November 23, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor
Reports continue to pour in concerning the mysterious "Seattle Lights" that were seen after 9 p.m. in Washington state on Friday, November 14, 1997.
Dale Goudie of the UFO Reporting and Information Service hotline reported receiving 44 calls from witnesses that evening.
In Gig Harbor, Wash. (population 2429), a small town on Puget Sound seven miles (11 kilometers) north of Tacoma, June Akiyama and her friend Leslye Stewart were driving north on Highway 16 "when they saw bright lights in the sky. They and other motorists pulled off the road to watch."
"It looked like a huge bottle rocket moving slowly across the sky," Akiyama said.
In Tacoma, Wash. (population 176,664), a Police Department spokesman said, "We've had reports from Roy to Brown's Point."
Tom Dyer of Lakewood "said he was in his car at the intersection of Gravelly Lake Drive SW and Washington Boulevard SW a little after 9 p.m. when his son spotted multicolored lights in the sky. When Dyer looked up, he saw three or four rows of lights... 'It looked like an oceangoing cruise ship,' he said."
In Centralia, Wash. (population 10,809), a city on Interstate Highway 5 approximately 81 miles (130 kilometers) south of Seattle, "Frank Frazee said he and his family saw the lights moving across the sky. 'It looked like a falling star,' said Frazee's daughter, Janessa, 18, 'It was fire-colored, orange-reddish with a head that was white. It was cool.'"
In Aberdeen, Wash. (population 18,739), a port city on Grays Harbor 108 miles (173 kilometers) southwest of Seattle, a witness spotted the lights at 9:07 p.m. "I moved to an exterior landing that just happened to be facing north," he said. "and couldn't believe what I saw. A large group of mixed-size objects, red-orange in color, were traversing the sky from west to east approximately 30 degrees above the horizon. Most of the smaller objects appeared to be 'spark like' in appearance...Two red-orange objects longer than the rest appeared to lead the smaller objects."
Callers to KXRO Radio in Aberdeen reported "one entire streak of light."
In Wenatchee, Wash. (population 17,257), a town on the Columbia River 147 miles (235 kilometers) east of Seattle, Mary S. reported, "I thought at first I was seeing a reflection of traffic (in the window). I saw (four of them) they were not moving that fast, and there was a definite formation. I told my husband to look, and he and my son ran out in the parking lot, just in time to see them disappear over the plateau, moving east. It is pretty ridiculous to expect anyone who saw it to believe it was ANYTHING that plunged into the Pacific. I could see them passing between me and the hills. I could see that the objects were between me and the towers. They were below the mountain top, in the valley. It was no optical illusion, and I had plenty of time to watch it." (See the News-Tribune of Tacoma, Wash. for November 15, 1997. Also, CNI News volume 3, number 18, part 1. Many thanks to Mike Lindemann for letting us quote from CNI News.)
A Suffolk County Court judge ordered ufologist John Ford, president of the Long Island UFO Network (LIUFON) to be sent to an upstate New York mental hospital on Thursday, November 13, 1997.
Ford, 49, was arrested June 15, 1996 by police of Suffolk County, Long Island, "on charges that he was seeking to kill three officials by putting radium in their cars and lacing their toothpaste with radioactive material."
The grand jury indicted Ford on charges of conspiracy and possession of radioactive materials. Ford has been held in jail without bail bond for the past seventeen months.
"Three psychiatrists and a psychologist, two hired by District Attorney James M. Catterson Jr.'s office, examined John Ford and all four concluded that the former court officer (the defendant--J.T.) isn't competent to stand trial."
"In one report, Robert H. Berger, director of Forensic Psychiatry at Bellevue Hospital Center (in New York City-- J.T.), said that while Ford seemed to understand his legal predicament, he thinks 'the criminal case against him is in reality an intelligence operation being run by the CIA together with the Israeli intelligence agency Mossad.'"
"Ford, 49, of Bellport (N.Y.) is charged with conspiring to kill Suffolk Couty Republican chairman John Powell, legislator Fred Towle (R-Shirley) and Brookhaven public safety director Anthony Gazzola by putting radium in their cars and toothpaste."
"Ford is expected to be transferred from the Suffolk County jail in Riverhead to the upstate Mid-Hudson Psychiatric Center in New Hampton (N.Y.) next week. He will return to Suffolk to face the criminal charges if doctors there determine he is competent to stand trial."
"Ford's lawyer, John Rouse, has maintained that the only reason Catterson brought charges against Ford for the plot (was) that prominent Republicans were the target. 'If the threats were against you or I, John (Ford) would be walking the streets like an average citizen,' Rouse said."
Ford and LIUFON had conducted an ongoing investigation of doings at the Brookhaven National Laboratory on Long Island since a UFO incident near the lab back in 1994. Ford reportedly "said he believed that visitors from outer space had crash-landed on Long Island and that government officials were hiding the aliens at Brookhaven National Laboratory in Upton." (See the Long Island newspaper Newsday for November 14, 1997, "Radiation Suspect is Delusional." Also the Deseret News of Salt Lake City, Utah for November 14, 1997. Many thanks to Janet Russell for the Newsday article.)
(Editor's Comment: Although Ford has no criminal record, and the charge was not murder, he was denied bail at his first court appearance back in June 1996. Even though the DA's own mental health team said Ford isn't competent to stand trail, the prosecution refuses to drop the charges, as is customary in such cases. Sounds like this particular defendant is being railroaded. This looks like a job for Johnnie Cochrane.)
On Friday, November 14, 1997, a witness was driving on Interstate Highway 80, just south of Brooklyn, Iowa (population 1,509), a town 64 miles (102 kilometers) east of Des Moines, when he spotted a few miles away "a horizontal row of seven or more steady white lights at about 40 degrees up from the horizon ascending at a 15-degree angle from the southeast to the northwest." The sighting took place at 7:30 p.m. Central time, four hours before the "Seattle Lights" event.
"The lights would have crossed his path of travel if the 100 foot (30 meter) long object turned sharply and headed back east-southeast at a steeply-descending angle--almost in a dive. When the object tilted, showing one end lower than the other, he could see a portion of the surface illuminated by lights. At that point, the object was a quarter-mile south of I-80...He drove at 65 miles per hour to the end of the row of trees, at the end of which he expected to see the object sitting in the field. But when he reached that point, he saw that the object had simply disappeared." (Many thanks to Beverly Trout of Iowa MUFON for this report.)
A mysterious blinding flash was seen on Saturday, November 15, 1997, at 9:40 p.m., in Livermore, California (population 48,349), a city on Highway 580 40 miles (64 kilometers) east of San Francisco.
John B. and his wife "both witnessed a very bright flash at the same time" as the "Seattle Lights" the previous evening. "We were walking our dog, and as I was looking down, I saw a momentary flash like a lightning flash illuminate the ground in the entire area. I quickly looked up and could still see the signature of the flash in the sky, maybe with a trail roughly horizontal to the horizon which seemed to be toward where the flash appeared or exploded. The trail looked similar to a meteor trail and quickly dissipated in one to two seconds."
"My first thought was that it was some type of bizarre meteor which exploded or flashed in a single burst like a strobe light," John reported. "I am also suspicious that it could have been a laser test or a high-altitude target with the flash being generated by a laser burst" aimed at the flying target.
John points out that his community is home to the Lawrence Livermore National Laboratory, which tests "extremely high-energy lasers" for "fusion experiments." (Email Interview)
On Saturday, November 15, 1997, at 4:45 p.m., Dave Briscoe and two companions were out in the field near Brookston, Minnesota (population 450), a town on U.S. Route 2 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of Duluth.
"It does get dark real early up here," Skywatch member Dave Briscoe reported, "and Venus can be seen early, but this was the wrong place for Venus. The object was in the west-southwest (over the Fond du Lac Indian Reservation--J.T.) and extremely bright for the time of day. As I watched it, it veered to the left and right slightly, and then split in two. Both objects 'danced' in the sky, always the same distance from each other, first up, down, left and right. They then merged and were stationary (hovering) for the next five minutes."
"Again splitting and remaining stationary, then recombining and moving slightly to the left, then slightly to the right." The trio watched the "pulsating light" for about twenty minutes "until clouds moved into the area, and it became undiscernable." He estimated the object's position at 72 degrees above the horizon." (Email Interview)
(Editor's Comment: Chalk up another UFO sighting for the Lake Superior region. The last one was on October 5, 1997 over Thunder Bay, Ontario.)
Residents from Hoosick Falls, New York (population 3,490) eastward to Keene, New Hampshire (population 22,430) reported seeing "bright lights in the sky" from 10 p.m. to 10:30 p.m. on Monday, November 17, 1997.
The media explained the sightings as "Leonid meteors." The annual Leonid meteor shower reached its peak on Monday morning. But one college student in Shaftsbury, Vermont (population 700), on Route 7A 52 miles (83 kilometers) south of Rutland, obtained five minues of videotape of a UFO slowly crossing the night sky, heading for Glastonbury Mountain.
The UFO was described as three dark objects with "green and blue lights." A friend who viewed the video told UFO ROUNDUP, "It took up to five minutes for the objects to completely cross the picture without his moving the location from which he was taping."
(Estimated speed would be 55 miles per hour--J.T.)
The three UFOs "were seen between 10 and 45 degrees above the horizon." (See the Albany, N.Y. Times-Union for November 18, 1997, "Shower in the Sky," and November 19, 1997, "One Meteor Caused Heavenly Shower." Many thanks to Jeff Cameron for this story.)
(Editor's Comment: Vermont's Glastonbury Mountain has long been a UFO hotspot, with sightings dating back to 1909.)
On Friday, November 14, 1997, at 10:05 p.m., a half-hour after the "Seattle Lights" event in the Pacific Northwest, Dr. Ted Lober and Tony Craddock of the Center for the Study of Extraterrestrial Intelligence (CSETI) were staked out at Craddock's beachfront home overlooking the Santa Barbara Channel in California.
Both were using night vision equipment to sky watch. Dr. Lober was using a Model 63 ITT Night Mariner, while Craddock was using a Litton Model Nav3 Night Mate. Both devices offer light magnification of 30,000 to 50,000 power.
"They both happened to be looking through their night scopes at Jupiter, which was about 10 degrees above the horizon and over the island of San Miguel." (westernmost of the Channel Islands, about 130 miles northwest of Los Angeles--J.T.)
"Simultaneously they both saw a set of lights near Jupiter in the shape of a large triangle silently flying eastward over the Santa Barbara Channel. They followed it for about six seconds before it disappeared behind some trees. Both realized that the lights were the actual edge of a large craft that was not visible in their night scopes."
A few seconds later, both men "saw the craft tilt slightly on its side so that its triangle shape could be clearly seen. (Dr.) Ted Lober counted five or six lights in the shape of a triangle" while Tony Craddock counted "an additional two lights in the center toward the rear, making it appear chevron or boomerang-shaped."
"It was later estimated that the craft traveled through an arc of 75 degrees in about six seconds. It was estimated that this craft was at a distance of five to ten miles (offshore--J.T.) which would have meant it was traveling at 4,000 to 8,000 miles per hour."
Both witnesses are members of CSETI. Dr. Lober is a professor of earth science at the University of New Hampshire. Craddock is president of a California petroleum company and coordinator of Santa Barbara's CSETI Working Group. (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this report.)
On Monday, November 17, 1997, at 11:30 a.m., while on his lunch break in Scottsdale, Arizona (population 130,069), Skywatch member Rob King "saw two large silver objects traveling together near the clouds. One object suddenly stopped and hovered while the other silver object kept going. After maybe a mile of traveling, it reversed course and came back and parked next to the other object. Rob went inside and brought out two construction workers. They watched the objects and saw a large commercial jet approaching. They think the objects were about half the size of the jet. When the jet approached to within half a mile, they (the UFOs) both shot upward rapidly." One witness said "they shot off like bullets."
The previous day, Sunday, November 16, 1997, Rob King "reported that while hiking on Camelback Mountain (near Phoenix, Arizona--J.T.) he saw a strange white object over Phoenix." Grabbing his 35 millimeter camera, Rob "shot three photos of the high-altitude object with a 1,500 millimeter telephoto lens."
On Friday, November 14, 1997, Skywatch member Jeff Willis shot 15 minutes of videotape of a "Hockey Puck" (daylight disc) over Phoenix. The tape is now being evaluated by a team of investigators from Arizona MUFON. (Many thanks to Arizona Skywatch director Tom King for these reports.)
On Tuesday night, November 11, 1997, two college students driving back to Ames, Iowa (population 45,775), a city on Highway 69 about 28 miles (45 kilometers) north of Des Moines, spotted a strange object in the sky.
The pair from Iowa State University "saw a dark orange/amber globe of light at about 40 degrees up from the horizon, to the left of the roadway. At first they thought the light was resting on a 100-foot water tower nearby, but this proved not to be the case. They proceeded west and caught sight of a full circular orb now ahead of them and moving very fast. The object finally began to sink below the horizon, and the two men watched it disappear from view." (Many thanks to Beverly Trout of Iowa MUFON for this report.)
On November 20, 1952, George Adamski, 62, of Palomar Gardens, California, a short-order cook and part-time mystic, invited several friends to spend the day saucer-hunting in the Mojave Desert.
In two cars, Adamski, his publicist Mrs. Lucy McKinnis, his landlady Mrs. Alice K. Wells, Mr. and Mrs. Al Bailey of Winslow, Arizona and Dr. and Mrs. George H. Williamson of Prescott, Arizona set off for Blythe, California, hoping to see a UFO.
Morning's end found the party 10 miles east of Desert Centre, California. At about 12:15 p.m., the group saw a cigar-shaped object crossing the sky. Adamski then hiked into an arroyo, intending to set up his camera for a better shot.
Alone in the arroyo, "he saw a flash in the sky and 'a beautiful craft appeared to be drifting through a saddle between two of the mountain peaks.' Then Adamski realized that a man was beckoning to him from the opening of a ravine about 450 yards (410 meters) away."
In his book FLYING SAUCERS HAVE LANDED, Adamski described the newcomer as "about five feet, six inches (1.5 meters) tall , weighed about 135 lbs. and appeared--in Earthly terms--to be about 28 years old. He had wavy shoulder-length sandy hair. His skin was the color of a suntanned Caucasian's. He had an extremely high forehead, 'calm, gray-green eyes' that slanted slightly at the corners, high cheekbones, and a 'finely chiseled' nose...'The alien was wearing a single-piece, finely-woven, chocolate- brown suit with no visible fasteners or pockets, with a broad waistband and a close-fitting high collar. His shoes were ox-blood red, with blunt toes.'"
By using "a mixture of hand signals and telepathy," the occupant reportedly told Adamski that his name was Orthon, and that he'd travelled to Earth from the planet Venus. He said several alien saucers had been "shot down by men of this world" and the time was coming when extraterrestrials would openly land on Earth. (See UFO--THE COMPLETE SIGHTINGS by Peter Brookesmith, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, 1995, pages 56 and 57.)
(Editor's Note: In 1952, most people thought Venus was "Earth's twin." Now we know that the plant has a surface temperature hot enough to melt metal, with an air pressure equivalent to the bottom of one of Earth's oceans. Considering Venus's carbon dioxide cloud cover and runaway "greenhouse effect," it's unlikely that Orthon came from there. Also, it's been pointed out that four of Adamski's witnesses later recanted their 1952 testimony. Then again, Galileo Galilei recanted his views, too, before the Inquisition. It didn't change the fact that twenty-odd moons revolve around Jupiter.)
UFO Scotland just appeared on the Web. Dave Ledger hopes to make this site the central database for Scottish UFO sightings. Drop in and say hello to Dave at http://wkweb5.cableinet.co.uk/dledger/
Looking for UFO pictures? Then visit the International UFO Museum and Research Center (IUFORC) website. Faeylyn Wylder has a great collection, including stills of the August 1996 Mexico City saucer. The URL is http://www.iufomrc.com.
"Intercepted," Dennis Balthaser's speech on alleged efforts by the U.S. government to conceal the facts of the 1947 Roswell case, is now available on the Web. Balthaser is the operations manager of the International UFO Museum and Research Center in Roswell, New Mexico. You can download his speech from http://www.iufomrc.com/intercept.htm
Don't miss our parent site, UFOINFO. It's at http://www.ufoinfo.com/
Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP can be downloaded from our website at http://www.ufoinfo.com/roundup/
That's it for this week. To our readers in the USA, enjoy your Thanksgiving dinner on Thursday. Don't forget to root for your old high school at the annual "Turkey Day" game with their arch-rivals. As for us, we'll be back--leftovers and all--next Sunday 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 newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of issue in which the item first appeared.