NIGHT SAUCER SIGHTED IN HAMPTONS BAY, N.Y.
On Wednesday, December 8, 2004, at 7:23 p.m., Sandra Bilinski reported, "I was in my hot tub watching the skies for shooting stars. Very pretty at night to see them, as the stars are very bright to the east" of her home in Hamptons Bay, N.Y. (population 5,500), a town on Long Island 60 miles (100 kilometers) east of the borough of Queens in New York City.
"As I was looking up, I saw the stars above me disappear," Sandra added, "I then realized there was an object in the sky above me. It was dark with no lights. I thought it was some space debris that was falling out of the sky, but it was moving slowly with no signs of friction and it wasn't falling. It traveled over my house for two or three seconds, and then disappeared when the trees blocked my view."
"While it moved over my house, and over me, it rotated, but I saw no signs of an engine. It was shaped like a radar dish, the one with antennas and concave in the middle. It was dark grey or bluish and lighter at the edges. It appeared to be only 60 to 70 feet (18 to 21 meters) above my house and the size of a small car. It had no lights, no signs of hearing an engine of any type."
"If it made any sound, I didn't know it because I had the (water) jets on in the hot tub. After it passed by, I turned off everything in the tub and stayed in the water as I was afraid."
"I went in the house and called the state police." "Today I called the (New York) Air National Guard and told them about it. I am a very sane person. I have never seen anything like this before, and now I can't get it off my mind. No one seems to be able to tell me what it was." (Email Form Report)
THREE UFOs SPOTTED IN HUNTINGTON BEACH, CAL.
On Tuesday, November 30, 2004, at 6:30 a.m., Kimberlee Schultz was driving on Interstate Highway 405, the San Diego Freeway in Huntington Beach, California (population 185,594) when she spotted something unusual in the morning sky.
"They appeared to be traveling from a southwesterly to a northeasterly direction," Kimberlee reported, "After traveling on another freeway, I couldn't see them any more. I was facing east, and they were southwest of my car. The sky was bright and clear. I noticed airplanes all over the sky, and the reflection of the sun would make them appear as a little speck, and some had a small trail behind them."
"This craft was large compared to the airplanes, and it also had a trail. There were also two smaller crafts side by side in front of the large craft. The larger craft was at least 50 times bigger in size. The smaller crafts were also leaving trails of light, so I could tell they were moving. The smaller crafts were 100 times larger than the airplane specks. But seeing as how they appeared to hover in the sky, maybe this is why they appeared to be much larger."
"Somewhat of a triangular shape on the large craft. But the outlines were not well-defined. It was almost a little blob-like. The two (smaller) crafts in front looked more round. This was rush hour in southern California on a very busy freeway.""I was telling a co-worker about it, and she was about 45 minutes northeast of where I was at the time, and then she saw it at around the same time. But she didn't see the two lights leading the larger craft. She thinks she may have seen it from the back, and I was seeing it from the side."
Huntington Beach is about 20 miles (32 kilometers) southeast of City Hall in Los Angeles. (Email Form Report)
FIVE DARK UFOs SEEN IN LIBERTY, INDIANA
On Sunday, December 5, 2004, at 3 p.m., Timothy Bowman was driving to Brookville Lake, four miles (7 kilometers) west of Liberty, Indiana (population 2,061) to take some photographs when he spotted a cluster of strange objects approaching from the northwest.
"I was driving down to take some photos of a lake, which is about three miles or so southwest of Liberty on Route 101," Timothy reported, "I turned right on the Fearfeld Ramp road, went one mile south. Five strange, funny-shaped black dots appeared in the sky. I got a picture of it. Looked like round objects up there. I got some more pics in a different location at the same place."
The UFOs "were 16,000 feet (4,800 meters) up and at a standstill. No speed until departure...then zip, gone! Never seen anything like them in my pics."
Liberty, Ind. is on Routes 27 and 44 in Union County, about 75 miles (120 kilometers) east of Indianapolis. (Email Form Report)
BAT-WINGED UFO RETURNS TO WASHINGTON, D.C.
On Wednesday, December 8, 2004, at 11 p.m., Patrick Schirmer was walking down Harrison Street N.W. in the Friendship Heights section of Washington, D.C. when he saw a strange object approaching from the north.
"It approached from the north and headed due south," Patrick reported, "It was very low in the sky. Completely silent. Dark in color and definitely NOT round. It was a large, bat-winged craft, flat and about 20 to 30 feet (6 to 9 meters) across. It was slow-moving, too, almost like a glider. It went right overhead, without making a sound, and continued south. It was almost like a silent glider." (Email Form Report)
INDIA'S SECRET AIR WAR AGAINST THE UFOs
Has India been fighting a clandestine air war against UFOs since February 2004?
Ufologist Daniel Wilson thinks so. And he claims to have found proof in the pages of the newspaper Times of India.
Wilson says there is a definite correlation between the "unexplained" crashes of Indian Air Force (IAF) fighter jets and UFO events in the subcontinent reported in the media. He cites the crash of an IAF Jaguar on Thursday, February 26, 2004 as an example.
That same evening, a UFO crossed the border from India into Pakistan and landed just outside the village of Chann Kalan. Three aliens were seen leaving the strange object by an Indian sentry, Constable Jagdish Parasad, who was at the Indian Border Security Force (BSF) Post Fatehpur at the time of the landing. Patrols by the Pakistani Rangers failed to find the three aliens. (For more on this case, see UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 9 for March 3, 2004, "UFO lands in Pakistan; three aliens sighted," page 5.)The same evening that UFO landed on the Pakistani side of the border, an IAF fighter jet crashed in India's Rajasthan state, Wilson reported.
According to the Times of India, "The spate of crashes of IAF fighter aircraft continues unabated. In yet another incident, a deep-penetration strike Jaguar crashed in the Pokhran (mountain) range in Rajasthan on Thursday," February 26, 2004.
"The pilot, Wing Commander Ravi Khanna, died in the crash."
"The crash came soon after a MiG-21 crashed in the Jamnagar area on (Friday) February 20, 2004, killing four people on the ground."
"The IAF has dispatched a special investigative team to Pokhran because this is the second such crash within 20 days. An IAF jet crashed in the same mountain range on (Saturday) February 7, 2004."
"Both the Jaguar and the MiG-21 were practicing 'live bombing missions' ahead of India's biggest air power demonstration at the Pokhran range, (Operation) Millenium Vayu Shakti scheduled for March 14 (2004)."
(Editor's Note: Elements of the U.S. Air Force also participated in these maneuvers over Gwalior as part of Operation Cope India 2004.)
"In both crashes, as per eyewitness accounts, 'two flashes' were seen before both mishaps."
"'Both crashes are being attributed to technical malfunction. One reason could be that the live ammunition being carried by the planes exploded accidentally, but the (IAF) courts of inquiry will be able to provide the exact reason,' said a source."
"Wing Commander Khanna, who had got airborne from the IAF Nal air base, was flying close to the ground for the bombing maneuver. He apparently tried to eject safely, but his parachute apparently failed to open over the target,' he added."
"Fighter jets in the IAF include Sukhoi Su-30s, Mirage 2000s, Jaguars, MiG-21s, MiG-23s and MiG-29s." (See the Times of India for February 27, 2004, "Technical snag attributed to Jaguar crash." Many thanks to Daniel Wilson for this news story.)
FARMERS SEE CHEMTRAILS IN EASTERN AFGHANISTAN
"Farmers and tribal leaders in Nimla, a farming village in eastern Afghanistan, have confirmed statements by the Afghan government that unidentified planes have been spraying opium poppy fields with a toxic chemical."
"More than a month ago, a dark plane rattled windows through the night as it flew back and forth, spraying a chemical on houses, orchards and fields, farmers and tribal elders said on Friday," December 4, 2004.
"The poppy seedlings were now turning yellow. The crop would die, they said."
"'People are surprised and unhappy,' said Muhammad Hasham, 45, a village elder whose poppy fields began dying after the spraying."
"His brother, Hajji Kamaluddin Popalzai, the village chief, said the government had told them to stop growing poppies, but they were expecting some (financial) assistance to grow alternative crops first. 'Just coming and spraying, that's unfair,' he said."
"The spraying is something of a mystery, apparently even to the Afghan government. Last week President Hamid Karzai called in the ambassadors of Britain and the United States, the two main donors involved in efforts to combat narcotics in Afghanistan, to explain the aerial spraying in several districts of Nangarhar province."
"Both countries have denied any involvement, according to Karzai's spokesman, Jawed Ludin. But an Afghan government delegation sent to investigate returned with samples of tiny gray pellets, the size of grains of sugar, that were sprayed on the crops, as well as soil for analysis."
"'The government of Afghanistan has not authorized any foreign entity, any foreign government, any foreign company, or anyone else to carry out aerial spraying,' Ludin said."
"He said the Afghan government was not convinced that all other measures to combat narcotics had been exhausted, and it was also worried about the impact the chemicals might have on people and legitimate crops. But most important, he said, spraying without the government's authorization was an infringement of Afghanistan's sovereignty."
"'This is a question of sovereignty, a question of being aware of what is going on in our country, and of course that is something that we need to take seriously,' Ludin said."
"The American military has denied any involvement or knowledge of the spraying and on Wednesday," December 1, 2004, "the American ambassador, Zalmay Khalilzad, denied contracting the job to any company or agency."
"Afghan officials said they did not know who was responsible but were quick to blame the United States."
"'The Americans control the airspace of Afghanistan, and not even a bird can fly without them knowing,' said Hajji Din Muhammad, the governor of Nangarhar, the province where the spraying has occurred."
"Like the other farmers in Nimla, Hasham said he was growing poppy because he could not survive if he used his small fields to grow wheat."
"'I have two fields,' he said, 'If I grow wheat, I get 30 kilos of grain'--about 60 pounds--'which is not enough to feed my family. If I grow opium, I can buy enough grain, plus cooking oil and all the other things we need.'"
In other chemtrail news, mysterious trails of billowing mist were seen in the skies of Hewitt, Texas (population 11,085), a town on Interstate Highway I-35 approximately 4 miles (7 kilometers) south of Waco.
Lisa, an eyewitness, took several photos of the chemtrails from her home and from the playground of a Hewitt elementary school. She reported, "I live in Hewitt, Texas, which is a few miles south of Waco. It seems that every day around here is a 'spray day.' On such days, though, this stuff literally rains down from the sky. I've seen it hanging for miles from the light posts along the highway."
"It's sad that I have to question whether my son should go out and play or whether to walk the dog. I've even thought to wear gloves to open the mailbox."
The five photos showed thick chemtrails in the sky and streamers of an unknown silky, off-white, thread-like sustance dangling from a rural barbed wire fence. (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for December 5, 2004, "Mystery plane blamed for killing Afghan poppy crop," page 8A. Also, Jeff Rense's Web page for December 6, 2004.)
SPARKLING GREEN UFO SEEN IN SWITZERLAND
On Wednesday, December 1, 2004, at 9:15 p.m., the two eyewitnesses were standing on a bridge in the south side of Lausanne, Switzerland, overlooking Lake Geneva, when they spotted an unusual green object in the night sky.
"Me and my friend were walking on a city bridge in Lausanne. Suddenly, we both had an impulse to look south, towards the lake. About 30 degrees above the lake we saw what appeared to be a kind of green firework."
"We weren't much impressed, but this light continued to show a comet's shape, flying from east to west. It was big, green and glowing and left some kind of (light) trail. The object was silent and slow. It was unlike anything I had ever seen."
"My friend said, 'Is it a rocket or a satellite?'"
"But I had seen them before, and it didn't look like either of them."
"A few days later (Saturday, December 4, 2004) I met another witness who described the same arc or (flight) path, the same colour and shape, and time. Our local newspaper didn't write a line about this. Whatever it was, it disappeared behind a building. Vanished! Evian (the city of Evian-les-Bains, in France's department of Haute-Savoie--J.T.) is on the other side of the lake and saw nothing. Now I am even more convinced that we are not alone. If you have any pictures of it, please contact me by email." (Many thanks to Jim Hickman, executive director of Skywatch International, for this news story.)
JESUS APPEARS ON A DENTAL X-RAY
"Apparitions of Jesus have appeared on walls and in churches. Now, in Arizona, a patient at a dentist's office has seen one on an X-ray."
"The dentist and staff at a Phoenix, Ariz. dentist's office agree that the X-ray's unusual content or image resembles Jesus."
"The patient came in for a routine exam on Tuesday (November 30, 2004), and, when the X-ray was developed, he (the dentist--J.T.) saw the image of Jesus."
"The patient described himself as a 'devout Christian' but says he's never before seen Jesus on an X- ray."
"By the way, the patient's (dental) exam was perfect." (See the Arizona Republic for December 6, 2004, "Jesus appears in dental X-ray." Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this newspaper article.)
ANOTHER STRANGE QUAKE RATTLES NORTHERN JAPAN
Yet another strange earthquake rattled Hokkaido, Japan's large northern island, last week, causing little damage but leaving local residents baffled.
"A strong earthquake shook northern Japan, injuring two people but causing no serious damage. Japan's Meteorological Agency said" the earthquake, which had a magnitude of 7.0 on the Richter scale, "was centered 35 miles (58 kilometers) off the coast of Hokkaido."
The earthquake, which occurred on Monday, December 6, 2004, "was the second sizable one to strike Hokkaido in the past week. On (Monday) November 29 (2004), a 7.1- magnitude temblor struck Hokkaido, injuring 24 people."
During October 2004, "a 6.8 magnitude quake in the Niigata region" of Hokkaido "killed 40 people and injured thousands."
Commenting on the latest quake, Angela Tarohachi, UFO Roundup correspondent in Japan, wrote, "Hokkaido has suffered an unprecedented series of major earthquakes. Joe, if any of your New Age friends have any idea why this is happening, please don't keep it a secret. People in Japan would like to know what's going on." (See the newspaper Asahi Shimbun for December 7, 2004, "Two hurt in the latest Hokkaido earthquake." Many thanks to Angela Tarohachi for forwarding this newspaper article.)
TWENTY NEW MUMMIES DISCOVERED IN EGYPT
"Excavators discovered 20 gilded mummies in the Bahariya oasis in western Egypt, the government's Council of Antiquities said Tuesday," December 7, 2004.
"The find brings the total number of gilded mummies-- recovered in the 2,000-year-old cemetery" at the oasis "to 234."
"The site, known as the Valley of the Golden Mummies, was discovered in 1996."
"Fifty bronze coins were also found with the mummies. Archaeologists believe the money was left with the deceased to pay for the trip to the afterlife." (See USA Today for December 8, 2004, "More finds in Egypt's 'Golden Mummy' site," page 8D.)
TOM CRUISE WAS NEVER IN DANGERPeter Hassall of New Zealand writes, "In UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 47 (for November 24, 2004--J.T.), there is the following comment:"
"'Following Eyes Wide Shut, Tom Cruise starred in the film The Last Samurai. During the making of this film, Cruise was nearly decapitated when a katanna (samurai sword--J.T.) came within an inch of his neck. Was it just an accident?'"
"This whole accident/incident has been blown totally out of proportion by the media. The swordsman doing the move was an expert and repeatedly did it to within a fraction of an inch of the same spot every time. Cruise wasn't even touched. The film's publicists just saw a chance to get mileage out of something that was really nothing. Storm in a teacup."
And concerning the rash on actress Nicole Kidman's hands, which was reported in the November 23, 2004 issue of The National Enquirer, Peter added, "Why would a rash many months later have anything to do with the earlier film? There could be any number of causes for the rash. I note Nicole Kidman has had no near-miss accidents that were life-threatening."
THE RICHMOND, VA. BOOMS--MYSTERY SOLVED!
Concerning UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 48 for December 1, 2004, "Mystery booms heard in Richmond, Virginia," page 5, Ben Moss writes, "This in fact was a teenager making percussion-type devices that produced a shock wave. Mystery solved."
From the UFO Files...
1778: LAFAYETTE IN RHODE ISLAND
Among the USA's Founding Fathers, Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, had a definite penchant for the paranormal. During his short sojourn in Rhode Island, the smallest of the USA's fifty states, Lafayette managed to visit a number of intriguing sites in the Ocean State.
Lafayette was first initiated into Freemasonry while still a student at a French military school. According to Dossiers de l'histoire mysterieuse, "After the death of (philosopher Claude) Helvetius in 1771, his wife, Anne Catherine Helvetius, joined forces with (Joseph) Lalande and (L'Abbe Cordier de) Saint-Fermin in the creation of the" Loge des Neufs Soeurs. (Translated: Lodge of the Nine Sisters--J.T.) Her own elite salon in the Rue Sainte Anne in Paris was famous throughout Europe..."
"Not surprisingly, (Benjamin) Franklin was a regular visitor to Mme. Helvetius's salon. Another was the Marquis de Lafayette, a young officer in the French army. Lafayette belonged to a Masonic lodge, Le Contrat Social (Translated: The Social Contract--J.T.) which was linked to other important lodges throughout France. Notable amongst these was the lodge La Societe Olympique (Translated: The Olympian Society--J.T.), with its membership of young officers such as the Count de Chambrun, the Count-Admiral de Grasse, the Count-Admiral d'Estaing (ancestor of recent French prime minister, Valery Giscard d'Estaing--J.T.) and the buccaneer John Paul Jones--all of whom would fight for the American cause a few years later."
Among the Olympians, as well, were Lafayette's brother-in-law, Viscount Louis de Noailles, and his close friend, Count Philippe de Segur, who were fellow cadets at the military school. All three met again in Rhode Island when the French fleet landed at Newport in July 1780. (See UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 49 for December 8, 2004, "1653: Mysterious tower in Newport, R.I.," page 13.)
In June 1778, George Washington sent Lafayette to Rhode Island to assist Gen. John Sullivan in the coming American offensive against Newport, which had been under British occupation since December 1776. But the two-day battle, fought at Portsmouth, R.I. on August 28 and 29, 1778, was a defeat for the Americans, and Newport remained in British hands.
Following the battle, Lafayette boarded for a time with the Reynolds family, who owned a three-story house at 956 Hope Street in Bristol, R.I. "Mrs. Reynolds was informed of the approach of her guest and made suitable preparations for his reception. More than an hour before the time appointed for Lafayette's coming, a young Frenchman rode up to the house and, dismounting, tied his horse to a tree which stood nearby."
"Mrs. Reynolds thought he was one of the general's attendants, so she sent her Negro servant, Cato, to conduct him to a room designed for the subordinate officers. The young man expressed a desire for something to eat and was seated at the table prepared for his commander, though his hostess wondered that he could not control his appetite until a more appropriate hour."
"The officer ate heartily of the dinner placed before him, but sat so long at the table that Mrs. Reynolds was forced to remind him that his general was momentarily expected. To her amazement, the young man announced that he was the visitor whose arrival the household was awaiting."
Another of the marquis's temporary homes was a large, two-story frame house built in 1735. Today it's called the Lafayette House, and it's just off Route 126 in Tiverton, R.I., on the eastern shore of Narragansett Bay.
A third was the farmhouse at 23 Broad Street in Warren, R.I., a Georgian house built in 1750.
In 1780, George Washington named Lafayette as his liaison officer between the French and American forces. When Admiral le Chevalier de Ternay's fleet sailed into Narragansett Bay, "Gilbert," as Lafayette was known to his friends, had mixed feelings. Four years earlier, he had defied a direct order from King Louis XVI by sailing to the USA aboard the Victoire. The moment he stepped onto the deck of the admiral's flagship, he would be on French soil. How would he be received?
If Admiral de Ternay had had a lettre de cachet from the French king, Lafayette would have been clapped into irons the moment he stepped aboard. The next stop would've been Paris. And Lafayette would have finished his days in the Bastille, playing chess with celebrity prisoners like the Count de Solages.
To his relief, Admiral de Ternay greeted him warmly, telling him, "You will command our troops in Newport until the Count de Rochambeau arrives."
From his brother-in-law, the Viscount de Noailles, Lafayette learned that, far from being considered an eccentric fugitive, he was being acclaimed throughout Europe as France's foremost soldier-of-fortune. (Editor's Note: Also in Newport at this time was a then- obscure Swedish officer, Count Axel Fersen, who became famous 15 years later as the lover of Queen Marie Antoinette.)
During their off-duty hours, Lafayette and Louis de Noailles took the opportunity to explore Rhode Island. They were guests at the house of Colonel James Varnum at 57 Peirce Street in East Greenwich, R.I. Varnum had organized the Kentish Guards, a militia made up of 56 farmers of Kent County, in the summer of 1774. This unit eventually became the Second Rhode Island Regiment of the Continental Army (forerunner of the U.S. Army--J.T.).
Varnum, who in 1810 became a Master of King Solomon's Lodge in East Greenwich, entertained his French guests with the folklore tales of the area. In particular, Louis de Noailles was interested in the fate of "Frenchtown."
In the Seventeenth Century, following the revocation of the Edict of Nantes, several Huguenot familes had fled France and settled in the woods along Hunt's River (now the boundary between East Greenwich and North Kingstown, R.I.--J.T.) However, land disputes in 1671 resulted in many of the original French settlers moving away.
At his brother-in-law's urging, Lafayette rode out to Frenchtown and visited the Le Moine family, one of those who remained. Given their interest in Masonic lore, it's possible that Lafayette and de Noailles were looking for Knights Templar who might have left France along with the band of Huguenot refugees.
Their next stop was three miles north of the Varnum House, on Route 115 in the Apponaug section of Warwick, just west of Centerville Road on Hardig Brook--the ruins of John Micarter's old woolen mill. The mill was built in 1693 and stood on the site of the farmhouse once owned by Susannah Stukeley.
Susannah was known as "the Witch of Apponaug" and created a minor stir in Providence in 1667 when her book, Ye Woman's Almanack, was published. Not only did it offer jonnycake recipes and holistic herbal healing, the text presented "disasters yet to come," everything from the hurricane of 1779 to the "monstrous tavern fire of Natick" (now West Warwick--J.T.) of the year 2002. Copies of Susannah's "impious and unseemly" book were publicly burned on the Providence town wharf by Pardon Tillinghast himself.
When not playing Nostradamus, Susannah frequently entertained indigenous people from all over the northeastern USA. Many times on a summer night, the Baptists of Apponaug would shudder at the sound of the spirit drum and the chant of the wisdom singers. Strange cries shook the night when the bonfire burned its brightest. "Yeo-Notwaisha! Yeo-Notwaisha!" (In the language of the Ganegahaga-ono, or Mohawk Indians, it means Spirit Woman--J.T.)
Imagine the horror and excitement in Apponaug in 1692 when the first tales of witchcraft in Salem Village (now Danvers, Mass.--J.T.) reached the shores of Narragansett Bay. Tituba (pronounced Titch-you-bah--J.T.), a slave of African descent born on the island of Barbados in the Caribbean, made the colossal mistake of teaching simple spells to the daughters of Salem's minister, touching off a "witch hunt" that claimed the lives of 19 townspeople.
Susannah Stukeley was curiously unperturbed by the flap in Salem Village. In a conversation with Randall Holden, she remarked, "Obeah...Damballah...cut a chicken's head off. Twaddle! I could show you a ritual of Yog- Sothoth that would turn Tituba white with terror."
(Editor's Note: Susannah Stukeley disappeared from Apponaug in the summer of 1692, during the height of "the Witchcraft." Another feature story we'll have to do some time.)
During their next trip to Frenchtown, Lafayette and de Noialles visited "The Old French Orchards," the site of the original 1667 Huguenot settlement, half a mile west of the Le Moine farm, and then the queer stone ruins known as "Queen's Fort," two more miles (3.2 kilometers) to the west.
"Queen's Fort" was "named for the Indian squaw sachem (warrior queen--J.T.) Matantuck or Quaiapen. The fort is a low wall of rocks piled together on a hilltop straddling the North Kingstown-Exeter boundary line. Surrounded by timber and huge rocks, it is unapproachable from the south owing to the many immense boulders with which the hill is strewn; access to the other approaches is also difficult owing to the steepness of the hillside. Many boulders lie within the fort, and beneath some are excavations large enough to shelter several people."
"The Queen's Chamber, a little outside the fort to the west, is a large opening beneath a huge pile of rocks. The floor is covered with a white sand, and the entrance is so hidden as to be unnoticed a few feet away. It is believed that an Indian known as 'Stonewall John,' who had learned the mason's trade, assisted in the construction of this fort. It was not taken by white soldiers in warfare, but was abandoned in 1676, after the Narragansett Indians had been decimated by King Philip's War."
The ruins got the name "Queen's Fort" because the main village of Quaiapen and her son, Scuttape, was at Bassokutoquage, just off Route 102, about three miles (4.8 kilometers) away. No one really knows who built these ruins. I've heard the structure attributed to everybody from Murom bora Ballin of Atlantis to the Celts of 3,000 B.C. to Stonewall John. But having visited the site myself in 1993, I tend to lean towards the Templar explanation. The hilltop ruins have the look and feel of a medieval European redoubt. If it was built by the original Templar refugees in 1307 or by Henry Sinclair in 1398, that would explain the medieval layout.
Lafayette had a strange affinity for staying overnight at buildings dating from the Seventeenth Century. Whenever he rode to Boston, he made a point of staying not in Providence but across the town line in Pawtucket, R.I., at the Old Pidge Tavern.
The tavern, located at 586 Pawtucket Avenue, "is traditionally supposed to have been built by the Sayles family in 1640. If true, this legend makes it the oldest house in" Rhode Island. "Two-and-a-half stories high, it is rectangular in plan with a red-brick chimney, off- center, straddling the roof ridge. It is supposed that the tavern had previously been square with a stone chimney, and that in 1767 it was lengthened to its present dimensions."
In the cellar, you find Seventeenth Century stonework, which, as Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-1937) wrote, was "thrillingly suggestive of Andros and Phipps and the Witchcraft."
"During the (American) Revolution, when the French troops were encamped nearby, General Lafayette occupied two rooms on the second floor. On his return to America in 1824, he stopped here again on his way to Boston."
Another old house favored by Lafayette was the Clemence-Irons House at 38 George Waterman Road (Route 128) in Johnston, R.I. "Thomas Clemence, a friend of (the colony's founder) Roger Williams, officially bought this property from the Indians on January 9, 1654, although according to the tax records, he had been living on the site since 1650. Clemence, who was a constable and held several political offices throughout his career, was one of twenty-seven men who stayed to defend Johnston, R.I. during King Philip's War in 1676. It is believed that the original house, built in 1650, was burned at that time, and the 'new house' seen today was constructed around the stone-end chimney by 1680."
The Clemence House is unique because of its stonework. "It is noticeable that whereas most of these old chimneys are carried up beyond the first story with brick, this one is entirely of stone." Indeed, stonework abounds at the old Clemence House, and all of it dates back to 1650...or perhaps even earlier.
According to his biographer S.T. Joshi, in 1936, H.P. Lovecraft received an invitation from the owner of the Clemence House, Miss Ellen E. Irons (1855-1937) to come and visit. Since it's unlikely that old Miss Irons, 81, was a reader of Weird Tales, most probably she had heard about Lovecraft's interest in old houses from other Rhode Islanders and had mailed him the invitation.
Despite the illness that would take his life in March 1937, Lovecraft hurried out to the Manton section of Johnston in the summer of 1936 and toured the old house as the guest of Miss Irons. In a letter he wrote to Edward H. Cole on August 15, 1936, HPL waxed enthusiastic about the Seventeenth Century features at the Clemence House, including that strange bricked-up well, adding, "In the yard the old well-sweep still remains--one of the relatively few left in this colony."
(Editor's Note: In his 1926 short story, "Pickman's Model," HPL wrote about a similar bricked-up well in the basement of a moldering house in Boston's North End. Some have speculated that he based his "something queer in the cellar" on the Clemence-Irons House. But this is impossible as he did not visit the house, which had been in the Irons family for five generations, until 1936--ten years after the story appeared in Weird Tales. Obviously, HPL had seen another such well elsewhere in New England.)
Lafayette and Lovecraft--that's two world-famous occultists who have made the pilgrimage to the Clemence- Irons House. Kind of makes you wonder what the big attraction is, doesn't it?
If ever you visit the Clemence House, whatever you do, don't open that well. You wouldn't want to let the Dholes out. (See the books Talisman by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, HarperCollins Publishers, London, UK, 2004, pages 14, 19, 21, 22, 23, 385, 386 and 400; Rhode Island: A Guide to the Smallest State, Houghton Mifflin Co., Boston, Mass., 1937, pages 189, 251, 322, 327, 368, 369, 421 and 459; Rhode Island: An Historical Guide by Sheila Steinberg and Cathleen McGuigan, Rhode Island Bicentennial Foundation, 1976, pages 72, 98 and 161; and The Annotated H.P. Lovecraft, edited by S.T. Joshi, Bantam Doubleday Dell Publishing, New York, N.Y. 1997, page 65.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us next week 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 then!
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.