NEW RADIATION LEAK AT PLANT IN SOUTH KOREALess than a week after Japan's worst nuclear accident at Tokaimura, a new nuclear mishap occurred in South Korea.
On Tuesday, October 5, 1999, workers at a nuclear power plant in Wolsung, South Korea were repairing a cooling water pump when the pump began gushing radioactive water.
"At least 22 people were exposed to low-level radiation after radioactive water leaked at a South Korean power plant Tuesday, officials said."
"The incident came five days after a major nuclear leak in Japan, which prompted a flurry of safety checks at South Korean plants...This was the first reported leak of radioactive material at a power plant in South Korea."
"South Korea has 14 nuclear power plants, which provide 40 percent of the electricity in the nation of 44 million."
TOKAIMURA LEADS TO NEW SAFETY CHECKS"Investigators probed Japan's worst-ever nuclear accident, focusing on a series of irregularities and missteps that led to and exacerbated last week's release of radiation."
The accident took place when workers at the JCO Company plant in Tokaimura, Ibaraki prefecture, Japan accidentally poured too much uranium oxide into a stainless steel container, setting off a nuclear chain reaction. Japanese police and military imposed a 10-kilometer "off-limits zone" around the town, effectively quarantining 330,000 people.
"The (Japanese) government also widened its scrutiny of the country's nuclear facilities, issuing notice that the operating procedures of all nuclear power companies will be up for appraisal."
"Prime Minister Keizo Obuchi, chairing a meeting of the government task force on the accident, ordered emergency safety checks at all facilities in Japan handling nuclear fuel. The Science and Technology Agency also plans to search the offices of 20 nuclear facilities." (See USA Today for October 5, 1999, "Japan Nuclear Accident.")
UFO Roundup has learned more about the Japanese military's efforts to respond to the nuclear accident at Tokaimura. The response "was the fastest in the (50-year) history of the Japan Ground Self-Defense Forces (JGSDF)."
According to Sankei news service, the JGSDF Chemical Warfare Response Team entered the JCO factory in a specially- constructed "protective vehicle," a kind of modified Armored Fighting Vehicle (AFV) like the USA's M2 Bradley
The vehicle "was effective against alpha and beta radiation" but was unable to offer the team protection against neutrons and high-energy gamma radiation. As a result, the "off-limits zone" was extended out to 10 kilometers.
The JGSDF also requested "complete protective suits" from the USA Embassy. "They were told that a complete protective suit does not exist."
The JGSDF has now embarked on a crash program to develop just such a protective "moon suit" for use by its forces. (Domo arigato to Miyuki Tamura, UFO Roundup's correspondent in Japan, for the Sankei report.)
UFO FLAP ERUPTS IN NORTHERN ITALYOn Thursday, September 30, 1999, at 10:40 p.m., pedestrians in the Centrocette section of Rome, Italy's capital, spotted a strange bright object in the sky.
According to Aurelio Nicolazzo of Centro Ufologico Nazionale d'Italia, the UFO "was represented as a comet with a short body, very brilliant but small. It moved in a westerly direction at a low angle and at an unusual speed. It first appeared as a point high in the sky" and was in view until right after 11 p.m.
Earlier that evening, a motorist returning home to Verona from work spotted "a strange luminous object high in the air" over Mantova.
The UFO "was at 1,400 meters (4,620 feet) and fluttering in the air. The object had a triangular shape and was composed of two colors, one a shade of silver, the other leaning a little towards greenish-yellow. The object remained in view for 15 to 20 seconds. The OVNI (Italian acronym for UFO--J.T.) was at a distance of one kilometer (0.6 miles) from the motorist."
Mantova is 150 kilometers (90 miles) southeast of Milano (Milan).
On Sunday, October 3, 1999, "an OVNI with a red and violet contrail" was seen over Scanno, a small town on the Adriatic Sea near Pescara, about 210 kilometers (125 miles) east of Rome, "drawing the curiosity of dozens of people. Most saw it as a point of molten luminous glow in the upper sky." (See the Italian newspaper Il Centro for October 4, 1999. Grazie a Alfredo Lissoni e Massimo Marasi di CUN-Parma per questo rapporto.)
UFO SQUADRON SEEN EAST OF MELBOURNEOn Saturday, October 2, 1999, at 7 p.m., residents of Ferntree Gully, Victoria state, Australia, a suburb just east of Melbourne, "report sighting six or seven lights, slow- moving orange fireballs," passing overhead from south to north.
"At first respondents reported sighting a group of five illuminations about 1,500 to 2,000 feet up, slowly heading away. The illuminations did not flicker and were very high, with a huge glow, passing under the local hills horizon. A second group followed."
MORE UFOs SPOTTED IN DANDRIDGE, TENNESSEEMore UFOs were seen in Dandridge, Tennessee (population 1,540) last week, but the current flap came to an abrupt end on Saturday night, October 9, 1999.
Eyewitness Patricia G. reported, "What we have been seeing (every night) is simply a pulsating white light with bluish-green and red lights blinking within it. Most times the blinking can be seen with the naked eye. The objects were oval and sometimes stayed in place for a few hours. I have seen it at 8:30 p.m. and at 2 o'clock in the morning."
"Sometimes there are many of them scattered throughout the sky. We have counted up to six one evening. We have watched these things through two telescopes, each with a tripod. We just refer to them as 'the guys in the sky.' I am really a bit tired of this."
On Sunday, Patricia reported that the nightly visitations had ended the previous midnight.
Another eyewitness, Angela T., age 20, who lives in Jefferson City, Tennessee (population 5,494), reported a strange UFO incident that took place in July 1999.
"One evening in July, I was coming home from school," Angela reported, "I go to school at night, get out at 10 p.m. I live about 25 to 30 miles from school. I left college at 10:07 p.m. I remember that distinctly because I looked at my watch before I left to get into my car, thinking it will take me about a half-hour (30 minutes) to get home."
"On my way home this Thursday night, on Dumplin Valley Road, I saw this bright white light rise from the left side of my car and go right over the top of me. It moved swiftly to the right and disappeared into the sky. It seemed very close to me and was very bright."
"When I came home, nearly in a panic, and told my husband, I froze when I looked at the clock. It said 10:15 p.m. There's no possible way that I came home in (only) eight minutes. It was very odd." (Email Interviews)
Dandridge is 23 miles (36 kilometers) east of Knoxville, Tennessee. Jefferson City is on Highway 11 about 24 miles (38 kilometers) northeast of Knoxville and 9 miles (14 kilometers) north of Dandridge.
BRIGHT UFO SEEN IN EASTERN KENTUCKYOn Sunday, October 3, 1999, at 8:46 p.m., Ray Lynch was in the town of Middlesboro, Kentucky (population 11,328) when he saw a UFO.
"I was standing in the field across the street, looking into the sky when I saw it," Ray reported. "An oval-shaped object moved across the sky. It must have been going no more than 40 miles per hour (64 kilometers per hour). It had brightly colored lights and looked to be spinning. It looked like the shape was changing as it moved across the sky. Then it split into three ships. It was heading south by southeast (towards Knoxville--J.T.). It looked to be about (at an altitude of) 130 feet high and moved at about 40 miles per hour."
UFO SEEN TWICE OVER WICHITA, KANSASOn Thursday, September 30, 1999, at 7:15 p.m., Bob V. was driving on Kellogg Street, a.k.a. Highway 54, in Wichita (population 304,011), the largest city in Kansas, when he spotted a UFO.
"I was traveling west when I spotted a huge bright object in the western sky. It was not any plane. It was moving towards the south or the southwest, and upwards."
Bob saw the same UFO again on Monday, October 4, 1999 at about 7:30 p.m. This time, he added, "the object appeared to be very large and illuminated. The shape was difficult to make out, but it seemed like a large boat or ship. The object appeared to be heading towards the west/southwest and was in my view for 15 to 20 seconds. This was definitely something other than a regular aircraft." (Email Interview)
UFO PHOTOGRAPHED IN NORWAY DURING THE 1954 ECLIPSEThe UFOs photographed and videotaped in the UK and France during the August 11, 1999 eclipse are not the first of their kind. A UFO was photographed in Norway during the total eclipse of July 1, 1954.
Norwegian scientists were flying in a rented airliner at an altitude of 13,000 feet, over the Hardangervidde National Park 240 kilometers (150 miles) west of Oslo, the national capital.
As the eclipse reached totality, "a photographer named Bjornulf took a 35mm color film from the window of the cabin, as did two other cameramen."
"When the pictures were processed, all the photographers were surprised to see in the center, below the solar corona, an oval glowing white disc standing out against the blackness of the sky. The disc moved rapidly across the skyline." (See the Norwegian newspaper Fremtiden Drammen for July 2, 1954.)
Y2K: DEFENSE CHIEF SETS UP NEW MILITARY COMMANDOn Thursday, October 7, 1999, USA Defense Secretary William Cohen "established a new military command here (in Norfolk, Virginia)... that will direct troops and equipment in response to terrorist attacks on U.S. soil."
"The (USA) military must 'deal with the threats we are most likely to face,' Cohen said, brushing aside concerns about federal troops operating at home. 'The American people should not be concerned about it. They should welcome it.'"
"Chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff Gen. Hugh Shelton joined Cohen at ceremonies establishing U.S. Joint Forces Command and retiring the U.S. Atlantic Command. The new command will make sure U.S. troops are prepared to fight abroad or to respond if terrorists strike with nuclear, chemical or biological weapons."
"Federal troops have been legally barred since 1878 (by the Posse Comitatus Act--J.T.) from taking part in domestic law enforcement. Only the National Guard of the state and territorial governors, performs those tasks when local authorities are overwhelmed. But terrorist incidents in recent years, including the release of poison gas in the Tokyo subway and the World Trade Center bombing (in New York City--J.T.) have prompted Congress and the Clinton administration to ease some restrictions."
"Only the military has enough equipment to operate in a poisoned environment or manage a massive decontamination effort. Cohen said federal law will not be violated because the military would only respond if requested. 'It is subordinate to civilian control,' he said."
"Military involvement in domestic issues has not always gone smoothly. Marines beefing up patrols along the border with Mexico mistakenly shot and killed an 18-year-old gost herder in 1997. That force has since been withdrawn. And questions remain regarding the presence of the military's Delta Force during the deadly 1993 raid on the Branch Davidian compound in (Waco) Texas."
"'We should keep scenes from movies like The Siege and Enemy of the State in the theaters, not on the streets,' said Gregory Nojeim, legislative counsel for the American Civil Liberties Union." (See USA Today for October 8, 1999, "Military chiefs set up command to address U.S. terrorist threats.")
(Editor's Comment: Since the last terrorist attack was the Oklahoma City bombing four years ago, I wonder what the new JOINTFOR is all about. I see two possibilities. Either there is an imminent terrorist threat the Clinton administration is not discussing with the public. Or the new command may be part of Operation Abacus, the planned NATO military response to civil unrest caused by the Y2K computer crisis.)
1912: YOWIE SIGHTED IN NEW SOUTH WALESThe southeastern tip of New South Wales, near Bombala, N.S.W. and the Victoria state line, has long been the stamping grounds of the yowie, Australia's hair-covered hominid.
Indeed, the Bombala area is much like the Blue Mountains near Walla Walla, Washington state, USA, with its many, many reports of Bigfoot sightings.
One of the earliest reported yowie sightings took place on October 12, 1912 when George Summerell, riding on horseback along a trail, spotted a creature on all fours drinking from a small stream.
Summerell's first thought was, What an immense kangaroo!
"But, on hearing the horse's feet on the track, it (the creature) rose to its full height, of about seven feet, and looked quietly at the horsemen. Then, stooping down again, it finished its drink, and then, picking up a stick that lay by it, walked steadily away up the slope to the right, or eastern side of the road, and disappeared among the rocks and timber 150 yards away."
"Summerell described the face as being like that of an ape or man, minus forehead and chin, with a great trunk all one size from shoulders to hips and with arms that nearly reached to its ankles."
Summerell rode to the nearest town and brought back several people to view the scene of the encounter. They found "about a score of footprints (that) attested to the truth of Summerell's account, the handprints where the animal had stooped at the edge of the water being especially plain. These handprints differed from a large human hand chiefly in having the little fingers set much like the thumbs."
"A striking peculiarity was revealed, however, in the handprints; these, resembling an enormously long and ugly human foot in the heel, instep and ball, had only four toes--long (nearly five inches), cylindrical, and showing evidence of extreme flexibility. Even in the prints which had sunk deepest into the mud, there was no trace of the 'thumb' of the characteristic ape's 'foot.'"
"Beside perhaps a score of new prints, there were old ones discernible, showing that the animal had crossed the creek at least a fortnight previously." (See the Sydney Morning Herald for October 23, 1912. See also Unexplained Mysteries of the Twentieth Century by Janet and Colin Bord, Contemporary Books, Chicago, Ill. 1989, pages 211 and 212.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO 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 news item first appeared.