NETHERLANDS HIT BY FALLING ICE BLOCKS
Last week the Netherlands became the third Erupean country, after Spain and Italy, to be struck by giant chunks of ice that had fallen from the sky.
"Two researchers from the University of Groningen," a city 128 kilometers (80 miles) northeast of the national capital, Amsterdam, "have a lot of work to do after seven reports of falling ice in the Netherlands."
"After a citizen of Groningen found a large ice cube in his back-garden, there have been seven reports of similar objects."
On Tuesday, February 8, 2000, there were reports of ice falls in Hoogeveen, a city in Drenthe province 67 kilometers (42 miles) south of Groningen, and in Veendam, a city 59 kilometers (37 miles) southeast of Groningen.
On Wednesday, February 9, 2000, there was another report of an ice fall in Groningen.
On Thursday, February 10, 2000, there were reports of ice blocks falling from the sky in Almere, Zoutkamp and Borculo, a city 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Amsterdam.
"The first ice (from Groningen) has been investigated by the university. Conclusion--drinking water from an unknown source. (A hoax inspired by the recent reports from Spain and Italy--J.T.)"
"The other cases are still under investigation."
"The researchers include Theo Jurriens, an astronomer, and Dr. Marsmann. They take every report seriously and have contacted a college in Spain." (See the Groningen Telegraf for February 11, 2000. Many thanks to Jeroen Kumeling of UFO Werkgruppe Nederland for forwarding the newspaper article.)
(Editor's Note: The Netherlands is the homeland of the ancestors of that indefatigable chronicler of weird ice falls, Charles Fort.)
MYSTERIOUS BALL OF LIGHT SEEN IN FAIRHAVEN, MASS.
On Monday, January 17, 2000, at 12:25 a.m., R.B. happened to look out his window and saw something strange in the sky over Fairhaven, Massachusetts (population 15,759).
"A ball of light appeared out of nowhere over the Acushnet River north of (Interstate) Highway I-195. The ball looked confused. It moved erratically, then shot away to the north and vanished into a closing mist."
"It seemed like it knew I was watching it."
"If there's anybody out there from the (Massachusetts) Southcoast who saw it, please report it to as many (Web) sites as you can."
Fairhaven is located on the east bank of the Acushnet River, approximately 4 miles (6 kilometers) from New Bedford and about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Boston. (Email Form Report)
UNUSUAL LIGHT SPHERES SEEN IN OHIO AND ALABAMA
On Tuesday, February 8, 2000, at 3:35 p.m., P.B. was outdoors near his home in Wooster, Ohio (population 22,191), a city on Ohio Route 30 approximately 60 miles (100 kilometers) south of Cleveland, when he saw an unusual "ball of light" in the sky.
"The UFO appeared in the west and darted away to the northwest," P.B. reported. "It was a bright white/blue light, much brighter than the sun. That day, it was a mostly bright blinding light--the brightest light I have ever seen in my life. It was too far away for me to determine any shape. And it moved very fast." (Email Form Report)
At 2 p.m., on a day in December 1999, Dorothy A. was at her 50-acre farm near Tuscaloosa, Alabama (population 77,800) when she saw a similar bright light in the afternoon sky.
"The UFO appeared from the west and headed south. It was a very bright light and red/yellow. Much brighter than the sun. It was very, very fast." (Email Form Report)
UFO AND BLACK HELICOPTER SIGHTED IN DENVER
On Friday, February 11, 2000, at 6:40 p.m., Greg L. was at his home in the southwestern section of Denver, Colorado (population 488,000) when he heard a strange noise outside the house.
"In my house, I heard the approaching sound of deep, powerful engines," Greg reported. "Which I associated with a military helicopter--it was rattling my windows. I went outside and saw three lights."
"The fuselage of the helicopter was clearly visible as a black silhouette against the twilight., with a light at each end. There were just enough variations in the flight path to confirm that the helicopter was following a second independent object--the third light."
"About the third light, there is nothing more to say. It was just a light. Nothing else. No fuselage, no wings, no sound (of engines), nothing."
Greg added that the UFO "headed west and slightly south on a steady course with only a few minor variations." (Email Form Report)
UFO SPOTTED BY WOMAN IN WEST MERCIA, UK
"A woman struggling to sleep as she battled a cold claims she saw a UFO in Worcester," a city in West Mercia about 30 miles (50 kilometers) west of Birmingham.
"Georgina Wells said she saw a glowing object which hovered in the sky for more than an hour at 2 a.m. last Thursday," February 3, 2000. The 20-year-old said she saw the 'extremely bright' egg shape from her third floor bedroom window at the back of Blansford Road home in St. John's," a section of Worcester.
"But she said she was amazed to see the glowing yellow object, which she claims had a helicopter next to it the whole time, begin to descend."
"'It got lower and lower, then it stopped glowing,' she said. 'I'm convinced it landed, but I don't know where. But, minutes later, it came back into view and was really light again and shot off into the sky. I have never seen anything go that fast before.'"
"Miss Wells, who was awake because of a cold, added that she had not taken any medicine which could cause her to hallucinate, nor was it a dream."
"'I was awake because I could not stop coughing,' she said. 'I stood up and watched it. It was not a police helicopter with its spotlight as there was no light-beam. I nearly woke my mum and dad up but I thought it wasn't fair. I don't think they would have been very impressed.''"
"But dad Jim, 63, said he was disappointed his daughter did not wake him as he might have been able to identify the object. He said he would not dismiss the possibility it was a UFO."
"'It could have been a number of things, including a UFO,' he said, "i do not know of any aviation vehicle which can shoot off and vanish in a matter of seconds..'"
"West Mercia police said they had no reports of anyone seeing anything unusual and added that the police helicopter was not flying that night."
"A spokesman for the (UK) Civil Aviation Authority said he was unable to confirm what was flying at that time, as it was not a controlled area."
"A spokesman for the (UK) Ministry of Defence confirmed no military aircraft were in the area." (See the Worcester Evening News for February 7, 2000. Many thanks to Gerry Lovell of Far Shores for forwarding this newspaper article.)
UFO "LIGHT STAB" CASE REPORTED IN YORKSHIRE
"An exchange student is convinced she spotted a UFO in the skies above Britain."
"Belgian Estzer Bauduin, 23, claims she saw an alien spacecraft when she looked out of her windows in Hull, East Yorks. in the early morning hours of a day in early January," 2000.
"Eszter, a languages student at Hull University, said, 'At about 2:15 a.m., I saw the strangest thing, like a flying saucer, going back and forth in the sky overhead.'"
"'It had a large red light and a blue light, and it was shining a bright ray of light straight down. It was making waves of noise, or a weird sound.'"(Editor's Comment: Looks like another "light stab" case like the ones in Ohio and Chile.)
"'When the light came through my window, I was terrified. It stayed out there for about ten minutes, disappeared, then came back again.'"
"Eszter wanted to see if the strange craft would come back again, but she was out of luck."
"'I kept hearing noises, but they were just normal airplanes,' she said." (See the Cornish Guardian for January 8, 2000. Many thanks to Gerry Lovell of Far Shores for forwarding this newspaper article.)
MIRACULOUS IMAGES APPEAR IN A TOWN IN ARGENTINA
While researchers continue to hunt for the locale of an alleged saucer crash in northern Argentina, another paranormal event has occurred in the town of Laprida, located about 352 kilometers (220 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, the national capital.
Last week residents of Laprida reported having "seen an image of the Virgin Mary on a tree at the intersection of Calle Almirante Brown and Calle Independencia."
"While some agree that the image represents the Virgin of the Miraculous Medallion, others believe that it represents the Sacred Heart of Jesus. Religious articles were immediately placed on the tree, (including) flowers, rosaries and votive cards."
The incision in the tree's trunk was made six months ago by workmen from EDES, the local electrical utility in Laprida.
"Over the course of recent days, the street corner has been filled with faithful who have visited the site out of devotion or mere curiosity. The fact is that the sheer number of visitors has caused considerable traffic headaches."
"Last Thursday evening," February 10, 2000, "the image of a cross was discovered on a street lamp located two meters (6.6 feet) away from the tree." EDES "was unable to venture a guess as to its origin."
Shortly thereafter, another miraculous image appeared at the corner, "the same tree reflects another image of the Virgin as a child."
(Editor's Comment: Now this is news. In two thousand years of Roman Catholic history, there has never before been an apparition of the former Miriam bat-Joachim as a little girl.)
"Beyond the existence of these things, it is refreshing and touching to see the elderly, the young and children approach the tree, pray before it or even kiss it. The devout appear to be the most interested. They worship at the site and try to convince those who doubt the existence of the divinity."
"'I'm so excited,' said Queca, a devotee of the Virgin Mary who remained at the tree for 24 hours when the image was first discovered., accompanied by a group of young people. 'One of my nieces made the discovery, She had seen it for about a month but didn't say anything for fear of being called a lunatic.'"
"The (Roman Catholic) Church does not avow the apparition, however. Upon returning from holiday, parish priest Father Carlos Garciarena reflected the Church's policy in such things during a sermon. After contacting Monsignor Emilio DiCarcano, he was told that the Church does not attest to the truthfulness of this apparition and further assumes no liability over any events that may take place at the site." (See the Argentinian newspaper La Nueva for February 2, 2000. Muchas gracias a Gloria Coluchi para esa historia.)
SCORE ONE FOR JACINTA
Two months ago, during the run-up to Y2K and the New Millenium, your UFO Roundup editor had a strange dream the night of December 16th. At one point, I dreamed I was an Anishinabe boy who was visiting the city of Cahokia on the east bank of the Mississippi River at the height of its splendor one or two thousand years ago. (For more details, see UFO Roundup, Volume 4, Number 35, "Millenial Dreams.") One dream-incident is of particular interest.
"I feel a sudden compulsion to look to my left. I do, and a woman stands there. A Native American woman a few years older than Awenhai, wearing a green dress and a green fringed shawl. Right in front of her, running towards me, are the two Fatima seers, Francisco and Jacinta Marto, looking as out-of-place in pre-Columbian Illinois as a pair of giraffes."
"Jacinta does the talking--in Portuguese! Very lively little girl in a black kerchief, peasant blouse and black skirt. 'Masinaigan, there will be an explosion in the big city.'"
"I gesture across the (Mississippi) river. 'Sao Luis?'"
"'Nao, nao.' Fuming, she stamps her foot impatiently. 'Nova York! Nova York!'"
Well, imagine my surprise on Saturday, February 12, 2000, when I stop at the Little Store on Superior Street here in Duluth and pick up a copy of the Minneapolis Star-Tribune. Here's the story I found on page 5A.
SMALL BOMB EXPLODES NEAR
"A small bomb exploded a few blocks from the New York Stock Exchange before daybreak, shattering windows and slightly injuring one person. 'At this point, it is not viewed as a terrorist act,' Mayor Rudolph Giuliani said. The metal container, containing black powder and cardboard, was similar to a pipe bomb, police said. Four postal workers had walked past the device, realized it could be dangerous, and ran away shortly before it exploded, police said. One of the four was treated for ringing in the ears."
Nice piece of prediction, Senhorita Marto. As good as Nostradamus. Not bad at all for someone who's been dead for the past eighty years!
Now I'm wonming about the other events in that strange dream. Remind me not to go for a cruise aboard the M/V Columbia Star...
SHUTTLE ENDEAVOUR OPENS GLOBAL MAPPING MISSION
"Space shuttle Endeavour and a crew of six roared into orbit Friday," February 11, 2000, "on a long-delayed mission to create the finest map of Earth ever produced."
"'We're ready to map the world,' commander Kevin Kregel said."
"Just five-and-a-half hours later, the astronauts began extending a 197-foot (59 meter) radar antenna mast from the shuttle cargo bay. It was a tense job and, by far, the biggest challenge of the mission."
"Within 17 minutes, the tower-like mast was all the way out, and it became the longest rigid structure ever deployed in space."
"The liftoff came after five months of postponements caused by hardware trouble, including damaged wiring. A few technical problems caused a brief delay Friday, but once Endeavour took off, everything appeared to go well during the climb to orbit."
"For the mapping mission to be successful, the mast had to make it all the way out and then pass a series of stability tests. NASA had never attempted such a feat before."
"For launch, the mast was folded into a 9-foot (2.7 meter) can that also held a motor-driven nut that would push the mast out. The mast consists of a series of stiff stacked cubes three-and-a-half feet (1 meter) that are made of steel, titanium and plastic."
"To NASA's relief, each of the cubes emerged from the can, one right after the other."
"By using two radar antennas, one at the end of the mast and a much larger one anchored in the cargo bay, sientists expect to obtain 3-D (three dimensional) snapshots of Earth's terrain. And they expect those snapshots to be more plentiful and more accurate than any taken before, a boon not only to the Pentagon but also to environmentalists, airlines and emergency- relief groups."
Here's how the mapping process worked:
(1) First the radar mast extends 197 feet from the Endeavour.
(2) NASA maintains a constant check of the shuttle's distance above sea level by using the Global Positioning System (GPS).
(3) A radar signal is sent to Earth from Endeavour's cargo bay transmitter.
(4) The signal bounces off the Earth's surface, back up to the shuttle. It's picked up by antennas aboard Endeavour and mounted at the end of the extended mast.
(5) The two radar signals are combined and compared to sea level to create the three- dimensional map.
If the skies are clear, UFO Roundup readers in the USA's upper Midwest should be able to see Endeavour passing overhead. The shuttle "will appear as a silver streak in the northwest sky in the constellation Cygnus and will travel to the east or southeast."
Endeavour should appear at 6:15 p.m. and will cross the eastern horizon at 6:21 p.m. Central Standard Time. (See the Minneapolis, Minn. Star- Tribune for February 13, 2000, "'We're ready to map the world,'" page 5A.)
707: ATTACK OF THE GIANT CRAB
Every so often, I like to do a story for our younger readers. This one comes from the island of Cebu in the Philippines. My date of 707 A.D. is a guesstimate. This incident happened before the arrival of the Srivijaya Hindus around the year 800 but after the Cebuano people had acquired iron tools and weapons.
One day, Moalboal, the king of Cebu, decided to have a big hanbaan (Filipino luau--J.T.) on the north side of the island. A couple of hundred people came to the feast.
Princess Anakmaganda, his 15-year-old daughter, was there, playing tinikling with her friends. Tinikling is a very tricky game in which a girl dances between two bamboo poles which her friends clap together. When they pick up the tempo, a girl has to be pretty quick on her feet to avoid getting her ankles trapped.
Well, nobody on Cebu was as good at tinikling as Anakmaganda. No matter how fast her friends clacked the bamboo, the princess managed to keep on dancing, laughing merrily..
At last the call to supper ended the game. The girls put the bamboo poles aside and made their way to the hanbaan. All except Anakmaganda. A bit overheated after all that dancing, she slipped away to Panagsama Beach.
After shedding her saya (Filipino sarong--J.T.) on the sand, Anakmaganda dashed into the foaming surf, took a deep breath and dived into an incoming wave. She swam out to the reef, then returned to the beach with a leisurely backstroke.
(Editor's Note: Sad to say, Panagsama's coral reef no longer exists. The reef, which took millions of years to form, was destroyed by the typhoon that swept over Cebu in September 1984.)
Soon Anakmaganda was sitting on her saya, hugging her knees and letting the warm tropical breeze dry her off and watching the brilliant sunset over the Tanon Strait.
Suddenly, she blinked in disbelief. There was. something moving out there, just beyond the reef. The princess "saw with astonishment an island that had never been visible on the sea before."
Alarmed, she grabbed her saya, ran across the beach and hid in the jungle. Hastily winding the garment around herself, she watched the dark object move through the whitewater topping the reef. "Presently she could make out, despite the failing light, that it was no island but a crab..."
The crab was about the size of a school bus. "Its goggling eyes were dreadful to see, its mouth was opening fiercely, its claws working as if eager to clutch its prey."
"The moon arose at the full, making a track of light across the heaving waters, and the crab, facing east," scuttled up the sandy beach. It began to move sideways, seemingly heading for the village.
I have to do something! Anakmaganda thought. But what?
And then she noticed a conch shell lying on the sand just a few feet from the bushes. Dropping to her hands and knees, so the giant crab wouldn't see her, she reached through the shrubbery and grabbed the conch.
Taking a deep breath, Anakmaganda "placed her conch-shell horn to her lips and blew with all her strength." A mournful note echoed across the lagoon. In the distance, she could still hear her people singing and laughing.
So she tried it again. Another deep breath, another long bellow from the conch.
"This time the jungle was still. Her people were listening."
Taking one last deep breath, she put her lips to the conch and sounded a deep-toned blast that drowned out the crash of the waves. "And, in a few minutes, the (Cebuano) warriors swarmed upon the beach with knives, swords and lances."
Emerging from the jungle, the princess pointed at the huge crustacean and shouted, "Alimango! Alimango!" (Tagalog for giant crab--J.T.)
Antennae waving, the crab turned toward the princess and then skittered about and charged the warriors. Its claw rose and fell, killing the warrior Tatluhan. The Cebuanos fled with the crab in pursuit.
Anakmaganda intercepted them and, grabbing the war chief Nagtagumpay, cried, "Stand and fight. We have to stop this creature before it reaches the village."
"Highness, it is covered with armor," said Nagtagumpay.
Another warrior clutched the amulet that dangled from his neck. "It is mahiwaga!" (Tagalog for magical or weird--J.T.)
"We cannot defeat it!" another wailed.
"Oh, yes, we can," Anakmaganda said, and, grabbing a kris (Filipino knife--J.T.) from one of the warriors, "fell upon it, the princess leading the attack with the war-call of her tribe."
By now, it was hard to say who was more frightened--the Cebuanos or the crustacean. The crab, its pincers snapping, the gills on its ten legs fluttering, found itself surrounded by several dozen screaming bipeds.
"As the crab turned to see what had befallen, the princess slashed off his great left claw. With the other, it crushed a soldier, but again her kris fell and the right claw fell likewise. Then a hundred men rushed upon the creature, prodding their spears into the joints of ihis legs and the dividing line between his back plate and belly. Others fell under his great bulk or were gnashed by his teeth. But in the end his shell was broken," and the island of Cebu was saved..
Ove the years, the tale of Anakmaganda and indeed the crab itself grew with the telling. By the time Magellan arrived on Cebu in 1521, Alimango was said to be "larger than a hundred water buffalo" and had tried to jump up and grab the moon "and drag it to its den beneath the ocean."
A crab as big as a school bus! Could such a crustacean exist? Well, if you visit the Geology Museum at the state university in Rapid City, South Dakota, you'll see an actual fossil of Archeron, the largest marine turtle that ever existed. This turtle had a shell 11 feet long and was 12 feet wide from fin to fin.
It might be interesting to see if a giant crab fossil is ever found in a hitherto undiscovered sandstone of the Permian Period.
It would be even more interesting if Alimango himself came ashore in Manila Bay and scuttled across Roxas Boulevard. Traffic would be tied up all the way to Tagaytay! (See the book Myths and Legends of our New Possessions and Protectorate by Charles M. Skinner, J.B. Lippincott and Co., Philadelphia, Pa. 1900, pages 317 and 318.)
Chunks of ice falling on Europe. The Virgin Mary appearing in Argentina. Hillary actually running for the Senate. No doubt about it. The year 2000 is shaping up to be a really strange year. But we'll be here to provide complete coverage of all the phenomena. Join us next week for more UFO and paranormal news from around the world, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you then.
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2000 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.