June 29, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Tuesday, June 24, 1997, the 50th anniversary of the Kenneth Arnold "flying saucer" sighting, the U.S. Air Force released a new report on the Roswell incident.
In its 231-page document, "The Roswell Report--Case Closed," the Air Force stated that it had "found no evidence whatsoever of flying saucers, space aliens or sinister government coverups."
The new report is "a followup to a 1,000-page 1994 study" which claimed that "debris found in 1947 came from the crash of an Air Force (Project Mogul) balloon that was monitoring the atmosphere for evidence of Soviet nuclear tests."
"The Tuesday report was designed to answer...what Air Force Secretary Sheila Widnall called 'a complete and open explanation.' It said that as many as 67 life- sized dummies were dropped over New Mexico by high- altitude balloons between 1954 and 1959 to measure the impact of parachute falls on pilots."
"The report suggested (Roswell) witnesses confused memories of the 1947 crash with the 1950s dummies." (See USA Today for June 25, 1997, page 3A.)
While U.S. Air Force officials were busily debunking the 1947 Roswell case, several UFO incidents took place in the southwestern United States. The first of these took place at 9:30 p.m. on Monday, June 23, 1997, near Las Vegas, Nevada.
According to the AP report, Las Vegas Metro Police received "quite a few calls" from residents, who reported a giant wedge-shaped or V-shaped UFO northwest of the city, near Area 51.
"A police dispatcher who declined to give her name said she and other family members spotted the mysterious object hovering in the sky about 9:30 p.m."
"'It was like a pyramid or a V-shaped wedge, with pulsating yellow lights,' the dispatcher told the Associated Press. "It split up; then it came back together. 'We got quite a few calls on it. From all reports, it was something similar to what was seen over Phoenix'" on March 13, 1997.
"'It looked like they took the lights of a football field and put them way up in the sky,' said the dispatcher's neice, who also requested anonymity. The woman said she has never witnessed such a display in the 37 years she has lived in Las Vegas. She said her husband and three children witnessed the lights, as well. 'They were these huge round lights, like they were in formation,' she said, 'They were in a wide V-shape and they broke up and disappeared.'"
(See the Las Vegas Review-Journal for June 24, 1997. Many thanks to Jared Anderson and Errol Bruce-Knapp for forwarding the AP story.)
On Monday, June 23, 1997, Arizona ufologist Tom King and his brother, Rob, were driving back to Phoenix from Tucson, when Tom suddenly spotted a glimmer in the Sierra Estrella mountains, just west of Bapchule (population 380).
"I saw a strange object on the side of a mountain peak," Tom reported. "I pointed this out to my brother Rob, and we watched it for ten minutes. It seemed to pulse, and after viewing it for some time, we ruled out a car next to the peak, or someone holding up a large mirror reflecting the sun. What we saw was a metal object. The mountain was over 20 miles (32 kilometers) away from our position."
"After 10 minutes of watching it...the object suddenly vanished, only to reappear one minute later on another part of the mountain," he reported. "It moved over four miles in one minute...At this point we were kicking ourselves in the ass for not bringing a videocamera to work."
"We lost sight of it as another mountain blocked our view for 10 minutes...As the (first) mountain came back into view again, the object was gone. I realized we were looking at the Estrella Mountains...part of the Gila River Indian Reservation."
On March 13, 1997, Tom videotaped several glowing orange-sphere UFOs as they hovered above the Sierra Estrella range, which, he adds, "have been a hot spot for seeing UFOs for the past three years."
"Now these damn Hockey Pucks (UFOs) have us climbing mountains, looking for them," Tom commented. "What's next?"
(Editor's Comment: The late Al Jolson said it best, Tom. "You ain't seen nothin' yet, folks!")
UFO sightings are on the upswing in Colorado's San Luis Valley, with much activity taking place in Chaffee County.
On Monday, June 9, 1997, at 4:50 p.m., rancher Jim Roberts and his son, Jeff, spied a silvery disc "moving into a thunderhead cloud" near tiny Howard, Colorado (population 55). The men snapped a photo of the UFO. "The picture shows a slight outline of what may be a disc. It's hard to tell."
Four hours later, at 8:50 p.m., the Roberts men took a second photo of "a yellowish-white globe hovering over the treeline and foothills to the northwest. Moving zigzag at times and hovering. Still (photo) shows a bright white globe about half the size of the full moon. Globe is real clear with the outside edge being a little fuzzy. No structure visible. It doesn't appear to be too distant. Only a crescent moon was out on this night."
The following afternoon, June 10, 1997, a "bright silver object (was) spotted in a westerly direction, moving west about 40 miles per hour." Again the Roberts men snapped a photo. "The still shows a small white cigar. No structure (visible)."
On Friday, June 20, 1997, at 11:15 a.m., Jim and Jeff Roberts walked out of a restaurant in nearby Salida, Colorado (population 4,870) and "while walking to their car saw a very bright reflective silver disc-shaped object hovering and then banking and taking off at a high rate of speed to the west. They were able to get four other people in the restaurant (owned by ufologist Tim Edwards) to view it."
"They also described a black band around it. They saw no dome. It was hovering and banking for about 20 seconds when viewed right in front of The Boot (a terrain feature of Methodist Mountain just south of Salida that resembles a boot--J.T.) at 9,200 feet elevation. This is only two and a half miles (5 kilometers) south of Salida. The object was near a power line."
Jim and Jeff Roberts spotted their first UFO in Howard on February 20. In April, when Jeff returned to his home in Ankeny, Iowa, he and seven other witnesses spotted a hovering UFO. Tim Edwards remarks, "These guys have been like magnets lately for UFOs."
(Many thanks to Tim Edwards for this report.)
At 1 a.m. on Tuesday, June 24, 1997, Anne S. was driving home from a council meeting in Simi Valley on California Highway 14, about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Los Angeles.
As she neared the ridgeline near Acton, she "noticed on my left a large object that was streaking to earth, much like you would expect a falling star--but this was VERY large. Also, I noticed two streams of fire out the back side."
"The sky was fairly bright last night, and although the object was dark (black, it was silhouetted against the lighter night sky), it appeared to be of an unusual shape, like a crescent or simply not symmetrical. My impression is that it was a meteor, because it was irregularly shaped and there were no lights visible. There was no green color; the object was black and the fire sparks were light yellow to orange...I had clear view for about 10 seconds and it was very low as it passed over the hills. In fact, I was surprised when it cleared them."
"The trajectory was towards Elizabeth Lake, or to the north and west of where I was. It was coming down very rapidly, not like an object falling, but possibly like a meteor or an aircraft with some speed behind it. The object disappeared behind the hills to my left (northwest)." (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for forwarding this story.)
On Saturday, June 14, 1997, at approximately 3 p.m., the Simmons family was startled when "a very loud and low helicopter went over my house traveling from the south to the north."
The Simmons's home is in Streamwood, Illinois, south of Schaumburg Road, about 19 miles (30 kilometers) west of the Chicago Loop.
"The helicopter was a very dark gray, and my husband thought it might be an Apache (AH-64--J.T.)"
"Later that night, at about 11 p.m., when I went outside to move my van, I noticed an extremely bright red light to the west (near Elgin, Illinois). It appeared to be stationary in the sky," Mrs. Simmons reported. "I watched it for a moment or two, wondering why the lights were not blinking, and then noticed to the east, in the direction of O'Hare (International) Airport, an airplane making its approach. The difference between the lights was dramatic, and I noted that there were no white lights or green lights on this object...This was a very bright red light, like a Christmas light."
On Monday, June 16, 1997, at 10:45 p.m., a friend of Mrs. Simmons's, who lives about a mile away, went outdoors and "immediately noticed an 'intense' red light moving from the west to the east. The light was not as high as a satellite would be, but was definitely higher than the plane traffic. It was moving fast."
The following day, June 17, 1997, in the "early afternoon," Mrs. Simmons's friend "saw a black helicopter traveling low enough to see the pilot and moving from southwest to the northeast over Streamwood," apparently heading for Barrington Road. (Email Interview)
On Tuesday, June 10, 1997, at 3:51 p.m., witnesses in Spicewood, Texas, about 27 miles (43 kilometers) west of the state capital, Austin, sighted a flight of seven to nine black helicopters, tentatively identified as AH-64 Apaches, flying low over the Pedernales River just west of Lake Travis.
On Saturday, June 21, 1997, local residents saw "about a dozen" black helicopters of a model unfamiliar to them tied down on the tarmac at the airport in San Saba, Texas (population 2,336), 45 miles (72 kilometers) northwest of Austin.
On Wednesday, June 25, 1997, people in Oilton, Texas sighted six black helicopters--five AH-64 Apaches and one UH-60 Blackhawk--flying over the town, heading west towards Laredo. (Unsolicited Email)
On Sunday, June 15, 1997, at 9:30 p.m., Cathy C. was relaxing at her hotel suite in the resort city of Cancun, Mexico with her son, Matthew, and a fellow American, Richard H. Cancun is in the state of Quintana Roo, on the eastern tip of the Yucatan Peninsula, 1,200 kilometers (750 miles) east of Mexico City.
"Rick and I were on the balcony skywatching when something flew in front of us," Cathy reported. "My response was 'What the hell was that!?' I jumped up and ran to the edge and never took my eyes off it."
Cathy's suite was on the 5th floor of the hotel, facing the Atlantic Ocean. "It seemed to almost 'buzz' the hotel one time, as if the say, 'Look at me!' It flew in a straight line and then veered off and went straight up...As for size, I would equate it with a small military jet," and the shape "seemed to be triangular, no colored lights, just a softly glowing sphere that appeared to be in the middle section. It moved very quickly and very aerobatically."
The UFO was soon joined by three others. "We all saw the four," she reported, "My son and I stayed out watching for over three hours, and yet it felt like minutes. We had no idea we were out there that long. At times, 'they' appeared playful, as if they wanted us to watch the show. At one point they flew straight down. The distance, according to Matt, was several hundred yards...As for speed, at times they were up in the stars and seconds later, they were down in the clouds, still not ever any noise."
At one point, they witnessed "what appeared to be a falling star, but it was one of the objects followed by a stream of fire. Then both disappeared for a few seconds and then would reappear in another area close by. That happened three times."
"Also...the objects would appear to fly out into the outer atmosphere, as they would fly up and disappear, and then reappear shortly...We strongly feel that it wanted to be seen or did not care if it was seen...Time seemed to stand still. It was amazing! We will never forget that night." (Email Interview)
When a blimp advertising Whitman's Chocolates flew over Sydney and its suburbs earlier this week, it triggered a cascade of phone calls to Australia's National 24-Hour Hotline. According to hotline director Ross Dowe, his office received thousands of calls, the most ever for one night.
The blimp incident followed a month of strange sightings over the Australian states of Victoria and Queensland.
On Monday, June 2, 1997, at 7:30 p.m., witnesses in the Taylor Lakes area near Melbourne "reported sighting a cloud-like illumination stopping and then moving again towards the western sky, followed by six orange illuminations."
On Tuesday, June 3, 1997, at 5 p.m., people from Melbourne to Keilor Downs, Victoria (Vic.) reported seeing "a flouro (flourescent) white, upside- down banana-shaped illumination 'moving towards the northwest sky.'"
On Wednesday, June 11, 1997, at 9 p.m., a UFO was reported in Lindissar, on the island of Tasmania off Australia's southern coast. A resident spotted "a bright orange-yellow tubed or line-shaped object."
The following night, Thursday, June 12, 1997, at 6:55 p.m. people at Picnic Point on Queensland's "Sunshine Coast," sighted "a lime-green line with a golden football-shaped illumination halfway up the line."
Later that evening, in Rye, Vic., witnesses saw "a foggy white football-shaped object...with (a) line of light on either side of the object."
On Friday, June 13, 1997, at 7:30 p.m., local residents saw "a stationary tube-shaped illumination" hovering in the northwest sky at Lara, Vic.
On Saturday, June 16, 1997, at 11:20 p.m., witnesses at Holland Park, Queensland reported sighting "a large bright white-line-shaped illumination in the southeastern sky. The illumination was as long as a little finger at arm's length." (Many thanks to Ross Dowe of Australia's National 24-Hour UFO Hotline for these recent sightings.)
The town of Waikanae, on the North Island of New Zealand, about 30 miles (50 kilometers) north of Wellington, has been struck twice by strange meteoric bombardments this month.
During the first week of June, a strange object was seen in the southwest sky, about 5 kilometers (3 miles) from Paraparaumu, between 6 and 9 p.m.
According to local ufologist David Butterfield, "A fair number of witnesses saw it, but the paper (the Kapiti Observer) only quoted about three or four. The object was seen for maybe 30 to 60 seconds. It was approximately spherical, and changed colour from green to red, I think. The object was bright and left a trail of some description, I believe."
New Zealand's National Television played down the incident as "a meteor shower." But David Butterfield adds, "The phenomenon took out several television channels when it hit, as well."
On Friday, June 13, 1997, residents of the Waikanae Valley reported "hundreds of green and yellow illuminations crossing the sky...The lights appeared to be something entering our atmosphere and may have been from the trail left behind from (the) Hale-Bopp (comet)."
According to Ross Dowe of Australia's National 24-Hour UFO Hotline, New Zealand's "Carter Observatory advised that the showers of green and yellow light were likely to be space junk or something re-entering the atmosphere."
"Radio New Zealand reports Wellington Police as saying the biggest meteor was a large green ball of light that appeared to crash into valleys behind Waikanae. No debris have been found at this stage."
(Many thanks to David Butterfield and Ross Dowe for these stories.)
Nine people are reported dead in South Africa's Eastern Cape province, all said to be victims of Mamlambo, the river monster.
Most recently the giant reptile was sighted near Lubaleko, a village on the Mzintlava River not far from Mount Ayliff, about 176 kilometers (110 miles) southeast of Durban.
"Like many rural villages in what used to be the Transkei, Lubaleko is scattered over several square kilometers of undulating hillside country. The houses, some made of brick and others of mud, are far apart and linked only by winding footpaths. There is no electricity or piped water."
Police say the victims were drowned in the Mzintlava, which was swollen by heavy rains in Lesotho during the wet season.
"'I have seen some of the bodies of the so-called monster's victims,' Captain G. Mzuko of the Mount Ayliff Police told (the Cape Argus). 'They had all been in the water for some time and, as is often the case, river crabs had eaten away the soft parts of the faces and throats. In one case, the crabs were still clinging to the body when it was brought in. As far as we are concerned, there were cases of drowning, plain and simple.'"
"But to the people of the village, the mutilation just proves the monster's existence. 'It eats their faces off and sucks out the people's brains,' said an elderly Mr. Matshunga, walking the lonely track with his dogs. 'It is a big snake, and I have seen what it does.'"
Witnesses describe Mamlambo as being about 20 meters (67 feet) long, with short, stumpy legs, a crocodilian body, plus "the head and neck of a snake, and it shines at night with a green light."
"A group of women returning from a meeting at the village school assured (Cape Argus reporter David Biggs) that the monster was real."
"'We are not just ignorant, superstitious people,' they told me. 'We are teachers. Educated. And we know that the monster is there. That is why we do not cross the river any more."
"Mthokozisi Sigcobeka (age 6) says his father was eaten by the monster. When he's older, he plans to get a gun and hunt it." (See the Cape Argus of Capetown, South Africa for May 16, 1997. Also the Johannesburg Star for April 30, 1997.)
(Editor's Comment: From the description, Mamlambo sounds like Elasmosaurus, a member of the plesiosaur family. Trouble is, Elasmosaurus became extinct during the Jurassic Period 50 million years ago. Imagine the novel Ernest Hemingway would have written if he had lived to join this safari!)
As we continue our celebration of the 50th Anniversay of the UFO Flap of 1947, here's another actual AP news story from the period:
Spokane, Wash., July 5 - (AP) - Eight flying saucers were reported today to have made a landing on a mountainside near St. Maries, Idaho in full view of 10 persons.
Mrs. Walter Johnson of suburban Dishman said the saucers came down in timber there Thursday evening (July 3, 1947) but had not been reported until she returned to her home in Dishman today.
The saucers were seen to fall near Butler's Bay on the St. Joe River six miles (9 kilometers) west of St. Maries, where Mrs. Johnson was visiting her parents.
She said they came into view at an extreme speed, traveling from the south to the north. Suddenly, they slowed, she said, and then "fluttered like leaves to the ground."
"The mysterious part was that we couldn't see them after the landing," said Mrs. Johnson. "We could see them flutter down into the timber, yet we couldn't see that they did anything to the trees."
Both the CAA (now the Federal Aviation Administration) and the Army Air Corps (now the U.S. Air Force) officials were notified of the incident but no immediate plans for an air search of the area were announced." (See the Providence, R.I. Journal for July 6, 1947, page 3.)
(Editor's Note: On July 3, 1947, a silver disc with a small dome on top flew over Vassouras, a small city about 40 kilometers (25 miles) northeast of Rio de Janeiro, then the capital of Brazil. Among the witnesses was a young woman named Irene Granchi, who went on to become the "mother of Brazilian ufology.")
This week, the word is ROSWELL. For a look at the "crashed saucer" issue of the Roswell Daily Record, complete with colorful graphics and music, visit this site: http://www.sierra-vista.com/roswell.
Don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO, at this URL: http://ufoinfo.com/
For back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, drop in at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/index.shtml
That's it for this week. If you're one of the thousands heading to Roswell, New Mexico for the gala celebration of UFO Encounter 1997, try to pick up some extra canteens and stock up on water for your campsite. You can dehydrate very quickly under that July sun.
Meanwhile, we'll be back next Sunday with more saucer news from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post any news item from UFO ROUNDUP on their websites or in newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of issue in which the item first appeared.