May 11th, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Monday night, April 5, 1997, a large UFO bearing five lights was seen near the cities of Austin and Dallas in Texas.
According to Peter B. Davenport, director of the National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, his group received three calls from Texas that evening, reporting the overflights.
The first call came from a man in Round Rock, Texas (population 11,812), located 40 miles (64 kilometers) north of Austin, the state capital. The eyewitness came out of his house at 8:45 p.m. on April 5 and saw "a very peculiar cluster of lights directly overhead."
"The lights were of varying size...and oriented in a straight line from the caller's vantage point," the center reported. "It appeared to be at least five lights, perhaps more, and the two lights on the 'nose' and the 'tail' of the cluster were very bright, and the three lights between the two were smaller..." The witness had the UFO in view for about 10 seconds, and reported that the object passed "directly overhead, heading in a northwesterly direction."
The next call came from Flower Mound, a suburb of Dallas. "Two young women were out walking, deeply engrossed in conversation, when the attention of one of the two was drawn to a strange cluster of lights overhead" at 8:50 p.m.
"They reported seeing a very large cluster of five to seven individual lights overhead," the center reported. "Arranged in a slightly curving line like a gigantic pencil, tipped up at an angle." The women said the size of the cluster was "huge" and "it moved across the sky at a steady precision. Suddenly, the lights got very much brighter, then dimmed, and they then simply disappered from view...They were walking, they believe, due north, and the object was directly ahead of them while they were watching it for one to two minutes."
The third call came from a man in Lancaster (population 14,807), another suburb of Dallas. "He reported that he was standing outside, when his attention was drawn to eight lights in the sky, which were oriented in an almost straight line. He said it appeared to be the shape 'of a big wing' and the formation he estimated to be 'huge.' He said he thought the formation (was) as long as 'ten airplanes lined up (nose to tail), bigger than two football fields,' i.e. 600 feet (220 meters). (Many thanks to Peter B. Davenport and the National UFO Reporting Center for posting these reports at their Website.)
The city of Corona, California (population 37,791), located 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of Los Angeles, had a very strange week.
The flap began April 26 when several people, including two policemen, reported seeing "a fireball in the sky." Riverside County police helicopters searched the suburbs for the supposed "burning plane," but nothing was found. (See the local paper, the Daily Bulletin for April 27, 1997, page 1)
On Tuesday, April 29, Oliver Dale, a Corona resident, was driving on Highway 91, north of Sixth Street, when he "saw two helicopters flying along the freeway. No markings were seen. There is no armed forces base that I know of in the area. And those birds made about four passes back and forth in a two-hour time period." (Email Interview)
On Thursday night, May 1, 1997, at 11:15 p.m., Charles Ostend said he "saw something in the sky over Riverside County, in the city of Corona. It was a bright white light, which appeared over my car and shot across the sky to a point about two miles away, in the span of two to three seconds!"
"I've seen many meteors, and they are reddish," Charles added, "and it was too low and horizontal in its flight, anyway. As big as it was, if it had been a meteor, it would have hit." (Email Interview)
A Riverside woman also reported seeing the same object. "On May 1, I saw a bright, white craft shoot across the sky, from a point two miles above my car to a point about two miles away. The craft, or whatever it was, then vanished completely...It has been suggested to me that I saw a meteor or a chunk of satellite entering the atmosphere, but what I saw was too big and too low. There was also no reddish glow to indicate something burning in re-entry. This seemed to have a very craft-like form of movement."
On Sunday, May 4, 1997, at about 10:15 p.m., William and Pamela Hamilton went out in the backyard of their home in Paradise Valley, Arizona, a suburb northeast of Phoenix, to watch the Eta-Aquarid meteor shower. Bill Hamilton is the director of Arizona's chapter of Skywatch International.
"At 10:30 I had my chair turned to the northwest to look for meteors," Bill reported, "when I spotted something eerie at about 75 degrees elevation, 270 degrees azimuth west of Mars; a row of six softly- glowing objects traveling at about jet speed on a vector from south to north, without sound."
"This row of lights was about three times the length of an airliner at intermediate altitudes (5,000 to 10,000 feet) (1,515 to 3,030 meters--J.T.) traveling silently without strobes or running lights," he added, "That makes the two about 350 to 400 feet (100 to 125 meters) in length. This row pivoted like a compass needle and proceeded on a northwest trajectory before leaving our sight. The duration of the sighting was about three to seven seconds. Pamela saw the same sight as I pointed and yelled. The skies are still active over Arizona!" (Many thanks to Bill Hamilton for this news story.)
On Monday, May 5, 1997, at 8:30 p.m., Scott Finley, 40, and two neighbors were standing outside a home in North Las Vegas, Nevada (population 42,739) when they saw "a bright green light dropping from the sky."
"I had just walked up and was listening to their conversation," Finley told the Las Vegas Review- Journal. "A few of us were looking out across the street, and we saw it. It came in at about a 60- degree angle. It was moving, but it was big. It had to be big because it looked like it was beyond Sunrise Mountain."
From the group's vantage point on Monte Alban Drive, near Lone Mountain Road and Camino Al Norte, the UFO looked "about the size of a basketball above the two-story house across the street," Finley told the Review-Journal. "The ball appeared to a split-second and then dropped out of sight."
"I'm not saying I saw a flying saucer or that I saw a UFO," Finley said, "But I saw something just big and green."
According to the Review-Journal story, "The North Las Vegas Police Department had no reports of a green ball. Nellis Air Force Base officials could not be reached for comment." (See the Las Vegas Review-Journal for May 7, 1997, "Green Light in Sky Mystifies Residents." Many thanks for Glenn Campbell and the Groom Lake Desert Rat for posting this story.)
On Friday, May 2, 1997, at 11:30 p.m., Albert Grosseliers was walking his dog along the river Clain in the city of Poitiers, Vienne department, in west central France when he sighted a UFO.
"I saw an aerial engine that looked like a rectangular block," Albert reported. "It flew very slowly and in a rectilinear trajectory. In only one minute, it covered the expanse of the sky. My surprise was total. I saw blinking white lights on the OVNI (French acronym for UFO). Several seconds later, a small red ball appeared very close to the object."
The UFO "flew very low, near the roofs of the houses," he added. (Merci a Thierry Garnier pour cette historie.)
Since April 2, Canada's Pacific Coast province of British Columbia has been visited repeatedly by UFOs, with most of the sightings in the notorious "Surrey Corridor."
On April 2, 1997, at 9 p.m., Mr. V. of Surrey, B.C. "saw three bright lights move away from the left side of the moon" and fly southward. He called his wife's attention to the display. Together they watched as "the lights were in a triangular formation and moved together" until the UFOs passed behind a building to the south.
On April 4, 1997, at 8:55 p.m., a man riding the Georgia Strait ferry from Horseshoe Bay, B.C. to Nanaimo on Vancouver Island went topside to see the Hale-Bopp comet. While at the railing, he saw a meteor fall in the west. Then, "he saw passing overhead from behind him a bright object with a short bright tail. The object was moving from east to west on a path slightly south" of the ferry. He had the UFO in view for "approximately five seconds. The object seemed to be surrounded by a fuzzy halo. Object and halo were white in color." The UFO passed directly over the observer's head, flying west toward Vancouver Island.
On April 6, 1997, at 10:15 p.m., a woman living in Port Coquitlam, B.C. (population 23,926) "looked out her window and saw a bright blue flash. She then observed a bright pulsating blue, red and white. Looking at it with binoculars, she saw a disc with red, blue and white lights. The object tilted up, revealing a white light on its bottom, then went straight up out of sight.)
On the same night, April 6, at 10:15 p.m., a man in Richmond, B.C. (population 80,034) was looking to the southwest, over the Georgia Strait, when he "saw a very bright light, 'twice as bright as any other star,' pulsating with red, blue and white lights."
The following night, April 7, 1997, at 10:15 p.m., a young man in New Westminster, B.C. (population 38,393) out looking for Hale-Bopp "noticed an even brighter object in the southern sky...After about 30 seconds, it started to change color from blue to red to white, then all three colors together. It repeated the exact (same) sequence twice, then the object slipped 20 degrees to the left. At its new location, it again repeated the color change sequence before zipping straight up."
On April 15, 1997, at 1 p.m., a man in Burnaby, B.C. (population 131,595) spotted "a small bright red object in the sky over Burnaby Lake." At first he thought it was a "balloon," but then it began moving against a stiff wind. After a short while, "it came to a halt, wobbled about for a few moments, and slowly climbed vertically into the sky, finally disappearing into a low cloud base."
On April 18, 1997, the scene of UFO action shifted back to Surrey, B.C. That evening, Ted K., his wife, and two friends "observed in the southern sky a very bright orange light, described as smaller than a dime at arm's length, moving slowly north. The object then stopped, and a very slight up-and-down, and side- to-side motion was observed. While looking at the orange UFO, suddenly a very bright white light shot straight out of the bottom at 'incredible speed,' and then made an abrupt change of direction to the right."
The quartet watched the display from the area of 96th Avenue and 128th Street in Surrey and were looking towards Newton at the time.
On April 21, 1997, at 10 p.m., a man standing on his balcony near 96th Avenue and King George Highway in Surrey "looked up to see an orange sphere in the eastern sky. The object was 1/4 inch in diameter at arm's length, estimated to be 3,000 feet away and 500 feet above ground. It continued in an easterly direction, stopped, then dropped down before stopping again. It then curved in an arc, rising to about 700 feet before 'winking out.' " He told UFO*BC that the UFO "was like nothing we had ever seen before."
Ten minutes later, at 10:10 p.m. on April 21, in a suburban neighborhood of Surrey, a young father "came out of the baby's room and happened to look out the front window. He saw a triangular object with a round white light on each corner and a rectangular white light in the center. The object seemed close and moved past the window quite quickly." The witness put his ear to the door but heard no sound. Since he was the only adult in the house, and the baby was sleeping, he did not venture outside. (Sensible fellow--J.T.)
(Many thanks to Bill, Dave, Graham, Garvis, Tracy and Steve of UFO*BC for these news stories.)
On Saturday, May 10, 1997, at 12:02 p.m., lunchtime strollers in downtown Helsinki, the capital of Finland, were startled by the sight of a black helicopter flying at rooftop level on an unknown mission.
According to eyewitness Carl Johannsen, "The black helicopter flew straight over my house, heading north-northwest. It was a kind of bulky, military transport model, not high above the treetops."
Finnish armed forces use the Russian MIL Mi-8T helicopter, while the Helsinki metropolitan police use Hughes 500C and D model choppers. The unknown helicopter did not resemble either model. (Many thanks to Carl Johannsen for posting this story in Usenet.)
On Friday, May 9, 1997, at 12:08 a.m., a strange explosion rattled homes near Main Street and Debolt Street in Newtown, Ohio (population 1,817). The town is located 11 miles east of Cincinnati.
Radio station WLW 700 AM aired the report on its 2 a.m. broadcast. First to investigate the case was Charles Stuart of Tri-States Advocates for Scientific Knowledge (T.A.S.K.)
According to T.A.S.K., Sgt. Foster at the Hamilton County Police and Fire Dispatch Center said, "This was no bomb, it was something big. It was no random fireworks. It sounded like a propane bomb."
T.A.S.K. spokesman Kenneth Young said the sergeant described the blast "as a 'deep explosion' which lasted nearly four or five seconds."
A clerk at the United Dairy Farmer convenience store at the corner of Route 32 and Church Road in Newtown told T.A.S.K. that "I thought a truck had hit the back of the store. The first thing I did was look outside, and there was a patrol cruiser that just happened to be stopped at the traffic light out front. It looked like the officer was hunkered down in his seat, crouched under the steering wheel. He sat there a few minutes, and then after awhile his siren started flashing, and within three minutes, there were cops everywhere, and the sirens on top of the volunteer fire department started going off."
At 8:20 a.m. Friday morning, T.A.S.K. phoned Dennis Klepper at the Cincinnati Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) office. According to Kenneth Young, Mr. Klepper reportedly said, "I heard the news report on the radio this morning, and I can't put my finger on any airplane coming out of this airport which could cause such a racket. A sonic boom would have to be a military aircraft. But if it was a sonic boom, it would have been heard beyond Newtown."
On April 17, a similar "mystery boom" was heard about seven miles (10 kilometers) north of Newtown at Thielmans Mobile Home Park on Ohio Route 28 near the Interstate Highway 275 exit. A "flash of light" was also seen at the time of the "explosion."
Investigations by T.A.S.K. are continuing.
(Many thanks to Kenneth Young of T.A.S.K. for these news stories.)
On May 5, 1958, Carlos Alejo Rodriguez was flying his Piper Cub over Capitan Curbelo Naval Air Base in Uruguay. The base is located outside Pan de Azucar, a town 96 kilometers (60 miles) east of the capital city of Montevideo.
As Rodriguez banked southward, heading out over the Atlantic Ocean, he noticed "a brilliant top-like (symmetrical above and below) object" at exactly 3:40 p.m. The OVNI (Spanish acronym for UFO) "suddenly approached his plane head-on." The OVNI "about 15 to 20 meters (50 to 66 feet) in diameter, stopped about 2,000 meters (2,200 yards) away and...'rocked twice in a balancing motion.'"
"Rodriguez felt strong heat, so he removed his jacket and opened the aircraft windows. The UFO took off abruptly (south) toward the sea '...at a fantastic speed,' leaving a thin vapor trail."
(See the book UNINVITED GUESTS by Richard Hall Aurora Press, Santa Fe, N.M. 1988, page 246; also THE UFO EVIDENCE (NICAP, 1964) page 120)
FUN UFO WEBSITES
Ufologist Dave Norris is busy these days covering sightings in Gaston and Lincoln counties in North Carolina. For an update on his findings, check out his Website at http://www.concordnc.com/dnorris/
For an in-depth look at British Columbia's UFO scene, try Bill Oliver's UFO*BC Website. They're at http://www.ufobc.org
Chryse has a site devoted to a UFO photographed over Arganil, Portugal in July 1995. Is it a genuine saucer or a flaw in the film? You be the judge. You'll find the photo at http://www.terravista.pt/guincho/1139/ovni.html
Normally I'd list the URLs for UFOINFO and UFO ROUNDUP at this point. But John Hayes tells me we're about to become Gypsies. More on that next issue. Right now I have to put on my headband and start practicing the violin. (Or maybe I'll just stick with the tambourine instead--it's easier, and your editor is really tone deaf.)
"Bienvenidos, amigos!" to our new readers from Uruguay. That's all for this week. Join us next Sunday for more saucer news from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post any news item from UFO ROUNDUP on their Websites or in newsgroups so long as they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of the newsletter in which the item appeared.