poster
 
ksbluesfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,376
I'm pretty sure there really are flares that are dropped from planes in training missions. Considering I wasn't in the Air Force, I don't now beyond the shadow of a doubt. But it seems more plausible that those lights were flares rather than spacecraft from another world. I'm no expert on the matter though.
ksbluesfan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2007, 10:15 AM   #3
Starthinker
Philosopher
 
Starthinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,011
I know a television show stood in the same spot as one of the videographers and overlayed a daytime shot over the night time shot and the lights disappeared exactly with the contours of the hills beyond. Exactly. It was just flares being dropped by the military craft and nothing more. I can't remember the show and I don't have cable anymore but it was one of the ones that used to be on the SciFi channel on Wednesday night.

People don't realize how bright those flares are and they just looked closer than they were.
__________________
|¦¦|¦ |¦||||¦|||¦||¦¦|¦|||||||¦|¦¦¦¦|¦¦¦¦||¦|¦|¦¦|¦ |¦¦|¦
He who doubts victory has already lost the battle.
Below the navel there is neither religion nor truth.
Starthinker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2007, 10:29 AM   #4
grayman
Happy-go-lucky Heretic
 
grayman's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 5,655
Geek Goddess knows about these lights. But they're in West Texas.
__________________
Stupidity is a condition. Ignorance is a choice. - Wiley

All great truths begin as blasphemies. - George Bernard Shaw

God is evil. As soon as you accept that, it all makes sense. - Sledge
grayman is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2007, 06:18 PM   #5
Gord_in_Toronto
Penultimate Amazing
 
Gord_in_Toronto's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2006
Posts: 18,647
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
Recently a friend of mine living in Phoenix told me about this.

Pretty interesting stuff I must say, especially if you see the videos, pictures, etc.

I do believe that it was actually a military exercise, and not UFOs which others want to claim.

What do you think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Lights
I agree with you. There are no pictures (that I have ever seen -- but I am prepared to look if someone has something) of the "giant triangle" or the "triangular lights". And the descriptions differ and make the general silly conclusions about height, speed and size,

The pictures are all of flares dropped from National Guard planes that disappear behind the hills.

The entire episode was media generated by clueless news "reporters". The was an observation by a boy with his telescope in his backyard who looked at the flares and saw the planes that dropped them. He was of course ignored and continues to be ignored. That is not a "story".
__________________
"Reality is what's left when you cease to believe." Philip K. Dick
Gord_in_Toronto is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2007, 07:40 PM   #6
Wolverine
Centered and One
 
Wolverine's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2002
Location: Seattle, WA
Posts: 1,722
This story was published just a couple weeks ago (which I came across courtesy of The BA).
Wolverine is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2007, 08:58 PM   #7
Azure
Master Poster
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 2,536
Originally Posted by Gord_in_Toronto View Post
I agree with you. There are no pictures (that I have ever seen -- but I am prepared to look if someone has something) of the "giant triangle" or the "triangular lights". And the descriptions differ and make the general silly conclusions about height, speed and size,

The pictures are all of flares dropped from National Guard planes that disappear behind the hills.

The entire episode was media generated by clueless news "reporters". The was an observation by a boy with his telescope in his backyard who looked at the flares and saw the planes that dropped them. He was of course ignored and continues to be ignored. That is not a "story".
I think it has more to do with the fact that UFOs and paranormal sightings sell, while some military exercise is a common occurance for the people living in the US.

And then you have people like Art Bell who put their spin on it, make it interesting, and sell it to the gullible.

I find the idea of ET life very interesting, but I still don't believe it.
Azure is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 15th March 2007, 09:06 PM   #8
Dr. Lao
Critical Thinker
 
Dr. Lao's Avatar
 
Join Date: Nov 2006
Posts: 415
I live in PHX and was actually on an airplane coming into town during the whole thing. I saw nothing, I was in an aisle seat.

But no one else saw anything either.

We have a test range SW of town where they often do night flare drops as training. I drove past one once in Gila Bend at nite, it really looked like some woo, but as we got closer, we could see the parachutes on the flares.

The Phoenix lights are not a story, flares yes, a military plane being tested, maybe, but gray reptillians and an armada of ET's? Nope.

Of course the local silly media here doesn't care, every year, its a ratings bonanza and more ignorance is spewed.
Dr. Lao is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th March 2007, 09:55 AM   #9
EternalSceptic
Critical Thinker
 
EternalSceptic's Avatar
 
Join Date: Feb 2007
Posts: 254
Originally Posted by Azure View Post
Recently a friend of mine living in Phoenix told me about this.

Pretty interesting stuff I must say, especially if you see the videos, pictures, etc.

I do believe that it was actually a military exercise, and not UFOs which others want to claim.

What do you think?

http://en.wikipedia.org/wiki/Phoenix_Lights
We had a similar event here near vienna: A lot of people calling newspapers and telling that there were a lot of UFOs flying above a flat area near vienna. It turned out that a thunderstorrm in the vicinity of the airport caused several planes to be held in a waiting loop.

Some peoples stupidity is really unsurpassed.
EternalSceptic is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th March 2007, 11:01 AM   #10
JoeTheJuggler
Penultimate Amazing
 
JoeTheJuggler's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2006
Posts: 27,766
Originally Posted by Starthinker View Post
I know a television show stood in the same spot as one of the videographers and overlayed a daytime shot over the night time shot and the lights disappeared exactly with the contours of the hills beyond. Exactly. It was just flares being dropped by the military craft and nothing more. I can't remember the show and I don't have cable anymore but it was one of the ones that used to be on the SciFi channel on Wednesday night.

People don't realize how bright those flares are and they just looked closer than they were.
I saw that too. Even the original video (without the overlay showing the hills that caused them to "blink out" one by one) really looked exactly like very bright magnesium flares wafting slowly down. I can't imagine thinking they were anything else. I suppose in person it may have had a more baffling effect.

What's funny is that in most accounts of things like this is that they leave off key information--like the existence of the military base exactly in the direction the lights appeared.
__________________
"That is a very graphic analogy which aids understanding wonderfully while being, strictly speaking, wrong in every possible way." —Ponder Stibbons
JoeTheJuggler is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 16th March 2007, 01:51 PM   #11
Astrophotographer
Graduate Poster
 
Astrophotographer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,843
I have a rather lengthy discussion about the subject on my website.

http://members.aol.com/TPrinty/AZUFO.html

There were two events that night and people often confuse them.

1. Between 8 and 9 PM, a formation of 5 lights passed through Arizona. Some people saw individual lights and others saw a faint triangle/V with the lights attached.

2. At 10PM, lights were seen to the south of Phoenix. These are definitely the flares and have been conclusively shown to be. Only UFO proponents that don't think critically believe they are UFOs.

The 8-9PM appears to have been simply a formation of aircraft as you can see from my webpage on the subject. Recently, Mitch Stanley (who saw the formation of lights in his telescope and saw them as aircraft) was approached by the Phoenix paper:

http://www.azcentral.com/arizonarepu...uelas0312.html

Too bad this story did not make headlines back in 1997. Mitch tried to tell his story but the UFO proponents ignored him.
Astrophotographer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2007, 11:28 AM   #12
ksbluesfan
Graduate Poster
 
ksbluesfan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jan 2007
Posts: 1,376
I just saw this on the CNN Video webpage.

The former Governor of Arizona, Fife Symington, has come out stating that he saw the lights and believes it was an alien spacecraft in spite of the fact that he downplayed it when it happened.

Once again, I'm not too please with the coverage. There offered no rational explanation at all.

http://www.cnn.com/video/

Check the right column for "Phoenix Lights".
ksbluesfan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2007, 01:00 PM   #13
ObscureReferenceMan
Muse
 
ObscureReferenceMan's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Posts: 566
I remember watchnig this on TV a while ago. What really irks me about this story is - it is one where a simple, complete explanation is right there (quoting from the "Skepticism" section, "...the lights vanished in line with the outline of the mountain".), but bleevers will completely ignore it and say, "Nope. Spaceships". Grrr...
__________________
Mrs. T: What does it presage?
Mrs. O: You have green, scaly skin, and a soft yellow underbelly with a series of fin-like ridges running down your spine and tail. Although lizardlike in shape, you can grow anything up to thirty feet in length with huge teeth that can bite off great rocks and trees. You inhabit arid sub-tropical zones and wear spectacles.
Mrs. T: It's very good about the spectacles!
ObscureReferenceMan is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2007, 01:39 PM   #14
Starthinker
Philosopher
 
Starthinker's Avatar
 
Join Date: Oct 2005
Posts: 5,011
Originally Posted by Astrophotographer View Post
The 8-9PM appears to have been simply a formation of aircraft as you can see from my webpage on the subject. Recently, Mitch Stanley (who saw the formation of lights in his telescope and saw them as aircraft) was approached by the Phoenix paper:
I know he's on our side, but he trained a telescope on an aircraft? Have you ever tried that? Maybe they meant binoculars or something.
__________________
|¦¦|¦ |¦||||¦|||¦||¦¦|¦|||||||¦|¦¦¦¦|¦¦¦¦||¦|¦|¦¦|¦ |¦¦|¦
He who doubts victory has already lost the battle.
Below the navel there is neither religion nor truth.
Starthinker is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2007, 02:17 PM   #15
Astrophotographer
Graduate Poster
 
Astrophotographer's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jun 2004
Posts: 1,843
Originally Posted by Starthinker View Post
I know he's on our side, but he trained a telescope on an aircraft? Have you ever tried that? Maybe they meant binoculars or something.
I think you misunderstand what we are dealing with. The aircraft were flying at very high altitude (as best I can tell it was at least >20,000 and probably >30,000 feet) and had a relatively low angular speed. The telescope in question had a field of view of about a degree (Compare this to binoculars that have a 5-7 degree FOV). The scope was a dobsonian which works in alti-azimuth on teflon bearings. This allows for smooth operation and tracking. I have tracked high altitude aircraft in the past before using alti-azimuth scopes when I was younger and that was a 3" refractor with a small FOV. The angular speeds are relatively slow and it did not take any great effort to follow them once you get them in the field.

BTW, astronomers are often tracking the space shuttle and space station by tracking with a finder scope or by hand.
Astrophotographer is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Old 22nd March 2007, 03:08 PM   #16
Stellafane
Village Idiot.
 
Stellafane's Avatar
 
Join Date: Apr 2006
Posts: 7,659
Originally Posted by Astrophotographer View Post
I think you misunderstand what we are dealing with. The aircraft were flying at very high altitude (as best I can tell it was at least >20,000 and probably >30,000 feet) and had a relatively low angular speed. The telescope in question had a field of view of about a degree (Compare this to binoculars that have a 5-7 degree FOV). The scope was a dobsonian which works in alti-azimuth on teflon bearings. This allows for smooth operation and tracking. I have tracked high altitude aircraft in the past before using alti-azimuth scopes when I was younger and that was a 3" refractor with a small FOV. The angular speeds are relatively slow and it did not take any great effort to follow them once you get them in the field.

BTW, astronomers are often tracking the space shuttle and space station by tracking with a finder scope or by hand.

I can vouch for this. When I was a teenager living in Arizona, I once tracked a high-flying aircraft in a 2.4" refractor for well over 20 minutes. I was imagining the thing was over the New Mexico border when I finally gave up. I can also comment on the skies of Arizona. By far the strangest things I've ever seen in the sky were all observed while I was stargazing there. But despite seeing some rather odd phenomena, I never viewed anything I couldn't explain in terrestrial or natural terms. But I can understand how non-astronomers unused to observing such things could be totally mystified.
__________________
Another Shameless Googlebomb Plug for www.stopsylvia.com
Stellafane is offline   Quote this post in a PM   Nominate this post for this month's language award Copy a direct link to this post Reply With Quote Back to Top
Reply

International Skeptics Forum » General Topics » General Skepticism and The Paranormal

Bookmarks

Thread Tools

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off
Forum Jump


All times are GMT -7. The time now is 04:01 PM.
Powered by vBulletin. Copyright ©2000 - 2019, Jelsoft Enterprises Ltd.

This forum began as part of the James Randi Education Foundation (JREF). However, the forum now exists as
an independent entity with no affiliation with or endorsement by the JREF, including the section in reference to "JREF" topics.

Disclaimer: Messages posted in the Forum are solely the opinion of their authors.