Two men were out sky watching with their night vision cameras on July 4, 2015 when they spotted odd lights. They watched them for several minutes and caught them on video with their night vision cameras before they disappeared.
Tom Sanger says it was about 9 pm when they spotted the lights. They were at the Sabino Canyon parking lot on the northeast edge of Tucson at the base of the Catalina Mountains. Sanger says he had his Luna Optics color night vision camera and began filming the lights (video seen above).
The camera works at a 5X magnification, but can go up to 20X. However, Sanger says he probably zoomed in too closely to the lights in his video and “destroyed the clarity of the video.”
At the beginning of the video some out of focus lights can be seen on the far right of the screen. Sanger says those were lights from radio towers on one of the peaks. However, the strange lights were near a peak to the left of the towers. He says due to “tinkering” with his camera, sometimes the lights seemed to be one big light, but he says they were actually three lights, as can be seen in most of the video.
Sanger’s friend Gene Coleman also had a night vision camera on hand. His was a Pulsar black and white camera. He also began filming, and in the beginning of his video the radio towers can also be seen on the right.
At one point Coleman had stopped filming to put his camera on a tripod and began filming again, so he has two videos.
In Coleman’s videos the lights looks like one giant light, because they are too intense for his camera to separate them, but the men say there were three lights. Gene states in his video that he remembered seeing the lights at about 8:50 pm, Sanger agrees Coleman is probably more accurate.
They watched the lights for about 15 minutes before they disappeared. Sanger says his video is shorter because cars entering the parking lot washed out his video, so he edited those parts out. He says he also ran out of camera memory before the lights disappeared.
Sanger says the lights came back 27 minutes after disappearing and Coleman was able to catch those on video. Although Sanger’s camera could not record, they did have it attached to a monitor so they could use it to see the lights better.
Sanger says, “The 2nd event was 5 white lights in a row with various flashes and lights showing up here and there.”
Both videos show different dates and times from when they report seeing the lights, but like many of us, it is because they did not take the time to set the correct date and times on the cameras.
Sanger says they heard no sound.
As for the size of the object, and its distance from the witnesses, Sanger says:”…the tower lights being only 8 to 10 miles away were out of focus badly and the UFO was in focus which is the same focus that is correct with this particular camera for stars, satellites and far away airplanes. Thus I would guess this UFO was at least 30 miles out which would put it over absolute wilderness desert and means it would be huge. The cloud bank had moved out past the mountains for the most part and right after the lights did all their displays there were spots of good sized clearing that began to enter the area. I’m no expert so am only guessing on distances.”
Sanger looked at a map to determine what might have been out in the direction of the lights.
He says: “Sabino Canyon leads right up into the Catalinas. Beyond the mountains is desert wilderness. I just looked at a map and there are absolutely no cities or towns anywhere in the direction the lights were seen for literally hundreds of miles. No airports or military bases at all.”
Tucson does have an airport and a an Air Force Base, but they are both to the south of Sabino Canyon, and the men were purportedly shooting the video to the northeast.
As Sanger reported, there is nothing but desert past the Catalina Mountains in that direction.
Sanger took a video of the area in the daytime for comparison. His video show that there is nothing behind the peak he believes can be seen in the video.
Often cars driving on mountains can be mistaken for something more mysterious. They usually go on and off as the cars pass behind trees. If Sanger got the wrong peak, that could be the case. However, the daytime images he provided seem to support his claims.
Nearby Davis-Monthan Air Force Base is the home of remote drone operations and training. However, these objects did not appear to be cruising around like a drone.
Of course, it was July 4th, so there is always the possibility they are fireworks. Sanger doesn’t think so.
Sanger says in a comment on his video: “These lights were way out above wilderness areas so were miles and miles from any fireworks displays.”
Below I posted a video of jets in the same area that were recorded by Sanger with the same night vision system for comparison.
Do you have an idea as to what was captured in these videos? If so, let us know below.
Correction: A previous version of this story stated that Sanger’s believed the lights were closer than 8 miles. Sanger has corrected us, and his update is reflected in this story.
UPDATE August 28, 2015:
The Director of Investigations for Arizona MUFON investigated the Tucson July 4, 2015 night vision UFO videos and discovered the lights are actually from “human activity” on a mountain behind the hills in the foreground.
Dennis Freyermuth, who runs an AV company called Sunburst Video in Casa Grande, visited the area the video was allegedly taken. Using the mountain tops and TV towers that can be seen in the video, Freyermuth was able to find the vantage point the videos were taken. He took some photos and video, then matched them up to the night vision photos and got a match.
You can see how the videos match up perfectly in the video Freyermuth provided OpenMinds.tv below.
Freyermuth says he also talked with park rangers about the mountains in the area. With their help and a map they sold him in the visitor’s center, he was able to determine that the mountain in the background was Mt. Bigelow. Park rangers say there is a shelter on the mountain and three communication towers. The road on Mt. Bigelow also leads to a Boy Scout camp.
Freyermuth’s conclusion: “After close review of the submitted video clips as evidence and comparing to our on-sight test sample photos and video, along with statements from the area park rangers, it is the conclusion of this lab evaluation that the submitted videos of anomalous lights is simply human activity at a lookout point located near the top of Mt Bigelow where there is a covered shelter and three communication towers.”