SITUATION RED: CHEMTRAILS OVER REHOBOTH, MASSACHUSETTS
On Monday, April 18, 2005, at 6:30 p.m., UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor was a supper guest at the home of fellow newsletter correspondent Mary Lou Jones-Drown in Rehoboth, Massachusetts, a rural town about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Boston, when Mary Lou's children came in and said, "Come outside! Quick! You won't believe what's in the sky."
"As I went outside, Mary Lou's husband Karl met us and pointed to the sky. It was predominantly clear, blue with just a handful of clouds," Trainor reported, "Karl said, 'Look at all the contrails! They seem to be fanning out at an arc of 12 degrees, and the jets are going from horizon to horizon.' Sure enough, we all saw several contrails streaming across the sky. The planes appeared to be flying at an altitude of 25,000 to 35,000 feet. The trails had a tubular or cable-like appearance. They were very cohesive. They were an oyster white to grayish-white in color."
"I'd hoped for a UFO sighting or two since I was visiting Massachusetts' notorious 'Bridgewater Triangle,'" Trainor added, "So I had with me a pair of 70 X 6 BDG binoculars. I took these out and zeroed in on the half- moon, which was almost directly overhead. As soon as I had the moon crisp and clear, I sought out the nearest contrail with the naked eye and then used my binoculars to get a close-up view of the aircraft."
"To my surprise, the plane making the contrail was NOT a fighter jet. It was neither an F-16, an F-15, an F- 14 or a Royal Air Force Tornado. It was a twin-engined jet with a bulky fuselage and swept-back wings. It reminded me of a Boeing 737 passenger jet, but this one had a solid fuselage without a line of windows. It was apparently some kind of commercial jet, but I could not identify the make and model."
"I then picked out the leading edges of two forming contrails at random and saw that the aircraft making the trails were twin-engined jets identical to the first one I'd seen. By then, several of the contrails had already reached the eastern horizon, and I could no longer see the jets."
"At 6:50 p.m., I got together with Karl and Mary Lou, and we compared notes. Karl had counted a total of 15 separate contrails, all stemming from the western horizon in a 'sunburst' pattern. The jets were not flying in formation, he said. Instead they were traveling by threes and fours in sequence. Mary Lou pointed out that the contrails were of consistent thickness and tubular shape. Some had been pushed out of alignment by high-altitude winds, but the rest streamed across the sky in roughly parallel straight lines."
"'They looked like farm furrows,' Mary Lou said.
At 7:15 p.m., Karl, who was still outdoors, spotted another three fresh contrails, moving in the same direction as the rest. He estimated that there were "three military squadrons" involved in the event."
"At 10 p.m., we went out again," Trainor added, "To my surprise, the trails were still visible in the dark, cloudless night sky. They seemed about twice as large as the trails we'd seen three hours earlier. They were as straight as rulers, and the high winds had not broken them up or dissipated them."
"Those are chemtrails, all right," Karl remarked, "Eighteen trails in all. We had to have seen at least three military squadrons. That's the most we've ever seen passing over the farm at any one time."
"There's your story for next week's Roundup," Mary Lou said.
The area quieted down after that, except for a strange incident near the Oak Knoll Wildlife Preserve on Rehoboth's town line with Attleboro (population 44,000).
"However, I had another unusual sighting on Saturday, April 23, 2005, just after 11 p.m.," Trainor reported, "I had gone to nearby Pawtucket, Rhode Island to visit my sister Carolyn, who often serves as UFO Roundup's expert on unusual weather. As I was driving through the Fairlawn section of Pawtucket, R.I., looking north, I saw a series of unusual lights just behind the trees, about 15 degrees above the horizon. I pulled over to the side of the road and got out my binoculars. Leaving the car, I observed the lights with my binoculars and saw that they were red, white and green navigation lights attached to a black helicopter. The binoculars showed me that it was a CH-47 Chinook helicopter. The chopper appeared to hover in the same position for a few seconds more. Then it moved away silently, heading south. From my position, I would estimate that the black helicopter was just over the state like in North Seekonk, Massachusetts. It was heading south on a course running parallel to Route 152, also known as Arcade Avenue. I had the chopper in sight for approximately three minutes."
The Bridgewater Triangle, famous for its sightings of UFOs, Bigfoot, black helicopters, crazy crocs and other Fortean phenomena. The three towns serving as the "points" of the Triangle are Abington, Freetown and Rehoboth.
(Editor's Note: Welcome to Week 2 of UFO Roundup on the Road. While your editor was doing research on H.P. Lovecraft in Taunton, Mass., here's what was going on at the Oak Knoll Wildlife Preserve.)
FOXES GO BERSERK IN ATTLEBORO, BITING CHILDREN
"Police shot and killed a fox Tuesday," April 19, 2005, "that officials fear was rabid and had been terrorizing a rural neighborhood close to the Norton and Rehoboth (town) line."
"The fox apparently made repeated forays into the neighborhood surrounding Augsburg Drive, biting two children and chasing dogs in attacks about 12 hours apart over two days."
"Both children were treated for rabies at Sturdy Memorial Hospital" in Attleboro.
"Police Officer Kevin Fuoco shot the fox about 5:45 p.m. behind a home at 123 Slater Street after police received a call that it was again menacing the neighborhood, Police Sgt. Michael McDonnell said."
"Police said the fox will be tested for rabies."
"Attleboro police had searched the area Monday night and again on Tuesday after the incidents were reported."
"State Environmental Police and local animal control officials also were investigating the accidents. Neighbors were visibly frightened on Tuesday."
"'This thing was a vicious animal,' Augsburg Drive resident John Aldworth said Tuesday, 'My wife has never seen anything like it. It (the fox) was like a snake, undulating. It was making weird noises.'"
"The fox, which weighed 10 or 15 pounds, bit Aldworth's three-year-old daughter, Abby, on the right leg about 8:30 p.m. Monday when she and her mother went outside to check on the family dog, Sunny."
"After attacking Abby, the fox chased after the dog before running away into the woods."
"'It was very, very fast. I was surprised at how fast it was,' Aldworth said."
"Another child was bitten about 9:30 a.m. Tuesday on Cottonwood Lake, within a half-mile of Augsburg Drive."
"The nine-year-old boy was getting his bicycle near the mail box at his home when he was bitten on the leg, police said."
"Police did not identify the boy."
"Traps were set in the woods where officials thought the fox was located."
"Debra Astle, an environmental police officer who was at the scene Tuesday, said she believes the same fox was responsible for the attacks."
"But she said it is possible for more than one fox is involved, she said."
"'This thing is acting real aggressive,' Astle said."
"Normally, foxes are shy, wary and curious, but not aggressive."
"'If you yell or scream and it doesn't go away, something's up,' Astle said."
"Six to eight foxes have been trapped in the neighborhood and killed within the past month, according to the state Department of Fisheries, Wildlife and Environmental Law Enforcement."
"The morning after Abby Aldworth was attacked, two boys, aged 8 and 9, were playing down the street when a fox bit" the nine-year-old and "snapped at the shoe of the other."
"Later that night, a fox snapped at a man as he worked by a shed, but he fended it off with a rake, according to police. Officers called to the scene" near the intersection of Wilmarth and Slater Streets in Attleboro, "killed the fox."
"Attleboro police Captain George G. Bussiere said the fox's carcass was sent to a state lab for rabies testing, but there's no way to know if it's the same fox that has been terrorizing the neighborhood" this week.
"He said an increase in development in the once-rural area has likely forced animals out of their natural habitats. (See the Attleboro, Mass. Sun-Chronicle for April 19, 2005, "Police kill menacing fox," page A1 and the Boston Herald for April 20, 2005, "Vicious fox bites Attleboro 3-year-old," page 4.)
LUMINOUS UFO SIGHTED IN NENANA, ALASKA
"As 37-year-old John Kempen traveled the Parks Highway to Nenana, Alaska at about 2 a.m. Saturday," April 23, 2005, "he watched the sky, hoping to point out the northern lights to his girlfriend."
"But instead of spotting a blur of emerald green, Kempen saw a bright flash of bluish white with sparks for a tail and fiery 'chunks breaking off.'"
"The comet-like object, maybe the size of a basketball, slid across the sky from the southwest to the northeast."
"Kempen figured the object was a meteor."
"According to Neal Brown, director of the space grant program at the University of Alaska's Fairbanks Geophysical Institute, Kempen probably saw a piece of space junk."
"An estimated 5,000 to 10,000 pieces of useless debris orbit the Earth, Brown said, and more is continually added. Among the objects are rocket motors and bolts and flanges, which are adapters between rocket motors. Also orbiting the Earth are old satellites and out-of-commission spacecraft."
"'From about 100 to 5,000 miles away from the Earth, it's a virtual junkyard,' Brown said, 'I think there's an astronaut's glove still out there.'"
"Gravity pulls the junk back to Earth."
"'It's coming in all the time,' Brown said."
"The main reason Kempen's sighting sounds more like junk than a meteor is that it exhibited color, Brown said."
"'Meteors don't have any blue or green or any colors,' he said, 'Most of the meteors are just rocks.'"
"Secondly, the sighting was in the wrong part of the sky to be a Lyrid meteor, which would likely travel from northeast to southwest." (See the Fairbanks, Alaska News- Miner for April 24, 2005, "Official weighs in on reported flash in the sky." Many thanks to Mary Lou Jones-Drown for this newspaper article.)
LYRID METEORS LIGHT UP THE EASTERN USA
"If you thought you were seeing things streaking through the sky last night-you were."
""It was an 'April Lyrids meteor shower,' said the National Weather Service said, and starting at about 7:50 p.m., people reported seeing fireballs, streaking comets and striking colors from Long Island Sound to the coast of Maine."
"Tiverton (Rhode Island) police said they searched near the Sakonnet River for reported meteorite landings but found nothing."
"Connecticut State Police were searching near East Lyme, Conn., based on similar reports."
"A spokeswoman for the Federal Aviation Authority (FAA) said the meteor shower sparked a flurry of phone calls to police departments across New England. Witnesses apparently mistook the meteor for a plane crashing near New London, Conn., the FAA's Holly Baker said."
"'We've checked all around. There are no aircraft unaccounted for,' Baker said."
"'We got a call from a gentleman who's our official weather spotter (in Taunton, Mass.-J.T.)-he said there was a fireball in the southwest sky that moved from west to east,' said meteorologist Eleanor Vallier-Talbot at the National Weather Service in Taunton."
"'The FAA has had numerous reports from Long Island (New York) to Maine, of what looked like meteor showers- basically things falling from the sky,' Vallier-Talbor said."
"In Rhode Island, people called 911 on their cell phones; they dialed the state police, the Coast Guard, and local police. The calls prompted the Massachusetts Emergency Management Agency and numerous Coast Guard stations to search, but there were no actual reports of landing."
"A crowd gathered at Second Beach in Middletown, R.I. to watch the show in the sky, according to Newport police."
"'A woman came in (to the station-J.T.) and said it was awesome,' a Newport, R.I. spokesperson said, and this thing came screaming across the sky. It had a tail and everything. It was green.'"
"'We received a call from a 911 operator (in Providence, R.I.-J.T.) stating they received at least 100 calls from all over Rhode Island, Connecticut and New York,' said a Rhode Island State Police lieutenant in Scituate."
"A spokesperson for the Coast Guard Operations Center in Boston said, 'We actually have reports from Long Island Sound up to Maine.' Callers described 'multiple colors, high in the sky.'"
"'Oh, God, yeah. We got them (calls) at all different barracks-South County, up in Lincoln, Burrillville, Woonsocket, North Scituate-they came from all over,' said Lt. Thomas Underhill, night executive officer for Rhode Island State Police. 'We were getting inundated.'"
"The descriptions varied, Underhill said."
"'It came in as a plane smoking. Then it came in as a plane throwing out small articles, which were parachuting. It really was bizarre. Most of the reports were something that was smoky, or a plane that was on fire,' Underhill said."
"Underhill said the Connecticut State Police were 'checking out something in the East Lyme area by Rocky Neck State Park,' but it was not known if anything resulted from that search."
"Castle Hill Coast Guard said that Roger Williams University, in Bristol, R.I., apparently had fireworks" Sunday night, April 24, 2005, "'and that's confusing the situation.'"
"The meteor shower was seen as far north as Portland, Maine and as far south as Long Island. Some witnesses apparently mistook the meteor shower for a plane crashing in Connecticut, Baker said. No crashes were reported." (See the Providence, R.I. Journal for April 25, 2005, "Phone lines light up as meteor shower hits region," page A2; the Boston, Mass. Herald for April 25, 2005, "Meteor showers light up night sky on East Coast," page 18; and USAToday for April 25, 2005, "Meteor shower spooks New Englanders," page 3A.)
CEMETERY GHOUL BUSTED IN QUEENS, N.Y.
"A bloodied man was busted running out of a Queens cemetery carrying a pilfered urn and a section of an $80,000 stained-glass window under his arm, police said" Wednesday, April 20, 2005.
(Editor's Note: Queens is the easternmonst of the five boroughs of New York City.)
"The spooky scene unfolded near the corner of Cypress Hills Street and Cooper Avenue outside the Mount Carmel Cemetery in Ridgewood at around 8:30 Tuesday night," April 19, 2005.
"That's where cops caught up with 35-year-old Michael Delfino allegedly holding an urn and a piece of colorful stained-glass window-and suffering from several cuts and lacerations."
"An initial check of the graveyard yielded nothing, but yesterday morning (Wednesday, April 20, 2005), a cemetery worker called cops to report that a mausoleum on the grounds had been burglarized and was left in bloody disarray."
"Delfino is charged with criminal trespass, burglary and grand larceny, because the window has an estimated worth of $60,000 to $80,000, police sources said." (See the New York Daily News for April 21, 2005, "Spooky Queens cemetery bust.")
(Editor's Comment: Curiously, this incident took place on the twelfth anniversary of the destruction of the Branch Davidians' church in Waco, Texas. The name of the Branch Davidians' ranch was Mount Carmel.)
DRUNK MONKEYS ATTACK VILLAGERS IN INDIA
"A group of monkeys descended on an Orissa village, quaffed down pots of an intoxicating brew and then set upon villagers, injuring three of them."
"The incident occurred in Baralapokhari village near Bhadrak town, 142 kilometers (85 miles) from the city of Bhubaneswar."
"Irate villagers struck back at the inebriated monkeys with stones and other weapons and drove them away. The injured were hospitalized."
"The intoxicating 'pana' drink had been prepared from marijuana leaves as part of an offering to the Hindu gods" during the new year festival of Oriya on "Friday, April 15, 2005. The villagers had kept it in pots outside their huts to ferment, an official said." (See the Times of India for April 17, 2005, "Drunk monkeys attack humans." Many thanks to Vijay Sanjavit for this newspaper article.)
ANIMAL RIGHTS ACTIVISTS TARGET JENNIFER LOPEZ
A few weeks ago, singer-actress Jennifer Lopez came under fire for wearing an outfit reminiscent of a World War II German uniform while on tour in Europe. Now, J.Lo is again a target-this time for wearing fur.
"Jennifer Lopez should wear a plastic raincoat during the premiere of her movie Monster-In-Law in Los Angeles next week."
"PETA's vice president, Dan Mathews, said the animal- rights zealots are going to up the ante in their war against the fur-loving diva."
"Mathews told (the New York Post feature) PAGE SIX: 'J.Lo's next movie may well be a remake of Escape from L.A. PETA has her in our sites. On April 29 (2005) we'll be waiting for her outside Jay Leno's Tonight show studios at 4 p.m. with a 30-foot inflatable beaver with a banner saying 'Fur-Leave it to Beaver.'"
"'Later the same day, we'll have a massive protest at the L.A. premiere of Monster-In-Law with posters showing Lopez in pelts and the logo of the movie adapted to read 'Monster-In-Fur.' We'll also be at the Atlanta premiere she's supposed to attend with Jane Fonda on (Thursday) May 5 (2005). Maybe Jane can inform the apathetic fur hag what a protest is.'"
"'Lastly, on (Saturday) May 14 (2005) we'll be at Angel Stadium in Anaheim (California), where she's among the performers at the KIIS-FM annual festival. She sure is keeping our interns busy!"
UFO Roundup correspondent Tiffany Burton reported seeing mimeographed posters on the UCLA campus inviting everyone to the movie premiere and the protest, which some are calling "Operation Chunky Butt."
(Editor's Comment: With PETA demonstrators after J.Lo, and rightwingers possibly after the woman they still call "Hanoi Jane," that Atlanta premiere sounds like a good place to stay away from.)
"'We hope (Lopez) will have a change of heart about promoting fur,'" the New York Post quoted Mathews as saying, "'But even if she doesn't, she's providing us with endless opportunities to show what happens when a star so thoughtlessly pushes such a violent industry.'"
"PETA has already caused Lopez a lot of embarrassment. During the promotion of her album, 'Rebirth,' last month (March 2005), she was surrounded by PETA protestors at the Virgin megastore in Times Square" in New York City.
"'We had three people strategically placed on line to meet her,' Mathews said, 'And we showed videos of animals being electrocuted and skinned alive outside-it had a big effect on people going in.'"
"At one point, a well-brainwashed 12-year-old yelled at Lopez, 'Murderer!'"
"Even Pamela Anderson is getting in on the J.Lo hating."
"Anderson tells Jane magazine, 'People who wear fur smell like a wet dog and they look fat and gross. They look really immature and unenlightened. Every season the furriers put propaganda everywhere that fur is taking off again and they give free coats to idiots to idiots like Jennifer Lopez and Puff Daddy. It makes me nauseous.'"
"A rep for Lopez didn't return calls." (See the New York Post for April 20, 2005, "Anti-fur fanatics target J.Lo," page 16. Many thanks to Tiffany Burton for the additional information.)
MORE CHEMTRAILS IN AFGHANISTAN?
"A mystery disease has killed more than 6,000 animals in Afghanistan's northeastern province of Badakhshan in the past two weeks, an official said on Sunday," April 17, 2005.
"Authorities are waiting for test results, carried out by foreign aid workers, to find the cause of the epidemic, said Engineer Mohammed Hassan, chief of the agriculture and husbandry department of Badakhshan."
"'It is a very strange type of disease, which locals call animal plague,' Hassan said, speaking to news agencies in Faizabad, the provincial capital of Badakhshan."
"'So far, more than 6,000 animals, largely goats, sheep and cows, have perished as a result of the outbreak,' he said."
"Rugged Badakhshan lies near Afghanistan's border with China and Tajikistan. The majority of its residents are small-hold farmers." (See the New Straits Times for April 19, 2005, "Mystery disease kills thousands of Afghan animals." Many thanks to Mohammed Hajj al-Amdar for this newspaper article.)
MEXICAN DIPLOMAT CALLS FOR PROSECUTION OF MINUTEMAN VOLUNTEERS
"The Minutemen are a semi-armed civilian group that is patrolling the (USA/Mexico) border, trying to stop people from crossing illegally."
"Protestors from San Francisco are driving to" southeastern Arizona "Saturday, April 16, 2005, to confront the militia. They say the militia is nothing more than a hate group."
"The Minutemen say they're doing a public service."
Newspaper publisher "Chris Simcox, Minutemnan founder, said, 'We're presenting a model of what Homeland Security should be-setting up posts and creating a deterrent for crime in the first place.'"
"The (California) immigrant rights group, Deporten a la Miga, says they hope to meet with Arizona's attorney general to demand that the Minutemen be stopped."
But not everyone thinks the Minutemen are doing a great job, despite their vast popularity within the civilian population of southern Arizona.
"Mexico's Foreign Secretary says he expects Mexico and the USA will one day be 'integrated' (meaning merged into one single country-J.T.), and he blasted the Minuteman Project, calling for prosecution of the citizen border monitors."
"Secretary Luis Ernesto Derbez Bautista spoke to a group of University of Texas-Pan-American students last week in Edinburg, Texas, reported KRGV-TV."
"After the speech, Derbez Bautista spoke to reporters about the Minuteman Project. Hundreds of American volunteers, many legally carrying guns and waving flags, are keeping watch around the clock until the end of the month along a 23-mile (38-kilometer) stretch of border between (the USA's state of) Arizona and Mexico."
"The volunteers reportedly are intimidating illegal aliens with their presence and alerting the Border Patrol via cell phones or radios when they see people crossing."
"'Because (the Minutemen) feel frustrated or whatever reason they are doing this," Derbex Bautista said, 'They are trying to take the (drug) war into their own hands.'"
"'One thing I can tell you is that the U.S. of the 21st Century is not the U.S. of the 19th Century,'" he added.
"The official added that he hopes the group and its members will be prosecuted."
"Not all students in attendance supported Derbez Bautista's vision of the future."
"'I don't believe there will be complete integration here,' Clarissa Pena told KRGV-TV. 'I don't think that's right.'"
"'From my stance, we should be separate because of terrorism and problems with terrorism,' Aaron Pena said, 'We do have to have secure borders and not just have people roaming back and forth.'"
"The largest union of Border Patrol agents" in the USA "has declared its support for the Minuteman Project in Arizona, while at the same time slamming both the American Civil Liberties Union (ACLU) and President George W. Bush."
"Local No. 2544 of the U.S. Border Patrol, which covers the Tucson, Arizona sector of the agency, the volunteers involved in the border-monitoring Minuteman Project have been nothing but supportive."
"'We want to make it clear-because we've had a lot of questions about this-we have not had one single complaint from the rank-and-file agent in this sector about the Minutemen," the union's Web site stated, "Every report we've received indicates these people are very supportive of the rank-and-file agents; they're courteous. Many of them are retired firefighters, cops and other professionals-they're not causing us any problems whatsoever.'"
The union statement also took President Bush to task for his immigration proposals.
"'If only President Bush were so supportive of our rank-and-file agents,' the site states, 'While President Bush hangs out thousands of miles away in the White House, these people are willing to give up their time and energy to actually do something.'"
"'While President Bush entices millions of illegal aliens to keep coming with his amnesty proposals and his demoralizing statements that he doesn't want Border Patrol agents chasing 'good-hearted people just coming here to take jobs Americans won't do;' the Minutemen are trying to get our laws enforced.'" (See the San Francisco Chronicle for April 16, 2005, "SF group confronts Minutemen in Arizona;" WorldNet Daily for April 18, 2005, "Border Patrol union supports Minutemen;" and WorldNet Daily for April 19, 2005, "Mexico, U.S. to be 'integrated'?" Many thanks to Jim Danvers and Todd Christiansen for these newspaper articles.)
"BIG FREEZE" BRINGS SURPRISE SNOWSTORM IN LATE APRIL
"More than a month after spring's official start" in the USA (March 21, 2005-J.T.) "Old Man Winter is coming back" with a vengeance.
On Wednesday, April 20, 2005, an unseasonal snowstorm blanketed southern Montana with 17 inches (52.5 centimeters) of snow. In Billings, Montana, the snow collapsed the boughs of trees in full blossom and closed roads throughout the city.
Historically, during the entire month of April, Billings never receives more than 7 inches (17.5 centimeters) of snow.
"Snow began falling in the" USA's Upper Midwest region on Saturday, April 23, 2005, with up to 12 inches (30 centimeters) "falling in eastern Michigan and northern Ohio, according to the National Weather Service."
In Attica, Ohio, four inches (10 centimeters) of snow had fallen as of 11 a.m. on Sunday, April 24, 2005, reported UFO Roundup correspondent Mary Drown. "It looks like the middle of winter out there."
"In Detroit, snow was mixed with rain for much of Saturday morning, but it changed completely over to snow by 12 noon. The Detroit Tigers (baseball team) postponed their afternoon game against the Minnesota Twins at Comerica Park."
"Multiple college baseball and softball games across southeastern Michigan were also postponed or canceled."
"Detroit and surrounding communities were expected to get 5 to 8 inches (12.5 to 20 centimeters) of snow through this evening."
"The rain-snow mix didn't prevent people from flocking to an Ohio State football game" Saturday afternoon. "Fans wore ponchos over their winter coats and drank coffee."
"Joe Drummelsmith, whose son is a freshman linebacker for the (Ohio State) Buckeyes, shivered as he ate a hot dog in front of a concession stand."
"The late snow could wreak havoc on gardeners who have used the recent run of dry, warm weather to plant flowers and trees."
"The National Weather Service said after the snow finishes, temperatures should return to the 50s (Fahrenheit scale-J.T.) for much of the region." (See the Boston Herald for April 24, 2005, "Spring snowstorm surprises Midwest." Many thanks to Carolyn Rzepecki for this newspaper article.)
From the UFO Files...
1909: THE AMAZING HENRY BROPHY
Of all the strange phenomena that have occurred in the Janesville area of southern Wisconsin, there is nothing quite as strange as the case of Henry James Brophy.
"In 1909, Henry James Brophy was eleven years old. He lived with his grandparents, Mr. And Mrs. Knut K. Lunde of Mount Horeb, Wisconsin and attended the village grade school. Like many shy, delicate children, he had few close friends. He also had no extraordinary talents...or so everyone thought."
"At noon on Tuesday, March 9, 1909, Henry arrived home from school for lunch. In opening the side door of his grandparents' home, he was struck on the back by a snowball that broke and splattered across the floor. The boy spun around, but there was no one in sight."
"The next day," Wednesday, March 10, 1909, "at the same time, the same thing happened. The Lundes checked the yard and sidewalk but found no assailant."
"On Thursday evening," March 11, 1909, "cups suddenly flew from the dinner table and crashed to the floor, lamp chimneys disintegrated with no one touching them, spools of thread unwound, and bars of soap soared through the air. The family was terrorized, especially frail Mrs. Lunde."
On Friday, March 12, 1909, Henry's mother, Mrs. Lucille Trainor (no relation-J.T.) arrived from Madison (Wisconsin) to attend a family funeral and spend the night with her parents and her sister, who also lived in the Lunde home."
"Early in the evening, Mrs. Trainor sat down to play the organ. In that instant, household utensils took to the air, banging against the walls and crashing to the floor. (Knut) Lunde became so agitated that the family sent for Reverend Mostrom. The minister came promptly, bringing Sam Thompson with him. As the two men entered the house, a hymnal that had been lying on the windowsill near the door fell to the floor at their feet."
"The Lundes screamed, 'There! You see it!?'"
"Reverend Mostrom listened attentively to their story and tried to find a rational explanation for the manifestations. When someone mentioned that the playing of the organ seemed to activate the objects, the minister sat down to play. Thompson walked the floor with the boy at his side. Suddenly, Henry yelled, 'Look out!' A large butcher knife left the table, arcked through the air and fell at their feet. Thompson said later that the boy could not have possibly touched it."
Night after night, "objects flew around the rooms. Doors crashed to the floor after the screws holding their hinges were removed by unseen forces, lids flew off the wood stove, and chimneys of the kerosene lamps broke as soon as they were set into place."
"A drawer in the sewing machine came free and soared high in the room, scattering bobbins, spools of thread and needles in every direction, and knocking plaster from a wall."
"A table knife, flying through the air, struck the floor at the grandmother's (Mrs. Lunde's) feet, and an ornament from a heating stove was pulled loose and thrown across the room. When family members retired for the night, showers of coal fell upon them."
As expect, "the Mount Horeb poltergeist" became an instant sensation. "News of the phenomena spread rapidly beyond the confines of" Mount Horeb, "attracting the attention of clairvoyants, curiosity-seekers and newsmen."
"On a single night" in April 1909, "two hundred people streamed through the Lunde house, leaving tracks of muddy footprints. They saw no manifestations, the only damage said to have been done by flying household objects."
"If the Lundes could not explain what was happening in their home, some of Mount Horeb's residents believed they could. Two prominent citizens said that because the large brick house had both electricity and a telephone, it had become 'electrified.' They claimed that this electrification was causing the disturbances and insisted upon cutting the electric wires to put an end to the 'spell.'"
"But the distraught family, fearing darkness more than the chaos, tossed the intruders out."
"Finally, because the phenomena always occurred in Henry's presence and because the flying objects always seemed to travel toward the child, the family concluded that he must be somehow responsible for them. They reasoned that, if Henry were removed from the house and the strange manifestations continued, then perhaps electricity was the cause."
As a result, Henry was sent by train to Springdale, Wisconsin to stay temporarily with his uncles, Hans and Andrew Lundes."
"Henry spent one day at Hans's house, during which time only a few small objects took flight."
However, "at Andrew's home, the poltergeist activity increased. No sooner had Henry entered the house than a pail of water began spinning, then spilled across the kitchen floor. After that had been mopped up, Henry, spying a mirror on the wall, said, 'You better take that down.' The older man laughed. A moment later, the mirror crashed to the floor."
In addition to these strange events, Henry developed the ability to make marbles disappear. "A neighbor boy came over to play...and the two boys played marbles." Then, while lining up his shot, the marbles suddenly shimmered and vanished.
"Don't worry," Henry told his playmate, "I think I can find them."
And find them he did! "Only Henry knew where they had gone. By some means, he always found them, even those tucked into quilts on the bed."
"After the neighbor boy left, Andrew tried an experiment. He held a cigar box of marbles before his nephew, who sat facing him on a chair. The marbles leaped from the box; the startled uncle said the boy had never touched them."
Returning to Mount Horeb, the Lunde family "consulted a number of physicians. It had been noted that the child was running a high fever and was losing weight. According to his mother, he was also experiencing moody, cross spells, during which times he refused to have anything to do with anyone."
"The doctors thought the manifestations were delusions or fakes. Churchmen were less certain. A prayer meeting was held one evening at the Lunde house to exorcise the unseen forces, but it resulted only in an increase in manifestations."
"Finally, it was decided to have Henry examined by Dr. George Kingsley of Madison, Wisconsin, who was a spiritualist, and a physician, Otto Dahle, who was on his way to Milwaukee on business, accompanied Henry to Kingsley's office. During the few minutes that the boy was in the office," Dr. Kingsley "pronounced him a splendid medium for his age, destined to become one of the world's greatest spiritualists. He explained that Henry did not yet have the spirits under control, but that he would gain control of them later."
"Other clairvoyants were more specific. They saw three spirits-two women and one man-hovering near the child. They did not explain who the spirits were. Henry's mother recalled that when her son was small he had been cared for two women spiritualists, one of whom later died. Could she have passed on to the child her supernatural powers? Some people thought so. The three seers also said that the spirits were oppressed by crowds; for that reason, the manifestations never occurred when Henry was in school or when large groups of people came to" the Lunde farmhouse, now the town's leading tourist attraction.
One of the more interesting theories about Henry was forwarded by Merton P. Peavey, the editor of the Dodgeville, Wis. Chronicle. Peavey said he "believed Henry had been hypnotized by someone and left in a hypnotic trance."
Like nearly all poltergeist manifestations, the Mount Horeb case petered out in a few months. "Today only a handful of Mount Horeb residents who remember Henry are still alive, and their remembrances are dimmed by time...Edwin Offerdahl of rural Mount Horeb says that Henry got rid of 'it,' whatever it was. He and Henry had worked for the (Wisconsin Central) railroad after school, and Offendahl believes that Henry got married and moved to California. Others recall that he had gone to Madison or Milwaukee" sometime in 1914 or 1915.
As for the old Lunde house, which was still standing in 1985, a resident in later years reported an odd phenomenon. "Jan Kogen, who had also lived in the house, recalls that strange things happened every day for a year," decades after Henry left town. A camera the family owned kept taking pictures on its own and finally had to be replaced."
Such was the strange case of Henry James Brophy, forgotten but never solved. (See the book Haunted Wisconsin by Beth Scott and Michael Norman, Heartland Press, Minocqua, Wis., sixth printing, 1988, pages 141 to 149.)
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