MUTATED RATS OVERRUN FARMS IN KIRGHIZSTAN
"An unusual breed of rats is inflicting damage in Kirghizstan's Dzhalal-Abad region."
"The rats are 'killing numerous farm birds, are damaging grape and corn crops, and have destroyed 14 hectares of grain in one of the districts. These rats can climb trees and are destroying apples, pears and other fruit.'"
"'The rat invasion may also give rise to different epidemics,' (Kirghiz) Parliament member Dooronbek Sadyrbayev told the Russian news agency Interfax."
"The rats frequently attack people and children are especially vulnerable."
"Sanitary resources are unable to deal with the situation."
"'The enormous number of rats cannot be satiated,' Sadyrbayev said, 'The rats are not susceptible to typical poisons.'"
"An Uzbek scientist bred the species by crossing an ordinary rat wth a muskrat, he said."
"Parliament members asked the (Kirghiz) government to resolve the problem."
Kirghizstan is a small country in central Asia north of Afghanistan. (See the Iraqi newspaper Al-Ahali for September 20, 2003. Many thanks to Mohammed Daud al- Hayyat for this news story.)
(Editor's Comment: Welcome to Tom and Jerry Week here at UFO Roundup. Not only do we have mystery rodents, we have mystery cats, too!)
PHANTOM PANTHER ELUDES AIR PATROLS IN ULSTER
"One of the most unusual police operations in Northern Ireland began this morning," Wednesday, September 24, 2003, "as animal officers embarked on a big cat hunt on the north (County) Antrim coast."
"Heat-seeking equipment and a helicopter are being used in the latest attempt to capture the puma which has been on the loose in the Ballybogey area for five weeks."
"USPCA (Ulster Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals--J.T.) experts armed with tranquilliser guns joined PSNI (police) officers in the biggest hunt to date to track the killer puma, which has mauled livestock and terrorised the north Antrim farming community."
"However, it is feared that the animal may have to be shot on sight by police marksmen in the interest of public safety."
"USPCA officers are hoping that if the beast is captured its owner can be identified and may be prosecuted."
"The puma is thought to have escaped from a private collector who has not yet come forward to claim the ownership of the animal."
"Today's search is focusing on a 10-mile (16- kilometer) area between Ballycastle and Coleraine" in Northern Ireland, "where the wild cat has been spotted on numerous occasions."
"It is understood that the last known sighting of the animal was at approximately 7 p.m. on Monday evening," September 22, 2003, "when it was seen stalking cattle near Ballybogey."
"The elusive animal, which has killed four times, appears to have been keeping a low profile in recent weeks and no further killings have been reported to police."
"Local farmers are convinced that the animal is living in a remote area of woodland known as the Virgin Moss and say the beast is seen roaming in that location at least once a day."
"The first sightings of the cat were reported in early August (2003) in the Portrush, Portballintrae and Bushmills area."
"A few days later, paw prints found in the area were identified as being made by a mountain lion, possibly a puma or panther."
"On 20 August, a farmer in the Bushmills area blamed the cat for attacking a flock of sheep, killing a ram."
"Earlier in the week, police marksmen were called to Cookstown in County Tyrone after a reported attack on a calf."
However, the USPCA "said a black panther was living near the village of Ballybogey, outside Portrush, and a brown-coloured puma was roaming the hills near Ballycastle." (See the Belfast Telegraph for September 24, 2003, "Hunt for big cat takes to the air." Many thanks to UFO Roundup's phantom panther expert, Robert Fischer, for this newspaper article.)
PHANTOM PANTHERS RUN WILD IN SCOTLAND
Last week saw a big upsurge in the phenomenon known as alien big cats (ABCs) (phantom panthers in the USA--J.T.) in Scotland.
"Two young sisters were frozen in fear when they confronted a 'panther' in a forest on the Black Isle" in Ross-shire, Scotland, UK.
"Josie Gaitens, 12, and sister Hannah, 8, were walking in the woods near their village, Avoch, when they saw something in the bushes and saw 'a large black head.'"
"The sighting is one of several in the area and has heightened fears that that an escaped wild panther or puma is roaming through Ross-shire."
"Two pensioners were shocked when they came face to face with a big cat near their house."
"The couple were living near Kilmacolm when they caught the beast in their headlights."
"They were so amazed by the incident, when they got home they immediately notified the Scottish Big Cat Society. They said they had never seen anything like it before."
"The animal was seen on the (motorway) B788 between Cairncurran and Milton at around 11:15 p.m. on Sunday," September 14, 2003.
"It is described as being three feet (0.9 meters) long and as tall as a fully grown Labrador (dog), a tawny brown colour with small pointed ears."
Elsewhere in Scotland, "a large cat-like creature the size of a collie-dog has been spotted in the Nairn area. A couple reported seeing the beast in a field on the (motorway) A96 northeast of Aulderan while driving from their house in Elgin to Inverness."
"The pair, who do not want to be named, say they saw the big cat while driving along the road between Broombank and Gallows Hill at 9:45 p.m. on Wednesday of this week (September 17, 2003). The woman said they had just passed Gallows Hill when her husband, who was driving, revealed that 'there was a big black cat in the field.'"
"She said, 'I looked to his side of the road and saw a pitch black cat walking slowly away from a house at the edge of a hayfield. Its back was straight, and its head was held down slightly lower than its back. It was definitely a cat. A very big cat. The tail was very long and held down with a curved-up tip. Its neck was long and its head was surprisingly slow.'" (See the Scottish newspapers Evening Express for September 13, 2003, "Panther fear after sighting;" the Daily Express for September 18, 2003, "Beastly encounter--couple comes face to face with big cat on country road;" the Greenoch Telegraph for September 18, 2003, "Mystery beast sighting at Aulderan;" and the Aberdeen Press and Journal for September 20, 2003, "Girls in panther ordeal." Again, many thanks to Robert Fischer for his extensive coverage of the phantom panther phenomenon.)
GIGANTIC SAUCER SEEN IN CENTRAL OHIO
On Monday, September 22, 2003, at 7:30 p.m., a family in Ghanna, Ohio, a suburb of Columbus, spotted a gigantic dark disc hovering over their neighborhood.
Eyewitness Daryl, 32, a husband and father of two children, reported, "This was not just a light in the sky. It was a huge black 'thing' shaped like a disc."
The family "was driving north on Beaverbrook Road around 7:30 p.m. as dusk was setting in. There was still residual daylight visible when a massive aerial object became apparent to them. The disc-shaped object was in front of their car and slowly heading west, almost seeming to float silently."
"At first I thought it was a shadow, but then I understood it was in the sky, and I'm still trying to comprehend what I saw," Daryl said, "I've never been a UFO believer, but I cannot deny what I saw. It was massive."
According to Cincinnati ufologist Kenny Young, "The immense object appeared directly in front of them and occupied a space, from their perspective, that filled the entire windshield of their 1994 Honda."
"The first thing I started looking for was wings. I kept trying to see wings," Daryl said, "But there weren't any. The object looked like it was just floating, really low, just above the treetops."
Young added, "When first seen by the family, there were lights around the object. The daughter thought they were orange, while the wife said they were multiple- colored lights. The lights that surrounded the disc- shaped object were non-flashing but, more or less, changed color 'in unison.'"
"What was very strange was when the lights went out, and the object went totally black," Daryl said.
"It was just so huge. I still can't believe it," he added, "At one point, it blocked out the sun, and we were in its shadow. It was so low that the trees were blocking it. It seemed like it took forever for the object to pass because it was so slow. I could not discern any surface material, structure or color. This thing was pitch black after its lights went out. You couldn't see any surface detail. It was a monster." (Many thanks to Kenny Young of Cincinnati UFO Research for this report.)
TRIANGULAR UFO CAUGHT ON VIDEO IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
On Sunday, September 21, 2003, at 3:30 p.m., Paul Spera "was sitting at my window" at his home in Franklin, New Hampshire (population 8,405) "and noticed the object came down out of a cloud. It looked strange, so I ran and got my camera and videotaped the object."
The UFO "consisted of 3 to 5 white balls of light shaped in a line and then in a triangle. The lights also turned different colors on the tape. The UFO was no more than 1,000 feet (300 meters) up and traveled to the west at a rapid pace."
Franklin, N.H. is at the intersection of Routes 3 and 11 approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers) north of Concord, the state capital. (Email Form Report)
HOVERING DAYLIGHT DISC SPOTTED IN NEW MEXICO
On Friday, September 19, 2003, at 2 p.m., trucker Steve Goldman "was traveling south on Eubank Boulevard, from Montgomery Boulevard, in Albuquerque, New Mexico (population 448,607)" when he spotted "a stationary UFO."
"For about 30 to 40 minutes, I observed a strange, visibly-white orb or disc-shaped object suspended absolutely motionless over the Sandia Labs."
"It was a really-white semi-transparent disc or orb- shaped object with three cylindrical protrusions jutting from the bottom on one side of the craft. The bottom right-hand side of the craft. It was at 10,000 feet (3,000 meters) in altitude and absolutely motionless."
"My observation lasted about 20 minutes. When I got home, I ran in to get my binoculars to get a closer look."
Albuquerque, N.M. is on Interstate Highways I-25 and I-40, located 58 miles (97 kilometers) southwest of Santa Fe. (Email Form Report)
(Editor's Note: The Sandia National Labs are the one of the most important nuclear energy research sites operated by the U.S. Department of Defense.)
SILVER SPHERE UFO SEENIN HUGO, OKLAHOMA
On Tuesday, September 16, 2003, at 2 p.m., Larry W. Taylor and his wife "went to town to check the mail at the Hugo, Oklahoma post office and to eat at our favorite Circus City diner."
"After eating, we were driving home from Hugo, when my wife said, 'What is that!?'" Larry reported.
"She pointed up toward the sky. It was just about 3 p.m., and the sky was clear and sunny. Just a slight breeze from the north. I looked up through the windshield and saw a bright silver orb or ball-shaped object. It was very clearly visible and bright silver. Just my guess, but maybe it was 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) in the sky and was big."
"We watched it for three to four minutes, and I drove home and was thinking, Why didn't I have a camera?"
"After that three to four minutes, the color went from bright silver to dull grey, and it was not visible any longer."
Hugo, Okla. (population 5,536) is on the Indian Nation Turnpike about 70 miles (112 kilometers) south of McAlester. (Many thanks to Jim Hickman and John Schuessler for this report.)
FLASHING MYSTERY LIGHTS SIGHTED IN WISCONSIN
On Thursday, September 18, 2003, at 9:45 p.m., the female witness reported, at their home in Westfield, Wisconsin (population 1,217), "My husband went out to the upper deck to smoke. He came back in and got me up. 'You're not gonna believe this.'"
"I looked up and saw these flashing lights: red, green, orange, yellow, blue... flashing! We watched them through the telescope and binoculars. They didn't seem to move, except up and down."
"The next night (Friday, September 19, 2003), there were two of them. Same bright colors and flashing. I called the air-to-ground missile range the next day (Saturday, September 20, 2003) to see if they were doing anything, and they said they don't have anything like that."
Westfield, Wis. is just west of Interstate Highway I- 39, located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) north of Madison, the state capital. (Many thanks to John and Jenny Hoppe of UFO Wisconsin for this report.)
RECTANGULAR UFO SEEN TWICE IN QUEENSLAND
On Tuesday, September 9, 2003, at 8:40 p.m., a woman named "Louise said she had seen a UFO on her way home from shopping while driving on the Brisbane Valley highway" in Borallon, near Lowood, Queensland, Australia.
"Louise said the object was enormous. It had a black base and covered the entire road. It was a box-shaped UFO with a searchlight in front and red lights down the sides."
Louise's twin sister, Tracy, "rang her to say, 'Sis, you're not going to believe this, but I saw a UFO on my way home from work.'"
Tracy's sighting took place at 8:30 p.m. on Tuesday, September 16, 2003. "Tracy told Louise that she saw the UFO over the Borallon area near Lowood." (Many thanks to John Hayes and Diane Harrison of the Australian UFO Research Network for these reports.)
BROWN GOOP FALLS FROM THE SKY IN NEW ZEALAND
"Victims of unidentified offensive brown muck showering people, houses and cars are popping up all over" New Zealand.
"Many are blaming aircraft sewage, but no one knows what the splatter is or where it is from."
"Hamilton roofer Peter Lowe observed a two-metre (6 feet, 6 inch) wide strip of brown muck splattered across the roof he was building in Te Awamutu when he turned up for work on Tuesday," September 23, 2003."'I've been doing this for 17 years, and I've never seen anything like it,' he said."
"He is the latest in what is emerging to be a string of victims."
"Shonnie Gordon's Takapu Valley farmhouse, near Tawa, Wellington," on New Zealand's North Island, "was showered with muck on Sunday," September 14, 2003.
"Certain an aeroplane was to blame, she called the (New Zealand) Civil Aviation Authority. Their tests ruled out aircraft."
"Civil Aviation Authority spokesman Bill Sommer said he received seven more calls from people in Christchurch, Palmerston North, Wellington and Hutt claiming to have been showered by gunk in the past month."
"A number of farmers suggested ducks were responsible, and an Auckland man said he had been showered with what proved to be duck droppings."
"Determined to get to the bottom of the mystery, Ms. Gordon took her own sample to a laboratory for testing. Sadly, the results came back inconclusive yesterday."
"'I'm disappointed, but it's just one of those things,' she said."
"Another victim, who does not want to be identified, has also come forward. His family home on Paekakariki Hill Road was hit 11 years ago."
"While he searched the sky for the 'giant seagull,' he quickly removed downpipes (drainpipes in the USA--J.T.) from his roof, upon which he depended for water."
"'It was analysed, and they said it was definitely poo,' he said."
"He never saw a plane but believes one was the culprit as the substance had a chemical smell reminiscent of the long drop (outhouse in the USA--J.T.) he used as a boy."
"Wellington Zoo Trust bird and reptile expert Geert van Eyken said it was probably a flock of the biggest birds in New Zealand, relieving themselves in unison, that could have caused the latest messes."
"'Birds also drop stuff when they fly...but if it were birds, it would have been more spattered,' he said." (See the Dominion Post of New Zealand for September 25, 2003, "More mystery showers of unidentified muck." Many thanks to T. Peter Park for this newspaper article.)
GALILEO ENDS ITS EPIC 14-YEAR SPACEFLIGHT
"NASA's aging Galileo spacecraft deliberately plunged into Jupiter's turbulent atmosphere Sunday," September 21, 2003, "bringing a fiery conclusion to a 14-year $1.5 billion exploration of the solar system's largest planet and its moons."
"The unmanned spacecraft, travelling at nearly 108,000 miles per hour, was torn apart and vaporized by the heat and friction of its fall through the clouds after it dove into the (Jovian) atmosphere at 2:57 p.m. Eastern (USA) time."
"At NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory, hundreds of scientists, engineers and their families counted down the last seconds before the spacecraft ended its 2.8-billion- mile journey from Earth."
"'We haven't lost a spacecraft, we've gained a new stepping stone in exploration,' said John Torrance, the mission's project scientist."
"Rosaly Lopes, another scientist on the mission, called Galileo's descent 'a spectacular end to a spectacular mission.'"
"'Personally, I am a little sad. I had the time of my life on Galileo and I'm a little sad to say goodbye to an old friend,' Lopes added."
"Despite the glitches that plagued Galileo since its 1989 launch aboard the space shuttle Atlantis, it was one of the National Aeronautics and Space Administration's most fruitful missions."
"During its thrice-extended mission, Galileo discovered the first moon of an asteroid, witnessed the impact of a comet into Jupiter and provided firm evidence of salty oceans on three of the planet's moons. Scientists consider one of the three, Europa, the most likely place in the solar system to harbor extraterrestrial life."
"Among the most stunning of the 14,000 images returned by Galileo were those of the moon Io. Galileo caught some of the moon's more than 150 volcanoes actively spewing lava and plumes of dust and gas."
"'It had more surprises, better stuff waiting to be discovered than we ever could have imagined,' said Andy Ingersol, a Jupiter scientist at the California Institute of Technology."
"The last of Galileo's science measurements arrived on Earth after the spacecraft was destroyed, taking 43 minutes to cross half a billion miles at the speed of light."
"'I just can't believe the spacecraft collected data all the way in,' said a tearful Claudia Alexander, Galileo's seventh and last project manager."
"NASA initially considered leaving Galileo in orbit after it depleted its onboard store of fuel, which was used to trim its course on each of its 35 spins around Jupiter."
"Instead" NASA "opted to crash the 3,000-pound Galileo to eliminate the possibility it could smack into the watery moon Europa and contaminate it with any microbes aboard. Were Earth bugs to survive on Europa, they could compromise future attempts to probe the moon for indigenous life, scientists feared."
"NASA intends to return to Jupiter in a decade with another unmanned spacecraft called the Jupiter Icy Moons Orbiter." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for September 22, 2003, "Galileo ends its mission in a blaze of glory," page 4A.)
MYSTERIOUS BLACKOUT HITS SCANDINAVIA
Another mysterious electrical blackout occurred last week, this time denying power to four million people in Denmark and Sweden.
"A power outage left nearly 4 million people without electricity in eastern Denmark and southern Sweden. Utility officials said the outage was caused by a faulty transmission line separating the two countries."
"Power was being gradually restored after three hours" of blackout on Tuesday, September 23, 2003. "Trains in Denmark's driverless subway system stopped and passengers had to be evacuated. Flights to Copenhagen airport were diverted to Sweden. And the Oresund bridge and tunnel, which connects Copenhagen to Malmo, Sweden, was closed to traffic." (See USA Today for September 24, 2003, "4 million lose power in Denmark, Sweden," page 14A.)
BETTY HILL IS AILING, SO SEND THOSE LETTERS
Betty Hill, "the world's first alien abductee, just celebrated the 42nd anniversary of her abduction--and it might be her last."
"Friends of Betty Hill say the 84-year-old, who currently lives in Portsmouth, New Hampshire, is suffering from lung cancer."
"That didn't stop her from recently celebrating the 42nd anniversary of her abduction," which took place near Littleton, New Hampshire on September 19, 1961.
"On that night, Betty and her husband, Barney, were reportedly taken aboard a disc-shaped craft and given a medical examination by a group of aliens," the Zeta Reticulans.
"Mrs. Hill claims her extraterrestrial examiners were bald, big-eyed, only 5 feet (1.5 meters) tall but otherwise looked human."
"Most people don't like being probed, but Mrs. Hill says the examination wasn't bad and told the E.T.s to stop by anytime."
UFO Roundup readers who want to send Betty a letter or a get-well card can reach her at this address:
Mrs. Betty Hill
From the UFO Files...
1940: THE MAN WITH NO FACE
If there's a Nostradamus Award for "Best Paranormal Comedy," then Fortean writer/researcher John Michell is a cinch to win. And he'll win it with this tale...
"A form of conspiracy theory was already well- established among us, thanks to government propaganda. It was during the Second World War and spy mania was raging. The public had been instructed to watch out for mysterious strangers, lights, signalling and other indications of enemy espionage. This call was most warmly responded to by schoolboys. A popular tale in magazines of the time was of brave boys unmasking a German agent, and a spy- catching craze swept the boarding schools of Britain."
"The authorities, not being readers of boys' comics, had no idea what was going on. Thus many odd incidents passed unexplained."
"At Wellesley preparatory school at Broadstairs, it became obvious to the pupils that their Latin master was a German spy. He bore a peculiar resemblance to an obnoxious gauleiter depicted in The Hotspur, and a skin ailment had given his face the colour and texture of putty."
(Editor's Note: In commercials on USA network television, this condition is sometimes called "the heartbreak of psoriasis.")
"It was therefore assumed he was wearing a mask."
"Little Heathcote Williams, future poet and playwright, took on the task of exposing him. During Latin class he rose from his desk, ran up to the master and began scrabbling at his face."
"It's a fake!" the boy yelled, "Let's see what you really look like!"
"Even as he did so, the absurdity of the whole thing became suddenly apparent to him, but it was too late to turn back. The rest of the class urged him on with cries of 'Spy!' until the master lost his nerve and bolted for the door."
"The headmaster was unable to make sense of what had happened so no one was punished."
Having the last word was Inspector Hugh MacBride of the C.I.D.: "And there'll be no more of that, thank you very much!" (See the book Eccentric Lives, Peculiar Notions by John Michell, Black Dog and Leventhal Publishers, New York, N.Y., 1999, pages 62 and 63.)
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 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.