HUYGENS MAKES SAFE LANDING ON TITAN
"A European spacecraft Friday," January 14, 2005, "sent back the first detailed pictures of the frozen surface of Saturn's largest moon, Titan, showing stunning black-and-white images of what appeared to be hilly terrain riddled with channels or riverbeds carved by a liquid."
"One picture, taken about 10 miles (16 kilometers) above the surface as the Huygens spacecraft descended by parachute to a safe landing after a seven-year voyage from Earth, showed snaking dark lines cut into the light- colored surface."
"'Clearly there is liquid matter flowing on the surface of Titan,' said scientist Marty Tomasko of the Lunar and Planetary Laboratory at the University of Arizona in Tucson, which made the probe's camera."
"'It almost looks like a river delta,' he said, 'It could be liquid methane or hydrocarbons that settled out of the haze' that envelops Titan."
"Another image, taken about 5 miles (8 kilometers) above the surface, showed light and dark masses, which Tomasko said seemed to be shadows, indicating a varied terrain. The dark areas appeared to be flooded or to have been so at an earlier time."
"A third image taken at the surface showed several large white chunks--boulders or blocks of water ice--in the foreground and a stretch of gray surface behind them."
"'There aren't too many planets with liquid,' Tomasko said, 'There's Earth, and now there's Titan.'"
"'We clearly have a success,' said Dr. Jean-Jacques Dordain, director-general of the European Space Agency (ESA), 'This is a fantastic success for Europe."
"Titan is the first moon other than Earth's to be explored." With a diameter of 3,190 miles, Titan is slightly larger than the planet Mercury. Titan's surface temperature is 292 degrees below zero on the Fahrenheit scale. Titan is about 1.3 billion miles (1.9 billion kilometers) from Earth.
"Huygens was spun off from the Cassini mother ship on (Friday) December 24 (2004) before its descent to the surface of Titan."
"Scientists say they received more than three hours of data from Huygens ' descent and more than 10 minutes of data to the surface. Applause erupted at Mission Control in Darmstadt (Germany) at news of the data transmission."
Huygens entered Titan's thick atmosphere at an altitude of about 250 miles (400 kilometers). It then dropped through the Haze Zone, between 186 and 62 miles (297 to 99 kilometers) and then through rain until it reached the surface.
"The heart of the mission was the probe's two-and-a- half hour parachute descent, taking pictures and sampling the atmosphere before landing on Titan."
"Early signals confirmed the probe had powered up for entry and deployed the parachute, and officials were confident it made a safe landing because Huygens was designed to go on transmitting from the surface for at least three minutes before its batteries died--a total transmission of less than three hours. But the signals kept coming for more than five hours."
"The Cassini-Huygens mission was launched October 15, 1997 from Cape Canaveral, Florida. Mission officials--who have waited since 1997 for Huygens to reach its destination--had tears in their eyes as the first signal was picked up, indicating the probe was transmitting to the Cassini mother ship."
The probe was named after Christiaan Huygens, a Netherlands astronomer who discovered Titan while exploring the rings of Saturn by telescope during the Seventeenth Century. (See the Minneapolis Star-Tribune for January 15, 2005, "Images from Titan amaze," page 1A, and "Channels can be seen in frozen surface," page 4A.)
FIREBALL AND SKY BOOM FRIGHTEN MANY IN INDIA
"Villages in India are in a state of shock and local officials are baffled after a fireball was seen crashing to Earth Tuesday night (January 11, 2005), causing a massive explosion."
"'I saw a large ball of fire in the air,' a farmhouse caretaker told the (newspaper) Mumbai Mid-Day. 'It arrived from the east so fast that, before I could do anything, my house shook and all my utensils came crashing down.'"
"More than half a dozen villages near Khopoli, Uran and Panvel felt the impact."
"Locals ran outside of their homes and remained outside for fear of roofs collapsing."
"'The noise was so loud. For a moment, I thought I had turned deaf. It was almost like a huge bomb blast,' said resident R. Chaitanya."
"More than 80 calls about the event flooded the regional police headquarters in Navi Mumbai."
Immediately after the sky boom, "a tornado-like effect was also detected in the jungled districts of Bazruddin, Wavochi and Karochi, which saw trees uprooted."
"Air traffic control officers say all planes have been accounted for, and the Mumbai Meteorological Department ruled out any aerolite or meteorite event."
"Officer D.D. Bharsat in the village of Bharapada told the Mid-Day he saw fire and smoke" in the sky "and the impact sent leaves and other small articles from the ground hurtling into the air."
"But police still haven't reportedly found the area where the blast occurred."
"'Our men are travelling from village to village to find the exact spot of the unidentified explosion,' Superintendent Dyaneshwar Phadtare of the Rhigad police said. 'Many heard the explosion but nobody has been able to pinpoint the spot.'" (See the Indian newspaper Mumbai Mid-Day for January 12, 2005. Many thanks to Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda for forwarding this newspaper article.)
(Editor's Comment: Welcome to Earth Gets Clobbered Week here at UFO Roundup. Fireballs and sky booms were seen all over our planet last week If this was the January meteor shower, it's ten days ahead of schedule. Read on...)
FIREBALL SEEN BY HUNDREDS NEAR TUCUMAN, ARGENTINA
"A strange apparition appeared in the sky on Tuesday night," January 11, 2005, "in Tucuman province, Argentina. It surprised many Tucumanos and people in different towns of the province. No one is certain what occurred, but the experts believe that it might have been a meteorite."
"'It was a ball of fire that crossed the sky from north to south. As it passed over, it lit up the entire sky like a white star. It then disappeared to the southeast,' explained Rene Arganaraz, who was with his companion Ricardo Baunaly at their house in Tafi Viejo," 8 kilometers (5 miles) northwest of San Miguel de Tucuman, the provincial capital, "at 11:30 p.m."
"'There was a strong explosion,' the two men agreed."
Argentina's "Civil Defense reported, 'People described an impressive luminosity in the sky, followed by an explosion and a shaking of the earth.'"
"Many of the witnesses were from Leales and Cruz Alta," 20 kilometers (12 miles) southwest of San Miguel de Tucuman, "who said they observed a blue or green light. Other witnesses in Termas de Rio Hondo claim to have seen something similar to 'a shower of stars.'"
"'It was definitely a meteor. They observed an enormous star of white light, very brilliant, late Tuesday evening. The meteor must have disintegrated in the upper atmosphere,' said an expert from the local university." (See the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio for January 12, 2005. Muchas gracias a Monica Gaetano de Silva para esto articulo de diario.)
FIREBALL SPOOKS CROWD IN ANTIGO, WISCONSIN
"On Tuesday evening," January 11, 2004, "there was light where there should be none and noise where quiet should have reigned."
"Antigo (population 8,560) and Langlade County were apparently in the path of a meteor that brought reports of strange happenings from South Dakota to central Wisconsin. Motorists who were traversing the area reported the bright light in the sky about 6:15 p.m., and there were sounds that had people answering unknocked doors and peering into yards to determine who or what was lurking outside their homes."
"The calls to local law enforcement started at about 6:12 p.m. with reports that a meteor had gone down in the Neva area and near the Langlade-Lincoln County line. But as far as anyone knows, there is no evidence that the meteor came to Earth."
"Many people heard the noise and saw the light; houses rattled as the meteor passed."
"Area law enforcement agencies contacted the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA) at the" Minneapolis-St. Paul International Airport "to determine what was going on, and the tower personnel said they had taken reports from an aircraft flying at 31,000 feet south of Eau Claire (Wisconsin) and another from a pilot outside of Sioux Falls, South Dakota. Both reported bright flashes of light in the sky."
"The Langlade County Sheriff's Department, in a report entitled 'X-File Info,' noted that loggers working in the area of the Taylor-Lincoln County line had reported seeing the glow of a fire in the woods, but were unable to find the source of the light."
Antigo, Wis. is on Highway 45, just west of the Menominee Indian Reservation, about 40 miles (64 kilometers) northeast of Wausau. (See the Antigo, Wis. Daily Journal for January 12, 2005, "Meteor soars over area with light and noise." Many thanks to Mary Lou Jones-Drown for forwarding this newspaper article.)
ANOMALOUS TSUNAMI HITS BEACH IN ARGENTINA
"The rumor was a sea of consternation--did a tsunami take place on Argentina's (South) Atlantic coast?"
"While it is not possible to say for sure, many families camped in the public houses at the Sauce Grande de Monte Hermoso beach," near Bahia Blanca in southern Argentina, "went through a strange and perilous episode that included between two and four large waves that flooded the area."
"The inundations took place Sunday evening," January 9, 2005, "and caused panic, fear and a return of the indescribable incidents that recalled the images seen 20 days earlier in Southeast Asia."
"According to several witnesses," the event happened "at 2:30 a.m., when between two and four waves broke on the beach, reaching the trees behind" the campers' tents, vans and beach shacks.
"Items located outdoors were dragged off by the sea. People who were also there and full of desperation said the water reached a height of 40 to 50 centimeters."
"'My husband and I were asleep. We felt the wind and went outside to tie the rope more firmly. I looked out the window, and suddenly I saw a wave that was rushing towards us and not stopping and which finally went under our mobile home,' said Mendoza resident Mercedes de Casari. 'Suddenly, I didn't see my husband any more. He'd run off and jumped on top of the house. What a fright!'"
"Elvira Cachiarelli, a native of Bahia Blanca, went through a similar situation. She visits this location every year to spend a few days at the beach. 'I was asleep and neighbors pounded on the door. I wasn't aware of the problem because my mobile home is very heavy and doesn't move, but these were people who went through some harrowing experiences because the wind was very strong. Everything was flying around, and there could've been an accident. This is the first time it's happened. The tide has come in from the southeast many times, but this wasn't a 'southeaster'...these were waves!"
(Editor's Note: A 'southeaster' in Argentina is like a 'nor'easter' in the USA's New England states.)
"Elvira noticed that the water went two or three meters beyond the lot in which the campers were located and almost reached the trees. 'The tide was 30 meters (100 feet) away. We were told that it appeared to be a 'backwash' from the (Indian Ocean) tsunami (of December 26, 2004). Twelve hours earlier, it happened in Brazil.'"
"Liliana Elizate de Vazzano, from Olavarria, had to help her husband Raul get their camper out of the wet sand in which it was buried. 'I was awake. The water rushed in suddenly, and by the second wave, it was knee-deep. I looked at the camper and saw that there were inches to go before the water poured in. We didn't know what would happen, and we started to dig wells to take out the wheels. I think God helped us get out.'"
"'The time was around 2:30 a.m., and we could hear screams due to the waves that came out of the sea and almost reached the trees,' said David Dieguez, 'By the time we reacted, the water had swept away all of the items left outdoors. There were some ladies who became very scared, and families with children, as well.'"
"'The sea was 30 meters (100 feet) away, and suddenly a wave came all the way to the top'" of the beach. "'Then came another that brought the water level right up to our houses. It lasted five seconds or less. The cars and campers were buried and stuck,' he said." (See the Argentinian newspaper La Nueva Provincia for January 11, 2005, "A tsunami at Sauce Grande beach?" Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Christian Quintero para esto articulo de diario.)
PARANOIA MAGAZINE STORY PREDICTED ASIAN TSUNAMI
An article in the magazine Paranoia: The Conspiracy Reader predicted the massive tsunami in the Indian Ocean, which took place on Sunday, December 26, 2004.
The Winter 2005 issue (Volume 11, Number 2, Issue 37) went on newstands here in the USA on Friday, December 31, 2004. Contained within the issue is an article entitled "The Beginning of the End: Vulcan & Earth Catastrophism," which postulates that a dark companion star to our sun may cause catastrophes in the not-too-distant future.
Page 31 of the magazine states, "A second source of impending comet strike data has been found in a new and unusual interpretation of the Hebrew Pentateuch called the 'Bible Code.' Here, all the Hebrew letters in a book of the Bible are strung without word or page breaks and rastered in 64 columns. A computer is used to search for words in a horizontal, vertical or diagonal format. Skip sequence words are searched (every other row or column is skipped) and viable words are found."
"Even the name given to the Sun's dark star companion (Vulcan) is specifically mentioned in the Bible Code."
Here is the second paragraph of Bible Code prophecies as it appeared on page 31 of Paranoia magazine.
"Tsunami - Vulcan - planet/star - India - Indian (Ocean?--J.T.) - Athens - Greece - tsunami -stony - flaming - gigantic - flame - obliterate - flabbergasted - leviathan - oblivion - overwhelming impact."
"I picked up this issue of Paranoia on Tuesday morning, January 11, 2005," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor reported, "As soon as I read that passage, I knew I had a story. I talked to the staff at Barnes & Noble at Miller Hill Mall here in Duluth, and they told me they had received the issue the previous Friday."
"I wanted to know precisely when that issue of Paranoia had gone to press, so I contacted the magazine's editor, Joan d'Arc, via email and asked for more information. Joan told me that this particular issue had gone to press November 9, 2004. She said the staff at Banta, their printer in Greenfield, Ohio, wanted to get the issue printed before Thanksgiving so that their employees could have a long weekend off. Copies of this issue were shipped out of Ohio on Monday, November 29, 2004, four weeks before the tsunami. So there is no way that passage could have been added to the magazine after the big Banda Aceh earthquake, 9.0 on the Richter scale, and the resultant tsunami."
"It appears that the Bible Code passage, printed in Paranoia, accurately predicted the Indian Ocean tsunami," Trainor added, "There is no other explanation for this event."
"If the Bible Code passage is accurate throughout, then it looks like the next big tsunami will take place in the Mediterranean Sea. Greece will be hard hit by the giant waves, particularly Athens, the capital city." (See Paranoia magazine, Winter 2005 issue, page 31. Many thanks to Joan d'Arc for the email interview.)
UFO STARTLES THOUSANDS AT MEXICO CITY STADIUM
On Sunday afternoon, January 9, 2004, thousands of Mexicans filled the seats of the city's Plaza de Toros to watch the Temorada Grande bullfights. During the tenth fight of the afternoon, someone noticed a bright object in the sky, and soon all necks were craned upwards, including those of bullfighters Jose Luis Angelino of Tlaxcaltec and Humberto Flores of Jalisco.
"The object, which appeared to be a silver globe, was captured by TV cameras for a moment while hovering in the air above the Plaza," Mexican ufologist Ana Luisa Cid Fernandez reported. "The object then darted away and disappeared over the horizon."
"Images of this flying saucer were shown" Sunday evening "on the program La Jugada on Canal (Channel) 2 Television de Mexico at 10:30 p.m. The object was seen by thousands at the Plaza de Toros." (See the Mexican newspaper El Universal of January 10, 2004. Muchas gracias a Ana Luisa Cid Fernandez para esto articulo de diario.)
HILLSIDE VANISHES AFTER UFO EVENT IN SONORA
"More than half of a hill located on the coast near Hermosillo" in Mexico's state of Sonora "apparently 'vanished.'"
"The event was classified by Sonoran scientists as 'strange and surprising.'"
"According to a series of images taken by (the Mexican newspaper) El Imparcial, a hill belonging to the Sierra de Cirios near Puerto Libertad ceased to exist in a matter of hours."
"At 8:54 a.m. yesterday (Friday, January 7, 2005), a reporter and a photographer from the newsroom saw what they took to be a UFO as they drove along Ruta 36 Norte (Route 36 North--J.T.) along the (Golfo de California) coastline. After the sighting, there arrived a strange phenomenon in which really fantastic clouds" obscured their view.
"At 2:05 p.m., as shown by photos taken by the pair, a considerable part of the hill had disappeared."
Studying a photo they shot at 9:02 a.m., the witnesses reported, 'Matter begins to fall from the object before it lands on the hilltop. This is one of 12 images I recorded of the changes before 9:07 a.m. The change of elevation of the hill on the right can be seen, and the formations on the left have changed shape." (See the Mexican newspaper El Imparcial for January 8, 2005. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Marco Reynoso para esto articulo de diario.)
[See: Mexican Sighting Report January 7th 2005 for photos and more information - John @ UFOINFO.]
ANOTHER UFO SIGHTED IN EASTERN MEXICO
"The sighting of an aerolite or Unidentified Flying Object (UFO) over La Antigua," a city in Mexico's state of Veracruz, "caused much expectation and uncertainty among local residents. The object fell at sunset, leaving a luminous wake."
"According to preliminary reports collected by Notivel, around 6 p.m. yesterday (Thursday, January 6, 2004) several persons witnessed the event, which could be seen unaided. At the barracks of the Public Safety Office at Ciudad Carol, duty personnel received dozens of phone calls from people who believed it was an aircraft in flames, falling to the ground."
"Others believed that the object was meteorite- shaped, since it left a wake as it fell to Earth."
"A bright light was seen as it fell in the vicinity of La Antigua."
"Personnel of the Public Safety Office, aboard their vehicle, surveyed the region, but as of yesterday no reports of any aerial or terrestrial accidents had been received, nor a possible explanation" of the event.
"However, the sighting was a cause for alarm, as the light appeared to descend out of a point in space, only to fall somewhere on Earth." (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Marco Reynoso para estas noticias.)
SPHERICAL UFO SEEN AT ANOTHER BEACH IN CHILE
On Saturday, December 18, 2004, "at around 8:30 p.m., Alejandra Bauerle was spending time on the beach at Cau- Cau, near Horcon" in Chile. "Upon looking at the sky and the lovely sunset, she became aware of some strange lights crossing the firmament. At first she believed they could be aircraft, but after analyzing the contrails left in the skies and the object's sudden and irregular movements, she dismissed the possibility altogether."
"'It started out like a dot, perfectly round,'" Sra. Bauerle reported, "'And it became fuzzy, first as a vertical line and then as it moved toward the left. We thought it could be a commercial aircraft flying low, but it was too large to be the trail (contrail) of an airplane. We looked at it through binoculars and could see only the light.'"
"It is not known if the light and the object were present or if it was only the impressions that they left. In fact, the object could barely be seen, only the tremendous light that became longer and changed course." (See the OVNI Chile report for December 31, 2004. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Guillermo Gimenez para estas noticias.)
MAN PHOTOGRAPHS A UFO IN SANTA ROSA, ARGENTINA
"On Saturday, December 18, 2004, at 3:45 p.m., a rural contractor managed to photograph a strange flying object in a field near Santa Rosa," a city in Argentina's La Pampa province.
"Roberto Maggio was taking snapshots of the various (farm) machines working on tasks related to harvesting without even being aware of the UFO's presence."
"That night, upon downloading the digital photos from the camera to his personal computer, he was startled to detect an object that showed a blurry outline. On its top and bottom, however, the object was much sharper, presenting a darker central area. Maggio was also able to detect a small blurry dot on an earlier photo but appearing with a better perspective in the next shot."
"The witness claims not having natural objects which could have led to misinterpretation moving in front of the lens prior to taking the photographs."
Santa Rosa is in eastern La Pampa province, located about 350 kilometers (210 miles) southwest of Buenos Aires, the national capital. (See the Argentinian newspaper La Arena for January 8, 2005. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Raul Oscar Chavez para esto articulo de diario.)
[See: Argentinian Sighting Report December 18th 2004 for image of newspater article - John @ UFOINFO]
SILVER SPHERE UFO SEEN IN O'CONNOR, AUSTRALIA
On Sunday, December 19, 2004, at 3 p.m., Alex Burns reported, "I went outside to have a cigarette" in O'Connor, in the Australian Capital Territory (A.C.T.) near Canberra. "I was looking at the moon, which was at the time situated to the northeast of the city at 45 degrees in the sky. The sky was mostly cloud free, and there were no clouds near the object."
"From behind a tree, a small spherical object became visible, moving in a straight line horizontally in what appeared to be a northerly direction about five degrees under the position of the moon (40 degrees above the horizon--J.T.) The object periodically flashed due to what I thought was a combination of rotation and the reflection of the sun."
"I can't accurately estimate the height (altitude in the USA--J.T.) of the object. However, it was about the size of the radius of a cigarette filter at arm's length. The object appeared to jitter, moving up and down a few times, probably at a distance of about a hand's width, while still travelling forward at the same speed."
"It then shot upwards at a 45-degree trajectory, without slowing or curving whatsoever. It was then that I called out to my housemate to come quickly and see what was in the air. The object then moved downwards in a large arc and vanished."
"I knew for a fact it was not an airplane, a meteor, a satellite, a weather balloon or anything I have seen before. I am very excited by what I have seen, and I didn't feel afraid or have any negative emotions about it. Obviously, I don't know whether it was an alien craft. Maybe someone else saw something similar in the sky? It appeared to be spherical, metallic in colour, although I was quite far away." (Email Form Report)
LUMINOUS ORANGE UFO SIGHTED IN TASMANIA
On Sunday, January 2, 2005, at 1:30 a.m., M. Davy was driving home in Launceston, a city on Australia's island- state of Tasmania when she saw a strange glow in the dark sky.
"Driving home, I saw it hovering in the northeastern sky," she reported, "It was a massive orange thing in the sky. As I travelled further along the road, it never seemed to move. It simply hovered in the sky. But I didn't seem to be close to it. It was orange, not really bright, with a round center, almost like a disc."
"It didn't look like it was travelling anywhere but just appeared in the same spot. I would say it was about 45 degrees above the horizon." (Email Form Report)
UFO FLOTILLA SPOTTED IN SAND SPRINGS, OKLAHOMA
On Tuesday, January 11, 1005, at 8:15 p.m., Cheryl S. was outdoors at her home in Sand Springs, Oklahoma (population 17,451) when she saw strange lights approaching from the southwest.
"I saw six bubble-shaped lights," she reported, "They appeared to be doing a movement in the sky. I called it 'dancing.' Four would be in a circle, and two outside the four. The lights reminded me of those spook lights down in Marfa, Texas (a long-running Fortean phenomenon located 229 miles southeast of El Paso--J.T.) They also lit up our backyard and our patio."
She described the objects as "clear, round, no light trail following it when it moved back and forth across the sky. Approximate distance of an airplane flying overhead, but it was faster than any airplane. I called Channel 8 TV to report it. They said they had other reports of these lights."
Sand Springs is in Sapulpa County, on Highway 412, approximately seven miles (11 kilometers) west of Tulsa. (Email Form Report)
DID EARTH CHANGES CAUSE SUBMARINE ACCIDENT?
"A sailor injured aboard a nuclear submarine that ran aground about 350 miles (580 kilometers) south of Guam died Sunday," January 9, 2005, the U.S. Navy said.
"There were no reports of damage to the USS San Francisco's reactor plant, which was operating normally, the Navy said."
"Twenty crewmembers were being treated for injuries. The ship was returning under its own power to its home port in Guam" on Monday, January 10, 2005, after being damaged Saturday," January 8, 2005."Lieutenant (junior grade) Adam Clampitt of the Pacific Fleet said the sub had been conducting submerged operations and was headed to Australia on a port visit."
"Sailors on the San Francisco, a nuclear-powered attack submarine, had just finished cleaning the vessel last Saturday as it sped along 500 feet (150 meters) beneath the surface of the South Pacific."
"To the captain and other officers relaying on undersea navigation charts, everything seemed clear."
"Suddenly, there was a horrible screeching. The submarine had crashed head-on into an undersea mountain that was not on the charts."
"Now, Defense Department officials say they have found a satellite image taken in 1999 that indicates an undersea mountain rising to perhaps 100 feet (30 meters) below the surface at that spot."
"But the older navigation charts provided to the Navy were never updated to show the obstruction, they acknowledge, in part because the defense agency that creates them has never had the resources to systematically use the satellite data."
"The officials said the main chart on the submarine, prepared in 1989 and never revised, did not snow any potential obstacles within three miles (5 kilometers) of the crash, which killed one sailor and injured 60 others. They said the violent crash happened in such a desolate area--360 miles southeast of Guam--that updating their depiction of the undersea terrain was never considered a high priority."
"A variety of satellite data is now showing that many sea charts, including some that still rely on notations from the days when sailors navigated by the stars, are inaccurate. And some scientists are calling for greater use of satellite data to more precisely fix the location of undersea ridges, islands and even continental boundaries and to chart large areas of the oceans about which little is known."
"The latest disclosures support the account by the commanding officer of the San Francisco that the charts showed the track was clear. But former submarine captains said Navy investigators were likely to examine whether it was prudent for him to travel at such a high speed, 30 knots, given the age and spottiness of the information."
There is also the possibility that the ocean floor may have changed significantly between 1989 and 1999, UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor pointed out. "As a result of the recent Banda Aceh earthquake, which measured 9.0 on the Richter scale, a portion of the floor of the Straits of Malacca moved closer to the surface. Before December 26, 2004, the sea floor in that area was at a depth of 4,000 feet. Indonesian fishermen claimed last week that the depth is now only 100 feet."
"The 'earth changes' predicted by Edgar Cayce in the 1930s may be going on right now, on the sea floor, in places like Guam and Indonesia." (See USA Today for January 10, 2005, "Nuclear sub runs aground, one sailor dies," page 5A, and the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 15, 2005, "Outdated charts led to crash of U.S. sub," page 6A.)
MORE WILD WEATHER SWEEPS THE USA
Another massive storm system moved across the USA last week, causing devastation in several states, particularly California.
"As many as 200 vehicles got stuck in the deep snow early Saturday," January 8, 2004, "in the San Bernardino Mountains as the latest in a series of storms struck California, and more heavy snow shut down" three major highways through the Sierra Nevada Mountains."
"Snow piled up 3 to 4 feet (0.9 to 1.3 meters) deep along a 15-mile (25-kilometer) stretch of highway between the Snow Valley ski resort and Big Bear Dam, said Tracey Martinez, a spokeswoman for the San Bernardino County Fire Department."
"'People were panicking and calling 911 on their cell phones,' Martinez said, 'It's going to take us awhile to get all the folks out of there.'"
"Some neighborhoods below California's San Bernardino Mountains recorded more than a half-inch of rain every hour, and homeowners rushed to pile sandbags."
"Elsewhere in California, up to 4 feet of snow fell overnight in the Sierra Nevada around Lake Tahoe, ski areas reported Saturday. That came on top of as much as 4 feet of snow dumped on parts of the area (Thursday) December 30 (2004)."
"Interstate 80, which crosses the Sierra and links Sacramento, California (the state capital--J.T.) to the Reno-Tahoe, Nevada area was closed for 13 hours until Saturday morning. Two other major Sierra highways--U.S. 50 over Echo Summit and Highway 88 over Carson Pass-- remained closed Saturday."
The same Saturday, "along the Ohio River, hundreds of Ohio and West Virginia residents had evacuated their homes and stacked sandbags."
"The (Ohio) river was nearly 4 feet above flood stage and still rising Saturday morning at Point Pleasant, West Virginia (home of Mothman--J.T.) and was about 7 feet (2.1 meters) above flood at Marietta, Ohio. Water was 2 to 4 feet (0.6 to 1.3 meters) deep in the streets of downtown Marietta, closing businesses."
"Pacific storms thrashed California with heavy rain and snow for a third straight day Sunday," January 9, 2005.
"In the Los Angeles area, the latest storms in an unusually wet Southern California winter caused flooding, mudslides and at least seven deaths over the weekend."
"In Elysian Park, near (L.A.'s) Dodger Stadium, a hillside gave way Sunday and buried a 43-year-old homeless man who had pitched his tent there. Another homeless man was injured in the mudslide."
"On the Pacific Coast highway in Malibu, a car skidded in the rain and mud early Sunday, hit a telephone pole and careened into the surf. The driver was killed and four passengers were injured."
"A two-story home on a rain-saturated hillside collapsed Sunday in Studio City, a San Fernando Valley neighborhood in Los Angeles. Rescuers pulled a man and his two children from the rubble. They had minor injuries."
"Two people died in a crash on a rain-slicked Los Angeles freeway, and a 4-year-old girl died when her father skidded off a road in Chula Vista," a suburb of San Diego. "A man was washed to his death in a creek in Ventura County northwest of Los Angeles."
"The train of storms that have slammed into California also spread rain, snow and ice eastward across the nation."
"Avalanches killed two people in Utah and one in Nevada."
In Colorado, "the storms have piled up 10 feet (3 meters) of snow in the Rockies, where three skiers on a family outing were reported missing on Monday," January 10, 2005.
"Four snowmobilers were stranded overnight near Steamboat Springs, Colorado after they got stuck. None was injured, but they considered themselves lucky to get out alive. Jesse Goble and his brother-in-law, J.R. Osborne, started a fire with a stick they saturated in gasoline and lit from a spark plug on one of their machines. They spent the night cutting up a dead tree to feed the flames, sharing a single water bottle filled with melted snow and four Snickers bars."
"Relentless Pacific storms lashed the (USA's) West Coast again on Monday," January 10, 2005, "causing a giant mudslide in California and burying mountain passes in some of the deepest snowfall in 90 years."
"The storms, fed by the 'Pineapple Express' moisture flowing in from the tropical Pacific near Hawaii are blamed for at least 10 deaths in California and one in Nevada."
"Two tornadoes, rare but not unheard of in Southern California, were reported Sunday night," January 9, 2005, "near Riverside and Monday," January 10, 2005, "in Ventura County."
"In La Conchita, a tiny town 70 miles (112 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles, at least two people were confirmed dead and as many as 12 were unaccounted for after a mudslide pummeled a four-block area."
"Hundreds of residents and motorists were stranded in the incident. As many as 20 homes were damaged when the hillside cascaded down like a river. Trees and vegetation were carried away, leaving huge gashes of raw earth on the bluff. Some residents made their way from the area, clutching pets, luggage or clothing as the huge mass of mud bore down."
Authorities finally evacuated the town. Gov. Arnold Schwarzenegger declared La Conchita a disaster area.
"Downtown Los Angeles, which averages 15 inches (37 centimeters) of rain each winter, had 21 inches (52 centimeters) as of Monday," January 10, 2005.
A 25-foot (8-meter) tall boulder "crashed down onto Topanga Canyon Road on Sunday," completely blocking the thoroughfare. "Crews used explosives Tuesday afternoon," January 11, 2005, "to blow up" the boulder.
"More snow fell in the Sierra Nevada, where schools closed again in Reno (Nevada) and roofs collapsed under the weight of up to 4 feet of snow." Areas around Lake Tahoe have received 20 feet (6 meters) of snow since Christmas.
"But the storm's fury shifted south Tuesday to the desert near Las Vegas and nearby Arizona and Utah."
"The rain-swollen Virgin and Muddy Rivers flooded areas near Mesquite and Overton (Nevada), northeast of Las Vegas, forcing the evacuation of hundreds of people. Avalanche warnings evacuated the Mount Charleston ski area, where a snow slide killed a 13-year-old snowboarder."
Flooding continued in the USA's Midwest, and "Gov. Bob Taft has declared a state of emergency in 49 of Ohio's 88 counties."
"A tugboat and three barges sank after being pushed through a dam on the Ohio River by currents strengthened by heavy rains. Three crewmembers on the barges were killed. One person was missing."
"The tug was pushing six barges when it went through the floodgates at the Montgomery Island Dam and was rammed against the dam by strong currents."
"'The worst thing was, you could see two people in the boat screaming for help' over the rush of the water, said Chuck Ward, assistant fire chief in Industry (Ohio)."
"In Arkansas, two people died when thunderstorms ripped a 20-mile (32-kilometer) path of destruction through Union County late Wednesday," January 12, 2005. "At least 13 others were hurt, and homes were damaged and destroyed."
"Floodwaters stayed high as the storm dropped more rain from Missouri to Pennsylvania. Towns along the Ohio River and its tributaries, where more than 1,000 homes have been damaged or destroyed, are braced for more."
"In Hazelton, Indiana, volunteers and the National Guard placed 65,000 sandbags to hold back the White River."
"In Fort Wayne and Decatur (Indiana), the St. Marys River was close to record levels set in 2003."
Heavy fog blanketed Michigan and Indiana, even as snows buffeted Wisconsin, Minnesota and Iowa on Wednesday, January 12, 2005.
"At least two people died and 25 others were injured when about 100 vehicles crashed Wednesday in thick fog on a Michigan highway, police said."
"In Michigan, about 50 vehicles wrecked in one pileup on Interstate 96 outside Lansing (the state capital--J.T.) on Wednesday afternoon, killing one person, police said. Another person was killed when five vehicles crashed into each other 30 minutes later several miles to the east."
"One person was also killed in Indiana when at least 20 vehicles piled up amid heavy fog on a highway east of South Bend. The chain-reaction collision in Indiana left wrecked vehicles scattered in both eastbound and westbound lanes over a three-mile stretch of road."
"Nine inches of new snow fell Wednesday, leaving Duluth (Minnesota) with about 20 inches on the ground and about 40 inches fallen this winter."
"Right after the snowstorm, the temperature here in
Duluth really dropped," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor
reported, "On Thursday, January 13, 2005, it was minus 4
degrees Fahrenheit on Superior Street at 10:30 a.m. On
Friday, January 14, 2004, it was minus 9 degrees at the
same spot at the same time--10:30 a.m.
"By midday Thursday, Minneapolis," Minnesota's largest city, located about 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of Duluth, "had dipped to 2 degrees" Fahrenheit.
"In Montana, the plains town of Cut Bank (population 3,105) was at minus 23 degrees, while the mountain city of Missoula (population 57,053), just 145 miles (240 kilometers) away, was 23 degrees above zero."
On Friday, January 14, 2005, six inches of snow fell on the volcanoes of Hawaii. Snow completely blanketed the ground on the higher terrain of the "Big Island" of Hawaii, including Mauna Kea, Mauna Loa, Kulani, Mountain View, Puu Waawaa and Hualalai.
"Joe, it looks like Minnesota out there," UFO Roundup contributor Tiffany Burton reported, "Everything's white. Kids are using their surf boards as snowboards. I was not ready for this. It's so cold I'm wearing my pajamas under a sweatshirt and jeans." (See the Duluth, Minn. News- Tribune for January 9, 2005, "Storms persist from East to West," page 7A; USA Today for January 10, 2005, "7 die as new round of storms hammers Calif.," page 11A; Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 11, 2005, "Heavy rain hammers California again; one dies," page 4A; USA Today for January 11, 2005, "Calif. mudslide leaves 2 dead, up to 12 missing," page 3A; USA Today for January 12, 2005, "At least 20 dead in Calif. storms," page 3A; USA Today for January 10, 2005, "Tugboat barges sink on Ohio River, 3 dead," page 5A; Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 13, 2005, "Highway pileups kill three," page 2A; USA Today for January 14, 2005, "Icy air rushes south as storms move east," page 3A; Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 13, 2005, "The snow is over, now comes the brutal cold," page 6A; and the Honolulu Star-Bulletin for January 15, 2005. Many thanks to Tiffany Burton for the Hawaii report.)
(Editor's Note: Just like last week, there has been unusually severe weather outside the USA, as well. Read on...)
HEAVY RAINS HIT EUROPE AND CENTRAL AMERICA
"Powerful winds and heavy rain swept across northern Europe from Ireland to Russia over the weekend, killing at least 15 people by Sunday," January 9, 2005.
"Hundreds of thousands of homes lost power, and air and sea transport were disrupted. Winds were clocked at 75 miles per hour (120 kilometers per hour) in some areas of Scandinavia. Some bridges and airports were closed, and rail and ferry traffic was disrupted."
In UK, the river Eden rose above flood level and inundated the city of Carlisle. Rescue workers needed rowboats to navigate the streets, which were flooded to a depth of 3 feet. "Military helicopters were called in to lift about a dozen people from their rooftops."
In Russia, rising floodwaters closed several subway stations in the northern city of St. Petersburg.
"In Finland, rescue teams piled thousands of sandbags and bales of recycled paper on the waterfront in downtown Helsinki, near the president's palace."
In Central America, "three days of heavy rains in Costa Rica and Panama have forced about 12,500 people from their homes and killed at least one person."
"Costa Rica's National Emergency Commission said that 7,500 people had been evacuated to shelters. The Red Cross reported one man killed by a landslide."
"In Panama, helicopters plucked people from rooftops, according to the National Civil Defense System. It said that 5,000 people had been evacuated. Rains have been pounding the region since Saturday," January 8, 2005. (See USA Today for January 10, 2005, "15 die after weekend storms rake Europe," page 6A; and USA Today for January 11, 2005, "Floods force 12,500 from homes," page 7A.)
HITLER CALLED POPE PIUS "FRIEND OF THE JEWS""The Nazi commander in Rome warned Pope Pius XII (birth name: Eugenio Pacelli--J.T.) in 1944 of a plan by Adolf Hitler to abduct the pontiff, a newspaper reported Saturday," January 15, 2005.
"Avennire, an Italian Catholic daily, cited a written statement by Gen. Karl Wolff, the head of the SS in German-occupied Rome, saying that Hitler considered Pius a 'friend of the Jews.'"
(Editor's Note: Wolff also served as the intermediary between his boss, Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler, and Allen W. Dulles, head of the American Office of Strategic Services (OSS, forerunner of the CIA--J.T.) during top- secret peace talks between Nazi Germany and the Allies in September 1944. In April 1945, Wolff negotiated with Dulles the surrender of all the German forces in Italy.)
"The comment would seem to refute claims that Pius did little or nothing to protect Jews from slaughter by the Nazis during the Holocaust."
"Avvenire, published by the Italian (Roman Catholic) bishop's conference said new details emerged during research to help the Vatican determine if Pius XII merits beatification."
"Some Jewish groups are opposed to the move, the last formal step before possible sainthood. They contend Pius didn't speak out or do enough to save Jews during the Holocaust."
"Avvenire's account comes a few weeks after a document found in Roman Catholic archives apparently instructed French Church authorities that Jewish baptized children should remain in the Church, even at the cost of refusing to return them to relatives." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 16, 2005, "Hitler planned to kidnap Pope," page 2A.)
(Editor's Note: Deportations in Vichy France were handled by the Commission Generale des Questions Juives (CGQJ or General Commission on the Jewish Question). When Vichy France was occupied by the Germans in November 1942, Xavier de Vallat took over as head of the CGQJ and felt that too many French Jews were using "the baptism clause" to escape arrest. Vallat persuaded the French head of state, Marshal Philippe Petain, to amend the deportation decrees to include "baptized Jews." Thereafter, all Jews, whether born in France or not, were liable to be shipped out of the Drancy transit camp aboard "the Auschwitz Express.")
BLACK MAGICK ON DARTMOOR
"Police in Devon (UK) are investigating after seven sheep were found dead arranged in an unusual pattern on Dartmoor."
"The sheep were found on Sampford Spiney on Dartmoor with their necks broken and their bodies in a pattern sometimes associated with the occult."
"The pattern was similar to the shape of a star, a heptagram, a mystical symbol sometimes used in occult ceremonies."
"Chris Cole, a farmer who owned some of the sheep, said he first thought that they were killed by a lightning strike."
"Mr. Cole, one of three farmers who owned the animals, said he thought it was lightning because 'that's what happens when any big group of animals dies like that.'"
"He said when he discovered the animals were left in the seven-pointed shape, 'It scared some people and alarmed others, me included, being this close to home. I don't really know what's happened. It's more what we are imagining happened here now.'" (See BBC News for January 13, 2004, "Dead sheep found in 'occult star.'" Many thanks to Robert Fischer for this news report.)
IT'S OFFICIAL--DUBYA WILL TAKE THE OATH ON THE MASONIC BIBLE
USA Today reports that President George W. Bush will take the oath of office Thursday, January 20, 2005, on George Washington's Masonic Bible.
According to the article in USA Today, President "Bush says he plans to enjoy his second inauguration speech more than his first, when he said he was nervous about 'choking up' because his mother and father were seated behind him...He joked that he's debating whether to wear a red or blue tie and said he will use the same Bible he used in 2001. It was used by his father, former president George H.W. Bush in his 1989 inauguration and by his brother, Florida Gov. Jeb Bush, when he was sworn in."
Sixteen years ago, in January 1989, the rumor floated around Washington that the elder Bush had declined to take the oath of office on the Bible and had instead placed his hand on The Preppy Handbook.
Some American rightwingers at the time claimed that George H.W. Bush had placed his hand on Originalschriften des Illuminatenordensekte, the book of black magick written by Illuminati founder Adam Weishaupt.
In actuality, "Poppy" used the 238-year-old Masonic Bible, with the compass-and-square motif on its cover, that was used by the USA's first president, George Washington, at his inauguration in New York City in 1789.
In January 2001, the New York Post reported, "A Bible that George Washington used to take the oath of office as the nation's first president will be used by George W. Bush."
"Three officials of the Manhattan-based St. John's Lodge of the Free and Accepted Masons will board an Amtrak liner for Washington D.C. tomorrow. They'll be carrying the nine-pound, 234-year-old King James Bible in a special case."
"For the sixth time in history, the Bible will be used on Saturday," January 20, 2001 "for the swearing in of a U.S. president. George Washington was the first in 1789. The last was George H.W. Bush, who used the Bible in 1989. Other presidents who have placed their left hand on the Masonic Bible were Warren G. Harding in 1921, Dwight D. Eisenhower in 1953 and Jimmy Carter in 1977."
"The (Masonic) Bible was also displayed at the New York World's Fair in 1964-1965." (See USA Today for January 14, 2005, "Bush sees legacy in taking on big challenges," page 9A. Also the book Talisman by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, HarperCollins Publishers, London, 2004, page 486.)
From the UFO Files...
1891: STRANGE SECRETS OF LAFAYETTE SQUARE
Of all the sites associated with Marie-Joseph Paul Yves Roch Gilbert du Motier, the Marquis de Lafayette, there is none quite as spooky as that little park just north of the White House in Washington D.C. Today it's called Lafayette Park, but prior to 1970 it was known as Lafayette Square.
During the Nineteenth Century, it picked up the name "Tragedy Square," mainly because strange and often violent deaths occurred there. For example, at 748 Jackson Place N.W. stands the Decatur House. Stephen Decatur, then the youngest captain in the U.S. Navy and a hero of the war with the Barbary pirates, commissioned the famous Masonic architect, Benjamin Henry Latrobe, to design and build the townhouse. Just a few doors away, on Lafayette Square, is another of Latrobe's works--St. John's Church, with its Greek portico and (minus the steeple, which was added later--J.T.) its eerie resemblance to the temple of Athena Nike in Greece.
The three-story red-brick mansion with its tall windows and distinctive chimneys was completed in 1819. A year later, Commodore Decatur was killed in a duel with another officer, Commodore James Barron. Ever since then, the mansion has been haunted.
Dominating Lafayette Square is the statue of Andrew Jackson, the seventh president of the USA. This was the first equestrian statue erected in the USA, and, according to legend, the sculptor, Clark Mills, "a self-taught artist" from upstate New York, "obtained the use of a Virginia thoroughbred and trained it to rear in the position held by" a miniature model of the proposed statue. Mills then cast both statues of the horse and President Jackson in bronze melted down from cannon "Old Hickory" had captured during the War of 1812.
At the time of his first unsuccessful run for the presidency in 1824, Jackson was Grand Master of the Grand Lodge of Tennessee. He had been a Mason since at least 1801. Upon attaining the White House in early 1829, Jackson renamed what had been "President's Square" after the Marquis de Lafayette. (For more on Jackson's Masonic ties, see UFO Roundup, volume 10, number 2, for January 12, 2005, "1824: Executive mansion or Masonic shrine?" page 14.)
Originally, the square was part of the old Pierce farm, established in 1685. "When George Washington proposed to acquire this site as a public park in 1791," at a time when Pierre L'Enfant was first sketching out his plans for the new "federal city," the farm "had been owned by the Pierce family since 1685. The Pierce farmhouse stood at the northeast corner of the Square," where the statue of Tadeusz Kosciuszko, the Polish soldier-of- fortune who fought for the USA during the War of the American Revolution, stands today. "The Pierce apple orchard occupied most of the remainder of the square," except for the land south of the Jackson statue, which we shall discuss later.
As we have seen in previous issues of UFO Roundup, much of the arcana in Washington D.C. has to do with Freemasonry. Lafayette Square is no exception. One of the weirdest statues in the District stands in the southeast corner of the Square, and it is dedicated to (who else?) our old pal Gilbert, the Marquis de Lafayette.
"The Statue of Lafayette, in the southeast corner of the square, is a heroic bronze figure by Alexandre Falguiere and Antonin Mercie on a copper-stained white marble pedestal. On the east side of the base Comte (Count) d'Estaing and Comte (Count) de Grasse are represented as offering French naval support to Lafayette, and on the west side Comte (Count) de Rochambeau and Chevalier Duportail are shown tendering military aid. A seminude female figure on the south is handing his sword to the French hero (Lafayette), and nude infants on the north represent the gratitude of later generations to the French leader for his aid in the cause of liberty."
"In 1891, a statue of the Marquis de Lafayette joined Jackson on the southeast corner of the park, near Fifteenth Street and Pennsylvania Avenue. A half-dressed woman, perhaps representing France, hands him his sword; an old joke has the lady saying, 'Give me my clothes, and I'll give you back your sword.'"
The statue carries the inscription: "To General Lafayette and his Compatriots 1777-1783."
The Lafayette statue is riddled with occult and Masonic symbolism. To begin, let's start with the marquis' compatriots.
Charles Henri Theodat, the Count d'Estaing, was, like his third cousin Lafayette, an Auvergnat, a man from the Auvergne, a hilly region in south-central France. Like his shipmate, the Count de Grasse, he was a Freemason. Both arrived with the French fleet when it landed at Newport, Rhode Island in July 1780.
Le Chevalier Duportail was a French soldier and a friend of both Lafayette and his brother-in-law, Viscount Louis de Noailles. In 1781, Duportail became Gilbert's most able assistant during the battle of Yorktown. Like Lafayette, the Viscount de Noailles and their best friend, Count Philippe de Segur, Duportail was considered a "liberal" in Paris and a Freemason.
Jean-Baptiste Donatien de Vimeur, the Count de Rochambeau, was the commander of the French army that arrived in Newport in July 1780. Married to a Portuguese noblewoman, Luisa da Costa, Rochambeau had joined the French Army in 1742, came out of the War of the Austrian Succession a full colonel, and became a major general during the Seven Years War (1754-1761, better known in the USA as "the French and Indian War"--J.T.) He had been commanding armies on the battlefields of central Europe while Gilbert was still in diapers.
By some strange coincidence, Rochambeau was a member of a Masonic lodge in Paris, La Societe Olympique (Translated: The Olympian Society--J.T.) Other members included Count d'Estaing, Count de Grasse and Duportail. In 1773, some new blood joined "The Olympians"...cadets from a military school--the Count de Segur, the Viscount de Noailles and the 16-year-old Marquis de Lafayette.
Masonic sculptors Falguiere and Mercie seem to have pulled a fast one on the American people. Yes, the monument does honor Lafayette. But it also commemorates an obscure Masonic lodge of Paris, of whom only a handful of members--such as John Paul Jones--actually fought on the American side in the war for independence.
But, other than their Masonic membership, there's nothing really arcane about Lafayette's compatriots. No, the real weirdness in the statue comes from the other figures and bas-reliefs on the marble.
Such as the unknown woman with the sword.
Who is she? Well, she is crumpled at the foot of the pedestal in the pose of "the Weeping Virgin," a recurrent image in Freemasonry. David Ovason, author of The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital, points out that "this Virgoan symbolism in Masonic imagery was originally linked with the picture of a crying woman called The Weeping Virgin. Such as association reminds us that the Egyptian equivalent of Virgo--the goddess Isis--and her dark twin, Nephthys, were called in the hermetic (magickal) literature, 'the weeping sisters.'"
"The great Mason, Albert Pike, knew that the image of the Weeping Virgin was of Masonic origin, but also seemed aware that the connection between the image and ancient hermeticism (Egyptian magick--J.T.) had been forgotten."
"The goddess Isis was the symbol of both the past and the future," Ovason adds, "because she had knowledge of the secrets of time. Isis represented total consciousness, or those things which have been brought into the light of day, for contemplation by the observing mind..."
"In contrast, her dark sister Nephthys represented that which is hidden, the obscured unconsciousness of man." The seminude female "is an Isis who, in her nakedness, symbolically reveals her sacred wisdom unveiled."
By giving her sword to Gilbert, is the goddess Nephthys inviting him to wage war on behalf of the hidden wisdom?
Isis Unveiled, of course, is the book written in the 1870s by Elena Petrovna von Hahn Blavatsky, better known as Madame Blavatsky, the foremost occultist of the Nineteenth Century. By another weird coincidence, her great-grandfather, Gustav von Hahn, knew Baron von Steuben in Russia during the early 1770s. Yes, that's the same Friedrich Wilhelm Augustus Heinrich von Steuben, the drillmaster of George Washington's Continental Army, whose statue, sculpted by Albert Jaegers, stands at the northwest corner of Lafayette Square.
Going around to the north side of Gilbert's statue, we find "The Babies." What do they represent? Grateful French children of the future? Try again. It's an astrological symbol--the Gemini twins. As Ovason points out in his book, there are Gemini symbols all over Washington. And, according to Eighteenth Century Mason and astrologer Ebeneezer Sibley, Gemini is the ruling sign of North America and the birth sign of the USA.
That brings us to the south side of the statue and "The Monster." Just what is that strange critter coming out of the marble just above the Weeping Virgin? It has wings, a feline head, a gaping mouth, beady eyes and a snakelike tail. That bas-relief had your editor stumped for months. And then it came to me--it's a chimaera.
In Greek mthology, the chimaera was a fire-breathing female monster that terrorized Caria and Lycia. The creature had the head of a lion, the body of a goat and the tail of a dragon. It was finally killed by the Greek hero Bellerophon.
Goat...aha! That gave it away. "The Monster" represents Capricorn, another astrological sign. Gemini on the north side, Capricorn on the south side. Obviously, there's some Masonic/astrological symbolism to this statue. But what?
Gilbert was born at the Chateau de Chavaniac in the Auvergne region of France on September 6, 1757. Astrologically speaking, that makes him a Virgo, which makes him fit right in with all of the Virgoan symbolism in Washington, D.C. In fact, standing atop the pedestal, Gilbert's bronze statue is looking toward that point on the horizon where, during August, first the star Sirius rises, followed by the constellation Virgo.
That was an important event in the religion of ancient Egypt. Sirius was known to the Egyptians as Sothis and was sacred to both Isis and her brother- husband, Osiris. However, in Freemasonry, Sirius is known as "the Blazing Star" and is usually represented by a five-pointed star or pentagram.
Finally, there is the persistent rumor of ancient underground tunnels running beneath Lafayette Square. One goes northeast to the Decatur House and St. John's Church, also known as "the President's Church." James Madison, the fourth president of the USA (1809-1817) was the first one to attend services there.
Another runs from the White House to the Octagon House at 1799 New York Avenue N.W. According to Jim Brandon, author of Weird America, "The Octagon tunnels are a fairly well-established historical fact. But exactly where they went is no longer certain...I have heard it claimed that these tunnels are 'Atlantean,' but then so is everything else according to a certain kind of occult fancier."
The Octagon tunnel passes right underneath Lafayette
Square. It's enough to make you wonder if the marble
pedestal beneath Gilbert's statue is really solid.
One enduring question is: why are so many of the buildings on Lafayette Square haunted? Such as the White House, the Octagon House and the Decatur House.
The answer is very simple, really. And to find it, you have to turn back the clock to 1791, to before Pierre L'Enfant took President Washington's suggestion to heart and added a park to the north of the future executive mansion.
Remember the old Pierce farm, which used to occupy the land that is now Lafayette Square? The apple orchard, you'll recall, "occupied most of the remainder" of Lafayette Square..."except a family burying ground between the present Jackson statue and the White House."
So the White House and Lafayette Square were both built over a cemetery dating back to 1685. Tayaa! No wonder the area is haunted! (See the books Washington D.C.: A Guide to the Nation's Capital, New Revised Edition, Hastings House Publishers, New York, N.Y., 1968, pages 250 to 259, 281 to 283, 344 and 383; Beautiful Washington D.C. by Gene Gurney, Crown Publishers Inc., New York, N.Y., 1969, pages 67 to 69, 170 and 174; Washington D.C. 2003, edited by Brian Wansley Flanagan, St. Martin's Press, New York, N.Y., 2003, pages 40, 62 and 64; Washington D.C. Handbook 102, U.S. Department of the Interior, Washington D.C., 1989, pages 18, 19, 89, 90 and 91; The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's Capital by David Ovason, HarperCollins Publishers, New York, N.Y., 2000, pages 67, 91, 103, 139, 140, 141, 167, 168, 174, 178, 183, 184, 271, 272 and 276; Lafayette by Peter Buckman, Paddington Press Ltd., London, 1977, pages 76, 77, 80, 94, 103, 104, 105, 106, 110, 111, 192 and 209; Lafayette by Brand Whitlock, Volume 1, D. Appleton & Co., New York, N.Y., 1929, pages 244, 246, 249, 251, 262, 265 and 293; and Talisman by Graham Hancock and Robert Bauval, HarperCollins Publishers, London, 2004, pages 452 and 453.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth--and occasionally, Titan--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.