August 3, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Early Saturday morning, July 26, 1997, during an interview on the Art Bell Show, ufologist Richard C. Hoagland called listeners' attention to a Pathfinder color photo (Number 81977) at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory website.
Hoagland reportedly told listeners that features on the southwest horizon of the huge Martian floodplain, Ares Vallis, resembled artificial structures.
Hours later, at 9:30 a.m., Desiree Holloway, who had heard the Bell broadcast, downloaded Pathfinder photo #81977 from Sun Microsystems, a "mirror" of the original site. Doing so, she uncovered a mystery.
The photo was a high-resolution shot of the horizon to the right of Twin Peaks, showing a low, rounded mound, much darker than the surrounding terrain, and what looked like a UFO hovering above and to the right of the mound.
"I noticed it after I had downloaded the photo from the CNN mirror site," Ms. Holloway explained. "I had listened to the Art Bell Show and decided to check it out."
"Upon viewing the photo, I did not agree with Richard Hoagland's findings but studied the picture further and noticed a small circular object just above the right side of the hill and near the top of the photo."
Ms. Holloway described the UFO as "a small round sphere that appears in the upper right side of the photo. It does not appear to be a photographic anomaly (in my opinion). It seems to be shadowed in correspondence with the Martian landscape below."
The mound is located an estimated one mile (1.6 kilometers) southwest of Pathfinder.
Returning to the Sun Microsystems site, she found something strange. The original high-resolution photo she'd downloaded had been replaced with a grainy, out-of-focus, low-resolution image of the same horizon. Now even the mound was no longer clearly visible.
On Friday, August 1, 1997, she contacted UFO ROUNDUP and reported, "You might find it interesting to know that" she returned to the Sun Microsystems site and "their photo is now distorted. The one I copied has been replaced by a grainy, low-quality image. I cannot find a clear version anywhere on the Web."
On Saturday, August 2, 1997, Ms. Holloway was contacted via email by a man who claimed to have downloaded the supposed "original image" from the JPL website before Pathfinder photo #81997 vanished from the site. Apparently, an unknown number of people downloaded the clear image between 12:15 a.m., the time of the Art Bell broadcast, and 9:30 a.m., when Ms. Holloway copied hers. (Email Interview)
(Editor's Comment: Yesterday I contacted a local photographer and asked him if a grainy, low-resolution photo could be "sharpened" via computer into a clear, high-resolution image. "Joe," he told me, "when you copy fuzz, you get fuzz." He insisted that there had to be a high-resolution image to start with. However, when I asked if a computer hacker could forge or fabricate a false Pathfinder photo, using the grainy one as a model, he said he didn't know enough about computers to answer that question. Perhaps one of our computer-savvy ROUNDUP readers can help...?)
On Thursday, July 24, 1997, the weekly Arabic newspaper Al-Thawri reported that three men in San'a, Yemen had filed a lawsuit against NASA, claiming ownership of the planet Mars.
The plaintiffs--Adam Ismail, Mustafa Khalil, and Abdullah al-Umari, all of San'a--demanded that NASA cease all on-planet operations of Pathfinder and the Sojourner robot vehicle until the Yemeni court renders a verdict. They also requested a court injunction that would prevent NASA from disclosing any information about Mars's gravity, atmosphere or weather.
Al-Thawri reported the men as saying, "We inherited the planet from our ancestors 3,000 years ago. Sojourner and Pathfinder began exploring it without informing us or seeking our approval."
Curiously enough, their claim actually might have some validity. Some scholars believe that San'a was founded as a trading outpost of the long-dead empire of Nineveh back in 720 B.C.
According to Italian ufologist Alberto Fenoglio, "In excavations in Nineveh there was discovered in the library of King Assurbanipal clay cylinders on which is described a voyage to the sky. It narrates how King Eitan, who lived about 5,000 years ago, called 'The Good King,' was taken as an honoured guest on a flying ship in the form of a shield (i.e. circular--J.T.), which landed in a square behind the royal palace, rotating, surrounded by a vortex of flames."
"From the flying ship alighted tall, blond men with dark complexions dressed in white, handsome as gods, who invited King Eitan, somewhat dissuaded by his own advisers, to go for a trip in the flying ship."
"In the middle of a whirlwind of flames, he went so high that the Earth with its seas, islands, continents, appeared to him as 'a loaf in a basket.' Then it disappeared from sight."
"King Eitan in the flying ship reached the Moon, Mars, Venus, and after two weeks' absence, when they were already preparing a new succession to the throne, believing that the gods had carried him off with them, the flying ship glided over the city (Nineveh) and touched down surrounded by a ring of fire. The fire abated, and King Eitan descended with some of the blond men who stayed as his guests for several days."
The ruins of Nineveh are 16 kilometers (10 miles) northeast of the city of Al-Mawsul (Mosul) in northern Iraq. (See the New York Daily News for July 25, 1997. See also GODS AND SPACEMEN IN THE ANCIENT EAST by W. Raymond Drake, Signet Books, New American Library, New York, N.Y. 1973, page 180)
A UFO was sighted Friday night, August 1, 1997, on a farm near New Palestine, Indiana (population 749), approximately 12 miles (19 kilometers) southeast of Indianapolis.
According to eyewitness Lea L., "I was sitting on my patio, appreciating the wonderful weather and, of course, watching the sky. This light in the sky appeared in the south just above the tree line. There is a woods approximately 1,000 feet (333 meters) behind my house. This light looked like a star and was about the same brightness and size as Venus, which was also visible in the west. The strange thing about this was the speed at which it was moving. It traversed the entire sky in about a minute and a half, from south to northeast. I thought at first it might have been a jet, but it was traveling too fast for a jet at that height. Also there were no flashing lights like planes usually have. The speed was constant and it moved in a straight line. I got up and stayed up until I could no longer see it." (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this news story.)
The evening of Friday, July 25, 1997, Cliff S. and his young son were in their pickup truck "going west on Farm Road 1488" in eastern Texas when they saw something unusual in the sky.
In their farm county, Cliff explained, they're used to seeing air traffic traveling between Dallas and Houston in a north-south direction. So when a strange object appeared in the western sky, he took notice.
They saw "two bright beams, a blinking red in between...rather unusual in the way it was going... But it seemed to hang in the sky and not move, so we watched it for a while."
"I reached back and got my binoculars (which) I'd left in the truck since the (Hale-Bopp) comet, and pulled over," he reported. "I looked at it. It was about the size of an airliner, but much closer...I could see a faint gleam of a cockpit in the middle, with window panes. I was having a weird feeling, such as I remember having as a kid whenever I'd seen unusual things in the sky."
Cliff's son took the binoculars and confirmed the sighting. Then Cliff watched and "now that I realized that they were very close, I couldn't hear any sound. I turned off the truck engine to hear better, and we both got out. It was just overhead, but the only sound around it was like its wings cutting through the air."
"Directly overhead...we couldn't see the outline, but it seemed triangular. It was black or dark. No red lights visible from below. A pair of white lights close together, side by side...then another pair behind it, less bright, then another pair, bright again, at the rear. They also had two bright white spotlights at the tip of each wing. It seemed to be following our (farm) road to the east, and would slowly bank to one side, then to the other." (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this news story.)
On Sunday evening, July 27, 1997, assistant police chief Ion Moldoveanu, while on patrol near the Aricestii Rahtivani collective farm in Nevelea, spotted a UFO.
Moldoveanu described the UFO as "a light object with a spherical shape." As he watched it, the UFO "changed its direction of rotation" and "cast a cone of light over the village."
The event was also witnessed by motorists on the Calinesti, Filipesti de Padure and Floresti roads just outside the village. The motorists reported "the sudden appearance of a light" in the sky over the village.
Nevelea is in the Prahova district, not far from the city of Ploesti, about 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of Bucharest, the national capital. (Many thanks to Madliu Valentin and Errol Bruce-Knapp for this story.)
On Thursday, July 31, 1997, at 11:30 a.m., radio station MOR in Manchester, England broadcast some startling news.
According to MOR, the UK's Government Communications Headquarters (GCHQ) at Cheltenham "confirmed that they were called to monitor 'unknown objects' operating over East Anglia" last autumn.
On October 5, 1996, two UFOs were seen and tracked for several hours over Skegness and offshore by local and Boston police, the Coastguards at Great Yarmouth and RAF Neatishead. The Ministry of Defence later suggested that the UFOs had been radar echoes of the cathedral spire in Boston, the so-called "Boston Stump."
Originally, at the time of the sighting, GCHQ had denied involvement in the case, claiming that the event had "no defence significance." (Many thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for this story.)
On Monday, July 14, 1997, at 7:38 p.m., United Airlines Flight 2327 took off from San Francisco for a short flight downstate to Ontario, California (population 88,820). The aircraft, a Boeing 737-500 (registration number N956UA) carried 133 passengers and crew.
At 8:43 p.m., United Airlines Flight 2327 began its final approach, flying at 5,000 feet (1,515 meters) about 5 miles (8 kilometers) from the airport. The plane made ready to land on Runway 26R.
Just then, a United pilot, riding in the jump seat, noticed "a red light sweeping back and forth in the cockpit. The light oscillated four or five times, then disappeared."
A few seconds later, the red laser light returned for five seconds. "It appeared that the red light was tracking the airliner." The light faded again as the Boeing 737-500 came within 1.5 miles (3 kilometers) of the airport's outer marker.
There were no reports of injuries to the passengers. The case is being investigated by the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) and the San Bernardino Sheriff's Department. (Many thanks to Kenneth Young of T.A.S.K. for sending us this story.)
On Thursday afternoon, July 24, 1997, the Zumwalt family was driving out of Yellowstone National Park in northwestern Wyoming when they saw something very strange.
"As we were driving out of the park...I was looking up at the mountain to see if I could spot Bighorn sheep, as we had the Grizzly (bear) and many other Yellowstone animals while driving the Loop," Amy Zumwalt reported.
"I immediately noticed it on the side of a mountain near the top a large triangular patch of snow and saw it (Bigfoot) walking in large strides--a tall, 8-or-9 foot, hairy, upright, Bigfoot-like animal. It was so tall that you couldn't help but not see it. Then it made three strides across the rocky terrain and stopped just above a green grassy-like area (alpine meadow--J.T.)" (Many thanks to Matt Moneymaker for forwarding this story.)
(Editor's Comment: This is definitely Strange Hominids Week at UFO ROUNDUP, gang. Keep reading...)
The Skunk Ape, a species of Bigfoot native to the state of Florida, was seen at two different locales last week.
The first sighting was reported in Ochopee, Florida, a town bordering the Everglades approximately 70 miles (112 kilometers) west of Miami.
According to the Miami Herald, "Vince Doerr, chief of the Ochopee Fire Central District, saw a strange creature cross Burns Road near his house last Monday evening (July 21, 1997). 'I was riding along when 800 feet ahead of me, a brown-looking tall thing ran across the road,' Doerr said. 'It wasn't a bear, that's for sure. It ran into the woods.'"
A couple of days later, a group of six British tourists and their guide were astounded at the sight of a Skunk Ape described as "seven feet tall, flat-faced, broad- shouldered, covered with long brown hair or fur and reeking of skunk."
The incident took place on Turner River Road, north of Ochopee, in "a slough covered with bald cypress trees laden with Spanish moss and spidery air plants."
"Don Rowland, 54, a guide for Everglades Day Safaris, said he was hauling his British tourists up Turner River Road last week when he spotted the apeman loping along the cypress trees at the west end of the road, about two miles north of the Tamiami Trail."
"'It was about six feet tall with brown, long fur,' Rowland said, 'It loped along like a big monkey or a gorilla, when it disappeared into the woods.'"
"'There was a sighting by the Naples Trolley Tour out of Marco Island,' Rowland said. 'That driver was really shook up.'" (See the Miami Herald for July 28, 1997, "Mysterious 'Ape' Raising a Big Stink.")
Another Skunk Ape was sighted near Lynne, Florida in the Ocala State Forest on Friday, July 25, 1997, at 3:30 p.m.
Lynne is 55 miles (88 kilometers) west of Daytona Beach and 14 miles (21 kilometers) east of Ocala, in northern Florida.
The Blair family was camping at Half Moon Lake in the state forest, just north of Highway 40. According to eyewitness Brian Blair, "My family and I were hiking on a nature walk when we walked across a small bridge over a stream. We stopped to rest, and I allowed my two sons to go explore. A few minutes later, they returned, panicking, and told me there was a gorilla. So I went to go check it out. When we got to where they led us, there was a Bigfoot kneeling next to the stream, drinking. It noticed me standing there and ran off into the forest." (Many thanks to Matt Moneymaker and Scott McNabb for forwarding this report.)
(Editor's Note: The Ocala National Forest has long been a haunt of the Skunk Ape. In 1980, large footprints, complete with toes, were discovered in the area. The Sheriff's Department estimated that the creature was 10 to 12 feet tall and weighed 1,000 lbs. See ATLAS OF THE MYSTERIOUS IN NORTH AMERICA by Rosemary Ellen Guiley, Facts on File, Inc., New York, N.Y. 1995, page 155.)
Chupacabra seems to have found a home in Brazil. During the past month, there have been dozens of sightings in the rural districts of the states of Minas Gerais (M.G.) , Sao Paulo (S.P.) and Parana.
During the week of July 25, many dead animals were discovered in Betim and Nova Contagem in Minas Gerais under "circumstances that are extremely mysterious and defy the investigators."
On Saturday night, July 26, 1997, a farmer in Nova Contagem reported that he'd entered his chicken house and found every one of the fowl lying dead.
The same night, in Betim, M.G., rancher Leandro Amador found dead goats on his property. All had been killed with a blow to the maxillary bone, and all had a distinguishing mark on the ear. Amador told the Brazilian newspaper O Estado de Minas, "The whole situation is unreal."
Also in Betim, farm worker Tolentino Antonio de Oliveira telephoned his "patrao" (boss) that night and reported find a goat dead and drained of blood. The animal had strange marks on its ears, and several bones were broken.
Ricardo Cicarelli, owner of eight goats, was the first victim of the current flap. He told the newspaper, "no explanation was made so as not to alarm the populace." He added, "I am preparing to slay the beast."
Meanwhile, in the state of Sao Paulo, the month of July ended with a host of animal deaths attributed to the Chupacabra. According to the newspaper Correio Braziliense of Brasilia, D.F., 21 ducks, 20 chickens and 12 other fowl were killed in Baixada Santista, S.P.
The first attack in July occurred at Praia Grande in Sao Paulo state, followed by a second at Jardim Mulvi, S.P. during the week of July 14. Five days later, another reputed Chupacabra attack took place in Caroara, a barrio of Bertioga, S.P. Curiously enough, all of the attacks took place in barns or sheds or pens that were securely locked.
In Praia Grande, 10 ducks were killed. Another 11 were killed in Bertioga. According to veterinarian Dr. Ines Matsumoto of the Mascote Clinic, the ducks all died of internal hemorrhaging, which was caused by extensive squeezing.
On July 20, there was an attack on 20 chickens at a home in Iriri, another barrio of Bertioga.
Dr. Matsumoto told the newspaper that the injuries sustained by the fowl are inconsistent with wounds inflicted by jaguars and other felines.
The Jardim Mulvi case is being investigated by Wallacy Albino of the Grupo Ufologico de Guaraju (GUG).
On Sunday, July 27, 1997, in Minas Gerais state, Sr. Amador was interviewed by a team from the Centro de Investigacao Civil de Objetos Aereos Nao-Identificados (CICOANI). The group arranged for animal cadavers to be sent to Belo Horizonte, the state capital, for lab tests.
(See the newspapers O Estado de Minas for July 29, 1997 and Correio Braziliense for July 31, 1997.)
(This week, we continue our look at New Zealand's "airship invasion" of July 1909. Many thanks to N.Z. ufologist Murray Bott for making these old news stories available.)
"On July 28, (1909) an airship apparently came down over the city of Dunedin (on New Zealand's South Island-- J.T.). A resident in the North Eastern Valley reported that he was awakened in the early hours by a peculiar noise which he took to be an earthquake."
"'I was awakened by a horrible noise at about two o'clock this morning,' he told a reporter. 'The noise was like a ship dragging her anchor up or a windlass of a steamer with dry-gear wheels working. I got up and went round to the front and I saw something floating up past Knox College. It was a great black thing with a searchlight attached.'" (See the Dunedin, N.Z. Star for July 28, 1909., page 1)
For more information on strange hominid creatures, try the Global Bigfoot Encyclopedia and International Sighting Database. Scott McNabb has plenty of interesting stories at this site, which can be reached at http://www.planetc.com/users/bigfoot/scott.htm
Don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO. It's at http://ufoinfo.com/
Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP can be seen and downloaded at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/
Last time it was out-of-place alligators. This time it's Bigfoot, Skunk Ape and Chupacabra! What's next!? While we hold our breaths and wait, be sure to check out the National Day celebrations tomorrow in the West African nation of Burkina Faso. Let us know if Mokele M'bembe puts in an appearance. Till then, here's wishing all our readers a pleasant week from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news stories from UFO ROUNDUP on their websites or in newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of issue in which the item first appeared.