Fife Symington III (born August 12, 1945) is an American
businessman, who served as the 19th Governor of the U.S.
state of Arizona from 1991 until his resignation in 1997.
was born in New York City. He comes from a wealthy Maryland
family; he is the son of Martha Howard (Frick), and a
great-grandson of steel magnate Henry Clay Frick, and
his father J. Fife Symington Jr. (19102007) was
United States ambassador to Trinidad and Tobago 19691971.
His cousin, Stuart Symington, was a U.S. Senator from
Missouri and father of James Wadsworth Symington, a U.S.
Representative from that state. He is married to the former
Ann Olin Pritzlaff, an ordained deacon in the Episcopal
Church and an heiress of the Olin family. They have five
children and four grandchildren.
attended the prestigious Gilman School in Baltimore, then
attended Harvard University, graduating in 1968 with a
degree in Dutch art history and was a member of the Porcellian
Club. He served in the United States Air Force during
the Vietnam War, stationed at Luke Air Force Base in Maricopa
County, Arizona. He remained in Arizona and became involved
in real estate development, founding his own company,
the Symington Company, in 1976.
2007, Fife said that he had witnessed one of the "crafts
of unknown origin" during the 1997 Phoenix Lights
event, but noted that he didn't go public with the information.
an interview with The Daily Courier in Prescott, Symington
"I'm a pilot and I know just about every machine
that flies. It was bigger than anything that I've ever
seen. It remains a great mystery. Other people saw it,
responsible people. I don't know why people would ridicule
was enormous and inexplicable. Who knows where it came
from? A lot of people saw it, and I saw it too. It was
dramatic. And it couldn't have been flares because it
was too symmetrical. It had a geometric outline, a constant
Fife Symington III,
when he was Governor in 1997, Symington promised he would
look into the mass sighting, but then quickly ridiculed
it at a press conference where he had his chief of staff
dress up in an alien costume, telling reporters that they
had found the culprit. His explanation today is that as
a public official, he felt a responsibility to avoid public
panic and therefore tried to introduce some levity into
November 9, 2007, Symington appeared with a panel of guests
discussing their UFO experiences on Larry King Live. A
few days later, on November 12, Symington acted as moderator
for a UFO press conference at the National Press Club
in Washington, D.C. Other speakers included U.S./foreign
military witnesses/public officials involved in some major
UFO cases, such as the 1980 Rendlesham Forest incident,
1990 Belgium UFO incident, and 1976 Tehran UFO incident,
and heads of some official foreign government UFO investigations,
such as Nick Pope in the U.K. and Claude Poher of France.
They said the phenomenon was quite real, should be taken
seriously, and urged that the U.S. reopen its public UFO
also appeared as a witness of the Phoenix Lights in an
updated version of the 2002 UFO documentary Out of the
Blue by filmmaker James Fox. Fox helped organize the witness
panels for both the Larry King show and follow-up National
Press Club event.