December 15, 1996
Editor: Joseph Trainor
A Saudi Airlines jetliner encountered "a bright greenish object" while flying at 12,000 feet early Thursday morning, December 12, 1996. The encounter took place over the ocean about ten miles south of East Moriches, Long Island, New York.
According to the USA Radio News broadcast on Friday, the Saudi jetliner was coming into John F. Kennedy International Airport at 6 a.m. when the flight crew spotted "a greenish white object with a long tail." The object was traveling from east to west, the same bearing as the Boeing 747, but at a higher altitude.
According to the CNN report of the incident, the mysterious object was picked up on the Boeing 747's cockpit radar set. "At least one crew member saw the object for about two seconds."
The greenish-white UFO appeared in the upper right hand corner of the windshield and zipped away, heading for the New Jersey coast, easily outrunning the jetliner.
TWA Flight 800, also a Boeing 747, exploded in mid-air in this same area back in July, killing all 230 people aboard.
In-mid November, a Pakistani Airlines Boeing 747 spotted a UFO traveling in a north-south trajectory. First Officer Nasir Aziz reportedly described it as "a dark object with four green lights."
On Friday, James Kallstrom, FBI special agent in charge of the TWA 800 investigation, said "it was too early" to positively identify the object seen by the Saudi jetliner, but added that "it might have been one of the Geminid meteors."
The Saudi sighting was the fourth UFO report to come out of Long Island since the crash of TWA 800 in July.
In related TWA 800 news, Brenda Roberts, producer of the
syndicated TV show "Journey," plans to do a show on the
recent UFO sightings around Moriches Bay, Long Island.
Ms. Roberts "entices, appeals to, encourages and begs"
anyone living in that area who has video or still photos of
Long Island UFOs to get in touch. The show will "document
authentic sightings" in and around the TWA 800 crash zone.
If you have any photos or videotape, contact Ms. Roberts at
(Editor's Comment: If the object registered on the cockpit radar, then it cannot have been higher than 100,000 feet. If it was a meteor, it should have been headed downward, not flying a parallel course toward the western horizon. Also, the time of the sighting--6 a.m. on December 12--was at least 37 hours before the actual start of the Geminid meteor shower at 7 p.m. on December 13. Will some mathematician please compute the odds of having two "meteors" flying at different trajectories passing through the same cubic mile of airspace within a period of three weeks? Thank you!)
Southwestern Missouri was the site of a big UFO flap earlier this week.
On Saturday, December 7, 1996, at 5:30 a.m., a farmer feeding his cattle three miles (5 kilometers) west of Mansfield, Missouri (population 1,423) "was startled by a large orange ball of light moving silently above him." The UFO "descended and dropped behind some trees to the east."
Two days later, on Monday, December 9, 1996, at 6:45 p.m. a father and daughter in Ash Grove, Missouri (population 1,157) spotted "a bright orange ball of light" about 10 degrees above the horizon. The UFO "hovered for several minutes, then vanished."
The main action, though, took place in the city of Springfield (population 133,000) between 6 p.m. and 8 p.m. Brian Adams of the Ozarks Area Research Group was an eyewitness.
"After arriving home (near the 2700 block of West Republic Road), I observed a large amount of strange aircraft lights in the clear evening sky to the south and east of Springfield. The peculiar lights were moving slowly in two groups of two in each direction. I used a set of 7X35 binoculars to view the lights from my deck in the backyard."
Adams counted numerous small lights, "white, red and blue lights that were moving randomly around an oval-like perimeter. As the UFOs moved slowly about, you sensed that they were very high up in the atmosphere and that they were very large. At least three times larger than a commercial jet airliner."
"My wife and 17-year-old son then came out to view the objects while I went inside to call some other local members of OARG to get them to go outside to view the UFOs and (to) get their opinion," he added. "One member, Bruce Lanza, and his wife, on the eastern side of Springfield (near the 1800 block of East Republic Road) noticed the strange aircraft also."
Following "an hour of viewing, at 7:15 p.m., a very luminous orange ball of light was observed just above the horizon, moving slowly upward." While Adams viewed this object with his binoculars, it suddenly vanished.
Five minutes later, "a jet fighter shot across the southern sky at approximately 300 miles per hour at a very low altitude of a couple thousand feet," Adams wrote. "I ran inside to call Bruce about the fighter jet, and while I was talking to him, I heard Bruce say that the jet was flying above his house. I ran back outside to see the jet" bank sharply and fly toward the spot where the orange sphere had vanished.
At 8 p.m., Adams and his son "observed a very bright red oval-shaped UFO with small white lights appear in the south, moving westward very quickly."
Lanza, a USAF veteran, reportedly identified the fighter jet as an F-15 Eagle, a tactical interceptor.
Adams said he saw four distinct lighted objects and "the way they moved, very slowly. Like it was hovering. They decided to move to avoid detection by the approaching jet."
The following day, OARG members began investigating.
Adams phoned the Springfield/Branson Regional Control
Tower at the local airport, which reportedly confirmed the
presence of the F-15 the previous night. The jet pilot "was
flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules)." Since the pilot was just
passing through, Adams added, he was not required to
notify the tower. Adams also learned that a squadron of
USAF A-10 jets landed at the airport earlier that day and
took off in the afternoon. (Email Interview)
(Thanks to Brian Adams and the other OARG members for providing such detailed information.)
During the week of November 28, 1996, a triangular UFO appeared over the city of Cuenca (population 200,000), in the Andes mountains of southern Ecuador.
One eyewitness, Charlene Estero, who was in Ecuador with her husband to visit his relatives, tells her story: "We were up late one night, making things for our neighbor's birthday party. We were beginning to finish up, and I went into another room. I saw my family outside with my video camera, looking up at the sky. I ran outside to see a strange object in the sky."
Ms. Estero knew that it couldn't be a jetliner. Ecuatoriana Airlines runs only two flights per day from the capital, Quito, to Cuenca, one at 8 a.m., the other at 6 p.m.
"There were three lights blinking and shutting off simultaneously," she reported. "The object was moving rather quickly. It seemed to be moving up and down and in a circular movement. We followed the UFO for a couple of blocks in total amazement." Her husband shot several minutes of video footage of the UFO.
"We looked for another UFO the following week we were
there (in Cuenca) but saw nothing," she added.
(Editor's Note: Cuenca, located in an Andean mountain valley 500 kilometers (312 miles) south of Quito, is one of the oldest cities in South America. The Inca Tupac Yupanqui conquered it in 1480 and renamed it Tomebamba. At that time, it was already thousands of years old. It became Cuenca when the Spaniards conquered it in 1557. The mysterious ruins of Ingapirca are located 80 kilometers (64 miles) north of Cuenca, just outside the town of Canar.)
At an early hour on Thursday, December 5, 1996, Robert Kingsley, an announcer for Gold Radio in Shaftesbury, Dorset, U.K. left for work. "At about twenty to six (5:40 a.m.), with a clear sky and a crescent moon, and as I was about a mile out of Shaftesbury, I think I saw a flash in the sky to my right and just behind me. It was very great, and by the time I turned my head, it was gone. But then, as I was parking the car, I saw a flash of light in the sky ahead of me, toward Salisbury in Wiltshire." He described the light as similar to "sheet lightning" but there was no storm. It "was a white light, diffused across the horizon."
When Kingsley mentioned the incident during his morning talk show, the calls came flooding in.
Anne Barclay, a female engineer, said her train had been rolling "out of Yedvil Junction at twenty to six (December 5) when the sky lit up in front of her." She thought immediately of electrified rails, but there are none on that section of the line.
Another woman, Cheryl Flinders, said she'd "been working the night shift at Stalbridge for the past few weeks and, when she's been driving home to Shaftesbury in the early morning, she's often seen these light flashes," as have Cheryl's sister and her two children. "You know how it is, "Cheryl said, "You don't like to talk about these things in case someone thinks you're a bit daft, but I heard you talking about it (on the radio) and about all those other people saying they've seen things. And I thought, well..."
John Spencer of Gillingham told Kingsley he'd seen these light flashes for the past few weeks, as well. "They seem to come from a direction due east of Gillingham and west of Shaftesbury."
Kim Andrews saw the light flashes at 7:30 p.m. on Wednesday, December 4, "coming from over Bulbarrow way."
Teenager Gregory Potts called in and said his father, Gary, had also seen the Bulbarrow lights at 7:30 that night. The following morning, Thursday, December 5, Gregory himself went outside at 5 a.m. and saw lights flashing in the Sturminster/Manton area.
While driving to work at 4 a.m. on December 4, and home again at 7:30 p.m. on the (highway) A30, John Davis saw the light flashes.
Teenagers Murray and Fern called the station and said they had seen the flashes at 6 a.m. on December 5 and had also seen "a blue-colored object" hovering above Glen Hill, just outside Sturminster.
Christine Brown called the station to report that she'd seen
a UFO on Thursday, November 21, 1996. She saw the UFO fly
across a farm field in North Cheriton, near Wincanton in
Somerset. She described the UFO as "30 feet (9 meters) in
diameter and orange with matte, cream (coloured) markings."
(Many thanks to Bob Kingsley for these reports.)
Australia's ongoing UFO flap shows no sign of dying down. Sightings were reported all over the continent on Sunday and Monday, November 24 and 25.
On Sunday night, November 24, 1996, residents of Perth, capital of Western Australia spotted "a large bright cigar- shaped object traveling from north to south." At arm's length, the object was estimated to be one inch long and 1/8 of an inch wide, "about 55 degrees in the sky and 20-plus miles away."
Early Monday morning, November 25, at 1:25 a.m., people spied "a number of white balls of light" speeding through the sky in a southeasterly direction over the city of Adelaide, in South Australia. Suddenly, they changed direction, shooting off to the west. Within seconds, they altered course again, flying away to the northwest.
At 10:30 p.m. Monday evening, November 25, people saw a flight of "intense bright orange fireball lights" speeding through the sky over Canberra, the nation's capital. The UFOs rocketed away toward the northwest.
Forty-five minutes later, at 11:15 p.m., Monday, November 25,
four "intensely bright orange fireball lights" appeared over Alice
Springs, just north of the Queensland/South Australia border.
The UFOs flew off to the west. An on-duty police officer was a
witness and submitted a report to the IPP.
(Many thanks to Ross Dowe of Australia's National UFO Hotline for these reports.)
Mary Helen Corrado has uncovered new information in last week's sighting of a stationary UFO near Camarillo, California.
According to Ms. Corrado, "As of December 13, there have been no more sightings" in the area. However, she added, "There was another close-range sighting of an orange, globe- like object that a number of people saw in the hills near" Camarillo. Motorists "actually pulled over to the side of the road" to observe the object.
The UFO was first seen on Thursday, November 28, and reappeared at the same location for six straight days. Ms. Corrado saw the object on December 2 and 3 and shot the UFO on videotape. A video lab in southern California has confirmed that the object on tape is indeed a solid object.
Ms. Corrado is now checking with the Ventura County Sheriff's Department to see if anyone reported the UFO. Her investigation continues. (Email Interview)
On Tuesday evening, December 10, Jason M. set out in a small boat on Amakusa Bay, west of Japan's Kyushu Island. As he reached a point six miles (8 kilometers) from the shore of Nagasaki prefecture, he began trolling for fish. All at once, the boat's engine sputtered out.
Jason was mystified. "I knew I still had gas, so I was quite surprised. All the lights on my boat had gone out, so I grabbed my emergency flashlight and went to check the connections on my battery. As I was hunched over, wrestling with the engine cover, I was suddenly awash in a dim yet eerie greenish light. I looked up and was gripped with terror. Hovering above my boat were three opposing circles of light."
As soon as Jason stood up, the three UFOs "shot off over the horizon at an unimaginable speed. Immediately thereafter my boat lights came back on." (Unsolicited Email)
Claims that an anomalous object is accompanying the Comet Hale-Bopp on its tour of the solar system continue to stir controversy.
On Sunday, December 8, Linda Moulton Howe appeared on the Art Bell Show and played two audio tapes from female scientists who questioned the "companion's" existence.
One tape had comments from Dr. Martha Hanner, a comet specialist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, whose field is infrared astronomy. Dr. Hanner reportedly said an object as large as the "companion" should certainly have been visible to infrared telescopes. But it has not. "Something that huge should certainly be shining bright in the infrared range."
The second tape by Dr. Karen Melch of the University of Hawaii's Institute of Astronomy in Honolulu told how Hale-Bopp has been observed steadily since November 11 on the institute's large telescope array, with its charge-coupled device (CCD) 8-K camera. Their picture of the sky is 16 times larger than a conventional CCD-mounted telescope, with a field of view resolution of 33 percent of one degree.
"There's clearly nothing in there but the stars and the comet," Dr. Melch reportedly said, adding that a UFO the size reported by astronomer Chuck Shramek of Houston, Texas would use up 6 arc-seconds of sky or 30 pixels in the CCD-telescope view. "You can't have something that large close to Hale-Bopp without it affecting the orbit, and the orbit has not been affected."
Yet Dr. Lee Shargell, a former employee of NASA and an
associate of Dr. Richard Boylan, reportedly confirmed that he
had detected radio signals coming from the "companion." The
signals were in the K-A and K-U high megahertz band. He
predicted that, when Hale-Bopp comes close to Earth in the
spring, the signals might affect radio and TV transmissions.
(Editor's Comment: Here's a science project for our readers. Those of you who have PrimeStar or USBS receivers might want to aim your backyard dishes at Hale-Bopp some clear night in March 1997. If you pick up an alien sitcom, be sure to videotape it.)
FUN UFO SITES
Dr. Dale Sumbereru is another UFO buff running a good site for news. You'll find his page at this URL... http://www.tutorialsonline.com/alien-invasion.html
Eric Salley has more pictures of the Comet Hale-Bopp. Contact him at firstname.lastname@example.org And be sure to ask for chartx.jpg (012)
UFO Magazine now has their own Website. Check them out at http://www.ufomag.co.uk
Don't forget our parent site, UFOINFO. There's plenty of good archive material there. You can reach it at this URL http://ufoinfo.com/index.html
And for back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, we're at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/index.shtml
See you next week! Merry Christmas from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."