July 20, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Tuesday night, July 1, 1997, residents of the rural district of Nova Brasilandia, located in the Brazilian state of Mato Grosso do Sul, saw "an incandescent object" in the sky. The object crashed close to Teresopolis, a town near the Rio Sao Manuel, approximately 300 kilometers (180 miles) north of Cuiaba, the state capital.
Isaias Rezenda, a former state representative for Mato Grosso do Sul, told the newspaper Correio Braziliense on a ranch belonging to Divino Fogoio. On Monday, July 7, 1997, two journalist teams tried to enter the property, but were warned off by Sr. Fogoio, who reportedly "told them he could allow access only to personnel authorized by Brazil's federal government."
"Sr. Fogoio, however, confirms the reports from people who saw an incandescent object coming in over the region, causing a 'tremendous bang' that not only shook his house but also was heard at a distance of of over 100 kilometers (60 miles)" in the Serra do Cachimbo.
According to the newspaper Jornal do Brasil of Rio de Janeiro, "Many people told of having witnessed the incandescent object coming in over the region, producing 'a great bang'...The farmer (Divino Fogoio) said he had observed the object for six minutes before it crashed."
"The vaqueiro (cowboy) Gilberto Braga, who lives in Nova Brasilandia, was the only one who had the courage to touch the object. 'It seems an iron ball, bigger than a tractor, that released an odd smell,' he said."
"Residents of the region are concerned about a possible contamination of the herds or of the population who lives at the riverside by the UFO. The crash site lies along the banks of the Rio Manso."
"'It was a disc-shaped object, with an intense light,' said Claudio Picci, Nova Brasilandia's municipal Secretary of Industry and Commerce."
On Tuesday, July 8, 1997, an investigative team from AMPUP, a paranormal study group based in Cuiaba, arrived in Nova Brasilandia. AMPUP vice president Marcy Monteiro Neto interviewed several witnesses. According to her report, the ranch's overseer "didn't stand very long close by (the UFO) due to the intense smell. He also said the object is black, whether it's metal or concrete is not known, and it is the size of a truck."
A crew from Gazeta TV attempted to enter the Fogoio ranch on July 9 and was turned away by Brazil's Policia Militar. An aircraft hired by Globo TV, Brazil's largest network, overflew the property later in the day. (See the newspapers Correio Braziliense of Brasilia, D.F. for July 9, 1997 and Jornal do Brasil of Rio de Janeiro for July 9, 1997. Muito obrigado a Paulo Andrade por eso caso.)
Hundreds of eyewitnesses living in suburban Illinois and Missouri communities around the city of St. Louis reported sighting a "bright blue UFO" the night of Friday, July 4, 1997. The sightings took place between 9 p.m. and 10 p.m.
Eyewitness Jonathan J. of East Carondelet, Illinois reported, "While we were shooting fireworks, we looked up and saw a blue light traveling very quickly (from) East to West. It was very high, but at the same time, it appeared to be right on top of us. I asked who it was who had shot that, and nobody had launched anything."
"Besides, it had way too much altitude, and was coming from an impossible direction to have been launched by us...I walked out onto the driveway, looking West, and realized that no neighbors were out. And even if they were, they'd be way too far away to have fired a rocket that high...No noise was noted. Almost my entire family saw it." (Email Interview)
UFOs paid a return visit to Arizona on Friday, July 11, 1997, triggering a three-day flap in metro Phoenix, Glendale and Tucson.
During the evening of July 11, 1997, Erin L., age 19, and a friend were at Vista Point, near Lake Pleasant Harbor and Glendale (population 96,988), "relaxing and looking for meteors while sitting on top of our car. A huge triangular object with several very dim reddish-orange lights passed directly over our heads, making absolutely no noise and no vibrations. We were very scared. It was going at a steady speed, but not very fast, maybe 25 to 30 miles per hour. Anyhow, it was much too low and not well lit enough for any airplane at that height. But then, the strangest thing was how it sort of jolted, then shot off and disappeared."
On Saturday, July 12, 1997, at 8:30 a.m., a teenaged boy in Tucson saw a UFO in the sky while he was standing at the corner of Ana Road and First Street. He described it as "a round shape, with lights--orange, yellow, white--moving very, very fast." (Email Interview)
Skywatch member Jeff Ferris took his new videocamera to a friend's house in Scottsdale, after the friend reported "that the UFOs were flying over his neighborhood. Ferris shot footage on both Friday and Saturday, July 11 and July 12. Channel 10 News showed up to investigate and captured two of the UFOs on videotape.
According to Phoenix ufologist and videographer Tom King, "There were multiple objects in the sky. Some were explained as grocery bags; others are simply unexplainable at this time. The white and yellow objects were at very high altitude, and some were at twice the altitude (70,000 feet or 21,212 meters--J.T.) of local commercial aircraft."
Another Skywatch member, Casey Smith, had a scanner operating "and we heard Sky Harbor Airport report that they had an object at 4,000 feet that hadn't been identified. It was heard by several people, including the media who reported on it."
According to ufologist Bill Hamilton of Skywatch International, on Sunday, July 13, 1997, the entire Arizona Skywatch team had a meeting at Village Labs and reviewed "daylight video of objects over Thomas Road in Phoenix. They took a local Channel 10 crew out to the site that afternoon, and the news crew taped an object with their Betacam that appeared as a round white object at high altitude."
On Monday, July 14, 1997, local residents were surprised by what they called "a stakeout" staffed by Men In Black (MIBs). The incident took place just off Interstate (Highway) 10, at a portion of Sky Harbor Airport near 40th Street. Witnesses reported that the MIBs were "unloading from a Boeing 747. They were putting equipment and boxes on a bus similar to a Greyhound. The bus was white with a red stripe running lengthwise around the vehicle." (Many thanks to Bill Hamilton, Tom King and others for these reports.)
Last weekend, at the same time white UFOs were flying over Arizona, radio station WGST in Georgia reported "a UFO being seen for the last few nights" over LaGrange (population 24,204), located on Highway 29 near the Alabama state line, approximately 64 miles (102 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta.
Morning deejay Ian Ponnet reportedly interviewed the captain of the LaGrange P.D. about the incidents. The UFO was seen to hover "for an extended period of time." On the night of Sunday, July 13, 1997, the object "appeared to hover at an altitude of approximately 10,000 feet (3,030 meters). It was substantial in size and had the same characteristics (V-shape plus lights) of the UFOs recently sighted in Phoenix. It was reportedly seen by thousands of people."
On June 24, pilot Jerry T. encountered unusual phenomena while flying over LaGrange. He reported, "While flying VFR (Visual Flight Rules--J.T.) at 5,000 feet in clear air under a perfectly smooth heavy overcast layer at 8,000 feet, I saw what appeared to be five holes in the clouds approximately five miles east of LaGrange. The holes were perfectly round and approximately 300 yards (900 feet or 270 meters) in size. Below each cloud was a residue of cloud that was very thin and transparent. It appeared to me that something punched downward, creating the hole and pushing some of the cloud vapor with it." Jerry ruled out air turbulence, pointing out that "turbulence, depending on altitude, would cause the clouds to mix, erasing the hole. These opening remained intact for more than half an hour." (Email Interview)
On June 29, 1997, several motorists were driving south on Interstate Highway 5, south of Los Banos, California (population 10,341) at 11:30 p.m.
Suddenly, "we saw what we thought was a (Boeing) 747 coming in at a high rate of speed straight for the ground," Mr. W. reported. "We slowed down, as did the other cars on the road, and waited to see the fireball. What actually happened was, the craft headed toward the ground...and incredibly...pulled straight back up!"
"We were amazed and continued to watch...we were all freaking out and couldn't believe what we'd seen. We continued to watch, and the craft started to veer towards the highway. We were all terrified, still thinking it was some sort of weird jetliner that was going to crash."
When it came toward them, the trio "could see that this thing was MASSIVE, and it had three huge white lights that were almost blinding to look at. We all kept saying it wasn't an airplane because it didn't have a tail, and it didn't have any red flashing lights...We thought sure that thing was going to fly right over us, but instead it turned up (banked--J.T.) so that the huge white lights were vertical, did a 180-degree turn, and zipped off at an incredible rate of speed."
Los Banos is in Merced County, 112 miles (179 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco.
(Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this news story.)
On Monday, July 14, 1997, at 1:07 a.m., five members of Groupement des Ufologues Independents de l'Est (GUIDE) spotted a UFO while on a skywatch at Chateau-Salins in eastern France.
Chateau-Salins is a small town 30 kilometers (18 miles) east of Nancy, in the department of Moselle.
The UFO first appeared looking like "a satellite" in a "a slightly covered (overcast) sky but without storm." After flying in a straight line, the "sphere of light" began to approach the five GUIDE members. The object hovered "above a group of trees around 50 meters (165 feet) from the observers.
"The sphere of light, the size of a fist at the end of a man's arm, disappeared in a sheaf of light that illuminated all of the area, blinding the witnesses for several minutes."
A subsequent search by GUIDE found that "no plane, either civilian or military, had been in the area at the time of the observation." (Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer of GUIDE pour ces nouvelles.)
Between Sunday, July 13, and Thursday, July 17, 1997, numerous residents of Gippsland in Victoria (Vic.) state, Australia reported "brimstone and orange" fireballs hovering near the Omega antenna array in the Bairnsdale and Lakes Entrance districts.
On Thursday and Friday nights, July 17 and 18, people in Shepparton, Vic. "reported sighting up to five brimstone/orange lights holding position over Radio Australia's transmitter site at Congupna, and then flew off to the east."
On Friday, July 18, 1997, at 11:25 p.m., local Ambulance personnel reported seeing "bright red/ orange lights above the Radio Australia tower" at Congupna. Radio Australia staff said that they "didn't think the lights were associated with their 600 kilowatt transmitter." (Many thanks to Ross Dowe of Australia's National 24-Hour UFO Hotline for letting us quote from his reports.)
On Wednesday, July 9, 1997, farmer Paul Bryan made an astonishing discovery on his 15-acre oat field in Lawrence Township, New Jersey. Three crop circles had appeared.
According to the UPI report, "One large circle about 100 yards (97 meters) long, appears in the center of...the field. To the sides of the circle, two straight lines point to smaller circles."
On Sunday, July 6, at 6:30 a.m., farmer Gary Hansen discovered crop circles in his barely field on Highway 91 just outside of Smithfield, Utah (population 4,993). Hansen's 750-acre field contained barley 2 and 1/2 feet (0.7 meters) high. Smithfield is in Cache County 86 miles (137 kilometers) north of Salt Lake City.
According to the Salt Lake Tribune, "Hansen's daughter, Maegan, 15, said drivers have been pulling off the highway since Monday afternoon (July 7). She said people are taking pictures of the circles or standing at the center of the larger one, presumably for cosmic enlightenment. 'We've had to put up No Trespassing signs,' said Maegan."
"She said there are two unusual things about the circles. First, when a visitor to the site opened his compass, the needle started to spin wildly. Second the rocks within the circles have not been disturbed as one would expect if something were dragged over them, such as a board or rope."
"Maegan's brother, Dustin, said the stalks in the circle were laid down perfectly. 'It's amazing the way it's made,' he said, 'Every grain piece is laid in a perfect spot. No kernels broken. If you step on it, the kernels are (normally) crushed."
"Gary Hansen is also mystified, saying that he has never seen anything like it."
"He refused to guess at the cause of the circles, but called them a 'mess' that has cost him about $500 in trampled grain."
"'My friends think it's all pretty weird,' said Maegan, 'They call me the Alien Girl.'"
Last year, on August 23, 1996, a crop circle appeared on Seth Adler's farm in Providence, Utah, 15 miles (25 kilometers) south of Smithfield. (See the Salt Lake Tribune for July 10, 1997)
On Friday, July 11, 1997, Nick Bartlett and B.J. Kruse, both 15, discovered crop circles in a wheat field south of Waverly, Nebraska (population 1,726). Waverly is 38 miles (61 kilometers) southwest of Omaha and 13 miles (20 kilometers) northeast of Lincoln, the state capital.
Bartlett and Kruse "said there were no tracks leading to the crop circle when they went out Friday morning to investigate. Bartlett first noticed a depression in the wheat field on July 6 and told Kruse about it. But both were out of town for a few days so they didn't look into it immediately."
"Bartlett said, "I couldn't believe how perfect the circles were.'"
"The teenagers described the configuration as a big F or a big key. The largest circle is about 40 feet (13 meters) in diameter and the smaller one is about half that size. The crop circle is just off a dead end street."
On July 22, 1996, Kelly Reiser discovered a crop circle just southwest of Butte, Nebraska in Boyd County. Butte (population 529) is 180 miles (288 kilometers) northwest of Waverly. (See the Lincoln, Nebraska Journal-Star for July 12, 1997)
On Tuesday, July 8, 1997, residents of Hooghalen, a town near Drenthe in the Netherlands found 15 crop circles in a rye field.
The formation was investigated by Hilda Musch, 31, a ufologist with UFO-AID of Sappemeer. The crop circles measured 7 to 8 meters (21 to 25 feet) in diameter. Ms. Musch also discovered "in one of the circles...a mysterious white powder on the plants."
The powder is being tested at a Dutch laboratory on behalf of the Centre for Crop Circle Studies in Drenten.
Ms. Musch said, "We're talking about a very unique formation. This compares well with the big complexes that have been found in England. This could be a hoax, but the rye is unwalked upon. It's for certain that these circles were made by an intelligent life form." (See the Belgian newspaper Het Nieuwsblad for July 11, 1997)
On July 12, 1997, the Toronto Globe and Mail reported, "People in communities around Lake Manitoba (in Canada's Manitoba province, north of Winnipeg--J.T.) are buzzing about a 15-metre (50 feet) snake-like creature, with a head like a horse, that was supposedly shot and spirited away under cover of darkness recently."
Manipogo, as the monster in Lake Manitoba is called, is commonly sighted during the summer months. He made several appearances between 1960 and 1967, mostly at Toutes Aides, Man. in the northwest corner of the lake.
The shooting incident was first reported on Thursday, July 10, at the Sandy Bay Indian Reserve, north of the city of Portage La Prairie (population 12,535).
Manitoba ufologist Chris Rutkowski and two Fortean researchers from Brandon, Man. investigated the case.
According to Rutkowski, he received a phone call, informing him that "someone named R. on the Sandy Bay Reserve had shot and killed 'a giant snake' near Lake Manitoba. He said that many others had seen this creature, and that its body was now being preserved and awaiting examination by the authorities."
"I called my associates, Brian and Dave, in Brandon, somewhat closer to Sandy Bay. They are avid Fortean investigators, and I rely on them to investigate cases in Western Manitoba."
"In the morning, I called the Sandy Bay RCMP (Royal Canadian Mounted Police--J.T.) and spoke with another officer who said she knew about the story but that the duty sergeant was out at the time. It seems that a tremendous thunderstorm was hitting the area and was keeping the police busy with other problems."
From his calls, Rutkowski learned that a man named Roulette "had been swathing hay on his lakeshore property near a swamp when he saw a large snake-like creature near the shore. He quickly dashed to his truck for his rifle and shot the creature as it was rearing out of the water."
"Roulette then dragged the monster's body out of the water and ran to notify others of his find. According to A., 'half the town' came out to view the creature, and some took photographs of it. But the story gets better."
"As the tale goes, RCMP were called and came out within a short time. They examined the carcass and called for a large flatbed truck transport. Villagers watched as the creature's body was loaded onto the trailer and covered with a tarpaulin."
"As described by A., the creature was 50 feet in length, with the diameter of a barrel and 'a head like a horse.'"
"B. said he and A. went out at 1:30 a.m. that morning to see if they could intercept the transport on its journey southward...They said they saw a Westway trailer leave the reserve and go south along the main access road about that time."
Rutkowski tracked down another witness he calls K., who told a radio station reporter "he had seen the creature's body and that someone had indeed taken photos." But K. had also "acted weird" and didn't want to be interviewed.
Rutkowski also heard a radio interview with "Sgt. W." of the Sandy Bay RCMP detachment, who reportedly said his men "could not find any sign of a carcass on the lakeshore. He said that he had been unable to locate anyone who had seen the beast and that he compared the story to that of a 'six-foot bird' (an escaped emu--J.T.) which had been reported six weeks ago in the area."
Meanwhile, Brian and Dave visited the Sandy Bay reserve and spoke to several RCMP officers and village residents. Rutkowski said, "They had come to a conclusion. There had been no monster. What had happened, in their view, was that there had been a major drinking party along the lakeshore last night, and people got a little drunk. It seems that there had been some stories circulating during the past few weeks that someone had in fact seen Manipogo, but wasn't talking."
Sgt. Clayton Watts of the Sandy Bay RCMP told the Canadian Press: "Everybody you talk to has a different story."
But Rutkowski said that "a few things are still left hanging. Why did the RCMP (first) tell Dave and Brian that the case was legit? And what about the story that someone really did see a lake monster earlier this month?" (See the Toronto Globe and Mail for July 12, 1997. For the full text of Chris Rutkowski's report on the Manipogo incident, see Swamp Gas Journal #8, Special Report #6, July 1997.)
(Editor's Note: This isn't the first paranormal incident at the Sandy Bay Indian Reserve. In August 1982, Don Cunningham, a constable for the Lakota-Anishinabe Tribal Council, his wife and his children spotted a reddish-brown Bigfoot with some white fur on its head. The creature left behind tracks measuring 16 inches wide that 'looked like a human hand.)
Eighty-eight years ago, New Zealand was repeatedly visited by UFOs, then known as "airships." Thanks to New Zealand ufologist and longtime ROUNDUP reader Murray Bott, we are able to present actual newspaper stories from this little-known flap.
On Saturday night (July 24, 1909), some half dozen boys were playing on the beach at Kaka Point near Mr. Bates (residence) and saw a huge illuminated object moving about in the air.
It appeared as if it was going to alight at Kaka Point. The light from it was distinctly reflected on the roof of Mr. Fitzgerald's cottage. They boys thought it was being attracted by their lantern and left it on the beach. The airship then glided around the rocks at the old pilot station and nearly came in contact with them. It shortly afterwards disappeared. The boys said it was as big as a house.
On Sunday night (July 25, 1909) the mysterious object again made its appearance at the beach and was seen by Mr. George Smith and Mr. Poulter about 8:30. Mr. Smith viewed it through a very powerful night glass. It was apparently over Mr. Aitkenhead's house when he first saw it, but it glided high in the air and sailed north in the direction of Kaitangata, swooping west and east and finally disappearing over the horizon.
About 10:30 Mr. Smith was called out by Mr. Poulter to see the airship which again had made its appearance. This time it headed out to sea and eventually disappeared. As seen through the glass, Mr. Smith said it appeared to be a fair size, dark superstructure with a powerful headlight and two smaller ones (lights) at the side.
(See the Clutha Leader of Balclutha, South Island, New Zealand for July 27, 1909.)
For a look at photos of the red-orange UFOs seen at Congupna in Australia, check out Ross Dowe's site at http://www.netlink.net.au/rossdowe/index.htm
Don't miss Minnesota MUFON's site. Joel Henry keeps it up to date with news and features. They're at http://www.wavefront.com/~jhenry/index.html
Not to be missed is our parent site, UFOINFO. Check in at http://ufoinfo.com/
And for back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, check us out at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup/
For our readers in Russia, enjoy International Chess Day today. We'll be back next week 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 items from UFO ROUNDUP on their websites and in newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and include the date of issue in which the item first appeared.