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Volume 8
Number 49
December 24, 2003

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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UFO HOVERS OVER A VILLAGE IN MALAYSIA

"An unidentified flying object was sighted hovering over a quiet village in" Malaysia's northern Kedah state, near the border with Thailand, "the second such sighting there in two years, a report said on Tuesday," December 16, 2003.

"A nine-year-old boy saw a slow-moving, disc-like object about the size of a car emitting a greenish light" and "hovering in the air over Banggol Cicar village, near the town of Baling, for about four minutes before it disappeared."

"Mohamad Amirul Syafiq said at first he thought it was a plane about to crash."

"'I then called my friends to look at the object, which was hovering just over the tops of the coconut trees behind my house,' he was quoted as saying."

"Mohamad Faiz Alias, 12, said he thought Mohamad Amirul was joking. 'But we clearly saw the object in the air, emitting a bright light,' Mohamad Faiz said."

"Kamaruddin Othman, 12, said he realised the object was not a plane because it was too silent."

"His father, Othman Ahmad, 54, said he also caught sight of the UFO before it disappeared."

"Two years ago, a villager said he saw a UFO hovering in the air while he was on his way to the mosque for pre- dawn (Friday) prayers."

Banggol Cicar is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) north of Kuala Lumpur, the capital of Malaysia. (See the New Straits Times for December 16, 2003, "Malaysian villagers claim UFO sighting." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this newspaper article.)

(Editor's Comment: Welcome to Spotlight on Southeast Asia Week here at UFO Roundup. There was an equally strange phenomenon just across the Strait of Malacca in Indonesia.)

PHANTOM EXPRESS HITS THE RAILS IN INDONESIA

"Superstitious Indonesians have blamed ghosts or black magic for the mysterious journey of an empty commuter train, which travelled 45 kilometers (23 miles) from Bogor to Jakarta" on Indonesia's island of Java, "before grinding to a halt."

"The electric train, parked in a Bogor rail siding, mysteriously came to life last week and began travelling out of the Java hills into Jakarta's suburbs at about 64 kilometers per hour (40 miles per hour--J.T.)."

"A railway employee climbed aboard one of the carriages and tried to stop the train but was unable to enter the driver's compartment."

"The train eventually stopped on a hill in the city" of Jakarta, Indonesia's capital, "without causing any loss of life or injury."

"Railway officials blamed its unscheduled journey on 'technical problems.'"

"But a number of Jakarta communities told the newspaper Detik that they believed ghosts piloted the train on its journey."

"One man said he was afraid to talk about the trip and just thinking about it made his hair stand on end."

"In a country where many people believe in ghosts or black magic, an employee at Manggarai railway station said he was trying not to dwell on what caused the mysterious event."

"'I don't want to say anything supernatural about the case, because it's a matter for Allah,' he said."

"A spokesman for the government train company, P.T. Kereta Api Indonesia (KAI), admitted the train's journey was a first and promised an investigation."

"'This case could go into the Guiness Book of Records,' he said."

Bogor is located 45 kilometers (23 miles) south of Jakarta. (See the Indonesian newspaper Detik for December 16, 2003, "Ghosts blamed for runaway train." Many thanks to Angela Tarohachi for this newspaper article.)

(Editor's Note: The USA's most famous "ghost engineer" is Luther "Casey" Jones, who was killed in a major train wreck in Vaughan, Mississippi in 1900.)

DAYLIGHT DISC SPOTTED OVER CARACAS

On Friday, November 28, 2003, at 2 p.m., a large silver flying disc was spotted by hundreds of people over downtown Caracas, the capital of Venezuela.

According to ufologist Hector Arturo Escalante, "the city's plazas were full of people protesting President Hugo Chavez Frias. They were demonstrating in support of a recall election when the strange object appeared."

The object appeared to move from west to east over Caracas. It was first seen in the Plaza O'Leary on the Avenida Sucre, then the Plaza Ibarra on the Avenida Bolivar and finally in the Parque Carabobo in the city's Candelaria district.

"The object was photographed by a man on the ground," he added, "He took the picture with an Olympus Model 370 digital camera, with 1.3 megapixels." (Muchas gracias a Hector Arturo Escalante para esto caso.)

LUMINOUS UFO SIGHTED NEAR VIENNA, AUSTRIA

On Thursday, December 11, 2003, Christoph Ferlmoser was at his home in Vienna, the capital of Austria, when he noticed an unusual bright light on the northern horizon, over the Wiernerwald forest.

"It was far away from me, about 50 kilometers (30 miles) at first," Christoph reported, "I saw a big white object in the sky, and I'm sure it wasn't a star because it was only one o'clock in the afternoon. I stared at it, and it came closer to me. Then I noticed that the object was made of a shiny silver material. It had a diamond shape, and it was zigzagging through the sky."

"After 30 seconds or so, the object disappeared. Nobody believes me, but I know what I have seen. The object was silver, and it had a diamond shape." (Email Form Report)

PHANTOM PANTHER STRIKES AGAIN IN SCOTLAND

"A family from Kilmalcolm went out for a Sunday stroll" December 7, 2003 "and stumbled upon what they believe is the lair of the celebrated Beast of Lochwinnoch."

"The black leopard-like creature has been sighted at various locations throughout Renfrewshire" in Scotland "for the past four or five weeks. The latest sighting comes from 14-year-old cousins William Muir and Andrew Gallacher, who were walking in the woods with William's mother, Ann."

"As they entered the woods, they were met by a series of growls, followed by a blood-curdling howl. The noise seemed to follow them and, as they penetrated deeper into the woods, they discovered an unusual number of animal bones strewn around a particular area."

"There were scratch-marks on the surrounding trees and, when a local reporter returned to investigate, he discovered the half-eaten carcass of a sheep."

"The Muir family have also produced a photograph which they believes shows the beast lurking among the trees. Unfortunately, it is impossible to determine whether the black silhouette in the photograph is in fact the big cat or merely a woodland shadow." (See the Johnstone Gazette for December 8, 2003, "Leopard's lair." Many thanks to Robert Fischer, UFO Roundup's phantom panther expert, for this newspaper article.)

COUGAR CONTINUES TO HAUNT A CITY IN KANSAS

Lawrence, Kansas (population 80,098) continues to be haunted by an elusive mountain lion or cougar (puma in UK- -J.T.), which roams at will the neighborhoods around the University of Kansas.

According to Gary Cofer, UFO Roundup's Kansas correspondent, "Anthony Capra, a 12-year-old deer hunter, reported Saturday morning," December 6, 2003, "that he spotted a mountain lion while hunting deer about a mile from his home. He says that he saw the lion running over a ridge. It was light brown and had a long tail that touched the ground."

Capra "made a Baaaa sound and was surprised when the lion moved in his direction. This scared the boy, so he took aim" with his rifle "but had not chambered a round. When he cocked the gun, the sound scared the lion. He shot twice at the running animal but didn't think he hit it."

Also last week, "a laboratory confirmed that droppings found in the Lawrence area belong to a mountain lion."

Scientist "Mark Jaubauskas previously had placed a remote-controlled camera on the west campus" of the University of Kansas in Lawrence "and captured an image of what appeared to be a mountain lion."

Jaubauskas "sent samples of feces to a lab at Central Michigan University for DNA tests. The findings showed that it was a cougar."

Cells from the animal's rectum "are sloughed off" during defecation and become "included in the scat. The lab was able to compare the DNA in the feces sample to its own library of DNA," and a positive match was made. (See the Lawrence, Kansas Journal-World for December 9 and December 10, 2003. Many thanks to Gary Cofer for this news summary.)

PHANTOM PANTHER TURNS UP IN TENNESSEE

"Connie Scheitlin is still stunned by what she swears she saw walking through her backyard last week."

"'I know it was a black panther,' Scheitlin said, 'It was just lurking.'"

"Scheitlin's panther sighting is just one of many exotic wild animal reports that Williamson County experts have received over the years. Some reports turn out to be true, but most are dismissed as figments of the imagination or unlikely possibilities."

"Debby Leddy, assistant director of Williamson County Animal Control, said a woman once reported seeing Bigfoot walking near Highway 100 in Fairview, Tennessee (population 5,800)."

"'That woman swears she saw a large, hairy creature that left big prints,' Leddy said."

"There have also been several cougar sightings and even reports that an Asian lynx was prowling around the Williamson County Soccer Complex in Franklin, Tenn. (population 41,842)."

"The panther sighting occurred last Thursday afternoon," December 11, 2003, "at Scheitlin's home in the Carronbridge subdivision in Cool Springs," near Franklin. "Scheitlin was looking out the window while talking on the phone when she says she saw a giant black cat no more than 100 yards (90 meters) away. Not believing her eyes, she quickly grabbed the camcorder and used the zoom feature to take a closer look."

"'It had a beautiful black shiny coat,' Scheitlin said, 'It was very big and very muscular. I had a really good look at him, and I know what I saw.'"

"Unfortunately, her camcorder was out of tape. And by the time Scheitlin returned with a still camera, the animal had disappeared into the woods."

"Sure of what she saw, Scheitlin keeps a close watch on the tree line while her seven-year-old twins play in the driveway. 'I've been very paranoid,' she said, 'This thing could eat my kids. When they play in the yard, I'm there keeping an eye on the woods. It's been very unsettling.'"

"Scheitlin called Terry Jackson, owner of AAA Animal Removal, who came and searched the area for tracks but didn't find any sign that the beast had been there. Jackson said he believes Scheitlin saw what she said she saw."

"'There have been several reports of some sort of animal that resembles a black panther over the years,' Jackson said, 'TWRA (Tennessee Wildlife Resource Agency-- J.T.) doesn't believe it. Their answer is, it's a big Lab (Labrador retreiver dog--J.T.)."

"Jackson's brother, Jim Jackson, said he saw what looked like a black panther and two cubs walking at the edge of the woods on Snowbird Hollow Road, near the Goose Creek bypass." (See The Tennesseean for December 18, 2003, "Too big to be a dog, too small to be Bigfoot." Many thanks to Robert Goerman for this newspaper article.)

NEW SPACE TELESCOPE SEES IN THE INFRARED

"Dark smudges in the night sky and faintly glowing interstellar clouds that confounded astronomers for years were revealed Thursday," December 11, 2003, "to be a vast field of birthing stars, as new planets lurking in a young star's haze of dust, or as brilliant superheated gases hiding in an inky, faraway nebula."

"The discoveries were made using the newly launched Lyman Spitzer Space Telescope, a $670 million orbiting observatory that uses faint heat signatures to reveal startling images of origins of planets, stars and galaxies that are invisible even to the far-seeing Hubble Space Telescope."

"Telescopes looking at visible light find their view blocked by opaque walls of dust and cold gas. Under Spitzer's gaze, those clouds all but disappear to reveal sources of heat within them."

"'This telescope has now lifted a cosmic veil. We can now see what we never could see before,' said Giovanni Fazio, the principal investigator on the Spitzer program and a senior physicist at the Harvard-Smithsonian Center for Astrophysics in Cambridge, Mass."

"The telescope completes" NASA's Great Observatories program, orbiting "four telescopes specializing in observations that use different ranges of the electromagnetic spectrum."

"The others are Hubble, which looks at visible light; the Compton Observatory, which looked at subatomic radiation; and the Chandra Observatory, which studies X- rays. The Spitzer telescope looks strictly in the range of infrared radiation and can spot objects with temperatures that dip below freezing."

"At that temperature, chilly clouds of dust are invisible and stars that haven't even ignited yet glow like light bulbs, said Michael Werner, Spitzer project scientist and an astrophysicist at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California."

"Almost all objects in the universe emit some infrared, or heat, radiation."

"To be able to see it, Spitzer must be kept mind- bogglingly cold--at minus 450 degrees Fahrenheit--just 10 degrees above absolute zero."

"Trailing six million miles behind Earth as it orbits the sun, Spitzer's telescope has been built into what essentially is a giant, spacefaring Thermos bottle."

"The Spitzer telescope was named for a Princeton University astronomer, who proposed in 1946 that the United States put a telescope in space, above the obscuring effects of the atmosphere. Dr. Lyman Spitzer Jr. died in 1997." (See the Chicago Tribune for December 12, 2003, "Infrared telescope offers new visions," section 1, page 7.)

OLDEST CARVED FIGURINES DISCOVERED IN GERMANY

"Three small figurines carved of ivory from mammoth tusks have been found in a cave in southwestern Germany, providing stronger evidence that human ancestors were already adept at figurative art more than 30,000 years ago."

"One of the pieces is the oldest known representation of a bird, which resembles a cormorant or a duck. The others appear to be the head of a horse and a figure half- man, half-animal. None is longer than an inch (2.5 centimeters)."

"The discoverer, Nicholas Conard, an archaeologist at the University of Tuebingen in Germany, said the sculptures 'belong to one of the oldest traditions of figurative art known worldwide,' and that they point to the region of the upper Danube (Donau im Deutsch--J.T.) River as 'an important center of cultural innovation' during the Late Stone Age, also known as the Upper Paleolithic" period.

"The discovery, described in today's issue of the journal Nature, was made at Hohe Fels Cave, in the Swabian mountains southwest of Ulm."

"In the report, Conard said, the find complements the collection of more than 20 similar ivory figurines over recent years, all found at Swabian sites. Precise dates for the objects are unknown, he said, but an analysis of related deposits indicates that the artists lived from 30,000 to 33,000 years ago."

"'They were people just like us,' says paleontologist Nicholas Conard...As far back as 1931, paleontologists have reported finding similar ancient ivory figurines of fearsome animals such as bears, lions and mammoths. It seems likely that the horse and bird figures were creatures that early Europeans simply admired, Conard said."

"It was a time when painting on cave walls had also begun to flourish. Colorful drawings of horses, lions and mammoths, discovered in the early 1990s at the Grotte Chauvet in France, have been dated to 32,400 years ago."

"Although no human skeletal remains have been found in the German caves with the figurines, Conard said they seemed to have been produced by modern humans, not their relatives, the Neanderthals, some of whom still lived in Europe."

"'Clearly, they had a full-blown artistic tradition,' says paleontologist Sally McBrearty of the University of Connecticut, who was not involved in the research."

"The three figurines--of a bird, a horse head and a lion-man, add to the scholarly knowledge of ivory figurines more than 30,000 years old."

"The lion-man figurine indicates a shamanistic identification with animals, she suggests."

(Editor's Note: The lion-man motif is also found in the ruined temple at Chavin de Huantar in the jungles of eastern Peru.)

"Commenting on the figurines from German caves, Dr. Anthony Sinclair, an archaeologist at the University of Liverpool in UK, said, 'Without question, they are the oldest body of figurative art in the world--pieces that show a coherent set of manufacturing techniques and themes for representation.'" (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for December 18, 2003, "Carvings are earliest human figurative art," page 12A; and USA Today for December 18, 2003, "Carved-ivory figures go back a few years--30,000 or so," page 11D.)

(Editor's Comment: The Schwabischen Alps on Ulm's west side were identified as "the green hills of Zalgara," and the site of the lost prehistoric city of Kamula, in Robert E. Howard's short stories about Kull of Atlantis. See King Kull, Lancer Books, New York, N.Y. 1967, "Black Abyss," page 61. How strange to find hand-carved figurines from 30,000 B.C. in that neighborhood. Could REH's fantasies have some basis in fact? At any rate, the figurines offer us a tantalizing glimpse into the lost world of the Tetra Yuga.)


From the UFO Files...

1995: N-N-N-NICE DOGGIE!

It was eight years ago--Friday, December 22, 1995-- and Lori W., a New York City social worker, was making the rounds of her clients' apartments on the Lower East Side of the city's Manhattan borough.

"Now, a woman would have to be crazy to walk down those streets alone," Lori reminisced, "Normally, I would go with several friends of mine, two male social workers, and this afforded me some protection. But both of them had come down with the flu that day."

"I had to keep the appointment. So, as I stepped out onto the street, I said a little prayer to the Lord to keep his angels around me. Little did I realize what form my Christmas angel would take."

"The moment I stepped out onto the street. I was met by the largest white dog I had ever seen in my entire life! This dog looked like a giant wolf! He had these really beautiful, smoky blue eyes that I thought were really strange for a dog. But he was so nice to me."

"I immediately sensed that he was here to guard me and protect me. I could almost sense him trying to communicate with me. I know it sounds strange, but I could really feel him project a thought at me, like: 'Okay, I'm here to help you as you go on your rounds. Come on, what are you waiting for?'"

"So the dog and I began walking together."

"As we walked, I could see gang members on street corners and hear them shouting obscenities."

And, as Lori neared her destination, four gang members made their approach, two in front of her and two behind.

"Whoa! Check it out!"

"Yo, baby! You lookin' to party?"

"Yeah, come with us. We'll show you a real good time."

The white wolf lowered its head and began to growl. A fierce gleam turned its blue eyes slate gray as it glared at the two gang members in front.

One gangbanger raised his arm. "Get outta here, ya dumb mutt!"

The wolf's ears flattened. Still growling, he lowered his tail. Hind legs tightened like steel springs.

Unfazed, the gang member threatened, "Get outta here! Or I'll boot your ass across the street!"

The wolf's growl deepened. White fangs made their gleaming appearance.

The other gangbanger muttered, "Christ, Leo! You're pissing it off!"

Fangs bared, the wolf inched forward. Leo and his companion backed away. Plainly rattled, the companion stammered, "N-n-n-nice doggie!"

The wolf lunged. Both men scrambled across the street. Then the wolf whirled and attacked the two men behind Lori. Yelling in alarm, they fled down a narrow alleyway behind Leo and the other one. All four frantically began scaling the wooden fence at the alley's end, while the wolf barked savagely.

Just as Leo got one leg over the top of the fence, the wolf made an impossible leap. His teeth sank into the back pocket of Leo's jeans. And, with a twist of his furry head, he tore out the denim seat. Uttering a bellow of fear, Leo disappeared over the fence.

"This 'wolf dog' looked like he could've eaten three or four of them in one large bite and still be hungry for more!" Lori recalled.

"The dog walked me right up to the doorstep of my appointment. After I was finished, I came out to see him waiting there to escort me back home!"

"This really taught me that the Lord works in strange ways," Lori added, "and you'll never know what kind of form his angels will assume in order to protect you."

This altercation south of Delancey Street was actually witnessed by a handful of street people, who were warming themselves around an oil-barrel bonfire.

"That's a mean-assed dog," one commented, watching the white wolf escort Lori down the street.

"Yeah," another replied, rubbing his hands over the fire. "It musta come over from Brooklyn."

Yet, the "White Wolf of Delancey Street" has been seen again and again. And for some strange reason, it's always seen in the wintertime. (See Christmas Angels, American Media Mini-Mags, Boca Raton, Fla., 2001, pages 58 to 60.)

Tonight is Christmas Eve, and, as most of us settle down to celebrate with family and friends, let us not forget those who cannot be there for the festivities. These are the gallant men and women on active duty in the military forces of the nations around the world.

Let's take a moment to remember them on Christmas. Some of them will be out in the boonies, eating their Christmas dinner on the hood of a Humvee or in a Blackhawk helicopter speeding over some windswept terrain. Let's take that moment to thank them for their many sacrifices on our behalf.

So, if you are a member of one of the armed services on active duty this Christmas, on behalf of all the readers and correspondents and the gang at UFO Roundup, let me wish you a "Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year."

Have a happy holiday season!

And we'll be back next week, when Earth's little fleet of robot spacecraft enter orbit around Mars, with yet more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news, all 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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