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Got a call today from James Fox, some guy who’s been making money peddling confusion about the Phoenix Lights, and who made an appearance on NBC’s recent show, “10 Close Encounters Caught on Tape.” He noticed that I’d written some fairly skeptical things about the Lights in this blog.
His claim to fame, apparently, is that he talked disgraced former Arizona Governor Fife Symington into admitting that he, too, saw the famous “vee” formation of the 1997 Phoenix Lights, and got Symington to admit that he still wonders what he saw. (Since my newspaper at the time, the Phoenix New Times, helped bump Symington from office over a bank scandal, I can imagine that the former governor didn’t get around to reading my reporting on the ‘vee’ that appeared in our paper—the vee turned out to be a high-flying formation of airplanes, as spotted by a man with a large telescope.)
Well, good for you, Mr. Fox. But our conversation was pretty farcical. Like other UFOlogists, Fox is impressed by people who thought the vee was just over their heads and traveling very slowly, mysteriously making no noise, and simply dismisses other people who perceived that it was high in the sky, and others who heard jet noise. But the telescopic observation, as well as the fact that the vee covered 200 miles, from Prescott to Tucson, in only a half hour, not only suggest it was high and moving fast, but also point out that human eyeballs—even those possessed by pilots and military men—are basically useless for judging the distance of point-sources of light in a night sky.