December 8, 1996
Editor: Joseph Trainor
This week, California takes center stage. Read on...
Beginning on Friday, November 29, 1996, a UFO appeared and hovered over a neighborhood in Camarillo, California (population 37,732). For five consecutive days, the UFO appeared in the same area sometime between 4:30 p.m. and 5:15 p.m. It was seen by one family, whom we'll call the Vandeveres, and a friend.
On Monday, December 2, the Vandeveres contacted MUFON investigator Mary Helen Corrado of Newbury Park, California. The following afternoon, Tuesday, December 3, Ms. Corrado drove to Ventura County, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles. At 4 p.m., the Vandeveres and Ms. Corrado took up position on some high ground near the Los Posas Road exit off Highway 101.
At approximately 4:55 p.m., they sighted the UFO "in the northern sky" hovering "over an oak tree at an angle of 45 to 50 degrees in the sky. With the naked eye, the object appeared to be a pinpoint and just about the size of a small 'o' on this page. To the casual viewer, it could easily be mistaken for a star. There was no twinkling effect noted with the naked eye. It was apparent that the object was slowly moving in a direction even higher in the sky or closer to the viewing area. The light was pure white in color."
Taking out her 16X50 binoculars, Ms. Corrado more closely observed the UFO. She reported, "The object did not have the appearance of a star. It seemed to be self-illuminating. It had a splendid appearance and was the size of a 'O' on this page... At about 5:10 p.m., we noticed that the object appeared to change color...With the binoculars, I could see that the object took on a ruddy peach-colored hue. I took my eyes away for a moment, and when I looked again through the binoculars, there was a small pinpoint object of the same color which appeared to be hiding below and to the left of the primary object. It was about the size of a small 'o' on this page." She watched both objects for a while, and then switched back to the primary object when both could no longer be seen in her field of view. Then "I watched what appeared to be small round puffs from the top of the object. It appeared that the object was moving downward away from the puffs. All at once, I saw another small object the size of a small 'o' separate from the main object on its left side. The two objects were in close proximity with each other and moved in tandem upward and then disappeared in what looked like a puff (of smoke) or mist." Ms. Corrado added that she heard no sound associated with either object. The UFOs vanished at 5:15 p.m. while at an angle of 70 to 75 degrees above the horizon.
Ms. Corrado and the Vandeveres returned to the spot at 4:15 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4, but the UFOs did not return.
Ms. Corrado returned again with a MUFON team and a video camera on Thursday, December 5. However, intermittent rain and incoming fog prevented any sightings.
Ms. Corrado's on-site investigation in Camarillo continues.
The UFO flap in the San Diego area is still going strong. On Monday night, December 2, 1996, at approximately 8:40 p.m., a very large UFO crossed the shoreline at Silver Strand Boulevard, crossed San Diego Bay, passed over Chula Vista and then downtown San Diego.
According to eyewitness Tom Sanders, "My girlfriend and I were standing outside my friend's house at approximately 8:40 p.m. We had been glancing at the sky for a matter of seconds before we saw 6 or 7 dim white lights in a U- or V-shaped pattern heading southeast from over the westward Pacific Ocean. As the lights came closer to being overhead, they tilted (banked) to their right side and began to move more southward. At the same time, the lights veered over a small plane that was quite high itself."
"The size of the area of the lights seemed to be at least six
or seven times the size (wingspan) of the plane," he added.
"It was traveling at over at least twice the speed of the plane,
heading in the opposite direction (south). Shortly after it passed
the plane, the lights in sync rolled completely over and back to
their original sequence, without changing direction (Editor: This
maneuver is called a "barrel roll.") The lights became clearer as
they got further away and then slowly vanished. There wasn't any
sound at all. But the object was quite a distance away and above
us. This wasn't a small UFO--it was way bigger than two or three
of the planes I have ever seen or heard of put together. The area of
the lights was approximately half the size of the moon from our
visual point of view." (Email Interview)
(Editor's Note: Three times the wingspan of a Boeing 747 would be 510 feet or 155 meters.)
At 7:30 p.m. on Friday, November 22, 1996, a U.S. Air Force Reserve CH-130 Hercules crashed 60 miles (96 kilometers) west of the northern California coast, killing all but one member of its 11-man crew. The four-engined turboprop plane of the 304th Rescue Squadron was on a routine training mission from its base in Portland, Oregon to San Diego, California.
The Hercules went down shortly after one turboprop engine mysteriously failed. Then a second engine shut down. Then the plane suffered a complete electrical failure.
What went unreported in the mainstream media, however, was the two-year-old UFO flap that has taken place in that area. According to reporter Vanessa Blackburn, "During the last year and a half, Humboldt and Del Norte County residents have reported multiple UFO sightings..., and some of those reports are from more than 50 people at one time...local UFO sightings have been reported in an area stretching from Garberville to Fort Dick, north of Crescent City." That is, just east of the ocean area where the CH-130 went down. (See the Eureka, California Times-Standard for July 21, 1996, pages 10 and 11.)
Ms. Blackburn's list of Crescent City area sightings includes:
February 12, 1995 - A McKinleyville man sees two delta-
shaped "aircraft" with lights blinking in sequence within 400
yards (365 meters) of him.
August 15, 1995 - A Crescent City woman and her daughter
walking from the garage to their house saw a bright streak pass
August 25, 1995 - About sixty eyewitnesses, including a
sheriff's deputy, saw "several peculiar objects to the west
maneuvering over the water off the coast of Crescent City."
September 19, 1995 - A U.S. Navy chief petty officer reported
seeing "a red orb under Jupiter" that moved right, then left, then
zipped off at a very fast rate.
October 2, 1995 - A Garberville man saw a bright object
moving faster than a satellite from north to south. He watched it
for two or three minutes. Then, with a bright flash, it vanished.
October 13, 1995 - A Crescent City woman went outdoors to
get her newspaper and saw "white lights that turned red and
began to zigzag."
October 17, 1995 - A Crescent City man saw "a strange
white oval-shaped light being pursued by two fast aircraft." The
planes were very high and fast, but the UFO easily outdistanced
February 9, 1996 - A Eureka woman and her neighbor saw
"a bizarre formation of up to 10 objects overhead with white
July 19, 1996 - The Times-Standard reported that a young
boy from Eureka had seen "a round white object during the day
shoot through the sky, turn and then disappear. It left no trail,
was large and moved faster than an airplane."
(Thanks to Lucius Farish of UFO NEWSCLIPPING SERVICE for the reprint of the Times-Standard articles.)
On Monday, December 2, 1996, a hunter we'll call Bill Hampstead Phoned the Mike McConnell Show on radio station WLW, 700 on the AM dial, in Cincinnati, Ohio. Mike's popular talk show airs from 10 a.m. to 2 p.am. weekdays.
Bill Hampstead had an unusual tale to tell. The previous day, Sunday, December 1, 1996, he and a friend had decided to go hunting. They drove out to Bethel (population 2,231), a town in Hamilton County about 30 miles (48 kilometers) east of Cincinnati, with their hunting dogs. They parked on Leonard Road, six miles (8 kilometers) south of Bethel. A set of high- voltage electrical lines runs parallel to Leonard Road.
Hampstead and his hunting buddy turned their two dogs loose and followed them into a harvested cornfield. As they approached the power lines, he recalled, "The dogs got deathly quiet. That's uncommon for coondogs, which always bark when they're on the trail of something, and they increase the frequency of their barking when they corner or tree their prey." But this time the dogs made no sound.
As Hampstead stepped into a clearing near the power lines, his mouth fell open in shock. Sitting on the ground was a silvery saucer with a transparent cupola. Standing nearby were three occupants, all dressed in some kind of coverall uniform.
He described two of the occupants as "typical, run-of-the-mill
Grays," short with slanted black eyes. "The third being was
slightly larger and had a much bigger head." As the hunters and
their dogs watched in mute astonishment, the three aliens made
a break for it. They ran to the saucer, disappeared through an
open hatch, and then the object "rose into the air straight up and
disappeared." (Thanks to John R. Lewis Jr. for this story.)
(Editor's Note: This is Bethel's second UFO incident this year. Also, the town is 15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Owensville, the center of southern Ohio's ongoing flap.)
At 6:27 p.m., on Friday, December 6, 1996, a man in Highland, Indiana (population 25,935) spotted a disc-shaped UFO speeding through the overcast sky. "While looking out my northeast kitchen window," he saw "an object slightly larger than Venus heading due east, moving erratically. It speeded up and as it did, it grew smaller, turned golden-orange and vanished. It was 45 degrees above the horizon and approximately one mile (1.6 kilometers) away when first spotted."
Highland, Indiana lies about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast
of Chicago and 10 miles (16 kilometers) due south of Lake Michigan.
At about 2 a.m. on Friday, November 29, 1996, a northbound Canadian National (CN) freight train encountered a UFO similar to the one seen in Sudbury, Ontario the previous week. The train had left the railyard in Barrie, near Toronto, earlier that day, bound for Capreol, a mining town just north of Sudbury.
The train had a two-man crew consisting of an engineer and a conductor and moved along the lonely CN track through the boreal forest at a leisurely 20 to 30 miles per hour. As the train approached Ardbeg (population 75), which is located 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Lake Huron's Parry Sound, the two men "saw an orange and green light come down from the sky."
The men "first saw the light through the right (engineer's) window (of the locomotive)" and "thought it was going to crash."
The UFO then hovered 600 yards (540 meters) from the CN train at 45 degrees above the treeline. They described the UFO as "being the size of a street light at 600 yards." Minutes later, the object "flew off to the west," apparently heading for Lake Huron.
Todd Fraser of MUFON Ontario is investigating this case.
(Many thanks to UFO Updates for this story.)
Editor's Comment: Sounds like the Ontario UFO is hiding by day and traveling by night. Since the big lakes are still freezing up, it could be hiding out in either Lake Huron's Georgian Bay or Lake Nipissing, near Sudbury.)
On Saturday evening, November 16, 1996, Mrs. Claire Ridgeway and her 17-year-old daughter, Carolyn, were driving west on Highway 537, heading home from the Mall in Bridgeboro. Suddenly, Claire spotted "an object with what I thought were only green lights" careen across the night sky. "I had to blink and rub my eyes to make sure what I had seen wasn't a shooting star. It went so fast I just knew it wasn't a plane or a helicopter. Then, as fast as it streaked across the sky, it came to a dead stop. It didn't slow down at all--it just came to a dead stop. Again I couldn't believe my eyes. I asked my daughter to keep an eye on it, not to drop her gaze for even an instant. She sat in the car, fixed and mesmerized, fascinated and in awe of what we were a witness to."
Arriving home, Claire told her husband, and then the three of them grabbed a telescope and drove around the block, looking for a spot with an unobstructed view of the object. They then stopped at the house of "Rita and my Uncle Jake" to use their bigger telescope, only to learn that "my uncle had taken it up to his house in the mountains for some sky-watching, and it has been there ever since." So the Ridgeways set up their small telescope in Uncle Jake's yard. "My mother was curious enough to look through the little telescope, and much to her dismay, she saw it, too," Claire reported. "Rotating lights and all."
Driving their van to the end of the block, Claire and her family set up the telescope again in Spring Garden Park.
"That's when we noticed all the neighbors peering at us through their windows," she added. "Naturally, many came out to see what in God's name we were watching through the telescope."
Soon they were joined by five people. "They too, shocked and surprised, saw a hovering object far away, even through the telescope, with the continuous green, blue and red lights around the perimeter. Soon a policeman whom we had known for 25 years and who wishes to remain anonymous, was making his usual route around town when he spotted us. He pulled up and he was able to confirm what nine people had seen. As we stood there watching the object, it appeared to be moving away from us, distance-wise--in other words, it seemed to be as far away as one of the stars."
Daughter Carolyn, who had the object in view during the drive home, described the UFO as "shaped like a boomerang, with a sharp nose." (Email Interview)
Riverside (population 8,591) is on the east bank of the
Delaware River about 15 miles (24 kilometers) north of
Camden, New Jersey and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania.
(Editor's Note: At 10:30 p.m. that same night, a woman in Woodstown, New Jersey, located 36 miles (57 kilometers) south of Riverside, saw an "egg-shaped UFO.")
The National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle received numerous reports of saucer activity the night of November 16, 1996. A summary of these cases appears below.
Alma, Georgia - A jetliner flying at 41,000 feet spotted "two objects embedded in a large blue-green cloud or light" streak past at an extremely high altitude.
Orlando, Florida - Another jetliner reported seeing the two UFOs heading south and enveloped in a "green mist."
Frostberg, Maryland - A large dark triangular UFO with blinking lights was seen by several residents.
Reading, Pennsylvania - A "large orange glow" was seen streaking across the sky.
Fassett, Pennsylvania (just south of Elmira, New York) - A jetliner sighted spherical objects "with orange lights" flying from west to east at an extremely high altitude.
Longview, New York - Two "intensely blue flashes of light lit up huge areas of the sky." They were much too bright to be early-arriving Leonid meteors.
Grandview, Missouri - A dark solid UFO flew over the town, making a loud rumbling noise. The report first aired on KSHB-TV in Kansas City.
Greenwich, Connecticut - "Orange glow" was seen
racing across the sky.
(Thanks to UFO Updates for this story.)
(Editor's Note: Grandview, Missouri is the birthplace of President Harry S. Truman, who may or may not have been at Roswell in July 1947.)
On Monday, November 25, 1996, at 12:30 p.m., residents
of Ales, a city in southern France approximately 100
kilometers (60 miles) northwest of Marseilles were shaken
by a loud explosion. "Witnesses saw fiery debris plummet
through (from) the sky, while others heard the explosion."
As with the recent incident in Annecy, French Civil Aviation
declared an INCERFA alert, and firemen, local policemen
and Gendarmes sealed off the community. The teams
hunted "for four hours without finding anything."
(Many thanks to Perry Petrakis of SOS OVNI in France for this report.)
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