UFO ROUNDUP

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Volume 10
Number 33
August 17, 2005

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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REPTOIDS THREATEN UFO RESEARCHER IN CRIMEA

The UFO flap in Crimea, an autonomous region south of the Ukraine bordering the Black Sea, reached a new level with a close encounter of the third kind--a face-to-face encounter between a ufologist and four "strange entities."

"They were Reptoids," eyewitness Victor Alexandrovich Zdorov reported, "Either Reptoids or some sort of reptilian creature. They were scaly Reptoids or lizard- like beings with four fingers."

On Sunday, July 17, 2005, Zdorov was at his office in Komsomolskoye, a village east of the Simferopol Airport, when the aliens barged in. They surrounded Zdorov, who was sitting at his desk and blinking in disbelief. One entity pointed a scaly, clawed finger at him and hissed, "You know too much about UFOs."

The strange visitation came at the end of a series of UFO sightings by Zdorov during the previous week.

"In the middle of July (2005)," Crimean ufologist Anton A. Anfalov reported, "Zdorov was driving his VAZ- 2104 Lada (automobile) east of Simferopol when he saw the disk-shaped object hovering over the pine forest southeast of Simferopol's water reservoir. The disk was seen in broad daylight and had a high central dome and a broader protruding flat bottom unit. The disk-shaped craft was visibly metallic. The witness' car engine was malfunctioning, and he appeared 'under emanations' from the alien craft, as he asserts."

"Between (Monday) July 11 and (Sunday) July 17, 2005, Zdorov reportedly saw another spectacular UFO, shaped like a whirligig or a humming top in the form of a high cone installed within another cone. The UFO was reportedly hovering at least for several minutes over the village of Komsomolskoye."

"On Saturday, July 16, 2005, another witness, Artyem A. Benda, a ufologist from Zaporozhye in the Ukraine, while vacationing in the village of Alupka, west of Yalta in the Crimea, saw two bright overflights of UFOs in the early evening, out from beyond the mountains over the Black Sea. He tried to photograph the objects, remarking, 'That was a beautiful sight.'"

"On Thursday, August 4, 2005, while walking his dog in Lenino Square in downtown Simferopol, between the Council of Ministers building and the Ukrainian Dramatic Theatre, close to the Lenin monument, Victor A. Zdorov saw a bright object continuously blinking a red light for ten minutes, hovering in the northeast, over the suburb of Svoboda. This sighting lasted from approximately 9:45 to 9:55 p.m. The object couldn't have been an airplane's navigation light because it was stationary, not moving. Surely this wasn't a helicopter, as well. It was totally soundless, and all of the Mi-8 and Mi-2 helicopters were on the tarmac at Zavodskoye airfield." (Many thanks to Anton A. Anfalov for these news reports.)


LARGE ORANGE UFO SEEN AT OMARAMA, NEW ZEALAND

On Friday, August 5, 2005, at 8 p.m., eyewitness R.M. "was on a rural motorway between Kurow and Omarama in central Otago (region of the) South Island, New Zealand. Me and another witness were driving west through the Southern Alps here in New Zealand when we spotted a singular object in the dark sky. At first we believed this orange object was Mars, but then, at 8:45 p.m., the object began to pulse and flare up."

"This strange orange object looked two to three times larger than any of the other stars. And when it pulsed, it would flare up to a large gleaming orange and then turn so dull it could hardly be seen. Then it would flare up to a bright orange again, even brighter than the moon."

"Each pulse occurred at random intervals between 20 seconds to two minutes" in duration.

"I looked at the object with binoculars," R.M. reported, "believing this must be the space shuttle (Discovery) or a satellite, but these were quickly excused for many reasons, and no other reports had been made of this object."

"There was no approach or departure that I saw, but the object was remarkably high above the Earth." (Email Form Report)


UFO SIGHTINGS SURGE ACROSS CANADA

Canada is the site of a major new UFO flap this summer, with dramatic sightings in the provinces of Quebec, Ontario and Manitoba.

On Tuesday, July 12, 2005, at 11:30 p.m., eyewitness Catherine Hawks reported, "Me and my family are from England, and I was visiting relatives in Canada. We were staying at my Nana and Grandad's cottage on an island in Fenelon Falls, Ontario (population 2,040). Me and my boyfriend were down at the beach, when my boyfriend pointed up to the sky and said, 'What's that?'"

"I glanced up and said, 'Oh, it's a plane.'"

"But he said, 'No, it's not. Look!'"

"I looked again and realised it was not a plane as it had no flashing (navigational) lights. The object was really, really high in the sky. It was a clear night, and we could see a bright white light, brighter than any star in the sky. It was moving very rapidly across the sky and zigzagging, unlike a plane or a satellite. Then it stood in the same place and turned a dull red colour and then faded until it totally disappeared."

"Also, about five minutes later, there was a big circular flash of bright white light in the sky. It was only there for a second. If you had blinked, you would have missed it. I don't know whether they had anything to do with each other, but I thought I would add it, anyway."

Fenelon Falls, Ont. is on Provincial Highway 121 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) northeast of Toronto, Canada's largest city.

On Saturday and Sunday, August 6 and 7, 2005, residents of Piney, Manitoba "witnessed a strange sight in the sky."

"Three residents of Piney claim they saw a shiny object three times the size of a jetliner, with pointed ends and no wings."

"'It was mainly tubular-shaped with some small protrusions on either side, and it flew overhead,' said Chris Rutkowski, director of Ufology Research of Manitoba (URM)."

The witnesses estimated that "maybe three minutes (elapsed) from the time this thing appeared over one horizon until it had flown over and vanished over the opposite horizon."

Piney is on Provincial Highway 12, just above Manitoba's border with the state of Minnesota, located about 60 miles (100 kilometers) southeast of Winnipeg.

On Tuesday, August 9, 2005, at 10 p.m., eyewitness A.S. reported, "My friend and I were in the park at Westwood," in Montreal, Quebec, "lying down on the field. We were able to see the lights of the city, as well as many stars, although the clouds were kind of low and it was very foggy out because it had been a very hot day."

"As I was laying there, I saw in the clouds a halo and a light. Then it flashed a couple of times and turned an orangish colour. It resembled a pumpkin. There were three white lights at the top of the round disk. The angle of the disk alternated, assuming different angles. When it was on its side, it was disk with a dome on the top of it."

"The object started flashing and spazzing into an L- shape, going back and forth. Finally, it went behind a cloud, but, a couple of minutes later, we saw a white object flying around the disk. It was moving very regally but very fast, faster than any airplane."

"Minutes later, both objects completely vanished. When we got home, we both drew what we had seen and compared drawings. The funny thing is, during the sighting, it was completely silent. I hadn't ever realized that my (cell) phone rang. I had two missed calls, and my phone was on my bag, set on Loud."

However, A.S. did not hear the cell phone ringing.

On Thursday, August 11, 2005, at about 3 a.m., Brandon S. reported, he was asleep at home in Kapuskasing, Ontario (population 10,036) when he "had to get out of bed because I needed a bathroom break. While I was doing my business, my grandma got up. While I was in the bathroom, my grandma looked out the window to see if she could see any shooting stars (meteors--J.T.) So I went over to see what she was looking at. At this point, she got me to look up at the sky, too, and, all of a sudden, we saw this star appear. And then it started to get bright, then fade."

"All of a sudden, it got really, really big--as big as a watermelon. It took off across the sky at eight times the speed of a jet (about 4,000 miles per hour-- J.T.). Once we saw this happen, we saw another star get as big as the first one and then take off after it."

"It was so cool but scary at the same time," Brandon added.

Kapuskasing is on Provincial Highway 11 in northern Ontario, about 250 miles (400 kilometers) northeast of Sault Sainte Marie. (See the CTV news broadcast of August 11, 2005 for the Manitoba story. The other cases were all Email Form Reports.)


UFOs SIGHTED IN DEVON AND NOTTINGHAMSHIRE

On Friday, August 12, 2005, at 12:20 a.m., Emma Whitley was at her home in Westwood, Nottinghamshire, UK when she saw something strange in the sky, approaching from the southwest.

"I was sitting in the living room, and I heard a humming noise," Emma reported, "So I looked out the window to see what it was. All I saw was a triangle-shaped object with three white lights at each point (or corner-- J.T.) and a one red light in the middle, flying slowly over the house."

"So I walked outside to watch and it must've taken at least five minutes to get completely out of range. It could have been a plane, but I've never seen one like this go so slow before." (Email Form Report)

Eyewitness Tim Francis reported, "Yesterday evening (Saturday, August 13, 2005) at approximately 10:30 p.m., there was a series of bright orange moving lights in the sky over my neighbourhood" in Smithleigh, near Plympton, Devon, UK.

"They were moving westward from Smithleigh. Initially it was possible it was lights flying together in some sort of formation. It looked like a star constellation until we spotted the lights moving towards us, and some were too bright and too orange in colour to be stars."

"As the lights got overhead, the formation changed, with one of the lights speeding up a bit faster than the others. No noise could be heard from the objects, although there was road noise from the nearby (motorway) A38, which could have drowned out faint sounds."

"After the first formation had gone, there came several more objects over the next ten minutes. I think there were two occurrences of two lights together and then two single lights after."

"The last object flew over and seemed to be lower than the others. As it got overhead, it seemed like you could make out a rectangular shape, which appeared almost fluid. My friend (there were three of us present--T.F.) said it looked like a jellyfish, I think, because the shape appeared to be changing."

"All of them seemed to have a bright orange light at the front and back, or maybe on top, as you could see the lights when they were coming towards us or going away. But the light was not visible while they were overhead." (Email Form Report)


UFO SIGHTINGS CONTINUE THROUGHOUT ARGENTINA

More UFOs have been sighted in Argentina recently, according to UFO Roundup correspondent Ricardo E. D'Angelo.

On Sunday, July 24, 2005, at 8:29 p.m., "a bright light-pulse flashed at the zenith in the sky over Cordoba," capital city of Argentina's province of the same name. "Two minutes, 28 seconds later, a luminous white orb began moving towards the east. It was apparently the size of the planet Jupiter. The energy release was 'very striking,' according to those who observed it."

Cordoba is located 400 kilometers (250 miles) west- northwest of Buenos Aires, the national capital.

On Monday, July 25, 2005, "another bright luminous flash was seen from the grounds of the Observatory" in Cordoba. "The strange light presented a blue coloration."

On Saturday, August 6, 2005, from 7 to 7:20 p.m., "observers onshore spotted a luminous UFO hovering the cities and towns of the (Rio Parana) Delta," north of Buenos Aires. Sightings were reported in Tigre, Belen de Escobar, Ibicuy, Zarate and Campana. "The phenomenon was also seen over the Rio de la Plata," east of the city. "Several fireballs of a great intensity flew from the north to the southeast. Seconds later, they hovered over the Rio de la Plata and appeared as lights flashing."

On Tuesday, August 9, 2005, "at 7:56 p.m., "two UFOs appeared and suddenly inflated to stars of the first magnitude. They then dimmed equally suddenly. These strange lights were seen over southern Cordoba and the neighbouring town of Ferreyra. Both objects began as what looked like ordinary stars, and they made absolutely no sound. One observer captured two minutes of this particular sighting on video." (Muchas gracias a Ricardo E. D'Angelo para estas noticias.)


HOLY TSATHOGGUA! HORDES OF TOADS INVADE A PRAIRIE TOWN IN MONTANA

"Thousands of quarter-sized toads have invaded" Big Sandy, Montana (population 703), a "north-central Montana farming community, causing slippery streets and" raising the ire of local entrepreneurs.

"The toads started showing up in the southeast portion of town in the past couple of weeks."

"'I have no idea how many thousands of toads are in town,' said Charlie Foussard. 'At times, you just can't take a step.'"

"Karen Jesperson said some lawns in town are filled with so many toads, it looks like the grass is moving."

"'They're pretty cute,' she said."

"Breezy Baumgarn, who works at the grocery store on Main Street, said driving in town is a little sticky because the roads are filled with tiny, smashed toads."

"'Poor little toads,' she said, 'Everyone keeps running them over. They have nowhere to go.'"

"Some are collecting the toads with plans to sell them to per stores. Others are talking about trying them out as fish bait."

"Larry Ophus, chief of the volunteer fire department, said the toads seems to be moving from east to west and believes they will soon be on their way."

"It was just two years ago (2003) that the town's streets were blocked by 10-foot (3-meter) drifts of tumbleweeds. Firefighters hauled the tumbleweeds away and burned them."

"'The tumbleweeds were a hazard,' Ophus said, 'The toads are just a nuisance.'"

Big Sandy, Mont. is on Highway 87 approximately 77 miles (123 kilometers) northeast of Great Falls. (See the Great Falls, Mont. Tribune for August 15, 2005, "Thousands of toads hop into Montana town." Many thanks to Terry Duckworth, "the Archimagos Maximus of Tsathoggua," for this newspaper article.)


CRAZY CROC OR COPYCAT? A WEST VIRGINIA MYSTERY

Police in Charleston (population 53,421), the state capital of West Virginia, are trying to solve a mystery. Who's leaving alligators at different points around the city?

The latest find took place on Wednesday, August 10, 2005 when "someone left a two-foot-long (60-centimeter- long) alligator in a plastic container in a convenience store parking lot, officials said."

"Earlier this summer, workers at a repair shop found a smaller alligator" on the top of an outdoor air- conditioning unit "on the bank of the Kanawha River."

"'It sounds like a genuine phenomenon," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor commented, "Except for the fact that the reptile was found in a plastic container.
That's never happened before in what is known in Forteana as the crazy croc syndrome or the crazy crocs. This refers to the unexplained appearance of small alligators or crocodiles in areas far from their natural habitat--like West Virginia."

"Did the second alligator appear in Charleston on its own? Or is there a 'Crocmeister' at work, leaving small alligators around town in an attempt to bedevil local authorities? If it is a 'Crocmeister,' he certainly is conversant with the works of Charles Fort." (See USA Today for August 11, 2005, "Across the USA--West Virginia," page 7A.)


DRAGONS PHOTOGRAPHED OVER THE HIMALAYAS

A Chinese amateur photographer flying over a remote region of the Himalayas snapped a picture of two large dragons flying through heavy clouds.

"On June 22, 2005, the photographer went to Amdo in Tibet to attend the Qingh laying ceremony, and then took a plane from Lhasa (Tibet's capital--J.T.) to fly back inland. When flying over the Hir region, he accidentally caught these two 'dragons' in a picture that he took. He called these 'two dragons'."

"Looking at the photo, these two objects appear to have the characteristics of crawling creatures that seem to be covered by scales, the backs have spine-like protuberances, and also they have rear ends."

"Although the photo caught only a portion of the entire scene, it gave the appearance of two gigantic dragons flying in the clouds" over the Himalayas.

"No wonder that China is the homeland of the dragons, mysterious and powerful. It can always produce spectacular sights beyond people's expectations," a columnist in People's Daily wrote, commenting on the strange photograph. "Is it really true? Is it possible that there is an ancient civilization that we don't know about? One that is sparsely populated? It really looks like the dragons in the fables, and I really hope it is."

"In Chinese fairy tales, the dragon is a kind of rare heavenly creature. It ascends to heaven in the spring breeze and dives and hides in deep water. It promotes clouds and brings rain. It also became the symbol of imperial authority."

"Culturally, the dragon is the Chinese ancestors' totem. Nearly all races in China had fallen dragons as the main subject, such as dragon boat races, the dragon lantern dance and sacrificial offerings to the dragons to implore timely wind and rain for good crops."

"Whether this creature really exists is still an unsolved riddle. In the previous dynasties, there have been many documents recording eyewitness accounts of magical dragons."

"A relatively recent tale occurred in the puppet Manchuria regime (Japan occupied Manchuria in northern China from 1931 to 1945--J.T.). A dragon fell to the ground at the Chen family's Weizi village, on the south shore of the Mudan River (today the Songhua River--J.T.). The black dragon was on the verge of death. The eyewitness said this creature had scales covering its body and had a strong fishy smell that attracted numerous flies."

"Records from previous dynasties also mentioned the connection between the emergence of mysterious creatures like dragons and the transition of (political) dynasties on Earth."

"The appearance of the dragon invites our curiosity and imagination." (See The Epoch Times for August 9, 2005, "Dragons in the Tibet sky." Many thanks to Chen Jilin--no relation to the Chens of Weizi--for this newspaper article.)


KANGAROO MUTILATIONS STARTLE AUSTRALIANS

"The bodies of a dozen decapitated kangaroos have been found at a suburban golf course. Their bodies were found on the grounds of the golf course at Yarrambat and neighbouring areas in the past two weeks."

"The RSPCA (Royal Society for the Prevention of Cruelty to Animals--J.T.) said the attacks were horrific and is working with the Nillumbik Shire Council to find the perpetrator. Police have also been notified."

"RSPCA senior investigator Ken Waixel said the attacks were extremely insane."

"'This type of behaviour, if it is a single individual, is particularly graphic,' he said, 'There is a link to violence against animals with violence to people. It is a very distressing issue. We're asking for community assistance to find out who the perpetrator is.'"

"Mayor Greg Johnson said the council was baffled by the attacks."

"'We're at a loss as to what's going on here. It's a dreadful thing, and we're very concerned about it,' he said." (See the Australian newspaper Herald-Sun for August 10, 2005, "Kangaroos' heads chopped off." Many thanks to Todd and Kristin Rogan for this newspaper article.)


THREE COWS MUTILATED IN CUBANEA, ARGENTINA

"The discovery of two bovines found dead under not entirely clear circumstances reactivated the mystery that held the country (Argentina) hostage two years ago (2003) when hordes of similar cases became known, and for which no reasonable explanation was ever found beyond a number of hypotheses--some of them extreme and unsustainable."

The three cows were found dead in two fields at Cubanea, a small community in Argentina's Rio Negro province approximately 70 kilometers (42 miles) from Viedma.

"One property, belonging to Erberto Malaspina, the development commissioner for Cubanea, contained two of the bovines, located 50 meters (165 feet) from each other. Malaspina's field is located on the side of National Route 25, which links Viedma with Conesa."

"One of the animals was found dead on a farm belonging to Luis Garrone at Kilometer 1001 on National Highway 3." This field was approximately 20 kilometers (12 miles) away from Viedma in San Javier."

All three cows "had been relieved of their right eye and ear, and the skin of its jawbone had been excised with straight, cauterized incisions. It was further missing its tongue and presented a 20-centimeter (6-inch) orifice on the right side of the nape of the neck."

"Police officials from the San Javier Sheriff's Office reported to the scene with experts from the Criminality Bureau, who took (microscope) slides and measured the scene of the discovery."

"In any event, Carlos Garrone, the field owner's brother, reported that he had never seen anything like it." (See the Argentinian newspaper Las Noticias for August 8, 2005, "Three bovines killed suspiciously in Rio Negro." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Cristian Quintero del grupo Planeta UFO por este articulo de diario.)


DISCOVERY RETURNS SAFELY, LANDS IN CALIFORNIA

"Pilot James Kelly admitted that he experienced a 'moment of trepidation' Tuesday," August 9, 2005, "as space shuttle Discovery plunged toward Earth."

"'I wouldn't be human otherwise,' he said."

"Memories of Columbia's fateful journey two years ago, in which all seven crewmembers died, were inevitable, especially when Commander Eileen Collins pushed the button to start Discovery's descent."

"Kelly, a colonel in the U.S. Air Force, said he was 'honestly hoping that we'd make it farther than they did. And I wished that they had made it all the way home.'"

Kelly, Collins and their fellow crew members, spacewalkers Stephen Robinson and Soichi Noguchi, Charles Camarda, Andy Thomas and Wendy Lawrence "landed smoothly at 5:11 a.m. Pacific time at Edwards Air Force Base, completing" the USA's first space shuttle mission since the destruction of the shuttle Columbia on February 1, 2003.

Discovery "was supposed to land at the Kennedy Space Center in Florida but was diverted to its landing site in (California's) Mojave Desert. Two days of rain and lightning in Florida made it too risky to land there."

"As it hurtled backwards 220 miles (352 kilometers) above the Indian Ocean, Discovery fired its tail rockets at 4:06 a.m. Pacific time, slowing just enough to drop out of orbit and into Earth's atmosphere."

"A tense hour later, the shuttle appeared overhead as a glowing star in clear, predawn darkness on its final approach to Runway 22 at Edwards Air Force Base."

"'There was a moment of trepidation right before Eileen hit the execute on the deorbit burn,' Kelly confessed, referring to the rocket firing that initiated re-entry. 'Once you do that, you're coming home.'"

"After touching down, Collins said, 'Houston, Discovery, wheels stop."

"Roger, wheels stop, Discovery, and congratulations on a truly spectacular test flight,' responded astronaut Kenneth Ham at Mission Control."

"Stephanie Stilson, the vehicle manager in charge of Discovery, confessed to 'hugging anybody who was close to me.'"

"President (George W.) Bush congratulated the crew, saying the successful flight 'was an important step for NASA as it regains the confidence of the American people' and focuses NASA on a new mission: to return to the moon and go to Mars."

"The moment was bittersweet for Evelyn Husband, who watched Discovery's return at her home in Houston with her children and two friends. Her husband, Rick, was Columbia's commander."

"Husband said she had been dreading the moment after two-and-a-half years of waiting. When Discovery reached the same point in its descent that Columbia broke up, 'I got a lump in my throat.'"

"'We were very quiet,' she said, 'I was thinking about my husband. And when we saw the infrared image of the shuttle, it made me really sad. I wish we could've seen the same thing."

"The shuttle fleet remains grounded until NASA can diagnose why chunks of insulating foam continue to break off the shuttle's external fuel tank on takeoff."

"Discovery's latest mission, the 114th for the shuttle fleet since 1981, had its successes. It resupplied and repaired the half-completed International Space Station."

"Discovery also brought back more than 3 tons of garbage and broken equipment. Astronauts Stephen Robinson and Soichi Noguchi did three spacewalks."

"The 14-day mission, delayed by about two weeks by a faulty fuel sensor, also chalked up a series of space firsts--some reflecting NASA's troubles with the shuttle:"

(1) "A new array of cameras and sensors aboard Discovery allowed NASA engineers to spot and assess dings during flight."

(2) "Collins flew a shuttle's first backflip, so the space station crew could photograph the heat-resistant tiles on Discovery's underside. The inspection disclosed two sandpaper-like seals, known as gap fillers, protruding from the heat shield. Engineers decided they could cause overheating on re-entry."

(3) "Robinson did the first repair in orbit to the shuttle's heat shield. Riding the station's robot arm, he easily yanked out the gap fillers. NASA decided not to repair a torn section of insulation blanketing near a cockpit window. It caused no trouble on re-entry."

"Collins, a retired U.S. Air Force colonel, acknowledged thinking about the Columbia crew during re- entry. The astronauts had a photo of the Columbia crew on board with them."

"To the Columbia families, Collins said, 'Our heart goes out to them as we reach a point of closure for them.'" (See USA Today for August 10, 2005, "'Spectacular' mission ends in Calif.," page 3A.)


NEW ORBITER HEADS FOR MARS

"After a day's delay, a spacecraft loaded with high- tech cameras, antenna and radar began a seven-month voyage to Mars on Friday," August 12, 2005.

The new mission "aims to gather more data on the Red Planet than all previous explorations combined."

"The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter (MRO) lifted off flawlessly on an Atlas V rocket, three days after space shuttle Discovery returned to Earth from a two-week mission."

The MRO, "the fourth Mars orbiter," is carrying "some of the most sophisticated science instruments ever sent into space," including the largest telescopic camera ever sent to another planet. The new orbiter will "scan the desolate surface in search of sites to land more robotic explorers in the next decade."

"'It's time we started peeling back the onion layer and start looking at Mars from different vantage points,' says project manager James Graf of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena," California.

"Like the three (Earth) spacecraft currently flying around Mars--including a European orbiter--the latest orbiter will seek evidence of water and other signs that the planet once could have hosted life."

"Powered by solar panels on its journey, the orbiter is expected to reach Mars" on or about March 15, 2006. The $720 million mission was launched from Cape Canaveral, Florida.

The MRO's "powerful camera can snap the sharpest pictures yet of the planet's rust-colored surface, with six times the resolution of past images."

"During the 310-million-mile trip, NASA will test the six instruments aboard the orbiter, including one that will measure the ultraviolet radiation from Earth so scientists will have a comparison with Mars."

"The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter will be NASA's last Mars orbiter this decade. Belt-tightening forced the agency to cancel a $500 million mission planned for 2009."

"However, two more landing attempts are set during the next four years. Scientists hope to use the orbiter's detailed mapping to scout safe landing sites for the Phoenix Mars and Mars Science Laboratory missions in 2007 and 2009, respectively."

"The information gleaned by the spacecraft also could help scientists decide where to send a lander during the next decade to return the first samples of Martian rock and soil to Earth."

"The stationary Phoenix lander will use a robotic arm to explore the icy plains of Mars' north pole. Later, the Mars Science Laboratory will analyze rocks and soil in finer detail than other rovers, which uncovered geologic evidence of water in the planet's past."

"The solar-powered Spirit and Opportunity rovers are still trekking across the Martian surface" on opposite sides of the Red Planet, having "thrilled space fans with their hijinks on Mars."

"The 2-ton Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter also will try to find two ill-fated spacecraft--NASA's Mars Polar Lander and Britain's Beagle 2 lander--that lost contact (with Earth) during separate landing attempts."

"The Mars Reconnaissance Orbiter should reach Mars' orbit in mid-March next year. Along with its telescopic camera, the orbiter's payload includes ground-penetrating radar that can probe up to a third of a mile beneath surface rock and ice for evidence of water."

"Today Mars is cold and dry with large caps of frozen water at its poles. Scientists think the planet was a wetter and possibly warmer place eons ago--conditions that might have been conducive to life." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for August 13, 2005, "NASA launches Mars orbiter," page 2A; and USA Today for August 8, 2005, "Mars attracts: New orbiter set for launch," page 4A.)


FREAK HAILSTORM LASHES WESTERN MINNESOTA

A thunderstorm hurled hailstones as big as grapefruit at farms and ranches in western Minnesota's Otter Tail County (population 57,159).

During the early morning hours of Tuesday, August 9, 2005, "baseball-sized hail pounded parts of Otter Tail County, damaging buildings and vehicles."

"Marie Jacobson, co-owner of the nursery Outdoor Renovations, reported losing thousands of dollars in plants and equipment. The hail, which she said was 'softball-sized at times,' punched holes through the tops of her greenhouses and shattered her clay birdbaths."

"It also knocked out windshields in her fleet of seven trucks."

"Jake Jacobson of Underwood, Minn. (population 285) held pieces of hail" as big as portable CD players when he posed "behind his truck window that was broken overnight during a hailstorm on Tuesday."

"Otter Tail Power Co. reported about 200 residents in Fergus Falls (population 13,471) and about 205 residents in Miltona (population 250) were without power for about three hours early Tuesday."

(Editor's Note: In addition to being the home of the world-famous Goose Gallop, Fergus Falls was the site of one of the worst tornadoes in Minnesota history back in July 1919.)

The same storm system caused lightning damage in the Minneapolis-St. Paul area a few hours later.

An "employee was standing on the tarmac at Flying Cloud Airport when the tarmac was hit by lightning. According to broadcast reports, the employee was shocked and taken to the hospital but suffered no serious injuries."

"Lightning also struck a house near 56th Street and Nicollet Avenue in southern Minneapolis and started a fire there. Firefighters said the fire damage was limited, but the house sustained water damage."

"In Chaska, Minn. (population 17,449), a two-story house was hit by lightning. The second story of the house bore the brunt of the damage, and the roof was badly burned."

"A third house was hit in Maple Grove, Minn. (population 50,365)."

Otter Tail County is intersected by state Highways 3, 24 and 35, located about 190 miles (304 kilometers) northwest of Minneapolis. (See the Duluth, Minn. News- Tribune for August 10, 2005, "Lightning hits metro area homes," page 4D.)


THE AMAZING DIAPER MAN

It looks like UK now has its own home-grown superhero--Captain Nappy.

"UK police said Monday," August 15, 2005, "they were searching for a man wearing a diaper, who approaches women late at night and asks: 'Are there any baby-changing facilities around here?'"

Police in "Cleveland in northeastern England said the latest incident occurred around 11 p.m. Sunday," August 14, 2005, "where he surprized a woman walking her dog in a play area near Eaglescliffe, near Middlesbrough."

"Police said no one had been assaulted by the man but decided his behaviour is bizarre and a cause for concern."

"'There have been several reports of him having been seen in Eaglescliffe dressed only in a nappy, and we are keen to trace him and speak to him,' police said." (See the Reading Evening Post for August 15, 2005. Many thanks to Sarah Caldwell for this newspaper item.)


BELGIAN WRITER PICKED UP FOR HOLOCAUST DENIAL

"Belgian negationist and extreme-right publicist Siegfried Verbeke has been arrested at Schiphol Airport in Amsterdam," the capital of the Netherlands, "and might be extradited to Germany for trial."

"A German judge issued an international arrest warrant against Verbeke at the end of last year (2004) because he cast doubt over the Internet whether the Nazis actually killed six million Jews in World War II."

"Germany asked Belgium to extradite Verbeke, of Kortrijk, (also known as Courtrai--J.T.)" located 40 kilometers (25 miles) southwest of Antwerp, in 2004 "but a Belgian judge refused the request."

"Verbeke has already been convicted in Belgium for negationism. The Appeals Court in Antwerp sentenced him in April of this year (2005) to a maximum one-year jail term and an E2,500 (Euro) fine for breaching negationist and anti-racism laws."

"The 63-year-old Verbeke has been the head of the Free Historical Research Center (Flemish acronym VHO) since 1983. The center publishes books in which the Holocaust is denied or downplayed."

"Verbeke has used the principle of freedom of speech to defend himself in the past and is a reknowned figure across Europe."

"He holds links with various extreme-right groups across the continent, Flemish broadcaster VRT reported." (See the Belgian newspaper De Standaard for August 5, 2005. Many thanks to Valentin M. Dobrobanov for this newspaper article.)


>From the UFO Files...

1990: SAINTS OR CHARLATANS? THE SEERS OF ARGENTINA

These are probably the most controversial apparitions of the Virgin Mary (birth name: Miriam bat-Joachim--J.T.) in contemporary South America. The Roman Catholic Church hierarchy is holding both seers at arm's length. But they're not going away.

"They bring multitudes. They create an evident spiritual atmosphere. They say the Virgin appears before them and gives them messages calling for greater religious devotion among the faithful."

"Believers credit to them gifts--or at least the possibility that they may have them--of intercession with Mary, or directly with Jesus Christ, to grant favors, especially healing."

"Many say that what they asked for was granted to them, and many claimed to have deepened their conversion and even that of their loved ones."

Meet Sra. Maria Livia Galiano de Obeid. Senora Galiano de Obeid lives in Salta, the capital of the province of the same name, among the foothills of the Andes in northwestern Argentina.

"The case involving the so-called Virgen del Cerro (Translated: The Virgin of the Mountain--J.T.) in Salta is the oldest and also the strongest. It began in 1990 when" Maria Livia, then "a married housewife with three children claimed being visited by the Virgin. The image, according to the description is different from other devotional images known," for example, Our Lady of Fatima, fist seen at Cova da Iria in Portugal's Serra da Aire mountains in May 1917.

Maria Livia "allegedly received messages from the Virgin, and, in 1995, the entity told her that her image represents a new avocation--the Immaculate Mother of the Divine Eucharistic Heart of Jesus."

"According to Maria Livia, the Virgin asked in the first apparitions that a shrine be built for her at Shoenstatt," a village located at the foot of the mountain. "She later added that the messages be made known through a Carmelite abbey in the" Salta area.

(Editor's Note: Salta is a notorious UFO hotspot. Since 1996, UFO Roundup has documented dozens of UFO and paranormal events in this region, located 900 kilometers (540 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires, Argentina's capital.)

"Later on, she asked that another sanctuary be built for her at the top of the mountain, and that this site should become an evangelical center. She added that a house for elderly priests, a seminary and a house for monks" should also be constructed. "But, above all, she recommended asking for conversion and the adoration of the Eucharistic Heart."

"Increasingly, more people congregate every Saturday around the image of the new avocation. Amid a powerful spiritual atmosphere, people congregated to pray the Rosary and to meditate on the messages received by the seeress. With all this, the most exciting moment is when Maria Livia prays a brief 'Prayer of Intercession' for the intentions of the faithful, walking in front of them and placing her hands on her shoulders for a few moments."

"To many, this is a very powerful experience. Not a few collapse to the ground--even the men. Behind them, ever-attentive ushers keep people from being hurt during the falls."

"In fact, it is only possible to reach the image following a path along which the ushers--wearing white and blue kerchiefs--offer water. Many report a scent of roses, which do not exist in the area."

(Editor's Note: Nor at that altitude in the Andes.)

"The Roman Catholic Archdiocese of Salta is very cautious. After the former archbishop, Monsignor Moises Blanchoud, allowed the distribution of messages received by Maria Livia, the present archbishop, Monsignor Mario Cargnello," made up his mind "to forbid the most recent messages from becoming known while they are being studied" by the Church.

"Monsignor Cargnello also virtually forbade the 'Prayer of Intercession' in an announcement made two years ago (2003). Cargnello made it clear that, in his diocese, 'no layman is authorized to perform the laying on of hands.'"

"Cargnello also questioned the messages, which he considered 'revelations lacking content' and maintained that 'the seeress' urge to be in the limelight is evident.'"

"He further stated that he was never informed of the results of the psychological exam requested for Maria Livia."

"'The woman and the Carmelite nuns did not comply with what the Church asked them to do,' was the recent statement from the Archdiocese of Salta."

"Maria Livia's collaborators sent him a letter last month (July 2005) in which they denied that the results of the psychological tests had been concealed and asked him to be more understanding toward the phenomenon."

In Mendoza, another city in the Andes of Argentina, yet another Marian seer has made an appearance. Meet Manuel Yanzon.

"The Mendoza case is more recent. It began on July 27, 2000 when Yanzon reported having seen his first apparition of the Virgin under the avocation of the Mystical Rose."

(Editor's Note: Exactly seven days before Yanzon's apparition, on Thursday, July 20, 2000, Fatima seers Francisco and Jacinta Marto appeared to me in a dream and warned of a major war erupting in the Middle East. Boy, did that come true! They also warned that the Zionists would use the war-emergency to crush the born-again Christians of the USA. For details, see UFO Roundup, volume 5, number 30 for July 27, 2000, "Another October Surprise?" page 8.)

"Yanzon himself claims to have received messages, even those requesting the construction of a sanctuary. Many pilgrims visit him at El Algarrobal in the department (district) of Las Heras upon hearing of his reputed efficacy as an intercessor for finding impossible cures and other miracles."

"But he was recently denounced by a close collaborator who accused him of fraud."

In May 2005, "the Roman Catholic Archbishop of Mendoza, Jose Maria Arancibia, seriously questioned the authenticity of the phenomena experienced by Yanzon."

"'There aren't sufficient reasons to acknowledge these alleged supernatural manifestations as genuine,'" Archbishop Arancibia pointed out in his pastoral letter. "He rejected the alleged messages on the grounds that 'they contain serious errors and statements contrary to the Roman Catholic faith.'"

However, Archbishop Arancibia "reserved his judgement on the (divine) grace that the faithful claim to have received" at El Algarrobal.

"He concluded his pastoral message with an incisive reflection: 'We cannot cease to wonder what our God is telling us at El Algarrobal. What are we being told through the faces, lips and supplications of so many of our brothers, who, having heard of a possible manifestation of Mary, set out to reach this difficult location? How may we hear the voice of the (Holy) Spirit in all this?'"

Mendoza is located near Argentina's border with Chile, about 700 kilometers (420 miles) west of Buenos Aires and 500 kilometers (300 miles) southwest of Salta.

On August 5, 1917, Jacinta Marto, the youngest of the Fatima seers, had a vision at her family home in Aljustrel, Portugal of the "Pope of the Last Days" or the Tribulation. In this vision, she saw the Pope at an unfamiliar mountaintop sanctuary "praying before the Immaculate Heart of Mary," just before his execution by the troops of the New World Order.

Is Jacinta's vision fated to come true in Argentina's Salta province?

Or is the mountain at Medjugorje in Bosnia- Hercegovina the site of this prophesied future event?

On August 5, 1984, the Virgin appeared at Medjugorje and revealed a small but interesting secret. August 5th is her birthday. Miriam was born to Joachim and his wife, Hannah, in Nazareth on August 5 in 16 B.C.

As for the next apparition...stay tuned! (See the Argentinian newspaper Clarin for August 3, 2005, "Mystic phenomena defies the Church." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Cristian Quintero del grupo Planeta UFO por este articulo de diario. See also The Sun Danced at Fatima by Father Joseph A. Pelletier, Image Books, New York, N.Y., 1983, page 66.)


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--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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