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Volume 3
Number 50
December 15, 1998

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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On Thursday, November 12, 1998, at approximately 3:43 p.m., the security videocamera at Sun Mountain resort in the Methow Valley near Winthrop, Washington state captured the image of a luminous daylight disc as it flew towards the mountains of the Lake Chelan/ Sawtooth wilderness areas.

Sun Mountain is located about 130 miles (208 kilometers) northeast of Seattle.

The photo shows the corner of the resort's balcony and the UFO some distance away, flying in front of a rampart of clouds, about 20 degrees above the mountains on the horizon. The UFO looks like a white self-luminous oval.

No witnesses were reported present when the security videocam captured the image.

The photo can be viewed at the Methow Valley website, located at http://balsam.methow.com/

Photo reproduced below in case it is no longer available at the Methow Valley site - John (UFOINFO)


On Sunday, December 6, 1998, shortly after 11 p.m., a very bright "glowing fireball" streaked through the night skies of Georgia and was seen by hundreds of people.

FOX-TV in Atlanta interrupted its 11 p.m. broadcast of The X-Files to present a special report on the "glowing fireball."

One woman described the fireball as "like a meteor only 100 times brighter than anything I have ever seen."

The UFO traveled across the sky from east to west and was seen between Jonesboro (population 3,635), a small city on Highway 54 approximately 11 miles (17 kilometers) south of Atlanta, and Rome, Ga. (population 30,326), located 66 miles (105 kilometers) northwest of Atlanta.

One man, J.P. Akin, witnessed the event in his hometown of Griffin, Ga. (population 21,347), a town on Highway 19 about 50 miles (80 kilometers) south of Atlanta. Akin reported, "Something very bright flew across the northern horizon, toward Atlanta. I didn't see it personally, but I did see the residual light from my bedroom window. It appeared orange and red and lasted about one minute or a little less and died out. It did spook the neighborhood animals, though. Many dogs up and down the road were barking at this time."

The mass fireball sighting followed closely on the heels of two other UFO events in Georgia.

On Saturday, December 5, 1998, "the night supervisor of a local health care facility" in Kennesaw "said that about 1 a.m. several employees had observed unusual lights in the clouds overhead. She went out to look and observed four to six bright white lights circling in the thick cloud cover overhead...The lights were white, round, about the size of a basketball at arm's length. They were moving fast and would come together, separate and continue to circle. She stated that all the TVs in the facility went out during this time."

The previous day, Friday, December 4, 1998, MUFON investigators William Lester and David Brown traveled to Douglasville (population 11,635) and the nearby town of Hiram (population 1,389) to interview UFO witnesses.

While Lester and Brown were there, they observed three UFOs themselves. The first, they reported, "was a cone-shaped object, blue on top and yellowish on the bottom, moving quickly out of our telescope's field of view within five seconds." The second was "a round object with a blue coloration and a black core." And the third was "a glowing red object traversing the sky from horizon to horizon."

Douglasville and Hiram are on Highway 92, located about 22 miles (35 kilometers) west of Atlanta. Lester and Brown will be returning there this week with videocameras to continue their investigation. (See Filer's Files #49 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer of MUFON for their stories. And thanks to Errol Bruce-Knapp and J.P. Akin for the "fireball" story.)


For the past month, UFOs have appeared over many cities and towns in Pennsylvania.

On Wednesday, November 11, 1998, at 9:30 p.m., a witness observed "a white fireball" crossing the sky from east to west near Greensburg (population 16,318) and Jeannette (population 11,221), two suburbs about 12 miles (18 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh. "Debris and white sparks were falling from it as the object passed through the sky."

On Monday, November 16, 1998, in Penn Hills, another Pittsburgh suburb, "a motorist observed four UFOs over a 10-to-15-minute period. The objects were reportedly square-shaped, were at a low altitude and displayed red flashing lights and three white lights. One object reportedly moved closer to the witness before moving off. No sound could be heard from any of the objects."

On Sunday, November 22, 1998, witnesses in Allentown, Pa. (population 105,090), a large city on Interstate Highway I-78 approximately 66 miles (105 kilometers) north of Philadelphia, "reported sighting five silver disc-shaped objects moving at a high rate of speed from west to east. Their observation lasted 25 seconds."

On Tuesday, November 24, 1998, at about 3 p.m., a motorist in Wilmerding, Pa. (population 2,222), a town on Highway 130 just east of Pittsburgh, noticed two contrails in the blue sky as he drove along. The contrails formed "a perfect X." Pulling over to the side of the road, he left his car "and noticed a silver-gray object (like the fuselage of a helicopter) that rose straight up from the contrails and quickly speeded through the sky above them. It then shot straight down into the contrails and then it was gone from sight. The object displayed no contrail." (Many thanks to Pennsylvania ufologist Stan Gordon for these reports.)


On Friday, December 4, 1998, at 2:50 p.m., insurance agent Andrew Caterer was at his office on Queen Street, just around the corner from St. Andrew's Square in Edinburgh, Scotland's capital, when he spotted something unusual outdoors.

"I have a view from my attic-type window across the Firth of Forth (northward) over to Fife," he reported. "This afternoon I was talking to a colleague, and I was looking out across the Firth. The view was clear, and the sky was still light. I observed two lights roughly the same colour as a streetlight, but their distances were difficult to judge. However, they appeared to be over Fife," and he estimated them to be "a few miles west of Kirkcaldy," a city on the Firth's north shore about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Edinburgh.

"It was as if the sun, which was high in the sky, was reflecting off metal. The lights when I first saw them appeared to be close together. As I watched them, they both moved fairly quickly--slow enough to follow their progress yet quick enough not to be conventional aircraft. I watched them for about a minute. Two of my colleagues also observed them. Their movement was wholly erratic. I could estimate the lights to be the size of a pearl, if it was held out at the end of my arm's length." (Many thanks to Dave Ledger of UFO Scotland for this news story.)


On Friday, December 11, 1998, at 7:55 p.m., E. Marshall was lying on Maroochydore Beach, Queensland, Australia, skywatching, when he spotted some UFOs.

Marshall "saw three lights half the size of his little fingernail, creamy white in colour." He reported, "I was lying down on the beach, listening to (Christmas) carols next to my wife, (Seasons are reversed in the southern hemisphere, so it's summer right now in Australia--J.T.) looking up at the sky. It was a very clear night. I could see all the stars. Then, all of a sudden, I saw three objects move quickly into my view, all at once. I thought at first it might be a plane. Then it moved in the opposite direction so fast, I thought, Wow! That's no plane! I shouted at my wife to look. We watched two of the objects do manoeuvres for 40 seconds."

The first UFO, he added, "was doing what looked like a question mark movement, then disappeared." The second "did a zigzag and went southeast," while the third "disappeared for a second, then reappeared and went in a westerly direction." (Many thanks to Diane Harrison and Robert Frola of UFO Investigation Centre--Queensland for this report.)


On Saturday, December 12, 1998, at 4:45 p.m., teenagers Michael M. and Jerance F. were walking along the Wisconsin Central Railroad tracks in the west end of Manitowoc, Wis. (population 32,520) when Mike heard an unearthly scream.

"It was just past dark," Mike reported, "It was near the railroad, over the rails...Then I heard the most horrifying sound in the world. It was a deep roar, screeching deep, and it was a growl."

As they turned, they saw "a large creature rising behind us, maybe 45 yards to the south. Then it moved toward us, and we ran fast, faster than we ever have in our lives."

Mike's mother, Debbie, corroborated her son's report but added that the creature may not have been a Bigfoot. "But for the most part he did see some kind of white, dirty furred animal that made the most bizarre noise he had ever heard. His friend also saw this animal. At first they thought a train was coming and that the sound was from that. But then they looked and they did not see a train. They heard its weird sound and that's when they saw what they did."

Manitowoc is a port city on Lake Michigan approximately 84 miles (134 kilometers) north of Milwaukee. (Email Interview)

(Editor's Note: Manitowoc is reputed to be another "corner" of the Lake Michigan Triangle. Among the mysterious events here were the disappearance of airliner Northwest 2501 in June 1950 and the disappearance of the steamship Alpena in 1880. Like its sister city across the lake--Ludington, Michigan--Manitowoc is no stranger to unusual phenomena.)


On Thursday, December 10, 1998, "representatives from at least 80 nations, and possibly as many as 120," arrived at United Nations headquarters in New York City "to confront the so-called Y2K problem."

"The Gartner Group, leaders in Y2K analysis worldwide, reports that no more than two dozen nations are actively working on the problem."

"'The consequences of unpreparedness in any one country can rapidly spill over to other parts of the world,' says Pakistani Ambassador Ahmad Kamal, the conference organizer."

"If the computers of one nation's banking system fail, for example, they could cut off transactions with gold partners and rupture the worldwide electronic flow of cash."

"'The goal is to work together to identify and address issues that go across borders,' says John Koskinen, who chairs the U.S. government's effort to prepare for Y2K."

UN "organizers require that every nation taking part (in the conference) must name an official who will attend the session and serve as that government's Y2K leader." (See USA Today for December 10, 1998, "U.N. confronts global shortfalls on Y2K" by M.J. Zuckerman, page 1.)

On Friday, December 11, 1998, the conference delegates "encouraged Mr. Kamal and the other organizers to coordinate the sharing of information and contingency plans."

"Ronald Ball, a British Telecom official representing the International Telecommunications Union (ITU, a United Nations agency, bluntly named countries that had failed to respond to requests for information about how their telephone operations are being updated. Some present said Mr. Ball cited not only developing countries but also wealthy nations like Italy and, despite Mr. Kamal's prominent role, Pakistan."

John Koskinen, chairman of the (USA's) President's Council on the Year 2000 Conversion, told the delegates, "We have two years' worth of work to do in a year's time."

"Acknowledging that with just over a year until the brunt of the problems hit, some failures are inevitable, the group spent much of the day discussing how nations can develop contingency plans."

"One suggestion was to set up 'SWAT Teams' that could move swiftly into the hardest hit areas with technical assistance." (See the New York Times for December 12, 1998, "Nations urged to prepare for 'Millenium Bug'" by Barnaby J. Feder.)

(Editor's Comment: SWAT Teams, eh? Forget NATO. It looks as if the UN itself is taking control of Operation Abacus, the military response to Y2K rioting already adopted by Canada, the UK and Israel.)


Spacewalking astronauts Jerry Ross and Jim Newman successfully completed all three of their planned extravehicular activites (EVAs) last week.

On Monday, December 7, 1998, at 5:10 p.m., the two Endeavour astronauts "breezed through a series of tricky electrical patches" and "installed 40 electrical and data connectors by 9:25 p.m."

"The connectors installed Monday linked the U.S.-built connecting tunnel Unity and the Russian- built power module Zarya."

"The crew got so far ahead of schedule that they did some of the work set for Wednesday's spacewalk, bolting handrails to the side of Unity for future spacewalkers to use."

"Russian ground controllers outside Moscow, meanwhile, sent commands at 10:28 p.m. to power up Zarya, which in turn jump-started Unity's electrical systems." (See USA Today for December 8, 1998, "Spacewalkers complete a tricky wiring job,' page 2A.)

On Tuesday, December 8, 1998, Endeavour commander Robert Cabana "fired the shuttle thrusters to climb to an altitude of 248 miles," about six miles (10 kilometers) higher than before.

"The seven-story, 35-ton station swung back and forth a half-foot (6 inches) or more in Endeavour's cargo bay, its solar wings flapping, as the shuttle moved higher and higher."

"The astronauts kept close watch on the stack during the 20-minute ride, carefully spacing out their thruster pulses to reduce the stress." (See the Boston, Mass. Herald for December 9, 1998, "Astronauts send station to higher orbit.")

On Wednesday night, December 9, 1998, Ross and Newman embarked on their second EVA. "Newman rode the shuttle's 50-foot-long robotic arm while Ross floated around the station holding into handrails during their seven-hour spacewalk 248 miles above Earth."

"The main task Wednesday was installing the antennas, a job they completed in 3 1/2 hours. The antennas are used for voice, data and low- fidelity TV transmissions."

"Ross and Newsman attached the antennas to opposite sides of Unity and strung a 35-foot-long cable to wire them to electrical power from the Russian-build module Zarya."

"Newman also managed to get an antenna unfurled on one side of Zarya that had been stuck since its launch last month." (See USA Today for December 10, 1998, "Astronauts board station today," page 3A.)

Thursday, December 10, 1998, was opening day for the new space station. "Endeavour space shuttle commander Bob Cabana and Russian cosmonaut Sergei Krikalev left the shuttle crew cabin Thursday, floated through the tunnel that that docks it to other space objects and stopped at the first hatch at the base of Unity...They tugged together on the hatch and opened a new era of space cooperation. They then floated up through the U.S.-built Unity docking tunnel toward Zarya...The rest of the crew soon followed as Cabana and Krikalev pulled open hatch after hatch--six in all--to lead their crewmates along the length of the 76-foot station."

"'This is an absolutely super place,' Cabana said...'It's unbelievable to be part of such a great program, to have all the countries working together in space to everybody's betterment... It's really nice to be in a new home.'"

"Krikalev had another observation: 'It's small; we need more modules.'" (See USA Today for December 11, 1998, "Shuttle astronauts somersault into new dream home in space," page 3A.)

On Friday, December 11, 1998, the Endeavour crew "after only a day on board... turned off the lights and closed the doors of the new international space station for its release this weekend from the shuttle."

"'We sure wish we had another day,' Cmdr. Robert Cabana radioed down. 'It's a shame we've got to close up shop so soon.'"

The astronauts "began backing out compartment by compartment, pulling out the air ducts, turning off the lights and closing the hatches behind them."

"Among the items left behind for the first permanent residents due to arrive in little over a year were wrenches, screwdrivers, drills, a videoconferencing system and clothes. There was also a surprise or two but the astronauts wouldn't say what."

"'Something that lets them know we were thinking of them,' Cabana hinted." (See the Providence, R.I. Journal for December 12, 1998, "Space station sealed up as shuttle crew bids adieu.")

Saturday, December 12, 1998, saw the third and final spacewalk for Newman and Ross..

"On their third spacewalk, astronauts Jerry Ross and James Newman were aiming to attach a sack of tools to the American-made Unity chamber on the seven-story structure for use on subsequent assembly flights."

"They also planned to use a 10-foot pole to try to deploy another stuck antenna on the Russian Zarya control module...The 6 1/2 hour outing concludes with a photo survey of the 35-ton space station." (See the New York Daily News for December 13, 1998, "Spacewalking astros on fixup duty.")

On Sunday, December 13, 1998, shuttle "Pilot Rick Sturckow fired Endeavour's steering rockets at 3:24 p.m. to move the shuttle away from" the newly-undocked station.

"Then he flew a slow circle and a half around the station from 440 feet out so that his crewmates could photograph it shimmering in the blackness of space."

"'This has truly been an awesome experience,' Endeavour commander Bob Cabana radioed Mission Control just before the undocking. 'It's going to be one heck of a space station when we get it done.'"

Ross and Newman "spent 21 hours on the three spacewalks during this mission. That gives Ross the U.S. spacewalk record for a shuttle astronaut. Ross, 50, has logged more than 44 (EVA) hours on seven spacewalks." (See USA Today for December 14, 1998, "Shuttle finishes linkup with space station," page 3A.)


On Friday, December 11, 1998, "NASA launched a new space probe...on a journey to explore Mars, the first of two crafts set to leave only weeks apart on expeditions to the Red Planet."

"The 1,400-pound Mars Climate Orbiter lifted off from Cape Canaveral, Florida atop a Delta II rocket at 1:46 p.m., after a one-day delay during which engineers fixed a software problem."

"A camera mounted on the first stage of the Delta II booster enabled observers to experience a 'virtual' rocket ride, with a view looking down through the nozzles belching flames and smoke to the rapidly receding Earth below."

"The first stage and the camera fell away, as planned, as the Delta soared about 90 miles high at a velocity of more than 9,000 miles per hour."

"Flight controllers soon reported the Orbiter properly dispatched on its 416 million mile, 9 month journey to Mars."

"A sister craft, the Mars Polar Lander, is scheduled for launch January 3 (1999) bound for first landing ever in one of Mars's intriguing polar regions in December 1999." (See the Washington Post for December 12, 1998, "NASA launches first of two probes to Mars.)

from the UFO Files...


Continuing our look back at the "airship" flap in New England in December 1909, UFO Roundup presents another strange sighting of that era.

Last week we described the UFO seen by Motorman Gary Lane and his passengers on the trolley traveling from Marlboro to Hudson, Massachusetts.

But that wasn't the only UFO/trolley encounter of the flap. Read on:

"Last night (i.e. December 23, 1909--J.T.) both of the Milford & Upton (Street Railway) crews running (trolley) cars on the Grafton division, Motormen Casey and Richards and Conductors Hoey and Droney saw it near Grafton (Mass.) and even nearer to Milford (Mass.)"

"Harry R. Rogers, foreman of construction to the Milford & Upton, saw it while a passenger on Conductor Droney's car. The machine was said by some to have circle about in the air over Grafton about 7 o'clock and then to have been steered along the (trolley) car line south toward Hopedale, skirting along south of that town and then to have darted away (northeast) in the direction of South Framingham, its searchlight plainly visible."

"Conductor Droney said he saw the light but could distinguish little else, so great was the height at which the flying machine was being operated. That it was piercing the air at a rapid rate he judged from the fact that his attention was called to it when at the front of his car, the light being then far off, but before he could run to the rear platform, it appeared to be miles in front of the speeding electric." (See the Milford, Mass. Daily Journal for December 24, 1909, page 1. See also Fortean Studies, Volume 1, "The New England Airship Invasion of 1909" by Joseph Trainor, page 66.)


Check out the UFO material at Dare To Believe website. You'll find it at this URL: http://www.geocities.com/Area51/Zone9187

Pieces of an Enigma can be accessed at http://www.geocities.com/Athens/Atlantis/7247

Don't miss the holiday features and stories available at our parent site, UFOINFO. Drop in anytime at http://ufoinfo.com

Back issues of UFO Roundup can be read and downloaded at our page. Come on in and browse. We're at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup

Twenty-six years ago, on December 12, 1972, Apollo 17 astronauts Eugene A. Cernan and Harrison W. Schmitt made geological history. While exploring the surface of the moon, Schmitt and Cernan discovered a deposit of strange orange soil in the shadow of a large lunar boulder. The unusual orange-colored regolith was the first soil of its kind ever found.

That's it for this week. We'll be back next time with more saucer news from around the planet, brought to you by "the paper that goes home-- UFO Roundup." See you then.

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