June 1st, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
A week-long UFO flap in Bloomington, Indiana (population 51,646) culminated in a saucer landing the night of Sunday, May 18, 1997.
Just after 11 p.m., local ufologist John Tosti and two co-workers "were witness to a UFO hovering over an area behind the plant...He then drove to Snoddy Road on the southeast side of Bloomington and pulled over to the (road's) shoulder. It was 12:15 a.m. (Monday, May 19, 1997) when, one by one, eight UFOs 'blinked on.' John decided to elicit a response from one of these by flashing his headlights from bright to dim, on and off. Two ships began to approach his position. Not a sound could be heard as the craft moved in. The car's electrical system went dead as the object hovered overhead."
Tosti was able to "make out a disc-shaped metallic surface, with a round, smaller-section dome, and an even smaller but dome-shaped object at the very top. Emanating from the whole underneath of the object was a blue glow, which was so intense that it illuminated the roadway below. A shimmering, sparkling effect 'like shiny silver particles' could be seen in the air between the bottom of the ship and the ground. All the while, a bright white strobe light at the very top was flashing rapidly. Around the middle of section of craft was a row of square windows" showing a "'yellow to amber' ambient light within."
"With the craft now tilted slightly, John could see through some of the windows the silhouettes of several individuals with disproportionately large heads." Tosti reportedly attempted to communicate with the occupants by waving his arms, but they gave no sign of having noticed him. After deploying "two smaller illuminated spherical objects, one red, the other blue, which were 'doing figure eights'...some of the occupants stepped away from the windows, and the ship levelled itself and flew off into the sky."
Three days earlier, on Thursday, May 15, 1997, at around 11 p.m., John Tosti and fellow ufologist Lynn Taylor drove to the Morgan-Monroe State Forest, located 15 miles (24 kilometers) northeast of Bloomington to do some skywatching. "Across a field, situated on top of a ridge, was a bright yellow object. For a moment, it remained motionless above an outcrop of trees, before it rose straight up and moved out of the area."
The previous night, Wednesday, May 14, Lynn Taylor and his wife, Linda, "were returning home from town when we caught sight of another amber glowing object rising in a northerly direction between new and old Highway 37 West."
The flap began on Saturday, May 10, 1997, at 11:40 p.m., when ufologist Jim Bailey phoned Taylor and reportedly said, "Sorry for calling you so late, Lynn. We're standing outside watching three UFOs, and they're heading right towards you."
Pulling on his clothes, Taylor ran downstairs and out the back door. "There it was. I could see it through the trees as it tried to sneak by undetected. I was staring at the most brilliant UFO I've ever seen. It flickered and shimmered like a road flare. Most (UFOs) that I've witnessed have been yellow or amber in color, but this one was red/orange--actually more red than orange. It was a half-mile distant and moving at a leisurely pace."
(See the detailed report "Recent UFO Sightings in Bloomington, Indiana," copyright 1997 by Lynn Taylor, all rights reserved. Many thanks to Lynn Taylor for letting UFO ROUNDUP quote from the report.)
On Friday, May 23, 1997, at 10 p.m., a glowing blue UFO was seen by twenty people in the village of Quintas, just outside the city of Mirabela in northern Portugal. Mirabela is located in the Tras-os-Montes, about 360 kilometers (225 miles) north of Lisbon and 35 kilometers (18 miles) west of the Spanish border.
According to a local newspaper, "about twenty people say they've seen something huge, which they consider to be a UFO...in the beginning (it) had a round shape and (then) began to 'blossom like a marigold.'"
"It wasn't steady," said one witness. "It got closer, then went away around a hill, disappearing behind the hill, then appearing again."
"The locals say they were not frightened, actually describing the phenomenon as 'wonderful,' similar to 'a strong blue flash but one which did not illuminate.' According to the witnesses, the phenomenon was seen from several places in the village 'at a height of 60 to 70 meters (178 to 231 feet) and (had) a diameter of about 20 meters (67 feet)."
"The elderly explained the phenomenon from a religious viewpoint, comparing 'the light in the sky to the ceiling of a church.' Others called it 'a sign of the Lord.' Francisco Azevedo, 82 years old, claimed that he had 'never seen anything like it.'" (See the local newspaper for Coimbra, Portugal for May 23, 1997. Muito obrigado a Bruno Miguel Lopes e Luis Ribeiro para eso caso.)
On Sunday, May 25, 1997, at 8:10 p.m., a woman and two friends videotaped "a pulsating round light" in the sky about eight miles (13 kilometers) northwest of Sedona, Arizona (population 6,500). Sedona is located 105 miles (168 kilometers) north of Phoenix.
The woman, Ms. J.J.P., lives in Oak Creek. a village just north of Sedona. She videotaped the UFO over the rooftop of the house across the street. She said the UFO's diameter "was approximately half the width of the stack on top of the neighbor's chimney...Through binoculars, it looked like a flat oval. It was blue on top, yellow in the middle, and red on the bottom."
Two other people in Sedona reported seeing the UFO hovering over Coffee Pot Mountain.
At 8:46 p.m., another report came in from Oak Creek Canyon. The witness reported, "It has different colored lights on it--blue, red, yellow. It is hovering and spinning." The UFO also reportedly emitted "beams of light" aimed at the ground. (Many thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp for forwarding this report. For more on Arizona, see the next story.)
On Tuesday night, May 27, 1997, at about 9:30 p.m., a U.S. Air Force A-10 Thunderbolt II fighter- bomber crashed in southwestern Arizona. The cause of the mishap is presently unknown.
Killed in the crash was Capt. Amy Lynn Svoboda, 29, of the 355th Fighter Wing, based at Davis-Monthan Air Force Base, near Tucson, Arizona.
According to USA Today for May 29, 1997, Capt. Svoboda "graduated from the Air Force Academy in 1989. She trained other pilots at Reese Air Force Base in Lubbock, Texas before moving to Arizona for A-10 training. She had more than 1,400 hours flying jets."
"Svoboda is the second pilot from Davis-Monthan to die in two months. Capt. Craig D. Button, 32, left the training area April 2 and flew 800 miles off course before crashing in the Colorado mountains near Vail."
The human remains found in the crashed A-10 were positively identified on April 28 as those of Capt. Button. (See USA TODAY for April 29, 1997) He was laid to rest in a private ceremony on May 2 and buried on Long Island at a military cemetery in Farmingdale, N.Y. (See New York Post for May 3, 1997, page 4)
The crash was the fifth of an A-10 in nine months. Sgt. Rita Clawson, spokesperson for the 355th Wing, told USA TODAY that "the spate of crashes is 'definitely unusual.'" (See USA TODAY for May 29, 1997, page 3A)
Capt. Svoboda's A-10 was loaded with live rockets and GP (General Purpose) 82 bombs.
"'Since the first time she expressed her desire to fly for the Air Force, we have been excited for her and proud of her accomplishments,' her parents, James and Sharon Svoboda, said in a statement, 'She was a beautiful girl who loved life and flying and was very proud to serve her country as one of the Air Force's first women fighter pilots.'"
(Editor's Comment: The night before the A-10 crash, Monday, May 26, 1997, there were two reports of UFO activity in southern Arizona.)
On Thursday, May 22, 1997, at 10:30 p.m., Julio Jimenez, who resides at a senior housing complex in Newark, New Jersey (population 329,248) was looking toward the western horizon when he saw "a round bright pencil shape (cylinder) moving in and out of the clouds. The craft had multi bright-colored lights on the leading edge all the way around with a light on top." Jimenez watched the UFO for 25 minutes as "it moved slowly" through the sky. (USENET Report)
On Saturday, May 24, 1997, at 10 p.m., while watching the Memorial Day weekend fireworks display at Doreny Park in Bethlehem, Pennsylvania (population 70,419), B.J. Makwah noticed "a bright red light in the sky" about one mile (1.6 kilometers) behind the exploding skyrockets. "Crowds of people began watching the red light. The light got smaller, but you could still see it. Then it sped off really fast. This was no airplane." (USENET Report)
A report circulated on the Web last weekend, telling of three giant UFOs entering Sligo Bay on the northwest cost of Eire. The report was soon proven a hoax by Irish Fortean researcher Daev Walsh and a resident of Sligo Bay.
The hoaxer apparently based the story on a recent genuine UFO report. On May 10, 1997, at about 2 p.m., a British camera crew videotaped "a round luminous UFO" in the town of Bantry, County Cork, Eire. The film will be shown as part of an ITV documentary entitled "We Are Not Alone." The two-part show will air in Britain on June 24 and June 26 at 10:45 p.m. (See the newspaper The Examiner of Cork, Eire for May 11, 1997. Many thanks to Daev Walsh for this news story.)
On Monday, May 19, 1997, ufologists Autumn Sheppard and Robert Williams spotted a black helicopter flying over the desert near the town of Anza, California (population 75). They described the helicopter as an "oval black one, no markings, flying over at an altitude of 500 feet (152 meters)." Anza is on Highway 371 just north of the Cahuilla Indian Reservation, about 120 miles (252 kilometers) southeast of Los Angeles.
The following day, Tuesday, May 20, the couple saw "one black helicopter and one gray one" fly over, followed by a third helicopter an hour later.
On Tuesday, May 26, 1997, at 4:30 p.m., Larry Jenkins spotted a black helicopter alternately flying and hovering over a wooded area of the Nantahala National Forest, about 12 miles (18 kilometers) northwest of his hometown of Franklin, North Carolina (population 2,640). The Nantahala range is near the western border of North Carolina 297 miles (457 kilometers) west of Raleigh. Larry described it as "all black" and identified the model as a Boeing Vertol CH-47 Chinook.
On Wednesday, May 28, 1997, witnesses in San Luis Obispo, California (population 34,252) saw "a huge dull black helicopter land in broad daylight a few miles east" of the city, at the county airport. San Luis Obispo is on Highway 101 approximately 182 miles (291 kilometers) northwest of Los Angeles.
At least one "black helicopter" overflight has been identified as a United Nations mission.
"Around sunset a week ago (March 24, 1997), a squadron of black helicopters--the kind conspiracy buffs say are favored by U.N. generals bent on world domination--flew along the East River (in New York City) past the Tower of Babble (the UN Building)."
"At least one surprised New Yorker called U.N. headquarters to find out why, as spokesman Juan Carlos Brandt put it, a squadron of black helicopters, maybe with U.N. insignia, was flying in formation down the East River toward the U.N."
"The helicopters were assigned by Canada to the U.N.'s peacekeeping office and were enroute from Montreal to Port-au-Prince, Haiti, on an overland flight plan." (See the Washington Times for March 31, 1997.)
(Many thanks to Autumn, Bob, Larry and Gerard for these reports. Your email input is appreciated.)
(Editor's Comment: Stuart Bailey of Chicago pointed out this week that the black helicopter seen recently in Fresno, California may have been a Eurocopter AS365, "which has retractable landing gear and a 'shrouded' tail rotor, which means it is set in the actual tail rotor. A 'shrouded tail rotor' might appear to be 'no tail rotor' to the untrained eye.")
One of the strangest UFO encounters in Africa took place on May 31, 1974 and involved a couple, Peter and Frances MacNorman, who were driving from Salisbury, Rhodesia (now Harare, Zimbabwe) to South Africa.
About 10 kilometers (6 miles) south of Umvuma, Peter thought he saw a man on the side of the road. The entity vanished. Then, "at 2:30 in the morning (May 31, 1974), Frances saw a light off to the left side of the vehicle apparently keeping pace with them. The car lights began to fade. Other electrical equipment, such as the radio, was unaffected; all around them there was a light bright enough to cast shadows. Both Peter and Frances felt remarkably cold and wrapped in coats and blankets while they were driving."
"Peter was again driving fast, between 87-93 miles per hour (140-150 kmh) and he eased his foot off the accelerator. Nothing happened! The car continued to move at full speed, without headlights and completely out of Peter's control. He could not stop, brake, steer or in any way control the car."
Just north of Port Victoria, Peter regained control of the Peugeot 404 and stopped at a gas station at 4:30 a.m. After topping off the tank, they resumed their journey, heading for the Beit Bridge over the Limpopo River.
"During this next leg of the drive, the couple thought they might be off course because of the strange landscape around them, low bushes, high grasses, marshes and swamps...Yet again, Peter completely lost control of the car now at a speed of something like 125 miles per hour (200 kmh)...The road from Fort Victoria to Beit Bridge is very curved and twisted, but that night it was absolutely straight!"
Reaching the South African border, Peter and Frances were stunned to learn that it was 8:30 a.m. Their watches and the Peugeot's dashboard clock both read 7:30 a.m. They had experienced an hour of "missing time."
The drive from Fort Victoria to the South African border station at Beit Bridge is 179 miles (228 kilometers). After a drive like that, the Peugeot's gas tank should have been nearly empty. Peter was stunned to find it still full.
Even more amazing were the tires. Back in Salisbury (Harare), Peter had mounted four worn retread Michelins on the car, figuring to buy four new tires at a bargain price in South Africa. When he checked the tires at Beit Bridge, the retreads were gone, replaced by four brand-new Michelin steel-belted radial tires. Peter had no recollection of stopping and changing the tires along the way.
Later, the couple underwent hypnotic regression and told an incredible story of an alien "beaming into" the Peugeot's back seat, and then the car being levitated into a large silver-gray saucer. Under hypnosis, Peter claimed that he was "taken to Sickbay" aboard the saucer "for a medical exam" and saw his wife and several other humans, both black and white, who appeared to be in a trance. As he was led out of Sickbay, he saw the Peugeot in the saucer's "on-board hangar," parked between two small silver discs. The car's bonnet (hood) was up, and three or four large-headed occupants were giving the engine a tune-up. (See WORLD ATLAS OF UFOs by John Spencer, Smithmark Publishers Inc., New York, N.Y. 1991, pages 149-150)
FUN UFO WEBSITES:
Germany's UFONet has a page up and running. Check them out at http://www.ufo.ch/ufo-net/
The UFO site for Canada's Northwest Territories is now being updated. You'll find them at http://www.ssimicro.com/~ufoinfo
Dr. Ricardo D. Arca's photo of the UFO spotted at Rancho Aurora near Salto, Uruguay back in September 1996 can be downloaded at this page: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/3184/aurora.html
Don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO. They're very easy to find at http://ufoinfo.com/
For a peek at past issues of UFO ROUNDUP, check us out at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/index.shtml
That's it for this week. Here's wishing our readers in Western Australia a happy Foundation Day for tomorrow. We'll be back next Sunday with more saucer news from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1991 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news items from UFO ROUNDUP on their Websites or in news groups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date the news item appeared.