MYSTERIOUS SKY BOOMS HEARD IN MARYLAND AND RHODE ISLAND
On Thursday afternoon, July 30, 1998, two very loud "skyquakes" rocked the beaches of Ocean City, Maryland (population 5,146), startling hundreds of people.
The sounds were described as "two loud earthshaking booms offshore," just east of this resort community on Assateague Island. "There was no apparent cause--no planes were in sight, no sonic disturbances. The booms seemed to originate several miles offshore."
Ocean City is located 139 miles (222 kilometers) southeast of Baltimore. (Many thanks to Steve Stankiewicz for this news story.)
On Saturday, August 1, 1998, at 9:30 p.m., a mysterious boom reverberated through Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay, jolting the town of East Greenwich and the Conimicut Point section of Warwick, R.I.
"The mysterious boom heard about 9:30 p.m. Saturday night in East Greenwich and parts of Warwick flooded police switchboards with curious calls and had residents eyeing the heavens and putting an ear to the ground."
"Its source has stymied officials."
"'We called everyone we could think of,' said East Greenwich Police Chief Lawrence Campion Jr., who reported that the sound shook his station house (on Peirce Street--J.T.) and prompted officers to run upstairs to see if something heavy had fallen over. 'It's a mystery. And it's not the first time it's happened, either."
(Editor's Comment: True enough! A "sky boom" was heard over East Greenwich on the afternoon of December 27, 1909, during L'affaire Tillinghast, also known as the New England Airship Invasion of 1909.)
"A similar boom--described as a short rumbling sound, like a muffled explosion--was reported about six weeks ago in East Greenwich."
"Many residents theorized that the culprit was the Concorde--the intercontinental supersonic jet-- breaking the sound barrier on the way to JFK Airport in New York City."
"'Not likely,' said Patricia Goldstein, public affairs director for T.F. Greene Airport (in the Hillsgrove section of Warwick, R.I.--JT) 'That has happened in the past but hasn't occurred lately, so far as we know.'"
"Bonnie Zech, a resident of Reynolds Avenue in East Greenwich (population 10,211) never suspected the sky."
"'It led me to think it was something seismic,' said Zech. 'It definitely wasn't the Concorde.'"
"Warwick police also received numerous calls on the noise, mainly from residents in the (shoreside) Conimicut and Potowomut neighborhoods--residents who are accustomed to attributing all things loud and bothersome to the airport." (See the Providence, R.I. Journal for August 4, 1998, "Nighttime 'boom': Theories resound, source a mystery," by John Doherty, pages C-1 and C-2.)
Pensacola, Florida (population 58,165) had two unusual sightings last week.
On Thursday, July 30, 1998, Andrew G. of Andalusia, Alabama "was driving south on Highway 85 towards Crestview, Florida. While driving through the small town of Baker, Florida, I suddenly spotted a low-flying, jet-black helicopter flying west to east and eventually heading towards the north. I did not see any numbers or lettering and could not be sure if it was an undercover military helicopter or not."
Baker is on Florida Highway 4 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Pensacola. (Email Interview)
On Saturday, August 1, 1998, at 12:15 a.m., ufologists Andrew Casaveno and Lisa Pilcher were driving over the Pensacola Bay Bridge . "To the right they saw an object that at arm's length was at least the size of a quarter. The UFO was shaped like a sombrero. The object was completely surrounded by extremely bright yellow, gold and amber lights and seemed to be 'shimmering.' We observed the vividly lit object for two minutes until we passed over the bridge."
Beverly and Matthew Pilcher, following in a second car, "also watched a yellow light" above the trees where the UFO had last been seen. (See Filer's Files #31 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer of MUFON for this news story.)
On Saturday, July 18, 1998, at 10:02 p.m., L.B. and his family "drove west away from the Wal-Mart in Longmont, Colorado (population 51,555) and spotted a craft flying to the southwest of our area and moving westward across our field of view."
"It seemed to have a great many red pulsating lights with some white lights in the central area," L.B. reported. "It descended towards Longmont airport but it did not follow the usual flight pattern, and was actually going down towards the farm fields south of the airport. We lost sight of it behind the trees as I drove."
"Five minutes later, we were driving north towards the west end of the airport when we spotted a craft that looked like the first one. The craft looked like a very large plane rising from the west end of the airport. It was moving shakily. The lights appeared to be 50 or 60 feet high."
The UFO "slowly flew over the road about 50 feet above the ground. I commented that it was lit funny because it appeared to be box-shaped in that the rear showed two red lights, one above the other, and the front of the craft had two more red lights in a vertical column. The craft ascended slowly to the westward to about 120 feet above the ground. Then it stopped and appeared to hover."
"Because the lights did not change orientation, we assumed that the craft was still going west even though the craft was now growing larger. Suddenly, we realized it was heading back towards us."
"It passed over the road about 170 to 200 feet above the ground. As it seemed to rise, three people in the car saw that the craft was shaped like a triangle with three equal sides. Along each of the side angles, there were long tube-like lights, like neon tubes and these were a yellowish-white. The tubes curved upward near the west end of the craft and came to sharp points."
"Near the apex of the triangle, the eastern tip, was a large red recessed hole in which was a light blue light. While the red lights had been pulsating earlier, as the craft was flying west, now all the lights were continually bright, not blinking or pulsating. The light provided enough illumination to allow viewers to see that the craft had a large triangular hull. We quickly tried to pull over onto another side road so we could get a better look...Then the craft changed course and headed north until it was hidden by the trees."
Longmont is on Colorado Highway 287 about 27 miles (43 kilometers) north of Denver. A similar dark triangle-shaped UFO was seen there back in April. (Many thanks to Bill Bunch of Supernews for this story.)
Two UFO sightings were reported last week in and near Montague, a town on the Delaware River in the northwestern corner of New Jersey, about 120 miles (192 kilometers) west of New York City.
On Sunday, August 2, 1998, at 10:30 p.m., Rita S. went out to her barn to give her horses a late night snack. "when I spotted what I thought was a bright white light from a small aircraft moving longitudinally towards the north. It was flying under 1,000 feet and should have had a strobe light or pulsating smaller red, green or blue lights. The object seemed to be round and bright, which led me to believe it was flying too low not to have had any sound."
Rita turned her head to the right momentarily, but when she looked back, the object was gone.
Three days earlier, on Thursday, July 30, 1998, a family driving in High Point State Park, ten miles east of Montague, "spotted an object in the sky with a sort of spotlight, very bright, moving northeast, and there was no sound. It was estimated to be about 1,500 feet in the air. It was there one moment moving slowly. In a blink, it was gone, not just moved to another spot, totally gone from the area." (Many thanks to Louise A. Lowry, editor of The Strange, for these news stories.)
SOS OVNI, the French UFO research group, is investigating another sighting of a very large triangular UFO over the department of Provence in late June.
On June 24, 1998, Scottish photographer Stuart Conway and a friend spotted a giant triangular UFO over Lac de Saint Croix, northeast of Marseilles, on France's Mediterranean coast.
According to French ufologist Alain Delplanque, independent witnesses in Rognac, a town near Aix en Provence, about 200 kilometers (120 miles) southwest of Lac de Saint Croix, saw a similar triangular UFO the same night.
"Another witness, living in Rognac, saw a flying boomerang-shaped object coming from the northeast" at 11:30 p.m. the night of June 24, 1998. The UFO "was coming from the direction of Lac de Saint Croix" about 30 minutes after Conway's sighting, Delplanque reported. "Our organisation is investigating this case and has interviewed Air Traffic Control in Salon de Provence." (Merci beaucoup aux Alain Delplanque et SOS OVNI pour ces nouvelles.)
On Wednesday, July 29, 1998, Hungarian national TV in Budapest reported the discovery of a crop circle on a farm in Hered.
According to the report, the farmer had gone out to the field to begin harvesting wheat when he "discovered the strange circle. The farmer doubted that it was pranksters because there was no trampled wheat leading to the circle. And in the nearest village there are only old people who wouldn't play this kind of trick."
According to the TV report, investigators at the site said the wheat was "perfectly flattened in one direction in a circular form that you could make if you tramped around. But there were no footsteps of any kind. A chemical analysis showed that some of the (wheat) stems showed some kind of spontaneous aging or other transformation."
This was Hered's second crop circle. Another one appeared in the town in July 1996. (Many thanks to Zsolt Tari and AGETI for this report.)
Luminous orange UFOs appeared on two nights last week in Townsville, Queensland state, Australia, and were seen by dozens of people.
"The sudden appearance of seven unidentified flying objects over Townsville last night (July 28, 1998) and Monday night (July 27, 1998) have left officials baffled."
"Several officials were spooked when seven orange- reddish lights were reported gliding over Annandale, Garbutt and Kirwan."
"Senior air traffic controller Squadron Leader Trevor Beams (Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF) said police, Army and RAAF were unable to explain it. 'I have no idea what it was,' he said."
"Three air traffic tower duty-officers saw three lights at 6:45 p.m. and four lights at 7:45 p.m. on Monday. Squadron Leader Beams said the lights were moving slowly the sky at 800 to 1,000 meters (altitude) due east."
"Bicycle store owner Sam Bratton said he saw four large orange lights move northwest over Kirwan at 7:45 (p.m.) on Monday. 'I saw them and called out to the people in the pizza shop (next door) to come and have a look,' he said. 'This was weird. I have never seen anything like this before in my life, and I am 75 years old. It was quite scary. I was not drinking, and I have seen some strange things in my life, but this would have to be the strangest.'"
"Cranbrook resident Peter Fox reported seeing five or six orange lights at 8:50 to 9 p.m. last night (July 28) before they disappeared in the direction of Mount Stuart. 'I thought at first they might be helicopters, but there was no sound and they weren't blinking,' Mr. Fox said."
"The Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority was called at 8:53 p.m.by an off-duty officer, also in Cranbrook."
Townsville is in tropical northern Queensland about 600 kilometers (360 miles) north of Brisbane. (See the Townsville, Qlnd. Bulletin for July 29, 1998, "UFOs seen over city" by Ainsley Pavey, page 3. Many thanks to Terry W. Colvin for forwarding the newspaper article.)
UFOs were active in southern Australia last week, as well.
On Sunday, August 2, 1998, at 7:30 p.m., a very large triangular UFO, described as "about the size of a large house block (apartment complex--J.T.), one-half of an acre," was seen over Altona, near Melbourne, the capital of Victoria state.
According to Australian ufologist Ross Dowe, the object was a "dull blue triangle with three large lights at about 300 meters in height (altitude)." The object left the area at 7:45 p.m. (Many thanks to Ross Dowe and the Australia/New Zealand 24-Hour UFO Hotline for this report.)
On Monday night, August 3, 1998, "hundreds of Sydneysiders," including Australian police, saw a giant fireball, "what is believed to be a meteorite plummeting to earth."
The mysterious fireball was seen from Woolongong and Sydney in New South Wales along the east coast as far north as Brisbane in southeastern Queensland.
Police "Substations were flooded by calls describing 'a bright light with a black head and fiery tail' streaking through the sky."
"Residents of the Hawkesbury area confirmed the sighting" as "what they thought was a large aircraft crashing in the area and inundated police with emergency calls."
"Pol Air, firefighters...and police ground units were dispatched to the Ku-Ring-Gai National Park to investigate."
"Sergeant Bill Connors of Hornsby police said a number of police and emergency rescue crews" reached the site "although their efforts were hampered by heavily wooded terrain. However, Sergeant Connors said the Civil Aviation Safety Authority had no reports of a missing plane." (See Australia's Daily Telegraph for August 4, 1998, "Ball of Fire." Many thanks to Ross Dowe of Australia/New Zealand 24-Hour UFO Hotline for forwarding the newspaper article.)
On Thursday, July 30, 1998, at 11:30 p.m., Robert S. was driving west on Highway 1, the Trans-Canadian Highway. He had just passed Morse and was approaching Enfold, Saskatchewan, Canada when he spotted something odd in the sky.
"I spotted a disk-shaped object with a gray bottom and a silver top at approximately one kilometer (0.6 miles) east of my position. The object was heading in a southerly direction. The object crossed my windshield at a very high rate of speed and was out of sight within ten seconds. My (car) window was open, and no sound could be heard."
Enfold, Sask. is located 175 kilometers (105 miles) west of Regina, the provincial capital. (Many thanks to Tim Hagemeister of NACOMM for this report.)
On Wednesday, August 5, 1998, at about 9:30 p.m., "several observers sighted and reported a bluish-white UFO streaking over San Francisco Bay at an altitude of several hundred feet. The 'object' apparently broke into at least two pieces and disappeared."
"Radio station KCBS took about 15 calls from observers who spotted a UFO passing over" at a high altitude. The UFO flew from west to east and was last seen heading for Mount Diablo, east of the city. Authorities had "no explanation for the phenomenon." (See Filer's Files #31 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer for this news story.)
(Editor's Comment: Mount Diablo, near Danville and San Ramon, has a history of UFO sightings dating back to 1780.)
On Tuesday, July 28, 1998, at 8:30 p.m., Terry Biesiadecki of Grosse Ile, Michigan was running his sailboat in the Atlantic Ocean, near Maryland Shoals just off Key West, Florida. Suddenly, he and his crew "spotted ten orange circles in geometric positions."
"They stayed for five minutes, disappeared and returned in five minutes," Terry reported. "Later, nine orange discs lit up the sky. Next, three orange rings in a triangle dimension (triangular formation) appeared and then disappeared. Words do not explain the whole situation, their size and how the sky was lighted."
The island of Key West is the southernmost point in Florida, approximately 164 miles (262 kilometers) south of Miami. (See Filer's Files #31 for 1998. Again, many thanks to George A. Filer for this report.)
On Sunday, August 2, 1998, at 2:35 p.m., C.T. was "driving north of Interstate 5 just west of downtown Sacramento (just north of Richards Boulevard--J.T.) when I saw two dark helicopters to the east of me and some distance--probably a few miles--away. One was heading east. The other was in the process of turning from north to east and following the first. The one that was turning had a large rotor with four blades. They were both large and dark. They appeared to be larger than any of the police/ traffic helicopters I've seen frequently flying over Sacramento. I turned east on Interstate 80 about five minutes later, but they were already out of sight to the northeast."
Sacramento (population 369,365) is the state capital of California and is located 91 miles (145 kilometers) east of San Francisco. (Email Interview)
Following six weeks of silence, the derelict Solar and Heliospheric Observatory (SOHO) sent a faint radio message to Earth on Monday, August 3, 1998.
According to the NASA news release for August 4, "Contact has been re-established with the Solar and Heliospheric Observatory," which is floating one million miles from Earth at the L-1 Lagrangian point.
"Signals sent yesterday through the NASA Deep Space Network station at Canberra, Australia were received by SOHO at 6:51 p.m. in the form of bursts of (radio) signals lasting two to ten seconds."
"These (SOHO) signals were received by both the NASA DSN station and the ESA (European Space Agency) station at Perth, (Western Australia)."
"Although the signals are intermittent and do not contain any data information, they show that the spacecraft is still capable of receiving and responding" to signals from Earth.
"'This is an excellent sign,' said Joe Gorman, NASA SOHO Project scientist at the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. 'It means the spacecraft still has a heartbeat and gives us additional options that we may be able to restore SOHO to scientific operation.'"
The $1 billion solar satellite has been observing the sun from its L-1 point, a region of space where the gravitational fields of Earth and its neighbors cancel each other out, since December 1995.
(Editor's Comment: Nice to see SOHO back online. Enough sunlight must be reaching its solar panels to give the onboard battery a "trickle charge." Still no word, though, on how SOHO flipped out of its orbital position back in June.)
1926: DAYLIGHT DISC SPOTTED IN NORTHERN CHINA
Here's a classic case from the pre-Roswell era. Seventy-two years ago, on August 5, 1926, Russian artist and explorer Nicholas Roerich spotted a daylight disc in northern China. Here in Roerich's own words is the story of his sighting.
"On August 5th--something remarkable! We were in our camp in the Kukunor district, not far from the Humboldt (mountain) Chain. In the morning, about half-past nine, some of our caravaneers noticed a remarkably big black eagle flying above us. Seven of us began to watch this unusual bird."
"At the same moment, one of our caravaneers said, 'There is something far above the bird.' And he shouted his astonishment."
"We all saw, in a direction from north to south, something big and shiny reflecting sun, like a huge oval moving at great speed. Crossing our camp, this thing changed in its direction from south to southwest. And we saw how it disappeared in the intense blue sky. We even had time to take our field glasses and saw quite distinctly the oval form with the shiny surface, one side of which was brilliant from the sun." (See the book ALTAI- HIMALAYA by Nicholas Roerich, Frederick A. Stokes Co., New York, N.Y., 1929, pages 361 and 362.)
Pyramids in Australia? That's the topic of Tristan Rankine's new website. Read it for yourself at this URL...http://www.awarenessquest.com
For updates on SOHO, check out the official website at http://sohowww.nascom.nasa.gov/
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