CONCORDE CRASH: THE UFO CONNECTIONOn Tuesday, July 25, 2000, at 4 p.m., the Concorde, a sleek supersonic passenger jetliner, fueled up at Charles de Gaulle International Airport north of Paris, preparing for its flight to New York City.
At 4:42 p.m., the tower cleared the Concorde, now Air France Flight 4590, for takeoff. The Concorde began rolling down the runway. But as the jetliner started its climb, a long trailing plume of fire poured out of the Number 2 engine.
The crew apparently tried to bank to the right upon completing their climbout, and the Concorde began losing altitude.
At 4:44 p.m., the jet crashed three kilometers (two miles) east of the airport, killing all 109 passengers on board. Four people on the ground were also killed when the crashing Concorde "obliterated the Hotelissimo, a three-story hotel," located at the intersection of les Autoroutes N17 and D902 in Gonesse, a town of 25,000 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Paris.
Investigators combed the wheat fields near the Hotelissimo for Concorde wreckage. One of the two cockpit data recorders was found shortly after the crash.
"Investigators had known that the Concorde pilot reported problems with the No. 2 engine, the innermost engine on the left, but the flight data recorder shows that the No. 1 engine adjoining it also lost power. The engine somehow regained thrust but lost power again after being airborne for 'a bit less than a minute,'" the French Accident Investigation Bureau reported.
"Shortly after reporting problems with the No. 2 engine, the crew said that the landing gear would not retract."
"'The flames seen after takeoff did not come from the engine but in all likelihood from from a major fuel leak,' the Accident and Inquiry Office, part of France's transportation ministry said in a statement Sunday," July 30, 2000, "'One of the pieces found on the runway seems to come from a fuel tank,' the statement said."
(Editor's Comment: A burst or ruptured tank would halt the flow of fuel to the No. 1 and No. 2 engines. But how would that cause the electrical systems failure that affected the Concorde's landing gear?)
The crash took a strange twist, however, when it was revealed that the Concorde had been leased by Dellmann, the German tour company. Of the 109 people aboard, 96 were German tourists, and 13 of these came from Munchengladbach (population 260,000)m a mid-sized industrail city located 10 kilometers (6 miles) west of Dusseldorf and 320 kilometers (200 miles) southwest of Berlin.
Munchengladbach was in the news six weeks ago when a UFO reportedly landed on the outskirts of the city. Over 50 German policemen hunted for the landed saucer, and some residents supposedly made contact with the saucer's occupants, which were described as "green humanoid males" on an "odyssey through the universe." (For more details, see UFO Roundup, volume 5, number 24, "German police hunt for landed UFO," page 3.)
Among the crash victims from Munchengladbach were "private business school director Kurt Kahle, 51, who perished with his wife and 8-year-old son, leaving behind a daughter... Werner Tellman, head of a chain of furniture stores, and Harald Ruch, founder of a company that provides glass cleaning and security services to area businesses. Both died with their wives on the Concorde."
On Thursday, July 27, 2000, a mysterious bomb explosion occurred at a commuter rail station in Dusseldorf used by Munchengladbach residents.
""An explosion rocked a Dusseldorf commuter train station, injuring nine people and sending bleeding commuters rushing from the station in panic. Two of the injured were in critical conditions, fire officials said."
"Police said the blast was likely caused by a fragmentation grenade or a homemade bomb. Authorities did not believe did not believe the attack was politically motivated." (See USA Today for July 26, 2000, "Shock and grief unite Germany and France," page 3A; July 28, 2000, "Concorde was aflame during liftoff," page 13A; July 27, 2000, "In Germany, 'an entire city is in mourning' after disaster," page 6A and July 31, 2000, "Major fuel leak likely sparked flames on Concorde," page 7A.)
(Editor's Comment: Suddenly it's very dangerous to be from Munchengladbach. You know, this isn't the first time a UFO incident has had a cockeyed link to a major tragedy in the news. Last year, UFOs were seen repeatedly in Rosamund, California. Then, three months later, former Aryan Nations member and longtime Rosamund resident Buford O. Furrow Jr. popped up in Los Angeles with guns blazing. Makes you wonder, doesn't it?)
CIGAR-SHAPED UFO HOVERS OVER COLORADO TOWER"When Jody Messoline opened her UFO Watchtower in the San Luis Valley" on the outskirts of Hooper, Colorado (population 90), "she never expected them to come."
"But they did come."
"A bronze, cigar-shaped light glowed, hovered and sped away late one night in late June, Messoline said. It was about 11 p.m. nd Messoline was up on the watchtower with a few customers."
"'It was there, and then it went fszkt across the sky and was gone,' said Messoline, who moved to Hooper from Golden (Colorado) about five years ago. 'At first I was reluctant to mention it. But the other people in the tower were with me at the time.'"
"'It scared one gal so much, she left.'"
"Despite this incident, Messoline isn't a believer--yet."
"'It does make you wonder,' she said."
Hooper's "UFO Watchtower is a 10-foot-high observation deck a 50-person capacity atop a geodesic dome, which opened on Memorial Day."
""Some days, only a couple of people stop by--for (soda) pop and (potato) chips. Other days more than 100 might stop for pictures, tell Messoline stories about their sightings and encounters, buy extraterrestrial=theme gifts,, camp overnight, take UFO pictures and relate abduction experiences."
"Mostly they stop for a few minutes, but there are usually a few who recline on air mattresses and and view the sky for hours well past the closing time."
"'Everyone has a story,' Messoline said, 'The serious ones come in the evening.'"
"Some even pay the two-dollar fee she charges to go up into the tower."
"'We wanted to see if the tower has had any sightings because there has been a lot of stories about UFO sightings in the area,' said Ryan Temple of Santa Fe, New Mexico, who stopped by for a look with his wife Wendy."
"'I think they should mount a video camera up there and have it scanning all the time,' Temple suggested, speaking in all seriousness."
"Hooper, a small town" that cherishes ideals of "family, work, church and school, isn't usually a hotbed of cosmic cowboys. Fewer than a hundred folks live in the tidy homes that surround the town center of the Hooper Elementary School and gas station, and a few of them wished they had thought of building a watchtower first."
"Candace Knolan, who lives in Hooper and runs a jewelry store, said she never thought about UFOs until she moved to the San Luis Valley seven years ago and started seeing 'a lot of interesting things in the sky.'"
"In early June (2000) she went to the tower because a group from the Center for Extraterrestrial Intelligence was meeting. That night, she saw a similar (cigar-shaped) object in the sky with red, white and teal lights respond to one of the observers who flashed a powerful flashlight (torch in UK or Australia--J.T.) of 250,000 candlepower."
"One of the guys went 'blink, blink' with the flashlight. Then the object blinked back twice,' Knolan said. The guy with the flashlight went 'blink, blink' again, and the thing raced across the sky and went 'blink, blink,' too.'"
"The double-blink exchange went on three more times before the object in the sky vanished, she said."
"'It blew me away,' Knolan said." (See the Rocky Mountain News of Denver, Colorado for July 23, 2000, "UFO Watchtower gets visit from glowing light in the sky," by Deborah Frazier. Many thanks to Gerry Lovell of Far Shores for forwarding the newspaper article.)
UFOs, BLACK HELICOPTERS SIGHTED IN SAN LUIS VALLEYHooper, Colo. isn't the only town in the San Luis Valley to report UFO activity. During the past two weeks, there have been many sightings in Crestone, Mesita and on the Baca Grande Development near Alamosa.
On Wednesday, July 12, 2000, between 1 a.m. and 1:45 a.m., witnesses skywatching in Crestone, Colo. "observed seven to eight blinking lights. They alternated green. red and white and were in a spherical formation, approximately 19 degrees above the western horizon. The formation of lights appeared to be hovering out over the Valley, and after approximately 20 to 30 minutes, appeared to be lights slowly moving west. Then they appeared to stop and started heading back east towards his vantage point."
"The witness estimated the light formation to be about 10 miles (16 kilometers) away, when he noticed them. At one point during the sighting, a helicopter 'approached from the west, flanked the formation to the northeast, and then headed east into the Sangres (that is, the Sandre de Cristo Mountains--J.T.) The helicopter was flying at an altitude of approximately 15,000 feet (4,500 meters)."
On Friday, July 14, 2000, at 3:12 p.m., another witness reported the presence of a black helicopter over Mesita, Colo.
The witness described it as "a large, dark, flat- bottomed unusual military helicopter," adding, "At about 3:12 p.m., we were on our way into Alamosa and had just turned off (Costilla County) Road K in Mesita, north onto (County) Road 10 when we noticed it coming out of the north-northeast, heading for the Ute Mountain area in the south-southeast. It could not have been more than 100 feet (30 meters) above the top of my truck., and if it had been going any more slowly it would have had to land. There was no other craft in sight either in the air or on roads or in the pasture."
On Wednesday, July 19, 2000, at 10:20 a.m., multiple witnesses at the Baca Grande Development in Saguache County spotted "an extremely low-flying, four-engine, jet cargo plane. One witness called it a C-17 which he thought was a NATO plane that replaced 'the old C-4.'"
(Editor's Note: The C-17 has been in service with the U.S. Air Force for years.)
The C-17 approached from the north, "made a dangerously low left-hand turn just above the treetops on North Crestone Creek. Plane 'seemed unusually quiet for a jet' and was between 100 and 200 feet (30 and 60 meters) in altitude."
Eleven hours later, at 9 p.m., in Crestone, Colo., a witness reported, "I had stepped outside to check out the stars, not many up yet, and there was a very bright star I noticed moving in the west and not high up, like a satellite... I watched it and ran over to Dan's to get him but could hear him on the phone, came back. It had continued traveling fast, from the northwest to the southeast, and it was brilliant white, no flashing, from behind it looked the same. It was well into the southeast when I heard a rumble in the northwest like a jet would make. But I honestly don't believe it to be a jet, as there were no flashing lights. It was brilliant white like an intense star from the side and from behind it."
On Thursday, July 27, 2000, a resident of Villa Grove "observed a large, night-black jet that flew low over Hayden Pass and headed southwest at treetop level over (Colorado) Highway 285. Witness called the craft ''the strangest-looking plane I've ever seen.' A couple of minutes later, two fighter jets followed the course of the first plane down the Valley."
Author/investigator Christopher O'Brien commented, "The San Luis Valley appears to be experiencing an upsurge of summer reports ranging from classic UFO-type nocturnal lights to unusual military flight activity." (Many thanks to Christopher O'Brienm author of The Mysterious Valley and Enter the Valley for these reports.)
CHUPACABRA STRIKES AGAIN IN NORTHERN CHILEA weird creature was sighted on the highway in Puerta Cuatro, midway between the cities of Calama and Chuquicamata in northern Chile. It is being called a Chupacabra although it is a quadruped rather than a biped.
On Thursday, July 13, 2000,, at 1:30 a.m. a woman and her friend, a professor, left the Lions Club dinner and were driving south of Calama when they spotted "two strange yellow lights" on the road.
"Although we originally intended to remain beyond midnight at the Lions Club transfer of power ceremonies, we both left at 1:30 a.m. Upon reaching the Chuqui checkpoint, a Carabinero (Chilean national policeman--J.T.) was inspecting a vehicle and we drove right by him," the driver reported.
"More or less in the vicinity of Puerta Cuatro, the driver flashed her high beams (headlights on the driver's Ford K automobile--J.T.) at two intensely yellow 'lights' a short distance away."
"'The other 'car' was about half a block from our own. We were discussing God in a Christian framework when I began to slow down because the lights remained stationary. I thought it could be a stranded automobile or a bicycle.'" the driver reported.
"Nerves then got the better of the Ford K's owner who then sustained a heated dialogue with her companion in an effort to explain the figure who stood two to three feet (0.6 to 0.9 meters) away from the front bumper."
"'Is it the Devil?' asked one."
"Yes, it would seem so,' replied the other.
but much larger, lacking ears and covered in extremely long gray hair--particularly around the neck----and having two immense slanted yellow eyes."
"The women and the 'thing' exchanged looks for some five to ten seconds, after which the car drove off along the left lane. The 'animal' followed its departure with its head--an extremtiy capable of 180-degree turns.."
"'I felt a terrible fear. I wanted to get out of the car, but she calmed me down. We saw the two yellow lights again, but this time they lit up the entire road before disappearing.,'" the driver said, "'I hit the accelerator and kept up speed until we reached Calama.'"
Calama is 300 kilometers (180 miles) north of Santiago de Chile, the national capital.
"Now feeling more calm, both women have tried to rationalize their encounter. 'It's from somewhere else,' said the driver. Her companion, the professor, still thinks it's the Devil." (See the Chilean newspaper La Estrella de Loa for July 14, 2000. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales, autor de los libros Chupacabras and Other Mysteries y Forbidden Mexico por eso articulo.)
HUNDREDS SEE UFOs ON AUSTRALIA'S NORTH COASTHundreds of onlookers witnessed luminous orange spherical UFOs in the sky over Casuarina Beach in the Northern Territory of Australia.
The sightings took place on Thursday, July 6, and Tuesday, July 11, 2000 during the evening.
Eyewitness P.A. Gibbs of Karama, N.T. reported, "We were there to watch the fireworks display, as were hundreds of other people. My friends quite facetiously said the orange lights were UFOs."
At first Gibbs thought the orange orbs "was sunlight reflecting off a gold=foil sheeting" of a space satellite, being so far above the horizon they would stillbe in sunlight even though we were in darkness. I smugly and authoritatively favored this explanation until the 'satellites' began doing manoeuvres and changing direction."
"Apart from the amazing phenomenon of witnessing UFOs, what I found incredible was that there were hundreds of people on the beach, and nobody else at all (was) astonished by the UFOs!" (See the Northern Territory News for July 11, 2000. Many thanks to Diane Harrison of the Australian UFO Research Network for forwarding this article.)
GOLFERS VIDEOTAPE A CIGAR-SHAPED UFO IN OKLAHOMAOn Friday morning, July 28, 2000, businessman Mike Proctor visited the Elk City Country Club in Elk City, Oklahoma (population 10,500) "to get a few tips from golf pro Si Friedman" when something very strange happened.
"We were videotaping my golf swing," Proctor reported. "After hitting several balls, we went inside to view the video, and in the background we saw a cigar-shaped object that was moving at a very high rate of speed It was at approximately a 30 to 40 degree angle moving from east to west."
According to KFOR-TV in Oklahoma City, "As a teaching tool, Si *Friedman) uses a small video camera, and as he was rolling on one of Mike's swings, he captured more than just your garden-variety birdie."
"In regular speed, it's just a black dot flying by, probably a bird, maybe an airplane but more likely a bird."
Proctor said, "I asked him if he saw this, and he said, 'What are you talking about?' 'Well, somebody hit a golf ball behind me is why I had a bad shot on that swing.'"
So the tape was run in slow motion, and the cigar- shaped UFO appeared, flying from east to west at an estimated speed pf Mach 2, twice the speed of sound.
Proctor and Friedman have copyrighted the videotape and have contacted the National UFO Reporting Center, according to KFOR-TV
Elk City is on Interstate Highway I-40 approximately 113 miles (294 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City. (Many thanks to Jim Hickman and KFOR-TV for this report.)
CIGAR-SHAPED UFO SEEN BY COMMUTERS IN TEXASThe same UFO videotaped in Elk City, Okla. may have been seen a few hours earlier just east of Dallas, Texas.
On Friday, July 28, 2000, at 6:30 a.m., Anthony S. and his friend "were driving (south) to work early in the morning" when "the object approahed from the southwest."
"At first glance I thought it was a commercial plane, but it was moving too slow and too low," he reported, "I pulled over and got out of the car to get a clear glimpse. Soon we were joined by some eyewitnesses who also also pulled over to witness the bizarre craft. The cigar-shaped craft was like nothing we had ever seen before. After a slow approach, it made a sudden vertical turn and sped with unimaginable speed toward the rising sun."
Anthony said he pulled off the highway in Wylie, Texas (population 8,300), just east of Dallas. He described the UFO as "cigar-shaped, silverish gray, just below the low clouds *estimated altitude of 10,000 feet or 3,000 meters--J.T.)" and was "seen by 20 to 30 early-morning commuters." (Email Form Report)
"BRING ME THE HEAD OF...MATA HARI!?""Eighty-three years after she was executed, sexy spy Mata Hari has given authorities the slip again!"
After her execution by a French Army firing squad on October 15, 1917, "her head was severed from her body, then mummified, then placed in the Museum of Anatomy in Paris, along with 3,000 other preserved noggins, which mostly came from criminals and killers, used for medical research."
"But a recent inventory showed Mata Hari's face was missing."
"'The remains are not in the museum now,' says curator Roger Saban. 'And no one knows where they could be.'"
"Now museum officials have launched an all-out search for Mata Hari's gorgeous cranium, which still has her bright red tresses intact."
"Officials believe the skull was stolen by a collector--or one of the beauty's modern admirers."
Mata Hari was born Margaretha Gertruide Zelle in the Netherlands. After hanging around with Dr. Fritz Hartmann and other German mystics of the Theosophical Society, she traveled to India in search of the Hidden Masters.
(Editor's Comment: Another one! Remind me to tell you sometime about Detlef Schmude, the world's first door-to-door psychic investigator.)
Returning to Europe, Margaretha "became an exotic dancer in Paris, billing herself as Mata Hari, (Hindi for Eye of the Dawn--J.T.), the daughter of a dancing girl from India."
"The sultry beauty bewitched vaudeville audiences around Europe--and secretly attended an espionage school in Germany, where she got cozy with top officials."
She used her considerable charms to lure British, French and Russian officers into bed, "where they would happily spill military secrets."
At her French Army court-martial in 1917, Mata Hari said, "I am a woman who enjoys herself very much. Sometimes I lose, somethimes I win."
She added, "An officer in my eyes is a superior being==a man who is always ready for any adventure. It did not matter to me what country they came from. Harlot, yes. But a traitor, never!"
At dawn on October 15, 1917, as the French Army squad took aim with their Lebel rifles, Mata Hari blew them a kiss. (See The Examiner for August 8, 2000, "Who stole Mata Hari's head?" page 7.)
(Editor's Note: Two days before Mata Hari was shot in Paris, on October 13, 1917, there was an apparition of the Virgin Mary at Cova da Iria, near Fatima, Portugal, witnessed by 60,000 people.)
1930: UNFORGETTABLE JUDGE CRATER
"Beam me up, Bailiff!"
Either this fellow was New York City's most notorious UFO abductee, or else he pulled off a disappearing act worthy of Harry Houdini. He disappeared seventy years ago this week, and this is his story...
Joseph Force Crater was born in Easton, Pennsylvania in 1889, the son of Irish immigrants. He graduated from Lafayette College and then enrolled in the Columbia University Law School, making New York City his home.
"In 1913, he began to practice law in New York. Ambitious and hard-working, he entered politics and soon became president of a Democratic Party club" in the city's Manhattan borough.
"Because of his close ties with the city's Democratic leadership at Tammany Hall, he was appointed to the New York Supreme Court in April 1930."
In 1916, Crater was retained as a lawyer by a New York socialite, Mrs. Stella Wheeler. "and the next year, after Mrs. Wheeler's divorce became final, Crater married his client. They appeared to be a devoted couple."
Judge Crater "was impressive in both physical structure and dapper dress. Although he stood six feet tall and weighed 180 pounds, he walked with short mincing steps. His face was fleshy, and his iron-gray hair was parted neatly in the middle."
But the judge's domestic life wasn't all that rosy. In 1930, he was seeing two or three Broadway showgirls on the side, including 22-year-old Sally Lou Ritz.
When the state Supreme Court recessed in June 1930, Crater took his wife to their summer home in Belgrade Lakes, Maine.
"On August 3 (1930) he received a telephone call and told his wife that he had to go" to New York City for a few days, "'to straighten those fellows out.'"
On August 4, Crater "arrived at his Fifth Avenue apartment but he seems to have done nothing extraordinary that day or the next."
"On the morning of August 6, however, he spent two hours going through the files in his courthouse chambers, and he had his assistant, Joseph Mara, cash two checks for him amounting to $5,150. At noon he and Mara carried two locked briefcases to his apartment, where he dismissed Mara for the day."
"The same evening, August 6, 1930, "Judge Crater went to a Broadway ticket agency and bought one ticket for the night's performance of a new comedy, Dancing Partners, at the Belasco Theatre."
Crater "then went to Billy Has's chophouse (cafe) on West 45th Street, where he encountered two friends," attorney William Klein and Sally Lou Ritz, who was described as "a stunning showgirl."
"It was 9:10 p.m., well after the play's curtain time, that when the judge said goodbye to his friends in front of the restaurant and hailed a passing taxi."
Judge Crater "hailed a taxi, stepped inside and vanished forever."
"When he had not returned to Maine after ten days, Mrs. Crater inquired of her husband's whereabouts among his friends in New York. She was told that everything was all right, that the judge would eventually turn up."
"Only when he failed to appear at the opening of the courts on August 25 did his fellow justices become alarmed and conduct a private search."
"A grand jury began to investigate the case in October (1930), interviewed 95 witnesses, amassed 975 pages of testimony," but could not decisively conclude whether he was alive or dead."
In 1937, Mrs. Stella Crater sued three insurance companies, trying to collect her husband's death benefits. Her lawyer, Emil K. Ellis, argued that the judge had been murdered by gangsters. But the court ruled in favor of the insurance companies.
On June 6, 1939, the state of New York declared Joseph Force Crater legally dead.
Yet, like Elvis, Judge Crater continued to pop up from time to time. In the past 70 years, thousands of people have reported seeing him. And among New York City's cabbies, there are even stranger tales-- stories of the well-dressed man with iron gray hair who vanished from the back seat of a Yellow Cab on August 6, 1930. How he suddenly went rigid in his seat, and the cabbie said, "You okay, pal?" And the passenger's eyes bulged slightly, and he began sweating. And he opened his mouth to scream, but no sound came out. He seemed to be screaming in silence. Then he turned transparent and vanished, leaving one very shaken cabbie behind the steering wheel.
To the end of her life, Mrs. Crater was "convinced her husband was murdered 'because of a sinister something that was connected with politics.'"
Today Judge Crater would be 111 years old and surely dead. But if he is still alive, he is "perhaps pleased at having carried off one of the most thoroughly investigated--and mysterious--vanishing acts on record."
Meanwhile, aboard a large silver saucer passing by the Crab Nebula, a mellow human voice disturbs the cacophony of cheeps and whistles in the ship's galley. "Uhhh, Reptoids...uhm, I don't mean to be a pest or anything, but...ah...could I go home now? Come on, fellows, give me a break. I'm supposed to be meeting Mayor Walker for lunch today..." (See the books Strange Stories, Amazing Facts, Reader's Digest Association, Pleasantville, N.Y., May 1978, pages 363 and 364; Mysteries of the Unexplained, Reader's Digest Association, Pleasantville, N.Y., 1982, pages 127 and 128. See also the New York Daily News for September 3, 1930, page 1.)
That's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home-- UFO Roundup." See you then.