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Volume 9
Number 49
December 8th2004

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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MORE UFOs SPOTTED IN THE HIMALAYAS

More UFOs have been spotted in the Himalayas, this time around Ladakh, about 160 kilometers (100 miles) east- southeast of Chini and the upper Sutlej River valley.

According to Indian journalist Lara Mohani, "A little girl of Zanskar, near the majestic Drang Drung glacier, reported a huge triangular object, very high speed, very large, sailing in the sky. This was in the area of the India-China border, on the Indian side of the Himalayas, a very strategic area for both India and China."

"Here is the concentration of a large number of nuclear missiles by both India and China, which are hidden in the earth."

Since late September 2004, Indian villagers around Chini and on the north slope of the Ladakh range have seen large triangular UFOs during daytime and night, plus mysterious lights on the mountaintop glaciers. In addition, seven jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF) have been lost in "unexplained" crashes.

Mohani added, "During the Chemrey Angchok festival in Ladakh last week, several local villagers gathered to discuss these strange objects," which they claim have been "operating for the past five years."

People in this region of northern Himachal Pradesh state believe that aliens are building a large underground complex in the high Himalayas.

"These wonders are increasing," Mohani reported, "They (the UFOs) are silent. They can move through the air extremely slowly though conventional aircraft would stall and crash. They can suddenly vanish at tremendous speed, far faster than any known vehicle built by man could possibly ever reach. They are translucent. Their flying beams do not produce light."

"Are they extraterrestrial UFOs or spy vehicles of some unknown country The area is sensitive, and it's possible that some countries are monitoring the region. It is also possible that extraterrestrials are watching the nuclear installations of India and China, as well."

In other news, Pervez Musharraf, president of Pakistan, met with USA President George W. Bush on Saturday, December 4, 2004. Musharraf, "who has supported President Bush in the war on terrorism and against Al- Qaeda" was "expected to use the occasion to push Bush to allow U.S. companies to sell F-16 fighter jets to Pakistan."

"'This meeting is about F-16s,'" said Michael Krepon, a South Asia specialist at the non-partisan think tank Stimson Center, "'F-16s prove that we love you.'"

Although Pakistan has sought to purchase American F- 16 fighter jets since 1989, the need for those jets might have become more acute since Monday, November 8, 2004, when three large UFOs flew over Musharraf's capital, Islamabad.

(See the newspapers Indian Daily for November 25, 2004, "Close encounters and mysterious triangles on the Indian side of the Himalayas," and USA Today for December 3, 2004, "Musharraf coming to U.S. to visit Bush." Many thanks to Daniel Wilson, Lara Mohani and Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda for these newspaper articles.)

UFO PHOTOGRAPHED OVER SAN GERMAN, PUERTO RICO

"A photo taken by Edgar Morales in the streets of San German," a town in southwestern Puerto Rico, located 14 miles (23 kilometers) southeast of Mayaguez, "shows an enormous UFO with blinking lights."

While taking photographs last week from the steps of San German's old Adventist church, Morales "looked upward and saw what he described as 'an enormous machine of blue and green color. I noticed a cupola on the top of it. It was silent, and I remained watching it for two to three minutes.'"

"Analysts who tested the Morales photo declared that 'it was a real photo,' not faked, and estimated that the strange object was at an altitude of 5,000 feet (1,500 meters) above the ground. They also estimated that the object was at least 1,000 feet (300 meters) wide."

Puerto Rican ufologist Reinaldo Rios reported, "The Morales photo was shown on Channel 2 in San Juan (Puerto Rico's capital--J.T.) and also on Channel 12 on a program called Our World." (Many thanks to Reinaldo Rios for this news story.)

CHUPACABRAS BLAMED FOR 11 GOAT DEATHS

"Eleven goats were found dead inside their wooden pen, which forms part of the petting zoo at Illuminated Children's Park at the Monte Hiedra municipal center in Rio Piedras," Puerto Rico, a suburb of San Juan.

"The discovery was made by Fausto Radaelli, the owner and the man in charge of the petting zoo."

"According to Radaelli's explanation, he took 11 goats to the kiddie park last Monday," November 29, 2004, "because he was attempting to create a manger scene for the Christmas holiday."

"He placed them in a wooden pen in the open air so they could spend the night there. But they were found lifeless on Wednesday morning," December 1, 2004.

"Three of the goats presented large bite marks, dismemberment, and one of them had half its body devoured. All of its internal organs, except the stomach, were gone."

"The rest of the goats had bite marks and claw marks on the rear of their bodies. The marks resembled the ones found on animals allegedly attacked by the mythical Chupacabras. The goats had their necks twisted backward, and rigor mortis had not set in 48 hours after their deaths."

"According to Ernesto Marquez, a specialist in exotic animals, the goats were attacked by 'a wolf or a coyote or a hybrid (wolf-dog hybrid--S.C.) or very large feral dogs.'"

"Marquez said these animals exist on the island and knows that they are trafficked (sold--J.T.) or even advertised in newspapers."

"The expert's theory is sustained by the canine's modus operandi. 'These are regular fang marks. Canids kill animals from the rear, siezing them to hold them down and eat them.'"

"Marquez dismissed the possibility that the goats had been killed by a feline, adding that 'these kill from the throat, strangling their prey, dragging it off. This was a canid.'"

"He added that 'the animal lunged; it was an agile animal attacking from the rear. It's astute and knows human beings. It came around when there was no one around and returned on the next day, when there was no one, either.'"

"Yesterday (Thursday, December 2, 2004) the site was being examined by Marquez, Julio Diaz of Animal Control Solutions Co. and veterinary technician Herman Sulsona of the San Juan Animal Control Center."

"There was no sign of forcible entry. No prints or hairs of any animal were found."

"The park, which has been operating since May 8 (2004) and will remain open until January 31 (2005), has no security of any kind. Yesterday, after removing the dead goats, the park was reopened to the public after 6 p.m. Specialists cautioned the park custodians that the (predatory) animals might return and advised that the goats be kept within a trailer, or else removed from the site." (See the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora for December 3, 2004, "Eleven goats slain in petting zoo." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Lucy Guzman para esto articulo de diario.)

SATELLITE SUFFERS WEIRD POWER FAILURE

"A major communications satellite serving the Americas suddenly and mysteriously shut down, knocking some customers off-line."

"The Intelsat Americas-7 satellite, operated by Intelsat Limited of Pembroke, Bermuda, suddenly lost power at 7:30 p.m. on Sunday," November 28, 2004. "No cause has been identified as yet."

"'Our engineers and senior researchers are still working with the manufacturer to determine a cause,' said Jodi Katz, a spokesperson for Intelsat in Washington, D.C. The failure has been classified as 'a sudden electrical distribution anomaly,' and Katz said it is unlikely that computer hackers caused the problem--a threat previously identified by the U.S. government."

"The satellite, which was launched in 1999, provided television broadcasting and high-speed Internet access to 20 businesses in North America, Central America, Hawaii and parts of South America."

"The company has transferred many of their customers to some of its 27 other satellites, but some are still without service."

"The Americas-7 satellite, formerly known as Telstar- 7, operated in a geostationary orbit about 36,000 kilometers (21,600 miles) above the Equator. It was purchased with four other satellites for $900 million earlier in 2004 from manufacturer Space Systems/Loral of Palo Alto, California. The satellite was uninsured." (See New Scientist for December 4, 2004, "Major satellite in mystery shutdown." Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this news article.)

UKRAINIANS SAY UFOs VISITED CHERNOBYL

The current political turmoil in the Ukraine has led to the publication of reports of UFO activity around the destroyed nuclear power station at Chernobyl, which suffered a catastrophic accident in 1986.

"The collapse of the Chernobyl nuclear plant on April 26, 1986 sent dangerous levels of radiation into eastern Europe. But it could have been much worse. There could have been a nuclear explosion wiping out most of Europe."

"There are persistent stories in the Ukraine that the world was saved by UFOs" at the time of the Chernobyl disaster in 1986. "When the Chernobyl meltdown began to occur, witnesses saw a UFO hovering above the Fourth Generating Unit of the Chernobyl plant. The eyewitnesses say it was there for six hours and that hundreds of people saw it."

Eyewitness "Mikhail Veritsky says, 'I and other people from my (production) team went to the site of the blast that night. We saw a ball of fire, and it was slowly flying in the sky. I would say that the fireball was 6 to 8 meters (20 to 24 feet) in diameter.'"

"'There were two rays of crimson light stretching'" from the UFO "'towards the Fourth Generating Unit. The object was at least 300 meters (1,000 feet) from the reactor. The event lasted for three minutes. The lights on the object then went out, and it flew away in a northwesterly direction.'"

"Veritsky believes the UFO brought the radiation levels down and prevented a nuclear explosion."

"Three years later, on September 16, 1989, the Fourth Generating Unit emitted radiation into the atmosphere. Several hours later, a doctor saw an object in the sky above the Chernobyl plant. Dr. Gospina described it as 'amber-like' and said she could see the top and bottom of it clearly."

"In October 1990, V. Nauran, a reporter for the newspaper Echo of Chernobyl, was photographing the machine shop at the Chernobyl plant. He said, 'I photographed the top of it (ceiling--J.T.), including part of the sky above. I remember everything very well. I did not see any UFO at the time. However, when I developed the film, I clearly saw the object that was hovering above that hole in the (machine shop) roof. The object looked like the UFO Dr. Gospina saw.'" (Many thanks to Michel Heseman and Steve Wilson Sr. for this news story.)

SCIENTISTS PUZZLED BY LAMA'S INCORRUPT BODY

"Results of a thorough examination of the imperishable body of a Buddhist lama were made public the other day," Tuesday, November 30, 2004, "in Moscow."

"'Samples taken 75 years after the burial indicated that the organisms of the man's skin, hair and nails were no different from those of a living person,' noted Professor Galina Ershova at an Interfax news conference."

The tissue samples "were taken from the body of a former religious leader by the name of Dasha Dorjo Itigelov, who was the leader of Russia's Buddhists from 1911 to 1927."

"Shortly before his death, he asked fellow Buddhists to retrieve his body from the grave after approximately 30 years. Since that time, his body has been exhumed twice, the first time in 1955 and again in 1973. Both times it turned out that the body of the Khambo Lama hadn't been exposed to decay."

"Nothing had changed the third time the lama's body was unearthed in 2002."

"Afterwards, (Russian) medical professionals decided to conduct a thorough post-mortem analysis of Itigelov's body."

"'He just bends easily; soft tissues can be found effortlessly, just like with a living human being. After the coffin cover was removed, we could all scent a sweet smell coming out of the interior,' Dr. Ershova said."

"'This totally contradicts the (decomposition) process which should have happened with a person who has been dead for the past 75 years,' she added."

"Dr. Ershova also mentioned that this is the first case of its kind not only in the history of Buddhism but in the entire history of humankind."

"The lama's body is now in the custody of the Buryat Buddhists, and is now interred in the Ivolginsk datsan (Buddhist spiritual center--J.T.) located in Ulan-Ude, the capital of" Russia's Burytia region.

"The current Khambo Lama, His Holiness Damba Ayushev, stated that 'this phenomenon has encouraged faithful Buddhists and helped those in doubt to put aside all of their uncertainties.'" (See the Russian newspaper Pravda for December 2, 2004, "The imperishable body of a Buddhist lama mesmerizes medics." Many thanks to Anna Ossipova for this newspaper article.)

(Editor's Note: Incorrupt cadavers are probably the most unexplainable of all Fortean phenomena. They occur in a wide variety of cultures, usually involving religious figures. Two cases in the Roman Catholic Church which immediately come to mind are those of St. Bernadette Soubirous, who saw the Virgin Mary at Lourdes in 1858, and future saint Jacinta Marto, who had the same experience at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, Portugal in 1917.)

FALLING ICE DEMOLISHES ROOF IN LYNN, MASS.

Another weird "ice fall" took place last week, this time in Lynn, Massachusetts (population 89,050), a city on Route 107 about 12 miles (19 kilometers) northeast of Boston.

"Chunks of ice from one of three planes approaching Logan International Airport" in East Boston, Mass., "crashed through the roof of a Lynn home, but federal regulators say it could be 'very difficult to pinpoint' the source."

"Constance Cotter, 80, is deaf, but she felt her home shake Friday night," November 26, 2004, "when a brick- sized piece of ice tore through the roof over her bedroom."

"'She was in shock,' said Mary Petrillo, the woman's daughter. 'She actually heard the boom and she thought the house was falling down.'"

"Cotter was downstairs and uninjured. The ice block tore a hole 2 feet by 4 feet (0.6 by 1.3 meters) in the roof."

"The Federal Aviation Administration said the ice likely fell from one of three planes incoming to Logan between 5 p.m. and 5:15 p.m." (See the Attleboro, Mass. Sun-Chronicle for November 29, 2004, "Logan plane's ice falls into roof on Lynn home," page B-8. Many thanks to Carolyn Rzepecki for forwarding this newspaper article.)

FREEMASONS ARE LOOKING FOR NEW RECRUITS

"Freemasons say reports that they're trying to take over the country (USA) are greatly exaggerated."

"But they are having a recruitment drive."

"The Free and Accepted Masons, a fraternal organization whose roots may date back to the Middle Ages, has long been a popular target of conspiracy theorists. It figures prominently in the movie National Treasure."

"Nicolas Cage's character learns about a legendary treasure protected by the Freemasons, the location of which is hidden on a map etched on the back of the Declaration of Independence."

"The movie perpetuates both good and bad stereotypes about the group, including the notion that it has been involved in a centuries-old plot to run the country."

(Editor's Note: And it's not just the USA where this belief flourishes. Similar rumors circulate in Mexico about los Yorkinos--Freemasons of the York Rite.)

"Freemasons are now trying to change those perceptions with advertising and public relations campaigns. And, for the first time, Masonic lodges are engaging in recruitment drives."

"Historians say the modern era of Freemasonry began in England in the early Eighteenth Century as a union of stonemasons. Others link the Freemasons' origins to medieval times, as far back as the Crusades and the infamous Knights Templar."

"Conspiracy theorists often cite circumstantial evidence to support their belief that Freemasons secretly wield great power and influence. According to Freemason Web sites, nine of the Founding Fathers who signed the Declaration of Independence were members as were 14 (out of 43) U.S. presidents, eight vice presidents and at least 35 Supreme Court justices."

"Members have historically shunned publicity; they use symbols and rituals that members vow not to reveal; and they hold closed meetings."

"The story goes that President Theodore Roosevelt, a member, couldn't even get his Secret Service agents in."

"'We prefer to use the word 'private' instead of 'secret,' says Robert Leonard, a public relations specialist hired to help recruitment efforts. 'Secrecy came from the initial thing where a password or secret handshake was exchanged so people would know they were professional stonemasons. Now we use it as part of our traditions.'"

"Grand Master Richard Fletcher, executive secretary of the Masonic Services Association in Washington, D.C., points to the organization's charitable work. He says Freemasons raise about $750 million annually nationwide for nursing homes, day care centers, educational facilities and other programs."

"'That's a lot of money (just) to lull somebody into thinking you're a good person,' Fletcher says."

"But officials may be more concerned with their membership numbers than their Hollywood image. Organization data show that U.S. membership peaked in 1959 at 4.1 million. New York Grand Master Edward Trosin says, 'We had this huge quantum leaps-and-bounds growth in World War II...It was a generation of joiners.'"

"That number has dropped steadily over the years to about 1.6 million this year, many of them older members. To refill the ranks, Masons are looking to appeal to the 21-to-55 age group, says New Jersey Grand Master Daniel Wilson."

"To do so, lodges in New York and elsewhere are taking steps such as cutting the year-long initiation procedure, in which members must pass the first three (of 33) Masonic 'degrees' down to a two-week course."

"California has launched two support programs intended to help its 355 individual lodges sign up at least five new members each year."

"But the organization will change only so much. The one key requirement is that each man must believe in one Supreme Being, 'the Grand Architect of the Universe.'"

"In most lodges, women are excluded from the inner sanctum, although there are affiliated organizations that women can join such as the Order of the Eastern Star."

"'I don't think you'd want to change the organization just to fit the times,' Leonard says. 'Brotherhood is an important part of being a Mason.'" (See USA Today for December 1, 2004, "Dwindling Freemasons hope to attract new blood," page 13D.)

ITALY TO RETURN ANCIENT OBELISK TO ETHIOPIA

"A cyclopean task will put an end to a decades-long diplomatic dispute between Italy and Ethiopia over a looted obelisk, according to a bilateral agreement signed in Rome" during late November 2004.

"Signed by Ethiopian Foreign Minister Seyoum Mesfin and Italian Foreign Ministry Undersecretary Alfredo Mantica, the deal set up the final details over the transport of a 160-ton granite stele from Rome to the city of Axum" in Ethiopia.

"The monument is one of a group of six obelisks erected at Axum when Ethiopia adopted Christianity in the Fourth Century A.D. It was stolen by the Italian dictator Benito Mussolini in 1937 and turned into a symbol of fascist power during his short-lived efforts to revive the grandeur of imperial Rome."

"Despite signing various agreements that promised to return the 1,700-year-old monument, the Italian government showed no signs of doing so until the obelisk was badly damaged by lightning in a thunderstorm in 2003."

"By the end of last year, the column had been dismantled from Rome's Piazza di Porta, near the Colosseum, where it stood for more than six decades, and engineers began work on the logistics obstacles that would make the return a difficult feat."

"Indeed, it was much easier for Mussolini to carry the obelisk to Italy. At the time (1937), the obelisk was already in fragments. It was restored in Rome using metal rods embedded in concrete, making it very hard to dismantle."

"Italy had transported the monument by ship in 1937, but Ethiopia's government requested that the obelisk be returned by plane; the only convenient port lies in Eritrea, unfriendly to Ethiopia because of a border war."

"Divided into three sections, the Axum obelisk has been restored from the thunderstorm damage and stored in a private warehouse near" Rome's Leonardo da Vinci International Airport "where it has been awaiting a solution to the transportation problem."

"'We studied the logistics carefully, as we did not want to return a damaged obelisk,' Mantica told reporters."

"Six million Euros ($7.8 million USA-J.T.) and five daredevil flights, 'one for each section of the obelisk, one for the machinery, and another one to test the airstrip' will be necessary to return the obelisk and assemble it at an archaeological park in Axum."

"'We realize that the Axum obelisk is very important for the Ethiopian people, and we are happy to return it,' Italian Prime Minister Silvio Berlusconi said."

"The obelisk will fly back home before the Ethiopian rainy season starts in April (2005). The (east) African country has already built a more suitable airstrip, but weather conditions will have to be perfect to make the return safe, Italian authorities said."

"'This is a symbol of national identification to the Ethiopians. We have been receiving vain promises from Italy for years, but now we are certain that by next year, between February and April (2005), the obelisk will return to Ethiopia,'
Ethiopian Prime Minister Meles Zenawi said." (See Discovery News for November 22, 2004, "Italy returns stolen obelisk to Ethiopia." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this news story.)

WISCONSIN SUSPECT SAID TO BE A HMONG SHAMAN

"A Hmong immigrant fatally shot six deer hunters who managed to shoot back once--maybe twice--after a confrontation about trespassing in the woods of northern Wisconsin, a criminal complaint says."

"Two survivors told investigators that no one in their group pointed a gun at the Minnesota truck driver before he opened fire in an assault that had four of the victims shot in the back, according to the complaint filed Friday," November 27, 2004, "in Sawyer County Circuit Court" in Hayward, Wisconsin (population 2,129).

"Chai Vang, 36, of St. Paul, Minn. appeared subdued and was wearing an orange prison jump suit as he faced circuit court judge Norman Yackel" on Tuesday, November 30, 2004.

"Vang's initial court appearance since the (Sunday) November 21 (2004) shootings was held in a basement classroom at the sheriff's department because the judge said the regular courtroom could not be made secure on short notice."

"Vang sat at the folding table with his wrists in handcuffs and ankles in shackles. He said little, other than acknowledging to the judge that he understood the charges against him--six counts of first-degree intentional homicide, each carrying a life prison term, and two counts of attempted murder. Vang and his attorneys agreed with the December 29 court date, which is when prosecutors would present evidence to show a trial is warranted."

"Vang, a Hmong who emigrated from Laos about 24 years ago and became a U.S. citizen, is being held on $2.5 million bail. Vang is a father of six and served in the Army National Guard from 1989 to 1992, qualifying as a marksman."

"Vang and survivors of the shooting offered different accounts of what took place Nov. 21 after hunter Terry Willers, 47, discovered Vang in a hunting stand on private property."

"Vang, a deer hunter since 1992, told investigators the other hunters used racial slurs and profanity as they told him to leave, and they fired the first shot at him-- suggesting he acted in self-defense."

"The criminal complaint said Vang told investigators he fired 10 to 13 shots from his semiautomatic rifle, and the victims fired at him twice--including the first shot when he was walking away after being told he was trespassing on private land."

"But two survivors, Terry Willers and Lauren Hesebeck, indicated only one shot was fired at Vang--by Hesebeck, who was already wounded, the complaint said. Hesebeck said he fired only after he was shot in the shoulder trying to dodge bullets fired by Vang. By then, he said, some of his friends lay mortally wounded on the ground."

"According to the court document, Vang said, as he was walking away, one of the hunters shouted at him, 'What did you say?'"

"Vang said he told them he had said nothing, and one of the hunters then accused him of making an obscene gesture. Vang said he again told the hunter he had said nothing. Shortly after that, Vang said, Willers pointed his rifle at him and fired once, missing Vang. At that point, Vang said he began shooting back."

"Willers and Lauren Hesebeck, 48, who were both wounded in the assault, told police 'at no time did anyone touch the defendant, make any threatening gestures or threaten to shoot the defendant,' according to the complaint."

"But Hesebeck said Robert Crotteau, 42, who owned the property with Willers and was killed in the shootings along with his 20-year-old son Joey Crotteau, cursed at Vang and threatened to report him to authorities for trespassing before the shooting began."

"The two survivors said as Vang was leaving and walking down a path, he turned and pointed his rifle at the hunters."

"At that point, they said, Willers held his rifle in front of him without aiming at Vang and yelled at Vang to get off the property. Vang then began shooting, they said."

"Hesebeck, who was struck in the shoulder, told police he fired one shot at Vang with Willers' gun after being wounded."

"Vang said at one point he saw one of the hunters still standing, yelled 'You're not dead yet?' shot one more time and ran away down an ATV (all-terrain vehicle-- J.T.) trail."

"Killed were Robert Crotteau, 42; his son Joey Crotteau, 20; Al Laski, 43; Mark Roidt, 28; Terry Willers' daughter Jessica Willers, 27; and Dennis Drew, 55, all from" Rice Lake, Wisconsin (population 870).

"The Crotteaus, Laski and Jessica Willers were all shot in the back--the younger Crotteau four times, the complaint said."

The multiple homicide case took a bizarre turn on Wednesday, December 1, 2004, when the Duluth, Minn. News- Tribune reported that "the man charged with murdering six hunters and wounding two others in northwestern Wisconsin last week is a Hmong shaman who has called on the spirit world in trances that last up to three hours, his family and friends say."

"The accused, Chai Soua Vang of St. Paul, seeks 'the other world' when he tries to cure sick people or invoke divine protection for those who request it, said Ber Xiong, his friend and former hunting companion."

"'He is a special person,' Xiong said, 'Chai speaks to the other side. He asks the spirits there to release people who are suffering on Earth.'"

"Xiong said that Vang, a 36-year-old truck driver, was one of about 100 shamans among St. Paul's immigrant community of about 25,000 Hmong from Laos. He said he had assisted Vang in several shamanistic ceremonies, most recently two years ago, when an extended family asked him to ensure its health and prosperity."

"'He danced on a small table for about two hours,' said Xiong, an employee of an audio-technology business in Bloomington, Minn. 'He was calling out the whole time, not to the people in the room but to the other world. My job was to sit near the table and make sure he did not fall off.'"

"Xiong declined to identify anyone else who attended that ceremony or others where Vang participated. Like Vang, he is a Hmong immigrant, and many Hmong who know Vang have been reluctant to speak publicly."

"But, in a brief interview, Vang's sister, Mai, confirmed he was thought to have mystical powers."

"'He is a shaman,' Vang (Mai) said, 'But I don't know how long he has been one.'"

"Cher Xee Vang, a prominent leader among the Hmong in Minnesota, said the suspect, to whom he is not related, had often participated in curing ceremonies."

"'Chang Vai is a shaman,' Cher Xee Vang said. 'When we needed him to cure the ill with traditional ways of healing, he would."

"It is unclear whether Vang's role as a shaman is in any way connected to the shootings. But Vincent Her, a graduate student at the University of Wisconsin who studies traditional Hmong culture, said he did not believe that shamans could go into a trance so deep that they would lose touch with the physical world, even in a situation of extreme stress."

"'That would make him or her unable to mediate between the two worlds, which is the core of the shaman's role,' Her said."

Wisconsin "Attorney General Peg Lautenschlager, whose office is prosecuting the case, refused Monday," November 29, 2004, "to address specific questions about it."

"She also declined to say whether the state was looking into a possible connection between Vang and the unsolved killing of another hunter three years ago."

"In that case, a 37-year-old Medford, Wis. man was shot in the back twice as he hunted alone on family land about 80 miles (128 kilometers) from last week's shootings." (See the Superior, Wis. Daily Telegram for November 30, 2004, "Vang charged with six counts of murder," page 1; the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for December 1, 2004, "Hmong hunter said to be shaman," pages 1D and 2D; and USA Today for December 1, 2004, "Hunter's court appearance held away from courthouse," page 2A.)

KANSAS POLICE QUIZ MAN IN BTK SERIAL KILLER CASE

Police in Wichita, Kansas (population 344,284) "are awaiting DNA test results to determine whether a man taken into custody Wednesday," December 1, 2004, "may be the 'BTK' serial killer who murdered at least eight people between 1974 and 1986."

"Police arrested a 64-year-old Wichita man on charges of trespassing and housing code violations. He has not been charged in the murder cases."

"Lead investigators in the serial killings searched the man's home and sent a DNA sample to the Kansas Bureau of Investigation, where testing began."

"The arrest came the day after investigators released a profile of the killer, including his age, family history and work experience. The profile is based on letters sent by the killer to authorities and the news media."

However, "the latest suspect could be a dead end in a case that has involved hundreds of DNA tests, many on people named on a police tip line over the last few months. On Thursday," December 2, 2004, "Police Chief Norman Williams criticized speculation about a possible arrest in the case as 'a travesty.'"

Newspapers are witholding the suspect's name because he has not been charged in connection with the murders.

"The BTK case involves a bizarre, self-revealing killer who has played cat-and-mouse games with police and news media for three decades."

"BTK stands for 'Bind, Torture, Kill,' a nickname the killer gave himself for a series of gruesome murders that began with a quadruple homicide in 1974. Most victims were tied up and strangled. Some were stabbed. One man, who survived, was shot."

"The killer has claimed responsibility for the deaths of five women, one man and two children. In two cases, a mother was murdered and children at home were left unharmed."

"The BTK killer sent many letters to the Wichita Eagle claiming responsibility for the murder of 28-year- old Vicki Wegerle in 1986. The letter included a photocopy of the victim's driver's license and three photos taken inside her home."

"Since March (2004), the killer has written other letters to a TV station and to police. He also has left letters at a public library and at a UPS (United Parcel Service) station."

"Drawing on information from the letters, police Tuesday released a profile of the suspected killer:

(1) "He was born in 1939, making him 64 or 65, and has always lived near railroad tracks."

(2) "His father died in World War II. His mother dated a railroad detective in the early 1950s. His grandfather played the fiddle. He has a cousin named Susan in Missouri and a Hispanic friend named Petra."

(3) "He served in the military in the early 1960s and later worked as an 'electro-mechanic' and a copy machine repairman. He traveled for his work." (See USA Today for December 3, 2004, "Kan. police test suspect for DNA in serial killing," page 3A. Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this newspaper article.)

MYSTERIOUS QUAKES AGAIN STRIKE NORTHERN JAPAN

"A powerful earthquake with a preliminary magnitude of 7.1" on the Richter scale "struck Japan's northern island of Hokkaido early" on Monday, November 29, 2004, "injuring at least 13 people, swaying buildings and triggering a small tsunami (Japanese for tidal wave--J.T.) that reached the shore."

"There were no immediate reports of damage after the 3:32 a.m. quake."

"Japan's Meteorological Agency quickly issued a tsunami warning for the eastern shores of Hokkaido's Pacific (Ocean) coastal area. Tsunami are large, potentially-dangerous waves triggered by seismic activity."

"Agency official Masahiro Yamamoto later told a televised news conference that the agency has lifted its warning."

On Monday, November 8, 2004, "at least eight people were hurt in a 5.9-magnitude earthquake that rocked northern Japan near the area where the country's deadliest quake in a decade struck last month (October 2004). That quake, magnitude 6.8" on the Richter scale "killed 39 people" on Hokkaido.

UFO Roundup correspondent Angela Tarohachi reported, "Of course, earthquakes are quite common in Japan. However, it is most unusual to have this many large quakes in the same area in such a short period of time. Is Hokkaido the site of impending earth changes? We shall see." (See Asahi Shimbun for November 8, 2004 and November 29, 2004. Many thanks to Angela Tarohachi for forwarding these newspaper stories.)

BRAZIL DINOSAUR SIMILAR TO EUROPEAN FOSSILS

"A Brazilian dinosaur appears to be an early immigrant from Europe, paleontologists say."

"Dubbed Unaysaurus tolentinoi, the 225-million-year- old dinosaur fossils were unveiled last week by a team led by paleontologist Luciano Leal of the National Museum of Rio de Janeiro Federal University."

"A member of the European Plateosaurus family, Unaysaurus probably walked on two legs and fed on higher foliage. The Brazilian scientists suspect that the dinosaur, one of the oldest reported South American dinosaur finds, migrated from Europe through Africa when the continents were more closely connected."

"The name comes from the indigenous (Xingu) Indian word 'unay' (pronounced oooh-na-hee--J.T.) meaning Black Water, the name of the region where the fossils were found. Tolentinoi honors local resident Tolentino Marafiga, who first discovered the fossils cropping out on the side of a road that was being repaired in 1998." (See USA Today for December 6, 2004, "Brazilian dino resembles Euro ancestors," page 6D.)


From the UFO Files...

1653: MYSTERIOUS TOWER OF NEWPORT, R.I.

Nicolas Cage's new movie National Treasure has earned over $90 million at the box office since its premiere two weeks ago.

In the film, Nicolas Cage portrays Benjamin Franklin Gates, a paranormal researcher who "learns about a legendary treasure protected by the Freemasons, the location of which is hidden in a map etched on the back of the (USA's) Declaration of Independence."

The treasure was supposedly compiled by the Knights Templar, one of the most powerful secret orders of the Middle Ages. On Friday, October 13, 1307, the Templars were suppressed by King Philip IV of France, backed by Pope Clement V. Templars were arrested en masse and tossed into prison. Their leader, Jacques De Molay, was tortured and executed.

(Editor's Note: This event was the beginning of the legend of "Friday the thirteenth" being an "unlucky day.")

According to legend, the Templars had anticipated such treachery and came up with a contingency plan. In the weeks prior to the raids, the Templar treasure was loaded aboard ships in Paris, Calais and Nantes. They sailed off into the Atlantic--and were never seen again.

But the world was a big place back then, and there were many areas completely out of contact with Europe. Had the Templar fleet landed in China or Japan, the news would have eventually gotten back to Rome. But what if the Templar fleet had landed in Australia? Or New Zealand? Or the Americas? Or in Africa south of the Zambezi River?

According to author Steven Sora, "A curious tower stands guard over the harbor of Newport in Rhode Island. An octagon within a circle, the round stone tower has eight arches at the ground level and two raised stories with curiously placed slit windows. Since colonial times it was argued that it might be a grain mill, a windmill or a remnant of the pre-colonial Norse. A recent discovery discards all such theories. The Tower proclaims to all who understand its significance: Templar builders were here."

In his new book The Lost Colony of the Templars, Sora points out the similarity of Newport's "Viking tower" to other Templar and Cathar holy places. "On the tiny island of Bornholm, in the Baltic Sea, they built fifteen churches, eleven that still stand. The most impressive is the Osterlarskirke, meaning the East Church of St. Lawrence. The slit windows of the church," similar to the Newport tower's, "were placed to admit the light of the midsummer and midwinter solstice."

In Ireland, "the Cistercians built a similar tower in Mellifont, a remote monastery not far from Dublin. The St. Clair Chapel in southern France, the Tomar chapel in Templar headquarters in Portugal, the so-called Templar round church in Lanleff in Brittany (France) and the Templar church in London are larger examples."

Sora might be onto something here. In the July 1948 issue of Rhode Island History, an article asserted that "the English foot, that was standardized in the Seventeenth Century and had been used for other structures in the area, was not employed in the tower. Instead...the medieval Rhineland-Norse foot, equivalent to 12.3543 inches or 0.31374 meters, was the unit of linear measurement" and was in common use at the time of the Templar migration in 1307.

The first European known to have visited Rhode Island was Giovanni di Verrazano, who explored Narragansett Bay in 1524. Sora writes, "Verrazano was a wide-ranged traveler who spent years in Egypt before returning to the sea. He would convince Francis I, the king of France, that there was good reason to send him to the New World, by bringing him a strange treatise on alchemy and the idyllic world."

(Editor's Note: The indigenous Eniskeetompauwaug people of the region called their continent, Tolba Meneham, meaning Island of the Great Turtle.)

"The only place he (Verrazano) stopped was Newport. He was greeted by native Americans and remarkably allowed one to pilot his ship to safety in the Newport harbor."

"While he would have known it was a Templar baptistry, as there was one in his home (Lyon in southern France--J.T.), his brother Girolamo labeled it as a 'Norman Villa' on the map they would create."

So the tower was already standing in 1524, no doubt resembling a Mayan ruin, overgrown as it was with vines and creepers. Verrazano "labeled the future city of Newport as Refugio. It had been the Refuge founded by Templar guardian (Henry) Sinclair" in 1398. "The monument he left behind told as much of a story as was needed. Henry Sinclair had started his (Templar) colony, but it did not survive."

According to Rhode Island: A Guide to the Smallest State, "White men's legends also abound throughout Rhode Island. One of the most interesting of these concerns the origin of the Old Stone Mill at Newport. It has been celebrated by (Henry Wadsworth) Longfellow's 'Skeleton in Armor' and (James) Fenimore Cooper's 'Red Rover.' A round tower supported by stone piers, it stands on a hill overlooking Narragansett Bay. That it was not built by the Indians is obvious to any who are acquainted with their customs."

"The orientation of the piers and windows, the use of geometrical forms, and finally, the insignia of Freemasonry on a prominent stone set in the side of the mill have provided much material for research."

Most likely Verrazano recognized the Masonic compass- and-square symbol left by Sinclair in 1398 or the original Templar refugees in 1307.

Newport was founded on April 28, 1639 by William Coddington, John and Jeremy Clarke, William Brenton, John Coggeshall and Thomas Hazard, who set up a "plantation at the southwestern end of the island" the Indians called Aquidneck.

In 1653, a man named Benedict Arnold arrived in Providence and almost immediately decamped for Newport. Although today he's been thoroughly overshadowed by his great-grandson and namesake, the Benedict Arnold who tried to surrender West Point to the British during the War of the American Revolution, Mr. Arnold had a noteworthy career of his own. He was the last colonial president in 1654 and then became the royal governor of Rhode Island, appointed after the Restoration by King Charles II when UK granted the Ocean State a new charter.

In those days, the area around the stone tower was known as "the Hill," and, in 1653, the entire hill was purchased by Benedict Arnold. It became known as Arnold's Farm. The family cemetery was at the southeast corner of the farm, at what is now 74 Pelham Street in Newport.

Although no documents have survived, there is a legend that the first Masonic lodge in America was founded in Newport in 1658.

In The History of Freemasonry (volume 4), Robert F. Gould writes, "Thomas Oxnard, Provincial Grand Master at Boston, on December 24, 1749, granted a charter for a Lodge at Newport with Caleb Phillips as Master. This was the introduction of Masonry into that State so far as we have any tangible evidence. There is a tradition that Masonry had been practiced there at an earlier date, and the house is still shown in which, according to tradition for very many years, the Masons used to meet."

Before returning to Newport, I'd like to point out that Caleb Phillips was the ancestor of the occultist Whipple Van Buren Phillips, the maternal grandfather of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937). In the Eighteenth Century, the family moved to Scituate, R.I., where "on the southwest corner of the intersection of U.S. (Route) 6 and (R.I. Route) 106 is the site of Phillips' Tavern, named for its builder David Phillips, and in use from about 1830 to 1917."

Just across Route 106 was the old Pine Tree Tavern, founded in 1712, the original meeting place of Scituate's Masonic lodge. There is the curious legend about "The Chopper," a violent ghost that terrorized overnight guests at the tavern during the Nineteenth Century. (We'll have to do a feature story on that some time--J.T.) Eventually, the Phillips family settled in Moosup Valley, five miles (8 kilometers) west of the Scituate Reservoir, where Whipple was born in 1837.

In 1658, five years after the first Benedict Arnold purchased the land around the mysterious tower, "about fifteen Sephardic Jewish families arrived in Newport from Holland (Amsterdam, capital of the Netherlands--J.T.). Among them were Mordecai Campanal and Moses Pacheco, who are said to have brought with them the first three degrees of Freemasonry and to have organized the first Masonic Lodge in America. They immediately formed the congregation of Jeshuath Israel (Translated: Salvation of Israel.)" and held services at private homes.

The Jews settled on the western edge of Arnold's Farm, overlooking King's Square (now Washington Square-- J.T.). The pathway between their homes leading uphill was first known in the politically-incorrect Seventeenth Century as Jew Lane and later Jew Street (Today it's called Bellevue Avenue--J.T.) Several of the original Dutch Jews eventually moved to New York City. But Jewish immigrants from Portugal found Newport to be a true Refugio, as their homeland was still in the grip of the Inquisition.

When old man Arnold died in 1678, his farm was still pretty much out in the boonies. However, as Newport flourished in the Eighteenth Century, developers began eyeing the old farm and its mysterious hilltop tower. The place probably would have been sold as individual house lots if not for the intervention of the Touro family.

In 1758, the Jewish community got its first rabbi. He was Isaac Touro, who came to Newport from Jamaica. A tireless organizer and fundraiser, Rabbi Touro began the construction of Temple Jeshuath Israel at 72 Touro Street in the spring of 1759. The temple was "completed and dedicated in the year 5523 of the Jewish calendar (December 2, 1763)" and is still in use today, only now it's known as the world-famous Touro Synagogue.

Rabbi Touro's second son, Judah, was born in 1775 and moved to New Orleans, where he became a wealthy merchant and a friend of Andrew Jackson, the USA's seventh president, who was also a Freemason. In 1816, Judah Touro gave the city "$10,000 to buy and improve the grounds and land around the Old Stone Mill."

Today the tower sits in Touro Park, at the corner of Mill Street and Bellevue Avenue, remaining pristine and untouched as the city grew all around it.

Of the USA's Founding Fathers, one who took a keen interest in the tower was Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette. Better known to his close friends as "Gilbert."

On December 7, 1776, the Royal Navy landed 9,000 British and Hessian troops at Middletown, R.I. Gen. Henry Clinton and Lord Percy swiftly captured Newport, and the city remained under occupation until October 1779. The Americans, under Gen. John Sullivan, made an unsuccessful attempt to retake Newport in 1778.

On July 12, 1780, a French fleet under Admiral le Chevalier de Ternay sailed into Newport harbor, and 5,088 French soldiers commanded by the Count de Rochambeau set up camp at Brenton's Point (now Fort Adams--J.T.)

Like Lafayette, Admiral de Ternay was a Freemason, and, when he died in 1780, he was given a burial with full Masonic honors by the Newport lodge, which then had 113 members and was presided over by Capt. John Mawdsley.

Most of the French officers got caught up in Newport's social whirl. Such as Count Philippe de Segur, who was a frequent visitor to the Lawton house at 67 Touro Street. This was "the home of Polly Lawton, a beautiful Newport girl who was much admired by the French officers in Rochambeau's army."

The smitten Philippe "regarded Polly Lawton as a celestial being," and wrote, "Certain it is that if I had not been married and happy, I should, while coming to defend the liberty of the Americans, have lost my own at her feet."

On March 7, 1781, another Newport beauty, Margaret "Peggy" Champlin "had the honor of being George Washington's dancing partner at the French Ball...The beautiful Miss Champlin chose for the opening number 'A Successful Campaign' for which the French officers 'with the most graceful courtesy, took the instruments from the musicians and played while the couple stepped through the minuet.'"

"The Prince de Broglie said, 'Miss Champlin had beautiful eyes, a sweet mouth and perfectly shaped face, fine figure, pretty foot, and an air altogether attractive.'"

(Editor's Comment: And our American readers thought their first president was Mr. Stiff on the one-dollar bill.)

But not all of the French officers were in Newport for the merry social life. The Count de Rochambeau's aide-de-camp was Lafayette's brother-in-law, Viscount Louis de Noailles. The viscount spent many of his off- duty hours at the tower, sketching the structure from every conceivable angle.

Why was Louis so interested? Well, you'd have to know a little bit more about Lafayette's in-laws. Our pal Gilbert married Adrienne, the daughter of the Duke d'Ayen, "who came from one of the country's (France's) wealthiest and most influential families, the de Noailles. The Duke's father and also his grandfather had held the highest military title, Marechal de France, and the duke himself was the captain of (King) Louis XVI's bodyguards. The duke's brother, the Count de Noailles, was the French ambassador to England" in 1780.

Louis was Adrienne's older brother, a Mason, just like Gilbert, and he was pretty darn interested in that Newport tower.

Louis de Noailles "excelled in all the manly

accomplishments; when the Duke d'Orleans (younger brother of King Louis XVI, best known as "Philippe Egalite" of the French Revolution--J.T.), back from prodigious dissipations in London... introduced English customs at Monceau, among others, the habit of heavy drinking, no one did it better or carried it off with a more convincing air than the young Viscount de Noailles. He could hold his own with the English lords who visited Paris, and even drink them under the table."

When not at the tower, Louis could be found at the White Horse Tavern at 26 Marlborough Street. It is eerie to think of Louis, scion of one of France's noblest houses, sharing a tankard with Jervas Hyde, the notorious Newport occultist, at the Sign of the White Horse and discussing esoteric matters that could never be aired at the Count de Rochambeau's table.

Jervas was also famous for his doggerel poetry, which he declaimed aloud towards the end of the evening. Here's a sample:

"Now, Betty, my miss,
Come give us a kiss.
In Hell,
There's no inkeeper's daughter
Like this."

The White Horse Tavern is linked to another Newport legend--the underground tunnels. Like Washington D.C. and Williamsburg, Virginia, that section of Newport called "the Hill" is said to be honeycombed with Atlantean tunnels, with the nexus at the stone tower.

According to Rhode Island: An Historical Guide, the tavern "was acquired in 1663 by William Mayes, a notorious local pirate who may have used the house to secrete away his loot."

His loot...or the Templar treasure?

One tunnel reportedly runs downhill on Pelham Street, from the tower in Touro Park to the gambrel-roofed Banister House at 56 Pelham Street. John Banister, a wealthy merchant and reputed smuggler, built the house in 1751. A short distance uphill is the old Arnold family cemetery.

Another tunnel is said to run from the tower southeast to the Bull-Mawdsley House at 228 Spring Street.

"During the (American) Revolution, this handsome house was the headquarters of the Marquis de Chastellux, (Rochambeau's) second-in-command of the French forces in Newport" and a frequent haunt of both Lafayette and Louis de Noailles.

"Enlarged to its present size in 1750 by Captain John Mawdsley," who was a Master of Newport's Masters Lodge, "the house contains within it a Seventeenth Century 'mansion'-sized house built by Jireh Bull."

"Bull (no relation to Gulliver--J.T.), who was Governor Benedict Arnold's son-in-law, built his four- room, two-story house in 1680 on land that originally belonged to the governor."

Indeed, the Bull-Mawdsley House is on the southeastern corner of Arnold's Farm, about one block south of the Banister House.

Mawdsley and Banister were cohorts of Captain Abraham Whipple, a fellow Mason, smuggler and pirate who helped to found the U.S. Navy. Yes, that's the fellow who gave his surname, Whipple, to HPL's grandad.

(Editor's Note: For a true-to-life portrait of this wackadoo Masonic pirate, see Lovecraft's short novel, The Curious Case of Charles Dexter Ward.)

A third tunnel runs parallel to the east of Coggeshall Avenue for two miles (3.2 kilometers) to Land's End.

So, is there a hoard of treasure tucked away in some prehistoric tunnel beneath the cobbled streets of Newport? Good question. But if you're looking for Templar treasure, Newport might be a good place to start. (See the books The History of Freemasonry, Volume 4, by Robert F. Gould, John C. Yorston and Co., Publishers, New York, N.Y., 1889, pages 446 to 448; La Fayette, Volume 1 by Brand Whitlock, D. Appleton & Co., New York, N.Y., 1929, pages 20 to 23; Rhode Island: A Guide to the Smallest State, The Riverside Press, Cambridge, Mass., 1937, pages 107, 128, 202, 203, 208, 209, 218, 219, 223 and 454; Rhode Island: An Historical Guide by Sheila Steinberg and Cathleen McGuigan, Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation, 1976, pages 182, 183, 190, 206, 207, 208, 209, 210, 216 and 220; Weird America by Jim Brandon, E.P. Dutton Co., New York, N.Y., 1978, pages 200 and 201; Talisman by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, HarperCollins Publishers, Hammersmith, London, UK, 2004, pages 317, 452, 453 and 454; also Atlantis Rising No. 47 for September- October 2004, "The Knights Templar in America" by Steven Sora, pages 27, 61, 62 and 63.)

Next Week: Lafayette in Rhode Island

Well, that's it for this week. Join us next time 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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