January 4, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Friday, December 12, 1997, D.F. was driving north on Highway 71 in Columbus, the state capital of Ohio when he spotted an unusual object hovering in the sky off to the right of the highway.
The UFO was hovering about one mile east of Cooper Stadium, near the Scioto River and the intersection of Broad Street and Brown Road.
"Because I have an interest in the phenomenon of UFOs, and also a long-standing hobby of astronomy, I do try to pay attention to the sky whenever I am outside," he reported. "This is a conscious effort on my part to increase my chances of seeing things of interest, be they natural or unusual."
At 1 a.m., just as he drove past the Interstate Highway 70 turnoff, he "saw the object at a distance of approximately 100 yards or so. Its angle was perhaps 20 degrees up from the horizon. As I came nearer, its outline and size became clearer...I would estimate it at approximately 30 to 40 feet off the ground, and above a spot about 15 feet to my right. As I passed it, its position angle was about 65 degrees above the horizon."
"I estimate seeing it for about seven seconds. I couldn't describe any color other than dark, except for the color of the lights on it...The best way to describe the thing would be a classic fish shape...it had what looked like a fin at the closest end, was bulky toward the middle and tapered some at the furthest end."
"The lights seemed to be at the ends. One was a dull red, darker and dimmer than a streetlight, and the other was a pale green. The size of the lights appeared at the time to be as large as traffic light bulbs, and it was the lights which first attracted my attention up into the sky."
"The object wasn't moving but I was doing between 45 and 50 miles per hour. I remember thinking about getting off at the next exit and trying to get another look. But there wasn't one right away and because I had to get up early the next day for work, I decided to go on home."
D.F. said the condition of the sky was "light snow, wind about 10 to 15 miles per hour, temperatures in the high twenties (Fahrenheit)" at the time of the sighting.
"I have driven by that spot several times at the same time of night, and different times during the day, and I haven't seen it, or anything like it, since." (Email Interview)
Texas rang in the new year for UFOs with two sightings in the eastern part of the Lone Star state.
On Friday, January 2, 1998, at 6:15 a.m., Mike H. of Arlington, Texas (population 261,721), a city 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Dallas, "had just entered our kitchen and glanced out our window when I noticed the very bright, large white or yellow light appear. It was quite bright. The object moved very quickly in a northerly direction across my viewing area as seen from my window. It then made a zigzagging turn going down and then dropped, reversing direction and losing altitude."
Altering course again, the UFO "moved behind a building where I lost sight of it. My observation of the bright light had lasted approximately three seconds."
"I also noticed a white strobe light that blinked on the object similar to an aircraft," Mike reported, adding that he had seen many aircraft "from my window and I have never seen one move as quickly as this one did. I also noticed that the light source remained at a constant brightness even though it was turning." (Email Interview)
On Saturday, December 27, 1997, Linda N. was driving on a highway west of Harlingen, Texas (population 48,735), a city 477 miles (763 kilometers) south of Dallas when she saw an unusual light in the sky.
"This object was in my line of vision as I was going over a highway overpass," she reported. "It lasted about three seconds and was traveling from north to south. (i.e. towards the border with Mexico--J.T.) It appeared as a thin green streak across the sky and ended in a large yellow/white ball of light that disappeared. No residue was seen in the sky."
"I drive home from work well after nightfall. I drive an extended distance on flat Texas countryside, without trees or other obstacles to block my vision. I often times look upward to see the beautiful stars and to watch for unexplained objects."
A longtime "meteor shower watcher," she added, "I have never witnessed one like that. It was just exciting."
Two days later, on Monday, December 29, "while again driving home from work, I saw another meteorite. This one was traveling from the northeast to the southwest. Lasted about seven seconds, but it was different from the first one. This one appeared to be like a regular meteorite... white tail...but moving much slower than other meteorites I've witnessed. Then, halfway through my viewing, its tail turned green...and then it exploded in a large blast... and then more orange glowing pieces trailed behind it, as though it were breaking apart. It was great!" (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this news story.)
On Saturday night, December 20, and Sunday night, December 21, 1997, witnesses in the small towns of Marshall (population 809) and Mars Hill (population 1,611) in the Appalachian Mountains of North Carolina sighted "a glowing object flying back and forth in the night sky."
The sightings were reported Monday, December 22, 1997 on radio station WKSF 99.9FM in Asheville, N.C. (population 61,607).
"Many people in (rural) Madison County witnessed it," one man reported. "At first they thought the object had been a downed aircraft. But no private planes were reported missing."
Marshall and Mars Hill are on Highway 213 about 22 miles (35 kilometers) north of Asheville and 270 miles (432 kilometers) west of Raleigh. (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. and Tim Hagemeister of NACOMM for this report.)
On Saturday, December 20, 1997, at 6:15 p.m., Sallie C. was outdoors at her home in Meadow Lake, Saskatchewan (population 4,318) when she spotted "three bright lights in the northeastern sky."
"What caught my attention was that they were larger and brighter than the stars and were moving together in a diagonal direction," she reported. "I looked at them for perhaps four or five seconds and then they disappeared."
Meadow Lake is at the junction of provincial Highways 4 and 55, about 184 miles (294 kilometers) north of Saskatoon. (Many thanks to Tim Hagemeister of NACOMM for this report.)
On Thursday, December 18, 1997, at 1:30 a.m., a loud booming sound reverberated down the Illecilliwaet River valley east of Revelstoke, British Columbia (population 7,729). Immediately following the boom, "the whole valley east of Revelstoke lit up as if daylight," according to Alan M. Young, an engineer with the Canadian Pacific Railroad.
"A large ball of light was seen hovering above the peak of Mount Sir Donald," Young reported. "After about ten seconds, the ball of light shot up into the night sky and disappeared."
Witnesses to this mysterious event in British Columbia's Selkirk Mountains included two train crews of the Canadian Pacific, plus "another CPR crew deadheading in a taxi."
Revelstoke is on Highway 1 just west of Canada's Glacier National Park, approximately 345 miles (552 kilometers) northeast of Vancouver. (Many thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for this report.)
Daylight disks dominated the skies over the small Central American nations of Costa Rica and Belize during Christmas week.
On Thursday, December 18, 1997, Miguel Tirado Alvarez spotted mysterious lights in the night sky over San Jose, the capital of Costa Rica. He reported, "I saw various white points of light, approximately eight, hovering above the capital city. It (the UFO) was moving around a great deal. It was reported not to be an airplane."
On Monday, December 22, 1997, tourist T. Hickman was relaxing at his hotel on San Pedro Island, off the coast of Belize. At about 11 p.m., he reported, "My wife and I saw a UFO flying straight above us, just slightly to the south of the Pleiades star cluster." The object "followed a very erratic flight pattern and made many direction changes" during its overflight.
Also on December 22, eyewitnesses in Golfito, Costa Rica, a port on the Golfo Dulce approximately 330 kilometers (198 miles) south of San Jose, near the Panama border, spied several "daylight discs" crossing the sky. The saucers were also seen in Puerto Jimenez, across the bay from Golfito.
The same afternoon, in San Jose, two camera crews from local TV stations "videotaped silver 'flying saucers' in the sky to the south of the city. Before the eyes of hundreds of people, they made zigzag maneuvers for several minutes. Flight controllers at (San Jose's) Juan Santamaria International Airport counted approximately fifty thousand (radar) traces of these movements."
Costa Rican ufologist Carlos Vilchez noted that this was "the first time that UFOs appeared in daytime" in his country. In December 1996, a similar UFO flap engulfed Costa Rica. He warned of "an influx of OVNIs (Spanish acronym for UFO) into the air space of the Central American countries within the next two months."
On Christmas Day, December 25, 1997, ten silver saucers flew westward from the Cordillera Central, passing over San Jose. "They flew over the city for several minutes and were filmed by TV cameramen." (Muchas gracias a Len Fedullo, Tim Hagemeister y otros para esas historias)
On November 30, 1997, Wayne T. was asleep in bed at his home in Floyds Knobs, Indiana (population 600) when a weird hum suddenly jolted him awake.
The hum appeared to be coming from the gound outside his home, he reported. "The hum was evident mostly at night, but it may have been during the day also. It had a very low pitch. It was of a very low frequency. It was not a constant sound. It became more intense and then less intense. It was the same sound for just about ten to fifteen seconds and then peaked and then subsided."
"My wife could barely hear the sound. Sometimes not at all."
Asked if he had suffered any physical effects as a result of the hum, Wayne replied, "The only physical effect it had was that it made me irritable because it was so constant."
He said he first heard the hum "from about March 20 to about April 20" in 1997. The cause remains unexplained.
Floyds Knobs is on Indiana Highway 150, approximately 6 miles (10 kilometers) northwest of Louisville, Kentucky. (Email Interview)
All experts agree that the Cuicuilco pyramid is the oldest structure in the Anahuac Valley, which houses modern Mexico City, and the very first monumental construction in the Americas.
Disagreements as to its antiquity and the people who built it continue to this very day. Official records state that the Cuicuilco structures can be no older than 600 B.C., but revisionist figures claim the structure was built between 8,000 to 10,000 years ago, thus making it almost as old as the "Tepexpan Man," the earliest prehistoric dweller found in Mesoamerica.
Cuicuilco measures some 17 meters (56 feet) in height and has a diameter of 115 meters (380 feet). A series of ramps provided access to its uppermost tier, which housed a temple with a statue of Huehueteotl, the "Old God of Fire," the first deity worshipped on this continent.
The mighty circular pyramid is surrounded by smaller structures and rectangular buildings with well-finished floors which must have been houses.
The contented lives of the prosperous, unwarlike Cuicuilcans came to an end when (Mount) Ajusco, a 4,000-foot tall peak located on the same mountain range as the Popocatateptel volcano began to exhibit volcanic activity. The earthquakes which rocked Anahuac Valley caused an enormous hole to open in the ground--a smaller volcano called Xitle, which poured a torrent of lava that destroyed nearby Copilco before engulfing Cuicuilco itself.
The inhabitants fled before the destruction, and all that was left behind as an eighty square mile (128 square kilometer) lava field known as El Pedregal. Debate also rages around the date of Xitle's eruption, which geologists have placed as far back as some seven thousand years ago, while archaeologists squarely place it at between 500 and 200 A.D.
The circular pyramid's base, twice the length of a soccer field, has also yielded its share of mysteries. The Spanish physician Hernandez, sent to Mexico by order of (King) Philip II, visited Cuicuilco and wrote his sovereign about having found the bones of large beasts (including the toxodon and the titanothere, now extinct--J.T.) along with those of "men" in excess of five meters (17 feet) tall. Natives expressed a belief that Cuicuilco's engimatic structure had been built by giants.
Whatever the case, serious archaeological work was not undertaken until 1922 when a team led by Dr. Byron Cummings of the University of Arizona began digging what could well be the oldest pyramid on earth. The site was apparently visited one night by an unidentified flying light which hovered over the ruins before speeding off into the distance. (Direct reprint from the article "Mexico: Forgotten Ruins and Ancient Astronauts" by Scott Corrales, which appeared in SAMIZDAT--The Newsletter of UFOs and the Paranormal, Special Report: Mexico 1997)
(Editor's Comment: According to my old geology professor, El Pedregal is a typical a'a lava flow of the late Pleistocene Period, meaning Xitle's eruption probably took place around 8,000 B.C. Interestingly, one corner of the Cuicuilco pyramid is buried in Pedregal lava, which presumably means its construction predated the eruption.)
January 7 marks the 50th Anniversary of Captain Thomas F. Mantell Jr.'s fatal encounter with a UFO over southern Kentucky. Here is the actual 1948 newspaper account of the incident, which appeared in the January 8, 1948 issue of a local weekly newspaper, the Franklin, Ky. Favorite.
from the UFO Files...PLANE EXPLODES IN MID-AIR, CRASHES KILLING PILOT ON JOE PHILLIPS FARM
A P-51 Army fighter plane exploded in mid-air and crashed on the farm of Joe Phillips about 5 miles south of Franklin yesterday (i.e. January 7, 1948--J.T.) afternoon about 3:30 p.m., killing the pilot wearing identification tag of Thomas F. Mantell (Jr.), 3533 River Park Drive, Louisville. The wrecked plane bore the (tail) No. Ky. NG 869.
Mrs. Joe Phillips said she was sitting by her fire when she heard the plane, with the engine apparently in trouble, flying near her house. Almost immediately there was a large explosion. Startled, she glanced out the window and saw the disintegrating plane hit the ground in a woodslot about 200 yards away from the house.
Pieces of wreckage were seen a quarter of a mile from the point of the crash. Several people in Franklin reported they heard the explosion.
A vapor trail still floated in the sky an hour after the crash.
Another eyewitness, Barbara Mayes, a student in the Franklin Grade School said she saw the plane explode while high in mid-air. She was waiting at the Lake Springs School for her bus to take her home when she witnessed the explosion.
The plane crash marked the second in the past few months. The point of the explosion was perhaps three miles as the crow flies from the spot of the crash which took the lives of Ed Snow and Richard M. Thomason on April 29, 1947.
Mrs. Joe Phillips said she called the telephone operator and asked that an ambulance and aid be called to the scene.
The remains of the dead flyer were removed from the scene by ambulance and carried to the Booker Funeral Home to await instructions from the next of kin, who were to be notified of the tragedy by Fort Knox officials.
A veteran of World War II, Captain Mantell participated in the (June 6, 1944) Normandy invasion, winning the Distinguished Flying Cross among other decorations. He was discharged from the Army a year ago (1946). His wife and two children survive.
He left Louisville yesterday morning for Atlanta and was enroute to Louisville on the return portion of the training flight when the accident occurred. Authorities at Fort Knox reported he left Atlanta at 2 p.m. yesterday.
Reed Shoulders, assistant chief of police, said Bill Horn, local constable, was standing guard last night over the wreckage, pending arrival of proper authorities to assume custody of the wrecked plane.
The plane was operated by the Kentucky National Guards. (Many thanks to local researcher Lee Trail and Lou Farish of UFO Newsclipping Service for making this article available to UFO ROUNDUP.)
(Editor's Comment: Well, it's been fifty years since Tommy Mantell's run-in with that giant saucer, and a lot has come out. But the key documents--the January 7 situation reports by Colonel Guy F. Hix and other staff officers at Godman Field, plus the transcripts of radio traffic between Colonel Hix and the Air Defense Command at Mitchell Field, Long Island, New York--remain classified. If this was merely a "training flight" and an "accident," why are these documents still secret fifty years later?)
Saucer Shorts, a weekly UFO newsletter by Loy Lawhon, comes out every Sunday. If you'd like to subscribe, visit this site: http://www.springfieldmo.miningco.com/library/weekly/aa121497.htm
For a look at UFOs in Russia, drop in at Alexei Kafidov's website, also known as The X-Laboratory of Doctor Bit, at http://www.drbit.com.ru/x-lab/
UFO and crop circle reports in the Netherlands can be found at Herman de Tollenare's website at http://www.stelling.nl/simpos/graancir.htm
What better way to start 1998 than a visit to our parent site, UFOINFO? Check out the fine features, photos, artwork and news made available by John Hayes at http://www.ufoinfo.com/
For a look at the estimated 500 pages (yipes!) of UFO sightings that took place during 1997, visit our website and download back issues from Volume 2 of UFO ROUNDUP. We're at this URL: http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
And so we begin Volume 3. New year, same editor, and more of the comprehensive coverage you the reader have come to expect from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP." See you next weekend!
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1998 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.