July 5, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Saturday night, June 27, 1998, several black helicopters attacked Kijevo, a small town in Yugoslavia's embattled Kosovo province, launching rockets at and dropping bombs on positions held by the Kosovo Liberation Army (KLA).
Fighting broke out around Kijevo on June 17 when KLA soldiers captured the town and locked up 50 Yugoslav policemen and 100 civilian Serbs.
Kijevo is located 24 kilometers (15 miles) west of Pristina, the provincial capital.
According to the AP report, "Witnesses said Yugoslav helicopters, all painted black, strafed and bombed the Kijevo positions for 90 minutes late Saturday night."
"The Serb Media Center, which releases official Serb statements, said the gunners were providing cover for the evacuation of four women and a child from Kijevo."
No list of civilian casualties was provided by either the Serb Media Center or by the KLA Information Center.
The war began in February 1998 when ethnic Albanians, who make up 80 percent of Kosovo's population of two million, revolted against the central Yugoslav government in Belgrade.
On Friday, July 3, 1998, at around 5 a.m., a Yugoslav Army armored column rolled into Kijevo and freed the prisoners. The KLA Information Center said their troops withdrew into the hills prior to the assault. (See the New York Times for July 4, 1998, "Western Officials Say Accord in Kosovo Seems Unlikely," page A6. See also the AP story for June 28, 1998, "Besiege Village in Kosovo.")
Five black helicopters were seen flying northward over Port Washington, Wisconsin (population 9,338) by a local man who reported his sighting to MUFON.
Bob Mueller reported that he "saw black helicopters fly over his house on Saturday, June 13, 1998, and again on Sunday," June 14, 1998. "On both days, five helicopters flew over, then came back a few hours later, heading south. They looked like UH-60 Blackhawk gunships with a capacity of about a dozen troopers apiece. There were no markings, and their low-visibility paint scheme made them hard to see."
On Sunday, June 14, 1998, at about 11 p.m., Bob reported, "I went out to my car to get something, and I saw a moving, flashing orange light very high in the sky directly overhead. When it flashed, it was very bright. So much so, it reflected off my car (and) glasses, caught my attention enough so that I had to look up. It appeared to be moving in a straight line. The UFO was heading due north--the same heading, and virtually along the same path, as the helicopters."
Bob ran indoors to get his wife Michele. But when the couple reached the yard, 30 seconds later, the UFO was gone.
Port Washington is located on the western shore of Lake Michigan 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Milwaukee, Wisconsin. (See Filer's Files #26 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer, Eastern Director of MUFON, for this news story.)
MUFON investigator Evelyn Galson is looking into a strange encounter that occurred in New Jersey on Saturday, June 13, 1998.
At 9:35 p.m. that evening, a couple was driving south on Route 45 from Woodbury, New Jersey (population 10,904) to their home in Mullica Hill.
As the wife glanced in the direction of the Gloucester County Public Library, she spied "some strange lights in the sky. There were three or four red and blue-red lights like in a straight line."
The wife asked, "What is that?" Her husband, sitting behind the steering wheel, did not look.
"As she watched, the lights followed their car and changed to all white lights. She asked, 'Can a plane's lights change color?' Again her husband did not respond.
"When they finally arrived home and pulled into the driveway, the object moved over the treetops to the right side of the backyard and stopped. She asked her husband, 'What is that?'"
"I don't know," he replied, "Maybe it's a helicopter."
After he went indoors, "the wife walked to the backyard to get a better view of the object and noticed that there was no sound coming from it. The object moved a little at a time, very slowly, and finally rested on the left side of the backyard above their suburban home. It was just hovering, barely moving about 80 feet from the ground."
"All of a sudden, the outside lights on the craft were turned off, and the inside lights came on. There were three decks or three landings that lit up one after another. Later she noticed three white lights underneath the craft."
After watching the UFO for 10 to 15 minutes, the woman went inside the house. On Sunday morning, however, she said she was "unusually tired" and "noticed a bruise on her thigh with three pointed ends but did not have them the day before."
Woodbury and Mullica Hill are in southern New Jersey, just south of Philadelphia's international airport. (See Filer's Files #26 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer for this news story.)
On Wednesday, July 1, 1998, at 8:53 p.m., a male witness sighted a UFO near his home in Bowie, Maryland, a suburban community located 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Washington, D.C.
"I observed a bright white point of light which appeared about 1.5 degrees north of the half moon and moved extremely slowly to the northwest," he reported, "I estimated the light to be about magnitude 0 (zero) and briefly mistook it for Jupiter, which I quickly realized should not have been there."
"After about three to four minutes of observation-- by then I viewed it with binoculars--it rested at about a point 0.5 to 1.0 degrees northwest of what I believe was the star Porrima (Gamma Virginus) or about three degrees northwest of the moon. The steady brightness and very slow movement suggest to me that the light was not an aircraft. The light then flashed for several seconds to maybe magnitude 5 or 6, then disappeared. At about that time appeared in the binoculars a faint 'puff' of white smoke or vapor, not a trail" where the object had been seconds before. (Many thanks to Jim Hickman of Skywatch for forwarding this report.)
On Wednesday, June 17, 1998, several people in Galliach, near Derry, Northern Ireland reported sighting three silver sphere UFOs flying and hovering over their homes.
According to the Derry Journal, there were "several reports of a strange object being sighted in the sky around the Galliach area. Observers reported that the first sighting was...around 11 a.m. on Wednesday."
One witness said, "It was spinning, and you could see the sun reflected from it. But the strange thing was there was no sound. Then two other objects and that strange light...could be seen spinning high in the sky."
"The witness claimed the object flew across the sky, and then two of them disappeared by flying straight up into the atmosphere. The other reportedly disappeared after flying across the sky."
Galliach is about 120 kilometers (75 miles) northeast of Belfast.
On Thursday, June 18, 1998, the Derry Journal attempted to corroborate the reports by checking with the City of Derry Airport and the Royal Ulster Constabulary. The newspaper was told that the airport "had no reports of any sightings in the sky over the Derry area." (See the Derry Journal for June 19, 1998. Many thanks to Daev Walsh of Blather for forwarding the article.)
On Saturday, June 20, 1998, a strange "conical" meteor weighing 300 kilograms (670 pounds) crashed in a farm field in Turkmenistan, a small nation just east of the Caspian Sea.
The meteor crashed on the Daikhan Daryalik collective farm just after 6 p.m. The farm is in the Kune-Urgench district of Dashkhovuz province.
The meteoric impact created a crater 6 meters (43 feet) wide and 4 meters (25 feet) deep. The meteor measured 60 by 90 centimeters (30 by 45 inches) and was described as having "a conical form" and being "of the stone or iron type."
The meteor was dug up and shipped by truck to Ashgabat, the national capital. Because it crashed on the sixth anniversary of the election of President Sapamurat Niyazov, scientists wish to name the meteor Turkmenbashi (Head of the Turkmen), one of Niyazov's official titles.
The meteor will soon go in display at the National Museum of History in Ashgabat. (See the newspaper Neitralny Turkmenistan for June 27, 1998. Many thanks to Sue Kovios for forwarding this news story.)
On Saturday, June 20, 1998, Texan ufologist Mike Harman was at a family outing near the Prairie Parkway, a.k.a. Highway 330, in Arlington, Texas when he spotted a UFO.
"I had stepped outside for a breath of fresh air and had been looking at the sky for only a few minutes when I noticed an object that didn't look the 'norm' for an aircraft."
"This object was displayed only as a single colored red light. No landing lights or strobes were visible," he reported. Unlike the standard FAA red-and-white strobing lights he had seen on five conventional aircraft passing over in the minutes prior to his UFO sighting.
"Only the single very large red light that pulsated from the brightest down to a glow and back again" was visible, he added, and it "was moving across the sky at approximately 30 to 35 degrees from the horizon and moving at about the speed of the other aircraft. It flew at a steady speed and continued the cycling (pulsating) of the light until it was out of sight behind some trees. I estimated it to be approximately two miles from my location."
Arlington (population 261,721) is approximately 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Dallas, Texas. (Many thanks to Mike Harman for this report.)
An unexpected meteor shower struck Earth on Saturday, June 27, 1998, and was confirmed by scientists in several countries.
That evening, two Japanese astronomers, K. Suzuki and M. Ueda, noticed a sudden "increase of meteor ratios by radio-forward meteor scattering signals." The incidence of meteor signals was "three to five times above normal ratios."
They estimated that up to 50 meteors were hitting Earth's upper atmosphere each hour during the evening.
Between 9:30 p.m. on Saturday, June 27, and 1:30 a.m. on Sunday, June 28, Italian astronomers Alberto Haler, Enrico Stomeo and Roberto Gorelli confirmed the Japanese sighting and found "rates above 100 (meteors) per hour."
An astronomer in Portugal also confirmed the meteor shower.
The meteors apparently came from these coordinates in space: Right Ascension 224 degrees, Declination +50 degrees. (See the International Astronomical Union Circular 6954 for June 27, 1998.)
(Editor's Comment: This anomalous meteor shower is a bit too late to be part of the Eta Aquarids, which usually arrive on May 4. And it's too early to be part of the Delta Aquarids, due on July 28. Our world seems to be getting hit by a lot of meteors lately. See recent issues of UFO Roundup for details.)
Ground controllers are still unable to contact the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) by radio, despite the best efforts of NASA and the European Space Agency (ESA).
Contact was lost Thursday night, June 25, 1998, "after controllers at the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland sent a set of routine commands to maneuver the satellite."
Launched in December 1995 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, the $1 billion solar satellite is currently in a "halo orbit" at the Lagrangian L-1 point one million miles from Earth, or 92 million miles from the sun.
(Editor's Note: Lagrangian points are small areas of outer space where the gravitational attraction of Earth and its neighbors cancel each other out.)
According to the Sky & Telescope News Bulletin, "Efforts to reestablish contact have continued, using the 70-meter-wide antenna of the (NASA) Deep Space Network to listen for signs of electronic life aboard the derelict craft."
According to SOHO mission scientist William Poland, "radio contact was lost" as the spacecraft was undergoing "a procedure that included firing control jets."
Poland "said engineers have determined that the craft is spinning and has lost its alignment with the sun. 'Exactly how it is spinning and the rate of spin is not clear,' Poland said, 'We are not certain about what went wrong."
On Tuesday, June 30, 1998, a team of experts from ESA and Matra Marconi Space, the firm that built the satellite, arrived at the Goddard Spaceflight Center to meet with the NASA Flight Operations Team.
A board of inquiry to investigate the space mishap will be formed and chaired by Dr. Massimo Trella, ESA's Inspector General, and Dr. Michael Greenfield of NASA's Office of Safety and Mission Assurance.
The most recent telemetry available showed that SOHO "is clearly spinning in such a way that its solar array, which generates power, either does not face the sun at all or it does not receive enough sunlight to generate power."
SOHO is completely dependent upon its solar array to provide needed electricity. Its onboard battery only carries enough reserve power to run the spacecraft for one hour. (See USA Today for June 29, 1998, "Sun-studying probe failing to respond; NASA fears it's lost." Also Sky & Telescope News Bulletin for June 26, 1998. Many thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for forwarding the bulletin.)
(Editor's Comment: At one million miles sunward from Earth, SOHO is a little too far out of the neighborhood to have been affected by the current meteor shower. It makes you wonder just what knocked it out of alignment out there at L-1. There are rumors, though. See the following story.)
On Tuesday morning, June 23, 1998, Eagle Net, operated by Norio Hayakawa of Citizens Against the New World Order, suddenly disappeared from the Internet.
Wiped out in the mysterious event was Kent Steadman's popular cyber-newspaper, the CyberSpace Orbit.
The Orbit had recently been running a series of articles about the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) satellite, which suddenly, and equally mysteriously, lost contact with ground controllers here on Earth two days later.
According to the Orbit, two weeks ago a kind of solar flare "seemed to reach out and blind" SOHO's cameras. In another incident, "two strange objects" appeared near the sun.
UFO Roundup first learned of the strange loss of Eagle Net from a reader who had attempted to access last month's Orbit interview with an anonymous scientist who claimed that data from the Mars Global Observer showed a high incidence of radioactive isotopes in the Cydonia region. The scientist speculated that the region might have been struck by a nuclear bomb.
UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor tried to access the Orbit site himself at 7:10 a.m. on Thursday, June 25, 1998 and received a "403: Access to this site is forbidden" message.
UFO Roundup interviewed a handful of computer users who had tried to or successfully accessed the site, including Jon H., who first posted the message about Eagle Net's disappearance in the USENET.
"I attempted to access Eagle Net on Tuesday morning, June 23," Jon reported, "I use my ISP which is Earthlink, and I can also access the Internet at work over a T-1 computer. Most of my newsgroup saw the enhanced images of the object that SOHO picked up."
Asked if he had experienced computer problems as a result, Jon wrote, "Yes, although I cannot attribute them directly to the site. My computer went down and I lost most of my bookmarks. I believe that it was a virus that was downloaded by email."
Jon has a sophisticated virus scanner, but it was not running at the time of the download.
M.H., another operator, remarked, "I watched the (alleged anomalous) object up until Friday, June 26, and it kept getting brighter and brighter, as if it were coming right at us. It was a fascinating sight."
Concerning the loss of the Orbit, he added, "Perhaps too many people are seeing things someone doesn't want them to see."
J.B. claims to have visited the Eagle Net site, adding, "There was nothing there. If you try to enter, you wind up off the Net. Fascinating."
Another respondent wrote, "It was like ground zero. Nothing left."
During the week, Kent Steadman successfully salvaged the newspaper's back issues and has set up a new website. Once back online, he remarked, "Let's hope this new web location holds up against or resists broadsides by hacker/buccaneers."
The Orbit can now be accessed at this URL: http://members.aol.com/phikent/orbit/orbit.html
Noted ufologist Dr. Bruce Cornet suggested this week that many "mirror sites" be created to protect vital newsletters like the Orbit, Filer's Files, CNI News and UFO Roundup from cybernetic attack. (Email Interview)
Intensive scientific study of the data radioed to Earth last year by Pathfinder shows that Mars was "warm and wet" three billion years ago.
The rock-strewn plain where Pathfinder landed was deluged "by large volumes of water in the distant past, and the hills on the horizon known as Twin Peaks appear to be islands shaped by water."
The study "suggested catastrophic flooding two billion years ago," but the area has been dry ever since.
Wind has also contributed to the erosion of Martian landforms, according to Pathfinder scientist Dr. Matthew Golombeck of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California.
"There are other places on Mars that we call 'sinks,' or places where dust ends up being deposited (by the wind--J.T.) Amazonis Planitia, for example, probably has about three to six feet (1 to 2 meters) of fine, powdery dust that you would sink into if you stepped on it."
Chemical analysis of nearby rocks by the rover Sojourner's Alpha Proton X-ray Spectrometer (APXS) recorded "an unexpected composition that scientists are still trying to explain."
The rocks appear to be an unusual form of andesite, similar to the volcanic magma flows of Iceland and the Galapagos Islands off the coast of Ecuador.
Before losing its radio last year, the Pathfinder transmitted "2.3 gigabytes of data to Earth, including 11,500 images from the lander's camera, 550 images from the rover camera, 16 chemical analyses of rock and up to 20 million measurements of atmospheric pressure and temperature" on Mars. (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for sending along this story.)
(Editor's Comment: Andesite of the Icelandic and Galapagos type is formed when magma oozes up from a planet's core through a fracture zone, i.e. the point where two tectonic plates overlap each other. So, are two plates colliding miles below the lost Pathfinder and Sojourner? Mars is just chock-full of mysteries, isn't it?)
Twenty years ago, on July 6, 1978, at 6 a.m., a fleet of UFOs appeared over the World Cup futbol (soccer in the USA) stadium in Mendoza, a city in western Argentina.
"There were 25 to 30 of them," said Marco Palma, a night watchman who worked near the stadium. "They had green windows and were about the size of a car. The objects were round and very bright. There was no noise at all. After about 20 minutes, they went north very, very fast."
Another watchman, Gilberto Caballero, reported, "About a thousand people stopped to watch. The saucers completely covered the stadium. Further north there was a bigger craft sitting motionless in the air."
Fifteen hours later, at 9 p.m., Francisco Nunez, age 66, and his son, Carmelo Nunez, 22, were driving home to Mendoza when something strange happened.
"We were just about to pass a traffic sign when a pickup truck in front of us disappeared," Carmelo said, but in actuality, "We had disappeared."
"Carmelo said he could see the beam's of his car's headlights ahead of him, but nothing else. On all sides there was only pitch black."
Pointing at the dashboard, Francisco said, "Look at that!"
The odometer's numbers were spinning. Spinning so rapidly that they were a blur.
"But suddenly the men found themselves in an alien city. They believe they were on another world--but they had reached it within just minutes."
"'The car entered the city going very, very fast,' Francisco said."
"Said Carmelo, 'The car felt as if it were in the air...I couldn't feel the engine running or feel any bounces. I felt that the car was controlled by something else. The steering wheel seemed to be fixed, and I couldn't turn it. I think a UFO was above the car.'"
"Francisco agreed that the car 'seemed to be floating' at high speed. 'We saw big square windows in the buildings, and inside everything was red. The buildings looked reddish, too.'"
"'We were on an avenue 45 to 55 yards wide, and the buildings were so tall we couldn't see their tops. I looked up, and the red light was coming from the sky above.'"
"I said, 'How beautiful it is,' and Carmelo agreed. I said, 'I don't think we're on Earth.' There were no trees, no people, no cars-- just buildings."
"'A few minutes after we got into the city, it got very cold. It was like twenty degrees below zero.' The men said their journey through the incredible city lasted about 15 minutes."
"Then Carmelo said, 'It seems as if the Martians have taken us'--and as soon as he said that, the city disappeared,' recalled Francisco."
"'I felt a jolt, and suddenly the car was making noise again. We looked around, and Carmelo said, 'Oh, we're in Guaymallen (a suburb of Mendoza, which is located 900 kilometers (540 miles) west of Buenos Aires--J.T.).'"
"Said Carmelo Nunez, 'I think the UFOs took us, but I don't know where. I don't know that city.'"
"Francisco added, 'I felt we were not on Earth.'"
"'I think it is a UFO case,' declared Police Sub-Inspector Adolfo Siniscalchi of Mendoza... 'They are honest and reliable people. We don't think they invented this story.'" (See the book NATIONAL ENQUIRER UFO REPORT, Pocket Books, New York, N.Y., 1985, pages 108 to 111)
July 7 is the birthday of George Graham, the talented Eighteenth Century watchmaker who built telescopes for the famous British astronomers Sir Edmund Halley and James Bradley.
We'll be back next week 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 issue in which the item first appeared.