November 24, 1996
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Two jetliners outbound from New York's Kennedy International Airport encountered a UFO at 16,000 feet, not far from where TWA Flight 800 exploded and crashed last July.
The encounter took place on Saturday night, November 16, 1996 at approximately 10:10 p.m. Twenty minutes earlier, a Boeing 747 belonging to Pakistan International Airlines took off from JFK Airport, bound for Frankfort, Germany, the first leg of its long flight back to Karachi.
Pakistan International Airlines Flight 712 was flown by Capt. Whaid Shah and First Officer Nasir Aziz. As the jumbo jet approached the crash site 10 miles south of East Moriches, Long Island, N.Y., "my co-pilot saw a streak of light coming from the left-hand side (north) going toward our right-hand side (south) and ahead of the aircraft about three miles," Capt. Shah said. (See the New York Post for November 18, 1996.)
Aziz reportedly described the UFO as a "dark shape with four green lights" that "crossed our flight path three or four miles ahead of us."
"A TWA flight immediately behind the Pakistani jet made the same sighting and asked to turn around, aviation sources said. The TWA plane was rerouted and the air corridor used by the Pakistani jet was closed after the plane left the area...TWA would not comment on Saturday's incident." (New York Post, November 18, 1996)
Radar contact with the UFO was confirmed by the FAA Center in New York, Logan Airport in Boston, Massachusetts and the FAA air traffic center in Nashua, New Hampshire.
Capt. Shah asked if there were "any military exercises going on. They (the Boston tower) said no, so I pressed on."
"We don't have an explanation for it," said FBI spokesman Joseph Valiquette. "The flight crew allegedly saw something in the sky that was unusual--something with lights." (See the Boston, Mass. Herald for November 18, 1996.)
One theory was that the object was one of the Leonid meteors. The Leonid meteor shower began after midnight and reached its peak at 2 a.m. Saturday. Yet the USAir pilot who took off after the PIA and TWA flights reported no meteors.
In Taunton, Massachusetts, 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Boston, meteorologist David Henry spotted five meteors in the sky after midnight. (See the Taunton Daily Gazette for November 18, 1996.)
Twenty minutes after the PIA encounter, at 10:30 p.m., a woman living in rural Woodstown, New Jersey spotted "an egg-shaped UFO." She described the object as having "a white fuselage, not glowing white but more like solid white. There were two glaring red lights at the tail end, and one glowing green light underneath." She said the UFO was "huge...maybe as big as a football field...moving very fast" at treetop level above the woodland country five miles (8 kilometers) east of Woodstown. "I felt certain it was under intelligent control."
Woodstown (population 3250) is in the southwestern corner of the state, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Wilmington, Delaware. The town is also 80 miles (128 kilometers) southwest of the site of PIA Flight 712's encounter. (Email Interview)
Just before sunrise, around 6 a.m., on Saturday, November 9, 1996, street people in the Kandivli section of Bombay, India were astonished to see a small UFO, described as "a cricket-ball- sized object" speeding overhead at an estimated altitude of 9 meters (27 feet). At 6:45 a.m., the UFO suddenly rocketed skyward, turned to the west, and disappeared across Back Bay into the Malabar Hills.
Saturday night, at 9 p.m., a large UFO flew east across Mahim Bay, coming from the Arabian Sea. Eyewitnesses in the Tharne-Panvel section of Bombay described it as "a large frisbee-shaped object (saucer) glowing with a steady light. It moved in an arch over the city."
"It disappeared in a few seconds but not before emitting a beam of light. I had my binoculars and my telescope, which I use for stargazing. But before I could get them, it vanished. I am a regular skywatcher, and I know what an artificial satellite looks like," said Mrs. Brady, an eyewitness. "This was some- thing else--brighter, golden, without the blinking lights that you see on aeroplanes. It was something like the planet Saturn seen from the side without its rings." (See the Times of India for November 11, 1996.)
J.J. Rawal Jr., director of the Nehru Planetarium in Bombay,
said the UFO "might have been Venus," but added, "Still, as
scientists, we do not want to dismiss these reports out of hand.
The absence of evidence does not necessarily mean evidence
of the absence of UFOs. So we are keeping vigil over the sky."
(Many thanks to Makarand G. Waikar for sending us the Times of India story.)
On November 12, a Saudi Airlines Boeing 747 and a Kazakh Ilyushin 76 transport jet collided in mid-air over Charkhi Dadri, India, 60 miles (96) kilometers west of New Delhi. Over 350 people were killed in the collision, making it the third worst air disaster of all time.
Twenty miles (32 kilometers) southeast of Charkhi Dadri lies the town of Rewari, which was the scene of one of India's rare UFO encounters back on March 17, 1978.
Numerous eyewitnesses saw a glowing orange metallic
sphere fly over the rooftops of Rewari. "Among those who saw
the UFO were Dr. Shatrugan Shukla, assistant professor of
music at the University of Delhi, along with his wife and son.
'We noticed a blackish metallic spheroid, glowing orange on
top and with a long white tail--like steam from a pressure
cooker--streaming out behind it. It was moving fast, shooting
up and down, then going in a zigzag fashion.'"
(See the book UFO REPORT, Pocket Books, Simon & Schuster, Inc., New York, N.Y. May 1985, page 191.)
Since July 1, approximately 33 children have disappeared from the village of Banbirpur, in the southeastern corner of India's Uttar Pradesh state, 350 miles (530 kilometers) from New Delhi. The Indian police claim that the children were killed by a rogue wolfpack, but the villagers say the culprits are "white wolves" or werewolves.
"'It came across the grass on all four paws--like this,' said Sita Devi, the 10-year-old sister of the boy killed by a wolf August 16 in Banbirpur. She moved forward in a crouch from a cluster of villagers gathered by a well. She told her story with tears in her eyes, to anxious murmurs from the crowd."
"'As it grabbed Anand (age 4), it rose onto two legs until it was as tall as a man,' she said. 'Then it threw him over its shoulder. It was wearing a black coat and a helmet and goggles.'"
"The girl's grandfather, Ram Lakhan Panday, who drove a
truck in Calcutta for 50 years before retiring to his native
village, said, 'As long as officials pressure us to say it was a
wolf, we'll say it was a wolf. But we have seen this thing
with our own eyes. It is not a wolf; it is a human being.'"
(See The Oregonian of Portland, Oregon for September 1, 1996.)
(Editor's Comment: Sounds more like a "humanoid" to me. Note Sita's description of "goggles." And thanks to UFO NEWSCLIPPING SERVICE for The Oregonian story.)
Late Saturday night, November 16, 1996, at approximately 11:10 p.m., Carl Draper was driving on Ohio Route 422 in rural Geauga County, heading east toward Auburn Corners (population 70). As he approached the intersection of Route 44, just west of the reservoir, he "saw an object about the size of a manhole cover cross the sky from north to south." The disc-shaped UFO was flying at a high rate of speed, seemingly coming from Lake Erie. Carl described the UFO as "orange in color, and its trail was green...The tail extended across the entire arc of the sky, and it (UFO) covered the distance in less than one second."
Auburn Corners is located 15 miles (24 kilometers) east of the suburbs of Cleveland. (Email Interview)
Hard on the heels of last week's Calipatria sighting comes another report of UFOs in the desert east of San Diego.
On Thursday night, November 14, 1996, Michael Blake was driving on Highway 8 with his girl friend Jasmine Fletcher. The couple's van pulled off the highway at Ocotillo Wells, a state campground 93 miles (149 kilometers) east of San Diego and seven miles (9 kilometers) south of Painted Gorge. They set up camp with another couple near a grove of Joshua trees.
Looking at the gray night sky, Mike "noticed a gathering of craft like I have never seen. At first 'it' looked like a military helicopter with its lights turned off. All at once, we (four) got the creeps as the craft began to turn and change shape."
"We watched most of the night," Mike said. "Larger craft came down from the sky. Every now and then two or three of these would come over to where our vans were."
Seeing the UFOs approach, both couples rolled their sleeping bags beneath their vans and waited breathlessly.
"They came over to where we were huddled, and they appeared to be watching us," Mike said. "At one time I saw nine ships hovering at about a two-mile (3-kilometer) distance. They moved (darted) about in the sky like cells in a plasm. Most of the ships gathered three to five miles (5 to 7 kilometers) away--(we) could see the ground light up beneath them." (Unsolicited Email)
On Wednesday, November 13, 1996, at 6:30 p.m., several residents of Buena Vista, Colorado (population 2,075) were outdoors when they "saw a large ball of light for about four or five seconds moving north to south" over the Pike National Forest east of town. "Some declared it a white light, and others said it was rainbow-colored. All said it was very bizarre."
Buena Vista is on Colorado Highway 24, about 20 miles
(32 kilometers) north of Salida, the site of the famous UFO
encounter of September 1995.
(Many thanks to Tim Edwards of Salida for this report.)
For the past two weeks, residents of Mobile, Arizona (population 90) have seen an unusual cloud hovering about 500 feet (152 meters) from the ground. The cloud is shaped like a Conestoga wagon wheel, with distinct vaporous spokes radiating outward from a central hub.
Malcolm F. first became aware of the cloud when he tried to put a quarter in the local cafe's jukebox. "I was hoping to hear 'Don't Come Home from Cheatin' with Lovin' on Your Mind,'" said Malcolm. "The quarter went in okay. But then the Wurlitzer just plain shut down. I noticed it was getting kind of dark out, so I looked out the window and there it was."
"We're having some kind of ongoing aerial phenomenon over here," said Joseph S., who described it as "a humungous wagon-wheel cloud-like formation...They estimate it covers (an area) about five miles square. It doesn't move, but it appears offset from the same position each time." At night, the "cloud" appears 75 to 80 degrees from the eastern horizon. "They didn't count the spokes but will next time."
Located 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Glendale, the town of Mobile is one of the most isolated in Arizona. It's nestled in a desert valley hemmed in by two mountain chains, the Sierra Estrella mountains to the east and the Maricopa range to the west. In January 1996, residents reported seeing "an oversized blue jellybean-like object sailing through the night sky and disappearing." (Email Interview)
During the last days of October 1996, Christopher H. invited some of his 20-something male friends to his house in Leander, Texas, a small town 15 miles (24 kilometers) northwest of the state capital, Austin.
"My friends and I were out back, looking for shooting stars," Chris said. "The first sighting was about 10 p.m. I saw it first, directly overhead, and pointed it out to my friend. He saw it immediately. The object traveled from north to south and was no longer visible after 25 degrees of travel."
Chris said the object "was the shape of a flying wing but transparent. It distorted the light as it moved in front of stars and clouds." He added that the UFO covered the distance in just four seconds.
About 15 minutes later, one of Chris's friends "saw the object traveling west to east" from Smithwick to Hutto, Texas "at about 5 degrees to the earth. This sighting lasted two seconds or less, and I did not catch it at that time."
After another 15 minutes, "my friend saw the object traveling overhead in a northeasterly direction (towards Georgetown), but only briefly and I was not fast enough to see it. We called the local news about 30 minutes later."
On Saturday night, November 9, Chris and two of the same group of friends saw their "flying wing" again. "Its direction was the same as the first time (north to south)," he said, estimating that its wingspan was about the same as a Boeing 757. Again the "semi-transparent" UFO took four seconds to travel from horizon to horizon. None of the eyewitnesses, he added, "have ever seen UFOs before." (Email Interview)
On Saturday, November 23, 1996, about an hour after dark at 5:30 p.m., Gordon T. looked out the window of his third-floor apartment in Sudbury, Ontario (population 97.604) and "saw a ball of light about the size of a dime held at arm's length. It drifted across the horizon at eye level." (Gordon's apartment is 50 feet above ground). The UFO "drifted like a balloon across the horizon," he added, "It seemed to stop once or twice but may have been moving away from me. It lasted for about ten minutes and moved from north to south," heading for Georgian Bay and Lake Huron. (Unsolicited Email)
A second Sudbury man also saw the object and notified MUFON Ontario.
Sudbury is the premier nickel-mining city of Canada and is located 258 miles (373 kiolmeters) north of Toronto.
On Monday, November 4, 1996, at 8:45 p.m., Mrs. Ginette C., 32, of Gatineau, Quebec was driving home from the grocery store with her son, age 4. After parking her car, she made two trips into the house with bags of groceries. As she started up the walkway to the house a second time, with a grocery bag in each hand, a huge triangular vehicle appeared over the roof of the house.
Ginette described the UFO as "triangular...five times bigger than the full moon, dark with three globes of white light under each corner and one smaller (light) in the middle of a reddish color. The red one blinked repeatedly. The UFO was 300 feet (95 meters) wide and 50 feet above my head and was totally silent."
Ginette stared at it open-mouthed for three minutes. Then she overcome her suprise and paralysis and, not taking her gaze off the UFO, walked to the porch. She managed to open the door with one knee and yelled for her husband. Thinking there was a problem, Mr. C. appeared with their other son, age 7. "Look! Look up in the sky!" Ginette shouted. They both got a clear view of the UFO before "it turned to the south and flew towards Ottawa."
Gatineau (population 73,479) is in southwestern Quebec,
just north of Ottawa, the national capital. This case was
investigated by Denis Marquis and Gilles Latour of the
CEIPI ufological study group. According to Marquis and
Latour, "The description is consistent between all of them."
(Many thanks to CEIPI for this story.)
On Friday, November 1, at 10:30 p.m., Kirsty Gilbert and her son left Rothesay Bay, on the East Coast Bays of Auckland, New Zealand (population 900,000), heading home to Torbay, another suburb of the large seaport. As she drove along, Kirsty saw "a circle of lights" in the sky, located in the upper left corner of the windshield. "Her son counted seven lights in a circular pattern and one in the center. The lights appeared to be shimmering as though being seen through the trees which they had just passed."
Stopping the car, Kirsty watched the lights, which "appeared to flash off briefly and then on again." Feeling anxious and vulnerable, she got back in the car "and resumed her journey." (See the North Shore Times-Advertiser for November 7, 1996.)
In Albany, four kilometers (2.5 miles) north of the East Coast Bays, two people driving north "saw a curiously-lighted object pacing their car for several minutes. When they stopped to fill the car with petrol (gasoline), the object had disappeared. After leaving the service station, they noticed that the object had reappeared and seemed to be pacing their vehicle again."
Several residents of "the Bays" saw "these strange circular lights" around 10:30 p.m. One eyewitness was Senior Sgt. Don Blayney of the Auckland police, who saw the lights from his home in Rothesay Bay. He noticed that the UFO seemed to be hovering over Brown's Bay.
Other witnesses reported "a laser light display" on the
nearby Whanpaparoa Peninsula.
(Many thanks to New Zealand ufologist Murray Bott for sending us the Times-Advertiser story.)
ROUNDUP CORRIGENDA: In a recent issue, we identified Britain's RAF Fylingdales air base as a NATO storage facility for nuclear weapons. Chris Wedgewood informs us that the North Yorkshire base is a radar and high-tech communications center only. Thanks for clearing that up, Chris.
BACK ISSUES: If you're looking to read some back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, check out our site at the following URL-- http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/index.shtml
That's it for this week. Here's wishing our American readers a happy Thanksgiving holiday. Thursday's the day to eat plenty of turkey and cranberry sauce and watch the football games. Best wishes for a great Thanksgiving from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."