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Volume 10
Number 9
March 2, 2005

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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Sunday, February 20, 2005, turned out to be "Invasion Day" for the United Kingdom as daylight discs appeared in four separate locations within minutes of each other.

Mike Taylor was driving along the (motorway) A39 in Somerset, near Bridgwater, when he had his encounter. Mike reported, "I was taking my son, in the car, to his rugby club on Sunday, 20th February. It was about 9:55 a.m. We were travelling along the A39 toward Bridgwater. It was a clear blue sky, the weather was cold but bright, and the sun was behind us."

"I noticed an object in the sky. I initially thought it was a low-flying (RAF) fighter jet plane. (They sometimes fly over our area--M.T.) travelling behind the trees at about 1,000 feet (300 meters). I pointed this out to my son and said, 'Oh, look at that!'"

"As it cleared the trees, we got our first clear look at it. But it was nothing like any plane I had seen before. It was a silvery object with a hint of a light shade of green/blue. It was travelling very, very fast in a straight line and had a short white vapour trail."

"As we watched it (travelling in a north to northwest direction--M.T.), it just seemed to melt away (disappear) leaving behind the vapour trail which gradually dissolved. My son, who is 8, said, 'Wow! It just turned into smoke!'"

"I was completely flabbergasted and slightly scared by what I saw. It was very real and quite big, but I must have seen it for only 4 or 5 seconds. We had a CD on in the car (not too loud--M.T.) but I heard no noise. If it was a jet, I'm sure I would have heard something."

"This is not a hoax, though I am sure I would not believe it if someone told me this account--I personally do not believe in little green men, but I cannot think of what it might have been. I crave a second and longer look at it, if you know what I mean."

At 9:54 a.m., Lyn R. was at Boothtown, Halifax, West Yorkshire, when she spied "a strange object approaching from the south, from the direction of Halifax. My partner was sitting beside our front window when he shouted, 'Look at that!' By the time I had arrived, though, the object was gone."

"So it was only visible for one-and-a-half seconds. He said it was a strange greeny-white colour with a trail behind as a plane would have. But it moved far too quickly. I have just tracked a plane covering the same distance, and it took 15 seconds (Meaning the UFO was traveling at an estimated 6,500 miles per hour--J.T.) Does a fighter jet run 10 times faster than a plane? Were there any RAF planes flying at this time?"

"My partner and I have also seen a few strange objects over the last ten years in Todmorden and Boothtown/Queensbury, so now we've decided to report each sighting immediately. We'd be interested to see if anyone else in the area observed this."

At 9:58 a.m. on "Invasion Sunday," eyewitness P.E. was at Elworth, Sandbach, Cheshire when "the UFO approached from the south. It appeared as a small flash to the left as it came into my sight. Tail of light green although the head was white. It was seen for a couple of seconds, travelling faster than a plane. It was on a horizontal flight path against a blue sky. No vapour trail. Not like anything I have ever seen before. Sort of a bullet appearance. A few thousand feet up, heading over house tops. I was not looking straight up."

At 9:57 a.m. the same morning, eyewitness A.M. was "travelling along the (motorway) A470 between Llanidloes and Llangurig in central Wales. It was travelling west across the sky. It simply disappeared or burnt itself out. Two of us saw it while travelling south along the A470. A very bright yellow and violet, not very large but a longish shape. Travelling at rocket speed across the sky. It lasted maybe a couple of seconds. No idea of the height but quite high." (Many thanks to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike for these reports.)


"Investigators are perplexed by the sighting of a hovering, saucer-like object by three men in Australia's island state of Tasmania."

"The report falls into the five percent of UFO sightings that cannot be explained, an official in Tasmania said yesterday (Saturday, February 19, 2005)."

"'We checked up with the airport, helicopter companies, the navy and the Department of Defence and hit a block on all of them,' said Keith Roberts, coordinator of UFO Reports and Sightings-Tasmania."

"The report Monday night (February 14, 2005) was made by a 43-year-old man from Kingston, Australia who was driving in Tasmania's Midland Highway with his sister and a friend. The woman, who said she was inclined not to believe in aliens, reported they first spotted a bright light but moments later the light appeared to be heading towards them."

"She said the object was about half the size of a house and had one red pulsating light on one side and a similar blue light on the other. The woman got out of the car after pulling over and, within minutes, the object was only about 300 yards (270 meters) from them and hovering 100 feet (30 meters) above the ground."

"The witness told the paper (Hobart Mercury) that as the craft came towards them, it appeared to be shaped like an oblong Australian football. But as it grew nearer, she surmised that it was a saucer shape."

"Roberts said there was a similar sighting in the area in the 1970s when a driver saw a bright mass of light before his car went dead. At the moment, he said, the latest mystery in unexplained, and he hopes others will come forward with information." (See the Hobart, Tasmania Mercury for February 19, 2005, "Mystery of UFO deepens." Many thanks to Nathan Lockhart for this newspaper article.)


On Friday, February 18, 2005, at 4 p.m., Mario L. was driving through his hometown of Kirkland, Washington (population 45,054) when he spotted something unusual in the sky.

"It was a sunny day and no clouds," Mario reported, "The object was on the east side as we were traveling south. The object was just floating on the air for like about two or three minutes and then took off at a fast speed. We were facing south when we suddenly hit a curve, and that's when I decided to turn my head. And there it was in the sky."

"I was inside my friend's car, and we were going home from work. That's when I saw this shiny object in the sky. The object was shaped like a pencil. The color was silver and I think it had a reflection of the sun on it. The object was about the same height (altitude) as an airliner flies."

Kirkland, Wash. is on the eastern shore of Lake Washington, on Interstate Highway I-405 about 12 miles (20 kilometers) northeast of Seattle. (Email Form Report)


On Saturday, February 5, 2005, at 1 a.m., Paul T. was outdoors in Desert Hot Springs, California (population 16,582) when he saw "the UFO approach from the west. Too dark out to see any shape. It was 8,000 feet (2,400 meters) or higher, moving slower than an airplane but it sounded a lot like one. Had a long row of very bright lights along the side, with three large and also very bright lights to the rear and on the same level as the row lights. The three bright lights to the rear were spaced, and the other two were as far apart as the 'side' row was long. Also, the three lights were aimed back in the direction it came."

"The (Little San Bernardino) mountains in the area are between 9,000 and 12,000 feet (2,700 to 3,600 meters). I am sure it was a lot lower than that. Don't know what it was as I've never seen an aircraft with three 'landing lights' let alone pointed back! The object's height was about 7,000 to 8,000 feet (2,100 to 2,400 meters) and it was going maybe 80 miles per hour (128 kilometers per hour)."

Desert Hot Springs, Cal. is just east of Highway 62, located about 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Palm Springs. (Email Form Report)


On Tuesday, January 18, 2005, Gary Kubalski was at his home near Rocky River Drive in Cleveland, Ohio (population 478,403) when he spotted something strange.

"I woke up at approximately 10 a.m. on the morning of January 18," Gary reported, "It's unusual for me to wake up this late. I looked out my second-floor bedroom window to an awfully bright January day of clear blue skies."

"I immediately noticed two grey luminescent disks the size of nail heads traveling in formation at a high altitude, separated a football field apart, moving in an east to west direction. I knew I was witnessing something unique, because traveling in the same direction were several planes in the morning sky, one east, another southeast, and the area where I live is close to the air traffic routes to and from Cleveland Hopkins International Airport. As the disks had no visible wing shape and traveled in a swift, steady and straight motion as if on an imaginary string in mid-air, perfectly stable while going from east to west."

"They eventually disappeared gradually into the horizon, blending into the clouded sky to the west."

"I continued watching and, after a minute or two, a single silver disk appeared, traveling the same flight path by itself. I was still wondering about what I was seeing and questioning its validity when this craft made a striking stop in mid-air, hovering still for about five seconds, then made what I could only describe as an 'Etch- A-Sketch' (zigzag) course change by making a 90 degree change to the south for a few hundred feet, followed by a lightning-fast 90 degree course change with no gradual deviation, no radius, no curving or banking of its bodily structure."

The third disc "then traveled even for some time, then reversed course back to its original heading, again disappearing into the haze of horizon. The whole event with the three disks took about 10 minutes." (Email Form Report)


On Tuesday, February 15, 2005, at 8:30 p.m., the male witness was outdoors at his home in Aurora, Illinois (population 142,990) when he spotted something unusual in the sky, approaching from the southwest.

"I was in my backyard, having a cigarette when I noticed something in the sky," he reported, "It was a very overcast night, and the city lights illuminated the clouds pretty well that night. I was facing east and the object came out of the southwest and was out in front of me at about a 90 degree angle. The object was just above the ceiling of clouds, and I could make out the shape of a triangle through the clouds. There was no noise and no lights that I could see, but I could see the shape very distinctly because of the lights from the city."

"The object continued on a northeasterly path, moving at a high rate of speed. How fast, I'm not sure, but the whole event took about three seconds, so it was moving good. It flew in a straight line, no deviation, again, that I could see. The trees around my house have no leaves on them, so I could see the whole sky pretty well. I tracked it until it was out of sight."

"I'd have to say the object was bigger than a commercial airliner and was flying at about 300 to 500 feet (90 to 150 meters) off the ground. Very low as the cloud cover was very low that night, also."

"The distance it covered from when I first saw it till I couldn't was about one mile (1.6 kilometers). As for the speed, all I can say is that it was fast. If I had to guess, I'd have to say 300 to 400 miles per hour (480 to 640 kilometers per hour)."

Aurora, Illinois is just south of Interstate Highway I-88, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Chicago. (Many thanks to Brian Vike for this report.)


On Tuesday, February 15, 2005, at 6:05 a.m., Angela Ross walked into the kitchen of her home in Killeen, Texas (population 86,911). She reported, "I had been up a few short minutes making my tea. I started to fill up the pitcher with water and looked out" the window "at the sky, as it was still dark at this time. I saw what I thought was a full moon at the top of some trees, but then saw the bright object move away from the trees."

"It zigzagged and then disappeared into thin air right before my eyes. I was facing west. The object was white and round and very bright. It was moving probably 30 to 40 miles per hour (48 to 64 kilometers per hour)."

Killeen, Texas is on Highway 190 about 30 miles (48 kilometers) southwest of Waco. The town is just south of the U.S. Army's Fort Hood. (Email Form Report)


"On (Thursday) February 17, 2005, I witnessed the transit of an unidentified flying object over the eastern regions of Mexico City," ufologist Ana Luisa Cid Fernandez reported, "I was writing an article on my computer when something made me turn to the left and look out the window. It was an elongated structure of considerable size, visible to the unaided eye, which traveled horizontally at great speed."

"When I reached for my camcorder to shoot some video, the brilliant structure made a sudden reverse motion and hid behind the rooftops. I remained patient and waited for it to emerge, obtaining some good images."

"I would have wanted to follow its trajectory, but my young daughter was asleep, so I contacted my colleagues so they could continue tracking the strange flying object."

The UFO left Mexico City, crossing Route 136 just north of Aztahuacan and Los Reyes. It was last seen heading for Ixtapaluca and the ancient Toltec ruins at Tlapacoya. (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Ana Luisa Cid Fernandez para estas noticias.)


On Sunday, February 20, 2005, "around 3 p.m., Walter Jara and his cousin, Luis Aguilar, saw a UFO fly over a mountain, Cerro Hornopiren," near Puerto Montt, a city on the Golfo de Ancud in Chile's far south.

"According to Jara's account, the UFO flew over the summit before his startled eyes and, a few seconds later, he gathered his wits and managed to take a digital photograph of the object."

"Jara said that at the moment of the photograph he was not aware that it was a flying object. He was surprised a few minutes later. At first he thought it could have been a spot on the camera lens."

"But after keeping the UFO in sight for 60 seconds, his perspective and that of his camera had changed."

"According to his story, the flying saucer was not visible in plain sight. However, when he zoomed the camera lens, he was able to see the object clearly."

"'It was a moment of wonder and amazement,' said Jara, 'The day was clear and cloudless. The object oscillated violently in the sky. I saw that it was not a bird because they move differently.'"

"He added that the UFO was grey in color and oval- shaped."

"Jara's friend, Fernando Garces, said that his family lives in Hornopiren and has never seen any object with the characteristics witnessed by Walter Jara. The Meteorology Office at Puerto Montt's Tepual Airport dismissed the possibility that weather balloons could be involved, since these are launched at 8 a.m. and fly over the area for a maximum time of two hours."

"According to weather official Gaston Munoz, by 11 o'clock (a.m.) the (weather) ballons have burst." (See the Chilean newspaper El Llanhique for February 21, 2005, "Eyewitness saw UFO flying over Cerro Hornopiren for 60 seconds." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Liliana Nunez Orellana por este articulo de diario.)


"An unidentified flying object of prodigious size, silver in color and with the characteristic shape of the so-called 'flying saucers,' was photographed with a high- definition camera by a Buenos Aires mountaineer during an ascent of Nevado de Cachi" mountain in northwestern Argentina, "one of the greatest challenges for South American climbers."

"The photograph, of extraordinary clarity, was taken while the sportsman was at Las Pailas, an inhabited location halfway up the summit at an elevation of 3,500 meters (11,550 feet) above sea level, which includes the ruins of an ancient (pre-Columbian) Chalchaqui settlement."

"The protagonist of the event was Guillermo Martin, an instructor with the Buenos Aires-based Entrenamientos de Montana (Spanish for Mountain Trainee --J.T.) club."

"The photo was taken in November 2004 but was made known only last week. 'I didn't realize I had taken the shot until I saw it as a print,' Martin said, 'We researched it with speculations, and there was no error or damage to the systems. Nor does it appear that the object was the result of an undesired chemical reaction of some sort.'"

"What the camera did record, for no reason, perhaps due to the 'thing's' speed, could not be seen by human eyes, according to the sportsman, who forwarded the startling images to Antonio Zuleta, a Cachi UFO researcher, also an enthusiastic mountaineer and host of a radio show on FM Radio San Jose. He also managed to send the object on a videotape."

"Cachi, located 150 kilometers (90 miles) from the provincial capital" of Salta "and some 2,200 meters (7,260 feet in elevation) high, has become a worldwide center of interest for lovers of this mysterious and intriguing subject."

"Martin has returned to this locale once more since last week and is attempting a new ascent of El Nevado de Cachi," which stands "6,380 meters (21,004 feet) above sea level, this time with a team of eight mountaineers."

"'The day I took the photos--around noon--the skies were clear, cloudless, the sun was shining, there was no sound and the temperature was quite pleasant,' Martin told Zuleta, who in turn forwarded a transcript of the sportsman's statements to El Tribuno."

Salta, capital of the province of the same name, is located 800 kilometers (500 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina. (See the Argentinian newspaper El Tribuno for February 24, 2005, "Mountain climber photographs a large UFO." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Mercedes Casas por este articulo de diario.)


A huge oval UFO with blue lights was seen hovering over towns in southern Saskatchewan province, Canada, which are famous for their previous outbreaks of crop circles.

According to Canadian ufologist Barb Campbell, "A gentleman in North Battleford, Sask. at 10 p.m. on Monday, February 21, 2005, reported 'a very large, bright, greenish-blue round object travelling northwest to southeast' over the city of North Battleford. He described the object as 'travelling slower than a falling star and unlike any plane' he has ever seen. It appeared as though it had travelled toward the hospital. The gentleman almost jumped into his car to drive down to the river to see if it had landed. The object then disappeared over the horizon."

"At 10:15 p.m., a woman in Midale, Sask. happened to notice something outside her window. She yelled to her husband, 'Look out the window!' The husband then saw a large silver object emitting a green glow travel right past the window."

"The husband described it as 'big, oval in shape, travelling at high speed just above the trees across the alley.' The wife said the object seemed to be rotating as it moved. The bedroom window faces northeast, and the object was travelling in a southerly direction."

"The whole event took place within a matter of two or three seconds. A silverish-white trail was seen behind the object. There are houses on the other side of the alley. It was determined that the object was no more than a mile (1.6 kilometers) away from these houses."

"When questioned, the husband held an orange up to his line of sight at the window, adding that this is how big the UFO was."

"At the time of the incident, no electrical interference had been noticed. However, the next morning (Tuesday, February 22, 2005), when the husband was getting ready for work, he was unable to listen to the Environment Canada broadcast on VHF frequency 162.400 Megaherz."

"Indeed, the SaskTel tower was off the air Tuesday and Wednesday (February 22 and 23, 2005) following. There is a major power grid close to Midale, approximately 2 miles (3.2 kilometers) away, coming from a coal-generating power plant at Estevan," 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Midale.

The oval UFO is believed to have crossed the border into the USA just east of Ambrose, North Dakota (population 17), a village on Highway 43 located about 70 miles (116 kilometers) north-northwest of Minot, N.D. (Many thanks to Barb Campbell for these news stories.) (Editor's Note: Extraterrestrials have a strange affinity for the name Ambrose. In the Twentieth Century, people who were taken away and never brought back included Ambrose J. Beirce (1913), Ambrose Small (1922), Ambrose Dexter (1937) and Ambrose Allen Jr. (1964).)

[A map showing the path of the object is available at: http://www.ufoinfo.com/sightings/canada/050221.shtml and http://www.nwsurc.com/ssr-04-37.htm . Anyone having seen anything unusual Monday February 21, 2005 is asked to contact NWSURC at 306-893-4009 or iva e-mail at: contactus@nwsurc.com - John @ UFOINFO].


"That wasn't just any big cat prowling near the Ronald Reagan Presidential Library" in Moorpark, California (population 31,415)--it was a tiger."

"The big cat was shot and killed Wednesday," February 23, 2005, "just a few hundred yards from school soccer and baseball fields near a housing development, said Lorna Bernard, a spokesman for the California Department of Fish and Game."

"State wildlife trackers had been searching for the animal for more than a week using infrared equipment and setting traps with goat meat and chickens."

"Bernard said it was 'unfortunate' the tiger had been killed."

"On the other hand, she said it's more unfortunate the tiger's owner didn't come forward right away, when it would have been easier to catch it."

"The hunt began after discovery of huge paw prints on a ranch near the Reagan library. The size of the tracks indicated the animal weighed as much as 600 pounds. The animal's body was removed in a net carried by helicopter."

Florida had a "strange tiger" incident, as well.

In Wellington, Florida (population 38,216), "a 500- pound Bengal tiger roamed free for more than two hours inside a sanctuary after managing to escape from his cage that wasn't fully latched after a feeding. Tristan, a 4- year-old tiger, was tranquilized by wildlife officials. The tiger never made it outside of the sanctuary."
(See the Los Angeles Times for February 24, 2005, "Tiger killed near Reagan library," and USA Today for February 28, 2005, "Around the USA--Florida," page 13A. Many thanks to Tiffany Burton for these newspaper articles.)

(Editor's Note: For more on out-of-place lions and tigers in the USA, see UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 40 for October 1, 2002, "Mysterious lions killed in Quitman, Arkansas," page 4; and UFO Roundup, volume 4, number 5 for February 1, 1999, "Mysterious tigers on the prowl in New Jersey," page 6.)


"The sky, apparently, is falling. Its point of impact: the backyard of William and Anna Mae Beals at 6060 Thomas Road," Decatur, Illinois (population 81,860).

"A slab of ice the size of a concrete block hurtled from the heavens Wednesday morning," February 23, 2005, "toward their house in southeast Decatur. Fortunately, no one was hurt."

"But their neighbors were shaken when they saw the chilly visitor land."

"Dolores Scribner was sipping coffee and watching birds out her backyard window with her sister and cousin when a white flash descended toward the earth."

"'We were shocked,' said her sister, Jo Ann Wheeler."

"'I've never seen anything like that before in my life,' said her cousin, Joyce Wetzel."

"So where did the icy chunk come from?"

"'I don't have a clue,' said a puzzled Anna Mae Beals."

"Could it have fallen from an airplane's wing? That's unlikely, aviation experts say. Ice can cause serious problems if not removed from a plane's wings."

"'We take great pains to make sure airplanes are de- iced,' said Elizabeth Isham Cory, spokesman for the Federal Aviation Administration (FAA)."

"'Something this big on an aircraft doesn't sound right,' said Gene Marcinkowski, Decatur Airport director."

"Could the ice cake be the frozen flush of a portable toilet aboard a high-flying plane? Nope. Waste is removed when the plane touches down. Plus, the neighbors concluded, the ice cake was white and clean--not the typical color of a potty flush."

"Could it be a freak weather phenomenon? The chunk of ice initially stumped Jim Angel, state climatologist with the Illinois State Water Survey."

"'That's a real mystery,' Angel said."

"Angel then recalled reports of large ice chunks falling from the skies in places as far away as Spain." Ice "usually fell in January, February and March and can weigh as much as 30 pounds. Experts call them megacryometeors. It's not clear why they fall."

(Editor's Note: The all-time champ is the ice block that fell at Seringapatam, 30 kilometers (18 miles) north of Mysore, India, in 1800. It was as big as an elephant and took three days to melt. See The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover Publications Inc., New York, N.Y., 1974, page 19.)

"'One of these things is very weird,' Angel said, 'It's not like it doesn't happen to other people. It happens rarely, but it does happen.'"

Fortean researcher Loren Coleman, who was born in Decatur, had this to say: "A block of ice falls from the sky in Decatur, involving a Beals, a Wetzel and even an Angel. Any time a Wetzel is involved, this is a sign of high strangeness. Very weird, indeed." (See the Decatur, Ill. Herald and Review for February 24, 2005, "Ice chunk that fell from the sky hitting homeowner's yard defies explanation." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this newspaper article.)

(Editor's Note: Decatur...I thought that name sounded familiar. Decatur is the Fortean capital of Illinois. Crazy crocs and out-of-place animals are the usual weird phenomena there. In July 1917, a 300-man posse spent several days searching the woods on the Sangamon River for "an African lion." Four people driving west on Highway 36 were terrified when the critter jumped into the back seat of their Pierce Arrow touring car. Then, on June 25, 1965, a "phantom panther," described as a "big, black, catlike animal" frightened a woman driving into her yard. Three days later, this beast "ate a sack lunch of three children on an outing in Lincoln Park."
Crazy crocs were sighted in Decatur on three separate occasions--on August 30, 1937, then on October 24, 1966; and finally, on June 26, 1967, a 10-inch (25-centimeter) alligator was caught at 895 West Eldorado Street in Decatur. See Weird America by Jim Brandon, E.P. Dutton Co., New York, N.Y., 1978, page 78.)


"Avalanches and slides triggered by heavy weekend snowfall in India's portion of Kashmir," a plateau country in the Himalayas, "have killed at least 154 people and left 200 missing, an official said Monday," February 21, 2005.

Up to 35 centimeters (14 inches) of snow fell on Kashmir beginning Saturday morning, February 19, 2005, "closing the Jammu-Srinagar highway, the main route through the Panjal mountain range" and effectively cutting off the province from the rest of India.

"Much of the region remained cut off for three straight days," including the towns of Shupinan, Tangmarg, Sopur and Bandipura, "blanketed under the heaviest snowfall in 15 years."

"At least 117 people were killed in avalanches that began Sunday night," February 20, 2005, "in a series of Kashmiri villages south of Srinigar, Kashmir's main city, said police officer Imtiyaz Ahmed, who said the toll of dead and missing remained incomplete."

"Elsewhere in the region, three separate landslides killed eight people, police said."

Another heavy snowfall took place on Monday, February 19, 2005, again closing the Jammu-Srinigar highway. A second round of "avalanches and extreme cold killed 107 people in the divided Himalayan province, Indian and Pakistani officials said." (See the Deccan Chronicle for February 21 and February 23, 2005. Many thanks to Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda for the Indian newspaper articles.)


"A powerful earthquake shook southeastern Iran on Tuesday," February 22, 2005, "destroying villages and killing over 400 people," Iran's state-run TV station reported.

The quake measured 6.4 on the Richter scale and "injured over 900 people. Torrential rains and winter cold following the tremor hampered rescue efforts."

"The quake's epicenter was on the outskirts of Zarand, Iran's geological authority said. The town of 15,000 is about 1,000 kilometers (600 miles) southeast of Tehran," the national capital."

"Under a driving rain, survivors wailed over the bodies of the dead and dug through the ruins of mud-brick houses searching for their loved ones after a powerful earthquake flattened villages. At least 420 people were killed."

"About 30,000 people in the region near Kerman, the provincial capital were affected, and many were left homeless. The tiny villages that cover the mountain were hit hard."

"In Dahoueieh, every building except a golden-domed mosque had collapsed."

"In Sartagh, most of the buildings were leveled."

"'Where have you gone? I had a lot of plans for you,' Hossein Golestani sang softly as he held the lifeless form of his daughter, Fatima, age 7. The body of another daughter, Mariam, 8, lay beside him in the devastated village of Hoktan. Golestani and his wife were tending their goats just before 6 a.m. when the quake wrecked their home."

"Others slapped their faces in grief as they sat next to the dead at hospital morgues and on roadsides."

"Two young women were found alive in the ruins of flattened villages in central Iran on Wednesday," February 23, 2005, "as officials raised the death toll to 500 people."

"In Hotkan, shouts of 'Allahu akbar!' (Arabic for God is great!--J.T.) erupted after Zehra Hosseini, 14, was found alive. Earlier in the day, Zehra Mirzaei, 18, was pulled from the ruins."

"The Zarand earthquake struck a region 240 kilometers (150 miles) northwest of Bam, site of a devastating earthquake" that measured 6.9 on the Richter scale and "killed 26,000 people and leveled the historic city in December 2003."

"Though comparable in strength to the Bam quake, Tuesday's temblor hit a more sparsely populated area and was 40 kilometers (25 miles) deep" within the earth. By comparison, the Bam quake of 2003 occurred only 10 kilometers (6 miles) beneath the surface.

"At dusk, temperatures fell and rain turned to snow in parts of the mountains. Survivors huddled around fires to keep warm. About 1,500 rescue workers from the Iranian Red Crescent fanned out in teams with tents and tarps for survivors."

"Mohammed Javad Fadei, deputy governor of Kerman province, said that while Iran will not ask for aid" from the International Federation of Red Cross and Red Crescent Societies in Geneva, Switzerland, "'we'll take tents, blankets, cash and earth-moving machinery,' if offered."

The Zarand earthquake came on the heels of last week's earthquake just south of Sulawesi in Indonesia, which measured 6.5 on the Richter scale and caused a small tsunami in the Flores Sea. (See the Iranian newspaper Al- Mehr for February 23 and 24, 2005; also USA Today for February 23, 2005, "Searches continue for survivors of Iran quake," page 8A. Many thanks to Ayesha al-Khatabi and Kufa Yildaz for the Iranian newspaper articles.)

(Editor's Comment: If the current round of earthquakes won't make you a believer in earth changes, the bizarre weather in California certainly will. Read on...)


An inexplicable change in the jet stream over the USA has sent a williwaw, a winter rainstorm more suited to British Columbia and the Alaska panhandle, into southern California.

But while the temperate rain forests of the Pacific Northwest can handle that kind of downpour, the dry hills and deserts of southern California are getting drenched with floods and buried in mudslides.

"The storm has spawned hail, thunder and tornadoes since it moved in Thursday night," February 17, 2005. "It has sent mud and boulders down rain-weakened hillsides, flooded highways and railroads and cut power to as many as 170,000 customers."

"The storm claimed its third life early Monday," February 21, 2005, "in Woodland Hills, a San Fernando Valley neighborhood in the city of Los Angeles. There, a wave of mud rushed down a slope, smashed into a house and buried a 63-year-old man under four feet (1.3 meters) of mud."

"In Silverado Canyon, in Orange County," Caitlin Oto, 16, "died Sunday," February 20, 2005, "when a boulder, loosened by rain," rolled down a Santa Ana mountainside "and crashed into her family's apartment, where she was working at her computer."

"Also on Sunday, Rory Shaw, 47, a Los Angeles city engineer," was "supervising the repair of a giant sinkhole" on a street in Sun Valley, just north of Studio City and Burbank, when "he fell 30 feet (9 meters) to his death."

In Glendale (population 194,973), "mudsides and flooding Monday forced 30 people in 11 homes to evacuate."

In Fullerton (population 126,000), an overflowing creek flooded 10 homes on Monday.

In Hacienda Heights (population 53,122), "a mudslide poured into a housing development Monday. Rescuers pulled three people from 10 feet (3 meters) of mud that flowed into a townhouse. The three were trapped for two hours" before rescuers arrived.

"A 300-mile (480-kilometer) expanse of California was battered for days by a storm system that killed" about a dozen people "and disrupted life for hundreds of thousands of others."

"The latest in an almost unbroken series of winter rainstorms drenched areas from central California to the Los Angeles suburbs. Residents are coping with problems from power outages and closed freeways to mudslides crashing into bedrooms in hillside towns."

"Downpours have broken a 115-year-old Los Angeles record for precipitation during the winter rainy season, measured from December through February. Downtown Los Angeles has had 27.37 inches (88 centimeters) of rain since December 1 (2004), exceeding the 25 inches (83 centimeters) recorded over the (same) three months in 1889-1890."

"Southern California's extraordinary string of storms this winter is the result of an unexpected convergence of climate factors from the Arctic and the tropics."

"Late last year (2004), atmospheric conditions over Alaska's Aleutian Islands blocked the jet stream, the high-altitude band of wind that carries storms east across North America. Instead of taking its usual path across the northern states, the jet stream swung much farther south to California."

"The results: record amounts of rain and snow in December and storms in January that ordinarily would have hit the Pacific Northwest and states to the east."

"The fierce weather didn't spare areas of affluence: In Los Angeles' wealthy Bel-Air neighborhood, a swimming pool slid down a hill and doused neighboring houses with water."

"In La Conchita, the seaside community of 190 homes where 10 people died in a mudslide January 10 (2005), all but 39 residents had moved out before the latest storm hit. Those who had stayed cast anxious eyes on the weakend bluff above the town, but only six people chose to evacuate."

"In Hollywood, hundreds of vehicles were trapped for several hours in a flood on the Hollywood Freeway before emergency crews pumped water off the road at 2 a.m. on Tuesday," February 22, 2005.

"The California Highway Patrol reported 120 traffic accidents on L.A. streets during the morning commute Tuesday, up from 50 accidents a week earlier."

"Most of the trouble was in mountain areas linking the coast with suburban valleys. Many motorists were forced to find roundabout routes."

"Slides closed Malibu Canyon Road. Nearby Topanga Canyon Boulevard, a major artery between the Pacific Coast Highway and the San Fernando Valley, remained closed to all but canyon residents--as it has been for the past three weeks."

(Editor's Note: Topanga Canyon was the site of a famous UFO contactee case back in 1952.)

"In Orange County's Silverado Canyon, residents planned a pancake breakfast March 5 to raise money for the family of Caitlin Oto, 16. She was killed by a falling boulder Sunday as she worked at her computer in the apartment above the country store run by her stepfather and her mother."

"'It's very sad,' said Rachel Brown, 28, a waitress at the Silverado Cafe who has lived in the canyon all her life. 'They've lost their home, their store and their daughter.'"

"The boulder incident reminded longtime residents of a 1969 mudslide that killed five people taking refuge at a fire station in the canyon."

"But 'nobody is ready to leave,' Brown says." (See USA Today for February 22, 2005, "Deadly S. California storm rages into its 5th day," page 3A; and for February 23, 2005, "Rain, mud pouring down in Calif.," page 3A.)


"A huge frozen sea lies just below the surface of Mars, a team of European scientists has announced."

"Their assessment is based on pictures of the planet's equatorial Elysium region that show plated and rutted features across an area 800 by 900 kilometers (480 by 540 miles)."

"The team thinks a catastrophic event flooded the landscape five million years ago and then froze intact."

"Large reserves of water ice are known to be held at the poles on Mars, but if this discovery is confirmed by followup observations, it would be a first for a region at such low latitude."

"'It's been predicted for a long time that you should find water close to the surface of Mars near the equator,' Jan-Peter Muller from University College, London, said."

"'This is an area where there are a lot of river features, but no one has ever seen a sea before, and certainly no one has ever seen pack ice before,' he told BBC News."

"The interpretation is based on images taken by the High Resolution Stereo Camera aboard Europe's Mars Express spacecraft. These show extensive fields of large, platy features--reminiscent of fractured ice floes found in the polar regions on Earth," which are covered with a layer of windblown dust.

"Finding exposed ice at the (Martian) equator will be unlikely. Very low (air) pressure on the planet would lead to sublimation, i.e. the ice would change over time straight to water vapour."

"But the research group, led by John Murphy from Open University, UK told (the science journal) Nature, that a crust of dust and volcanic ash, perhaps four to five centimetres (1.5 to 2 inches) thick, has prevented this from happening."

"'The story runs that the water flowed in some kind of massive cataclysmic event; pack ice formed on that body of water and broke up; and then the whole thing froze rigid,' explained Prof. Muller."

"'Large amounts of dust then fell over this area. The dust fell through the water and on top of the pack ice, which explains why the pack ice is a different hue to the area around it.'"

"The water that formed the sea in southern Elysium, five degrees north of the (Martian) equator, seems to have originated beneath the surface of Mars, erupting from a series of fissures known as Cerberus Fossae."

"Many of the features seen by the Mars Express have also been picked up by the Mars Orbiter Camera aboard the (USA's) Mars Global Surveyor."

"The Mars Express has been in orbit around the Red Planet for a year." (See BBC News for February 21, 2005, "Mars pictures reveal frozen sea." Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this news story.)


"Saturn's small snow-white moon Enceladus has revealed a turbulent history, according to the latest images from NASA's Cassini spacecraft."

Enceladus was discovered in 1789 by the astronomer Sir William Herschel (1738-1822). He named the small moon, approximately 500 kilometers (300 miles) in diameter, after a giant of Greek mythology who rebelled against the gods of Olympus. Enceladus orbits Saturn at a distance of 238,100 kilometers (147,950 miles).

"The moon is covered in smoking ridges, chasms and scratches, which probably means that the moon has been squeezed and stretched."

"Cassini passed within 1,200 kilometers (720 miles) of Enceladus on Thursday, February 17, 2005, "taking detailed photos of the surface, revealing details as tiny as 60 meters (200 feet) across."

"Enceladus is a geologist's paradise,' said William McKinnon of Washington University in St. Louis, Missouri. 'It has endless sets of closely-spaced fractures and faults.'"

"He added that there are also blocks of high terrain and a variety of rifts."

"This is all evidence of a tumultuous past, according to Paul Schenk of the Lunar and Planetary Institute in Houston, Texas. 'It has been pulled, stretched and compressed in multiple episodes of deformation and relaxation.'"

"The gravity of Saturn and another moon, Dione, are probably combining to distort the interior of Enceladus, causing" the folding and fracturing. "The same processes may have destroyed old craters, heating the surface so that it slowly slumps--even causing floods of icy lava."

"'I'm betting that liquid ammonia-water is involved,' says McKinnon. He also points out what seems to be volcanic ice ridges."

"And Enceladus's bright surface suggests there may be even more energetic volcanism at work. It is the brightest object in the solar system, so close to pure white that it must be covered in fresh ice--or snow--fired out of ice geysers. These geysers might blast some of the snow into orbit around Saturn, forming the (big) planet's tenuous E-ring, suggest scientists."

"They are looking out for volcanic plumes on the moon's horizon, where they will be the easiest to spot against the inky blackness of space."

UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor said he was "still hopeful" that someday Enceladus would become the home of a space colony of UFO enthusiasts.

"It'll happen long after my time," Trainor said, "But I'm hoping that future ufologists who keep the Roundup going will someday transmit our weekly newspaper from Enceladus."

"Actually, Enceladus is a good choice for space homesteading," he added, "There's plenty of snow, which can be melted down into water. The water can be used in hydroponic gardens to grow vegetables. Water can also be broken down via electrolysis into hydrogen and oxygen. The hydrogen can be used for cooking and energy; the oxygen for spacesuits to explore the terrain. Best of all, you have a great view of Saturn--the ringed planet fills much of the sky!"

Trainor said he envisioned a space colony made up of "small homesteads, a science complex, a school and public library, and a central community center with the offices of UFO Roundup on the top floor. Truck farming will probably be the main industry. We'll sell fresh produce to passing alien spacecraft." (See New Scientist for February 18, 2005, "Survey shows Enceladus a 'geologist's paradise.'" Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this article.)


The anomalous tsunami that washed ashore in Argentina in January 2005 was not that unique. A similar event was studied in the early 1920s by the "Father of Ufology," Charles Hoy Fort. (See UFO Roundup, volume 10, number 3 for January 19, 2005, "Anomalous tsunami hits beach in Argentina," page 4.)

While researching phenomena at the British Museum in London, Fort (1874-1932) came across a strange case that took place in the South Pacific on August 15, 1868.

"Australian coast--not at Melbourne but at Sydney and Adelaide: wave 4 feet (1.3 meters) high met steamers and turned them around," Fort wrote in his data notes, which he kept in cardboard shoe boxes.

Also on August 15, 1868, "Samoa--tidal wave (tsunami- -J.T.) 2:30 a.m. and (continues) for two hours, only upon the northern side." That is, from Cape Mulinuu to Puupua on Savaii Island; from Leulumoega to Tiavea on Upolu Island; and from Cape Taputapu to Cape Matutula on Tutuila Island. "At Upolo, tidal wave at 2 a.m."

The same day, "immense wave shakes New Zealand. At Chatham Islands, 35 feet (10.6 meters) high and did great damage and stirred turbulent seas for 48 hours...Chatham Island settlement destroyed by three waves."

A tsunami came ashore at Newcastle, N.S.W., 120 kilometers (72 miles) north of Sydney, "tidal effects observed at 6 a.m."

Amazingly, the tsunami in New Zealand was predicted. Fort wrote, "According to the Wellington Independent, for a week it had been rumoured around Wellington that on the (August) 15th there was going to be a big wave and shocks. 'In every public house, the common expression in a half- incredulous manner was, 'We're going to be swamped Saturday (August 15, 1868).' At 8:30 a.m., the water did rise and there was excitement in town...There were shocks at 9:55 a.m."

Across the Pacific, the same day, "Off San Pedro, Southern California, a series of waves flowed in, 'elevating the tide 63 to 64 feet (21 meters) above the ordinary high water mark.' The phenomenon is attributed to submarine disturbances."

But there were no "submarine disturbances" just prior to or during the various tsunamis. In fact, the first earthquake wasn't recorded until the following day, Sunday, August 16, 1868. Fort wrote, "Quake at Quito (Ecuador) at 1:20 a.m."

"Lylletton, N.Z.: the wave at 4 a.m. An hour before it came, sound was heard and shocks felt but (the newspaper) said that at this time water (was) noticed going out of the harbour."

Fort's notes list his sources as the Wellington, N.Z. Independent for August 29, 1868, page 5; the Melbourne Age for October 17, 1868; the Wellington Independent for August 20, 1868, page 5; the Taranak, N.Z. Herald for August 29, 1868; and the New York Tribune for August 21, 1868, page 1.

The cause of the tsunamis in Australia, New Zealand, Samoa and southern California was never determined.


"Lost: much-loved robot submarine, last seen under 200 meters (660 feet) of Antarctic ice last Wednesday," February 16, 2005, "answers to the name Autosub."

"The British unmanned research submarine," valued at 1.5 million pounds sterline, "was investigating the waters below the Fimbul ice shelf when it became trapped. Scientists don't know what went wrong, but say the submarine is stuck and is unlikely to be rescued."

"Gwyn Griffiths, an ocean engineer at the Southampton Oceanography Centre" in UK, "who built the Autosub, said, 'It isn't going to come back. We've lived with this vehicle for eight years, and it's done 382 missions. But every time we put it out, there's a chance it isn't going to return. It was sort of inevitable.'"

"Scientists sent the submarine under the ice shelf, one of the most inaccessible and poorly-known environments on Earth, to collect information about the role of the ocean in climate change. It was also to investigate whether global warming is accelerating, how the ice melts and what sort of creatures live in Antarctic waters."

"The conditions and terrain on the ice shelf are so treacherous that collecting data at the surface, even using tethered robotic vehicles, is dangerous."

"The seven-metre (22-foot) Autosub, also known as an automatic underwater vehicle, was about to return to the British Antarctic Survey's research ship James Clark Ross on Wednesday."

"Instead, it began to broadcast a distress signal from a position about 10 miles (16 kilometers) from the ship under the 200-metre (660-foot) thick ice sheet."

"The sub is not remote-controlled--its route is programmed before departure, and it uses an onboard system to navigate."

"Powered by 5,160 D-cell batteries, it can run for about 300 miles (500 kilometers) over several days."

"The vehicle is not insured--scientists knew that if it got into trouble under the ice, it would be impossible to rescue." (See The Guardian of UK for February 21, 2005, "Has anyone seen our submarine?")

From the UFO Files...


Black panthers are not indigenous to the island continent of Australia, but people have reported seeing them--or creatures like them--since the 1780s.

Rex Gilroy and other Fortean researchers in Australia have theorized that what is often described as a "black panther" Down Under is actually a large predator of the marsupial family, a distant relative of the opossum and the kangaroo. Some have dubbed this mysterious beast "the Outback Terror."

Forty-seven years ago, in February 1958, the biggest "panther" flap in Australian history broke out in the bush country around Emmaville, a small community about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Grafton, New South Wales.

In his book Mysterious Australia, Rex Gilroy writes, "One of the largest Australian 'panthers' ever reported was claimed seen in 1949 by Mr. Harry Waters, who told me the following story in 1979:"

"'I was out shooting deer in Rangers Valley (situated between Glen Innes and Emmaville--R.G.) The time was 11 a.m., when in pine-forest country, I walked onto a hilltop to get a view of the surrounding country.'"

"'As I stood there, admiring the view, I saw below me, 40 yards (36 meters) down the hillside, an enormous, black panther-type animal standing looking up at me. It was a good eight feet (2.4 meters) long from head to tail, and about three foot, six inches (1.1 meters) off the ground on all fours. It had yellow eyes and its fur was a shiny black colour but not very long.'"

"'It just stood there watching me for about five minutes. I had a 'Number One' shotgun with me and could have dropped the creature if it made a move in my direction, but it just remained where it was. I decided that 'discretion was the better part of valour,' so I turned and left the spot in haste. As I did so, however, I spotted the giant cat loping off into the forest in the opposite direction.'"

"Graziers and other inhabitants of the Emmaville district still talk of the big outbreak of 'Emmaville Panther' sightings that occurred during 1958."

The flap "can said to have started at 2 p.m. on 19th February (1958) near Coolatai, west of Emmaville. Kenneth Outzens, then 16 years old, was on horseback in bushland and was almost thrown from his horse when the animal bolted at seeing a large, black-furred, panther-like beast suddenly appear on a rock 10 feet (3 meters) away."

"Outzens and a friend, Laurance Miller, then 40 years old, had a terrifying experience three nights later (February 22, 1958) in the same area. They were forced to stay locked in their caravan (trailer in the USA--J.T.) while what appeared to be the same creature prowled around the vehicle, leaving tracks which they found the next morning."

"Then, on the night of 25th February (1958), a Dr. R.S. Patterson was driving on the Inverell-Emmaville road when he caught sight of a 'large black animal' in the headlights barely 100 years (90 meters) ahead of him."

"'I swung at it, knowing it was not a dog, and just caught him. I saw a large black paw come up, and when I stopped the car there were heavy scratch marks on the side. I raced to the town to get a gun and tell police,' (Dr. Patterson) told a journalist later."

"It was about this time that Donald Clifford, then 15 years of age and grandson of the then-Severn Shire Council President, Mr. E. Clifford, was searching for lost horses when he spotted a large cat-like beast a mere 'thirty paces ahead' in bushland outside Emmaville."

"These monster cats were creating a wave of terror across a wide area of New England (a region in northern New South Wales--J.T.) at the time. Some graziers (ranchers in the USA--J.T.) lost thousands of pounds' worth of valuable stock, and many suffered some financial hardship."

"For example, Mr. Clive Berry of Kingston was reported to have had two thousand pounds worth of sheep destroyed; and at Emmaville in mid-1958, seven big steers were torn to pieces by one or more of these monsters."

"In another incident, a farmer discovered one of his rams dead, ripped up and wedged between the fork of a tree limb high up off the ground. Deep scratch mark on the tree trunk told him that one of the 'big cats' of Emmaville was responsible."

"No one went about in the bush alone without a gun. Tracks of mystery beasts were being found all over the Emmaville district and beyond."

"Finally on 25th June of that year (1958), Sir Edward Hallstrom, Director of Sydney's Taronga Park Zoo, offered rewards of 1,000 and 500 (Australian) pounds for the capture of the beast, or beasts, alive or dead, but the giant creatures eluded would-be reward hunters."

But that wasn't the end of the Outback Terror. The mysterious panther-like creature continued to be seen over the years.

In 1960, "further south, around Armidale (N.S.W.), locals were having their own problems."

"Mr. Ted Bell of Mereworth, Black Mountain, near Armidale, was convinced that a 'panther' was responsible."

"'I have seen it twice at night and heard it four times. It has a high, blood-curdling scream. I lost 100 sheep to it one winter. The animal tears the side out and eats both the kidneys and the tongue,' he said to a journalist."

"Typical of these reports is the story of Steve and Judy Beaty who were driving near Emmaville one night in April 1975. As they passed a property, they saw it in the bright moonlight, 'a cow-length, shiny, black-furred panther-type animal,' jump the fence and dash across the road in front of them. They saw it illuminated by the headlights momentarily as it scrambled into thick roadside scrub, leaving them both very shaken by their experience."

"On Sunday morning, 2nd February 1986, Mr. Stan Nelson was out bowhunting for rabbits around 6:30 a.m. in the Moonbi Ranges above Kootingal when, on an opposite ridge, he saw a slender Alsatian dog-sized, black-furred, panther-like animal with a round-type head and a tail about as long as its body. Mr. Nelson observed it for about one-and-a-half minutes before it walked away into scrub."

"At nearby Kootingal in September 1990, a number of people saw a large, six-foot (1.8-meter) long, black doglike/catlike 'panther' dragging a sheep across a paddock into granite mountain country."

In early April 1993, "a Tamworth sportsman and cross- country runner, Mr. Mathew Kalunder, claimed to have seen a panther-type creature. His sighting received local media publicity."

"...while training for the national mountain-running championship, he was running up Kamilaroi walking track, not far from Oxley Lookout which overlooks Tamworth (N.S.W.) on its eastern side, when he came face to face with a large black 'cat' crouching beside the track on this rugged, scrub-covered mountainside."

"'I was just as surprised as the animal,' Mathew said."

"'It was just after 6 p.m. around dusk. I was running up the hill, and about 20 metres (66 feet) ahead of me there was this animal with its back to the track. It looked over its shoulder when it heard me and crouched down, but then it headed off into the bush.'"

"'I wasn't seeing things. I'm a bit of a sceptic. I know what a dog looks like, but I'd never seen anything like this before. Nobody's going to believe me, but this really was fair dinkum,' he said."

Rex Gilroy added, "A major contribution to the study of the 'Australian panther' migratory habits was made by researcher Michael Roberts in the late 1950s. The frequency with which these marauding catlike beasts emerged each year from the wilderness country of the Queensland/New South Wales border led Mr. Roberts to make a study of the dates on which sightings of the animal were made. He found that the creature's movements coincided with the start of the dry season hereabouts..."

"The animals usually begin their 'run' in February around Coolatai, west of Ashford, then arrived in Ashford about April. They reached Emmaville in June, and Glen Innes that same month. Then they moved southward to Armidale and Uralla in July, from where they crossed the Moonbi Range into the Manilla district and travelled northward to Barraba by the end of that month. They were finally seen around Warialda, southwest of Coolatai, by September, thus completing an approximate seven-month migration."

"A number of researchers believe that the creatures follow the native food chain, preying upon farm stock along the way." (See the book Mysterious Australia by Rex Gilroy, Nexus Publishing, Mapleton, Qlnd., Australia, 1995, pages 97, 98, 99, 100 and 101.)

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, Mars and Saturn-- 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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