The Hack and the Quack

The "Phoenix Lights" made Frances Emma Barwood the darling of the global space-alien lobby. And it'stransformed computer geek Jim Dilettoso into a star in the UFO firmament.

Whether the 8:30 vee formation did register on the FAA's radar monitored in Albuquerque will apparently never be known. Despite the fervent activities of UFO investigators in the days following the sightings, no one bothered to make a formal request with the Federal Aviation Administration's regional office for radar tapes of the Phoenix area for March 13. If anyone had made such a request by March 28, there would be a permanent record for the public to examine, says the FAA's Gary Perrin.

Meanwhile, no base or airport has come forward to identify the five planes that traveled over Arizona seen by so many people, including Mitch Stanley and his powerful telescope.

It's hard to blame Barwood for calling for more openness in government.
On the other hand, Barwood lamely complains that she's been unfairly labeled the UFO candidate. She asserts that her campaign really has nothing to do with space aliens.

She says this as she waits to speak at the International UFO Congress, sitting at a table with her paid UFO campaign consultant, while they're entertained by the piano playing of a man who wears a cross of his own blood on his forehead in his efforts to spread his message that angels and space aliens are one and the same.

Her January 13 press conference to announce her candidacy was only slightly less weird.

Barwood was flanked by a collection of oddballs that included several UFO dignitaries as well as emissaries representing Arizona's militias, patriot movement and anti-immigrant groups.

Barwood did her best to deflate the weirdness by talking about mundane, secular secretary of state things. Such tasks are the nominative reward for winning the post, but Barwood admits that she wants it simply because it would put her only a heartbeat away from the governorship. "If Arizona had a lieutenant governor, I'd run for that," she says.

Barwood says she's frustrated that reporters only want to hear about her thoughts on UFOs (she's never seen one, but at the UFO Congress, she makes it clear she thinks the Phoenix Lights must have been some gigantic, triangular spacecraft or military project). The militia-friendly conservative tries to make reporters understand that she's more interested in other issues, such as guaranteeing Arizonans the right to carry arms in any place and in any way.

But the UFOs will not go away.
When Barwood finishes her press conference, a woman ascends the podium to make her own, unscheduled announcement.

"I would like to speak to the press also. I know what the lights over Phoenix are. I know what's going on with the federal government," she says. "It's my husband. Col. Berger J. Addington, who is the king of kings, the lord of lords. He flies the stealth. He builds cities. And he should flesh up here pretty soon in his multiracial skin. . . . He is the true president of the United States."

The woman is politely led away from the podium, and Barwood can't suppress a grin.

Expect more of the same in the coming months.

Contact Tony Ortega at his online address: tortega@newtimes.com

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