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Volume 8
Number 15
April 9th, 2003

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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Despite a heavy Allied bombing raid on the as-Zab As- Saghir (Little Zab River) valley in northern Iraq, UFOs appeared in the night skies of that embattled Middle East nation last week.

During the early hours of Wednesday, April 2, 2003, Allied B-52 bombers "hit targets outside Kirkuk in the heaviest and most frequent bombing around the strategic oil center since the war began." Two-thousand-pound "steerable" bombs came raining down on Zarzi and other sites in the Little Zab valley, which is alleged to be "Saddam's Area 51" because of the reputed presence of aliens there.

"The bombers flew so high they could not be seen," said Ayesha al-Khatabi, one of UFO Roundup's correspondents in the Middle East. "My Iraqi sources told me that people in the valley heard the loud whistle of the falling bombs, then a series of explosions. Zarzi and Qala Dizeh were bombed. But not the citadel at Qalaat-e- Julundi, which is seven kilometers (4 miles) down the (Little Zab) river from Zarzi. The Ishkut-i-Kurh-i-Kish (famous imam's tomb in nearby Shornakh--J.T.) also escaped damage, as did the ziqqurat (pyramid) of the sorcerer Gimil-ishbi in Altun Kopru (formerly the ancient Sumerian city of Shimurru back in 3000 B.C.--J.T.)."

According to stories making the rounds in the Middle Eastern UFO community, a saucer was shot down in Iraq either during Gulf War 1 in 1991 or during Operation Desert Fox in 1998. Saddam Hussein reportedly granted the aliens sanctuary, allowing them to remain in Iraq if they would help him neutralize the technological military advantages enjoyed by his enemies, the USA, UK and Israel. The aliens were reportedly staying at either the underground base at Zarzi or at the centuries-old citadel of Qalaat-e-Julundi on the Little Zab River. (For more, see UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 51 for December 16, 2002, "Saddam's Area 51?")

Zarzi is about 72 kilometers (45 miles) west of Kirkuk.

Kirkuk is the main objective of the Peshmirga (Kurdish militia--J.T.) and 2,200 paratroopers of the U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade. After taking Chamchamal, the Peshmirga (Kurdish for Those who are ready to die -- J.T.) forced Iraqi troops of the 1st and 5th Mechanized Divisions out of Taqtaq on Monday, March 31, 2003, and then pushed on to Kalak on Wednesday, April 2, 2003.

By Saturday, April 5, 2003, the Allied forces grabbed the bridge over the Khazer River and halted at Bahra, 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Mosul. A furious artillery duel took place in Mankubah, 19 kilometers (12 miles) east of Mosul.

"The Peshmirga and their Green Berets (U.S. Army Special Forces advisors--J.T.) are arrayed in a horseshoe around the valley, but they have not yet entered it in force," Ayesha added, "The Iraqis are dug in west of Bahra and are hitting the Anglo-American coalition forces with artillery fire."

Despite the Allied pressure on Zarzi, UFOs made their first appearance of the war last week.

On Thursday, March 27, 2003, an oblong luminous UFO hovered over the holy city of Najaf (population 560,000), located about 100 kilometers (60 miles) south of Baghdad. A photo showing the unknown object, with a G.I. of the 3rd Brigade, 101st Airborne Division pointing at it with his forefinger, appeared in the newspaper Euronews, according to French ufologist Thierry Garnier.

"The journalist of Euronews does not mention anything about the object and attributed the destruction of the (Allied) tank to 'an accidental implosion,' Thierry reported.

French ufologist Franck Marie said the image first appeared on the Euronews website at 1:30 a.m. on Friday, March 28, 2003, "but it was gone by 2 a.m."

UFO Roundup correspondent Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar stated, "The UFO's appearance caused great excitement among the Shiites who saw it. They said it had come from Allah's Gardens of Bliss to protect the Tomb of Ali."

(Editor's Note: Najaf is a holy city to Shiite Muslims because of the golden-domed mosque that stands over the grave of Ali, the son-in-law of the prophet Mohammed. The mosque miraculously escaped damage last week from the 101st Airborne's howitzer barrage.)

At 11:57 p.m. Baghdad time on Thursday, April 3, 2003, "tiny UFOs that are shaped like a tube with a rotating spiral around them" appeared over Baghdad. The small probes drifted over the midtown area between the Abu Ghrab Expressway and Qadisiya Street, around Zawra Park.

Eagle-eyed UFO Roundup correspondent Grady Croy spotted the UFOs during a live broadcast from Baghdad "while watching FOX News Studio B with Shepard Smith, we saw very plain some of these tiny UFOs...I called FOX News but they wouldn't talk to me." He estimated that the objects hovered for five minutes over Baghdad before vanishing. (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for Monday, March 31, 2003, "U.S. and British warplanes control the skies over battlefield," page 4A; USA Today for Tuesday, April 1, 2003, "Iraq reinforces Baghdad as U.S. troops advance," page 3A; for Wednesday, April 2, 2003, "New offensive toward Baghdad," page 3A; for Thursday, April 3, 2003, "Coalition forces in sight of Baghdad," page 3A; and for Friday, April 4, 2003, "U.S. troops fight in outskirts of Baghdad," page 3A and "The Battle of Baghdad," pages 10A and 11A. Many thanks to Thierry Garnier, Franck Marie, Grady Croy, Ayesha al- Khatabi and Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar for these reports.)

(Editor's Comment: What's up for Zarzi next? Your guess is as good as mine, readers. Hopefully, we won't see a repeat of the bloodbath in Dulce, New Mexico that reportedly took place in September 1969, when then- President Richard M. Nixon sent a brigade of U.S. Marines to destroy a group of aliens that took over an underground U.S. laboratory. The situation in Iraq changes by the hour, so stay tuned.)


"Among the hundreds of meetings and briefings that took place in the Pentagon's bowels in the months leading up to Operation Iraqi Freedom, one earned a fleeting distinction in the New York Times, where columnist Bill Keller sniffed that 'several man-hours of valuable intelligence-crunching time' had been 'consumed (by a writer) who claims'--I am not making this up--that messages encoded in the Hebrew text of the Old Testament provide clues to the whereabouts of Osama Bin Laden.'"

"'Maybe we're all a little too desperate these days for a simple formula to explain how our safe world came unhinged,' Keller said."

"The gathering, which reportedly took place February 21 (2003), was said to have been convened by Paul Wolfowitz, the hawkish U.S. Deputy Secretary of Defence, and attended by ten top military intelligence officials, including Vice Admiral Lowell 'Jake' Jacoby and Wolfowitz's deputy, Linton Wells, who is in charge of the Pentagon's nerve centre known as 3CI (Command, Control, Communications)."

"On the eve of war, the military brass listened intently for a full hour as (author) Michael Drosnin expounded on his two brisk-selling volumes on the Bible Code."

"Drosnin argues the Hebrew Torah--the first five books of the Old Testament--were intentionally encrypted, by a higher power, with prophetic warnings that have accurately predicted the Great Depression, the Second World War, the Kennedy assassinations, the moon landing, Watergate and 9/11--and foretell the fall of Saddam Hussein and the precise location of Bin Laden."

"The Americans 'took it very seriously,' Drosnin says, 'They're practical people and I wanted to give them something of practical use.'"

"As a result of the meeting, Drosnin says U.S. and Israeli intelligence forces are hot on Bin Laden's trail in that very place the Bible mentions, 'right as we speak.'"

"Of course, he would not divulge where that place is."

"As for Saddam Hussein, the Bible's embedded code ponders, 'Who is destroyed?' and then, in the same matrix, answers, 'Hussein,' with the following number covering his name: 5673, the Jewish year that corresponds to 2003."

"'That foretells the outcome of this conflict,' Drosnin says confidently, 'It might be obvious now, but it wasn't when I told them.'"

"It could be that the U.S. defence establishment is grasping at straws, or that more and more people in Washington are motivated by a White House that frequently invokes God and religion. Drosnin discounts the religious angle."

"'This is not based on faith. This is based on experience. The Code keeps coming true.'"

"Drosnin is a secular Jew, a former police reporter of the Washington Post and former writer for the Wall Street Journal. To be sure, his books, The Bible Code (1997) and last year's (2002) sequel, Bible Code II: The Countdown, has been used by various fundamentalists, prophets of doom and supermarket tabloids as sure signs that the Good Book knows all and that the end is nigh."

"Detractors point out that the Code violates the Bible's own ban on soothsaying."

"Drosnin himself says he did not fully believe the Code's power until Israeli Prime Minister Yitzhak Rabin was murdered in November 1995. Having learned Hebrew and the computer program that searches for hidden words, he found Yitzhak Rabin intersected with assassin that will assassinate. Drosnin says he warned the doomed leader in a letter in September 1994 that the Bible predicted he would be assassinated that Jewish calendar year."

"After the killing, the word Amir was found as part of the same grid. Rabin's killer was Yigal Amir. Drosnin remembers his reaction: 'Oh, my God! It's real!'"

"The idea of a second text embedded in the Bible is hardly new. In the Twelfth Century, European rabbis went about discovering meaningful words hidden in the Hebrew text of the Torah."

Sir "Isaac Newton, the scientist who discovered gravity, obsessively searched the Bible for the 'cryptograms sent by the Almighty,' in the words of John Maynard Keynes in a biographical sketch of Newton. But lacking a computer, Newton could only speculate. He did, however, set a date for Armageddon, based on his research," the year 2060.

"Sixty years ago, in Prague, Rabbi Michael Ber- Weissmandl expanded the search. But the true breakthrough came in the early 1990s by a team of Israeli mathematicians led by Eliyahu Rips, an expert in group theory, a field that underlies quantum physics."

"Using a computer, Rips converted the Bible into a string of 304,805 Hebrew letters, minus spaces, and looked for the names of the great Jewish sages in close proximity to both their birth and death dates. He was astonished to find many matches and calculated the probability of finding his results by random at one in ten million. His paper, called Equidistant Letter Sequencing in the Book of Genesis, was published in the journal Statistical Science in 1994. The math in the thrice-referenced book was pronounced ironclad. The coup-de-grace, as it were, came when Harold Gans, 'the USA's top cryptologist with the Defence Department,' set out to disprove Rips's work and ended up corroborating it."

"Drosnin used the methodology 'to claim the Bible tends to render prophecies. On Sept. 11, 2001, for example, his computer allegedly found twin, towers, airplane and it knocked down hidden in the Bible, and sin, crime of Bin Laden intersected with city and tower."

"And apparently the Big One is coming. Drosnin's most dire warning yet contains the words world war, atomic holocaust and end of things all in the close vicinity of (the year) 2006."

"While Drosnin apparently has his fans in U.S. military circles, both Rips and Gans have distanced themselves from Drosnin's conclusions, saying using the Torah code to predict the future is unfounded, futile and of no value."

"Barry Levy, dean of McGill University's religious studies department and a Torah scholar, says, 'I'm surprised to learn that the Pentagon is engaging in sorcery as part of its military strategy. There is nothing particularly spiritual or convincing or ideal about this. It's entertainment.'"

"'The Code just confirms ideas people already have. To imagine this does anything other than provide spectacular entertainment is just silly,' Levy says, 'You could probably do this with a newspaper.'" (See the National Post of Canada for April 2, 2003, "Decoding Bible's cryptogram." Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour cette article de journal.)


"I used to think you people were just a bunch of breakfast flakes, always yapping about black helicopters," UFO Roundup reader Scott Falzone wrote,
"But then I walked out of my home" on Staten Island, one of the five boroughs that make up New York City, "to catch the ferry Wednesday (April 2, 2003), and there's one of the (expletive) things flying over St. George heading for the Statue of Liberty. In broad daylight yet! It was a (UH-60) Blackhawk and it was all black."

Scott was just one of the thousands of New Yorkers who awakened Wednesday to the reality of black helicopters flying patrols over the Big Apple.

"Sophisticated radar planes that are capable of spotting aircraft up to 250 miles (400 kilometers) away are patrolling the nation's border from Wisconsin to Maine to protect against terrorist attacks, federal Homeland Security officials announced Wednesday," April 2, 2003.

"If an alert is sounded, pilots like Genaro Rodriguez and Daniel Salkeld are sent up as part of four-member crews on Black Hawks. Their only weapon is a blinding spotlight dubbed 'the Night Sun' that can be shone on craft. 'It will burn your skin at 50 feet (15 meters),' Rodriguez said."

"Black Hawk crews try to establish radio contact with unauthorized aircraft and then escort them out of restricted airspace. Restricted space stretches 30 miles (50 kilometers) from each of the (New York City) region's major airports. Pilots within that space must identify themselves and follow the commands of the control towers."

"Since the start of the Washington patrols, Black Hawk crews have been sent up after three to five planes a day on average, said Charles Stallworth, director of the federal Office of Air and Marine Interdiction. So far, all offenders have been recreational pilots who have strayed. None of the alerts have resulted in calling out more than the Black Hawks. If a Black Hawk's commands are ignored, then military jet fighters are summoned."

"On Wednesday (April 2, 2003), the Black Hawk crews demonstrated their duties. Taking off from Teterboro (airport in New Jersey--J.T.), they flew to New York City at altitudes from 600 to 1,500 feet (180 to 450 meters) and circled near the Statue of Liberty, United Nations headquarters, the Empire State Building and Ground Zero (the site of the destroyed World Trade Center--J.T.) a somber reminder of the terrorist attacks the crews are assigned to help prevent."

"'What happened here shouldn't have happened,' Rodriguez said, quickly adding, 'our mission is more important than ever.'" (See USA Today for Thursday, April 3, 2003, "Early-warning planes now patrol in Northeast," page 8A.)

(Editor's Comment: Apparently, here's the solution to the mystery of all those black helicopter sightings in Rehoboth, Massachusetts last summer. The Office of Air and Marine Interdiction (OAMI) must have been training its Blackhawk crews, using the coastline of Mount Hope Bay in Massachusetts as a stand-in for the New York City metro area. See UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 30 for July 23, 2002, "Black helicopters return to Rehoboth," page 10.)


Late Wednesday evening, March 19, 2003, according to Venezuelan ufologist Arturo Escalante, "a teenaged couple observed the maneuvers of a circular UFO over the outskirts of the Cerro Avila (hill) in Urbanizacion Mariperes, a suburb of Caracas," the capital of Venezuela.

"The strange object, festooned with flashing lights colored green and yellow, was seen between 10 p.m. and 10:30 p.m. It made a short vertical rise which culminated in an instantaneous departure to a neighboring mountain peak." (See NotiOVNI for March 30, 2003. Muchas gracias a Daniel Munoz para eso informe.)


On Thursday, March 27, 2003, between 6 p.m. and 6:40 p.m., "a UFO was filmed flying over the small city of Rondonopolis," in the state of Mato Grosso do Norte in western Brazil.

"Videographer Laurindo Guedes Jr. and Joao Jacka were working in their photography store at the Mikekinos Building in Rondonopolis when they spotted a luminous object in the sky. The UFO was disc-shaped and had a bright spot in its center. Guedes grabbed his video camera, rushed outdoors and caught the strange flying object in his viewfinder. He obtained 10 minutes of videotape showing the maneuvers of the UFO in the skies above this Brazilian city. The UFO suddenly departed at precisely 6:40 p.m."

"Another UFO was reported flying over Ponte de Pedra," a small town on the Rio Sacuiuina, also in Mato Grosso do Norte.

Rondonopolis is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) west of Brasilia, the national capital. (Muito obrigado a Eustaquio Andrea Patounas por esos casos.)


"A mare turned up dead in (central) Argentina with mutilations on its jawbone. No traces of blood were found nearby, according to the Circulo Ovniologico Riocuartense," a UFO research group.

"The incisions performed on the tissue were perfectly cauterized."

"The animal belonged to a livestock rancher named Daniel Godoy, whose property is located 7 kilometers (4 miles) southeast of the town of Villa Valeria in (Argentina's) Cordoba province, some 120 kilometers (72 miles) southeast of Rio Cuarto on Ruta (Route) 35, which links Cordoba to La Pampa."

"Initial information states that the animal did not suffer from any illnesses whatsoever beyond a slight hip problem. Police from Villa Valeria responded to the scene. However, no report whatsoever has been produced to date." (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Mario Luis Bracamonte para eso informe.)


On Thursday, March 13, 2003, "a large white illumination travelling from west to east at 1,000 feet (300 meters) in altitude" was seen at One Mile Beach in Anna Bay, located 30 kilometers (18 miles) from Newcastle, New South Wales in Australia.

The witness reported, "My wife and I witnessed it at 8:08 p.m. We were walking along the beach in a westerly direction, approximately two-thirds of the way to the westerly end of the beach, where we watched a 'low star' appear over the sea, west of One Mile Point, a hill approximately 80 meters (264 feet) high. The 'low star' appeared in the west and travelled in a horizontal plane to the east directly across our facing path, at what seemed to be an even and regular speed. The object travelled west to east in an unchanging direction and horizontal plane at a height of no more than I estimate at 300 meters (1,000 feet), then it suddenly stopped, then disappeared directly to the south in less than a second or so."

"I liken the speed to that of a military helicopter. In fact, I thought the object was a helicopter with its searchlight, as several of these aircraft have been flying regularly in our vicinity for the past few months. This object was not a helicopter."

The witness estimated that the UFO was "some 1 to 3 kilometers" (0.6 to 1.8 miles) away." (Many thanks to John Hayes and Australia's National UFO Hotlines for this report.)


"Fishermen working in Antarctic waters have made an extremely rare catch--a colossal squid with eyes as big as dinner plates and razor-sharp hooks on its tentacles, a marine researcher said Thursday," April 3, 2003.

"The 330-pound, 16-foot (5.3-meter) long specimen was caught in the Ross Sea, said Steve O'Shea, a research fellow with the Auckland (New Zealand) University of Technology. He said the squid was a young female; adults are much bigger."

"Only one other colossal squid has ever been caught before. Scientists knew of their existence because their beaks have been found in the stomachs of sperm whales."

"'All we know is that it can move through the water...to a depth of 2,000 meters (6,561 feet) and it is an extremely active and extremely aggressive killer,' O'Shea said." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for April 4, 2003, "Fishermen catch giant squid," page 2A.)

From the UFO Files...


On Lansdowne Road, in South London, is a small villa with a very mysterious history. For it was here that one of the Nineteenth Century's foremost mystics, Elena Petrovna von Hahn Blavatsky, better known as Madame Blavatsky, spent the last years of her unusual life.

"On Saturdays, starting in the afternoon and often lasting till the wee hours, Madame would hold forth on the elements of the Secret Doctrine, imparted to her telepathically by the spiritual masters of Tibet. Madame orated in a stentorian voice, audible for blocks in that quiet neighborhood, to rapt audiences of her followers, her soon-to-be-enemies, and those who attended to the latest fashion."

"Next to Queen Victoria, no other woman commanded the allegiance of so many respectable men."

On this particular April Saturday in 1888, a group of wannabe Adepts had flocked to Madame's for the weekly get- together. Present this day were British psychic Elisabeth Morgan and her Belgian protege, Alexandra David, two famous Irish authors, William Butler Yeats and George Russell (better known by his pen name AE), Polish mystic Julianna Glinka and Charles Johnson, founder of the UK's Hermetic Society. Plus the usual complement of new people interested in joining Madame Blavatsky's Theosophical Society.

One of the newcomers was Major Learner, formerly of Her Majesty's Horse Guards. The major, a rather portly fellow, made the wooden stairs creak as he entered the villa's enclosed porch, presented his card, and was told that the discussion groups would begin shortly, and would he care for some Turkish coffee beforehand?

Major Learner would have much preferred a "spot" (whiskey--J.T.), wondered how far it was to the nearest pub, decided that he would rather not tire himself out searching for one, and retired instead to Madame Blavatsky's library.

What ancient wisdom do we have here? he mused, running his pudgy forefinger along the books stacked on the middle shelf. He settled on one volume with a gilt- edged spine--the Kama Sutra.

Capital! he thought, Why, I haven't seen one of these since I left Peshawar. He looked around eagerly. Now, if only I could find a place to take a load off...

Still a newcomer to Theosophy, Major Learner was unaware that Madame had "an inner sanctum ruled off-limits to the profane. There the initiates conversed with Instructors, higher beings from the astral plane who were otherwise invisible."

Opening a side door, he saw a small, ornately- furnished parlor with two divans facing each other. The divan on the right contained Miss Holmwood, one of Madame Blavatsky's most ardent disciples. She was quite a sight. Try to picture a well-dressed Victorian lady with pince- nez, a woolen blazer with leg-o-mutton sleeves, and ankle- length skirt sitting in a lotus position on the small sofa. Chin upright, eyes closed, legs crossed, hand knuckles at rest on her knees, a transcendent expression on her heart-shaped face.

The divan across from her was empty.

Perfect! Major Learner thought, and, striding into the parlor, he parked his massive cavalryman's rump squarely on the cushions of the divan. And then he thumbed open his book to begin reading.

Miss Holmwood's eyes popped open. She "pointed to him and uttered a horrified cry. All eyes fell on the poor man."

"Learner, get up!" Miss Holmwood ordered, in a tone she might have used with one of her own students at the boarding school. "You are sitting on an Instructor!"

"Are you barmy!?" he exclaimed, his Kitchener moustache bristling in indignation. "There's no one here but me!"

"You bloody fool! You're sitting on Damodar!"

"Even the Gnostics couldn't see him, except for the agitated Miss Holmwood. She flung herself down in front of the sofa, quickly deserted, and wrung her hands in pitiful abnegation. Now two others 'saw' the Instructor, while the rest peered hopefully through the customary volutes of blue (smoke)."

One of the witnesses made an expression of sorrow. Removing his hat, he swiftly covered his cravat.

Perhaps not surprisingly, Major Learner did not remain long with the Theosophical Society. When she heard what happened, Madame Blavatsky sighed, shook her curly- haired head and said of Learner, "What a flapdoodle!"

Willam Butler Yeats, who was there, wrote about the incident to his fellow Irish poet, Katharine Tynan: "A sad accident happened at Madame Blavatsky's lately, I hear. A big materialist sat on the astral double of a poor young Indian. He was sitting on the sofa and he was too material to be able to see it. Certainly a sad accident!"

Although some might dismiss it all as an illusion on the part of Miss Holmwood, there was a curious happenstance in India the following day, a Sunday morning. Adjusting for time zones, it happened at the same moment Major Learner occupied the supposedly empty divan in the parlor.

Hindus at the Vadakkunathan Kshtram temple in Thrissur, near Madras, saw a young maharishi sitting in the lotus position near the fountains, facing west. He appeared to be in a state of samadhi. All at once, he snapped out of it, looked upward with an expression of horror on his face, and cried out...in English!

"Sir! No! Don't do it! Don't sit down!"

The aftermath was described in a letter to the Governor-General by the Madras police: "There is great agitation among the Brahmins of Thrissur following the unexplained death of a youthful swami on the grounds of the temple. People who were at the temple when this incident supposedly occurred made the claim that this swami was crushed by an invisible force. Their superstitious belief was certainly strengthened by the physical condition of the remains. The poor fellow looked as if he had been struck by an elephant falling from the roof of the Kala Bagh." (See the books W.B. Yeats: A New Biography by A. Norman Jeffares, Farrar, Strauss, Giroux, New York, N.Y., 1988, pages 20 to 23; HPB--The Extraordinary Life and Influence of Madame Blavatsky, Founder of the Modern Theosophical Movement by Sylvia Cranston, G.P. Putnam's Sons, New York, N.Y., 1993, pages 327 to 330; and Forbidden Journey--The Life of Alexandra David-Neel by Barbara M. Foster and Michael Goster, Harper and Row, San Francisco, California, 1987, pages 38 to 40.)

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 in seven days.

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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