November 16, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Thousands of people in the USA's Pacific Northwest region watched Friday night, November 14, 1997, as mysterious bright lights slowly crossed the night sky.
The lights were first spotted at 9:06 p.m. Pacific time on the western horizon. One witness, David Way of Keizer, Oregon, said, "It was the most bizarre thing I've ever seen. It looked like something out of Star Trek." (See the Salem, Oregon Statesman-Journal for November 15, 1997)
The National UFO Reporting Center in Seattle, Washington was bombarded with thousands of phone calls from eyewitnesses.
NORAD and the U.S. Air Force said the "lights" were debris from a Russian SL-12 space rocket "burning up as it reentered the atmosphere."
"Whatever was left of it fell safely in the Pacific Ocean off the coast of Washington, said Milt Maas at the National Weather Service in Spokane," Wash.
(See the Providence Sunday Journal for November 16, 1997, page A-3)
Yet eyewitnesses from Bellingham, Washington to Sacramento, California reported seeing the "bright lights" cross the vault of sky from west to east.
In Seattle, videotape of the lights was aired on all three network affiliates--KOMO, KIRO and KING-- at 11 p.m. the night of November 14. According to one viewer, Glen Boyd, "Video I saw showed a large array of lights with trails behind them, traveling across Puget Sound."
The lights remained in view from 9:06 p.m. to 9:17 p.m., a total of 11 minutes. Much too slow to be conventional meteors or "space junk."
According to Skywatch International, "At approx- imately 9:15 tonight, a formation of as many as twenty lights traveling from west to east was seen by thousands in the Pacific Northwest and Seattle in particular."
Witnesses watched the event from Alki Beach in West Seattle, on the shore of Puget Sound. One man reported, "The objects to be looking like 'sparks coming out of a Roman candle' but traveling slowly across the horizon," adding that "the objects traveled in a line and appeared so close he thought 'they were going to crash in downtown Seattle.' He also said he could see smoke coming from the objects. Some reported seeing 'a large triangular-shaped craft.'" (USENET Item)
One caller telephoned the Art Bell radio show and reported seeing "wreckage" in Ellensburg, Washington (population 12,361). Ellensburg is on Highway 97 about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast of Seattle.
According to John Erickson of the Paranormal Times, in Portland, Oregon at 9:10 p.m. "one adult, two 13-year- olds and one 8-year-old in a car (plus many others in the state) all saw a cluster of white blinking lights moving slowly near the intersection of Interstate (Highway) 5 and Ballinger Way (NE 205th Street). The lights were blinking slowly. It looked like a mass of brighter and dimmer stars."
Oregon witnesses heard no sound associated with the overflight. "There were dim trails after the objects."
(See the Paranormal Times for November 15, 1997)
In Klamath Falls, Oregon (population 17,737), witnesses described "three large objects" covered with "blinking lights" moving slowly from west to east.
In Sacramento, California (population 369,365), witnesses reported seeing "a bright light streak" in the northern sky.
Friday night's overflight was the biggest mass sighting of anomalous lights in the night sky since the March 13, 1997 event in Arizona.
More UFOs were reported in France this week, with sightings taking place all over the nation.
On Sunday, November 2, 1997, at 8:10 p.m., Anne- Marie Bousquet "was in Le Vernet, near Barantan, (department Allier--J.T.) in the company of my mother. We looked up into the sky nonchalantly at this moment and the sky was clear. That was when we saw flying very high a luminous ball of a whitish-blue color."
"It appeared suddenly, and its disappearance took place after two seconds. This was not a meteorite. It was much bigger, more voluminous, an object perhaps 5 millimeters long if held at arm's length. It was moving very rapidly. The movement was from the zenith northeast to east. It appeared to extinguish itself just above Busset."
That same night, November 2, 1997, at 8:15 p.m., Guillaume L. "was at Quissac, near my parents' home, when I observed a light on a nearby hill. At first, I was astonished to see a streetlight at this deserted place. The light was perfectly immobile."
"All at once, the light departed very quickly in the direction of Montpellier, turning to the south-southeast, and I heard a distinct whistling sound that began with the OVNI's (French acronym for UFO--J.T.) movement."
"Suddenly, while it seemed to be in flight toward Montpellier, it moved up, i.e. to say, vertically, following an instantaneous right-hand turn, at fantastic speed. It was extraordinary! It could not have been an airplane, a helicopter or a meteorite. Impossible! I am absolutely certain that it was an OVNI. Before I had no belief in them, but now I know they exist." (Merci beaucoup au Banque OVNI et Marie Franck pour ces nouvelles.)
On October 10, 1997, at 11:30 p.m., Antoine D. was at his home in Grandvillier, adjusting his telescope when he noticed "a bright point flying from north to south."
Grabbing his binoculars, he glimpsed "a luminous glow" that soon "had taken the form of a nearly flat disk of a vivid white color." He adjusted the binoculars from zoom to 20X and watched as the UFO "flew a perfectly rectilinear path" making "such a turn at the vertical that I could barely follow it." The UFO darted off "in a surprising acceleration and disappeared to the south." (Merci beaucoup a Thierry Garnier pour ces nouvelles.)
On October 14, 1997, "a Livingston woman froze with terror after spotting a strange light coming from the sky in Nigel Rise, Dedridge" in Scotland.
"'I've never seen anything like it,' said the 31-year-old woman, who prefers not to be named. 'People have told me that it must have been a laser light, but you don't see laser lights like this--it lit up the whole side of the house in front of me. It absolutely wasn't lightning, and it came on and went off a couple of times,' she added, 'Strangely, two planes came over, and when the planes were there, the light went off.'" (See the Herald & Post for October 16, 1997.)
"An Eilburn woman has reported seeing the strange light which was spotted over Dedridge last week."
"'I was gobsmacked,' said the 27-year-old mum, who asked not to be named, 'When I read about it in last week's Post, I told my husband, 'That's what I saw.''"
"She spotted the light at 4:30 p.m. (October 14) while walking across the footbridge between Ladywell and Craigshill. 'I do a lot of stargazing,' she added, 'And I know for a fact that it wasn't a satellite, although it did look a bit like one. It was very slow-moving in the sky and about the size of a football. It had a very subtle blue light and reminded me of a Trelar mint. It looked like it was straight above Dedridge." (See the Herald & Post for October 23, 1997. Many thanks to the U.K. UFO Network for sending these news stories.)
Bonnybridge, the center of Scotland's UFO flap during 1995 and 1996, was the site of a new encounter at the end of October 1997.
On October 21, 1997, the Malcolm family, who lives near a hillside Roman fort overlooking Bonnybridge, saw "a spinning UFO" hovering outdoors at 7:25 p.m. Aiming his videocamera at the object, Mr. Malcolm caught it on tape. Two minutes later, the sky was filled with "hyper-jumping, laser-like bursts."
On October 23, 1997, at 6:48 p.m., the same "pulsing, erratic, hyper-jumping lights" again appeared.
A friend of the Malcolm family, who declined to be identified, was driving from Bonnybridge to Larbert when she saw "two large orbs of light and a smaller probe-like orb. They merged together into one large mass. She drove fast to get to the Malcolms' house to alert them, but Mrs. Malcolm had seen the event from the front of her house and was pumping the horn of a parked car to alert" her husband.
At 6:51 p.m., videocamera in hand, Mr. Malcolm taped the "large mass of light." On the video, "in slow motion, it can clearly be seen to spin and can be compared to the streetlights below."
At 6:53 p.m., "the object moved to the right, in relation to the streetlights, and as the object was being filmed, a big red double-decker bus drives through the frame, as the object spins in the background."
At 6:54 p.m., the spinning UFO "moves away behind the hill and is lost from view."
At 7:11 p.m., the mysterious flashes again lit up the sky over Bonnybridge. (Many thanks to Neil Cunningham and CSETI for this story.)
On Wednesday, November 12, 1997, at 7:40 a.m., a few dozen witnesses in the Port Hills section of Christchurch, South Island, New Zealand reported seeing "two eye-shaped objects traveling from south to north" over the seaport city "at approximately 80 to 100 miles per hour at an approximate altitude of 3,500 feet."
The condition of the sky at the time was mostly clear with some light clouds and wind gusts of up to 80 knots. "The objects appeared to be 12-plus feet (4 meters) across in size." The UFOs "appeared to be shaped like human eyes. In the center was a silver ball, and the outer areas were black and tapered off to a point. The objects traveled above light cloud in blue sky, and there were heavy gusts of wind at the time." (Many thanks to Ross Dowe and his New Zealand National UFO Hotline. New Zealand readers wishing to report a UFO can reach Ross Dowe at PH 090 05 8367.)
On October 16, 1997, a city official in San Nicolo Comelico, Belluno province, Italy and his family watched a hovering UFO for four hours.
He described the object as "a pale luminous light at first" and "it left at 8:30 that evening, rapidly taking off, changing its form to that of a spinning top that seemed to emit a blue smoke from its underside."
(See the Italian newspaper Liberta for October 31, 1997. Grazie a Stefano Cappucciati e Edoardo Russo di CISU per questo rapportto.)
On Friday, November 9, 1997, at 8:45 p.m.. Richard L. reported, "Friends and I looked up to see what we thought was a meteor approaching from the northeast. Suddenly it gouted orange/red flames. A moment (passed) and more gusts of flames. It lit up the craft--looked disk-shaped."
The group was in Orlando, Florida (population 128,394), approximately 229 miles (366 kilometers) north of Miami. He added, "Then, after a few moments, it turned and headed north-northeast. It shot off a few more gouts of flame, then flew off till it became a speck of light in the distance. The craft was one light--yellowish-white. No running lights as would be seen on a plane or a helicopter." (USENET Item)
On Wednesday, November 5, 1997, at 6:30 p.m., Curtis F. was at his home in Augusta, Georgia (population 47,532), a city on the Savannah River bordering South Carolina, approximately 151 miles (142 kilometers) east of Atlanta. All at once, he "heard a loud roaring noise."
"The noise gew to such an intensity that he thought a jet was about to crash. Looking out the window, Curtis saw a distant flying light. As he watched, the unknown light broke apart. One triangular-shaped portion with flashing red and white lights flew away to the southeast--the other part, also with lights, flew off to the north."
Curtis "could not ascertain its shape or color. The larger object was observed for a minute before it disappeared, the smaller for only five seconds. Both continued to travel horizontally and at approximately jet speed." (See MUFON Skywatch Investigations #45. Thanks to George A. Filer and John Thompson of MUFON for this report.)
For the past three years, Steve Wingate, director of Northern California Skywatch, has been analyzing closeup photos of Luna (the Moon--J.T.), looking for unusual and perhaps artificial features.
Wingate has anazlyed hundreds of photos taken by NASA's lunar orbiter Clementine between February and April 1994. "I use Paintshop Pro, 3.12 to process the images using custom filters," he wrote, "The majority of images are processed by myself."
Clemetine was launched on January 25, 1994 aboard a Titan IIG rocket from Vandenburg Air Force Base in California. The orbiter was part of the Deep Space Program Science Experiment (DSPSE), a joint project of NASA and the Ballistic Missile Defense Organization (BMDO).
Interestingly, Wingate has identified several lunar anomalies in the region of Picard and Gassendi craters.
At Picard crater, in the Mare Crisium (Sea of Crises-- J.T.), "on left side of Picard, at 11 o'clock position, one can see several startling anomalies. There is a dark spot which seems to be surrounded by several strange features. There is a row of correspondingly smaller round objects that seem to be lined up in a very regular fashion," Wingate reported. "They might be the support structure of a U-shaped elliptical dome, or above-ground tunnel-like structure...There is also a collection of structures which appears to resemble huge chutes at approximately 11:45 on the rim of the crater."
Picard crater has long been a hot spot for what astronomers call "transient lunar phenomena" (TLP).
On August 10, 1865, as anstronomer named Ingall spotted "a most minute point of light glittering like a star' just west of Picard. (See the Astronomical Register 3-189)
On September 5, 1865, Ingall again reported "a conspicuous bright spot west of Picard" (See the Astronomical Register 3-252. Also COMPLETE BOOKS OF CHARLES FORT, Dover Press, N.Y. 1974, pages 426-427)
On December 11, 1915, astronomer Bernald Thomas of Glenorchy, Tasmania, Australia saw "a particularly bright spot" on the north shore of the Mare Crisium" that "looked like a star." (English Mechanic 203-12)
To view Steve Wingate's Clementine photos and detailed commentary, go to this URL: http://www.anomalous-images.com/clemmoon.html#New13.
On Monday, November 3, 1997, Bigfoot tracks were found near the Christy Mountain Ski Area near Rice Lake, Wisconsin (population 9887), located about 295 miles (472 kilometers) northwest of Milwaukee.
"Brad Mortenson of the U.S. Expedition and Exploration Society said three tracks found Monday could be from the mysterious-- some say mythical--ape-like creature known as Bigfoot."
"He describes the tracks as about 16 to 17.5 inches long and 8 inches wide at the widest."
"Asked about the shape, he said, 'It looks like a big foot. It's very distinct.'"
"One print showed five toes, and the impressions indicated a creature with a stride of about 4 1/2 feet, typical for the Bigfoot."
"Mortenson, 41, of Sarona said he started receiving reports about possible Bigfoot activity after a local newspaper report two weeks ago told about his work with the society, based in Doris, Calif."
"'After that we started getting the reports of people coming across the tracks in the Blue Hills,' he said."
"That's the hilly wooded region around the Barron County-Rusk County Line (just east of Rice Lake--J.T.) where a preliminary search turned up the tracks this week, he said."
(See the Duluth, Minnesota News-Tribune for November 6, 1997, "Bigfoot Searcher Targets Wisconsin," page B-3)
"NASA's Mars Surveyor is back on track with a redesigned mission that will cost several million dollars more to complete its goals, scientists said Monday" November 10, 1997.
In October, the Mars Surveyor began its aerobraking maneuvers, "using the planet's atmosphere to slow down and get into the right orbit" when "one of its fragile, winglike solar panels bent too far."
"Managers moved the probe in a higher orbit while they studied the problem."
"Once they decided aerobraking was safe, they had the Surveyor resume the maneuvers to get into a lower orbit."
"But the probe will go much slower than planned because managers are concerned that too much atmospheric friction could damage the solar panel, which they think was fractured slightly early in the mission."
"The slower descent will delay the mapping of the Martian surface by a year, NASA said Monday. The two-year mapping mission is now set to begin in March 1999."
"NASA says the redesigned mission will cost 'several million dollars' beyond the $248 million project cost."
"'We will still get global coverage (of Mars),' says Arden Albee, project scientist at the California Institute of Technology. 'We are happy that we have not in any way lost the mission.'"
(See USA Today for November 11, 1997, "Mars Surveyor Mission Will Take Longer, Cost More," page A-3)
On November 13, 1953, British viewers watching their black-and-white "telly" were amazed when the BBC presented a newsreel describing an encounter between a flying saucer and two RAF jet planes.
The two pilots said "that they saw, while in the air, a saucer whose speed was fantastic. As it moved, it jetted flames or a light that appeared brighter at the periphery than in the center."
"At 7 p.m., a circular object, blue in the center, was seen over Southend, Essex, trailing sparks. Altitude not very high, course horizontal, north to south."
"At 7:10 p.m., the same or a similar object was seen, glowing, to pass over Guildford, sixty-five miles away. Probably speed: 360 miles an hour."
(See FLYING SAUCERS UNCENSORED by Harold T. Wilkins, The Citadel Press, 1955, page 62.)
Last week's UFO ROUNDUP erroneously attributed a quote by the Irish UFO and Paranormal Research Association (IUFOPRA) to Dave Walsh, publisher of the online newsletter Blather. Mr. Walsh responded, "I DID NOT write this. The IUFOPRA Investigation Team did. I am not a member of IUFOPRA. I am not affiliated with any UFO-related organization."
Blather, he added, "is a humorous weekly of Dogma Destruction, Forteana and High Weirdness, which looks at how our belief systems and reality tunnels influence our interpretations of the 'truth' presented to us by the popular (and not so popular) media."
Check out Bill Holden's new page at this URL: http://www.anw.com/ufotruth/
Henny van Pluijm answers the most common questions asked about UFOs at his website, UFO FAQ. You'll find this enjoyable website at http://www.ufoic.com/faq/
For an interesting article on ufology in China, try http://detnews.com:80/1997/nation/8711/08/11070173.htm
Don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO, at http://www.ufoinfo.com/
To download back issues of UFO ROUNDUP, drop in at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
That's it for this week. To our readers in eastern Europe, enjoy St. Mechtildis Day today. Next year will be the 700th anniversary of her martyrdom. And we'll be back in seven days 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.