UFO ROUNDUP

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Volume 10
Number 2
January 12, 2005

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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UFOs SEEN IN ANDAMANS PRIOR TO THE TSUNAMI

"Was it a coincidence? Lots of people ran from the tsunami and the earthquake" that ravaged the Indian Ocean on Sunday, December 26, 2004, "but areas are reporting that strange Unidentified Flying Objects flew over" the Andaman Islands "a few days before the tsunami."

"People in the Indian state of Tamil Nadu, the Andaman and Nicobar Islands, as well as many in Indonesia, had been reporting for some time about strange objects in the sky."

"The local residents did not know what to do with these reported sightings. But it seems from the reports that many UFOs were in the sky and were trying to communicate something."

Complicating these reports are the startling news stories from the Andamans. Many of the tribes in the low- lying jungled islands, who were thought to have been killed, were discovered to have miraculously survived.

"In Port Blair, the capital city of the Andaman Islands of India," during the week before the tsunami, "some tourists saw strange flying objects."

"In Indonesia, remote islands also had similar experiences at that time."

"According to some UFO experts, UFOs have already appeared at the epicenter of major calamities. Some believe they are trying to communicate with us to warn us. India, especially in the Himalayas, China and Indonesia experienced many UFO sightings in recent days" leading up to the tsunami. "Remote areas of Bangladesh, Myanmar (formerly Burma--J.T.), the Andaman Islands and Sri Lanka also recently reported such sightings."

In a really puzzling development, "five isolated tribes living on the remote Andaman and Nicobar Islands appear to have survived the devastating Indian Ocean tsunami, although a more numerous group suffered a great loss of life, a British-based charity said Tuesday," January 4, 2005.

"Survival International, which campaigns on behalf of tribal peoples, said Tuesday that none of the five Indian island tribes had been wiped out by the Dec. 26 disaster. The tribes' populations range in size from dozens to hundreds."

"Of the tribes on the Indian-ruled Andaman Islands, the 270-strong Jarawa, who lived in isolation until recently, seemed to have escaped unharmed, the group said."

"And most of the Onge, of whom only about 100 remain, fled to high ground, it said."

"Pilots flying over Sentinel Island, home of the most isolated of all the tribes, the Sentinelese, witnessed people standing on beaches. It was not known how many, if any, had died, Survival International said."

"The group said it had no reports on the 41 Great Andamanese, 'but early indications are that they have survived more or less intact.'"

"The hunter-gatherer Shompen tribe on Great Nicobar Island would have survived as they live primarily in (rain) forests."

"In contrast to these five isolated and tiny communities, the more assimilated Nicobarese, of whom there are about 30,000, had suffered much more, with all 12 villages on one island washed away, Survival International said."

"Indian officials on Tuesday said 6,010 people are missing on the Andaman and Nicobar Islands."

The news of UFOs in the Andamans has heightened debate in New Delhi, India's capital, over whether the government should go public with its knowledge of an alien presence in the subcontinent.

Strange sightings continue in the Himalayas. The newspaper India Daily reported, "In Ladakh, for example, the locals clearly point out the every day phenomenon of large triangular spacecraft coming out from beneath the ground and Indian security forces protecting them."

"The current debate is focused on whether to keep it quiet as other countries are doing, or, in the tradition of a total transparent society, come out and tell the world. India is so open and democratic it is very difficult to keep a secret for long."

"If this information comes out as unofficial claims first, and the authorities are pressed against the wall to confess, two bad things can happen. First, it could really cause a panic in the country. Second, the way Indian politics is run, the ruling party would be thrown out of office if it was ever found out that the Government had withheld such information from the public." (See India Daily for December 31, 2004, "An enormous number of UFO sightings preceded the tsunami and earthquake in South and Southeast Asia," and for January 6, 2005, "India may be the first country to explain about extraterrestrial and UFO contacts." Also USA Today for January 5, 2005, "Isolated tribes on islands fared better than expected," page 8A. Many thanks to Prashant Solomon of UFO India and Elaine Douglass for these newspaper articles.)


FIERY UFO DESTROYS A SHED IN CHINO, CALIFORNIA

"An unidentified object fell from the sky and spooked Roswell residents."

"Roswell Avenue residents aren't sure what the unidentified flying object was, but it streaked across the sky about 10:30 p.m. on Tuesday," January 4, 2005, "and apparently hit the ground, touching off a fire that destroyed a neighbor's shed."

"The San Bernardino County Sheriff's Department said they got calls from Chino residents and motorists on (the) 210 and 71 Freeways reporting that an unidentified flying object was landing or crashing in town."

"'Somebody told one of our fire officials that they saw a plane crash,' said Fire Capt. Kim Johnson, who responded to the shed fire on Cozzens Street, close to Roswell Avenue."

"A helicopter search determined there wasn't a plane crash."

"'There are a lot of people who are convinced that something came out of the sky--that there was something unexplainable, a light falling from the sky,' Johnson said."

"Somebody called in saying they saw a fire in the sky, sheriff's spokeswoman Debra Holman said, 'At first we thought it was a transformer fire, but it's still undetermined.'"

"Firefighters are trying to determine the cause of the fire."

"'There may be a simple explanation,' Holman said, 'But who knows?'"

Chino is on Highway 60, the Pomona Freeway, and Highway 83, about midway between San Bernardino and Los Angeles. (See the Modesto, Cal. Bee for January 7, 2005, "Residents startled as UFO falls in Chino." Many thanks to Jim Hickman, Executive Director of Skywatch International, for this news report.)


TWELVE UFOs SEEN FROM HILL IN SAN FRANCISCO

On Saturday, January 1, 2005, at about 5 a.m., Michael L. and his girl friend were on a hilltop in San Francisco, California when they saw something unusual in the sky.

"I was having a smoke with my girl when these seven really odd-shaped, balloon-shaped things came in from my right," Michael reported, "Coming from the head was a thick streamer-like thing. There were also five more that followed closely behind. They were totally freaking me out. Were certainly odd-shaped balloons, but at least I could rationalize them. Then it got weird."

"As they were moving across my view, a much smaller white light kept moving away faster and not at such a high altitude. This I can't rationalize. It came out of nowhere, and there was no way it was a plane. Also, they all made no sound. If this was a plane, it would've woken up the entire neighborhood."

"I slid to the side of the tree. Some of them came out the other side and continued until they disappeared into the distance. On top of all this, my girl was experiencing everything I was, and she was just as freaked out. The 'balloons' were browish against a blue sky that had a lack of clouds."

"We were on top of one of San Francisco's hills. I talked to my cousin who lives near there, and he confirmed that we were looking south. So it came in from the west and went off to the east. The 12 might have been oddly- shaped balloons, but they had some very strange tails. The tails were probably 40 percent of" the diameter "of the circular heads. I had a distinct view of this for a good 10 to 15 seconds." (Many thanks to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike for this email report.)


HOVERING SAUCER SIGHTED BY A DENTIST IN FLORIDA

On Monday, January 3, 2005, Wayne M. Baker D.D.S. was driving on Little Road, about a quarter-mile south of Route 52 in Hudson, Florida (population 12,765) when he saw a strange object hovering above the road ahead.

"It was 6:30 p.m.," Dr. Baker reported, "The object was hovering above Little Road without movement, except for the flashing lights at the bottom of the spaceship. I was driving home from my office, and it was dark already. When I was about one mile (1.6 kilometers) south of Highway 52, I noticed a plane or helicopter with four bright lights surrounding it, and the fourth was underneath flashing brightly. From a distance, it appeared that the 'plane' had its landing lights on. When it came closer, I realized it wasn't shaped like a plane or helicopter, but it was much larger than any plane for civilian aircraft."

"When I was directly under it, I noticed that it was not very high up at all, so I could see into it clearly, as it was vertical instead of horizontal. I saw a brightly-lit yellow hallway that went all the way around the craft.

It was so clear that it seemed that it was going to land right there on Little Road. But as I drove east onto Route 52, it didn't follow me but stayed in place above the road."

"I continued on and then headed home. Immediately I contacted Channel 8, WFLA-TV and asked if anyone else had reported seeing the craft, which I would've imagined anyone could have noticed it. I am waiting for WFLA's reply." (Email Form Report)


SPHERICAL BLACK UFOs SEEN IN NEW ORLEANS

On Monday, January 3, 2005, at 12:30 p.m., Cathy S. was at home at her apartment near Lake Pontchartrain in New Orleans, Louisiana when she spotted something unusual in the sky.

"It appeared to be a large black sphere," Cathy reported, "I could hear what sounded like an engine but it was so very far away. There were at least six of them flying lower than the clouds but a little higher than the high-flying birds. It was very strange to see them fly so slow. One was so slow it appeared to be stationary. I have never seen anything like it. Could it be something from the military? They were very slow. Nothing like a helicopter." (Email Form Report)


BLACK SAUCER SIGHTED BY CROWD IN MEXICO CITY

On Monday, December 20, 2004, "the staff at Mexico City International Airport witnessed a strange flying object shaped like 'a black saucer' with what resembled 'a golden spinning top' on its upper section. It was at an altitude of approximately 200 meters (660 feet) at 12 noon."

"On (Friday) December 24 (2004), an aviation technician located unknown air traffic flying from east to west" over Mexico City, "passing very close to an airliner inbound from South America. According to witnesses on the ground, the UFO stopped and then ascended before vanishing into the high atmosphere. This event occurred at 4:30 p.m."

"Subsequently (Mexican ufologist) Horacio Rodriguez shot video (footage) of a cylindrical flying object having a metallic appearance to the east of Mexico City."

On Monday, December 27, 2004, "at 3 p.m., a spherical white flying object was seen suspended in the air near the control tower at Mexico City International Airport." (See the Mexican newspaper La Prensa for December 30, 2004. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Ana Luisa Cid Fernandez para esto articulo de diario.)


TOURIST PHOTOGRAPHS UFO AT A BEACH IN CHILE

"An unidentified flying object was captured in a photograph taken by a tourist, Raul Jara, at the Los Molinos beach resort" near Valdivia, Chile.

"Jara claims not having been aware of anything abormal when he pointed his camera torward the heavens of the Valdivian shoreline, while members of the Aedo Lovera and Jara Lovera families were startled by the find, pointing out 'at the time nothing strange was seen in the sky.'"

"The foregoing is due to the fact that they acknowledge that the object located over the subjects of the photograph has a certain resemblance to a helicopter."

"When contacted about this, Boris Lovera stated that 'in spite of the noise on the beach, the mutter of an aircraft flying over the area should have been heard at the time.'"

"Both families, however, are sceptical when it comes to confirming the presence of what could be an alien spacecraft."

"The phenomenon seen by the Valdivians was recorded at around 7 p.m. when both families were about ready to leave Los Molinos beach and head back to the city of Calle Calle."

"At that time, the temperature was around 24 degrees Celsius, and the skies along the coast were clear. Despite the 'showy' nature of the object, Raul Jara stated that 'no one else on the beach appears to have seen anything at all,' adding, 'We didn't notice the UFO. It was only after we got home and downloaded the photo into the computer.'"

"In fact, only one of the photos shows the presence of the UFO in the air, but it is not visible in the second shot."

"According to Boris Aedo, who appears in the lower left of the (family) photo, 'I was crouching when they took the first photo and, in a few seconds, there was nothing at all in the skies.'"

"Carabineros (Chilean national police--J.T.) of the Reten de Niebla cuartel (barracks) noted that no phone calls had been received regarding the presence of any unusual flying object. This was confirmed by the Pichoy Airport Traffic Control Tower, whose officials were completing their day's work at the time."

"The Los Molinos sighting can be added to those recorded in the area (Chile's 10th Region--J.T.) which brings up the old question: are we alone in the universe?"

Valdivia is in southern Chile about 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Santiago de Chile, the national capital. (See the Chilean newspaper La Segunda for January 3, 2005, "UFO reported in Chile's 10th Region." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Guillermo Gimenez para esto articulo de diario.)

UFOINFO Note: The photograph can be seen in the Chile UFO Sightings section of the UFOINFO site. See http://www.ufoinfo.com/sightings/chile/041200.shtml


OUT-OF-PLACE KANGAROO CAPTURED IN WISCONSIN

"A kangaroo's frigid walkabout in Iowa County, Wisconsin ended Wednesday," January 5, 2005, "after authorities tracked down the marsupial during heavy snowfall. But where the animal came from remained a mystery."

"Sheriff's deputies corralled the 150-pound male kangaroo in a barn after receiving calls from shocked residents who had seen it in parts of rural Dodgeville, Wisconsin (population 4,220)."

"Janelle Simpson, 77, spotted it hopping across her yard Wednesday morning and called the (Iowa County) Sheriff's Department."

"'He was going at a pretty good speed,' she said, 'I'm too old to be out chasing kangaroos.'"

"The kangaroo, which is native to Australia's bush country, where temperatures generally do not drop below the 30s" on the Fahrenheit scale "was wet from the snow but in good shape, said Jim Hubing, director of the Henry Vilas Zoo in Madison," Wisconsin's state capital, "where the animal was taken."

"'It can't survive in this cold, particularly with lack of food,' Hubing said."

"Temperatures in the area hovered in the teens and 20s, and there was between 1 and 3 inches of snow as of Wednesday morning, the National Weather Service said."

"Deputies and volunteer firefighters herded the kangaroo into Simpson's empty horse barn. The barn's high stalls kept the animal from hopping to another escape before it was coaxed into a crate to ride in a heated van to the zoo."

"'It appears to be very familiar with humans and is not afraid of them and didn't seem to be agitated,' Hubing said."

"The kangaroo will undergo medical tests to make sure it is healthy."

"Iowa County Sheriff Steve Michek said he doesn't have any idea where the animal came from."

"'Hopefully, it's not the case where somebody would have dropped it off or anything like that,' he said."

"The zoo, which has five red kangaroos and three wallabies, will keep the animal quarantined for at least 30 days. If an owner doesn't claim it, the kangaroo could remain at the zoo or possibly go to another facility, Hubing said."

"Michek said people who initially spotted the kangaroo Monday," January 3, 2005, "were hesitant to report it 'because they didn't want to be made a fool of.'"

"His department took the calls seriously because of the number of people who saw the animal."

"Simpson was amazed by the kangaroo's presence."

"'I asked the sheriff, 'What's going to be next--an elephant or something?''"

Dodgeville is in southern Wisconsin at the intersection of Highways 18 and 39, located about 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Madison." (See the Ashland, Wis. Daily Press for January 6, 2005, "Authorities chase down kangaroo on the loose.")

(Editor's Note: Dodgeville, Wis. is just 13 miles (22 kilometers) north of Wisconsin's Fayette County. Just thought you wanted to know.)


NASA AND U.S. NAVY CONDUCT A CLANDESTINE SEARCH IN ANTARCTICA

"On December 30, 1946, a U.S. Navy patrol plane with a crew of nine, mapping the Antarctic coast as part of a military effort called Operation High Jump crashed in a snowstorm after its radar failed to detect a slope not shown on the charts."

"Now the U.S. Navy, piggybacking on scientific explorations of western Antarctica, has begun an effort to locate the plane and recover the remains of the crew members who died."

"The crew members and their plane were part of what remains to this day the largest expedition ever in Antarctica, Operation High Jump, which was led by the reknowned polar explorer, Rear Admiral Richard E. Byrd, and consisted of 13 ships, 23 aircraft and 4,700 men."

"According to a 1946 Navy memorandum, the mission's goal was 'consolidating and extending U.S. sovereignty over Antarctic areas, investigating possible base sites and extending scientific knowledge in general."

"With the Cold War turning more frigid by the month, the venture unnerved the Soviet Union. The Soviet whaling fleet had just begun plying Antarctic waters, and a military publication called Red Fleet warned darkly that the operation was proof 'American military circles are seeking to subject the polar regions to their control.'"

"Argentina and Chile were none too happy, either. Both countries had their own overlapping claims to areas extending from the tip of South America. Their fears of an American incursion were heightened when Chile asked Washington's permission to send an observer along, but was turned down."

In their books, written in the 1970s, Wilhelm Landig and "outcast ufologist" Ernst Zundel claimed that Operation High Jump was literally "the last battle of World War II." In Secret Nazi Polar Expeditions (1978) and Hitler at the South Pole (1979), Zundel claimed that Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler had founded an SS colony in Antarctica called Neuschwabenland (German for New Swabia--J.T.). The base, known as Point 211, eventually became the Antarctic Reich.

Opinion is sharply divided about the final fate of Neuschwabenland. Some argue that the Nazis abandoned their Antarctic sanctuary in the 1960s and moved to sites in the Andes. Another group claims that the Antarctic Reich still exists and has grown into "a civilization under the ice," home to about 3 million people of German and Ukrainian descent. It's supposed to be somewhere in the Muhlig-Hoffman Mountains, adjacent to the ruins of Kadath, a city founded by settlers from the lost continent of Atlantis.

The Redemptionists believe that Adolf Hitler escaped from Berlin in April 1945, traveled to southern Argentina in a U-boat, and from there traveled to Neuschwabenland in a Nazi flying saucer. Hitler supposedly lived in Antarctica until 1952, when he reportedly traveled to the moon and met with aliens from space. These aliens took him to Aldebaran, 68 light-years from Earth. According to the legend, some day Hitler will return with an Aldebarani space armada.

On November 27, 2004, the Navy undertook "the initial flight...to try to locate the wreckage of the George 1," the plane that crashed in 1946. The search flight "was a joint one, conducted aboard a Chilean Navy Orion P-3 aircraft with a Chilean crew and NASA scientists working together."

"'This wasn't just a routine task for us,' said Capt. Christian Aldunate, the senior Chilean pilot on the recovery flight. 'It was a challenge to find clues that could help locate the plane, even though we knew it would be almost impossible to get at it because of the ice and snow that had piled up over so many years.'"

"During an 11-hour flight from and back to Punta Arenas, in the extreme south of Chile, the search plane dipped as low as 500 feet (150 meters) over Thurston Island so scientists could use radar and laser beams to try to locate the remains of the U.S. Navy PBM (Martin) Mariner seaplane."

"'Even today it's not easy, but we can rely on information from satellite photos, GPS systems and wind predictions,' Aldunate said, referring to global positioning networks. 'But from the time they took off until the time they arrived in the area, they had no idea what to expect.'"

"Though little known in the outside world, the three men who died in the (1946) crash--Wendell K. Hendersin, Maxwell Lopez and Frederick Williams--are still celebrated in Antarctica as heroes."

"At McMurdo Station, a U.S. research base on the edge of the Ross Ice Shelf, there is a plaque to honor the men, the first Americans to die on any of Byrd's many expeditions." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 2, 2005, "Navy tries to find plane lost in Antarctica 58 years ago," page 7A.)


SECRET SERVICE BANS CROSSES AT INAUGURAL

"A Christian group is accusing the U.S. Secret Service of religious discrimination and censorship for issuing a memo that bans Christian crosses from the presidential inauguration parade later this month."

"Rev. Patrick J. Mahoney, director of the Washington D.C.-based Christian Defense Coalition, contends the Secret Service 'trampled the First Amendment and crushed religious freedom in the public square.'"

"'Simply put, it is religious bigotry and censorship,' he said, 'It is even more troubling when one realizes that it is only Christian symbols that have been excluded from the inauguration parade.'"

"Tom Mazur, spokesman for the Secret Service, told WorldNet Daily the prohibition is simply a security matter that has nothing to do with the religious nature of the cross."

"'The reference to the cross is strictly in response to structure, certainly not the symbol,' he said, 'There is no prohibition based on content, only structure, as materials that could be used in a potentially harmful or threatening manner.'"

"The prohibition was issued in a December 17 (2004) memo to the National Park Service that the Christian Defense Coalition received along with the approved demonstration permit."

"Mahoney's group plans to be at the January 20 (2005) event for a prayer vigil and 'to challenge President Bush to remember the innocent children who have been lost through abortion and to appoint pro-life judges.'"

"The Department of Homeland Security has designated the four days of inaugural events a National Security Special Event, putting the Secret Service in charge of overall security planning."

"Already security has been heightened around the White House, where police have set up a street checkpoint with a sign reading '100 percent ID check.'"

"Mazur said crosses would be allowed at the parade site if they conformed to the material and size restriction applied to signs and placards. For example, a cross made of cardboard could be brought, he offered."

"But Mahoney told WorldNet Daily that explanation 'doesn't fly,' saying that the prohibition outlined in the memo bans crosses outright and does not say they are allowed if they meet certain restrictions, such as those outlined for signs and placards."

"In the past, he said, his group had brought wooden crosses to the inauguration 'to remind people of innocent lives lost through abortion.'"

"Mahoney and his legal team will definitely send a letter to the Secret Service, demanding the group rescind the prohibition."

"'The only way we would not go to court on this--the Secret Service will have to issue an apology and remove this ban altogether,' he said."

Mahoney's group has attended every presidential inauguration since 1993. "In 1997, he successfully sued in federal court for the right to get a demonstration permit for President Clinton's second inaugural parade. Prior to this, no protest permits were issued, he said."

"'To my knowledge, this is the first time the federal government has ever singled crosses out,' said Mahoney, 'I have been involved in public gatherings and demonstrations for 27 years, and I have never heard of a cross being used as a weapon anywhere.'" (See WorldNet Daily for January 5, 2005, "Officials ban crosses at inauguration parade." Many thanks to Jim Danvers for this news story.)

(Editor's Comment: And if poor Dubya didn't have enough problems...)


TEXAS PSYCHIC PREDICTS BUSH WON'T FINISH TERM

"With 2005 only a few hours old, El Paso psychic Lady D.is helping us take a glimpse at what might occur this year."

"Early last year (2004), Janet Jackson made a splash with her 'wardrobe malfunction.' Her brother, Michael Jackson, will be in the spotlight early this year with his trial on child molestation charges set to begin January 31."

"'He will be found guilty, but I don't see him serving time,' Lady D. said, 'I see him leaving the country (USA). The trial will get very ugly.'"

"Though the news doesn't bode well for Jackson, famed serial bride and fiancee Jennifer Lopez will stay married to singer Marc Anthony in 2005."

"'Her marriage will last another year or two,' Lady D. said, 'Commitment just isn't where she is.'"

"In the non-celebrity world, lots of things will happen. Events in June and July will cause economic change in August for the United States, Lady D. said."

"The new year will be the start of President Bush's second term in office, but whether he finishes will be another story."

"'I don't see George Bush finishing his second term,' Lady D. said, 'I see Bush will leave office. Something from within the government will lead him to leave office." (See the El Paso, Tex. Times for January 2, 2005, "Borderland News." Many thanks to Dolores Loayza Ortiz for this newspaper article.)

(Editor's Comment: Prophecy? Or wishful thinking on Lady D's part? As always, let us wait and see.)


COAST-TO-COAST STORM BLANKETS USA IN SNOW

A mega-storm rolled across the USA from California to Massachusetts last week, blanketing the country in several inches of snow.

"Rain-soaked California got wetter Monday," January 3, 2005, "as another storm dumped heavy snow in the mountains, eroded beaches and shut down a 40-mile (64- kilometer) stretch of the state's major north-south highway."

"About two feet (60 centimeters) of snow fell in the Tejon Pass north of Los Angeles, stranding some drivers and shutting down a section of Interstate (Highway) 5."

"One man died in the San Fernando Valley when his car went off a road and slammed into a palm tree."

"In Goleta (population 55,204), near Santa Barbara, surging high tides washed away tons of sand deposited last year as part of a $2 million beach preservation project."

"The latest storm swept through northern California on Sunday," January 2, 2005, intermittently closing two main routes across the Sierra Nevada (mountains). Both were opened Monday morning."

"Some ski resorts in the Lake Tahoe area reported as much as 9 feet (2.7 meters) of snow since late last week. 'It's pretty much been non-stop,' said California Highway Patrol Sgt. Jon Dietrich."

"In Nevada, crews struggled for a fourth day to clear roads after a powerful storm dumped up to 4 feet (1.2 meters) of snow in some areas around Reno. 'We're making progress,' city spokesman Steve Frady said. He called it the community's heaviest snowfall in 15 years."

"Snow and freezing rain swept through Colorado on Tuesday," January 4, 2005, closing schools and causing scores of accidents during the morning rush."

"Some schools closed early in Nebraska as snow cut visibility."

"Dozens of schools in Kansas canceled classes because of icy highways."

"Rain moving out of California caused flooding early Tuesday in Arizona. One man died in Tonto Creek, 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Phoenix."

The storm "spread a smear of ice and snow from the Rockies to the Northeast on Wednesday," January 5, 2005, "snarling highway and airline traffic, causing record-low temperatures in the Midwest and snapping power lines serving tens of thousands of people."

"The snow, sleet and freezing rain were part of a mass of cold air that dropped the temperature to a January 5 record low of 39 below zero in Grand Forks, North Dakota (population 49,321)."

"According to the National Weather Service, the coldest spot in northern Minnesota was the town of Embarrass (population 250), which hit 43 degrees below zero Fahrenheit," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor reported, "Here in Duluth, it was 22 below zero on Wednesday morning. My orange juice froze in its straw on my way to work. A customer at the store told me it was 30 below at Pike Lake, just north of the city."

"Up to an inch of ice coated the Kansas City area and layers a half-inch thick glazed highways in Iowa, Oklahoma and the Texas Panhandle, causing numerous traffic accidents."

"Snow was scattered from the Colorado Rockies--which got 20 inches (50 centimeters) in just 12 hours at Aspen-- across the Plains and Great Lakes all the way into New England."

"Weather-related traffic deaths included five in Oklahoma, and one each in Colorado, Nebraska and South Dakota. Two traffic deaths in Michigan were probably the result of the storm, authorities said."

In Wisconsin, a semi-trailer overturned on Interstate Highway I-90 outside Janesville (population 59,498).

"In Chicago, which had 9 inches (23 centimeters) of snow, more than 1,300 flights were cancelled at O'Hare International Airport on Wednesday and Thursday," January 6, 2004. "Flight delays of up to two hours were common at major airports from Illinois to Massachusetts."

"In New England, several inches of snow Thursday was soon encased in ice as freezing rain followed. Hundreds of car accidents were reported in Connecticut, where Hartford," the state capital, "had 8 inches (21 centimeters) of snow."

"In Ohio, ten families were rescued by boat in McConnelsville, southeast of Columbus, after the Muskingum River rose to its highest mark in 40 years. The Ohio River was forecast to rise to 8 feet (2.4 meters) above flood stage by tonight."

"In West Virginia, three bridges across the Ohio River were shut down for hours after 16 barges broke loose from a power plan dock upstream from Wheeling."

"In several states, thick ice from freezing rain broke tree limbs, snapped utility lines and downed power poles, leaving nearly half a million customers without electricity."

"Outages included 100,000 homes in Kansas, more than 100,000 in Indiana and nearly 250,000 in Ohio."

"Most of the storm deaths came on icy roads, including a mother and her four children in a car wreck in Oklahoma. Twelve other traffic deaths were reported in Oklahoma, Illinois, Colorado, Nebraska, South Dakota, Indiana and Michigan. Three people in Illinois died while clearing snow."

"Still missing is a man in Arizona who disappeared in a rain-swollen stream and a Missouri couple whose car washed into a creek."

In other strange-weather news, "Kansas had a record number of tornadoes in 2004, but no storm-related deaths. The 124 twisters broke the record of 116 set in 1991. The higher number may be the result of better storm-spotting technology and an increase in the number of storm spotters, said Mike Smith of WeatherData, a private forecasting service." (See USA Today for January 4, 2005, "Calif. sun gives way to rain, snow," page 3A; January 5, 2005, "After battering Calif., snowstorm goes east," page 3A, and "Around the USA: Kansas," page 13A; and January 7, 2004, "As storm slams East, another brews in West," page 3A; and the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 6, 2005, "Storm knocks out power, stops traffic in heartland," page 6A.)

(Editor's Comment: The wild weather isn't just confined to the USA. Read on...)


BIG FREEZE HITS PERSIAN GULF AND NEW ZEALAND

Not only is the USA being hit by "the Big Freeze," Arab countries in the Persian Gulf and New Zealand, an island nation in the South Pacific, are being hit by abnormally cold temperatures, as well.

It's especially strange in the case of New Zealand, which experiences its summer in January.

"Snow has fallen in the United Arab Emirates for the first time ever, leaving a white blanket over the mountains of Ras al-Khaimen as the desert country experienced a cold spell and above-average rainfall."

"The snow fell on the Al-Jees mountain range in Ras al-Khaimen, the most southerly range of the United Arab Emirates (UAE) federation, Dubai's airport meteorological department said."

The Al-Jees range "at 1,737 meters (5,732 feet) above sea level 'had heavy night-time snowfall for the past four days as a result of temperatures dropping as low as minus 5 Celsius' and stunning the emirate's residents."

"On Monday," December 27, 2004, "12.6 centimeters (5 inches) of rain fell on the desert emirate of Dubai, where it hardly ever rains."

"A cold spell hit the country this week, with the mercury plunging to 12 degrees Celsius in Dubai on Wednesday night," December 29, 2004.

Like the other countries of Earth's southern hemisphere, New Zealand is having its summer in January. But low temperatures have been hitting the South Island all week.

"New Zealanders complaining about unusual summer rain in recent weeks are now seeing icebergs in their territorial waters for the first time since 1948."

"The icebergs were seen in the Southern Ocean about 700 kilometers (420 miles) southeast of (New Zealand's) South Island, the National Institute of Weather and Atmospheric Research (NIWA) said."

"They are a hazard to all shipping, including yachts participating in the Vendeeglobe solo round-the-world race, officials said."

"The Vendeeglobe Web site has issued a warning to competitors after one sailor sustained minor damage to his boat after he hit an iceberg just before Christmas."

"NIWA scientist Lionel Carter said 15 icebergs, some up to 3 kilometers (2 miles) wide, have been recorded."

(Editor's Comment: This is incredible. In the USA, it would be like seeing giant icebergs off Myrtle Beach, South Carolina in July.)

"Previously, icebergs were reported in these waters in the 1890s, early 1920s, 1930s and in 1948."

"The icebergs are believed to be drifting away toward South America."

"On Monday (January 3, 2005), it was 54 degrees on the Fahrenheit scale here in Dunedin," Kirsty MacLaren, UFO Roundup correspondent in New Zealand, reported, "My uncle has a sheep station near Roxburgh (in the Southern Alps, about 110 kilometers or 66 miles west of Dunedin-- J.T.), and it was 41 degrees there. Where did our summer go?"

In other weird weather news, two tornadoes ravaged a large city in Brazil's state of Santa Catarina on Monday, January 3, 2005.

"The city of Criciuma (population 200,000) was struck by two tornadoes on Monday," Brunilda Barros, UFO Roundup's correspondent in Brazil reported. "The first tornado appeared at the city's edge at 3 p.m. Then, at about 4:15 p.m., the second tornado moved into the city. Both tornadoes were estimated be an F3 on the Fujikawa scale. Two people were killed, and over 250 houses were damaged. Many had their tile rooftops peeled off."

"Meteorologists here say Brazil lacks the capability to accurately forecast tornadoes. So people have no warning that they are coming," Brunilda added.

Criciuma is in southern Santa Catarina state, located about 400 kilometers (250 miles) south of Sao Paulo, Brazil's largest city and also the largest city in South America.

(Editor's Comment: Again, this is really incredible. Tornadoes are as rare in Brazil as icebergs. And a pair of F3 tornadoes that close to the South Atlantic--amazing!
Criciuma is only 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the ocean.)
(See the New Zealand Herald for January 5, 2005, "Icebergs appear in New Zealand waters," the Gulf News for December 30, 2004, "UAE sees first ever snow," and O Mineirao of Belo Horizonte for January 4, 2005. Many thanks to Kirsty MacLaren and Ayesha al-Khatabi for these newspaper articles. Tambem obrigado a Brunilda Barros e Rosamelia de Abreu por esto articulo do jornal.)


MASON GETS PROBATION IN LONG ISLAND SHOOTING

"A retiree who accidentally shot a friend to death during an initiation ceremony at a Masonic lodge" in Riverhead, Long Island, N.Y. "pleaded guilty Friday," January 7, 2005, "to criminally negligent homicide and was sentenced to five years of probation."

"Albert Eid, 77, past Master of the Long Island Lodge, appeared tearful as he told a judge he was sorry for shooting William James."

"James, 47, was shot in the face last March (2004). During the initiation, he was seated in a chair, and a small platform with cans was placed near his head. Eid was supposed to fire blanks and another Mason was supposed to knock the cans down to make James think bullets had been fired."

"Police said Eid mistakenly pulled a loaded .32- caliber handgun from his left pants pocket instead of a .22-caliber pistol with blanks that was in his right pocket."

"In a statement, James' widow, Susan, said her husband wanted to be one of the Masons' clowns who visit sick children in hospitals."

"'I miss him terribly, and all because of grown men playing little boys' games,' she said." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 8, 2005, "Man gets probation for fatal Masons' initiation shooting," page 5A.)


READER FEEDBACK:

WEIRD DOINGS AT CHOPMIST HILL

Concerning Scituate, R.I.'s mysterious Potato Sniper, Terry Duckworth, who now styles himself "Archimagos Maximus of Tsathoggua," writes, "Yes, Joe, Peeptoad Road was named after Tsathoggua (pronounced Zuh-THOG-you-ah-- J.T.). Not only that, but that whole section of western Rhode Island--the home of Lovecraft's maternal relatives-- is steeped in mystery."

"Take (Scituate's) Chopmist Hill, for instance. Just off Route 101, on the west side of the road is the Chopmist Apple Farm, the farmhouse was built by a grandson of Rhode Island's founder, Roger Williams. The house was destroyed by a fire poltergeist in 1920."

"At the top of Chopmist Hill was located a Revolutionary War beacon. Scituate's town history describes it as 'a pail of tar on a pole, to be lighted in case British troops approached.' But there were strange lights seen on Chopmist Hill as early as 1731."

"At the foot of the hill, diggers in the 1930s discovered a queer granite altar top, with three circular depressions--pools to catch blood, perhaps?--and a legend chiseled on the back Uriah Harris 1815."

"Less than a mile away, next to the old Chopmist Hill Inn, is the three-story Dexter Arnold farmhouse. Nearby is the junction with Route 14, with the quaint name of Crazy Corners. What else would you call a spot with occasional showers of small frogs and toads, luminous apparitions in the woods, and ice forming on barn rafters in early August?"

"Wasn't it William Harris, of the Harrises of Chopmist Hill, who built 'the Shunned House' in Providence, R.I. in 1763? And wasn't it Rhoby Dexter he married? And wasn't it her sister, Mercy Dexter, who for long years was the chatelaine of that queer old Georgian mansion on College Hill, still the most haunted spot in Providence?"

"Lovecraft knew things he dared not put in his writing. Or, if he did, his white-livered editor, Farnsworth Wright, refused to publish them in Weird Tales."

"Did you know, Joe, that Miss Ellen E. Irons, the octogenarian who took Lovecraft on that tour of the Clemence House in Manton (section of Johnston, R.I.--J.T.) in the summer of 1936, was a daughter of the Irons family of Ponagansett, the village closest to Crazy Corners? Ponagansett no longer exists. The village was abandoned in the Nineteenth Century to make way for the Scituate Reservoir."

"Best you don't eat any potatoes from the overgrown garden of Uriah Harris at the foot of Chopmist Hill. Those plants have been feeding well--I won't say on what. Heh-heh-heh. One bite and you'll go slip-sliding down the toboggan slope of bass-ackward evolution." (Editor's Comment: That does it! From now on, I'm sticking with french fries from the Burger King at Six Corners in Rumford, R.I.)


From the UFO Files...

1824: EXECUTIVE MANSION OR MASONIC SHRINE?

During the recent Christmas holiday, an interesting story appeared in WorldNet Daily. Evangelical Christians were wondering why there was no display honoring the Nativity at the White House. Since "Jesus is the reason for the season," the absence of any image or even mention of the Galilean had the evangelicals puzzled, particularly since President George W. Bush is reputed to be a born- again Christian.

The White House spin machine trotted out the usual explanations for why Santa Claus and Rudolph the Red-Nosed Reindeer got top billing during December. Dubya is president of all the people, et cetera, et cetera.

But if you think there is no image of a deity in that big mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue in Washington D.C., think again.

On your next visit to the White House, spend a few minutes in the Blue Room.
Once known as the Elliptical Room, this oval chamber has blue curtains and "a blue draped valance trimmed with a tasseled empire border." Dangling from the ceiling is a large crystal chandelier, and "the furniture has blue-and- gold upholstery."

The most striking feature in the Blue Room is "the white marble mantle, decorated with sheaves of marble arrows, tipped and feathered in bronze." It's one of the oldest furnishings in the mansion, dating back to 1792, and it's highly reminiscent of a Roman altar.

Now take a look at the ornate clock on the mantle. This clock, "decorated with a seated figure of Minerva, is said to have been given by (the Marquis de) Lafayette to George Washington."

Minerva was the Roman goddess of wisdom, whose symbol was the owl. In this she was akin to the goddess Athena of ancient Greece or to Isis, the sister-wife of Osiris, and a leading deity of the religion of ancient Egypt.

How that little idol got into the White House is a bit of a mystery. George Washington never lived in the mansion. The first president to live there was his successor, John Adams, and the Adams family didn't move in until 1797, five years after the Blue Room was furnished with that curious mantle.

As with so many other arcana in the USA's capital city, the answer appears to lie with Freemasonry.

Modern Freemasonry began with the founding of the Grand Lodge of London on June 24, 1717--St. John's Day, the traditional feast day of John the Baptist, "the voice in the wilderness" mentioned in the New Testament. But the Masonic order claims to be much older.

On March 21, 1737, Andrew Michael Ramsey, famous as "le Chevalier Ramsey," made a speech in which he "places the origins of the Masonic rituals 'at the time of the Crusades' and associates them with...the Knights Templar and the esoteric traditions of other medieval Christian orders."

"It is interesting that Ramsey also goes on to state in his (spring equinox--J.T.) Oration that 'the famous festivals of Ceres at Eleusis, of Isis in Egypt, of Minerva at Athens, of Urania among the Phoenicians, and Diana in Scythia, were connected to ours.'" That is, to the festivals and rituals of Freemasonry.

If the Blue Room and its Minerva clock and Roman altar were the only Masonic artifacts in the mansion, we could probably pass it off as a coincidence. But there's a full-sized Masonic temple on the first floor.

This is the vast East Room, which faces the rising sun and occupies the mansion's entire eastern wing. This is truly "the 'great hall' in the White House...87 and a half feet long and approximately 45 feet" wide. "Three immense crystal chandeliers, with thousands of glittering pendants, hang from an elaborately decorated plaster ceiling. The walls are of paneled wood, enlivened with Corinthian pilasters, reproducing the decor established in the renovation of 1902."

"On the walls are two notable pictures--full-length portraits of George and Martha Washington." When the British captured Washington D.C. in August 1814, George's painting was rescued by a one-time little Quaker girl from Virginia named Dorothy Payne, who grew up to become Dolly Madison, the wife of the USA's fourth president and the most famous and flamboyant of all the First Ladies.

(Editor's Comment: Was L. Frank Baum, himself a Mason and a Theosophist, aware of this bit of trivia when he made "Dorothy Gale" the heroine of his novel, The Wonderful Wizard of Oz?)

The Madisons never returned to the White House after it was burned by the British. They resided instead at the Octagon House at 1799 New York Avenue N.W. The Octagon is the second most haunted house in Washington, after the White House, and the stories coming out of there make H.P. Lovecraft's Cthulu tales read like My Pet Goat.

No, the White House was not occupied again until 1817, following a meticulous reconstruction by James Hoban, the original architect who built the mansion in 1792. Hoban was also the founder of Federal Lodge No. 15, the first Masonic lodge in Washington D.C. (For more on Mr. Hoban, see UFO Roundup, volume 10, number 1 for January 5, 2005, "1792: Strange secrets of the White House.")

Renovation work continued even after President James Monroe (the USA's fifth president--J.T.) and his family moved in. Curiously, the first White House wedding was centered in both the Blue and the East Rooms. In 1820, the president's daughter, Maria Hester Monroe, married Lawrence Gouverneur in the Blue Room, and the wedding reception was held in the East Room.

In 1886, President Grover Cleveland married Frances Folsom in the Blue Room, again suggesting a kind of chapel. A photograph from 1893 shows the Blue Room with its distinctive Minerva clock on the mantle. And, if you take a magnifying glass to the wallpaper, the Masonic compass-and-square motif is apparent in the design.

The East Room is also where President Monroe received Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, during the latter's trip to the USA in 1824. That may explain why the marble bust of Lafayette is in there. But it doesn't explain why the bust is situated on a pedestal in a small alcove in the wall, with two Masonic pillars (representing Jachin and Boaz ?--J.T.) several feet in front and a standing lamp on the bust's right-hand side.

Who ordered the first post-War of 1812 renovation of the East Room? Why, none other than Andrew Jackson, the USA's seventh president, whose bronze equestrian statue dominates the center of Lafayette Square. It was Jackson who renamed what had been President's Square after the marquis, one of Europe's most formidable occultists. And it was Jackson who had White House architect James Hoban renovate the East Room.

According to David Ovason, author of The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital, "Prior to being elected to the seventh presidency, Andrew Jackson had been the Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee...The records appear to have been lost, for H.L. Haywood, Famous Masons and Masonic Presidents, 1968 edition, page 35, reports Grand Chaplain Philip Neeley (speaking after Jackson's death) as saying that in the early part of his life, Jackson attended the Philanthropic Lodge No. 12, under the Grand Lodge of Kentucky. The Lodge surrendered its charter in 1812, and Jackson's name is not on its rolls. However, he was present at the opening of a Lodge at Greenville (Grand Lodge of North Carolina) on September 5, 1801."

Apparently, it was Jackson who had Hoban transform the inner wall of the East Room into a Masonic shrine to the Marquis de Lafayette.

Lafayette's bust looks out from its alcove toward the south portico of the White House. The portico, designed by Hoban's friend and fellow Mason, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, resembles an ancient solar temple. The southward view faces the city's nod to ancient Egypt--the 555-foot obelisk we call the Washington Monument.

If you draw a straight line from the White House's south portico to the Washington Monument, and then continue that line across the Potomac River, you wind up at Shooters Hill in Alexandria, Virginia--the site of the George Washington Masonic National Memorial.

Located at 101 Callahan Drive in Alexandria, Va., the Masonic memorial stands 400 feet high and resembles the Pharos, the lighthouse in Alexandria, Egypt, which, incidentally, was sacred to Isis. "Intended as a lasting tribute to Washington the Mason, the lofty structure was designed by Harvey Wiley Corbett and financed by individual contributions from more than three million members of the order. From a square base with a Greek- temple portico," the memorial "rises in a series of three cubical units capped by a steep pyramid."

"The tour leads up through several lodge rooms, including a Masonic library and the Washington Room, which displays artifacts such as Washington's Revolutionary War field trunk and a lock of his hair. Downstairs, visitors can play with the antiquated historical exhibits and peer into mysterious Masonic meeting rooms. A 330-foot (100- meter) observation deck provides an amazing view of Old Town (Alexandria) and the D.C. (District of Columbia) metropolitan area."

Need I mention that 330 equals 33 times 10, with 33 being the mystic number in Freemasonry?

Callahan Drive connects with King Street, which runs from the top of Shooters Hill down to the riverfront. Believe it or not, King Street was actually surveyed by George Washington himself. In 1749, 16-year-old George assisted John West Jr. in laying out the town's principal streets.

Originally known as the Howsen grant, Alexandria was settled in 1732, the year of George Washington's birth, by immigrants from Scotland who built tobacco warehouses along the old Oronoco Road. The Scots called their settlement Belhaven, and in 1748 it was incorporated as the town of Alexandria, named after Colonel John Alexander who had purchased the Howsen grant a few years earlier.

Or was it? Perhaps it was named after the original Alexandria in Egypt, the seat of the cult of Isis in Cleopatra's day.

In any event, no one seems able to explain why the riverfront section of Alexandria is called Rosslyn, after the stronghold of Henry Sinclair and the Knights Templar in Scotland.

Throughout 1789 and 1790, Congress wrestled with the thorny question of where to build "the federal city" that would become the USA's capital. John Adams wanted Germantown, Pennsylvania. Others preferred rural sites in New Jersey. Thomas Jefferson and James Madison insisted upon a capital in the South.

A compromise hammered out by Jefferson and Alexander Hamilton resolved the issue in the South's favor, and Virginia and Maryland donated land on either side of the Potomac to become the new "state of Columbia." The Residence Bill passed through Congress on July 16, 1790, investing the president with the authority to choose the site of the new federal city.

Originally, President Washington selected Alexandria as the site. Shooters Hill would have become the site of the U.S. Capitol. But then, for some unknown reason, he changed his mind and selected Jenkins Hill on the Maryland side of the Potomac.

So, instead of the dome of the U.S. Capitol rising on Shooters Hill, we have the step-pyramid of the Washington Masonic National Memorial, which is on a direct line with the Washington Monument and the south portico and East Room of the White House.

One has to wonder if that Masonic pyramid on Shooters Hill in Alexandria is the real Capitol of the United States of America. (See the books Washington D.C.: A Guide to the Nation's Capital, edited by Randall Bond Truett, Hastings House, New York, N.Y., new revised edition 1968, pages 26, 27, 28, 232, 233, 238, 239, 244, 245, 456, 457, 460, 461 and 464; The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital by David Ovason, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, N.Y., 2004, pages 62, 63, 64, 65, 318, 328, 329, 330 and 455; Beautiful Washington D.C. by Gene Gurney, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, N.Y., 1969, pages 56, 57, 60, 61, 62 and 63; A Guide to the Architecture of Washington D.C. edited by Hugh Newell Jacobsen, Frederick A. Praeger Publishers, 1965, pages 40, 67 and 98; Washington D.C. 2003, edited by Brian Wansley Flanagan, St. Martin's Press, New York, N.Y., 2003, pages 34, 60, 62 and 104; Washington D.C., Official National Park Guidebook, U.S. Department of the Interior, Government Printing Office, Washington D.C., 1989, pages 82, 83, 84, 85, 105 and 127; and Talisman by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, HarperCollins Publishers Ltd., Hammersmith, London, 2004, pages 344, 346, 347, 348, 349, 350 and 351.)

Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home- -UFO Roundup." See you next time.

UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2005 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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