The Phoenix Lights and Kurt Russell’s Abduction

Phoenix Lights

March 13, 1997. The place is Phoenix, Arizona. Residents look to the skies that night and see weird stuff going on. Like really weird. And not just one or two people, we’re talking thousands of people all saw the same bizarre stuff. We’re talking about the Phoenix Lights. A possible (probable) UFO sighting that was primarily reported in the tone of a joke. Let’s get into what people saw that night and what Kurt Russel had to do with it all.

Nobody Really Knows What the Phoenix Lights Were

The first reported sighting of the Phoenix Lights took place in Henderson, Nevada, at 7:55 mountain standard time. That was when a man reported an object that was “the size of a Boeing 747.” He heard “rushing wind” and also said six lights on the front edge of the craft.  

About twenty minutes later, a former police officer out of Paulden, Arizona, said he saw a group of four or five lights, each glowing reddish-orange. The officer also believed that each point of light was two lights close together, which he determined after watching the lights through binoculars until they disappeared over the horizon.  


It should be noted that the distance between Henderson and Paulden was over 200 miles. If an object moves over 200 miles in fifteen minutes means that it was traveling at least 800 miles per hour. For reference, the top speed of a Boeing 747 (which is how large the first witness thought the craft was) is only 583 miles per hour.

The Phoenix Lights Keep Appearing

Within five minutes of the sighting in Paulden, calls started coming in form Prescott and Prescott Valley, Arizona, with witnesses describing a large, solid object in the night sky. Witnesses would consistently say that they thought these lights were part of one large craft because the starry sky would be blocked out by the triangular object.  

John Kaiser, along with his wife and their sons, saw the object over Prescott Valley. Kaiser described a triangular pattern of lights, all of which were glowing red, except the light at the front of the craft, which was a bright white. They perceived the object to be relatively low to the ground, though it was hard to tell at night, and that it practically made no sound at all.

Six more people saw the object ten miles east in the town of Dewey. Witnesses who saw the object leave the area say that the prominent V-shape formation of the lights relaxed into a rounded arc as it was on its way south. In case it isn’t clear at this point, this is an alien spacecraft.

Kurt Russell and the Phoenix Lights

A civilian pilot called in the lights after his passenger had pointed them out. As it turns out, this pilot was later revealed to be actor Kurt Russell, and the passenger was his son. What’s even more peculiar is that Russell claims to have had no memory of the event. The only reason he even remembered this event at all is that his wife, actress Goldie Hawn, was watching a TV documentary about the Phoenix Lights.

Kurt Russell overheard the description of the account from the civilian pilot. He then realized that it was actually him, but that wasn’t the weird part. Russell claimed that he never would have remembered this event at all. It was only because his wife wad watching the documentary on the Phoenix Lights. Kurt Russell and his son have never discussed it since. 

Enough of Kurt Russell

That’s enough, Kurt Russell talk lets get back to the Phoenix Lights. So, the craft started being seen all over Phoenix. It is thought that resident Tim Ley, along with his wife, son, and grandson, were the first Phoenix residents to observe the craft. This is because the Ley family lived about 2,000 feet up in the city’s mountains and had a clear view to the north, which is the direction they saw the craft approach from. Consistent with the reports out of Prescott, the Ley family saw the craft initially as an arc of lights. Still, the object began to slow down and take on the V-shape that is more widely discussed.  

Soon after, hundreds of Phoenix residents looked up and saw the craft. Personal accounts of witnesses can be found both in contemporary accounts of the event, and the hundreds of accounts posted online.  

The Phoenix Lights Travel to Tucson

Sarah N. Clark was only 13 years old at the time. She lived in Tucson, 108 miles southwest of Phoenix, and was out with her mother on a late-night grocery run. Sarah remembers it happening around 9:00 pm. On the drive to the store, her mother abruptly stopped the car and got out.

Phoenix Lights

Sarah followed, and she and her mother stared at the tremendous V-shaped object that moved slowly above them. Sarah said, “It was large enough to cover the neighborhoods on both sides of Snyder Rd. It was traveling very slow… it took about 60-90 seconds total to pass overhead.” Like other sightings, Sarah is adamant that the craft was “completely silent.” 

No One Know What the Phoenix Lights Were Not Even The Governor 

There were some local media reports on the incident. Still, it wasn’t until June, over three months later, that the story was picked up by USA Today and became a national story. Phoenix councilwoman Frances Barwood brought the incident up at a city council meeting following the events, but was not taken seriously by her colleagues and broadly smeared as a conspiracy theorist.

Arizona’s Governor, Fife Symington, held a press conference to address the event. He ultimately only did so as a joke; he had one of his aides dress up in an alien costume and come out as the perpetrator.

What’s odd about Governor Symington’s response is what he revealed years later. After he was out of the Governor’s mansion, the Governor admitted he had personally seen the Phoenix Lights. WHAT? The Governor himself could not come up with any reasonable explanation for the Phoenix Lights. He contacted the military at the time, while he was Governor, and they did not provide him any explanation.

Phoenix Lights

The blanket explanation from the Air Force was that during an exercise, a jet dropped flares. Still, this explanation is inconsistent with just about every single eyewitness account of the events.  

Aliens, Right?

So, pretty much, this entire event is ignored by the federal government. We’re talking about thousands of witnesses, including Kurt Russell, across hundreds of miles all describing the same, V-shaped craft. That moved relatively slowly and silently across the night sky, blotting out the stars. There’s no official government inquiry into the Phoenix Lights at all. The Governor of the state was told to buzz off when he reported the Phoenix Lights.

The Governor admitted he had no idea what they were and was never given any information. When the Governor who actually saw the Phoenix lights held a press conference, he performed the event as a joke. 

All this just “confirms” it was aliens

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