The following article was published on May 11, 1997, in the newspaper The Arizona Republic.
X-Files is Opened Into Phoenix "UFO"
BarWood asks staff to investigate lights
By Susie Steckner and Chris Fiscus.
It's not exactly the kind of made-for-tv case those X-files agents would investigate. But, says Frances Emma Barwood, those strange lights in the Phoenix sky should be checked out by city staff, at the very least.
"I asked them to find out if it's a hoax or what," the Phoenix councilwoman said Friday. "I did not see it. I wish someone would have called me.
"Apparently, people all over the city got video of it. They all said it was as big as a football field."
So Sculley -Sheryl, the assistant city manager, not X-files FBI Agent Dana Scully - has asked police to look into the sightings, at Barwood's request.
"I guess they'll ask Sky Harbor, ask the military, look at videos, I'd love to see all the videos," Barwood said.
In March, callers from Prescott Valley to Tucson flooded the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle to report the appearance of a boomerang-shaped, lighted object.
The center called it "the most dramatic sighting" reported in the past two or three years. In the following weeks, it drew hundreds of calls - even one from Las Vegas - and resulted in an inch-thick stack of written reports, center Director Peter Davenport said. Then, in April, the sighting was featured on the out-of-this world radio program called The Edge of Reality, which is produced in New York City.
"Personally, I think it's something the Air Force is working on, some sort of large transport," Barwood said.
Does she believe in UFOS? "That's a good question," she said. "I guess I have an open mind." Since God created the universe, she said, "Why couldn't he have created others?"
UFO researchers so far say they have no explanation, despite asking questions around Luke Air Force Base and local airports.
Davenport, meanwhile, is thrilled to hear that a public official is taking the sightings seriously.
"As far as I know, this is the first time I've ever heard of a local or state body taking an official stand," he said. "I'm encouraged. I'm heartened by that."
At a City Council meeting this week, Barwood said she was "a little curious" about the recent sightings. She said a television news crew asked her about the lights, and piqued her curiosity.
The crew was from the show Extra, which aired a segment Thursday about the "Phoenix UFO mystery."
Barwood said the main reason she asked the city to look into the matter is because the TV crew asked why no one was investigating the reports.
"I said, 'I'll ask.'"
"I don't know why they (the government) don't check it out and if it was nothing, say it was nothing," Barwood said. "Being there were videos of it, it has people's curiosity. Why not check it out and see if it's a hoax?"