February 16, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
The states of Oregon and Washington were hit by a major UFO flap last weekend.
In Inglewood, Washington (population 4,000), a suburb of Seattle, Jim Waylons was returning to his apartment house around 10:30 p.m. when he spotted "a bright yellow light" hovering over the neighborhood. The unknown object reportedly "hovered over the town for at least 45 minutes," and its presence set off "alarms and security lights" in the building. "They apparently had trouble turning them off until the light in the sky had left." The incident took place on Friday, February 7, 1997.
Also on February 7, two Wallowa County Sheriff's Department deputies encountered a UFO while on patrol in Joseph, Oregon (population 1,000). The deputies saw "a perfectly round blue 'fireball' descend vertically in the southern sky right in front" of their cruiser. They "watched the object for two or three seconds, during which it traversed 20 to 40 degrees of arc viewed from the ground." They estimated the UFO to be "1/4 to 1/2 the diameter of the full moon." The object disappeared behind the Wallowa Mountains south of Joseph.
The same evening, several persons in Richland, Oregon, 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of Joseph, reported a similar "fireball" low on the horizon. Both towns are in the northeast corner of Oregon, near the Snake River and the Idaho state line.
On Saturday, February 8, 1997, at 8 p.m., Shirley Jenkins, who lives at Beacon Hill just north of the twin cities of Kelso (population 11,200) and Longview (population 32,000), Washington, spotted a UFO while heading south on the West Side Highway, along the Cowlitz River. "I watched an unknown light suddenly come into view above downtown Kelso and within seconds dropped to the southwest. It was greenish in color, not round but sort of oval in appearance. The whole experience may have lasted 7 to 10 seconds."
Shirley and her passenger "were both in awe and trying to explain what it could've been, and both decided it was not an airplane or anything neither of us had seen before. It was stationary when it first showed up and then shot to the southwest and disappeared." Shirley said she grew up in Kansas and "knows what shooting stars and satellites look like."
Meanwhile, 40 miles (64 kilometers) to the south, in the night sky over Salem, Oregon, a private pilot from Bend, Oregon was flying a heading of 108 degrees (magnetic) at an altitude of 7,000 feet. At just about 8 p.m., he "saw a 'green fireball' go streaking from left to right in front of my aircraft at a very high velocity." The pilot radioed Seattle Center, and they responded that they had nothing on radar except a United Airlines jetliner at 10,000 feet. Looking out the window, the pilot saw the jetliner overhead. He added that the fireball "simply disappeared in the blink of an eye. It just seemed suddenly to wink out."
The incident was reported Sunday, February 9, in broadcasts on KGW-TV Channel 8 in Portland and on KING-TV Channel 5 in Seattle.
On Saturday, February 8, at 11:58 p.m., two men in Oroville, California (population 8,700) saw a ring of "seven to ten very dim reddish points of light, perhaps discoid in shape, streaking in the western sky from north to south."
On Tuesday, February 4, 1997, at 6:15 p.m., a private pilot flying south of Diamond Lake Junction, Oregon (population 150), east of Crater Lake National Park, saw "three discs" speeding across the dark sky, pursued by "several jet interceptors."
A witness in Medford, Oregon reported that he felt the "mystery boom" of February 4. "It was like nothing that recalled a typical sonic boom. It was more like a shock wave."
(Many thanks to Peter B. Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center and to Shirley Jenkins and Rick Coimbra for providing the information for this story.)
Tuesday evening, February 4, 1997, what was described by Agence France-Presse as a "luminous phenomenon" was seen by dozens of people on the south side of Toulouse, a city in the Haute-Garonne region of southern France. The luminous object appeared at dusk over the Pyrennees-Atlantique region and headed northwest into the Haute-Garonne. According to Agence France-Presse, "The color went from brilliant white to red in passing and ended by turning green."
Jean-Jacques Velasco of SEPRA, a unit of France's CNES space agency, said, "Orientation of the phenomenon, its duration and the rate of disintegration present have focused the investigation on it being a satellite."
Three hours later, at 9 p.m., a similar "phenomenon of green light" flashed through the skies of Montauban, 40 kilometers (24 miles) north of Toulouse. This time the orb spit out fiery sparks "like a disintegrating meteor" and was in view for ten seconds.
At 6:30 p.m., a "large green sphere" was seen by a bus driver on L'autoroute (Highway) Perpignan-Nimes while passing through the city of Narbonne, located on the shores of the Mediterranean Sea.
At 8:50 p.m., three UFOs were sighted over Belleville-sur-Saone, 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of Lyon. All three were spherical, two were green, and the final one in the procession was red. Witnesses watched them for five minutes.
France's UFO flap continued the following night, Wednesday, February 5, 1997, with another UFO, described as "a ball of green fire disintegrating" over Valence d'Agen, near Lyon.
A green fireball was seen in D'Auvillar, at the border of the Lot-et-Garonne region. Gendarmes searched the area but found no trace of a meteor.
On Thursday night, February 6, 1997, at 7:45 p.m., the squadron of three UFOs--two green, one red--appeared again, this time in Plasnes. The luminous objects appeared in the west and flew toward the east at a high rate of speed.
(Merci beaucoup au Thierry Garnier et Franck Marie de Banque OVNI pour les particuliers)
On Sunday, February 9, 1997, at 10:30 p.m., a glowing UFO appeared over the Lo Cana section of Santiago de Chile. The object hovered for several minutes over the dry hills of the Cordillera de los Andes, east of the capital.
According to eyewitnesses, "The UFO descended slowly and then split into two objects. One of the UFOs left, heading south (towards San Bernardo), and the other remained there. The second UFO started to descend, and then eight balls of light came out of it. They were moving slowly, up, down and sideways."
The objects were reportedly tracked on radar by the Grupo de Comunicaciones Electronicas 32 (GCE-32) of the Fuerzas Aereas de Chile (Chilean Air Force) at Tobalba airport near Santiago. Second Air Brigade of the FACh is responsible for defense of the national capital. FACh tracked the UFOs until 1:30 a.m.
The sighting was the latest in a series of UFO incidents in this South American country.
Two days earlier, on Friday, February 7, an electrical engineer driving to his home in the Penalolen section of Santiago after nightfall "saw this small ball of orange light over a radio tower flying in circles. Suddenly, the ball descended to ground level and headed towards his car." The engineer instantly stepped down hard on the brakes, but "the ball of light" kept on coming "in a spinning motion." The small orange UFO "passed through the windshield and landed in the back seat." After a few minutes, the ball "turned into a jelly and then into a hard round ball, like an eggshell."
Puzzled, the engineer drove home and turned the strange object over to the Agrupacion de Investigaciones Ovniologicas (AION), a Chilean UFO study group headed by Rodrigo Fuenzalida. AION is currently having the material analyzed at a lab in Santiago de Chile.
(Editor's Note: Senor Fuenzalida can be reached at this Phone number (56 2) 555-4011.)
A "metallic sphere" was seen recently hovering over the town of Pedehue, where NASA has a satellite tracking facility.
In December 1996, people in Puerto Williams, a seaport town on Isla Navarino, an island just south of Tierra del Fuego, at the southernmost tip of South America, saw a fleet of metallic saucers passing to the north. One observer counted 200 objects.
Two months earlier, in October 1996, two daylight discs were seen by several people living in Portenir, a city on the Strait of Magellan, 240 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Puerto Williams.
(Muchas gracias a Luis Sanchez Perry para las noticias de Chile.)
On Friday, February 7, 1997, at 8 p.m., a man in South Lyon, Michigan, 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of downtown Detroit spotted a UFO passing overhead.
On January 21, 1997, a young man living in Grosse Pointe, Michigan, 12 miles (20 kilometers) north of Detroit, saw "a red light over Lake St. Clair." He said the UFO "came ashore at Grosse Pointe Woods (state park), moving across the sky at a moderate speed." The object landed behind a grove of evergreen trees, and he saw no more of it. (Email Interview)
A woman from Mahopac, New York reported a sighting there on Sunday, February 9, 1997, at 8 p.m. "My two children and I saw a strange light coming towards us, which turned into a flying vehicle of some kind. It passed over the tree nearest us." There was "no sign of turbulence as the object passed over. It vanished into the sky afterward. None of us were ever believers before. We weren't frightened, but now we're wondering what happened." (Email Interview)
On Wednesday, February 12, 1997, at 2:55 p.m., a man walking near the seashore in Mablethorpe, Lincolnshire, England saw something unusual. What he described as "a small triangular craft" was flying low over the North Sea, escorted by an RAF Tornado jet interceptor.
According to Timothy Matthews of the Lancashire UFO Society, the UFO "had no visible means of propulsion and was 'operating independently' of the Tornado.
At first LUFOS believed that the UFO had taken off from RAF Coningsby, but, Matthews added, "On reflection it is quite possible that the (mystery) aircraft flew from Warton across the country out to ACMI, the British Aerospace test site in the North Sea." (Many thanks to Tim Matthews for this news story.)
(Editor's Note: Mablethorpe is 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Skegness, the site of the big UFO flap of November 1996.)
Tanya Kimbrough, 30, of Dunnellon, Florida reports, "We have seen some very strange objects in the sky, some bright star-like objects that suddenly move from a stationary position and then land in the woods. We have seen objects that are orange and travelling at very great speed."
Dunnellon (population 1,490) is located on Florida Highway 41, about midway between the city of Ocala and the Gulf of Mexico. (Email Interview)
FUN UFO WEBSITES
Warning! One of the sites we mentioned last week no longer exists. It's http://www.schmitzware.com/iufog/iufog-healincs.shmtl. But there are plenty more for you to visit.
Such as Vickie's NESUFOIG page located at http://www.geocities.com/capecanaveral/8143/
Waldemar Urminsky has a great site over there in Bratislava, Slovakia, headquarters of the group Asociacia UFO Badatelov (UFOBADAT). If you can read Slovakian, drop in at this address-- http://zero.rainside.sk/~wuma/ufobadat.htm
Ronald Vanschoren has a great site with article on strange lunar phenomena and Roswell. The articles are in Dutch and you'll find them at http://www.tornado.be/~r.vanschoren
English-speaking readers, don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO, with its up-to-the-minute news and features. You'll find it at this address- http://ufoinfo.com/index.html
And, for back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, check out our site at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/index.shtml
Looks like we had a full plate this week. Happy reading from "the paper that covers the saucers-- UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post any stories from UFO ROUNDUP on their websites or in newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter and editor by name and list the date of the newsletter in which the item appeared.