UFO ROUNDUP

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Volume 9
Number 3
January 21st, 2004

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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WOMAN VIDEOTAPES UFO OVER HUDDERSFIELD, UK

"Strange fires in the sky have been filmed over Huddersfield," a mid-sized city near Manchester in UK.

"Mother of three Dawn Carsley, of Hexham Green, Milnsbridge, caught an unidentified flying object (UFO) on video as it flew over her house on (Thursday) December 11 (2003)."

"Exactly a week later, two more UFOs appeared in the night sky, to be spotted again by Dawn and other householders around Kirklees."

"Dawn, 33, was chatting at home with a friend, Sue Sill, 45, when they saw the first UFO in the middle of December. It was 9:30 p.m."

"'It was like a ball of fire with a small dome on top,' said Sue."

"Dawn immediately rushed to get a camcorder and took nine seconds of grainy footage showing the flashing ball of light heading through the night."

"'It was zooming. It was fair moving,' said Dawn."

"And she could barely believe her eyes a week later, at home with husband Phil, when two UFOs appeared at the same spot."

"'There were two that came over. One just seemed to stop, then one disappeared to Crosland Moor.'"

"The second, which had started to head back towards her house, then followed the first."

"The objects were seen by pensioner Christine Beech, of Cherry Tree Close in Golcar, her husband Brian and daughter Bev." (For more on the Beech encounter, see UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 2 for January 14, 2004, "More UFOs seen over Huddersfield, UK," page 2.)

"A number of other UFO sightings were reported to the Examiner over the Christmas and new year period. They were similar to those seen by Mrs. Beech and Dawn."

"'The first one we saw was going really, really fast, and it was a still night (no wind--J.T.),' said Dawn."

"She estimated that the two hung motionless for about five minutes before moving off. She has no idea what the objects could be."

"'I don't know what they are. We came up with all sorts, and the more you think about it, the more silly you get. There's no natural explanation you can come up with.'"

"But Sue has no doubt."

"'I think it's some sort of hoax. There was fire or what looked like fire and flames. It looked like a ball of fire.'"

"Dave Baker is chairman of the Yorkshire UFO Society and a sceptic. He said there could be a rational explanation for the sightings if someone had rigged a bin- bag over a flame, to create a makeshift hot-air balloon."

"'The flames reflect on the inside if the bag is open and it's black. They can go as fast as the wind is going and can reach quite high altitudes,' he explained."

"He added that the human eye was notoriously bad at judging altitude and distance if the initial size of the object was unknown." (See the Huddersfield Daily Examiner for January 9, 2004, "Fireball in sky a puzzle." Many thanks to Jim Hickman for forwarding this newspaper article.)

BRITISH COUPLE SEES A UFO IN CANCUN, MEXICO

On Thursday, January 1, 2004, at 1:30 a.m., Mike Morris and Karen Balcam "were standing on the balcony of our hotel (on holiday from UK--M.M. & K.B.) overlooking the beach" in Cancun, Quintana Roo state, Mexico, when Karen spotted something strange in the sky.

"Karen was looking at the southeast part of the sky and drew my attention to what she assumed was a shooting star," Mike reported, "It was moving upwards in a fairly straight line and covering a large distance. We then realised this was no shooting star!"

"It changed direction about three times, sort of zigzagging across the sky at an amazing speed and going from low in the sky to very high up, and going back at a level in an easterly direction," away from the Yucatan peninsula, "then upwards surprisingly fast."

"It's really difficult to explain the enormity of what we saw as it covered about a third of the night sky that was visible to us right over the sea, from about the middle of the sky going upwards. It was just like a star, or the front (landing) light of a plane, but the speed and area covered, plus the sharp changes in direction, were amazing and could not have been executed by anything known to us."

"The whole thing lasted four to five minutes, and we stared at the sky for some time afterward, hoping for another sighting but to no avail--I guess it was off to another corner of the world in no time!" (Email Form Report)

PARTYGOERS SIGHT A UFO IN SOUTHERN CALIFORNIA

On Sunday, January 4, 2004, at 12:45 a.m., Gary Guerrero reported, he and 25 men and women aged 22 to 34 were at a party in suburban Orange County, California, just south of Los Angeles, when some UFOs approached from the north.

"We were celebrating the New Year, and one of the girls noticed three strange objects in the sky," Gary said, "We came out of the house to see it. I saw, as well as 25 others, this bright object a little bit bigger and brighter than the stars but more yellowish than white. Moved from left to right for about seven minutes. The strange object then stopped for two minutes. Then moved again. It repeated this (maneuver) three or four times."

"We are all adults between 22 and 34 and were at our friends' house for New Year's, so it is not something we are making up."

"There were no civilian airplanes for the entire time. But there is something else that is real important. I heard jet fighters really high in the atmosphere, almost like they were trying to get a better look, but the thing in the sky was so much farther up than the jets. I was in the military for five years, and I have seen some pretty crazy things in the Fort Irwin, California desert and missile launches from Edwards Air Force Base. But this was the most unbelievable thing I have ever seen."

"At the end of the sighting, it abruptly changed direction and shifted the sunlight so that it almost had a square shape to it. I wonder if anyone else could have seen this. I tried to go on the Internet to find info, but no luck!" (Email Form Report)

PHANTOM PANTHERS ARE STILL ACTIVE IN UK

"Police are warning North Lincolnshire residents to be on the alert after another big cat sighting."

"A member of the public contacted the police Tuesday night (December 23, 2003) to say he had seen what he believed to be a black panther in the Winterton and Roxby area. The man was walking on Roxby Trods at about 8:20 p.m. when he saw the black cat."

"He described it as being the size of a large dog but it was shaped much more like a cat, and it was silhouetted against the sky."

"The wildlife officer has been alerted and the Local Policing Team at Brigg and Barston have also been notified."

In Scotland, "a second school has been put on alert after a cleaner came face to face with what experts believe is a black leopard."

"Mary O'Connor ripped her clothes on bushes as she fled in terror along a foot path near Auchenlodment Primary (School) in Johnstone, Renfrewshire."

"Mary, 42, had been walking to the school at 6 a.m. for her shift on Monday," November 26, 2003.

"A police helicopter searched the area but no trace of the animal was found."

The incident "came two weeks after a big cat was seen prowling near the grounds of nearby Lochwinnoch Primary School." (For more on the Lochwinnoch panther, see UFO Roundup, volume 8 number 46 for December 3, 2003, "Phantom panther stalks a school in Scotland," page 1.) (See the Scunthorpe Telegraph for December 29, 2003, "'Big Cat' warning;" and the Daily Record of Glasgow for November 26, 2003, "School No. 2 in cat alert." Many thanks to Robert Fischer, UFO Roundup's phantom panther expert, for these newspaper articles.)

MOTHMAN NEARLY WRECKS ANOTHER BRIDGE

"The Pomeroy-Mason Bridge" in Point Pleasant, West Virginia (population 4,637) "was closed for several hours Wednesday morning," January 7, 2004 "for an inspection after it was struck by a barge."

"A barge hit a pier on the Ohio side at about 6:45 a.m., said Stephen Filson, a spokesman for the Ohio Department of Transportation District No. 10."

"Structural engineers found no significant damage, and the bridge was reopened by 10:30 a.m., Filson said."

"The Ohio agency coordinated the investigation because the bridge," which crosses the Ohio River and "connects Ohio Route 833 and West Virginia Route 62, is owned by Ohio."

Point Pleasant, W.V. was the site of a bridge disaster in December 1967. The Silver Bridge, built and opened in 1936, suddenly collapsed without warning. During the previous 13 months, a strange entity called Mothman had been seen in and around Point Pleasant. Mothman issued repeated warnings of "a disaster on the Ohio River," a prophecy which came true with the collapse of the Silver Bridge.

"Travelers on the bridge had been restricted since Tuesday night," January 6, 2004, "because of high water on Main Street in Pomeroy," Ohio (population 1,966).

"A small portion of Main Street remained blocked by high water Wednesday afternoon but traffic was not impeded, a dispatcher for the Pomeroy Police Dept. said."

"The Ohio River crested Wednesday morning. At 4 a.m. Wednesday, the river was 47.2 feet and steady. Flood stage there is 46 feet (14 meters), according to the National Weather Service."

Cryptozoologist and Mothman expert Loren Coleman pointed out a curious lexilink in the bridge's name, adding, "Note the presence of the word 'Mason.'"

Also, the population of Pomeroy--1,966--matches the year in which Mothman originally predicted the Ohio River disaster. (See the Cleveland Plain Dealer for January 7, 2004, "Bridge hit by a barge reopens after inspectors find no significant damage." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this news story.)

SPIDER SORCERY CAUSES HAVOC IN NICARAGUA

"After the alleged hysteria known as Grisi Siknis allegedly vanished from the lives of the Raito (indigenous people) community in" eastern Nicaragua, "it reappeared, unleashing mass insanity in the villages of Rio Grande in the Autonomous Southern Atlantic Region," near the port city of Bluefields.

"'People are alarmed. They are anxious. They virtually get no sleep. The community is taking turns to watch those who have taken ill from the sorcerous malady. Residents of Karawala have already warned the local warlocks, whom they believe are responsible for the ailment,' said Lt. Col. Danilo Blanco, commander of the Nicaraguan Army troops garrisoned at this location."

"'They claim that they are going to lynch them (the warlocks--J.T.) if they continue. We are requesting that a commission be appointed to visit Karawala and solve the collective hysteria.'"

"'In the case of one 33-year-old woman, twisted candles have been removed from her vagina, as well as nails covered with hair. She has vomited spiders. Things have reached such a degree in the community,' said the lieutenant colonel."

"He added, 'There is a 16-year-old girl whom the locals believe has a goblin in her stomach. She has been this way night and day for three months now. I witnessed the girl's case. She has powerful convulsions as though there was something in her stomach, since it grows suddenly. The stomach returns to its normal size and in seconds expands again.'"

"The military man stated that 'this happens every day. Her relatives and the locals have to watch her to keep her from running out into the street in hysterics. They think it's witchcraft, a spell, and we really need the help of a government commission.'"

"Commander Manuel Mora Ortiz, chief naval officer for the Caribbean coast of Nicaragua, told La Prensa that the infirmary worker of the community of Karawala was unable to deal with the collective hysteria case."

"La Prensa spoke on the phone with the (Nicaraguan) Ministry of Health in Bluefields--Dr. Donald Jarquin--" who said, "'We're forming a ruling group to find out what's going on there. Tomorrow we'll find out if it's true or not.'" (See La Prensa for January 13, 2004, "Grisi Siknis rages on." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Gloria Coluchi para esto articulo de diario.)

SPIRIT ROLLS ONTO THE SURFACE OF MARS

Spirit, "the Mars rover, finally began to rove Thursday," January 15, 2004, "rolling its six wheels smoothly onto the red soil and beginning an unprecedented journey to look for signs of ancient water and whatever else might spark scientists' curiosity along the way."

"Success came 12 days after Spirit touched down on the surface--an interval filled with tension and painstaking preparation."

"Scientists said Thursday's 10-foot (3-meter) move off the rover's landing pad means Spirit has truly landed, opening a new era in the exploration of another world. Scientists consider Spirit the smartest, most versatile probe ever put on another planet."

"'Mars is our sandbox, and we are ready to play and learn,' said Charles Elachi, director of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory."

"After instructing the rover to turn on its landing pad to avoid airbags that were in its way, engineers ran a final earthbound simulation of the rover's roll-off late Wednesday," January 14, 2004, "before assuring themselves that it would work. They got confirmation that the move off the pad was complete at" 5 a.m. Cape Canaveral time "when Spirit sent photos of the lander it had just left."

"Adding to the good news mission managers said Thursday the rover could last up to nine months, far longer than the 90-day lifespan they had projected. That's because the probe has responded better than expected to the wide variations of temperature on Mars, and its solar panels have performed well in the late Martian summer. The probe's power capacity will fall gradually as martian winter approaches and as dust gathers on the solar panels."

"Although the rover's landing area looks like a windblown desert, scientists believe that more than 3 billion years ago, it may have been filled with a lake-- and perhaps even life."

"The 90-mile (144-kilometer) wide basin, called Gusev Crater, has long occupied the dreams of Natalie Cabrol, the planetary geologist who first studied whether the area once held water and persuaded NASA to send Spirit there."

"Cabrol came across the crater in 1985 while poring over some of the 50,000 images of Mars taken by the Viking missions in the 1970s. The photos appeared to show that a river called Ma'adim Vallis once emptied into the crater, forming a delta and what appeared to be islands. Looking closer, Cabrol and her colleagues saw what could be ancient shorelines running parallel to the basin's edges."

(Editor's Note: As my old geology professor, Dr. Ralph Fellows, would've explained, this suggests that the prehistoric "Lake Gusev" gradually diminished in size over a period of hundreds of thousands of years.)

"'I can't tell you how many times we've imagined ourselves at the delta looking down at the lake,' said Cabrol, a researcher at NASA's Ames Research Center. 'You know, the Martian air is very thin. I've imagined what would have been the sound of the waves there.'"

"The debate over whether the crater once held water is far from over, and Cabrol hopes Spirit finds firm evidence one way or the other. But like many researchers working on the probe, she said the fulfillment of her long-standing wish to see the basin up close is overwhelming."

"'Spirit may have landed, but I haven't yet. I'm still hovering,' Cabrol said."

"Spirit has begun studying the soil directly in front of it to test the probe's instruments, including an X-ray chemical analysis device, an infrared camera and a microscope. Scientists can measure some soil properties simply by seeing how the rover moves in the dirt. It's wheels have sunk less than an inch into the Martian dust, suggesting a silty but firm material that one researcher compared to ordinary garden soil on Earth."

"Although eventually researchers want to drive towards the hills to the southeast of the rover, their first objective will be one of two small rocks--nicknamed Adirondack and Sashimi--that sit a few feet from the probe. Researchers are looking for rocks that may have been worn smooth by water, as well as carbonates and other compounds often formed at the bottom of lakes." (See the Chicago Tribune for January 16, 2004, "Mars rover starts its trip of discovery," section 1, page 5.)

DUBYA PROPOSES A NEW TRIP TO THE MOON

"Americans would return to the moon between 2015 and 2020--and eventually travel to Mars--under a proposal President Bush outlined Wednesday," January 14, 2004.

"'Mankind is drawn to the heavens for the same reason we were once drawn to unknown lands and across the open sea,' he said at NASA headquarters. 'We choose to explore space because doing so improves our lives and lifts our national spirit. So let us continue the journey.'"

"If the president succeeds in getting his program started, it will be the most far-reaching and ambitious space agenda since President Kennedy launched the Apollo program in 1961."

"No human has stood on the moon since astronaut Eugene Cernan in December 1972. 'I'd like to go back and see what it's like now,' said Cernan, 69, who attended the speech. No human has ever gone to Mars, which is a six- to-nine month flight from Earth."

"The president called for" the following--

"The construction of a new spaceship, the Crew Exploration Vehicle, to ferry people to the moon and the International Space Station. It would make its first manned flight in 2014. NASA hasn't revealed a design."

"Robotic missions to the moon starting by 2008."

"Colonies on the moon where humans would live and work. Their main task would be testing technology such as spacesuits for an eventual trip to Mars."

"A human mission to Mars at an unspecified date."

"Retiring the three remaining space shuttles in 2010, after the space station is completed. NASA does not yet know how astronauts would get to the space station in the four years between retiring the shuttles and starting to use the new spaceship."

"Bush plans to ask Congress for an extra $1 billion over the next five years to help pay for the moon shot. In the same period, the administration would also divert $11 billion from other NASA programs to pay for the new effort. Another administration would have to decide whether to continue beyond that."

"The cost of the human and robotic missions to the moon and Mars would total roughly $120 billion by 2020, according to estimates from a NASA chart. NASA's current annual budget is $15 billion."

"The Apollo program of the 1960s and early 1970s cost $150 billion to $175 billion in 2003 dollars. Bush's father announced a similar proposal in 1989. But NASA's estimated cost for this program--$400 billion to $500 billion in unadjusted dollars--scuttled it."

"It is not clear whether Bush will succeed in getting Congress to approve an increase in funding for NASA. Many legislators, including the president's fellow Republicans, are worried about this year's $500 billion deficit. White House officials say the plan is fiscally responsible."

"The administration's decision to chart a new course for NASA was prompted by the breakup of the space shuttle Columbia as it re-entered the atmosphere last February 1 (2003). The shuttle broke apart because foam that fell from its fuel tank damaged one of the winds. The crew of seven died."

"A report on the accident said NASA failed to heed lessons of the 1986 (space shuttle) Challenger explosion and had not been given a 'guiding vision' or 'compelling mission.'" (See USA Today for January 15, 2004, "Return to moon outlined by Bush," page 1A.)

HUBBLE SPACE TELESCOPE SCUTTLED BY NEW PLAN

"The Hubble Space Telescope will be allowed to degrade and eventually become useless, as NASA changes its focus to President Bush's plans to send humans to the moon, Mars and beyond, officials said Friday," January 16, 2004.

"NASA cancelled all shuttle servicing missions to the Hubble, which has revolutionized astronomy."

"NASA chief scientist John Grunsfeld said agency administrator Sean O'Keefe cancelled the fifth service mission to Hubble when it became clear there was not enough time to conduct it before the shuttle is retired."

"The servicing mission was considered essential to keep the telescope operating."

"'This is a sad day,' Grunsfeld said, noting that the decision 'is the best thing for the space community.'"

"He said the decision was influenced by President Bush's new space initiative, which calls for NASA to start developing the spacecraft and equipment for voyages to the moon and later to Mars. The president's plan also calls for the shuttles to be retired by 2010. Virtually of the shuttles' remaining flights would be used to complete the construction of the International Space Station."

"The shuttle (program) has been grounded since Columbia exploded when it was returning to Earth nearly a year ago."

"Grunsfeld said Bush 'directed us to use this precious resource' (the space shuttle program--J.T.) toward completing the space station and fulfilling U.S. obligations to the 15 partner nations."

"As the news of Hubble's demise spread around the world Friday, other astronomers were in a state of shock."

"David Spergel, a Princeton astronomer and member of a NASA advisory committee, called it 'a double whammy.' Not only was a telescope being lost, but $200 million worth of instruments that had been built to be added in the later shuttle mission will now sit on the ground."

"Garth Illingworth, an astronomer at the University of California at Santa Cruz and also a member of the advisory committee, said, 'I think this is a mistake.'"

"Ted Lauer of the National Optical Astronomy Observatory in Tucson, Arizona, said, 'This is a pretty nasty turn of events, coming immediately on the heels of (the president's) endorsement of space exploration.'"

"Without servicing missions, Grunsfeld said, the Hubble should continue operating until 2007 or 2008. It will eventually fall out of orbit and crash to Earth, probably in 2011 or 2012. To make that event safe, Grunsfeld said, NASA will design and build a small robot craft that will be launched and guided to the Hubble."

"The Hubble's contributions to astronomy are well known. Using images from the observatory, scientists have determined the age of the universe, about 13.7 billion years, and discovered that a mysterious energy, called the dark force, is causing all of the objects in the universe to move apart at an accelerating rate."

"Another reason the repairs were canceled, Grunsfeld said, was the requirement that a backup shuttle would have to be primed for launch when a shuttle was sent to service the Hubble, a requirement set after the Columbia accident. NASA officials decided then that a backup would have to be ready to help any shuttle going anywhere but the space station."

"The Hubble, the first of NASA's orbiting observatories, was launched in 1990 with the promise that it would see farther out into space than any previous telescope." (See the Minneapolis, Minn. Star-Tribune for January 17, 2004, "Hubble telescope a victim of change," pages A1 and A13.)

(Editor's Comment: Scuttling the Hubble Space Telescope is like burning Galileo at the stake. It's a crime against science. It will be decades, perhaps even a century, before a permanent astronomical observatory can be built on the back side of the moon to pick up where the Hubble left off.)

MYSTERY ARSONIST CAUSES UPROAR IN NEW DELHI

Arsonist or fire poltergeist? That's the question authorities in India are asking themselves after the outbreak of 10 "impossible" fires on railway coaches in New Delhi, the national capital.

"A mysterious arsonist--or is it a ghost?--is setting fire to empty railway coaches in India's capital."

"In the last three months, the railways have lost ten passenger cars in four railway stations. But, despite interrogating over 200 suspects, no one seems to have any idea as to who the culprit is."

"Fortunately, no one has died in the fires although they have faced an estimated loss of 8 million rupees."

"'We're completely clueless,' a railway official admitted to IANS (India's national news service--J.T.) adding that the state-run network has never witnessed anything so bizarre."

"An equally mystified Delhi Police has prepared a portrait of a man they believe is setting fire to the coaches, but the incidents keep occurring."

"It all began November 11, 2003, when the first fire was reported at Sarai Rohilla, a small but perennially crowded railway station in the city's north end used mainly by commuters travelling to neighbouring states."

"When a stationary coach near the station caught fire, immediate suspicion fell on a possible electrical short-circuit."

"Then, days later, another coach caught fire--this time at the Old Delhi railway station close to the Red Fort monument."

(Editor's Note: The fort was the site of a siege and battle during the Indian Mutiny of 1857.)

"When a third coach caught fire at Shahdara station in the city's east, authorities sat up. Suddenly people began asking questions."

"Three days later, on December 6 (2003), the 11th anniversary of the razing of the Babri mosque in Ayodhya, two fires took place, both in the working hours of the New Delhi railway station within a period of 30 minutes."

"After this, wild rumours gripped the railway community. Some blamed the mysterious fires on an unnamed disgruntled employee, and some thought it could be the work of a Muslim seeking revenge for the mosque's demolition" in 1992.

"Drug addicts who frequent the station also came in for suspicion. And some have wondered if it could be a ghost in action."

"Even as a massive police investigation got under way, a railway car of the Purshottam Express--a train that had been targetted on December 6--again caught fire December 18 (2003), also at the New Delhi station."

"Last week, the tenth arson incident took place--this time at the platform of the Old Delhi station, just before the Ashram Express was set to depart for Gujarat."

"The authorities are so perplexed that they have even questioned some of the Railway Protection Force (RPF), which is supposed to guard railway property but has clearly been caught napping."

"After every journey, train cars are taken to the railway yard for washing and repairs. But so chaotic are Indian railway stations that anyone can enter them--and many do to use the cars' toilets."

"As far as the railways are concerned, this has only made finding the culprit all the more difficult."

"In desperation, the Indian National Railway (INR) has raised from 50,000 rupees to 100,000 rupees the reward money for information leading to" the arrest of the arsonist.

"The mysterious attacker chooses to set fire to the cars between 10 a.m. and 2 p.m. because at that part of the day the city's railway stations are overflowing with people."

"In most cases, the police found that the arsonist had torn open the cushioned seats and set them on fire. Each time, the blaze spread slowly, from one seat to another, eventually engulfing the entire coach."

"By then, however, it is too late to save the train car."

"'The incidents seem to be the handiwork of a man who knows the system,' Additional Deputy Commissioner of Police R.S. Ghumann said."

"'The forensic experts say no chemical has been used in lighting up the coaches,' he added."

"Police say they are confident of catching the culprit, but that is of little solace to the loss-making railway network." (See Travel News India for January 8, 2004, "Mysterious train car burnings fox everyone." Many thanks to Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda for this news story.)

MYSTERIOUS SUBTERRANEAN HUM HEARD IN VIRGINIA

"Dominion Virginia officials believe the Possum Point power plant may indeed be the source of a nighttime hum that has been bothering some nearby residents."

"'We are fairly certain that it is coming from the Possum Point station,' said Leha Anderson, spokeswoman for Dominion Virginia."

"'As soon as we identify which piece of equipment is causing it, we will do anything within reason to eliminate it,' Anderson said."

"The sound has been described to vary in its intensity--from a low hum to a revving jet engine--and in its duration--a couple of hours at a time for a day or so and then disappearing for days, weeks and even months."

"It was first heard during the summer of 2002 and was thought to be coming from a military installation in Indian Head, Maryland (population 3,422), just across the Potomac River from the power plant and the surrounding neighborhoods. Missile testing was being conducted there."

"When the Possum Point plant was being converted from coal to natural gas in May (2003), residents in the nearby Southbridge community wondered if the new gas turbine could be the source."

"Upon the return of the 'mysterious humming noise' in early December (2003), a couple of residents got in touch with power plant officials."

"The power plant determined that neither of the two new gas turbines was operating during the December nights that the residents heard the hum."

"And before they were able to do much more investigation, the mysterious hum disappeared again."

"When Possum Point officials planned to start up one of its generators last week, they contacted and met with two Southbridge residents at their homes to see if they could hear the noise."

"'The sound was there, but it was very faint,' Anderson said."

"Southbridge residents Paul Fucito and Jim Riley told the officials it was the same sound, but it had been louder at other times."

"'We could hear it, but it was at more of a background-noise level,' Riley said."

"The power plant officials took noise readings, which they determined were within legal compliance levels."

"'They were intrigued and interested,' Fucito said, 'We saw this as a positive thing.'"

"The men were asked to keep a log of the date, time, duration and description of the sound."

"Their first opportunity to do so came Sunday night," January 11, 2004.

"'It was loud enough that I had to wear my earplugs to bed at night,' Fucito said.

"'It was twice as loud as the night they came out and took the noise measurements,' Riley said."

"Southbridge is not the only eastern Prince William County (Virginia) community to be bothered by the hum."

"Nancy Figueroa lives in Powells Landing off Neabsco Road and near the Leesylvania State Park."

"She has been listening to it for months, as well. She described what she heard Sunday night as the constant sound of a freight train going by for two hours."

"The power plant sits along the Potomac (River) near the southern tip of the Cherry Hill peninsula. The Southbridge community is also built on the peninsula but is closer to U.S. Route 1. Powells Landing is located across Powells Creek from the peninsula." (See the Potomac News for January 14, 2004, "Possum Point says it may be the source of humming noise." Many thanks to Robert Fischer for forwarding this newspaper article.) (Editor's Note: We've covered this unusual phenomenon in the past. For details, see UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 22 for May 28, 2002, "Mysterious hum heard in Kokomo, Indiana," page 5; and UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 31 for July 22, 2002, "Mysterious hum disturbs Victoria, British Columbia," page 11.)

From the UFO Files...

1944: SECRETS OF THE ANTARCTIC REICH

If you had been a Wehrmacht soldier at the bombed-out railroad station in Poltava, a city in the Ukraine, during the summer of 1942, you would have seen a very strange- looking military unit on the march, heading for a waiting passenger train.

The unit consisted of women, all of them blond and blue-eyed, between the ages of 17 and 24, tall and slender, their sensational figures encased in striking sky-blue uniforms. Each woman wore an Italian-style garrison cap, an A-line skirt with the hem below the knee, and a form-fitting jacket with the insignia of the SS.

You might have thought the SS had recruited a platoon of high-class call girls. But the truth was far stranger than that. You would have been looking at Reichsfuhrer-SS Heinrich Himmler's latest brainstorm--the Antarctisches Seidlungensfrauen (ASF).

The story actually begins in 1938, when the German seaplane carrier Schwabenland sailed across the South Atlantic, bound for Queen Maud's Land in Antarctica. According to Russian ufologist Konstantin Ivanenko, "The Schwabenland sailed to Antarctica, commanded by Albert Richter, a veteran of cold-weather operations. The Richter expedition's scientists used their large Dornier seaplanes to explore the polar wastes, emulating Admiral Richard E. Byrd's efforts a decade earlier. The German scientists discovered ice-free lakes (heated by underground volcanic features--J.T.) and were able to land on them. It is widely believed that the Schwabenland's expedition was aimed at scouting out a secret base of operations."

A German base was established in the Muhlig-Hofmann Mountains, just inland from the Princess Astrid Coast. The area was renamed Neuschwabenland (German for New Swabia--J.T.) and "the base was known only as Station 211."

From the movie Schindler's List (available on DVD in March--J.T.), people have gotten the idea that killing Jews was the Nazis' main concern. But in actual fact, Hitler and the SS were just as ruthless with the rest of the population in their eastern European empire, thinking nothing of shuffling large numbers of people around in their quest for a more perfect Aryan race.

This shuffle was accomplished by a little-known office of the SS called the Rasse und Seidlungshauptamt (German for Race and Settlement Bureau--J.T.) or RuSHA. In the Ukraine alone, RuSHA drafted 500,000 women for forced labor in the munitions factories of Nazi Germany.

It was RuSHA which selected women for Himmler's unit of Antarctisches Seidlungensfrauen (German for Antarctic Settlement Women--J.T.) About half of the "recruits" were Volksdeutsch--ethnic Germans whose ancestors had settled in the Ukraine in the Seventeenth and Eighteeneth Centuries. The others were native Ukrainians whom RuSHA had "upgraded" to full Aryans. This process was called Eindeutschung (Translated: Germanization--J.T.).

According to Ivanenko, "There is increased popularity for the idea of a 'German-Slavonic Antarctic Reich.' It is said that 10,000 of the 'racially most pure' Ukrainians, out of half a million deported in 1942 by Martin Bormann, were transported to the German Antarctic bases during World War II, in the proportion of four Ukrainian women to one German man."

If true, this would mean that Himmler transferred 2,500 Waffen-SS soldiers, who had proven themselves in combat on the Russian front, to Station 211--now Neuschwabenland--in Antarctica. This may be the source of the myth of the "Last SS Battalion."

An ASF training camp was set up in Estonia, on a peninsula near Ristna on Hiiumaa Island in the Baltic Sea. It was a combination finishing school and boot camp, where the ladies took lessons in charm and housekeeping along with their courses in polar survival. Himmler kept the camp's existence a closely-guarded secret. For "unhappy campers," the only escape consisted of a one-way train ticket to Auschwitz.

(Editor's Note: There is one known instance of an ASF "deserter." In 1943, Auschwitz guard Irma Griese, 22, the off-and-on girl friend of Dr. Joseph Mengele, took to wearing a sky-blue ASF uniform, which she had scavenged from a pile of inmate clothing. Griese was hanged in 1946 for war crimes. The uniform's original owner must have had serious second thoughts about a permanent move to Antarctica.)

The failure of Grossadmiral Karl Doenitz's U-boat offensive by May 1943 freed up dozens of "milk cow" U- boats. These were large submarines, almost as big as tramp steamers, which Doenitz had used to supply his U- boat "wolf packs" in remote seas of the world. Himmler now put them to work carting supplies and personnel to Antarctica.

Himmler's rationale for sending thousands of settlers to Antarctica can only be understood within the context of his mystic beliefs. As a result of his youthful reading of New Age books, his association with the occultist Dr. Friedrich Wichtl, and his membership in the Artamen, Himmler became a believer in the Hindu concept of world- ages or yugas. He believed that the current age, or Kali Yuga, would end in a global cataclysm, thereby giving birth to a new world-age called the Satya Yuga.

By sending a Nazi colony to Antarctica, Himmler was ensuring that a remnant of the "pure Aryan race" would survive the coming cataclysm with its society and culture intact. They would then take possession of Antarctica when the cataclysm melted the south polar ice cap.

According to believers, the Neuschwabenland colony survived the end of World War II and Operation High Jump, a battle with Admiral Byrd's Antarctic task force in the summer of 1947.

Ivanenko writes, "The total population of Nazis in Antarctica now exceeds two million and that many of them have undergone plastic surgery in order to move about with greater ease through South America and conduct all manner of business transactions."

In 1969, author Michael X. Branton wrote a book "alleging that the Nazis had managed to build rudimentary flying saucers and transfer them to the Antarctic in 1944."

Ivanenko called the Antarctic Reich "one of the most militarily powerful states in the world because it can destroy the USA several times over with its submarine- based nuclear missiles, remaining itself invulnerable to U.S. nuclear strikes because of the two-mile-thick ice shield" overhead.

The city of Neuberlin, the colony's capital, sprawls through "narrow subglacial tunnels" under the mountain range, heated by volcanic vents and adjoining the prehistoric ruins of Kadath, which may have been built by settlers from the lost continent of Atlantis well over 100,000 years ago.

Most amazing of the stories about Neuberlin is the claim that, like Shambhala, the city has an Alien Quarter, where Pleiadians, Zeta Reticulans, Reptoids, Men In Black, Aldebarani and other visitors from the stars dwell.

Ivanenko reported that talk about the Antarctic Reich is "becoming more and more popular" in Russia, Poland, the Ukraine, Belarus and other countries in eastern Europe. He writes, "In the May 10, 2003 issue of the (newspaper) Frankfurter Allgemeine, Polish journalist A. Stagjuk criticized Poland's decision to send troops to Iraq" to assist with the Allied occupation. "At the end, he said, 'The next Polish government will sign a treaty with Antarctica and declare war on the USA.'"

Ivanenko added that Stagjuk's words were broadcast on the shortwave radio station Deutsche Welle the same week. "Some analysts compared this sentence to famous code phrases which started wars in the Twentieth Century, such as ' Over all of Spain, the sky is cloudless' in 1936, and 'Climb Mount Niitaka' in 1941."

(Editor's Note: "Climb Mount Niitaka" was the signal Admiral Yamamoto sent to Kido Butai, the Imperial Japanese Navy's fleet, to begin the attack on Pearl Harbor.)

It is strange to think of a large population living under the ice of Antarctica, totally divorced from the "mainstream" world. Then again, there are Jivaro indigenous people living on Lago de Yanayacu (lake), less than 50 kilometers (30 miles) east of Iquitos, Peru, who have never heard of Courtney Love.

So, is there a city under the ice inhabited by the grandchildren and great-grandchildren of the original SS settlers? Or is it just an urban legend stemming from the chaotic conditions that prevailed in Europe during World War II?

Some day we may know for certain. (See the books Himmler by Peter Padfield, Henry Holt & Co., New York, N.Y., 1990, pages 37, 68, 85 and 90; Hitler's Flying Saucers by Henry Stevens, Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 2003; Hitler's Heirs by Paul Meskil, Pyramid Books, New York, N.Y., 1961, page 37; and Fate magazine for June 2002, "Vostok: Lake of the Shadows" by Scott Corrales. Many thanks to Konstantin Ivanenko for allowing UFO Roundup to quote from his online article of November 18, 2003.)

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

UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2004 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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