REPTOIDS SPOTTED IN NORTHERN CHILE?
Strange creatures described as "dinosaur-like" and standing 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches) tall have been seen in recent weeks in Pampa Acha, a small town 17 kilometers (10 miles) from the city of Arica in northern Chile.
The "two strange creatures, described as small dinosaurs and with a physical appearance similar to that of a kangaroo, were reported by the occupants of a Terrano pickup truck between Iquique and Arica on Thursday night," July 30, 2004.
"The vehicle's driver, Dario Riquelme, was traveling in the company of (Chilean) Army official Hernan Cuevas, his wife and two young children. According to his account, the situation which left the family rather nervous and confused at 9:30 p.m. that evening. The event took place in the Pampa Acha sector, only a few moments before passing" the barrio "Presencias Tutelares, 17 kilometers south of Arica."
"Riquelme and his party left Iquique," just south of Chile's border with Peru "at 6 p.m. They were only a few minutes away from Arica and were holding a normal conversation when something strange darted in front of the vehicle."
"'My companion said, 'Look at that tremendous beast!' and I managed to hit the brakes. Then, after a few minutes, the second one ambled past, and it was even more startling because it was just like a dinosaur, walking on two legs. It had very noticeable thighs,' Riquelme said."
"According to the driver's description, the figures were grey and hairless. The second one, which crossed a few minutes later, was clearly seen by Riquelme, Hernan Cuevas and his 12-year-old daughter, Tania. They estimated the creatures' height at 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches), thanks to the fact that the beasts' distance from the vehicle at the moment it crossed was not more than 4 meters (13 feet)."
"In the case of the second 'animal,' they said it was smaller but were able to see it clearly because it was a clear night and there was moonlight. However, what was most remarkable about both creatures was the speed at which they crossed the road and the strides they took."
Riquelme and Cuevas had gone "to Arica to purchase a vehicle...But the strange event caused nervousness among Sr. Cuevas's wife and daughter. 'The good thing is that when they started screaming, my companion and I didn't lose control and kept calm. Later we stopped to smoke a cigarette and walked around. From there I descended (drove--J.T.) calmly to Arica, but I'm still nervous,' explains the driver, who contacted (the Chilean newspaper) La Estrella immediately after reaching the city."
"Riquelme's account coincides with that of Hernan Cuevas, who is a recruiting officer with the Army."
"'When the first crossing occurred, I asked Dario if he had seen it, and he said yes. Then we started making comments as to what it might have been. Shortly after, another one walked by, shorter, but very similar to a dinosaur or a lizard running on two legs. Even my eldest daughter saw it and let out a scream,' Cuevas said."
"Twelve-year-old Tania stated that the creatures were very similar to a dinosaur and had small hands."
"Meanwhile, Sra. Cuevas almost didn't realize what was going on because she was paying attention to the couple's younger child, who was asleep."
"Neither Riquelme nor Cuevas had ever experienced a similar situation and would not even compare it with descriptions of other creatures, such as the alleged Chupacabras that attack and exsanguinate (drain of blood-- J.T.) animals in their fields. But they still have not managed to find an explanation for what they saw Thursday night."
"A new report involving the sighting of strange animals in the Pampa Acha sector was made known" Monday, August 2, 2004, "and coincides almost exactly with the one described Thursday by driver Dario Riquelme."
"The case involves the six members of the Abett de la Torre Diaz family, who live at Fuerte Baquedano, in the community of Pozo Almonte. All of them were traveling from their home to Arica two weeks ago, and, as they crossed the Pampa Acha sector, less than 20 kilometers (13 miles) from the city, near Presencias Tutelares, they were faced with four creatures they described at first as 'dog- faced kangaroos' that moved slowly through the air."
"The event occurred at approximately 9 p.m. and left almost all of the family's members traumatized. The family consisted of Carlos Abett de la Torre, a (Chilean) Army non-commissioned officer, his wife Teresa (Diaz), their three children and a three-year-old nephew."
"'I was traveling in the back seat with my brothers, talking, and suddenly everything went dark. Then I told my brother what I was seeing, and he told me to keep quiet because Mom gets nervous. Later I looked through the window and saw more things that looked like birds, with dogs' heads and backswept wings. My father said they were like gargoyles,' explained Carmen Abett de la Torre, the couple's daughter."
"Carmen added that she wasn't sure if the creatures had wings or legs, but then they moved them toward the rear. The height of the animals was calculated at 2 meters. Two of the beings flew over the vehicle; another two appeared, but this time darting in front of the vehicle."
"'We were speechless for some 10 minutes, and my Mom told us to react, and then we started discussing what we had seen.'"
"Teresa Diaz, Carmen's mother, was traveling in the front passenger seat beside her husband and was the one who saw the creature the clearest. Her impression was that these animals were moving slowly over the car first and then in front of it. However, they appeared to match the vehicle's speed, which was 100 kilometers per hour (60 miles per hour--J.T.)."
"The situation caused such nervousness among the whole family that all they wanted to do was get to Arica and forget the traumatic incident. Once in the city, they told their relatives what had happened."
"'Then we were terrified to go back,' Teresa added, with regard to the day they were getting ready to return to their home in Fuerte Baquedano."
"At the time of the strange encounter, the moonlight provided certain visibility, which as well as the similar (Riquelme) case made known last week, enabled the beast to be clearly seen. Furthermore, the animals did not go any further than 20 meters (66 feet) from the car in which the Abett de la Torre family was driving. All of the family members agreed as to what they had seen. They were startled and nervous as a result of the sighting. None of them went public for fear of ridicule and mockery."
"Carabinero (Chilean national police--J.T.) members of the Cuya barracks stated that until now no one had approached them to report a similar event. However, they had heard of strange creatures being witnessed in the Pampa Acha sector from third parties. In any event, they added that they constantly patrol the road near the sector where the incident occurred." (See the Chilean newspaper La Estrella of Arica for August 1, 2004, "Strange creatures reported in Pampa Acha," and for August 3, 2004, "More strange creatures reported in Acha." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales, Claudio Ojeda y Liliana Nunez para estos articulos de diario.)
(Editor's Comment: And welcome to Alien Invasion Week here at UFO Roundup. The Reptoids aren't the only six- foot-plus extraterrestrials on Earth this week. Keep reading...)
MANTIS ALIENS SPOTTED IN FORT SMITH, ARKANSAS
On Wednesday, August 4, 2004, at 10 p.m., eyewitness A.T. and his girl friend were lying on the grass in Kay Rodgers Park, just off Midland Boulevard in Fort Smith, Arkansas (population 80,268) when they spotted two aliens nearby.
"My girl friend and I were hanging out at a local park when we saw two figures walk out of the bushes about 10 feet (3 meters) away from where we were sitting. They wore grey or off-white tunic-style outfits. They had shiny bronze or gold medallions on the center of their chest or shoulder. They had (praying) mantis-like heads and made strange clicking noises. Their eyes would change from blood red to neon green."
"We stood there staring at each other for five or six minutes, when they disappeared into a white light. Both were approximately 7 feet (2.1 meters) tall, but the one of the left was a few inches short. They appeared from the south (the Harper Stadium area--J.T.) at an average walking speed." (Email Form Report)
FIVE SIGHT UFOs NEAR PERRIS, CALIFORNIA
On Saturday, July 31, 2004, at 10 p.m., eyewitness L.D., "my two sisters, my cousin's boyfriend and my cousin" saw UFOs approaching from the east near Perris, California (population 36,189), about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of San Bernardino.
"We were admiring the stars out in a field near Perris when we saw a bright star," L.D. reported, "Then it dimmed and brightened in an odd way. The object wasn't moving while it was doing this. The object appeared to be a star at first. Then we were arguing about what it was when my cousin pointed out that it had a shape around it, and it was moving like a blob with very dim lights on it."
"My sister's boyfriend said, 'It's a blimp.' A few seconds later, the object separated. The dim lights on the blob all left at a fast speed, looking like a mini- meteor shower, but all separating from that first object. After that, you could see the new objects flashing in no (particular) pattern. The new objects all went out of view in a few minutes."
The first UFO "probably entered Earth's atmosphere," L.D. added, "It moved at an alarmingly fast rate away from the first 'star,' then disappeared." (Email Form Report)
FOUR TRIANGULAR UFOs SEEN IN SAVANNAH, GEORGIA
On Sunday, August 1, 2004, at 11:49 p.m., Paul S. was walking down the street in Savannah, Georgia (population 131,510) when he sighted something unusual in the sky.
"The UFOs approached from the northeast," Paul reported, "There were four of them. I saw four triangular objects flying in a diagonal formation. The objects were light grey on color and heading south. I heard no sound from that direction. The sighting was over in less than a minute." (Email Form Report)
ORANGE SPHERE UFO SEEN IN WEST SUSSEX, UK
On Saturday, August 7, 2004, at 10:05 p.m., "Frater" was outdoors in his hometown of Horsham, West Sussex, UK when he saw "a bright orange ball approaching from the northeast. It was moving very slowly for about three minutes. Then it split in two. Both objects continued moving west and disappeared. They were moving too slowly to be aircraft, and there was no noise." (Email Form Report)
MYSTERIOUS FIREBALL SEEN IN MARINA DI MODICA, SICILY
On Saturday, July 24, 2004, at 2 a.m., the witness, "Georgio, was talking to a friend in Marina di Modica," a town on Sicily, an island off the coast of Italy, when he saw something unusual in the sky.
"A bright light caught my attention," Giorgio reported, "I saw a yellow fireball which stood still in mid-air for a second, and then it moved to the left and disappeared. I saw some kind of smoke around the fireball and a strange grey dust coming out of it. The object was not too far away."
Marina di Modica is about 225 kilometers (140 miles) southeast of Palermo, the provincial capital. (Grazie a Fabrizio Monaco per questo rapporto.)
MYSTERIOUS HOLE APPEARS IN A RUSSIAN PASTURE
"One morning Pyotr Malinkin took his cows out to the pasture, as usual. Having gone 5 kilometers (3 miles) into the field, the man was shocked to find a large hole in the ground 6 meters (20 feet) in diameter. The pit was not on the spot the day before--it appeared overnight."
Malinkin "said the animals were scared to approach the hole. They would not eat the grass nearby.
Specialists from the Labyrinth Group," a Fortean research organization based in Russia, "which was organized to 'study anomalous phenomena,' went out to examine the field."
"Local elderly women confirmed that a large hole had indeed appeared in the field. They said the hole had a perfectly round shape, as if someone had taken a huge lump of ground with a cup. Local townspeople built a fence around the hole" so as to prevent "'curious people and cows' from falling into it."
"The hole became a local place of interest. People came to see it and picnic nearby. Others took photographs against its background."
"As it turned out, the pit was not round but oval. It does not look like an excavated pit. There are no bulldozer tracks on its walls. Nothing is seen in the meadow, either. There is some water in the bottom of the 4.5-meter (14-foot) deep pit."
The Labyrinth Group "believes the hole probably appeared as a result of a UFO's activities. Aliens landed their spaceship on the meadow to take soil samples."
"However, ufologists failed to find any evidence to prove the landing of an extraterrestrial spacecraft."
"Ufologists also proposed that the ground hole was a result of a rare, inexplicable natural phenomenon."
"An identical phenomenon occurred 10 years ago (in 1994--J.T.) in the Ryazan region, when a huge crater reminiscent of a shell-hole appeared in the ground near Sasovo village. Nobody was able to explain the appearance of the pit."
"Such holes appeared earlier in the Rostov and Tula regions of Russia." (See the ITAR-Tass report for August 3, 2004, "Anomalous ground hole appears in Russian province." Many thanks to Jim Hickman, executive director of Skywatch International, for this news report. Don't forget to visit Jim's Web site at http://www.skywatch-international.org .)
UNUSUAL CROP CIRCLE IN BRITISH COLUMBIA
An unusual crop circle appeared in Grand Forks, British Columbia, Canada "in early July (2004) but wasn't reported until July 30."
According to Paul Anderson of Canadian Crop Circle Research Network (CCCRN), "It was a circle with two small rectangular appendages in barley. It was approximately 27 metres (88 feet) across. Single lay with broken stalks. 'Gold-coloured stars' were found in two areas of the formation."
Anderson warned that the find was "probably a hoax coinciding with the Star Dreams crop circle film tour through the area and around the country."
Grand Forks, B.C. (population 3,994) is on Provincial Highway 3 about 300 miles (480 kilometers) east of Vancouver and just over the border from Danville, Washington state, USA. This is the sixth Canadian crop circle formation of 2004.
(Many thanks to Paul Anderson of CCCRN for this report.)
BOY KILLED IN BIZARRE "SPIDER-MAN" INCIDENT
It's probably the weirdest Fayette Factor incident yet--a five-year-old boy was killed in Fayetteville, Tennessee in circumstances eerily reminiscent of the origin of the movie and comic book hero Spider-Man.
Fortean researchers were puzzled when the name "Lafayette" appeared not once but twice in the recently- released Spider-Man 2. Only three weeks later, five-year- old Nicholas Robinson was allegedly killed in Fayetteville by the bite of a spider.
"Was it a spider bite that killed a Fayetteville, Tennessee boy?"
"The family says yes, but health officials say it's unlikely. The family can't comprehend what happened last Friday," July 30, 2004. "The boy's mother says they happened so fast."
"The mother, Starr Jackson, said, 'He started saying his side was hurting.'"
"Friday morning started normal for Starr Jackson and her son, Nicholas Robinson, until 11 a.m. when Nicholas began complaining of soreness. Starr found what looked like a bug bite."
"'He was five. He was playing on the playset, like any other regular morning,' Starr said."
"An hour and a half later, things changed. Starr said, 'He started leaning over like this and crying, 'Mama, I'm tired. I'm tired, Mama.' So I started feeling it. I didn't know what to do.' Then the little boy began vomiting. Starr again washed the bite and called a doctor. 'They said there is a virus going around, and I said no. It's getting bigger, and it's getting redder, and it's starting to (form) pus like.'"
"By 4:30 p.m., just five hours after complaining about a bite, Nicholas was in a doctor's office, vomiting with a high fever. Starr said, 'He just said it was a virus and sent him home, and gave him some antibiotics and gave him some Tylenol because he had a fever, because he was so hot, so hot I couldn't put him against my body, he was so hot.'"
"So Starr said she brought Nicholas home and had him lie down. 'He gets up in my lap and says, 'I love you, Mama.' 'And I love you,' I say, 'Lie back down and you'll feel better in the morning.'"
"At 9:30 p.m., the family rushed Nicholas to the hospital. He had stopped breathing. 'They told me he was dead. His little body had shut down,' Starr said."
"The family never saw the spider, but they do believe that's what the bite was from. Some doctors have said the chances of that killing him are slim. Everyone will have to wait for the autopsy report, which may not be ready for two weeks."
In the 2002 movie Spider-Man, teenager Peter Parker (actor Tobey Maguire) goes on a school field trip to Columbia University in New York City, where he is bitten on the hand by a genetically-engineered spider. The arachnid's venom alters Peter's DNA, giving him the physical abilities of the "super spider." (See the WAFF- TV of Huntsville, Alabama news broadcast of August 4, 2004, "Did a spider bite kill a boy?" Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this news story.)
"JACK THE SNIPPER" BUSTED AGAIN IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
"The primary suspect in New Hampshire's 'Jack the Snipper' case has been jailed again on charges of trying to break into a woman's apartment in the middle of the night, police said on Tuesday," August 3, 2004.
"Jeffrey Gelinas was arrested over the weekend in Durham, New Hampshire (population 9,024), the college town where last summer (2003) an intruder entered numerous apartments at night and cut clothing from the bodies of young women as they slept. None of the female victims said they had been sexually molested, but some said they had gone to sleep clothed only to wake up naked with their clothing shorn. Some local media dubbed the perpetrator 'Jack the Snipper.'"
"Durham police last year identified Gelinas, 28, as the primary suspect in the case but never charged him for lack of evidence. Gelinas denied being the offender. He pleaded guilty in November (2003) to two unrelated counts of violating New Hampshire's 'peeping Tom' laws. He also pleaded guilty in December (2003) to a separate stalking charge and was given a 12-month suspended jail sentence."
"Durham police chief David Kurz said the incidents stopped after police publicly identified Gelinas as the suspect. Kurz said he had lost track of Gelinas after his guilty plea."
"'He kind of fell off the radar screen,' Kurz told Reuters, 'And then Sunday morning, all of a sudden, he's back in Durham.'"
"Kurz said police received a call early Sunday morning from a woman who saw a man trying to remove a screen from her window. Officers searched the neighborhood and found Gelinas, whom they arrested at about 4:30 p.m. At arraignment on Monday," August 2, 2004, "Gelinas pleaded not guilty to one count of attempted burglary, one count of criminal trespass and four counts of loitering or prowling. A judge ordered him held on $250,000 cash bail." (See CNN News for August 3, 2004, "Jack the Snipper suspect arrested again." Many thanks to Mary Lou Jones-Drown for this news story. For more on the "snipper," see UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 31 for August 20, 2003, "'Jack the Snipper' terrorizes coeds in New Hampshire," page 6.)
BLACK HELICOPTER STALKS A HOME IN NEW JERSEY
On Thursday, August 5, 2004, Louise R. was asleep at her home in Galloway, New Jersey when she was awakened by a strange loud engine noise.
"I was asleep, in a deep sleep, and I thought I heard a loud noise approaching," Louise reported, "I dismissed it somewhat because there had been a thunderstorm overnight. As the noise grew nearer, I thought it was a helicopter until it didn't pass over--or leave. I tried to get up but couldn't at first. I was conscious but couldn't get up."
"Finally, I went to a window and looked outside but couldn't see anything. It was cloudy overhead. But I could hear a loud, oscillating, roaring noise hovering very near. By now, my husband was awake, and he heard it, too. We live near an Air Force base so I hear planes traversing regularly. Could this be a plane? If so, when did they start to hover?" (Email Form Report)
NEW FEMA ACTIVITIES CAUSE CONCERN IN WEST VIRGINIA
The USA's Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) is best known for responding to natural disasters such as floods. But this is only part of the agency's mission. FEMA is also in charge of the Continuity of Government (COG) plan and works closely with the new Department of Homeland Security.
It is these activities that have some people worried in West Virginia.
In his article for West Virginia News, journalist Greg Kay wrote, " Montani semper liberi...Mountaineers are always free, or so goes the overly-optimistic motto imprinted on our state flag. For the most part, we have been free. Free to live in poverty in a permanently- depressed economy, free to be exploited and have our land poisoned by out-of-state corporations and buried under out-of-state garbage by judicial fiat until we have the highest cancer rate in the country. Free to send our sons (and now our daughters--G.K.) to die in the endless wars for the well-being of Halliburton and Israel because there are not enough jobs worth having at home."
"Still, I suppose that, technically, we are still free because we can pack up and move. Even this infinitesimal spark of liberty, however, may be about to be extinguished. You see, West Virginia is in the process of being turned into a massive prison camp."
"West Virginia, along with many other states, has gradually become dotted with secretive 'emergency detention facilities,' facilities that are being constructed and guarded, but are not being used yet. (At least as far as is known--G.K.)"
"Where are these installations? What are they intended for? And how did this all come about?"
"While researching this article, I came across literally hundreds of references to these prison camps. The estimates run from about 600 to 800 such facilities in the country. Taking into account mistaken identity and general paranoia (however good the reason for it--G.K.), let's arbitrarily cut the number down to 200. Most of the estimates I've found indicate that these camps are built to hold an average of 20,000 people each."
"That means, at the low end of things, the United States government has made room for a minimum of four million prisoners, in addition to the already considerable number incarcerated in the federal and military prison systems; the highest percentage of any country in the world. In fact, if the people who claim the larger number of camps are right, the number could be three to four times higher--up to 16 million."
"Most of the information out there claims that there are six of these camps in the Mountain State (nickname for West Virginia--J.T.), located in Alderson, Beckley, Kingwood, Lewisburg, Mill Creek and Morgantown, and come under a variety of jurisdictions, including the federal prison department (U.S. Bureau of Prisons--J.T.), FEMA (Mill Creek--G.K.), and the U.S. military (the recently- built facility near Kingswood at the Camp Dawson Military Reservation--G.K.)"
"At least two of these three are questionable, as they are currently being used for other purposes (such as the federal women's prison at Alderson--G.K.). Some of them, however, have actually been used as prison camps already (during World War II--J.T.) and certainly have room for expansion, so let's be conservative and say that three of them are actually what they claim to be. That's still a holding place for 60,000 people."
(Editor's Note: Planning for the "emergency detention
facilities" began in 1937 when President Franklin D.
Roosevelt asked FBI director J. Edgar Hoover to compile a
nationwide list of people who might be "a threat to
America." The FBI lists were used to round up the
detainees when FDR signed his executive order of February
1942. After the war, the camps were placed on "reserve
status" by President Harry Truman, and this order was
written into law as the National Security Act of 1950.
"The really interesting thing about the West Virginia facilities is that we have a small population, yet we reportedly have more of these camps than any of our boundary states, most of which have substantially larger populations. Not nearly as many of these building areas have been reported out of Kentucky, Pennsylvania, Ohio and Virginia, and none for Maryland."
"Perhaps they expect a substantial disturbance in West Virginia or, more likely, perhaps the cells are being set aside for citizens of the neighboring states, our location being chosen because of the rural nature of the state and insular, mind-your-own-business nature of the people (or the mindless, knee-jerk, 'America, right or wrong!' mentality--G.K.) is attractive to the planners, keeping whatever goes on here out of the public eye." (See West Virginia News for August 5, 2004, "The Other Side of the Mountain" by Greg Kay. Many thanks to Jim Danvers for this news article.)
(Editor's Note: A lot of strange "New World Order" reports have been coming out of West Virginia in recent years, including numerous sightings of black helicopters in Beckley and Princeton and aluminum "tiger cages" stored at a riverside warehouse in Huntington, W.V.)
JOHN KERRY MEETS THE FAYETTE FACTOR
On Thursday, July 29, 2004, Sen. John F. Kerry accepted his party's nomination for president at the Democratic National Convention in Boston, Mass.
During his acceptance speech at the Fleet Center in Boston's North End, Kerry said, "America can do better. And help is on the way. What does it mean when people are huddled in blankets in the cold, sleeping in Lafayette Park on the doorstep of the White House itself--and the number of families living in poverty also rises by three million during the last four years? America can do better. And help is on the way."
Sen. Kerry's use of the L-word (Lafayette--J.T.) appears to have triggered the famous jinx. During the thundering ovation at the conclusion of the nominee's speech, the ceiling balloons failed to come down en masse, as planned. Instead, they sort of dribbled down slowly from the ceiling.In other news, violent felonies continued to be associated with the Fayette Factor. Five shootings took place in Syracuse, New York the weekend of July 31-August 1, 2004. "The latest victim, Larry Sims, 20, of Fenway Drive was shot" at 4:45 a.m. "while in a parking lot at 2119 East Fayette Street" in Syracuse.
Fortean researcher Loren Coleman commented, "Don't ever go into a parking lot named Fayette near a full moon."
In Lafayette, Louisiana, "a body was found in an area where nine other murders remain unsolved. The body was found behind some trees in the park's recreation center. Records show that the victim also went by the name of Deanna Lafayette."
(Many thanks to Jonah Hurwitz for the Kerry item. Thanks also to Loren Coleman for the item from the Syracuse, N.Y. Post-Standard for August 2, 2004, "Police investigating 5 city shootings;" and the item from KATC-TV in Lafayette, Louisiana for July 31, 2004.)
MESSENGER BLASTS OFF FOR MERCURY
"An early morning launch Tuesday," August 3, 2004, "sent NASA's Messenger spacecraft on its way to Mercury."
"All systems appear ready for a planned 4.9-billion- mile (8-billion-kilometer) trip to the sun's closest planet, say mission controllers at the John F. Kennedy Space Center. The $427 million probe will fly by Venus (twice) and Mercury (three times) on its way into orbit around the planet in 2011."
"From orbit, the spacecraft will map Mercury while probing its magnetic and mineral characteristics with unprecedented detail."
"'We will see things that no human has ever seen, and know infinitely more about the formation of the solar system than we know today,' says Michael Griffin of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory, which built (the spacecraft) and manages the mission. Messenger (short for Mercury Surface, Space Environment, Geochemistry and Ranging--J.T.) is the first mission to Mercury in three decades."
"'It's an unusual planet, even by the standards of the inner solar system,' says mission scientist Sean Solomon for the Carnegie Institution of Washington, D.C."
"About one-third the size of Earth, Mercury orbits the sun once every 88 days, but it spins so slowly that a day on Mercury lasts nearly six months on Earth. The planet endures temperatures above 840 degrees (Fahrenheit) on its days and minus-350 degrees at night."
"Like its larger cousins, Earth and Venus, Mercury is regarded as a 'terrestrial' planet, a rock with an iron core. And it is a bit of a mystery as well."
"Visible from Earth for only several weeks each year, the planet orbits too close to the sun for safe viewing by the sensitive optics aboard the Hubbard Space Telescope. That makes Mercury only slightly better understood than Pluto, the most distant planet from the sun."
"'Understanding Mercury is vital to understanding the terrestrial planets,' says NASA solar system exploration official Orlando Figueroa. The spacecraft will rely on an 8-foot-by-6-foot (2.4 meter by 1.8 meter) sunshade, heated to pizza-oven temperatures by the sun, to shield its instruments as they try to answer long-standing questions about Mercury."
Mercury's "dense iron core makes up more than 60 percent of the small planet's mass and produces a magnetic field of surprising strength, which perplexes astronomers."
"NASA's last visit to Mercury, the Mariner 10 flybys of 1974-75 mapped only 45 percent of the planet's surface. Messenger will map the entire planet in greater detail."
"Craters in Mercury's poles, which are shielded from the sun's rays, could contain ice. The spacecraft's instruments might be able to sense whatever minerals might be hidden in the craters."
"Like other interplanetary missions, Messenger will use 'gravity assists,' flybys of Earth, Venus (twice) and Mercury (three times) to send the spacecraft on its 4.9- billion-mile, 6.5-year trip around Mercury."
"'We have to gradually slow down the spacecraft relative to Mercury,' says Robert Farquhar of the Johns Hopkins University Applied Physics Laboratory in Laurel, Maryland, the mission manager."
"Without gravity assists, the 1,100-pound instrument weight limit on the craft would have dropped to 360 pounds, which would have forced scientists to jettison several experiments."
"By 2012, mission controllers might lower the probe's altitude to only 18 miles (30 kilometers) above Mercury. The craft will eventually crash-land on the planet, Farquhar says, bearing a U.S. flag to the surface." (See USA Today for August 4, 2004, "NASA spacecraft bound for Mercury," page 8D; and USA Today for August 2, 2004, "NASA sending a 'messenger' for a closer look at Mercury," page 9D.)
UNEXPECTED DINOSAUR FOSSIL FOUND IN JAPAN
"Bone and teeth fragments discovered on the Japanese island of Awaji-jima are believed to be from a dinosaur that lived 78 million years ago, a researcher says."
"The fossils appear to be from a Lambeosaurus, a type of Hadrosaur, the so-called duck-billed dinosaur, says a researcher at the Museum of Nature and Human Activities in Sumoto," Japan.
"Plant-eating Hadrosaurs grew to be more than 30 feet (9 meters) long and weighed about four tons. Although they were common in much of the ancient world, Hadrosaur discoveries have been rare in Japan." (See USA Today for August 5, 2004, "Toothsome dino discovery made in Japan," page 6D.)
From the UFO Files...
2004: TALL, THIN ALIENS SIGHTED IN OREGON
For Carol Lowder of Salem, Oregon, June 28, 2004 was a quiet Sunday in their heavily-wooded neighborhood. But things didn't stay quiet for long.
At approximately 10:30 a.m., Carol reported, "My granddaughter was facing south when she saw the beings at the edge of the woods. My granddaughter saw a tall, thin but muscular white being approximately 10 feet (3 meters) tall, in the woods behind where they live. Her large German shepherd (dog) went after it, but the white being moved extremely quickly, and he was unable to catch it."
"My granddaughter managed to drag the dog back and run home. When my son came back home, he and I went out back but could not find anything. I told my granddaughter, who is a mature 13-year-old, to call me if anything else strange happened, as both her parents work and my 13- and 14-year-old girls are home alone."
"The next day (Monday, June 29, 2004), at 11 a.m., she called me--scared--as she saw the being again in the woods where she took the dog for a walk. He again gave chase, and she had to drag him back home. I went over there immediately with a .38 (caliber) revolver and searched, but the woods were overgrown with blackberry bushes and underbrush, and, in most places, it was impossible to get through."
"We were waiting at the picnic table at the outskirts of the woods when Nichole (the granddaughter--J.T.) again spotted the being. But now there were two of them. Before I could get my gun and myself up from the bench, the beings disappeared once again."
"My son and I once again took our guns and walked through the woods, but could not find anything. But, as I said, anything could be hiding in those dense woods, and we would not have been able to find it if it didn't want to be found."
"The picnic area and the surrounding woods were searched for tracks and broken branches but, due to the thickness of the woods and the fact that this one is inhabited by deer, coyotes and other animals, nothing unusual was found."
"My son and my granddaughter did see a UFO on the second day (Monday, July 29, 2004). According to my son, it was southeast of him in the sky, golden in color, and the shape was blurred but it appeared to be a (child's) top shape. And it hung in the sky at the same spot for about an hour."
"No sightings have been seen since then. He has not talked to any of his neighbors to see if they saw anything."
"It was the first time he and my granddaughter had seen anything of this kind, ever." (Many thanks to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike for this encounter report.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home- -UFO Roundup." See you next time.
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 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.