December 29, 1996
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Saturday night, December 21, 1996, residents of Ahyud, a village just outside the city of Akko in northern Israel called the police to report "luminescent blue disks" flying over their farms.
At 11 p.m., Mrs. Zyona Damti, 34, looked out a window and saw "an alien" standing in front of her father-in-law's barn. She described the entity as 20 centimeters tall and "humanoid: head, trunk, two arms, small hands, two large black eyes. The color was greenish--the umbilicus was clearly visible." Mrs. Damti told her father-in-law what she had seen, but he replied that "it was nothing."
At 8 a.m. the following morning, December 22, Mrs. Damti went outside and found the entity lying on the ground in a large pool of "green liquid." She called the police. Responding to the call were Officer Asher Ben Ezra and his partner. Shortly after the officers confirmed the claim, over 50 Israeli journalists converged on the scene.
Barry Chamish, who covered the incident for Israel's Magazin 2000, interviewed Yisrael Damti, Zyona's husband, who said, "You'd better hurry. The body is disintegrating quickly. Most of the head has melted away."
The Damtis put the body in their freezer to halt decomposition. By that time, the remains had shrunk from 20 to 5 centimeters. At 2 p.m., the remains were taken to Technion University in Haifa.
Also on the scene was reknowned psychic Uri Geller, who reportedly suggested that the Damtis call in NASA. Despite many requests from the media, Yisrael Damti allegedly refused to permit the entity to be photographed before the autopsy began at the university.
Not everyone believes the remains to be those of an extraterrestrial. Dr. Fischman told Barry Chamish, "What you have here is a lizard which hatched too early. It is covered in a multi-layered gelatinous sac. When it shed the sac, it left amniotic fluid" all over the ground.
Doron Rotem, who investigated the case for the Israeli Association for UFO Studies, said he believed the remains to be the embryo of "a chameleon or a salamander."
The case received a big play in the Israeli media, with TV coverage on Channels 1 and 2 and hourly broadcasts on the Galey Zahal (Israeli Armed Forces Radio). As a result, more people came forward with UFO stories.
A farmer in Ahyud said aliens had stolen 18 of his sheep the night of December 21.
In the nearby Arab town of Tamra, an Arab shepherd
reported that his sheep had been stolen, too.
(See the following Israeli newspapers for December 24, 1996: Maariv, the Jerusalem Post and Yediot Achronoyt. Many thanks to Dr. Leon Liebrecht and Barry Chamish for this story.)
On Tuesday, December 24, 1994, a Lear jet operated by Aircraft Charter Group of Bridgeport, Connecticut contacted the local airport in Lebanon, New Hampshire and requested permission to land. Aboard the aircraft were two men, Johan Schwartz and Pat Hayes, both from Connecticut.
According to airport manager Timothy J. Edwards, the plan was on IFR (Instrument Flight Rules) due to the light rain and severe fog covering the upper Connecticut River valley. The twin-engined jet attempted to land at 9:45 a.m. but missed its approach and went around once more.
As the plane reached a point six miles northwest of the airport, approaching White River Junction, Vermont, the town across the river from Lebanon, it vanished from the radar screen.
"Jay Fitzgerald, a maintenance supervisor at the airport, said he became concerned after hearing 'non-standard tower communications.' 'The tower was talking to the aircraft and then he wasn't so (the controller) asked another aircraft to hail (the pilot), and that's non-standard,' Fitzgerald said."
"He said rescuers were focusing their search on Moose Mountain, a 2,341-foot mountain that towers over a surrounding 1,200-foot ridge not far from the tiny airport."
"Rebecca Morgan, an airport employee, said the jet's disappearance had everyone mystified."
"'There's been no sign of a crash,' Morgan said. 'We've gotten no calls from people about any loud noises or fires. At this point it's pretty much a mystery.'" (See the Boston, Mass. Herald for December 25, 1996)
A two-day search of the area between White River Junction, Norwich and West Hartford failed to find a single piece of wreckage.
On Thursday, December 26, a helicopter equipped with infrared heat-seeking equipment from the New York Air National Guard joined the search.
As of this moment, Sunday, December 29 at 10:30 a.m.,
both Schwartz and Hayes and their aircraft are still missing.
(Editor's Note: White River Junction is a notorious UFO hotspot, with sightings dating back to September 1908.)
On Thursday, December 19, 1996, a Boeing 757-200 operated by China's Southern Airlines took off from Beijing on a routine flight south to Wuhan, the capital of Hubei province. As the jetliner reached an altitude of 9,600 meters (31,500 feet), the copilot spotted a bright flash in the sky just ahead of them. A silver-gray metallic UFO struck the top of the 757's cockpit, cracking the outer windshield. The pilot immediately declared an in-flight emergency and radioed Beijing's Capital International Airport, requesting permission to land. The plane landed safely ten minutes later. The incident was briefly reported in the Yangcheng Evening News, picked up by Reuters and included in their report for December 26, 1996. (Thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp of UFO Updates for this story.)
On Saturday, December 21, 1996, at 10:30 p.m., a man and woman living near Bullard, Georgia (population 275) saw a UFO hovering near the southern perimeter of Robins Air Force Base.
"The sky was clear and visibility excellent," reported Brenda Hughes. "We went outside to take a look at the weather. I noticed Paul looking at something in the sky. He said, 'There is something up there, and it's not a plane.' He works at Robins AFB and knows every plane that flies. I joined him, and we watched it hover just south of the base. We watched it for almost three minutes. It would appear and then disappear. It had lights that went all around it. And a red light with the white lights. It was my husband's first sighting." (Email Interview)
On Sunday afternoon, December 15, 1996, at 2:29 p.m., UFO researcher Bill Hamilton was watching a Native American dance at the Indian Market at South Mountain Park in Phoenix, Arizona when he sighted a UFO.
"I gazed up at the crescent moon and saw a round, silvery object moving south at about 5 degrees below the moon. It made no sound and had no wings or appendages. Just below it, seemingly separated from the object, was a blinking green light (not like an aircraft light). It seemed to be signalling or just blinking. The object moved slowly to a dead stop and hovered. Then it just vanished from sight. Sighting time-- approximately 10 to 15 seconds." (Email Interview)
On Tuesday, December 24, 1996, the bright white UFO seen earlier this month returned to its haunts in Camarillo, California (population 37,732). The UFO appeared at 4:45 p.m.
On Wednesday, December 19, at 5:53 p.m., a similar object was sighted by a couple in the nearby city of Santa Barbara (population 74,542). According to an eyewitness, "My wife and I observed a very bright white light at about 60 degrees south. Through binoculars we could not make out a defined sharp edge--it looked fuzzy at the edges. The object was drifting slowly and linearly in an easterly direction. Height could have been anywhere from 30,000 to 60,000 feet (9,999 to 19,998 meters) but luminosity was very high. Conditions were clear and excellent visibility due to low humidity. About 10 or 15 minutes after sunset, the intensity instantaneously diminished to where it was barely visible as a dot in the clear but darkening sky."
In related news, MUFON investigator Mary Helen
Corrado's December 3rd videotape of the Camarillo UFO was
pronounced genuine by SVG Digital Systems, Inc. In their
December 21 letter, the firm stated, "Analysis of the above
video indicates object is of a solid nature. Its trajectory and
climb ascent indicate it is not a conventional aircraft...
Considering the frame movement (30 frames per second) its
speed is in the 4,000 to 6,000 mile-per-hour range."
(Many thanks for Mary Helen Corrado for this story.)
On Friday, December 20, 1996, a mutilated cow was found in an orange grove outside Angatuba, a rural town in Brazil's Sao Paulo state. The Policia Militar sealed off the roads. Less than 30 minutes later, people in the nearby city of Itapetininga (population 110,000) saw three black helicopters hovering over the city's Brazilian Navy base. A few minutes later, two gray helicopters lifted off from the base, and all five took off in the direction of Angatuba.
"In Itapetininga," our informant reported, "it is most unusual to see five helicopters in the air at the same time."
Itapetininga is 24 kilometers (15 miles) west of
Sorocaba, where a UFO was seen on October 5.
(Editor's Comment: Looks as if Delta Team is maintaining a long-term presence in Brazil.)
On Thursday, December 26, 1996, two police officers pursued a UFO in their cruiser near Britain's North Sea coast. Sgt. Steve King and PC Andy Collier of the Norfolk police were on routine patrol along the shore when they spotted "strange lights in the sky." The officers chased the object for ten miles until it "accelerated and flew away over the North Sea" at Holt, Norfolk.
The Norfolk police phoned the airport at Norwich and learned that "no flights were in the vicinity."
Police at Fakenham, Norfolk received 30 calls that night from people claiming to have seen the UFO.
Britain's Ministry of Defence (MoD) dismissed the officers' report, claiming that the UFO was merely "a combination of the 200-foot Boston Stump (cathedral) and an electrical storm." (See the Daily Mirror for December 26, 1996)
On Thursday, December 12, a man reported "bright orange lights" over Shaftsbury. The lights "grew in size" and then "disappeared suddenly as they dipped down towards the town."
On November 21, at 10 p.m., a motorist returning from Birmingham on Highway M54 "saw a bright green star descend vertically on the horizon in the direction of Shrewsbury." As he drove onto the A5, he encountered a roadblock and was diverted down A455 East. While on this road, he saw mysterious "extremely bright blue-white flashes" on the horizon at Shrewsbury.
On Saturday, December 7, at 7:15 p.m., Douglas Hawk left his home in Alamosa County, Colorado, just north of the New Mexico state line, and "observed a solid, unblinking orange light" traveling through the sky "from south to north." The unblinking light did not resemble the standard FAA warning lights on conventional aircraft.
On Wednesday, November 20, at 7:12 p.m., the central and southern San Luis Valley was rocked by a mysterious sky boom. The explosion was heard by Sherry Maxwell, Brendan O'Brien, Monti Collins and Isadora and Brisa Storey.
On Monday night, November 18, Amy Syke spotted "a triangle of white lights" flying over Saguache County, heading west. As they approached the mountain range, the "lights broke apart and descended diagonally toward the ground."
Four days earlier, on November 14, at 7:12 p.m., UFO
witness Pat Richmond spotted 12 white vans with bright
red lights parked in Alamosa, Colorado (population 6,830).
The vehicles "looked suspicious," Ms. Richmond said.
(Many thanks to Christopher O'Brien, author of THE MYSTERIOUS VALLEY, Bantam Books, 1996, for this news update.)
(Editor's Note: White vans belonging to NASA were seen in Republic, Washington on September 14, 1995 right after a flurry of UFO reports from the Tonasket area.)
ROUNDUP CORRIGENDA: In Issue #43, your editor mistakenly credited the wrong person with ownership of that excellent UFO Website at http:www.linex.com/ufo. Let's set the record straight right here. The Website is owned and operated by Steve Wingate, and the cited article is only one of many available at this site. Be sure to stop by and browse them all.
MORE UFO WEBSITES
For readers interested in the Comet Hale Bopp and its alleged companion object, which some wag dubbed "the Hale Mary," astronomer Chuck Shramek has photos and commentary available at his new Website. You'll find it at http://www.neosoft.com/~cshramek/
UFO sightings in New York's Hudson River valley hold top billing on Brian's Website. Check it out at this URL: http://members.aol.com/Brian3882.
British ufologist Ian Read has started a new newsgroup. For more info, check his site at http://people.netcom.co.uk/ i.read/
And don't miss UFO ONLINE by Italian ufologist Mauricio Verga. This newly upgraded site offers up-to-date information on Italian ufology and lets you look at documents and review case histories and much more. You'll find it at http://www.oasi.asti.it/homes/CISU/english/ufo1.htm
Well, this ends Volume 1 of UFO ROUNDUP. It's sometimes hard to believe how much the newsletter has grown since February. From its humble beginnings in the Sightings chat room, UFO ROUNDUP has blossomed and attracted readers from all over the world. Outside the USA, UFO ROUNDUP has subscribers in Britain, Canada, South Africa, Australia, New Zealand, Brazil, Israel, Italy, Malta, Argentina, Spain, Portugal, Netherlands, France, India and Malaysia.
I would like to thank all of you who made it possible. The "Majestic Ten" from the Sightings chat room, who first encouraged me to launch the newsletter. John A. Hayes, who so generously allowed the newsletter to maintain an archive at his Website, UFOINFO. The 29,118 visitors to the archive. And, of course, all of you readers who send on UFO stories and information. You're the people who have turned the Internet into a vital newsgathering tool. You've helped me cover the stories that Big Media refuses to touch, the continuing drama of the Unidentified Flying Object, which is often the story of ordinary people caught up in extraordinary events. Thank you all.
Join us next week as we open 1997 with more coverage of the UFO phenomenon. Here's wishing all of our readers a HAPPY NEW YEAR from "the paper that goes home...UFO ROUNDUP."