August 10, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
During the past couple of weeks, UFOs have been sighted in three provinces of Canada--Ontario, Manitoba and British Columbia.
The flap began July 15, 1997 in Parry Sound (population 5,501), Ontario (Ont.), a port on Lake Huron approximately 155 miles (248 kilometers) north of Toronto.
At about 9:30 p.m. on July 15, two Parry Sound residents "observed a 'long, pencil-thin' object floating over an island across the bay. It moved slowly for 30 seconds, then 'turned jet-black' and floated out into the sky until it was lost in the clouds."
On Thursday, July 31, 1997, at 10:10 p.m., a man in Barrie, Ont. (population 34,381), a city on the western end of Lake Simcoe 66 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Toronto, "was out setting up my telescope for an evening of observation" when "a brilliant meteor with a brilliant green trail and a trail of sparks like commercial fireworks came from magnetic south and traveled toward magnetic north, right over my house. It disappeared behind some houses and trees to the north. Total time observed--about four seconds."
"Now for the strange part," he reported, "It made a noise as it passed overhead. Not a whistle, not a whine, (but) a rushing noise, and a series of pop-pop-pop noises, like an out-of-tune car engine backfiring. As an amateur astronomer, I know meteors are usually silent unless they are bolides and explode in the atmosphere or on impact. I have seen lots of meteors before, and all were silent."
In British Columbia, a UFO was observed in Vancouver on Saturday, July 26, 1997. At 12:40 a.m., a resident living near the intersection of Boundary and Grandview Highway was "outside my house with a friend, looking to the north at the Big Dipper, talking about the (Hale-Bopp) comet and satellites." It was a "clear night, lots of stars. Saw a large dark orange object flying east to west. No sound, no lights, not an airplane, helicopter, falling star, etc. I noticed it at the one o'clock position (and it moved) to the ten o'clock position. Took about nine seconds, then blocked by trees."
Two nights later, on Monday, July 28, 1997, at 12:05 a.m., a woman standing at the corner of 68th Street and the King George Highway in Surrey, B.C. "saw a brilliant white light hovering in the southeast sky. The woman believed the object was hovering over Cloverdale. The object pulsed and faded at times, getting extremely bright (and) at other times, the size of a small star. Several unconventional movements were also observed during the 30-minute viewing."
On Thursday, July 31, 1997, at 11:15 p.m., Heather M. and her husband were on the deck of their home in Richmond, B.C. (population 80,034). "Looking up, she observed an extremely bright orange-white object shaped like a boomerang moving from the northwest to the southeast. She lost sight of it after about 10 seconds due to large trees in the area. Her dog during the sighting continued to whimper and act strangely. Other dogs in the neighborhood could be heard barking."
In Manitoba, on Monday July 28, 1997, at 1:00 a.m., a man standing near the corner of Sturgeon Road and Saskatchewan Avenue in Winnipeg (population 560,874) "observed a bright, star-like object 'due north.' It 'flashed red and green' as it 'sat for about 20 minutes' near the horizon before it descended out of sight."
On Monday, August 4, 1997, a woman in the area of Bishop Grandin Boulevard in Winnipeg "observed an object in the southeast. Initially, it was stationary, but then it moved 'back and forth' while staying in the same general area of the sky. The object, which appeared like a bright star 'with little stars near it,' did not make any other movement and was seen for at least an hour." The sighting took place at 10:15 p.m.
Two hours later, at 12:45 a.m. on August 5, a man parked in his vehicle near Archibald Street in Winnipeg, looking south, saw "a bright light source approaching from the southeast, heading northwest."
"As he watched, the starlike object suddenly seemed to grow into a 'headlight' as it changed its course slightly, first to the right, then to the left. Several other smaller lights seemed to be traveling with the main light, arranged in a triangular pattern. No sound was audible, and the witness doubted it was an aircraft because of this fact. After about five minutes, the object was lost to sight low on the horizon behind some trees and buildings."
(Many thanks to Canadian ufologists David Edward, Bill Oliver and Chris Rutkowski for these news stories.)
The Pathfinder photo mystery continued last week as UFO ROUNDUP readers reported more anomalies in the surface photos from the planet Mars.
Desiree Holloway first discovered the fact that the original high-resolution photo #81977 had been replaced at the JPL website and mirror sites with a grainy, low-resolution photo.
On Monday, August 4, 1997, Edward F. "found something interesting" at JPL's online newsletter for the Mars Pathfinder mission (see Fun UFO Websites below--J.T.) Edward reported, "You will notice the pictures jump from #81991 to #81963. In fact, a whole wack of them are missing."
(Editor's Comment: Reminds me of the Zapruder film!)
Kiko Gajse theorized that the missing Pathfinder photos "may still" be in "their browser's cache. Internet Explorer and Netscape keep all downloaded files in a cache for faster showing the next time you go to the site. Internet Explorer keeps those files in a C:\Windows\ Temporary Internet Files directory. I do not know the exact directory name for Netscape."
However, K. McLellan warns that the Pathfinder UFO photo may be a forgery. "As a graphic designer, I use computers for image manipulation every day," McLellan wrote. "Using a Macintosh computer and an Adobe photoshop...it would take about fifteen minutes to create an extremely realistic looking UFO on any one of the (Pathfinder) images sent back from Mars. It would be laughably easy."
"Then you would need to break into the Sun/NASA/ JPL/whoever site and replace the original Mars photo with the 'new and improved' UFO version, which wouldn't be extremely difficult, if you have the right background/ knowledge. Replace the photo, and presto! The official photo of a UFO now exists on the official Mars server for anyone to download--at least until the sysadmin finds the bogus image and replaces it with the original 'fuzzy' image."
Your editor visited the website at 6:45 a.m. on Wednesday, August 6, 1997. I was unable to find the alleged 28 "missing photos" (#81963 through #81991). However, I did find something odd in Pathfinder photo #82358.
The photo's caption reads, "Shows North Twin Peak in super/resolution b & w (black and white--J.T.)" The photo shows a bright white spot at the 11 o'clock position on North Twin Peak, just to the left of the mountain's summit. The "spot" appears to be in front of the peak. Also, there is a dark band of shadow beneath the "spot," which suggests an anomalous object flying between North Twin Peak and the Patherfinder's camera. Just below the "spot," on the mountain's face, is a clearly visible avalanche slide.
The Pathfinder photo at Mako's website shows an anomalous shadow falling across the lander.
Jeroen Wierda of Picard UFO Research International (PUFORI) pointed out a "bright object" in Pathfinder photo #81976, which NASA subsequently claimed was "part of Pathfinder's cone-shaped shell."
(Many thanks to all the UFO ROUNDUP readers who sent in news tips on the Pathfinder mystery this week.)
On Friday night, August 1, 1997, Fred P. was "driving west on Highway 10 from Manitowoc, Wisconsin (population 32,547) to Brillion, Wisconsin (population 2,907) when I saw something quite unusual."
"It was almost like a mini-airshow using unusual aircraft," he reported. "There were three of them. It was quite dark, and all I could see was their light pattern, illustrated below."
"Each individual craft had the above light pattern, where the X is a flashing white light, and the * are solid yellow lights...the three of them were moving quite slowly, but they did some interesting precision maneuvers." (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this news story.)
On Sunday, July 27, 1997, at 11:05 p.m., a man in Valley City, North Dakota (population 7,774) spotted "an object...straight overhead, traveling from the southeast to the northwest in a relatively straight line. The object first appeared to be a beacon or white light flashing like a rotating lighthouse at intervals, about two times every second, very bright, not a strobe but a very gradual burst of light."
"I have seen many satellites and aircraft in my years that did not look like this at all." The UFO, as it passed overhead, "changed its cadence of light every three or four seconds between 'bursts,'" repeating these changes "for nine seconds before it vanished" among the stars of the constellation Cassiopeia. (USENET report)
On Thursday, July 31, 1997, in Wenatchee, Washington (population 17,257), a small city located 147 miles (236 kilometers) east of Seattle, Krista R. "saw six or seven weird lights over a ridge...They were all grouped together in a mass for about 10 seconds, then two of them split off and zipped around the sky at incredible speed. They were much faster and stranger than any aircraft I have ever seen."
Krista "lost sight of those two, but the others continued to hover until, one by one, they descended behind the ridge. They had an odd light that came down and almost illuminated the ground below them like a spotlight."
The last light to disappear "moved back and forth," Krista reported. "I looked at it through binoculars, but it was very jumpy. It seemed to leave a red trail that appeared every few seconds. I went inside for a bit, and when I came out, it had moved to above" an aircraft warning tower. (Many thanks to Tim Hagermeister of NACOMM for this report.)
On Monday night, August 4, 1997, two men coming out of a building in an industrialized neighborhood of Gisborne, New Zealand saw a UFO "moving slowly through the sky." The witnesses described the object as looking "like a star. It was round and two or three blinding colours."
The UFO first appeared in the southern sky and came towards the men, "but not in a straight line and... appeared to be moving too fast to be a satellite." As the object passed directly overhead, "it was then lost in cloud cover." (See the Gisborne, N.Z. Herald for August 5, 1997. Many thanks to Norman Weiss for this news story.)
On Monday, August 4, 1997, at 2 p.m., air traffic controllers at Otopeni Airport in Bucharest, the capital of Romania spied "a light phenomenon" hovering near the runways.
Immediately Airport Security forces and troops from a nearby Romanian Army anti-aircraft battalion went on full alert. "A strong light was observed from the tower from 2 p.m. to 3 p.m. The phenomenon was recorded on a supervisory videocamera mounted on the tower's rooftop."
Tower staff estimated that the mysterious light hovered 250 meters (825 feet) above the ground.
The radar sets in the Otopeni tower showed no trace of any object in that part of the sky. This was Romania's second UFO incident in a week, following the recent incident at Nevelea. (Email Interview)
On July 22, 1907, at 4 p.m., Jean W. was relaxing on a chaise lounge in his backyard in the seaside village of Sainte Croix sur Mer, near Courseuilles "au bord de La Manche (the English Channel--J.T.) in Normandy.
Suddenly, looking to the south, he saw an unusual object "very brilliant with a wing much larger than normal" passing over a nearby tree. "For the most part, it is very rare to see an airplane perform maneuvers here. Also, it (the UFO) appeared to have vertical wings."
Jean watched the UFO for several seconds until "the object suddenly became invisible. I was very attentive at that point to what followed, namely, a metallic sphere which elongated and dissipated in the atmosphere, leaving behind a gaseous residue." The objects "remained perfectly silent" during the entire incident.
On Monday, August 8, 1997, at 2:20 a.m., M. Didier reached for his 7/50 binoculars, intent on doing some skywatching at his home in Lorraine. As he scanned the stars, he spotted "a strange object...the object resembled a straight line placed in front of something with very large wings."
The UFO was "quite luminous" and moved from west to east, taking 12 seconds to cross my binoculars' field of view. I observed it for 25 seconds and then it disappeared. The object was not visible to the naked eye. It traveled from the southwest to the east, at an angle 45 degrees above the horizon. The satellites Astra, Eutelsat and Telecom are only 32 degrees above the horizon," so it could not have been a satellite.
Interestingly, M. Didier adds, the following day, August 5, the skies over his hometown were filled with Mirage III-C jet interceptors from "L'Armee de l'Air" or French Air Force. (Merci beaucoup a Thierry Garnier pour ces nouvelles.)
On July 24, 1997, at 12:20 a.m., a bus carrying 42 passengers rumbled southward on the Panamerican Highway in northern Chile. The bus belonged to Buses Fenix Pullman Norte Ltda. and had left Arica at 9:30 p.m. bound for the capital, Santiago de Chile.
As the bus neared Cerro Moreno mountain in Antofagasta, a city 880 kilometers (550 miles) north of Santiago, the vehicle suddenly lost all electrical power.
"At first we thought the bus's battery had gone dead," Victor Hugo Lizama, a passenger, told local newspaper La Cuarta. "The bus was totally dead. The driver just couldn't get it started. We started looking up in the sky, and we saw four lights, three round ones, and the fourth one was a long cigar shape. All four were changing colors from violet to orange to intense silver-white."
"The cigar-shaped object moved, making an L trajectory," Lizama added, "while the three round objects stayed still. A few passengers went to a military base that's in Cerro Moreno and asked about the lights. The guards said they were just weather balloons."
A short while later, the lights abruptly disappeared. The driver turned the ignition key again. This time the engine kicked over, and the bus resumed its all-night journey to Santiago. (See the Chilean newspaper La Cuarta for July 25, 1997. Muchas gracias a Luis Sanchez Perry para esas noticias.)
Israeli police in the Negev Desert city of Beersheva are investigating a bizarre murder that took place there on July 27, 1997.
At 3:30 a.m. that morning, Said Karumi, a Bedouin Arab from Ofakim, a desert town 32 kilometers (20 miles) west of Beersheva, walked into the city's central police station with his infant son in his arms.
Pointing to the night sky, Karumi told the officers, "Aliens are after me!"
According to Israeli journalist Barry Chamish, Karumi "then exited the police station and walked to a nearby service station where he bought five shekels worth of fuel in a bottle. He continued in to an empty lot, doused himself and his son with the fuel, and ignited both."
"Said survived the flames, but his son did not. When police arrived and asked why he had incinerated his son, he just pointed to the sky."
According to police, Karumi had never been treated for a psychiatric disorder "nor was he considered mentally unwell by the Ofakim Social Services office."
The Negev desert was the site of two "alien encounters" back in October 1996. (Copyright 1997 by Barry Chamish. Many thanks, Barry, for letting UFO ROUNDUP quote from your news story.)
Two men hiking along a mountain creek one miles south of the Susquehanna River in the small town of Nisbet, Pennsylvania (population 125) spotted a Bigfoot on Sunday, August 3, 1997, at 3:30 p.m.
Nisbet is on Highway 654 about 105 miles (168 kilometers) northwest of Harrisburg, the state capital.
The witnesses described the creature as having "a sort of manlike head but with a full brown-haired body like a gorilla. The air had a foul, rotten-like smell to it. It (the creature) must have been 7 feet (2.1 meters) tall with long arms."
"We were just coming around a bend in the creek (Beaver Dam Creek) when we saw something move behind a fallen pine tree," one witness said. "We then proceeded to get a better view as to what we thought was a bear or a deer...It seemed to be kneeling down near the base of the fallen tree. It must have heard our approach because it stood up and turned towards the thick brush up the mountain 20 yards (17 meters) ahead of us and ran in an amount of only 10 or so steps into the brush. The only time we good look at the creature was when it turned around to run." (Many thanks to Scott McNabb for this report.)
(Continuing our look back at the 1909 "airship invasion" of New Zealand, we present another actual news story from the period. Again, many thanks to New Zealand ufologist Murray Bott for these items.)
On Tuesday (July 27, 1909) about 10 a.m., Mr. Allan Mitchell, son of J.R. Mitchell, of Lambourne, and Mr. Alex Riach, while working at Lambourne near the mouth of the Pomehaka River, saw high in the air apparently over Messrs. Begg Bros. at Pukepeto a large boat-shaped structure floating in the air. It appeared to be coming straight toward them, and they expected it to come over their heads in the direction of the Blue Mountains. It dipped up and down in the air with an easy motion, and they could see it easily and had a good view of it, the distance being about two and one half miles and pretty high in the air.
Their first impressions as to its shape were confirmed. It was distinctly boat-shaped and they could see on the top of it what appeared to be a long pole. It continued with a dipping and ascending motion towards them for some time and then swerved to the left and recrossed the river and headed across by Whitelea and disappeared.
(See the Clutha Leader of Balclutha, South Island, N.Z. for July 30, 1909.)
For a look at the anomalous object at North Twin Peak, go to http://www.jpl.nasa.gov/marsnews/img/july22.html. Look for Photo #82358.
Pathfinder's anomalous shadow can be seen at http://www.soltec.net/~mako.
PUFORI's copy of Pathfinder photo #81976 can be found at http://www.pufori.org/missions/mpf/images/81976_full.jpg.
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If you're in Amman, the capital of Jordan, tomorrow, join the celebration. King Hussein will be celebrating the 45th anniversary of his accession to the throne. Have fun!
We'll be back next Sunday with more saucer news. Here's wishing all our readers a safe, happy and productive week from "the paper that goes home-- UFO ROUNDUP."
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post any 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 news item first appeared.