One of ufology’s most high-profile cases is 1997’s Phoenix Lights incident, involving the mass sighting of bright lights arranged in a v-shaped formation over Phoenix, Arizona, on March 13, 1997. Amongst the thousands of witnesses to the event, then-governor Fife Symington would later come forward to report that he witnessed the lights as well — an event that he made light of ten years earlier. And now, actor Kurt Russell has come forward, to report that he was a witness to the Phoenix Lights as well.

Russell dropped the revelation while appearing on BBC’s The One Show with fellow Guardians of the Galaxy Vol 2 star, Chris Pratt. Reading from a press clipping, host Gyles Brandreth recounted a news story connected to the Phoenix Lights, where an unidentified civilian pilot, on approach to an airport in Phoenix, radioed the control tower, reporting that he was seeing a v-shaped formation of six bright lights along his landing path. The tower informed the pilot that they had no other air traffic on their scopes — "Mystery… unresolved!" Brandreth concluded.

"Except," interjected Russell, "that the tail number for that plane was Bonanza Two-Tango-Sierra, and I was the pilot."

Russell then recounted his sighting, made along with his passenger, his son Oliver Hudson. He saw "six lights over the airport, in absolute uniform — in a ‘v’ shape," initially brought to his attention by Hudson. Russell queried the tower, but they reported that there was no other air traffic on radar. Russell decided that they were UFOs: "it’s unidentified, it’s flying, and it’s six objects."

After landing and dropping his son off, Russell took off again and returned to Los Angeles; subsequently, the incident slipped his mind, to the point where it didn’t occur to him to enter the sighting in his log book.

Two years later, Russell’s long-time partner, Goldie Hawn, was watching a television show on UFOs featuring the Phoenix Lights sightings, and the show jogged Russell’s memory: "I’m feeling like Richard Dreyfuss in Close Encounters of the Third Kind: it’s kinda like, ‘why do I know this’?" As the story unfolded on the program, Russell realized, "that was me!" Upon checking his log book, he found that his entry corresponded to the date and time reported on the television program.

"The fascinating part of that, to me, was that it just went literally out of my head," Russell said, referring to the sighting completely slipping his mind. "Had I not seen that show, I’d have never thought of it again." Inexplicable and otherwise illogical lapses such as this are often encountered by UFO investigators, lending even more weight to Russell’s story. 

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