Phoenix's Circle of Unexplained Phenomena

There's something ancient in the land of the Valley of the Sun. It is not one entity or intelligence behind it, but many. In some parts of the world, buildings are haunted, but in's the land!

Some towns have issues at the core of them, perhaps a main street that is historic with lots of lingering ghosts or maybe they have mines outside of town that have a reputation for apparitions. But, in the case of the Greater Phoenix Area, weirdness surrounds it from the land to the sky.

One of the interesting things is that it seems the strongest settlements of ancient HoHoKam tribe coincide with the most active areas for oddities. Of course, it's hard to tell if that's just an incidental finding or something that correlates, but I've been doing a several-year study of the haunted locations in Mesa, Arizona, where canalways used by the HoHoKam today seem to be the seat of of much haunting activity. 

What do we know of the HoHoKam tribe? They were oddly ahead of their time and went "missing" around 1100 AD. They had canals, ball courts, even an astronomical observatory (Casa Grande Ruins). Today, people in Mesa still uncover the pottery and remains of the culture in modern-day housing developments. Sounds like "Poltergeist," movie plot hmm?

The Lure of the Superstition Mountains

The Legend of the Superstitions Mountains is something those in the Valley of the Sun speak of in whispered tones, in which some even fear going near the magnificent mountains, and others ponder the fate of those who were ignorant enough to try to master the mountains and find the lost gold, but went missing.

There are 160,000 acres to be explored in the Superstition Mountains, but it is a brutal area with a combination of potential for serious ore and a history of many missing and dead folks associated with it.

It all began with an immigrant prospector from the late 1800s, Jacob Waltz, who reported he found a mine of unbelievable gold in the mountains. It has been assumed by his descriptions that it was the Superstitions. The mine has come to be known as the "Lost Dutchman" mine.

The legend becomes even more bloody when it is said that the Apache and Geronimo knew of the mine and when the Peralta family started mining it, they were massacred. Over time, some historians say that the Peralta Massacre was made up by the Apaches to put fear into those who tried to find the gold. 

Over the century-plus time, many people have gone out into that desert location to try and find the mines and become lost, injured, killed, and simply missing for all time. Here's a sample story of one such incident (LINK). 

When people speak of the range, it is with quiet reverence for a curse of a legend and those who try to thwart it. 

History Channel had a series about some men looking for the treasure and it was one of the most interesting series, Legend of the Superstitions.

The Haunted Canalways of Mesa

As a paranormal investigator, I get a lot of inquiries about haunted locations, but over time I noted that the City of Mesa in the East Valley section of the Greater Phoenix Area was particularly highly reported with similar types of haunting features.

I went on to write a post about it on here and have since had many dozens of people contact me with more and more information and locations. I began to look at the pathways that these haunting features took and noted they cooresponded with ancient HoHoKam canalways....

Here are some examples of the complaints from residents - 

"We would hear footsteps upstairs when no one was there. We heard people talking and walking up and down the stairs next door when that home was empty. Would get an uneasy heavy feeling in the home."


"I see figures in my house...voices downstairs when I'm upstairs...footsteps next door when no one lives there...and things come up missing and reappear in funny places like spoons under your pillow...hairspray on stairs ...."

Is it a coincidence that a major canalway system in Mesa was in place by the HoHoKam tribe a thousand years ago and today there is more haunting there than other parts of The Valley, or is there something lingering there? Perhaps something in the very ground? 

Let's consider the powers that water has; moving water generates negative ions which give us feelings of good health and vigor, even euphoria. Particulates found in running water can create a highly conductive media. For more on water, check out this article (LINK). "Today, many scholars admit that water is an amazing substance capable of efficient gathering of information from all things as soon as it comes in contact with them!"

I was called to a house in Mesa once to investigate some haunting features that were classic for the area. I found in their vent systems near their floor, that they opened into dirt tunnels beneath the ground that when it rained, water rushed through. Imagine living atop of running water. This is a situation that could generate some activity by a natural means. How many homes and buildings are atop of plowed over ancient canalways? Lots!

I continue this research.

For more on my post about Mesa, here's the LINK.

Anthem's Ongoing Ghostly Portal

Anthem is a newer development in the extreme Northwest Valley. Besides having that cul-de-sac feel of Ahwatukee community, being on the outskirts of town and rather circular in configuration, it was an attractive spot for those who wanted to be part-way to the North off I-17 where visitors go in the summer to cool off in Flagstaff, Prescott and Sedona, in the fall to see the colors, and in the winter to ski. Besides realizing it was a hard commute to their jobs, the residents also found something else...unwanted spirits.

The most often reported figure in the community is a supposed hitchhiking ghost. Even before the community was settled in, this stretch of the highway out of town was said to have a shadowy figure holding a lantern and trying to hitch a ride. 

There are also reports of many warring Native American spirits who haunt the land, seen and heard in various locations. More and more reports come to me as an investigator, involving residents of this desert town. 

What might be at work? What if it is possible that certain land stretches have a natural alchemy that allows one to see the spirit realm or interact with it more than other areas? This might explain why a region like the Greater Phoenix Area should have ghosts everywhere but are only really detected in certain areas. This is also the reason I have been studying the attributes of seriously haunted locations to find the special alchemy that makes one murder site haunted and another one not.

It may not be that one is not haunted, simply that the conditions in that area aren't right for us living people to perceive them. 


Circlestone is an interesting ancient feature found atop of the Superstitions Mountains area in the East Valley. 

Researchers speculate that the Sinagua tribe might have been the ones to erect this odd circular structure in a very remote area (6000 feet up). It was said to be built around 700 AD. The Sinagua were yet another Arizona tribe that went missing....

They believe it marks solstices and equinoxes. As the HoHoKam had an astronomical observatory in Casa Grande in the very southern most part of the Greater Phoenix Area, it would seem some very ancient tribes had knowledge that later tribes did not find all that concerning. It's yet another case of out of place/out of time knowledge that doesn't line up. 

What is interesting about this that similar not perfect circles with odd shapes within are found around the world. 

Middle East

South Africa

Nazca, Peru

Akraim, Russia

Stardust Ranch  

"Stardust Ranch" is found in the Southwestern corner of the Greater Phoenix Area and not far from the Estrella Mountains (associated with much UFO activity).

The owners have offered some exceptionally intense encounters with aliens, battling them on the land, and harassment from the Greys. Even Zak and the gang at Ghost Adventures went to give it a look-see.

The area of Buckeye and down through the Estrellas to Gila Bend, Mobile, and Maricopa are all hot spots for UFO sightings regularly. It's not surprising there might have been some lights in the sky. But, aliens doing harm to the residents of one particular ranch? I'm not sure I understand that logic. 

Still, where there's smoke... You might want to read more about a supposed tissue report on a dead alien grey (LINK). Of course, those involved can't be contacted, so take it for what it's worth. I would be interested to know if the residents in Buckeye and Liberty in general see more UFOs than the rest of us in The Valley because I know I've seen a LOT of them since living in The Valley of the Sun. 

Phoenix Lights 

On March 13, 1997, Poenix experienced something quite astonishing, an event that over the years would come to be called the "Phoenix Lights."

On that evening, I was living right behind South Mountain in a community called "Ahwatukee." I had gone out the night before to look toward South Mountain to see the Hale-Bopp Comet. Ironically, on the night of the incident, I did not go outside to look in that direction.

There were actually two incidents that occurred on that night. One was a series of about 7 lights over South Mountain (above) that had residents frowning and studying the lights, photographing them because they were an unusual formation in an odd location. At that same time period, folks from Nevada down to Tucson were reporting a strange chevron-shaped object in the sky of massive size, with lights, and a bottom that was said to "shimmer" like oil on a puddle as it silently headed from the north to the south, being viewed by witnesses in Nevada and Arizona.

This location of South Mountain was smack dab in the center of the odd "circle of weirdness" around Phoenix Metro.

November 1, 1997, I was headed to a Halloween party behind South Mountain in the foothills area. I had a friend in the passenger seat. We went up to the store to get supplies for the party and as we drove along the foothills drive heading west, we saw what I could only describe as "the same lights." We both were confused at first as they came west to east, heading toward us but closer to the mountain than we were. I pulled over so we could watch. We pulled down our windows thinking it was helicopters, but there was no sound as these lights came toward us. There were perhaps seven of them. We were trying so hard to explain it by something known that it wasn't until it passed us that we realized, we had encountered something we could not explain in a location that had these lights before. Then, we only wished we had cameras with us, but this was pre-cell phone days. The formation seemed to be less organized as the Phoenix Lights event. It looks very similar to this one photographed over the Estrellas (described in the next section of this post). 

What happened in March 1997 in Phoenix? Two separate incidents rolled into one title "Phoenix Lights." Many have tried to debunk the lights over the mountain, but I am honestly more interested in the craft people witnessed. Why would such events be so bold at one time? My guess would be if the military had a hand in it, it was an ideal testing ground for how the public handles alien encounters. Why do this? Perhaps because something is imminent in the future and how to condition us for the process would be critical. 


The Spanish meaning of "estrella" (es-tray-ya) is "star." The Estrella Mountains are a lovely range to the extreme southwest of The Valley. They are also the seat of many UFO sightings, so much so that most people consider them the mountains of the star people.

Strings of lights are often seen in the Estrellas area. Some witnesses report seeing them for over two hours - definitely not flares. With the particulates in Phoenix air, flares are very easy to see burning and flashing their smoke. They certainly do not remain in the air up to two hours. 

I was once in Mobile, Arizona, not far from the Estrella range when I watched red-orange orbs in the air. I witnessed this for quite some time with a friend who was with me setting up a telescope in the dark desert. These red-orange orbs were most unusual, coming and going, dancing, leap frogging each other, and changing locations. It was a silent night, no planes around, but these odd lights raced up along the power lines near us, so much that I began to think about ducking down. Then they went out. Then, they showed up in another location seeming to chase each other. Each time the lights were on, it lasted several seconds and then the darkness for minutes in between before they showed up again. The entire episode lasted over a half hour.

In August 2008, me, my son, and my then-husband saw this one flying overhead at a steady path south to north over I-10 behind South Mountain in Ahwatukee. No sound. Looked triangular from below. It was high enough that it went into some low floating wispy clouds at one point and out the other side. Seemed like three orbs attached to each other. Nope, not balloons. This was on a very obviously orchestrated path. 


What is so unique about the Greater Phoenix Area? Is it that there are 180 degrees of clear sky to see what is going on, Luke Air Force Base and the Barry Goldwater Range nearby, not to mention, Area 51 to the north? Or is the State of Arizona a better place to fly over in general because of the sparse population. Most of the state is not developed or allowed to be developed on, so the populations generally live in a few key areas. Could the military or possible even aliens find it a great spot to cruise around at night and be seen by smaller groups rather than huge urban centers?

Does the land in Arizona, between the high mineral and metal counts, mining, rough history, and ancient missing tribes an ideal location for lingering ghosts or perhaps a better conduit for the living to be attuned to the dead? 

From 500 AD to about 1450 AD, the HoHoKam were in the Greater Phoenix Area in the locations spoken of here in this post. In fact, at South Mountain Park (Phoenix Lights) you can still see their glyphs.

In fact, one investigator took me to South Mountain Park to point out what he interprets as signs that aliens and UFOs visited the HoHoKam people from another dimension. 

As you travel around The Valley, you look into the very distant mountains and peaks and realize that once a people crossed the land using those landmarks to help them find their way. The rocks also provided the gold, silver and copper that were highly valued, but it was not a place that was easy to conquer and tame. Even today, it appears quite daunting. Just encounter a duststorm (haboob) and you will know - only the hardly live here and perhaps linger after they die....

Land and air meet in a duststorm - what do they kick up?