By Jon Shanks
Mar 18, 2007)
And in a touch of irony, in typical Trickster fashion, it was Symington who was responsible for the pedestrian and lame “alien in a costume” stunt. Symtington publicly made fun of the whole UFO event, and in one bit of bozo like behavior, introduced an extraterrestrial, as being responsible for the lights. Har har. (The costumed individual was Jay Heiker, an assistant in the governor’s camp.)
As I’ve written before, one of the aspects of the PHoenix Lights case that always intrigued me was the lack of response, and interest, from authorities.
In the interview Symington says that he called the commander at Luke Air Force Base, the general in charge of the National Guard, and the head of the Department of Public Safety to request an explanation. None of them had answers, and they, too, were "perplexed," he says.
Now, that’s the kind of response I want from our government agencies: weird things flying over our cities, and all they can offer us is that they’re “perplexed.”
When asked about his ridicule factor back then, Symington says:
He explains that Arizona was "on the brink of hysteria" about the UFO sighting at the time, and the frenzy was building. "I wanted people to lighten up and calm down, so I introduced a little levity. But I never felt that the overall situation was a matter of ridicule," he says.
Nice spin. But no cigar.
Of course, I wasn’t in Phoenix, Arizona during these sightings, and so I can’t say if the state was “on the brink of hysteria” or not. It does seem to me, from what I’ve seen and read from the media (I’ve been following this event closely ever since the first day) that people were more likely intensely curious, as well as frustrated with the non-response of those in authority. From their Governor, who publicly made a joke out of the whole thing, to the Air Force, etc. no one took the citizens seriously.
We can't be too hard on Symington. He is, was, a politician. Enough said right there. And look at the junk still flung around about Jimmy Carter's sighting, for example. He's come out now with it, that's something. According to him, he was seeking answers behind the scenes.
But as the author of The Heavy Stuff blog wrote, don't expect Anderson Cooper to come along and do a news story on this.
However, I've noticed that the Phoenix story, like its namesake, doesn't ever really die. There's hope yet.