July 13, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On June 26, 1997, at 10:23 a.m., Colorado undersheriff Brian Norton was driving on Highway 160 between Alamosa (population 6,830) and Monte Vista (population 3,902) when he spotted a "bright silver reflection" in the eastern sky, near the Great Sand Dunes National Monument.
Norton described the UFO as a silver cylinder "just like that craft that was filmed over Salida (in September 1995-J.T.) by Tim Edwards." As soon as he saw the silvery gleam, "I reached for my field glasses, and, when I looked up, it was gone."
"It either just flat disappeared," Norton said, "Or it took off real fast."
Norton's sighting took place the same day as the UFO sightings north of Las Vegas, Nevada and at the Indian ruins at Mesa Verde in southern Colorado.
According to UFO investigator Christopher O'Brien, author of THE MYSTERIOUS VALLEY (St. Martin's Press, 1996), Colorado police received "several calls" concerning anomalous lights hovering over Greenie Mountain, 12 miles (20 kilometers) south of Monte Vista during the last week of June.
Mysterious lights were also seen just south of the area in Summitville, Colorado and Dulce, New Mexico.
Summitville was the site of a cattle mutilation during the autumn of 1996, O'Brien reported. A dead cow, missing its udder, rectum and both eyes, was found "in the center of a 30-foot-wide (10 meter) circle of knocked-down grass." The animal was covered with a fine residue "like baby powder." (Many thanks to Chris O'Brien for this news story.)
California saw two UFO sightings last week, one north of Los Angeles, the other in the Sierra Nevada mountain range just east of the Nevada state line.
On Friday, July 4, 1997, at 10 p.m., several residents of Chino, California spotted "a crescent- shaped UFO" hovering over the desert community. According to ufologist Jerry Glass, "the UFO maintained a stationary position for ten minutes, then headed east. When viewed through binoculars, the witnesses stated the UFO was made up of five balls of light with golden tails."
Chino (population 40,165) is in Riverside County just south of Highway 60, about 28 miles (45 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. This case is being investigated by MUFON Inland Empire. (Many thanks to Jerry Glass for this report.)
On Tuesday, June 24, 1997, a woman driving on Highway 70, heading west from Reno, Nevada, spotted a strange object parked in a pasture near Vinton, California (population 150).
The witness described the object as "a big round thing that was a soft light pomegranate color...kinda peachy-red. It was too far away to judge actual size," but she thought it was "the size of a barn."
Vinton is located on Highway 70 in Plumas County, 10 miles (16 kilometers) west of the Nevada state line. (Many thanks to Skywatch International for this report.)
On Monday evening, July 7, the McDonnall family was in the backyard of their home in Monmouth, Oregon (population 5,594) when they spotted a gray UFO passing overhead.
"My son and his visiting cousin were taking turns jumping on the backyard trampoline," Jim McDonnall reported, "when both he and his cousin noticed an object traveling in the sky from north to south, at a position nearly directly overhead."
"Both described the object as about an inch in length when measured from the index finger and thumb at arm's length. The object was traveling near the normal flight path that planes travel when going to and from Portland, Oregon and the San Francisco Bay area."
The UFO "made no noise," McDonnall reported, "Nor did it create a vapor trail, as did the jets during the same evening. Yet it was about as high as the jets travel when taking off from Portland; between 15 and 20 thousand feet (4,545 to 6,060 meters--J.T.) We estimated the altitude of the object by the fact that it was traveling through thin, high altocumulus clouds that are normally seen at about that altitude."
"The object, as described by my 14-year-old son and his 13-year-old cousin, was metallic gray in color, shaped like a medicine capsule, and had a dark line that appeared as a band around the midsection of the object. The object, according to the two, had no wings and was traveling quite fast--about twice as fast as jets travel through the same portion of sky. They tried to call me outside to view the object as well, but it vanished from view before I could reach their vantage point."
Monmouth is on Oregon Highway 99W, about 61 miles (97 kilometers) south of Portland. (Email Interview)
A mysterious subterranean rumbling, similar to the "Taos Hum," occurred last week in Sunnyvale, California. The city (population 106,618) is located at the southern end of San Francisco Bay, about 9 miles (14 kilometers) northwest of San Jose.
On Monday night, July 7, 1997, at 11:34 p.m., Arnold Veness, 35, a database developer and consultant, was jolted out of a sound sleep "by a very deep, very low, earth rumbling sound. The vibration was not a train, not a sonic boom."
This was the second time in two months that Veness was awakened by the rumbling. He said he "goes to bed usually at 10 p.m. so I can get up to go to work at 4:30 a.m."
"The vibrations were more heard than actually felt--a long deep rumbling sound," he said, that had a duration of five to ten seconds, the same as the previous incident.
The first time he heard the "rumbling sound," he added, "I was strongly motivated to get up and look out the window." He was able to fix the exact moment of the second incident because "an electronic clock is located beside the bed."
Veness checked the U.S. Geological Survey's website the morning of July 8, but no tremors had been detected in the Sunnyvale area. (Email Interview)
On Tuesday, July 8, 1997, at 11:10 p.m., UFO researcher Lynn Taylor and his wife "were outside with a friend when I observed an orange-red object moving at a moderate speed northward, above the trees east of my house. This was a very brief sighting and the first in five weeks."
The following afternoon, Wednesday, July 9, 1997, at 2:15 p.m., Taylor received a phone call from his fellow ufologist and colleague, John Tosti. "I told him about last night's sighting, and he indicated that one of the large red ones had shown up near his house recently."
Tosti also reportedly mentioned receiving several harassment "hang-up" phone calls during the first half of June, following his close-up view of a hovering saucer in the woods near Bloomington back in May.
(Many thanks for Lynn Taylor and Skywatch International for this report.)
On Sunday night, July 6, 1997, at 9 p.m., Mrs. Julie P. "was traveling northbound on Interstate (Highway) 71, and from a vantage point overlooking Kenwood Mall (near Cincinnati, Ohio-J.T.), I was able to view a helicopter that was hovering above a neighborhood that may have been near Blue Ash."
Blue Ash, Ohio (population 5,506) is a suburb of Cincinnati located 14 miles (22 kilometers) northeast of City Hall.
"This was 45 minutes beforehand, and probably too far away to be seen from Delhi (population 8,000) but neverthless the helicopter could have traveled in that direction and presumably hovered above that neighborhood somewhere. It was dusk (8:45 p.m.) and I couldn't make out what color or any physical details."
"Again on Monday afternoon, July 7, about 5:45 p.m., I was traveling north-bound on (Interstate) I-75 and also noticed another hovering helicopter," Julie reported. "Not sure if the same. It was steadfast above some neighborhood in Reading (population 12,879). I was able to see this helicopter better, and it was a flat-black color with a larger-than-average tail-fin. It had two strobing white lights." (Many thanks to Kenneth Young of T.A.S.K. for this report.)
On Saturday, July 12, 1997, at 9:30 a.m., a man weeding his garden in the Summit section of Coventry, Rhode Island (population 31,000) heard the sound of a helicopter engine. Looking west, he spied a black helicopter flying north at a low altitude. "It looked as if it crossed Route 117 near the Connecticut state line," he reported.
The same day, at 1:30 p.m., James W. and several other people parked at a Route 14 roadside rest stop in the Oweco section of Sterling, Connecticut were startled when a black helicopter suddenly flew over a neighboring pasture at treetop level.
"It was a black Huey," reported Jim, a Vietnam veteran. "Skids, turbo engine, one strobing red light on top of the engine. Just the one chopper. It came from the east, flew past us over the pasture, and then made a 90-degree southward, heading for Voluntown. When it reached the southern horizon, it hung another 90-degree turn (east) and took off in that direction."
Seven minutes later, the black UH-1 helicopter returned and performed the exact same maneuver, as the onlookers watched. (Email Interview)
(Editor's Note: Oweco is eight miles (12 kilometers) west of Summit, R.I.)
On Saturday, July 5, 1997, Alex Maddern and his wife glanced out the kitchen window of their fourth-floor apartment in Tibbets Corner, near Wimbledon, Surrey and spotted a daylight disc in the bright, cloudless sky.
The sighting occurred at around 12:15 p.m. Maddern called it "a very strange object moving across the sky."
According to Gordon Millington, chairman of the Surrey Investigation Group on Aerial Phenomena (SIGAP), "It was travelling so fast that they only had it in view for about half a minute, until it disappeared in the direction of Kingston, Surrey. The Madderns, living as they do in the flight path of London's Heathrow airport, are very familiar with ordinary air traffic but claim that this distinctive object was outside the usual flight path and at a much lower altitude."
"They described the UFO as 'a metallic disk' with 'a highly reflective surface' like aluminum, and 'clam- shaped,' which would suggest that the disk had a raised conical central section."
"Enquiries by a SIGAP member who is also an Air Traffic Controller at Heathrow indicated that no air traffic was logged in the area at that time, and a UFO outside the normal flight paths would not have registered on the ATC equipment. It was possible that it might have been recorded on the radar tapes, but these would not be accessible." (Many thanks to Gordon Millington of SIGAP for this report.)
On Saturday, June 21, 1997, the crack aerobatic team "Los Halcones" (The Falcons) of the Fuerzas Aereas de Chile (Chilean Air Force) performed in an air show at Poso el Monte, near Iquique, a city in northern Chile.
Midway through the air show, viewers on the ground spotted "a ring-shaped UFO" in the clear blue sky above the Pacific Ocean. The UFO came closer as the Halcones pilots flew in formation.
According to Rodrigo Fuenzalida, president of Agrupacion Investigaciones Ovniologicas (AION), the well-known Chilean UFO research group, the ring-shaped UFO was captured on video by one of the onlookers.
"According to the witnesses, it looks like the same type of UFO seen in Pucon (at a similar airshow in February 1997) this summer, and it appeared when the exhibition started and left when it ended, heading north (towards Peru--J.T.)," Chilean ufologist Luis Sanchez Perry reported.
In related business, a high-ranking FACH officer told Dr. Mario Dusseul, AION vice president, that FACH pilots are under "strict orders not to report any type of sightings" and "if any (FACH) military plane observes UFO activity, they have to return to their base immediately." (Muchas gracias a Luis Sanchez Perry para esas noticias.)
Over 40 volunteers scoured the woods around West Topsham, Vermont (population 150) on two consecutive weekends but failed to find any trace of the Lear jet that vanished over the upper Connecticut River valley on December 24, 1996.
Volunteers showed up the morning of Saturday, June 28, 1997 at the West Topsham general store and community hall. "The initial search was conducted by foot, but there were plans to call in a helicopter and private planes." The search effort was "led by the families of the missing pilot and his passenger."
Pilots Johann Schwartz, 31, and Patrick Hayes, 30, missed a final approach into the municipal airport in Lebanon, New Hampshire (population 11,134) at 10 a.m. on December 24, 1996. They were told to "go around" once more by the Lebanon tower, and, as they made the circle, their Lear jet suddenly vanished from the radar screen. A thorough air-and- ground search of the region last January failed to find either the pilots or their aircraft.
"West Topsham became a focus of interest after reports that at least nine people in the area said they saw or heard the plane the morning it presumably went down."
The volunteers wrapped up their first search on Sunday, June 29, 1997. They gathered again in West Topsham on Friday, July 4, 1997 and continued the search until Sunday evening, July 6, 1997.
As of today, Sunday, July 13, 1997, Schwartz, Hayes and the Lear jet remain missing. (See the Providence, R.I. Journal-Bulletin for June 30, 1997.)
On March 27, 1997, Mark L. was walking his German shepherd dog in Billings, Oklahoma (population 632) at 6:45 p.m.
"I saw a diamond-shaped object that hovered over my neighbor's house for several minutes," Mark reported. "I couldn't do anything but stare. I was stunned. The object was about the size of a standard suburban home."
"I noticed that my dog, a German shepherd, was whimpering and then frantically trying to get away. And then my dog collapsed to the ground. Then the UFO shot into the sky at an astonishing speed, leaving behind a trail of odd strands of material. I tried to touch some, but when I did, it evaporated."
"I brought my dog to a vet, and, as it turned out, my dog had (had) an epileptic siezure (which she'd never had before). Ever since that incident, I've tried to find out more about UFOs and extraterrestrials."
Billings in on Highway 15, about 85 miles (136 kilometers) north of Oklahoma City. (Email Interview)
(Editor's Comment: Billings is also 20 miles east of Enid, Okla., a city notorious for its Fortean and paranormal events.)
In a recent story on Mamlambo, the South African river monster, your editor said the beast might be Elasmosaurus, a member of the pleisosaur family, which became extinct "50 million years ago." Well, ROUNDUP reader William Pierce called me on that one. Elasmosaurus, he rightly pointed out, existed in the late Jurassic/early Cretaceous Period and actually died out 100 million years ago. Good job, William! As for me, I'm off to summer school for a refresher course in paleontology.
Concluding our celebration of the Great UFO Flap of 1947, here's another actual news story from the period, featuring a first-person account by Captain E.J. Smith of United Airlines Flight 105, whose plane encountered five flying discs over Emmett, Idaho on July 4, 1947. Enjoy!
Seattle, July 5--(INS)--I didn't believe the stories about flying disks myself when I first heard about them. Now I don't know what to believe.
We were on our regular run from Salt Lake City to Seattle, just eight minutes out of Boise, when my co-pilot, First Officer Ralph Stevens, who was flying at the time, blinked our landing lights.
I asked him what he was doing, and he replied, "There's a plane approaching off our bow."
But a few seconds later we both decided the object was not a plane, it was a flying disk.
We saw only one of them at first, but soon four more appeared to the left of our plane, in a northwesterly direction.
We couldn't tell what their exact shape was except to notice that they were definitely larger than our plane (a Douglas DC-3--J.T.), fairly flat, smooth on the bottom and rough on top.
Just to check, I called our stewardess, (Martine) Marty Morrow to the cockpit, and simply asked her: "Do you see anything in the sky around us?"
Immediately she pointed at the disks and said, "Yes, what are those?"
That's what we wanted to know, so I contacted our ground radio station at nearby Ontario, Ore. (Oregon) and gave them our estimated direction and altitude, and asked if they could see them. They couldn't.
Shortly thereafter, the disks disappeared for a few minutes, then reappeared again. This time they were in our view for 15 minutes.
None of our eight passengers saw the disks because they were off our bow, and we didn't think to turn the plane, so intense was our interest.
It was impossible to estimate their speed or if they were moving at all. All I know is that when they did disappear, they vanished suddenly.
In all the time Ralph and I were flying during the war (World War II--J.T.), and in my 14 years with United Airlines, I've never seen anything like it.
Up until last night, we all had discounted 90 percent of the reports we'd read in the papers or heard over the radio, but now--
Frankly, I'm baffled.
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That's it for this week. Today might be a good day to avoid the bathtub, readers. Because it was on July 13, 1793 that Dr. Jean-Paul Marat, the French revolutionist, was stabbed to death in his tin tub by Marie-Anne Charlotte Corday d'Arlmont, better known as Charlotte Corday.
For ten bonus points, here's a question--What were the last words heard by Dr. Marat?
Answer: "Is that a baby porpoise, or are you just happy to see me?"***
(***Just kidding, readers. Thanks, and a tip of the saucer to stage and film actress Mae West.)
Drop by next Sunday for more saucer news from "the paper that goes home--UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post items 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.