May 10, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Mysterious booms or "skyquakes" rattled thousands of homes within a large area 30 miles (50 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.
According to Ryan H. Turner, a communications dispatcher for Orange County, police and fire departments began receiving phone calls around 10 p.m. The calls ranged from Norco and Corona in Riverside County to Pomona in eastern Los Angeles County, 25 miles (40 kilometers) to the northwest.
Turner reported that residents "were startled by two large noises that rattled" walls and windows. "In one case reported directly to me, around the door in an 8,000-square foot home began to vibrate rapidly."
Callers described the two sounds as "explosions, earthquake noises, window-rattling noises and thuds." The sounds occurred about "five minutes apart."
Turner reported that KNBC-TV in Los Angeles attributed the sounds to "military exercises at Camp Pendleton and El Toro," both bases of the U.S. Marine Corps.
"I personally called these two bases and was told that there was absolutely nothing pn this end that had caused those noises," he added.
The following day, Turner was told that the booms had been caused by the space shuttle Columbia landing at Vandenburg Air Force Base. But Michael Lindemann, editor of CNI News, pointed out that the shuttle had landed earlier at Cape Canaveral, Florida. The cause of the "sky booms" remains unexplained. (Email Interview)
On Monday, May 4, 1998, around 11:30 p.m., residents of Half Moon Bay and El Granada, California spotted three mysterious green lights hovering just offshore.
Half Moon Bay (population 8,886) and El Granada (population 4,426) are on Highway 1 about 60 miles (96 kilometers) south of San Francisco.
Reports were also received from two or three residents living on Skyline Boulevard, north of Redwood City. According to Larry Hatch, "observers" on a tugboat in Half Moon Bay "also saw the lights for 30 minutes. The tugboat operator described them as green 'stoplights' (traffic lights--J.T.) He also said they were arranged in a straight vertical row. (Many thanks to Larry Hatch and Errol Bruce-Knapp for this news story.)
Ufologists in the Netherlands disputed last week's reports in the London Daily Mail and Daily Telegraph of a UFO chase over the North Sea.
According to the reports published in both British newspapers, the phased-array radar station at RAF Fylingdales in North Yorkshire picked up a UFO 900 feet (273 meters) long flying over the North Sea. RAF jet interceptors were sent after it. At the same time, two F-16 jet fighters of the Nederlandse Luchtmacht (Netherlands Air Force) took off in pursuit. The F-16s reportedly encountered the UFO over the North Sea. The mammoth triangular object then increased its speed to 24,000 miles per hour and headed northeast towards the Atlantic Ocean.
Andy Denne of the Netherlands UFO group A.U.R.A. reported, "We have checked our source in the Dutch air force, and we can be rather sure by now that the F-16s sent to intercept never even took off."
"We also double-checked with the Dutch military defense radar station at Nieuw-Millingen. They also assured us nothing was visible on radar."
A.U.R.A. members and other Dutch ufologists telephoned the Air Traffic Control center at Schipol International Airport in Amsterdam. Radar operators there "saw nothing on their radars during the past couple of months."
"So our conclusion is that there was no North Sea UFO, at least as described by the British press," Denne reported. "Especially since the Dutch air force is not as tight-lipped as their British and American colleagues." (Many thanks to Andy Denne of A.U.R.A. and Errol Bruce-Knapp for this story.)
On Friday, May 1, 1998, at 8:30 p.m., residents of Guarulhos, a cidade satelite (suburb) of Sao Paulo in southern Brazil, spotted a large V-shaped UFO hovering and flying overhead.
The OVNI (Portuguese acronym for UFO) was described as "a single object with bright lights arranged in a V-formation."
Eyewitness Humberto L., age 58, said, "I was at my home in Parque Renato Maia, a barrio near O Centro (the city's center--J.T.) when I looked up and saw the strange lights."
"The object flew slowly to the north, very high, in the direction of the Serra da Cantareira," he added, "The lights were bright, opaque and evenly spaced."
Several witnesses at Aeroporto de Combica reported seeing "a rotating OVNI moving from east to west across the sky."
Alberto L., age 23, saw the V-shaped UFO, which he described as "a bright object. The object had lights and gave off a trail of mist or smoke. I perceived clearly that it was a single object."
The V-shaped UFO "disappeared in the distance after several minutes." (Muito obrigado a Roberto S. Ferreira por eso caso.)
On April 8, 1998, the police in Pisac, a small town in the Andes of Peru, received a phone call from an anonymous informant, claiming that he had stumbled across the bodies of two dead men. As he hung up, the agitated caller shouted, "Pishtacos!"
The pishtaco is a legendary creature of Andean folklore, whose image appears on the ceramics of the ancient Nazca and Sipan cultures. It is reputed to be a demon in the form of a human, which strips the victim's body of all adipose tissue.
Investigating police searched the town and found two dead men, both unidentified, "with all of their muscles exposed and not a single gram of fat on them."
On April 9, 1998, the Policia Nacional del Peru (PNP) moved the two bodies to the nearest large city, Cuzco, approximately 47 kilometers (24 miles) to the southwest. The autopsies were performed by Dr. Oscar Gallegos of the PNP's Forensic Medical Department.
According to the autopsy report, "The victims showed characteristics compatible to death from bleeding. There were no signs of torture, beating nor of having been struck by a knife or a bullet. Cause of death was cardiac arrest due to excessive bleeding. No skin or subcutaneous cellular tissue was found. The rate of decomposition was slight."
Pisac is in the Andes approximately 665 kilometers (425 miles) east of Lima, the capital of Peru. (Muchas gracias a Raul Rios y Scott Corrales para esas noticias.)
On Thursday, April 30, 1998, a kornkreise (crop circle) appeared in a field of oilseed rape in Angeln, in northern Germany. The circle was discovered by Wolfgang Schoppe, who said it appeared "on a foggy and rainy night."
The site was investigated by German cerealogist Eckard Weber of Forsungs- Gesellschaft Kornkreise e.V. (FGK) At the site, Weber "did not find any footprints in and around the field, although the ground was muddy. He reported that the circle appeared to be 'genuine.'"
The following day, Friday, May 1, 1998, Clemens Richter spotted a crop circle in a field outside Burghasungen, a suburb of Kassel, about 280 kilometers (175 miles) southwest of Berlin.
At 3 p.m., Richter returned to the field with Jan Schwochow for a more detailed examination. They found "no tracks of any off-road vehicles" in the field.
They described the circle as "a formation of a large circle 7 meters (23 feet) in diameter, with a striking circle in the middle with a diameter of 1.2 meters (4 feet)." FGK's investigation is continuing. (Danke schoen zum FGK)
On April 23, 1998, at 7 p.m., Bob Waterman was at his home in Melbourne's northern suburbs when he spotted a UFO. "I was looking in the direction of the southeast when I saw what I thought were planes. In particular, two were in a longitudinal position and were about a foot (25 centimeters) apart, one at 3 oclock (position), the other at 9 o'clock. While in the sky, the light at the 3 o'clock position moved in a clockwise circle and stopped at 9 o'clock, and the one at 9 o'clock moved and stopped at 3 o'clock, both in parallel time. They stayed there for about two minutes. And then the one at 3 o'clock moved in a straight line to the right and the one at 9 o'clock moved in a straight line to the left. Having thought back on it, the lights were too perfect and too round to be stars, so I am at a complete loss to explain what they are." (Many thanks to John Hayes for this story.)
On April 22, 1998, at 6:40 p.m., a retired Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) captain in Queensland "was walking his dog, accompanied by his grandson, when a huge light appeared in the north flying at phenomenal speed. When it passed overhead, he claimed that light from underneath lit up the surrounding area and would have been 20 feet across. It appeared to pass under an airliner coming in to Maroochydore Airport. As it passed over the Glass House Mountains, it then became a ball of light emitting red, green and blue lights. It seemed to have left a long white trail behind it. This person reports that it was a clear night with no clouds in the sky." (Many thanks to Glennys Mackay of Queensland UFO Network, QUFON, for this report. See Filer's Files #17 for 1998. Thanks also to George A. Filer, Eastern Director of MUFON.)
On Saturday, May 2, 1998, at 5:40 p.m., "a silver gray disc was observed hovering 100 meters (330 feet)" above a family hiking in the remote Terra-Blugga National Park in Victoria state. "The UFO hovered 100 meters overhead for about four minutes before taking off. The UFO had a large dome on top and three oval-shaped bulbuls, or ball-like protrusions, underneath. The object emitted a low-frequency hum or buzz that could only be heard while directly underneath." (Many thanks to Ross Dowe of Australia/New Zealand 24-Hour UFO Hotline for this report.)
On Friday, May 1, 1998, at 4:21 p.m., Wayne R. of Harper, Oregon sighted "a 4-to-8 foot round UFO moving through the sky" southeast of Vale, Ore. (population 1,491), a town at the junction of Highways 20 and 26, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Boise, Idaho.
Wayne described the UFO as "light tan with spots or markings, no lights." He added that what caught his attention was its unusual movement. "It flew at about a 30-degree angle from behind a ridge 80 feet above the ground, stopped, moved up and down rapidly, and then flew away at a very high rate of speed."
"No smoke or trail was visible" during Wayne's four-second sighting. (Many thanks to Tim Hagemeister of NACOMM for this report.)
Two new cattle mutilations were reported this week, one in Colorado and the other in New Mexico.
According to Christopher O'Brien, investigator and author of THE MYSTERIOUS VALLEY, a couple, "June and Virgil Walkley were returning home from a friend's house when they happened upon a 'mutilated bull' which 'appeared to be dropped on a fence line.'" about 12 miles (19 kilometers) east of Alamosa, Colorado.
"The animal, which turned out to be a cow, had apparently been dead for three or four days," O'Brien reported. "It was lying on its back directly over an old fence line that extends north to south on the western edge of the San Luis Valley Estates, 12 miles east of Alamosa."
Alamosa (population 13,617) is on Colorado Highways 180 and 265 about 140 miles (224 kilometers) southwest of Denver. (Many thanks to Chris O'Brien for this report.)
On Sunday, May 3, 1998, a cow was found dead and mutilated in a remote mountain pasture 10 miles (16 kilometers) southeast of Questa, New Mexico (population 1,707). The cow, "which had been dead for about a day...was missing its eye and its tongue and suffered massive hemorraghing, investigators say."
John Paternoster, district attorney for Taos, N.M., said authorities would investigate the case as a cattle mutilation--"one of a series of unexplained animal deaths in New Mexico in the past 25 years."
"Samples of the cow's tissue, blood and organs will be analyzed at an Albuquerque laboratory, he said."
"'No apparent cause of death was immediately visible,' Paternoster said, 'I'm not certain what we're looking for (but) we have since the beginning been taking these deaths seriously.'"
"A team of law enforcement officers" visited the crime scene in the Moreno Valley, "along with Gabe Valdez, an agent for the National Institute of Discovery Science, a privately-funded Las Vegas, Nev. organization that investigates paranormal phenomena." Valdez is a former New Mexico state trooper who has studied many cattle mutilation cases over the years. (See the Albuquerque, N.M. Journal for May 4, 1998. Many thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for this story.)
A UFO flap has broken out in Sri Lanka, an island nation in the Indian Ocean. According to the London Sunday Times of May 3, 1998, a saucer-shaped UFO was seen in Bandarawela and Diyatawala.
"According to the principal of Adikaram Primary School in Bandarawela, several schoolboys and teachers told her they had seen the UFO."
"Grade 5 student Harsha Ellawellagadera said he did see the object at around 6:30 a.m. Thursday, April 30, while several others reported that they had seen it at different times."
"If schoolboys may be prone to some imagination, then the district medical officer of Diyatawala, (Dr.) Kemani Pushpakumara, will contradict the skeptics. She said she had seen the UFO flying over her garden a few days ago. Frightened by it, she ran into the house and told her husband to close the door."
"A driver in the area also reported he had seen the UFO." (See the Sunday Times for May 3, 1998, story by Chris Kamalendran, and Filer's Files #18 for 1998. Many thanks to Asoka Livanage and George A. Filer of MUFON for this story.)
One of the strangest close encounters of the "airship era" took place 101 years ago, on May 6, 1897, near Blue Ouachita Mountain, just northwest of Hot Springs, Arkansas.
Constable John J. Sumpter Jr. and Deputy Sheriff John McLemore of Garland County left Hot Springs on horseback to investigate reports of cattle rustling. They rode north on what is now Highway 7 to Jessieville. Here is their story in their own words:
"While riding northwest from this city (Hot Springs) on the night of May 6, 1897, we noticed a brilliant light high in the heavens. Suddenly it disappeared and we said nothing about it, as we were looking for parties (suspects--J.T.) and did not want to make any noise."
"After riding four or five miles around through the hills, we again saw the light, which appeared to be much nearer the earth. We stopped our horses and watched it coming down, until all at once it disappeared behind another hill. We rode on about half a mile further, when our horses refused to go farther."
"Almost a hundred yards distant we saw two persons moving around with lights. Drawing our Winchesters--for we were now thoroughly aroused as to the importance of the situation--we demanded, 'Who is that, and what are you doing?'"
"A man with a long dark beard came forth with a lantern in his hand, and on being informed who we were, proceeded to tell us that he and two others--a young man and a woman--were traveling through the country in an airship."
"We could plainly distinguish the outlines of the vessel, which was cigar-shaped and almost sixty feet long, and looking just like the cuts (woodcuts instead of photographs were used in newspapers prior to 1900--J.T.) that have appeared in the papers recently."
"It was dark and raining and the young man was filling a big sack with water about thirty yards away, and the woman was particular to keep back in the dark. She was holding an umbrella over her head. The man with the whiskers invited us to take a ride, saying that he could take us where it was not raining."
"We told him we preferred to get wet."
"Asking the man why the brilliant light was turned on and off so much, he replied that the light was so powerful that it consumed a great deal of his motive power. He said he would like to stop off in Hot Springs for a few days and take the hot baths, but his time was limited and he could not. He said they were going to wind up at Nashville, Tennessee, after thoroughly seeing the country. Being in a hurry, we left, and upon our return, about forty minutes later, nothing was to be seen. We did not hear or see the airship when it departed." (See the Helena, Ark. Weekly World for May 13, 1897. Reprinted in OPERATION TROJAN HORSE by John A. Keel, Manor Books, New York, N.Y. 1970, page 72.)
(Editor's Comment: According to Martin Walker, author of THE PRESIDENT WE DESERVE, James Eldridge Cassidy, President Clinton's maternal grandfather, was born in this area of Arkansas in 1898, a year after the Sumpter/ McLemore encounter. It would be interesting to find out if either Sumpter or McLemore is related to the Cassidy or Eldridge families. James E. Cassidy, a grocery store owner, died in 1957.)
Ufologist Stan Gordon of Greensburg, Pennsylvania just released a dynamite 92-minute video entitled Kecksburg: The Untold Story. Using research and interviews, Gordon traces the controversy surrounding the crash of a UFO at Kecksburg, Pennsylvania on December 9, 1965. The videotape costs $29.95, including shipping and handling. Readers can order by telephone by calling 1-888-836-8439. Gordon, who has been investigating UFOs since 1959, also has a UFO Hotline at (724) 838-7768.
Janet Russell now has her own TV show, which is devoted to UFOs and the paranormal. It's called Beyond the Unexplained, and it's produced in Medford, Long Island, N.Y. Any ufologist passing through Long Island and who's interested in being a guest should fax Ms. Russell at (516) 654-3173.
Stan Gordon's current investigations are posted at his website. Read up on UFO sightings in western Pennsylvania at http://www.westol.com/~paufo
Forchungs Gesellschaft Kornkreise e.V. (FGK) has descriptions of the new crop circles in both German and English. Drop in at this URL: http://www.fgk.org/
Crop circles elsewhere can be followed at the Crop Circle Connector at http://www.cropcircleconnector.com
Pedro Ameros has a new site, Paranormal World, at http://www.ctv.es/USERS/seip
If you still haven't had enough of Cydonia, check out Peter Blinn's new page at http://www.amug.org/~blinn/moc.html
Not to be missed is our parent site, UFOINFO, with its wide array of news, photos and features. Check it out at http://www.ufoinfo.com
Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP can be accessed and downloaded at our page, located at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup
On this date, May 10, 1788, Augustin Fresnel, the physicist who developed the transverse wave theory of light, was born in France. Fresnel gave his name to the multi-prism lens used in lighthouses all over the planet. He died on July 14, 1827.
Good examples of Fresnel lens can be seen at the Canal Park Museum in Duluth, Minnesota and at the Madeline Island Museum in La Pointe, Wisconsin. When in the Northland, be sure to drop in.
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.