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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 2007 > Mar > Mar 24

Former Arizona Governor Boosts UFO Claims

From: UFO UpDates - Toronto <ufoupdates.nul>
Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 06:26:59 -0400
Fwd Date: Sat, 24 Mar 2007 06:26:59 -0400
Subject: Former Arizona Governor Boosts UFO Claims

Source: MSNBC - USA


March 23, 2007

Former Arizona Governor Boosts UFO Claims

Ten years after 'Phoenix Lights', Symington says he was a witness

PHOENIX - Former Arizona Gov. Fife Symington, who trotted out an
aide dressed as an alien 10 years ago to spoof the frenzy
surrounding mysterious lights in the Phoenix sky, now says the
lights were actually an alien spacecraft.

Now a pastry chef and business consultant, Symington is keying
in on the anniversary of the sighting of the so-called "Phoenix
Lights" by reversing course, saying the lights were really
extraterrestrial and that he saw a UFO himself.

"I'm a pilot and I know just about every machine that flies",
Symington said Thursday. "It was bigger than anything that I've
ever seen. It remains a great mystery. Other people saw it,
responsible people. I don't know why people would ridicule it."

During a news conference in 1997, Symington, a former Air Force
captain then in his second term as governor, told the assembled
press that an alien had been captured. He then ushered out his
chief of staff, Jay Heiler, dressed in a costume complete with
oversized head and eyes.

"This just goes to show that you guys are entirely too serious",
Symington said at the time.

Later that year, he was convicted of bank fraud charges stemming
from his bankrupt real estate empire. The conviction later was
overturned and he was pardoned by President Clinton in 2001
before federal prosecutors decided whether they would retry the

Symington recently told a UFO investigator making a documentary
that he hadn't acknowledged his own encounter at the time
because he didn't want people to panic. He repeated the story in
an interview on CNN and other media, saying the craft he saw was
"enormous. It just felt otherworldly. In your gut, you could
just tell it was otherworldly."

Heiler, who says Symington is one of his closest friends, said
he isn't surprised he believes in UFOs.

A "Trekkie" who enjoys discussing space travel, Heiler said
Symington is convinced that earthlings will travel to distant
solar systems at above the speed of light "in our lifetimes."

Heiler said he remained "the earthbound skeptic" in those talks.

The lights, which appeared in a V shape on March 13, 1997, as
they moved across the sky, were widely explained as flares
dumped by a military training flight, though many still doubted
the government was telling all it knew.

Tucson astronomer and retired Air Force pilot James McGaha said
he investigated two sightings over Phoenix that March night and
traced them both A-10 aircraft flying in formation at high

"It was clearly aircraft in formation, flying at two different
times and then dropping flares and it's clear to any rational
person that's what it was", McGaha said.

McGaha said Symington "is not a trained observer and what he
feels in his gut doesn't make any difference."

c.2007 The Associated Press

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