January 5, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
New year, new volume, new layout, new editor. Looks like some changes here at UFO ROUNDUP. Actually, it's the same editor, using his birth name instead of a screen name. Readers, let us know how you like our new look. One thing hasn't changed, though, and that's the number of UFO sightings. We have a bumper crop to kick off the new year, so read on...
On Tuesday, December 24, 1996, at 8 p.m., four people were driving down Moneycreek Road in Cincinnati, Ohio. They were "out looking at the Christmas lights," but the lights they saw hovering over the Western Hills Plaza shopping center had nothing to do with the holiday.
The quartet observed "a huge, phoenix-shaped object with headlights" hovering above the shopping center, which had closed at 6 p.m. The UFO hovered 100 feet above the mall. "The headlights were described as large and white, situated in a triangular arrangement on each corner, with a large red light in the center. There was no flight or departure path noted, as the object suddenly vanished from view," according to Kenneth Young, public relations director of the Tri-State Advocates for Scientific Knowledge (T.A.S.K.) which is investigating the sighting.
This is the third UFO sighting near the Western Hills Plaza in the past 18 months. On July 28, 1996, at 7 p.m., two oblong, silvery disc-shaped objects were seen over Hamilton Avenue, not far from the mall. And in July 1995, a resident of Schwartze Avenue, off Moneycreek Road, reported seeing "a black, chevron-shaped object floating in and out of the clouds above Western Hills Plaza."
During 1996, T.A.S.K. recorded a total of 41 UFO encounters in southern Ohio. Ken Young said, "UFO reports from the area have not been generated in such numbers since the legendary wave in 1973."
(Many thanks to Ken Young and T.A.S.K. for this report.)
On Saturday, December 21, 1996, at about 11 p.m., Robert J. and his friend, Matthew M., were driving on Highway 44 in Eustis, Florida (population 9,500), north of Orlando when they spotted three UFOs in the sky.
Robert said the UFOs were "round" and "carried red and blue lights" which "blinked every three or four minutes. We watched for five minutes or so, and then an airplane approached the crafts, and they vanished." He estimated that the UFOs were 2,000 feet above ground.
Three days later, on Tuesday, December 24, at 11:47 p.m., Kathy E., a friend of the boys, spotted two UFOs hovering over Forest Drive in Eustis, not far from Highway 44. She reported that one UFO approached from the east and one from the west. Like the objects seen on December 21, these UFOs carried slow-blinking red and blue lights. (Email Interview)
U.S. Air Force, Army National Guard and over 200 volunteer searchers have been unable to locate the Lear jet which vanished over the upper Connecticut River valley at 10 a.m. on Tuesday, December 24.
Missing are Johan Schwartz, 31, of Westport, Connecticut and Pat Hayes, 30, of Clinton, Conn. The men took off in a Lear jet from Sikorsky Aiport in Bridgeport, Conn. to pick up four passengers in Lebanon, New Hampshire.
Because of persistent rain and fog, Schwartz and Hayes aborted their first approach into Lebanon and circled the field for a second try. As they began to circle, the Lebanon tower first lost voice contact and then radar contact with the Lear jet.
Ground searchers climbed nearby Moose Mountain but found no trace of the missing plane.
Aerial search has been hampered by persistent fog and rain in the Upper Valley.
On Friday, December 27, two low-flying U.S. Air Force jets retraced the flight's route from Bridgeport, Conn. to Lebanon, N.H. but found nothing.
On Saturday, December 28, divers checked a lake near Salisbury, N.H. but found no traces of the missing jet.
On Sunday, December 29, Major James Finkle grounded the New York Air National Guard search helicopter when falling temperatures threatened to ice over the aircraft's rotor blades.
Dr. Paul Schwartz, father of one of the pilots, has asked Governor Howard Dean of Vermont to conduct a comprehensive search of the area north of White River Junction.
On Wednesday, January 1, 1997, about 150 volunteer searchers, including two dozen friends and family members of the missing men, took to the woods. Governor Steve Merrill of New Hampshire pledged that the search would continue through the weekend.
Three helicopters are now engaged in the air search. Vermont State Police and emergency management officials plan to coordinate their efforts with New Hampshire's. (See the Boston, Mass. Herald for December 30, 1996, January 2, 1997 and January 4, 1997)
TV viewers in Bogota, the capital of Colombia, were stunned Sunday evening, December 22, 1996, when station NTC broadcast a video showing six glowing discoidal UFOs in flight over the city.
The "objetos voladores" were filmed on Friday morning, December 13, by Corporal Juan Carlos Morales of the Fuerza Aerea Colombiana (FAC). Corporal Morales was aboard a Transport Command multi-engined plane, flying over the Cordillera Central, when he happened to glance out the window.
Looking toward Mount Monserrate (2,500 feet or 810 meters), Corporal Morales spotted six silvery self-luminous discs emerging from a cloud. The discs were flying in two separate rows, heading for Bogota. Grabbing his videocam, he began shooting footage. The UFOs passed over the Avenida Jimenez de Quesada and the Plaza de Toros de Santa Maria, heading in a northeasterly direction.
Major Gonzalo Cardenas, chief of the FAC Tranport Command, told NTC that the UFOs were not captured on radar by the air force traffic control center at El Dorado International Airport. (See the newspaper Correo de Povo of Porto Alegre, Brazil for December 23, 1996.)
(Muchas gracias to our friend Castagni for this story.)
About ten days after the Bogota overflight, there was another UFO sighting in the state of Sao Paulo, in southeastern Brazil.
The sighting took place on or about Monday, December 23, 1996 in the city of Santo Andre (population 1.1 million), which is 30 kilometers (19 miles) southeast of Sao Paulo. Santo Andre, together with Sao Caetano do Sul and Sao Bernardo, forms the heart of Brazil's automotive industry.
Jacinta Fagundes de Mello, who lives in a high- rise apartment building in Santo Andre, stepped onto her balcony and saw "a strange balloon with bright blinking lights underneath, like small fireworks."
At first Jacinta thought it was a balloon sent aloft by a neighborhood "festa." Grabbing a pair of Zeiss binoculars, she looked again and "saw a huge shadowy shape above the lights. I realized that it was not a balloon at all."
She went to get her boyfriend, urging him to look through the binoculars. He did and let out a shout. Immediately afterward, the UFO "increased its speed from about motionless to an overwhelming velocity. At the same time, we saw a falling star on the horizon, and another, very close, the size of a plane that came over the neighboring apartment building and disappeared behind the residential complex."
(Muito obrigado to Brazilian ufologist Sergio Graciotti for this story.)
On Saturday, December 28, 1996, at 3 p.m., residents of Thunder Bay, Ontario (population 120,000) saw a silvery object in the southwestern sky, seemingly hovering over the Sibley Peninsula, a wilderness park jutting out into Lake Superior.
The Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal received calls from dozens of eyewitnesses, as did Ivan Sherlock, director of the Thunder Bay chapter of MUFON. The object was visible from Hillcrest Park, Victoria Avenue, the Intercity Shopping Centre on Fort William Road and the Port Arthur waterfront section of the city.
Captain George Paterson of the city's Salvation Army chapter told reporter Gail Cohen of the Chronicle-Journal, "We saw something over the harbour Saturday," adding that he was originally "not a believer and thought it was a helicopter or a balloon, but the object left the area very quickly. It was definitely there, and it was interesting enough to get my attention."
Three days earlier, on December 21, Lori Eaton and her husband were driving down John Street when they saw "a white light" to the southwest near the city's landfill site. "We looked up, and the white light was gone, and there were blue and green lights," she said. "I've never seen anything like it." As they drew closer, she added, the object hovered right over their car before zooming off.
In November, solitary UFOs were seen in Sudbury, Ont. and Ardbeg, Ont., just east of Lake Huron.
(See the Thunder Bay Chronicle-Journal for January 1, 1997 "Thunder Bay Sightings Continue")
(Thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp of UFO Updates for this story.)
The reported "dead alien" found at Kibbutz Achihod near Ahyud on December 22, 1996 continues to make headlines in Israel.
On Monday, December 30, the Biological Facility of Haifa's Technion Institute announced the results of its analysis of the 5-centimeter-tall humanoid cadaver found by Mrs. Zyona Damti, 34, beside her father-in-law's barn. According to the newspaper Yediot Ahronot, spokesmen for the institute said "they were not given enough material for the team to conduct proper tests" but announced anyway that the material was "cow manure."
In appearances on Israeli television Channels One and Two, ufologists Debby Segal and Uriah Shai, who are representing the Damti family, disputed the findings. Shai was asked why he had reportedly refused to give all of the material to the Technion Institute, retaining two millimeters for the Damti family.
The following day, Tuesday, December 31, in an interview with Maariv, distinguished scientist Dr. Noah Brosch reportedly dismissed the "humanoid"--and all of ufology--as "a hoax."
This did not halt the UFO furor in Israel. By Saturday night, January 4, 1997, talk show lines were buzzing with the latest rumor. A prediction, attributed by some to Israeli psychic Uri Geller, claimed that giant saucers would appear over Tel Aviv and two other locations in Israel after sunset on January 5.
(Many thanks to Israel journalist Barry Chamish for this story.)
(Editor's Comment: Very wise, Mr. Shai, holding onto those two millimeters of the evidence. Lock them up in a safe place. Concerning this case, I will only point out one thing--I have yet to meet the dairy farmer who did not know the difference between a small green humanoid, a lizard embryo and a "cow pie.")
According to Sky & Telescope, Comet Hale-Bopp is set to enter the inner solar system January 8. At this point, the comet's "distance from the Sun falls below 1.66 astronomical units," (15,438,000,000 miles or 24,708,000,000 kilometers), about the orbit of Mars.
According to an article in Newsday, "Astronomer Zdenek Sekanina of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena, California, said comet Hale-Bopp 'is doing pretty well lately, as far as activity is concerned.' He added that the rate at which the comet's brightness was increasing slowed for a while 'but very recently it apparently picked up again.'"
"At present, Sekanina said, 'there have been reports of seven jets emanating from the nucleus' of the comet. And analysis of the jets suggests the comet's icy body may be rotating slowly, perhaps once every six to eight days."
There have been no further sightings of the Hale-Mary, the anomalous object reported flying in formation with Hale-Bopp during November.
Hale-Bopp is now very low on the horizon. The best viewing is in Canada and northern Europe. But Sky & Telescope has kindly provided the coordinates for this week, if any of our readers care to aim their telescopes or satellite dishes at it.
Date Right Ascension Declination January 6 18h 50.15m +6 02.2 January 8 18h 53.35m +6 35.0 January 10 18h 56.64m +7 09.3
MORE FUN UFO WEBSITES
Want to find out how the Beyond Boundaries crew made out on their trip to Mexico? Find out at Joyce Murphy's site. It's at this URL: http://rampages.onramp.net
The UFO Information Centre in the Netherlands is currently updating their site. It'll be ready in a week or so. New features include crop circles, a News page and a newsletter in Dutch and English. Try http://www.telebyte.nl/~deano/UFOIC/
Frelon Cyberspace has one of the best Link systems around. It's like a Stargate linking all of the best sites in the UFO community. Try them at http://www.clinet.fi/~frelon/ufo.html
Come and celebrate the new year at our parent site, UFO INFO! You can find it at this URL... http://ufoinfo.com/index.html
THE ROUNDUP PLEDGE
As we start the news year, once more we'd like to reiterate the Roundup Pledge. That is, our promise to you, the readers, to deliver the complete and comprehensive UFO news as quickly as possible.
Let the philosophers grope for "the truth." You readers want the facts about UFOs--who saw them, where were they seen, what did they look like--and it's our job to deliver those facts.
The Roundup will always scrupulously protect the confidentiality of UFO eyewitnesses. Your name and address will never be used unless you yourself grant us permission to use it.
Our philosophy? The same as 18th Century American newspaper editor, Isaiah Thomas, namely, "Print the news and raise hell."
We're off on another great year. We look forward to having you with us as we tackle UFO sightings throughout 1997.
Best wishes from "the paper that goes home-- UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post any items from UFO ROUNDUP on their websites provided that they credit the newsletter and editor by name and cite the date of the newsletter in which the item appeared.