UFO Sightings in Arizona Can Be Traced Back to "Close Encounters" Footage

Arizonans are buzzing today about a series of floaty lights that hovered over Phoenix last night for about 15 minutes. One guy captured them on film (you can see it here), and the news covered it to death, wondering how people could have seen a bunch of lights that the Federal Aviation Administration and local air traffic controllers couldn't explain. Apparently they are similar to lights that were seen over Phoenix in 1997 too. The really weird thing? The lights also look exactly like a scene from Close Encounters of the Third Kind. See below to compare.

At the end of this scene — which is totally worth watching in its entirety to see the full, beautiful goofiness of UFO representations — you can see the three lights in the sky separating and zooming into the clouds. Looks amazingly similar to the video of the Phoenix lights above.


I have never understood why people assume that UFOs will be covered in lights when they visit Earth, unless it's because Steven Spielberg's vision in Close Encounters basically convinced them that it makes the most sense for aliens to arrive covered in visible light spectrum. I sure hope the next Phoenix encounter includes some music too! Bee bee bee boop boop!

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Annalee Newitz

@aspiringexpatriate: It's true. I actually looked through a bunch of footage on YouTube (source of all credibility) and there were dozens of images like the triangular light formation. But I don't think any were older than the late 1970s, when Close Encounters was made. It's a chicken-and-egg question: which came first, Spielberg or shiny UFOs?