FOUR ANGELS SIGHTED OVER WICHITA, KANSAS
On Tuesday, September 28, 2004, at 8:20 p.m., Luke M. and his buddy, Jeff, were playing basketball in the parking lot of the Trinity Wesleyan Methodist Church in Wichita, Kansas (population 344,284) when they had a most unusual experience.
"I was playing basketball, the second time in the day," Luke reported, "I was there with my friend Jeff. We were playing basketball to spend time until my friend was done with church. We hadn't seen my friend Glenda in a couple of years. The sighting happened maybe 10, 20 minutes before I saw her."
"I was standing there in front of the basketball goal, about to take another shot. As I suddenly stepped left, unknowingly, to see something strange in the sky. The basketball goal faces north, in which I was facing south to shoot hoops. Anyway, I stepped to the left to get the basketball goal out of my way, and I was puzzled and awed at what I see in the maybe half-cloudy night sky. I tried to tell my friend Jeff what I was seeing, but I am in shock."
"I nearly dropped my basketball when I saw a V-wing formation of four angel/butterfly/moth-shaped things flying through the sky. They were flying like birds or fighter jets do in a V-wing formation, with one on the left of the formation and two on the right and one in the middle or the front. They were perfectly ordered, in equal distance from each other for the entire time. They were maybe the size of a Lear jet or maybe a (Boeing) 747, and at maybe an angle of 45 to 50 degrees up (above the horizon--J.T.). They were perfectly south, away from the church, not gaining or losing altitude. I saw them for a total of maybe 10 to 15 seconds."
"As for what they looked like, they looked like great butterflies that were made completely of light. You could say that the entire content of their bodies was like a lightning bug's lit-up butt but completely like a yellow house (light) bulb and without any light radiating from it. (The bodies did not glow or have an aura--J.T.) They were no airplanes, and it was nothing like what people say an alien craft looks like."
"My friend Jeff, later on that night, said something about the four objects maybe being 'angels coming to collect people before the asteroid might hit today,' referring to the Toutatis asteroid's 930,000-mile approach" to Earth on Wednesday, September 29, 2004.
"I then thought they actually did look like angels, but I never thought an angel could have butterfly-like wings. I felt strongly all week that the coming of Toutatis could bring me some sort of sign. I didn't know what it could be, though."
"I know they were not airplanes because they were made of light--for one--and were not shaped right, but mainly that there were four objects flapping their wings just like a butterfly, and airplanes cannot flap their wings like a butterfly."
"In conclusion, all I can say is that I saw what clearly appeared to be four angels flying in the sky. I had already seen first-hand proof of supernatural existence, but this is another solid-proof experience for me. This is the third time that I have been shown that there is something out there. I guess maybe I submitted this (report) because I have never heard of anything like this happening before, and I never thought it could actually happen to me."
Luke added, "I don't know what religion I am, previously Christian, but now I don't know which religion, for certain reasons. The point is, I do believe in a God- like presence (maybe in Bushi-do or Gnostic-type--L.M.), and I do believe in ghosts, since I have had frequent experiences with them." (Email Form Report)
(Editor's Comment: Reading Luke's report, the first thing that popped into my head was The Four Horsemen of the Apocalypse. The quartet was seen at Cova da Iria in Portugal on September 13, 1917 by the Fatima seers, Lucia Abobora dos Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto. As for an angelic presence in Kansas, who knows? Maybe they're having dress rehearsals for the Rapture.)
POLICE SEEK "MANIMAL" IN ENTRE RIOS, ARGENTINA
"Police and locals sought a 'strange creature' at Colonia Elia in the eastern reaches of" Entre Rios province in northeastern Argentina.
"The police action came about when a neighbor reported that a large person or a large animal caused considerable damage in a henhouse behind his house, when it killed several hens."
"A footprint, hair and other traces were found at the site, which gave the claim credibility."
"Oscar Resteinor, a resident of the rural area, reported to the Colonia Elia sheriff's office that for 20 days now he has been witnessing the presence of this being, with clearly abnormal characteristics, prowling around his house. He claims that he has not been able to identify if it's an animal or a person. It also had yellowish hair of considerable length, claw-like nails, and it left large footprints, walking with its hind legs like a human or a primate."
(Editor's Comment: From the description, it sounds like a Mapinguary, a large ape-like creature, known as "the Bigfoot of South America.")
"After the attack to his henhouse, Resteinor and his family and neighbors began a watch in order to catch the strange being, according to Analisis Digital," a Web site in Buenos Aires.
"The Entre Rios police admit to having found several footprints and hairs measuring between 6 and 10 centimeters (2.5 to 4 inches) in length, as well as a claw or fingernail embedded in a tree trunk.""Plaster casts were made of the footprints, which were described as 'man-like' but larger and wider than normal."
Entre Rios is the Argentinian province bordering both Brazil and Paraguay. It's located 600 kilometers (360 miles) north of Buenos Aires. (See the InfoBAE Web site for September 28, 2004. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Gloria Coluchi para estas noticias.)
NIGHT SAUCERS SPOTTED IN ARGENTINA
"The UFO phenomenon manifested itself last night (Monday, September 27, 2004) when several drivers traveling from Monte Hermoso to Bahia Blanca saw red and white lights in the sky for several minutes, which later vanished over the fields."
"Drivers on their way back from Monte Hermoso to Bahia Blanca reported having seen several flying saucers on National Highway 3 and Route 229, which provides access to the town of Punta Alta."
"Carlos Ceria, a resident of Punta Alta and one of the witnesses to the event, said he was 'driving on Highway 3 when, to the left of the road, my family and I observed two flying objects of great (luminous-S.C.) intensity and whitish in color."
"'Afterward, having turned onto Route 229, we also saw red lights suspended in the air for 15 minutes, but then seemed to turn off, as though there was a landing strip on the field,' Ceria added."
"Sources at the Traffic Police in Bahia Blanca," a large city located 300 kilometers (180 miles) south of Argentina's capital, Buenos Aires, "reported that 'many people remarked about what had happened, but it isn't something that can be investigated by the police.'"
"'Several drivers phoned us last night to report that they had seen UFOs at the 630-kilometer marker on National Highway 3, in the location known as Bajo Hondo,' said the police spokesman." (See the InfoBAE Web site for September 28, 2004, "UFOs reported in Monte Hermoso." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Gloria Coluchi para estas noticias.)
MYSTERIOUS FIREBALL SEEN BY MOTORISTS IN UK
"Early morning motorists driving through Norfolk and Cambridgeshire yesterday (Sunday, September 26, 2004) could hold the key to finding out more about the meteorite or fireball sighted over the region."
"Around twenty motorists driving down the area's roads from around 6:30 a.m. reported seeing the fireball, which was described as having a bright glow followed by a long trail of light."
"They reported their sightings to Graham Barnard on his Today in Norfolk early morning radio programme on BBC Radio Norfolk."
"Mr. Barnard told the EDP that around 20 callers rang in from around 6:30 a.m. to report to presenter (announcer in the USA--J.T.) Wally Webb" of having seen "a fireball mainly in the sky above the west and south of the county."
"'Callers had their own theories as to what it was, ranging from a fireball, a firework, or, in the case of a caller from the Thetford area, an aircraft on fire, but we quickly put listeners' minds to rest that it wasn't an aircraft,' said Mr. Barnard."
"Yesterday the fireball was confirmed as being a fireball or meteorite by Mark Lawick-Thompson, chairman of the Norwich Astronomical Society."
"He said the fireball could have broken up in the atmosphere, and the fragments might have landed but, until more detailed information about the sighting" was gathered, "it was not possible to say if any fragments had landed."
"The last reported sighting of a fireball in East Anglia was in Peterborough in 1991."
"His view was shared by research scientist Vicky Pearson who said the sighting had been reported early yesterday morning in locations mainly in Southern England, including Oxford and Poole in Dorset, but there had also been sightings in the Midlands."
"Miss Pearson, who is based at the Planetary and Space Science Research Institute at the Open University in Milton Keynes, said she had not received any of the reported sightings in Norfolk and Cambridgeshire."
"She said that, until more information is available, it would not be possible to say if fragments had landed." (Many thanks to Jim Hickman, Executive Director of Skywatch International, for this news story.)
SILVER SPHERE SIGHTED IN ENGLEWOOD, COLORADOOn Sunday, September 26, 2004, at 6:15 p.m., eyewitness Stace reported, "I went outside" at her home in Englewood, Colorado (population 31,727), a suburb of Denver, "to see if I might catch a glimpse of the sphere I've been seeing a lot of recently. It was a very crisp, clear evening, with a few high clouds drifting south to north. After just a few minutes, I noticed a bright, stationary object sitting in the sky above and in front of me--about 30 degrees east of the zenith."
"I guessed right away that this was the same or a similar orb as the one I've reported to NUFORC and MUFON recently (and very similar to the one reported recently over the Twin Cities in Minnesota--Stace)."
"Through binoculars, it was a steady white sphere, but to the naked eye it resembled a non-blinking bright star or planet shining in the blue sky. From my deck chair, using the overhead wires as a guide, I confirmed that the object was absolutely stationary, and remained so for 20 full minutes, not moving at all. Occasionally, a wispy cloud passed through or behind where the object sat."
"At about 6:25 p.m., my 16-year-old daughter came home, and I called her out and she looked at the object through binoculars and said it looked just like a white ball. Her 19-year-old friend arrived at about 6:30 p.m. and also came out and took a look at it through binoculars. We were discussing how strange it was that it seemed that whenever I looked for the sphere, I saw it."
"I looked up again after a few seconds of not looking, and it had vanished. We were all very surprised that it had been shining so brightly, and then completely disappeared. The time was exactly 6:35 p.m."
"The only thing I can determine may have led to it vanishing is that the sun may have dipped far enough behind the mountains that, if reflecting light, it very quickly lost the light source. However, according to the Denver-area statistics, local sunset time was nearly 15 minutes later at 6:49 p.m."
Stace estimated that the sphere's altitude was between 15,000 and 20,000 feet (4,500 to 6,000 meters). (Email Form Report)
LUMINOUS RED UFOs SEEN BY A FAMILY IN GEORGIA
On Saturday, September 25, 2004, eyewitness Kaye and her family did some skywatching in Douglasville, Georgia (population 20,065). She reported, "Just wanted to tell someone about something I and my whole family saw this past Saturday night. We were outside here in Douglasville, Georgia, around the campfire. We had my husband's very powerful scope/night vision glasses. When you look into it, you can see millions of stars that you can't see with the naked eye. Every time you look up with it, you can see a shooting star that no one else can see. It's really awesome."
"We have done this about three nights now. On Saturday night, when we were looking up, we saw a red light dancing in the sky. It looked just like a 'spotlight' they use for the openings of businesses so everyone would come. I looked away (from the scope), thought I could see it in the sky, but I couldn't. I looked again (through the scope) and I continued to see it whirl around and go in all directions. It was almost too fast to keep up with."
"Sometimes there were two at once. They could go in all directions, turning and going around, then would even stop and stand still. We watched for about an hour, letting everyone see it. But what in the world--or out-- could it have been?"
Douglasville, Ga. is on Route 8 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Atlanta. (Email Form Report)
SCINTILLATING UFO SEEN IN A TORONTO SUBURB
On Wednesday, September 29, 2004, eyewitness B.M. was outdoors at his workplace in East York, Ontario, a suburb of Toronto, Canada's largest city, when he spotted something odd approaching from the south, flying over Lake Ontario and then Danforth Avenue.
"I had come outside for a breath of fresh air at work and noticed in an otherwise clear, cloudless sky a brilliant light in the distance, glowing and flashing every colour of the rainbow--green, blue, red, purple, white, yellow."
"There were other lights on the object, near the end, and these were flashing like them. The object did not move for over an hour, but just stayed in place, glowing and radiating these colours. Being that I was at work, I could not watch it all night, but at last check it had been there over an hour." (Email Form Report)
CRAZY CROCS APPEAR IN NEW YORK AND MINNESOTA
It was a double-header last week for the Fortean phenomenon known as the crazy crocs, i.e. out-of-place alligators that suddenly appear far outside their natural habitats and for inexplicable reasons. Alligator sightings were reported in upstate New York and in Minnesota.
"Newburgh, N.Y. Town Police received a strange call for a Little Lane resident last night (Tuesday, September 28, 2004). He thought there was an alligator in his front yard. When police pulled up to the scene, they found, sure enough, a live 3-foot (0.9-meter) alligator was, in fact, in the yard."
"When police tried to corral the animal, it scurried onto Little Lane, then made a mad dash for a wooded area in an attempt to escape. Police Officer Sean Gerow chased it into the woods, grabbed it by the neck and secured it."
"After coordinating with the state Department of Environmental Conservation, the alligator was turned over to an exotic pet expert for safekeeping."
"It is unknown where the animal came from or how long it had been in the area."
Newburgh, N.Y. (population 28,259) is on Route 9W, on the west bank of the Hudson River, approximately 64 miles (106 kilometers) north of New York City.
On Monday, September 27, 2004, "two fishermen found a caiman crocodile while fishing on the Mississippi River" in Fridley, Minnesota (population 27,449). "Joe and Jeff Tigue of Brooklyn Park, Minn. spotted the reptile motionless about three feet from shore and decided to grab it. They used a shoelace to tie its jaws."
"A Twin Cities wildlife expert said it was probably dumped by an owner."
Fridley, Minn. is on Routes 47 and 65, on the east bank of the Mississippi River, 5 miles (8 kilometers) north of Minneapolis. (See the Mid-Hudson News of Newburgh, N.Y. for September 29, 2004, "What's that alligator doing in my front yard?" And USA Today for September 28, 2004, "Around the USA--Minnesota," page 10A. Many thanks to Loren Coleman for the Newburgh report.)
(Editor's Note: Crazy Crocs are one of the longest- running phenomena in Forteana. A classic case took place in February 1892 when a crocodile 5 feet (1.5 meters) long was found on a bank of the Rock River in Janesville, Wisconsin. See The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover Publications Inc., New York, N.Y. 1974, page 994.)
FAYETTE FIRE DESTROYS TENNESSEE MANSION
Yet another mysterious fire has broken out in a place in the USA named for the Marquis de Lafayette, one of the country's founders and a prominent Freemason. This time it happened in Tennessee.
"Flames burst through the rooftop of a grand Second Empire home on the Shelbyville Highway, destroying the roof and causing an inestimable amount of damage to the second floor."
The firefighters of Fayetteville, Tennessee (population 6,994) "were enroute to the Inn at Cliffside at about 4:30 p.m."
"'When we pulled out from the station, we saw the smoke,' said Chief Robert Strope of the Fayetteville Fire Department."
"Shortly after their arrival, the fire intensified. 'The roof was engulfed in fire,' Strope said."
"No one was in the house when the fire erupted. A heating and air conditioning unit in the attic may have caused the fire, the chief said."
"The roof fell in on the second floor. But the floor was steady enough to hold the weight, Strope said, adding that the damage to the first floor was caused mainly by ashes and smoke."
"'We got about all of the furniture out of the bottom floor,' the chief continued, adding the following day, 'My men were on the hose until 11 p.m. last night , trying to put out spot fires.'"
"The fire had not damaged any of the other buidlings on the property, including the original servants' cottage."
"The magnificent 13-room brick house was completed in 1880 for Col. James B. Tillman and his family. Numerous amenities grace the interior of the house, including spacious rooms with up to 14 feet (4.2 meters) of ceilings, stately windows, hardwood floors, 10-cent cast- iron tokens and mammoth poster by " the band called Pocket Doors.
Col. Tillman "was the colonel of the 41st Infantry Regiment" during the American Civil War. He served with both the House (of Representatives--J.T. and the U.S. Senate."
Following the Civil War, Tillman obtained a license to practice law "and was Loudon County's first attorney general. He became the U.S. ambassador to Ecuador for three years."
"John A. Reese bought the house in 1960, and it stayed in the family for apparently 60 years."
In 1968, the Mahaffey family acquired the property. "Dr. William R. Mahatipei, president of Mahaffey Systems Inc., is the current manager of the property and inn."
Fortean researcher Loren Coleman pointed out that the last name of the second owner--Reese--is a recurring name in Fortean phenomena. (See the Elk Valley Times of Fayetteville, Tenn. for September 27, 2004, "Historic inn damaged in raging blaze." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for forwarding that newspaper article.)
QUAKES AND AFTERSHOCKS RATTLE CALIFORNIA
Even as Florida began to recuperate from its hurricane blitz last week, on the USA's West Coast, earthquakes were rattling the state of California.
"A strong earthquake shook the state Tuesday," September 28, 2004, "from Los Angeles to San Francisco, cracking pipes, breaking bottles of wine and knocking pictures from walls."
"The quake was centered about seven miles (11 kilometers) southeast of Parkfield, a town of 37 people, known as 'California's earthquake capital.' The town is one of the world's most seismically active areas, located on the San Andreas fault."
'Things were shaking so bad you couldn't tell where to go next,' said Parkfield Vineyard owner Harry Miller, who grows 170 acres of vine grapes. 'Trees shaking like brooms, and dust coming from everywhere.'"
"The quake tipped over about 300 cases of his wine, and five or six of Miller's buildings--including his home- -were damaged. Most of his water pipes burst."
"The quake struck at 10:15 a.m. and was felt along a 350-mile (560-kilometer) stretch, as far north as Sacramento and as far south as Santa Ana, southeast of Los Angeles. The center was about halfway between Los Angeles and San Francisco."
"The very few residents of Parkfield--a half-dozen buildings on either side of a street in a valley surrounded by oak-studded hills--pride themselves on the area's seismic activity."
"Drivers into town pass a sign reading 'Now entering the North American plate.'"
"'I'll take my earthquakes over those hurricanes any day,' said John Varian, a lifelong resident and owner of the Parkfield Cafe, where food spilled out of the cupboards Tuesday."
"'This is earthquake country. It's a larger earthquake than what usually occurs, but it's not unprecedented,' said U.S. Geological Survey spokeswoman Stephanie Hanna."
"Parkfield was shaken by six similar earthquakes between 1857 and 1966. Countless smaller tremors constantly rattle the area, which is covered with just about every type of tool used to study quakes as part of a long-term research project."
"The area is 21 miles (33 kilometers) northeast of Paso Robles, scene of an earthquake that killed two people in December (2003). That quake pitched an 1892 clock tower building onto the street and crushed a row of parked cars. It was the state's first deadly earthquake since the 6.7 (Richter scale) magnitude one that hit the Northridge area of Los Angeles in 1994."
The following day, "a moderate earthquake jolted an isolated area of central California on Wednesday," September 29, 2004, "triggering a rock slide that closed part of a highway. The quake was unrelated to a temblor that rattled" Parkfield, Cal. on the previous day.
"The magnitude 5.0 quake could be felt as far south as Los Angeles--80 miles (112 kilometers) away--but it apparently caused little damage outside of the rock slide."
The second quake "struck at 3:54 p.m. and was centered about 150 miles (250 kilometers) southeast of Parkfield."
"There have been over 500 aftershocks from the earlier quake. Two of the biggest, at 5.0 and 4.5" on the Richter scale "shook the region Wednesday morning."
"A powerful aftershock rattled central California on Thursday," September 30, 2004, "two days after a magnitude 6.0 quake struck one of the state's most seismically active areas."
"There were no immediate reports of damage or injuries in the latest temblor."
"The aftershock, which had a preliminary magnitude of 5.0, hit about 11 miles (19 kilometers) northwest of Parkfield, according to the U.S. Geological Survey."
"More than 650 aftershocks--most so small that they are not felt--have struck the area since" the first quake on Tuesday.
"The latest quake was felt as far south as Santa Barbara and north to San Jose. In Salinas, about 90 miles (120 kilometers) from the epicenter, the quake produced a slow rolling sensation that lasted for several seconds and caused bookshelves to sway." (See the Duluth, Minn. News- Tribune for September 29, 2004, "Strong earthquake shakes California; no injuries reported, page 4A; for September 30, 2004, "Earthquake strikes again," page 2A; and for October 1, 2004, "Aftershocks rattle state," page 2A.)
MYSTERIOUS EXPLOSIONS SEEN IN EASTERN UTAH
"On our way home from a family drive" on Wednesday, September 29, 2004, Brian J. reported, "my wife and I noticed a peculiar mushroom cloud just east of our home in Wellington, Utah (population 1,666)."
"We ran into our house and brought out both of our digital cameras and started snapping pictures. Within two hours, there were three different 'explosions' resulting in mushroom clouds. The ridge that shows up in the pictures is called Book Cliffs. It is actually the edge of what is best described as a plateau."
At the foot of Book Cliffs is the town of East Carbon, Utah (population 1,393), on Route 123 about 25 miles (40 kilometers) east of Wellington. The mysterious "mushroom clouds" appeared on the wooded slopes behind and east of East Carbon.
Brian added, "We emailed a local news station; they looked at the pictures but to no avail. There were truck drivers parked at the gas station just down the road from our home, but the drivers did not drive the road for fear of whatever was happening out there."
"Besides, the area is infested with pine beetles, which reduce every third tree to a virtual gasoline-soaked torch, intermingled with the live trees, and we are in the midst of a hellacious drought. Pretty scary afternoon, especially during this period of heightened (terror) alert in our nation."
Wellington and East Carbon are in Utah's Carbon County, about 60 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of Salt Lake City, the state capital. (Many thanks to George Paxinos, Joseph Geiser and Robyn Geiser for this news story.)
DR. JOHN E. MACK DIES IN LONDON TRAFFIC MISHAP
Dr. John Edward Mack, the world's leading authority on alien abduction, died Monday, September 27, 2004, when he was struck by a car while in a crosswalk on Totteridge Road in London.
The vehicle was reportedly driven by a drunk driver.
London police pronounced Dr. Mack dead at the scene of the accident.
Dr. Mack was in London as one of "several guest speakers at the T.E. Lawrence Symposium in Oxford. Dr. Mack's afternoon presentation to the panel was so warmly received that he was asked to stay and present an additional evening talk, which again went well with a positive response. Afterward, he went to dinner with friends."
He was walking along Totteridge Road towards the private home where he was staying when the mishap occurred. He was one week shy of his 75th birthday.
Dr. Mack was born October 4, 1929 and graduated from Oberlin College in Ohio in 1951. He graduated cum laude from Harvard Medical School in 1955, certified in adult and child psychoanalysis. "The dominant thread of his life has been the explanation of how one's perception of the world affects one's relationships. He pioneered the concept of worldview in early studies of dreams, nightmares and teen suicides."
In 1977, Dr. Mack wrote a detailed biography of T.E. Lawrence, better known as "Lawrence of Arabia." The book, T.E. Lawrence: A Prince of our Disorder, won the Pulitzer Prize for biography.
Dr. Mack believed "that Western culture requires a shift away from a purely materialistic worldview (which he feels is responsible for the Cold War, the global ecological crisis, ethnonationalism and regional conflict- -L.C.) towards a transpersonal worldview which includes certain elements of Eastern spiritual and philosophical traditions."
In 1990, Dr. Mack began a continuing study of 200 men and women who had reported recurrent alien abduction experiences. He studied how their abductions "affected the way they regarded the world, including a heightened sense of spirituality and environmental concerns. Dr. Mack's interest in the spiritual or transformational aspects of people's alien encounters, and his suggestion that the experience of alien contact itself may be more spiritual than physical in nature, 'yet nontheless real,' set him apart from many of his contemporaries, such as Budd Hopkins, who advocated the physical reality of aliens."
"In 1994, Dr. Mack published his findings in the book Abduction. Also "in 1994, the Dean of Harvard Medical School appointed a committee of peers to review Dr. Mack's clinical care and clinical investigation of the people who had shared their alien encounters with him. After 14 months of enquiry, and with growing questions from the academic community (including Harvard law professor Alan Dershowitz--L.C.) regarding the validity of Harvard's investigation of a tenured professor, Harvard issued a statement stating that the Dean had 'reaffirmed Dr. Mack's academic freedom to study what he wishes and to state his opinions without impediment,' concluding 'Dr. Mack remains a member in good standing of the Harvard Faculty of Medicine.'"
In 1999, Dr. Mack published his second book on the alien encounter experience, entitled Passport to the Cosmos: Human Transformation and Alien Encounters. This book was "the culmination of his work with the 'experiencers' of alien encounter (to whom the book is dedicated--L.C.)" and "a philosophical treatise connecting the themes of spirituality and modern worldview."
MARS GLOBAL SURVEYOR SENDS ULTRA-SHARP PHOTOS
"Mars photos more than twice as sharp as normal, revealing the tracks of the Mars rover Spirit and the remains of an ancient flood, were released Tuesday," September 28, 2004, "courtesy of NASA's Mars Global Surveyor spacecraft."
"By compensating for blurring caused by the spacecraft's motion as it orbits 235 miles (356 kilometers) over Mars. Malin Space Science Systems engineers are now able to take pictures that reveal features as small as 5 feet (1.5 meters) across, much better than the old 13-to-16-foot (4-to-5 meter) resolution."
"The new images clearly show the tracks left by NASA's Spirit rover and 'megaripples' in sand left over from an ancient flood in the Athabasca Vallis region of Mars."
"Arriving at the Red Planet in 1997, the Mars Global Surveyor has nearly completed 25,000 mapping orbits of Mars and is schedule to continue operating through 2006." (See USA Today for September 29, 2004, "Mars Surveyor sends super-sharp photos," page 6D.)
CONTROVERSIAL CATHOLICS BEATIFIED BY THE POPE
"Pope John Paul II set on the road to sainthood Sunday," October 3, 2004, "an emperor accused of using poison gas on the battlefield and a nun whose visions have been called anti-Semitic at one of the more controversial beatification ceremonies of his long reign."
Karl I, the last emperor of the Austro-Hungarian empire, "who reportedly ordered his troops to use poison gas in 1917, was among five historical figures beatified at a special Mass at St. Peter's Square" in Vatican City.
"Also honored was the mystical Nineteenth Century German nun, Anna Katharina Emmerick, whose vivid accounts of her visions of Jesus Christ's life and death inspired the controversial (2004) Mel Gibson movie The Passion of the Christ."
"The film has been condemned by Jewish groups as anti-Semitic, and the New York-based Anti-Defamation League expressed 'deep distress' at the beatification of the movie's muse."
"'Hatred and anti-Semitism were fomented in her name,' said the (ADL) statement, which criticized 'association of Jewish characters with the demonic' and 'the negative characterization' of Jews in her writing."
"Beatification is the last formal step toward sainthood" in the Roman Catholic Church. "It occurs only after a detailed and lengthy investigation into a candidate's life and virtues. Proof of at least one miracle is required, and full sainthood can be conferred only after a subsequent miracle is certified to have taken place."
"The pontiff also beatified two French priests-- Joseph-Marie Cassant and Pierre Vigne--and an Italian nun, Ludovica de Angelis, who tended to ailing children in South America."
"The pope, who is ailing from Parkinson's disease, delivered only portions of the Mass and spoke with difficulty."
"The crowd, which included descendants of Karl I's Hapsburg dynasty, applauded after he read the names earmarked for sainthood as their pictures were unfurled above the square."
"During his 26-year reign," Pope John Paul II "has beatified more than 1,300 people, surpassing all previous popes combined."
"In the case of Emmerick, who died in 1924, the Vatican cited evidence that she bore signs of stigmata-- marks resembling the crucifixion wounds of Jesus--during her life. The Vatican also found that her intercession in 1860 led to another German nun's recovery from tuberculosis."
"In his homily, the pope hailed Karl I, the last of the Hapsburg emperors who ruled over Austria, Hungary and parts of eastern Europe until the end of World War I, as a 'friend of peace' who lived an exemplary Christian life."
"In December (2003), the Vatican's Congregation for the Causes of Saints, which investigates claims to sainthood, credited" the emperor "with a 1960 miracle in which a nun in Brazil found herself able to walk for the first time in years after offering prayers for his beatification."
"Newspapers have revisited evidence that troops under the emperor's command used mustard gas against Italian soldiers in Slovenia in 1917, and the news magazine Profil ridiculed him as 'the patron saint of losers' because he presided over the collapse of the mighty Austro-Hungarian empire."
Karl I was the brother of the Archduke Franz Ferdinand, who, with his wife Sophie, was assassinated in Sarajevo on June 28, 1914 by Gavrilo Princip, a Serbian terrorist. The assassination triggered World War I. Karl inherited the throne in 1916, abdicated at the end of the war in 1918, and died in exile in 1922.
Another blot on the emperor's copybook was his belief in the authenticity of The Protocols of the Learned Elders of Zion. "Like his contemporary, Tsaritsa Alexandra of Russia, Karl went to his grave convinced that The Protocols were real," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor explained, "In 1922, he was telling anybody who'd listen that his regime was done in by Freemasonry."
"It is not known whether Sister Emmerick ever read The Protocols or not, although they were widely available in Germany after 1919. Nine years after her death, during the nationwide boycott of Jewish-owned stores on April 1, 1933, Nazi crowds demonstrated in front of targeted stores in Augsburg and Reutlingen, carrying posters of Sister Emmerick. A fact which probably hasn't endeared her to the ADL." (See the Chicago Tribune for October 4, 2004, "Pontiff puts 5 on path to sainthood," section 1, page 3.)
ALL FBI FURLOUGHS ARE CANCELLED AS TERROR SWEEP BEGINS
"Agencies across the (USA's) federal government are launching an aggressive and open offensive aimed at thwarting terrorist plots before and during the presidential election" scheduled for November 2, 2004.
"Numerous law enforcement and counterterrorism officials also warned last week that a heightened threat of terrorist attack will persist through the January (20, 2005) inauguration."
"The government's strategy will include heavy surveillance by the FBI, increased checks of terrorism watch lists by local police and heightened security at polling places on Nov. 2, officials said."
"Counterterrorism officials concede they do not have new or specific intelligence outlining plans for an attack, but say they remain alarmed by indications that Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups might seek to influence U.S. elections as they did in Spain last spring by setting off bombs on Madrid commuter trains. By publicizing the government's efforts, which will begin in earnest later this week, authorities say they hope to forestall any plans for similar attacks here."
"The FBI, which is sharply limiting personal leave and transferring hundreds of agents to the effort, will focus heavily on individuals within the United States who are suspected of having ties to Al-Qaeda and other terrorist groups or who sympathize with their causes, according to officials who have been briefed on the plans."
"Officials said the FBI's tactics, which will be outlined in an electronic communication to field offices, will include aggressive and often overt surveillance, widespread interviews, and, in some cases, arrests. Local police will be urged to run the names of suspicious people through the federal government's terrorism watch lists, even during traffic stops and other encounters." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for September 27, 2004, "Plans to thwart election terrorism begin," page5A.
WISCONSIN SUSPECT FIRST ONE NABBED IN SWEEP
"A man in prison on drug offenses was charged Wednesday," September 29, 2004 "with threatening to blow up a federal building in downtown Milwaukee with a delivery truck filled with explosives."
"Steven J. Parr, 39, of Janesville, Wis. was arrested Wednesday--the day he was to be sent to a halfway house in Janesville."
(Editor's Note: Janesville, Wis. is the site of the celebrated 1892 crazy croc case. It's strange that a Janesville resident should be charged during the current crazy croc flap.)
"Parr allegedly planned to blow up the Reuss Federal Plaza, 14-story blue building that has multiple federal agencies--including the Internat Revenue Service and the Department of Defense--with more than 800 federal employees. A shopping mall is across the street."
"U.S. Attorney Steven Biskupic said Parr expressed hatred for the federal government and spoke about retaliating against law enforcement when he got out of prison."
"'We consider him extremely dangerous,' he said."
"It was unclear when Parr planned to take action, Biskupic said, adding that it could have been 10 years from now or as soon as he got out of jail."
"Parr's cellmate alerted the FBI's Milwaukee office in two letters dated Aug. 23 (2004), a criminal complaint said."
"The cellmate, whose name was witheld by authorities, said in the letters that Parr has extensive knowledge in bomb-making and considers Ted Kazinski, the Unabomber, one of his heroes, the complaint said."
"He also said Parr considered himself a 'separatist' and often talked about Kazinski and Timothy J. McVeigh, who bombed the federal building in Oklahoma City in 1995, the complain said."
"Authorities said Parr has a tattoo that reads 'UNI' next to a time bomb on his right arm and goes by the nickname 'Uni'" in prison.
"The cellmate said Parr picked the Reuss Federal Building because of its proximity to the street and the amount of glass in the building to make a big impact. He also thought about blowing up the U.S. Attorney's Office in Madison," Wisconsin's state capital, the complaint alleged.
The complaint "also said Parr owned The Anarchist Cookbook and a notebook with chemical formulas for bombs."
"A partial transcript of a secretly taped conversation between Parr and his cellmate quoted Parr as saying the incident would 'sure change the country' and 'make a wonderful statement.'"
"Two women who had lived with Parr told FBI agents his hobby was bomb-making and he had made explosive devices in the garage or in his home."
"His family members said Parr had large empty drums with chemical-type writing on the outside at his home, the complaint said."
"Parr was serving a two-year sentence for possession of THC with intent to deliver and delivery of THC, an active ingredient in marijuana."
"Before his arrest Wednesday, he was scheduled to spend 90 days in a Janesville halfway house before being released under extended supervision, the complaint said."
"Parr made an initial appearance Wedneday afternoon before Magistrate James R. Sickel in U.S. District Court in Green Bay, Wis., Biskupic said. He was held without bail pending a bond hearing Friday," October 1, 2004. (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for September 30, 2004, "Officials say man planned to blow up federal building," page 5D.)
(Editor's Comment: Until I read about this guy and fugitive Larry Ward of Bainbridge, N.Y., I had no idea there was a "Timothy J. McVeigh Fan Club" here in the USA.)
From the UFO Files...
1873: UNFORGETTABLE ALFRED PACKER
"I Can't Believe I Ate the Whole Thing!"
"More than 130 years after Alfred Packer ate his five companions to survive a Colorado winter, a museum curator is making a case that the notorious cannibal was innocent of murder."
"Years of research on a 142-year-old pistol and detective work at the site where Packer was stranded seem to support at least part of his story: that he only killed to defend himself from a member of their party who had slain his fellow prospectors and was making a meal of human flesh."
"'Curators normally don't get an opportunity like this. We usually are in the museum piecing things together,' said David Bailey, who has been pursuing the case while working at the Museum of Western Colorado in Grand Junction (population 41,986)."
"Packer was convicted of murdering the five men--all prospectors he was guiding--but he always insisted that he had killed only one of them, Shannon Bell."
When he was first rescued, however, Packer made no mention of the shooting. His relatively robust appearance following the snowy winter of 1873-1874 aroused the suspicions of Ouray, the chief of the Nuche indigenous people (also known as the Ute Indians--J.T.)."You're too fat," Ouray said, poking Packer's stomach with his index finger. "What have you been eating all winter?"
Features reddening, Packer stammered, "Oh...uhm...ah, a lot...uhm, a whole lot of really chubby squirrels."
But after the snows melted, and the remains of the prospectors were found, the hue and cry went up throughout Colorado, and Packer was arrested.
While snapping on Packer's leg irons, the sheriff of Hinsdale County shouted, "Goddamit, Packer! There weren't more than five Democrats in this here county...and you ate four of them!"
At the trial, "Packer said he shot Bell after Bell killed the four others in the party and then attacked him with a hatchet."
"Ten years ago, Bailey happened upon a gun in the museum's collection that was marked as having been found where Packer and the five prospectors were stranded high in the San Juan Mountains of southwest Colorado in the winter of 1873-1874."
"Bailey said his research confirmed the gun in the museum's collection, an 1862 Colt police pistol, had been found in a 1950 dig at the site where Packer was accused of killing the five men. Then Bailey began wondering if Packer's story could be true."
"'When we started the case, we just wanted to know either way,' he said."
"The museum staff began looking at documents and found the journal of a Civil War veterans who had seen the bodies and said one of them, Bell, had died of two gunshot wounds."
"Bailey and other (museum) staff made several expeditions to the remote city near Lake City (population 375), 130 miles (208 kilometers) from the nearest interstate highway in Hinsdale County, which covers 1,120 square miles and has a full-time population of 790."
"Among other things they found was lead residue on Bell's clothes. Tests with an X-ray spectograph showed it matched the lead in the three bullets still in the gun. (Two chambers were empty.) Later, a bullet fragment was found in a sample taken from under Bell's body."
"At his trial, Packer said he had gone out to look for food and when he returned to camp, he found Bell 'roasting a piece of meat, which he had cut out of the leg of the German butcher,' Frank Mueller."
"Packer said he shot Bell as he attacked with the hatchet. Afterward, he said, he tried every day to find a way out of the mountains 'but could not so I lived off the flesh' of the dead men."
"He predicted that some day he would be vindicated. He told a story of the men crying and praying as they starved, trying to live off pine gum and rosebuds."
"Forensic anthropologist Walter Birkby of Tucson, Ariz., who was involved in the exhumation of the bodies in 1989, remains skeptical. He said there was no evidence of a gunshot wound and that what appeared to be a bullet hole was the result of an animal gnawing on the bones."
Even in his own day, many people thought Packer was innocent. "Under pressure from a campaign led by Denver Post columnist Polly Pry, Packer was granted a conditional parole in 1901 after 18 years in prison. He had escaped execution only on a technicality."
"After Packer's release, he made dollhouses and handed out candy to children, living on a pension from his service in the (American) Civil War."
Yet Packer was not averse to poking fun at his fearsome reputation. Shortly before his death, in 1904, a newspaper reporter asked him, "What do you think of the Democrats?"
Packer's reply: "Deeeee-licious!" (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for September 19, 2004, "New finds support convicted cannibal's claim of innocence," page 24A. See also this Web site: http://www.colorado.gov/dpa/doit/archives/pen/packer.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO, paranormal and Fortean news from all over the planet Earth...and occasionally, Mars...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.