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Volume 8
Number 33
September 3, 2003

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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STRANGE BLACKOUT KILLS ELECTRICITY IN LONDON

Another mysterious blackout occurred last week, when "power went out in London and parts of southeast England, stranding hundreds of thousands of commuters" for about 45 minutes on Thursday, August 28, 2003.

Half a million people were affected when the outage struck in London and the county of Kent, southeast of the city.

The blackout brought "much of the London Underground (subway) and regional trains to a halt at rush hour."

"Overland train service was temporarily halted in those areas and trains were canceled or delayed throughout the evening. Problems on London's aging subway system (affectionately called The Tube--J.T.) were also widespread and long-lasting."

"The power problem originated in two high-voltage lines belonging to the national power grid that help supply the Wimbledon area of southwest London."

The blackout in London came exactly two weeks after a massive blackout in the USA and Canada on Thursday, August 14, 2003, that turned off electrical power to 50 million people from New York City to Detroit. (See USA Today for August 29, 2003, "40-minute power outage hits London," page 5A; the Minneapolis, Minn. Star-Tribune for August 29, 2003, "Power failure jolts London," page A15; and the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for August 29, 2003, "Blackout snarls the Underground," page 2A.)

(Editor's Comment: Another blackout! What do you think, readers? Is somebody gunning for the coalition Allies?)

ANOTHER BLACKOUT UFO SEEN IN NORTHERN OHIO

A triangular UFO was spotted over Toledo, Ohio (population 313,619), a port city at the western end of Lake Erie, the day before the big blackout.

Eyewitness Lissy Dunning reported, "The date would have been (Wednesday) August 13 (2003). It was very strange, and we won't forget what it was. I wasn't sure how to draw it, but it was triangle-shaped with a bar across the front. I'm 42 years old and have never seen anything like it."

"In talking to my ex-boyfriend and his cousin, when we described it, they thought it was either a Stealth fighter (F-117) or an F-22. My daughter and I viewed pictures of both on the Internet, and it was neither. We didn't see any engines, and the closest we have been able to come to a description in terms of if it's an aircraft, is the Aurora."

"However, the pictures of the Aurora don't look exactly like what we saw. The dimensions are hard to estimate because it was very high up in the sky. But it was tan versus black, like in pictures of the Aurora, and it was the same triangular shape, but my daughter thinks the bar in front could have been some kind of stabilizer. It was heading southeast, which is away from the airport. I find this quite odd, as well, since the planes that go over don't generally fly in this direction."

Twenty-four hours after Lissy Dunning's sighting, a strange and still unexplained "event" in the electrical lines of the Lake Erie region triggered the biggest mass blackout in American history. (See Filer's Files for August 28, 2003. Many thanks to George A. Filer for allowing UFO Roundup to use this newsletter article.)

BLACK HELICOPTERS ARE SPOTTED IN HOLLYWOOD

Several mysterious black helicopters were seen over Hollywood in southern California at 1 p.m. on Thursday, August 14, 2003, the precise moment that the unexplained outage halted electrical power to 50 million people in the northeastern USA and in Canada.

(Editor's Note: 1 p.m. Pacific Daylight Time in Hollywood is 4 p.m. Eastern Daylight Time on the USA's East Coast.)

Eyewitness James Koy reported, "It didn't have much significance at the time, but on the day of the blackout (Thursday, August 14, 2003), my telemarketer co-worker had been complaining to himself about not being able to get some kind of information from his National Guard contacts due to alleged 'downed' government computers."

"While driving home from my job, I saw three unusual helicopters (very dark and large, military style--J.K.) flying fairly low over the clear-skied city of Hollywood. This all happened just before 1 p.m. Pacific time which would be just before the 4 p.m. 'blackout' on the East Coast. Just thought I'd let you know."

In other black helicopter news, mysterious choppers flying in groups of three and four were seen Thursday, August 28, 2003, flying low over a few communities in southeastern Massachusetts.

The black helicopters, identified as UH-60 Blackhawks, were seen flying and hovering over single homes and wooded areas in the Bakers Corner area of Seekonk, Mass., Tremont Street and Route 118 in Rehoboth, Mass., and the Hebronville and Dodgeville sections of Attleboro, Mass. (population 42,068).

All three communities, located about 30 miles (50 kilometers) southwest of Boston, have had repeated black helicopter sightings this summer. (Many thanks to James Koy and Mary Lou Jones-Drown for these reports.)

MOTHMAN CURSE TOPPLES A BRIDGE IN DAMAN, INDIA

Once again, a bridge collapse has closely followed the premiere of the 2002 film, The Mothman Prophecies. This time the disaster occurred in India.

"With the recovery of four more bodies, the total in yesterday's (Thursday, August 28, 2003) bridge collapse in Daman," 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Mumbai (formerly Bombay--J.T.), "rose to 27, including 23 school children."

"The 335-meter (1,105-foot) bridge collapsed when both ends suddenly crumpled inwards."

"At least 24 people were injured, but most of them were discharged after first aid. Six of them, who were seriously injured, were admitted to hospital in Haria, near Daman, a former Portuguese colony that was liberated in 1960 along with Goa and Diu."

"According to the Daman police, the body of one Bharat Patel, a teacher with Our Lady of Fatima Convent High School in Moti Daman, washed ashore at Pithal on the Arabian Sea in Valsad district this morning (Friday, August 29, 2003), while the body of one Chirag Rathod, age 8, was recovered from Nani Daman Jetti."

"Search was still on for seven more missing persons, who are presumed dead. Two more bodies recovered were yet to be identified, reports said."

"About a dozen vehicles, including a mini-bus carrying the school children, had fallen into the flooded river Damanganga when an old dilapidated bridge connecting Nani Daman and Moti Daman collapsed yesterday afternoon."

"The authorities have so far retrieved a Maruti van, an auto-rickshaw and six two-wheelers from the river."

"Local administration, with the help of local people and divers from the Indian Navy, who were airlifted from their Mumbai base, and the Coast Guard had recovered 28 people, including 24 children, from the swollen river last evening."

"Sources said of the 27 killed, 23 were school children, the majority of them from Our Lady of Fatima Convent High School, and were on their way home when the tragedy struck."

This is the second time a bridge collapse has followed the premiere of the film The Mothman Prophecies. A highway bridge crumbled in Oklahoma at the same moment The Mothman Prophecies was showing for the first time in Sydney, Australia. The climax of the movie, which stars Richard Gere, Laura Linney and Debra Messing, features a re-enactment of the collapse of the Silver Bridge into the Ohio River on December 15, 1967, an event predicted by a mysterious entity called Mothman.

Three days before the Daman bridge collapse, on Monday, August 25, 2003, The Mothman Prophecies premiered on the British cable TV network Sky Movies and, earlier in August, was broadcast for the first time in India. (See Pakistan Daily Times for August 30, 2003, "India reels after blasts, bridge collapse and stampede." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this report.)

(Editor's Comment: Right now Debbie Messing is in UK, filming her new romantic comedy Something Borrowed. Some advice, Deb, for you and your actor-writer husband, Daniel Zelman--drive carefully over there...and stay the hell off of bridges!)

DAYLIGHT DISC SPOTTED IN ANAHEIM, CALIFORNIA

On Saturday, August 23, 2003, at 1:20 p.m., Kevin Seeger was driving on Interstate Highway I-5 in Anaheim, California (population 328,014), about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles, when he spotted a disc-shaped UFO.

"I was traveling north on I-5 in Anaheim," Kevin reported, "I had just gotten onto the freeway at Katella Drive and had negotiated the crossing of two lanes when I scanned the sky. There were some clouds, and aircraft appeared clearly as reflecting glints coming and going from LAX (Los Angeles International Airport--J.T.)."

"Much nearer to me was a glint that was moving relatively fast in the sky (due to my motion towards it-- K.S.) I kept an eye on it as I drove, expecting it to be a Mylar balloon. But as I approached it, it was clearly saucer-shaped. As I passed under it, I lost my vantage. Had I been in a middle lane, I would have found the shoulder (gotten off the freeway--J.T.), but I was not yet at traffic speed and was unable to get to a safe stop."

"I got a good look at it as I passed under it. It was clearly white with red splotches, kind of a marbling (coloration). I couldn't tell if the red was energy, because it looked to me as if it differed from the white only in color. It seemed only as high as a tall building, and I experienced no EM (electromagnetic) issues with the car. This craft was extremely fast, and with no noticeable 'bubble' on top from my angle of viewing." (Email Form Report)

UFOs ARE SIGHTED IN AUSTRALIA

On Monday, August 25, 2003, at 8 p.m., the male witness "had just finished work and was walking to my car" in Melbourne, the capital of Australia's southern state of Victoria, when two UFOs approached from the west.

"It was a cool, clear evening with a few dissipating clouds, and I looked skyward to view the stars. Suddenly, across the sky, travelling at extreme speeds, were two light bluish beams of light running parallel and quite close to each other."

"At first I thought that it was just a shooting star, but the trajectory was too straight and too level, and the tail of a shooting star is normally solid. The beams quickly crossed the sky and disappeared behind a cloud."

"My conclusion is that the light beams are the exhaust of thruster rockets of some craft driven perhaps by a nuclear-powered ion propulsion engine. I could not make out a shape in front of the beams, so I wasn't really sure what exactly I saw."

The UFOs "were at 30,000 feet (9,000 meters) and travelling five times faster than your average commercial jet."

Two days later, on Wednesday, August 27, 2003, at 8:20 p.m., in Boronia, Vic., eyewitness S.R. reported, "My father rang me and said he had just seen these strange orange lights below cloud level move across the city. I rang the Boronia police station, and they said they had had lots of phone calls about it."

S.R.'s father described his sighting as "ten orange lights with an orange glow, moving slowly across the sky." (Email Form Reports)

ANOTHER UFO SIGHTED IN CARACAS, VENEZUELA

Venezuela's UFO flap entered its second week with a new sighting in Caracas, the national capital.

According to CEINPLA, Venezuela's UFO research group, the sighting took place on Wednesday, August 27, 2003.

"Sra. G. Gutierrez Lomas witnessed a strange light which split in two at midnight (Wednesday, August 27, 2003) from the El Silencio sector of downtown Caracas. The light appeared to be moving from the La Candelaria sector to the Ruperto Lugo sector, where it made a sudden inexplicable turn and made a beeline for the now-famous Cerro El Avila mountain area," the site of the first week's UFO sightings.

CEINPLA interviewed Sra. Gutierrez on Thursday, August 28, 2003. (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Martha Rosenthal para esas noticias.)

FOUR PEOPLE SEE A UFO IN SCARBOROUGH, ONTARIO

On Thursday, August 21, 2003, at 8 p.m., in Scarborough, Ontario, Canada, eyewitness K.B. reported, "I was looking straight up in the sky and noticed a very bright object which I thought was a star. I motioned to my husband, and we both watched as it moved slowly and slightly south. I called my daughter and mother outside to see it, as we thought it could be Mars (supposed to be very close to Earth around this date--K.B.)."

"All of a sudden, the light started to glow off and on like it was on fire. An orange/yellow radiance off and on. Then my daughter noticed that there were two more forming a triangle."

"My husband looked up and noticed a lime-olive- colored green string of some kind that stretched from my neighbor's house, across our yard, over our patio umbrella and up into the very high trees. My husband tried to pull it down and eventually did. It is like nothing I have ever seen before."

"We then looked up and watched as the lights then moved south quicker and eventually disappeared. I did not call anyone because I felt nobody would believe us. All told, there were four people who saw this strange event." (Email Form Report)

(Editor's Note: Now, the "green string" is a very rare Fortean phenomenon which researcher Ivan D. Sanderson called "fishlines of the gods." A case identical to K.B.'s took place on August 6, 1970 in Caldwell, New Jersey. See the book Weird America by Jim Brandon, E.P. Dutton, New York, N.Y., 1978, pages 139 and 140.)

MYSTERIOUS PLANE CRASH CAUSES STIR IN IRELAND

"Reports of a crashed aircraft led to a big search and rescue operation yesterday (Monday, August 25, 2003)" in County Kerry, Ireland.

"But late last night the operation in Kerry was being scaled down amid puzzlement about what, if anything, had been sighted."

"The search, including Gardai (Irish national police- -J.T.), units of the Coastguard, fire brigades and the Shannon-based Sikorsky helicopter was launched at 6:30 p.m. after two people on the Dingle peninsula reported seeing an aircraft in difficulty."

"One man, out for an evening walk, claimed he saw an aircraft swooping low out of the sun with smoke and flames trailing from it. The sighting took place close to Lispole on the Dingle to Anascaul road."

"'It was about 2,000 feet (600 meters) up, and there were flames and smoke coming from its tail,' the man told one Coastguard official."

"A second individual also reported seeing and aircraft in apparent difficulty."

"Gardai have called on the pilot of a mystery aircraft, which sparked off a major search operation in West Kerry after reports that it had crashed Monday evening, to come forward."

"Dingle-based Sgt. Mossie O'Donnell yesterday (Tuesday, August 26, 2003) said there was a plane around the Lispole area at the time the alarm was raised, and it was seen heading in a southerly direction toward Glenbeigh, County Kerry."

"'We are trying to trace the plane so as to clear up the situation,' he said, 'We are now satisfied there wasn't a crash, but it was most certainly not a hoax. Eyewitnesses genuinely thought they saw a plane coming down.'"

"A number of people reported hearing a loud bang, and one man said he had seen flames in the mountainous Maum area. Up to 100 people were involved in the search." (See the Irish Independent for August 26, 2003, "Coastguards call off search in plane crash mystery," and The Examiner of Ireland for August 27, 2003, "Gardai appeal for pilot of plane in crash scare to come forward." Many thanks to Dave Walsh for these newspaper articles.)

CROP CIRCLES DISCOVERED IN BRITISH COLUMBIA

An unusual crop formation, shaped like Neptune's trident, was found near Abbotsford in Canada's western province of British Columbia on Tuesday, August 26, 2003, "along with other circles and a half-circle in corn, approximately 55 meters (180 feet) long."

The formation was "first seen by Mike Black while flying over the area."

Abbotsford, B.C. (population 105,403) is located "about 70 kilometers (46 miles) east of Vancouver and a few miles west of the Agassiz, B.C. formation," which was found two weeks ago. (Many thanks to Paul Anderson of Canadian Crop Circle Research Network for this report.)


RAMA BIRTHPLACE CAUSES MORE TROUBLE IN INDIA

"Archaeologists have found that an ancient structure existed at a site" in India "that is claimed by both Hindus and Muslims and has been the cause of thousands of deaths, lawyers said Monday," August 25, 2003.

"Evidence in a report prepared by the archaeologists, which indicates the structure could have been a Hindu temple, added a new layer of dispute to an issue that has been a flashpoint in India's Hindu-Muslim divide. Hours after its release Monday, two car bombs exploded in Bombay (Mumbai in India--J.T.), killing at least 46 people."

"It was not immediately known whether the blast was connected to the dispute at the Ayodhya site."

"Ayodhya, more than 300 miles (480 kilometers) southeast of New Delhi," the capital of India, "housed a mosque from the 16th Century until 1992, when Hindus tore it down. They claimed the Babri mosque was built over a Hindu temple marking the 7,000-year-old birthplace of the god Rama."

"More than 2,000 died in violence after the mosque's razing."

"Now a court is holding a trial to decide the history of the site. The report was presented under seal to lawyers in the case Monday."

"'The findings...show it was a temple on which a mosque was built,' said Vireshwar Dwivedi, lawyer for the Hindu Rama Birthplace Trust."

"'The report talks about some structure which may be a temple,' though it stood far from the area where Hindus claim Rama was born, said Zafaryab Jilani, attorney for the Muslim Babri Action Committee." (See USA Today for August 26, 2003, "A violent history," page 4A.)

(Editor's Comment: The ruins might prove that an urban civilization existed in India way back in 8,000 B.C. I just hope the warring sects don't destroy it. In addition to being Rama's birthplace, Ayodhya was also India's capital during the Tetra Yuga, the previous "world-age" which ended around 3,200 B.C., and was the home of the legendary queen Yasmina Devi.)

From the UFO Files...

2003: SADDAM HUSSEIN AND THE NEW AGE

"The wrinkled old man sprays perfume around the sparse, dingy room" in al-Heet, Iraq, "then holds out his hands and feet and instructs one of the visitors to tie him up, knot the cloth three times and blow on it."

"The lights die and small red flashes go off beneath the black cloak that covers a bowl of magic powders and water. The visitors feel pokes and jabs and things fluttering over their heads in the darkness--'Birds,' the wizard says."

"Water splashes from the bowl. The genies (djinni in Arabic--J.T.) have arrived, and the questions begin."

"Will Saddam Hussein be found? A genie answers in the old man's voice: 'Yes.'"

"Dead or alive? 'Dead.'"

"Where is he?"

"'Dhuluaiyah,' he says."

(Editor's Note: Dhuluaiyah is a village near Tikrit, Saddam's birthplace, located about 88 kilometers or 55 miles north of Baghdad.)

Welcome to New Age Iraq, where Sumerian magick flourishes in an uneasy coexistence with fundamentalist Shiite and Sunni Islam. "Thousands of magicians, fortunetellers and faith healers make up a huge world of spirituality that thrives despite being considered by many Muslims to be sinful."

And who is responsible for the flourishing of magickal practices dating back to the days of Gimil-ishbi, Sumeria's legendary sorcerer? Why, none other than the former Iraqi dictator himself--Saddam Hussein al-Majid al- Tikriti.

The conjuror of al-Heet "was Saddam's own (personal) sorcerer; therefore, for Iraqis, his visions of the dictator's demise carry special weight."

"'That man is still alive, so I'm afraid,' he said, 'I helped him, his sons (Uday and Qusay--J.T.), his ministers, his wife, his cousins, but I can't mention names. When he is dead, I can talk about him.'"

"According to the magician and several others interviewed in Baghdad (by reporter Niko Price--J.T.), Saddam was a firm believer in magic, and even applied himself, with modest success, to 'studying the sands' and summoning genies."

Saddam "consulted frequently with two magicians from Iraq, one from Turkey, one from India, a French Arab and a beautiful Jewish witch from Morocco, the wizard said."

"Saddam is still protected, he said, by a pair of magic-infused golden statues. The deposed (Iraqi) president speaks daily with the king and queen of the genies--the same ones who provided information on his whereabouts" in Dhuluaiyah.

"Other magicians also talk about Saddam, some describing fleeting meetings in which the president measured them up. Several said he has a powerful stone-- or the bone of a parrot--implanted under his right arm to protect him against bullets and to make people love him."

"Maher al-Kadhami, a Baghdad faith healer, repeated a story often told in postwar Iraq: Some years ago, a fortuneteller told Saddam he would fall on April 9, 2003. Saddam flew into a rage, killed the fortuneteller and launched a violent campaign against all those dealing in the occult."

"And lo and behold, April 9 turned out to be the day the world saw Saddam's statue topple in Baghdad."

"Tales such as these about in Iraq and are firmly believed, Islam's abhorrence of witchcraft notwithstanding. Saddam's oppressive rule actually made the magicians stronger, academics say."

But to a small coterie of psychics, sensitives and New Agers, Saddam Hussein proved to be a benevolent protector, indeed. "It was Saddam who ordered the Parapsychology Department set up to help him wage psychological warfare during the 1980-1988 Iran-Iraq war and later to mind-read UN inspectors searching for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq, according to former Iraqi officials."

Al-Haareth Hassan al-Asadi, "who studies parapsychology at Baghdad University...says more than half of Iraq's 24 million people use some sort of magic, and a tour of magicians in Baghdad bears out his words."

"Unannounced storefronts across Iraq boast a rich array of psychics, fortunetellers, healers and spellmasters, most of whom invoke the Islamic, Christian and even Jewish holy books in their bids to control the genies, or spirits, that many Iraqis believe rule their lives."

Iraq has a long magickal history dating back to the Sumerian city-states of Eridu, Shurrupak, Nippur and Larsa. The Black Circle, an association of wizards, was up and running as early as 3,000 B.C., of whom the most fearsome adept was Gimil-ishbi, the Master of the Dark Ziqqurat (Sumerian step-pyramid--J.T.).

Today, five thousand years later, Iraq's "Prince of Sorcerers" is alleged to be Sayed Sadoun Hamid el- Moussaoui al-Refai.

"In his dingy Baghdad house, Sayed Sadoun Hamid el- Moussaoui al-Refai, 56, squats on cushions wearing a traditional Iraqi robe and skullcap. To demonstrate his prowess, he pushes a kebab skewer through his cheek and wipes away the blood."

"His seven-year-old son, Hassan, is his medium. Recently, he said, a family came asking about their son, who disappeared during the war. Hassan entered into a trance and looked into a mirror."

"'I saw him tied up, surrounded by Americans,' the boy said, 'He was in Basra, but I knew he would soon be released.'"

"Indeed, al-Refai claims, the young man returned home days later, having been a prisoner of the Americans in the southern city of Basra."

"'We use the genies or the angels,' the magician said, 'But we prefer the angels because the genies lie 75 percent of the time.'"

"Saddam's wizard is in a different category. He has been studying magic since he was 10, learning from his aunt's husband. Now 62," Saddam's personal wizard "is one of the most revered magicians in Iraq."

"He shows visitors a guest book of other powerful clients: a Saudi prince who paid 20,000 riyals (about $75,000 in USA money--J.T.) for a spell to make a woman fall in love with him; a Jordanian businessman who wanted his daughter to divorce her abusive husband; a Syrian singer who wanted more success."

Incredible as it may seem, Saddam Hussein was just another in a long line of "tyrants" who were friendly to New Age practices and beliefs and who were ousted from power by the Allies. The list of "tyrants" and their regimes includes:

(a) 1794 - Maximilien Robespierre and France's Republic of Virtue.
(b) 1917 - Tsar Nicholas II of Russia.
(c) 1945 - Adolf Hitler and Germany's Third Reich.
(d) 2003 - Saddam Hussein and Iraq's Baathist regime.

Does anybody notice a trend here? (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for August 17, 2003, "Saddam's obsession with magic revealed," pages 1A and 6A.)

Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home- -UFO Roundup." See you next time.

UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2003 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news items from UFO Roundup on their Web sites 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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