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Volume 4
Number 11
March 15, 1999

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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KNUTSFORD A HOAX, BUFOSC LEARNS

The British UFO Studies Centre (BUFOSC) announced this week that the UFO landing near Knutsford, Cheshire, UK during the early morning hours of March 1, 1999 was a hoax.

BUFOSC was originally contacted by a "Caroline Sutton" of Sefton and "Graham Wenham" of Northampton. The couple reportedly told BUFOSC investigators that they had seen nine UFOs from their suite at the Royal George Hotel, and that the objects had landed in a wooded area of the Tatton Country Park near Knutsford.

After receiving "a lengthy statement" from Sutton, BUFOSC contacted Gloria Dixon, director of investigations for the British UFO Research Association (BUFORA) and best-selling UFO author Jenny Randles. But, according to BUFOSC coordinator Eric Morris, "They had heard nothing. We checked again with the local papers. Nothing."

Morris invited Sutton and Wenham to his home in Northwich for a detailed interview. He reported, "Upon arrival, the pair seemed very nervous, perhaps understandably, and didn't like being asked searching questions about the sighting."

As of Thursday, March 11, 1999, "BUFOSC investigators have now spoken with 100 local people" in Knutsford, "including those who live nearest the site of the supposed 'landing.' Not only had nobody seen or heard anything remotely resembling a UFO, but the burned, flattened area had been there for weeks prior to the supposed events of Sunday and Monday (February 28 and March 1). This means that 'Wenham' and 'Sutton' probably sought out a flattened area in order to try and tie their false report in with the UFO 'landing and trace' case literature." (Many thanks to Tim Matthews of the Lancashire UFO Society for this report.)

ORANGE SPHERE UFOs SIGHTED IN CONSETT, NORTH DURHAM

UFOs, described as "bright orange balls, apparently flying in formation," have been seen repeatedly in Consett and Stanley, North Durham, UK.

The flap began Thursday, February 18, 1999, at 10:30 p.m., when "three orange sphere UFOs were seen over" North Durham, which is located about 255 miles (408 kilometers) north of London.

"Bright orange balls, some apparently flying in formation, have been spotted in parts of County Durham. UFO experts believe that major activity has been concentrated over North Durham."

"One woman driving her car on Crooksgate Road, between Newcastle and Consett, watched a large oval- shaped object in the clouds for 20 seconds."

"In a detailed statement to a UFO information centre in Leeds, run by coordinator Andrew Ellis, she said it was bright orange and yellow."

"The woman, who did not want to be named, said the object seemed to hover above the trees and then it moved behind them."

"'We have several reports from the Consett and Stanley area,' Ellis said, ''One had four balls coming together in a formation and disappearing.'"

Ellis is looking for more reports from North Durham. He can be contacted at this telephone number: 01132 482 973. (See the Newcastle Evening Chronicle for March 12, 1999, "Heavens above." Many thanks to Gerry Lovell for forwarding the newspaper article.)

RED DISC HOVERS OVER CARNOUSTIE, SCOTLAND

"An unidentified flying object spotted in Angus skies near Carnoustie this morning has left a number of people mystified."

"One Carnoustie resident, who sought to remain anonymous, said he had been fairly sceptical about such things but wanted an explanation for what he had seen."

"He and several members of his family, along with a Forfar couple, saw a strange red disc moving about in the sky between 6:30 and 6:55 a.m. this morning."

"Neither the Coastguard or members of staff at RAF Leuchars could shed any light on the sighting."

"'I was out walking the dog with my wife and children at the Black Slab car park this morning," (Friday, March 12, 1999) he said, "We saw this red oblong shape in the sky and it couldn't have been the moon or a star because of the way it was moving. It then just disappeared.'"

A car pulled up beside the family, and the driver stuck his head out the window. "'The man in the car said he was from Forfar and had seen the light earlier, and we could see that he was distressed.'"

The family continued walking along the beach, and, at 6:55 a.m., the UFO appeared again.

"'I'm neither a believer nor a non-believer in UFOs. But this time it changed from red to bright orange and it was much bigger,' he continued, 'Anybody looking at the sky could have seen it. It was that big. You couldn't miss it.'"

"A member of the Fife Coastguard said there had been no reports of flares or other lights."

"A spokesman at RAF Leuchars discounted any official aerial activity from the Fife airbase. 'I know of no operations in the area by any of our flights,' he said.

Carnoustie is a port city on Scotland's east coast about 60 miles (100 kilometers) northeast of Edinburgh, the capital. (See the Dundee Evening Telegram for March 12, 1999, "Carnoustie disc remains a mystery." Many thanks to Gerry Lovell for forwarding the newspaper article.)

UFO FLAP ERUPTS IN WALES

On Wednesday, March 3, 1999, at 7:30 p.m., a strange blue light appeared on a hill just south of Llangollen, Denbighshire, Wales. Witnesses in the city, observing the hill with binocuilars, spotted "a blue sphere emitting irregular pulses of light, interfering with TV signals and electrical supplies."

Several witnesses drove out to the hill and "got within 100 metres" of the site. They described the UFO as "a rotating gaseous blue sphere" approximately "10 feet (3 meters) in diameter at a distance of 100 metres."

The UFO "rose above the fence vertically, stopped momentarily, then descended back to where it rose from." After it vanished, two witnesses hiked to the spot but were unable to find anything.

Llangollen is about 110 miles (166 kilometers) north of Cardiff, the capital. The case is being investigated by the Welsh Federation of Independent Ufologists. (Many thanks to Hugh Edwards for this report.)

Three days later, on Saturday, March 6, 1999, law professor Tim Richards, 46, and a fellow instructor were driving north between Quaker Yard and Merther Tydfil, Wales when they saw "a huge green light descend towards the ground."

"When I saw large, I mean something about a sixth the size of the moon," Richards reported, "We saw it only for a second, but it was definitely not like anything we have seen before. It was bright green and disappeared behind a bank of cloud toward the north-northwest. As there were no street lights, it actually lit up the cloud from behind. It was not a reflection from the internal car lights. It was too large to be a shooting star, and it was definitely not an aeroplane." (Many thanks to Ben Field of BUFOD for this report.)

UFO SIGHTINGS CONTINUE IN CALIFORNIA

On Wednesday, March 10, 1999, at 12:05 a.m., Eric H. was driving north on Highway 101 in Ventura, California (population 92,955), a city located 66 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles. While chatting on the cell phone with his wife Jolene, he spotted something strange in the sky.

"As we were chatting, he broke off and said, 'Whoa! What is that!?'" Jolene reported. "He observed a very bright star, the brightest in the sky. Except it was an amber color 'like golden yellow sunlight' and appeared to have a faint trail. He placed it at about 45 degrees in the northeastern sky. 'But it was very far up, very far away. It could be in Russia for all I know. It's really moving.'"

"'Honey,' I told him, 'If it's moving, then it's not a star.'"

"'It's just wandering,' he said."

"At first it moved in a straight line," Jolene added, "As he watched it, it changed directions several times, all the while moving in a very limited range of motion." (Email Interview)

A half-hour later, on Wednesday, March 10, 1999, at 12:30 a.m., Lee Ann, an eyewitness, was driving in California's high desert on Highway 14 between Rosamond (population 7,430) and Mojave (population 3,763) when she spotted a UFO.

"In the very high western sky, we saw a light, orange-red, that flared out a large amber glow, that might have been a beam of light," Lee Ann reported. "But not all the way to the ground. It stayed stationary for about two minutes, then slowly ascended upward out of view and vanished."

Rosamond is 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Los Angeles. (Many thanks to Pamela Hamilton for this report.)

In northern California, a UFO flap took place in Antioch (population 62,195), a town on Highway 4 about 45 miles (72 kilometers) east of San Francisco.

"Joan Gatrell of Antioch, Cal. and a score of other East County residents stopped dead in their tracks to observe some mysterious glowing lights hovering over Delta in the northeast skies."

"'They were real bright,' said Gatrell, who first saw the phenomenon while driving east on Highway 4. 'I think they were like airline towers. There was nothing attached to them. They were like something floating.'"

"'I'm not into any of that kind of (UFO) stuff,' said Gatrell, the owner of Clip N Clean, a pet grooming business. 'I'm a real human being.'"

"Like others who called the Times newsroom Thursday (March 11, 1999), Gatrell first spotted the lights after 9 p.m. She described them as a 'bright white color. It's something I have never seen.'"

Kyle Bennett, another Antioch resident, rejected the explanation that it was an airplane or a helicopter. "'I'll never buy it as a helicopter, though. The only thing I might buy is that it was a hot-air balloon. It was all lit up.'"

"Bennett, who pulled over on Highway 4 with other drivers to observe the sight, said there were five lights. 'They were perfectly separated, almost in an upside-down U-shape, and the one in the middle was the brightest,' Bennett said."

"Over ten minutes, the lights dimmed and went out one at a time after they appeared to drop flares." (See the Contra Costa Times for March 12, 1999, "Strange lights seen hovering over Delta," by Charles Levin. Many thanks to Gerry Lovell for forwarding the newspaper article.)

MOTORIST SEES A UFO FIRE A BEAM OVER PHILADELPHIA

On Tuesday, February 23, 1999, at 6:10 a.m., William B. "was on my way to work, driving to my office in Philadelphia," the largest city in the USA's state of Pennsylvania. "I was driving on Hillcrest Avenue in the northwest section of Philadelphia. What I saw for about 30 seconds appeared at first to be the landing lights of a large commercial airliner, perhaps (the Boeing) 777 class, coming directly at me. The color was white, steady, no additional lights."

"At this time, the sky was bright enough from the sunrise (which was at the opposite horizon) to have 'washed out' any astronomical object except for the moon. There was no apparent movement. There were multiple points on the object, maybe as many as eight, making it appear in the same general appearance as a Christmas star" on top of a Christmas tree.

"What made the light interesting was the appearance of a bluish-white, spotlight-like beam coming out of it at a 45-degree angle toward the surface. Within this beam was a much-thinner white thread-like beam which came to an apparent halt within the bluish beam approximately 20 percent of the way to the ground, and then appeared to slightly diverge" in direction.

"The object was about 30 degrees above the horizon. No sound was heard. I was inside my car, driving with the windows rolled up. No effect on my car was observed."

"I estimate that the object was over the King of Prussia area of Montgomery County about 20 miles (32 kilometers) away. Apparent size about 20 percent of the size of the full moon."

King of Prussia, Pa. (population 18,406) is on Route 202 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northwest of Philadelphia. (Email Interview)

TWO UFOs APPEAR OVER BLACK LAKE, NEW MEXICO

On Friday, February 19, 1999, at 9:30 p.m., two UFOs, "each a single brilliant white light," rose into the sky from the Coyote Canyon area, about two miles south of the witnesses' home in Black Lake, New Mexico (population 175).

The UFOs, "when viewed through binoculars, were 'rapidly oscillating, as if they were rapidly spinning.' And the lights were described as 'being so bright they left an after-image' after the witnesses looked away."

"Within minutes of the commencement of the sighting, the first two objects/lights were joined by four smaller lights. The first two objects stopped in front of his living room window and 'began bouncing around like they wanted our attention.' Then the group backed down for several minutes before two of the objects went straight up and four darted off over the mountains to the south."

On Monday, March 8, 1999, at 8:30 p.m., the same couple, who lives a quarter-mile south of Black Lake, noticed that "a bright white light appeared to rise from behind the mountains to the altitude of a passing jet (possibly 25,000 to 35,000 feet--J.T.) The light 'paced the plane, staying 15 miles behind it,' as the two headed south towards Las Vegas, N.M."

Black Lake is on New Mexico Highway 434 about 23 miles (37 kilometers) southeast of Taos. (Many thanks to author/researcher Christopher O'Brien for this report. And don't miss Chris's new book, Enter the Valley, now on sale at bookstores throughout the USA.)

SILVER DAYLIGHT DISC HOVERS OVER A CHURCH IN ROME

On Monday, March 8, 1999, at about 10 a.m., Alfredo DiPrinzio was walking across the Piazza di Navona in Rome, capital of Italy, when he spotted a bright gleam over the spire of Santa Agnese Church.

Looking closer, DiPrinzio saw that "the object was silver and oval-shaped and had a jerky movement in the sky."

Within a minute, nearly everyone in the square had noticed the UFO darting about high above the baroque church, which was designed by the Renaissance architect Borromini.

According to Adriano Forgione, a journalist for Notizario UFO, "Many people saw the object because the plaza is filled with tourists at that hour. One man reportedly photographed the UFO, and we are trying to obtain that photo. The object disappeared quite suddenly." (Grazie a Adriano Forgione per questo rapporto.)

DENVER SCIENTIST ANALYZES METEOSAT-3 UFO IMAGE

Ufologists have been puzzled for weeks by the strange discoidal object in the satellite infrared image taken by Meteosat-3 in 1993. But now Colorado computer scientist John C. Craig may have the answer.

Now living near Denver, Craig served as MUFON state section director in the middle 1990s. He has written 17 books on programming, most published by Microsoft Press. He created the software for many of the world's largest solar tracking facilities, which, he says, "stirred my interest in astronomical calculations and number crunching."

"I've done some quick analysis and research, and I'm convinced the anomalous image is very likely the moon," Craig stated.

"Meteosat-3 was launched in 1988 and then later moved into its final position at 75 degrees west longitude, and directly above the equator, on February 24, 1993. Its calculated distance from the center of the Earth is 26,204 miles."

"At 18:30 UTC on September 3, 1993, the moon was directly above" Earth "at 107.7 degrees east longitude and 8.0 degrees north latitude, at a distance of about 239,000 miles from the center of the Earth."

"At this point in time, the satellite, the Earth and the moon were fairly close to being in a straight line. As regard to the satellite, the Earth's disk subtends an angle of 17.2 degrees across, and the moon subtends an angle of 0.47 degrees across. This agrees closely with the size images, especially when you consider that the full diameter of the 94-percent, almost-full moon will probably show up completely in the infrared image" field of view.

"More importantly...since the moon was situated at 107.7 degrees east longitude, and the satellite at 75 (degrees) west, the moon should be beyond the Earth and to the left of center by about three degrees. Also, since the moon was at 8 degrees north latitude, it must appear to be above the curve of the Earth, even though it was to the left of the Earth's center. This fits with the image very well, too."

Craig concludes that the "UFO" in the Meteosat image was merely "the infrared signature of the moon." (Email Interview)

BLACK HELICOPTERS HOLD EXERCISE IN ALABAMA

Yet another black helicopter training exercise was held last week, this time at the municipal airport in Anniston, Alabama (population 26,263), a city on Highway 21 approximately 66 miles (110 kilometers) east of Birmingham.

According to WorldNet Daily, the training exercise took place between Tuesday, March 9, and Friday, March 12, 1999. The Net newspaper quoted a press release from the Public Information Office at Fort McClellan, Alabama, which stated, "Approximately 800 soldiers from 3rd Battalion, 75th Ranger Regiment, Fort Benning, Georgia and the 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment (SOAR, also known as the Night Stalkers--J.T.) will be participating in a training exercise in the Anniston and Fort McClellan area March 9 - 12. We apologize in advance for the noise and thank you for your cooperation and consideration."

WorldNet Daily reported, "The 160th Special Operations Aviation Regiment, also known as the Night Stalkers, specializes in flying at night without lights. Recently the Army admitted that black helicopters do exist. They are flown by Night Stalkers at treetop height to avoid detection and maximize surprise."

The Anniston exercise, which involved the simulated capture of an enemy airport, was the latest in a series of black helicopter training maneuvers. Previous exercises took place in Kingsville, Texas, Port Aransas, Texas and Lowell, Massachusetts.

WorldNet Daily added, "Military spokesmen claim that such exercises are necessary to train elite troops to fight terrorists...The press have routinely been denied an opportunity to observe and publicize such exercises in the past."

On Saturday, February 27, 1999, residents of Dothan, Alabama (population 53,589), located 108 miles (173 kilometers) southeast of Montgomery, the state capital, were surprised to see an unusual military convoy heading west on Highway 12.

Valerie S., an eyewitness, claimed that the convoy consisted of "eighteen white flatbed semi trucks followed by two dark vans, no (license) tags, no lettering. The flatbeds were carrying vehicles completely covered with tarps (tarpaulin or canvas covers--J.T.) We saw M.P.s (Military Police) in black BDUs (battle dress uniforms) with weapons on their backs. They stopped traffic while the trucks passed through. It's unbelievable but I've seen it with my own eyes."

On Wednesday, March 10, 1999, reporters for the online paper All Texas News had a strange encounter with United Nations troops on the south side of the Rio Grande.

The incident took place in Reynosa, a city on Camino (Highway) 40 in Tamaulipas state, approxmately 144 kilometers (90 miles) northeast of Monterrey.

Deciding to check out persistent rumors of UN "Blue Helmets" in Reynosa, the All Texas News crew crossed the International Bridge at Hidalgo, Texas and drove south. As they approached the Mexican city, they reportedly encountered men in uniform "complete with a UN symbol and a blue beret."

In Reynosa itself was a sign that read Zona NN.UU. (Acronym for Naciones Unidas, Spanish for United Nations--J.T.)

Officer Enrique Santa Maria Guerrero of Mexico's Policia Federal reportedly told the news crew that "'the UN has been here for months,' but he doesn't know why," adding, "'They wait in a building, smoke and do nothing but watch us.'"

The UN "observers" arrived "'late last year, and now they seem to be here to stay,'" the crew reported Guerrero as saying, "'We don't need UN men on our border.'"

Nor are the UN troops particularly popular with the civilian residents of Reynosa. The crew interviewed Armando, a local bartender, who said, "'They don't have to abide by our laws. They come here in the evening and order us around and almost never leave tips. They urinate on the bathroom walls. No one wants to serve them.'"

The reason for the UN military presence in Reynosa is unknown. (See WorldNet Daily for March 9 and 10, 1999. See also All Texas News for March 11, 1999, "United Nations Personnel in Mexico?")

from the UFO Files...

1937: MAPINGUARY GOES ON A RAMPAGE

For over a hundred years, the existence of Mapinguary, the Bigfoot of Brazil, was folklore mostly confined to the Rio Araguaia valley in the state of Mato Grosso do Sul. But all that changed one March night in 1937.

"In March and April, 1937, strange stories came over the telegraph wire to Rio (de Janeiro, then capital of Brazil--J.T.) and Sao Paulo. An immense, ape-like monster had come out of the unknown and started a real reign of terror round the country bordering the Rio Araguaia."

In Barra do Garcas, 500 kilometers (300 miles) east of Cuiaba, "swooping down on cattle ranches and fazendas (farms--J.T.) this mysterious monster roared in the blackness of the tropic night like the father of ten thousand demons come out of Hell for a lively holiday."

Fazendeiros, "who all the long night had remained indoors...crept out, shaking, to find dozens of yellow cattle, of old Spanish origin, lying dead on the pampas, their tongues torn out."

"Round the carcasses of several wild cattle which would charge a jaguar at night...there were great man-like footprints, some eighteen inches (about 45 centimeters) long."

Across the river in Aragarcas, "Night fell, and again came the horrible roaring from the dark. No nerves could stand it, and as soon as dawn was judged safe, a great trek of panic-stricken Brazilians headed for the nearest outpost of civilization."

There were other reports of slaughtered cattle, some as far south as Ponte Branca, 240 kilometers (150 miles) from Barra do Garcas. "None of the fierce cattle, lying dead, showed any signs of a struggle with what had leapt out at them out of the darkness of a Mato Grosso night."

The Mapinguary rampage lasted for three weeks and made the major newspapers in Rio and Sao Paulo. (See O Globo of Sao Paulo for March 28, 1937. See also Secret Cities of Old South America by Harold T. Wilkins, copyright 1952, reprinted 1998 by Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, pages 304 and 305.)

FUN UFO WEBSITES

Be sure to check out the photo gallery at UFOINFO, our parent site, this week. John Hayes has a new photo of a UFO that was photographed over Pisac, Peru in August 1998. Log on any time at http://ufoinfo.com

Back issues of UFO Roundup can be accessed, downloaded and read at our webpage. Feel free to drop in and browse at this URL: http://ufoinfo.com/roundup

That's it for this week. To our readers in Ireland, have a happy Saint Patrick's Day on Wednesday. And I haven't forgotten you readers in Wales--enjoy Saint David's Day. 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 1999 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 the issue in which the item first appeared.

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