Symington took me to a park in Phoenix where he says he saw what is now referred to as the "Phoenix Lights." Exactly 10 years ago, thousands of Arizonans saw an object in the sky described by witnesses as larger than a football field with brilliant lights. It was also videotaped by many. Witnesses say it made no noise.
Symington was governor at the time, and not only did he never publicly mention that he saw it, but there are many who feel he ridiculed those who did. The governor held a news conference after the sightings in which he claimed the case had been solved. At that point, a man in an alien costume walked into the room. That "alien" was his chief of staff.
The former governor told me he held the news conference (which in all fairness, many found very amusing) to create some levity in a state where many people might have been getting panicked. Fast forward a decade.
The creators of a film about UFOs called "Out of the Blue" contacted Symington because they are updating their documentary. After being asked questions about the 1997 episode, Symington told the filmmakers that he did indeed see the UFO but said nothing publicly, in part, because he didn't want to scare Arizonans.
Symington told me that what he saw in the sky that night was "otherworldly" and he believes it was an "alien spacecraft." He is a U.S. Air Force veteran who served in Vietnam and is highly doubtful it was some secret military craft.
Symington said he did privately try to have people investigate the sightings, but got nowhere. But for the first time, he is talking about it publicly, and saying that not only was he not concerned, but he would love to see a sight like this again.
What was it? Frankly, I have no idea and wouldn't hazard a guess. But Symington's revelation a decade later only adds to the mystery surrounding this event.