Dec 12, 2019 I Paul Seaburn

Mysterious Orbs Over Mesa Have Many Wondering if the Phoenix Lights Have Returned

Whenever there are strange lights over a part of Arizona, it seems to be mandatory to immediately link them to the Phoenix lights – the famous illuminated UFOs seen be thousands over Phoenix, other cities in Arizona, Nevada, and Sonora, Mexico, on two separate occasions in 1997. Because there were so many witnesses, potential explanations, denials, investigations and media follow-ups, the Phoenix lights live on – often taking some of the luster off of other UFO sightings in the area. That may not happen with the latest one. On December 8, multiple witnesses reported and recorded a lighted orb over Mesa that appeared to be dropping smaller orbs. Officials from government, law enforcement and the military claimed to be just as puzzled as the witnesses. What did they see? Have the Phoenix lights returned?

"It was a cloudy night and had drizzled off and on. Regular planes had been flying by since we can see the flight path for the airport. All of a sudden I saw this bright glowing orange light. I thought it was a planet or a star at first and then I realized 'oh that’s close and it’s moving towards us. Then ‘boom’ it started dropping what looked like orange fireballs or something that traveled for a few seconds before they faded out and disappeared.”

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According to The Daily Star, ABC News, The Deseret News and other media sites, Mesa residents Kerri Burnett and Doug Maier were watching planes coming in and out of Phoenix Sky Harbor International Airport (about 14 miles away) at around 9 pm when they saw the first orange orb coming in from the southeast -- not the direction of the airport, which is slightly northwest of Mesa. They both recorded the UFO on their cell phones, noting that their neighbors were also outside watching the UFO, which then became UFOs. Maier immediately posted the video on Facebook, and was soon contacted by a reporter from the local ABC affiliate.

“The interviewer informed us of his research, speaking to Luke AFB who confirmed it was nothing from them. He also stopped at a place where he saw an FAA member and showed him the video, and that too was inconclusive.”

The reporter told Burnett that some officials believed they had seen parachute flares. However, Luke Air Force Base – about 40 miles northwest and the most likely source of such flares – denied that speculation. Other news organizations contacting the various authorities – the FAA, the military, etc. – received similar explanations and no further comments. Maier is so convinced the real identity of the objects is something else, he put together a comprehensive video of all of the cell phone recordings, the media reports and further details on the sighting. (Watch the video here.)

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“We put together a compilation of the footage we had from each of our phones, my Facebook Live Footage, and the News Interview. After I go into detail and recap of what was strange in the sky, how it behaved, and the news interview. I am still in shock because I believe whatever that thing was, it wasn't man-made. Yes, I swore like a sailor but hey I was in shock. My way of dealing with whatever the heck that thing was.


THOSE WERE NO FLARES! The thing was SILENT and it made no sound whatsoever. It had a Lava-Flow like color that I can't explain. It maneuvered in ways we could only dream of. The way that thing moved and maneuvered around in the sky was IMPOSSIBLE for us. Finally, the object was not as far away as it appeared to be on video. It had the altitude of a Cessna and was below the clouds. It was amazing, confusing, frightening, and unreal all at once.


I don't care what the aviation experts say or who they work for. I know what I saw, and it wasn't from this world.”

“I know what I saw, and it wasn’t from this world.” That’s the opening line for the first “Mesa Lights” documentary sure to be produced as this mysterious sighting gains momentum. Being one orb dropping smaller ones -- as opposed to a V-shaped group or a series, as the Phoenix lights were – suggests these were something different. But what?

Will Kerri Burnett and Doug Maier ever find out? Will we? We’ll keep tabs on this breaking story.

Paul Seaburn

Paul Seaburn is the editor at Mysterious Universe and its most prolific writer. He’s written for TV shows such as "The Tonight Show", "Politically Incorrect" and an award-winning children’s program. He's been published in “The New York Times" and "Huffington Post” and has co-authored numerous collections of trivia, puzzles and humor. His “What in the World!” podcast is a fun look at the latest weird and paranormal news, strange sports stories and odd trivia. Paul likes to add a bit of humor to each MU post he crafts. After all, the mysterious doesn't always have to be serious.

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