WHITEHALL PLANS TROOP MOBILIZATION IN Y2K CRISIS
Whitehall plans to call up thousands of UK Territorial Army reserves to deal with civil unrest sparked by the Year 2000 Computer Crisis, the British newspaper Sunday Mirror reported last week.
The United Kingdom is now the second NATO member to announce deployment of troops during December 1999 as part of Operation Abacus. Two weeks ago, the Globe and Mail of Toronto announced that Canada would call up 60,000 troops to deal with the crisis.
If Whitehall goes through with the plan, it will be the biggest deployment of Territorial Army troops since the start of World War II in September 1939.
According to the Sunday Mirror, "Officers from British Army reserves have been put on alert to deal with the chaos of New Year's Eve 1999."
"They have been asked to cope with possible civil unrest and communications disasters as the year 2000 begins. Whitehall fears the huge celebrations, plus integral computer failures due to the 'Millenium Bug' all have the capacity to bring about a 'Doomsday' scenario."
"In a secret letter seen by the Sunday Mirror, the Army officer reservists are asked about their availability between December 22, 1999 and January 9, 2000."
"The letter was posted from the Army Reservist Communications Centre at the Ministry of Defence (MoD) headquarters in Whitehall. It says problems on a national scale are expected, and it provides the first clear indication that troops will be on standby to cope with the expected Millenium Bug chaos."
"The letter makes special reference to new reservist legislation with sections on civil unrest, defense of the nation, resources and national security."
"An MoD spokesman would not confirm that the letter had been sent. 'Clearly the Army stands by for any form of assistance that civil authorities feel they need over the Millenium."
Major UK metropolitan areas that may be affected by deployment could include London, Liverpool, Bristol, Manchester, Birmingham, Leeds, Sheffield, Southampton, Newcastle-upon-Tyne, plus Edinburgh and Glasgow in Scotland and Cardiff in Wales. (See the Sunday Mirror for November 15, 1998, "Army calls in reserves for Millenium chaos," by Tim Luckett. Many thanks to John Hayes for forwarding this newspaper article.)
On Wednesday, November 11, 1998, at 5:30 p.m., Gaurav Hamish D., his family members, several neighbors and his college professor were standing outdoors in Malad Evershine Nagar, a suburb just west of the Kandivali section of Mumbai (Bombay) when they spotted an unusually bright UFO.
"The anomalous light caught my attention because it was in a direction opposite from the setting sun," Gaurav reported. "That is, in the east. The source seemed as if it was the sun shining behind some clouds. The intensity of the light was about the brilliance of the sun in early morning--8:30 a.m. It was about 70 degrees from ground level. It could be compared to a great mirror in the sky, reflecting the rays of the setting sun."
Gaurav said the crowd had the UFO in view until 7 p.m. (Email Interview)
On Wednesday night, November 18, 1998, naval gunboats opened fire on UFOs at sea off Point Pedro, on the northern shore of Sri Lanka, an island nation adjacent to India.
The small patrol craft of the Sri Lankan navy opened fire with 20mm cannon and small arms after spotting "unidentified aircraft" over the Indian Ocean north of the island.
According to the Hindu Times, "The mystery over the 'unidentified aircraft' which was 'spotted by Navy personnel' over the northern seas off Sri Lanka continues with no indication of either the type of aircraft or its origin or purpose."
"Sri Lankan military spokesman Brigadier Sunil Tenakkoon said that (although) the lights" seen were similar to an aircraft, 'There is no definite proof."
"With no conclusive evidence to such reports, it would not be possible to say 'if it was an aeroplane or a helicopter,' he said."
"All of the 'sightings' of the 'unidentified aircraft' took place 'during the nighttime' and 'only the lights were visible,' Brigadier Tenakkon said."
The brigadier added that the sightings "were reportedly made by 'Navy personnel' running naval gunboars, who opened fire in the direction of the lights." (See the Hindu Times for November 20, 1998, "Mystery over aircraft continues," by V.S. Sambandan. Many thanks to Stig Agermose and Errol Bruce-Knapp for forwarding this newspaper article.)
A UFO described as "apple-shaped" with "a trail of red and yellow flame" appeared over the port city of Xiamen in southern China on Tuesday, November 10, 1998 and was seen by hundreds of residents.
The Communist Party newspaper People's Daily quoted "a China News Agency report saying the UFO was first spotted at dusk Tuesday (November 10), flying in a southwesterly direction for 20 minutes before disappearing, and again the next day."
"Residents in the southern city of Xiamen had sighted an apple-like UFO with a tail of red and yellow flames...The report said the sighting of the UFO, which was also captured on film by the local television station, had Xiamen residents craning their heads skyward for the past two days, hoping for another appearance."
"The report said aerospace experts had said that possibly a satellite had fallen out of orbit, causing the phenomenon."
"It said most people had seen an optical illusion caused by light reflecting from the emissions of an aircraft."
Xiamen is a port on the Taiwan Strait located 370 kilometers (222 miles) northeast of Hong Kong. (See People's Daily for November 14, 1998. Many thanks to Peter A. Gersten of CAUS for forwarding this newspaper article.)
On Saturday, November 14, 1998, at 11 p.m., a UFO described as "a bluish triangular object" was spotted flying over the city of Riohacha in northern Colombia and "was seen by many people, although it was partially raining."
The OVNI (Spanish acronym for UFO--J.T.) "could clearly be seen flying at about 3,500 feet on a controlled flight path heading southeast at about 450 to 500 nautical miles per hour."
Eyewitness J.C.M. reported, "The object was certainly not part of the (Leonid) meteor showers occurring this week."
J.C.M. added that, "in another recent incident" near Riohacha, "an object was seen in the foothills of the Sierra Nevada de Santa Marta (elevation 18,000 feet or 5,454 meters) The object hovered at about 3,500 feet above ground level for a good long time. It was very bright, blue in color, then suddenly flew away at very high speed. Unfortunately, no pictures had been taken in this area."
Riohacha is a port on the Caribbean Sea, in Colombia's La Guaira state, approximately 760 kilometers (475 miles) north of Bogota, the national capital. (Muchas gracias a J.C.M. para esas noticias colombianas.)
Black helicopters laid siege to the town of Andrews, North Carolina (population 2,551) again last week, with sightings reported at all hours of the day and night.
According to eyewitness Ramon S., town residents have seen "at least seven Army choppers that we are aware of. They have Hueys and Kiowa Cobras," i.e. U.S. Army UH-1H and OH-58D helicopters.
"They have, among other things, virtually run people off the road. They hover 50 feet over homes at night," Ramon reported. "On Monday (November 16) they were running rappelling training during a light rain while hovering at 30 feet above the ground."
"Last night (Wednesday, November 18, 1998) they were flying and stated on the scanner...they called themselves the Bad Boys...that they were testing their NODS (Night Optical Detection Systems), night optical lenses and photographic equipment by following cars and hovering over houses."
Andrews, located on North Carolina Highways 19 and 129 about 325 miles (520 kilometers) southwest of Raleigh, has been the focus of an intensive law enforcement search for the past seven weeks. The search's quarry is Eric Rudolph, 32, who is wanted in connection with an abortion clinic bombing in Atlanta, Georgia.
According to researcher Joseph Burton, who visited the town on Wednesday, November 11, and interviewed Ramon and other residents, "Others talk of the intentional harassment done by helicopters, and when they complained to the local sheriff, the FBI told the sheriff they couldn't have done it...their (National Guard) choppers were not equipped to fly at night."
Ramon confirmed Burton's story that he and another resident, Phillip, were captured by the FBI the evening of November 11.
According to Burton, "Apparently, Ramon's neighbor, a patriot named Phillip, had flashed one of the choppers with a toy laser that says I Love You."
Unknown to Ramon and Phillip, however, an unidentified sniper had fired several shots at the FBI field headquarters, a renovated warehouse on Highway 129 in Andrews, at about 8 p.m.
At 11 p.m., Ramon drove Phillip to the local police station so he could turn himself in. When they arrived in the parking lot, Ramon reported, a platoon of FBI agents in PSGAT helmets and body armor surrounded the truck and "ordered us to step away from the vehicle and lie face-down on the concrete."
The two men were handcuffed and taken into custody. Ramon was released the next morning without being charged. Phillip was sent by van to the U.S. Marshals' field headquarters in Bryson City, N.C. (population 1,145), located 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Andrews. He was detained for two days and then released on Friday, November 13.
According to Burton, FBI Special Agent Terry Terchie "revealed that the Governor of North Carolina had declared a Special State of Emergency in western North Carolina."
Andrews residents attempting to confirm this received conflicting replies from the governor's office as to whether or not the "special state of emergency" had actually been declared.
Rumors of the presence of United Nations (UN) personnel in Andrews also circulated widely.
Ramon said, "One newspaper stated that Russian troops training at Fort Bragg have helped in the search here with the FBI."
Other residents claimed to have seen three UN observers at the Cherokee Restaurant in town. The men were described as Caucasian, ranging in age from 30 to 45, and wearing navy-blue jackets with the letters UN on the back and a white UN symbol patch on the shoulder. They reportedly were driving a white Chevy Suburban and paid for their meals with a Diner's Club credit card.
As for Rudolph, the federal fugitive remains at large. Burton stated, "The sightings of Eric have now surpassed sightings of Elvis." (Many thanks to Joseph Burton, Dorothy H. Bibee, Rev. Billy Dee, plus thanks to Ramon S. for the email interview.)
Last week two women from Franklin, Tennessee were driving on Interstate Highway I-75 in Ohio when they spotted "a fireball in the sky."
The women's car was travelling from Dayton south to Cincinnati when they spotted the object, which "looked comet-like. Then it stopped, because the tail of the comet disappeared." They described the UFO as "silver-gray and disc-shaped, but rounded on the top and sides."
"We were traveling down I-75 when I looked up and saw what looked like a comet in the sky," the witness reported. "I pointed it out to my friend, and she saw it clearly also."
"We both knew it definitely wasn't a plane. Then the 'tail' of the object disappeared, and it looked like it came to a stop. It was a little far away, and it went right over us. It was silvery-gray in color. It moved horizontally very quickly." (Many thanks to Ohio UFO researcher Kenneth Young for this news story.)
On Wednesday, November 18, 1998, at approximately 1:40 a.m., Neal F. was "sitting in a lawn chair in a field directly behind my house" in New Kent, Virginia (population 500) when his wife came out to join him. He pointed out to her the radiant, the point in space where the Leonid meteors were coming from. "I was looking at (the constellation) Leo, which was fairly low, maybe 10 to 15 degrees above the horizon, in the east/ northeast."
"Then I saw, right below Leo, a large triangle consisting of three small white lights. I couldn't see any body or solid part for the craft. At first I thought it was just a constellation. Then I realized that it wasn't there a second ago, and it couldn't have 'risen' that quickly."
"I looked very closely and could detect slow movement to the north," Neal reported. "The triangle was about the size of a dime at arm's length. It was just above the tree line approximately 1,000 to 1,500 feet away. I got my wife to look at it, and it 'glided' away and went below the tree line northward. We stayed and watched for about 15 minutes but didn't see it again." (Many thanks to Jim Hickman of Skywatch International for forwarding this report.)
Australia reported three sightings of a bright UFO during the Leonid meteor shower last week.
On Wednesday, November 18, 1998, at 3:20 a.m., ufologist George Mackay spied "a UFO going from left to right, then shot straight up" in Jimboomba, Queensland.
Also at 3:20 a.m., in Stafford, South Australia, an amateur astronomer saw "a bright light going from left to right, then straight up."
And, on Mount Nebo at 3:20 a.m., a witness "who was watching the meteor shower" from the upper slopes "said he believes he saw a UFO at around 3:20 a.m., northwest of the mountain. It did zigzag and shot straight up. His girlfriend and a friend saw it, too." (Many thanks to Diane Harrison of UFO Network Australasia for these reports.)
A strange, invisible gas has incapacitated students and faculty alike at the Warren County High School in McMinnville, Tennessee (population 12,000).
According to USA Today, "Federal officials say they may never find what's causing mysterious fumes that have sickened students and teachers at Warren County High School."
McMinnville is on Highway 55 approximately 86 miles (137 kilometers) southeast of Nashville.
"Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) officials said lab tests of air samples confirm there is nothing wrong with air at the school. The noxious odor was first detected one-and-a-half weeks ago, sickening more than 90 students and teachers." (See USA Today for November 23, 1998, page 13A)
Zarya (Russian for Sunrise), the first orbital component of the International Space Station, blasted off from the Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan on Friday, November 20, 1998.
"A Russian Proton booster carried the module into its initial orbit 125 miles (200 kilometers) above Earth and the unit was operating as planned, officials said."
"Space officials from 16 nations taking part in the project observed as the rocket soared into the cloudy sky above the central Asian steppe from the Baikonur launch pad yesterday--exactly a year later than planned.
"'Now we have only 44 launches to go, 1,000 hours of space walks and countless problems, but because of the trust and mutual respect, the international space station is going to be a reality,' NASA chief Daniel Goldin told a press conference after the launch." (See the Boston, Mass. Herald for November 21, 1998, "Russian rocket launch marks new era in space exploration.")
At a cost of $240 million, Zarya is the first of about 100 modules that will be used to build the space station. Zarya will provide the station's power, propulsion and early communications system.
The next station-related launch will take place on December 3, 1998, when the space shuttle Endeavor heads for orbit. Endeavor's payload will consist of a $300 million connecting tunnel called Unity.
"Zarya's launch 'opens the floodgates, and we start going,' says Bob Cabana, commander of space shuttle Endeavor, which is taking the second piece up next month. 'This is going to be one heck of a busy five years coming up.'" (See USA Today for November 20, 1998, "Space station finally getting off the ground," by Paul Hovenstern, page A4.)
1952: FLIGHT TO OBLIVION
On November 28, 1952, Canadian pilot F. Jake did his pre-flight walkaround at the airport in Edmonton, Alberta. He was planning a long flight east to Toronto, and he wanted to be sure that his twin-engined Beech 35 was up to the job.
Jake's Beech 35, registration number CF-FUV, took off easily and reported no trouble at all. Jake and his three passengers landed at the municipal airport in Houghton, Michigan, USA. After refueling, the plane continued on its eastward flight.
"It had departed Houghton, Michigan and proceeded eastbound along the southern shore of Lake Superior. United States radar stations, constantly scanning the (USA/Canada) border kept close contact with CF-FUV."
"If pilot F. Jake experienced a problem, all he had to do was extend his arm to the radio microphone, key the transmitter and say, 'Uniform Victor, Mayday.' If he had done it slowly, it would have taken four seconds...F. Jake did experience a problem. But he never transmitted his distress."
"About 40 miles northwest of Grand Marais, Michigan, and 35 miles northeast of Marquette, Michigan, CF-FUV, F. Jake and all three passengers flew away. They vanished silently from the radar screen. The position was noted by the radar controller."
"But 'despite an extensive search, no trace of the aircraft or occupants was found,' says the Canada Department of Transport summary accident report. The scientists who studied this strange case concluded that 'for undetermined reasons CF-FUV disappeared in Lake Superior.'"
Curiously enough, dozens of ships have "gone missing" on that stretch of Lake Superior between Grand Marais and Marquette. This group includes two of the most notorious "ghost ships" of Lake Superior--the Bannockburn, which vanished on November 20, 1902, and the Adella Shores, which disappeared in April 1909.
The wreckage of the Beech 35, the Bannockburn and the Adella Shores have never been found. (See THE GREAT LAKES TRIANGLE by Jay Gourley, Fawcett Publications, Inc., Greenwich, Conn., 1977, pages 24 and 25. See also HAUNTED LAKES by Frederick Stonehouse, Lake Superior Port Cities, Inc., Duluth, Minn. 1997, pages 66 to 67 and 92 to 93.)
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Well, that's it for this week. Earth's satellites seem to have weathered the Leonid meteor storm-- the heaviest since 1966--rather well. Now the Hubble Space Telescope can come about and point its mirror at those unplumbed depths of the southern sky. 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.