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Date: Sun, 1 Apr 2001 06:07:45 +0000
From: WWW user

Name: Greg
Location: High Rolls, NM
Date_of_Sighting: 3-30
Time_of_Sighting: 11:15 p.m.
I saw a bright red glow coming from the north side of a mountain near High
Rolls, NM. At first I thought it was a forest fire, but then I saw three
beams of white light shining through the red glow. This went on for a while
when all of the sudden, the sky went back to normal. A minute later, the
beams of light, which looked like they could have been powerful spotlights,
shot across the sky. There were only three or four at first then more came
out from behind the mountain. They dimmed for a minute and then disappeared
for a few seconds. They then reappeared a few hundred yards west, but they
were still coming from behind the same mountain. It was also weird how the
lights were evenly spaced with the ones in the middle being the brightest
and thickest. I watched for about ten minutes while the lights would
alternate on and off.

Possible explanation:

Following article is from the Artesia Daily Press - Sunday April 1, 2001 - Artesia, NM

Strange light show due to solar flares - Date: Friday March 30, 2001
Albuquerque. (AP) -
From the middle Rio Grande Valley to the northern and southern corners of New Mexico, the night skies were lit up by bright red, purple and green shimmering lights. The eerie red haze looming behind the Sandia Mountains on the city's east side and the reflection in the clear skies above Farmington, Shiprock and Carlsbad to the south resulted from intense storms on the sun.
The storms raging on the sun could disrupt telecommunications briefly this weekend, scientists said.
One of the biggest sunspot clusters seen in a least a decade has developed on the upper tight quarter of the side of the sun visible from Earth, according to satellite reading. Researchers said it could persist for several days. The light from the solar flares could be seen throughout the Southwest on Friday night, Broadcasters from Albuquerque to Flagstaff, Ariz., to Palm Desert in southern California were getting calls. Eddy County Deputy Danny Gonzales was patrolling in the outer reaches of the southeastern New Mexico county when he noticed a purple haze.
"I thought it was a glare on my windshield but then I rolled my window down," Gonzales said. "It was very distinct in color. I have never seen anything like it." Joy Fuson, a dispatcher for Eddy County, said she fielded several calls from around Carlsbad and parts of West Texas.
"What ever it is, it's big," she said. The sunspot cluster has spawned tremendous eruptions, or flares, in the sun's atmosphere, hurling clouds of electrified gas toward Earth. The solar activity can produce an aurora in the night sky - something not usually seen in the Southwest. The colorful, shimmering glow occurs when the energetic particles strike the Earth's upper atmosphere. A dispatcher for the Shiprock Police Department in western New Mexico said she fielded about two dozen calls from curious residents. "People said the sky just turned bright yellow and then red and green. They said it's like daylight out there now," the woman said. Kenneth Montano, 21 saw the lights from his home on Albuquerque's east side. "It was bright. I was a big red cloud. It just started spreading," he said. "It was like the moon was starting to rise. That's waht it seemed like." But the crescent moon already was in the southwestern sky when Montano spotted the looming light to the east."The cloud just got darker red and it just spread. It was like there was an explosion bu no sound," he said. "It was slow moving." Just north of Bernalillo - far enough away from the glow of Albuquerque's city lights - David MacKel was making the rounds at his security job when he saw the lights. He noted it at 11:23 p.m. on his nightly report. "It was blood red. That's all I can say. It was kind of opaque and you could see the stars through it," he said. MaKel, 25 said he has seen the Northern Lights in Alaska, but Friday night's sky looked different. "I've never seen anything like that before. The Northern Light move, this was more gaseous," he said. "It kind of got me freaked out."
The eruptions triggered a powerful, but brief, blackout Friday on some high-frequency radio channels and low-frequency navigational signals, scientists said. They forcast at least a 30 percent chance of continuing disruptions through Sunday.

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