Sightings: March, 1997 Ohio and Arizona Connections?
ARIZONA UFO REPORTS ATTAINS NATIONAL COVERAGE, OHIO EXPLANATION DISREGARDED
The nation-wide coverage of the March 13, 1997 Phoenix, Arizona UFO sightings have intensified dramatically over the past week, but the explanation for this and other events has failed to yield the same amount of enthusiasm.
Initially featured on the May 8 tabloid TV program EXTRA, the widespread reportage of the Arizona UFO sightings launched anew earlier this week starting with the full page coverage in USA Today on June 18th (Page A-4) with additional coverage by Peter Jennings and Tom Brokaw. The Arizona happenings will be addressed tonight on HARD COPY.
This reportage will only accelerate during the next two weeks as our country will celebrate 50 years of the UFO phenomenon.
However, little is known regarding the Ohio sightings happening on March 26 two weeks after Arizona, and also witnessed by thousands of people in Southern Ohio. The event was reported to police dispatch centers and various news media agencies including The Cincinnati Enquirer and WKRC Channel 12 News. The Cincinnati news media have strangely not reported on the Ohio happenings.
Calls poured in across a wide area of Southern Ohio and through eight counties in the Cincinnati tri-state, from Wilmington, Ohio to Maysville, Kentucky. This event parallels the Arizona sightings in both mass-witness description of the reported phenomenon, duration of event and time of day. However, it would only be honest and responsible to announce that a prosaic answer to this mystery may be available.
T.A.S.K. investigators, through dogged research, have advanced a viable explanation that would account for the Ohio disturbances on March 26, and with further objective research, this explanation may also apply to the Arizona event. T.A.S.K. investigator Kenny Young pursued the story and concluded that the 178th Fighter Group and 162nd Fighter Squadron Flying Unit Fighter Operations division from Springfield Air National Guard base were conducting maneuvers across the BUCKEYE MOA (Military Operating Area), which is a massive air corridor across Southern Ohio. These training maneuvers utilize flares, which are dispensed from F-16 jets for the purposes of attracting and diverting incoming heat-seeking missiles. The heat signature of the flare lures the missile away from the hot jet-engine target. Thousands of Ohioans mistook these flares as UFOs for over 90 minutes on March 26.
The confused witnesses described such oddities as a massive triangular object which drifted silently over Brown County, Ohio and Maysville, Kentucky, seen only by its brilliant lights. Other persons from Hamilton, Clinton and Warren Counties, described a row or formation of lights which would 'appear and disappear.' Almost every witness added that military jets were in action during the event.
Although a spokesman for Springfield A.N.G. advised that the maneuvers pose no danger to the populace because the flares "do not hit the ground," a fire and E.M.S. coordinator from Clinton County observed a flare-like particle fall to earth near New Vienna, Ohio. This fire official confirmed, "What I saw was a definite fire-threat."
A similar sort of explanation may also apply to the Arizona disturbance. A review of a videotape acquired from an Arizona resident looks strikingly similar to a videotape recorded from Waverly, Ohio (featured this week on SIGHTINGS, seen on the SCI-FI channel), in which a formation of lights can be seen 'floating' in the sky. It is our suspicion the images on the Arizona video could possibly also be flares, due to the 'twinkling' effect and rate of burnout as seen on the video, plus the jet-activity reported during the happening. The Arizona happening may have utilized large 'parachute flares,' which could be used for battefield illumination. In addition, the 'solid object' seen behind the bright lights could have been smoke from the flares. The witnesses, being confused by the spectacle, would interpret the oddity as a spaceship from another planet.
Numerous Ohio witnesses who have been advised of our explanation to the March 26 disruption have been satisified by our answers, although other witnesses continue to remain unconvinced.
T.A.S.K. has conducted a telephone interview with a Sergeant from Springfield A.N.G. for the television program UFO UPDATE: LIVE! During the interview, the Sergeant advised the viewing audience that these maneuvers were "rampant" across the country.
We readily acknowledge that certain observed characteristics described by witnesses to these events are incompatible with the FLARE THEORY, but this is where our investigations are ongoing. Such discrepancies can be addressed by witness error and misinterpretation of such an unusual observation.
The media is encouraged to inform the public of the explanation to the Ohio disturbance, an explanation which may also solve the Arizona sightings pending further meticulous investigation.
June 20, 1997
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