UFO ROUNDUP

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Volume 8
Number 8
February 19, 2003

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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COLUMBIA DISASTER CAUSE IS STILL UNKNOWN

The cause of the space shuttle Columbia's catastrophic breakup during reentry into Earth's atmosphere on Saturday, February 1, 2003, is still unknown, but the NASA inquiry board is focusing attention on some probable scenarios.

"A preliminary analysis concludes that searing-hot air found its way into the shuttle Columbia's left wing before the shuttle broke apart, NASA officials said Thursday," February 13, 2003.

"Investigators still have to determine how the outside of the shuttle was penetrated. But temperature hikes shown by sensors in the left wing mean that superheated air burned or seeped through the shuttle's aluminum skin. Any intrusion by this superheated air, or 'plasma,' during reentry would be catastrophic."

"A cocoon of plasma envelops the shuttle when it reenters the atmosphere. The air measures 2,000 to 3,000 degrees (Fahrenheit). The shuttle's outside is armored with a heat shield. But the inside can't withstand such heat. The analysis makes it less likely that heating of the shuttle's aluminum skin alone caused Columbia to be destroyed, NASA spokesman James Hartsfield said."

"Since the loss of Columbia and its seven-member crew Feb. 1, engineers have sought to explain temperature rises measured during the shuttle's last moments. Sensors in or near the shuttle's left wheel well showed rising temperatures between 8:52 a.m. ET (Eastern time) and 8:59 a.m., when controllers lost contact."

(Editor's Note: At 5:52 a.m. Pacific time (8:52 a.m. Eastern time), Columbia was flying over California when it was apparently struck by some kind of energy bolt, a phenomenon photographed by an amateur astronomer in San Francisco. See UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 7 for February 12, 2003, " Columbia destroyed by weird energy bolt," page 1.)

"'You'd have to have a breach and plasma flow...to create that temperature trend,' Hartsfeld said."

"Hartsfield cautioned that engineers must double-check the analysis. But they are studying how the plasma might have flowed inside the left wing."

"Possible breach points include:"

"The front or 'leading' edge of the shuttle's left wing. Some experts have speculated that this area may have been damaged when insulation from the shuttle's fuel tank hit the wing during launch" on January 16, 2003.

"An open landing-gear door or a leak in the door's seal. One sensor showed Columbia's left landing-gear was down 26 seconds before contact with the shuttle was lost. But two other sensors showed the gear hadn't deployed. The drag on the shuttle's left wing was lower than would be expected if the gear had deployed, Hartsfield said."

"About seven minutes before the shuttle lost contact at 8:59:32 a.m. ET (Eastern time), the first unusual sensor reading appeared. It showed increasing heat in a hydraulic line near the left landing gear. Other nearby hydraulic temperature sensors quickly followed suit."

"Though the temperature increases were not severe, NASA concluded they could have come only from a break in the skin on the left wing. It appears that the break was relatively small at first because the shuttle flew normally until just before it broke up."

"'It's really a function of how much plasma is getting in,'" said Ashley Emery, an engneering professor at the University of Washington state.

"Over time, the plasma would create a bigger breach."

"'Eventually, the hole gets bigger and bigger and it gets critical--it starts to go really fast,' said John Hansman, an aeronautics and astronautics professor at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology."

While many at NASA dismissed the "weird energy bolt" as a glitch in the amateur astronomers Nikon 880 digital camera, some scientists wondered if the shuttle might have been struck by little-known electrical phenomena of the high atmosphere.

"Red sprites are electrical discharges in the upper atmosphere. They occur over thunderclouds and have been considered to pose less than a 1-in-100 risk to the shuttle. Some rainstorm clouds did appear over northern California during reentry last Saturday," February 1, 2003, but no lightning was reported on the ground, says atmospheric scientist Walter Lyons of FMA Research in Fort Collins, Colorado."

"Blue jets are upward lightning strikes. In 1998, Lyons and a team of scientists reported one that was sparked by a meteor."

"'The safety implications are just a gaping hole in our knowledge,' he says."

"Meanwhile, Lyons says, scientists are still discovering unexplained phenomena" in the high atmosphere. 'We're nickle-and-diming to do our research,' he says, 'And there is all sorts of electrical foolishness going on up there that we still don't know anything about.'" (See USA Today for February 14, 2003, "Searing air got inside shuttle," page 1A, and "Plasma breach doesn't answer shuttle mystery," page 17A; for February 12, 2003, "Tapes show NASA actions when Columbia was lost," page 4A; and February 7, 2003, "Upper atmosphere may hold clues in Columbia mystery," page 6A. See also the Orlando, Fla. Sentinel for February 13, 2003, page 1.)

THE CLONING OF SADDAM?

In his speech before the United Nations on Wednesday, February 5, 2003, USA Secretary of State Colin Powell said Iraqi ruler Saddam Hussein had small biological warfare factories that "can be concealed easily, either by moving ordinary looking trucks and rail cars along Iraq's thousands of miles of highway or track, or by parking them in a garage or warehouse, or somewhere in Iraq's extensive system of underground tunnels or bunkers."

Gen. Powell's mention of secret underground bases in Iraq prompted UFO Roundup to see what additional information could be found, given persistent rumors in Iraq that claim aliens have been given refuge in the as-Zab as-Saghir (Little Zab River) valley in Iraq's northern Irbil province. (See UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 51, for December 2002, "Saddam's Area 51?" page 1.)

According to the Australian newspaper Herald-Sun, "Saddam Hussein is so fearful of an attempt on his life that he is constantly shadowed by his bodyguards, even while taking a dip (swim) in Baghdad's Tigris River."

"To avoid falling victim to even his own bodyguards, Saddam is a walking arsenal," packing two-barreled derringers in his uniform sleeves and trouser legs. He reportedly favors .32 caliber derringers, which he has made to order. "He has concealed weapons all over his body. He also has panic buttons to press if he even suspects somebody is about to attack him."

Anyone seeking an appointment with Saddam must first undergo a pat-down, full-body search by his sons, Uday and Qusay. This includes even the Iraqi Deputy Prime Minister Tariq Aziz.

The Iraqi ruler is also surrounded by a mysterious group called the Murasiq Qun (Arabic for Inner Circle--J.T.) This quasi-Masonic "secret brotherhood" serves as Saddam's elite corps of personal bodyguards.

One member of the Murasiq Qun, Abu Hamdi Mahmoud, defected to Israel and told the Mossad that "UN inspectors failed to visit the underground chemical weapons facility at the southern end of the Chadray peninsula in Baghdad."

UFO Roundup Middle East correspondent Ayesha al-Khatabi reports, "I heard from a friend in Arassat (residential district on the south side of Baghdad--J.T.).
Hiba Rashid says Saddam is spending a lot of time in Tikrit, the town where he was born. But this is what is puzzling. At the same time he was seen in Tikrit, he was making a speech to some soldiers in Mansur (a Baghdad suburb--J.T.). Hiba says the talk in the al-Ghazal souk (open-air market) is that Saddam has hired actors to become his doubles. But others say Saddam has cloned himself!"

"Now, just a couple of kilometers north of Tikrit is al-Ouja. A very large underground complex was built there five years ago (1998), perhaps with the help of the aliens. The entrance to the underground base is through a house in Tikrit. It is the house of one of Saddam's cousins, and it is only one kilometer (0.6 miles) from the base where all the weapons are stored."

"Joe, do you remember your story about the 'spook light' of Ramadi?"

(Editor's Note: Sure do, Ayesha. Check it out, readers, in UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 4 for January 22, 2003, "1924: Iraq's mysterious spook light," page 8.)

"Well, Hiba says there is activity in Ramadi, and it has nothing to do with afriti (spooks--J.T.). Large pits are being dug around Ramadi. The work is done at night. Before dawn the engineers conceal their trucks and tractors in the pit and cover it over with large desert-camoflauge nets to block the view of American satellites.
The souk gossip says missiles are being assembled there. In Ramadi, there is a restaurant on the right-hand side of the road as you drive into town from the west.

Oriental people have been see eating there. They order the tikka chicken but they cannot eat the nan bread so they ask for rice."

"I talked to some Bedouins at the souk in Qasr-al- Kharanah (eastern Jordan--J.T.) and they said there were two new underground bunkers in the Western Desert of Iraq, south of the Wadi Hawran. But they don't know anything more about them."

Correspondent Mohammed Daud al-Hayyat reported, "In Zarzi, they talk of many doubles of Saddam. Are these clones? No one can say for certain. However, there was a strange incident Thursday last (February 6, 2003) in Kelek, a village to the north of Mosul."

"Mohammed Hafez al-Tabiri drives a petrol (gasoline in the USA--J.T.) truck, and he made a delivery to the petrol station in Kelek. After filling the underground tanks, the driver rolled out his prayer rug, bowed towards Mecca and recited his midday prayers. Then he saw a large ZIL (Russian-built) truck pulling a flatbed trailer across the small stone bridge. There was a very strange structure on the trailer. It was a large rectangular transparent glass box. The material was like glass, but he doesn't think it was real glass. He noticed that there were no metal braces or supports on each side of the box. It was as if the box had been carved out of a single crystal or jewel. There was, however, a camoflauge net over the top of the glass box."

"The driver expected them to take the main road up the as-Zab el-Ala (Big Zab River--J.T.) valley toward Irbil. Instead, the ZIL truck headed south on a narrow dirt road. That is when the driver knew for certain it was not glass, for the trailer bounced and jostled so violently that real glass would have cracked or shattered. What was on this trailer, no one knows." (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr., Ayesha al-Khatabi and Mohammed Daud al-Hayyat for these reports.)

(Editor's Comment: In his book three years ago, Rael (nee Claude Vorihon) claimed to have seen aliens grow a full-size clone of himself "within minutes," using a large transparent vat. Are the Zarzi aliens using similar technology to help their reputed friend and benefactor, Saddam Hussein?)

THREE MYSTERIOUS FIREBALLS SIGHTED IN WESTERN JAPAN

"Observatories in western Japan were inundated by telephone calls and emails reporting UFOs over the islands."

"The massive sighting occurred at 8:30 p.m. on Thursday, February 6, 2003, consisting of 'a huge ball of fire' which traveled from west to east across the sky before dividing itself into three fireballs of an equal smaller size and then disappearing simultaneously."

"According to dozens of witnesses, 'the strange object was initially white but, after splitting into three, each new object was a bright yellow and, a little later, a brilliant red.'"

"Scientist Shinya Narusawa of the Nishi Harima Observatory in Hyogo prefecture, commented, 'We received dozens of reports of a strange phenomenon over the city of Tanegashima, in Nagasaki prefecture, and also in Fukuoka and Kitakyushu.'"

"Scientists speculated that it might be a very large meteor that broke up as it entered Earth's atmosphere and then plunged into the Pacific Ocean. Japanese ufologists promised 'a detailed investigation of the event.'"

Tanegashima is on Japan's Kyushu Island, located about 600 kilometers (360 miles) southwest of Tokyo, that national capital. (See the Japanese newspaper Mainichi Shinbun for February 7, 2003. Many thanks to Angela Tarohachi for forwarding this newspaper article.)

UFO FLAP REPORTED IN NORTHERN PERU

She's back! Jelu, the wardrobe-challenged "space princess" who occasionally pops up in South America, has a new playground--the department (state) of Piura in northern Peru.

According to Giorgio Piacenza, UFO Roundup correspondent in Peru, the network Television Panamericana - Canal (Channel) 5 in Lima, the national capital, "aired a 15-minute special report on Sunday evening, February 2, 2003. The towns of Chulucanas and Piura La Vieja in the department of Piura in northern Peru have been having recurring multiple-witness UFO events since October and November 1999. Some of these have been filmed and videotaped."

Television Panamericana broadcasted short clips from half a dozen home videos, interspersing these with interviews with UFO witnesses in Piura. The videos showed luminous UFOs at night. But there were also daylight videos of silver discs and spheres hovering over the oasis, the Rio Chira, the Plaza Mayor in Piura La Vieja and the outlying village of Tamarindo, before darting away at dazzling speed.

The "Jelu sighting" was in Tangarara, between Piura La Vieja and Sullana. Eyewitnesses claim to have seen "a beautiful woman with wild golden-streaked chestnut-colored hair wearing a golden tanga (Brazilian string bikini--J.T.) with little silver stars embroidered beneath the waistband." The entity reportedly appeared when "strange flashing colored lights appeared over the tile rooftops" of Sullana.

Piura La Vieja is on the Panamerican Highway approximately 476 kilometers (285 miles) north of Lima. (Muchas gracias a Giorgio Piacenza y Monica Gaetano de Silva para esos informes.)

(Editor's Comment: Jelu is the only ET I know who turns alien invasion into a fashion statement.)

UFOs REAPPEAR IN NORTHERN BRITISH COLUMBIA

On Monday, February 3, 2003, at 8 a.m., a man working at the Houston Forest Products lumber yard in Houston (population 3,934), a town in Canada's northern British Columbia province, had a UFO encounter.

According to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike, Houston Forest Products is one of the two large sawmills in the town, and the witness "was operating a heavy machine in the log yard when an 'extremely' bright yellow/orange light caught his attention. The light was coming from the north side of Peacock Mountain, which is at the south end of the company's property. There was a low-lying fog in the valley that morning. After he saw the intense light, he saw what he first thought was a helicopter but wondered why it had such a bright light on it. Then after a couple of seconds went by, he thought it couldn't be a helicopter due to the (large) size of it."

"The UFO was two kilometers (1.2 miles) away on the side of Peacock Mountain, either hovering or 'on the ground' for approximately 40 seconds. The witness said the colour of the object was a light gray/white. And the colour was changing, almost as if it were translucent. The craft was oval in shape with this bright yellow/orange light dead center at the bottom. As the witness was watching it, it rose up a little and flew to the south, heading for the top of Peacock Mountain. Before it even came close to the top of the mountain, it completely disappeared, or, as they say, 'blinked out.'"

Twelve hours later, at precisely 8:10 p.m., there was a sighting at Canfor, the other large sawmill in Houston, B.C. "A Canfor employee who runs a trackmobile at the sawmill was moving around (wood) chip cars on company property. He said he climbed down off the machine he was operating and switched over to another (rail) track, when an extremely fast object, or for a better word, three bright, hazy, blue/white lights came out of the north and disappeared to the south. The witness said, 'Everything happened too fast,' and he could not make out any outline of what he was seeing. He said the three lights were in a trangular formation. He mentioned the lights were not that high above him, but had to be high enough to clear the mountains to the south of the Morice Valley, which are 2,000 to 3,000 feet (600 to 900 meters) high."

On Monday, February 10, 2003, a witness in Duncan, B.C. (population 4,583) "was walking his dog in the park when he observed a circular object with what he described as 'a ring of fire' around it. His dog was going completely nuts (crazy) while the event was going on."

Asked how far away the UFO was, the witness replied, "'Maybe four to six city blocks away, up in the sky.' He also said the ring which surrounded the object would twirl around the main body of it. There were a number of colours coming from it such as blue, green, etc. It would move up and down. When it got down to the cloud cover, the colour changed to an orange. The chap also said that the object seemed to take its time moving up and down. The witness's dog at the time actually took a bite at its owner's foot, as it was frightened of what was going on. There was no sound heard from the object. He estimated that the UFO 'was the size of a dinner plate at four to six blocks away.' The sighting lasted for five minutes before the object disappeared." (Many thanks to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike for these reports.)

HOVERING ORANGE FIREBALL SEEN IN MANITOBA, CANADA

On Wednesday, February 12, 2003, at 10:30 p.m., a woman in Selkirk (population 9,885), a city in Canada's Manitoba province "was at her son's house in East South Selkirk. She took the dog outside for a walk and, while looking up at the stars, this witness noticed an orange-coloured ball with a short tail. The sighting lasted for approximately five to six seconds."

"She went on to say (that) right after watching it for about four seconds, the one fireball broke into two. It was only a second or two after seeing it break up that both objects disappeared."

Selkirk is 20 miles (32 kilometers) north-northeast of Winnipeg, the provincial capital. (Many thanks to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike for this report.)

TWO KILLED ON SORCERY CHARGE IN EASTERN INDIA

"A 40-year-old tribal chief and his daughter were allegedly beheaded by their relatives for practising witchcraft at Burudih Tola in Kenua village of the East Singhbhum district," near the city of Jamshedpur in India's Bihar Pradesh state.

According to police in Jamshedpur, people "suspecting one Sambhu Mardi of practising witchcraft," killed the man, "along with his 12-year-old daughter, Dulari," on Wednesday, February 12, 2003.

"Sambhu's relatives suggested that he was responsible for the death of his nephew Jagannath on Tuesday last (February 4, 2003). Jagannath's brother, Bagat Mardi, along with his cousin, Mathura Mardi, reportedly beheaded their uncle Sambhu along with Dulari."

"Though Jagannath was suffering from malaria, Sambhu allegedly used black magickal treatment. As Jagannath's condition worsened, he was rushed to a nursing home, where he died, police said."

"The accused have been arrested, and the bodies of Sambhu and Dulari sent for post-mortem (autopsy in the USA-- J.T.)."

Jamshedpur is located 200 kilometers (120 miles) east of Calcutta. (See the Indian newspaper New Statesman for February 13, 2003, "Two killed for 'practising witchcraft.'" Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour cette article de journal.)

PHANTOM PANTHER SEEN IN KENT, MINNESOTA

"Residents around this western Minnesota community suspect a big cat--possibly a cougar--is roaming the countryside."

"Wilkin County Sheriff Tom Matejka said the first call came from a farmer three weeks ago. He said there have been at least three other reports from residents in the same area" of Kent, Minnesota "who have either seen the cat or spotted tracks."

"One of the farmers is missing two German shepherds (dogs) and he thinks they may have tangled with the cat."

"A county commissioner said she has also spotted deer carcasses--and signs that an animal had been eating off the remains."

Kent, Minn. is on Highway 26 approximately 22 miles (35 kilometers) south-southeast of Fargo, North Dakota. (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for February 9, 2003, "Residents report cougar sighting," page 2C.)

READER FEEDBACK:

NO MEDIA MENTION OF SPACE SHUTTLE COINCIDENCES

Joan Clare writes, "Hello, Joe. Yes, I have noticed these coincidences (see UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 7 for February 12, 2003, "Strange secrets of the space shuttle Columbia," page 4). I have also noticed the lack of comment on same in the news media. There are none so blind as those who will not see."

CELESTIAL PRINCESS APPEARS IN JACKIE CHAN'S NEW MOVIE?

Nguyen Ai Binh writes, "My sister Trinh works at a martial-arts school. She came home very excited after seeing Jackie Chan's new movie (Shanghai Knights--J.T.). She told me to go and to watch carefully the first scene, which is set in the Forbidden City in Beijing."

"So I went with my boyfriend, and I almost fell out of my chair. It is a long fight scene, and in parts of it, the woman who portrays Jackie Chan's sister has her face visible. But in other parts, it appears to be another woman, who is moving at incredible speed. She is a superb martial artist, and I gasped when I saw her perform flawless pa kia wushu."

"Some of the styles were Chinese: hung gar, tam tuie and chuan fa. Others were not. Trinh and I saw this woman perform tsu shang chi ni, which is unknown in the West, developed by Master Po Kung thousands of years ago. Somebody's been to Tong Yao, I thought. Although I can't believe the Turquoise Master would allow this to be seen by the public."

"Now we are wondering if this woman (a stunt double in Hollywood--J.T.) is Cong Chua Yeu Thuat, the celestial princess, emissary of the Hidden Masters of Tong Yao, who appeared in our parents' homeland (Vietnam--J.T.) a couple of years ago. Do you know if the actress (Fann Wong, 32, from Singapore--J.T.) performed all of her own stunts in this movie?"

(Editor's Comment: Binh, when it comes to kung fu, I wouldn't know pa kia wushu from moo goo gai pan. But I did visit Japan, and I recognized two Japanese styles in that particular scene, nijyo shiho kata and kanku dai kata. Also, the leg sweeps were definitely Korean taekwondo. But I see your point. We went expecting to see a Jackie Chan comedy, and instead we got to see a female whirling dervish showing off her mastery of two dozen different martial-arts styles. I stuck around for the credits at the end. Maybe I missed it, but I didn't see a stunt double listed for Ms. Fann. Did she use one in the film? If so, who was it? Maybe some of our other UFO Roundup readers can help us out.)


From the UFO Files...

1875: STRANGEST TRIAL EVER IN CHICAGO

Our Story So Far: Fearful that his mother, Mary Todd Lincoln, would spend all of her money before he could inherit, Robert Todd Lincoln, sole surviving son of the assassinated president, lured her to Chicago and had her brought to the Cook County courthouse for a sanity hearing. He hoped to get Mary declared "insane" so he could get custody of her finances, in particular the lucrative shares of Illinois Central Railroad stock.

So, on May 18, 1875, Mary became the first former First Lady of the USA to stand trial as a defendant in an American court. Prosecuting attorney Leonard T. Swett called her gynecologist, Dr. Willis Danforth, to the stand. Dr. Danforth caused a sensation when he testified that Mary had been talking "gibberish" to a table (a common Spiritualist ritual of the period--J.T.) and had reputedly said that someone was "pulling wires out" of her head.

Now the "wire-pulling" is a little-known space-bending phenomenon usually found in India. Mary became visibly upset when Dr. Danforth mentioned it, no doubt fearful that her heretofore-secret interest in the occult was about to go public in a major way. Also recognizing the phenomenon, and equally upset, was the foreman of the jury, Lyman J. Gage. Got it? On with the trial...

"As Dr. Danforth started to get down, (Mary's defense lawyer Isaac N.) Arnold said, 'Just a moment, Doctor.'"

"The doctor again settled himself in the seat and looked confidently at Arnold," who was in a hurried whispery conversation with Mary Todd Lincoln. Arnold: "You have offered your opinion that the defendant should not have her freedom. Is this a medical opinion?"

Danforth: "It's a personal opinion."

Arnold: "Would it in any way be classed as an expert opinion?"

Danforth: "I just said what I thought, as a man interested in deranged minds."

Arnold: "Do you consider Mrs. Lincoln's mind deranged?"

Danforth: "I do."

Arnold: "Can a person have a fixation on one subject, and be quite sane on other subjects?"

Danforth: "I encounter this all the time."

(Editor's Comment: Really? Remember, Dr. Danforth's field is gynecology, not psychiatry.)

Arnold: "Now I shall ask you--is Mrs. Lincoln sane on other subjects?"

Danforth: "I'm not prepared to say."

Arnold: "Why are you not prepared to say? You have given your ideas freely on Mary Lincoln's mentality."

Swett: "Objection, Your Honor! Counsel is trying to intimidate the witness."

Judge: "Sustained. Mr. Arnold, you must either reframe your question or else pursue another line of inquiry."

Arnold: "Understood, Your Honor. Are you, Dr. Danforth, a psychologist?"

Danforth: "I'm interested in the workings of the human mind."

Arnold: "Do you understand the human mind?"

Danforth: "I think that I can say with some degree of modesty that I do."

Arnold: "I congratulate you. In your professional call on Mrs. Lincoln, did you take written notes on what she said?"

Danforth: "That would be foolish."

Arnold: "That remains to be seen. You have testified, I believed, that Mrs. Lincoln said that someone was pulling steel wires out of her head."

Danforth: "I did."

Arnold: "Is it not possible she said that the pain was like somebody pulling steel wires out of her head?"

Incredibly, Isaac Arnold was abandoning a cross- examination strategy that any competent lawyer would have jumped on. Namely, proving that gynecologist Dr. Danforth lacked the professional training and qualifications to diagnose mental illness and that "his opinion" had no more weight than the man on the street.

Instead, after that hurried consultation with Mary, Arnold was trying to "spin" the doctor's earlier testimony, to make the "wire-pulling" look like a simple metaphor.

Mary leaped into the fray. "That's what I said!"

Judge: "Mrs. Lincoln, testimony from the witness stand is not a casual conversation which anyone may freely join. Please refrain from making comments."

Danforth: "If I had recalled her exact words, I would have used them."

Arnold: "Then the words just quoted were yours."

Danforth: "If you want to quibble."

Arnold: "Now, in reference to the Indian--may it not have been true that she said it felt as if an Indian were taking bones out of her head?"

Danforth: "I got no such statement."

In the jury box, foreman Lyman J. Gage leaned forward, scowled mightily and listened intently to every word. He was not at all pleased with the doctor's stubbornness.

Following a brief discussion of a poisoning attempt against President Lincoln at the White House, Arnold said, "In this case, do you think you have arrived at an unprejudiced opinion?"

Danforth: "I most certainly do, Mr. Arnold."

Arnold: "You are a man of firm opinion, are you not?"

Danforth: "When I'm in the right, I am."

Arnold: "That will be all, Doctor. You may step down."

Judge: "Call your next witness, Mr. Swett."

Yet, despite Arnold's best efforts, when the time came for a vote, the jury returned a unanimous verdict of guilty. Jury foreman Gage, who gave his occupation as "a cashier at the First National Bank of Chicago," was instrumental in persuading his fellow jurors to convict the widow of Abraham Lincoln.

Mary Todd Lincoln became the first former First Lady of the USA to go to jail. From there she went to a mental asylum for several months. Afterward, she left the USA to live in Pau, France. Her son, Robert Todd Lincoln, took control of her finances.

But the whole affair had ruined Robert's hoped-for career in politics. Although he served in a couple of Republican administrations as a Cabinet officer, the grand prize--the White House--eluded him. He died an embittered old man in Manchester, New Hampshire in 1926 at the age of 83.

By contrast, Lyman J. Gage's star rose quickly in the GOP. He became Secretary of the Treasury under President William McKinley. And after McKinley was assassinated in Buffalo, N.Y. in September 1901, Gage continued in that post under the new president, Theodore Roosevelt. But it wasn't until after Gage retired from politics that he "came out of the closet" and revealed himself as a member of the Theosophical Society. During and after World War I, Gage and his second wife were enthusiastic Theosophists, and indeed the retired banker died at the Theosophists' ashram at Point Loma, California in 1927.

Which may explain why Gage was so familiar with that "wire-pulling" stunt.

Gage must have been a secret Theosophist in 1875. He might have even met the Society's founders, Madame Blavatsky and Col. Henry S. Olcott--and perhaps the mysterious Koot Hoomi--in Chicago earlier that year. Realizing that Dr. Danforth had inadvertently "spilled the beans" on the Illuminati, he pushed for a conviction to protect Mrs. Lincoln from further questioning and to continue to keep secret the Lincoln administration's dabbling in the occult. And so the secret was kept for another thirty years--until psychic Nettie Colburn Maynard wrote her tell-all book. (See the book The Trial of Mrs. Abraham Lincoln by Homer Croy, Meredith Press, Des Moines, Iowa, 1962, pages 67, 68, 69, 138 and 139.)

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 then.

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.

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