UFO, BLACK HELICOPTERS SEEN IN SOUTHERN FRANCE
On Thursday, August 18, 2005, eyewitness Pierre L. reported, "I witnessed at 7:25 p.m. over La Cadiere d'Azur, in the department of Var (France), several black helicopters without visible (identification) markings hovering in the sky. They were present when a glossy cylinder rose from the top of the hill called Gros Cerveau (French for Big Brain--J.T.). The object then changed direction while going horizontally from the level of the clouds to the north-northeast."
"Two black helicopters stayed hovering in the area for another ten or fifteen minutes" after the cylindrical UFO departed.
On Friday, August 19, 2005, at 7 p.m., eyewitness Gaspard W. reported, "I live on the heights of Nice," a large city on France's Mediterranean Sea coastline, "and I observed with my own eyes a similar cylindrical object over the Alpes-Maritimes. The object was at an altitude of between 7,000 and 9,000 meters (23,100 to 29,700 feet) and also its trajectory was perfectly rectilinear, more or less, from the southwest to the northeast. My observation took place at approximately 7 p.m."
"Atmospheric conditions were perfect, no clouds or pollution. The object moved with a constant speed similar to that of a normal aeroplane. I could clearly distinguish a bulge at the center, of a slightly darker appearance than the remainder of the structure."
On Saturday night, August 27, 2005, a mutilated horse was found in a pasture in the department of Ile de France. The case was reported on TV Channel 3 in Paris, and the news show 12/14 devoted an entire segment to it.
According to French ufologist Robert Fischer, "a report from the stablehand who looked into the death of a foal which had been found mutilated in a strange manner" was presented on the news show. The foal "had obviously not been eaten, but certain body parts, in a patchwork operation, had been removed, said the animal's owner. The owner blamed a neighbour's Alsatian dog for the death, but veterinary experts who examined the goal doubted that 'wounds so precise' could have been inflicted by a dog."
Earlier in the month, on Monday, August 8, 2005, at 11:42 p.m., "we observed in the sky an object of triangular shape pass across the sky" in Gard, a village near Nimes" in southern France," the witnesses reported, "We were on the terrace looking at the stars. It was beautiful weather, no cloud, the sky was perfectly clear, when suddenly my friend saw a light of an orange colour-- the same colour as a sodium lamp--of a rather large size, which came from the west."
"When the object passed overhead, we saw that it was composed of 13 orange lights laid out in an equilateral triangle. The size of the object was about the width of a fist held at the end of an extended arm. The triangle seemed to slip through the sky, no noise at all. It moved in the sky in a straight line from west to east towards (the constellation) Cassiopeia, then swerved as it passed behind the house and where we lost sight of it. The duration was very short, less than 10 minutes. This light in the sky was approximately 50 degrees above the horizon." (Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour ces nouvelles.)
UFOs SIGHTED IN ESSEX AND SOUTH YORKSHIRE
On Thursday, August 25, 2005, at 9:15 p.m., M. Little was a passenger in a car driving on motorway M25 at Stapleford Abbots, Essex, UK when he saw unusual lights approaching from the southwest.
"I was being driven around the M25 by a friend when we spotted a group of five to six orange spheres to our right (approximately southwest--M.L.). They appeared to be flying in a loose, slow formation. I am a pilot, and I feel able to say with some certainty that what I saw in the sky was not an aircraft. It had not the right colour for nighttime navigation lights, was not ground based (it was moving--M.L.), nor was it flares or balloons."
"As we continued driving, I opened the car's sun roof and continued to observe the object's track to the northeast" as they were "changing their relative positions but remaining in a tight group. I then spotted two further objects to the east where the five or six were first sighted. We lost sight of the objects so we took the exit from the motorway."
"The spheres had a deep orange colour, the appearance of a large disc. It was at a low level, under 5,000 meters (16,500 feet). They were slow rising, appeared stationary at times and were very difficult to photograph while moving in the car."
On Friday, August 26, 2005, N. Shawe was outdoors in his hometown of East Dene, Rotherham, South Yorkshire, UK when he spotted a UFO.
"It was an oval glowing shape in the sky," Shawe reported, "It was bluish-grey and oval in shape. It moved slowly and deliberately across the sky. This was at about 10 p.m. It moved slowly and erratically. Eventually, we didn't see it any longer at all." (Email Form Reports.)
LARGE ORANGE UFO SEEN IN EASTERN SPAIN
"A large object with an orange center was seen the night of Wednesday, August 31, 2005, in the region of Valencia in eastern Spain by hundreds of eyewitnesses, who reported the phenomenon to the (Spanish) Center for Emergencies."
"Hundreds of telephone calls reported an unidentified flying object that resembled 'a large ball of fire with an orange or yellowish-green center,' that moved at great speed through the sky in a horizontal trajectory to the northeast."
"Reports were received from Valencia, Alicante and Castellon, the three provinces along Spain's Mediterranean shore."
"The first report came in at 9:06 p.m. from a vineyard owner in Alfafar, who said he had seen a UFO 'descending in an easterly direction.'"
"The second sighting occurred at 9:11 p.m. from a resident who was driving between Cabanes and Castellon when his car engine suddenly died. He confirmed that the object was heading east towards the Mediterranean Sea."
"In Rojales, a town in Alicante province, at 9:12 p.m., witnesses on the ground observed 'an enormous ball of brilliant white light' that moved slowly in a straight northeasterly direction." (See the Spanish EFE News Agency report for September 1, 2005. Muchas gracias a Brunilda Barros y Mauricio Goncalves para estas noticias.)
BLACK DAYLIGHT DISC SEEN IN THE DOMINICAN REPUBLIC
On Monday, August 29, 2005, at 12:50 p.m., Carlos R. Pena was at his office building in downtown Santo Domingo, the capital of the Dominican Republic, when he "was able to witness a completely black UFO at a distance between 1,000 and 3,000 meters (3,300 to 10,000 feet--J.T.)."
"I say this because the object flew between a low rain cloud and medium-altitude white clouds," Carlos explained, "We know that clouds are usually at an altitude of 1,500 to 2,500 meters (5,000 to 8,000 feet--J.T.)."
"The object was travelling from west to east over Santo Domingo, but its shape was hard to describe. I believe it was something that appeared to be vertical-- something like the alleged 'flying humanoids' that have been seen over Mexico in recent weeks. I cannot relate it to any other object, whether a balloon, cloud, airplane, etc. on account of its very strange shape."
"Unfortunately, I did not have time for a photograph, as the sighting lasted only 40 seconds, and I did not have a camera at hand. The object was flying in an even, single-row movement, except for one moment when it moved in a soft curve, which I estimate at 5 to 10 degrees" off its original course. (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Carlos R. Pena para estas noticias.)
UFO PHOTOGRAPHED OVER REUNION ISLAND
An amateur photographer snapped a photo of a daylight disc UFO over the island of Reunion, a French colony in the Indian Ocean 800 kilometers (500 miles) east of Madagascar.
"David had the surprise of his life at exactly 7:48 a.m." on Sunday, August 28, 2005 "when he first tried his digital camera. Standing on his terrace in St. Joseph Heights, he took photos of the (seaside) panorama when his attention focused on the screen of the device."
"Something clearly showed in the sky...but what?"
"While downloading the image into his home computer, David realized that he had photographed an unidentified flying object."
"A native of St. Joseph for 25 years and fascinated with photography, David at first believed he was hallucinating when he saw the picture he had shot early yesterday morning."
"'When looking at the (camera's) monitor screen, I saw a shape in the sky,' David said, 'I thought there was something wrong with the screen, but while gazing I quickly realized it was actually there--a grey shape in the sky.'"
"The shape appeared in only one of his photos."
"'It is incomprehensible. The screen shows 7:48 a.m. as the time for the first photo. The sky is clear. One can see the city and the sea below. Now, on the next picture, taken at 7:49 a.m., the landscape is identical to the first but one can clearly see the grey object, which stands out against the blue of the (Indian Ocean) sky.'"
"I wanted to test the maximal focus of the camera, so I used the 1/4000th setting to take the photos. The object is clearly visible. My camera--a semiprofessional digital Canon device--has 8 million pixels, so I could zoom in on it, and, even after this, the image remains sharp."
"But I am unable to say what it is." (See the French newspaper Le Journal de la Reunion for August 29, 2005, "A UFO in St. Joseph's sky." Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour cette article de journal.)
ESCAPE FROM NEW ORLEANS... NO, THIS IS NOT A KURT RUSSELL MOVIE!
"Hundreds of thousands of New Orleans residents were ordered to evacuate Sunday," August 28, 2005, "as Hurricane Katrina, one of the most powerful storms in U.S. history, bore down on the vulnerable Louisiana and Mississippi coasts."
"At 7 p.m., Katrina had sustained winds near 160 miles per hour (256 kilometers per hour) and was pushing a massive dome of seawater...In Katrina's path, the 485,000 people of New Orleans, much of which sits below sea level. Levees and pumps protect the city from high water."
"Gridlock gripped major highways as residents fled under a mandatory evacuation. 'This is a catastrophic monster that we're looking at,' said Chris Sisko, a meteorologist with the National Hurricane Center. 'It's going to find the slightest weakness in a building or levee, and it's going to exploit it.'"
Among the thousands who heeded the evacuation call was a teacher who reached safety in Buras, Louisiana (population 1,480) after her home in New Orleans' Plaquemines Parish was destroyed.
"'I know I should be so grateful that I am alive and everything is OK with my baby, but I feel so helpless, so cut off from the world right now,' she said."
"'I grabbed all my insulin supplies, baby outfits that a couple of friends from back home had sent and a couple of maternity shirts and some underwear. I forgot my bra. I threw in a box of Graham crackers, grabbed my personal documents, my two dogs, their dishes and kennels and that's it. I boarded up some windows, threw stuff in totes and labeled and left them. I flew down the stairs of my (Plaquemines) apartment, on stilts 15 feet in the air Saturday afternoon, really believing it wouldn't hit--that it would turn,' she explained."
She described the "streams of cars" fleeing New Orleans.
"Cars were stalled everywhere, it was so hot and frightening. Gas stations were out of gas, pumping 1,500 gallons per hour. Stores were out of water and canned goods. People were throwing up and going to the bathroom on the sides of the interstate (highway). It was sheer panic. It took seven hours to go a hundred miles,' she said."
Another pair who made it out were "two of the luckiest guys ever to sit behind the dash of a Sonju Motors Oldsmobile for 1,900 miles pulled into Duluth (Minnesota) on Friday," September 2, 2005. Make that 1,900 miles along a circuitous and treacherous route that took Reese Nurmi and Dallas Ray from their New Orleans home" to safety.
"Both bartenders at a trendy Big Easy club, the two 29-year-olds say they love the city (New Orleans) and wouldn't move for anything."
Nurmi and Dallas "left at 11 a.m. Sunday morning," according to Nurmi's mother, Nesty Uppgard, "Reese called me at 4 p.m. and they had only gone 20 miles."
"That was to Slidell, La. (population 25,695), a town destroyed. On the way, they went past 10 gas stations before finding one with gas. Joined by a third roommate, Thom Wood, they headed for Athens, Ga. where Wood's sister lives."
"'Gas was $5.81 a gallon,' Ray said, heading out of Georgia. 'I've got some money, not much.'"
"Added Nurmi, 'I was fortunate to cash my check before I left. We didn't have to ask our families to wire us money or anything.'"
"Kristopher Benson is one of four grown children living in the New Orleans area near his father, Courtney 'Ben' Benson. The homes of all four children were destroyed this week, Ben Benson said. The destruction included one house that was just built. Ben Benson's daughter and her husband, a Navy SEAL who had just returned home from Baghdad, slept in their new home only one night" before Katrina demolished it.
"A member of the Coast Guard for 20 years after graduating from Hermantown (Minnesota) High School in 1968, Ben Benson worked for the O'Briens Group, a crisis- management firm for oil and gas producers...When asked about his own home in the New Orleans suburb of Slidell," Benson said, "'I got a report last night from the Sheriff's Office that I've got 11 trees on top of my house. One tree actually went through the house...There was catastrophic wind and tree damage, compounded by flooding. We're looking at everything as a total loss,' he said."
But, as the week wore on in New Orleans, it turned out that Reese Nurmi, Dallas Ray, the Bensons and the others who escaped were the lucky ones. (See USA Today for August 29, 2005, "160-mph 'monster,'" page 1A; and the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for August 31, 2005, "Woman fears nothing left of community," page 7A, and for September 3, 2005, "Survivors make their way back to Northland," page 8A.)
KATRINA DEVASTATES DIXIE
"Buildings collapsed, floods inundated thousands of homes and shell-shocked, waterlogged residents retreated to attics and windblown roofs Monday," August 29, 2005, "as one of the most sweeping hurricanes of modern times drilled through (the USA's) Gulf Coast."
"Because of the high water, rescuers could not immediately reach some of the hardest hit areas in New Orleans and elsewhere along the Gulf Coast."
"'Some of them--it was their last night on Earth,' Terry Ebbert, chief of homeland security for New Orleans, said of people who ignored orders to evacuate the city of 480,000 over the weekend. 'That's a hard way to learn a lesson.'"
"'I've never been so scared,' one of the newly- displaced Jean Jenkins of Moss Point, Mississippi, said after she, her husband, their two dogs and a cat spent seven hours in the attic of their one-story house before the water receded just enough for them to leave."
"'We didn't know if we were going to live,' said Diana Chavez, one of 10,000 people who spent the (first) night in the Superdome, a refuge of last resort that lost part of its roof."
"Katrina's core roared very close to New Orleans, slamming eastern sections with one edge of its destructive eye wall, Winds of 100 miles per hour rocked the area."
Katrina's "storm surge and torrential rain submerged vast areas" of southern Louisiana and the "Redneck Riviera," the Gulf Coast regions of Mississippi, Alabama and the Florida Panhandle, "with 40,000 homes flooded in St. Bernard Parish (Louisiana) alone."
"Triple-digit gusts were reported in Mississippi and Alabama. Damage reports mounted throughout the region; swamped bridges, overrun beaches, boats hurled ashore, countless smashed windows and ripped roofs."
"Katrina pummeled 270 miles (432 kilometers) across four states," from Lafayette, Louisiana to Pensacola, Florida, "striking particularly hard at Gulfport, Mississippi (population 71,277)."
Karen Barrett of Long Beach, Miss. (population 17,320) provided a dramatic eyewitness account of the hurricane's awesome fury, which was printed in the Biloxi, Miss. Sun-Herald.
"I was staying with my parents, helping them out. We lived four houses from the beach in Long Beach, Miss. So we stayed there. The house had made it through (Hurricane) Camille (in 1969) so we knew we would be OK."
"Wrong! I only had the twins with me, so that was the good part. Once the hurricane started, it did not stop."
"We were in the house, and it was just windy. Then, all of a sudden, we saw water in the yard. Within 15 minutes, the water was up to our neck. We had put the kids in my Mom's shelf in her closet but everything started floating. The doors were buckled shut. We couldn't get out."
"We then tried to get into the attic, but we knew if we did there was no way of getting out. By this time, the refrigerator had floated (away), and everything in the house was floating."
"We grabbed the twins. The water in the house was up to our necks, and the water outside the front door was up past the door frame, and it looked like it was breathing in and out. At that point, all the windows exploded, shooting shards of glass everywhere. We made our way through all of the floating furniture to the front door."
"We had to break (down) the front door to get out of the house, and all of the water rushed in. Then we had to break out of the porch and step off. And when we did, the water was up over our heads. We went under water and came back up. We couldn't touch the ground. I had Austin. My Mom had Tyler, and my Dad was ahead."
"We had to grab branches and debris to get to the next house. But every time we would get closer, a wave would suck us back into our house. We went under water a few times, and I swear I thought we were gone. We got hit by a fridge (refrigerator--J.T.) and a van that was floating by, but my Dad climbed on the (neighboring) porch--well, what was left of it, and grabbed the kids. As soon as we got onto the porch, my parents' house collapsed with everything in it."
"After many attempts, we got into the next house. The water was up to our chest but rising. My Dad found a tin bath tub, and we put the boys in that, but the water kept rising. The inside of the house was gutted, no walls, just supports, and it had an attic. So we climbed into the attic and sat there with the winds whipping at about 200 miles per hour for about 30 minutes. The entire time the kids were screaming and crying, saying they didn't want to die."
"We heard cracking and popping and creaking and, all of a sudden, the entire front half of the roof flew off, and there was a huge suction. We quickly moved further back in a little corner of the attic and, for two hours, we sat there, huddled in a ball, watching parts of the roof fly off and watching tree limbs fly by next to our heads and houses float by. It was one of the most horrifying things I have ever seen. There were dead bodies floating by."
"No one can even fathom by seeing on TV what is happening here. Once the water receded, we climbed down from the attic with the wind still whipping everywhere and climbed over a quarter of a mile of debris to a road where there were police."
"When we got there, they told us to go back to our house. We said, 'We have no house! It's gone!'"
"Then some dirty old toothless rednecks in a truck covered in rebel (Confederate) flags picked us up in the back of their truck and took us to the Sea Bee base. My Dad's retired Navy. We lost our dog, which we had, but it was either the dog or the kids."
(Editor's Comment: No Federal Emergency Management Agency available. No Department of Homeland Security. No Mississippi State Police. So, who finally rescues the Barrett family? The Dukes of Hazzard! I love it!)
"It is Hell here. There are dead bodies everywhere. People are shooting at police, stealing everything. It's a nightmare. The TV is not showing you half of it."
"My brother came and got me, my Mom, my Dad and the twins this afternoon and brought us to Pensacola (Florida). So we are here now. We have absolutely nothing to our names but we have our lives, so that's what's important...People do not appreciate the small things till you have NOTHING!"
During the hurricane, experiences like Karen Barrett's were repeated thousands of times over throughout the stricken four-state region. (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for August 30, 2005, "Storm leaves thousands homeless," page 1A and the Biloxi, Miss. Sun-Herald for September 2, 2005, "Online pleas, posts illustrate hurricane's human toll," page 1.)
SUPERDOME BECOMES A REAL-LIFE "THUNDERDOME"
In Mel Gibson's 1985 film Mad Max Beyond Thunderdome, the law was enforced in Bordertown's massive arena. At the Thunderdome, "two men enter; one man leaves," as trial by chainsaw combat determined the outcome of court cases.
Last week, at New Orleans' Superdome, it was 60,000 enter, no one leaves, and people were killing each other with everything but chainsaws.
What began as "the refuge of last resort," with the Superdome opened to admit refugees from Hurricane Katrina on Monday, August 29, 2005, had by mid-week degenerated into sheer anarchy.
"They lined up by the thousands, clutching meager belongings and crying children. A few hours later, the power went out, turning the building into a hot and bloody mess. Then part of the roof blew off."
"For an estimated 8,000 to 9,000 refugees--many of them poor and frail--the Louisiana Superdome was a welcome shelter from Hurricane Katrina, but an uncomfortable one at the same time."
"Superdome and government emergency officials stressed that they did not expect the huge roof to fail because of the relatively small breaches, each about 15 to 20 feet (4.5 to 6 meters) long and 4 to 5 feet (1.3 to 1.5 meters) wide."
"Refugees sitting below the holes were moved away from any falling debris, said Doug Thornton, regional manager of the company that manages the huge arena."
"In addition to the two holes, water was leaking in through many other areas, including elevators and stairwells, as the wind forced water in through any small opening. Across Poydrass Street, numerous shattered windows were visible on high-rise office buildings."
By Wednesday, August 31, 2005, however, "the bulk of the city's refugees were in and around the Superdome, which has become a shelter of last resort for more than 20,000 people. Louisiana Governor Kathleen Blanco said conditions there had become desperate, with food, water and other supplies running out, with toilets overflowing and the air foul, with temperatures hitting 100 degrees (Fahrenheit) and tempers flaring."
"'It's becoming untenable,' the governor said. 'There's no power. It's getting more difficult to get food and water supplies in, just basic essentials."
"The governor ordered New Orleans abandoned beginning today (Thursday, September 1, 2005), with 350 buses shuttling at least 25,000 people--no homes, no jobs, no possessions--from the Superdome and elsewhere in the city to Houston's 40-year-old Astrodome."
However, WWL-TV reported that "there may now be 60,000 people in the Superdome and that more people are still being urged to go there...Numerous media reports indicate that refugees are not allowed to leave the Superdome. The Superdome is now a prison. Tens of thousands of Americans are trapped in a 21st Century FEMA concentration camp."
By Friday, September 2, 2005, the Superdome resembled the set of a Mad Max movie. "There is nothing to correct wild reports that armed gangs have taken over. That two babies had their throats slit in the night. That a 7- year-old girl was raped and killed at the Superdome."
"One officer calls these human cattle yards 'lawless countries unto themselves.'"
"After several days in the street with little water and less food, people around the convention center began imagining that the storm was somehow a vehicle for ethnic cleansing."
"One black man insists that authorities want everyone corralled into the convention center--not to facilitate an orderly evacuation, but so police can ignite the gas and blow them up."
"'They want us all crazy so they can shoot us down like dogs!' a woman shouts."
"Officer Kirk LeBranche cowered on the roof of his flooded hotel in New Orleans for three days as the nighttime hours became a shooting gallery."
"'Anarchy and chaos,' he said, 'People are desperate.'"
"Officers deserted their posts. Many of them lost everything but their lives to the storm, and they refuse to gamble those on a seemingly lost city." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for September 1, 2005, "It's time to flee," page 1A; the Minneapolis, Minn. Star- Tribune for September 3, 2005, "Pockets of civility arise amid chaos," page A11; and the WWL-TV news broadcast for August 31, 2005, "60,000 trapped in FEMA's Superdome concentration camp." Many thanks to Bob Liggett for the broadcast transcript.)
FAYETTE FACTOR TAKES OUT STORM REFUGEE BUS
"A charter bus carrying between 30 to 40 weary Hurricane Katrina refugees who had spent the last five days stranded in the Superdome flipped and crashed while heading to shelter in northern Louisiana on Interstate (Highway) 49 Friday," September 2, 2005, "killing at least one person and causing injuries to several others."
"The accident happened around 3:30 p.m. when a passenger struggled with the driver and grabbed the wheel after demanding to get off the bus, according to Opelousas (Louisiana) Police Lt. Mark LeBlanc. LeBlanc said the police believe the one confirmed death was the man who grabbed the wheel."
"Police did not release the names of the dead and injured as of Friday evening."
"The injured were taken to Opelousas area hospitals for treatment."
"Minutes following the accident, bloodied and confused passengers were spread out along a stretch of grass, just yards (meters) from where the bus still lay on its side. Some were too hurt to move, calling for help."
"Clara Scheckenberg, an 80-year-old minister, was sitting in the grass near the accident scene with a swollen, blackened ankle and a stunned look on her face. 'I just dozed off to sleep. We assumed we'd hit a bump,' she said, 'We flipped over and over.'"
"The bus was one of five tour buses loaded with evacuees from New Orleans headed north."
"Trooper Willie Williams, public information officer for Louisiana State Police Troop 1, confirmed 'numerous injuries, some critical, some serious' and the one death. The body appeared to be a black man in his late 30s or early 40s."
Fortean researcher Loren Coleman noted that Opelousas was named for an indigenous people of Louisiana who had the curious custom of "painting their legs black," a fair description of Ms. Schekenbeg's injury.
Opelousas, La. is on Highway 182 approximately 13 miles north of Lafayette, Louisiana.
"There's plenty of magickal symbolism in this one," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor commented, "The accident occurred at 3:30. Note the presence of the Masonic 'magic number' 33. And the crash was 13 miles north of Lafayette. Chalk up this one to the Fayette Factor." (See the Opelousas, La. Daily World for September 3, 2005. Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this newspaper article.)
MOUSETRAPPED IN THE BIG EASY
It was Wednesday, August 31, 2005, at 3 a.m., when the Northern Command (NORTHCOM), based at Peterson Air Force Base in Colorado, got the word from the Pentagon-- the city of New Orleans had been placed under martial law.
While not exactly a terrorist attack, Judge Michael Chertoff, head of the Department of Homeland Security, pronounced the disaster in New Orleans "an event of national significance," and control of the deteriorating situation passed to NORTHCOM.
Immediately the U.S. Department of Defense "established Joint Task Force Katrina to act as the military's on-scene command in support of" the Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA)." Earmarked for service in New Orleans were rescue teams and medical evacuation units, a hospital ship and disaster response equipment."
The U.S. Navy sent eight warships to the Gulf of Mexico, along with 50 helicopters and eight Swift river rescue boats.
"Though stretched by the wars in Afghanistan and Iraq, the Pentagon said that 11,000 National Guard members were at the disposal of governors to help with security and law enforcement."
Later that Wednesday, the Pentagon announced that "it would add 11,000 National Guard soldiers from around the country (USA) to areas of Louisiana and Mississippi ravaged by Hurricane Katrina. A combination of troop callups and recruiting problems has left the two states with fewer of their own troops to provide aid."
At present, the Louisiana National Guard has 2,689 soldiers in Iraq and 6,509 stationed at home. The Mississippi National Guard has 2,910 soldiers in Iraq, with another 304 in Afghanistan, leaving 6,442 at home.
"The problem for Louisiana and Mississippi isn't how many troops are in Iraq, but rather the kind of soldiers who are there, said Dave McGinnis, a military analyst who specializes in National Guard personnel issues."
"'It's combat brigades, which are the types of units you need in these situations,' he said. Combat brigades-- large self-sustaining units of about 3,000 troops--have the vehicles, communications equipment and structure to cope best with a natural disaster."
"Among the Guard troops headed to the (Gulf Coast) region from 13 states are truck drivers, communications experts and soldiers trained in purifying water, a critical need."
"Lt. Col. Ellen Krenke said National Guard troops from West Virginia, Washington D.C., Utah, New Mexico, Missouri, Oklahoma, Washington state, Indiana, Georgia, Kentucky, Michigan and Arkansas have been sent to the stricken region or are awaiting deployment orders."
"More than 1,100 Guardsmen from Missouri, including Military Police units, reported deployment orders Thursday," September 1, 2005.
Approximately "2,500 troops from the Pennsylvania National Guard were preparing to deploy."
Another "300 had been called up from South Carolina."
"Kansas reported 120 Guardsmen would be sent."
"California Governor Arnold Schwarzenegger said his state would send 500 Guard troops."
"The Texas National Guard said it had dispatched 1,000 soldiers and airmen to New Orleans and plans to send more in the coming days."
Also on Thursday, the Navy announced that "the aircraft carrier Harry S. Truman was heading to the Gulf Coast to serve as a floating command center" for Joint Task Force Katrina.
Despite the impressive military buildup, gangs of looters continued their rampage in New Orleans' downtown and French Quarter districts.
A heavy firefight took place in Algiers, La., a New Orleans suburb, on Wednesday. One man reported on the Web: "My brother, Kent Bevolo, is trapped in Algiers, near the ferry, by an armed mob. Several busloads (school buses stolen by looters--J.T.) of armed terrorists are driving through the surrounding neighborhood in broad daylight, robbing and shooting all in their path. Is there any help out there? Is this America? How can this happen in our own backyards?"
A teenaged girl reported, "Sixteen people, including my friend Cassie, are trapped in a warehouse behind the Thrift City/Rock 'n' Bowl shopping center. Conditions are very bad. The people inside have banded together and were taking turns to go two-by-two to get food from the shopping center. The last two people they sent out never came back. And they don't know why."
"Before dawn Friday," September 2, 2005, "the French Quarter was rocked by explosions. A few miles down (the Mississippi) river, railroad tanker cars erupted in a tornado of flame, showering the flooded neighborhood with black soot and casting a pall of black over the city--as if New Orleans isn't already under one."
"A police officer said snipers fired on workers sent in to fight the fire. They stood down and watched it burn."
A few hours later, "when the cavalry arrived in New Orleans, a cigar-chomping three-star general led the way."
"Lt. Gen. Russell Honore is commander of the First Army, based at Fort Gillem in Atlanta (Georgia). Normally, he overseas training for all deploying troops on the (USA's) East Coast."
"For the time being, the Lousiana native is the man in charge on the front line in New Orleans."
"Honore is winning over some of the government's harshest critics, including New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin."
"'He came off the doggone chopper, and he started cussing, and people started moving,' Nagin told a radio station" in Louisiana.
"The general was careful to show he was leading a humanitarian relief mission in his home state."
"'Put those (expletive) weapons down!' he yelled to troops."
Gen. Honore "repeatedly told soldiers and police to point their guns down, reminding them that they were 'not in Iraq.'"
"During last year's 'Hurricane Blitz' in Florida, there were 'latrine rumors' about the Mouse Line, a plan to place the southern half of Florida under martial law," UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor said. "It sure looks like, this time, somebody drew the Mouse Line clean from the Texas border to the Alabama border, cordoning off 31 parishes in Louisiana and 15 Gulf counties in Mississippi. These have been the areas of heaviest disturbance, with widespread looting in New Orleans and some looting in Gulfport and Biloxi, Miss., both of which were destroyed by Katrina."
"One mystery remains, however. How far in advance was this operation planned? On Monday, August 22, 2005, UFO Roundup received a puzzling email from 'Olive Oyl,' one of our readers in uniform. 'Olive' and her fellow WAVES were planning to attend a party in Key West, Florida when they got the news that their liberty had been cancelled. She wrote, 'We were planning to head down to Key West this weekend and get hammered. Then the Old Man said there was no liberty during September and October. What's going on, Joe?' Then I heard that all leaves had been cancelled in the Army. No details, darn it. Just vague talk about 'something big going on.' This was a week before Hurricane Katrina."
"Was this Mouse Line caper planned after last year's hurricane blitz? Or was it a little more recent? Stay tuned." (See USA Today for September 1, 2005, "Pentagon to send 10,000 National Guard troops from other states," page 5A; the Minneapolis, Minn. Star-Tribune for September 3, 2005, "If you scream on the Web, does anybody hear you?" page A16; the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for September 3, 2005, "Hell," page 8A, and for September 1, 2005, "Katrina's devastation,' page 7A, and for September 5, 2005, "General roars into town," page 7A.)
WHOSE SIDE IS GOD ON, ANYWAY?
Hurricane Katrina now has the unenviable distinction of being the biggest natural disaster ever to hit the USA, with a death toll estimated at 10,000.
By comparison, the hurricane that struck Galveston, Texas in 1900 killed 6,000 people, and the Mississippi River floods of 1927 killed fewer than that.
As in every major disaster, people wonder why it happened, and what the Almighty had in mind when he or she allowed it to happen.
In Jerusalem News Wire of August 29, 2005, Rev. Stan Goodenough wrote, "On August 14 (2005), citizens in the United States, like people around the world, heard about the issuing of an order for the forced evacuation of Jews from parts of Israel's biblical land. For six days, they watched as thousands of weeping people were pulled and shoved from their homes, forced to leave their gardens, public communities, schools, towns and synagogues they had been occupying for decades. These scenes were soon followed by pictures of bulldozers and other earth-moving vehicles pulverizing the just-vacated homes into heaps of debris. While this was taking place, a tropical depression was forming near the Bahamas in the Atlantic Ocean."
"Is this some sort of bizarre coincidence? Not for those who believe in the God of the Bible and the immutability of His word. What America is about to experience is the lifting of God's hand of protection; the implementation of His judgement as the nation most responsible for" putting pressure upon "the land and the people of Israel. The Bible talks about him shaking his fist over bodies of water and striking them."
Other evangelicals noted that Hurricane Katrina came ashore right after the U.S. Air Force "released new guidelines for religious tolerance Monday (August 29, 2005) that discourage public prayer at official (military) functions and urge commanders to be sensitive about personal expressions of religious faith."
"The document directs chaplains to 'respect the rights of others to their own religious beliefs, including the right to hold no beliefs.'"
"Rob Boston, spokesman for Americans United for Separation of Church and State, and Abraham Foxman, head of the New York-based Anti-Defamation League (ADL) both said the big question now is how the rules will be implemented."
"'The guidelines say all the right things,' Foxman said, 'They raise all the issues that were raised as problems at the Air Force Academy.'"
(Editor's Note: During the last few months, students and faculty at the Academy complained that they were being harassed by evangelical Christians.)
"They want to stop born-again Christians from witnessing for Jesus," said Pastor Gary Nicholson of the Gospel Doctrine Church. "Come quickly, Lord Jesus. Save us from the New World Order."
Another clergyman blamed homosexuality in New Orleans for the calamity.
"Just days before 'Southern Decadence,' an annual homosexual celebration attracting tens of thousands of people to the French Quarter section of New Orleans, an act of God destroyed the city."
"'Southern Decadence' has a history of filling the French Quarter of the city with drunken homosexuals engaging in sex acts in public streets and bars. Last year (2004), a local pastor sent video footage of sex acts being performed in front of police to the mayor, City Council and others. City officials simply ignored the footage and continued to praise the unhealthy celebration as 'an exciting event.'"
"However, Hurricane Katrina put an end to the annual celebration of sin."
"Last year, 'Southern Decadence' brought '125,000 revelers' to New Orleans, increasing by thousands each year, up from 'around 50,000 revelers' in 1997."
"'Although the deaths of tens of thousands is extremely saddening, this act of God destroyed a wicked city,' said Repent America director Michael Marcavage, 'From Girls Gone Wild to Southern Decadence, New Orleans was a city that ignored its laws" and made possible "the public celebration of sin. May it never be the same.'"
"I have been all through that Bible, and I have yet to find the passages where it says 'Drown New Orleans' or 'Kill the president of Venezuela,'" said UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor. "I did find an item of interest in Matthew 5:45, in which Jesus is quoted as saying, 'In that way, you will be acting as true children of your Father in heaven. For he gives his sunlight to both the evil and the good, and he sends rain on the just and the unjust, too.'" (Many thanks to Loren Coleman, Rose Flaherty, Tony Gilman and Mike Slayton for these news items.)
STRANGE MYSTERIES OF HURRICANE KATRINA
"Hurricane Katrina's storm surge--the wall of water it pushed ashore when it struck the Gulf Coast on Monday," August 29, 2005, "was the highest ever measured in the United States, scientists said Wednesday," August 31, 2005.
"Dr. Stephen Leatherman, director of the International Hurricane Research Center at Florida International University, said the surge at Bay St. Louis, Mississippi was 29 feet (8.9 meters)."
"Scientists from Louisiana State University, using different mathematical models, said their estimate was lower--25 feet (8.1 meters)."
"Either way, this hurricane easily surpassed the previous record, the 22-foot (7.3 meter) surge of Hurricane Camille, which struck in 1969 near Pass Christian, Mississippi, a few miles east of Bay St. Louis."
"Leatherman said scientists from Florida International and the University of Florida gathered wind data from towers they set up along the hurricane's projected path just before it struck. They used this data and previous measurements of the topography of the ocean floor and the nearby land to calculate the height of the (storm) surge."
However, no one could explain why Katrina, a Category 4 hurricane, had a storm surge much higher than Camille, a Category 5 storm.
Another mystery was the jamming of ham radio operators in New Orleans during and immediately after the hurricane. According to researcher Wayne Madsden, "ham radio operators were reporting that communications in and around New Orleans were being jammed. Perplexed ham operators who were contacted by the federal government during 911 (the destruction of the World Trade Center in New York City on September 11, 2001--J.T.) said they were not being asked to assist during Hurricane Katrina."
On Wednesday, August 31, 2005, WWL-TV in Louisiana interviewed New Orleans Mayor Ray Nagin, who said "that the National Guard's Blackhawk helicopter carrying sandbags to plug the hole in the levee on 17th Street Canal was diverted to rescue missions. Nagin said he called the governor, and that he and other state officials are unsuccessfully trying to get through to the White House to ask if the people in Washington know what they're doing."
>From the UFO Files...
2005: KATRINA SPAWNS "URBAN LEGENDS" BY THE DOZEN
Not since Princess Diana was killed in Paris eight years ago have "urban legends" grown so quickly as in the aftermath of Hurricane Katrina.
Here are a handful of the ones your editor has encountered so far.
(1) Jaws in Jackson Square - A young black woman decided to wade across flooded Jackson Square in downtown New Orleans. She was wearing a sleeveless silk blouse, Daisy Dukes (tightfitting denim shorts--J.T.) and knee- high reddish-brown boots. The water in the square was waist-deep. As she was halfway to Andrew Jackson's statue, she felt something scrape her knee. Figuring it was just underwater debris, she changed direction and continued walking. A couple of minutes later, she felt something scrape the back of her thigh. Again she changed direction. Then it felt like something got tangled in her boot. She managed to kick free. Two minutes later, the other boot encountered some debris. Despite her energetic kicks, it clung tightly. Then, suddenly, her boot was free.
I'll never make it across with all this debris, she thought. Then she heard a splash behind her. Turning, she saw a triangular fin swimming away, heading for St. Ann Street. A shark! She let out a scream that could've been heard in Pascagoula, Mississippi.
Some men waded out to get her and helped her reach the statue's pedestal. They found teeth marks all over the woman's leather boots. Apparently, the shark had mistaken the woman's boots for tropical fish and had tried to eat them.
(2) The 'Manburger' Stand - A few days after Katrina, two guys opened a hamburger stand at the corner of Progress Street and Loyola Avenue. They were offering fresh food at "special bargain-basement hurricane prices"- -$10 for a fresh-cooked burger and $20 for a quarter- pounder. Passersby began to wonder how these guys could offer "fresh meat" in a city where there had been no electricity and no refrigeration for days and where the daytime temperature was near 100 degrees Fahrenheit. So they called the police.
Investigating officers became suspicious when the vendor asked, "Would you like white meat or dark meat?" and it wasn't even Thanksgiving.
(3) If It Floats, It Fries - Early one morning, just after Katrina, people on Bourbon Street heard mysterious explosions. They called police, who came down the flooded street in a motorboat. The cops saw a stick of dynamite come out of a second-story window and land in the water. KA-BOOM! A geyser foamed upward, followed by passel of fish floating belly-up in the choppy water. The cops went inside to arrest the "terrorist," only to find out it was some good-old-boy "redneck fisherman" from Tangipahoa Parish getting his breakfast the usual way.
(4) Now That's A Fan - In Arabi, Louisiana (population 8,093), a 300-pound (150-kilogram) transvestite was found floating facedown in the Mississippi River, apparently having drifted downstream from New Orleans. What a surprise at the parish coroner's office when they found a tattoo of Lindsay Lohan's face on the deceased's rear end.
(5) Politics As Usual - Judge Michael Chertoff, the USA's director of homeland security, fired Gov. Kathleen Blanco and appointed Britney Spears as the provisional governor of Louisiana.
There must be more. Send your Katrina "urban legends" to UFO Roundup at this email address: .
Well, that's it for this week. The news from Mars and Saturn will have to wait until we're back in seven days with more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from all around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you then.
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.