May 31, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
At the end of April, the Daily Telegraph and the Daily Mail of London reported that a giant UFO had been chased over the North Sea by British and Dutch jet interceptors.
Although the RAF Press Office and the Dutch ufology group A.U.R.A. disputed the claim, new information is emerging in this controversial case.
According to the British newspapers, the RAF radar station at Fylingdales, North Yorkshire picked up a giant UFO "the size of a battleship" (900 feet long) over the North Sea. An RAF jet squadron was scrambled to intercept. At the same time, two F-16 jet interceptors of the Nederlandse Luchtmacht (Netherlands Air Force) took off and caught sight of the giant UFO over the North Sea. The UFO eluded the Dutch jets and streaked away at an estimated 24,000 miles per hour. No date was given for this alleged encounter.
Around May 15, 1998, however, the newspaper Tipperary Star of Tipperary, Eire reported that a local Irish couple claimed to have seen a giant UFO of the same description as the North Sea object on February 28. The story was summarized in another newspaper, the Munster Express.
"A couple, described as highly respected members of the community, told the newspaper (Tipperary Star) that they saw an object in the sky between Derrynaflan and Killenaule on the night of February 28."
"Because they did not want to be ridiculed, and be the butt of local jokes, they decided to remain silent about their experience. But after they heard a description of the object seen over the North Sea, they decided to come forward because their UFO was identical."
"They said they clearly saw the UFO hovering at what appeared to be about 400 feet above the ground. The ship was approximately 250 feet wide and 100 feet high. It had lights, three on one side and two on the other, and had panels with vertical lines through them as distinct from windows...There was no sound at all from the object, which, at first, moved very slowly but then accelerated so fast that it disappeared in an instant." (See the Munster Express for May 22, 1998. Many thanks to Stig Agermose and Eroll Bruce-Knapp for providing this newspaper story.)
In the Netherlands, hosts Ivo Westerlaken and Theo Paijmans of the radio talk show Dossier X have made their own inquiries into the North Sea case.
According to Westerlaken, the Nederlandse Luchtmacht "did do an internal investigation of the radar sites" but "they claimed to have found nothing out of the ordinary, but when we asked for a report on their internal investigation, they told us it had been destroyed."
The Dossier X team "researched the purported UFO incident over the North Sea much more fully than A.U.R.A.," Westerlaken writes, "but for the first time in UFO-history in the Netherlands, we were confronted with angry spokespersons...Nobody wanted to say anything officially. Serious research in the Netherlands has been set back for months, if not years," adding that "some of our contacts inside the government agencies who were willing to go public have been scared away." (Email Correspondence of May 14, 1998)
A second UFO sighting took place in Michigan the night of May 19, 1998, four hours after the satellite Galaxy IV went haywire.
A UFO was seen flying high over Howell, Michigan, (population 8,184) about 50 miles (80 kilometers) west of Detroit, at 10:30 p.m.
Jeff Westover, a sketch artist for Michigan MUFON, reports, "I, too, had a May 19, 1998 sighting in Marlette, Michigan (population 1,924) at 10:15 p.m. I noticed a large cluster of reddish lights approximately 15 to 20 degrees above the west-southwest horizon that, after two minutes of being stationary, shot straight up into the night sky."
"The sighting took place at about the same time as the Howell, MI sighting," adding that his object's position near the western horizon "would put it over the Howell area if it were high enough in the sky."
Marlette is in the "Thumb" area of Michigan, a town on Highway 53 approximately 55 miles (88 kilometers) north of Detroit. (Many thanks to Jeff Westover for this report.)
On Saturday, May 23, 1998, the Miniter family "had a ball game and a cookout" at their home "in the Pittsburgh area." Around 6 p.m., Mrs. Miniter reported, "My husband pointed and said sarcastically to me, 'Look at the UFO!'"
"I didn't see anything for a moment., but a shimmering shine caught my eye. I gazed and spotted a huge shaft. And then my husband and I saw the second one simultaneously."
"Trailing behind it perhaps a distance of a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) was another identical cigar-shaped craft with rounded edges. My brother, his wife and children, and our children all watched these things go very slowly across the sky at an altitude of 55,000 feet (16,667 meters). There was no vapor trail and no sound. Their speed was slower than any airliner, but (their size) was three times larger.than the biggest airliner."
"My 15-year-old son was viewing it from a different angle (and) said it was like two halves of a baseball. It was shiny silver and metallic." (See Filer's Files #21 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer, Eastern director of MUFON, for this report.)
Jack Curtis does a lot of night-driving in his occupation. The job takes him from his home in Quartzite, Arizona to Sacramento, California and Parowan, Utah. He's seen a lot of strange things in the desert at night. But nothing quite so strange as what he witnessed in March 1998.
"My two sightings were about a week apart in March," he reported, "Both were really large green fireballs looking basketball size. The first one was on a close flyby and was so bright it was brilliant through the clouds. I was on California Highway 58 eastward around 0200 (2 a.m.) and it was streaking over the highway eastward and was visible for five to ten seconds before disappearing. The location was between Mojave and Kramer Junction" which is located at the intersection of Highways 58 and 395 about 60 miles (96 kilometers) northeast of Los Angeles.
"At Kramer Junction (also known as Four Corners, at the northeastern edge of Edwards Air Force Base--J.T.) I talked to a semi (truck) driver who witnessed it in clear skies when he was traveling west toward Kramer Junction from Barstow (population 21,472) and was quite surprised by its size, brilliance and speed."
"The next one (sighting) was identical except I was westbound from Baker (population 650) toward Barstow and watched it traveling towards the north-northeast. It was a clear night and it actually made shadows on the ground. It was a spectacular sight to witness." (Many thanks to Jack L. Curtis for this report.)
On Friday, May 22, 1998, at 8:30 p.m., Sherrie P. was at her home in Brentwood, Maryland (population 3,005), a suburb bordering the District of Columbia near Rhode Island Avenue and Blatonsburg Road when she spotted a UFO.
Looking through her window, Sherrie "saw the object...It appeared to be the size of a star but seemed brighter and was flashing in a manner that made her question if it was a star."
Grabbing her cell phone, Sherrie called her friend, who lives eight miles away in Washington, D.C. "From the position of the object in the sky (fairly low on the horizon and at about treetop level), she was certain her friend would be able to see it. It turned out the friend could not see it, due to trees blocking the view."
Cell phone in hand, Sherrie went outdoors to get a better view. She reported, "It looked like a circle with a dome on top." She was unable to make out any particular details because "the whole object glowed a brilliant whitish color. The light was not constant in its intensity."
She described the size of the UFO as "maybe an inch and a half (2 to 3 centimeters) at arm's length."
Sherrie observed the UFO for 45 minutes, describing the action over the phone. She said she "got the strange feeling that sonehow the object knew I was looking at it."
The UFO flew toward Brentwood. Sherrie instantly began walking back to her house. Then she noticed that the object was returning to its original position. Curiosity overcame her, and she walked back out to the front of her house. The UFO came closer again. She then backed up as if returning to the house, and the object seemed to back away, as well. "All the while I was describing it to my friend over the phone." (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this report.)
On Thursday, May 21, 1998, at 10:20 p.m., a brilliant white glow lit up the eastern horizon in Zimbabwe, a nation in southern Africa. The strange glow was seen from Harare, the capital, to Glendale, a distance of 75 kilometers (45 miles).
In Glendale, the mysterious glow persisted for 20 minutes, and "the light was strongest" there.
Immediately following the light's appearance, a serious of explosive sky booms was heard in Harare and towns to the east, including Rusape, Murewa amd Macheke.
The glow was also seen in Goromonzi, near Ruta, approximately 40 kilometers (24 miles) from Harare. In 1996, a UFO reportedly landed on the playground of an elementary school in Goromonzi, and about a dozen aliens spoke for 15 minutes with the 60 children playing there.
The case is being investigated by Cynthia Hind, Zimbabwe's foremost ufologist. (Many thanks to Jeroen Wierda of Picard UFO Research International and Odette for this report.)
On May 9, 1998, at 10:30 p.m., dozens of people at Castel Sant'Angelo on Monte Giano, a mountain in the Apennine range, "saw the movement in the sky of a strange light over and around the peak of Monte Giano."
A few kilometers away, "customers at a tourist restaurant also saw the light and telephoned the local police and the Guardia Forestale."
Italian authorities dismissed the mysterious light as a possible flashlight carried by mountain climbers or Italian Army troops on maneuvers.
Monte Giano is near Rieti, which is located 110 kilometers (66 miles) northeast of Rome. (See the Italian newspaper Corriere di Rieti for May 12, 1998. Grazie a Goffredo Pierpaoli e Edoardo Russo per questo rapporto.)
Two crop circles appeared Tuesday night, May 26, 1998, in a barley field off Highway 20 in Coupeville, Washington state (population 1,377), a town on Puget Sound's Whidbey Island about 63 miles (101 kilometers) north of Seattle.
The two formations appeared on land owned by Coupeville farmers Don and Roger Sherman. The first circle measured 1/4 mile (0.5 kilometers) in diameter and featured "stars and little circles all around it," with the barley flattened in a swirled fashion.
The second circle was a half-mile (0.8 kilometers) from the first and set on a hillside.
"Curious onlookers, television media, UFO enthusiasts and crop-circle experts showed up in droves Wednesday (May 27) after a nationally syndicated radio talk show revealed the discovery of unusual formations in barley fields just south of Coupeville."
"'Basically, I saw a lot of bent grass,' said Port Townsend resident Mike Kenna, who took an early- morning ride to Whidbey Island after hearing about the crop circle Tuesday on a late-night radio talk show."
"Kenna and many others...had their curiosity aroused by Coupeville resident Kelly Sweeney who relayed his experiences investigating a field of fallen barley alongside Highway 20 on 'Coast to Coast AM.' The program, hosted by Art Bell, focuses on UFOs and other tales of strange phenomena."
"'It's about like somebody had drawn a line,' Sweeney said of the formation. 'Everything inside of the line is going to lie down, everything outside is going to stand up. It blew me away.'"
"'There are certainly intriguing similarities (with other crop circles),' said crop-circle investigator Ilyes, who goes by only one name and who rushed to Whidbey Island from Portland (Oregon) after receiving reports about the strange formation."
"Ilyes and members of the Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) used steel rods like the wire wands used for water-witching to test the barely fields for unusual energy fields."
"Meanwhile, Coupeville farmers Don and Roger Sherman, who own the field the formation was found in, explained the bent barley to a steady stream of curious onlookers as and MUFON members as a combination of overfertilizing, heavy rains and high winds, not as the work of alien beings." (See the Everett, Wash. Daily Herald for May 28, 1998. Many thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for providing the newspaper article.)
On Thursday, April 23, 1998, at about 10 p.m., Adam A. was on Prince's Street in the West End of Glasgow, Scotland's largest city, when he heard the sound of a helicopter engine.
Looking up, Adam reported, he saw "a black helicopter--an Agusta Bell 212--it approached from the north and then turned to the east. It moved rather slowly, perhaps about 20 knots (airspeed). I watched it for over four minutes" before the helicopter "turned east."
Adam did notice one strange detail, however. "It did have a long trailing line that was off the back which was very small and spaced so that you could see holes through it."
The same week, another man spotted a black helicopter "as it hovered over the Forte Hotel in the Clydeside (section) in Erskine. "It didn't appear to be making any noise, flying to the west away from the (Clyde River) bridge. I don't know what kind of helicopter it was," adding that it "was not large and looked quite sleek and sporty." (Email Interview)
(Editor's Note: Although most black helicopters have been reported in the USA, there have been sightings of them in the UK, Portugal, Italy, Brazil and Australia.)
"A new orbital survey of Mars shows what may be a vast frozen lake in a crater and an even larger mineral bed that could be the site of an ancient sea."
"'Understanding the history of water on Mars goes well beyond the search for life,' said geophysicist Philip Christiansen of Arizona State University. 'What is the geological history of Mars? It giives us insight into possible changes in the environment of Mars.'"
"The startling Mars results were announced yesterday (Wednesday, May 28, 1998) at a conference of the American Geophysical Union at the Hynes Auditorium in Boston (Massachusetts, USA) The public is invited to hear the findings from the Mars Global Surveyor satellite firsthand..."
"'We've seen some other features that we think are dry lake beds. This would be the first, if it is real, that is an existing ice deposit,' said geophysicist Michael Malin, who photographed the unnamed crater lake in the Southern Highlands of Mars, 240 miles (400 kilometers) south of the planet's equator."
"It's extremely well-defined. It's a big feature,' Malin said. He said the dark area he photographed is about 375 square miles in area."
"It could be an old lava flow, but it appears too dark for that, he said, and nearby seepage marks suggest water. It could also be dried mud deposits from an evaporated lake. But he said he believes a layer of compacted mud could be insulating a huge ice bed."
"If the ice is only a yard thick, Malin said, it would amount to ten billion gallons of water. He suggested that volcanic activity in the area could have melted ground water and let it seep out of the crater walls."
"Christiansen described a 60-mile-wide bed of cystalline hematite, a form of iron mineral that is typically leached from iron-rich rock by hydrothermal action or found in ocean deposits."
"'It's a hint at water processes that may be producing this mineral,' Christiansen said. He said it is unclear which kind of process--hydrothermal venting from deep within Mars or an ancient ocean-- would have produced the hematite bed, in a flat area on Mars's equator." (See the Boston, Mass. Herald for May 28, 1998, "Evidence of lake found on Mars," page 3.)
At the same time as the Boston conference, the Society for Planetary SETI Research announced that it had found evidence of water erosion in the Cydonia region of Mars.
"Using the April (1998) data taken by MSG (Mars Global Surveyor), SPSR has has been able to validate the earlier theories involving the artificiality of the Cydonia Face. By using the geometric central points, they were able to orthographically rectify the image to match the positions of the earlier (1976) Viking images. In doing so, they have verified a 92 to 99 percent symmetry."
"According to James Erjavec, the Face shows definite signs of erosion due to water-based processes." The Face "appears to show the classic signs of being an artifical construct with erosion from a period when water was liquid," not in the form of ice. (Many thanks to CAUS for this Cydonia item.)
"In what could be the most important finding yet, NASA's Hubble Space Telescope has provided the first look at a possible planet outside our solar system, astronomers said Thursday," May 28, 1998.
"'This is unbelievably exciting,' said astrophysicist Alan Boss of the Carnegie Institude in Washington, D.C. 'It's a major unprecedented observation.'"
"The object is in our galaxy, the Milky Way, and is thought to be a gaseous giant two to three times the size of Jupiter. It appears to have been ejected into space 130 billion miles from its two parent stars about 300,000 years ago."
"It is now zipping away from these stars at 48,000 miles per hour (64,000 kilometers per hour), unlike planets in our solar system which orbit the sun. Its existence could mean that there are other 'rogue' planets within the Milky Way, astronomers said."
""The object lies about 450 light-years from Earth in a star-forming region in the constellation Taurus. A light-year is about 6 trillion miles."
"Astronomer Susan Terebey of the Extrasolar Research Corp. in Pasadena, California made the discovery two weeks ago from observations taken last August. She put the odds at 50-to-1 against the object being just a background star."
"Hubble astronomer Ed Weiler said, 'You can bet every big telescope that can be pointed at it will be.'" (See USA Today for May 29, 1998, "Astronomers hay have bumped into a wandering planet," by Paul Hoversten, page one.)
This week an archeological team led by Dr. Regulo Franco Jordan discovered an intact tomb in an ancient pyramid at the El Brujo ruins at Magdalena de Cao in northern Peru.
According to the newspaper El Comercio, "the bones of an important female personage of the Mochica culture were discovered by archeologists digging in the Huaca de Cao Viejo (A huaca is a Peruvian mud-brick pyramid-- J.T.) in the archeoligical complex of El Brujo."
"There they found a great quantity of manufactured metal objects, ceramics and the remains of a young woman who was presumably sacrificed during the funeral ceremony of the important personage."
"Regulo Franco Jordan, director of the project...in the district of Magdalena de Cao...said that the tomb was found in the southwestern corner of the top platform of the pyramid temple."
"In its confines they found the remains of a woman approximately 35 to 40 years old who had received an opulent funeral, obviously a person of wealth. In the left lateral corner of the same tomb they found the bones of another woman 18 to 20 years old, who may have been sacrificed as part of the funeral."
The Moche civilization dominated Peru's Pacific Ocean shore from Lima north to Tumbes. The civilization, which preceded the Chimus and the Incas, began about 1500 B.C. and reached its peak in 300 A.D.
Magdalena de Cao is just outside the small city of Ascope, 558 kilometers (335 miles) north of Lima. (See the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio for May 28, 1998. Muito obrigado a OVNI Brasil por eso caso.) (Editor's Note: This region has the oldest pyramids in South America, with the grandaddy of them all located at Gran Purgatorio, northeast of Ascope. Strange, too, that this older pyramid has more "manufactured metal" than the tombs of 300 A.D., supposedly the "peak" of Mochica culture. And what's with all the pyramid news lately? First Giza, then Cahokia, now El Brujo. What's next?)
This week we continue our look back at the little- known UFO flap of 1931. During June of that year, at the same time Mrs. and Mrs. Giddings witnessed strange lights on the moon from their Riverside, California home, two boys--Howard B. Menger, age 9, and his brother, Alton Menger, age 7, spotted two daylight discs at their home in High Bridge, New Jersey, about 55 miles (88 kilometers) west of New York City.
Here is the story in Howard Menger's own words:
"It was in this pastoral setting, in the warm lavish extravagance of June and July (1931) that I began to experience other feelings that I am at a loss to explain...About this time we began to see the discs in the sky."
"My brother (Alton) and I continued seeing the bright, shining, circular objects in the sky, and one day one of them landed in the field where we were playing."
"It was a disc-shaped object about ten feet (3 meters) in diameter. Afraid, but fascinated and curious, we walked toward it to get a better view. As we neared it, we noticed another bright object, a much larger one of similar design, hovering in the sky above the smaller craft, as if observing it and us."
"Our hearts palpitated, but curiosity overwhelmed our fright as we proceeded cautiously."
"When we were about 25 feet (7 meters) from the object, the larger airborne craft disappeared; and while we were trying to muster enough courage to go closer, the disc on the ground began vibrating, then took off at a terrific rate of speed in a blinding flash of light." (See FROM OUTER SPACE TO YOU by Howard Menger, Saucerian Books, Clarksburg, W.V., 1959, pages 20 and 21.)
Larry Craig tells me that the New York MUFON site now has an archive of sightings from that state dating from 1947 to the present. Log in at this URL...http://www.nymufon.org
The current issue of The Strange newsletter is available at http://www.jb-graphics.com/thestrange
Picard UFO Research International (PUFORI) just opened a branch office in Brazil. The new site, PUFORI-Brasil, is at http://www.pufori.org/brazil/index2.htm
Be sure to visit our parent site, UFOINFO. More news, more photos and more UFO fun can be found at http://www.ufoinfo.com
Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP can be read and downloaded at our webpage. Drop in anytime at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
Today is Republic Day in South Africa, so best holiday wishes to all our readers there. May 31 is an important date in South African history.
On this date in 1902, the Treaty of Vereenigning was signed in Pretoria, which put an end to the Boer War.
Eight years later, in 1910, the commonwealth Union of South Africa was formed by the merger of the Cape Colony, Transvaal, Natal and the Orange Free State.
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 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.