Sorry for the delay. A crunch at work meant that I lost my day off this week.
A total of 28 animals were found dead Tuesday, August 11, 1998, in the Barrio Playa section of Anasco, Puerto Rico in what appears to be a Chupacabra attack.
The dead animals were found by the owner, Sra. Providencia Rivera Mercado. They included "17 rabbits, 4 guinea hens, 4 chicks, two hens and one rooster."
Each dead animal had "perforations on the neck" and was "bloodless."
According to Officer Rogelio Orsini Cabrero of the Anasco, P.R. police, who investigated the crime scene, "The animals had two perforations made with some kind of sharp object and with no blood in them. This is strange, very strange," he told the newspaper El Nuevo Dia, "What they say about the Chupacabras must be true, because there is no other explanation."
"He added that the major organs had been extracted from two of the animals, and that a circular opening had been made in the metal mesh of the cage..."
"Mrs. Rivera stated that she'd gone to bed at 11:30 that night, and although she'd heard a strange noise, she paid no attention and slept peacefully."
"'When I woke up, I saw all the animals dead and scattered. It lifted the covers of some of the cages and opened holes in others. The animals were sucked dry and appeared as if cut by some double-edged surgical knife,' Rivera said."
Humberto Rivera, a neighbor, said "he returned from work at 1:30 in the morning and the neighborhood dogs were howling. 'There was a strange feeling in the air, like in a mystery movie. The dogs howled like wolves. The environment itself felt strange.'"
Anasco, P.R. is located 90 miles (145 kilometers) southwest of San Juan. (See El Nuevo Dia of San Juan, P.R. for August 12, 1998, "15 Animals Killed Chupacabra- Style" by Gladys Nieves Ramirez. Many thanks to Scott Corrales for forwarding this news story.)
On Saturday, August 8, 1998, at 5:30 a.m., five people spotted a UFO and a flying alien over a soccer field in Claut, a suburb of Pordenone, a city in Italy's Giulia province about 400 kilometers (240 miles) north of Rome.
According to Italian ufologist Antonio Chiumiento, two farmers, the soccer field's groundskeeper and a pair of tourists watched the purported alien fly overhead and rejoin a hovering UFO. Then the craft shot straight up into the early morning sky.
"Angelo F., one of the farmers, was beginning to have breakfast near the soccer field, when he saw an object of many colors." He estimated the UFO to be about 70 centimeters at arm's length.
"Angelo B., the groundskeeper, watched the object as it flew overhead" and hovered above the field.
The witnesses described "the alien" as a humanoid with a large head and a small body "like a puppet," approximately 1.3 meters (4 feet) tall, wearing what appeared to be V-shaped body armor "equipped with a luminous backpack."
Once the occupant had rejoined the UFO, the object "raised itself into the air and flew away at a rising velocity." (See the Italian newspapers Il Manifesto and Gazzetta del Mezzogiorno for August 15, 1998. Grazie a Edoardo Russo, Lucio Cassano e Remo Ponti per questo rapporto.)
On Wednesday, August 12, 1998, hundreds of people in the Alpine province of Friuli, 50 kilometers (80 miles) north of Pordenone, watched a "pale luminous green object followed by a tail which lit up the sky for several minutes." The object "was accompanied by a 'noticeable sound' and followed by a boom that resounded for three minutes." (See the Italian newspapers Il Piccolo, Il Resto del Carlino and Il Mattino di Padova for August 14, 1998. Grazie a Edoardo Russo, Renzo Cabassi, Angelo Forlicca, Simone Grandicelli and Roberto Labanti of Centro Italiano di Studi Ufologici per questo rapporto.)
On Monday, August 10, 1998, at 11 p.m., twenty residents of Prauthoy, a village near Chaumont, in France's Department of Haute Marne, reported seeing "a strange glow in the sky."
Prauthoy's mayor, Philippe Badet, also a witness, told Agence France Presse that they "heard a noise that was more powerful than an airplane" as the UFO passed overhead.
On Friday, August 14, townspeople found a crop formation in a wheat field on the outskirts of Prauthoy. The formation consisted of two parallel lines that were 25 meters long and 75 centimeters wide. Between the two lines was a triangle or pyramid about 8 or 9 meters wide at the base.
According to Mayor Badet, photos of the crop formation and vegetation samples were taken by the Gendarmerie (French police--J.T.). The tests had "negative results" and there was "no trace of radiation."
Prauthoy is located near Chaumont in Haute Marne, about 225 kilometers (141 miles) southeast of Paris. (Merci beaucoup a Thierry Garnier de Circle Ufologique de Haute Normandie pour ces nouvelles.)
On Monday, August 10, 1998, a family living in Quaregnan, Belgium reported seeing a large triangular UFO "flying at a slow speed at a low altitude above the roofs of neighbouring houses." The family's UFO sighting took place on June 27, 1998.
Quaregnan is located 72 kilometers (43 miles) southwest of Brussels, the national capital. (Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour ces nouvelles.)
On Tuesday, August 4, 1998, German ufologist Werner Moeller was driving from Stuttgart to Saarbrucken when he spotted what looked like a crop circle on a hillside near the Autobahn.
Two days later, on Thursday, August 6, 1998, Werner returned to the site with his 11-year-old son, Miles. They took several color photographs of the formation.
The crop circle was located adjacent to the Autobahn near the exits for Bad Rappenau and Sinsheim, in the Baden-Wurttemberg region about 408 kilometers (255 miles) southwest of Berlin.
"After we stopped at a parking space about two kilometers from the circle, we left the car and then walked back through the fields, packed with a camera and a load of film," Werner reported.
"We finally arrived at the place--and there it was, a real crop circle. The way the corn was pressed down, and from other considerations, I knew it was real. It was about 20 to 30 meters (12 to 18 feet) in diameter, with a little satellite circle. It was placed on a little hill that you could only see by driving past on the Autobahn." (Email Interview)
Three crop circles appeared in Canada's western province of Saskatchewan during the first half of August.
On Sunday, August 9, 1998, a formation consisting of "two circles and a 'doughnut' ring" appeared in a field of durum wheat in Conquest, Sask., a small town on Provincial Highway 15 about 83 kilometers (52 miles) north of Saskatoon. The largest circle measured 10 meters (33 feet) in diameter. "One circle had a short path or 'tail.' Very tight twist of crop in one circle. Another was pressed very hard to the ground."
The following Sunday, August 16, 1998, "a farmer found crop circles" near Esterhazy, Sask. (population 2,896), a town on Provincial Highway 80 about 198 kilometers (124 miles) east of Regina.
The Esterhazy formation consisted of "a main circle, actually a set of concentric rings 75 feet (23 meters) across, with a straight pathway about 10 feet (3 meters) long ending in a small circle 12 feet across. The ring of standing crop is only about two inches wide, according to a local reporter who was in the formation shortly after discovery."
On Tuesday, August 18, 1998, another crop circle formation appeared on a Hutterite farm colony near Outlook, Sask. (population 2,091), on Highway 15 about eight miles (11 kilometers) east of Conquest.
The Hutterite farmers found "six circles, the largest anout 44 feet (in diameter). Four were in a straight line, with two other 'doughbut' rings. In durum wheat." The circles "reportedly caused a lot of excitement among the colony members. According to the farmers and reporters who were in the circles, no tracks, damage, dislodged stones or other signs of human involvement were found." (Many thanks to Paul Anderson of Circles Phenomenon Research-Canada for this report.)
On Tuesday, August 18, 1998, at 5:48 p.m., James M. was walking home from work in Frome, Somerset, UK when he looked up and saw a triangular UFO crossing the sky. "It looked kind of boomerang-shaped and black" and "traveled at the speed of a military jet towards Trowbridge" in Avon.
"As an avid aviation fan for many years, I can tell the differences between a MiG-29 and a (Sukhoi) Su-27 from 10,000 feet, so I am not wrong in telling people that what I saw is not an aircraft" currently known to exist. "The weird part is that it moved to the left about 500 yards without turning on its 'nose' and without tipping its 'wings' (banking--J.T.) In fact, it stayed on the same heading as before."
According to Bret C., the same UFO was seen by two witnesses in Southwick, a village between Frome and Trowbridge the same evening. (Email Interview)
On Tuesday, August 18, 1998, at 7:15 p.m., K.K. was "walking towards my car after finishing with work when I saw a golden colour object high up in the sky." His sighting took place at the intersection of the Burwood Highway and Springvale Road in Forest Hill, Victoria state, Australia.
"Unlike a star, it was gleaming golden--bigger than a star--perhaps half the size of the moon and also spherical in shape," K.K. reported. "Just after I looked, the object accelerated straight into the clouds and disappeared. I didn't have time to call security or someone else to witness this object. Hopefully, I will have enough time the next time around. The object was moving very slowly, then shot off to the north at a very high speed, but not in a straight line, more of a curvy line. Half the sky was cloudy, the other half clear. The object travelled from the clear half to the cloudy half. It was high above the clouds." (Email Interview)
The evening of Wednesday, August 19, 1998, two men, R.D. and his son-in-law, Chris, visited Pine Bush, N.Y. (population 1,445), a notorious UFO hotspot, for a skywatch. They soon got more than they bargained for.
"We were there about three hours when, at double tree height and about two miles (3.2 kilometers) away, we observed a UFO that was so bright we couldn't look at it through our binoculars," R.D. reported. The UFO "flew quickly towards us, passing within one-eighth of a mile at outrageous speeds. It seemed to float in the air rather than fly."
"Then, just as it was almost over our shoulders, it turned red, sped up and then disappeared. There was no engine sound, no trailing vapor and it was at 45 degrees (above the horizon). Less than two mintes later, two jet fighters were flying as fast as possible in the same flight path as the UFO." The men watched the jets with their binoculars until the aircraft passed out of view. (Many thanks to Rev. Billy Dee of UFOSSI for this report.)
On Friday, August 21, 1998, at 10:23 a.m., B.H. was "watching the sky and observed a bizarre object for exactly 15 seconds" in Engelwood, Colorado (population 29,837), a suburb just south of Denver.
"I looked up and saw a bright glimmer, most along the lines of a planet visible in daytime. It was bizarre in that it was a black object, and that it would brighten to a silvery glimmer for a second or two, and go back to black, then back to a silvery glimmer.. It was black about 90 percent of the time."
"The object was first observed from the north side of Arapahoe Road" by B.H. and another witness, "at about the 10,000-Block East. Object was first observed in the south-southeast, nearly in line with the Centennial Airport, about 30 degrees up (from the horizon--J.T.) It went up, causing me to suspect it was a balloon, but it soon descended. There were clouds at five to ten thousand feet, and the object passed in front of them. It started to go east, although there was a slight ground wind from the north." (Email Interview)
New York ufologist Alex Cavallari took color photos of orb-like UFOs during his July trip to northern Michigan.
On July 3, 1998, Cavallari photographed a "standard white Orb" near Trout Lake in Kalkaska County, 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Traverse City (population 15,800).
On July 14, 1998, Cavallari was on the shore of East Traverse Bay, near Traverse City, which is located 253 miles (405 kilometers) northwest of Detroit, and noticed "flashes and streaks of white light above the treeline to the west...As we were taking the pictures, we noticed a few small Orbs hovering in the distance, so we took a few more photos. Then they just vanished."
Later that day, Cavallari "decided to get off the beach and go sit at one on the picnic tables. I was having a cigarette when I watched a big amber-colored Orb appear almost directly in front of the middle of the bay. It was about one or two miles away (offshore). The Orb was also about four inches above" the bay at that distance and looked to be "about one-quarter of an inch in diameter."
He described the Orb as "almost yellow-orangish in color," adding that "we watched the Orb's appearance change to a very bright white. This was just before it vanished. It was a solid color. It did not blink or pulse. It was just light and it remained the same intensity most of the time." (See UFO Hunting in Michigan--July 1998, copyright 1998 by Alex M. Cavallari. Alex is also a ham radio enthusiast and can be reached at KB2NYV.)
On Friday, August 7, 1998, a black helicopter overflew the headquarters of XPI, a UFO study group, in Fayetteville, North Carolina (population 75,695), a city on Highways 24 and 401, approximately 65 miles (104 kilometers) south of Raleigh.
The following day, Saturday, August 8, Stefan Duncan, editor of American UFO Newsletter and director of XPI, "was in the parking lot of K & W" on Owen Drive in Fayetteville "when I saw a black helicopter approaching from the north. This was a Stealth-like helicopter. On the right side, below the body of the helicopter, was a long pole with a roundish attachment."
As the helicopter came towards him, Duncan reported that he was unable to observe or read any markins on the rotary-wing aircraft.
"The helicopter continued for several hundred yards, then stopped." Duncan went to his car to get his video camera, "but when I returned, the helicopter was gone." (See American UFO Newsletter #16 for 1998. Many thanks to Stefan Duncan for this report.)
On Wednesday, August 19, 1998, a male witness in Beaumont, Texas (population 114,323), a city on Interstate Highway 10 approximately 88 miles (141 kilometers) east of Houston, reported seeing "ten black helicopters with skids" beside a dock. "They had unusual dome-shaped things on top of the rotor hub."
On Thursday, August 20, 1998, Jeffrey S. Westover of Michigan MUFON "observed today a black helicopter skimming at treetop level along the (Interstate Highway) I-75 corridor" near Saginaw, Michigan (population 69,100), approximately 101 miles (162 kilometers) north of Detroit.
"I noticed a large black object traveling in a southerly direction, northwest of my position," Jeff reported. "I immediately identified it as a dark and large helicopter. Within five or so seconds, it descended behind some trees, apparently landing at a small airport nearby. Ten seconds later, I saw it rise up from behind the trees and fly again to the south, this time gaining altitude and far exceeding 500 feet I got a nice look at the big black military helicopter in cloudy conditions at approximately 50 feet high and could see no markings whatsoever on it." (Many thanks to Jeffrey S. Westover of Michigan MUFON for this report.)
(Editor's Comment: I saw the sketch Jeff attached to his emailed report. It's a profile drawing of an AH-1 Cobra.)
Reports of black helicopters in Attleboro, Massachusetts (population 38,383), an industrial city on Interstate Highway I-95 about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Boston, turned out to be a new state airborne strike force.
"The phrase 'Big Brother is watching' will soon have real meaning to youths who gather near train tracks in this city (Attleboro)."
"Beginning this weekend, helicopters will be making patrols in Attleboro, and possibly Pawtucket (across the state line in Rhode Island--J.T.) to be on the lookout for young people who party on the many miles of commuter rail lines that cross the city."
"MBTA (Massachusetts Bay Transportation Authority--J.T.) is initiating the patrols in conjunction with the Massachusetts State Police."
"State police helicopters, at no cost to the MBTA, will begin the people-seeking missions at dusk and continue well into the night. The helicopters will be equipped with night-vision devices and floodlights powerful enough to light up Foxboro Stadium."
(Editor's Comment: At no cost to the MBTA, eh? Kind of makes you wonder who's paying for these airborne operations, doesn't it?)
"Three helicopters will take part in the nightly patrol. Each will be carrying a state police pilot and co-pilot, as well as one or two MBTA officers riding in the back who will be scouting areas and directing ground parties."
"The patrols will cover Attleboro, Boston, Fitchburg, Foxboro, Franklin, Haverhill, Ipswich, Lowell, Mansfield, Middleboro, Needham, Plymouth, Rockland, Stoughton and Worcester." (See the Pawtucket, R.I. Times for August 3, 1998, "Last call for rail drinks" by Anthony Marseglia, page one.)
"As the sun began to set Friday, a state police helicopter came whirring into the city as the newest tool in the battle to keep people away from the railroad tracks."
"By the time the operation was complete, seven people had been arrested for trespassing on railroad property."
"Operation C.A.R.E., which stands for Commuter Air to Rail Enforcement, is a cooperative effort the Attleboro police, Massachusetts State Police and the police departments of the MBTA and Amtrak."
"The police station, as well as the Sun-Chronicle, received some phone calls from residents wondering about or complaining about the noise of the helicopter. (Attleboro police Capt. Richard J.) Pierce said in future missions that problem will be addressed." (See the Attleboro, Mass. Sun-Chronicle for August 15, 1998, "'Copter begins city patrol" by John Winters, pages one and two.)
(Editor's Comment: Why doesn't the Commonwealth of Massachusetts simply change its name to Oceania and be done with it?)
The SOHO mystery took a strange turn last week when a fire of unknown origin broke out at the solar satellite's home base, the Goddard Spaceflight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland.
The mysterious fire broke out on Wednesday, August 19, 1998 in a shed on the property and rapidly spread to another building. Responding to the call were firefighters of the Prince George's County Fire Department.
The Goddard Spaceflight Center lost contact with the Solar and Heliospheric Satellite (SOHO) in July. Six weeks of radio silence ended when SOHO downloaded its stored electronic data a few days before the fire.
SOHO is presently floating at the Lagrangian L-5 point, a region of space about one million miles from Earth.
According to the AP story, fire department spokesman Chauncey Bowers told the media, "We were able to stop the fire within 100 feet of the laboratories."
"One of the laboratories contained anhydrous ammonia, which can explode if it catches fire and cause respiratory problems, Bowers said."
"'Right now it looks as if there is fairly extensive damage,' he said."
"The cause of the fire is not known. Bowers said that NASA did not allow fire investigators to immediately survey the damage because 'the building does contain some sensitive material.'" (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for forwarding this news story.)
1981: ENIGMATIC ENCELADUS
Seventeen years ago, on August 25, 1981, the spacecraft Voyager 2 had its close encounter with the planet Saturn and its moons. Strangest of all the Saturnian moons is the small world of Enceladus.
First discovered in 1789 by astronomer William Herschel, Enceladus is the most geologically active of Saturn's moons. "Enceladus is composed mostly of water, with the remaining roughly 40 percent of its material being silicate rock." The moon "has a much more complex surface which is divided between vast and ancient fields of impact craters, large smooth plains and complex mountain ranges."
As Larry Soderblom of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory later pointed out, "The oldest terrains on Enceladus are similar in crater density to the cratered plains of Dione, which were previously the youngest regions seen in the Saturn satellites."
According to the book VOTAGES TO SATURN, "The smooth regions of Enceladus are probably at least ten times younger, meaning that 'parts of Enceladus that we see are younger than the age of the dinosaurs on Earth.'"
Enceladus has a diameter of 311 miles (500 kilometers) and orbits Saturn at a distance of 147,948 miles (238,100 kilometers).
"The remarkable aspect of Enceladus that a satellite of such small size should have retained enough heat to keep the interior fluid and allow these repeated outbursts onto the surface. Indeed, it seemed impossible that primordial heat should still be having such an effect." (See VOYAGES TO SATURN, NASA Scientific and Technical Information Bureau, 1982, pages 129 to 130, and THE ATLAS OF THE SOLAR SYSTEM by Bill Yenne, Exeter Books, 1987, page 135.)
Photos of the Bad Tappenau crop circle can be viewed at Werner Moeller's website. Log in at this URL: http://www.alien.de/alien/kornkreise/moeller/index.html
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