May 18th, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Stories of a strange Chupacabras-style creature that attacks sheep have created panic among "chacareiros" (ranchers) in Brazil's southern states of Sao Paulo and Parana.
Known as "O Bicho" (pronounced Beee-shoooo), meaning "The Beast," the creature has killed over 50 sheep since January 28, 1997. The attacks have been concentrated in rural districts surrounding the city of Campinas in Sao Paulo state and the small city of Campina Grande do Sul, 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Curitiba in Parana state.
A woman of rural Sao Paulo state, who saw Bicho two weeks ago, described the creature as "two meters tall (six feet, six inches), very thin, with small forearms and long claws, and of a dark gray color."
On May 11, 1997, the newspaper Folha de Londrina in Parana state published a long feature story on Bicho. According to journalist Paulo San Martin, "The first attacks occurred at the end of January. But no one called attention to them until a month later when the massacre occurred at the ranch of Samuel Ramos Lago" near Campina Grande do Sul.
On February 20, 1997, Ramos Lago and his wife, Rosimara, left their ranch on a business trip. Staying behind was housekeeper Jose Batista de Moraes.
Batista de Moraes told the newspaper that "at 2 a.m. (February 21) he "awoke apprehensively having heard loud noises coming from outside." Because it was drizzling, he put on a raincoat before going into the barnyard.
"When I approach the corral, I heard sheep bleating and a loud rumble, a type of growling that I'd never heard before," Batista de Moraes said. "I tried to enter through the gates, but they were tightly shut. By the time I got to the other gate, the strange animal had escaped."
Inside the corral, Batista de Moraes "switched on the lights and found a scene of massacre. Twelve sheep lay dead, and another 11 were very much chewed up. All of the sheep were mutilated with surgical precision. Some of the living sheep had suffered an excruciating blow, a violent break of the maxillary bone."
When the Ramos couple returned home, Samuel examined the dead sheep and "found claw scrapes and a curious cut on each sheep's ear. The cuts were perfect. They appeared to have been executed by a surgical instrument."
Local veterinarian Dr. Luiz Cintra was the first to investigate the scene. He took samples of a "mucus-like substance" found on the wool of the dead sheep.
Three days later, on February 24, the Policia Florestal and a team of veterinarians led by Dr. Ana Silvia Passarinho of Curitiba's municipal zoo examined the dead and wounded sheep.
"Other predators of the region were immediately dismissed," Folha de Londrina reported. "Jaguars don't attack sheep. Also, their teeth marks are too small to fit the incisors shown on the remains."
Dr. Passarinho said, "Cats do not attack their prey from behind. Nor do they go for the ears first, as this creature did." She added that the scale of butchery was out of character for felines, as well.
Tracks left by Bicho also seemed puzzling. Ramos Lago said that at times the creature appeared to stand and move on two legs, and at other times, it appeared to be moving on four legs. (See Folha de Londrina for May 11, 1997. Also, many thanks to Eduardo Castor Borgovni for the reports from Sao Paulo state.) (Editor's Comment: This seems to be the week for monster stories! Keep reading...)
TV viewers in South Africa were stunned Tuesday night, May 8, 1997 by a 15-minute news broadcast about a monster scare in the Eastern Cape region.
The broadcast showed an interview with a Xhosa tribal chief and one of his princesses near the town of Umzimkulu. The couple claimed that seven Xhosa people have disappeared during the last month, all victims of a creature they call Mamlambo.
The most recent alleged victim, a Xhosa man, washed ashore recently along the banks of the Umzimhlava River, about 176 kilometers (110 miles) southwest of Durban. The body was badly lacerated, and the victim's eyes had reportedly been gouged out.
Mamlambo, the royal couple claim, has a head like a horse, a long neck, and a body with scales like a fish. It is said to be a giant amphibian or a reptile that came out of the river.
However, the Umzimkulu police chief, also a Xhosa, laughed off the reports, said there were not six people missing, adding that the body found was that of "a drowning victim" who was "probably eaten by the crabs."
The controversy reached South Africa's Parliament when Ezra Sigwella, agriculture minister for the Eastern Cape, asked the members to deal with Mamlambo. (See Earthweek for May 9, 1997. Many thanks to Loren Coleman for posting the original item. And thanks to Roger Day and Leon Bouwer of South Africa for the additional information.)
(Editor's Comment: According to Star for May 27, 1997, Marla Maples is looking for movie work. I think she'd be perfect in Mamlambo, the Creature that Ate Johannesburg.)
On Sunday, May 4, 1997, MUFON investigator Andrew Casaveno and his girlfriend observed three UFOs flying over Nassau County, Long Island, New York. The UFOs "were moving southeast slowly at 30,000 to 35,000 feet (9,090 to 10,606 meters) and changing shape as observed through binoculars."
"The UFOs appeared to be metallic with an orange glow," Casaveno reported. He then saw "two F-16 fighters intercept from the southwest. The UFOs disappeared when the F-16s got near."
"Fifteen minutes later," he added, "two black helicopters flew into the same general area and released a large quantity of balloons. This operation appeared very unusual and could cause a flight hazard to aircraft operation. Has anyone heard of a similar balloon release?"
(Many thanks to George A. Filer, MUFON Eastern Director for this news story.)
On April 26, 1997, Alex Cavallari, New York state director of Skywatch International and two friends were out in the backyard of Alex's home in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, New York, not far from Neptune Avenue. The trio was having a barbecure and "doing some low-level UFO/paranormal hunting at this location."
"On this day there were three high-altitude lightship type UFOs spotted," Cavallari reported. "The lightships were seen with the naked eye and were also observed through 6-by-30 and 8-by-50 power binoculars. There were 35mm film pictures and video tape recording equipment in use at the time. The videorecorder was set and filmed at a 12X lens zoon setting on manual."
Cavallari estimated that the "lightships" were two to five miles (3 to 8 kilometers) away from commercial air traffic flying in and out of Kennedy International Airport in Queens, New York.
"The lightships were hovering and doing low/high speed sharp 90-degree angle turns," he reported. "They would stop dead and then just reverse direction, all in an instant. Some even did loop-de-loops with abrupt stops and starts. At one point, they even just vanished and reappeared in a different area of the sky...They were seen in the southeastern skies. The weather that day was excellent--it was very clear with a few clouds in the sky. The temperature was about 70 to 75 degrees Fahrenheit. The time was between 4:30 and 5:30 p.m."
The group viewed the UFOs "for about fifteen minutes... Alex thinks they were at 60,000 feet (18,182 meters) or so. They appeared to be disc to oval in shape...but they appeared to shimmer and glow whitish in color and this made it very difficult to determine exactly what shape they were." (Copyright 1997 by Alex Cavallri. Thank you, Alex, for allowing UFO ROUNDUP to quote from your report.)
On Friday, May 9, 1997, at 9:50 p.m., Norm Miller and his family spotted "six to eight round lights in the southern skies of Phoenix."
"The lights stayed in one area of the sky," Miller told Skywatch International, "moving from a small cluster, into a V formation to a straight line, inverted V and back to a small cluster. This went on for approximately one minute after which they went west at a very high rate of speed at approx. 10,000 feet (3,030 meters)."
"They continued the various formations until they were out of sight," Miller added, "The night was clear, approx. 85 degrees (Fahrenheit), no weather balloons, no swamp gas, and maneuvering the way they did, no planes. Anyone else see this?"
On Wednesday night, May 14, 1997, at 9:30 p.m. several residents of Phoenix, living near Sunnyslope and Squaw Peak, reported seeing "a large boomerang object" with five or six white lights.
(Many thanks to Skywatch International.)
On Friday, May 9, 1997, the TV news program MegaNoticias on Channel 9 in Santiago de Chile stated that a massive blackout eight days earlier had been caused by a UFO.
On the night of Thursday, May 1, 1997, residents of Jahuel, a town in the Andes of central Chile, told MegaNoticias that "a big glowing disc rammed one of the high-voltage (electrical transmission) towers, and all the lights went out. Then it flew straight up into the sky until it disappeared."
The May 1 outage killed all electrical power in the metropolitan Santiago area all the way north to Arica, leaving 60 percent of the country in darkness. The blackout lasted for about one hour.
The Fuerzas Aereas de Chile (FACh), the Chilean Air Force, denied the Channel 9 story and refused to comment on the May 1 blackout. (Muchas gracias a Luis Sanchez Perry para esas noticias.)
On April 5, 1997, a group of university students were hiking in the farm country east of Cerro de las Animas. The region is just north of Maldonado, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Uruguay's capital city of Montevideo.
As they walked along some railroad tracks, the students saw a gleaming white UFO hovering in the northern sky about 1 kilometer (0.6 miles) away. The UFO was about 30 degrees above the horizon in a blue sky marked by scattered clouds. The UFO's shape was discoidal or oval.
Grabbing a videocamera, one of the students obtained a couple of minutes of coverage. The UFO then flew away at incredible speed.
(Muchas gracias a Ricardo Darca para ese. To obtain a photo, email Ricardo at this address-- email@example.com)
Between Saturday, May 10, and Tuesday, May 13, 1997, multicolored UFOs were seen again and again over Vila Cortes, a barrio in the town of Santo Antonio de Descoberto. The town is in Brazil's Goias state, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) from Plano Piloto.
On May 10, Sra. Maria de Fatima da Silva was washing clothes when she saw the first of the "bolinhas" or OVNIs (Portuguese acronym for UFO), which she described as "rotating and brilliant, of the colors blue, yellow, red and green" and flying "in groups of three. They were moving very rapidly and appeared to be communicating with each other."
On May 11, Ilza Araujo, a local teacher acquainted with the family, went to Vila Cortes to observe the phenomenon. "The objects were brilliant," Srta. Araujo told the newspaper Corrieo Braziliense. She watched the OVNIs with her Pentax binoculars. "One flew very low--it looked like a 500-liter jar of water. I wish they would come down and converse with me."
Claudiane Veras, age 8, saw a UFO on May 13 and said, "It was a brilliant ball, but seemed more like an oval."
Not everyone in Santo Antonio de Descoberto believes the objects are UFOs. Raimundo Nonato Fontenelle said, "For myself, I believe these objects are plastic bags flying in the wind." (See the newspapers O Imparcial of Plano Piloto and Correio Braziliense of Brasilia, D.F. for May 13, 1997. Muito obrigado a Pedro Cunha para esas historias)
(Editor's Note: Santo Antonio de Descoberto was the site of many UFO sightings during Brazil's big flap back in 1986.)
On Thursday, May 15, 1997, at 1:15 p.m., an explosive sound rolled across a wide area of southern Ohio into northern Kentucky, mystifying thousands of residents.
Reports flooded in from a 104-mile area ranging from Aurora, Indiana (population 3,816) to West Union, Ohio (population 1,639).
Charles Stuart, an investigator for Tri-States Advocates for Scientific Knowledge (T.A.S.K.), heard the explosion while in West Chester, Ohio and he "described the blasts as six separate jolts happening over a 10-minute duration."
A woman in Adams County contacted T.A.S.K. to report "a sonic boom heard around 2:00 p.m. The boom greatly startled her, she said, and shook her teeth."
Kenneth Young, T.A.S.K. public relations director, said the Clermont County Sheriff's Department received "calls originated at 3:45 p.m. from Tate township, 3:52 p.m. from Monroe township, 3:55 p.m. from Washington township, 4 p.m. from Miami township police departments."
Young reported that Terry Donald of the WKRC-TV Channel 12 news department "received calls from Aurora, Indiana, Delhi (Ohio)...and Boone County, Kentucky. WKRC Ch. 12 also confirmed that multiple booms were reported, and added that a Delhi resident called the news station to complain that 'her little glass knick-knacks shattered,' and also received a call from Butler, Kentucky (population 663), whose front door had exploded from the blast."
This is the third explosive event in the Cincinnati region since April 19. The T.A.S.K. investigation is continuing. (Many thanks to Kenneth Young of T.A.S.K. for this news story.)
Forty-five years ago, on May 15, 1952, U.S. Air Force planes chased UFOs over North Korea. The incidents appear to have taken place in the lakes district south of Changsong-ni and north of the Nangnim Mountains. Here are the actual combat reports for both UFO encounters.
"Air Intelligence Information Report 52-79 dated 28 May 1952 describes a brief but interesting encounter with a UFO by two 'very reliable' pilots of the 51st Fighter-Interceptor Wing, 25th Fighter-Interceptor Squadron. The two planes were on Mission C/51-02 flying wing positions in Maple flight. Lt. McCarthy was the first pilot to see the strange object. He had completed 27 combat missions. The other unnamed pilot was the Interceptor Group Operations Officer with 56 combat missions completed. Following is a summary of key events:"
"A silvery oval-shaped object larger than a MiG jet airplane was seen at the nine o'clock position below the two F-86E (Sabre) jet airplanes at an estimated altitude of from 8,000 to 10,000 feet and about twenty miles (32 kilometers) away. The single-seat airplanes were on a heading of 280 degrees; the object continued on in a straight flight path and disappeared at about the three o'clock position. While flying at an altitude of 30,000 feet and an airspeed of 500 knots, both eye- witnesses saw the object for only 3 to 5 seconds and noted that the object travelled at an estimated 1,200 to 1,500 mph in a 'rolling maneuver.' (A barrel roll--J.T.) The reported weather (at 8 p.m. on May 15, 1952) was a medium haze with visibility of 10 to 12 miles."
The second report was at 6:35 p.m. on May 15, 1952. "Air Intelligence Information Report No. 52-81 describes an encounter between the pilot of an F-51 (Mustang--same model as Tommy Mantell's) propellor- driven fighter bomber and a silver object estimated to be about 50 feet in diameter. The aircraft was assigned to the 18th Fighter Bomber Group. The pilot had flown 76 combat missions in WW2 (World War II). He was... flying on a heading of 180 degrees at an altitude of 9,000 feet; he first noticed the object at the one o'clock position. 'By the time I called the object in as a bogie, it had moved to the 3 o'clock position and started a steep climb, which I assumed was the beginning of a loop, but at the vertical position in the loop, the object moved forward in its original course of travel (360 degrees) and wavered momentarily and then descended and disappeared into the haze which reached an altitude of approximately 7,000 to 8,000 feet.' While the (F-51) airplane was traveling at only 240 mph, the UFO was estimated to be moving at 1,000 mph, first to the east and then changing to the north. It was at approximately the same altitude as the airplane during the 15-to-25-second-long sighting." (See the book ADVANCED AERIAL DEVICES REPORTED DURING THE KOREAN WAR by Richard F. Haines, LDA Press, Los Altos, California, 1990, pages 39 and 40)
(Editor's Note: The MiG-15 had a wingspan of 10 meters or 33 feet. McCarthy's UFO was probably 12 meters or 40 feet in diameter.)
FUN UFO WEBSITES
Got some new Web addresses for our parent site, UFOINFO, and UFO ROUNDUP. We moved last weekend. Not to stay one step ahead of the MIBs and the cyper-sheriff, mind you, but because the old server was not too pleased with all the hits we were getting. So, to save money (and we all know how important that is!) John Hayes found us a new home. So here are the new URLs: You'll find UFOINFO at http://www.ufoinfo.com.
For back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, check out our page at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/index.shtml
[UFOINFO Note: Web addresses in back issues have already been changed]
That's it for this week. To our readers in Cuba and on "Calle Ocho" in Miami, I hope you had a pleasant "Dia de Independencia" yesterday. Look for more saucer news next Sunday from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post items from UFO ROUNDUP on their Websites or in news groups provided that they credit the newsletter and its author by name and list the date the item appeared in the newsletter.