Phoenix Lights Redux

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Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby You Can Call Me Ray » Wed Apr 23, 2008 3:18 pm

This is the kind of story that makes the knee-jerk "Phoenix Lights are REAL UFOs" look pretty stupid:

http://www.azfamily.com/news/homepageto ... be60f.html

The man, who did not want to be identified, told 3TV that he used fishing line to attach road flares to helium-filled balloons, then lit the fares and launched them a minute apart from his back yard.

A Phoenix Police Department helicopter pilot who witnessed the lights said they appeared to be flares, possibly hanging from one or more helium balloons.


Of course, how many "true believers" will ever admit their conclusions were wrong? #-o Don't forget to read the comments from people at the end of that article!!!

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Re: Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby uberarcanist » Wed Apr 23, 2008 6:26 pm

Sounds like about time to start a Church of the Phoenix Lights.

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Re: Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby IgnoreTheFacts » Wed Apr 23, 2008 7:13 pm

That will have to be a small denomination of the bigger religion, the Church of Ufology.
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Re: Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby zplix » Tue May 06, 2008 1:03 pm

gawd you people!

you pose as though your gods gift to scientific thinking yet some pathetic regional wannabe debunk and your taken. convinced. thats that. hayha

Did you see any serious analysis comparison with what people had reported with the actual Phoenix Lights, and the actual footage? No. you are So eager to write ift off you believe any old debunkin BS

Listen. I am not saying it is wrong. I am saying it is pathetic little debunking. laughable :cry: with laughter
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Re: Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby Access Denied » Sun May 25, 2008 2:07 am

From the May 21st, 2008 eSkeptics newsletter this is one of the best treatments of the Phoenix Lights incident I've seen (Tim Printy's being another)...

http://www.skeptic.com/eskeptic/

[I would highly encorage RU members to subscribe at the above link]

The Phoenix Lights Explained (Again)
by Tony Ortega

UFOs make great ratings, so it isn’t surprising that NBC’S Dateline aired a special on Sunday, May 18, entitled 10 Close Encounters Caught on Tape. To its credit, the NBC program at least made an attempt to provide prosaic explanations for each of the events it presented. In most cases, those explanations were actually pretty good, and the “UFO experts” for the most part came off as yahoos.

But when I realized that they were saving “the #1 UFO event caught on tape!” for last — the lame Phoenix Lights, the 1997 event that I helped debunk years ago as a reporter in Arizona, I prepared myself for yet another time that so-called journalists wouldn’t get even the most basic facts right. I wasn’t disappointed.

For starters, there were two separate events on the night of March 13, 1997 over the skies of Arizona. The mysterious “vee” configuration of lights that so many people across the state witnessed was seen over Prescott at about 8:15 p.m. and traveled south to Phoenix at about 8:30 and then passed over Tucson at 8:45. That’s 200 miles in thirty minutes which means the vee was moving at about 400 miles per hour. Some early eyewitnesses perceived that it was high in the sky, others swore it was low and moving very slowly. (And I mention “early” purposely. As the months passed, more and more elaborate — and ridiculous — claims were made by eyewitnesses who were clearly trying to one-up each other.) As I’ve pointed out many times, the eyeball is a poor instrument for judging the altitude of point sources of light in a night sky. Simple physics, however, suggests the vee was high in the sky and moving very fast, even if it looked like it was moving slowly due to the altitude.

The images of the Phoenix Lights presented on the web further confuse the fact that two different incidents happened. The first incident, the original “vee,” passed overhead with almost no one photographing or filming it. Only one video seems to exist, and since it was shot of an overhead object it does not show a cityscape. This film was never promoted by UFO enthusiasts, perhaps because it doesn't show the famous optical illusion of the “dark triangle.”

Most of the photos and video of the lights were taken of the second incident — the flares — as people came out in response to the first. These images show the flares in an arc over the Phoenix cityscape, which is sometimes confused with the earlier, overhead “vee.”

As I first revealed in the Phoenix New Times, a young man with a 10-inch Dobsonian telescope, Mitch Stanley, spotted the vee from his backyard, and saw that it was a formation of airplanes. Using a magnification of 60X — which essentially put him 60 times closer to the vee than people only using their naked eyes — Stanley could see that each light in the sky was actually a double, with one light under each squarish wing. The planes still looked small in his scope — suggesting they were flying at high altitude — and he didn’t know what type they were. But there was no doubt, he told me, that they were planes.

After his sighting, Stanley tried to contact a Phoenix city councilwoman who was making noise about the event, as well as a couple of UFO flim-flam men working the local scene, but he was rebuffed. I was the first reporter to talk to him, and, as a telescope builder myself, I made a thorough examination of his instrument and his knowledge of it. (For the inexperienced: a Dobsonian telescope is much easier to move than the typical department store scope; it’s child’s play for an experienced observer like Stanley to get a good look at passing planes at altitude.) And he had a witness: he had told his mother, who was standing nearby, that the lights were planes. After my story, the Arizona Republic also found his story credible and wrote about it.

On the night of March 13, news of the 8:30 pm sighting traveled fast, so a large number of people were outside with video cameras when the second and unrelated event, at about 10 pm, happened in the sky southwest of Phoenix. A string of lights appeared in the sky, and slowly sank until they disappeared behind the nearby Estrella Mountain range. This was later shown to be a string of flares dropped by the Maryland Air National Guard over the North Tac military range. Dr. Lynne Kitei, featured prominently on the Dateline program, can repeat all she wants to NBC and other media that these lights were magical and “intelligent” and later showed up just outside her living room window, but the videotapes taken that night by many people show without a doubt that this was a string of mundane lights that fell and disappeared behind the range, exactly as a string of flares dropped by the military planes would have.

The problem developed later when people conflated reports of the two sightings. For the many people who had seen the earlier vee pass directly over their heads, the explanation of the flares made no sense whatsoever. News organizations didn’t differentiate between the two events or report on the Stanley identification — even the Republic stopped referring to its earlier solid reporting on the Lights and began promoting it as “unexplained.”

To this day, programs like Dateline invariably question people who saw the earlier “vee” event, and quote them saying that flares couldn’t possibly explain what they saw. They are right. They didn’t see flares, they saw a formation of planes. Dateline repeatedly showed people talking about their memories of the 8:30 vee while showing video of the 10 pm flares. Talk about misleading.

There was at least one person who videotaped both the 8:30 vee and the later event. I saw his tape myself. It clearly showed the five lights of the 8:30 vee moving in relation to each other, exactly as you’d expect in a formation of airplanes.

As for the people who swore they saw a black triangular shape joining the five lights of the vee, that’s a classic contrast effect of the human eye. In a very telling case, a man who swore he saw a black shape joining the lights of the vee saw it pass directly in front of the moon. At that point, he saw not a black shape but wavy lines pass over the undimmed moon. But rather than conclude that he’d seen the contrails of planes, the man, whose perception had already been heavily influenced by the UFO explanation concluded instead that the pilot of the alien craft had turned his spaceship transparent right at that moment so the man could see the moon through it. How convenient!

Part of what fueled so much confusion over the Phoenix Lights event was the input from a couple of UFO “investigators” on the scene — one of whom was literally put of business after my stories about him came out. For example, when it became obvious that the hundreds of people who saw the vee pass overhead had many different ideas about it — some said it was just over their heads, other said it was high in the sky, and no one could agree on the colors of the lights — instead of concluding that human beings naturally come up with different perceptions of the same event, these UFOlogists instead began to promote the idea that everyone had seen different vees! Again, going by the early reports, there was no doubt that a single vee crossed over the state that night in about a half-hour. But by the time the UFOlogists were through, the credulous came to believe that Phoenix was practically under attack by dozens of mile-wide triangular space-cruisers!

Also at fault was the local TV news fraternity, which not only couldn’t get the basic facts straight, but also cynically exploited the event for ratings. We’re still dealing with the misconceptions they promoted, such as…

Claim: The vee made no sound. (Not true. I talked to witnesses in Prescott, a quieter environment, who clearly heard jet noise.)

Claim: The vee didn’t show up on radar. (None of the UFO investigators bothered to ask for tapes from the FAA in Albuquerque, whose officials at the time told me they only kept tapes for 11 days. So we’ll never know what the radar picture looked like that night.)

Claim: The 10 pm lights fell in front of the mountain range, so they couldn’t be flares dropped in the distance by military planes (Videotapes taken by observers from higher elevations in the Valley saw the flares for a longer period of time than those who were in lower places, confirming that the flares dropped behind the Estrellas.)

Perhaps it’s a good thing that NBC has now declared this the numero uno UFO sighting of all time. Few sightings have been so thoroughly investigated by reporters, and so well debunked. But you won’t hear that from the networks, who can’t get enough of the ratings that come with “the unexplained.”

Leave it to UFOlogist to cherry pick thier evidence...
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Re: Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby Chorlton » Sun May 25, 2008 10:24 am

zplix wrote:gawd you people!

you pose as though your gods gift to scientific thinking yet some pathetic regional wannabe debunk and your taken. convinced. thats that. hayha
Did you see any serious analysis comparison with what people had reported with the actual Phoenix Lights, and the actual footage? No. you are So eager to write ift off you believe any old debunkin BS
Listen. I am not saying it is wrong. I am saying it is pathetic little debunking. laughable :cry: with laughter


But why not?
On (A)nother (T)ripe (S)ite I got verbally attacked, abused and ridiculed, including some abuse from one moron who later became a moderator, for suggesting that lights seen over Stafford in the UK were Chinese Lanterns.
Despite having a mass of sighting experience of Chinese Lanterns around the world and seeing some of the wierd things they can do, I was continually attacked and abused,(of course Old Mother Springer said nothing about this abuse either). All this because idiots morons and believers so wanted to believe they were spaceships, and couldnt tolerate anyone disagreeing with them and giving them a sane and rational explanation of what they were.
Eventually the family who actually let the Lanterns off admitted what they were, yet still the halfwits morons and would be moderator chose to decry that and my evidence, and in the case of the would be moderator chose to continue a vendetta against me.

If someone gets a good chance to rub the noses of the halfwit believers into the mud......why not.
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Re: Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby zplix » Sun May 25, 2008 11:22 am

Chorlton wrote:
zplix wrote:gawd you people!

you pose as though your gods gift to scientific thinking yet some pathetic regional wannabe debunk and your taken. convinced. thats that. hayha
Did you see any serious analysis comparison with what people had reported with the actual Phoenix Lights, and the actual footage? No. you are So eager to write ift off you believe any old debunkin BS
Listen. I am not saying it is wrong. I am saying it is pathetic little debunking. laughable :cry: with laughter


But why not?
On (A)nother (T)ripe (S)ite I got verbally attacked, abused and ridiculed, including some abuse from one moron who later became a moderator, for suggesting that lights seen over Stafford in the UK were Chinese Lanterns.
Despite having a mass of sighting experience of Chinese Lanterns around the world and seeing some of the wierd things they can do, I was continually attacked and abused,(of course Old Mother Springer said nothing about this abuse either). All this because idiots morons and believers so wanted to believe they were spaceships, and couldnt tolerate anyone disagreeing with them and giving them a sane and rational explanation of what they were.
Eventually the family who actually let the Lanterns off admitted what they were, yet still the halfwits morons and would be moderator chose to decry that and my evidence, and in the case of the would be moderator chose to continue a vendetta against me.

If someone gets a good chance to rub the noses of the halfwit believers into the mud......why not.


All I can see above :roll: is words. Where is video footage with expert analysis that proves your theory of 'chinese lanterns'. Also please provide someon who disputes it. So I can then judge the evidence. Thanks :)
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Re: Phoenix Lights Redux

Postby Chorlton » Sun May 25, 2008 11:57 am

zplix wrote:.

All I can see above :roll: is words. Where is video footage with expert analysis that proves your theory of 'chinese lanterns'. Also please provide someon who disputes it. So I can then judge the evidence. Thanks :)


I wont do any such thing. The evidence is there on the other site, However, all the believers were totally destroyed when the people WHO WERE ACTUALLY RESPONSIBLE for letting the things off, admitted it. The Time of release, the wind direction all correlated with the sighting. Yet the sheeple still wouldnt be convinced. Poor little backwoods boys who had never been more than a few miles from their homes, disputing that facts with the people who actually let them off and others who HAD worldwide experience of them and what Lanterns are capable of doing.

I had simply suggested that, on the basis of the video evidence that was supplied, and of my seeing pretty much thousands of the things being launched over the last 40 odd years, that it was pretty much a case of Chinese lanterns. Yet the devoted 'believers' didnt like the truth beig thrown at them. I would actually consider, that, after the amount of Chinese lanterns and plastic bags I have seen lauched that I am somewhat of an 'expert' in that particular field.

Here is the article I posted on another site and to which I own the copyright

From my earliest times visiting the Far East in the late 60’s I have seen Chinese lanterns (note: I use the name Chinese lanterns to cover all the phenomenon as mentioned above)
I have watched them launched from Land, Sea, Mountains and rivers. In China, Thailand, Vietnam, Indonesia and many other small islands and places doted around the South China Sea.
One trick used more recently is to attach fireworks to the base of the lanterns as can be seen here: www.youtube.com...
Imagine seeing this over Birmingham or London, what would be reported if you hadn’t seen it launched?

I have to say that whilst the majority of these Lanterns ascend in a very similar way, many many of them do not and sometimes do things that defy explanation.

I have let an awfull lot of them off myself. Its the 'done thing' at festival times in the far east, at certain religious ceremonies, birthdays, wedding deaths and marriages.
Typical 'launch' time from lighting to release depends on various things.
Size of lantern, wind, and actual heat source. However working on the 'normal' sized lantern of around 2-3 ft tall you are probably looking at around 1-2 minutes, sometimes a bit less sometimes a bit more, but the heat inside collects very quickly.
Now duration time is the moot point. I have seen some go up and burn for 5 minutes then go out and drop. Ive seen some go up, get hit by a draft, turn sideways and burn and fall, Ive seen some go up and up and up untill we actually lost sight of them due to the height, but, more importantly Ive seen some go up a hundred feet or so then just stop dead, then some would drop and some would simply hang there.
I have always suspected that this was due to some Temperature inversion or temperature level. I have seen as many as 100+ lanterns just hanging there in the sky yet 50 yards along some were still zooming up!! and 100 yards the other way some were slowly descending. They are totally unpredictable because of so many many factors.
The factors deciding the ascension rate:
Size of lantern
Quality of construction
Size of heat source
Ambient temperature at launch level
Temperature fluctuations at various heights above launch level
Position of Launch place (valley, plain, launch site shaded by wind etc etc)
Wind speed and direction at launch level
Wind speed and direction above launch level

Once a Lantern is ignited and released it is at the mercy of many factors. The first being the actual quality of the construction. These days many lanterns are constructed of very cheap paper and the expansion of the air inside them can often split them either at launch point or later. Whatever, if they do split they can often be seen shooting off at strange angles as the jet of heated air from inside shoots out. If this happens at height the effects can be even more bizarre, with a lantern flying off in a totally different direction than all of those around them. One of the other results of splits and tears is they can be more prone to burst into flame as increased air flowing through the ruptured lantern can cause the lanterns to lean way over, causing the heat source to ignite them At increased height after flying off in a different direction if one of these lanterns catches fire they can be quite spectacular as they slowly descend in a ball of fire.

Lantern History
www.overflite.com...
The History of Lanterns go back many thousands of years. Originally launched for specific purposes mainly related to the spirits and health , these days they are launched for practically any reason, marriages, birthdays, deaths and sometimes just for the hell of it.
The original chinese lanterns were very intricate constructs with many designs painted on them and they were traditionally hung outside of people homes
From earliest times in China people few kites. Then people began releasing their kites as if to release bad spirits in their bodies. People began flying kites at night and then hanging small lanterns on them for pleasure. It is not known when the jump from flying kites with suspended lamps changed to actually putting a heat source inside a lantern and flying that instead of a kite. Whatever it was it became the way to celebrate an occasion.

It has been postulated that the flying lantern was the first ‘identified’ UFO. (www.iop.org...)
Whether that is true or not, in the 20th century it is well known that many UFO’s are nothing more than Chinese lanterns, let off for some celebration or other. The Internet has also made these lanterns easier to obtain with many companies selling them ready made.

A recent offshoot of these paper lanterns is the ‘Bin Bag Balloon as seen here: video.google.com...
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