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Volume 8
Number 13
March 26, 2003

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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MYSTERIOUS LIGHTS SEEN IN SADDAM'S AREA 51

On Wednesday, March 19, 2003, the war in Iraq opened with two stunning Allied air strikes, one on a hideaway in southern Baghdad used by Iraqi dictator Saddam Hussein, the other on the northern city of Mosul.

However, eight hours before the cruise missiles hit Mosul, strange lights were reported in the As-Zab as- Shagir (Arabic for Little Zab--J.T.) river valley, located about 72 kilometers (45 miles) west of Kirkuk and 88 kilometers (55 miles) south of Irbil.

Kurdish militia known as Peshmirga (Kurdish for Those who are ready to die--J.T.), who were on patrol in the mountains east of the Little Zab valley, spotted unusual flashing lights over the region. "At nightfall (6:30 p.m. Irbil time) the Kurdish fighters at the Dolabakra checkpoint looked down toward the lights of Kirkuk, about 30 miles (48 kilometers) away."

Some Kurds said the lights might be UFOs. Others insisted that "a lightning storm on the (western) horizon" had "illuminated the sky. Was it the start of bombing? No one was certain."

"An Iraqi anti-aircraft battery--perhaps six miles (10 kilometers) away--opened fire."

(Editor's Comment: At a high-flying Allied spy plane?)

The Little Zab River valley has been the subject of much speculation since a retired U.S. military man spoke on The Art Bell Show last December (2002) and claimed that a saucer had crash-landed in Iraq either during the first Gulf War in 1991 or Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Persistent rumors in Irbil province claimed that Saddam Hussein had granted the aliens sanctuary in Iraq. The aliens were said to be staying at an underground base at Zarzi in the upper valley or at the millenia-old citadel at Qalaat-e-Julundi, located on a lofty, easily-defended promontory on a bend in the Little Zab River. (See UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 51 for December 17, 2002, "Saddam's Area 51?" page 2.)

"Then at about 9 p.m., a series of Iraqi flares was fired. Red tracer bullets" lit up the sky east of Dolabakra. "Rain returned. All was calm again."

"At a Peshmirga militia base three miles (5 kilometers) toward Irbil, the local (Kurdish) commander, Yusaf Hassam Kader, held a midnight meeting with top aides." The militiamen wondered aloud if the U.S. Air Force had raided Zarzi, but nobody really knew what was going on or who the Iraqis had been shooting at.

"'We will wait for the Americans,'" Kader said.

"About four hours later (4:30 a.m., Thursday, March 20, 2003)--shortly before dawn--Kurdish radio reported air strikes in Mosul, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Irbil."

According to UFO Roundup's Middle East correspondents, Al-Shabab Television in Iraq (which, by the way, is owned by Saddam's son, Uday--J.T.) covered the bombing raids in the north, which, they claimed, were carried out by USAF B-52 bombers. However, neither Zarzi nor Qalaat-e-Julundi was specifically mentioned in the broadcast.

Saddam has a heavy concentration of military forces in Irbil province, including the Iraqi Army's 5th Corps headquarters, 7th Infantry Division, the al-Abed Infantry Division, 1st Mechanized Infantry Division and 5th Mechanized Infantry Division.
(See the St. Paul, Minn. Pioneer Press for March 22, 2003, "Kurds ready to fight Saddam," page 15A; the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for March 21, 2003, "The war begins: On the move," page 5A, and "Northern front left to Kurdish units," page 2S. Many thanks also to Ayesha al-Khatabi and Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar.)

(Editor's Comment: While scanning newspaper reports, your editor came across two items of interest: (1) A photo of B-52s taking off from RAF-Fairford in UK for the long flight to the Middle East, which was apparently taken early on Wednesday. And (2) a passing mention in USA Today to something called Operation Bug Splat, which the article described as some kind of "special software for selecting targets." I wonder...is that "Bug" as in "Bug- Eyed Monster (BEM)," which is 1950s USA slang for extraterrestrials or space aliens? Was Operation Bug Splat a kind of "piggyback mission," in which a wing of B- 52s left early to bomb Zarzi?)

THE SADDAM MYSTERY

"President Bush had just three minutes left to decide whether to approve Wednesday's mission to take out Iraqi leader Saddam Hussein before the window of opportunity slammed shut."

"'Let's go,' Bush said, and the war that the world had been anticipating and dreading for months was underway. In football terms, it was an audible --a last- minute change of plans forced by changing circumstances."

"Military planners had told the president they needed a decision by 7:15 p.m." Washington D.C. time "or they would miss the chance at their target."

"And it was 7:12."

"Intelligence officials had long been frustrated in their attempts to track Saddam's erratic movements."

"Then, on Wednesday," March 19, 2003, "according to senior government officials, Iraqi informants produced a lead. The Iraqi leader, and possibly his two sons (Uday and Qusay--J.T.), were said to be in a private house built over an underground bunker in southern Baghdad."

"What happened next, one senior administration official said Thursday," march 20, 2003, "'has created one of the great mysteries of the the first day of the war-- did we hit anyone, and if so, who did we get?'"

"On Thursday night, officials were still holding out hope that one of the 2,000-pound bombs and nearly 40 Tomahawk cruise missiles, each carrying 1,000 pounds of explosive, may have killed Saddam or his sons."

"'The preponderance of the evidence is he was there when the building blew up,' said one senior U.S. official with access to sensitive intelligence. The official added that Saddam's sons may also have been at the compound."

"'He didn't get out beforehand,' another senior official said of the Iraqi president."

"Another administration official said 'there is evidence that he (Saddam) was at least injured' because of indications that medical attention was urgently summoned on his behalf."

"The mystery deepened as intelligence agencies monitoring Iraqi communications detected a significant drop in intercepted communications among Iraq's top leaders. Some officials speculated that Iraq's leadership had gone underground; others believed that, as one official put it, 'their phones melted.'"

Compounding the mystery was the fact that Saddam Hussein was not seen by the Iraqi public for nearly 20 hours after the initial Allied airstrike.

"While U.S. intelligence monitored Iraqi government communications and movements Thursday to pick up signs of Saddam's fate, the administration's attention was focused on the (first) television appearance by Saddam in which he stated Thursday's date and made reference to the "dawn" and an attack by the United States."

"Experts at the Pentagon, the CIA, the State Department and other U.S. agencies scrambled to analyze the mustachioed man's earlobes, his thick glasses, his voice and speech patterns, the folds of his military uniform, the way he sat, even his badly dyed hair."

On Friday, March 21, 2003, following the Iraqi leader's second photographed public appearance, the CIA announced that it was indeed Saddam in the first videotape, which was aired on Al-Jazeera and other cable TV news outlets.

But others aren't so sure.

Also on Friday, Saddam's former mistress of 15 years told a French TV crew that the man in the first videotape "is an actor made up to look like Saddam."

"My Iraqi friends tell me that opinion is deeply divided," UFO Roundup correspondent Ayesha al-Khatabi said, "Many people do not think it was Saddam on the video, and they wonder where he was all day Thursday. The black glasses he wore were very distracting and prevented the viewer from seeing his eyes. My aunt saw the video on TV in Amman (Jordan). She said it was an actor named Jafaar al-Mahmoudi whom she says was on a romantic drama (soap opera--J.T.) twenty years ago."

"Contact with Iraq is sporadic with (because of) the war," she added, "I can almost tell when the coalition is bombing because if I am talking to friends in Baghdad, my cell phone begins to shriek. Is this the HAARP project I read about?"

(Editor's Comment: It's possible, Ayesha, but I think it's just the NSA jamming those particular frequencies.)

Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar reported that Iraqis are marvelling at their leader's "miraculous escape" from the targeted Tomahawk missile.

(Editor's Comment: Love him or hate him, Saddam Hussein has pulled off the most spectacular dodge since July 20, 1944, when Adolf Hitler escaped the time bomb that was planted in his Wolfsschanze bunker by Col. Klaus Schenk von Stauffenberg.)

"Saddam was at the safe house with several senior officers and a squad of Anim al-Khass (Saddam's "Secret Service" or bodyguards--J.T.) They are all from Tikrit and are related to him by blood or marriage. Someone in a black beret was taken out on a stretcher after the building collapsed. I heard it was one of Saddam's doubles. He has 18 such doubles, who take his place at public events, as he is so fearful of assassination."

"In Baghdad they speak of doubles. In Irbil, they talk of clones! They say the Zarzi aliens are making more at their underground base."

"There are even rumors that the aliens saved Saddam. While the American cruise missile was enroute to Baghdad, so the story goes, the aliens appeared in the meeting room and warned Saddam of the danger. Then the aliens shined a strange light at the wall. A circle of light was created, brilliant white with golden streaks rotating from top to bottom anticlockwise ( counter-clockwise in the USA-- J.T.). Saddam stepped into the light and vanished. Then Uday, then Qusay, three Anim al-Khass men and finally the little aliens. Then the light itself disappeared. The missile hit the house before the others could flee."

"If this market tale is true, then it might explain why nothing was heard of Saddam for nearly a day. Saddam, his sons and the aliens could have emerged from the teleportation circle in Zarzi. From there, it is half a day's drive west over rugged mountain roads before you even reach the highway, and from there it is another 80 kilometers (50 miles) south until you reach Tikrit, the nearest place with a television studio. Saddam was unable to issue a TV broadcast on Thursday. This is why the Saddam double in Baghdad put on those ridiculous glasses and made that speech. The Friday (videotaped) broadcast shows the Saddam everyone knows." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for Friday, March 21, 2003, "Saddam's fate a 'mystery,' page 3S. Many thanks to Ayesha al-Khatabi and Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar for the commentary.)

MEXICO SENDS TROOPS TO GUARD THE USA BORDER

For the past six weeks, ranchers in Jim Hogg County, Texas (population 5,281), in the arid "Brush Country" 70 miles (112 kilometers) northwest of Brownsville, have been reporting strange sightings of "foreign soldiers" in desert camoflauge BDUs, foreign military vehicles and black helicopters. The soldiers, grouped in squads and platoons, scrupulously avoid contact with the ranchers. All in all, county Sheriff Horacio Escobar has collected 64 reports of these unusual sightings.

And now, there may be an answer to the riddle.

"The United States and Mexico, after battling over their common border for so many years, are coordinating military missions to protect it from attack."

"Mexico is sending thousands of soldiers to patrol the border and help secure it against terrorist threats-- an unprecedented move. The Mexicans have never used their army to help defend their neighbor."

"'It's a new mission: Mexico looking out for the United States,' said Sgt. Benito Hernandez, a Mexican soldier on sentry duty here in Ciudad Juarez, where thousands of travelers and truckers cross the border in both directions every day."

"Mexico is sending 18,000 soldiers to secure airports, seaports, border posts and bridges with direct links to the United States. At least half will be based within a few miles of the border, many serving as sentries in the desert. Others will serve in the interior, guarding tourist resorts and oil refineries, the two great sources of foreign revenue for Mexico."

"The United States, for its part, has Special Forces, Army Rangers and Marines to monitor thousands of square miles at the Mexican border with night patrols, electronic sensors, pilotless drone aircraft first used 18 months ago in Afghanistan and helicopters with infrared scopes."

(Editor's Comment: That explains the black helicopters of Jim Hogg County. Now, if we could only explain the other black helicopters elsewhere in the USA.)

"They are training their sights away from smugglers of drugs and migrants toward the terrorist threat, erasing the 'thin line between counterdrug and counterterror missions,' said Gen. John Yingling, one of their commanders. The U.S. military is moving closer to using its soldiers as law enforcers, as Mexico has done for years."

"Soldiers attached to Yingling's Joint Task Force 6, based just north of Ciudad Juarez at Fort Bliss, Texas, have orders to support U.S. drug enforcement. They 'could also be effectively employed in the combating terrorism effort,' said their spokesman, Armando Carrasco. 'Terrorism and drug trafficking are intertwined and use many of the same operational methods.'"

"They are under the new Northern Command headquarters in Colorado, which has been given responsibility for overseeing the United States, Mexico and Canada. The Northern Command includes officers of the CIA and the FBI, which in turn are sharing border security information with their Mexican counterparts. The Federal Protective Police (Policia Protectora Federale en espanol--J.T.), Mexico's equivalent of the FBI, is heavily involved in the new security mobilization, as is CISEN, Mexico's equivalent of the CIA."

"These links and coast-to-coast mobilization by both nations represents an international national-security network, U.S. and Mexican officials said."

"By collaborating against a foreign threat, both nations are crossing a line that they had never breached." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for March 23, 2003, "Mexican, U.S. military join to protect border," page 4A. Many thanks to Rick Wiles of American Freedom News for the story on Jim Hogg County.)

(Editor's Comment: Talk about deja vu all over again! Mexican troops north of the Rio Grande!? Sounds like the run-up to Y2K four years ago, doesn't it? With Vicente Fox's army on this side of the line, how soon before the red-white-and-green tricolor flag of Mexico appears over the Alamo?)

PROPHECIES FULFILLED

The outbreak of war in Iraq came as no surprise to most people. They'd been expecting it for a long time, although perhaps not as long as your editor, who first heard about Gulf War II in August 1991.

Although a Rhode Island resident at the time, I was here in Duluth, Minnesota on my annual vacation, and I made it a point to attend Ni-Mi-Win, the three-day powwow sponsored by the Anishinabe indigenous people (also known as Chippewa Indians) of the Lake Superior region.

At that time, Americans were basking in the glow of success. President George Herbert Walker Bush had liberated Kuwait. The Kurds were battling the Iraqi Army near Kirkuk and Irbil. The Shiites had revolted, too. All in all, it looked--at the time--as if Saddam Hussein would soon be just a bad memory.

Sunday, August 25, 1991, was a sunny and very breezy day here in Duluth. I drove up to the powwow site on Spirit Mountain, on the city's western edge, got there in time for Grand Entry, and watched the wisdom singers and colorfully-clad folk dancers.

Then an elderly Anishinabe lady in her nineties went to the grandstand and took the microphone. Her name was Charlotte Nahganub, and she had had "a dream prophecy" three weeks earlier that "the One Above" had told her to deliver at Ni-Mi-Win 1991.

Charlotte had an interest in the Persian Gulf. At the time, her great-grandson was in the Marines, had served in Operation Desert Storm and at that moment was stationed in Saudi Arabia. While she was sitting on the couch, knitting, at her home in Grand Portage, Minnesota, she had a strange vision.

This is how she described it to those of us who were standing in the prayer circle: "The white man is wrong. Saddam Hussein, the Evil One, is not finished. There will be another war ten years from now. A bigger war. Many Americans will die, but in the end, all will be well. The Evil One will start the new war. I saw him sitting at a table with his generals. They were all wearing black berets. I saw scenes of fighting that were worse than Desert Storm."

Then, something odd happened. She stopped short and, in a halting voice, added, "The One Above wants me to give you more prophecies. But he says there are people here who are not of Anishinabe blood. I ask these people to please leave the prayer circle. These prophecies are for my people's ears."

So I left. I went for a walk out to the council fire, well beyond earshot, and stood on the ridge and admired the view of the St. Louis River and the more distant Lake Superior. Hey, I'm not Ariel Sharon. I don't waddle into a world-famous mosque and then trash the place. Mrs. Nahganub asked me very nicely to leave, and, since I deeply respect the Anishinabe indigenous people and their Midewiwin religion, I complied with her request.

About ten minutes later, I heard the sound of the drums, and I returned to the circle. I can live without knowing the contents of every single prophecy.

But sometimes the prophecies come to you.

On Thursday, July 20, 2000, I was jolted awake during the early morning hours by a most disturbing dream. In this dream I encountered Tackanash, an elderly Anishinabe man who has appeared off-and-on in dreams throughout my life, on a wooded mountainside that may or may not have been somewhere in Kentucky or Tennessee. He sent me further up the mountain, where I encountered two of the Fatima seers, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto.

Even today, nearly three years later, their warnings still give me a shiver.

Tackanash said, "There's a lot going on that you don't know about. There's going to be a big war in the Middle East." and "We're talking about a real national emergency here. Everything in Michimackinakong (Anishinabe name for the USA--J.T.) is going to change."

And here is my encounter with the Marto children, exactly as I reported it back in July 2000.

"'Tackanash gave me some pretty disturbing news,' I remarked."

"'The Middle East will soon be at war. Thousands will be killed,' Jacinta said, touching my sleeve. 'It will go very hard for the Christians in your country, Joseph. The Shas Party (part of Israel's Likud--J.T.) is determined to root them out.'"

"'Many, many Christians will be persecuted, and more than a few will die,' Francisco said."

"'Not in the USA.' I shook my head. 'Not in the land of Thomas Jefferson.'"

"'Jefferson is nothing to the Shas Party. They're going to send their cat's paws, the Democrats, after those who serve Jesus. They will use the war-emergency to destroy those who follow Christ.'" (For the full story, see UFO Roundup, volume 5, number 30 for July 27, 2000, pages 8 to 11.)

Three years pass. On another Thursday, by some strange coincidence also the twentieth day of the month-- March 20, 2003, I pick up my USA Today, and there it is on page 1, "U.S. begins second Gulf War with a surprise missile strike at Iraq leaders."

Prophecy fulfilled, Tackanash. God help us all.

YELLOW-ORANGE UFO SEEN IN MEXICO's VERACRUZ STATE

On Saturday, March 8, 2003, at 6:30 p.m., "a yellow- orange UFO was sighted by Cynthia Saavedra and other witnesses in the city of Xalapa, in (Mexico's) state of Veracruz. Srta. Saavedra reported that the UFO 'was brilliant and luminous, with an equally luminous jet emerging from the tail.'"

"Srta. Saavedra and the witnesses had the object in view for 10 minutes before it disappeared from their sight. A short while later, it was followed by 'a second object of similar characteristics' which was 'accompanied by a small brilliant orange sphere.' Up to 15 people in Xalapa witnessed the unusual phenomenon."

Xalapa is 37 miles (59 kilometers) northwest of the seaport city of Veracruz. (See NotiOVNI for March 16, 2003. Muchas gracias a Daniel Munoz para eso informe.)

TALKING FISH WARNS OF IMPENDING APOCALYPSE

"An obscure Jewish sect in New York City has been gripped in awe by what it believes to be a mystical visitation by a 20-pound carp that was heard shouting in Hebrew, in what many Jews worldwide are hailing as a genuine miracle."

"Many of the 7,000-member Skver sect of Hasidim in New Square, N.Y., 30 miles (48 kilometers) north of New York City's Manhattan borough, "believe God has revealed himself in fish form."

(Editor's Note: This is close to Tarrytown, N.Y., the site of Sleepy Hollow, one of the most notorious paranormal sites in the USA, and home of the Headless Horseman.)

"According to two fish-cutters at the New Square Fish Market, the carp was about to be slaughtered and made into gefilte fish for Shabbath dinner when it suddenly began shouting apocalyptic warnings in Hebrew."

"Many believe the carp was channelling the troubled soul of a revered community elder who recently died; others say it was God."

"The only witnesses to the mystical show were Zalmen Rosen, a 57-year-old" Hasidic Jew "with 11 children, and his co-worker, Luis Nivelo. They say that on (Tuesday) January 28 (2003) at 4 p.m., they were about to club the carp on the head when it began yelling."

"Nivelo, a Gentile (non-Jew--J.T.) who does not understand Hebrew, was so shocked at the sight of a fish talking in any language that he fell over. He ran to the front of the store, screaming, 'It's the Devil! The Devil is here!'"

"Then the shop owner heard it shouting warnings and commands, too."

"'It said, 'Tzaruch shemirah' and 'Hasof bah',' he told the New York Times, 'Which essentially means everyone needs to account for themselves because the end is near.'"

"The anointed carp commanded Rosen to pray and study the Torah (First five books of the Bible--J.T.). Rosen tried to kill the fish but injured himself. It was finally butchered by Nivelo and sold."

"However, word spread far and wide and Nivelo complains he has been plagued by phone calls from as far away as London and Israel. The story has since been amplified by repitition and some now believe the fish was warning about the danger of the impending war in Iraq."

"Some say they fear the born-again President (George W.) Bush believes he is preparing the world for the Second Coming of (Jesus) Christ, and the war in Iraq is just the opening salvo in the battle of Armageddon."

"Local resident Abraham Spitz said, 'Two men don't dream the same dream. It is very rare that God reminds people he exists in the modern world. But when he does, you cannot ignore it.'"

"Others in New Square discount the apocalyptic warning altogether and suggest the notion of a talking fish is as fictional as Tony Soprano's talking-fish dream in an episode of The Sopranos," a TV show in the USA.

"Standup comedians have already incorporated the carp into their comedy routines at weddings. One gefilte company has considered changing its slogan to 'Our fish speaks for itself.'"

"Still, the shouting carp corresponds with the belief of some Hasidic sects that righteous people can be reincarnated as fish. They say that Nivelo may have been selected because he is not Jewish, but a weary Nivelo told the New York Times, 'I wish I never said anything about it. I'm getting so many calls every day, I've stopped answering the phone. Israel, London, Miami, Brooklyn. They all want to hear about the talking fish.'"

"A devout Christian, he still thinks the carp was the Devil. 'I don't believe any of this Jewish stuff. But I heard that fish talk.'" (See The Observer for March 16, 2003, "Word is made flesh as God reveals himself...as a fish." Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. and Robert Fischer for this newspaper article.)


From the UFO Files...

1932: MONKEY BUSINESS

If on a March evening in 1933, seventy years ago, you happened to visit Radio City Music Hall in New York City, you would have seen Patricia Bowman and Nicholas Dake performing Invitation to the Dance, followed by an orchestra selection, March Slav, and a dance number by an all-female troupe with the curious name of the Roxyettes (now the world-famous Rockettes--J.T.). Then came the main feature, a black and white film with a musical name...King Kong.

But it was no musical. In its March 3, 1933 edition, the New York Times described it as "a fantastic film in which a monstrous ape uses automobiles for missiles and climbs a skyscraper."

The story is known to all science fiction fans. Independent film producer Carl Denham "has decided to shoot a documentary on an island southwest of Sumatra--the eerie Skull Island (In Bahasa, the main language of Indonesia, that's Pulau Tengkorak--J.T.)...Denham is particularly intrigued by the legends of a native god named Kong. However, Denham also wants a 'pretty face' to help the box office...so roaming the streets, he finds a starving young woman named Ann Darrow (actress Fay Wray) and hires her to appear in his film. Enroute, Ann falls in love with Jack Driscoll, first mate of" the S.S. Venture.

"Arriving at the island, the filmmakers go ashore and try to sneak shots of natives doing a ritualistic dance. When they're spotted, the chief offers to trade several of his women for the blond Ann, whom he wishes to make the Bride of Kong. Denham refuses, and the filmmakers return to the ship."

"That night, however, the natives sneak onboard the ship, kidnap Ann and bind her between two pillars for Kong. Standing atop the huge (prehistoric) wall that protects their village from Kong, the natives sound a huge gong, and the giant ape appears."

"Smitten with Ann, Kong takes her in his mighty paw and heads for his cliffside lair. Meanwhile, having noticed that Ann was missing, Jack and Denham lead a party of sailors to the rescue." The rescuers destroy a charging stegosaurus and then build a raft to follow Kong into the swamp. This plan comes a cropper, though, when an unfriendly brontosaurus tips over the raft and starts chowing down on screaming sailors.

"When the men cross a log bridge over a deep chasm, the wary ape puts Ann in a tree, doubles back and shakes them off. Only Jack and Denham survive." Huddled in a cave, they try to avoid Kong's grasping paw. Then a fearful scream rings out. A wandering Tyrannosaurus Rex has discovered Ann and "tries to make a meal of his (Kong's) new bride. Jack stays on Kong's trail while Denham heads back to the native village."

"Grappling with the carnivore and snapping its jaw, Kong heads to his mountaintop cave where he battles a snake-like creature."

(Editor's Comment: Now, this critter was something to see. It had clawed feet, short, stumpy legs, a long snake-like body and flapping bat wings. And it exists nowhere in the fossil record. Not even in the Burgess shale!)

Kong "then crumples the wings of a pteranodon that tries to fly off with Ann. While the ape is busy tearing up the winged reptile, Jack manages to sneak away with Ann."

New York Times reviewer Mordaunt Hall pointed out, "Constant exclamations issued from Radio City Music Hall yesterday. 'What a man!' observed one youth (teenager) when the ape forced down the great oaken door on the island."

"He bashes down the gate to the wall and tramples natives underfoot in his search for Ann. Finally, reaching the beach, he is felled by Denham, who hurls a potent gas bomb. A raft is built, and King Kong is floated to New York, where he is chained and displayed in a theater as The Eighth Wonder of the World."

Hall noted, "Although there are vivid battles between prehistoric monsters on the island...it is when the enormous ape, called Kong, is brought to this city, that the excitement reaches its highest pitch."

"On opening night, Ann and Jack are brought onstage and press photographers snap pictures of them at the foot of the bound ape. Confusing the flashbulbs with an attack against Ann, Kong breaks his chrome-steel bonds" and goes on a rampage in midtown Manhattan.

Plucking Ann out of the hotel room where she had taken refuge with Jack, Kong "carries her to the top of the Empire State Building," where he is attacked by a squadron of U.S. Army Air Corps biplanes.

"Realizing that he can't be a king here as he was on Skull Island, the mighty ape puts Ann down, releases his grip on the tower, and plummets to the street. A police officer gloats that 'the airplanes got him.' In one of the most famous lines in cinema history, a numbed Denham replies, 'Oh no. It was beauty killed the beast.'"

There were 5,000 seats in the Radio City Music Hall theater that night. All of them were filled. King Kong, which Hall called "a weird tale," turned out to be one of the year's biggest moneymakers. It pulled RKO Radio Pictures, which was on the verge of bankruptcy as a result of the Depression, clean out of the red, giving the studio a lease on life that lasted another 22 years.

According to that eminent writer Philip Jose Farmer, after Kong's demise, the carcass was confiscated by then- Colonel Henry H. Arnold. Since Kong "was the first giant ape shot down in aerial combat," Hap Arnold had the hide removed from the carcass "and turned into a rug for the Officer's Club" at Mitchell Field, Long Island, N.Y.

Some trivia: what is Kong's scientific name?

Answer: Brontogorilla denhami.

By the way, the film's female lead, Montana-born actress Fay Wray, is still alive and turns 97 this year. No doubt this would come as a shock to the people in the audience at Radio City Music Hall that night. By the final reel, they probably doubted that Ms. Wray would make it to her 27th birthday. (See the book The Encyclopedia of Monsters by Jeff Rovin, Facts on File Books, 1989, page 173. Also the New York Times for March 3, 1933, "The Screen," Section 12, page 1.)

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 week.

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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