SPAIN DECLASSIFIES 83 MILITARY UFO FILES
Earlier this month Spain became the first nation in Europe to open its classified UFO files to researchers.
On September 7, 1998, the Fuerza Aerea d'Espana (Spanish Air Force--J.T.) made available 83 case files on UFO sightings in Spain, files which had previously been classified Top Secret.
According to the newspaper Voz de Galicia, "The truth is out there, in Madrid's General Air Force Library. It was learned yesterday that the Spanish Air Force has completed declassifying these official documents, which began in 1990. The shelves of the Madrid library hold the 83 'X-Files' previously classified as Top Secret. Twenty percent of these cases lack any logical explanation."
"One report, numbered as 891205, was opened in December 1989," in which eyewitnesses described "a lenticular UFO 'with a vast array of shining lights'" which overflew the towns of Sada and Castro in Spain's Galicia province, about 350 kilometers (210 miles) northwest of Madrid.
"At 6:40 p.m." on December 5, 1989, "members of the Benemrita (provincial police--J.T.) in Castro notified the Lavacolla Central Tower, which notified the army at the Aerial Vigilance Station at Noia (EVA 10). Both radars, civilian and military, obtained the object, which moved vertically."
At 8:40 p.m., three UFOs appeared on the EVA 10 radar set. Two vanished from the screen at 9:02 p.m. But the third signal persisted until 8 a.m. the following day, December 6, 1989.
The article also described a second case in Galicia "from the five pages of File 660402."
On April 2, 1966, "a corporal, a watchman and two sailors at Carreira watched a luminous object...It was to the left of Mount Campelo. The phenomenon lasted three-quarters of an hour. One of the witnesses took a snapshot of the UFO, which shows only a white spot against a black background." (See the newspaper Voz de Galicia for September 8, 1998. Many thanks to Scott Corrales, author of CHUPACABRAS AND OTHER MYSTERIES for forwarding the article.)
The UFO flap in France continued last week with more sightings along the Atlantic coast.
On Friday, September 18, 1998, at 10:40 p.m., a witness in the department of Eure, west of Paris, contacted the French UFO group Banque OVNI and reported seeing "a stationary light in the sky in the direction (west) of Le Havre."
At 11:40 p.m., witnesses in Le Havre reported spotting "a discoid object with three bright white lights...one millimeter at arm's length. The sky was clear and cloudless. The luminous object flew towards the south-southeast, to the end of its path, over Honfleur."
Le Havre is a harbor city at the mouth of the river Seine, in the department Seine-Maritime, located 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Paris. Honfleur is on the south side of the river, about 12 kilometers (9 miles) southeast of Le Havre.
The witnesses kept the luminous object in view for 50 minutes and said it "always remained in the same place in the sky. The object seemed to be too slow to be a star. The planets along the plane of the eclyptic were lower on the horizon."
Franck Marie of Banque OVNI is investigating this case and has contacted Orly Airport and the Centre Operationenel Inter-Armees, COIA (the French Pentagon--J.T.) to see if the objects showed on radar. (Merci beaucoup au Franck Marie et Michel Granger pour ces nouvelles.)
Service d'Expertise des Phenomenes de Rentrees Atmospheriques (SERPA), the French government's UFO study group, reversed its position on the spherical metallic UFO seen and videotaped in Voreppe on September 6, 1998. But not all ufologists are in agreement.
The UFO was seen at 8 p.m. in Voreppe, a town of the department of Isere, near Grenoble in the French Alps. The witnesses, a family of four, watched it hover over their garden and shot a videotape of its departure.
On September 13, 1998, SEPRA, the Centre National d'Etudes Spaciales (CNES) and the Gendarmerie (French police--J.T.) announced the results of the "joint investigation that raised doubts about the object observed," and said "the spherical object, probably metallic and incandescent" was actually "a balloon filled with helium."
A CNES spokesman said, "The information has been confided to us, convincingly, by Jean-Jacques Velasco, head of SEPRA" that "what happened is a family of Voreppe informed the police that their son had dropped a balloon that was fairly large (one meter in diameter) in the shape of a ladybug. There was very little wind, and it drifted, finally losing altitude, downward into the garden. Night was falling, and the witnesses were mistaken about its size. When they shot the video, the object was already some distance away and hard to identify."
La coccinelle (French for ladybug--J.T.), the CNES spokesman added, had a distinctive shape, and on the tape, "a woman's voice could be heard, saying, 'It looks like a ladybug.'" Also, "a string could be seen on the video, floating under the balloon."
Banque OVNI director Franck Marie disputed the findings however, asking, "How could an incandescent sphere of 5 or 6 meters be mistaken for a balloon one meter wide with the bright sun shining?"
He added that, "despite the 'very feeble wind,' the object remained in place for at least two minutes, during the film, at minimum." (See the newspaper L'Union for September 13, 1998, "L'OVNI de Voreppe etait un ballon gonfle a l'helium." Merci beaucoup au Franck Marie et Errol Bruce-Knapp pour ces nouvelles.)
(Editor's Comment: I know I shouldn't take sides in a UFO dispute, but there are two questions that I just have to ask. (A) What happened to the scorched and charred tree branches collected at the scene that evening by the Gendarmerie? (B) If there was a "very feeble wind," then how was the "balloon" able to depart the scene at an estimated speed of 48 kilometers per hour?)
On Saturday, September 5, 1998, at 8 a.m., two ufologists in Como, a city just south of Italy's border with Switzerland, spotted "with binoculars, a brilliant light, like a flare from the sun. Because of the brightness of the object, it was not possible to observe it for very long."
At 11:30 p.m. that night, witnesses in Cusago and Settimo Milanese, near Milano (Milan) about 60 kilometers (36 miles) southeast of Como, "saw a luminous triangular object...the strange light was flying at a high altitude above the horizon and made many turns. Observed with a pair of professional it revealed the shape and the lights arranged in a triangular order, one attached to each corner."
At 11:30 p.m., "a similar arrangement of white lights" was seen in the town of Cesano Boscone." (Grazie a Alfredo Lissoni, Giuliano Bertelli e Marco Guarisco di Centro Ufologico Nazionale, CUN, per questo rapporto.)
On Saturday, September 19, 1998, at 2 p.m., eyewitnesses spotted a daylight disc over Ypenburg, a small town near Delft in the Netherlands, about 60 kilometers (36 miles) southwest of Amsterdam.
Between 2 and 3 p.m., the witnesses sighted "five lights," of which "some were triangular and the others disk-shaped. They were about two to six meters wide. They produced a faint blue and red light. They were extremely fast and able to stop instantly, then 'float' about...They disappeared at high speed, straight up, in a formation." (USENET Report)
(Editor's Note: Take this one with a grain of salt. The writer did not respond to my three requests for an email interview.)
On Tuesday, September 22, 1998, at 4:18 p.m., Roscoe Sweeney (a pseudonym), a 22-year-old sailor in the U.S. Navy, "was driving north on Burma Road" in Portsmouth, Rhode Island (population 13,840) "one mile from the Melville shipyard" when he spied a UFO.
"It started above the tree line, about 10 degrees above the horizon, and disappeared into the clouds... Ended up slightly 30 degrees up. The departure angle was close to 45 degrees. It departed into the west and up."
"I'm a reliable judge of speed. This thing was smoking and accelerating! Speed 400 to 500 knots, with a behind-the-trees dash at Mach 1 (600 knots), easy."
"It was the brilliance that brought my eye to it. If I had done a slow blink, I would have missed it completely. This was truly an amazing sight."
He described the UFO as "oval, like if you put your thumb and index finger together to make the OK sign. No blinking lights. Glowed like looking at a picture of the filtered sun...amber/gold."
Portsmouth is on Aquidneck Island in Rhode Island's Narragansett Bay, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Providence, the state capital. (Email Interview)
UFOs were spotted twice in southern California last week.
On Tuesday, September 22, 1998, at 9:40 p.m., Vikki and Joseph R. were at their home near the Shields Avenue bypass in Fresno, California (population 354,202) when they spotted a UFO.
Vikki reported, "My husband and I witnessed a triangular-shaped object with lights set at regular intervals. The object appeared to be a pyramid shape. It had no sound. Altitude at my estimation was 2,000 feet and it was last seen heading east towards Nevada."
"From our vantage point, the craft looked triangular in shape, almost a delta form, and had five lights, three on one side, two on the other. We had it in view about a minute, all total."
She added that the object "was about the size of a football at arm's length. No noise whatsoever...extremely quiet." (Email Interview)
Fresno is on Highway 99 about 215 miles (344 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
Two days earlier, on Sunday, September 20, 1998, "just before sunset," at 6:40 p.m., professional photographer Victor M. "spotted a stationary object above the Palos Verdes (hills) on the San Pedro peninsula, on the east side of the hill. I was facing west and spotted an object or objects just below the clouds. I ran in my house to get the binoculars and an SLR 35mm camera."
"Through the binoculars, I noticed a greyish and sometimes shiny C-shaped object. The C was with the open side up. The object appeared to have split into two or three objects of the same shape. Suddenly, the object turned into a V-shaped object with the point of the V turned upward, inverted."
"Setting the binoculars down, I utilized the camera which had a 200mm lens attached, ASA 50 film, f5.6 at about 1/200 shutter speed, hand-held without tripod, and I took about three to six shots."
He added that the UFOs "did not move at all," and "I watched them for about 20 minutes" before they departed. (Email Interview)
San Pedro is on Pacific Avenue about 16 miles (25 kilometers) south of the Los Angeles Convention Center.
On Monday, September 14, 1998, Michael O. "walked out of my house at 10:30 p.m. to go to my next-door neighbor's" in Farmington, New Mexico (population 33,937). "As I looked up into the night sky, I noticed two flashing white strobe lights. They were at approximately 75 degrees above the horizon."
He estimated that, at arm's length, the lights were "the distance between my thumb tip and the little finger tip," if the fingers were splayed apart.
"What was unusual was that they were absolutely synchronous, as if they were attached to the same aircraft, and yet they were too far apart to be. Unless, of course, they were attached to an extremely large aircraft."
"As I watched, the strobe on the right began moving closer to the one on my left, while the one on the left maintained its course. As the right one nearly merged with the one on the left, it suddenly moved beneath it, then moved up on the opposite side and continued moving to the left until it was the same distance to the left that it had been on the right. It then remained in that position until both were out of sight."
Farmington is on New Mexico Highway 64 approximately 208 miles (333 kilometers) northwest of Santa Fe. (Many thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for forwarding this news story.)
On Wednesday, September 9, 1998, Bob Riker (pseudonym) who "works in Florence (Kentucky) as a computer technician and administrator," at 4 p.m. "stepped outside for a cigarette. The sky was spotted with clouds, and the sun was shining between them, enough to provide adequate lighting."
Just then, Bob spotted a small spherical object moving from the north to the south-southwest. "It traversed the entire horizon from the north to the southwest in less than ten seconds, going under the low dark clouds before disappearing in a distant cloud bank (and under an approaching plane.)
He added that "there was no sound from the object, which seemed to glitter slightly from the background sun, which was in the west. The object appeared to briefly sparkle, as if it were reflecting a glow from the sun. It was not necessarily glowing, more like a reflective sparkle."
Florence, Kentucky (population 18,624) is about 21 miles (33 kilometers) south of Cincinnati, Ohio. (Many thanks to Kenneth Young, public relations director of Tri-States Advocates for Scientific Knowledge, T.A.S.K., for this news story.)
On Wednesday morning, September 23, 1998, NASA flight controllers sent a transmission to the Mars Global Surveyor, ordering the spacecraft to fire its rocket engine in an aerobraking maneuver.
"The 14.8-second engine burn Wednesday morning was successful in using aerobraking to slow the spacecraft's speed. Engineers are trying to reduce the spacecraft's large elliptical orbit into a tight circle."
The aerobraking maneuver was originally scheduled for March 1998. However, shortly after the spacecraft arrived in orbit around Mars in September 1997, NASA discovered that a solar panel was bent out of shape. Controllers feared that an aerobraking maneuver might snap off the panel completely.
The rocket burn changed Mars Global Surveyor's point of closest approach from an altitude of 107 miles (171 kilometers) to 79 miles (122 kilometers), and, as a result, "each orbit should be less than two hours." (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for forwarding the NASA news release.)
(Editor's Comment: Lest we forget, the lander Pathfinder and its little robot Sojourner are still marooned on Mars, 213 million miles from home.)
1824: STRANGE PHENOMENON AT ORENBURG
In late September 1824, people in Orenburg, Russia were puzzled when they heard something clattering on the onion-shaped roof of the Orthodox church. They soon discovered "little symmetrical pieces of metal" falling from the clear blue sky.
Months later, on January 25, 1825, the same phenomenon occurred again.
Samples of the material were gathered and sent to St. Petersburg (then capital of Russia--J.T.)
In Oeuvres vol. 11, page 644, a scientist, M. Arago, noted that a chemical analysis of the objects had showed them to be "70 percent red oxide of iron, and sulphur, and loss (of mass) by ignition (combustion) 5 percent." Amazingly the pieces of metal showed signs of having been manufactured.
The Orenburg "sky fall" attracted the attention of Prince Pavel Vasilyevich Dolgorukii, the "librarian" of the mystic Brothers of the Inner Order. This was an offshoot of the Lodge Harmonia, founded by Nikolai Novikov in St. Petersburg in 1780.
When Empress Catherine II suppressed the Masonic lodges of Russia in 1792 and jailed Novikov, Dolgorukii and two brothers, Yuri and Nikita Troubezkoi, formed the Brothers of the Inner Order. They then set about collecting hundreds of books on alchemy, mysticism and the paranormal, including works by the most notorious occultists of the period. The collection had a first edition Originalschriften des Illuminatenordensekte by Adam Weishaupt and pamphlets by Jean-Baptiste Willermoz and the ayatollah Shaikh Ahmed Ahsai.
After Dolgorukii's death in 1838, the collection-- and perhaps a handful of those mysterious Orenburg artifacts--passed into the possession of his daughter, Mme. Nadyezhda de Fadeyev.
In 1846, about the time of the war between the USA and Mexico, Mme. de Fadeyev's 15-year-old niece, Elena Petrovna von Hahn, spent the summer reading all the mystical books in her deceased grandfather's library.
Thirty years later, as the author/occultist Madame Blavatsky, Elena hinted at the strange doings in Orenburg in her book, THE SECRET DOCTRINE, "...more than one Russian mystic travelled to Tibet via the Ural Mountains in search of knowledge and initiation in the unknown crypts of central Asia. And more than one returned years later with a rich store of such information as could never have been given him anywhere in Europe."
This trail, similar to the "Underground Railroad" for escaped black slaves in the early Nineteenth Century USA, led from St. Petersburg and Moscow straight through--you guessed it--Orenburg.
Sad to say, the Dolgorukii collection vanished sometime in the 1890s, after Mme. de Fadeyev's death.
Orenburg is located just south of the Ural Mountains 600 kilometers (360 miles) east of Moscow. (See THE COMPLETE BOOKS OF CHARLES FORT, Dover Publications Inc., New York, NY, 1974, page 178. See also THE MASTERS REVEALED by K. Paul Johnson, State University Press, Albany, NY, 1994, pages 19 to 22.)
(Editor's Note: Declassified files of the Third Section secret police of the Tsarist Ministry of the Interior revealed last year that a UFO, described as "an intense burst of white light," was seen over Orenburg by dozens of people, including government officials, in January 1846, about six months before young Elena developed an interest in her grandfather's occult library.)
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The Phantom Empire is a weird blend of Western and science fiction and of interest to ufologists because it is possibly the first movie to deal with the theme of cattle mutilation.
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