Dr. Lynne Kitei &
The Phoenix Lights Phenomenon By Cheryl Knight
he March 13, 1997, mass UFO sighting in the skies over Phoenix, Arizona, is now hailed as the largest mass sighting of UFOs in modern times. With thousands of witnesses to the event, ongoing UFO sightings in the area, and a plethora of photos and videos documenting the event in 1997, as well as similar sightings before and after that date, some believe the government will never admit that the “crafts” witnessed weren’t of terrestrial origins. One witness and researcher to these strange and controversial events, Dr. Lynne Kitei (aka Dr. Lynne), has spent more than a decade investigating the Phoenix Lights phenomenon, as well as having her own evidence analyzed by photo and video experts and those in academia. The results are startling, as the data represent some of the best evidence that extraterrestrials are indeed visiting our planet. I recently spoke with Dr. Lynne about her experiences and research into the infamous Phoenix Lights, her book and documentary on the phenomenon, and why she put her reputation on the line to come forward with her research and findings. *****
In 1995, Dr. Lynne Kitei witnessed and photographed anomalous phenomena just yards from her home. She is considered a key witness to the still inexplicable Arizona mass UFO event of March 13, 1997.
Q: Please tell us about yourself. Dr. Lynne: I truly appreciate your kind interest in my background, but I’d be the first to say that this is not about me … it’s about the data. One of the main reasons I came forward in 2004, after seven years of anonymity, is to lend a credible voice to the topic so others will actually look at the data. It speaks for itself. Since graduating Temple University School of Medicine in 1974, I have dedicated my life’s work to
community education of the reality of vital health issues, combining my unique expertise in communications, education, science, and professional musical theater. Your readers may be interested in learning that I appeared in over 30 professional productions from the time I was eight years old, including Oklahoma, starring Gordan MacCrae; Guys & Dolls, starring Betty Grable; played Alice in Alice In Wonderland with Sherman Hemsley, and understudied Barbara
The above collage of the “Phoenix Lights” represents what thousands of individuals witnessed in the skies over Phoenix, Arizona, in 1997. (Photos by Dr. Lynne Kitei.)
Eden in the Sound of Music. I was also featured as “Florence Arizona” in the Coen Brother’s 20th Century Fox hit Raising Arizona, starring Nicolas Cage, Holly Hunter, William Forsythe, John Goodman, Frances McDormand, and Randall “Tex” Cobb. Ironically, there is a poignant line in the film referring to UFOs and my character — 10 years before the Phoenix Lights mass sighting! I tried to put my extensive theater background to good use during my post-graduate medical training by creating TV News health reports on the KYW-NBC affiliate in Philadelphia in 1976. It was so successful that I was invited to syndicate 120 60-to-90-second health tips, which aired globally for over 10 years. While practicing medicine part time and raising two sons with my husband of 40 years, I squeezed in stints as the resident health reporter at the NBC affiliate in Phoenix and USA cable in the early ’80’s before starting my own company, Health Education Learning Programs in 1985 after treating adolescents in our family practice drowning in substance abuse. That was the beginning of the “You Make It!” series [AIDS, Teen Pregnancy & Substance Abuse prevention/education curricula], which put the reality of vital health issues right in the classroom in an informative and entertaining way. I combined kids who had been
there, experts in the field, music and celebrities, including Magic Johnson, Michael Jordan, cast members of Beverly Hills 90210, Paula Abdul, and more to impart meaningful messages to young people. The internationally award-winning programs are currently being distributed by Discovery Education. After the “Phoenix Lights” mass sighting, I felt compelled as an educator, scientist, and experiencer to help raise awareness and inform the public concerning the reality of this vital topic, giving up a stellar posi-
“I felt compelled to help raise awareness and inform the public ...” tion as chief clinical consultant of the Wellness & Imaging Center at the renowned Arizona Heart Institute to publish my book and write/direct/ produce our internationally award winning documentary. I am currently developing a comprehensive curricula for grades 5–12 on the topic of Unexplained Phenomena, called “Out of the Box.” Q: Tell us about the events that took place on March 13, 1997. Dr. Lynne: I have to share that what appeared in the skies of
Arizona on March 13, 1997, was not an unusual occurrence for me personally, but it definitely was for thousands throughout Arizona, New Mexico, and Nevada while they were looking skyward for a glimpse of the Hale-Bopp Comet. Many statewide also caught a glimpse of a silent, low-gliding, mile-wide V of orbs that “seemed to be attached to something or had a force field holding the huge lights in rock solid formation.” Not only were there light arrays, but thousands also reported different, silent mile-to-twomile-wide craft. The advanced nature of these phenomena is also noteworthy. They could glide at a very low altitude, hover, and then take off at blink speed or split in two! Some witnesses saw the orbs detach from the main object, go out into the environment, and then re-dock with it. Incredible technology to be sure … oftentimes described as “otherworldly.” Besides these anomalous objects appearing prior to and after the Arizona mass sighting, it is important to note that there weren’t just one or two events on March 13, 1997, as the media and military would have us believe, but unusual sightings taking place for over a dozen hours. Reports started as early as 5:20 p.m. in New Mexico through 11:30 p.m. when two commercial airlines witnessed a massive triangular craft
Investigator Spotlight I have yet to find an answer. But after seven years of anonymity and intensive research while keeping a detailed daily diary, I did end up with a 750-page journal of incredibly credible information that I ultimately felt was too important not to share. Q: Is there evidence of the Phoenix Lights being of extraterrestrial origin? What do you think the Phoenix Lights are?
with lights covering Las Vegas, and continued to the next morning when a Boeing crew arriving for work at Sky Harbor IAP, about 5:30 a.m., witnessed the mysterious mile-wide object hovering over their tarmac! There is an estimated 10,000 people who witnessed this extraordinary mass UFO “parade,” which has become historic in the annals of ufology and human history. To this day, the Phoenix Lights have NEVER been duplicated and cannot be explained or denied. Q: Did you have an interest in paranormal aerial phenomena before these events took place? Dr. Lynne: I had no interest or knowledge of unexplained aerial phenomena before our very close sighting in 1995 of three amber orbs in a pyramid formation hovering just yards from our mountainside home. I happened to capture stunning photographs of this “advanced intelligent technology” two years before the mass sighting, with no idea what they
could have been. Besides the close encounter in 1995, one of the most dramatic sightings for me was two months before the mass sighting, on January 23, 1997, when I captured the same phenomena in the same location as the video I would shoot during the mass event. These awesome 35mm photos are of a mile-wide phenomena head-on and then turning into a V. The phenomena was confirmed the next morning by air traffic controllers at Sky Harbor International Airport as a mile-wide V of equidistant points of light, turning as a unit against the wind at a 1,000 feet altitude in Class B Restricted airspace! These orb phenomena continued and were captured by myself and others on film for days before the mass sighting, and then a hand-full of us during the mass sighting. After I learned that thousands statewide witnessed the same phenomena on March 13, 1997, as I had been documenting for years, I pushed my entire successful medical career aside to find a logical source and meaning for what I saw and photographed.
Dr. Lynne: When I witnessed and photographed the Unexplained Aerial Phenomena (UAP) up close and personal in 1995, I had no idea we had this advanced technology here on Earth. However, as others would share during the mass sighting, the objects felt “unearthly” and inter-dimensional because when they slowly and mechanically disappeared from view, they still seemed to be there, even though we didn’t see them anymore! Almost 17 years later, I still have no idea what these things are, only that they are and that it is time we get this topic out in the open — address it, accept it, and study it — so we can find out who’s driving these things, as well as move forward in our own evolution. But I was fascinated to learn that native cultures right here in Arizona and worldwide do believe that otherworldly intelligences have been visiting us since human documentation began. In fact, the Gila Native Americans living in the basin between South Mountain and the Estrella Mountain Ranges shared that they have been looking up at these orbs for centuries. They call them Sky People and Light Beings. They are part of their culture. And as in other tribes, including Hopi, they have protocols to invite these beings. Some believe they are ancestors coming to give them comfort, inspiration, and guidance. By the way, the Gila indigenous peoples call the Estrellas, which means
star in Spanish, the “Gateway to the Stars,” believing there is a porthole or gateway in that area. In science we look for repeatability, and if you examine my photos closely you will see that these UAP keep popping up in that same location. Maybe they are right! Q: What do you think of the U.S. government’s explanations for the Phoenix Lights? Dr. Lynne: It is pretty intriguing how the story played out after the mass sighting. There was no investigation or explanation by the military or government for the extraordinary events on March 13 until July 25, 1997, one month after a June 18 front page USA TODAY article opened our event to international scrutiny. We were immediately deluged by media from all over the world asking why there was no inquiry or explication. The very next day, on June 19, former Gov. Fife Symington mocked the event in a scheduled press conference, presumably to put a lid on the growing national and international interest. But that little diversion didn’t stop me from my own continued inquiry. After checking with military officials at every base in Arizona for weeks and learning that they were just as curious as we were, on July 24, 1997, I received a very interesting call from the head of PR at the Air National Guard. She stated that no one had looked at the log of visiting ANG and that the Maryland ANG was in town that night deploying illumination flares in “Operation Snowbird,” which I later learned meant diversionary tactical maneuvers! No doubt flares may have been sent off to attract attention away from the true unknowns and confuse the issue, but not one witness described flare characteristics of “drifting haphazardly with the wind, flickering frantical-
ly with huge smoke trails, or illumination of the area around the lights.” In stark contrast, witnesses described a low-gliding, rock-solid, mile-
“Some believe they are ancestors coming to give them comfort, inspiration, and guidance.” wide equidistant V formation of orbs (self contained light) that traversed the entire state for many hours. Flares cannot do that! Just take a look … http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=y2x ZD7kgyHo&feature=share. When I told her that I had photographic evidence of the same phenomena in the same location two months before and during the mass sighting, confirmed both times by air traffic controllers as appearing at 1,000 feet in Class B restricted airspace, she blurted, “You never told me that!”
The Phoenix Lights Documentary is a comprehensive examination of the strange lights seen over Phoenix and throughout Arizona on March 13, 1997. But there is much more to the story!
In addition, there were witnesses who watched the same V array of three equidistant orbs/craft that I videotaped glide silently at low altitude right above their head about 10 p.m., describing the PLs as “huge canisters of swimming light.” But the best confirmation that the Phoenix Lights were definitely not flares came three years after the mass sighting when three Air National Guard units tried to duplicate the Phoenix Lights in an announced “reenactment” on March 7, 2000. They failed miserably. Decide for yourself: http://www.azfamily.com/home/13thanniversary-of-Phoenix-Lights-andstill-no-answers-87540507.html. To this day, the Phoenix Lights — and the videos around 10 p.m. — have never been duplicated. However, that didn’t stop the “authorities” from declaring the “flare” excuse for the entire mass sighting on July 25, 1997, and continuing to do so. Q: Tell us about any paranormal experiences you’ve had before March 13, 1997. Dr. Lynne: I have to admit that the Phoenix Lights were not my first paranormal experience. Besides details of some pretty bizarre “happenings” after the mass sighting, I also share my 1956 childhood Near-Death Experience (NDE) in the book, which could very well have been a precursor to what is happening now. After my childhood NDE, when I was taken into another space and time and met three giant beings in glowing white robes, I have lived with that vivid memory and “knowing” that we are not alone in the universe. Was this early paranormal experience the foundation, while the close sighting in 1995 was the catalyst that propelled me to do this dedicated work? I approach all of this as a healthy skeptic and cannot definitively con-
firm one way or the other. However, there is that possibility ... Keep in mind that there were a number of other Phoenix Lights witnesses who shared with me that they also had childhood NDEs that were re-awakened by the mass sighting. I began considering a connection between all unexplained phenomena — whether NDEs, out-of-body experiences, or unexplained aerial phenomena. And when I started looking for confirmation, I started finding credible studies by esteemed scientists at university level verifying a strong connection. Not only is the experience similar in many unexplained phenomena cases, particularly those associated with a mystical light, but the most profound finding was the positive aftereffect that changed an experiencer’s life forever in the majority of cases. I began calling all Unexplained Phenomena UPs, because they are touching the experiencer to the core
with a positive awakening. The person who truly experiences an UP realizes our intimate connection to each other, to our beautiful planet, and to the universe. They are enlightened forever. Like myself, many return from the experience with a feeling of urgency to help make this world a better one and were told that they needed to come back for a reason. Perhaps this is mine. Q: Did you encounter any type of ”high strangeness” following your experiences with the Phoenix Lights? Dr. Lynne: The weeks following the mass sighting of March, 13, 1997, were filled with unusual events, including weird dreams, an out-of-body experience, confirmation that the essence of who we are does go on after passing, and a daytime sighting of the orbs exactly one month later (caught on film by an
elderly couple in Rainbow Valley), followed by automatic writing in the middle of that night. The “message” I penciled, with my eyes closed in the dark, sent me on this wondrous journey of discovery. Will let your readers enjoy the fascinating details in the Third Edition of my book, The Phoenix Lights: A Skeptic’s Discovery That We Are Not Alone. In this latest version, I share what has transpired since I came forward after seven years of anonymity in 2004, plus new riveting information that I never thought I would share — the analysis and conclusion of my close sighting pics by respected Navy Optical Physicist and renowned UFO researcher Bruce Maccabee, Ph.D. I have kept his mind-boggling findings private for over a dozen years because of the bizarre nature of the case. But in fact, Dr. Maccabee presented my 1995 data at the 1999 MUFON International Symposium in Washington, D.C., as the first authenticated photographic evidence ever of “missing time.” Q: You’ve written extensively about your experiences with the Phoenix Lights. Tell us about the mass media and presentations where you’ve documented your personal accounts and those of others. Dr. Lynne: Since divulging my identity eight years ago and coming forward with the book, my data and I have been featured in hundreds of radio, print, and TV interviews. I have also been a keynote speaker at the University of Arizona Tucson Medical Center with Harvard’s Dr. John Mack (just months before his untimely passing); Washington, D.C. X Conference; MUFON International Symposium; and many more. It is both an honor and privilege that my book and documentary have been hailed as the definitive works
concerning the most important mass UFO sighting in modern history, called the “Phoenix Lights.” My interviews and articles have been featured in publications including TV Guide Magazine, Physician’s Management Magazine, UFO Magazine, National News Network, Philadelphia Inquirer, Phoenix Magazine, L.A. Times Magazine, Enlightenment Magazine, National UFO Magazine, AZ Republic, Open Minds Magazine, among others. Q: You’ve also made an internationally award-winning documentary about the Phoenix Lights. Tell us about this project and the feedback and response you’ve received since releasing it. Dr. Lynne: After pushing my entire successful medical career aside for four years to meticulously research, study, and compile the most credible information concerning these anomalous phenomena, I went back to work as the Chief Clinical Consultant at the renowned Arizona Heart Institute’s Wellness & Imaging Center while condensing my 750-page daily journal into 230 pages of the best info I found. I also did much soul searching on whether or not to come forward with the stunning data. After seven years of anonymity, while sharing my Phoenix Lights photo evidence gratis to the media, I finally took that precarious step and published the first edition of my book. The response was so overwhelming and positive that I felt obliged to produce a visual edition, complete with witness accounts, experts, the history and background of these elusive phenomena, the effect on the experiencer, as well as the “message.” I was approached by filmmakers, but working full time, doing radio interviews into the night, and Barnes
& Noble/Borders book tours on the weekends, I did not have the time to even think about producing a documentary. Enter talented filmmaker Steve Lantz, who was very persistent and passionate about the topic, as well
“No one could give me an explanation for what I witnessed and documented on film.” as the project. Like myself, he wanted to create something credible and professional to help raise awareness in a non-threatening, informative way. It has been evolving ever since we began production in June 2004 when I ended up leaving the Arizona Heart Institute to dedicate my full time energy and monies to complete it. We have been going full throttle since, as the film has evolved each year with new data, new sightings, and new witnesses, including former Gov. Symington, a 911 Phoenix police operator, a commercial/military pilot, and the powerful words of moon walker himself, Astronaut Dr. Edgar Mitchell. The feedback has been extraor-
After seven years of anonymity and intensive research while keeping a detailed daily diary, Dr. Lynne ended up with a 750-page journal.
dinary. Not only have we won over a dozen international film festival awards, which is unheard of for a documentary, especially for one of this genre, but from the thousands of e-mails and communications I have received through the years, our unique endeavor is indeed touching one person at a time very deeply, just as these anomalous phenomena are doing worldwide. Q: What are some of the common myths and misconceptions about the Phoenix Lights? Dr. Lynne: After the mass sighting, when I learned that thousands of people saw what I had been witnessing and that these anomalies were appearing worldwide, I took great lengths to have my photo data analyzed and explained to me. I went to the heads of the University of Arizona optical sciences and consciousness study departments; Arizona State University geology, anthropology, astronomy, and mathematics departments; the acclaimed Brooks Institute of Photography in Santa Barbara, CA; in addition to respected Navy Optical physicist Dr. Bruce Maccabee in Washington, D.C. Across the board, no one could give me an explanation for what I witnessed and documented on film, but what they could confirm was that my 35mm photos are of true unknowns. Not only is it vital that witnesses worldwide know that they are not alone, which in and of itself is healing to those who are afraid to talk about their experiences for fear of ridicule or discrediting, but it was essential to me that the potentially important data be shared, whatever the consequences. However, even though I came forward with impressive evidence and the “rest of the story” in 2004, some media — who are either uninformed
Investigator Spotlight or choose to ignore the data — continue to report a different narrative. Most focus on the first official call from Paulden, Arizona, by a retired police officer at 8:20 p.m. and profess that the Phoenix Lights lasted only an hour or so. They also separate the earlier sightings from a “grand finale” over Phoenix around 10 p.m., when a hand-full of witnesses, including myself, captured the same phenomena on video that thousands described for hours before and many reported after that time frame (i.e., mile wide, silent arrowhead, boomerang, or V arrays of five to seven lights). Keep in mind that the videos around 10 p.m. are virtually the only hard evidence of the Arizona mass sighting — and the only thing of substance that authorities could debunk. Even though the videos of the unknowns are very different than what they looked like in real time, they continue to use them to explain away the “Phoenix Lights” as illumination flares! Needless to say, it has been a bit frustrating and disconcerting that hard core skeptics, debunkers, media (outside of Phoenix), and even some leaders in the UFO community ignore my own credible and authenticated photo data and continue to mislead the public concerning the complicated and still unexplained March 13, 1997, event, including Wikipedia. If you find this curious and suspect, there is much more to the “inside story” that I hope you will check out in the book and documentary. Plus, if you would like to learn about the Phoenix Lights myths, please refer to “Debunking the Debunkers” on the Phoenix Lights Network Website. My documentary collaborator, Steve Lantz, does an exemplary job of dispelling the falsehoods that abound (i.e., flares, blimps, conventional aircraft, holograms,
The Phoenix Lights book presents a detailed account of the strange events that took place on March 13, 1997, and the ensuing cover up of what is now being hailed as the largest mass sighting of UFOs in modern times.
etc.) at http://www.thephoenixlights. net/Myths.htm. Q: What is the Geospatial Animation Project? Dr. Lynne: As mentioned earlier, there weren’t just two events, as most debunkers and the misinformed would have us believe, but many events for many hours, as well as multiple phenomena noted by witnesses statewide. Besides the orb formations, there were eight to nine different mile-wide craft. Whether the reports were of a phenomenon that could morph, a parade of multiple craft, or the perception of the witness from their vantage point, we may never know. However, it seemed important to illustrate these different craft for public awareness. So after 12 years of intensive investigation and compilation by
UFO researchers Michael Tanner and William Hamilton of the most credible objects reported by multiple witnesses to the National UFO Reporting Center, AZ MUFON, Village Labs, and 700 reports to then Councilwomen/Vice Mayor Frances Barwood, Geospatial Animation Project (GAP) was created by illustrator Larry Lowe: http://www. thephoenixlights.net/GAP.htm. Not only was there a craft reported to have split in two, but another craft is identical to video captured one month before our mass sighting during another mass sighting in St. Petersburg, Russia, on February 19, 1997: http://www.youtube. com/watch?v=2wkpn4S6WlY. Just as our own Air Traffic Controllers (ATCs) and the Boeing crewman at Sky Harbor International Airport reported concerning our mass sighting, the St. Petersburg “craft” was also reported by St. Petersburg airport ATCs as hovering over their tarmac! Q: Have you ever been persecuted for your beliefs about and work surrounding the Phoenix Lights? Dr. Lynne: With all the ridicule and discrediting surrounding this topic, it was quite precarious for me to come forward as a well-established medical professional. I have to admit that staying anonymous while doing my homework for seven years paid off. From the feedback and plaudits I have received since 2004, it seems that those who actually look at my dedicated endeavors truly appreciate the time, effort, and sacrifice that has gone into making them the best they can be. I am so grateful that others have embraced my heartfelt efforts. The major reasons I came forward were to set the record straight, as well as to let others know that they are not alone in their experiences.
Keep in mind that when I first revealed the “rest of the story” in 2004, the official and accepted explanation for the Phoenix Lights (outside of Arizona) was that they were merely military illumination flares. There are some who still feed into this “logical” explication. If it gives them comfort, that’s okay. Everyone in their own time. To be clear, most things can be explained. Only a small percentage cannot. But let’s get the facts concerning these curious, enigmatic, intelligent phenomena that demonstrate aerial capabilities far beyond our own correct in the meantime. With all the hard work of many, one of the most fulfilling aspects of the still unexplained and now historic Arizona mass sighting of March 13, 1997, is that similar sightings around the globe are being compared to the Phoenix Lights. Slowly, but surely, the word is getting “out there.” It’s also important that credible witnesses do come forward. One important example that assisted in lending additional momentum to the Phoenix Lights occurred shortly after the 10th anniversary of our mass sighting when former Governor Fife Symington — who had mocked the event in 1997 — revealed that he had actually witnessed it and as a pilot and military, he was assured that it was “otherworldly!” His courageous admission propelled the Phoenix Lights into the international spotlight of disclosure, especially on the Internet, which has played a pivotal role in disseminating information at record speed concerning our sighting and others. In fact, the Phoenix Lights case was the first mass event discussed in chat rooms, while enthusiastic blogs continue to this day. With more credible witnesses coming forward, similar global sight-
ings being recorded on film and reported, plus thousands of UFO files declassified by countries around the world, including France, the UK, Belgium, Russia, Denmark, Brazil, Mexico, and recently New Zealand, the awareness of this new reality is slowly but surely seeping into the mass consciousness. It would be a huge step in the right direction if the ridicule and snickering dissipates for witnesses of unexplained phenomena who share their experiences. Perhaps one day soon, the debunkers and those who try to discredit others who do come forward will be the ones who are laughed at. It’s already happening.
“I do believe that we are at a pivotal time in our civilization’s history.” Q: Will you continue to research the Phoenix Lights? Dr. Lynne: Good question. The truth of it is that I will probably continue looking for an answer until I find one. And now that The Phoenix Lights book and documentary have gained lives of their own, I am returning to my passion of youth education by creating comprehensive curricula on the topic for Grade through High School. Young people thirst for knowledge concerning this subject, but there is absolutely nothing about it in our history books. Hopefully, I can help fill that gap as well. Stay tuned … I do believe that we are at a pivotal time in our civilization’s history. I liken it to the flat Earth era when our world view changed dramatically after realizing that our own world is round! With the recent CERN finding that there are particles faster than
the speed of light, that if true seriously questions Einstein’s Theory of Relativity, plus NASA’s discoveries that life is viable everywhere and that there are billions of other galaxies, with trillions of other planets — and possibilities — our world view is evolving once again. As a final note, it is important to impart that there has not been one report of harm, threat, or abduction associated with the “Phoenix Lights.” I’m not saying that everything out there is benevolent, but when you study the data it does seem that these gentle, non-threatening “visitations” are alerting us to their presence, while waking us up to the wondrous potentials that await us in the vast universe — and within ourselves. They, whoever they are, are touching us deeply. It is also very exciting that people across the globe are just beginning to learn the poignant details about our incredible mass sighting and looking skyward, catching glimpses of something otherworldly as they exclaim, “Oh look, there’s the Phoenix Lights!” Q: What else should our readers know about you and your work? Dr. Lynne: Thank you for giving me the opportunity to share my thoughts and efforts. My only wish is that your readers will take a look at what I have compiled in my book and film so they too can learn and grow, as I have. *****
For more information about Dr. Lynne Kitei, The Phoenix Lights … A Skeptic’s Discovery That We Are Not Alone book and internationally award-winning Phoenix Lights Documentary, please check out the Phoenix Lights Network at www. thephoenixlights.net.