BIGFOOT ON THE MOVE IN PENNSYLVANIA
Residents were startled Sunday, November 16, 2003, when they saw Bigfoot swimming in Edinboro Lake, located in Pennsylvania's northwestern corner, just south of Lake Erie.
According to ufologist Stan Gordon, "The Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society received a report of what appeared to be 'a very large human shape swimming in a lake near Erie, Pa.' (population 103,717)."
Edinboro Lake is located at the intersection of Routes 99 and 6 North approximately 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Erie.
"The figure appeared to have unusually large arm stretches while swimming," Gordon reported.
"During the 1960s," he added, "there were Bigfoot sightings reported around Erie and Edinboro."
"The Pennsylvania Bigfoot Society is also investigating two Bigfoot sightings by several young fellows in a rural area near New Castle (population 26,309)," located 54 miles (86 kilometers) northwest of Pittsburgh."
"The first sighting was (Monday) November 17 (2003) at reportedly around 6:30 a.m., while two friends were out taking a walk. They claim to have seen an eight-foot (2.4-meter) tall creature walking on the side of a road. They reported a wet-dog smell at the time of the observation."
"The next night (Tuesday, November 18, 2003) as they were walking in the same area, they saw a similar creature sitting Indian-style (i.e. with legs crossed--J.T.) with its arms hanging over its knees." (Many thanks to Stan Gordon of the Pennsylvania UFO Hotline for these reports.)
PHANTOM PANTHER STALKS A SCHOOL IN SCOTLAND
"Fears are growing that a black leopard spotted on the prowl near a school will risk getting close to houses in a bid to find food."
"Young mum Lesley Campbell, 26, from Paisley, was driving home from her pal's when she got the shock of her life. She had to swerve when a large black beast pounced out in front of her car."
"'I couldn't believe my eyes,' she said, 'I had just passed the new Hungry Monk restaurant between Lochwinnoch and Johnstone in the early hours of Monday morning (November 10, 2003) when this massive cat-like creature darted across the road.'"
"'If I'd been drinking, I would have thought I was seeing things, but I hadn't. It had something between its teeth, but I was too shocked to see what.'"
"Lesley, who lives in the Castlehead area, added: 'I was shaking like a leaf and phoned my husband. I thought it was a puma (cougar or mountain lion in the USA--J.T.) because it was jet black and huge.'"
"Builder George Bremner also had a close encounter with the big cat. George, 38, from Johnstone, said: 'I'd been out for a drink with my mates on Sunday night (November 9, 2003), and we had a wee party later. I was being driven home from Kilwinning towards the Johnstone by-pass when my pal slammed the brakes on and stopped the car. This huge monster of a beast was sitting in a field with what looked like a baby fox in its mouth. It stared straight at us before disappearing into the night.'"
"George added: 'When I told my workmates on Monday morning, they all laughed. So you can imagine how I felt when I saw the story in the Express. It was great, and I had the last laugh.'"
"Sarah Sweeney, 32, told how she spotted a big black cat in the woods close to her home on Glenfield Road in Paisley when she was out walking her dog."
"'It was darting around at Thornley Dam on Friday night (November 7, 2003). I went back the following night (Saturday, November 8, 2003) and I took my husband, too. It was about an hour later and we thought we had missed it. Just as we turned to go back to our house, it pounced out from behind a tree.'"
"Yesterday's Express told how a big cat was seen near Lochwinnoch Primary (school) between 7:30 and 8 a.m. on Monday (November 10) when a nearby resident spotted it running with a dead animal in its mouth."
"The shock sighting was made by a resident in the Calderpark Street area of Lochwinnoch between 7:30 and 8 a.m. Monday. The area is close to Lochwinnoch Primary School which caters to more than 250 youngsters."
"One source said: 'The neighbour said the animal had run across the road towards Lochwinnoch Primary, then disappeared into the Calder Glen Woods. He got quite a fright and, once he calmed down, contacted the police. They naturally took him seriously and officers searched the woods.'"
"The (police) helicopter was out in the area on Monday and was flying again over the area yesterday (Tuesday, November 11, 2003), but the mystery animal wasn't spotted."
"A spokesman for the Renfrewshire Council said the village school had been advised of the sighting by the police. He added: 'At this stage, it's a matter of being vigilant. We don't tend to use the area where the sighting was for any school-related activities. But as a precautionary measure, we are keeping the pupils' activities within the school grounds, and staff are carrying out regular patrols of the grounds.'"
"A shocked dog-walker has become the latest person to spot one of the giant cats on the loose in Renfrewshire."
"Iain Riley was taking his pet dog out yesterday morning (Monday, November 17, 2003) when he spotted the huge black creature which big cat experts believe could be a black leopard."
"Iain, 52, was out walking his dog when he saw the giant black beast just yards (meters) away from his home in Kintyre Avenue, Linwood."
"The shocked man said: 'I was taking my dog out early in the morning. It was only about 7 o'clock and it was still quite dark. I was out at the side of my house when I sighted the cat. It was at a fence that's about 40 or 50 yards (36 to 45 meters) away from my house.'"
"'I couldn't believe my eyes. At first I thought it was a big dog, but when I got a bit closer, I realised it was a big cat. It was all black and at least as big as my German Shepherd dog, possibly even bigger.'"
"He added: 'I was quite close to it when I realised what it was. I certainly didn't get any closer.'"
"'The animal was standing beside the fence, and then it just went through a gap in the fence and disappeared out of my sight. I only got a brief glimpse of it, but it certainly gave me quite a surprise.'"
"He added: 'I found out from one of my neighbours that there had been a number of other sightings in the area.'" (See the Paisley Daily Express for November 12, 2003, "Leopards on the loose;" for November 13, 2003, "Further sighting of hungry leopard," and for November 18, 2003, "Shock for dog walker as he spots giant cat." Many thanks to Robert Fischer, UFO Roundup's phantom panther expert, for forwarding these newspaper articles.)
(Editor's Comment: The phantom panther phenomenon has shifted into high gear in Scotland. Check out the situation in Fife.)
PHANTOM PANTHER SEEN AT RAF BASE IN FIFE
"A retired police officer who collates sightings of Fife's legendary but elusive 'big cats' has received 14 new reports of sightings since an article, highlighting a recent incident at Ladybank, appeared in the Courier earlier this week."
"George Redpath, of Balmullo, revealed yesterday (Thursday, November 13, 2003) that he has been inundated with calls since it was reported that Glenrothes man Andrew Smith had become the latest in a long line of people who have become convinced that the northeast Fife countryside" in Scotland "is home to one or more big cats."
"George said all but one of the latest reports were recent sightings and included one at Muirhead, outside Dundee, and ones near Kirkcaldy, Tayport, Denhead, Dunfermline, Letham, Kingskettle and Ladybank."
"But interestingly, he said, another report of a 'brown cat-like creature' had come in from the Balmullo- St. Michaels area, reported on the same day he was investigating an alleged attack on a deer within the perimeter fence at RAF Leuchars" air base.
"'In an ideal world, if we had exact details of every sighting, we could plot the appearance of the big cat. If it was spotted at 2 p.m. in Dunfermline and at 2 p.m. in Cupar, for example, we would know that there might be more than one creature.'"
"A big cat alert has gone out at an air base after the savaged carcass of a deer was found close by."
"Staff at RAF Leuchars in Fife have twice reported seeing a black cat-like animal patrolling the grounds of the base late at night and after first light in the morning."
On Thursday, November 13, 2003, "a source said: 'The deer carcass showed all the hallmarks of the animal being killed for prey.'" (See the Tayside and Fife Courier for November 18, 2003, "'Big cat' reports rise;" and the Daily Record for November 14, 2003, "Big Cat scare at air base." Many thanks to Robert Fischer for these newspaper articles. And for more on the Ladybank sighting, see UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 44 for November 19, 2003, "Phantom panther seen in Ladybank, Scotland," page 6.)
PHANTOM PANTHER ON THE PROWL IN BUCKINGHAMSHIRE
"A walker has told of his shock after encountering 'the Beast of Bucks,' a large predatory cat thought to be a panther."
"Ernie Carey, from Ickenham, near Uxbridge, had been driving for 30 minutes in Cookham," Buckinghamshire, UK "with his wife Barbara when he spotted the animal in Temple's Lane."
"Mr. Carey said: 'The animal was jet black and was at least two feet (0.7 meters) high and four feet (1.3 meters) long. It had a very long black tail and little ears. It was huge and its paws were like a tiger's.'"
"He said they were going past a house in Cookham when the animal went past the main gate. It was about 10 to 20 yards (9 to 18 meters) ahead."
"Mr. Carey said: 'It just strolled right in front and crossed the road. Barbara was driving the car. I was just looking out the window in front of me.'"
"'I was shocked for a split second. The (side) window in the car was down, I shut it quickly, I didn't want it to get in the car. I didn't expect anything like that. I wish I had my camera handy.'"
"'It was definitely not a cat. We weren't alarmed or anything like that, it wasn't doing anybody any harm. It wasn't threatening, it was like a cat walking across the road. It was huge. We both saw it, so it wasn't a case of mistaken identity. But we were still completely surprised to see such a big thing.'"
"Mr. Carey said he had heard of people who kept wild animals as pets and said he thought this was the case with the panther. He said: 'I know people do have pets. I've heard of someone who had a tiger in their flat in New York. But I didn't expect to see any.'"
"Danny Bamping, founder of the British Big Cats Society, said sightings are becoming more frequent."
"He said: 'These sightings are becoming more and more common in Britain, and last week we had 15 sightings throughout the country.'"
"'The area around High Wycombe has seen quite a few sightings, and I think it is partly because of the fact that people are more confident they will be taken seriously when they report one.'"
(Editor's Note: High Wycombe has a long paranormal history. In the Eighteenth Century, its caves were the headquarters of the notorious "Medmenham Monks," better known as the Hellfire Club.)
"'These black cats are panther-like creatures, but they have been around for a long time so they may be hybrids because of cross breeding. The cats can have huge territories and will regularly roam through different counties.'"
"At the beginning of the year (2003), a creature thought to be a lynx killed more than 40 chickens at a poultry farm in Saunderton, and staff at a furniture manufacturer spotted a big cat resembling a puma prowling along the edge of a field in Princes Risborough." (See the Bucks Free Press for October 10, 2003, "Beast of Bucks spotted in Cookham." Many thanks to Robert Fischer for this newspaper article.)
MAUI PANTHER PULLS A DISAPPEARING ACT
"The mystery surrounding the big cat of Olinda has gotten even stranger."
"The creature that has been regularly seen or heard" on the island of Maui, in the USA's state of Hawaii "has suddenly vanished from Upcountry radar screens."
"With no reports of the elusive jungle cat for at least three weeks, (Hawaiian) wildlife officials on Thursday (November 20, 2003) began disengaging the 19 foot-hold snares they had set up in the (Olinda) area that the cat had been frequenting."
"Oddly enough, the sightings of the cat abruptly ended about the same time as news reports announcing that the snares had been put in place by a Hawaiian crew under the guidance of a trapping expert from Arizona who was brought to Maui by the state Department of Land and Natural Resources."
"DLNR chairman Peter Young said the decision to detach the snares was made because of the lack of sightings and the amount of manpower needed to check the traps daily."
"'We are prepared to take further action if credible evidence becomes available,' said Young."
"Stan Cunningham, the Arizona research biologist who spent a week on Maui last month (October 2003), showing Hawaiian workers the finer points of setting snares, wasn't surprised that the cat has seemingly disappeared into thin air."
"'It makes you wonder if the owner does have a relationship with the cat, and he's damn sure not going to let the cat out when there's snares on the ground,' said Cunningham."
"Rumors have been flying around the community that the cat has been either caged again by its owner or has been killed. Young also said there's the chance that the animal has moved on to another location, something that Cunningham thought was a real possibility."
"'The first thought I had when I was up in the helicopter (surveying the rugged terrain) was that this thing could go anywhere it wants,' said Cunningham, 'It really is like looking for a needle in a haystack.'"
"Despite the sudden lack of sightings, Cunningham remains convinced that there was a jungle cat--perhaps a leopard or a jaguar--stalking a 20-square-mile swath above Seabury Hall from Piiholo Road to Kekaulike Highway. He said evidence of scratch marks, paw prints and the way a deer had been attacked was too much to ignore."
"If reports of the cat resume, the snares can easily be put up again, said Cunningham."
"Olinda residents who have seen or heard the cat over the past several months still believe their eyes and ears, even though others have laughed off the cat sightings as a hoax or figments of imagination."
"Peter Baldwin, retired president of Haleakala Ranch, heard what he thought sounded like a wild cat screaming in the middle of the night near his home above Hanamu Road about a month ago. The next morning, Baldwin learned that, at almost the same time, his neighbor had been awakened by a noise in the garage. When the neighbor opened the door, he saw the back of a huge cat with a long tail running away after it had knocked over a garbage can and tore open a bag of dog food."
"'There have been many numerous sightings. I believe there was a cat out there,' said Baldwin, 'If it does have a home, maybe someone's residence, maybe that's where it's been lately. And maybe it will come back again.'" (See the Maui Weekly News for November 22, 2003, "Sightings stop, so big-cat snares removed." Many thanks to Robert Fischer for forwarding this newspaper article.)
(Editor's Comment: So far, this "Maui panther" case has followed the same pattern as every Fortean or paranormal event I've ever covered. First there's the "impossible happening"... in this case, an out-of-place panther on a Pacific island. Then there are more sightings of the weird creature. Then the sightings reach their peak. Suddenly, the sightings stop, as if the creature fell off a cliff. And the authorities cook up a "normal" rationale to explain it all. That's the way it was with the Hanuman sightings in India in 2001 and the wave of cattle mutilations in Argentina and Uruguay in 2002. That's how it's been with the "Maui panther." And that's how it will be with next year's paranormal spectacular--whatever it is.)
SPHERICAL RED UFO SEEN IN SOUTH AFRICA
On Saturday, November 8, 2003, at 4 p.m., Petru Cameron and his family were preparing to go outdoors to view the evening's lunar eclipse. Within his hillside home in Cape Town, South Africa, Petru reported, "I happened to look out my window, and the object was travelling at a steady, slow speed from west to east. It was so striking. Actually, quite eerie. I have seen lots of UFOs but never a red one."
"I just had to let you know that I, too, have seen the red ball. It was at 4 p.m." (Email Form Report)
UFOs REPORTED IN PENNSYLVANIA
On Saturday, November 22, 2003, at 6:30 p.m., N.P. was driving home in Tunkhannock, Pennsylvania (population 1,911) when she spotted a UFO.
"When pulling into the driveway, I saw strange lights in the sky," N.P. reported, "I got out of the car to investigate. I walked towards my backyard and saw a black triangular craft overhead with a white light on each point (corner--J.T.) and a blue light in the middle. It turned left (to the east--J.T.) and was gone quickly. It didn't have a sound. It was lower than a small plane would fly."
Tunkhannock is on Route 6 in the Susquehanna River valley, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) northeast of Scranton, Pa. (Email Form Report)
On Saturday, November 8, 2003, two hours before the lunar eclipse, two people, while traveling in their car" through Lancaster County, Pa. "noticed what appeared to be a luminous, rectangular-shaped object which appeared to be motionless. As the observers moved further down the road, the object remained visible but became dimmer in brightness. Yet it appeared to remain still. A check with the local airport indicated that they were unaware of any blimp activity in the area at the time of the observation."
Lancaster County is in southern Pennsylvania, approximately 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Harrisburg, the state capital. (Many thanks to Stan Gordon of Pennsylvania UFO Hotline for this report.)
MYSTERY METEOR SEEN BY HUNDREDS IN NEW MEXICO
"A lot of people saw it. They just didn't know what to make of it."
"A light streaked across the New Mexico sky about dusk Thursday evening," November 20, 2003. "There were a lot of theories as to the cause of the flash of light, but the experts at the Sandia National Labs" in Albuquerque, N.M. (population 448,607) "said it was a meteor."
"Terry Connors had just flown his plane into Double Eagle Airport from Los Alamos (population 11,909) when he spotted the meteor."
"'It was quite amazing because the first thing we noticed was kind of a bright flash, and then you saw the long bright tail of a meteor that you would normally see, but it was still daylight so you could see the vapor trail that it left,' Connors said, 'Rather than just dying out, there was a big green explosion at the end of the trail and this was the end of the event, except the vapor trail stayed around for another five to ten minutes.'"
"As an Air Force veteran, Connors said he's seen a lot of meteors, but nothing like what he saw Thursday. But Sandia senior engineer Dick Spalding said he's confident that's what it was on the (surveillance video) tape."
"'It caught a meteor--a thing that moved through the sky with the speed and direction that we generally associate with a meteor--so we think that's what people saw,' Spalding said." (See the New Mexico Channel broadcast of November 21, 2003. Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for the transcript.)
WHO'S OUT THERE!?
"The U.S. and Russian crew of the International Space Station reported a brief, unexpected metallic crunching noise outside the outpost early Wednesday," November 26, 2003.
"Astronaut Mike Foale told NASA's Mission Control the noise sounded as if something had struck the aft end of the Russian module that houses the crew's sleeping quarters, kitchen and lavatory."
"Both U.S. and Russian ground-based experts could find no evidence of penetration of the station's airtight hull or the cooling system for the electronic equipment that is responsible for many of the operations."
"Later, Foale used video cameras on the station's 57- foot (17-meter) robot arm to scan the external areas of the outpost from which the noise seemed to come, in search of potential damage."
"Ground control joined the astronauts in checking external video camera views as well as internal air and coolant pressure levels. None of these readings explained the noise, though more analysis was under way." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for November 27, 2003, "Unknown noise on space station," page 2A.)
RECENT SOLAR STORM DAMAGED MARS PROBE
"Intense solar activity last month (October 2003) shut down a radiation-measuring instrument aboard NASA's Mars Odyssey orbiter, and controllers haven't been able to fix it, NASA said."
"The instrument was designed to collect data for evaluating the risks that future Mars-bound astronauts would face from space radiation. It worked from March 2002 until last month, the agency's Jet Propulsion Laboratory said in a statement."
"Efforts to restore the instrument will continue for several weeks or months, officials said. The equipment already has provided a wealth of information, NASA said."
"The October 28 (2003) solar storm caused a blackout in Sweden, damaged two Japanese satellites and upset radio and navigation systems for aircraft and ships" elsewhere on Earth. (See USA Today for November 28, 2003, "Solar activity damaged Mars orbiter," page 3A.)
PAKISTAN FOSSIL SITE MAY BE 30 MILLION YEARS OLD
Madame Karren, a German archaeologist, visited the fossil site at Ban Amir Khatoon, near Chakwal, Pakistan on Wednesday, November 19, 2003, calling it "the heaven of archaeology."
"The people of the area," located in Pakistan's Salt Range, "are the guardians of a very old human civilization, and the area has a very strong cultural and historical background, she remarked, while visiting the Ban Amir Khatoon fossil site."
"Mrs. Vera Sozluwki, the wife of the ambassador of Hungary, based at Islamabad (Pakistan's capital--J.T.), also accompanied her."
"Local geologist Malik Muhammad Riaz briefed them about the fossils, which are over 30 million years old. He explained that he had discovered the site in 1994."
"The famous Pakistani archaeologist Dr. Ahmad Hassan Dani has visited the area many times and has claimed that this is the largest concentration of fossils in the world."
"Khwaja Babar Salim, Secretary-General of the Chakwal Press Club, claimed that evidence of 'the first human civilization' had been found in the Salt Range area. If more research work should be done, he added, 'We are confident that the first truly human being appeared here in Pakistan.'"
Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda, UFO Roundup correspondent in India, added that the Ban Amir Khatoon site "proves that (human) civilization existed during the Tetra Yuga, well before the (Pleistocene) Ice Age." (See the Indian newspaper Thanthi for November 23, 2003. Many thanks to Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda for this news story.)
From the UFO Files...
1909: PHANTOM PANTHERS OF TEMPLETON, MASS.
Ninety-four years ago, in December 1909, there was a flurry of "phantom panther" sightings in Templeton, Massachusetts, located on Routes 2 and 68 approximately 18 miles (30 kilometers) west of Fitchburg and 70 miles (116 kilometers) northwest of Boston.
What is most curious about this "panther" flap is that it ran concurrently with a major UFO flap centered in nearby Fitchburg and Leominster, which is sometimes called L'affaire Tillinghast or "the great airship invasion of 1909."
(Editor's Note: Fitchburg, of course, has long been the "UFO capital" of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts.)
"The main 'phantom panther' action took place in and around Templeton, Mass. This is the notorious 'Montachusett' region of the Bay State, the home of many inexplicable events, such as the Andreasson affair of 1967, the UFO flaps of 1973 and 1975, and the Philipston 'fireball' of 1976."
"On 26 November 1909, Joseph Chandler of Fitzwilliam, New Hampshire, took his dog rabbit-hunting in the Greenwood section of Winchendon, Mass.," 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Templeton.
"'He was making his way over some undergrowth, when he was distracted by the howling of the hound. Hastening in the direction of the noise, he saw his dog being pounced upon by an animal resembling a panther or wild cat, but before he could get a shot at the animal, it disappeared in the woods. The dog was badly bitten on the front legs, besides having several deep gashes down his back, caused evidently by his opponent's claws.'"
"The panther turned up again in Templeton on 14 December (1909). 'Mrs. George Wheeler reports the latest known haunt of the animal. She was driving on Otter River Road' in a horse-drawn carriage 'when near the junction of Baptist Common Road her attention was attracted to an animal standing between two houses there. It evidently saw Mrs. Wheeler's carriage about the same time that she observed the stranger, and it bounded across an open patch of field and disappeared from sight in the woods. Mrs. Wheeler described the animal as being about the size of a (German) shepherd dog and (it) had a long tail.'"
Phantom panther sightings are nothing new, it seems. But, for Templeton, the terror was only beginning. (See the book Fortean Studies - Volume 1, John Brown Publishing Ltd., London, 1994, "The New England Airship Invasion of 1909" by Joseph Trainor, page 60. See also the Gardner, Mass. News for November 27, 1909 and December 15, 1909.)
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.
Next Week: Panther Terror in Templeton