CHUPACABRA PHOTOGRAPH TAKEN IN SOUTHERN BRAZIL
On Monday, October 12, 1998, Leandro da Silva, a Brazilian speleologist and two companions decided to explore a cave in the Serra do Espinhaco mountains just east of Baldim, a small city in the state of Minas Gerais in southern Brazil.
By 7 a.m., the trio had penetrated 150 meters into the limestone cave, which is reputed to extend for several kilometers underground. Da Silva had his Kodak digital camera close at hand.
Just then, Marcelo, one of the companions, "stared at a very strange and ugly animal, the size of a man."
Marcelo shouted in astonishment. Turning, Leandro saw the creature and shouted, as well. The startled creature backed away toward the cavern wall and disappeared through a fissure in the limestone. But not before Leandro snapped two photographs with his digital camera.
(See http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/v03/rnd03_42a.shtml for photos and full text of original messages)
According to researcher Lydia Ribeiro, the cave creature "is very similar to the Chupacabra" reported last year in Sao Paulo state.
On Tuesday, October 13, ufologist Vittorio Paccacini, author of INCIDENTE EM VARGINHA, interviewed the da Silva group and left for Baldim to conduct an on-site investigation.
"They didn't seem to be inventing this story," Paccacini said, following the telephone interview. "Therefore I've decided to investigate. I'm going to Baldim early in the morning. I want to be inside the cave at 7 a.m."
Baldim is on the Rio das Velhas in Minas Gerais, approximately 110 kilometers (66 miles) north of Belo Horizonte, the state capital. (Muito obrigado a Vittorio Paccacini e Lydia Ribeiro por eso caso.)
(Editor's Comment: October is turning into Creature Feature month here at UFO Roundup. Check out the following story.)
On Thursday, September 17, 1998, Craig Calonica, a mountain climber from the USA, was descending from a high-altitude campsite on Mount Everest in the Himalayas when he spotted two Yeti lumbering through the snow.
On Tuesday, October 13, "the 45-year-old skier and mountain climber" told Reuters that he "was on his way down to base camp at 17,000 feet (5,200 meters) from a camp at 21,300 feet (6,500 meters) when he saw the creatures."
"He said they had thick, shiny, black fur and walked like humans except a little hunched over at the shoulders."
"'My point was that I saw something and what I saw was not human, that was not a gorilla, not a bear, not a goat, and it was not a deer,' Calonica told Reuters. 'Their arms were very long, and their heads were very big.'"
Calonica was with his Nepali cook when the Yeti passed them by. The sighting took place on the north face of Mount Everest, about 56 kilometers (35 miles) southeast of Dinggye, Tibet. (Many thanks to Erik Beckjord of the Sasquatch Research Project for forwarding the Reuters article.)
(Editor's Note: Calonica's description of the two Yeti is identical to that given by Lt. Col. C.K. Howard-Bury during his Mount Everest reconnaissance expedition of 1921. The term Yeti is a corruption of the Sherpa phrase mehteh kangmi meaning '"snow creature.")
The words came over the air during the early morning hours of Tuesday, October 13, 1998, stunning millions of fans.
"What you are listening to is my final broadcast," Art Bell, 51, host of the popular Coast to Coast radio talk show, told listeners, "I told you that there was an event, a threatening terrible event occurred to my family, which I could not tell you about. Because of that event, and a succession of other events, what you're listening to right now is my final broadcast on the air."
"Bell, whose show was broadcast from his home in" Pahrump, Nevada, a "desert farming community west of Las Vegas, said he couldn't discuss the matter with his listeners 'for the protection of my family.'"
"Covington, Ky (Kentucky--J.T.)-based radio giant Jacor Communications, Inc., which distributes Bell's show, referred telephone inquiries to its Los Angeles syndication arm, Premiere Radio Network."
"'We will be playing 'best-of' shows until further notice until we find out what's going on,' Premiere spokeswoman Mir Hendrickson said."
"The popular host hasn't received any criminal threats, Nye County Sheriff Wade Lieseke said." (See the Providence, R.I. Journal for October 15, 1998, "Popular radio talk-show host quits under cloud of mystery," page A-2)
The mystery deepened when a mysterious letter appeared on an Internet site used by fans.
"Art Bell--the spooky all-night talk radio host who quit on-air Tuesday--told his fans yesterday (Thursday, October 15) he quit after a mysterious 'man from the future' told him he and his wife were in danger."
"According to the letter, a man from the future Bell calls Single Seven contacted told him that a terrible tragedy was going to befall Bell's wife, Ramona."
"The letter also said that if certain events take place, Bell will return to the airwaves soon."
"Officials at Premiere, which syndicates Bell's show on 400 stations around the country, had refused to answer questions about the letter's authenticity."
"Repeated calls to Jacor, the radio company that owns the show, were not returned last night."
"According to Bell's letter: 'Single Seven...told me he had gone back (to the future) and researched me and said there had been a terrible tragedy that happened to Ramona and me. I lived but Ramona did not.'"
"The letter says Single Seven first contacted Bell about a year ago and predicted several events that would happen. It did not specify what they were." (See the New York Post for October 16, 1998, "Art Bell sends fans mysterious message," page 114.)
Again authorities reiterated that they did not believe Bell to be in any personal danger. "Sheriff Wade Lieseke of Pahrump, Nevada, where Bell broadcasts his show about the paranormal from his home, said that he had spoken to Bell and that he believed Bell to be in no immediate danger." (See the New York Post for October 17, 1998, "Radio man Bell to stay alienated from UFO show," page 85)
However, many of Bell's fans and colleagues are concerned about him.
"'It's possible that he stumbled onto something the government doesn't want the rest of us to know about,' said Mike Taylor, a former construction worker who, like many residents, retired early to Pahrump. 'I'm open to the fact that there's stuff going on around here, big stuff, hush-hush stuff.'"
"'Everyone in this town knows,' said electrician Mark Rogers, pointing toward the Sierra Nevada mountains, 'that things go on over that mountain that they aren't supposed to talk about.'"
Ron Bales of Sioux Falls, South Dakota, leader of an Art Bell fan club, alleged "'that some Bill Clinton supporters might have threatened Bell to draw attention away from the president's troubles.'"
Richard C. Hoagland "agreed that Bell must be in danger to cut himself off so completely. He said that 'rogue elements' working for the government but not officially claimed by any agency may have threatened Bell's wife in an attempt to force Bell to rein in his guests and prescreen callers."
"'Art Bell would rather do radio than anything else on this planet. He's at the top of his game, No. 1 in his time slot and he walks away from all this in 30 seconds,' said Hoagland, a former NASA consultant and frequent guest on Bell's show. 'Something has to be terribly wrong...There are people in these federal agencies that make Rambo look like a Sunday School picnic.'" (See the Boston, Mass. Globe for October 17, 1998, "For whom the Bell mystery tolls," page A-01.)
Bell is scheduled to make a brief statement to his listeners during the first hour of Coast to Coast during the Monday, October 19 show.
On Friday afternoon, October 10, 1998, people walking along the lakeshore in Cleveland, Ohio (population 503,000) were startled to see three bright orange fireballs moving slowly through the blue sky over Lake Erie.
A cameraman for WJBK-TV in Cleveland, Channel 2 Fox News, went outdoors and videotaped the UFOs' overflight.
The video shows two orange fireballs proceeding across the sky at a slow pace, above telephone poles and treetops, with a third UFO in the lower right-hand corner, barely visible.
Channel 2 aired the video on its news broadcast with this voiceover commentary: "Now look at this and judge for yourself. What do you think? You can see three streaks of light, the third you can barely spot in the right-hand corner moving into the trees...Witnesses said the lights were visible for half an hour."
After seeing a rebroadcast on a Detroit TV station, Rev. John E.L. Tenney of Michigan Anomalous Information Network (MAIN) telephoned Channel 2 in Cleveland to learn more about the sighting.
"The news director that I spoke to in Cleveland said that the local weather crew eventually determined the lights to be a plane," he reported, adding skeptically, "Three planes? Three planes moving so slowly?" (Many thanks to Rev. John E.L. Tenney for this report.)
On Monday, October 12, 1998, just before 11 p.m., a 31-year-old housewife went outdoors at her home about 6 kilometers (3 miles) from Nowra, New South Wales, Australia and spotted a group of UFOs "in tight formation flying low toward the south."
The house is in a rural area "with only one dirt road from Nowra to Sassafras and on to Braidwood." Nowra is on Australia's east coast about 180 kilometers (108 miles) south of Sydney.
The UFOs "appeared to be at 35 degrees elevation and hovered there before moving south again." The witness "said they only had a visible shape when using the binocs (binoculars--J.T.) but appeared to be as large as a 5-cent piece at arm's length when using them. They were bell-shaped with a white or bluish-white light at the top, quite steady. They appeared 'translucent,' 'like a jellyfish' and displayed multi-coloured flashing lights around the sides in no recognisable pattern. Central underneath was a steady bluish glow."
"When they came back" toward the farm, "they wove about" in the sky "about 6 to 8 kilometers southwest of her property, where they stayed for about twenty minutes and appeared to be flying erratically, 'like a conductor's baton or a ballet dance.' Just after 11:30 p.m., they flickered off to the west-northwest, dipping behind some trees."
The case was investigated by Brad Mildern of Paradox UFO Group, which covers sightings in New South Wales between Wollongong, Shorehaven and Batemans Bay.
Commenting on the Nowra UFOs, ufologist Diane Harrison said, "Description reminds me of the photos from Gulf Breeze." (Many thanks to Brad Mildern of Paradox UFO Group for this story.)
On Sunday, October 11, 1998, at 7 p.m., ufologist Tony Colbourn of the Essex and London UFO Network (ELUFON) was working in his back garden at his home in Walthamstow, a suburb north of East London.
"At approximately 1900 hours, I spotted what I could only describe as a gold orb traveling in a north easterly direction at an approximate altitude of 2,000 feet," he reported, "It is usual to see aircraft stacking above my house, as it is located in one of the main flight paths for Heathrow Airport. Whilst observing this object, I also noticed a satellite going over, which due to the visible differences, convinced me that this was not a satellite because (for example) it was brighter, bolder and moving a lot faster."
"A few minutes later, I noticed two additional orbs, white in colour, traveling northward. As they approached me, the one on the right turned in a north easterly direction and the other continued straight on north."
Colbourn rushed into the house to grab his videocamera. But when he returned to the garden, "all (UFO) activity had ceased."
The next night, Monday, October 12, at 6:45 p.m., "I noticed that the gold orb had returned, traveling the same route. I rushed in and grabbed my camcorder, called Roy (Hale of ELUFON) on the phone and went back to the garden. I then noticed another white orb which whilst traveling became brighter. The size was similar to the end of a pencil but gradually expanded to the size of a tennis ball and then seemed to implode inward and disappear altogether."
Colbourn then telephoned ELUFON member Brian Jessop, who quickly hopped into his car and drove to Walthamstow. On his way there, at 6:55 p.m., Jessop spotted a strange light in the sky. "As it got closer, he realized it was a triangle-shaped object."
ELUFON is investigating these and other reported UFO sightings in Walthamstow. (Many thanks to Tony Colbourn and Roy Hale of ELUFON and to Errol Bruce-Knapp for forwarding these reports.)
The evening of September 12, 1998, a group of college students gathered at the observatory in Sormano, Italy to do some skywatching as part of their astronomy course lab work.
"We were going to spend the night observing the stars and at first noticed nothing out of the ordinary," Giancarlo S. reported. "Then, at about 11 p.m., we saw over the mountain a big sphere like the full moon. At first it stopped, then it moved very quickly behind the mountain. For a moment, I saw this object suspended above the peak."
Unable to keep their big telescope fixed on the object, the group reached for their binoculars.
"Having grabbed our binoculars to better observe it, we watched as it moved steadily in a westerly direction away from the mountain until it could no longer be seen."
This case is being investigated by Italy's Centro Ufologici Nazionale. (Grazie a Marco Guarisco di CUN Como per questo rapporto.)
On Saturday, September 26, 1998, at 9 p.m., three luminous white UFOs appeared at an elevation of 30 degrees above the western horizon just south of Las Varas, in Nayarit state, Mexico, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the popular Pacific Ocean resort city of Puerto Vallarta.
The UFOs were described as "three bright white lights...the lights, except for a few brief seconds of flashing, were otherwise non-blinking and stationary for nearly 35 minutes before flying away."
"On leaving, they moved laterally with the Mexican coastline for about five minutes and then moved out of sight. Within a few seconds, the three lights 'streaked' back to near where they had originally been seen...Local newspapers have had two articles on the phenomenon. The Mexican lights are capable of great speeds and hover for long periods of time." (See Filer's Files #41 for 1998, item copyright by John C. Thompson. Many thanks to George A. Filer of MUFON for this news story.)
Two more crop circles were found in Canada's Saskatchewan province during September.
According to Paul Anderson of Circles Phenomenon Research-Canada, the circles were originally made "in late August or early September" but were not found until the wheat fields began to be harvested later in the month.
On September 14, 1998, residents found a counterclockwise circle measuring 11 feet (3.3 meters) in diameter, with a tight spiral lay of the stems, in a wheat field on the outskirts of Wapello, Sask. (population 429), a town on Provincial Highway 601 about 112 miles (179 kilometers) southeast of Regina.
A week later, on September 21, 1998, residents discovered a circle with a ring in a wheat field near Spy Hill, Sask. The circle measured 24 feet (7 meters) in diameter, was counterclockwise and also had a tight spiral lay. Spy Hill is on Highway 8 near the Manitoba border, about 130 miles (208 kilometers) east of Regina. (Many thanks to Paul Anderson of Circles Phenomenon Research-Canada for these reports.)
One of the unsung Earth spacecraft cruising the depths of our solar system is NEAR, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous satellite. Looking like an inverted, four-bladed ceiling fan, NEAR was launched from Earth in 1996 and "is just weeks from becoming the first man-made object to be placed into the orbit of a distant asteroid."
"The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft will fire rockets on Dec. 20 to settle into an orbit of an asteroid called Eros that is streaking across space about 163 million miles (261 million kilometers) from Earth."
"The satellite will start orbiting the asteroid on Jan. 10, 1999."
"During months of circling the asteroid, the craft will be slowly lowered until its orbit is just 21 miles (33 kilometers) above the space rock. The craft will give the first prolonged up-close look at an asteroid, which are minor planets in space."
"Six instruments aboard NEAR will analyze the composition, magnetic field and mass of the asteroid, sending the data back to Earth by radio."
"Eros is something of a mystery. The rock is 24 miles (long) by 8 miles (wide). Scientists don't know if the rock is solid or if it is a highly porous body with empty cavities or chunks of ice...What isn't known is whether Eros was once part of a bigger planet or if it formed independently."
According to Andy Cheng, a Johns Hopkins researcher and the project scientist for NEAR, the spacecraft may try for a soft landing on Eros. "After months in orbit of Eros, researchers may attempt to put the craft onto the surface of the asteroid. Cheng said the spacecraft was not designed to land but that is one option the researchers are considering. The density of Eros is unknown, but the asteroid is so small that its gravity force will be only a fraction of Earth's, making landing there less violent." (See USA Today for October 13, 1998, "Satellite is moving into orbit of asteroid.")
1978: DELTA SIERRA JULIET
Twenty years ago, on October 21, 1978, at 6:10 p.m., Frederick M. Valentich, 21, began his pre-flight checklist, walking around and inspecting his blue-and-white Cessna 182.
Nine minutes later, at approximately 6:19 p.m., Fred eased the Cessna off the tarmac at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria state, Australia, heading south over the Bass Strait on what was supposed to be a routine flight to Tasmania.
At 7:06 p.m., Fred, whose radio call letters were Delta Sierra Juliet (DSJ) sent an urgent call to Flight Service (FS) in Melbourne. Here is the actual transcript of that conversation.
DSJ: "Melbourne, this is Delta Sierra Juliet, is there any known traffic below five thousand (feet)?"
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, no known traffic."
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. I am--seems to be a large aircraft below five thousand."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, what kind of aircraft is it?"
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. I cannot confirm. It is four bright...it seems to me like landing lights."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger. and it is a large aircraft, confirmed?"
DSJ: "Er--unknown, due to the speed it's travelling. Is there any air force activity in this vicinity?"
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, no known aircraft in the vicinity."
DSJ: "Melbourne, it's approaching now from due east towards me."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet."
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. It seems to me that he's playing some sort of game. He's flying over me two, three times at speeds I could not identify."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger. What is your actual level?"
DSJ: "My level is four and a half thousand, four five zero zero."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, and you confirm that you cannot identify the aircraft?"
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger. Stand by."
DSJ: "Melbourne, Delta Sierra Juliet, it's not an aircraft. It is (static)"
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, can you describe the...er...aircraft?"
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. As it's flying past, it's a long shape (static) cannot identify more than it has such speed (static) It's before me right now, Melbourne."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger, and how large would the...er...object be?"
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. Melbourne, it seems like it's stationary. What I'm doing right now is orbiting, and the thing in orbiting on top of me also. It's got a green light and sort of metallic like. It's all shiny on the outside."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet."
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet (static) It's just vanished."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet."
DSJ: "Melbourne, would you know what kind of aircraft I've got? Is it a military aircraft?"
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, confirm the...er... aircraft just vanished?"
DSJ: "Say again."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, is the aircraft still with you?"
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet, it's (static) now approaching from the southwest."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet."
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. The engine is rough idling. I've got it set at twenty-three, twenty-four (2300 to 2400 RPM--J.T.), and the thing is coughing."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, what are your intentions?"
DSJ: "My intentions are...ah...to go to King Island...ah...Melbourne. That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again. (static) It is hovering, and it's not an aircraft."
FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet."
DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. Melbourne (static burst for 17 seconds)"
The burst faded, and the frequency fell silent. An air-and-sea rescue was launched. But the searchers found no trace of Fred Valentich or his blue-and-white Cessna.
The Royal Australian Air Force report on the Valentich case contains the following:
"Degrees of injury - Presumed fatal."
"Opinion as to cause - The reason for the disappearance of the aircraft has not been determined." (See the book WORLD ATLAS OF UFOs by John Spencer, Smithmark Publishers Inc., New York, NY 1991, pages 169 to 172.)
Tomorrow marks the birthday of British physicist Sir James Chadwick. Born on October 20, 1891, he won the Nobel Prize for physics in 1935 for his discovery of the neutron. Sir James passed away on July 24, 1974.
We'll be back next week with more saucer news from around the planet, brought to you by "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.