UGANDA DECLARES SECT DEATHS "MASS MURDER"The government of Uganda has backpedaled and declared the deaths of the Marian sect members in Kanungu "mass murder" following the discovery of two more mass graves.
"The strangled and dismembered bodies of 153 people, including 59 children, were found Friday," March 24, 2000, "buried in the dirt floor of an abandoned house--the second horrific discovery linked to a Ugandan doomsday cult."
"The house was 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from the cult's compound" in Kanungu, a market town in the southwestern corner of the African nation. "Where at least 330 members died in a fire March 17--deaths authorities first believed were a mass suicide."
"'It was definitely murder,' chief police spokesman Assuman Mugenyi said after the bodies--which apparently were buried six weeks ago--were found Friday."
"Police had at first thought the adult victims in the church inferno were willing participants and had considered only the 78 children who died there as murder victims."
"'But now we have discovered these people who were murdered. Things have changed,'" Mugenyi said.
"The house where the 153 bodies were found is near the southwestern town of Rukungiri and had been used as a meeting place for members of the sect, known as the Movement for the Restoration of God's Ten Commandments."
"Police went to the house as part of the nationwide investigation into the cult's properties and activities."
"Inside they found three mass graves dug into the dirt floor of two rooms. Some victims were strangled, others were hacked to death."
"After they had been examined by pathologists, the bodies were reburied in two mass graves."
The cause of the fire at the sect's main church in Kanungu "has been attributed to gasoline, a bomb or both."
"Minister of State for Regional Cooperation Amama Mbabazi, who visited Kanungu on Wednesday," March 22, 2000, "said two top sect leaders may not have died in the inferno as had been initially announced."
"Credonia Mwerinde, a 40-year-old former prostitute, and Joseph Kibweteere, 68, who was also known as 'The Prophet,' may both have left the compound before the fire."
Two days before the fire, Mwerinde claimed to have experienced repeated apparitions of the Virgin Mary in recent months.
Mbabazi "said a 17-year-old cult member who had slipped away from the church before the fire said Kibweteere was not there at the time."
"Local residents also reported seeing Mwerinde leave the compound, Mbabazi said."
"Two leaders' bodies have been positively identified-- the manager of the sect's farm and 'a priest.' A number of the group's leaders were former Roman Catholic pritests, lay workers and nuns."
On Tuesday, March 21, 2000, "Uganda's Roman Catholic bishops" declared that "two former priests who helped lead the sect were excommunicated because they 'erred and broke the discipline of the Church.'"
On Monday, March 26, 2000, "prison laborers dug layer- by-layer through rotting corpses, pulling dozens of bodies from a mass grave at a sugar cane field" near Rugazi in southwestern Uganda, "the third scene of carnage linked to the doomsday cult."
"The laborers unearthed 73 bodies, including two dozen children and babies, from the field belonging to a defrocked Catholic priest who was one of the sect's leaders."
The former clergyman, Dominic Kataribabo, an associate of Mwerinde and Kibweteere, was also found dead at the crime scene.
"The grim discovery brings the number of cult-related deaths that police have confirmed to 562" since the mysterious explosion that began the church fire on March 17.
"James Bangirana, a local police official, said late Monday that he wasn't certain that all of the bodies of sect victims had been found."
"Some of the bodies recovered Monday bore stab wounds and others had pieces of cloth wrapped tightly around their throats. They appeared to have been dead for at least a month, Dr. Ben Twetegire," the state pathologist, said.
"The bodies were apparently those of strangers-- sect members who came for seminars on righteous living and the end of the world." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for March 25, 2000, "153 more bodies linked to Ugandan cult," page 4-A, and March 28, 2000, "More bodies unearthed in Ugandan mass grave," page 4-A.)
(Editor's Comment: So much for the quaint theory that all those nutty Christians wiped themselves out. We have multiple crime scenes, bodies buried for weeks, multiple causes of death. It all adds up to a clandestine military force hunting these people down. But whose force? That's the key question. I thought everybody liked the former Miriam bat-Joachim. Apparently not!)
UFO TERRORIZES WOMAN MOTORIST IN COLORADOOn Tuesday, March 7, 2000, between 9 and 10 p.m., a woman was driving on a back road near Olathe, Colorado (population 1,300). Sitting beside her in the car's front seat was the woman's baby, who was just under one year old.
She reported "an encounter with a low-flying aerial craft," according to ufologist Davina Ryszka of Montrose, Colorado.
"The craft/object exhibited 'a very bright white light and had red and green lights on its sides.'"
"The woman reported that the UFO 'appeared to be confrontational.'"
"As the object approached her car head-on, at first the witness thought it was a low-flying airplane."
"The witness slammed on the brakes to try to avoid what seemed would be an inevitable crash," said Ryszka. "And the aircraft stopped right in front of her car. When she tried to move, it moved. When she attempted to turn the car around and go back the way she came,, it moved in front of her car."
"At this point she was 'really frightened' especially because she had a small baby in the car seat. Finally, she managed to get in front of the object, and it ended up behind her, and she could see it in the rear-view mirror."
"Then, for a time, it was not visible at all, and she was relieved that it might be gone."
"Suddenly, a bright light came on directly above her, illuminating her car and the surrounding area. And she drove quickly on to Olathe, understandably shaken by the whole experience."
Olathe is on Colorado Highway 550 approximately 57 miles (91 kilometers) southeast of Grand Junction.
On Friday, March 17, 2000, at 3 p.m., an Alanosa County rancher named Chuck was driving his pickup truck on Highway 285 just north of Antonito, Colorado (population 76) "when he witnessed 'a metallic sphere at the one o'clock position and about 30 degrees up' from the horizon."
"'It did not move in any extraordinary way, but it sure didn't look like any any airplane I've seen,' Chuck said."
CYLINDRICAL ORANGE UFO SIGHTED IN PUERTO RICOOn Friday, March 24, 2000, at 6:50 p.m., Luz Guzman and Orlando Pla were driving on Monserrate Avenue in Carolina, Puerto Rico, approximately 8 kilometers (5 miles) east of San Juan, when they spotted a UFO.
"A high altitude unidentified flying object was seen flying across the skies from north to south over the San Juan and Bayamon metropolitan area. The object looked like a thin orange line of about one inch length at a 20 degree angle from the observers' position."
"The object crossed the skies in a few minutes at the same line of horizontal trajectory until it was out of view."
"The orange color was very vivid, maybe was a result of the sunlight shining from below since the incident occurred during sunset. The perfect horizontal trajectory also dismisses the possibility of it being related to a burning satellite re-entering the atmosphere" or a meteor glancing off the atmosphere, according to Puerto Rican ufologist Lucy Guzman. (Muchas gracias a Lucy Guzman para esta historia.)
FIVE ORANGE-SPHERE UFOs RETURN TO PENRITH, N.S.W.Penrith, New South Wales, Australia, a city about 100 kilometers (60 miles) west of Sydney, became the focus of UFO action again last week.
On Wednesday, March 22, 2000, at 9:50 p.m., Sandra Wilson spotted something strange in the night sky over Penrith. Five orange spheres "appeared in the east" and "flew to the southwest," she reported.
"I saw five orange globes gliding in a southwesterly direction," she reported, "From the naked eye, they seemed to be moving slow. But when viewed through my telescope, they had the speed of a comet and were very hard to keep in the lens."
"Through the telescope, they seemed to be the colour of reddish-orange, but from the naked eye they were just orange. In the centre of the orange glow, the shape was that of a circle. I have no idea of the height." (altitude--J.T.)
HOVERING WHITE UFO SEEN IN THE NETHERLANDSOn January 16, 2000, at 8:30 p.m., a young man left his friend's house in Groningen, a city in the Netherlands approximately 120 kilometers (80 miles) northest of Amsterdam, and boarded his bicycle for the trip home.
On the eastern outskirts of Groningen, the witness "saw a moving object like a shooting star. But it held still for a few seconds on the horizon (near the border with Germany--J.T.), then it disappeared."
"Even when it was still, it still had a tail," he said, adding that the UFO was "nut-shaped." (Email Form Report)
USAF CRUISE MISSILE GOES HAYWIRE AND CRASHES IN THE UTAH DESERT"An Air Force cruise missile flew out of control Thursday morning (March 23, 2000) and slammed into the ground near the Goshute Indian Reservation in remote Tooele County."
"No one was injured in the 11:16 a.m. crash on isolated land administered by the Bureau of Land Management (an agency of the USA's Department of the Interior--J.T.) said Hill Air Force Base Tech Sgt. Timothy Trager. There was no danger to the land, he said."
"'The 20-foot (6-meter) long cruise missile had been dropped from a B-52 bomber that had originally taken off from Barksdale Air Force Base in Louisiana. The missile was being tracked by two F-15 chase planes and an Airborne Range Instrumented Aircraft (ARIA) that keeps the missile in the plane's radar scope, before it inexplicably crashed,' said Staff Sgt. Sonja Whittington, spokewoman for the 388th Fighter Wing at Hill Air Force Base."
"'The pilots never lost the missile visually, but why it crashed will be determined by investigators,' she said."
"Whittington did not know the missile's intended target, but said the accident occurred during the third hour of a four-hour test run at the Utah Test and Training Range."
"When the missile impacted, there was a slight explosion caused by the crash but no fire. The missile did not contain any explosives."
"No one was near the crash site in remote Ibapah (population 11) about 185 miles (296 kilometers) west of Salt lake City," near the Utah-Nevada state line.
"'I want to emphasize that these tests are routed specifically to avoid populated areas,' Whittington said, 'We're not going to fly a cruise missile over some downtown area.'"
"Thursday's cruise missile test was conducted by the (U.S. Air Force's) 53rd Wing (located) at Elgin Air Force Base, Florida, to ensure system reliability and accuracy." (See the Salt Lake Tribune of Salt Lake City, Utah for March 25, 2000, "Stray missile hits desert-" by Richard Vigia. Many thanks to Jim Hickman for forwarding the newspaper article.)
(Editor's Comment: The cruise missile went down just south of Ochre Mountain, a sacred site to the indigenous Nuche people. This is also the season the annual Nuche Bear Dance. Maybe the Four Thunders put the hex on that missile.)
READER FEEDBACK:Concerning the "black arrowhead" or delta- shaped UFO reported last week in Rochester, N.Y., model airplane enthusiast H.B. Buchanan says we shouldn't rule out the possibility that it was a man- made model. He writes, "RC (radio-controlled) aircraft are extremely light in weight compared to real aircraft, owing to the lightweight building materials. Granted, for a four-foot-long aircraft, 10 MPH (miles per hour) is pushing the limit of maintaining lift, even for an RC model, but considering that this was not a measured speed, the witness could only speculate. As one who is involved with model-building and flying, I've seen RC models retaining lift at very low actual speeds." (For more on the Rochester UFO, see UFO Roundup, volume 5, number 12.)
Also, reader J. Sabiti reminds us that the African nation of Zaire has changed its name back to the Democratic Republic of the Congo once again. Sorry about that, J.S. UFO Roundup regrets the error.
1936: PANAMA REDHere's another UFO sighting from the pre-Roswell era. This one took place in the Central American nation of Panama back in April of 1936. Thirty years later, one of the witnesses reported the case to the old National Investigating Committee on Aerial Phenomena (NICAP).
Back then, the USA administered a strip of land known as the Panama Canal Zone (Full control of the Zone reverted to Panama in December 1999 under the terms of the Carter-Torrijos Treaty--J.T.) Many Army and Navy families made their home in the Zone, creating a kind of tropical Main Street USA, complete with garden societies and country clubs.
In early April of 1936, Mrs. E.P. Higgins, the wife of an American officer, attended a meeting of the Canal Zone Astronomical Society at the country club in Lago (Lake) de Miraflores, about 25 kilometers (15 miles) north of the city of Balboa.
Following the meeting, the lecturer, whom we'll call Prof. Adams, asked Mrs. Higgins if she would like a ride back to the city. She agreed, and they set off in the professor's 1932 Model A Ford.
Prof. Adams had graduated from Yale University and had also taught there. Mrs. Higgins was familiar with Yale and the city of New Haven, Connecticut, so they talked about mutual acquaintances.
"Because the night was so black, and the golden stars so numerous, we automatically scanned the heavens with our eyes before saying goodnight," Mrs. Higgins told NICAP.
"Suddenly, the professor shouted, 'Look! That one's moving!'"
"I don't know what I expected when I searched in the direction his extended arm and finger indicated. But then I saw it, and I felt suddenly as though I'd been bewitched and that I couldn't possibly be seeing this."
"But I did see it and continued to do so for some time, so I had to believe it even though we couldn't find any explanation whatever."
"His finger had indicated a spot in the sky... about 33 degrees from the zenith in a northeasterly direction...(that is, over Balboa Heights--J.T.) I observed what appeared to be a red star making a pathway among the stars. I can best describe the look of it by saying that it looked like a red star of rather small magnitude--and I can also say that it glowed something the color of a cigarette butt in the distance."
"But the course of the thing--that was what became increasingly unbelievable as the moments ticked by. I had a feeling that it was very, very high. At first it seemed like a star making a pathway among the stars. Going in a rather straight line--it was coming down a trifle and going northward (toward Colon on the Atlantic side--J.T.) I think we must have gasped aloud when it came to a complete standstill for a few moments. And then it started turning over in tiny circles. This, a plane could not possibly do, nor could a weather balloon."
"Anyhow, by this time we were so excited that we wanted to get a look at it through the (astronomical society's) telescope. We rushed out to get the key to the observatory, but by the time we drove the eight miles out there, we lost track of it."
"The next day, the professor checked and found from the Army that there was no weather balloon or plane in the vicinity." (See the book Mysteries of the Skies: UFOs in Perspective by Gordon I.R. Lore Jr. and Harold H. Devault Jr., Prentice-Hall, Inc., New York, N.Y. 1968, pages 112 and 113.)
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.
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