December 7, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Sunday evening, November 30, 1997, pilot Tim Janecyk of Tinley Park, Illinois was driving with his girlfriend on Interstate Highway 80 south of Chicago when he saw an unusual light in the sky.
As he drove through New Lenox, Illinois (population 9,627), Janecyk, a pilot with eight years' experience, "off to his left...saw a 'brilliant fireball descend from the clouds straight down.'"
"The object, the size of a full moon, lit up the clouds, trailing a column of smoke, Janecyk said. It appeared to be descending at 125 to 150 miles per hour, he said, 'It was too slow for a meteor.' Within 20 seconds, it dropped behind some trees."
"Janecyk called New Lenox police, who notified Will County sheriff's police. Officers investigated but found nothing, said Lt. Mike Moran."
"Will County sheriff's police found no evidence of debris, and the FAA (Federal Aviation Administration) reported no planes missing or sightings on radar. 'We looked at it, and there is no aviation connection we can determine,' FAA spokesman Don Zochert said."
The case is being investigated by John Timmerman of Lima, Ohio, a MUFON investigator.
New Lenox is at the intersection of the Lincoln Highway (Illinois Highway 30) and Cedar Road, about six miles (10 kilometers) east of Joliet. (See the Chicago Sun-Times for December 3, 1997, "'Fireball' Fires Up the UFO Crowd.")
On Sunday, November 30, 1997, at 7:11 p.m., MUFON investigator Frank Moriarty and his wife were in the rear of their home in Somerdale, New Jersey (population 5,440), getting ready to cook supper on their outdoor grille.
"I noticed a light or lights in the sky over our neighbors' house," Moriarty reported. "The light seemed to be either a collection of whitish lights or a single white light of varying brightness across its width. Actually, this is what attracted my attention to it--I could not clearly focus on it."
"It was at an angle of 35 to 40 degrees...and was moving from the north to the southwest. As it moved, I heard the very faint sound of a propellor engine aircraft, coming from behind me to the east. I actually tried to look for the aircraft but was unable to see it because of the low clouds...Turning back to the object, I realized that there was no sound emanating from the lights."
"Several times the light wavered slightly in its course as it continued to move in a regularly straight line. The light/lights occasionally blinked or pulsed on an irregular basis, accompanied by what appeared to be a trail of light following from it and heading straight down."
Somerdale is on New Jersey Highway 30, about 17 miles (27 kilometers) southeast of Camden, N.J. and Philadelphia, Pennsylvania. (See MUFON Skywatch Investigations #48. Many thanks to George A. Filer of MUFON for this report.)
(Editor's Comment: Hmmm, two UFO sightings on November 30, and they both took place in communities on a state highway 30. Interesting coincidence, eh?)
On Saturday, November 29, 1997, at 11 p.m., four people in Crestone, Colorado (population 200), on the western slope of the Sangre de Cristo Mountains, spotted "unusual multi-colored lights" in the sky about 15 to 20 miles northwest of town.
Identical lights were also seen by four people traveling on Colorado Highway 17, located 15 miles (24 kilometers) west of Crestone. This sighting took place at around 4:45 p.m.
The following morning, Sunday, November 30, a rancher found a dead mutilated calf on his property just northwest of Center, Colorado (population 1,963)
The "year-old, still-warm, female calf...was missing all the flesh from its right-side mandible, its right eye and a 10-inch (25-centimeter) rectum coring that extended 18 inches (45 centimeters) into the animal."
"The crime scene was completely devoid of any tracks--except for the dead calf's," reported Skywatch investigator Christopher O'Brien, author of THE MYSTERIOUS VALLEY (St. Martin's Press, 1996). There were no "footprints or blood or any additional clues as to how the calf was killed and subsequently mutilated."
The rancher, who owns a herd of 38 cattle, told O'Brien that he found "a second calf with a bloody nose and is missing a third." The case is being investigated by the Saguache County Sheriff's Department.
Center is on Highway 112 approximately 165 miles (264 kilometers) southwest of Denver. (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this report.)
(Editor's Note: Chris O'Brien's long-anticipated sequel, INSIDE THE MYSTERIOUS VALLEY, dealing with UFO sightings and other anomalies in southern Colorado, will be published by St. Martin's Press in May 1998. Reserve your copy today.)
On Monday, December 1, 1997, at 8:30 p.m., Bruce B. was outdoors in Rotherham, South Yorkshire when he "looked up through his north-facing arbor" and "saw a flame--a fiery, green-orange thing moving from left to right and downward. He said it had flames on it, and he thought it was going to crash three-quarters of a mile (0.7 kilometers) away." (Many thanks to Colin Brownbill for this report.)
On November 12, 1997, at 5:14 p.m., Harry Price was walking his dog in Bognor Regis, West Sussex, about 70 miles (112 kilometers) southwest of London "on a clear but chilly evening." As he approached the Bognor Regis railroad station, "looking up in a northerly direction, he saw a shining light that split into seven smaller lights and traveled away" to the north. Harry's workmate, who was with him at the time, "also saw the same thing."
A third eyewitness, waiting at the train station, saw the same UFO "from the platform a few minutes before the arrival of the 5:30 train." (Many thanks to Roger of CompuServe for this report.)
(Editor's Note: In August 1986, Rotherham, S. Yorks was the scene of two ghost incidents. A poltergeist raised havoc at the ground-floor flat inhabited by an elderly couple, Albert and Ivy Cardwell. Shortly thereafter, Stephen Dimbleby saw a ghost in a coal mine at the Silverwood Colliery just outside of town. See UNEXPLAINED MYSTERIES OF THE 20TH CENTURY by Janet and Colin Bord, Contemporary Books, Inc., Chicago, 1989, pages 81 and 91.)
On Sunday, November 23, 1997, at 7:50 p.m., Wayne Banks and his friends were "heading from Doonside near Blacktown to Penrith," New South Wales (N.S.W.), 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Sydney when they spotted a UFO.
"We stopped at the traffic light at the corner of Phillip Parkway and Eastern Road," Banks reported. "I was looking west at the terrific sunset and commented on this to the people in the car. There was scattered cloud and the sun gave off a reddish glow."
"It was then that I noticed an extremely bright line just to the right of where I was looking. I originally thought it was an aircraft jetstream (condensation trail, or "contrail" for short, here in the USA--J.T.), although it didn't seem high enough. It would've been almost an inch long at arm's length. I then turned to one of my friends, and I pointed it out to him."
"He too thought it was some sort of jetstream, but then it started to move slowly, until it began to rotate from horizontal to almost vertical. By this stage, all six of us in the car were watching. It was then that one of the girls noticed the line to the northwest of us. It was moving towards the other line but very slowly. I also noticed a small red light in the direction of the second line, but this could have been an aircraft. I lost sight of them as we got to the bottom of the hill. Almost a minute later, we had an unobstructed view of the western sky again, but we could not see anything at all." (Many thanks to John Hayes for this report.)
(Editor's Note: The Katoomba Valley, west of Penrith, has had numerous UFO sightings since 1942.)
On Saturday, November 15, 1997, at 9:50 p.m., a couple living in Tauranga, New Zealand, a city of the North Island located 130 miles (208 kilometers) southeast of Auckland, spotted a UFO flying slowly over Welcome Bay.
"It appeared approximately 100 metres (330 feet) from where we were standing on a second-storey verandah, looking out to the north," they reported. "It was approximately 15 to 20 metres (50 to 67 feet) wide and appeared almost mist-like. It was round in shape. There was no noise or lights. One of us saw it and asked the second person (if) they could see it. When both acknowledged seeing it, it disappeared, and not in any particular direction. From the first (moment), it was there for almost ten seconds."
(Many thanks to Jane S. Derry for this report.)
A glowing UFO paced a local transit bus on the highway between Rio Cuarto and Las Higueras in Cordoba province, Argentina, approximately 512 kilometers (320 miles) west of Buenos Aires, the national capital.
The incident took place Tuesday evening, November 25, 1997. Sra. Alicia Ana de Lourenco boarded a transit bus owned by Transportes Rio Cuarto Ltda. for a trip to the nearby town of General Cabrera.
At 8:55 p.m., Sra. de Lourenco looked out the bus window at "a storm front in the south." Suddenly, "a luminous object, bigger than a star and far more brilliant, caught her attention, and she began to observe it with great care."
The OVNI (Spanish acronym for UFO) "had a half-moon shape," and she estimated that its flight path carried it over Carnerillo, southeast of Rio Cuarto.
"To corroborate what she was seeing, she called to a policeman sitting a few rows in front of her. Then, to get a better view of the object, they opened the side window and observed how it zigzagged right and left."
As the UFO came closer, the bus passengers saw that it contained "four rows of lights, which Sra. de Lourenco described as 'the lights of a theatre.'" The "luminous OVNI" kept pace with the bus until it reached Las Higueras, about five kilometers (3 miles) northeast of Rio Cuarto" and then it zipped away.
The UFO was seen and videotaped in Las Higueras by a teenager, Valeria Angelini, who used a Panasonic M8000 camcorder "to capture the luminous object on tape."
On Monday, December 1, 1997, Srta. Angelini was interviewed by three ufologists from the Argentine UFO study group COR--Mario Bracamonte, Pablo Odello and Frederico Smaldone. (Muchas gracias a Carlos Iurchuk y Fundacion Argentina de Ovniologia para eso caso.)
"Even now, what really happened that October night behind the Phillips tombstone remains a mystery."
"The grave diggers left only a footprint."
"The next morning a Swan Point Cemetery security guard discovered the hole."
"Soon thereafter, Martin E. Dugan Jr., Swan Point's president, hurried to the gravesite, which each year attracts visitors from around the world, devotees of the man resting below."
Yes, that's none other than Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937), the early 20th Century horror and science fiction writer. Lovecraft's grave at the Philiips family plot in Swan Point Cemetery, Providence, Rhode Island (population 160,728) was apparently dug up by persons unknown the night of October 13, 1997.
"What happened the night of October13 or early October 14 is unclear. Police said yesterday (December 3, 1997) their investigation is continuing but offered no details of what they found."
"Cemetery president Dugan declines to elaborate on the grave desecrators, not wanting to attract any more attention."
"What Dugan will say is that the hole was about three feet deep and that the dirt at the bottom did not appear to be disturbed."
"'Is he (Lovecraft) there?' Dugan says, repeating the BIG question. 'As far as we know. There is no indication to the contrary.'"
"Did the intruders leave any evidence? A shovel? A footprint?"
"'There was a footprint,' Dugan says. No, the police did not make an impression."
"'No,' Dugan says, no one stuck a rod in the ground to see if it would strike the coffin. 'It did not appear than anything had been removed and then refilled.'"
Lovecraft, who died sixty years ago, is considered the finest American horror writer after Edgar Allen Poe. He is best remembered for his "cosmic horror" stories such as "The Colour Out of Space," "The Call of Cthulu" and "Pickman's Model." (See the Providence, R.I. Journal- Bulletin for December 4, 1997, "New Lovecraft Mystery Surfaces at Swan Point," page 1.)
(Editor's Note: The Lovecraft grave disturbance occurred the same week as the appearance of a large triangle-shaped UFO over Route 10 in Cranston, R.I., about 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Swan Point Cemetery. Stay tuned for the sequel..."Howard Goes to Yuggoth.")
With the onset of winter snows, the families of missing Lear jet pilots Johan Schwartz and Patrick Hayes have ended their weekend searches in the upper Connecticut River valley of New England.
Since the official search ended on January 6, 1997, the men's relatives and numerous friends have scoured the woods on both the New Hampshire and Vermont sides of the river, searching for the wreckage of the Lear jet, which vanished on the morning of December 24, 1996.
"The plane left Bridgeport (Connecticut) at 9:20 a.m. At 9:45, it was within a few miles of Lebanon (New Hampshire), 176 miles north."
"At 9:51, one of the pilots told the (Lebanon, N.H.) tower he had missed on his first approach in the rain and fog. The tower cleared the pilot to turn around and try again. The plane called the tower, but an airport spokesman said the signal was 'very, very weak' and unintelligible. 'The tower tried to call back, and there was no answer,' the spokesman said."
The families, aided by hundreds of volunteers and friends, launched a new round of ground searches on October 12.
In early November, the search's focus turned to Topsham, Vermont (Vt.), a town 45 miles north of Lebanon, N.H., following a report from a woman who had been driving on Route 302 that morning.
Over the Christmas carols on her car radio, "Donna Nelson heard a roar like a cranky furnace firing up on a cold morning. She turned and saw a plane flying 'much, much too low. It was a little over the tree level. I'm not one to look at planes flying around, but it was making this awful noise,' she said."
"The jet appeared to be following the road she was on, U.S. Route 302 from Topsham to Barre, Vt. It was just after 10 a.m. on Christmas Eve day (December 24--J.T.)."
Yet a search of the Topsham area proved futile. No wreckage was found.
According to Major Ron Alie of the N.H. Fish and Game Department, over 275 witness reports were collected this year. Most of them contradict each other.
For example, "Two witness reports in Lincoln-- (N.H.) well north (55 miles) of Lebanon--appeared to correlate. A woman who is a member of the local ambulance service looked up from Church Street as she was passing St. James Church and saw 'the belly of a low-flying aircraft.' She said she'd never seen a Lear jet before but it looked like the Lear jets she'd seen in the movies."
"At the same time, a hair stylist on Lincoln's North Main Street was working on a client. She looked out the window and saw a jet flying easterly over Main Street. She described it as 'smaller than a military aircraft.' That airplane appeared to be two-tone bluish, she said. It disappeared over Loon Mountain."
The Lear jet flown by Schwartz, 31, of Westport, Conn. and Hayes, 30, of Clinton, Conn. was flying at a speed of four miles per minute. Yet, even at that speed, it could not have been over both Topsham, Vt. and Lincoln, N.H., communities 70 miles apart, at just after 10 a.m.
Eyewitness reports of "low-flying jets" were also received from Campton, N.H., 70 miles east of Lebanon; East Andover, Croydon and Meriden, and also in Charlestown, N.H., on the river, 40 miles south of Lebanon and 60 miles southeast of Topsham, Vt.
"Vermont witness reports came from towns as far south as Putney north to the St. Johnsbury area and to Hardwick, about 10 miles west of St. Johnsbury." (Incidentally, the Hardwick/St. Johnsbury area was the site of several UFO sightings between January and May 1997--J.T.)
The families' "grief has been tinged with bitterness that the official search was called off so soon, and that their pleas to resume the search in the spring went unanswered."
"'Yes, we realize that there were no survivors, but we're still alive and we should be helping each other,' Jay Hayes said."
"Search officials say too much time has elapsed for them to get involved."
"Jay Hayes does not know how long he will keep looking."
"'Once a year's over, I don't know what I'm going to do,' he said. 'I've done everything I can. But you never give up hope.'"
(See the Providence, R.I. Journal-Bulletin for November 30, 1997, "Pilots' Families Still Seek Answers as Anniversary of Crash Nears," and October 13, 1997, "Flight of N.H. Mystery Jet Lingers In Witnesses' Memories.")
Last summer UFO ROUNDUP presented actual newspaper accounts from the 1909 UFO flap in New Zealand. This month we're going to run actual newspaper stories from "L'Affaire Tillinghast," better known as "the New England Airship Invasion of 1909."
Although UFOs were seen in Leominster, Massachusetts (Mass.) and White River Junction, Vermont (Vt.) as early as July, the flap really got going in December 1909 with multiple UFO sightings in the small city of Marlboro, Mass., approximately 28 miles (45 kilometers) west of Boston.
Here's the actual newspaper story:
"One of the most positive proofs of the existence of the airship comes from ex-councilman B.W. Johnson, who says he saw the airship Thursday evening, Dec. 16th, in the southwestern part of the city, and that it came down so low that he could hear a man talking from the craft."
The (newspaper) Marlboro Enterprise also refers to ten other sightings in the city that week, including this tantalizing item: "A young man named Beauregard is an authority for the statement that that on the same night (December 16, 1909) the airship landed on the southern side of Lake Williams."
On December 21, crowds of Marlboro residents, excited by the Johnson and Beauregard stories, gathered on Main Street to watch the skies.
"They saw an aerial craft shooting along the southwestern heavens at a good rate of speed... At the city hall, crowds formed and at 7:45 (p.m.) what looked like a comet showed up and rapidly steered to the southwest and disappeared... Among those who saw it was Officer J.J. Buckley but he would not talk for publication on the matter." (See the Marlboro, Mass. Enterprise for December 22, 1909, page 1.)
James Aho just opened a new website called "The W-Files," an archive on UFO incidents and other paranormal events in Wisconsin. Drop in at http://www.execpc.com/~ahoj/wfiles/index.htm
MUFON Connecticut just opened its website this week. For a look at the UFO scene in the Nutmeg State, check in at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone/9047
For a look at UFOs in Mississippi, try out Jay Michael Long's new website, "MS-UFO Files." Log in at http://www.c-gate.net/~jmichael/ufo/index.html
Like Net newsletters? Then you must try out Kent Steadman's great new "CyberSpace ORBIT." Chock full of UFO news, the ORBIT can be accessed at http://www.eagle-net.org/phikent/orbit1a.html
Don't overlook our parent site, UFOINFO, full of news, photos and features. Log in at this URL: http://www.ufoinfo.com/
For back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, try our website at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup
Today is St. Ambrose Day, which makes the H.P. Lovecraft story in this issue even weirder than it already is. One of Lovecraft's literary idols was American author Ambrose E. Beirce, who vanished in Mexico under very puzzling circumstances back in 1913. A few years later, in 1922, a man named Ambrose Small vanished in Toronto, Canada. The father of ufology, Charles Fort, once wondered if "somebody was collecting Ambroses."
If your name is Ambrose, forget you ever read this item...
Can't you just visualize H.P. Lovecraft waking up in the dark stone crypt on Yuggoth, looking around in horror and shouting, "Hey! This isn't Benefit Street!"
And we'll be back next weekend with more saucer news 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 newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of issue in which the item first appeared.