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Volume 5
Number 9
March 2, 2000

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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SAUCER LANDS ON ANCIENT PYRAMID IN WILTSHIRE, UK

"Driver Clive Stevens is seeking the truth behind mysterious coloured lights he saw over Silbury Hill (in North Wiltshire, UK) in the dead of night."

"He said the flashing lights formed the shape of a flattened oval 'rather like a flying saucer' and he is hoping other motorists might have spotted them and tell him what they mean."

"Mr. Stevens, 25, of Upper Isbury in Marlborough, was driving home on the (Motorway) A4 past the Waggon and Horses pub in Beckhampton when he saw the shimmering blue, green, white and red lights in the distance."

"'It looked like a helicopter landing pad on an oil rig with all the bright lights,' said Mr. Stevens, a consultant on water softening devices who was returning home after dropping off a friend in Chippenham," a city about 125 miles (180 kilometers) west of London.

"He said it was on a clear night with a bright moon but he could not see people on top of the (Silbury) hill, just the lights forming an oval which he estimated as being two-thirds the size of the hilltop."

"On top of the hill was a whole pattern of lights in a traditional flying saucer shape. They were blinking red, white, green and blue, he said."

"'I could not tell if it was hovering, or if it was stationary on top of the hill. It really scared me because I was on my own.; there was no other traffic about, and you hear these stories of alien abductions.'"

"Mr. Stevens said he was also well aware that the hill stands in the centre of an area where mysterious crop circles are frequently found."

"He said that as he drove past the hill the light dropped behind the hill, and although he did look in his mirror, he did not see it again."

"He added, "I am not frightened to admit I was scared stiff, and I could not get along the A4 quick enough.'"

"Mr. Stevens, a keen military historian, said he doubted the light could have been from a helicopter or aircraft. Nor does he think the lights were caused by hoaxers because they would have had to be on the end of long poles."

"'It was very cold on Sunday morning (February 20, 2000), which makes me think that if there were hoaxers there, they would have needed their heads read,' he added."

The sighting took place at about 4 a.m.

"Doug Sheppard, landlord of the Waggon and Horses pub, said he was in bed at 4 a.m. on Sunday, and he had heard reports of strange happenings at Silbury. But, he said, 'I don't know if it's connected at all, but my telephones went down at the weekend. When BT (British Telecommunications--J.T.) came to repair it, they said it was an exterior line fault.'"

Silbury Hill is one of the most ancient sites in Britain. It's an earthen pyramid that covers five acres and is constructed of over one million tons of earth, apparently moved by hand.

According to Aubry Burl, author of Prehistoric Avebury, Silbury Hill is an estimated 4,000 years old and is said to be the burial site of King Kunedha, a legendary monarch of the Beaker Folk. The king's body, clad in golden armor, is said to lie at the base of the man-made mound.

Silbury Hill bears an amazing resemblance to the pyramid of Cuicuilco in Mexico, which geologists maintain had to have been built before 8,000 B.C.

Nearby Beckhampton and Abury Hill have been the site of intensive archaeological efforts recently, but it is not known if these activities have anything to do with the landing of the saucer. (See the Wiltshire Gazette and Herald for February 25, 2000. See also Prehistoric Avebury by Aubrey Burl, Yale University Press, 1979, pages 128 to 136. Many thanks to Gerry Lovell of Far Shores for forwarding the newspaper article.)

(Editor's Comment: This seems to be Pyramid Week at UFO Roundup. See the next story.)

EGYPTIAN MAGAZINE SAYS A DEAD ALIEN WAS FOUND AT GIZA IN 1988

A strange story about the Great Pyramid of Giza appeared in the March 2000 issue of the Egyptian magazine Rose El-Yussuf.

According to the article, in 1988, French Egyptologist Louis Caparat "discovered a secret room in the Great Pyramid of Cheops (his Greek name. The pharoah's true name was Khufu--J.T.)."

The alien humanoid "was found in a crystalline transparent case. At first the alien appeared to be hibernating," or in a state of suspended animation.

Caparat reportedly "also found a papyrus text" which described Pharoach Khufu meeting with the alien, who told him that some day his space-traveling species would arrive from the stars. The alien supposedly suggested the design of the pyramid and persuaded the Egyptians to build it as his resting place.

"Caparat sent a message to a colleague in Spain, Francisco de Braga, a biologist, inviting him to come to Egypt" to take blood, cell, tissue and DNA samples from the dead alien.

But when Dr. de Braga arrived in Cairo, he was detained by the Egyptian Ministry of State Security and put on a plane back to Madrid.

According to Rose El-Yussuf, the dead alien was taken to a laboratory at an undisclosed location by Egyptian military intelligence. (Many thanks to Wisam Mohammed and Alfredo Lissoni for this story.)

(Editor's Comment: Take this story with a grain of salt, readers. Mysterious dead bodies have been turning up in the Great Pyramid since Abdullah Al-Mamun first broke into the structure way back in 813 A.D. Abdullah, who was the son of the famous caliph, Haroun Al-Raschid, hired a crew of Egyptians who laboriously bored a hole right through the Pyramid's wall.

According to author Peter Tompkins, "Some Arabian authors have reported that Al-Mamun found in the sarcophagus a stone statue in the shape of a man. They say that within the statue lay a body wearing a breastplate of gold set with precious stones, an invaluable sword on his chest, and a carbuncle ruby on his head the size of an egg, which chone as with the light of day." See Secrets of the Great Pyramid by Peter Tompkins, Harper and Row, New York, N.Y., 1971, page 15.

On the other hand, there have been a lot of strange goings-on at the Great Pyramid since 1996, including secret UNESCO teams visiting, unmarked military vehicles and black helicopters seen at Giza, and the recent round of heavy construction.. It's anyone's guess what is really going on out there.)

TWO CYLINDRICAL UFOs SIGHTED OVER NAPLES

On Wednesday, February 23, 2000, "two cylindrical UFOs were observed circling over a housing development in Agnano," a section of Napoli (Naples), the famous Italian seaport city 180 kilometers (125 miles) south of Rome.

"According to the account in the local newspaper, the two OVNIs (Italian acronym for UFOs--J.T.) ascended to a very high altitude in a zigzag motion, with one rising much faster than the other. The two objects fled before onlookers could take a photograph. (See the Italian newspaper Il Giornale of Napoli for February 24, 2000. Grazie a Edoardo Russo di Centro Italiano di Studi Ufologici per questo rapporto.)

SILVERY UFO SPOTTED IN SOUTHERN ARGENTINA

In early February, Italian businessman Omar R. went on vacation to Argentina. While stopping overnight at the Hotel de Turistas on Lago (Lake) Verde in Chubut province, about 800 kilometers (500 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, Omar spotted a peculiar-looking object hovering above the lake.

"Over the lake hovered a perpendicular silver metallic disc. Its surface caught the gleam of the sun. It was very shiny, reflecting the bright sun. The gleam moved over the disc's surface as it slowly moved across the lake, away from us."

Omar shot a single photograph with his new sigital camera. After transferring the image to a floppy disc, he mailed it to his family back in Italy. The family sent it to the Centro Ufologico Nazionale (CUN) for analysis. (Grazie a Alfredo Lissoni di CUN d'Italia per questo rapporto.)

CRUCIFORM UFO SEEN IN CENTRAL COLORADO

On Sunday, February 20, 2000, at 7:40 p.m., Michael D. and a friend were driving on Interstate Highway I-25 from Fort Collins to Denver, Colorado. As they were passing near the highway exit nine miles (15 kilometers) west of Platteville (population 1,515), they spotted something strange in the sky.

"We saw a bright star--a brilliant green light drop from a cloud above," Mike reported. "We were heading south to Denver from Fort Collins when we saw it. It was not a meteor.. The person I was with does not believe in UFOs. It shocked me, too."

"The object was huge and in the shape of a cross. We were in the high country at an altitude of about 5,600 feet. Pretty rural area.," he added, and they had the UFO in view for several minutes. (Email Form Report)

STAR DUST--RIDDLE OF THE MYSTERIOUS RADIO MESSAGE

The mystery of the Star Dust, the British Avro Lancaster airliner that disappeared in August 1947, took a couple of strange new twists this week, as Argentina's Army and Air Force teams collected human remains from the newly-discovered crash site.

The wreckage of the propellor-engine Avro Lancaster Mark III Tudor airliner was discovered in January on a glacier on Mount Tupungato, one of the highest peaks in the Andes.

On Wednesday, February 23, 2000, a team of 17 Argentine Army soldiers, under the command of Lt. Col. Ricardo Bustos, "spent eight hours looking for human remains" at the crash site, packed them in trunks, and loaded the trunks aboard mules for the precipitous climb down the mountain to their base camp.

Meanwhile, a special survey team of the Argentine Air Force took digital photos of the 600-meter crash site, plus video footage, in an effort to determine what happened to the plane.

The Star Dust was on the last leg of her flight from London, traveling from Punta Asuncion in Argentina to Santiago de Chile when she vanished shortly after 2 p.m. on August 2, 1947.

Aboard the aircraft, an RAF Avro Lancaster bomber of World War II which had been converted for civilian use, were eleven people, including six passengers and five crew members.

The crew consisted of pilot Capt. Reginald Cook, a former RAF Bomber Command pilot with hundreds of hours' experience in flying Lancasters; First Officer Norman Hilton-Cook, Second Officer Donald Checklin, Radio Operator Dennis Harmer and Stewardess Iris Adams.

Among the passengers was Paul Simpson, 44, a "King's Messenger," or personal diplomatic envoy for King George VI (father of Queen Elizabeth II--J.T.)

The wreckage was found on a glacier at 5,500 meters (18,700 feet). Mount Tupungator is a stratovolcano approximately 6,550 meters high (21,484 feet) and is located about 500 kilometers (300 miles) west of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.

Argentine Air Force experts under Major Luis Estrella speculated that the Star Dust had struck the glacier three times when it crashed, which resulted in the debris being scattered over such a wide area.

Another theory is that a sudden loss of elevator control caused the Lancaster to "nose-dive right into the glacier."

"The British Ministry of Aviation's 1948 crash report hypothesizes that ice buildup on its wings had brought down the plane."

Ice clogging the airplane's pitot tubes might have caused a false reading in the altimeter, causing Capt. Cook and his co-pilot to think they were higher than they actually were.

A mid-air explosion has not been ruled out, either.

Investigators are now looking into a strange radio message that Radio Operator Dennis Harmer sent off just before the airliner crashed. The transmission was picked up by the Fuerzas Aereas de Chile (FACh), the air force of Chile. According to FACh, Harmer transmitted the same message three times in Morse code.

The message was SSTENDEC.

One theory is that Harmer's message was shorthand for "Steep Descent."

Another theory is that Star Dust had made radio contact with a ship out in the Pacific Ocean--the S.S. ten Deyck.

(Editor's Comment: That's a possibility! Is such a vessel listed in the Lloyd's Registry for 1947? We'd appreciate hearing from any of our readers on this one. Meanwhile, many thanks to Jim Hickman for the update on the Star Dust case.)

GALILEO COMPLETES THIRD FLYBY OF IO

The spacecraft Galileo completed its third flyby of Jupiter's volcanic moon Io on Tuesday, February 22, 2000 at 2:32 p.m. Universal Time (UT).

"Galileo passed to within 199 kilometers (124 miles) of the surface of Io, the innermost of Jupiter's four large satellites."

"'We're thrilled that the flyby went well,' said project manager Jim Erickson. 'If all continues as planned, this raw data will round out our Io photo album and the wealth of information gathered during the Io flybys back in October and November (1999)."

"Scientists hope that the flyby will allow them to see changes in the surface of the dynamic moon since the pictures taken during the two close flybys in October and November. During those flybys, Galileo saw several volcanic eruptions in progress, including one that generated a fountain of lava 1.6 kilometers (one mile) high."

Galileo's flyby last week was not without incident. A surge of high-energy radiation in Jovian space caused two "false resets" of Galileo's main onboard computer.

A third reset "put Galileo into safe mode for most of Thursday," February 24, "The software that prevents such computer glitches from triggering safe mode had been" turned off so Galileo could begin transmitting the data back to Earth.

The spacecraft resumed its transmission of flyby data to Earth on Sunday, February 27, 2000.

Next up for Galileo is a flight to Ganymede, another one of Jupiter's larger moons. The spacecraft will perform a flyby of Ganymede, which is as big as the planet Mercury, in May 2000.

Scientists are very much interested in Ganymede's unusually strong magnetic field. It is almost as strong as Earth's, which is very unusual for a small world. Indeed, Ganymede is the only other world in our solar system to display a dipole magnetic field like Earth's. (Many thanks to SpaceViews for February 28, 2000 and Science Frontiers for March/April 2000, "The Ganymede magnetic Paradox," page 2.)

NEAR FINDS A GEOLOGICAL ANOMALY ON EROS

The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous (NEAR) spacecraft continued its orbital survey of the asteroid Eros last week.

NEAR arrived in orbit around the asteroid, which is 33 kilometers (20 miles) in diameter, on Monday, February 14, 2000. The spacecraft's arrival on Valentine's Day was most appropriate, since the asteroid is named after Eros, the Greek god of love.

On Thursday, February 24, 2000, at 5 p.m. Universal Time (UT), NEAR "fired its thrusters" in "what project officials called a successful manuever. The Orbit Correction Manuever (OCM)" dropped the spacecraft's periapsis (low point of orbit--J.T.) from 321 kilometers (195 miles) to 200 kilometers (125 miles). NEAR's apogee (high point of orbit--J.T.) remained at 366 kilometers (277 miles).

"NASA hopes to lower NEAR into an orbit as low as 50 kilometers (30 miles) above Eros by May, where it will remain for several months for close-up observations. After swinging back out into a high orbit for global mapping work late in the year, NEAR will return to Eros by the end of the year, flying within a few kilometers of the surface and possibly touching down on it at the end of its mission next year."

Also last week, NASA turned on NEAR's X-Ray and Gamma Ray Spectrometer and Laser Altimeter. The spectrometer will be used to determine the asteroid's elemental composition, while the laser altimeter will be used to survey the topography of Eros.

While flying around the asteroid, which is essentialy a large mountain drifting through space, NEAR photographed an interesting geological anomaly. The spacecraft's instruments picked up signs of a "layering" of deposits on the surface.

"Project scientist Andy Cheng thinks the layering could be evidence that Eros was a remnant of a much larger parent body that broke apart."

"' The global (layered) feature may be a signature of ancient geologic activity (for example, volcanism-- A.C.) on the parent body of Eros,' he said. 'The size of the putative parent body and the time at which it would have disrupted, no obe knows, and all we are saying is that it must have been larger than the present diameter of Eros.'"

"'The NEAR data shows that Eros has an older surface than Gaspra (an asteroid visited by Galileo back in 1991--J.T.). Gaspra is less heavily cratered because it has not been exposed to (meteor) bombardment as long,' said Cheng. 'However, since we are still uncertain about collision rates in the asteroid belt at present and in the distant past, we cannot exactly state an age for either asteroid.'" (Many thanks to Space Views for February 28, 2000.)

(Editor's Comment: This layering effect sounds really weird. If Eros is primarily composed of basalt, then that means the ground was periodically covered by fast-flowing, soupy a'a lava flows from vent or shield volcanoes on the parent body. If the layers are sedimentary rock, like sandstone or shale..wow! That means Eros's parent body was a world like Earth, with oceans, lakes and seas.)

from the UFO Files...

303: A VISITOR FROM THE GARDEN OF ALLAH?

Located in eastern Turkey, about 320 kilometers (200 miles) southeast of Ankara, the wine-making province of Cappadocia is an ancient land. Back in 300 A.D., the province belonged to the Roman empire and was ruled by a prefect or colonial governor.

The strangest incident in the long history of Cappadocia took place in February of 303, when Diocletian was the emperor of Rome.

At that time, the city of Caesarea Maritima was the capital of Cappadocia, and Fabricius had just been appointed the prefect. He was very eager to please Diocletian. Due to the gradual disintegration of the Roman empire, outlying provinces such as Cappadocia were slipping out from under the emperor's control. In many lands, the prefects were hiring private armies and treating Imperial lands as their own personal estates. And Diocletian wanted to make sure that he got his majority share of the revenues from his Cappadocian vineyards.

So, when Diocletian's decree against Christians was issued, Fabricius enforced it with particular vigor. Among the people executed during the first round of summary arrests were the parents of young Dorothea of Caesarea.

Dorothea was a young unmarried woman given to trances and mystic experiences. She spent a lot of time wandering the Ihlara Valley (near modern Urgup, Turkey), which, like Sedona, Arizona, USA, has a large number of weird rock formations. She was always talking about an "enchanted garden" to which she was a frequent visitor.

In January 303, during the severe cold of a Turkish winter, news of Dorothea reached the ears of Fabricius, and he ordered her arrest.

So there was Dorothea, at her parents' small house in Caesrea, cooking kiremit kebap (roast lamb with tomato, mushroom and cheese--J.T.) when the Roman soldiers knocked at the door. The centurion came right to the point. "Are you a Christian?"

Dorothea nodded. "I am. Jesus is my true husband, and I see him often in the garden."

"The woman is a lunatic," a soldier muttered.

"Lunatic or not, the prefect has issued a warrant for her arrest," the centurion replied. "Take her to the citadel."

Upon her arrival in the citadel's prison, "she was stretched upon the rack, and offered marriage if she would sacrifice" to the gods of Olympus, "or death if she refused."

Dorothea refused, saying, "Jesus is my only spouse, and death is my desire."

When he learned that she had turned down all offers of an arranged marriage, Fabricius thought, Well, if she doesn't like men, then perhaps she prefers women. And he sent two women of that persuasion who had been Christians but recanted to "seduce" the prisoner.

The ploy backfired. "But the fire in Dorothea's heart rekindled the flame in theirs and led them back to Christ."

"When she was set once more upon the rack, Fabricius himself was amazed at the heavenly look she wore and asked her the cause of her joy."

"Because I have brought two souls back to Jesus," Dorothea replied, "And because I will soon be in the heavenly garden rejoicing with the angels."

The full force of Roman law was brought against her. Her jailer wrapped a festus, a leather strap studded with iron , around his fist and punched her repeatedly in the face. Then iron plates were heated in a brazier, and, as soon as they turned red, were applied against her ribs and thighs.

The outcome of her trial was pre-ordained. Like her parents, she was sentenced to be executed. Hearing the verdict, she cried out, "Blessed are you! Blessed are you, O Lover of Souls, who calls me to Paradise and invites me to your nuptial chamber."

On February 6, 303 A.D., Dorothea was marched out of the citadel to the main plaza of Caesarea. Onlookers booed and jeered as she walked along, wrapped in her heavy woolen cloak, surrounded by Roman soldiers. Among the crowd was a Roman lawyer named Theophilus, who had heard her testimony in court and had thought it absurd.

"Dorothea!" he shouted, "Send me some apples and roses from your enchanted garden!"

She stopped for a moment, turned to face Theophilus and said somberly. "Very well. You shall have them."

Dorothea climbed the ladder to the wooden scaffold and quietly knelt. The centurion who served as the executioner finished sharpening his sword. The crowd of three hundred onlookers gathered around the scaffold.

And then it happened.

A figure appeared at the foot of the ladder. It was a boy about 10 or 12 years old with curly blond hair. On this cold February morning, he wore nothing but a skimpy tunic, but the cold didn't seem to bother him. He carried a wicker basket in his hands.

The amazing thing about this apparition is that it was witnessed not by Christians but by pagans. Those nearest the ladder let out a cry of astonishment. Some shouted that it was Apollo. Others pointed at the basket and claimed it was Ganymede, the cupbearer of the Olympian gods.

Dorothea looked down at the curly-haired boy. Some form of wordless communication passed between the two. Then, removing her shawl, Dorothea leaned forward on her knees and awaited the fatal stroke.

Thunk! The young woman's head rolled across the scaffold floor. The boy with the basket vanished. A louder clamor went up from the crowd.

That evening, the lawyer Theophilus was at the city baths. The main topic of conversation, as might be expected, was the apparition. He too had seen the boy with the basket but he didn't want to talk about it.

And then the gatekeeper tapped Theophilus's shoulder. "There's somebody here to see you."

As he entered the anteroom, Theophilus turned pale. Standing there was the same boy he had seen that morning at the foot of the scaffold. The boy lifted his basket, saying, "Here are the items you requested."

Heart pounding, the lawyer peered into the basket. He saw three roses and three ripe apples of a strange golden color. Fruits which could not possibly have flourished during a Cappadocian winter.

Blinking in disbelief, he extended his quivering hand toward an apple. Could it be real? His fingertips caressed the smooth skin. It was!

Like a man in a dream, Theophilus lifted the apple to his lips. He bit into it and was both stunned and delighted by its weird pleasing taste.

The boy said, "She awaits you in the garden."

And then he vanished.

According to the Acta Sanctorum, "he was converted to the faith and then shared in the martyrdom of St. Dorothy."

Since Vatican II, the Roman Catholic Church no longer recognizes the story of Dorothea and Theophilus as completely factual. Mainly because there's no mention of Dorothea in the Eastern Orthodox Church calendar.

But maybe they're looking at the wrong scripture. Here's a selection from al Quran (the Koran)--Sura 56: 11-20.

     "Those are the favored ones
       In the Gardens of Bliss;
       A throng of the ancients,
       And a small band of the latecomers,
       Upon beds interwoven with gold;
       Reclining upon them, facing each other.
       While immortal youths go round them,
       With goblets, pitchers and a cup of limped drink.
       Their heads do not ache from it,
       And they do not become intoxicated.
       And with such fruits as they care to choose."

Perhaps Dorothea of Caesarea should consider becoming an Islamic saint. Because it appears that she visited the Garden of Allah about three hundred years before the birth of Mohammed." (See Pictorial Lives of the Saints by John Gilman Shea L.L.D., Danziger Brothers, Baltimore, Md. 1887, pages 82 to 84. Also The Quran--A Modern English Version, translated by Majhid Fakhry and Mahmud Zayid, Garnet Publishers, Reading, UK, 1997, page 349.)

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 in seven days.


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