March 15, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
UFO sightings peaked in Florida last week with reports coming in from all over the state.
On Monday, March 2, 1998, at 12:50 p.m., Don Rash was driving his daughter to her job at the Circle K convenience store in Pensacola Beach (population 4,000), a seaside town on the Florida panhandle. As he drove home to Gulf Breeze, six miles (10 kilometers) to the north, "he suddenly looked up into the clouds and blue sky and saw a huge, silver, saucer-shaped object...Don described the object as being the size of a quarter at arm's length."
The saucer "turned up on its side" for a few seconds, then "it disappeared 'as fast as lightning.' He estimated the object to be at 10 o'clock (i.e. about 75 degrees azimuth--J.T.) and to be over the famous Shoreline Park in Gulf Breeze." (Many thanks to Vicki Lyons for this report.)
On Friday, March 6, 1998, a Cub Scout patrol and their two adult advisers were camped out near Titusville (population 39,394) and Cape Canaveral. While the boys slept, the two adults sat up to watch the fire and talk.
At 11 p.m., one of the men reported, "I saw something in the sky and assumed it was a plane with just one headlight on. As it got closer, I realized that it was going at an incredible rate of speed, and that the object didn't 'go away' as the angle of my view changed...It kept going in a northerly track..."
"Bob said, 'Did you see that?'"
"'Go get your binoculars. This is the strangest thing I've ever seen.'"
While Bob went to fetch the binoculars, the witness continued to observe the UFO. "I noticed that it seemed to be changing direction," he reported, "It got many miles north of us and did make a U-turn and come back in a southerly direction."
Taking the binoculars, he "looked at it, and it rotated a little--enough for me to see five lights...The lights that I saw were sort of in a V position...It stayed totally illuminated the entire time...It made no sound and we were able to hear for miles and miles."
The flap went into high gear the following day, Saturday, March 7, when the twin UFOs were seen in several cities on both Florida coasts.
At 6:45 p.m., Craig W. and his wife were driving on Periwinkle Way on Sanibel, an offshore island in the Gulf of Mexico when they "caught a glimpse of two fuzzy, silver-white objects, rounded or perhaps spherical, and each trailing a fan-shaped whitish" contrail. "They looked a lot like the recent (Hale-Bopp) comet would have if it were brighter."
Further north, in Tampa (population 280,015), a large city 273 miles (437 kilometers) northwest of Miami, Joseph Murgia, his wife and 12 other employees at the City of Tampa cable TV access station spotted "two white lights."
"At first they stayed together," Murgia reported, "as if they were mounted on the wing of a plane... Then, to our mild surprise, they broke off and separated. About 15 seconds later, they both 'faded' out within seconds of each other. At arm's length, they were about the size of a tennis ball. They made no sound..."
Also at 6:45 p.m., in Okeechobee (population 4,943), on Highway 441 about 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest of Miami, Danny Oakes, a pilot with the Confederate Air Force stunt team, "witnessed two brightly lighted objects approaching his location (on the north shore of Lake Okeechobee--J.T.) from the southwest at an extremely high velocity. The objects appeared...to slow suddenly, after which one of the objects 'shot off' and then returned to its position beside the other object. Then both objects appeared to go straight up into the atmosphere and disappeared."
In Fort Myers (population 45,206), approximately 129 miles (206 kilometers) south of Tampa, Dr. James Acker, a cardiologist from Knoxville, Tennessee who's vacationing in Florida, "was driving north on Fiddlesticks Boulevard...approximately one mile from the local airport when the (Acker) party witnessed two objects moving across the sky in formation for an estimated 15 to 20 seconds (i.e. an estimated speed of between 720 and 960 miles per hour--J.T.). Both of the objects, he reported, appeared to be bright white lights, and each of them appeared to have a 'halo' around the center core of the lights." Dr. Acker also reported that the objects had a "tail" resembling "a comet in space."
Also at 6:45 p.m., in Vero Beach (population 17,350), a city on the Atlantic Ocean coast about 152 miles (243 kilometers) north of Miami, a witness reported "two bright lights moving towards us, one lower than the other. One turned and disappeared, leaving an illuminated doughnut ring. Then the other light did the exact same thing."
At 6:50 p.m., two witnesses in Lehigh Acres, Fla. (population 13,611), on Highway 884 about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of Fort Myers, saw "two glowing fireball objects with a huge afterglow spread out behind them" while they were "traveling east on 23rd Street in Lehigh Acres and then north on Beth Stacy Boulevard." The UFOs were "observed traveling southeast...The object on the left was higher than the one on the right. About two minutes after the objects were spotted, the one on the left faded out for about two seconds but the afterglow remained."
Also at 6:50 p.m., a couple in Island Park in Sarasota (population 50,961), a city on the Gulf coast 45 miles (72 kilometers) south of Tampa, reported an "object coming from the southeast at twilight, sky very clear and not yet dark. Object was white with a small white core came moving towards us...It moved steadily toward the northwest and seemed to dissolve."
At 6:55 p.m., witnesses in Punta Gorda, Fla. (population 10,747), located 23 miles (37 kilometers) east of Fort Myers, reported "two brightly-glowing, disk-shaped objects at about 100 degrees magnetic and 40 to 50 degrees above the horizon. Relationship to each other was line-abreast formation. Movement was extremely slow and turned to the east."
At 7 p.m., six adults sitting on a lanai in Port Charlotte, Fla. (population 41,535) located 28 miles (45 kilometers) north of Fort Myers, "observed two bright lights about five finger-breadths apart moving erratically" through the sky.
The National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle also received calls from witnesses in Bonita Springs, Sarasota Springs and St. Petersburg.
On Sunday, March 8, WINK-TV in Fort Myers aired an amateur video of the two UFOs on its 6 p.m. news broadcast. (See Florida Today for March 11, 1998, "Viewers Treated to Eerie Sky Show." Many thanks to Peter B. Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center, George A. Filer of MUFON, Vicki Lyons, Joseph Murgia, Courtland Lewis and others for these reports.)
On Saturday, March 7, 1998, the same evening the two UFOs appeared in southwestern Florida, a similar glowing UFO was seen in Bermuda.
Bermuda is an island in the Atlantic Ocean approximately 650 miles (1,040 kilometers) northeast of Titusville, Florida.
The majority of the sightings were reported on the south side of the island, in Warwick, Smiths, Devonshire and Paget. One witness described the object as "a red light traveling east."
Dozens of witnesses telephoned the police and reported "mysterious lights hovering over the island" between 7:45 and 8 p.m., local time.
"Eyewitness Jean Plath was driving down Middle Road when she saw the lights."
"'It was huge, big as a stadium arena light,' Mrs. Plath said, 'At first it looked like a helicopter with a searchlight I couldn't say how high up it was, but it wasn't that high. It was really white and had a shaft (of light) coming down.'"
"' Then it just evaporated. It turned into two hazy lights and took off into the air. Then something even stranger happened. I looked across the street, and there was this sort of pink haze everywhere, like a mist."
On March 9, the Bermuda sighting was attributed to a missile test, the launch of two D-25 missiles from the Trident submarine USS West Virginia. (See the Royal Gazette of Bermuda for March 9, 1998, "Inhabitants Jarred Over UFO Sighting," and March 10, 1998, "UFO Lights Caused by US Missile Launch." Many thanks to Jay in Hamilton for these news stories.)
On Thursday, March 5, 1998, Skip, a six-year-old white gelding belonging to rancher Kim Miller of Sanford, Colorado, was found dead and mutilated in a pasture near the Rio Grande River, located 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Alamosa.
The horse, one of a herd of 16, was found lying on its left side and "missing the flesh around the left mandible, the genitalia and the right ear."
Miller and his 19-year-old son made the gruesome discovery early that morning. The son reported that "fifty eagles were flying around like swallows."
On Friday, March 6, 1998, at 10 a.m., author/ investigator Christopher O'Brien met the Millers in Alamosa and drove out to the crime scene for an on-site investigation.
O'Brien described the scene as a field of "chimisia, sage and alkali flats." As they arrived, fifteen agitated horses crowded the truck, momentarily preventing them from reaching the crime scene.
"I've been running them out in this field for three years," Miller said, "and they've never acted like this before...they're trying to tell us something."
O'Brien carefully examined Skip's carcass. He reported, "The ear was removed in a three-inch (6 centimeter) diameter circle. The horse also had a 'baseball-sized hole in the brisket.' The carcass exhibited appearent evidence of being killed by proficient professionals. The softball-sized brisket hole was especially impressive. A 12-inch (24- centimeter) plug of heart/muscle had been completely removed without a single spilled drop of blood."
"The horse's winter coat, about two-and-a-half inches (5 centimeters) in length, had been cut to one-eighth of an inch (0.25 centimeters) around the upper muzzle portion of the mandible excision."
Strangest of all was the absence of tracks, including Skip's hoofprints, at the crime scene. O'Brien noted that the ground consists of fluffy white alkali, which displays tracks very well.
"You could throw a pen out there and see it," said Miller, an expert hunting guide.
O'Brien collected three tissue and blood samples from the remains, which will be evaluated by the Rocky Ford state pathology laboratory, a veterinary pathology lab and a hematologist in Denver. (Many thanks to Chris O'Brien, author of THE MYSTERIOUS VALLEY, for this report.)
UFOs were sighted in western Colorado last week, east of Grand Junction.
On Monday, March 2, 1998, at about 2 a.m., William R., who was "awake due to some back pain" heard his dogs whining at his home in Cedaredge, Colo. (population 1,380), a town on Highway 65 about 15 miles (25 kilometers) east of Delta.
"He went out on the back porch to see what was bothering them. To his surprise, his dogs were looking into the sky."
"Above Cedaredge were seven objects that appeared to be 1,000 feet (300 meters) up in the air. stationary, soundless and quite large, with bright multi-colored lights on them, 'like Christmas lights.'
He described the UFOs as "built like an octagon" and "all had white colored lights but one, which had amber-colored lights. One object was located over the school, another over the golf course, another over a county road and the rest in various locations" around Cedaredge. He then woke up his elderly mother and they watched the UFOs until about 3 a.m. (Many thanks to ufologist Davina Ryszka for this news story.)
On Friday, March 6, 1998, at 10 p.m., Chip Sierra was at his home on the Ruedi Reservoir near Basalt, Colo. (population 1,128) when he spied a UFO in the night sky.
Basalt is just off Highway 82 about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Glenwood Springs.
Chip reported that the UFO "first appeared in the southern sky and then moved to the southeast" and was "20 degrees above the horizon." He added, "It was perhaps two or three times the diameter and brightness of Jupiter. Or just smaller than the size of a pencil eraser held at arm's length."
He described the UFO as "a fireball" of a bright white color that was "pretty well defined against the dark night sky. I only saw it for a minute before it dropped behind the mountain." (Email Interview)
On Sunday, March 8, 1998, at about 6 p.m., a bright green fireball appeared over Placerville, California (population 8,355), a small city on Highway 50 about 44 miles (70 kilometers) east of Sacramento.
Minutes later, the fireball hovered in the sky over Sacramento, the state capital. Motorists stopped their cars on San Juan Road and Del Paso Road in the west end of the city to observe the phenomenon.
"Traffic on Interstate (Highway) 80 between Davis and Dixon slowed to a halt as motorists stopped to watch the fireball. Many drivers swamped the California Highway Patrol with phone calls, but the control tower at Sacramento (Metropolitan) airport insisted no planes were missing."
Sacramento (population 369,365) is 91 miles (145 kilometers) east of San Francisco.
In Monterey (population 31,954), located 125 miles (200 kilometers) south of San Francisco, witnesses reported the green fireball hovering over the bay.
"The (U.S.) Coast Guard contacted Griffith Observatory in Los Angeles, which confirmed that it was a big meteor shower."
Coast Guard spokesman Lt. Alan Tubbs said, "It was just getting dark and everybody was facing this direction just as the sun was coming down. It was the king of all meteor showers." (See the San Jose Mercury News for March 9, 1998, "Meteor Shower Stalls Traffic Near Sacramento." Many thanks to Arnold Veness for forwarding this news story.)
On Sunday, March 1, 1998, at 11:50 a.m., Alex Cavallari "was waiting for some people to arrive" at his home in the Sheepshead Bay section of Brooklyn, a borough of New York City, and decided to go out on the front porch.
"While I was waiting, I was looking at the clouds in the sky and noticed a cigar-shaped UFO. The object was first seen near the perimeter of a cloud formation."
Getting his Minolta camera from the house, Alex "went back to looking at the cloud formation...and I noticed the object exiting the the cloud...There was a small clear (patch of) sky near where the object was exiting, and it (the UFO) appeared to be heading toward another cloud formation."
While the object was in clear blue sky, Alex took four pictures with his camera.
"As I was taking a picture, I saw a very bright object of white light in the vicinity. It appeared a little like a fireworks rocket exploding. There was no sound and the flash was very bright. The flash looked like a point of white light exploding into very small white lights."
"I then saw what appeared to be spheres/orbs," he added, "White colored dots all over the sky. The spheres/orbs disappeared in about five seconds."
"I was looking around and noticed the cigar-shaped UFO in the north, exiting a cloud formation. It was entering clear sky, so I took a few more pictures." He estimated the cigar-shaped UFO to be at an altitude of "10,000 feet at 60 to 70 degrees above the horizon."
(Many thanks to Alex Cavallari for this report. Alex is also a ham radio enthusiast and can be reached at KB2NYV.)
Reports continue to pour in about UFO activity along New Jersey's Atlantic Ocean shore following the recent sightings in the Toms River area.
Michael A., who lives in Eatontown, N.J. (population 13,800), located 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Toms River, says his community has been visited by UFOs "for the past ten months."
According to Mike, he, his girlfriend and Paul D., another resident, have seen "many strange craft in both Monmouth and Ocean counties. We have seen craft hovering over the CECOM Building, located in Tinton Falls, N.J. (population 12,361) thirty miles north of Toms River, also over top of the Electronic Weapons and Night Vision Development building, and over top of the Pulse power station."
Mike also claims to "have seen in my area triangular craft flying low overhead from the east towards the west, observed over the Earle Naval Weapons base in Colts Neck, N.J. They have been seen moving east towards the ocean along the Navasink and Shrewsbury Rivers."
On two occasions, Mike and his friends "saw a round band of flourescent blue light on the underbelly of one of the hovering craft directly over the Gardern State Parkway (New Jersey Route 9) and it was clearly a triangular craft." (Email Interview)
On February 26, 1998, at 1:05 a.m., postal workers Timothy N. and Samuel W. were driving to work on Interstate Highway 89 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City when they spied a UFO.
The men saw the UFO as they were driving through Syracuse, Utah (population 4,658). The UFO was "hovering over Antelope Island in the Great Salt Lake."
"We looked out over the lake and saw a very unusual and peculiar sight," Tim reported. "We couldn't tell what it was, so we drove toward the lake to take a closer look. There were dozens of dead seagulls on the side of the road. As we got closer to the lights hovering down the road, the lights in our Chevrolet truck started to flicker. This lasted only a brief moment."
"As we got closer, we could tell that this was not an airplane. It had a spherical shape and was one to two hundred yards (90 to 180 meters) in diameter. As we got closer, we could see lights flashing bright, ranging from green to yellow to blue."
The men saw the UFO "zigzagging and figure eights." When it stopped moving, "this is when we got our best look. It had a metallic look to it and had lights that rotated."
Next the object "slowly moved behind a mountain." Then "the UFO, giving off a faint hum, slowly appeared from behind the mountain, then just like a flash of lightning it flew off to the west and that was the last we saw of it." (See Filer's Files #10 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer of MUFON for this report.)
On Wednesday, February 25, 1998, at about 9:15 p.m., Debbie Hickman was driving west on Interstate Highway 40 in Oklahoma when she spied "a green fireball" in the night sky.
Ms. Hickman saw the object "at mile marker 126, west of El Reno, Okla. (population 15,414)."
"I left Oklahoma City and was driving west on I-40 back to Elk City," she reported. "I had passed the towns of Yukon and El Reno and was at mile marker 126 when I spotted a green fireball in the sky west of my position. It appeared to be about the size of a golf ball at arm's length and traveled straight-line. I spotted the fireball as it came into the view of my windshield. It was in view for three or four seconds as it traveled straight down and then impacted the ground... I saw green sparks fly up from the impact."
The next evening, Thursday, February 26, 1998, Ms. Hickman saw "a huge white light just south of Clinton Lake. The light was seen near the Clinton/ Sherman Air Force Base but it was at treetop level. While (she was) observing the light, it 'instantly' came forward to the edge of the tree line...and the light could be seen through the trees. It then moved up a few feet in altitude and moved over the interstate directly over her truck. It then flew along I-40 for a few seconds."
By the time Ms. Hickman reached mile marker 47, near Canute, Okla. (population 538), the mysterious light had vanished. She added, "The light was so bright it illuminated the (truck's) cab." (Many thanks to Cliff Capers and Jim Hickman of Skywatch International for this report.)
On Friday, March 6, 1998, the same day a bright white UFO was seen near Cape Canaveral, Florida, two silvery disc-shaped objects were seen across the Atlantic Ocean, along the coast of Portugal.
Three people walking the beach at Praia da Cabana do Pescador in Portugal's Costa da Caparica spotted a silvery glimmer in the blue afternoon sky. One witness said, "The objects were small, disc-shaped, showing a luminous glow and showing a bright top when seen to turn, and (looked) a little like sterling silver." (Muito obrigado a Pedro Cunha por eso caso.)
On Sunday, March 1, 1998, at 8:30 a.m., Maya S. 'was sitting in the backyard, having a cigarette and looking up into the vastness of the hot, clear, night sky" and "saw what seemed like a meteorite streak across the whole sky from north to south."
Maya's home is in Fremantle, Western Australia (W.A.), about 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Perth, the state capital.
The object flew "without losing its velocity or its brightness," Maya reported. "As it neared the southern horizon, my eye caught the attention of another distant meteorite more directly above me. As it was going, it did a 300-degree circle and shot off after" the other object. "What struck me the most was its 'irregular' motion...I've never witnessed anything unnatural like this in the sky before." (Email Interview)
"Mrs. Carroll Hartzog Thursday night reported an encounter with a UFO on her recent trip to Atlanta."
"She said she and her daughter, Paula Materanek, were leaving Lufkin en route for Atlanta last Friday night about 9:30 p.m. when they saw 'a very large brightly lighted object approaching.'"
"'As it passed over us, I leaned against the glass and had a very good look at it,' Mrs. Hartzog said, ' It was below the tops of the pines and passed over the car, and continued to follow the highway, passing from our view in making the curve.'"
"'It had bright red lights, alternating with white light, coming out of the openings. The bottom surface visible toward us was round and a larger object than the length of the car. There were no wings or extensions, just the round object, with sort of a loud humming noise, unlike anything we had ever seen.'" (See the Victoria, Texas Advocate for March 13, 1981, page 1."
UFO ROUNDUP and its parent site, UFOINFO, have new addresses on the Web. Once again, we got away just one step ahead of the cyber-sheriff, and now we're operating from a new doman.
All those great UFO photos and features John Hayes has collected at UFOINFO can now by had by going to http://www.ufoinfo.com.
And you'll find the UFO ROUNDUP website at this URL: http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
Readers who want to check out Alex Cavallari's new UFO photos should drop in at his website at http://www.members.aol.com/xelaufo/index.htm
I hear the Federal Bureau of Investigation (FBI) has a webpage devoted to "Unusual Phenomena," including Project Blue Book and the controversial Majestic-12 documents. Check it out at this URL: http://www.fbi.gov/foipa/ufo.htm
Today's an anniversary for astronomers. On this date, March 15, 1960, the world's largest solar telescope opened at Kitt Peak, Arizona.
We'll be back next week with more saucer news from all over the planet, brought to you by "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.