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Volume 4
Number 29
November 11, 1999

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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On Friday, October 29, 1999, at 5 a.m., Alexandru Stroe was at home at his apartment in Pitesti, a city in Arges province in Romania when "moving to open the window," he spotted "a disk-shaped object that was spreading around an extremely strong light."

"Intrigued, he watched attentively while this object was floating in mid-air, standing still in the southeast (sky) under an angle of 45 degrees (above the horizon)."

"'My attention was caught right away because I've never seen anything like it. It was like a star but much larger, though. It was radiating a very strong, strange light and stayed still for more than an hour.'"

Having a videocamera in the apartment, Strue "succeeded in capturing on film the shiny disk with telephoto lenses. On the video footage, it can be seen that the object is round, and on its central part there are some erratic moving elements. In all, the object looked like a great satellite dish."

Ministerul Apararil Nationale (MAPN), the Romanian ministry of defense, contacted Strue the following day and requested a copy of the video.

"MAPN, through the Biroul de Presa (Press Bureau), denied that the Army of the Air or Civil Aviation had a plane in that area Friday morning. None of the Romanian radar stations were able to detect the strange unidentified object."

MAPN said "military specialists" will study Strue's videotape and "try to retrieve more information about the object."

Pitesti is located 80 kilometers (50 miles) northwest of Bucuresti (Bucharest), the national capital. (Many thanks to Stig Agermose for forwarding the Romanian newspaper article "OZN La Pitesti!" for October 30, 1999.)

(Editor's Note: OZN is the Romanian acronym for UFO. It stands for obiectul zburator nulidentificarea, unidentified flying object.)


On August 8, 1999, a man and his two children--Felicia, age 4, and Charles, age 8-- were walking along the sandy beach at Temara, just south of Flap in Morocco.

Just after 9 p.m., Felicia pointed out to sea and yelled, "There!"

"A large object in the form of a V and with bright lights passed directly over us," the adult witness reported. "We observed it-- Felicia, Charles and myself--for about four to five seconds. It flew all the way up the beach in that length of time. It was above our heads at a height very difficult to evaluate, perhaps 500 meters up to 5,000 meters. Or more! Its scale (size) was about 100 to 500 meters, by my estimate, but this seems very difficult to evaluate. It disappeared from our field of view very rapidly." (Merci beaucoup a Thierry Garnier de France OVNI pour ces nouvelles.)


More UFO sightings were reported in the western United Kingdom last week, both in Wales and Lancashire (Lancs.)

On Tuesday, October 12, 1999, at about 1:50 p.m., a woman motorist was driving on the road from Newcastle Emlyn to Lampeter, Ceriedigion, Wales, about 66 miles (110 kilometers) northwest of Cardiff, when she heard the thunder of jet engines.

"She was in her car driving when she saw two RAF jets flying across the road. Nothing strange in that. Round here the RAF test-fly their jets around the (Cambrian) mountains all the time. But just after them came a saucer-shaped object (which she saw at a distance), but it was going in the same direction as the jets." Thoroughly startled, the driver pulled over to the side of the road. (Many thanks to Marc Bell for this report.)

On Monday, November 1, 1999, two women sighted a UFO in Garstang, Lancs. They described it as "one rather large and illuminous light which split into three smaller objects. They remained in the area for approximately six minutes at 9:30 p.m. They came together and whizzed off." (Many thanks to Edmund B. for this report.)

On Tuesday, November 2, 1999, eyewitness John R. "was sitting up at home" at Mynachlog, Llynderwen, Pembrokeshire, Wales. It was just after 6 p.m., and John was "sitting in my house when I saw the object., and I had a limited field of vision. I only saw the object for about two seconds. I rushed to the back door but I could not see anything. It was light and the weather was fair. It was difficult to estimate speed, but I thought it was travelling at between 500 and 1,000 miles per hour (800 to 1,600 kilometers per hour) and between 1,000 and 5,000 feet (300 to 1,500 meters)."

"My neighbour told me that evening that he had seen a similar object. He mentioned them to me before I said anything about my sighting."

Llynderwen is about 100 miles (160 kilometers) west of Cardiff. (Email Interview)


On Friday, November 5, 1999, at 1:30 a.m., a large traingular UFO was sighted by up to five witnesses in the department of Yvelines, about 40 kilometers (30 miles) southwest of Paris.

The slow-moving UFO was seen by people on the ground in the cities of Maurepas, Pontchartrain and Elancourt.

According to ufologist Thierry Garnier of France OVNI, "Lights (on the UFO) included three, one at the corner of each extremity, with a red flashing light in the center. The UFO moved in a manner curiously slow--by jumps (and) by rising and descending." (Merci beaucoup a Thierry Garnier de France OVNI pour ces nouvelles.)


Meteors described as "very bright" plunged through the skies of Italy and France last week.

On Sunday, October 32, 1999, at 6:30 p.m., "hundreds of people in central Sardinia," a large island in the Mediterranean Sea east of Italy, "in the provinces of Cagliari and Oristano saw a meteor on Sunday. The apparation in the sky was a gigantic ball of fire. It was visible for ten seconds and was descending at a 45-degree angle in a south-southeasterly direction." (See the newspaper Unione Sarda for November 1 and 2, 1999. Grazie a Edoardo Russo e Antonio Cuccu di Centrao Italiano di Studi Ufologici per questo rapporto.)

On Wednesday, October 27, 1999, at 8:15 a.m. a glowing meteor plunged into the Atlantic Ocean offshore from the Ile de Batz, near Brest in the department of Finisterre in France..The meteor hit the water "100 meters (330 feet) from a boat belonging to a local fruit merchant. He reported the incident to the (French) maritime authorities." (See the Newspaper Ouest France for October 28, 1999. Merci beaucoup a Thierry Larquet de la Comite de Recherche Ufologique (CRU) pour ces nouvelles.)

(Editor's Comment: If these are Leonid meteors, they are over two weeks early. Kind of makes you wonder what's coming in the main Leonid meteor storm later this month.)


On Saturday, October 30, 1999, at 11:30 p.m., four bright glowing UFOs were spotted over Deception Bay, Queensland, Australia by ground witnesses.

One witness, a woman named Nicole, reported, "I was about to step out of my car when I noticed these four strange lights in the sky. I called my husband to get out of the car and have a look, but before he did, the car lost some (electrical) power, The radio (volume) went up and down as the object passed overhead. I was really scared. I yelled at Terry to get out of the car and have a look at the lights."

"My neighbours must have heard me yell at Terry because they too came out and saw what Terry and I were looking at. We all stood there watching these objects."

"The objects acted rather strangely. One zigzagged, then broke away from the others. The others stayed for ten minutes, then another broke away. Then another one slowly vanished. And then the last one vanished, zipping across the bay and out to sea," eastward towards the Pacific Ocean.

The case is being investigated by Jan Stone of the Australian UFO Research Network. (Many thanks to Diane Harrison of AUFORN for this report.)


On Friday, November 5, 1999, at 2:37 p.m., ufologist Mike Harman was "coming out of the elevator on the 37th floor of the Burnett Plaza building in downtown Fort Worth, Texas" when he spied a strange "flying wing" UFO.

"I always take a look at the sky when I get off the elevator," Mike reported, "On each floor where the elevator doors are there is a large window looking west, giving me an excellent view of the western horizon."

"At 2:37 p.m., I glanced out the window on the 37th floor...I only had been looking out the window for approximately three minutes when I spotted a perfect boomerang-shaped object traveling at high speed. It looked similar to the boomerangs (UFOs) reported in the New York/New Jersey area. It had what looked like wings angled back sharply with no visible body seen. The object was the size of a dime held at arm's length and appeared to be dark gray in color. The sky was partly cloudy with vivid blue sky showing between the sparse cloud cover. I spotted the object coming from behind a cloud and again hidden by white cloud. It was visible for only about two seconds...I was able to clearly see the shape of the object as it was contrasted against the deep blue sky. It would also be my guess that it was about three times the size of a jumbo jet flying" at about the same altitude.

Fort Worth (population 447,619) is about 30 miles (48 kilometers) west of Dallas. (Many thanks to Mike Harman for this report.)


For the past two weeks, a couple has seen strange nighttime aerial lights near their cabin in Lake Stevens, Washington state (population 3,380), north of Seattle.

The first sighting was on Thursday, October 21, 199, between 11 p.m. and 1 a.m. The most recent sighting was Tuesday, November 2, 1999 during the same time period.

The witness, Jay, and her boyfriend Raymond, reported, "We experienced five to ten of these objects moving around in circles, back and forth, up and down, with pulsating lights. They will move fast, then slower. It was eerie."

"We have been looking every night for the past couple of weeks. I can assure you that it's not stars. Stars don't move like this! We also looked on our telescope. Most of them had an orange middle. On the outside they were green. The light from it pulsates."

Lake Stevens, Wash. is on Highway 92 approximately 47 miles (75 kilometers) north-northeast of Seattle. (Many thanks to Morgan Clements, director of World Wide UFO Reporting Center for this report.)


"To avoid Y2K computer problems, NASA is taking steps to make sure the shuttle Discovery completes its mission to repair the Hubble space telescope before the new year, even if it means flying over the Christmas holiday, a space agency official says."

"Ron Dittemore, NASA's shuttle program director, said the agency had tested and adjusted its computers and their programs and did not anticipate any problems when the year changes in 2000. But NASA does not intend to take any chances by having a shuttle crew in orbit on New Year's Day, he said."

"'We've decided prudently that we're not going to fly past the end of the year,' Dittemore said in a telephone interview from Johnson Space Center in Houston on Friday. 'Since we don't have to do it, we won't do it.'"

"Both the flight software for the shuttle, designed to guide it from liftoff to landing, and computer programs used by Mission Control to manage the voyage have been tested and certified as being Y2K compliant, Dittemore said."

"NASA decided last spring to speed up scheduled servicing of the Hubble because some of the gyroscopes that stabilize the $2 billion telescope had failed. Three of the 12.5 ton observatory's six gyros have failed and the loss of one more would cause the telescope to go into a hibernation mode for safekeeping, ending valuable scientific observations until repairs are made."

"The agency decided to split the Hubble service mission scheduled for June 2000 into two parts and make some modifications and repairs, installing new gyroscopes, in a nine-day mission originally set for mid-October. The second service mission is set for May 2001."

"Last summer, electrical wiring problems were found in the four-shuttle fleet requiring extensive inspection and repairs, pushing Discovery's mission into December, officials said."

"Shuttle managers decided this week to replace one of the shuttle's three main engines, a task that they say could further delay liftoff several days past the current target date, December 2."

"Discovery is scheduled to be fitted with its external fuel tank and solid-fuel booster rockets this weekend and then moved to a launching pad, where technicians will replace the engine. Managers expect to set a new launch date next week."

"In order to speed preparations for the flight, shuttle managers decided to use software from a 1997 service mission to Hubble instead of writing new programs. This raised initial concerns about Y2K compatibility, but Dittemore said the software had been tested and cleared."

"NASA normally does not fly missions that coincide with major holidays to give its employees time off and to avoid overtime pay. However, Dittemore said, the Hubble mission is so important that the agency decided not to make the Christmas holidays a factor in its decision to fly." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for November 6, 1999, "NASA seeks to repair Hubble early to avoid Y2K problems," page a-6.)

(Editor's Comment: So, all of a sudden, the Hubble repair mission is so critical that NASA is speeding up engine work, using off-the-shelf guidance software and pulling out all the stops to get Discovery into space before New Year's Eve. Reading between the lines, I think somebody tested Hubble's onboard computer, and it began spewing nonsense during the Y2k scenario. Maybe they're going to install a new Y2k-compliant computer on the telescope.)

from the UFO Files...


Eighty-six years ago, on November 9, 1913, the Great Lakes were struck by a devastating early-winter storm.

The weekend started out harmlessly enough. "The weather was unusually warm, about eighty degrees as the Bunsen slogged along on glassy seas and under a singularly-weird, copper-colored sky."

"The sun was out but you couldn't see it,' recalled Capt. Arthur W. Dana, then the Bunsen's second mate and in later years a skipper for United States Steel. "The sky had an odd coppery hue that reflected on the water and gave everything an unreal appearance."

The storm began in Lake Superior and swept across Sault Sainte Marie, hitting Lake Huron with 80 and 90-mile-per-hour winds. Seas reached incredible heights--35 to 40 feet high.

By the time the storm blew itself out on November 11, eight ships had foundered on Lake Huron, including the Charles S. Price, then the largest ship afloat on the lakes, and the James Carruthers, the pride of the Canada Steamship Line.

One of the weirdest stories to emerge from "the Big Blow of 1913" was that of Chauncey Ney.

"Some distance up Lake Huron...was the big bulk steamer John A. McGean with dapper, peppery 'Dancing Chauncey' Nay in command."

"Chauncey Ney, who loved to dance, was probably grumbling because his coal cargo had been loaded and he had been compelled to leave port early Saturday morning, thus missing another Saturday night dance."

"If there was anything Chauncey Ney relished, it was being in port, loading or unloading on Friday or Saturday nights. Then, apprised of the location of the festivities by understanding dock superintendents, Dancing Chauncey Ney tripped the light fantastic until the orchestra wearily played Good Night, Ladies."

"In addition to its light-footed skipper who once piloted a Detroit (Michigan) fireboat, the McGean was somewhat unusual in that two of its wheelsmen (helmsmen), Thomas Stone and George Smith, were full-blooded Indians (that is, indigenous Native American people) from the reservation near Sarnia (Ontario) where members of both the Ojibway and Chippewa (true name: Anishinabe--J.T.) tribes lived."

The McGean encountered mountainous seas from every side as she headed south towards Port Huron, Michigan. Two men left the pilothouse to fetch the captain. But as they headed down the companionway, they couldn't believe their eyes.

Up ahead, at the foot of the ladder, was their skipper, Chauncey Ney, oblivious to the groaning steel bulkheads and the heaving deck, blithely dancing the tango.

Back and forth he went, arms poised as if holding a partner, listening to inaudible music and not missing a step.

The men gaped at each other. One muttered, "Who's he dancing with?"

Before the other could reply, Chauncey Ney turned transparent...and disappeared.

A short while later, the McGean broke up and sank.

"As the week wore on, the regiments of lost sailors who wandered sluggishly ashore along with broken lifeboats, cabin doors, chairs, tables, shattered paneling and hatch covers gerew with each passing hour."

Coroner A.C. Hunter of Goderich, Ontario "reported that one of the McGean's life rafts had drifted to shore with the bodies of three men lashed to it. Two of them were wheelsmen Thomas Stone and George Smith, the two Indians from the Sarnia reservation. The other was watchman John Olsen."

"Another raft from the McGean carried a single sailor. But the rest of the crew were nearby, some of them high on the beach and frozen, others still wallowing bashfully offshore, as if reluctant to admit defeat."

"Chauncey Ney was not among them."

Indeed, Chauncey was never seen again. At least not on Lake Huron.

But on November 9, 1977, sixty-four years later, a strange incident occurred at Studio 54, the Number One disco in New York City's Manhattan borough. A short, dapper man in an old-time ship captain's navy-blue frock coat and cap turned up on the dance floor. Very affable and energetic, he danced the tango with a few gorgeous women.

Nobody knew what to make of it. Some said it was a gag. Others thought he'd wandered in from a costume party. Then, to everyone's surprise, the stranger "turned transparent and vanished."

Was "Dancing Chauncey" Ney the "ghost of Studio 54?" And, if so, where will his time-traveling "flash dance" take him next?

Often I've wondered where Chauncey thought he was when he began his "last tango on Lake Huron," with the doomed McGean breaking up in those gargantuan seas. And what strange thoughts are running through his mind as he dances his way through eternity?

Bright lights and glitter dome. Pounding seas and big-band music. A smooth deck and Cindy Crawford in my arms. The Apocalypse? Never heard of it. (See the book True Tales of the Great Lakes by Dwight L. Boyer, Dodd, Mead and Co., New York, N.Y., 1971, pages 270 through 289.)

If you thought what happened to Chauncey Ney was strange, just wait till next week when UFO Roundup presents another weird tale of "the Big Blow." (No, Monica, this story has nothing to do with you.)

So join us next week for more UFO news from around the planet, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." And when you have a moment today, be sure to remember the millions of men and women who have proudly worn a military uniform. It's Veterans Day here in the USA.

UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1999 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 the issue in which the item first appeared.


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