BIGFOOT SPOTTED IN NORTHUMBERLAND, UK
"A team of full-time 'monster hunters' from the Exeter, England-based Centre for Fortean Zoology (named after an early chronicler of all things mysterious, Charles Fort--Nick Redfern) have obtained exciting evidence for the existence of a so-called British Bigfoot."
"The four-man team, which is comprised of author and journalist Jonathan Downes, professional zoologists Richard Freeman and John Fuller, arrived at Bolam Lake, Northumberland," on Thursday, January 16, 2003 "to investigate recent reports of a large 'ape man' seen in the area by several independent witnesses."
"In cooperation with the North-of-England-based Twilight Worlds Paranormal Research Group, Downes and his team have carried out an in-depth investigation of the incidents in question and have unearthed some startling new evidence."
"On the evening of Saturday, 18 January (2003), Downes and three members of the Twilight Worlds Paranormal Research Group joined the ever-growing band of witnesses to the mysterious creature when they saw it, too."
"Downes, whose monster-hunting quest began as a child in the 1960s, described the 'Beast of Bolam Lake' as being around 8 feet (2.4 meters) in height, 3 feet (0.9 meters) wide and dark in colour."
"'We only saw it for a few seconds, then it vanished into the trees,' says Downes. 'This is the latest in a lengthening series of Big Hairy Man sghtings which have confounded zoologists and which has taken place in the last six months.' He adds, 'I have been a professional monster hunter for years, but the thing I saw has prompted me to completely reevaluate my world-view.'"
"Thirty-three-year-old Freeman, who previously worked at Twycross Zoo, states, 'This is undoubtedly the most important Fortean zoological incident in the past half-century.'"
"The events at Bolam Lake are part of a larger nationwide spate of similar reports that have included (Bigfoot) encounters at Cannock Chase, Staffordshire; Sussex; Sherwood Forest (Nottinghamshire--J.T.) of Robin Hood fame; Cambria; and Longridge Fell, Lancashire...a place reknowned for its 'monster sightings.'"
"Hair samples acquired by the team at the site (Bolam Lake) of the mysterious encounter are to be examined by specialists in Scotland, England, the USA and Denmark."
"Last year (2002) the Centre for Fortean Zoology attracted major media coverage when they solved the mystery of 'The Monster of the Mere.' Numerous people had reported sightings of a strange creature within Martin Mere (lake), Lancashire, England, that Downes and his team was able to identify as a large catfish." (Many thanks to Loren Coleman and Nick Redfern for this report.)
(Editor's Comment: Welcome to Target: UK Week at UFO Roundup. Bigfoot wasn't the only oddity to turn up in the British Isles last week. Read on...)
PHANTOM PANTHER KILLS FOUR SHEEP IN SCOTLAND
"Police and wildlife experts are hunting for a big cat amid fears the beast, which savaged four sheep, could strike again."
"A large animal with cat-like claws struck at a farm in Killour, Perthshire," Scotland, UK "last week. It had eaten a substantial part of one sheep and returned later to feast on the remains of another."
"The farmer and a forestry worker saw an animal emerging from woodlands early the following evening but were unable to get a clear look" at the creature.
"Police are investigating the incident and officers think a large cat or dog was to blame."
"Wildife officer Allen Stewart said, 'Four sheep were killed, and they had big marks on their throats and scratches.'"
"'Generally, dogs' claws are pretty blunt, and some of the marks look like they could only have been inflicted by a cat. There's no way it could have been a fox, but I wouldn't like to say for sure that it was a big cat or dogs.'"
"Wool was torn off the attacked sheep and the rest of the flesh was spotted the following evening when the mystery animal was nearby."
"Stewart said there had been no sightings of big cats in the area in recent times and the deaths were a mystery."
"He said that if a big cat was living in the area, he would have expected it to have struck on a more regular basis."
"He said cats and dogs often returned to areas where they had carried out killings, and the farmer was remaining vigilant."
One of the best-documented phantom panther sightings took place in 1994 when movie "actress Sarah Miles had a memorable encounter near her house in West Sussex." Ms. Miles was quoted as saying,"'a large jet black cat stood, posing almost, high on the bank...Roughly the size of Lovely (her Old English mastiff--P.S.) but with enormous paws, quite out of proportion to the rest of him. His tail, longer than his own body length, was held straight out, with a little curl at the end. His face seemed square from his profile, with pointed, erect ears. Sadly, without turning once in my direction, the majestic animal clambered down the bank and loped across the lane, hips rolling with a loose-limbed easy gait, before leaping effortlessly up the bank and out of sight.'" (See the Daily Record of Glasgow for January 24, 2003, "Farmer fears as big cat slaughters sheep." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this newspaper article. And for the Sarah Miles sighting, see the Daily Telegraph for October 26, 1998, page 14. Also Fortean Times #167 for March 2003, page 28. Many thanks to Paul Sieveking for this sighting.)
(Editor's Note: Scotland is notorious for its phantom panther incidents. Between July and November 1980, there were dozens of panther sightings in the Achnashellach Forest. See the Daily Record for July 26 and July 30, 1980; the Aberdeen Press & Journal for September 9, 1980; and The Scotsman for October 30, 1980.)
HOVERING UFO SIGHTED IN GLOUCESTERSHIRE, UK
A strange hovering light was seen by residents of the Forest of Dean, near Gloucester, UK, but "they did not know what it was."
The stationary light "was seen over Harrow Hill, near Cinderford, during the early hours of Tuesday," January 21, 2003.
"Steven Taylor, 39, one of the residents who saw the light at 12:30 a.m., described the light as 'very brilliant.'"
"'It was like the light of an airplane, but nothing like a helicopter, and it had no sound. I have no idea what it was, and I couldn't hope to describe it. It was strange!' said Elizabeth Fletcher, 64," another local eyewitness.
"She added, 'It was a very strange pulsating light.'"
"'I thought that something had entered my house, or that it was the police helicopter,' Robin Cole said, adding that" the UFO "looked like 'two brilliant planets that could be seen at the present moment.'" (See the newspaper This Is Gloucestershire for January 22, 2003. Muito obrigado a Pedro Luz Cunha por eso caso.)
HOW GREEN WAS MY UFO
"Phil Hoyle of the UFO Investigations and Research Unit has been investigating reports of UFO sightings for 20 years and wants to hear from anyone who has seen anything strange in the night, or even daytime, sky."
"Wales has a rich 'history' of UFO sightings, from the Roswell-type alleged crash of a flying saucer in the Berwyn Mountains in January 1974 to the most recent sighting by scores of people of two unknown objects flying over Swansea and the Gower in 1998."
"Pembrokeshire, in particular, is considered a UFO hotspot with a rash of strange sightings in the mid-to- late 1970s."
"Although a Milford Haven businessman, Glyn Edwards, has since admitted to taking a stroll in a silver suit at the time, many strange sightings are still unexplained, including a saucer-shaped object hovering near a school in Broad Haven."
"Since the heady days of the mid-to-late 1970s, Pembrokeshire sightings, which some believe were linked to top secret defence bases in the county, have declined- -as, of course, has its military role."
"However, only a few years ago, in 1997, there were several sightings of a mysterious triangular craft and unexplained balls of light over Cardigan Bay."
"Mr. Hoyle, who holidays regularly in Pembrokeshire, is convinced that there is something out there and that governments know all about it."
"He had his own UFO experience one evening while staying at Haroldston Wood in March 2000, where he and his wife saw a bright light of the same size and luminosity of the star Sirius moving slowly across the sky from west to east."
"'I looked at the object through my binoculars and I could see a bright white sphere; then suddenly a small red object shot out of bottom left-hand side of the white sphere,' he said."
"'The sphere carried on slowly towards Havorfordwest and disappeared below the horizon, but the small red object seemed to stay in the same place as it was ejected from. The small object darted horizontally over an approximate distance of 500 feet (150 meters); it moved in an eccentric zigzag manner from left to right.'"
"He said too many people had similar experiences of UFOs and alien encounters for them to be dismissed out of hand."
"'There's a lot of things happening, but they need to be looked at scientifically,' he said."
"The powers that be are well aware that there is something out there. They also know that they have a technology beyond what we can only dream of.'"
"The most famous Pembrokeshire sighting took place in February 1977 when 14 pupils at a Broad Haven primary school claimed to have seen a cigar-shaped spacecraft land in a field next to their playground just after lunch time."
"Some of the children even claimed to have seen spacemen around the aircraft dressed in silvery grey."
"When the headmaster asked them to draw what they had seen, he was astonished to find that the drawings were almost identical."
"Further sightings in the county of glowing lights and spacemen poured in over the following months." (See the newspaper The Western Mail for January 18, 2003, "UFO hunter seeks sightings in Wales." Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour cette article de journal.)
UFOs FLY OVER A SEAPORT IN ARGENTINA
"Once again the coastal city of Necochea," in Argentina's province of Buenos Aires, "has been visited by UFOs."
"On Friday, January 17, 2003, Hugo Exequiel Reinoso, an electrical technician by trade, observed a strange light of considerable proportions from the door of his home at 10 p.m."
"The object moved from south to east at a constant speed and velocity, stopping abruptly at a given point in the sky before changing course and heading north," towards Buenos Aires, the national capital.
"The object was circular in shape, similar to an Argentinian 50-centavo piece, and could be made out clearly in the night sky. It made no noise whatsoever during the observation, which lasted approximately 15 seconds."
"This UFO sighting can be added to one which occurred" in Necochea "a few days ago (Monday, January 13, 2003), when several people observed three large multi-colored orbs fly over the sea and the city."
Necochea is on Argentina's South Atlantic shore approximately 144 kilometers (90 miles) southwest of Mar del Plata and about 320 kilometers (200 miles) due south of the city of Buenos Aires. (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Guillermo Gimenez para eso informe.)
UFOs SIGHTED NORTH OF SAO PAULO, BRAZIL
Two UFO incidents were reported in recent weeks over Sampa, a cidade satelite (suburb) north of Sao Paulo, Brazil, the largest city in South America.
On Sunday, January 12, 2003, eyewitness Roberto Pintucci reported, "The first occurrence happened at my house in Sampa. I was with my son and two of my friends when I saw the object pass overhead. We all saw a distinctive metallic disc that made no sound, and we all thought it was 'quite pretty.'"
"One week passed, and on (Sunday) January 19, 2003, we saw a second object that was spherical and made of silver, hovering above a row of tall apartment houses here in Sampa. It hovered for several minutes, and then it disappeared. We are certain that this was not a ballon or a blimp off in the distance."
"I saw it first," Roberto reported, "and it was one of many times we has seen such things here in Sampa. I used my binoculars to observe this daylight disc. However, I could not perceive anything more definite than its distinctive form. I know that I have truly seen a UFO."
COUPLE SEES AN ORANGE UFO IN WISCONSIN
On Tuesday, January 14, 2003, at 6:15 p.m., Steve A. reported, "Me and my wife were heading west on Highway 54 into Wisconsin Rapids (population 18,435), and I noticed an orange object in the sky followed by another one. I pointed it out to my wife and questioned what it was. I have no idea."
"There were four dots in a straight line. When the fifth appeared, the first one faded. It was like this for about ten minutes, all the while heading north."
"After the dots faded, there was like crystal dust floating and shimmering where the dots had been."
"On Thursday, January 16, 2003, a lady called into the WYTE radio station. She had seen them that night over Pittsville, Wis. (population 866)."
Wisconsin Rapids is located about 110 miles (176 kilometers) north of Madison, the state capital. Pittsville is on Highway 80 about 15 miles (25 kilometers) west of Wisconsin Rapids. (Many thanks to John Hoppe of UFO Wisconsin for this report.)
THREE RED UFOs SPOTTED IN PUERTO RICO
On Wednesday, January 15, 2003, Prof. Reinaldo Rios was outdoors at his home and "noticed strange lights approaching from the west. Looking toward the mountain of Sierra Bermeja Lajas here in Puerto Rico, I saw three intense red lights. They were hovering above the mountaintop. They were red and orange. They seemed to be 100 feet (30 meters) above the mountaintop."
"These objects hovered for several minutes and then departed to the north. I phoned every radio station in my area, but I received no response about the sighting." (Email Form Report)
VAMPIRES ON THE LOOSE IN SOUTHERN AFRICA?
About the strangest news of the month has surfaced in the small southern African nation of Malawi.
"A radio journalist was arrested in Malawi for interviewing a man who claimed he was attacked by vampires."
Radio newsman "Maganizo Mazeze was charged with broadcasting false news that could lead to public unrest."
"Rumors have been swirling round the southern African country since late last year (2002) that the (Malawi) government was colluding with vampires to collect human blood for international aid agencies."
"President Bakili Muluzi blamed the stories on opposition groups. Since the rumors began, villagers have beaten to death two men suspected of being vampires. Several priests were attacked on suspicion of harboring vampires." (See USA Today for January 20, 2003, "Journalist arrested over vampire story.")
(Editor's Comment: Meanwhile, on the banks of the Dimbovija in Transylvania, Count Dracula puts a reflective mirror under his chin and basks in the light of the full moon. If the old boy gets enough "color," he can move to Malawi and "pass" for an African.)
ONCE UPON A MIDNIGHT DREARY...
"A hooded man crept into a downtown Baltimore (Maryland) graveyard before dawn" on Sunday, January 19, 2003 "and raised a birthday toast to Edgar Allan Poe."
"Continuing a 54-year tradition, the man, whose identity remains unknown, put his hand on the poet's tombstone, bowed, placed three red roses and a half-empty bottle of Martel cognac on the grave and then slipped away."
The visits of the mysterious Man in Black occur annually at the grave of Poe, the famous Nineteenth Century American author who penned such horror classics as The Telltale Heart, The Pit and the Pendulum, The Raven and The Fall of the House of Usher.
"The visit was first documented in 1949, a century after Poe's death. In 1993, the original visitor left a note saying, 'The torch will be passed.'"
"Jeff Jerome, curator of the Poe House and Museum," located at 123 North Amity Street in Baltimore and reputed to be the most haunted house in the USA, "watched the ritual. 'It would be very easy to step out from our hiding place and expose him, but no one wants to ruin this mystery,' he said." (See USA Today for January 20, 2003, "Mysterious visitor marks poet's birthday," page 3A.)
(Editor's Comment: After last year's MIB-at-Poe's-grave story, UFO Roundup got some strange emails. One claimed that Poe was assassinated because "he knew too much about the South Pole." Another asserted that "the House of Usher" was some kind of weird anagram for Bush. But my favorite was the one that said the world will come to an end when the stuffed raven in the Poe House starts flapping its wings and screeching, "Tekeli-li! Tekeli- lie!")
From the UFO Files...
1902: SANDSTORM FROM BEYOND
Just over a century ago, on Wednesday, January 22, 1902, the southwestern tip of UK was struck by an anomalous sandstorm. Red and yellowish grains of sand fell on Glamorganshire (Wales), Gloucestershire, Somerset, Dorset, Devon and Cornwall, literally across a weather front covering 50 miles (80 kilometers).
"It will be seen that the dust fell over practically the whole of Cornwall, reappearing again at a few points in Somerset, the extreme south of Gloucester and Glamorgan," wrote Dr. H.R. Mill of 62 Camden Square, London, yet a few areas within the region were spared. "Nothing of the kind was noted at Barnstable, Taunton, Newton Abbott, Portland, or North Cadbury, near Wincanton."
"A correspondent from the Western Morning News, writing from Bere Alston, says, 'A labourer here speaks of a light hail shower on Thursday last (January 23, 1902), which was accompanied by a dust fog. His account resembles the descriptions we have of those fine dust showers which, at a distance of 400 or 500 miles (640 to 800 kilometers) from the coast of Africa, envelop vessels in a thick fog.'"
"Rev. J.A. Wix, of Quethwick, speaks of a washing hung out to dry on the night of the (January) 23rd being found next morning, 'splashed to such an extent by some yellowish 'mess' that all had to be re-washed,' while the cabbages were covered with a dust resembling Peruvian guano."
"Mr. E.W. Waite, the Waterworks Engineer of the Barry Urban District Council, writes us---"
"'The fall of rain ending on Thursday the (January) 23rd at 9 a.m. was a light one, only 0.03 inches, the wind very light from the W.N.W. ( west-northwest; my emphasis--J.T.) The deposit, like a very fine dust, coated the iron railings and fences with a salmon-pink colour. I was very much struck with some ordinary wire- netting (chainlink fence in the USA--J.T.) which appeared to have been painted with a brush. The deposit was particularly noticeable on Barry Island, although I found it to a lesser extent at Barry itself.'"
"Earl Waldegrave, writing from Chewton Priory, to the Western Daily Press, says---"
"'Wednesday the (January) 22nd was with us very warm, with wet mist, only measuring 0.02 inches of rain. Afterwards the glass and woodwork of the greenhouses and frames were covered with a rust-colored dust, which has left stains on the paint.'"
"Sir Edward Fry, writing to Nature of February 6th (1902), from Falland, near Bristol, says---'My men here noticed on Thursday last, the (January) 23rd instant, that the leaves, glasses of the (window) frames and iron- work of the gates were smeared with a reddish mud; one hedge in particular they describe as almost covered with the substance, and the pinafores of a cottager's children which were hanging out to dry were so stained with the deposit that they had to be re-washed. When the substance fell no one here knows. nor is it clear whether it fell as dust or mud; from the first way in which it has attached itself to the iron-work, I should think that it fell as mud.'"
What's the big deal? conventional scientists would ask. The red dust that fell on Cornwall obviously came from the Sahara desert of North Africa. Or maybe from south-central Spain.
But the actual weather reports of the period argue against such a conclusion. As Dr. Mill pointed out, "An examination of the Daily Weather Charts shows that, from the (January) 20th to the 23rd (1902), the weather of the south of England was controlled by a high pressure area, the centre of which lay over the west of France and the Bay of Biscay until the (January) 23rd, when it moved a little eastward. The wind over the whole of the west and south of England was westerly, with a southerly component, and light; and the rainfall was very slight, a little snow lying in some places."
However, in those areas hit hardest by the enigmatic red dust, the wind had no "southerly component." It was blowing from the west-northwest.
In short, the prevailaing wind was blowing across the Irish Sea over Cornwall, Devon and Somerset, carrying tons of red dust from...where?
There are no deserts in Ireland to account for the red dust. And it certainly didn't come from snow-covered Iceland and Greenland.
All of which leaves us with an intriguing question: Where did the red dust that covered the southwestern UK during the early morning hours of January 23, 1902 come from? (See Handbook of Unusual Natural Phenomena, compiled by William R. Corliss, The Sourcebook Project, Glen Arm, Maryland, 1997, pages 512 and 512. See also Symon's Monthly Meteorological Magazine for March 1902, "Dust Showers in the South-West of England," 37: 1-4.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you next time.
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2003 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news items from UFO Roundup on their websites or in news groups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of issue in which the item first appeared.