UFO ROUNDUP

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Volume 10
Number 20
May 18, 2005

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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MYSTERY OBJECT DROPS BY PARACHUTE IN VIRGINIA

A mysterious electronic object, attached to an orange parachute, descended from the sky, alarming residents of Augusta Street in Martinsville, Virginia (population 15,416).

"It was a long afternoon for safety officials in Henry County," located in Virginia's Blue Ridge Mountains just north of the state line with North Carolina.

On Thursday, May 12, 2005, "officers from six different agencies responded to a call in Henry County about a 'mysterious object' falling from the sky into a residential backyard."

"The UFO, described as a small, orange-colored parachute attached to an electronic device, first hit the roof of a house on Augusta Street" in Martinsville, Va. "before coming to rest on the ground."

"The homeowner, concerned that the object might be an explosive device, contacted police."

"Once officers from the Henry County Sheriff's Office, the Martinsville Police Department, Henry County Department of Public Safety, Dyer Stone Volunteer Fire Department and the (federal) Bureau of Alcohol, Tobacco and Firearms (BATF) arrived, the object didn't stay unidentified for long."

"Authorities at the scene were able to determine the item was a device released by the National Weather Service, used for transmitting weather reports."

"Joseph Freeman Jr. had just returned to his Henry County home when he noticed an orange material on the roof. He pulled the object down and that's when he saw a brick-sized box with electronics in it on the ground. The object might have looked like a slice of alien life to some people. Or, even worse, a homemade bomb on the verge of detonation."

"Reality was far less ominous. The mystery object turned out to be a device used to transmit weather data to the National Weather Service."

"Freeman, 77, was returning home from walking Mattie, his bloodhound, when he discovered the mysterious object about noon Thursday," May 12, 2005, "on the roof of his house in eastern Henry County."

"'I really didn't know what it was,' Freeman said, 'It looked like a bomb, but I didn't think it was a bomb.'"

"He went inside to get his wife, who suffers from diabetes, out of bed. Virgie Freeman, 79, didn't know what to make of it, either. Two of the neighbors came over to see what the commotion was and recommended they call police."

"The devices--called radiosondes--are released twice a day at 92 National Weather Service sites, including one in Blacksburg, Va., meteorologist William Perry said. Radiosondes have been used for more than 60 years. Radiosondes are really expendable instrument packages attached to a helium balloon, Perry said. They rise 1,000 feet (300 meters) per minute and measure (air) pressure, relative humidity, temperature and wind."

Martinsville, Va. is on Routes 58 and 108, located 51 miles (83 kilometers) south of Roanoke. (See the Roanoke, Va. Times for May 13, 2005, "Many agencies get dispatched to mystery box." Many thanks to Mary Lou Jones-Drown and Robert Fischer for this newspaper article.)


LUMINOUS UFOs APPEAR OVER NORTH WALES

"Mysterious lights appearing in the night sky over North Wales were baffling experts" on Sunday night, May 8, 2005.

"Former DIY store manager John White is seeking answers after catching sight of the strange lights near his rural home."

"He took nine hours' video footage of the lights near his house in Llannefydd, near Denbigh," North Wales, UK "over the past five weeks."

"But Ministry of Defence (MoD) chiefs have so far failed to come up with an explanation."

"Between one and three separate lights have turned up regularly."

"They appear as bright spots, changing colours between blue, red, orange and purple."

"The unidentified flying objects sometimes pulse or shimmer and grow in size before shrinking back."

"They also move silently across the night sky. The 60-year-old first noticed them midway through March (2005)."

"They continued to appear. Intrigued, Mr. White splashed out hundreds of pounds on video recording equipment to capture them in action."

"He said: 'I had just gone into the room to pick up my glasses. I looked through the window, and I could see this light. I didn't know what it was.'"

"'I have viewed them through my binoculars. They pulse all sorts of colours, reds, blues, greens and purples. You would also get sparks of white light. I contacted the police and they told me to get in touch with the Ministry of Defence. A man there took a look and he had no idea what they were.'"

"'One night, one came down from the east and then it moved slowly across the sky, making no noise. Another night, there were three of them in a line.'"

"Other people have come to Mr. White's house to view the mysterious lights, but so far they remain baffled, he said."

"'I don't know what they are. But I would like somebody to tell me,' he said."

"Police said they were unaware of reports of the lights."

"Nick Pope, who used to run the MoD's UFO project desk, said, 'When I ran the desk, 80 percent of all sightings were explicable; for 15 percent, there was not enough evidence to make a judgement; and 5 percent were unexplained. This case certainly sounds very interesting. It seems like it warrants further proper scientific investigation.'"

"The MoD declined to comment." (See the Caernafon- Denbigh Herald for May 9, 2005, "Anybody out there?" Many thanks to Rosalind Murray for forwarding this newspaper article.)


UFOs SPOTTED AROUND UK

Monday, May 9, 2005, saw a flurry of UFO sightings in UK, in areas other than Wales.

At approximately 9:30 p.m., Brian Manchester was at the Hanover House car park on Toller Lane in Bradford, West Yorkshire when his encounter occurred.

"I went out to retrieve my car at 9:30 p.m. last night and saw a strange and pulsating 'object' in the sky above me," Brian reported, "It made no noise. It looked to be very large and was brightly lit all over the shape of it, which appeared to be like a double cross, or # if you prefer. There appeared to be red, green and white lights on it."

"After watching for half an hour, another similar- looking 'object' glided quite fast but stealthily across the sky beneath the first one, from my left to my right. The first one remained stationary."

"It also seemed that there was at least one more of these 'things' parked quite a bit higher in the sky and also not moving. No aircraft or any other noise was observed. I and a neighbour of mine both stood witness to these things and observed regularly until I went to bed at 1:20 a.m. today (Tuesday, May 10, 2005), and the 'big one' was still sitting there."

"I reported this event by telephone to the Toller Lane Police Court--twice--and the female operator never even asked for my name. She said they were 'busy.'"

The same day, Monday, May 9, 2005, at 2 a.m., at Guernsey in the Channel Islands, eyewitness Andrea M. reported, "I turned around and saw something and then it was gone. I didn't see it depart. It consisted of bright lights that looked like stars but so bright it didn't seem possible. The lights were two metres (6 feet, 6 inches) apart and in the shape of a flat circle. I would estimate that they were 400 feet (120 meters) above ground."

Two days later, on Wednesday, May 11, 2005, at 10:25 p.m., eyewitness Gary Frayne saw a UFO approach from the north in New Ollerton, Nottinghamshire, UK. Gary reported, "It was a continuous bright light moving quite fast. A very bright light, red in colour. It was faster than anything we can produce on this Earth." (Email Form Reports)


NIGHT SAUCER SEEN OVER KUUJJUAQ, QUEBEC

On Monday, May 9, 2005, at 11:25 p.m., Ida S. was outdoors at her home in Kuujjuaq in northern Quebec province, Canada when she noticed something strange in the sky approaching from the northeast.

"I have seen many lighted objects in the night sky for several years now," Ida reported, "and have known that these objects are not airplanes. Last night, around 11:25 p.m., I immediately noticed that one had come down quite low in the sky. I could see that it was around 2,000 to 3,000 feet (600 to 900 meters) off the ground. I could see at least five different lights on it from my (vantage) point. Next, I could tell that there was no sound and that there were more than the five lights that I saw."


"It was moving at a constant, very slow speed and was coming ever lower as it moved towards the northeast. I phoned a friend, who is also a fellow night-sky watcher and told her to check outside right away, and she saw the same thing. This was quite exciting for both of us because what we saw was not from this Earth."

"The object was grey, round, with lights around the middle part of it (equator--J.T.). It was between 2,000 and 3,000 feet (600 to 900 meters) from the ground, moving slowly at a speed of about 30 kilometers per hour (18 miles per hour--J.T.) and descending at an angle of approximately 30 degrees from the southeast to the northeast." (Email Form Report)


SPHERICAL GREY UFO SEEN IN RESCUE, CALIFORNIA

On Thursday, May 5, 2005, at 7 a.m., eyewitness Geraldine Hansen watched a UFO take off near her home in Rescue, California.

"I was lying in bed that morning, looking out my bedroom window, afraid to move," Geraldine reported, "The object was flying up from the ground in front of my window. It was spherical in shape, about 12 inches (30 centimeters) in circumference, elongated in length."

Once the UFO was airborne, "there were blunt spheres coming out of the object. Slightly elongated spheres coming from the larger sphere. I saw them flying just outside my bedroom window."

"Could this be a government test object that got loose in the (Sierra Nevada) foothills?" (Email Form Report)


WHITE UFOs SIGHTED OVER ATLANTA, GEORGIA

On Saturday, May 7, 2005, the eyewitness and his girlfriend were relaxing in Grant Park, at the intersection of Atlanta Avenue and Boulevard Road, in Atlanta, Georgia (population 416,474) when they spotted something unusual in the sky.

"I sat on a blanket with my girlfriend in broad daylight and spotted what initially looked like white balloons rising in the sky," he reported, "The central thought was that these objects looked much like (Mexican ufologist Jaime) Maussan's video and the Mexican military films of white spherical objects. They passed in the sky" above Grant Park "either alone or in groups, trailing as many as 6 to 10 at a time. They were seemingly flying in formations (consisting) of widely-spaced triangles."

"At one point, my friend's two-year-old son spotted one, and the neighbors joined us. All five of us saw this highly irregular phenomenon. In all, we saw 40 to 50 objects over the two-day period," Saturday and Sunday, May 7 and 8, 2005.

He described the UFOs as "white, spherical, illuminated in a bright blue sky, the only other objects in the sky were planes and contrails. Height (altitude) is hard to say, but their highest speed was slower than (commercial) jets, maybe just over 100 miles per hour (160 kilometers per hour--J.T.), maybe less. Some hovered and moved very slowly. There was no press coverage." (Email Form Report)


ANOMALOUS TORNADO STRIKES LANCASHIRE

"A tornado hurled everything from livestock to garden toys into the air when it tore through a village" in Lancashire, UK, "residents said yesterday (Wednesday, May 11, 2005)."

"James Gardner saw a trampoline come spiralling over his garden fence before it landed in a clatter of flying slates and collapsing masonry."

"'It was a proper-sized one, too,' he said, 'I just couldn't believe it.'"

"Judging from the photo in the Daily Telegraph, the tornado appeared to be an F2 on the Fujikawa scale," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor commented.

"Others in the village of Hoghton, near Preston, Lancs., have equally good reason to remember the day the twister came."

"Helen Simpson and her boyfriend, Adam Porter, were driving home on Monday," May 9, 2005, "when they saw the mini-tornado in the distance."

"'We were making jokes about it,' she recalled. 'It just seemed so astonishing to see a twister in Lancashire. I thought these things only happened in Kansas.'"

(Editor's Note: Actually, tornadoes have been seen and photographed in all of the states of the USA except Rhode Island. Oklahoma has the highest incidence of tornadoes in the USA, and the state is sometimes called "Tornado Alley.")

"Miss Simpson added: 'We turned into the road to see 12 fire engines with police and firemen (firefighters in the USA--J.T.) everywhere.'"

"'It turns out the tornado went straight through our house. The chimney has crashed through the roof into our bedroom and our garage is down completely.'"

"The house was among about 30 that suffered damage. Most were in Methuen Avenue, Hoghton, the others in the nearby communities of Walton-le-Dale, Bamber Bridge and Samlesbury."

"Mike Inkey, a professional photographer, was among the first to sight the tornado."

"'I'd never seen one in Britain before though I have seen a couple in the States. But it's different when it's in your own backyard.'"

"The tornado appeared to take shape over Hoghton Bottoms, before sweeping through a swathe of villages and farmland. There were unconfirmed reports of sheep being lifted into the air."

"Mr. Inkey said: 'The cloud it came out of was probably about 30,000 feet (9,000 meters). So the tornado itself would have been about 1,500 feet (550 meters) high.'"

"Chris Williams, a marketing manager, was driving home to Fox Lane, Hoghton, when he saw the tornado."

"It beat him home. 'When I turned into Fox Lane, it was like a war zone. There was the remains of someone's shed in my garden and pieces of debris everywhere.'"

"Thomas Neild, 81, of Methuen Avenue, recalled hearing a loud crash as he walked into his bedroom. 'I looked outside and there were bricks and slates everywhere. My garage has gone and there's a crack in my roof. Part of the garage hit my greenhouse and other bits have hit the car.'"

"Leading fireman Martyn Ball, from Bamber Bridge, said there were 20 or 30 properties with varying degrees of structural damage from trees on properties, to chimney stacks fallen through roofs, to missing garage roofs and missing tiles."

"The Dargavel family, of Daub Hall Farm, Hoghton, had to stay with relatives after the tornado cut their electricity supply and damaged 15 caravans ( trailers in the USA--J.T.) on their land."

"Rebecca Dargavel, 33, a mother-of-three, recalled: 'I was outside with my husband, and he said, 'Oh, my God!' The trees were bent right over.'"

"Back in Methuen Avenue, James Holden, 28, suffered damage to his home and car."

"'All the stones were hitting the windows and chunks of fence panels were flying fast,' he said, 'It (the tornado) was like a big finger--something out of The Wizard of Oz.'"

"Helen Griffin, of the Meteorological Office, said U.S. tornadoes can reach 300 miles per hour. The Hoghton twister was less than a third of that speed." (See the Daily Telegraph for May 12, 2005, "It was just like the Wizard of Oz, say tornado villagers.")


CROP CIRCLES APPEAR IN UK, MEXICO AND GERMANY

On Tuesday, May 3, 2005, researchers discovered a giant crop circle in a field of oilseed rape in Garsington, Oxfordshire, UK. The formation was described as "a big, galaxy-like, double spiral."

British cerealogist Christine Munro reported, "On 3rd May, I was asked to check out a possible crop circle in this area by Mark Fussell. I spent about five hours combing the location and asked a couple of farm workers but could find nothing. Well, it seems that I was mistaken. There is a major crop circle at this location. The formation is impossible to see from the ground anywhere. I could say that it looked very impressive, and certainly it looked messy."

Ms. Munro cautioned that the formation might be the work of "plankers" (hoaxers who create fake circles using boards or planks--J.T.) but noted that the formation was found close to the site of the April 2004 "Gotham Galaxies" crop formation.

In Mexico, a large crop formation was found on Sunday, May 1, 2005 near the city of Morelia in the state of Michoacan. "It was first seen at dawn on Sunday, May 1, in a field of oats. A paranormal organization, La Esfera Azul (Translated: The Blue Sphere--J.T.) is conducting the investigation and took photographs of the formation."

Mexican researchers noted that the crop circle was found adjacent to the Monarch Butterfly Biosphere area, the site of two important wildlife sanctuaries, Sierra Chincua and El Rosario.

Morelia, the capital of Michoacan state, is located about 200 kilometers (120 miles) west of Mexico City.

In Germany, the first crop circle of the year 2005 was discovered in a field of oilseed rape between Berwangen and Massenbachhausen in the southern state of Baden-Wurttemberg. The discovery was made on Sunday, May 1, 2005. (Many thanks to Robert Fischer for the UK report; to Ruben Uriate of MUFON and Jeffrey Wilson of the Independent Crop Circle Research Association for the Mexican report; and to Jurgen Schneider for the German report.)


PHANTOM PANTHER APPEARS AGAIN NEAR HUDDLESFIELD

"Could there really be a panther on the prowl in Melham?"

Readers of the Huddlesfield Daily Examiner in UK "have reported THREE sightings of a big black cat in the past week."

"In the latest incident, a woman said she was face to face with a large feline when she went into her garden just before 6 a.m. yesterday (Wednesday, May 11, 2005). She had been alerted by a noise in her garden."

"The shocked resident saw the creature in a tree, straining to paw at a nest, trying to get at birds and young chicks. When disturbed, the jet black cat growled and looked directly at the woman before slinking into the morning half-light."

"A team of police officers surrounded the area, looking for the beast, but were unsuccessful."

"Wildlife groups capable of handling a panther were notified of the sighting."

"Red Lane resident Andy Gallacher said he bumped into a pair of nervous policemen at 6:15 a.m. yesterday morning."

"The lighting design manager said, 'I was walking my dog and, as I approached a side road, two very flustered policemen appeared in front of me. One of them saw my dog and jumped backwards. He seemed very nervous.'"

"Mr. Gallacher was told by the officers that he should put his dog on a lead and be careful. 'They seemed as if they were taking it seriously. That's because there's something bigger than a fox out there doing these things.'" (See the Huddlesfield Daily Examiner for May 12, 2005, "Monster in Melham." Many thanks to Robert Fischer, UFO Roundup's phantom panther expert, for forwarding this newspaper article.)


AMERICANS ARE RILED BY PROPAGANDA ON CABLE TV

Americans nationwide are up in arms over a short broadcast on the cable TV network Nickelodeon, feeling that it distorts history.

"Most Americans believe the 189 Texans who died at the Alamo in (March) 1836 were fighting for independence and liberty, but Nickelodeon, the award-winning television network for children, is telling kids that Davy Crockett, Jim Bowie and all the rest were actually fighting to defend slavery."

"In a short Nick News currently being broadcast, the kids' network features the Alamo in San Antonio, Texas (population 1,144,646), site of the battle between a small group of Texans and a large Mexican army under Gen. Antonio Lopez de Santa Ana, 'the Napoleon of the West,' as he described himself."

"The Texans, who had taken refuge in the mission house of the Alamo, were killed in fighting that followed a 13-day siege, and their bodies were burned. Mexican losses are estimated to be around 1,600. The heroic resistance and loss of life made the Alamo the 'cradle of Texas liberty' to most Americans, but that's not the story Nickelodeon tells."

"A teenaged Hispanic girl provides the voiceover on the sidewalk in front of the Alamo."

"'My name is Salviola. I'm from San Antonio, Texas, and the Alamo is in my backyard.'"

"'In 1718, the mission of San Antonio de Valero was founded. The church is still standing today and is known as the Alamo.'"

(Editor's Note: Because of the alamo or cottonwood trees nearby.)

"'The battle for the Alamo is often recorded as a rebellion of a small group of brave Texas pioneers fighting against the Mexican Army. What you may not know is that, at the time (1836), Texas was part of Mexico.'"

"'By the early 1800s, a lot of people living in San Antonio were farmers who brought their slaves with them. In 1829, Mexico abolished slavery and what followed were years of conflict between farmers who wanted to keep their slaves and Mexican authorities. This conflict led up to the battle for the Alamo.'"

"'In the end, General Santa Ana and 5,000 Mexican soldiers surrounded the Alamo, and all the defenders of the mission were killed.'"

"'So when you remember the Alamo, think about the soldiers, the battle and the true story behind it.'"

The first UFO Roundup readers who saw the broadcast were upset by it. Others who heard about the broadcast later on were also rankled.

"I actually saw this broadcast on Tuesday, May 3, 2005," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor reported, "I was channel-flipping and picked up Jimmy Neutron on Nick. The Salviola piece ran right after that. Until I saw this piece, I had no idea the defenders of the Alamo were a bunch of proto-Confederates making 'all dem po' darkies pick de cotton.' What unadulterated crap! I happen to know something about early Mexican history, and I can tell you that General Santa Ana was no saint. In 1835, he picked up the nickname El Carnicero ...Spanish for The Butcher...when he executed hundreds of Mayans in Merida following an attempt by the state of Yucatan to secede from Mexico. He was slightly more of a gentleman than his predecessor, Gen. Agustin Iturbide, whom he murdered. Iturbide overthrew the original Mexican republic, proclaimed himself 'Emperor' and, like Santa Ana, shot thousands of political opponents, including his own mistress. The massacres at the Alamo and Goliad should have come as no surprise. Santa Ana had done the exact same thing at Merida a year earlier."

"If Miss Salviola has a problem with the history of Texas, then maybe she'd be a whole lot happier living in Guadalajara."

"This is just more of the same Zionist shit," correspondent Jim Danvers commented. "Not too much different from the anti-Minuteman cartoons I've seen in the newspapers. The Zionist elite is trying to merge the USA, Canada and Mexico into one giant dictatorship. Then they'll ship everybody's ass to the Middle East to fight for the dog-shit state called Israel. Screw that with bells on!"

"How low can they go!?" Todd Christiansen asked, "Planting Zionist propaganda on Nick. They're teaching our kids that Texas was wrong to secede from Mexico.
What's next? Nick News shorts that defame our Prophet, Joseph Smith, his successor Brigham Young and the (Utah) Pioneers of 1847? End the Zionist propaganda now!"

According to WorldNet Daily, "Nickelodeon is not the first to revise the history of the Alamo. Last year, Disney released (the movie) The Alamo at a cost of $100 million, a film criticized for its political correctness."

"'The movie read more like a Disney fairy tale and promoted a politically-correct revisionist agenda aimed at destroying a traditional account,' said B. Forrest Clayton of Freedom Alliance, which reviewed the movie."

"Despite several historical witnesses who told of Davy Crockett being killed in the fighting, in the thick of combat during the battle, Clayton noted that Disney portrayed Crockett as 'a frightened wanderer' who wanted to escape 'over the wall' in the dark of night during the historical struggle."

"Disney also portrayed General Sam Houston (commander of the Texas rebel army--J.T.) as 'a venereal-diseased drunkard' and Colonel William Barret Travis, commander of the Texas forces at the Alamo, as 'a deadbeat dad and a serial adulterer.'"

"In addition, charged the Freedom Alliance, Colonel James Bowie, the Alamo defender famous for his knife- fighting skills, was portrayed as a land-swindling slave trader." (See WorldNet Daily for May 8, 2005. Many thanks to Jim Danvers for forwarding this article.)

(Editor's Note: Bowie was famous for designing the large hunting and combat knife that bears his name. Along the Natchez Trace and the Mississippi River, the Bowie knife was affectionately known as "the Arkansas toothpick.")


WICCA IS ON THE INCREASE IN GERMANY

"Witches have returned to the German forests, dancing naked in groups under the full moon and calling to their gods. The covens vary in size and how seriously they take their calling, but the numbers are rising particularly among the young."

"Their religious rituals are described as 'pagan' rather than Satanist, and many of the older practicioners have a history in the environmental movement, where they learned a passionate love of nature. In some cases, this led to a belief in the mystical powers of the forests. The women are convinced they can work magic."

"'The witches' scene is experiencing a powerful revival,' says Lutheran theologist Hansjoerg Hemminger. He says the covens range from 'girlie witches' to the so- called Wicca covens."

"Church theologians are inclined to see the latter as a manifestation of a new heathen movement. The women tend to be members of associations like the Pagan Federation or the Stone Circle."

"Maddalina, a 44-year-old witch, is high priestess of a witches' coven in Berlin, who became interested in Wicca about 15 years ago. The former doctor's assistant, who declined to publish her real name, says she began looking around for women with similar interests."

"'Today you are just a mouse-click away from making contact,' she says, and she estimates that the number of (German) witches had quadrupled in her time as a witch."

"Considering she is uncertain, she guesses there are several hundred Wiccans in Germany. Maddalina is mindful of teenagers interested in the witch cults. She gets emails daily from 13 and 14-year-olds, almost all of which she rebuffs. Her own coven numbers just eight, and its youngest trainee witch is 25 years old. Most of the teenagers interested in witchcraft gain the information the media, the Internet or both. Television series on witchcraft are currently popular in Germany."

"But Maddalina is true to her beliefs. 'We are heathen and believe in the power of magic,' she says. She and her coven go into the woods around Berlin several times a year to stand naked in a circle and call to Baldur, the god of light. Their requests are of a banal sort, asking for a better job, or a new flat with a balcony, or for good health. By contrast with the teenage witches, the Wiccan coven tends to be older women with a background in the women's movement. Most commentators do not believe the group to have any links to Satanism and black magic."

"But Hemminger adds a note of warning. 'Some of the circles operate in complete secrecy. We really don't know what they are up to,' he says."

(Editor's Comment: The same could be said of Masonic lodges, which also keep their rites a secret to the uninitiated.)

"In general, he replies that Wicca covens are a means to answer personal crisis that only cause concern when the cult begins to take over a person's life."

"Maddalina insists that her coven's activities are harmless. 'We are not hurting anyone,' she says."

"And the Berlin forest authorities are taking a similar view, allowing the witches to dance under the moon." (See the British newspaper The Mail & Guardian for May 12, 2005, "Witches return to German forests." Many thanks to Jurgen Schneider for this newspaper article.)


ROVER OPPORTUNITY GETS STUCK IN MARTIAN SANDS

"The Mars rover Opportunity is facing its biggest challenge since it landed on the Red Planet" in January 2004: "how to get out of a sand dune where it's been stuck for two weeks."

"Engineers spent this week simulating the Martian terrain at NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena," California, "to try to figure out why the robot got bogged down and how to get it moving again. Engineers performed several tests driving a dummy rover over a man-made sand dune."

"Scientists sent the first new driving directions to Opportunity on Wednesday," May 11, 2005, "commanding it to start inching down from the dune in a series of 'mini- drives.'"

"The six-wheeled Opportunity had driven about 130 feet (40 meters) of a planned 295-foot (88-meter) trip when its wheels started to slip (Tuesday) April 26 (2005)." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for May 12, 2005, "Rover stuck in sand dune," page 2A.)


MISSING LANDER FOUND NEAR MARTIAN SOUTH POLE

"Five and a half years after it descended into the Martian atmosphere and was never heard from again, the Mars Polar Lander may have been found."

"Photos taken from orbit by another NASA spacecraft, the Mars Global Surveyor, show a white dot--presumably the lander--within a dark gray oval apparently created by blast marks from the lander's rocket engine."

"About 1,300 feet (390 meters) away is a white blob that could be the lander's parachute. The site falls within the 40-mile (64-kilometer) long, 10-mile (16- kilometer) wide ellipse near the Martian South Pole where the Polar Lander was expected to end up."

"'The location of the candidate parachute with respect to the lander is consistent with the slight west- to-east wind seen in dust-cloud motion in the area around the time of the crash,' wrote Dr. Michael C. Malin, president of Malin Space Science Systems, which operates the Global Surveyor camera, in an article that will appear in the July (2005) issue of Sky and Telescope."

"The site was first suggested in 2000, but Malin said that the success last year in photographing the landing sites of the Opportunity and Spirit rovers led him to take another look at the images of the Polar Lander site, taken in 1999 and 2000."

"The white blob is of similar brightness to the Opportunity and Spirit parachutes, which were made of similar material, and similar blast marks were also seen at those landing sites."

"The photographs support the findings of an investigation panel that concluded that the deployment of the landing legs during descent had fooled the Polar Lander into thinking it had already touched the ground, leading it to shut off its engine while still about 130 feet (40 meters) in the air."

"'It was only a few short moments before touchdown that disaster struck,' Malin wrote."

"The disappearance of the $165 million Mars Polar Lander on December 3, 1999 and of the $125 million Mars Climate Orbiter three months earlier, threw NASA's Mars program into disarray." (See the Duluth, Minn. News- Tribune for May 10, 2005, "Photos may show wreckage of Mars Polar Lander," page 7A.)


From the UFO Files...

1945: THE BUNKER...REVISITED

The 60th anniversary of the end of World War II in Europe on May 8, 1945 has brought out two more eyewitnesses to reminisce about Adolf Hitler's last days in his Berlin bunker. Unfortunately, their testimony simply adds more layers of confusion and contradiction to the existing record.

"Adolf Hitler was a shaking, graying, weakened man who 'sank into himself' in the final days before his suicide on April 30, 1945, according to the first published account of his nurse, who worked in his bunker as Allied forces closed in on Berlin."

"Erna Flegel, now 93 and living in a nursing home in northern Germany, told Britain's Guardian newspaper in an interview published Monday," May 2, 2005, that Hitler 'had a lot of gray hair and gave the impression of a man at least 15 to 20 years older,' toward the end of his life."

"'In the last few years, Hitler sank into himself,' Flegel said, 'He shook a great deal, walking was difficult for him, his right side was still very much weakened as a result of the attempt on his life.'"

(Editor's Note: On July 20, 1944, Col. Klaus Schenk von Stauffenberg planted a briefcase bomb in the Wolfsschanze, Hitler's headquarters in East Prussia. The bomb went off as planned. Hitler was injured but miraculously survived.)

"With defeat imminent, Hitler, 56, shot himself, and his mistress, Eva Braun--whom he married shortly before his death--committed suicide by taking cyanide in his underground bunker in Berlin."

"Flegel dismissed Braun."

"'She didn't have any importance. Nobody expected much of her,' she said, 'She wasn't really his wife.'"

"By contrast, Flegel described Magda Goebbels, wife of Hitler's propaganda chief Joseph Goebbels, as 'a brilliant woman, on a far higher level than most people.'"

"The Goebbels also killed themselves and poisoned their six children in the bunker after Hitler's death."

"Flegel said she tried to persuade Mrs. Goebbels not to take the lives of her children as Russian troops got closer. But (Magda) Goebbels replied, 'I belong to my husband. And the children belong to me,' Flegel recalled."

"'You have to understand that we were living outside normal reality,' Flegel said."

"Flegel described how Hitler said goodbye to his medical staff on April 29, 1945, the evening before his suicide."

"'He came out of the side room, shook everyone's hand, and said a few friendly words. And that was it. There were a few people who then heard it (the shot, when Hitler supposedly killed himself at 3:30 p.m. the following afternoon--J.T.), and there were others who didn't. The Fuehrer suddenly wasn't there any more,' she recalled."

"The Guardian said Flegel had never given a public account before of her job," as a 34-year-old Red Cross nurse working for Hitler's personal physician, Dr. Theodore Morell, "and her time in the Berlin bunker. But as the 60th anniversary of the end of World War II approached this weekend, she was speaking out for the first time."

"Flegel's existence became known after the transcript of an interview she gave to U.S. interrogators was declassified by the CIA four years ago, according to the Guardian."

"In a separate interview with the German tabloid BZ, Flegel said she wanted her story to be known. 'I don't want to take my secret with me into death,' she was quoted as saying."

Asked if she regretted her role in the Third Reich, Flegel replied, "It's difficult when you have a society (the Nazis) and it's discussed afterwards by the Left and the Right. Often, it's seen wrongly. Everyone has their own opinion."

One who did not hear "the shot" was SS- Unterscharfuhrer Roschus Misch, one of the Fuehrer's bodyguards, now 87. On April 30, 1945, Misch and his fellow guards of the SS-Leibstandarte Division "had just been told that the Fuehrer was not to be disturbed. And everybody knew what that meant."

"'We heard no shot, we heard nothing, but one of those who was in the hallway said, 'I think it's done,'' Misch recalls, 'Then everything was really quiet.'"

"Somebody mustered the nerve to enter the sitting room, and Misch peered inside. What he saw is carved forever in his memory: Hitler crumpled over a table, his cheek streaked with blood from the self-inflicted gunshot wound to his head."

"'I saw Hitler lying on the table like so,' Misch recalled, putting his head on his living room table to demonstrate. Next to Hitler lay his longtime mistress, Eva Braun, whom he had wed two nights before. She had taken cyanide."

"'Eva lay like so on the sofa with knees up, her head to him,' Misch said in an interview before the 60th anniversary of the war's end."

"The silence suddenly exploded into frenzied activity. Misch ran upstairs to tell his supervisor. By the time he returned downstairs, Hitler's corpse was in a blanket on the floor."

"'Then they bundled Hitler up and said, 'What do we do now?'" Misch said, 'As they took Hitler out...they walked by me about 3 or 4 meters (10 to 13 feet) away. I saw his shoes sticking outside the sack.'"

"Hitler and Braun were being taken above-ground to a small garden to be doused in gasoline and incinerated."

"From upstairs, an SS guard yelled to him, 'The boss is being burned! Come on out.'"

"But instead, Misch retreated deeper into the bunker in case the Gestapo came to kill witnesses to the suicide. He was 27, and feeling helpless."

Two days earlier, "on April 28 (1945), Misch saw Propaganda Minister Joseph Goebbels and Hitler confidant (and NSDAP Party Secretary) Martin Bormann enter the bunker with another man who turned out to be a magistrate, come to wed Hitler and Braun in a short nighttime ceremony."

"The day after Hitler's suicide (May 1, 1945), Goebbels relieved Misch of his duties and the bodyguard fled, but the Soviets caught him."

"He spent nine years in prison camps near Moscow and in Kazakhstan, interrogated over and over about the last days in the bunker. He returned to Berlin in 1954, married and opened a shop."

"Misch makes no excuses for his service to Hitler and does not talk about guilt or responsibility for the Holocaust, saying only that he joined the SS (in 1937-- J.T.) in the 'fight against Bolshevism' and that he knew nothing of the murder of 6 million Jews."

"With Hitler, 'That was never a topic. Never!' he said."

"Misch, ever the loyal servant, freely expresses nostalgia for his five years with the man he called der Chef--the boss."

"'He was a wonderful boss,' Misch said. He remembers delivering flowers to one of the Fuehrer's favorite musicians who had just gotten engaged; the card said, 'Best wishes, Adolf Hitler.'"

"Kurt Schrimm, head of the special German prosecutors' office that has hunted Nazis since 1958, said that Misch was never investigated for any war crimes."

"The Flegel and Misch accounts simply add to the contradictions surrounding Hitler's death," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor pointed out. "For example, Flegel talks about her discussion with Magda Goebbels but makes no mention of the quarrel on April 29, 1945 between Hitler and Dr. Morell, which, as Morell's nurse, she must have witnessed. Dr. Morell, who tipped the scales at 300 pounds (150 kilograms), dropped by to give Hitler his daily painkiller injections. Hitler refused to let him use the hypodermic, claiming that Morell intended to betray him. He feared Morell would inject him with a sedative, and he would wake up to find himself a prisoner of the Russians. For a man who had already decided upon suicide--he had just finished testing the cyanide on his dog Blondi--why would Hitler be worried about this? Unless he had other escape plans, which Dr. Morell knew nothing about, and he was afraid Morell's injection might mess them up."

"Misch was on guard in the bunker's main hallway, near the entrance. There was no direct access to Hitler's study, where the alleged suicides took place. To reach the study, you had to go into the large conference room, turn left and go through the outer office waiting room. As Misch was a good three rooms away from Hitler's study, it's no surprise that he did not hear the Walther's gunshot."

"In her 2002 biography, Hitler's secretary, Traudl Jung, recalled that she was in the Goebbels' bedroom, reading a fairytale to the Goebbels young children, when they all heard the shot. Helmuth Goebbels, age 7, remarked, 'Bullseye!' The bedroom was only two rooms away from Hitler's study. But, because of the bunker's layout, Traudl had to take the long way around the barn when she went to investigate--out the doorway, into the common room, then into the ventilation room, then into the main hallway. Here she met Hitler's SS adjutant, Otto Guensche (who died in 2003--J.T.). He told Traudl that Martin Bormann had found Hitler and Eva Braun dead in the study."

"This was an out-and-out lie on Guensche's part. Every other surviving witness in the bunker claims that Goebbels and Bormann got to the study first and found Guensche inside the room. How did he get there so quickly? I think he was there all along. After all, it was Guensche, not Hitler, who made the phone call at 2:30 p.m., requesting that gasoline be brought to the bunker."

"There is no evidence that Hitler was seen by anyone in the bunker after lunch. He retired with Eva to the study between 1:30 p.m. and 2 p.m., leaving orders that he was not to be disturbed. Also, there is no proof that Hitler ever took cyanide. He experimented with it, testing it on the dog and possibly poisoning Eva's glass of Toquay wine, but did he take it himself? And how could the Russians tell? All they had after the bunker's capture were two charred bodies in the garden."

"An interesting note about "Hitler's" remains--the charred body found by Soviet troops was four inches (10 centimeters) shorter than Hitler's medical records specified."

"It breaks out one of two ways. Either Hitler poisoned Eva and then sat on the sofa at her side and shot himself, with Guensche standing by. Or...Hitler and Eva left the bunker between 2 p.m. and 2:15 p.m., heading for the North Sea and submarine U-977, which was waiting to take them to South America. Guensche then phoned to request the gasoline and waited until the two designated doppelgangers--lookalikes of Hitler and Eva, possibly inmates from a Nazi death camp--arrived. The Eva double was poisoned first. Guensche, Walther in hand, had the Hitler double sit down on the sofa. Then, at 3:30 p.m., he put the pistol muzzle to the double's temple and fired the shot heard by Bormann, Goebbels and Traudl Jung. The Hitler double slumped forward onto the table. Guensche stuck the Walther in the dead man's hand and then turned to greet Bormann and Goebbels as they came in."

Did Adolf Hitler die in the Fuhrerbunker? Or did he work out a last-minute escape with his SS aides? Sixty years later, the mystery still endures. (See the New York Daily News for May 3, 2005, "Hitler weak, shaky at death-- nurse," page 9; the Boston Herald for May 3, 2005, "Hitler's nurse tells how Nazi boss 'sank' as final days neared," page 35 and for May 4, 2005, "History demands an eyewitness talks," page 26; the Attleboro, Mass. Sun- Chronicle for May 3, 2005, "Hitler spent final days weak, shaking, bunker nurse says," page A6 and for May 1, 2005, "The final days--Above ground in Berlin, apocalypse; below, an eerie calm--then a momentous suicide," pages A1 and A6.)


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

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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