HAIRY HOMINID TERRORIZES NORTHERN ARGENTINA
Northern Argentina was in turmoil last week as reports poured in about a tall, Bigfoot-like creature sighted near Rosario de la Frontera, a small city 150 kilometers (90 miles) south of Salta, the provincial capital.
"Three residents of the barrio Juan Domingo Peron (neighborhood) claimed having seen the strange, 2-meter (6 feet, 6 inches) tall biped whose existence has kept all residents of Rosario de la Frontera on edge after terrifying and detailed accounts by people who claim having been attacked by the strange beast."
"The new reports were from Demetrio Villalba, 43; Eleuteria del Carmen Alvarez, 72, and Nerida del Valle Marearena, 53, who, in spite of living in different parts of the residential subdivision and not knowing each other, made almost identical descriptions of the creature they had seen at around the same time on the morning of January 13 (2003)."
"The initial reports on the animal, described as a fierce plantigrade of large size and humanoid mien, were reported by rancher Rogelio Martinez some two years ago (2001), who has since then made numerous reports about the beast devouring his (ranch) animals on a recurrent basis."
"Reports on sightings and traumatic encounters with the animal intensified in recent days, according to reports by El Tribuno in its two previous issues."
"Pedro Villalba, who resides at Soldado Madrid (Street) 245 in the barrio Peron, said that 'in the early hours of January 13, alarmed by the barking and howling of the dogs, I looked out the window and saw it. It was an enormous hairy animal. I couldn't believe it. It was walking on two legs and waddled from one side to another, waving its arms, which ended in thick, curved claws. The dogs growled, barked and howled but did not dare attack it. It suddenly broke into a run and became lost in the wilderness.'"
"Eleuteria del Carmen Alvarez and Nerida del Valle Marearena, mother and daughter, offered an analagous account: 'The time was approximately 3 in the morning. Our dog howled desperately, squirming around, and was peeing herself out of sheer fright. We went outside to see what was happening, and we saw it. It was horrible. Enormous with clawed hands and covered in hair from head to toe. We were almost paralyzed with fright when we saw it because, at a given moment, it turned its head toward the window we were looking through. However, it kept on walking, turned at the next block towards the east and we didn't see it again, although we could hear dogs howling throughout the neighborhood--they had gone crazy. If we didn't mention this before, it was out of a sense of shame (and not wanting to be) dismissed as lunatics. But now that the story has come out and other people have seen the same thing we did, we've decided to tell of our own experience to see if our accounts can assist in solving this enigma.'"
"Patricio Saldano, custodian of the municipal garbage dump" in Rosario de la Frontera "and his family had quite a fright on (Sunday) February 23 (2003) at 10 p.m. Alerted by the howling of his hounds, who ran frantically from one side to the other in the vicinity of a pig pen, lighting a flashlight (torch in UK--J.T.), he went out to investigate."
"'I couldn't believe it, Less than 10 meters (33 feet) away was the strange hairy animal that people have reported, standing on two legs. It was like an enormous monkey. It made no noise. It just looked at me fixedly with its red eyes and every so often moved its powerful arms to frighten my dogs, who were harassing it but not attacking,'" Saldano said.
(Editor's Note: Saldano's description of 'an enormous monkey' suggests that the creature might be a Mapinguary, or South American Bigfoot, which is usually seen in the jungles of Brazil and Bolivia. This mapinguary must have wandered south out of the pantanal into the rain forest of northern Argentina.)
"'The beast, belonging to a species I had never seen in books, had (finger) nails as long as daggers, which shined in the light,' he said."
"Patricio is 62 years old and has been in charge of the municipal dump for 15 years. He lives there with his wife, three male children, an 8-year-old daughter and a 4- year-old granddaughter."
"When the encounter occurred, he was in the company of his wife and the girls. 'I didn't believe the story everyone's talking about,' he stated, referring to eyewitness claims about being attacked in Arroyo Salado, 6 kilometers (4 miles) east of" Rosario's main plaza.
"'But some days ago, a man came around these parts (Juan Carlos Rivas--J.T.) to ask if I had seen a colt he'd lost. Later I found out that it was discovered hereabouts, dead and devoured. That's why, when the dogs barked, I thought about the pigs. And it dawned on me that it could be an old puma (cougar or mountain lion in the USA--J.T.). But there it was: quiet and looking at me intently. Suddenly, it turned on a heel and began to walk away.'"
"'It was an animal, but it walked like a man.' Saldano said that his wife and two girls were able to see the creature from a distance. 'I've told them not to go out at night or wander away from the house.'" (See the newspaper El Tribuno of Salta, Argentina for February 22, 2003, "New eyewitness accounts of strange bipedal animal," and for February 28, 2003, "Strange hairy biped terrorizes family." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Cristian Hernan Quintero para eses articulos de diario.)
(Editor's Comment: And welcome to Creatures on the Loose Week here at UFO Roundup. The weird critters were having a field day last week, so read on...)
CHUPACABRAS RUN WILD IN PUERTO RICO
"Some 20 rabbits were found dead yesterday (Saturday, February 22, 2003) in some cages of the barrio Ollas of Santa Isabel," near Ponce, Puerto Rico.
"Residents accused the Chupacabras of perpetrating the brutal slayings."
"The incident allegedly occurred in the early hours of the morning in the backyard of the house owned by William Maldonado Sanchez. There were several rabbit cages at the site, but the only cages attacked were the ones containing female specimens."
"Maldonado's neighbors claim having heard noises coming from the backyard at around 1 a.m. but didn't notice anything strange. Maldonado did not blame the Chupacabras for the events--he said that something strange had happened in the backyard; only four of the rabbits showed signs of violence; one of the four had a wound on the neck; another two had abdominal injuries; and another had scratches on its paw. Some of the rabbits were found dead in the cages; others on the ground near the entrance of the house. The male rabbits were spared, he says, because their cage was stronger."
"Maldonado Sanchez, who phoned the police to report the incident, explained that he had female rabbits for purposes of raising the animals commercially...It was reported yesterday that a (foot) print with three prominent indentations was found under one of his cages."
On Friday, February 21, 2003, "Channel 4 (TV) reported animal mutilations in La Cuchilla de Candelero Debaso in Humacao," a port city on the eastern shore of Puerto Rico.
"The television report states that an unknown animal killed all of the pigs in their pens and ripped apart 9 male rabbits, leaving one female alone. It was also noted that a duck survived the assault."
"Eyewitnesses were only able to see a shadowy form that ran away. At the scene of that incident, it was possible to recover a plaster cast of a feline paw print. The print is in the custody of the (Puerto Rican) Department of Natural Resources. The (Channel 4) video documentary also shows scratches on the pens' wooden parts which were apparently made by the animal in question."
"The Channel 4 report was prepared by Epron Arroyo and photojournalist Humberto Mercado Nazario. (The reader must be aware that there are no predatory feline species native to Puerto Rico--S.C.)"
"Another incident took place during the early hours of (Monday) February 17 (2003) in a neighborhood in the city of Anasco on Puerto Rico's western coast. In this event, 26 rabbits were mutilated, presenting different injuries. Some of them were torn apart."
"An elderly man reported hearing shrill squeals and the sensation that a humanoid form was leaping over the rooftops. Another witness reported not hearing any sounds, but that his dogs were nervous and frightened to such an extent that they hid under the bed." (See the Puerto Rican newspaper El Nuevo Dia for February 23, 2003, "Intriguing death of 20 rabbits." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales, Dr. Jose I. Gomez, Lucy Guzman y Orlando Pla para eses informes.)
OUTBACK TERROR STRIKES AGAIN IN AUSTRALIA
The weird black-panther-like creature sometimes known as the Outback Terror made a surprise appearance last week in Lithgow, New South Wales, Australia. Lithgow has a long history of such sightings.
"Just when you thought that Lithgow's mysterious 'black panther' had departed when the October (2002) bushfires ripped through his familiar terrain, then think again. Old Blackie is back!"
"The latest sighting, the first in more than six months, left a young woman badly shaken by her experience."
"The Lithgow woman was one of a group of animal welfare volunteers who have been seeking to retrieve a batch of kittens they heard had been dumped on the hillside behind Morts Estate," a local subdivision.
"The trio had commented during the week on the number of unusually large paw prints they had encountered along Farmers Creek."
"Just on dusk on Saturday night (February 22, 2003) one member of the group went to inspect cat traps along the railway line that lead to the State Mine Museum when she had what she described as the most frightening experience of her life."
"The woman said it was about 8:20 p.m. when she heard a loud scuffling noise in the bushes nearby which she thought was a wild pig."
"It was then that she saw 'a very large cat-like animal' that she said was 'definitely not a dog.'"
"She had a good view of the animal before it moved away, covering more than 10 metres (33 feet) in just two bounds."
"'It was leaping, not running like a dog,' she said."
(Editor's Comment: Rex Gilroy and other Australian paranormal researchers believe that the Outback Terror is an unknown species of marsupial predator, which evolved over millions of years within Australia's marsupial- dominated ecosystem.)
"Leaping" rather than running suggests that it might be a marsupial rather than a feline and similar to the kangaroo, which is also a marsupial.)
"The woman, who did not wish to be identified 'because people think you're mad when you report these things,' ran in a terrified state to a nearby house for help."
"She later reported the sighting to Lithgow police."
"The woman was still visibly shaken when she spoke to the Mercury the next morning."
"'There's no way I'll be going back on that mountain,' she said."
"She and her two companions indicated the large paw prints in the sand beside the creek, but they (the prints) had been affected by the overnight rain."
"The paw prints did not show any claw marks and were bigger than those left by a large Rottweiler (dog) owned by one of the group."
"The Lithgow Panther gained national publicity some 18 months ago when residents filmed a very large cat-like animal around the mountain close to a block of town houses on Mort Street."
"Experts who examined the film were unable to identify the animal with any degree of certainty."
"Since then, there have been other unexplained sightings in the general area, further around the mountain at the Vale of Clwydd and at Clarence, N.S.W. The last reported sighting was by a woman and her son near the Mort Street town houses in July (2002) last year."
Lithgow, N.S.W. is about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Sydney. (See the Lithgow, N.S.W. Mercury for February 25, 2003, "'That cat' still creates stir." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for forwarding this newspaper article.)
WEIRD NEW EVIDENCE FOUND IN COLUMBIA DISASTER
"Investigators have found a heat-resistant tile from the shuttle Columbia that was gouged by intense heat and speckled with an orange substance that NASA has never seen before."
"'I am told this is not typical of a re-entry tile,' retired admiral Harold Gehman, chairman of the Columbia Accident Investigation Board said Tuesday," February 25, 2003. "'This is very unusual.'"
"The first display of clues from Columbia's wreckage offered tantalizing hints about what might have happened, but did little to unravel the mystery of why the shuttle broke apart during re-entry (on Saturday) February 1 (2003)."
"The tile, recovered in Powell, Texas, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Dallas, is important because it was found in the westernmost area of the main (shuttle) debris field. That indicates it may have come off in the early stages of the disaster."
"The side of the tile that was attached to the shuttle was deformed by heat. Gehman said that could indicate that heat from within the orbiter burned the tile. Investigators believe that hot gas entered the left wing as the shuttle flew at more than 200,000 feet (60,000 meters)."
"But Gehman cautioned that the marks left by the heat could simply have occurred after the shuttle broke apart. Investigators do not know where the tile came from on the shuttle."
"The other side of the shuttle, which would normally fend off temperatures that reach thousands of degrees, was mottled and laced with an unknown orange compound."
"In the final two seconds of data that has been recovered, the navigation, computer and power systems were functioning normally. But signals from the left wing had ceased. This suggests that the seven astronauts could have known of the impending disaster."
"Investigators confirmed that another fragment of tile was found more than 350 miles (560 kilometers) west and north of Dallas. It may have come from the area where the left wing was attached to the fuselage."
On Thursday, February 27, 2003, "the accident investigation board, meanwhile, released two new photos. One is an image showing the leading edge of Columbia's left wing the first day in orbit. The leading edge, which withstands intense heat in re-entry appears to be normal."
"The other photo, taken after the disaster, shows heat-resistant tiles on a portion of the left wing's wheel well area, where sensors suggest the problems originated. The tiles appear scorched, but the board did not say whether they were damaged after the shuttle broke apart or by searing heat."
"A team of aerodynamic experts is studying Columbia's path in its final minutes to learn what increased drag the left wing, which prompted the shuttle to try to correct itself before it broke apart. The data may identify where the damage occurred and its size at different points of the re-entry."
"Thermodynamic experts are attempting to determine whether heat from re-entry alone, or in combination with damage to the tiles, could explain the breakup. On previous re-entries, Columbia had heated more than normal because turbulent airflows rippled across its underside." (See USA Today for February 24, 2003, "Investigators think they'll pinpoint shuttle breach," page 5A; for February 26, 2003, "Scarred shuttle tile 'very unusual'," page 1A; and for February 28, 2003, "Congress confronts NASA chief on emails," page 2A.)
(Editor's Comment: And thereby hangs the tale. What caused the heat damage to Columbia? Plasma leaking into the shuttle via a breach in the left wing? Increased temperatures due to skewed airflows? Or was it the strange energy bolt that struck Columbia over California? For more on the energy bolt, which was 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.)
HOVERING UFO SPOTTED IN PUNE, INDIA
On Monday, February 24, 2003, at 8:30 p.m., Dinesh Hukmani was at home in the city of Pune, in Maharashtra state, India when he spotted a UFO.
"I was relaxing on my fifth-floor balcony, gazing at the stars, when suddenly, in the clear sky amidst lots of stars, there appeared this light, star-like but very bright. It appeared out of nowhere, grew in intensity, diminished and then disappeared. It was all over in a matter of three seconds."
Dinesh Hukmani described the UFO as "round in shape, silvery white, star-like, very bright."
Pune (pronounced Poo-nah--J.T.) is located 180 kilometers (108 miles) southeast of Mumbai, India's largest city.
LARGE DARK UFO SEEN IN VINA DEL MAR, CHILE
On Friday, February 28, 2003, at 6:20 a.m., Ricardo Barraza was driving to work in Vina del Mar, a port in Chile, when "he looked to the southern sky" and "noticed a pulsating luminous object that began to move quickly towards the south. He noticed that the light was being followed by an enormous dark mass that was easily concealed by the darkness of the sky at this early hour."
Vina del Mar is a suburb just north of the large Chilean port city of Valparaiso. (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Rodrigo Cuadra Salazar de la revista Tecnologia: OVNIs y Ciencia para eso informe.)
LUMINOUS BLUE UFO SEEN IN ALBUQUERQUE, NEW MEXICO
On Saturday, February 22, 2003, at 6:45 p.m., Steve Goldman reports, "I was facing north, coming off the highway, Interstate I-25, at the Griegos exit" in Albuquerque, New Mexico (population 448,607) when "a bright flourescent blue lozenge-shaped object flew from the west, coming down at around 30 degrees. It seemed to be traveling very fast, crossing about a third of my view of the horizon in about two seconds. When it reached what appeared to be the height of Sandia Peak, 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) it simply 'turned off' and disappeared from view."
"The object was about the size of an aspirin held at arm's length and was a very bright flourescent blue until it disappeared. The brightness and color were constant while it was in view." (Email Form Report)
MULTICOLORED UFO SEEN IN SOUTH CAROLINA
On Wednesday, February 5, 2003, at 9 p.m., David Boone was outdoors in a rural area near Hemingway, South Carolina (population 573) when he spotted a UFO "with many colored lights."
David reported, "I saw a ball of lights going into the woods" just off Highway 51. "At first I thought it was a helicopter. It was just off Balex Road, where the cows graze. It was a ball of lights. It was big. It had all kinds of colored lights on it."
Hemingway, S.C. is on Highway 51 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Myrtle Beach. (Email Form Report)
"JELU SIGHTING" WAS NOT MINE!
Giorgio Piacenza of Peru writes, "I never mentioned anything about an ET princess wearing something like a Tanga (Brazilian string bikini--J.T.) The report from Panamericana Television in Lima does not mention this, either. Please correct this information which is highly inaccurate and detracts from my reputation and from the serious and genuine UFO events taking place in northern Peru."
In Peru's department (state) of Piura, "there are sightings witnessed by many people and even filmed by some. They are occurring close to an archaeological area where the pre-Incan Vicus culture thrived. This is the news I sent to UFOINFO."
(Editor's Comment: Giorgio is referring to the story that appeared in UFO Roundup, Volume 8, Number 8 for February 19, 2003, "UFO flap reported in northern Peru," page 5. This story was rewritten and appeared in the Spanish- language newsletter NotiOVNI for February 23, 2003. The original UFO Roundup story listed "Giorgio Piacenza y Monica Gaetano de Silva" as sources, which was true enough. Giorgio provided the report on the TV broadcast of UFO sightings in Chulucanas and Piura La Vieja. Sra. de Silva provided a short report on the "Jelu sighting" in nearby Tangarara. Since the reported incidents all took place in the same area, your editor combined them into one story about northern Peru and listed Giorgio and Sra. de Silva in the attribution line. However, when NotiOVNI re- ran the story in Spanish, they omitted Sra. de Silva's name. In retrospect, the fault is your editor's--I should have been a lot more specific in the attribution, and I apologize. So let me clear this up right now. Giorgio Piacenza contributed the report about Television Panamericana, Canal (Channel) 5 in Lima's 15-minute news special on the UFO sightings and videotapings in Chulucanas and Piura La Vieja--Monica Gaetano de Silva contributed the report about la princesa de los hermanos espaciales appearing in Tangarara.)
From the UFO Files...
1978: THE LOURDES OF AUSTRALIA?
Our Story So Far: "In 1907, following a fatal attempt
to halt a runaway train carriage, a young rail worker,
William T. Steenson, was laid to rest" at the old Pioneer
Cemetery on Terania Street in North Lismore, New South
During World War I, "locals began to notice the cross on Steenson's grave glowing in the dark" like an electric light bulb. The cross, made of Balmoral red granite from Scotland, bore Steenson's name and a carving of a Masonic compass-and-square symbol.
Throughout the Twentieth Century, "the Lismore cross" periodically manifested its unearthly light. As late as 1968, the manifestation remained a local phenomenon. All that changed, however, ten years later, in 1978...
"A two-metre-high granite cross which lights up every night near an abandoned North Lismore cemetery has the people of Lismore mystified and some people terrified."
"The cross was erected over the grave of a 29-year- old railway guard more than 70 years ago."
"Now each night the headstone which once stood over Steenson's grave glows spectacularly. It lights up as a perfectly formed cross among dozens of other headstones."
"People go there every night. Some kneel in front of it and others talk to it."
"So far there is no scientific explanation for the phenomenon other than that the granite is somehow reflecting light."
"But the nearest street lights are nearly a kilometre away, and the cross glows when there is no moon."
"Hundreds of people last night (Friday, February 17, 2003) gathered at North Lismore to witness the mysterious glowing cross at the old North Lismore cemetery."
"People from all parts of Lismore lined an old wire fence adjacent to the cemetery in threes and fours to see the strange phenomenon for themselves."
"Cars lined Terania Street for more than 50 metres (165 feet). People lined up in the corridor from which the glowing cross of granite can be seen."
"More than 120 people were already at the viewing site at 8:15 p.m. when The Northern Star arrived. More came during the next hour."
When The Northern Star published its photos of the glowing cross the following day, the phenomenon became a media sensation.
On Tuesday, February 21, 1978, "television crews from Channels 7, 9 and 10 in Sydney and cameramen from the Sydney Mirror and Sydney Sun had a field day on the cemetery hill."
"The hardened newsmen and cameramen from the television stations and newspapers said the trip had been more than worthwhile."
"'It impressed me and I've seen a lot of impressive things in 20 years in journalism,' one of them said."
"The old cemetery has never seen scenes like it before--nor has Lismore for that matter."
Neville Steenson, the grandson of W.T. Steenson, pleaded in vain with the crowds to leave his grandfather's grave undisturbed. Vandals and souvenir hunters were using hammers, stone chisels and rocks to chip off pieces of "the magic headstone."
But no one could figure out just why this strange manifestation was going on. Although a member of several fraternal lodges, W.T. Steenson had no known interest in religious or occult matters.
Within a week, pilgrims from elsewhere in Australia began arriving in force.
"Mrs. Zillah McJannett, a (Queensland) Gold Coast housewife, says the cross could help to give people like herself peace and there was nothing wrong with that."
"'They could make a walkway to the cross or a shrine there,' Mrs. McJannett said. 'Some church people are saying that Lismore should not become another Lourdes. Why not?'"
Rev. A. Dann of the Bible Methodist Church of Australia agreed with Mrs. McJannett and suggested that "Lismore's glowing cross could become a new Lourdes."
But the prospect horrified other churchmen. "Mr. Dann's claim that the cross could lead to the establishment of another Lourdes was rejected yesterday by the Bishop of Lismore, Dr. J.S. Satterthwaite, and the Rector of St. Andrew's Anglican Church, the Rev. A. Shephard."
"Dr. Satterthwaite said the cross was not a religious shrine 'and I am not going to start leading pilgrimages to it.'"
That didn't keep the pilgrims away, though. Nine months later, in November 1978, David Elizalde, "a Filipino faith healer from Sydney led a group of five families from various suburbs of Sydney to see Lismore's mysterious glowing cross...The group arrived on Friday and visited the cross of light that evening."
Local motel owner Bill Swaby told The Northern Star: "A steady flow of people has been visiting Lismore just to see the cross. The first thing they ask is: Where is the glowing cross?"
The manifestation also brought forward a witness to a similar phenomenon--Mrs. Marianne Kempnich, who wrote, "My husband and I recently spent two years teaching at the small north-western town of Mungindi. While there, the locals often spoke of a glowing headstone at the cemetery."
(Editor's Note: If any of our Australian readers have more information about the phenomenon in Mungindi, please send an email to UFO Roundup.)
In February 1978, Rev. Dann warned that unless the Steenson cross was "fenced off or moved...the cross would be defaced or stolen."
Eight years later, on Tuesday, March 18, 1986, the minister's prediction came true. Chief health surveyor J. Douglass "said that his works supervisor, Mr. Jim Ward, had told him that the cross was missing" and "that the 1.3 metre (4-foot) high granite cross had been removed from its pedestal 'during the past month.'"
Seventeen years later, "the Lismore cross" is still missing. But it has become one of Australia's enduring mysteries. (See the Sunday Telegraph for December 22, 2002, "Cross that glowed," page 114; the Sydney Morning Herald for February 21, 1978, "Mystery of the glowing cross," page 3; The Northern Star for February 18, 1978, "Lismore's fiery cross," page 1; for February 22, 1978, "Media converges on cross," page 2; for February 23, 1978, "'Cross could become a new Lourdes,'" page 3; for February 24, 1978, "Phenomenon can 'bring people closer to God,'" page 3; for November 3, 1978, "Faith pilgrimage to glowing cross," page 5; and for March 21, 1986, "Mystery cross disappears," page 1. Many thanks to Jeremy Fenton and Steven Fawcett for forwarding the Australian newspaper articles.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us next time 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.