January 18, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
A newspaper in Croatia reported last week that four aliens had landed at a farm just outside the city of Sibenik.
Sibenik is a port on the Adriatic Sea about 225 kilometers (140 miles) south of Zagreb.
According to the newspaper Vercernji List, a farmer named Jako Vrancic was herding his cattle on his farm north of Sibenik when a UFO landed soundlessly in the pasture. He described the object as looking like a household flatiron.
Vercernji List described the event as "a close encounter between a (retired) peasant farmer and four aliens...The aliens had the stature and build of human children, he said."
Vrancic offered to share his lunch--ham and dried figs--with the occupants, but they told him they weren't hungry.
"We had no problem communicating, as they spoke a broken form of Croatian," Vrancic said.
"I felt no fear, as I had previously seen things like this on TV," he added.
Following a brief visit, the occupants reboarded their "iron-shaped spacecraft" and flew away.
Vercernji List stated that the "pensioner" Vrancic "is reportedly well-liked in his village and was described as an honest and down-to-earth man by his friends." (See CNI News volume 3, number 22, part 2. Many thanks to CNI News editor Mike Lindemann and contributor James Sutton for this story.)
Three large cities in Arizona reported multiple UFO sightings last week.
The new flap began Sunday afternoon, January 11, 1998, when residents of Phoenix, the state capital, reported spotting "three shiny silvery objects flying at a high altitude" above the city.
That night, at 9 p.m., a TV station in Tucson (population 405,390), a large city 117 miles (187 kilometers) southeast of Phoenix, aired an amateur videotape showing "a large bright orange glowing UFO" flying near Mount Lemmon and Spencer Canyon north of the city. The news broadcast described it as "a possible campfire."
According to Tom King, director of Arizona Skywatch, park rangers investigated the event "and found nothing."
On Monday, January 12, 1997, at 12:30 a.m., witnesses in Mesa, Arizona (population 288,091), a city 19 miles (31 kilometers) east of Phoenix, "saw the strange orange object. It brightened and dimmed several times," King reported. "It split in two and headed in formation towards Phoenix" at "three times the speed of any normal military aircraft." (The object's estimated speed was about 1,800 miles per hour--J.T.)
On Wednesday, January 14, 1998, at 10 p.m., Arizona Skywatch received calls from several residents in the Broadway Road/Southern Avenue section of Phoenix. They reported videotaping "mysterious orange lights" over the South Mountains, scene of the big UFO flap on March 13, 1997.
King said his group has "obtained the schedule of (military) flare drops" and will compare these times with the UFO reports.
On Thursday, January 15, 1998, at 10 p.m., witnesses in Phoenix and the city of Casa Grande (population 19,082) about 40 miles (64 kilometers) to the south reported seeing "three glowing objects with slight pulsating motions" over the nearby desert. (Many thanks to Tom King of Arizona Skywatch for this story.)
A mysterious bright blue flash lit up the sky over Exeter, New Hampshire the night of December 28, 1997 and was seen by two people.
Exeter, N.H. (population 9,558) is on Route 108 approximately 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Portsmouth, near the state's Atlantic Ocean shore. The town was the site of numerous UFO sightings back in September 1965.
According to the Boston Globe, "Dave Jackson said the mysterious brilliant blue flash lit up the sky over Exeter, N.H. on December 28 as he drove along. 'It was brighter than anything I've ever seen,' he said."
"A woman from Hampton Falls, N.H. saw a similar blinding flash in the same area about a month earlier." (i.e. late November 1997--J.T.)
The cases are being investigated by MUFON New Hampshire, according to Peter Geremia, the group's state director for New Hampshire. (See the Boston, Mass. Globe for January 10, 1998, page B-5, "What Was It?")
On Sunday, January 11, 1998, two members of MUFON Vermont and their adult daughter were driving on Interstate Highway 91 just south of Newport, Vermont (population 4,484) at around 10:30 p.m.
"It was a clear night with partial clouds...The witnesses saw blinking red and white lights, which changed to a horizontal row of white lights. Then they changed to a red and white light, then back to all white...The object was low, headed north, and no sound was heard."
The wife said "they were amazed because it was so low and so wide" that they compared it "to a World War II bomber."
Newport, Vt. is on the south shore of Lake Memphremagog, just below the Canadian border, approximately 65 miles (104 kilometers) north of Montpelier, the state capital. (See Filer's Files #3 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer of MUFON for this report.)
On Monday, January 5, 1998, at 2:50 p.m., Ms. C.R. of Ozark, Missouri was in her car, waiting for a traffic light to change at 3100 South Glenstone Avenue in the nearby city of Springfield (population 140,494) when she spotted something strange in the overcast sky.
"What appeared then was a round disk-shaped object moving slowly to the northeast. She observed the object for well over a minute while waiting for a left-turn signal."
"She described the UFO as having a dull gray bottom with a bright silvery top as it slightly turned on its right. The woman had her (car) window down and she said no noise was noticed during the sighting. She attempted to take a photo of the UFO in a bank parking lot, but when she got out of the car, the object had disappeared." (Many thanks to Brian Adams of the Ozark Area Research Group for this report.)
A Swiss family and a dozen local residents watched a UFO perform aerobatic maneuvers high above the town of Kimsar, Rajahstan state, India at 11 p.m. on Christmas Eve, December 24, 1997.
Kimsar is located in the Rajahstan desert about 720 kilometers (450 miles) southwest of New Delhi, capital of India.
Eyewitness Alex Carrara said his family had left their home in Geneva, Switzerland to spend the Christmas holiday in India. Alex was standing outside their rented home with his parents, his brother and his sister when they saw a crowd of "10 to 12 local people looking at the sky."
"We were struck by the sight, and there was no sound," Alex reported, describing the UFO as "bright yellow or orange. I'm quite sure there was a yellow-orange aura around the object."
The UFO approached Kimsar from the east "at an extremely high altitude...flying about at between 50 to 70 degrees above the horizon. Some of the (local) witnesses argued that it was a satellite, but the direction of the object wasn't straight like a satellite. The object followed three different courses. I know the sky well and have been studying astronomy for years. I know this was not a star."
Alex also pointed out that it couldn't have been a distant electric light because "there are no lights (in Kimsar) because there is no electricity."
The UFO peformed its strange turning manuevers for another five minutes before "it disappeared in the west," towards Phalodi. (Email Interview)
Two UFO sightings were reported in the United Kingdom last week, over Bedfordshire and Humberside.
On Wednesday, January 14, 1998, at 6:10 p.m., Andi T. was in a car "near the roundabout (rotary) where the (Motorway) A6 Luton-to-Bedford road meets the Bedford By-pass" when a UFO flashed by overhead. The sighting took place about 60 miles (96 kilometers) north of London.
"A bright light shot across the sky about a mile from the roundabout," Andi reported. "This light was like a shooting star except it lasted a lot longer and had a tail. Not long after I witnesses this light, I saw two lights at the horizon (near Bedford), but those objects didn't move any nearer to me." (Email Interview)
On Sunday night, January 4, 1998, at about 11 p.m., a UFO described as "a yellow harvest moon" hovered above a residential neighborhood in Immingham, on the river Humber, approximately 75 miles (120 kilometers) northeast of Sheffield.
The object was first seen by a woman in the house, who immediately called her relatives to come and look. Among the relatives was Paul H., a local skywatcher.
"There was a harvest moon in the wrong part of the sky--too low, too large and too yellow," he said. "Whatever it was, it was at about rooftop height, under conditions of low cloud. We saw the 'moon' from upstairs, and from there the 'moon' appeared to be at the same elevation as us. It appeared to be big, as is a harvest moon, but the actual moon had already been seen about one hour earlier by me, much higher up in the sky. The (UFO's) colour was yellow. I got out my 30mmX30mm telescope for a better look."
Paul estimated the UFO's size as "about ten meters (33 feet) in length."
"After five minutes of discussion and telescope viewing, we checked from another angle from another room, but in the time I moved from one room to another, it had moved so as to be no longer visible... I went back to my room, and it appeared that the 'moon' was rapidly being covered by cloud--much like watching an eclipse," he noted, adding that, because of the overcast, "nothing was visible above 50 degrees" from the horizon. (Email Interview)
On December 21, 1997, ufologist Geert van Halem left his home on the van Beethovenstraat in Gorinchem in the Netherlands when he spotted a strange object in the northern sky.
Van Halem described the UFO as "about 8 to 10 meters (25 to 33 feet) in diameter, which illuminated a bright white light. It was not normal light but was kind of a shiny glow. Its altitude was about 500 meters (1,650 feet) and it was about 45 degrees above the horizon. It was hovering silently above my neighborhood."
Van Halem said he had seen an identical white UFO in the same part of the sky the night of October 30, 1997.
On November 8, 1997, at 7 p.m., he observed "an object which illuminated a bright red light with a kind of glow to it" to the north-northwest "at an angle of about 50 degrees above the horizon."
Two weeks later, while bicycling after dark across a dyke on the Merwedekanaal in the nearby village of Woudrichem, he saw "an object about 20 meters in length. I could see a row of lights around the object, but I'm not sure if it was circular or similarly shaped...It moved silently with a speed of 17.5 meters per second (i.e. 6,300 kilometers per hour or 3,780 miles per hour--J.T.) It was this speed that convinced me that it could have absolutely not been an airplane." (Many thanks to Dutch readers Stephan and Annet for forwarding this story.)
On Monday evening, January 12, 1998, Spanish police arrested another 19 members of Centro Sagrado de Isis in Santa Cruz de Tenerife.
Santa Cruz is on the north shore of Tenerife, one of the seven Islas Canarias (Canary Islands) off the northwestern coast of Africa.
"The nineteen, including three children, were taken into custody late Monday, after police searched a house belonging to their jailed leader," Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe, 57, of Santa Cruz de Tenerife, "said Mari Paz Bernal, a spokeswoman for the Interior Ministry."
"Their leader, Heide Fittkau-Garthe, 57, was arrested last week and accused of an earlier plot to lead her 31 followers in a mass suicide. According to police, the original scheme called for the followers to kill themselves on January 8-- the day they reportedly believed the world would end."
"Fittkau-Garthe has denied the charges of a group plot to take their lives."
"The followers, police said, believed a space ship would come and pick up their bodies at (Pico de) Teide (a volcano) on Tenerife."
On Tuesday, January 13, 1998, the nineteen suspects, all Germans who had recently come to Tenerife, were "released without charge...a day after being accused of allegedly planning to take part in a mass suicide."
Sra. Paz Bernal reportedly had no comment about whether the release meant the Spanish police still considered the group "a dangerous cult."
"Police said they would continue to monitor the Germans, who were staying in Fittkau-Garthe's house, but they were free to leave the country."
The other 12 members, including Germans and Belgians, were not arrested, Sra. Paz Bernal said.
Dr. Fittkau-Garthe remains in police custody in Santa Cruz de Tenerife. Her attorney, Enrique Porres, said the doctor is "currently charged with attempted murder and incitement to suicide" and added that "the allegations were unfounded."
Dr. Fittkau-Garthe dispenses "spiritual therapy," Porres said, and Centro Sagrado de Isis "has nothing to do with mass suicide."
"During their search of Fittkau-Garthe's house, police discovered a child's drawing of a UFO and then concocted the spaceship story, he says."
(See the Las Vegas, Nevada Sun for January 13, 1998, "German Cult Members Released.")
(Editor's Comment: No doubt about it. Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe is the new John Ford. Free thought in the NATO countries? In the words of an old farmer I met in Bethel, Maine..."Ain't no such animal, sonny!")
Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe's decision to locate her Centro Sagrado de Isis in the Canary Islands, owned by Spain, probably has much to do with the seven islands' unusual history.
Although located out in the Atlantic Ocean, the islands were known to the ancient Phoenicians, Greeks and Romans.
Roman author Pliny, in his HISTORIA NATURALIS, Book IV, pages 31-32, describes the Canaries as the "Happy Islands" or "Blessed Islands," located 750 miles "southwest of Gades." (modern Cadiz, Spain--J.T.)
Around 85 B.C., the Roman general Sertorius and his followers fled to "Junonia" (Gran Canaria island) after his arch-rival Sulla siezed power and became dictator of Rome. Sertorius brought with him the rebel treasury, which is reportedly buried somewhere in the islands.
On April 11, 1307, a caravel belonging to the Knights Templar sailed down the Seine from Paris, loaded to the gunwales with medeival iron-bound chests brimming with gold, silver and jewels. This particular Templar treasure ship also landed somewhere in the Canaries. Just as other treasure ships left France the same week, just before King Philip IV lowered the boom on the controversial Templar order.
In September 1492, Christopher Columbus and his three-ship fleet spent a month anchored there when the Pinta lost her rudder.
In 1862, a Roman Catholic priest hiking along the forested western shore of Hierro Island "discovered signs of writing engraved on the side of a cliff. At the base of the rocky wall were seats of hewn stone arranged in a ring."
The unknown Hierro Island inscription bears a strong resemblance to the writing on Harappan seals discovered at Mohenjo-Daro, Pakistan, the sacred rongorongo boards found on Easter Island and hieroglyphics at several sites in southern Algeria. (See THE WORLD'S LAST MYSTERIES, Reader's Digest Association, Pleasantville, N.Y., 1976, page 299)
In the 1930s, author Paul le Cour, president of Societe Francais d'Atlantologie, found several mysterious clay seals in a grotto near San Miguel de Tenerife, which he claimed were "artifacts from the lost continent of Atlantis."
The writing on the San Miguel seals did not match the Hierro Island inscription, however. (See SHADOW OF ATLANTIS by Alexander Braghine, 1940, reprinted 1995 by Adventures Unlimited Press.)
Another interesting site on Tenerife is Las Canadas, which has what looks like three stone dolmens half-submerged in a pyroclastic lava flow. The site is located in the main caldera of Pico de Teide.
In January 1971, Australian hiker Glenn Weston had a close encounter with aliens near Warragamba Dam on Lake Burragorang in New South Wales, about 110 miles (176 kilometers) west of Sydney.
"One night while camping in a remote area to the south of the Warragamba Dam backwaters," Glenn Weston awoke to "a loud humming noise. He got to his feet and, torch (flashlight) in hand, started off into the bush in the direction of the strange sound, hoping to find out the source."
"He soon became aware that the scrub ahead of him was lit up by a glowing white light. As he approached a nearby clearing he could see through the trees that the glow was coming from some strange structure that he thought to be somewhat egg-shaped. Dark, manlike figures appeared to be moving hastily about the craft."
"Feeling a little uneasy Weston switched off his torch and remained hidden among the trees for a moment, wondering whether to approach the figures to enquire what was going on. While he hid there the figures disappeared into the object and the glow suddenly faded. The mysterious dark shape rose into the air, its loud humming noise now silent."
"Mr. Weston returned rather hastily to his camp. Unable to sleep after what he had witnessed, he remained awake until morning when he wasted no time in packing his haversack and leaving the valley."
(See MYSTERIOUS AUSTRALIA by Rex Gilroy, Nexus Publishing, Mapleton, Qnld., 1995, page 22)
Bill Ralls has a new feature devoted to Project Silver Bug, a U.S. Air Force project to develop a workable flying saucer back in the 1950s. It's part of Bill's UFO World and can be found at http://ufoworld.simplenet.com
Don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO, with its vast array of features, photos and links. Drop in at http://www.ufoinfo.com/
Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP from 1996 and 1997 are always available at our website. Check them out at this URL...http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
That's it for this week. Join us next Sunday for more saucer news from "the paper that goes home-- UFO ROUNDUP." See you then!
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1998 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news 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.