For the first time in 25 years, the planets Venus and Jupiter passed within one-tenth of a degree from each other in the evening sky on February 23, 1999. While their closest approach is over, the two will remain fairly close together early in the evening in the west-southwest sky as they drift apart over the next several weeks. Apparently, millions around the world saw the brilliant display, but few if any UFO reports were generated by their near conjunction. Based on my review of hundreds of UFO reports very few seem to be caused by stars or planets. The Air Force claimed, "Astronomical sightings were responsible for only 2.79% of KNOWN Blue Book sightings." Several recent reports mentioned the reason they looked at the sky was the brightness of the two planets and then noticed MOVING UFOs. The next three stories discuss possible UFO near misses or accidents with our aircraft.
SAN DIEGO -- The International Society for UFO Research (ISUR) has received intriguing information from a former Air Wing Marine once stationed at Miramar Air Station. In November of 1995, a pilot in his squadron, VMFA-212 (F/A-18Cs) had a near-collision with a slender cigar-shaped UFO. Interestingly, the UFO was recorded on the plane's "Heads-Up Display video" according to this former enlisted Marine who viewed the tape. Excerpts, with names, addresses and phone numbers deleted, from several e-mail exchanges between ISUR and the ex-Marine follow. Ex-Marine's initial description of a "12:00 noon," November 1995, incident: I was in the Marine Corps. Two of our pilots had just gotten back from a flight. One of them called for intelligence and me (flight scheduling rep). He showed us the Heads Up Display video from the flight. He was engaging the other pilot in a dogfighting exercise when a "cigar-shaped" object zipped past the F-18. We slowed it down to a crawl, but it was traveling so fast initially that it was a blur even at the speed we viewed. The object came so close to the jet, the pilot thought it would hit him. Later in the video, the F-18 in front is preparing to bank right. Just before he does a glare on the video banks quickly to the left about 2 seconds before either jet made a move. I personally acquired the flight clearance the day before and there should not have been any activity even in the area. However, it was never explained and shortly declassified. Everyone discarded the situation as either a mistake by someone on the ground or a natural phenomenon. According to what the pilot, and the rest of us saw on the video, the object was approximately 12 feet in length and 3 feet wide. The name of the squadron was VMFA-212 (F/A-18Cs). The video has probably been copied over, deleted or discarded. On February 22 and 23, 1999 several UFOs were reported in the Miramar Air Station area. Thanks to ISUR and board member John Thompson.
Investigator John Thompson reports that on March 6, 1994, an Alabama Air National Guard F-4 exploded in mid-flight over Heard County, Georgia. A Heard County fireman, Bill Thompson who is not related to John said, "Two minutes before the explosion and crash of the F-4, he saw the F-4 chasing a missile- like or cigar-shaped UFO." Bill's description was that the gray or silver colored UFO was about "a third to half the size of the F-4" chasing it. This, of course, suggests a UFO of the same type and size that the California VMFA-212 pilot almost collided with in 1995. Relating to the ANG explosion, in which the pilot died, the Air Force said the mishap was caused by bad welds. These inadequate welds, according to the Air Force's official crash report, originated with the plane's number one engine (GEOO420459). The failure of the welds, according to the USAF was the sole reason for the upper combustion case failure that subsequently caused the F-4 to explode in mid- flight. A General Electric engineer who subsequently investigated the crash, because of a law suit against General Electric, the manufacturer of the plane's engines, said that he thought the pilot had over-stressed the F-4, causing it to tear apart and explode. Of course, if the F-4 was chasing or suddenly encountered a small thin cigar-shaped UFO, as Fireman Bill Thompson claims, its pilot might over-stress his plane in his excitement.
There is also a precedent for something exactly like this happening. In the Paris Air Show of 1972, the Soviets introduced their new TU-144 supersonic plane. According to a PBS Nova special that aired last year, the French now admit that they had a Mirage jet "shadowing" the Soviet aircraft and that the Soviet pilot on avoiding the Mirage, which before had been unseen, pulled the TU-144 apart. In the video of the plane's tragic crash, which was aired on Nova, the TU-144 can be seen disintegrating and exploding in midair. Despite what the Air Force and the retired colonel said, the F-4's explosion could have come about from over-stress as General Electric's investigator said happened. These "missile" like UFOs have been seen repeatedly in the Long Island Sound area by commercial airliners. It can be speculated that one of these UFOs caused the TWA 800 disaster that to many, still remains unsolved. The ex-Marine's testimony lends credibility to Fireman Thompson's claims that a UFO may have indirectly caused the ANG F-4 to explode. The full investigation of the 3/4/94 incident can be seen at: http://www.isur.com/cases/case_fil.cgi?file=100113. Thanks to John Thompson.
Stephen Thorn of The Canadian Press (CP)has learned. Swissair Flight 127 was cruising at 23,000 feet on Aug. 9, 1997, when the pilot interrupted an address to passengers to report the near miss by a round white object, says a report by the U.S. National Transportation Safety Board. "Sir, I don't know what it was, but it just flew like a couple of hundred feet above us," he radioed Boston air traffic control. "I don't know if it was a rocket or whatever, but incredibly fast, opposite direction." "In the opposite direction?" asked the controller. "Yes sir, and the time was 2107 (Greenwich mean time). It was too fast to be an airplane." The controller asked another aircraft if its crew saw anything like a missile in the area? The reply was negative. He then asked the Swissair pilot again how far above the plane it was? "It was right over us, right above, opposite direction, and, and I don't know, two, three, four hundred feet above. All that I can tell, 127, is that (we) saw a light object, it was white, and very fast." FBI, FAA and Safety Board Investigators interviewed the captain and first officer on Aug. 10, 1997. The report, filed under NYC97SA193, said the flight was opposite John F. Kennedy Airport at 5:07 PM Eastern time - near the area where TWA Flight 800 went down July 17, 1996, after taking off from JFK; 230 persons died. Some believe a missile caused the midair explosion of the TWA 747 off Long Island. The Transportation Safety Board report said the Swissair captain saw the cylindrical object for less than a second. He did not see any wings and was not sure it was an aircraft. "He had never been so close to other traffic before," said the report. "It passed over the cockpit, slightly right of centerline. If it had been any lower, it would have hit the aircraft. "As the object passed by, there was no noise, no wake turbulence, and no disruption or anomalies with any of the flight or engine instruments." The plane was flying in clear weather to Boston from Philadelphia. He did not have time to take evasive action. "There was no exhaust or smoke, and he could not accurately discern its size. The captain reported his total time as 15,000 plus flight hours. He had never seen a missile in flight." The first officer, whose flight time was 7,500 hours, said he was bent over, when he looked up and saw the object pass overhead "very quickly. "It was close enough that he ducked his head because he thought it would hit them. He thought it passed about 100 to 200 feet above the airplane and between the right side of the fuselage and the No. 3 engine." The first officer said no markings were visible and the object appeared to be the size of a thumbnail held at arm's length. He said he had previously encountered a weather balloon over Italy, and the object did not look like the balloon. He had previously witnessed missile launches from the ground. The report said the nearest weather balloons are launched from Upton, NY, 45 miles northeast of JFK twice daily, at 3:00 AM and 7:00 PM Eastern time and usually take 25 to 28 minutes to reach 23,000 feet. Balloons are light tan or brownish, or black and red, adding the wind was blowing from the north, almost at right angles to the aircraft. The Canadian Press, 1999, Dunn, Steven J. News: UFOSEEK. http://www.ufoseek.org
Editors Note: MUFON investigator Bob Durant and the Fund For UFO Research have produced a study of this case.
LAURENS -- Kenneth Pirone reports he had a sighting on March 9, 1999. "I was getting ready for bed, and happened to look out my rear bedroom window when I noticed a large low flickering star. "As I looked the object moved left then right and came back to the original spot." I noticed it had a green, blue, orange, and pinkish tint light that flickered continuously. I grabbed my binoculars and could see all kinds of flashing lights and that it was a round shape hovering about 200 yards above the tree. I woke my wife up and she also saw it. I also called a friend down in the valley but he was unable to see it. I am a Vietnam Veteran who has seen many types of aircraft. None compares with the UFO we saw for 20 minutes. My son-in-law a State Trooper is coming over with his camcorder and we're going up into the hills to get a better look at that UFO. 607-432-0438 Cty. Hwy. 11, Laurens, 13810
WADLEY -- Jimmy S. writes that since February 10, 1999, I have had a growing group of people in east central Alabama are telling me about strange things they have been seeing. I have 4 reports of strange lights, and 1 report of a craft in this area. All on different dates but, all within two counties. Something weird is going on down here. I am trying to keep track of everything. I have two reports of strange lights that have multiple witnesses whom I know personally and I believe them. Thanks to John Thompson" firstname.lastname@example.org
RIVIERA BEACH -- A witness writes: "I was unpacking my car trunk on January 28, 1999, at 5:50 AM when I looked up and saw coming right at me very slowly was a pair of white car headlights at about 300 feet in the air. I stood and watched for a few seconds. I heard no sound even though the ship was upwind. I whirled around to fetch my camera from the house and a few seconds later I was back outside. I could now see the UFO. No white 'headlights' now! Instead, a complete V-shaped golden ship. It continued moving west over me, then changed course to SSW at about 65-70 mph. You can see the ship and trees. Thanks to Mark & Mary M. Zimmer. Their web page is http://home.gzinc.com/mmz/skyscan.htm
DEL NORTE AIRFIELD -- Rio Grande County a couple called to report watching "a large straw-colored light hovering over Jeep Hill," 1/4 mile away to the SW of their house on March 4, 1999, at 11:00 PM. They estimated the size of the light to be "15 feet in diameter." The craft or object then turned on a spotlight that illuminated the area below it.
BLACK LAKE, NM -- Mar 8, 1999 at 8:30 PM, a bright white light appeared to rise from behind the mountains, to the altitude of a passing jet. The light paced the plane and headed south toward Las Vegas, NM. Thanks to Christopher O'Brien email@example.com
Tom Sheets reports that March 11, 1999, Art Bell show featured Peter Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center and a senior Washington State MUFON Field Investigator Robert Fairfax. Fairfax related that he is investigating a case now where 14 witnesses allege that they witnessed a rather small UFO abduct an elk from a rural area. The disc like object was described by Fairfax as being about the same size as the elk, and witnesses told him that it seemed to have a problem getting it up, up and away i.e. the UFO seemed to change shape as it lifted it up. Former NASA scientist Paul Hill indicates that UFOs have a plasma field surrounding the craft. This can change shape depending on the movement or conduct of the UFO, as described in Paul Hill's 'Unconventional Flying Objects' book as recommended at our recent MUFON meetings.) Apparently the elk was 'sucked' up and was suspended beneath the craft by some unknown mechanism. It is unknown if the witnesses were all together as a group (which sometimes MAY indicate a hoax is afoot in bizarre cases) or if they were separate and unknown to one another (which is great and I hope they were as it will indicate the witnesses are for real). Thanks to MUFON GA State Director Tom Sheets and Art Bell.
SAN DIEGO -- Melvin Podell reports that unidentified submerged objects (USOs) have been entering and leaving the Pacific Ocean off the coast at Point Loma. Melvin states, "I have details of a case in which a number of observers watched as two submerged objects a few hundred feet offshore emerged from the water and took off rapidly into the sky." Bill Hamilton of Skywatch comments that USOs have also been seen off the Palos Verdes peninsula for several years. These glowing objects sometimes emerge from the water. Underwater they travel swiftly. Thanks to Mel Podell. firstname.lastname@example.org The San Diego UFO Info Homepage at http://n6rpf.com-us.net and Bill Hamilton email@example.com
MONTERREY – There has been a large increase sightings over the last week. On February 28, 1999, Channel 12 in the city of Monterrey in Mexico aired home video of six UFOs flying over the La Husteca section of the city, heading for Las Pampas Mountain. The video showed six luminous triangular objects flying westward in formation. Monterrey is 575 miles north of Mexico City and 95 miles from the Texas border. Thanks to: UFO Roundup Vol.4 #10, 3/7/99, Joe Trainor Editor.
KINGSTON, ONTARIO -- Ray Gavel reports that on March 2, 1999, "My son came in the house and said he saw something unusual in the sky." The object appeared as bright as a star or even brighter, with no blinking lights around 6:00 PM. It was going away from us at an upward angle at a high rate of speed. The brightness of it diminished as it passed behind a vapor trail left by a passing jet. I couldn't tell how high the object was, just that it passed behind the vapor trail. My wife lost sight of it and when I took my eyes from it, I could not relocate the object. The object traveled in a straight line overhead then vanished. The object was bright and easily visible. Thanks to: Ray Gavel firstname.lastname@example.org
KNUTSFORD -- We have information from England that the UFO landing case has been discredited. Aviation writer Tim Mathews claims that the British UFO Studies Center (BUFOSC chairman Eric Morris, along with his group, have foiled a sad and desperate attempt by two witnesses to mislead and discredit Eric's and others research. A woman calling herself Caroline Sutton phoned Eric with an incredible sighting. The woman and her partner, claimed to have seen a series of lights and even gave details of a landing site. Eric, being the excellent investigator that he is took photos and video footage of the area and members of his group joined him and started tracing witnesses. After some digging, they found out that Caroline Sutton or "Chas" is actually an author who was published in America last year - turns out to be a book of scientific hoaxes! She also seems to have links with the "Chicago Academy of Science." The photos and video footage that Eric took of the "landing site" will now be passed onto the authorities to see if the owners of the land where considerable damage was inflicted, can now press for criminal damage. Thanks to Peter Robbins, Tim Matthews and Jim Rense.
UFO buffs, take note: NASA has awarded $600,000 to an Ohio company to try to reproduce an antigravity experiment reported several years ago in Physica, a Russian physics journal. In that article, a scientist reported that he had managed to get a spinning, superconducting disc to lose as much as 2 percent of its weight. He hypothesized that if this result were due to some gravity- shielding effect, when expanded and controlled it might allow a craft to float into space without being launched. The first NASA-funded attempt to reproduce the experiment failed, but the company, Superconductive Components, will try again. Some physicists think NASA is chasing a will-o'-the-wisp and wasting a lot of money, but the agency appears to be hedging its bets: Overcoming gravity would be a weighty accomplishment. Compiled by Jim Dawson Copyright 2/24/99 Star Tribune. http://www2.startribune.com/ - Thanks to Stig Agermose.
BBC News Online Science Editor DR David Whitehouse reports: "Sensational new claims about life on Mars are about to be made by US scientists. Some of the researchers who claimed in 1996 to have found evidence for past life in a Martian meteorite now say they have further evidence to support their theories. They will reveal their findings at a forthcoming conference. The announcement will once again arouse great controversy in the scientific community, which was far from convinced by the 1996 evidence. Then it was claimed that unusual structures in a meteorite called AL 84001 looked like fossilized bacteria. The new evidence comes from a study of the so-called Nakhla meteorite that fell at Nakhla, Egypt, in 1911. Years later, a detailed analysis of the rock revealed it to be one of only 13 known meteorites from the planet Mars. It is estimated to be about 1.37 billion years old and was thrown into space when a giant asteroid slammed into Mars hundreds of millions of years ago. After millions of years in space, it fell to Earth in 1911. Examination of the Nakhla meteorite, using an optical and a more powerful scanning electron microscope (SEM), by a team from NASA's Johnson Space Center led by DR David McKay, has revealed rounded particles of a limited size range. The researchers suggest that these structures are the mineralized remnants of bacteria that once lived on Mars. They say that their size is similar to bacteria found on Earth. Looking closely at the alleged fossilized bacterial colonies, the scientists say they are reminded of microbes undergoing the process of division. One of the structures may even have an extension like a fibril sometimes seen in Earth bacteria. They even go onto to say that they believe the Nakhla meteorite may have been colonized by two generations of bacteria. They add that another of the meteorites from Mars, a rock called Shergotty, may also contain the bacterial fossils. For most scientists, though, curious and minute shapes in meteorites are not enough to make them believe that bacteria once lived on Mars. For photos, please visit: http://news.bbc.co.uk/hi/english/sci/tech/newsid_289000/289214.stm
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