April 26, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Two more unexplained power failures blacked out Bariloche last week at the same time people reported seeing UFOs passing overhead.
The city, also known as San Carlos de Bariloche, is a popular resort in the Andes of Argentina. Located on the south shore of Lago (Lake) Nahuel Huapi, the city is about 1,040 kilometers (650 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires.
The first in the series of inexplicable blackouts took place Sunday, April 12, 1998 when witnesses reported seeing two UFOs "fuse together" over Cerro Carbon (hill).
On Tuesday night, April 14, 1998, "a great part of the city was totally darkened." Cooperativa Electricidade de Bariloche (CEB), the city's power company, traced the source of the blackout to the transmission lines along the Avenida Bustico near the transformer substation at Puerto Moreno. CEB said the sobrecorriente (power surge) "was five to six times greater than normal."
In the barrio Melipal, eyewitness Julio Posse stated, "I saw an interesting glow to the east of the Cerro Otto (hill). With my family I saw it from my yard. My sons shouted, 'Papa, the OVNIs!' (Spanish acronym for UFOs--J.T.) All I said was 'Yes, the OVNIs.'"
According to the newspaper Diario La Manana del Sur, "Officially no one has cited the word OVNI. But, to all of the questions, no one (at CEB) can explain the phenomenon. The lines were hit with a charge of 1,050 amperes. The automatic meters at the transformer substation Los Cipresales indicated the same surge at the moment during which witnesses sighted OVNIs last Sunday in the skies over Bariloche."
CEB spokesman Luis Baigorria said, "At present we do not have an explanation that can determine the cause of the surge."
Claudio Campo, an engineer for CEB, said, "That which occurred Tuesday night was identical to the incident Sunday. But in this case it was reported by the meters at the substation in Puerto Moreno."
The third blackout occurred Thursday night, April 16, 1998. Again Bariloche was completely blacked out for several hours.
Meanwhile reports of UFO sightings poured in from the Lago Nahuel Huapi shore and the hills and valleys east of Bariloche.
A man named Zuber "videotaped an OVNI about 15 kilometers from home, near School #255 at the intersection of Rutas 23 and 237. His three-minute tape shows a great black object with a light that 'shines intently and incessantly' with twinkling red, blue, yellow and green lights. The object can be seen with better clarity when he zooms in. A slight luminous halo surrounds the object."
Zuber's Sony camcorder tape was aired on Canal (Channel) 6's noontime news broadcast in Bariloche the following day.
Other witnesses reported seeing "two or three OVNIs" flying eastward over the city towards Cerro Leon" hill. (See the Argentinian newspapers Diario la Manana del Sur for April 15, 1998 and Diario Rio Negro for April 17, 1998, "Filmaron un OVNI Cerca del Cerro Leon en Bariloche." Muchas gracias a Carlos Iurchuk para esas noticias.)
A luminous, cigar-shaped UFO hovered over the municipal stadium in Guayaquil, Ecuador on Tuesday, April 21, 1998, at 7 p.m., interrupting a professional futbol (soccer in the USA--J.T.) game.
Guayaquil, Ecuador's port city on the Pacific Ocean, is located 380 kilometers (224 miles) southwest of Quito, the national capital.
The game pitted the Guayaquil pro futbol team against the pro team from Barcelona.
Midway through the game, people in the stands noticed "a very bright light" rising in the southwest sky. As it drew nearer, more and more spectators pointed it out and shouted. The UFO was described as "a white cigar-shaped object surrounded by a strong luminosity."
The UFO crossed the city and then hovered over the stadium for ten minutes. A cameraman for Canal (Channel) 7 in Guayaquil, who was covering the game, aimed his videocam at the object. His footage was broadcasted by Canal 7 the following day.
The UFO flew away to the north "at a tremendous velocity." (See the Brazilian newspaper Correio Brasiliense for April 22, 1998. Muito obrigado a Pedro Cunha por eso caso.)
On Thursday, April 16, 1998, Israel Television Channel One broadcast an interview with Golan Nasrir, 30, an Israeli Arab who discovered a crop circle in a wheat field in the Emeq Yisreel (Valley of Jezreel.)
The crop circle was found near the village of Bet Zarzir, located about 40 kilometers (24 miles) southeast of Haifa.
According to Israeli journalist Barry Chamish, "On the evening of April 12, a resident of the Jezreel Valley Arab village of Bet Zarzir heard dogs bark wildly, looked outside and saw small lights darting in a nearby wheat field. The next day he told his friend Golan Nasrir about the incident, and he (Golan) went to the field, thus discovering the crop circle."
Chamish described the crop circle as "a 26-meter half-circle with an equally long and straight 'tail' attached."
"Within the circle were seven round pods in the mud. All vegetation within was killed, and the ground was severely dessicated compared to the surrounding soil. In four of the pods, the soil was covered with a white powder, while, in the other three pods, there was a red oily fluid."
Israeli ufologist Gil Bar painstakingly took samples of the white powder and red oil. Chamish showed the samples to Dr. Marvin Antleman, who reportedly speculated that the oil might be a derivative of cobalt. Dr. Antleman is making arrangements to have the samples analyzed in a laboratory. (Many thanks to Barry Chamish for this news story.)
On Saturday, April 18, 1998, at 8:30 p.m., Richard Macedo was at his home in Temple City, California (population 31,100), a suburb of Los Angeles, with his wife and sister. Macedo is a 39-year-old quality assurance manager for a Boeing subcontractor.
"My sister saw it first," Richard reported, "She was looking east and saw the object in a one o'clock position. She was sitting under a 2-foot eave so I imagine her viewing angle was around 80 degrees. My wife responded to my sister's shouting and spied the object somewhat lower in the sky."
"I saw the final part of its descent with a large tree in the foreground, and it seemed to be blinking as the foliage partially blocked out my view. But my sister claimed it was blinking all the way down, even when it was in the open sky. It appeared to be falling at an 85 degrees angle."
The trio watched the UFO from their porch near the intersection of Olive Street and Halifax Road in Temple City. Richard said the UFO was "utterly silent" and might have gone down in the area of lower Azusa Avenue.
"The object appeared to be illuminating the roof of the church next door...I thought I might have noticed a bluish glow from the bottom of the object before it vanished completely." (Email Interview)
On Wednesday, April 22, 1998, Cinde Costello of San Bernardino MUFON received a phone call from a woman employed by the Job Corps. The woman reported that "fifty people had witnessed three bright lights heading east towards the Big Bear mountain area" at about 8:30 p.m.
San Bernardino (population 164,164) is located 65 miles (84 kilometers) east of Los Angeles.
At first the woman "thought they might be hang gliders with lights." She described the UFOs as "the lights were bright amber-yellow and appeared to be floating or hovering. The three objects then began to move south and changed color from amber to bright red. The objects were viewed for more than 10 minutes."
The UFOs were an estimated one mile from the 50 witnesses. Some claimed to have seen a "wing-like structure or an object with what she described as 'like a seagull's wings.'"
According to Cinde Costello, a gull-winged UFO was seen over San Bernardino on January 5, 1998. (Many thanks to Jerry Glass and Cinde Costello of MUFON for this news story.)
On Saturday, April 18, 1998, at 10:15 p.m., designers Amy S. and Jennifer K. were in the backyard of a home near Army Street in San Francisco (population 723,959) when Amy spotted a strange-looking object high in the sky.
Jennifer reported, "The object was moving northwest" over the city "really slow, way up. We were out looking at the stars--looking for satellites. No sound, no trail. We had it in view for 35 to 40 seconds."
"There was no fuselage. It looked like a wing flying in the air. No tail section," she added. "Wings were not bigger than the fuselage because there wasn't any." The object was primarily "perpendicular wings with some sweeping back, the ends were bent slightly. It was moving in a forward direction. There was no glow, just a faint gray color. Other friends of ours didn't see it because it was so fast. It seemed very high up." (Email Interview)
On March 13, 1998, at 7 p.m., Nicole Prescott and her grandmother, mother and sister were at their home near Marfa, Texas (population 2,424) when the area's most puzzling phenomenon--the Marfa Lights--made a sudden appearance.
The lights appeared "at 70 to 75 degrees above the horizon. They were crackling bright lights of white and orange."
Nicole reported, "They seemed to come towards you. Some were the size of a basketball. Others were no bigger than the head of a pencil."
The Marfa Lights were first reported in 1881 by a local cowboy. A Japanese scientific team videotaped them in 1994. Science has never been able to explain the mysterious darting lights, which usually appear over Mitchell's Flat, southwest of Chinati Mountain.
Marfa is at the junction of U.S. Highways 67 and 90, about 194 miles (310 kilometers) southeast of El Paso.
According to Nicole, a local man was driving across the flat prairie north of the Cuseto del Punto mountains last winter when a Marfa light entered his car through the rear window, hovered over the back seat hissing and crackling, and then vanished several minutes later. (See American UFO Newsletter #7 for 1998. Many thanks to editor Stefan Duncan for this news story.)
On Wednesday, April 15, 1998, at 11:40 p.m., law clerk T. Tony was at his home on the Rue d'Authie in the quartier Chemin Vert in Caen, a city in northern France, when he spied a triangular UFO.
"I found myself at home when my attention was drawn to the window by a luminosity in the night sky, which that night was very clear," M. Tony reported. "The moon was in its first quarter but could not be seen, the wind slight and there were few clouds. It (the UFO) appeared to be a luminous mass, vaguely triangular, like a triangle with rounded edges but very sharp in the front. It was a bright orange luminosity, with a band of light red across the middle that was quite visible. It was followed by a red rectilinear hind part. There weren't any beacons or clusters of lights."
"The object was in rapid descent when I saw it, but without any noise. In 20 seconds, the object performed a multitude of aerobatic maneuvers that did not appear to have any logical purpose, passing in pirouette and looping without ever changing its speed. Then it left my field of view, and I saw nothing more."
Caen is in Normandy, in the department Calvados, about 250 kilometers (150 miles) west of Paris. (Merci beaucoup a Franck Marie et Banque OVNI pour ces nouvelles.)
(Editor's Note: In July 1944, Caen was the site of a big battle of World War II.)
On Saturday, April 4, 1998, at 10:30 p.m., residents of Healesville, Victoria state, Australia spotted "a flouro (flourescent) green illumination crossing the northern sky."
The UFO flew very quickly and "traveled from the east to the north, taking about five seconds to pass. There was no sound, no tail and no trail. The respondents described it as 'a green fireball.' It appeared to be the size of a half-moon."
Healesville is 120 kilometers (72 miles) northeast of Melbourne. (Many thanks to Ross Dowe and the Australia/New Zealand 24-Hour UFO Hotline for this report.)
On April 2, 1998, at about 5 p.m., David Martin "was walking in an area called Blanchardstown" in Dublin, capital city of Eire. As he approached "the Bell Pub, I saw an object flash across the sky. It stopped and hovered over my head. It seemed circular in shape. It flew off to the east in the direction of Raheny." (Many thanks to John Thompson of ISUR and David Martin for this report. See Filer's Files #15 for 1998.)
On Monday, April 20, 1998, Stefan Duncan, editor of American UFO Newsletter (AUFON) began a skywatch "on a pier approximately 300 yards (270 meters) east of Panter's Point" on High Rock Lake. The lake is located just east of Salisbury, North Carolina (population 23,087), a city on Highway 29 about 115 miles (184 kilometers) west of Raleigh.
At 9:45 p.m., "looking towards the east end of the lake, I saw my reddish UFO," Duncan reported. "Similar to the one I saw April 2, an object whose light was a non-blinking reddish-white" with "the shape of Saturn when the rings are seen edge on. The object was probably a mile down the lake. The object rose from the treetops and hovered for about five minutes and then descended."
At 10 p.m., the UFO "moved from the treetops but just to the top of the trees and went no higher." An attempt to videotape the object failed when Duncan's camcorder jammed. "It stayed in position for two seconds before descending."
At 10:14 p.m., "the object rose a third time but just over the treetops. It brightened, then went back to normal glow. After two minutes, it descended."
The UFO flap began December 15, 1997 when local resident James Minster spotted four flat discs hovering over High Rock Lake. (See American UFO Newsletter #7. Many thanks to Stefan Duncan for this report.)
On Friday, April 17, 1998, at 7:30 p.m., Sam Sherman and his wife were driving to dinner on Route 516 in Old Bridge, New Jersey (population 6,090), heading for nearby East Brunswick, when Sam spotted a UFO.
"Directly overhead storm clouds were gathering, although low on the horizon," Sherman reported. "The sky was still blue and the sun was shining brightly prior to setting. I looked up in the sky and saw what looked like a contrail between two clouds. It was like no contrail (condensation trail--J.T.) I had ever seen, and it moved forward in a northerly direction (towards New York City--J.T.) but did not have a tail or vapor or smoke behind it."
"This was of definite and finite length. To describe what I saw, as follows--at arm's length, it appeared to be 3 or 4 inches (6 or 8 centimeters) in length and tubular in shape. The color was white but with luminescent color overlying a bluish-green tinge. As the sun appeared to be behind it, the object did not appear to be reflecting the sun's rays...The tubular bright object was moving north and threading its way through the clouds." He eventually lost sight of the UFO "behind a dark cloud to the north." (See Filer's Files #15 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer, Eastern MUFON director, for this report.)
The space shuttle Columbia may have to end its 15-day Neurolab mission days earlier than planned because of a failure in the spacecraft's air cleansing system.
Columbia blasted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida on April 17, Aboard are seven astronauts, led by pilot Scott Altman and mission commander Rick Searloss, and animals scheduled for inflight tests, including 152 rats, 18 pregnant mice, 60 snails, 75 snail eggs, 1,514 baby crickets and 233 swordtail fish.
The shuttle, nicknamed Altman's Ark, now holds the record for the largest number of passengers-- living creatures from Earth--to enter outer space.
"If Columbia's crew can't fix a unit designed to remove carbon dioxide from the cabin air, the spacecraft may have to return to Earth late Wednesday or early Thursday, several days early."
"NASA Mission Control spokesman James Hartsfield said the carbon dioxide system may be repairable."
"In the meantime, the astronauts are using cans of lithium hydroxide which cleans carbon dioxide out of the air chemically. They've got enough cans to last seven days." (See the New York Post for April 26, 1998, "Shuttle landing is up in the air.)
One of the weirdest disappearances in the history of the Lake Michigan Triangle occurred on April 28, 1937, sixty-one years ago.
According to the Cleveland Press, "A new mystery of the Great Lakes was unfolded today when the freighter O.M. McFarland docked in Port Washington, Wisconsin and crew members reported the disappearance of the ship's master."
It was a big day for the McFarland's skipper, Captain George R. Donner--his fifty-eighth birthday. Born in 1879, Donner "had sailed for ten years on the old Valley Camp Steamship Company boats until the firm was taken over by Columbia (Transportation Company). It was his first command under the Columbia house flag, although he had been on the lakes for years and had served as a skipper for several of them."
Days earlier, the McFarland had picked up 9,800 tons of coal at the dock in Erie, Pennsylvania. The vessel sailed out of Lake Erie, across Lake Huron, and through the Straits of Mackinac into Lake Michigan.
"At 10:15 p.m. on the night of April 28, 1937," Captain Donner "left the pilot house, giving instructions to the second mate to call him when the McFarland was off her destination of Port Washington, Wisconsin, some three hours hence. Stating that he wanted to get a couple of hours sleep, he went below, out of sight of the mate and the wheelman. The desire for rest was understandable, for the McFarland, on her first trip of the season, had encountered the usual heavy ice in the Straits of Mackinac, losing considerable time. And, once in northern Lake Michigan, a sharp watch had to be kept for roving ice fields."
"After leaving the pilot house, Captain Donner must have busied himself with paperwork before retiring, for he was later heard moving around in his room."
"At 1:15 a.m. (April 29, 1937--J.T.) as the McFarland neared Port Washington, the mate, as instructed, descended to the captain's room to summon him. There was no response to his knocking on the door, so the second officer opened it and peered in, assuming that the captain was merely sleeping heavily. But Captain Donner was not in the bed or anywhere else in sight."
"On the possibility that the captain had walked aft to get coffee or partake of the night lunch, the mate hurried back to the galley, but except for a couple of off-duty firemen finishing a midnight snack, it was deserted. Quickly summoning the other mate and the chief engineer, he organized a thorough search of the McFarland, crew members combing every nook and cranny of the thirty-four year-old vessel. Without a doubt, Captain Donner had disappeared!"
Yes, indeed, Captain Donner had vanished from his locked room. There was no other hatch except the one leading into the companionway, and he was too large to pass through the room's two portholes. No one had seen him in the companionway between midnight and 1:15 a.m., when the mate knocked on his door.
Interestingly, during this critical hour, the McFarland was 30 miles (48 kilometers) northwest of Ludington, Michigan. Ludington is reputed to be the nexus of the Lake Michigan Triangle.
"Ships along the McFarland's route were asked to keep a watch for Donner's body, and the same request was passed on to communities along the shore."
"Captain Donner's body never did turn up, and his disappearance from his cabin aboard ship is as much a mystery now as it was in 1937."
(See STRANGE ADVENTURES OF THE GREAT LAKES by Dwight Boyer, Freshwater Press, Cleveland, Ohio, 1974, pages 223 to 225. Also THE GREAT LAKES TRIANGLE by Jay Gourley, Fawcett Publications, Inc., Greenwich, Conn. 1977, page 176. Also GATEWAY TO OBLIVION by Hugh Cochrane, Avon Books, New York, NY, 1980, pages 34 and 35. And the Cleveland (Ohio) Press for April 29, 1937.)
Mars continues to interest the UFO community. Check out MUFOR's image of Cydonia at this site: http://www.mufor.org/ares/mgs/structure-comp.jpg
The Pathfinder Anomalies Analysis Group has a site at http://mufor.org/mars.html
Stephen Miles Lewis has an Anomalous Experience page devoted to Forteana at his site. Drop in at http://www.sogweb.com/~elfin/links/ELFLinks1.html
More on recent crop circles in the UK, the Netherlands and Israel can be seen at Circles Phenomenon Research (CPR-Canada). Try them at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Cavern/3310
There's more Forteana available at Jacques Poulet's site at http://www.generation.net/~jpoulet
Kenneth Green of UFO TIMES has a new page that organizes sightings in the USA on a state-by-state basis. Drop in and look it over at http://ufo-times.home.ml.org
Definitely not to be missed is our parent site, UFOINFO, with its vast array of news, photos and features. Check it out at this URL: http://www.ufoinfo.com
Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP can be accessed and downloaded at our website at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
On this date sixty-five years ago, i.e. on April 26, 1933, physicist Arno Allen Pezias was born. In 1978, Pezias won the Nobel Prize for his discovery of the existence of microwave cosmic radiation in space.
That's it for this week. We'll be back next Sunday 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 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.