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Only in Arizona: Pair of employees witness an unidentified flying object taking a keen interest in the zoo’s animal residents.
Lions, tigers and little green men, oh my!
It can’t be true. Or can it? Did an unidentified flying object really visit the Phoenix Zoo in 1993?
Believe it, says Preston Dennett, author of “UFOs Over Arizona: A True History of Extraterrestrial Encounters in the Grand Canyon State.” Dennett interviewed an eyewitness to the midnight event, a zoo employee of 10 years, Kenneth Synnott.
“I noticed an extremely bright light in the air directly above the lion and tiger exhibits,” said Synnott, who passed away in 2012. “The light was oval, and so bright it hurt my eyes to look at it.”
Fellow employee sees object
Dennett says Synnott then called a zoo colleague on the radio, but before Synnott could speak, his partner asked if he could see the strange light.
“At that point the light was moving over my truck,” Synnott continued. “As the light passed over me, the truck’s motor stopped and the lights went out. I sat motionless, more frightened than anything else. As soon as the light passed over the truck, the light and motor came back on.”
The UFO hovered over the zoo, occasionally sending down “a brief beam of blue light,” Synnott said. “Wherever the UFO went, the animals below would react making sounds that were very unusual for that time of night.”
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Object drifts away
Synnott continued to watch the UFO, which then drifted across Van Buren Street and over Phoenix Municipal Stadium. Dennett says that fighter jets were scrambled from Luke Air Force Base, but by the time they arrived at the baseball stadium, the object was gone.
Dennett says Synnott joined up with his colleague at the zoo, who had observed the incident from the front entrance. They immediately checked all the animal exhibits and found nothing out of order. They then called the head animal keeper, Dennett says, and fearing how other employees or the public might react collectively, decided to keep the event a secret. Synnott only told his immediate family, but went public with the story 10 years later after retiring to Las Vegas.
“I like the Synnott case because there are many cases of UFOs abducting animals,” Dennett says. “It is interesting that the UFO seemed to target various animal enclosures and that the animals reacted to the presence of the UFO. Whatever the reason, the UFO occupants were clearly interested in the animals.”
My kids were always partial to the giraffes and elephants. Wonder which was their favorite?
Contact “Only in Arizona” columnist Mark Nothaft at email@example.com. Send him the weird and fun facts and places found #OnlyInArizona.