February 15, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
A three-day UFO flap rocked the Andalucia region in southern Spain this week, with numerous sightings of glowing orange spheres.
On Monday, February 9, 1998, Juan Valiente was at work at Fabrica de Cementes Ltda., a cement plant in Torredonjimeno when he spotted a mysterious orange glow at 8 p.m. Looking directly at it, Valiente saw "a spherical orange object rising in circles above the plant."
The following day, Tuesday, February 10, 1998, at 1:42 p.m., Jose Antonio Martini Framit and his friend, Mark Sanders, were driving north on autovia Jaen/Granada near Pico de Magina. Both men are members of the Sociedad de Investigaciones Biofisicas (S.I.B.), a UFO study group.
"Halfway down the road we saw an incredible sparkle," Jose reported. "Like a flash of lightning that illuminated everything. My first reaction was to look out the side window, and there it was. In that moment, I saw a very vivid, orange-colored sphere. It was not the first time I had seen one, but this time the object was much more distinct."
He estimated the UFO's size at that distance to be 15 centimeters (7 inches) in diameter. "The altitude was approximately 500 meters (1,650 feet), and I saw it below the clouds," he reported. "The velocity was very high, comparable to a meteor. Its flight path was totally horizontal. Mark did not see the object, only the glow."
The UFO was heading southeast. Jose stopped the car, turned and followed, hoping to keep the object in view. "We followed in the same direction, but it disappeared before Mark could see it."
The next night, Wednesday, February 11, 1998, at the Fabrica de Cementes plant in Torredonjimeno, night watchman Manuel Lopez was in his guard shack at 7 p.m. when "something began rattling the windows." Reddish-orange light poured through the windowpanes.
Rushing outside, Lopez watched the orange-sphere UFO fly away at high speed. "I heard the loud clap of its departure and felt the vibrations," he told investigators.
At 1:40 a.m., Officer Baldomero of the Policia Local was on patrol in town with another policeman when "they saw 'an immense luminosity' of a white color that flew through the night sky. The light lasted between 15 and 20 seconds."
Nearly a minute later, "they heard a tremendous bang of four seconds' duration. They did not observe an object. The light appeared in the north." The officers reported the incident to the local cuartel of the Guardia Civil (Spain's police--J.T.)
Torredonjimeno is located 20 kilometers (12 miles) west of Jaen, approximately 240 kilometers (150 miles) south of Madrid. (Muchas gracias a Antonio Salinas Cervi y Miguel Angel Pereira de S.I.B. para esas noticias.)
On Thursday, February 5, 1998, residents of Mobile, Alabama (population 196,278) reported hearing "loud sonic booms" and "explosions."
Mobile County 911 was flooded with calls. Most of the complaints came from Navco, Cottage Hill, Jackson Heights and Tillman's Corner on the south side of the city.
According to the Mobile County Sheriff's Department, a deputy at the substation in Theodore, Alabama (population 6,509), on Highway 59 about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Mobile, "saw the walls shake when a boom sounded. No one was injured and no major damage was reported."
Meteorologists at the National Weather Service had no explanation for the noises. The U.S. Geological Survey's Earthquake Center in Boulder, Colorado said the sound was not caused by earthquakes.
A spokesman for the U.S. Air Force said the sonic booms might have been caused by USAF supersonic fighters "traveling from Texas to Florida." He added that, under "certain weather conditions," a sonic boom may be carried long distances over water.
Mobile is located on Interstate Highway 10 at the head of Mobile Bay, approximately 170 miles (272 kilometers) south of Montgomery, the state capital.
(See the Miami Herald for February 6, 1998.)
(Editor's Comment: Mobile Bay is thirty miles long. That's a long way for a sonic boom to travel from the Gulf of Mexico.)
On Tuesday, February 10, 1998, at about 8 p.m., James D. was relaxing at his home in Dana Point, California (population 31,896), about 35 miles (56 kilometers) south of Los Angeles, when he spied a most unusual UFO.
"Every night I try to go out in my yard and smoke a cigar," James reported. "At about 8 p.m. I witnessed a red object keeping pace with a southbound commercial airliner. It seemed to be off the left wing somewhere between 300 and 500 yards. You could clearly see that it was not a plane, as it was much smaller" than the jetliner.
"The jetliner was going in a southeasterly direction, probably ten miles (16 kilometers) offshore," he added. "It flew at between 15,000 and 20,000 feet (4,545 to 6,060 meters) The object appeared off the left wing from where I was. It was at the same speed for approximately four to five miles before it disappeared. It was a red sphere. It almost looked as if it was chasing the plane, because the airliner was accelerating, but the object kept pace. As it passed to the south, you could definitely see that the object was separate from the plane. It (the UFO) just seemed to disappear into thin air. The only sound I heard was the engines of the airliner." (Email Interview)
On Tuesday, February 3, 1998, at 9:47 p.m., Jonathan A. "was heading south on I-25" Interstate Highway 25 in Denver, Colorado (population 467,610) when he spotted something strange in the sky.
"I saw a bright blue light in the sky that was hovering for about one minute," Jon reported. "There was no structure (on the UFO), and the sky was clear. It looked by me that it could have been just east of the Highlands Ranch. I could not saw just how far away it was, but it was as big as my thumb, so it was close."
"I would say it was about 20 degrees above the horizon," he added. "I stopped to watch. Then it moved fast--straight up--and it was gone. I drove further east but had no luck seeing it again. Who knows what it was? All I know is that I saw it, and I could not identify 'it' or the flight pattern it took." (Email Interview)
The small town of Gratis, Ohio (population 998), at the junction of Highways 725 and 503 approximately 97 miles (155 kilometers) southwest of Columbus, is once more the scene of UFO activity.
On Thursday, February 5, 1998, at 8:30 p.m., Timothy J. reported that "his brother came in the house and stated that there was a UFO outside."
Heading outdoors, Tim spotted the object to the southeast of their house. He described it as "a triangular shape" that "had a glow that contrasted against the sky. It had a light at each corner and three more at the center. Two of the outside lights flashed alternately with one center light. It made no sound and flew extremely slow." (Many thanks to Tim Hagemeister of NACOMM for this report.)
On November 19, 1997, at around 5:30 p.m., Edward J. reported, "My wife and daughter have seen the strange objects in the southern sky near Camden and Gratis. Today I saw those lights. There were four lights in position. Two of the lights were almost on top of the others. One of the two was much larger. The four lights, when you looked at them, you could tell they were all together in a group, being set apart from all the others such as stars and aircraft. My daughter states that she sees these lights frequently and calls them 'the Gratis UFOs.'" (Many thanks to Kenneth Young, public relations director of Tri-State Advocates for Scientific Knowledge, T.A.S.K., for this report.)
In early February, Jason R. was staying at his grandparents' home in Dunkirk, New York, located on the shores on Highway 5 approximately 45 miles (72 kilometers) southwest of Buffalo, when he heard a strange whirring noise.
"I was sitting on my grandmother's front porch one night and heard a type of whizzing sound coming from the sky," he reported. "At first I thought it was a plane crashing. As I looked around for several minutes, I saw a bright orange stick-figured object fly over the house. It looked like one of those roadside red flare things. It was as big as or bigger than the house across the street."
Jason immediately went indoors to tell his family. As the UFO flew around overhead, it was observed by the boy, his sister and both grandparents.
(Many thanks to Kenneth Young of T.A.S.K. for passing on this report.)
January 1998 was a big month for UFO sightings in Chile.
On January 4, 1998, Pablo Marinan and his family spied a UFO over their hometown of Angol, located 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Santiago de Chile, the national capital.
"The object was 55 degrees above the horizon and southeast of us," Pablo reported. "The UFO was oval in shape, a very bright light with a dark structure around it. The object was vibrating. At arm's length, it was about two centimeters (one inch) long."
On January 17, 1998, at 9:19 p.m., Rodrigo Bravo saw "a very bright white/gold light come from the south at high speed. It stopped in mid-air over Santiago (above the Corrillos section) for about ten seconds, then it shot back to the south from where it came."
On January 24, 1998, Sergio Rojas and four friends drove out to Tranque Alfalfal dam in El Cajon del Maipo about 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Santiago. On their way up the mountain to the dam, "they saw two balls of light pass over them at a very high speed. After a few seconds, they saw a third one, but it was traveling much slower."
Arriving at the dam, Sergio and his friends left the car and walked to the cliff's edge. "From here they could see the Rio Maipo 100 meters (330 feet) below. Then they saw a cigar/egg-shaped UFO about 18 meters (60 feet) long coming up the river. It was a bright white color. They heard a very high-pitched tone that clogged their ears for a while."
As the UFO flew by, the group found themselves covered by "a strange mist, hot and cold at the same time." They hurried back to the car and drove down the mountain.
"On their way to San Jose de Maipo, they encountered a UFO that was hovering about 800 meters (2,640 feet) from them. They stopped the car and got out. The UFO looked like the moon but was slightly smaller and was white-colored. After five minutes of observation, the UFO faded away like a cloud or smoke." (Muchas gracias a Luis Sanchez Perry para esas informaciones.)
On Monday, February 9, 1998, at about 3 p.m., Vincent R. was near Railroad Avenue in Greenwich, Connecticut (population 58,400) when he heard the distinctive sound of helicopter engines.
Looking up, Vincent saw "two black helicopters with armor around the windows. They were flying very low, just over 1,000 feet (300 meters)." He described the helicopters as "medium size, no antennae" and "with skids." They were "flying towards Long Island" along a flight path that would have taken them across Long Island Sound to Lattingtown, New York.
Greenwich is located on U.S. Route 1 in the southwestern corner of Connecticut approximately 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of New York City. (Email Interview)
Five years before Roswell, during World War II, a Bristol Beaufighter of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) clashed with a UFO over the Bass Strait, south of Melbourne, Australia. Here is the pilot's own account:
"We had orders not long after the Japanese attack on Darwin (on February 19, 1942--J.T.) to patrol the Bass Strait where fishermen had reported seeing mysterious lights on the sea at night."
(Editor's Note: The Allied high command thought the lights might be from long-range German U-boats or Japanese I-class submarines.)
"At 5:50 p.m. of a lovely sunny (February) evening, we were flying some miles east of the Tasman Peninsula when, of a sudden, there came out of a cloud bank, a singular airfoil of a glistening bronze color."
"I'd say it was around 150 feet long and about 50 feet in diameter. It had a sort of beak at its prow, and the surface seemed burled or rippled or fluted. On its upper surface was a dome or cupola, from which I seemed to see reflected flashes as the sun struck something, which might or might not have been a helmet, worn by something inside."
At this point, the pilot, Lt. William Brennan, took his Beaufighter in for a closer look.
"Every now and again there came from its keel greenish-blue flashes. It turned at a small angle towards us, and I was amazed to see, framed in a white circle on the front of the dome, an image of a large, grinning Cheshire cat."
(Editor's Comment: Cartoon "nose art" was common on warplanes of World War II. It seems that the UFOnauts had gotten into the spirit of the times.)
"The damn thing flew parallel to us for some minutes, then it abruptly turned away and, as it did so, it showed four things like fins on its belly- side. It went off at a hell of a pace, turned and dived straight down into the Pacific, and went under, throwing up a regular whirlpool of waves! Just as if it had been a submarine. No, the Japs had nothing in the amphibian line like that mysterious bird." (See FLYING SAUCERS UNCENSORED by Harold T. Wilkins, Citadel Press, New York, NY 1955, pages 224-255.)
For a look at the UFO scene in Japan, check out Mizuki Tamura's new site. Log in at this URL: http://www.bekkoame.or.jp/~fitzroy/html/ufoe.html
On Saturday, February 14, Ontario ufologist Jennifer Jarvis launched her new site, ORBWATCH. Check it out at http://www.per.to/orbwatch/
Our parent site, UFOINFO, has a great new feature--a whole webpage devoted to the Irish UFO Research Association (IUFOPRA). For a look at IUFOPRA's files on sightings and encounters in Eire, go to http://www.ufoinfo.com/iufopra/files.shtml
Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP are always available for downloading at our website. Just drop in at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
Last week your editor mentioned a site devoted to underground bases. Several readers have informed me that the URL for this site-- http://www.budget.net/~harbob/undbases.htm --cannot be contacted. Readers, please take note.
And that's it for this week. If you come across a UFO story in your local newspaper, why not clip it out and send it to our snail-mail address. That's UFO ROUNDUP, Box 16, 126 Toll Gate Road, Warwick, Rhode Island, USA 02886.
We'll be back next weekend with 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 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 the issue in which the item first appeared.