November 2, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
On Saturday, October 25, at about 10:30 p.m., several residents of Dunedin, a city on the east coast of New Zealand's South Island, about 200 miles (320 kilometers) south of Christchurch spotted two bright white UFOs in the sky.
According to newspaper reports, "A number of people reported sighting two very bright white illuminations crossing the sky, following each other, from west of Dunedin."
The UFOs halted in mid-air "for some time and then moved off to the east, until out of sight."
"Six people contacted him (i.e. Ross Dowe of Australia's National 24-Hour UFO Hotline--J.T.) about two bright white lights they had seen about 10:30 p.m. He had not received reports from elsewhere in Otago or New Zealand, but localized sightings were not unusual based on weather conditions and other factors." (See the Otago Times of Dunedin, N.Z. for October 28, 1997. Many thanks to Ross Dowe for this news story.)
According to Dowe, after checking the NASA website, he was unable to "find any data indicating space programme activity over New Zealand at this time."
Four nights later, on Wednesday, October 29, 1997, at 9:40 p.m., Paul R., who lives in the Glenfield section of Auckland, N.Z. spotted a UFO over the large North Island city.
"I was sitting, just looking up at the stars as it was a clear night. At about 9:45 p.m., I was looking at a planet in the northwest area of the sky when my eye noticed a satellite passing by," Paul reported.
"A second later, there was a bright flash of light, brighter than the planet and closer to Earth. Then it was gone. My first thought was that it was too bright for a plane or a helicopter."
"About ten seconds later, out of the corner of my eye, I saw the flash again, only saw it was in the northern sky."
"Again it was gone, or so I thought. It blinked again but did not move. It was in the same spot. I waited, and again it flashed, ten seconds later. I went inside and reluctantly told my wife. As expected, my wife told me I was mad, and because I had just watched a programme on UFOs...well, you know the story."
"I went back outside and it was still there in the same spot. A light flash, nothing for ten seconds, then another."
"It continued to flash every ten seconds, but grew fainter (it was still brighter than the stars) and smaller each time. It appeared to be moving away in a straight line from and climbing in altitude each time, heading north."
Paul added that the UFO might have been seen by the residents of Albany, Dairy Flat and Coatesville, all northern suburbs of Auckland. (Email Interview)
The unusual dark green thimble-shaped UFO, last seen in Valley, Alabama on September 16, 1996, popped up again last week in Cannonville, a small town on Interstate Highway 85 about 60 miles (100 kilometers) southwest of Atlanta, Georgia.
The flap began on Saturday night, October 18, 1997 when a roof repairman and his wife spotted a "slow-moving strange blue flashing light hovering in the Cannonville area." According to the roofer, "the blue lights lit up a sizable portion of the sky for twenty minutes."
On Tuesday, October 21, 1997, at around 11 p.m., a group of witnesses "saw a cone-shaped UFO over Murphy Road near Cannonville." One couple told Georgia MUFON that "'The UFO had a round bottom with a rotating flashing circle of red lights. On top of the cone was an intense and non-blinking white light.'"
Another witness reported seeing "the cone-shaped UFO shoot off to the east over Hutchinson Hill Road at a speed 'greater than a commercial airliner.'"
On Wednesday, October 22, 1997, one of the previous night's witnesses and her 18-year-old younger sister reported, "It was hovering over the Cannonville Road between the church and the (Interstate) I-85 overpass to the east. The UFO was seen hovering just above the treeline and moving up and down, slowly at times."
The "Valley-type UFO" remained in the area "for over five minutes. The UFO was at its closest point at 3/4 of a mile (1.2 kilometers) away...At that distance, the UFO had the apparent size of a full-moon." (See Filer's Files #43 for October 30, 1997. Many thanks to George A. Filer and John Thompson of MUFON and independent ufologist Ken Aspinwall for this story.)
On Tuesday, October 28, 1997, Chrissy D., age 17, and her boyfriend Mike were "in a parking lot at East Gate Mall at 8:15 p.m. and saw a row of four orangish- red lights which appeared 'one at a time' but" all four lights "'blacked out simultaneously.' She said it looked as if the lights were connected by a big string." The couple was looking east at the time.
The mall is located near Williamsburg, Ohio (population 1,952), about 21 miles (33 kilometers) east of Cincinnati and just north of East Fork Lake, the site of several UFO visitations in recent weeks.
The following night, Wednesday, October 29, 1997, Ronald D. was driving on Ashton Road south of Williamsburg and east of Owensville, Ohio (population 858) when he saw "an object described as an intense bright white light which drifted up and down in a 'floating motion' due west of his vantage point. 'The object seemed to stay in the same general area and was thought to be less than a mile from his location and hovering above Sharps Cutoff Road...the object assumed a low elevation, about twenty degrees in the air."
(Many thanks to Kenneth Young, public relations director of the Tri-States Advocates for Scientific Knowledge, aka T.A.S.K., for this news story.)
On Sunday, October 26, 1997, Chicago TV station WFLD aired a segment on a UFO sighting in Porter, Indiana (population 2,488) a small town nine miles south of Lake Michigan and 27 miles (43 kilometers) east of Chicago.
According to WFLD, Christy and Tom Venandor "were in their backyard in Porter when they recorded these (video) images of a light streaking across the sky. You can see it right above the treeline. They say the light lasted for only a few seconds and disappeared without a trace."
The Venandors told the TV crew, "We saw a white dot being trailed by flames. We thought it was crackling but wasn't sure."
T.A.S.K. obtained a video copy from station WXIX-TV and is now investigating this case. (Many thanks to Kenneth Young of T.A.S.K. for this story.)
The focus of UFO action in Brazil has shifted from Sao Paulo state to the state of Bahia in the "Sertao" region of northeastern Brazil.
From Friday, October 17, through Sunday night, October 19, 1997, UFOs were reported in the skies of western Bahia state, about 320 kilometers (200 miles) west of the state capital of Salvador.
A UFO described as "an enormous flying apparition" was first seen in Dom Basilio. The object then flew west to Livramento do Brumado, where it "flew slowly over the city and was seen by several residents."
"According to the witnesses, the object was round, covered with lights, and flew very low over the region," the newspaper O Jornal da Tarde reported.
"In Riachao da Jacupe, residents sighted mysterious flying objects for 12 consecutive days. The Sociedade de Estudos Ufologicos de Lauro de Freitas (SEULF) is investigating the matter."
"According to Emanuel Paranhos, the group has also received information about mysterious explosions in Dias Davra" that may be related to the UFO sightings.
(See the Brazilian newspaper O Jornal da Tarde for October 23, 1997. Mutio obrigado a Pedro Cunha por eso caso.)
Anomalous pulsating and flashing lights were seen in the night sky over Immingham on the river Humber, in northeastern Lincolnshire, UK. The city is 80 miles (128 kilometers) northeast of Sheffield, the site of last week's UFO incident.
According to eyewitness Paul H., "At 12:05 a.m. (on Wednesday, October 22, 1997) I was alerted to two blinking lights in the western sky by my Mum, who had seen them earlier (9:30 p.m. on Tuesday, October 21). The two objects flew over our house from the east. We are on an incoming commercial flight path to Humberside Airport and are getting air traffic all the time, and it is audible. However, on this night, the lights were not audible at all, and anyway were too far away to be normal aeroplane lights. We opened the windows to try and hear them better but we could not. We were both convinced that these were not 'planes or choppers."
"Both (lights) seemed to be pulsating about three times per second (an intense blue-white light) and were slightly brighter than a very bright star," Paul added. "In fact, the night was clear, and they both appeared against a background of real stars."
"One object/light was flying in a higher but parallel corridor than the other, its light was slightly stronger than the object at lower altitude. This seemed to be the lead object."
"When both objects were well into the western sky, the higher/brighter object emitted what resembled an electrical discharge to the lower object. This incident was brief, like a bolt of lightning. This was not an optical illusion."
"Shortly after that , to the left of my field of view, a third (similar) object 'blinked' on from out of nowhere and joined the other two. Then all three of these silent lights 'danced' around each other in an aerial display, the like of which I have never seen before."
"At about 12:10 (a.m.), the lead object broke formation and flew into the west, while the 'pair' flew away quickly to the east. In flight, I detected a slight bobbing motion." (Email Interview)
On Friday, October 24, 1997, a strange news report aired on the BBC program "Look North" and also on BBC-1's "Calendar" program.
According to the report, the bodies of 26 foxes were discovered mutilated in Barnsley, Lincs., about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southeast of Immingham. The culprits have not been found. (Many thanks to P.H. for this news story.)
On Tuesday, October 28, 1997, a little before 10 p.m., a woman in Marina de Montemarciano, Ancona province, saw a glowing green UFO surrounded by a halo of the same color. The UFO "moved slowly across the sky in a vertical fashion" and finished its flight near Api di Falconara, where it made a horizontal turn southward, stopped, turned again at an angle and finally disappeared.
(See the Italian newspaper Il Resto del Carlino for October 30, 1997.)
A little less than an hour later, at 10:30 p.m., "an object of a white color" was spotted in Budrio, near Bologna. The UFO "turned sky blue and finally green, proceeded toward the south" and was lost from sight. (See the newsletter Ufoitalia by Renzo Cabassi for October 29, 1997. Grazie a Edoardo Russo per questo rapporto.)
On Thursday, October 23, 1997, the shortwave radio show Voice of Russia aired an interview with scientist/ engineer Boris Belitsky. The interviewer was Miss Esther Winters.
According to Belitsky, several UFO case files have been declassified. They were collected by the Ministry of the Interior of the Soviet Union, defunct since 1991. Several files include UFO incidents dating back over a hundred years, collected by the Third Department of the old Imperial Ministry of the Interior, which later became the Czarist secret police known as the Okhrana.
"We have sightings dating back to the beginning of the last (Nineteenth) century," Belitsky said.
On December 26, 1830, a "certain extraordinary light effect was observed in the sky by the inhabitants, police and military in the city of Orenburg," Belitsky reportedly said, calling it "a typical UFO sighting."
Orenburg is at the southern end of the Ural Mountains, approximately 1,600 kilometers (1,000 miles) southeast of Moscow.
On January 30, 1844, "a similar sighting was reported from the city of Ushtuge in central Russia. Still others were dated 1846 and 1847." (Many thanks to Ross Dowe of Australia's National 24-Hour UFO Hotline for forwarding this report.)
(Editor's Note: Checking THE COMPLETE BOOKS OF CHARLES FORT, Dover Press, New York, NY 1974, I found two mysterious "sky falls" for the year 1846. Here they are--note the proximity to Russia.
Page 59 - "That March 16, 1846 at about the time of a fall of edible substance in Asia Minor (now Turkey--J.T.) an olive-grey powder fell at Shanghai (China--J.T.) Under the microscope, it was seen to be an aggregation of hairs of all kinds. They were supposed to be animal fibers, but, when burned, 'they gave out the common ammoniacal smell and smoke of burnt hair or feathers.'"
Page 47 - "That in Wilna (Vilna), Lithuania, April 4, 1846, in a rainstorm, fell nut-sized masses of a substance that is described as both resinous and gelatinous. It was odorless until burned, then it spread a very pronounced sweetish odor.")
The August 6, 1997 video of a flying saucer over Mexico City has ufologists all over the world debating the validity of the footage.
According to Michael Hesemann, "My friends working in the tower of Mexico City (Benito Juarez) International Airport" reportedly told him that the UFO "was NOT located on radar at the time in question."
The location of the two high-rise buildings in the video have been identified. James Easton reported, "The sighting took place in the Lomas Chapultepec area of the Tecamalchaco district of Mexico City, six miles (10 kilometers) northwest of the city center, which is mostly nothing in a 20 million (population) town."
Graphic artists and UFO investigator Liz Edwards has examined the video and called one frame into question.
"On October 17, using my own formula and techniques, it became clear--to me, at least, that one of the four (frame) pictures appeared to be very different. This particular shot reacted to my experiments in a peculiar way," Ms. Edwards reported. "If you look at the enlargement, you see a 'star burst' of pixels. The enhanced 'star burst' picture shows pixilation that is questionable and raises doubts that it is authentic."
Ms. Edwards then described a process in which a saucer image could be "immersed/inserted" into video footage of a daytime street scene. Steps would include
(1) Taking the video footage of Lomas Chapultepec.
(2) Placing the footage in a state-of-the-art graphics computer program.
(3) Immerse/insert the UFO into the scene.
(4) Code the graphics program to make the UFO move.
(5) Copy the revised footage directly from the computer onto the videotape.
(6) Play the tape on a VCR.
(7) Catch the onscreen image with a videocamera.
While many debate the authenticity of the video, ufologist Liz Elders pointed out that one of the witnesses, a teenage girl, described the UFO perfectly, and she has never seen the video.
(Editor's Comment: Filming an onscreen image won't work. The result will show optical flaws. On the other hand, a hoaxer could rig two VCRs together, play the computer- altered tape on one, and record the image on a blank tape inserted into the second VCR.)
NASA will scrub the Mars Pathfinder mission on Tuesday, November 4, 1997, according to a report in the newspaper USA Today.
"Communications with the (Pathfinder) lander and its rover, Sojourner, ended Sept. 27. NASA suspects the lander's battery might have failed and cannot be recharged by its solar panels because of Martian temperatures down to minus 50 degrees (on the Fahrenheit scale--J.T.)."
(See USA Today for October 31, 1997, page A-3)
"More than 170 million miles from home in the chill, dusty badlands of the Ares Valley on Mars, the Pathfinder lander sits idle, waiting for instructions from home. About 30 feet away, the pint-size rover Sojourner, like a lost child naievely confident of rescue, is probably circling the mothership slowly, clockwise, awaiting a signal that may never come."
"The thrills of summer, when the space probes bounced triumphantly onto the surface of the Red Planet, have turned to autumnal silence, as hopes fade that communications with the intrepid robots can ever be restored."
"The last contact was on the morning of October 7. Since then controllers on Earth have almost exhausted the potential solutions, according to mission manager Richard Cook of the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in Pasadena (California). 'The odds are dimming rapidly that we'll be able to get anything back.'" (See the Washington Post for October 29, 1997.)
On November 1, 1955, astronomer Frank Halstead, the director of Darling Observatory in Duluth, Minnesota, and his wife, Ann, were traveling to California aboard the Challenger, an express train of the Union Pacific Railroad.
As the train sped across Death Valley in eastern California, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Las Vegas, Nevada, the couple spied a UFO. Here's the story in Frank Halstead's own words:
"My wife Ann was sitting next to the window and she called my attention to an object which she saw-- something moving just above the (Panamint) mountain range. Our train was running parallel to this range of mountains, and this thing was moving in the same direction as the train, just above the mountains."
"At first I thought the thing was a blimp--you know, one of those cigar-shaped dirigibles...But as I watched it, I realized that it could not be a blimp--they are only about two hundred feet long--and this thing was gigantic. It was about eight hundred feet long. I could estimate that because it was so close to the mountain range, where trees and clumps of trees were visible for comparison."
"While Ann and I were watching this cigar-shaped thing--for four or five minutes as it paced the train-- we noticed that another object had joined it. This second object appeared very suddenly in back of the first one--behind it, that is."
"It was a disc-shaped thing. In fact. both objects were very shiny, we noticed. But this second one was definitely disc-shaped. If my estimate on the size of the first object was approximately corect, then this disc would have been one hundred feet in diameter-- flat on the bottom with a low dome on the top side."
"My wife and I watched the pair of them for approximately two--maybe three--minutes. They were moving at about the speed of the train and they seemed very close to the top of the ridge--not more than five hundred feet above it, I should say. Then they began to rise, slowly at first, and a few seconds later, much faster. In a matter of seconds, fifteen or twenty, they had risen so high that we could no longer see them from our train window."
(See FLYING SAUCERS--SERIOUS BUSINESS by Frank Edwards, Bantam Books, New York, NY 1966, pages 20 and 21)
Fabrice Bonvin has a new French UFO website. Check out "Tau*Ceti" at http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Lair/4344/
Patrick Bailey just launched his UFO site. You can find it at http://www.padrak.com/ufo/WINTERS.html
Don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO. You can access the August 6 Mexican UFO video straight from there. Just go to http://www.ufoinfo.com/
For back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, try our page at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
That's it for this week. We'll be back next weekend with more saucer news from "the paper that goes home-- UFO ROUNDUP." See you then!
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 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 of issue in which the item first appeared.