July 7, 1996
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Spanish-language listeners were shocked Thursday, July 4, 1996, when a Cuban radio station began broadcasting newly-released information about a UFO landing on the island last October.
According to Dr. Virgilio Sanchez Ocejo at the Miami UFO Center, Radio Rebelde in Havana ran a special program in Spanish on the UFO sightings.
On October 15, 1995, at 9:30 a.m., a UFO landed in the town of Torriente, in Matanzas province, not far from Playa Giron (Bay of Pigs). An eyewitness, Adolfo Zerate, 74, a farmer from Torriente, told the Direccion General de Inteligencia (DGI) that he was working in the fields when "an apparatus like a tortoise shell" (a bell-shaped object) came down from the clouds and landed in the vegetable field. Concealing himself behind some tropical shrubbery, Zerate saw "dos hombrecitos" (two little men), one behind a window aboard the UFO and the other walking around outside the object. Zerate said both of the occupants "seemed to be wearing diving suits."
The occupant outside the UFO spent several minutes collecting "malanga," a kind of potato, from the field. Then, with his small arms full of uprooted plants, he reboarded the UFO. The "apparatus" began to give off "blue fire and white smoke" and then it "disappeared among the clouds at high speed."
After Zerate called the police, the DGI arrived and collected physical evidence of the UFO's presence, including impressions of the occupant's footprints and leaves scorched black by the UFO's electrical field effects. The material was reportedly turned over to the Cuban Academy of Sciences, which is still investigating the case.
Three days later, on October 18, at 10 p.m., an unnamed woman told the DGI that she had seen a UFO in Puerto Padre, a small town in Las Lunas province. She described her UFO as an intensely "bright light" and claimed to have seen it "several days earlier."
"At the beginning, we thought it was an airplane," she said, "But it didn't make any noise. It went up and down and sideways. Then it made a low pass over the town and dropped toward the city of Hoguin."
The same night, October 18, another UFO was reported in Santi Spiritu at 10 p.m. Also, at Majibacoa and at Calixto Garcia in Hoguin province, Cuban army officers and troops "saw an intense light in the sky for several minutes." At first they thought it was a helicopter, but then "the light flew away at a very great speed."
The Radio Rebelde broadcast was unprecedented. This is the first time in 36 years that Fidel Castro's government has admitted to the presence of UFOs in Cuba.
Kim R., who lives "three miles from downtown Pittsburgh" in Pennsylvania, had a close encounter on Sunday, June 30, 1996.
"I was lying on my back in the yard (at 8 p.m.) recovering from doing yardwork in the 95-degree heat," Kim recalled. "Almost directly overhead, at a distance I was unable to determine, was a bright silvery bar." Kim watched it "move across the sky at the speed of an airliner, although it was ascending, and after about a minute of getting smaller and smaller, it disappeared. When I originally noticed the object, it appeared to be about one inch long and about a third of an inch wide. It was completely rectangular and, as I said, bright silver. There were no wings visible, nor did I see any running lights." (Note: Pennsylvania has had many UFO sightings this year, most recently at Carlisle, Shippensburg, Fannettsburg and the Path Valley.)
Fort Worth was the epicenter of last week's UFO flap in Texas. MUFON investigator Joyce Murphy reported three sightings in the Hood County area.
Monday, June 24, 1996 - At 10:30 p.m., homeowners in Forest Hill and Edgecliff, south of Fort Worth, spotted "a mysterious stationary light" in the sky "just below the moon." They watched it for over 30 minutes until it vanished.
Tuesday, June 25, 1996 - At 4:22 a.m., onlookers saw "a large light coming into the atmosphere with a trail of smoke." They said its bright flash "lit up the whole sky." At first the witnesses thought it was a meteor. Then, to their astonishment, the UFO suddenly reversed its direction and "shot straight back up until it disappeared." One witness said, "There couldn't possibly have been anyone alive in that thing. It would be too hot."
Friday, June 28, 1996 - Ranchers in rural Granbury, Texas (population 3,400), at the intersections of Highways 51 and 377, spotted a UFO. They described it as "a large bright white object (that was) descending in a spiralling motion over the Squaw Creek nuclear power plant." A witness reported a "tingling sensation and hair standing up on end" just before seeing the UFO.
Rana S. of Halifax, N.S., a recently graduated college student, reported a UFO encounter he had at the end of April 1996. One evening, Rana said, "It was dark and I was lying on a grassy hill here in Halifax, looking into the sky, when I saw two lights in the sky seemingly connected in a linear fashion."
The lights, he added, were "zigzagging across the sky above me, to the left and then finally out of my viewing range. It was no plane. It was moving way too fast and too zigzaggy...I guess I saw it for about eight to ten seconds till I couldn't anymore."
"I have no problem with aliens," Rana said, "And I think about it like anyone else, but after I saw this I was overcome with this intense paranoia, fear, excitement. Anyway, it was totally bizarre but so real."
According to the June 23, 1996 issue of the Melbourne Sunday Sun-Herald, a familiar squadron of UFOs--five bright orange spheres-- overflew the Melbourne area that weekend.
On Friday, June 21, residents of Chelsea and Frankston spotted the five UFOs flying swiftly over their towns.
That same night, Ross Dowe of Australia's National UFO Hotline received 20 calls from people in Cranbourne, reporting a V-shaped formation of five orange lights passing over their neighborhood.
The same five UFOs were also seen later that night in Carrum.
According to the Adelaide Sunday Mail of June 16, 1996, "unexplained colored lights" were seen in the skies over Ararat, Aberfoyle Park, Newcastle and Noarlunga. Some were stationary and others were seen moving at fantastic speeds.
Adelaide ufologist Collin Norris said city residents had seen "a light flashing distinctly different colors." On May 24, 1996, Norris added, at about 10:40 p.m., "many people reported two lights in the north- eastern sky, soon joined by three others."
Other UFO sightings were reported along the shore in Stockport, Victoria Harbor, Port Noarlunga and on the Eyre Peninsula.
The Mail also reported a "spectacular" sighting in Gladstone, Queensland on May 24. "A disc-shaped blue spinning object" hovered over several Gladstone homes. Its take-off vibrations had the houses shaking "as if in an earthquake." Gladstone police received several calls about a light "moving and changing colors in the sky."
Another UFO was reported the same night over the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) base at Amberley, north of Brisbane.
And that's it for this week. There'll be more next weekend from "the paper that goes home...UFO ROUNDUP!" See you then.