UGANDA MASSACRE TOPS 1978 JONESTOWN CASEAuthorities in Uganda last week said the death toll from the Kanungu massacre had hit 924, exceeding that of the Jonestown mass murders of 1978.
"The death toll in the doomsday sect massacre was raised Friday (March 31, 2000) to 924, bypassing the 1978 Jonestown tragedy in Guyana as the worst modern-day cult-related mass killing."
"Ugandan authorities promised to apprehend the perpetrators of the stabbings, stranglings and burnings but investigators showed no signs of being able to track down sect leaders or even of being able to confirm which-- if any--survived."
"No cult members appear to have survived, though the police believe that some of the leaders, including Joseph Kibweteere, 64, a school administrator, and Credonia Mwerinde, 48, who claimed direct contact with the Virgin Mary--may yet be alive."
Authorities have issued warrants for the areests of Kibweteere, Mwerinde and four members of Mwerinde's family, who were alleged to be members of "The Twelve Apostles," the ruling council of the Movement for the Restoration of God's Ten Commandments.
On Tuesday afternoon, March 28, 2000, "while workers were counting 74 more bodies on a hilltop" in Rugazi, a village in southwestern Uganda, Ugandan homicide detective Terense Kinyera searched the vacant home of a sect leader in Rugazi.
Kinyera "found himself casting a suspicious eye on what appeared to be recently-poured concrete in a closet of the main house."
"Men with heavy iron bars were summoned and they punched a hole in the concrete. Kinyera's suspicion was confirmed. The first dessicated corpse was pulled out an hour later. By the time the sun settled onto the glimmering surface of nearby Lake Edward, 28 more bodies--most of them children--had been laid on the lawn of the home of an excommunicated Catholic priest identified as a cult member. Workers said they saw at least as many waiting to be recovered."
"Like those unearthed at other sites," many of the dead in Rugazi "appeared to have been strangled, one apparently by a banana leaf. Others bore stab wounds. A pathologist gathered tissue samples to test for poison."
"'We're looking at murder,' said Godfrey Bangirana, an assistant police commissioner, pausing on the short stroll from one pile of corpses to the other on a hilltop thick with the smell of death. 'You cannot kill all of these human beings alone. This was an organized crime, and an organized crime cannot be committed by one person. It has to be a group.'"
A total of 155 dead were discovered in Rugazi.
"At the moment, the police are working on the theory that the cult members may have been poisoned, becuse most of the bodies show no sign of violence. There was also apparently little struggle, which may indicate that some cult members did go willingly to their deaths."
"In Uganda, incredibly, the deaths seemed to have involved hundreds of people and to have taken place over weeks or perhaps months--without any hint to the outside world."
Meanwhile, mysteries continue to surround some aspects of the case. On Saturday, April 1, 2000, Ugandan authorities revised upward the number of victims killed at the March 17th fire at the sect's church in Kanungu, a market town 320 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Kampala, the national capital.
The cause of the fire remains unknown. However, "the cult had planned a huge celebration on March 15," to inaugurate a new chapel built over the graves of Mwerinde's parents, "and one priest from the cult reportedly bought a strange kind of party favor: 50 liters of sulfuric acid, which some investigators say may have helped fuel the fire..."
According to Ugandan police spokesman Assuman Mugenyi, "A vehicle usually found at the Kanungu compound was not there after the blaze, Mugenyi said. It was, however, spotted on the night of the (March) 17th at the second compound near Rukungiri, when someone tried to set its buildings alight."
Also revealed last week was the fact that some of the earlier reburied victims were disinterred because the original pathologist reportedly only spent "two minutes examining each body."
"Even the search for more victims faltered Friday (March 31) with investigators putting off indefinitely plans to dig at a fifth sect compound. Police said they would wait until they had proper equipment for the site, located in a remote mountain jungle populated by rebels."
Ugandan authorities seem satisfied with the explanation that sect leaders committed the murders. "Ugandan President Yoweri Museveni has called the killings 'mass murder by these priests for monetary gain.'" (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for March 29, 2000, "Ugandan deaths may be murder," page 4A; and April 2, 2000, "Money may be motive in Ugandan deaths." Also the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for April 1, 2000, "Uganda cult toll hits 924, page 1A.)
(Editor's Comment: It was mass murder, all right, but I'm not so sure it was committed by only six people. Nerve gas could explain the lack of injuries on the remains. An air-delivered or planted napalm bomb could have destroyed the church. Also, who owned the second vehicle? According to news reports, Kibweteere was the only member who owned a car. This looks like the biggest coverup since the Heaven's Gate massacre in March 1997.)
MWERINDE FOUNDED UGANDA SECT AFTER A VISIT FROM THE VIRGIN MARY IN AUGUST 1988The guiding light behind the Movement for the Restoration of God's Ten Commandments was the seeress Credonia Mwerinde, 48, who was born and raised in Kanungu.
During the early 1980s, Mwerinde moved in with her lover, Eric Mazima, and "ran a shop in Kanungu that sold banana beer and a fiery local liquor."
"News accounts have referred to her as a prostitute but residents say that, although she was promiscuous, she was not paid for sex."
"On August 24, 1988, Mwerinde claimed to have had a vision of the Virgin Mary in a cave near the Ugandan village of Ngakishenyi."
(Editor's Comment: Shades of Bernadette Soubirous and the Marian apparition at Lourdes on February 11, 1858.)
One week after the apparition, Mwerinde walked out on her live-in lover. "Mazima challenged her carefully- cultivated image as a religious devotee, saying she claimed her visions and turned to religion only after the couple's joint business went bankrupt."
During a second visitation, the Virgin Mary reportedly told Mwerinde to go "to Nyamitanga and find a man called 'Kibwetere.'"
Born in 1936, Kibweteere was a minor official in Uganda's Ministry of Education. He had a wife, Therese, and a son, Juvenal Mugambwa. He was also very much interested in Marian apparitions and read everything he could lay hands on about the incidents at La Salette, Lourdes and Fatima.
"Four months after leaving her (common-law) husband, Mwerinde met Kibweteere in Nyamitanga, where he said he and his wife had gone to hear her testify about her visions."
"He took Mwerinde into his home" in Kanungu "which served as the cult's compound for three years." A visit from the Virgin Mary soon followed, in which the former Miriam bat-Joachim appointed him a bishop. Thereafter, Kibweteere took to calling himself "The Prophet" and "wearing a bishop's ring and vestments. He never spoke to his family again."
In 1992, the sect recruited a new leader. He was Dominic Kataribabo. Born in Uganda in 1967, Kataribabo "studied for a doctorate in theology at a Los Angeles-area seminary in the mid-1980s."
(Editor's Comment: Funny how all these seers sooner or later go to L.A.)
Kataribabo "got into trouble" in 1990 "with his diocese in Uganda for how he used donations collected in Los Angeles and for his interest in Mwerinde and her talk of visions."
"Kataribabo, 32, became a leader in the cult soon after he was excommunicated in the early 1990s. He taught seminars at the church compound in Kanungu about the cult's prophecies on righteous living and the end of the world."
"His family told police that Kataribabo had been digging a pit to install a refrigerator in his house. Police found 81 bodies and 74 more in a sugar cane field outside."
"Police believe Kataribabo died in the church fire, citing as evidence a clerical collar found on one of the bodies."
(Editor's Comment: It might be a good idea to get a DNA sample from one of the cadaver's internal organs and compare it to DNA samples taken from Kataribabo's relatives. This guy might have faked his death by putting a collar on a ringer and then blowing him away.) (See the Duluth News-Tribune for March 31, 2000, "Twisted visionary led cult, relatives say," page 4A. Also the Minneapolis, Minn. Star-Tribune for April 1, 2000, "The Cult's Leaders," page A17.)
(Editor's Note: Miriam's first apparition took place in Neocaesarea (Latin for New Ceaser City) in the Roman Empire's Pontus province in 238 A.D., about 189 years after her disappearance from Jerusalem.)
UFO HIJACKS CAR IN ULSTER: VICTIM REPORTS SIX HOURS OF "MISSING TIME"An Ulster man claims that his car was lifted off the ground by a UFO, and he experienced six hours of "missing time" as a result.
On Thursday, March 23, 2000, John H., employed at a factory in West Belfast, County Antrim, Northern Ireland, "was on my way home from work after a long and tiring shift which had lasted 24 hours. So, as you can imagine, I wanted to go home to my wife and children and sleep for a few hours."
"But," John reported, "as I was on my way home, I pulled into a petrol (gasoline in the USA--J.T.) station to fill up the tank and noticed to my right a large light in the sky. At first I thought maybe it was the moon. But on looking again, it didn't take on the shape of the moon. Indeed, it took on the shape of an egg."
"I was amazed at what I was looking at. At first I thought to myself, Go and get someone to look at this thing...But, as the thought crossed my mind, something told me to get in the car and drive away from the filling station. Without paying for the petrol or anything!"
"I got into the car and drove away. The thing was following me. I live on the Falls Road in West Belfast, but I was driving the road that leads down to Dublin. I didn't want to go to Dublin! I wanted to go home to my wife and babies. I couldn't understad why I was driving down this road."
"While I was driving, I noticed the object again. It was starting to scare me very much indeed. So much, in fact, I started to scream. Without knowing why, I stopped the car on a hillside road that leads to a farming area northbound on the (motorway) M-3. The car, it seemed, was lifting. I felt it. But for some reason, I was not sure that it was. It was as though someone was screwing with my brain. Telling me what to think."
"All I can remember after this was driving on the Whiterock/Donegal Road and back to my house on the Falls Road. The funny thing about it is, on my way home from work, it takes five minutes to get to my home from the filling station. But it was 2:30 a.m. before I got home."
"I have about six hours of my life gone, and I can't account for it. I want to know what is going on, and I have to know it now."
MYSTERY BOOMS STARTLE PEOPLE IN NORTHERN ITALYOn Thursday, March 23, 2000, at 10:15 p.m., a merchant in Val di Mara, a town in La Spezia province in Italy "saw a strange glow in the sky and then observed a luminous body heading towards Earth." The object "had a small white tail, and it was accompanied by two loud explosions."
"A short while earlier, two young lovers saw a faint trail in the sky" near Val di Mara "and heard a very loud explosion."
According to Italy's Centro Italiano di Studi Ufologici (CISU), mystery booms were heard that evening in Lecco, a city on Lago (Lake) Como 80 kilometers (50 miles) north of Milano (Milan); in Trezzo sull'Adda, near Milano; in the city of Firenze (Florence) and in several villages in the provinces of Bologna and Savona.
GLOWING RED UFO SEEN OVER SUDBURY, ONTARIOOn Thursday, March 16, 2000, at ufologist Michel Deschamps was in the Four Corners area of Sudbury, Ontario, Canada (population 93,000) when he spotted an unusually bright light in the sky.
"At around 9:45 p.m.," Deschamps reported, "my two friends, Brian and Earl, and I were coming back from the Four Corners area of Sudbury when I looked out the right rear passenger-side window and noticed a light up in the eastern sky. It was pinkish red in color and pulsated at the same rate as those found on communication towers located around the city. But unlike the tower lights, it would not completely go off."
"As we went past the General Hospital, I began looking at the sky and could no longer see the light, which was odd as it was at a fair height (altitude--J.T.) and could have been easily noticeable from Paris Street."
"I later called my colleague Todd to tell him about it," Deschamps added, "and he said he'd check for flights of the Air Ambulance and see if there were any communication towers in the area. He called back a few days later and said he couldn't find out if the (medevac) helicopter had flown that night, but he did say there was a tower at the far end of Lake Ramsey."
A week later, on Thursday, March 23, 2000, he was driving with two other friends, Eric and Ben, and "took the opportunity to look over to the east and did notice a tower in the distance. But the light was very small and very low on the horizon."
On Sunday, March 26, 2000, at 8:30 p.m., Deschamps and his friend Todd were standing on the sidewalk, outside Deschamps's home, conversing, when "I happened to look up in the sky, at approximately 90 degrees (directly overhead--J.T.) and spotted another strange light in the sky. I saw what looked like a single bright flash, then barely noticed a second one from the corner of my eye."
"As Todd looked on, I told him I was going upstairs to get my binoculars. When I came down, he said he had seen two more flashes and told me to point my binoculars in the direction of the Big Dipper."
(Editor's Note: Over the years, UFO Roundup has printed several accounts of witnesses seeing UFOs flee in the direction of the Big Dipper, also known as the constellation Ursa Major.)
"Todd said the flashes seemed to be heading that way in a straight line."
"As we both looked up, a man in a pickup truck stopped and asked what we were looking at...Todd didn't want to say anything, but I told him what we saw and he stood there for a few minutes before driving off. Suggested we call the paper to report this because he reads the paper a lot and would like to read about it."
The pair kept watch for several minutes more but the mysterious flashes did not reappear.
BRIGHT UFO SIGHTED IN BLOOMINGTON, INDIANAOn Tuesday, March 28, 2000, at 11:10 p.m., Peter S. was outside his home in Bloomington, Indiana (population 60,700), a city on Indiana Highway 37 approximately 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Indianapolis, when he saw a motionless bright light in the sky.
"It looked like a bright star in the northwest sky low on the horizon," Peter reported, "It didn't move until a minute or two after I saw it. It looked like it was going straight up for a bit and then it was apparent that it was coming straight in my direction (i.e. to the southeast--J.T.) It flew straight over my head."
"While it was straight over my head, it was the same brightness and size as it was in the distance. It looked like a moving star. There was only the one solid light, no blinking lights, no red or green lights. I'm really sure it wasn't a plane. I have no idea what it was." (Email Form Report.)
FAST-MOVING DAYLIGHT DISC SEEN IN UPSTATE NEW YORKOn Tuesday, March 21, 2000, at 2:47 p.m., Joseph B. was outdoors in the small town of Ballston Spa, New York (population 5,000) when he noticed a strange silvery gleam in the sky.
"The UFO was moving from south to north, heading for the Lake Champlain area," he reported, "It was a large circular flying disk. Very shiny. I estimate that it was about 7 meter (23 feet) high and 14 meters (46 feet) wide. It was really moving!"
ARCHAEOLOGISTS FIND A BURIED PYRAMID IN EGYPTA group of French archaeologists have discovered the remnants of a pyramid dating all the way back to 2,000 B.C.
The discovery was announced last week at the Worldwide Conference on Egyptology now going on in Cairo.
Egyptian workers "employed by Jean Leclant, a French Egyptologist, on Saturday, March 25, 2000, discovered the foundations of a pyramid belonging to the wife of Pharoah Pepi in Saqqara, near the royal cemetery, located about 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of Cairo."
"Leclant's team has pinpointed the burial chamber of Queen Ankh-sn-Pepi and also excavated a large stone upon which are written several texts and special prayers for the protection of the dead."
"'Who knows what they'll find inside?' said Gabala Ali Gabala, a director of the Supreme Council for Egyptian Antiquities."
The pyramid appears to be at least 4,000 years old.
"The team continues work on the excavation, one of the best preserved," and the project "is expected to end in May," 2000. (Muto obrigado ao Visitantes Cosmias do Brasil para esa historia.
(Editor's Comment: Maybe one of our UFO Roundup correspondents in Egypt can send us a translation of Queen Ankh-sn-Pepi's funeral stone. It would be nice to know which wizard wrote it. Maybe there's a mentuion of Atlantis or at least directions to the long-lost Obelisk of Retenu.)
ELVIS RUNS FOR MAYOR IN WISCONSINVoters were surprised and amused Tuesday, April 4, 2000 when the name of Elvis Aron Presley turned up on the municipal ballot in Phillips, Wisconsin.
"If Jesse Ventura can succeed in politics, why not an Elvis impersonator who has legally changed his name to Elvis Aron Presley in honor of the late rock 'n' roll king?"
"Presley, who moved to this Price County community," Phillips, Wisconsin (population 1,600) two years ago from West Dundee, Illinois (population 3,800) says he identifies with Ventura, the former pro wrestler now serving as Minnesota's governor."
"'If the people of that state can put a wrestler in office, I don't see what's wrong with the people of Wisconsin electing an Elvis impersonator,' said Presley, proprietor of Bloom's Tavern, a 108-tear-old drinking establishment listed on the National Register of Historic Places."
"'Ventura and I have a lot in common,' Presley said, 'He's a wrestler, and I'm a performer. We're both political outsiders.'"
"Voters in this community of 1,600 people will choose between Presley and Keith Corcilius."
"Corcilius said his opponent lacks experience in government."
"Presley, 50, said he wants to be taken seriously but he admits some voters might think he's just a rebel without a cause." (See the Chicago-Tribune for April 3, 2000, "Elvis alive and running for mayor in Wisconsin," page 4.)
from the UFO Files...
1944: UFO GOES SUPERSONIC OVER TARAWAThree years before Roswell, during April of 1944, there was a flurry of UFO sightings in both the USA and on different World War Ii battlefields around the globe.
One such battlefield was Tarawa, a small island atoll in the central Pacific Ocean. This lonely outpost of Japan's Pacific empire was invaded by an Allied task force on November 20, 1943. After eight days of heavy fighting, the U.S. Marine Corps took possession of the island.
Five months after the battle, the U,S. Navy had set up an early warning detection system in the central Pacific. Radar stations on Tarawa, manned by Navy personnel, kept watch for any signs of Japanese activity.
One day in April 1944, Navy Lieutenant (j.g.) Matthew P. Dillingham took over as OD (Officer of the Deck--J.T.) at the Argus 16 Combat Intelligence Center (CIC) on Tarawa. There were three radar sets in the Argus 16 command center.
As Lt. Dillingham was doing his paperwork for the captain, he heard one of the sailors remark, "Sir, I've got a bogey."
Hurrying to the radar set, the lieutenant asked, "What have you got?"
"Single plane, sir. Coming in from the north. And she's coming in hot."
As Lt. Dillingham noted in his letter to UFO investigator Major Donald E. Keyhoe, Argus 16 "suddenly picked up a 'bogey'...the blip of an unknown object...moving swiftly from north to south. The speed was calculated at approximately 700 miles per hour (1,120 kilometers per hour--J.T.)-- far greater than any aircraft then known to exist."
Immediately Lt. Dillingham picked up the telephone and called "the old man." Within a minute, the captain, his executive officer and the intelligence officer were in the control room. Lt. Dillingham repeated the story of what had happened.
Major Keyhoe wrote, "The radar sets were in excellent condition, and the operators, Dillingham emphasizes, were all expert plotters. Even so, some incredulous Navy officers first called it poor calibration."
"But not long after this, there was a second mysterious 'bogey,' and again Navy plotters computed the speed at 700 miles per hour."
"When this happened once more, Dillingham and his group knew there was no error."
"There seemed only two possible answers: either this was a completely solid object under guidance. Or, by some miracle, the Japanese had jumped far ahead (of the USA) and and produced a supersonic plane."
(Editor's Comment: Wouldn't you just love to read the Estimate of the Situation the Pacific commander, Admiral Chester W. Nimitz, must have sent to General George C. Marshall, chairman of the Joint Chiefs of Staff, about this "supersonic Japanese airplane?")
When the war ended in 1945, U.S. Navy officers debriefed the admirals of the Imperial Japanese Navy. They specifically asked about the "supersonic plane" that had overflown Tarawa in April 1944.
The Japanese admirals had no idea what they were talking about.
The sound barrier was finally broken in August 1947 by an experimental rocket plane, the Bell X-1, also known as the Glamorous Glennis, flown by Chuck Yeager.
But the "Tarawa mystery" remained an enigma until the big Roswell UFO flap in July 1947. (See the book Mysteries of the Skies: UFOs in Perspective by Gordon I.R. Lore Jr. and Harold H. Deneault Jr., Prentice-Hall Inc., New York, N.Y., 1968, pages 126 and 127.)
(Editor's Note: The battle of Tarawa, which raged from November 20 to November 28 in 1943, claimed the lives of 980 U.S. Marines and 22 U.S. Navy sailors. No, some of us have not forgotten.)
(Editor's Comment: Boy, it's a good thing Al Gore isn't running for president of South Africa.)
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.