A spark of light caught on live TV in Phoenix, Ariz., has sparked a mystery among the city's residents and officials, both left wondering just what exactly it was that lit up the night sky.
The light appeared early last Thursday morning, around 4:45 a.m. local time, and was captured by a traffic camera for the local Fox affiliate, KSAZ-TV. The station was reporting the morning's commute but the light, described as large and fleeting, easily stole the show from any possible traffic jam.
The intrigue has grown as each probable cause of such a light display is narrowed away.
A spokesman for the Arizona Public Service told the Associated Press that the utility had no reports Thursday morning of any type of blown fuse on a transformer that could produce such a flash.
As for the possibility that the flash could have been the result of a lightning storm or some type of weather phenomenon, Charlotte Dewy, a meteorologist for the National Weather Service in Phoenix, told the AP there was no weather activity in the area that could be to blame.
The city's transportation officials say they are at a similar loss.
"It's a mystery to us as well. I can't even offer a guess," said Doug Nintzel, a spokesman for the Arizona Department of Transportation, told the AP.
As the city's officials remain stumped, its residents are being asked to step in as light detectives by sending any information they might have to KSAZ.
Arizona and Phoenix residents are no stranger to mysterious light displays.
On March 13, 1997, thousands of people across the state reported seeing a V-shape formation of lights flying low and silently. The phenomenon became known as the "Phoenix Lights" or the "Lights over Phoenix" and sparked books, a documentary and even calls for a government investigation.
Ten months after the sighting the U.S. Air Force confirmed that a flight of A-10 Warthogs dropped flares over the Phoenix area at 10:30 p.m. that night but never issued an official explanation for the "Phoenix Lights" reported by residents earlier that evening.
- Arizona Public Service