UFO ROUNDUP

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Volume 9
Number 34
September 15, 2004

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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MAJORITY OF INDIANS BELIEVE ALIENS EXIST

"A series of polls conducted by UFO India has produced some interesting results. Up to 98 percent of those polled believe that intelligent extraterrestrial life does exist."

UFO India is a Web site documenting UFO sightings in India and trying to collect information and views on the subject of extraterrestrial life, intelligence and civilizations, director Prashant Solomon said.

"The other questions asked included whether those polled believed that the ancient (Hindu and pagan) gods were actually advanced extraterrestrial visitors who visited our planet eons ago and were then considered as 'gods' by the inhabitants of Earth at the time."

"78 percent of those polled believed that they were."

"69 percent of those polled believed that extraterrestrial intelligence is already present on Earth."

"Regarding where else in the solar system life was most likely--45 percent say Mars; 32 percent say Europa (a moon of Jupiter, which has an underground liquid ocean that contains more water than is present on Earth--P.S.); and 17 percent say Titan (a moon of Saturn with a thick atmosphere much like Earth in the primordial period-- P.S.)."

"Another interesting result is that 51 percent of those polled believe that intelligent extraterrestrial life is more advanced technologically as well as being more spiritually advanced than humans; 10 percent say they will not be more spiritually advanced; 10 percent were undecided; and 29 percent say that technological development and spiritual development are in no way connected to each other." (Many thanks to Prashant Solomon of UFO India for this news release.)

STRANGE PHENOMENA SEEN IN UTTAR PRADESH, INDIA

"Very reminiscent of the 'Monkey Man' hallucination in Delhi and its neighbouring towns" back in May 2001 "villagers are now having sleepless nights, thanks to a string of incidents they believe are the work of a demon."

"For the past three weeks, residents in Muzzafarnagar," a city in India's western Uttar Pradesh state located 125 kilometers (75 miles) north of Delhi, "and the neighbouring villages of Khampur and Meerut have reported incidents of finding 'drops of blood in their houses, clumps of human hair" falling from the ceiling, "and scratches on children's faces, allegedly made by a demon."

"Senior Superintendent of Police Navneet Sikera said that some unidentified 'mischief makers' are involved in these activities to create terror among the villagers."

"'To return the confidence of the villagers, we have deployed the Provincial Armed Constabulary (PAC) in and around the villages,' he said."

"Closed-circuit television cameras have also been installed to detect them," Superintendent Sikera added. (See the Hindustan Times for September 4, 2004, "Demon scare in Indian villages." Many thanks to Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda for this newspaper article.)

STATUE OF VIRGIN MARY CAUSES STIR IN LEBANON

"Worshippers continue to flock to the miraculous 'Lady of Beshwat' in Ras Baalbek" in Lebanon "as tales of more miracles performed over the weekend continued to spread."

"President of the Saydet Ras Baalbek monastery, Father Elias Khodatri, told the press in Hermel that Hadi Mahrous Chaaban and his wife, Salima Mitanios Melhem, and her mother saw the Virgin (i.e. the statue--J.T.) close and open her eyes. Other worshippers also saw this happen."

"Asaad Chamoun, a crippled 79-year-old man, was reportedly cured in front of hundreds of people on Sunday," September 5, 2004. "Chamoun got up from his wheelchair and walked on his feet beside his wife, Fadwa, and his son, Joseph, who said that the old man had been crippled for seven years following surgery he underwent."

"Chamoun then walked from the old church where Our Lady of Beshwat appeared to the people, to the new church, where he explained what had happened to him and how he had seen a bright light" at the moment of his cure.

"'I saw a light in front of me, and I was compelled to walk,' he said, 'I started to walk, and I could do it.'"

"Thousands flocked to the old church on Sunday," September 5, 2004. "Traffic came to a standstill on the Baalbek/Deir al-Ahmar main road, prompting visitors to use the Bishaari-Cedars-Ainata road, Hermel road and other roads to reach the church. However, some people even came on foot. Civil Defence personnel and municipal police ensured the safety of worshippers, while, in Deir al- Ahmar, residents offered coffee, cold water and bread" to the pilgrims.

"News of patients being cured and the movement of the statue of the Virgin (birth name: Miriam bat-Joachim-- J.T.) started emerging two weeks ago, after a 10-year-old boy, who came from Jordan with his family on a pilgrimage- -claimed that he saw the phenomenon." (See The Daily Star of Beirut, Lebanon for September 7, 2004, "Miracles draw crowds to Ras Baalbek." Many thanks to Ayesha al-Khatabi, UFO Roundup's Middle East correspondent, for this newspaper article.)

CATTLE MUTILATION REPORTED IN NEBRASKA

"Larry Jurjens was checking his herd of about 100 cattle" Thursday, August 19, 2004 "when he found a dead 11-year-old Black Angus."

"Jurjens said the cow's left eyeball was removed, the bag and udders had been removed, and there was a large excision in the rectal region. None of the internal organs were removed, and he said the cuts appeared to have been made with surgical precision."

"The tongue had also been removed with the incision made far back into the throat."

"Jurjens said two puncture marks were on the cow, each about 1/8 of an inch in diameter."

"Jurjens, who has been a rancher" in Farnam, Nebraska "for more than 35 years, said he has never seen anything like it before."

"Jurjens said no blood was found on or near the cow."

"He said he estimates that the cow had been dead for two days before it was discovered."

"The estimated time of death corresponds with unidentified noises heard in the area." On the night of Tuesday, August 17, 2004, "Jurjens's wife, Joanne, heard what sounded like a large, low-flying aircraft going over the house."

"The low rumbling noise was heard by several other witnesses as far away as Gothenburg (population 3,679)," 16 miles (27 kilometers) north of Farnam.

"Witnesses said the noise persisted for a minute to five minutes in some areas."

"The cow's death is being investigated by Linda Moulton Howe, an international investigative journalist and documentary film producer from Jamison, Pa. She visited Jurjens' ranch on (Wednesday) August 25 (2004)."

Farnam is on Highway 23 in southern Nebraska's Dawson County, about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of North Platte. (See the North Platte, Nebraska Telegraph for September 2, 2004, "Farnam cow found mutilated." Many thanks to Robert Fischer for this newspaper article.)

MORE CROP CIRCLES REPORTED IN CANADA

A crop circle was found in Calgary, the largest city in Canada's Alberta province, on Thursday, August 26, 2004.

According to Canadian cerealogist Paul Anderson, "An unusual oval ring was found in pasture grass in Nose Hill Park, a large nature park of natural grasses and terrain" in Calgary.

The formation was "approximately 14.5 meters (50 feet) by 12 meters (40 feet). Grass was flattened in various directions in the 0.3 meter (1 foot) inside ring, including straight across the width, with the ring stalks well-defined. Ring surrounds a large white rock roughly in the center which appears to be part of the natural landscape, not just placed there."

(Editor's Comment: This is interesting. It sounds as if the crop circle is surrounding a "prayer rock" of the local indigenous people. A similar Lakota stone can be found at the county museum in Sioux Falls, South Dakota.)

Anderson added, "With a later harvest this year, three ovals in wheat and pasture grass were found in Wadena, Saskatchewan (population 1,477). The ovals were first found on (Thursday) September 2 (2004). The entire formation was 22 meters (73 feet) long."

These were, respectively, the tenth and eleventh crop circle formations found in Canada during 2004. (Many thanks to Paul Anderson of Canadian Crop Circle Research Network for these reports.)

SILVER SPHERE SPOTTED IN NORTH YORKSHIRE

On Saturday, August 7, 2004, at around 7:30 p.m., Mrs. Becky Woodley and her husband were driving between Pickering and Whitby on the North Yorkshire moors of UK when they had a UFO encounter.

The UFO "came from the west and headed off to the northwest," Becky reported, "It was silver in colour, round in shape. It started off bright, and, as it moved, it became brighter still until we saw it go out of sight."

"My husband was driving and waiting to come out of a junction when I spotted a very large, very bright object. It was very still and silent. It suddenly started moving very slowly, so we parked up to watch it for several minutes. No sound was made from it at any time. Neither strobe lights nor vapour trail could be seen." (Email Form Report)

UFO ACTIVITY UP SHARPLY NEAR BIG DIPPER STARGATE

Ted Anderson has been an amateur astronomer for over 30 years. Like many ufologists, he is intrigued by a continual flurry of UFO activity he's seen by telescope in the "handle" of the Big Dipper (the constellation Ursa Major --J.T.) , near the stars Alcor and Mizar.

If hyperspace is the "superhighway" for interstellar alien spacecraft, then this region is the "exit ramp to Earth" for the saucers.

Ted Anderson calls it "the UFO Universe Freeway Entrance."

"I've been watching a special location in the heavens for thirty years," Ted reported, "And I've seen several hundred mother ships and planetary vehicles come and go. Since August (2004), something has changed. This is extremely important. As to why, your guess is as good as mine."

"Two to four small red alien ships are controlling the Entrance. They are moving around constantly. I have not seen an alien mother ship come or go since this started. They (the four UFOs) move fast; they chase each other; they hold in place. This has been going on for several weeks now."

"If you can see the Big Dipper, look to the south toward Arcturus and watch between 9 p.m. and midnight. They are too dark and move too fast to record with my small, telescope-mounted camera." (Email Form Report)

(Editor's Note: Arcturus is at or below the horizon by now. If you have a telescope, readers, zero in on the Whirlpool Galaxy just below Alcor and Mizar and check the region of sky just west of the galaxy.)

THOUSANDS OF BIRDS DIE MYSTERIOUSLY IN GREECE

"Thousands of birds have been found dead at a lake in northern Greece, authorities said Thursday," September 9, 2004.

"Regional government officials held an emergency meeting after more than 3,000 dead birds were found at Lake Koronia," 40 kilometers (25 miles) east of Thessaloniki.

"The cause of their death was not immediately known."

"The birds, found mostly by hunters, included Dalmatian pelicans, black-winged stilts and shovelers."

"Some of the dead birds and water samples taken from the lake were sent to laboratories" in Athens "for testing."

Commenting on the mass deaths, UFO Roundup correspondent Anna Webb remarked, "Chemtrails...or HAARP?" (See the Rochester, N.Y. Democrat and Chronicle for September 10, 2004. Many thanks to Anna Webb for this newspaper article.)

STRONG EARTHQUAKE RATTLES THE ANDES

"The seismic movement that affected at least 12 of the 24 provinces of Argentina reached the magnitude of an earthquake and caused the death of a woman, several wounded and general alarm among the population and light material damage."

"The Meteorological Institute of the province of San Juan reported" the heaviest trembling "in San Francisco del Valle" in Catamarca province in Argentina's northwestern corner, where "the phenomenon reached an intensity of 6 degrees on the Richter scale, while San Juan, also along the Andes, shuddered to 3 degrees on the same scale."

"The epicenter was located 500 kilometers (300 miles) south of Catamarca province," along the border with Chile.

"The Seismographic Institute in the French city of Strasbourg also picked up the earthquake and placed it at 6.3 on the Richter scale."

"Within a three-hour time span, there were at least three sudden movements, causing buildings in Catamarca to crack and masonry to crumble off a local school."

"Several children were slightly injured, but 'everything is under control, and we have vacated offices and asked people to go home,' said a local security official to a television crew."

"In the city of Catamarca, it was necessary to evacuate the Courthouse, and similar measures were taken in Salta, Tucuman, Mendoza, San Juan, La Rioja, Santiago del Estero, San Luis, Santa Fe and Cordoba."

"It was also necessary to evacuate tall buildings in Buenos Aires," the national capital, "including the city center (Plaza de San Martin--J.T.), where perceiving such phenomena is rare. There was alarm and surprise, and some people in tall buildings feeling dizzy, but nothing more."

Raquel Garza Alcazar, 22, who works in an office building on the Calle Bartolome Mitre, reported, "It sounded like a very large truck driving past. Then the whole building began to shake. We took off our high heels and ran down five flights of stairs to reach the street."

"In Mar del Plata, 400 kilometers (250 miles) to the south, authorities ordered the Courthouse, an 11-story building, to be evacuated in view of the panic among the building's occupants." (See the Argentinian newspaper Clarin for September 8, 2004. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales, Liliana Nunez y Raquel Garza Alcazar para estas noticias.)

IS IT THE RETURN OF OPERATION ABACUS?

Not since the Y2K crisis five years ago has there been a flap such as the one now rampant in Texas. A persistent rumor is floating around the Lone Star State, claiming that the administration of President George W. Bush plans to implement martial law on Monday, November 1, 2004.

During the three months preceding the Y2K "event," which turned out to be trifling, several right-wing commentators and psychics warned of Operation Abacus, a planned roundup of the USA's evangelical Christians by agents of the Illuminati.
Near Columbus, Ohio, truckers found a big rig loaded with yellow signs that said Warning - This Area Is Under Martial Law.

The current flap in Texas began on Thursday, August 19, 2004, when Texas-based right-wing commentator Alex Jones unveiled a military manual on his TV show. Jones reportedly stated that the manual had been forwarded to him by an officer in the Texas National Guard. The title of the manual was Use of Force: Critical Infrastructure Protection Training.

Jones also had his source as a guest on the show that day and the following day, Friday, August 20, 2004.

The Texas officer reportedly asserted that the manual "goes into great detail on the military takeover of civilian authorities, City Halls, etc." He also allegedly said that he "had been told by senior officers that the Bush administration will declare martial law on November 1, 2004."

"The Texas National Guard says they were warned not to tell any media personnel about the Bush government plan to declare martial law on November 1, 2004," said one believer, "And, of course, the reason the Bush government is choosing November 1 is to be able to cancel the election."

(Editor's Note: The USA's national election will take place on Tuesday, November 2, 2004. Contending for the White House are the president and his Democratic Party opponent, Sen. John F. Kerry of Massachusetts.)

"Yeah, I heard that some guy in the Texas National Guard said he and his fellow soldiers had received training to implement martial law in the USA," correspondent Jim Danvers said, "I heard there were a lot of foreigners involved in this thing. The Bush regime has got a former USSR (Soviet Union) KGB chief in charge of this martial law preparation and training activity, randomly stopping old ladies on the street and searching them, as well as how to take over a city and how to arrest people and take people to the internment camps in the USA."

"The 'senior commander at the state (Texas) Guard school' is said to be a 'full bird colonel' and a former British SAS (Special Air Service--J.T.) officer. This guy is in charge of selection of all (American) officers chosen to be part of this special program to merge local law enforcement, National Guard and branches of the military in preparation for civilian roundups, detention camps and house-to-house searches for weapons and contraband," Jim added.

Alex Jones's interview with the Texas National Guard officer is available on the Internet at this URL: http://www.parapolitics.info/media/aj040819.mp3

(Editor's Comment: That's what's making the rounds in Texas. Now have a look at what's going on in Florida. Is this just a case of pre-election jitters? Or is there anything to this?)

MOUSE-TRAPPED!

Having already been hit by two major hurricanes, the USA's state of Florida is bracing for a third major storm- -Hurricane Ivan.

Since August 13, 2004, both the east and west coasts of Florida have sustained an estimated $14 billion in damage as a result of Hurricanes Charley and Francis. Electrical power is still out in many portions of the Sunshine State, causing much hardship for the urban residents.

"It's like the hurricanes pushed us back into the Stone Age," said Derek Mattingly, a resident of Hallandale, Fla. "This must be what it's like in Iraq."

In Florida, the days "are measured by the time spent waiting for the simple necessities of life that millions of people took for granted. An hour for a bag of ice. Ninety minutes for a pack of D batteries. Two hours for a half-tank of gas."

Hurricane "Frances has imposed a new rhythym of life on the Sunshine State, one requiring persistence and patience."

"About 1.9 million people are without power, according to authorities. Lew Hay of Florida Power & Light called the situation 'unprecedented' and said it might be next week before power is restored in some places."

If Hurricane Ivan hits the state, restoration of electrical power might take weeks.

"But these are trying times and staying calm is not always easy."

"Bud Snyder was directing traffic at the Citgo station he manages, trying to keep some semblance of order among the 150 cars lined up for gas (petrol in UK--J.T.)"

"'This has brought out some of the best and worst in people, but mainly the worst,' Snyder said, 'I haven't had this much verbal abuse since basic training' in the military."

"The temperature was a sweltering 91 degrees (Fahrenheit) by midday, even with afternoon thunder showers. Many residents deprived of air conditioning became desperate for anything cold. 'Ice is gold,' said Ronnye Sands, a retiree who scooped up a dozen 10-pound bags at a Palm Beach Gardens Publix grocery store. 'I was so darn glad to get the ice, I just started crying when they put it in my cart.'"

"Things most people take for granted aren't working or are not available. Among them: television, cellphones, air conditioning and cold beer."

"'You know what I miss?' said Martin Sartori, 63, a hairdresser. 'Burger King. No kidding. I'd love to be able to just drive up and get a cheeseburger and a Coke.'"

Into the turmoil of hurricane-ravaged Florida has come a new menace--the Mouse Line.

According to Endwatchers in Jesus, an evangelical Christian group, if Hurricane Ivan damages Florida on the same scale as the previous two, Governor Jeb Bush (the president's brother--J.T.) will toss in the towel and allow the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) to take over governance of the state.

The Mouse Line is a temporary emergency border that would be drawn across Florida, from Tampa in the west to Daytona Beach in the east. Above the Line, that part of Florida would continue to be ruled from the state capital, Tallahassee. But, below the Line, Endwatchers claim, "military troops will occupy the southern part of Florida," which will be ruled by FEMA.

"The Mouse Line is nothing new. It was established in 1969," during the era of civil rights and anti-war rioting in Florida, "ten years before (President) Jimmy Carter established FEMA by executive order. The scenario since Day One was that if 'internal security' required it, everything beneath the Mouse Line would be a military zone."

(Editor's Note: This has already happened once in USA history. In January 1942, President Franklin D. Roosevelt, as a result of the Japanese attack on Pearl Harbor, signed an executive order declaring the Hawaiian Islands a military zone. For five years, the Territory of Hawaii--which became a state in 1959--was ruled by the U.S. Army. Indeed, speeding motorists in Honolulu were actually tried before Army courts-martial.)

According to Endwatchers, there has already been one clash between FEMA and a Florida sheriff's department. The Christian group reported, "When a FEMA truck showed up with ice in southeastern Florida two nights ago (Monday, September 6, 2004), a clash took place between the local chief of police and FEMA officials. The townspeople had been waiting in line for up to seven hours for ice at a FEMA emergency distribution point when the truck showed up, but FEMA officials insisted it be distributed the next morning. The local Police Chief said that if it wasn't distributed immediately, he would order his armed police officers to distribute it."

FEMA reportedly defused the situation by allowing the sheriff to distribute the ice to the waiting residents.

Endwatchers added, "Florida is already designated as a Federal Disaster Area, and the federal military already has full authority to 'occupy' and rule over all local authorities. The roadblocks are already in place below the Mouse Line. People are already complaining about being denied access to their own property because they don't have sufficient ID (identification). When Ivan hits between September 11 and September 13 (2004), FEMA will be in total open control." (See USA Today for September 8, 2004, "Tempers flare amid heat and long lines," page 3A. Also, "Hurricane Ivan will finish off Florida" email for September 10, 2004.

"BRIGHT FLASH" PRECEDES ISRAELI ROCKET'S CRASH

"Israel's efforts to closely monitor Iran's missile program, and to improve its own early-warning systems, suffered a setback Monday," September 6, 2004, "when the launch of a sophisticated spy satellite failed."

"A rocket that was to have carried the Ofek-6 remote- sensing satellite into orbit crashed into the Mediterranean Sea shortly after its liftoff early in the afternoon from Israel's sprawling Palmachim air and missile base south of Tel Aviv."

"It was the second significant failure in less than a week of a high-tech Israeli military system. The missile interceptor Arrow 2, in a test-firing off the coast of California last Thursday," September 2, 2004, proved unable to hit its target. However, Israeli officials said it had succeeded in identifying the warhead of the dummy missile it was supposed to have hit."

"No one on the ground was injured in the failed Ofek launch, which was not announced in advance."

"Witnesses in Israel's southern coastal communities reported seeing an intensely bright flash overhead (my emphasis--J.T.), which caused some people to panic, thinking a passenger jet had come under attack or that a missile had been fired in the vicinity."

"The (Israeli) Defense Ministry issued a brief statement acknowledging the launch had failed, and that the cause of the malfunction was being investigated."

"The state-of-the-art Ofek-6 was developed by an Israeli consortium led by the giant state-owned Israel Aircraft Industries. The satellite had a planned lifespan of about five years, and was intended to serve as a major upgrade of Israel's surveillance of armament programs of other regional powers, most particularly Iran."
(See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for September 7, 2004, "Israel's spy satellite fails as rocket crashes," page 7A.)

(Editor's Comment: It sure looks like a UFO shot down that Israeli rocket. But for what reason? Could it be that Ariel Sharon is trying to sneak weapons of mass destruction into Earth orbit? Stay tuned...)

GENESIS CRASHES IN THE UTAH DESERT

"A parachute failure sent a NASA capsule carrying prized samples of solar particles smashing into the Utah desert Wednesday," September 8, 2004.

"NASA had employed Hollywood stunt pilots to snag the capsule's parachute and guide the fragiles samples to a safe landing."

"Instead, the only Hollywood touch was the saucer- shaped capsule protruding from the desert floor like an image in a UFO movie."

"'The capsule was clearly not designed to withstand this kind of impact,' said Chris Jones of NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory. NASA estimates that the capsule hit at 193 mph (miles per hour) after an electronic failure to trigger the capsule's parachutes."

"Launched in 2001, Genesis spent 26 months in deep space collecting dust from the sun. The $264 million mission was NASA's first retrieval of space samples since 1972's final lunar landing."

"Scientists hope to study Genesis's solar samples to understand the sun's chemistry, and some science results should still be recoverable from the cracked capsule, says NASA's Andrew Dantzler."

"A braking chute was supposed to slow the capsule after it entered Earth's atmosphere. Instead, mission controllers watched the capsule tumble and punch into the desert floor at 9:59 a.m." Mountain (Utah) time.

"Recovery of the capsule was delayed several hours as workers dealt with still-unexploded mortars that were supposed to have fired the parachutes."

"'This has implications beyond Genesis,' says spacecraft landing expert Paul Withers of Boston University, because parachutes figure prominently in a retrieval of comet dust planned for 2006 and future Mars missions."

"NASA plans to name a mishap review board." (USA Today for September 9, 2004, "Capsule bearing solar dust crashes," page 1A.)

VANISHED PREHISTORIC SEA ONCE EXISTED ON MARS

"An ancient sea larger than the combined Great Lakes" of the USA and Canada "likely filled the basin on Mars where NASA's Opportunity rover now roams, say scientists."

On Thursday, September 9, 2004, in the journal Nature, "a University of Colorado team reports that salt outcrops like those measured by Opportunity, evidence of an ancient sea, appear from space to cover about 127,000 square miles of Martian soil."

(Editor's Note: By comparison, Lake Superior, which contains about 65 percent of all the water in the Great Lakes, has a surface area of 32,483 square miles. So the Martian "Burroughs Sea" is four times larger than Lake Superior.)

"The climate on Mars several billion years ago must have been much wetter than today, the scientists conclude." (See USA Today for September 9, 2004, "Mars data suggests a huge, vanished sea," page 10D.)

(Editor's Comment: Combined with other evidence throughout the solar system, the disappearance of the "Burroughs Sea" suggests that Immanuel Velikovsky was right when he wrote Worlds in Collision a half-century ago. Some unimaginable space catastrophe pushed Mars into an orbit farther away from the sun, resulting in the Red Planet's transformation into a frozen desert world.)

EARLY SIGNS OF AUTUMN IN CALIFORNIA, TOO

California is the latest state to check in with reports of signs of an abnormally early autumn and, possibly, a long, cold winter.

Roundup readers Bill and Carole Keller of Eagle Lake, Cal. wrote, "We live in the northern Sierra Nevada mountains, in the high desert eastern side at (elevation) 5,700 feet adjacent to a lake. The area is mostly forested with about 50 families year round."

"I noticed Canadian geese on the lake four weeks ago," Bill reported, "This was four to five weeks early. Tree foliage has been showing fall color for weeks. Wild flowers which last until first snow are already gone. The birds have migrated some weeks early, and the animals are almost in winter coat."

"Yet, all appearance presents a late summer look and feel. Almost. I commented to my other half (Carole) that the day looks funny. Trying to explain the comment, I came to the visible or, for a better word, the color of the sunshine. The color of the light in the forest seems off or not as bright. Possibly a slight color shift. This anomaly seems less at lower altitudes."

"As most (of the USA's) population is in the lower altitudes, it might escape notice. I wonder if you or anyone else has noticed. I am very sensitive to the smallest color changes and light shifts." (Email Report)

(Editor's Comment: I haven't noticed any change in the sunlight here at the western end of Lake Superior. But autumn is still running well ahead of the calendar. Shrubbery close to the ground has turned color. The poplars are losing their leaves along creeks and rivers. Red-tailed hawks were conspicuously absent on Sunday, September 12, 2004, the day of their annual migration over Hawk Ridge. Bill and Carole may have something here. The amount of solar radiation reaching Earth might have diminished slightly, and this could be affecting the climate here in North America.)


From the UFO Files...

658: MIDNIGHT AT THE OASIS

Left to his own devices, Abdul Majid al-Hazrad most likely would have succeeded his mentor, Yaqoob Hamzi al- Khafaji, as Master of the Black Circle and keeper of the ancient magickal wisdom of Mesopotamia (Greek for the land between the rivers; now modern Iraq--J.T.). But it was not to be.

In 657 A.D., the year Abdul turned 17, a religious civil war cast its dark shadow over Kufa.

The seeds of this conflict were sown in Saudi Arabia forty years before Abdul was even born. In 600 A.D., a son was born to Abu Talib, a camel trader in Mecca. This was Ali, and he soon became the favorite of Abu Talib's nephew, Mohammed.

As a teenager, Ali saw his 40-year-old uncle walk enraptured out of the desert night, describing his wondrous encounter with an angel. Ali "distinguished himself by being one of the first to declare" his conversion to Islam. But the Prophet (peace be upon him-- J.T.) had many enemies in Mecca, and they openly plotted his death. And so, on April 20, 622 A.D., the Prophet Mohammed, his nephew Ali and a handful of followers mounted their camels and rode out of Mecca in the dead of night, fleeing to the city of Yathrib (now Medina--J.T.) This was al-Hajira (Arabic for The Flight), the day from which the Muslim calendar dates.

"Ali proved himself to be a brave and faithful soldier," and the Prophet Mohammed, who had no sons, "gave him his daughter Fatima in marriage." When Mohammed died, many in Islam thought Ali should succeed his uncle as Caliph, or leader of Islam, but the young man deferred to Abu Bakr and was content to serve in a subordinate role.

Abu Bakr was succeeded by Omar, who was succeeded by Othman. But when Caliph Othman was murdered in 656 A.D., again Muslims called on Ali to lead them, and this time he accepted.

Ali immediately came under attack from a rebel faction "under Talha and Zobair, who were instigated by Ayesha," the widow of the Prophet Mohammed and the chief objector to Ali taking the title of Caliph. The war spilled over into Iraq. At "the Battle of the Camels," just north of Basra, Talha and Zobair were killed, and Ayesha was taken prisoner.

But Ali's claim to the Caliphate was still shaky. A new rival, Moawiya, proclaimed himself Caliph in Syria and invaded Iraq with a large army.

"A prolonged battle took place in July 657 A.D." at Al-Suffein on the banks of the Euphrates River. Ali's men were victorious at first. In desperation, Moawiya had his men fix copies of al-Quran (The Koran--J.T.) to their spearpoints. They advanced on Ali's lines, shouting that "the matter should be settled in accordance with the words of the Prophet, for it is written that Muslims are forbidden to shed each other's blood."

Ali Bin Abu Talib proved himself to be more of a saint than a politician. Not only did he end the battle with Moawiya's army, he agreed to abide by the decision of a team of arbitrators, led by a local king, Amir Bin al- Ass, and Abu Musa. While the arbitrators negotiated with the sheikhs, Ali settled down in Kufa to await their decision.

This was Kufa in 658 A.D., a boomtown transformed into an armed camp, the de facto capital of the Caliph Ali, whose reign was being seriously challenged in Syria, Egypt, Kurdistan and throughout the Middle East. But it was also the home of the sorcerer Yaqoob Hamzi al-Khafaji and his chela, Abdul Majid al-Hazrad, now known as "the young Master."

At eighteen, Abdul had shed the galabiyya (long, loose shirt worn in Iraq--J.T.) for the black robes of an Adept of the Black Circle. He shaved his head and affected a short bristling beard, which he hoped someday to trim in the goateed fashion of his mentor. Yaqoob had also put him in charge of a small group of acolytes, who had been recruited during the past year.

When Abdul asked why they needed more acolytes, Yaqoob replied cryptically, "The Cosmic Wheel is turning, and we must be prepared."

While the Caliph Ali and his entourage had no particular love for the Black Circle, neither did they feel threatened by them. The same could not be said for the Kharijites, the latest "secret brotherhood" in Iraq. These were fanatic Muslims, a bit like the Puritans of Seventeenth Century New England, who considered Ali, Moawiya, and Abu Musa "spoilers" who were ruining "the pure Islam of the Prophet." Their hatred of "infidels" knew no bounds, and it soon took aim at the Black Circle.

In the spring of 658 A.D., Yaqoob failed to turn up for supper. Upon checking his guru's quarters, Abdul found clothing, sandals and a bedroll missing. He knew that Yaqoob had received "the Call" to Shambhala. And he had mixed feelings about that, for to go to Shambhala and meet the Hidden Masters was always Abdul's fondest desire. Why Yaqoob and not me? he wondered, Am I unworthy to receive the Call? What have I done wrong?

Nor did Abdul like the boldness of the Kharijites. While others in Kufa gave the Black Circle a wide berth or studiously kept silent on those rare occasions when Abdul visited the souk, the Kharijites were free with their mockery and insults.

Yaqoob advised him to forget it. "Do you always heed the braying of donkeys?" he asked his chela. Abdul gritted his teeth and said nothing. For he was a young man and insults did not sit well with him.

The crunch came in September of 658 A.D. when Abdul's mother, Soraya, who still lived in Kufa, went to the mosque for Friday prayers. She was recognized by a Kharijite woman, and soon found herself surrounded by a hostile mob.

Hearing the clamor, Ali left the mosque. He pulled the rioters away from Soraya and comforted the battered woman in his arms.

"Sorceress! Infidel!" the mob shouted.

"I see no infidel," Ali said, "I see only a woman who has come to the mosque to pray with us. Leave her alone."

A formidable-looking bashi-bazouk (Arabic for ruffian--J.T.) surged forward, shaking his fist. "Don't you know who her son is!?"

"And who is your father?" Ali replied, in a tone that struck the man speechless.

So Ali put Soraya under his protection and gave her a place in his household. But when the news reached Abdul, he went into a rage. He swore to make the Kharijites pay.

What happened next we know only from the letters of Yaqub Bin Ashaq as-Sabah, first and foremost of Abdul's chelas, written when he was in his seventies.

"For many days the Master (Abdul--J.T.) secluded himself among the texts, perusing the Secret Rituals. For one of them contained the Key That Openeth the Door to the Outer Gulfs. At last he found it, and he bade the acolytes to prepare for the Grand Working."

"Yea, verily, Abu Ziyad, we gathered at the Oasis of El-Hira, and I the youngest of the Chosen Seven. 'Twas near midnight, and the Moon was at her zenith, full and white. To the edge of the pool went the Master forth, and I among the Seven on the ridge of the sand dunes. He drew the Circle and the Pentagram, performed the Rite of Sanamerah, traced upon the seething waters the Sigils of Sejar-Koth, and chanted the Forbidden Litany. Through it all, we acolytes chanted the weird and alien rhythyms of blind Azazoth."

"And when the Master called upon the Dholes of eons- forgotten Aklo and They That Burroweth Beneath the Sands, great was the consternation of the Seven. Abu Tabar reeled upon his feet, and Abu Meshed, eldest among the Seven, wet the front of his vestments. Yet I, the youngest, stood rooted to the spot, staring with wide eyes at the queer lines of light that appeared and swirled above the pool."

"Of a sudden, he was there. Gol-Goroth! The mountain that walketh as a man! Fixed he his fiery gaze upon the Master, even as the other acolytes shrieked and fled. The Master bade him to avenge Soraya, and the Old One agreed. And then there was a wind like no dweller of Kufa has ever seen. A wind far, far stronger than any khamseen. I was blown off the sand dune. I let out a fearful cry, "Dark gods of R'lyeh!" and knew no more. And when I opened my eyes again, it was daylight, and I lay half-buried in the sand, and my Master insensible a short distance away. I helped him back to Nippur, for he could barely stand, so weak was he from the Working, and forever after was I his disciple, yea, even during the years of wandering."

And for many years thereafter, they told the tale in the Kufa souk--of the Kharijite bashi-bazouk, whose tough goatskin tent was found shredded as if by razor-sharp claws. Not much was found of the miscreant himself, but the few bones that turned up later were found to be well- chewed.

Two weeks later, Abdul was mending the goat fence when a tall, gaunt shadow fell across the stony soil. He looked up and found Yaqoob Hamzi scowling.

"What have you done?" Yaqoob said.

Standing erect, Abdul stammered, "I-I th-thought you were in Shambhala."

"I was." The sorcerer kept his tone precise. "And before I left, the Gnani Yogis never let me hear the end of it."

Abdul suddenly understood. "You came by vimana." (UFO--J.T.)

"Yes. Before you did any more damage." His eyes were black orbs. "You conjured up Gol-Goroth. I presume you had a reason."

"The best of reasons! Those accursed Kharijites threatened my mother!"

"Have you learned nothing from me? You are not some half-crazed ascetic calling down dooms to avenge some imagined slight. You are the guardian of a great tradition. Do you think Gol-Goroth is a big, mean dog that comes at your beck and call? Fool! You have set in motion forces that will take centuries to resolve." Yaqoob shook his head wearily. "You, who aspire to Shambhala--using the arts to avenge some stupid street brawl!"

"My mother could have been killed!"

"But she wasn't, was she? She is safe in the house of the Imam Ali."

"Ali Bin Abu Talib cannot control those people. He is just an old man--"

"Ah, Abdul, you are a keen student of the arts but a poor judge of men. I have slept in the imam's house. I have eaten his bread and cheese. Ali Bin Abu Talib is a just and honorable man. He is no threat to us."
"Perhaps not Ali, but what of the Kharijites?"

"Are they as great a threat as he who disturbs the repose of the Great Old Ones?" the gaunt sorcerer asked.

Slowly Abdul lowered his head. "What is to become of me?"

"That is your doing. The future is yours to craft." Folding his arms, Yaqoob drew himself erect. "But I will make a prophecy, Abdul. Until you learn to curb your pride and your temper, Shambhala is closed to you. Until you atone, you will not receive the Call."

And Abdul watched as his mentor walked towards the gathering dusk.

Next Week: Last Ride of the Imam

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.

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