WEREWOLF CAUSES HAVOC IN MEXICO'S YUCATAN
"Over 100 residents of the Texan Palomeque commissariat of the municipality of Hunucma," in Mexico's state of Yucatan, "headed by 10 police officers, went after an alleged 'paranormal being' dubbed 'the Wolfwoman,' whose escapades have caused fear among residents of this and other Yucatan communities."
Like a scene from a Frankenstein movie, "armed with rifles, shotguns, pistols and equipped with lanterns, the locals organized into groups and plunged into the wilderness (rain forest) in order to put an end to the 'being,' described by witnesses as being hairy, standing approximately a meter and a half (or 5 feet tall), walking on two legs and with glowing red eyes."
"The alleged Wolfwoman has slain hundreds of farm birds in the commissariat and has been seen in communities within the municipality such as Uman, Halachi and Sisal."
"Tadeo Cuich, one of the municipal police officers of Hunucma who accompanied the hunters, said that the matter has already turned into a legend and that there is a great amount of fear in the locality, to the extent that the residents of Texan Palomeque and other neighboring communities no longer go out at night, fearful of encountering the strange being."
"Residents of Texan did not have the luck to find the 'Wolfwoman,' although some say the creature was running towards Uman."
"But it wasn't just the Wolfwoman who has the hairs of the locals standing on end since the municipalities claim having seen other supernatural beings, as occurred in Opichon, an eastern locality, was there was talk of the Huay Kekon (Mayan for devil hound--J.T.) responsible for slaying dozens of pigs, dogs and cats in the area."
"The presence of the notorious Chupacabra has even been reported in Merida, the state capital."
(Editor's Comment: Right now, the Chupacabra is extremely active in Chile. See the following story in this issue.)
"No one slept in Texan Palomeque last night (Sunday, February 1, 2004). Residents organized into groups and ventured into the wilderness to hunt down 'the Wolfwoman.'"
"Until 11 p.m. last night, about 100 people armed with rifles and lanterns combed the wilderness of this rural comissariat near Hunucma, searching for the strange creature that has caused its dogs to become restless."
"Movement began in Texan at 7:30 p.m., after the barking of dogs was heard from a two-story house outside of town, where hogs and poultry are raised."
"Since last Wednesday (January 28, 2004), when turkeys were found dead 'under bizarre circumstances,' the locals are alert to the slightest commotion. The constant barking of the dogs attracted the first group of 'hunters,' whose number gradually increased."
"Minutes later, someone said 'the Wolfwoman' was seen outside of town, on the road to Uman."
"Benito Canul Canul, a 45-year-old worker who took part in the posse, said that he managed to fire at the strange being outside his house on the way to the cemetery. He is unsure if he hit it."
"'The creature was dog-shaped but with glowing eyes,'" Benito said. (See Edicion Yucatan for February 2, 2004, "Posse searches for wolf-woman." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Gloria Coluchi para esto articulo de diario.)
COUPLE SEES CHUPACABRA IN CENTRAL CHILE
"Completely overwhelmed and not at all desirous of returning to the countryside--at least not for a while--a state prosecutor and his wife have returned to Santiago after having spent a week in La Serena, where they ran into a hairy monster that made their blood run cold as they took an alternate route to the main highway. They say it wasn't a creature made by the Lord."
"The beast was nearly identical to the one seen in early January (2004) by (bus) driver Juan Berrios in Buin," a city just south of Santiago de Chile, the national capital. (For more, see UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 5 for February 4, 2004, "Chupacabra spooks bus drivers in central Chile," page 6.)
"Roberto Ayar Rojas, Maribel Arnaiz Cazaux and their young daughter, Daphane, left La Serena around midnight on Wednesday (February 4, 2004) toward Highway 5 North. 'We wanted to take our time before heading home. We're used to traveling at night because it's a lot less hectic,' said Maribel, from her home in Quinta Normal," a suburb of Santiago.
"As they have for many years, the Ayar-Arnaiz family decided to go off the beaten track and take scenic routes through inland towns to avoid the recurrent tolls and traffic and partly to discover non-tourist destinations even if it was already nighttime."
"Some 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Santiago, the family headed for the town of Romeral in the Fifth Region and entered the town. After driving for more than an hour, Roberto found that the road ended in a fork, and they were forced to choose which path to take. 'We finally decided to take the right-hand path, and in no more than a kilometer along the road, we found someone in a microbus terminal of whom we asked the route to take back to Santiago. He told us to take the other road, so we had to turn back,' said the head of household."
"The time was about 6 a.m. when they turned back and took the alternate road. To one side, dense vegetation covered the side of the road, and on the other side there were trees. The girl was sleeping in the back seat, and the couple spoke excitedly while they smoked cigarettes. It was then that the 'thing' appeared."
"'It was horrible. I swear to you that I've never seen anything like it. It was a dog, a rabbit or any other known animal. It was halfway in the middle of the road, standing on two feet. It was completely covered in hair and had red eyes,' recalled Roberto, less than 24 hours after seeing the unexplained creature. 'It was bent and had a hump on its back. It had the body of a kangaroo. It had two small hands (forepaws) that it moved quickly and deep-set eyes. In fact, it looked at us, was just as scared as we were, and it ran off, jumping into the bushes,' added Maribel, still feeling the fright."
"Both were frozen and later asked each other if they had seen the same thing. After recovering from the shock, the couple agreed that the most frightening detail was (the creature's) gaze and the two large fangs protruding from its upper jaw."
"'They were like two tubes, one stuck to the other. Some seconds elapsed and it took off. It walked just like those two-legged lizards, sort of knock-kneed. I don't have a word for it, but it's supernatural,' said (Roberto) Ayar, who explained that he'd always thought the Chupacabra was a media creation designed to conceal other things."
In the barrio Santa Filomena in the village of Viluco, near Buin, where the bus drivers saw the Chupacabra, rumors began flying fast and furious when a mysterious group of "gringos" appeared one night and began shooting video footage and taking still photographs. Locals said the men were agents of the USA from a variety of different organizations, including the CIA, NASA and FEMA.
"Juan Espinoza, another driver of the bus line, claimed that the foreigners were probably 'gringos'-- seemingly Americans--who arrived in a jeep to determine where the event occurred."
"'They were there until 6 in the morning. They came around, took some photos, but didn't ask any questions,' said Espinoza, who was startled by their high-tech gear."
The Chilean newspaper La Cuarta investigated the story and, "as regards the 'gringos' who were taking photos in Buin, La Cuarta was able to determine that these men were members of the Instituto de Investigaciones Exobiologicas, made up of Spaniards who have worked in the paranormal field for over 30 years." (See La Cuarta for February 4, 2004, "Americans visited Buin to hunt monster," and for February 7, 2004, "Prosecutor, spouse see monster." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Liliana Nunez para eses articulos de diario.)
UFOs REPORTED IN INDIAOn Wednesday, January 28, 2004, Sandeep Chau was outdoors at his home in Bhatwadi, near Smashan Bhumi, Ghatkopar, in the west end of Mumbai (formerly Bombay-- J.T.), India's largest city, at 7:40 p.m. when he looked up and saw "an unusual light travelling from west to east."
"It was looking like a star but not blinking and was moving erratically. It disappeared after three seconds," Sandeep reported, "The same thing happened three times within 15 minutes at different locations in the sky. It is confirmed that it was not a shooting star, and it was not like a normal aeroplane. On this day, the sky was clear, and we should have been able to see it up in that area of the sky. It was very high and travelling smoothly."
On July 26, 2003, Sumeet Gupta spotted a luminous UFO over Haryana in India. He wrote, "I, Sumeet Gupta, 24, a businessman from Yamuna Nagar, Haryana, India, report that on the evening of July 26, 2003, I, along with six or seven others, was outside my home after dinner when we saw a large light in the sky. While the object could have been nothing but the planet Mars, I decided to film it using a SONY 700X Handycam Digital 250E (camera). I was struck by what I saw."
"The object emitted a yellow fire-like light and was quite big compared to the other stars. It was moving around and also made a bright flash of light. This object was disc-shaped." (Email Form Reports)
MORE AUSSIES REPORT SEEING VICTORIA UFO
"The tiny town of Beveridge, north of Melbourne," in Australia's Victoria state, "is fast earning a reputation as Australia's UFO hot spot."
"Since Whittlesea Council released a photograph purportedly showing a UFO, other locals have come forward claiming to have seen flying objects."
"Kilmore resident Peter Christie said he was taking his daughter, Elise, to a friend's house about 10 p.m. on Saturday, January 10 (2004) when he noticed something flying to the west."
"'I saw this round thing in the sky with lights coming out of it,'" Elise said, "'It was sort of moving. It wasn't going very fast or anything. It had big round lights coming out of it. It was too wide to be a plane, and it was nothing like a helicopter.'"
"She said there were several lights beaming outwards from the side of the object, parallel to the ground."
"'We both said, 'No, that's definitely not a plane,'' she said, adding that the object was in view for several minutes."
"'We were going over a hill, and there was one stage where we couldn't see anything. Then it appeared again. I wasn't scared. I was a bit shocked.'"
"Mr. Christie, who was driving, managed a few short glances at the object but agreed it was definitely not a plane."
"'We didn't know what it was...and then we heard the news the other day,' he said."
"Elise said several people had greeted her comments about the sighting with scepticism. So she stopped talking of it until Whittlesea Council's photograph, with a disc-shaped object in the sky, was widely publicised late last month. (January 2004)"
"The release of Whittlesea Council's UFO photo sparked much interest, and the council's website recorded more than 37,000 hits over three days." (See the Australian newspaper Herald-Sun of Melbourne for February 8, 2004, "UFOs call town home." Many thanks to Jim Hickman for forwarding this newspaper article.)
MORE UFOs SEEN OVER HUDDERSFIELD, UK
"Strange lights have been seen in the skies above Linthwaite."
"Alan Robinson of Reinwood Road, Quarmby was in his garden at 5:20 p.m. on Monday, January 19 (2004), when he saw a bright round light in the sky in the distance."
"He had been trying to spot a man-made satellite which can be seen near the Moon at certain times."
"Mr. Robinson said: 'I saw this UFO. It was big and bright and flying at cruising speed at a very high altitude for about six seconds. There were no navigation lights. I am a plane enthusiast and I can normally identify aircraft. It was just really strange.'"
"Robert Williams, a member of the Huddersfield Astronomical and Philosophical Society, said no one had spotted the object from the society's Crosland Hill observatory."
"But he said there were several rational explanations for the sighting."
"He said it could be the International Space Station (ISS), which is sometimes visible above Huddersfield. He said the space station was very bright and moved quickly."
"Alternatively, the object could have been a man-made satellite, said Mr. Williams. There are about 30 man-made satellites which pass over the Earth, some travelling in groups at an altitude of 200 miles (320 kilometers)."
"There is one particular group of three--in a triangular shape--which passes above Huddersfield."
"Finally, Mr. Williams said the object could have been an 'iridium flare.' These flashes of light, lasting just seconds, occur when communications satellites catch light from the sun when they rotate."
"Mr. Williams added: 'I would imagine that anything anyone sees in the night sky is not strange or unusual.'" (See the Huddersfield Daily Examiner for February 2, 2004, "Strange sighting in sky puzzles satellite watcher." Many thanks to Robert Fischer for forwarding this newspaper article.)
UFO SPOTTED BY MANY IN BANOS MORALES, CHILE
"An event that few will never forget occurred last Saturday (January 31, 2004) when at 11 p.m. a strange object flew over the Banos Morales area at an unusual speed, flying from west to east."
"'The night was completely clear, and we managed to see an object flying at considerable speed. On two tips, it had yellow and red lights, with a blue tail,' said one of the eyewitnesses."
"According to many ufologists, this is a privileged area for observing unidentified flying objects, just like Cajon del Maipo."
"'We couldn't believe what we were seeing. It all happened in a matter of seconds. I'm sure, like many other residents, that what we saw wasn't an aircraft or a satellite. It was a very strange thing, but wonderful at the same time. I'll never forget what I saw,' said the witness." (See the Chilean newspaper Puente Alto al Dia for February 6, 2004, "UFO sighting at Banos Morales." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Liliana Nunez para esto articulo de diario.)
PERU SHOCKED BY EERIE RITUAL MURDER
"In a ritual comparable to the ones performed by ancient Andean tribes, peasants in a village located in the southern Andes of Peru discovered a year-old child whose heart was torn out and offered to the gods in exchange for fertile soil and an abundant harvest."
"'He was sacrificed, no doubt about it,' said a veteran agent of the Yunguyo Sheriff's Department, upon seeing the child's remains spread on the slopes of Torre Torrni peak, the site chosen for the cruel ceremony."
"Sergeant Juan Felipe Quispe, 58, told the newspaper La Republica that he had never before witnessed such a sight."
"'On many occasions I have heard stories about deaths and unmarked graves for those who were murdered to honor the soil, the sun and the moon, but never thought they were true until now,' he stated."
"According to the authorities, those who sacrificed the child--whose identity is unknown--celebrated the event as a grand affair. 'They beheaded him and then opened his chest,' reads the police report."
"The victim was approximately one year old and showed no physical defects, he added. All of the cadaver's organs remained within the thorax except for the heart, which was removed by hand without the use of surgical instruments."
"It is known that a full ritual was held at the scene of the sacrifice due to a specific fact: the heard was found 300 meters (1,000 feet) away from the body, covered in multicolored wildflower petals."
(Editor's Note: Right now it's late summer in Peru and the other countries of the southern hemisphere.)
"Investigators also found 43 plastic bottles containing rum and chicha (a beer--J.T.) made from the maceration of roots and tubers. A tin of coagulated blood was also found."
"The information was given to police by other farmers who reject such sacrifices."
"Payment to the Earth with human sacrifices was customary in the Andes during and before the Inca empire. Children and virgin girls were preferred as the potential victims." (See the newspaper La Republica of Lima, Peru for February 5, 2004. Muchas gracias a Monica Gaetano de Silva para esto articulo de diario.)
(Editor's Note: The "Vatican" of this religion was Pachacamac, a city of ancient pyramids in the Rio Lurin valley, located 32 kilometers (20 miles) south of Lima, the national capital.)
MYSTERIOUS BOOMS HEARD IN BASEHOR, KANSAS
"A mysterious sound, something like a 'sonic boom,' has some local residents of Basehor," Kansas (population 2,280) "scratching their heads, curious about the sound's origin and, more importantly, its function."
"Basehor police chief Vince Weston and his police officers have taken reports from residents in the past several months, since Halloween, about booming noises in the night air."
"'We've gotten a couple,' Weston said, 'It's not a continuous thing, but on some weekend nights, there is a noise that sounds like fireworks without the display.'"
"One local man reporting the sound to police described the noise as sounding like 'dynamite or TNT,' the police chief said."
"Residents reporting the strange recurring sound have told police it is usually a quick blast coming at strange times. Some have placed the noise coming from the south of the city, toward areas along County Road 2."
"'It's usually one or two blasts, and then it's done for the evening,' Weston said."
"The police department opened an investigation into the matter but, as of yet, it has not revealed any helpful information."
"An official with the Tonganoxie Police Dept. said there have been no reports of their noise in their jurisdiction. As of press time, deputies with the Leavenworth County Sheriff's Department were reviewing past reports to see if any matched similar descriptions."
Basehor is just north of the Kansas Turnpike, approximately 16 miles (28 kilometers) west of Kansas City. (See the Basehor, Kan. Sentinel for January 22, 2004, "Police puzzle over strange sounds." Many thanks to Daniel Wilson for forwarding this newspaper article.)
PHANTOM PANTHER TURNS UP IN SHROPSHIRE, UK
"A new breed of wildcat could be flourishing on the Shropshire countryside, a police wildlife expert has warned."
"Several 'big cat' sightings have been reported close to the (motorway) A442 in Telford, said Alan Mootham, wildlife liaison officer for the south of the borough."
"And although none of the tip-offs has led to any mystery animal being captured roaming the countryside, Mr. Mootham insisted all sightings are taken seriously."
"He said a reason for an increased number of sightings, both in Shropshire and across the country, could be a new type of cat flourishing."
"'We have had recent reports in the last few months of large cat sightings close to the Eastern Primary.'" (See the Shropshire Star for January 29, 2004, "Increased sightings of big cats." Many thanks to UFO Roundup's phantom panther expert, Robert Fischer, for this newspaper article.)
UNDERGROUND BASE STIRS FEARS IN COLORADO
Construction of a giant underground base in western Colorado has locals and visitors wondering just what the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is up to.
According to researcher Rose King, "There is a new tunnel that has been under construction for about two years now. It is located on the east side of the San Juan mountain range just west of South Fork, Colorado (population 604) on Highway 160."
South Fork is about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northwest of Alamosa, the "UFO capital" of Colorado and the heart of the San Juan Valley. Ufologist Christopher O'Brien has documented hundreds of UFO sightings in the area in his two books, The Mysterious Valley and Enter the Valley.
"Dulce, New Mexico is just south of this position in the San Juan range," Rose added.
(Editor's Note: Dulce is alleged to be the site of a large underground base that was the scene of a battle between U.S. Marines and space aliens in September 1969. Also, Alamosa, Colo. is the site of the King Ranch horse mutilation case of September 1967, an event which kicked off the current wave of animal mutilations.)
"One day, during a rainstorm, the traffic on Highway 160 had stopped to allow the opposing lane's traffic to come through the flaggers" because construction had reduced the road to one lane for a short distance.
"As we were all waiting in line," Rose recalled, "I didn't pay much attention to the white truck in front of me. Then, surprisingly, the guy got out wearing a FEMA coat (field jacket--J.T.). I am sure he only had it on because it was lightly raining and might not have worn it any other time. It was one of those kinds of dark blue cop, FBI or some agency coat they put on during a field event."
"He got out, looked up the hillside, and then looked over the edge down toward the stream below as if he was checking out strengthening positions."
(Editor's Comment: Could be. But I think he was just looking for a private place to go to the bathroom.)
"There are a few of us that feel this is one of the cover tunnels for an underground entrance into the tunnel systems here in Colorado. It's sort of like a connection to the Denver International Airport underground city system."
"The tunnel is still under construction, and both entrances are blocked now. Anyone have any more information about this?"
Just three miles (5 kilometers) northwest of South Fork, in the Rio Grande National Forest on Highway 149, is a tiny town with the curious name of Masonic Park. The town abuts the area of the underground base. (Many thanks to Rose King for this news story.)
"NASA's Opportunity rover took microsopic images Sunday," February 8, 2004, "of a bedrock outcropping on the surface of Mars that scientists hope will answer questions about whether could have formed in water."
"The images will help scientists understand what the environment was like when the rock was formed, said Jim Erickson, deputy mission manager."
"Opportunity's camera spotted the outcropping, which is about 50 feet (15 meters) long and a foot (0.3 meters) high, within days of its January 24 (2004) landing. It is the first bedrock outcropping seen on any Mars mission."
"The microscopic images and other tests could shed light on whether water--a key ingredient for life--ever flowed freely on Mars."
"Also Sunday, scientists were studying data that the Spirit rover had gathered Saturday," February 7, 2004, "by drilling a small hole into a sharply-angled rock dubbed Adirondack."
On Sunday night, February 8, 2004, an enlargement of an image downloaded from Opportunity's exploration site in Meridani Planum showed what looked like a petroglyph chiseled by non-human hands. The petroglyph shows a perfect circle with three sweeping lines, looking like comet's tails, to the right of it. The image was circulated by the Brazilian magazine Revista UFO.Brunilda Barros, UFO Roundup's Brazil correspondent,
speculated that "the circle might represent the rogue planet or star Nibiru. Perhaps Nibiru's close approach to Mars billions of years ago destroyed the Red Planet's ecosystem. An unknown Martian carved the petroglyph to show how his world ended, which is what Immanuel Velikovsky (who wrote Worlds in Collision in 1950--J.T.) suggested.""The rovers are exploring opposite sides of the planet Mars as part of their $280 million mission." (See USA Today for February 9, 2004, "Mars rover snaps images of bedrock," page 10A. Muito obrigado a Revista UFO por o fotografia.)
MISSING PLANE MYSTERY PUZZLES NIGERIA
"Nigeria's Aviation Ministry on Saturday," January 31, 2004, "cast doubt on reports that a 25 to 35-seat passenger plane had crashed into" the Atlantic Ocean, off the coast of West Africa.
"Witnesses and at least one airport official in Lagos," Nigeria's capital, "reported the crash on Friday," January 30, 2004, "saying the plane had disappeared under the waves along a busy West African flight path that is also used by multinational oil companies to fly workers to and from facilities in Nigeria's oil delta."
"But on airline has reported any planes missing so far, the Aviation Ministry said in a statement Saturday."
"A rescue boat dispatched by the (Nigerian) government earlier in the day combed the waters off of Lagos, but found no evidence of a plane crash." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for February 1, 2004, "Ministry questions report of crash," page 2A. Many thanks to Jim Hickman for this report.)
ELVIS CHURCH HAS ONTARIO "ALL SHOOK UP"
"When it comes to eternal salvation, it's now or never."
"At least that's the message you might hear if you attend church services celebrated by an ordained Anglican priest--who officiates as an Elvis impersonator."
"Rev. Dorian Baxter--known to followers as 'Elvis Priestly'--recently celebrated his one-year anniversary of his self-proclaimed Christ the King Graceland Independent Anglican Church of Canada."
"Baxter, 53, says he broke away and formed his own church after the Anglican Church of Canada banned him from the pulpit and told him to stop imitating Elvis in his services.""The preacher of pop is known for celebrating weddings in a red-velvet jumpsuit and even driving couples to the ceremony in his white Cadillac."
"And if that's not enough, he even alters the lyrics of Elvis's songs to make them a bit more spiritual, including Blue Suede Shoes."
"While some parishioners get all shook up by the act, he draws about 100 'idol' worshipers every week."
"Baxter's fascination with the King of Rock began at age 6 after his family got a new hi-fi (high fidelity) stereo."
(Editor's Note to our Younger Readers: A stereo was a machine with two speakers that produced music from round black plastic disks called records. You might find some in an antique store or in your grandmother's attic.)
"'It was 1956 and Elvis came on,' he says, 'I was mesmerized.'"
"Years later, after entering the priesthood, Baxter turned to (Elvis) Presley in an attempt to help turn teens away from what he saw as the satanic overtones of heavy metal music."
"'I thought, 'Well, it's time to fight fire with fire. And if this music is going to influence these young people so badly, then I'm going to use music for good.'" (See the National Enquirer for February 10, 2004, "Blue Suede Pulpit," page 35.)(Editor's Comment: Can you imagine what will happen in August 2077, when the Elvisians--two million strong-- descend on Graceland for the centennial of the King's death or disappearance or what-have-you? By then, Blue Suede Shoes will probably be a hymn. I can hear it now...
Well, it's one for the Father
INVESTIGATING THE MYSTERY VAN
Concerning the silver-grey mystery van that has been seen and photographed in Arizona recently, (see UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 5 for February 4, 2004, "Mystery van seen by many in Arizona," page 4) Morris C. Coller writes, "There are several things that make me more than a little suspicious about that grey van. The first being the license plate. I have yet to see a government vehicle without government plates on it."
"What's more, I can't imagine a spook vehicle having ordinary license plates and then all sorts of government markings all over it; by the way, of which I don't see any."
"I am also almost willing to bet that the number beneath the license plate is completely bogus and was put there to make people think it was a government vehicle. If someone was really smart, they would check out the license plate and see who the vehicle belongs to."
"Number Two reason is that the sign that was about damaging the vehicle, etc. does not show any reference to the appropriate Federal Code number. Also, these signs can be made in any sign shop in the country or a person's basement or garage if they have a small sign company."
"Another, and very interesting, thing is the antenna that looks as if it is marked Raytheon. At first glance I thought it was a regular Raytheon antenna, but the word on it is not Raytheon, though it is supposed to look as if it is.""Maybe the thing that bothers me the most is the report that not only the people with the van been quite willing to talk to bystanders but have shown them the inside of the vehicle, plus they have made no complaints about being photographed." "I wonder if they would be willing to show somebody about in the engine compartment of the van. I say this because even if those antennas are only for receiving purposes, it will take a lot of electricity to power the equipment, and since I am sure at least a couple of those antennas are for transmitting data, it will take even more power for the frequencies they are tuned for."
"No matter how you look at it, if this van is legit, it needs one heck of an alternator system to power the equipment. I would also like to know the electrical frequency of this alternator. The FA-18, as well as most other military planes and maybe even commercial planes, use a 400 Hz AC system for their electronics, as well as a 28-volt DC system for general power."
"Something also interesting is the fire extinguisher notice. It is completelt different from every one I have ever seen and is in a completely wrong place and is the wrong color. Every one I have ever seen has been in RED and no strange arrows are used. The marking will say, 'Fire Extinguisher behind the door' in RED. It also has to be in close proximity to the most likely source of fire, usually the engine compartment. And must be readily accessible; notice there are no handles on those doors."
"Another thing that makes me almost positive it is bogus is the wording on that 'Warning' sign. I have never seen any kind of official, state or Federal warning of this type, and I have seen more than a few, that states, 'in most cases.' It will read 'is punishable by a fine of $XX,XXX and/or imprisonment for up to XX years.'"
(Editor's Comment: Morris, you make a very compelling case for the "mystery van" being an elaborate, if expensive, hoax. If you're right, then just who is the hoaxer?
An independently wealthy eccentric? A renegade ufologist? What will happen next in this bizarre six-year-old case is anybody's guess.)
Also last week Bill Hamilton wrote in to say "I have not been in Arizona for six years. I am with MUFON Ventura currently and ED of Skywatch International.
From the UFO Files...
1977: THE FAYETTE FACTOR
Who--or more precisely, what--is "the Fayette Factor?"
It's probably one of the strangest mysteries in American Forteana, first discovered by researcher Bill Grimstad back in 1977. Namely, a surprisingly high incidence of paranormal events linked to places named after one of the USA's Founding Fathers--the Marquis de Lafayette.
According to Grimstad, "Lafayette traveled widely in this country (USA) and doubtless must have been the inspiration for many or most of the 18-odd counties and 28 towns and cities across the land that I have been able to find with some form of his name."
Marie-Joseph Paul Roch de Motier, Marquis de Lafayette, was born in 1757. His father, a French Army officer, was killed in the battle of Minden in 1759, and the marquis was brought up by his mother's prestigious family, the de Noailles. At the age of 18, he traveled to the Americas at his own expense and became an aide to General George Washington, who loved him like a son. By the end of the War of the American Revolution, Lafayette commanded the Continental Army in Virginia.
That's the Lafayette every American schoolboy knows. But, as researcher Manly Palmer Hall has pointed out, the marquis had ties to the esoteric groups of the late Eighteenth Century.
"In addition to his political pursuits," Grimstad wrote, "Lafayette was busily involved in certain circles that should be of interest to contemporary Illuminati buffs."
According to Manly Palmer Hall, Lafayette was an associate of both Dr. Anton Mesmer, "the Father of Hypnotism," and Giuseppe Balsamo, better known as Cagliostro, a Sicilian sorcerer who was an acolyte of Adam Weishaupt's Illuminati.
Hall wrote, "In 1785, the Marquis...joined the Egyptian Masonry of Cagliostro and proclaimed his absolute confidence in the 'Grand Cophte.' (One of Balsamo's many titles--J.T.) When Anton Mesmer arrived from Vienna with his theories of animal magnetism, Lafayette was one of his first customers."
Grimstad adds, "But Lafayette also had the closest ties with Benjamin Franklin, the American revolutionary sage (and member of (Sir Francis) Dashwood's 'Hell-Fire Club' in Britain (also known as the 'Medmenham Monks' of High Wycombe, Kent--J.T.). As Hall puts it, 'Benjamin Franklin was a philosopher and a Freemason--possibly a Rosicrucian initiate. He and the Marquis de Lafayette-- also a man of mystery--constitute two of the most important links that culminated in the establishment of the original thirteen American colonies as a free and independent nation.'"
"Lafayette, Hall summarises, 'is a direct link between the (esoteric) political societies of France and the young American government.'"
(Editor's Comment: Maybe one of our French readers could find out if any of Lafayette's ancestors in either the de Motier or the de Noailles families ever had ties to the Knights Templar or the Cathars.)
How much of the marquis's involvement in such matters was due to his deeply-held esoteric beliefs or to mere socializing is something for historians of the future to determine. What's of interest to Forteans is the uncanny number of paranormal incidents linked to the name Lafayette.
Grimstad has an impressive list.
"In Fayette County, Alabama, is the Musgrove Methodist Cemetery. The tombstone of one Robert L. Musgrove there bears a discoloration, not especially realistic, that is locally believed to be the bridal- veiled figure of Musgrove's fiancee. Apparently he was killed just before the wedding, and the sorrowing girl" willed her image "onto the marble by her many visits to the grave."
(Editor's Comment: And I have to wonder if Sir Arthur Conan Doyle used this real-life case as the basis for his Sherlock Holmes story, "The Musgrave Ritual.")
"The engima-laden state of Arkansas has two sites."
"The city of Fayetteville, in the northwest corner" of Arkansas, "has long been legendary for oddities. UFOs and aerial lightshows, water monsters in the nearby White River and Springheel Jack-type window peepers are among the manifestations."
"In the southwest angle of Arkansas is a Bigfoot hotspot that has been immortalised--in America, at least-- by the (1974) movie The Legend of Boggy Creek. The critters have been known hereabouts since 1856, centering their activities lately upon the town of Fouke in Miller County and ranging eastward into Lafayette County."
"In the scenic Bluegrass area of Kentucky, the university city of Lexington sits atop one of America's more dramatic lost cave stories. Historian G.W. (George Washington) Ranck recorded in 1872 that hunters in 1776 had found a tunnel behind a rock panel of 'peculiar workmanship' and covered with hieroglyphics. The descending portal widened to a sort of gallery running downward a few hundred feet to a huge underground room. Ranck cited the hunters' reports that this chamber contained idols, altars and about 2,000 human mummies. Although the entrance to the amazing cavern was (of course--B.G.) lost, there are still cave true-believers who poke about looking for the weird mausoleum beneath this part of Fayette County."
"Followers of ghost lore may have heard of the recent (1976) antics of a supposed phantom in Lilac Hill, a large old farmhouse at Fayette, Missouri. A number of psychically-sensitive individuals have been trying to discern what is troubling the alleged spirits, of whom there are said to be at least two."
"In New York state, a farm near Cardiff, 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of Syracuse, was the starting point in October 1869 for one of the more sensational fossil controversies. The 'Cardiff Giant' is still displayed at museum near Cooperstown," and the weird stone idol was found in a quarry near "the Nineteenth Century town of La Fayette."
Also, "it was in April of 1830 that the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-Day Saints (also known as the Mormons--J.T.) was founded by Joseph Smith and a few disciples, who claim to have received more than a little help from certain angelic friends in the neighborhood. The place: Fayette, New York."
"Another haunted house story takes us to an American state that perhaps rivals New York and Arkansas in the number and interest of its anomalies. It also brings us back across the trail of the peripatetic Marquis de Lafayette. This is the A.S. Slocumb Mansion, located in the North Carolina city of Fayetteville. The Slocumb House is supposed to have a number of special occupants. It also has, or had, a secret vault in the basement and at least one tunnel leading to the Cape Fear River channel."
In 1977, the USA experienced one of the most severe winters in its history. "As of February 3, 1977, the National Weather Service announced that the 'hardest hit area' of the north-central states region was Fayette County, Ohio."
Bigfoot "became rather more aggressive on April 23, 1976 when it attempted to carry off a four-year-old boy from his backyard on a farm in Tennessee. A sheriff's posse pursued the entity and seems to have shot enough high-powered rifle fire into it to have felled King Kong himself. However, as if tiring of the game, the creature finally leaped out of its cul-de-sac and simply vanished. These events occurred within a few miles of the hamlet called Fayetteville, Tennessee."
"Now I would like to consider some examples of a more ominous character," Grimstad wrote, "We find 'the Lafayette factor' in the Abraham Lincoln assassination of the 1860s...A slippery character named Lafayette Baker had been brought in to head the Secret Service by the enigmatic Edwin M. Stanton, President Lincoln's arrogant Secretary of War. Otto Eisenschiml, the pioneer revisionist historian of this amazingly crude murder conspiracy, delved into the story as far as the surviving records would allow."
"His findings suggest that Lafayette Baker and Stanton had maneuvered to facilitate the escape into the South of assassin John Wilkes Booth, and when that proved impossible (owing to Booth's broken leg--J.T.) to ensure that the killer was not brought back and that his evidently-incriminating diary did not survive intact."
At the same hour Lincoln was shot at Ford's Theatre, Secretary of State William Seward "was attacked and savagely knifed by a deranged giant named Lewis Paine, who had forced his way into the Seward home. This house fronted upon Lafayette Square, just across Pennsylvania Avenue from the White House."
Residents of the District of Columbia sometimes refer to the area "as 'Tragedy Square.' No other section of Washington has had so much intrigue, mystery, murder and macabre happenings as has the area directly opposite 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue.'"
The Fayette Factor has also come into play in occult crimes, as well.
"On July 3, 1977, 23-year-old Gary Rock was charged on two counts of criminal homicide after two local volunteer firemen were killed by a sniper while responding to a fire alarm at Rock's isolated cabin, near Fayetteville, Pennsylvania."
"On July 31, 1977, two young people sitting in a parked car along the Brooklyn, New York seashore were shot several times by a mysterious assailant who had become known as 'the Son of Sam.' The girl, Stacy Moskowitz, died of her injuries; her companion, Robert Violante, suffered eye damage. Miss Moskowitz was an alumna of (Brooklyn's) Lafayette High School. When she and Violante were shot, it was while they were sitting 'not far from Lafayette High School,' according to the New York Times" of August 1, 1977, page 34-C.
To Grimstad's list, your editor can add one site which he has visited personally. On Peirce Street in East Greenwich, Rhode Island is the General James Varnum House. This fine old Georgian mansion was built in 1761, its grand opening on the very day the Marquis de Lafayette turned four years old. During the war, Lafayette was a frequent visitor to the Varnum House and visited it yet again during his tour of the USA in 1826.
Today the Varnum House is notorious for its periodic ghost and poltergeist manifestations.
It's just all part of the enduring mystery we call "the Fayette Factor." (See Fortean Times No. 25 for Spring 1978, "Fateful Fayette" by Bill Grimstad, page 3; Why Was Lincoln Murdered? by Otto Eisenschiml, Little, Brown & Co., Boston, Mass., 1937; America's Assignment with Destiny by Manly Palmer Hall, Philosophical Research Society, Los Angeles, Cal., 1951; and Weird America by Jim Brandon, E.P. Dutton Co., New York, N.Y., 1978.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us next time for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth--and occasionally, Mars--brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you in seven days.
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.