TITANIC SOLAR FLARE ENGULFS EARTH
"Intense storms raging on the sun made the night sky shimmer red and green as far south as Palm Springs, California and southern New Mexico, and scientists say the storms could briefly disrupt telecommunications as they continue through the weekend."
""NASA scientists said a powerful flare that erupted Thursday," March 28, 2001 "rayed a class X, the most potent category."
"The eruptions triggered a powerful but brief blackout Friday," March 29, 2001, "on some high-frequency radio channels and low-frequency navigational signals, scientists said. They forecast at least a 30 percent chance of continuing disruptions" through Monday, April 2, 2001.
"The biggest sunspot cluster seen in the last ten years has developed on the upper right quarter of the side of the sun visible from Earth, according to satellite readings."
"On Friday night, the light from solar flares was reported near cities including Palm Springs and Sacramento, California, Flagstaff, Arizona and Albuquerque and Carlsbad, New Mexico."
"'It has totally lit up the sky. We've had dozens and dozens of calls. People want to know what it is,' said Bill Seigel, a producer at radio station KESQ in Palm Desert, 115 miles (185 kilometers) east of Los Angeles. 'Some people thought it was UFOs.'"
"Just north of Albuquerque, N.M., David MacKel was making the rounds at his security job when he saw the lights. He noted it on his report at 11:23 p.m."
"'It was blood red. That's all I can say. It was kind of opaque and you could see the stars through it,' MacKel said. He said he had seen the northern lights while in Alaska, but 'the northern lights move, and this was more gaseous. It kind of got me freaked out.'"
"Eddy County, New Mexico Deputy Danny Gonzalez described it as a purple haze. 'It was very distinct in color,' he said, 'I have never seen anything like it.'"
"Anthony Watts, a meteorologist in Chico, California, about 17- miles (272 kilometers) north of San Francisco , said the show from the coronal mass ejection was interesting but posed no threat."
"'There's no danger. However, there is a likelihood that that we'll have radio or television interruptions; he said.""The sunspot, which is a cooler, darker region on the sun's surface, is caused by a concentration if temporarily distorted magnetic fields. It spawns tremendous eruptions, or flares, into the sun's atmosphere, hurling clouds of electrified gas toward Earth."
(Editor's Comment: Younger readers, here's a show-and-tell activity you can do for science class. Bring 13 oranges to school. Line them up on the table side-by-side so that they are touching each other. Now tell your classmates that each orange represents the Earth. That's right. That's how big the sunspot is. It's 13 Earths wide.)
On Saturday, March 31, 2001, scientists announced that the Solar Max had reached 264, the highest level since June 2000, when it peaked at 263. (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for April 1, 2001, "Sun's storms likely to disrupt telecommunications on Earth," page 9A.)
MIR-3 BALLOON CAUSES A RED ALERT IN BOLIVIA
"The first sighting of the flying object took place near the city of Cochabamba" in Bolivia, over the Parque Nacional de Tunari (national park--J.T.) around 7:30 a.m. on Tuesday, March 26, 2001.
"Following a sequence of rapid movements interrupted by minutes of static flight, the object reached the city" of Cochabamba " "over which it remained until 8:35 a.m."
Immediately, the telephone began ringing in the office of Colonel Carlos Antero, commander of the Second Air Brigade of the Fuerzas Aereas de Bolivia (FAB, or Bolivian Air Force--J.T.)
Colonel Antero "was at a loss to explain the event which, according to eyewitnesses, involved a circular white dot.: But he notified GAB headquarters in La Paz, the national capital.
The "heads up" alert was passed on to the jet interceptor squadron at FAB El Alto, located on the altiplano (high plateau--J.T.) just north of La Paz.
(Editor's Note: The city of La Paz is located at the bottom of a steep quebrada or canyon. The suburb of El Alto, where the international airport and the FAB base are, is up on the rim of the canyon.
"Only a few minutes before 9 a.m., the white object came over the city of El Alto. Alerted to the phenomenon, the FAB ordered the scramble of a T-33 jet which unsuccessfully tried to approach the object."
"'It was a brilliant, metallic-colored sphere, but we could not determine what kind of object it was,' reported Major Luis Arzabe Torrico, the T-33's pilot, who explained that he piloted his military jet to an altitude of 42,500 feet (13,000 meters) and the object maintained the same distance in regard to the aircraft as it did from the moment of the jet's takeoff."
"Minutes later, the FAB jet landed at the El Alto air base and the object vanished."
For two days, all of Bolivia was talking about the UFO overflight of the national capital. And then the bubble burst.
"It was seen by thousands of Bolivians as it soared across the skies over Cochabamba, Oruro and La Paz. And they'll be seeing two more. The 'unidentified flying object' that caused a commotion during the week was nothing more than a weather balloon, specifically the MIR-3."
(Editor's Note: MIR, no relation to the Russian space station, is a French acronym for Montgolfier Inra-Rouge, a balloon to study the stratosphere in the tropics.)
"Confirmation was provided through the research of astronomer Gherman Morales Chavez, a specialist at the Sigma Octante Astronomical Laboratory at the Universidad Catolica de Bolivia (UCB)."
"MIR-3 is a balloon aimed at researching concentrations of ozone, and compounds of nitrogen, carbon and oxygen at stratospheric altitudes for the inter-tropical regions."
The MIR-2 balloon was launched by France's Centre des Etudes Espaciales and the Balloon Launching Group of the State University of Sao Paulo, Brazil. "The launch took place February 21, 2001 at Bauru, 340 kilometers )2-4 miles_ west of Sao Paulo" The balloon has been aloft for over 50 days. It travels from east to west and takes about 17 days to fly around the world. )See the Bolivian newspapers La Prensa for March 27, 2001, "Object seen between Cochabamba and La Paz: Air Force jet chases UFO for 20 minutes," and Los Tiempos de Bolivia for March 29, 2001, "UFO was the MIR-3 balloon." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales, autor de los libros Chupacabras and Other Mysteries y Forbidden Mexico, y tambien Gloria Coluchi, para eses articulos de diario.)
LUMINOUS UFO SIGHTED IN ARICA, CHILE
"The presence of a brilliant light which was seen over the barrio Morro Gordo (sector) from downtown Arica created great excitement,"
"The phenomenon took place at around 6 p.m. when dozens of witnesses raised their eyes upward to look at it and wonder aloud what it could be. Many in the barrio reached the conclusion that they were in the presence of a UFO."
"At that time of day, the object had the appearance of a first magnitude star with a glow similar to that of the planet Venus, and whitish and metallic in color, and moved slowly toward the southwest (toward the Pacific Ocean--S.C.) As the sun vanished below the horizon, the object's glow disappeared and its color turned to red before disappearing completely a few minutes after 7 p.m."
"The public fathered at a photographic and optical supplies shop located at the corner of Calle 21 de Mayo and Calle Patricio Lynch (streets) where people stood in line to catch a glimpse of the object through a telescope,"
"Those lucky enough to see the object" either with the telescope or with the unaided eye "described it as 'a cup without a handle and a dangling thread' or 'a cup without a base and with a narrow foot.'"
"A couple of youngsters who saw the object through a telescope said that it resembled 'the Temple of the Great Cayosama,' a sort of floating city (which appears in the Japanese cartoon series Dragonball Z--J.T.)"
The fact that the object vanished simultaneously before the eyes of those seeing through telescopes and those seeing it unaided suggest that it disappeared because it stopped shining rather than due to distance."
"Furthermore, the gradual manner in which this happened and the time of day in which the incident occurred suggest that" the UFO was reflecting sunlight "and the object wasn't self-luminous."
"Given the witnesses' descriptions and the slowness of the object's movements, some thought that it could be a balloon When personnel from the Chacalluta Airport were contacted, about the possibility, they indicated that weather balloons were not launched from the region."
Airport personnel also checked with air traffic controllers in Iquique and Santiago de Chile, the national capital. The object did not appear on radar, either at Chacalluta Airport near Arica nor in the other two cities. (See the newspaper La Estrella de Arica for March 25, 2001, "UFO seen over Arica." Oyta vez, muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Gloria Coluchi para ese articulo de diario.)
BEACH CROWD SEES A BRIGHT UFO IN NEW ZEALAND
On Monday, March 26, 2001, at 8 p.m., a crowd of people at Wainui Beach, near Gisborne, North Island, New Zealand, spotted a strange glow out at sea.
Eyewitness Justine W. reported, "'The object approached as a bright round white light but moved rapidly over the water, coming from the south It definitely was not a boat because a boat cannot go as fast as it did."
"It appeared to be about halfway between the shore and the horizon (about one mile out--N.W.) and just above the water. The light was bright enough to light up the beach. The object moved until it was directly opposite them." (the people on Wainui Beach--J.T.)
The UFO "returned to the southerly direction and then came back again," Justine added, "And then the object shot straight out to sea (east) and until it almost disappeared."
"It stopped again and began radiating colors bright and moving patterns. Someone commented that it looked like angel's wings. When it stopped radiating colors, it again became an intensely white light, It then shot back to the south."
(Editor's Comment: Heading for Antarctica?)
"As it neared the Mahia Peninsula, , it changed color from white to yellow or orange. and finally disappeared. The whole encounter took approximately four minutes."
"The next morning (Tuesday, March 27, 2001) three people who had witnessed the object discussed how they had slept. All reported vivid dreams, In addition, all three reported waking up with headaches and feeling much grogginess."
The case is being investigated by New Zealand ufologist Norman Weiss. (Many thanks to Norman Weiss for this report.)
(Editor's Note: Gisborne is one of the most notorious hotspots for UFO activity in New Zealand and was the scene of a UFO flap back in 1996.)
THREE UFO SIGHTINGS ARE REPORTED IN ITALY
On Sunday, March 18, 2001, at three people saw "a circular UFO' hovering over Monte Paganella mountain near the city of Trento. "One witness described the object as 'a spherical shape with a metallic sheen to it.' Another said it 'had one point of light moving around inside the sphere.'"
The same evening, Sunday, March 18, at 8:39 p.m., "a similar spherical UFO with an intense white spotlight 'like a star of incredible dimensions,' was seen by a witness in the city of Modena in northern Italy.
On Wednesday, March 21, 2001, at 8:15 p.m., a family in the suburbs of Rome "saw a flashing light that hovered for 15 minutes and then moved around the sky in an elliptical fashion.' The light then shot away at tremendous speed." (See the newspaper. Gazzetta di Modena for March 20, 2--1. Grazie a Edoardo Russo e Centro Italiano di Studi Ufologici per questi rapporti.)
TRIANGULAR UFO SPOTTED IN TAYLORVILLE, ILLINOIS
On Thursday, March 28, 2001, at 10 p.m., a witness spotted a dark triangular-shaped UFO flying outside his home in Taylorville, Illinois.
The witness reported, "I was in my bedroom, on the computer. I'm sitting there, talking to my friends, yaddy-yaddy-ya,00you know, having a good time. All of a sudden, I feel a sudden violent movement of the house. I specifically dart to the window, and right when I look out, to my own surprise, I see a triangular-shaped object just traveling in a straight line in what looks like 150 miles per hour (250 kilometers per hour)."
"The triangular object also had lights on the bottom and red lights on the back of it. It was three-dimensional. It made a loud roaring noise."
"Just when I lost sight of it, I could still see it hovering, just sitting in mid-air,. All I could see at this time were the lights through cloud. All of a sudden, it vanished, and that was the last I saw of it." (Many thanks to Rev. Billy Dee and Peter B. Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center for this report.)
MYSTERIOUS RED LIGHT SEEN IN KETCHUM, IDAHO
On Tuesday, March 13, 2001, at around 10 p.m., the witness was walking his dog outdoors near his home in Ketchum, Idaho when he spotted a strange red light in the sky.
He reported, "I was staring at the stars, as I do nightly, I saw a red point of light dancing around on a single cloud."
"I assumed someone was playing with a laser pointer. Then the point started darting around, beyond the boundaries of the little cloud against the dark, starry night sky. I then realized it was a vehicle, not a laser pointer."
"What I witnessed had the quality of a 'joy ride,'" as if the pilot were "'taking the craft out for a spin.' There was no discernible symmetry or discipline to the craft's maneuvers--a few loops and zig-zags" going into another part of the sky.
"The sighting started with the craft almost directly overhead, slightly to the west, then darting about 30 or 40 degrees due east, then departing southward. The craft itself was a point of fuzzy red light," which did not blink. (Many thanks to Rev. Billy Dee and Peter B. Davenport of the National UFO Reporting Center for this report.)
THE STRANGE DOOM OF FRANK BERTSCHY
This next story sounds like something out of J.P. Lovecraft--The Doom That Fell On West Milwaukee. Except that it actually happened--an apparent case of spontaneous human combustion (SHC) and just last week.
Here's the story as it appeared in the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel.
"A 78-year-old blind man died mysteriously of burns he suffered Thursday (March 29, 2001) after apparently setting himself on fire while lighting a cigar, authorities said."
"Investigators remained puzzled over the rapidity with which Francis (nickname Frank--J.T.) Bertschy became engulfed in flames. He suffered second and third degree burns over about 95 percent of his body, fire officials said."
"Officials were investigating whether an inflammable compound such as glue or alcohol may have been on Bertschy's clothes."
"No such substance was found on the man's body, however, and a search of the apartment where he and his wife shared in the 5000 block of West National Avenue" in West Milwaukee, Wisconsin, "failed to turn up any signs of an accelerant."
"A spokesman at St. Mary's Hospital, where Bertschy was treated, said Bertschy died sometime Thursday evening.. She was unsure what time he died, however, and could not comment on the extent of his injuries."
"Bertschy was burned about 6:15 a.m. Thursday (March 29) after his cotton clothing apparently caught fire while he was trying to light a cigar with a match."
"Fatima Ahmed, Bertschy's 13-year-old neighbor, said she awoke early Thursday morning , as Bertschy screamed desperately for help, and his wife, Mary, pounded frantically on her (Fatima's) front door."
"'I got scared at first because I thought, Nobody pounds on our door at six o'clock in the morning,' she said. 'Then I heard Mary's husband screaming, 'Someone help me! I'm on fire!' Well, I went out in the hallway. I saw him standing there, with his hand on fire.'"
"As Fatima dialed 911 from her home, she said her mother, Noorb Behegum, followed the Bertschys back into their apartment."
"When she joined them minutes later, Fatima said she saw the flames had crept across Bertschy's arm and chest and had consumed his clothing, which Fatima described as 'boxer shorts and a muscle shirt.'"
"The West Milwaukee Middle School student said Frank Bertschy was stumbling around in his one-bedroom apartment and turning on faucets and splashing himself with water in an attempt to douse the flames."
"When police arrived, they found Bertschy still on fire in the bathroom. They used a fire extinguisher and towels to douse the flames, authorities said."
"Two police officers were later treated for smoke inhalation, police said." (See the Milwaukee Journal-Sentinel for March 29, 2001, story by Jessica Hansen and Nahal Toos. Many thanks to Louise A. Lowry for forwarding this newspaper article.)
(Editor's Comment: SHC is one of the most baffling Fortean phenomena. I wonder if what happened to Mr. Bertschy might have been caused by a localized electromagnetic field effect, brought on by NOA9393, the largest sunspot in eleven years. It would be interesting to compare the dates of known SHC cases with data on sunspot activity I am reminded what Arthur C. Clarke said on his TV show. "If there's anything more to SHC, I don't want to know about it.")
ANOTHER EARTHQUAKE SLAMS SOUTHERN INDONESIA
An earthquake measuring 6.6 on the Richter scale struck the island nation of Indonesia . The epicenter of the quake was deep below ground, 72 kilometers (43 miles) beneath the seabed, in the Indian Ocean. The shock wave toppled palm trees and flattened houses in Bengkulu and Manna, on the south side of Sumatra island. The region was the site of an earthquake measuring 7.9 on the Richter scale in June of the year 2000. (Muito obrigado a Visitantes Cosmicas por esas informacoes.)
"Hi, this is Bob 'Hasta La Vista' Hope. At age 97, I've sure seen my share of disasters. Son of Paleface comes immediately to mind. I hear there's a big one coming up next Friday, so I'd like to invite everyone to this website for continuing live coverage of...the end of Oregon! APRIL FOOL!--J.T.
MORE WORDS ON BIRDS
Ray Cecot, organizational director of the International Researchers' Association for Anomalous Phenomena (IRAAP) writes, "I read the short piece on bird deaths in UFO Roundup. (See UFO Roundup, volume 6, number 11 for March 15, 2001, "Mysterious Mass deaths of birds in Long Island, N.Y.," page 4) and I have a copy of the article in front of me as I am writing this and wanted to correct the date of the event."
"The article in the Newsday website is listed as Friday, March 2, 2001m which makes the date of the event February 27 (the previous Tuesday--R.C.) I printed the article out on the following Wednesday, March 7."
"Read the UFO Roundup with interest. Keep up the good work."
SCIENCE SHOULD INVESTIGATE THE UTAH POOP FALL
Jimbo writes, ""I just read your article about the Utah house pelted by dung (See UFO Roundup, volume 6, number 12 for March 22, 2001, "Utah town pelted by a rain of excrement," page 4) and I flashed on a story I read recently that mentioned how the Russian astronauts (cosmonauts--J.T.) just threw their waste overboard."
"The question would be, 'Is it possible that the Russians have developed the technology to allow crap to fall to Earth without burning up in the atmosphere?'"
"We need to get people working on this right now."
From the UFO Files...
1909: STRANGE CRUISE OF THE ADELLA SHORES
Lake Superior, the largest of the Great Lakes, has its legendary "Ghost Fleet." These are the five ships that have "gone missing" in the last century or so. Their names are known to everyone living between Duluth, Minnesota and Sault Sainte Marie, Michigan-- the Bannockburn, the Hydson, the Inkermann, the Cerisolles...and, of course, the Adella Shores.
The Adella Shores was what we on Lake Superior call a "lumber hooker." That is, a wooden steamboat with a large flat area amidships to store lumber for the long journey through the lakes to Chicago, Milwaukee and Cleveland.
"The Adella Shores was built in Gibraltar, Michigan in 1894 for the Shores Lumber Company. After a quick and unceremonious launch, the incomplete vessel was towed to Ashland, Wisconsin , where the Shores mills were located."
Millowner Walter Shores was one of the most prominent businessmen in Ashland. He was also a leading supporter of the Temperance movement in Wisconsin, and he hated beer and alcohol of any kind.
(Editor's Note: In 1919, the Temperance movement succeeded in passing the Volstead Act, which banned the consumption of alcoholic beverages in the USA. The act was repealed in 1933 by President Franklin D. Roosevelt, which ended the brief Prohibition era in the USA.)
Mr. Shores decided to name the ship after his beautiful oldest daughter, Adella. But because he was an ardent [prohibitionist, he did not wish the ship to be christened with the traditional bottle of champagne. He was afraid that Ashland people would laugh if the ship bearing his daughter's name would be soaked with champagne.
So, on the day of the ceremonial launch, Shores called his youngest daughter, eight-year-old Bessie, over to the reviewing stand and handed her an empty bottle. "Take this down to the lake and fill it up," he told Bessie, "Then come on back here, and you can launch the ship."
Ole Svalesen, an elderly Great Lakes sailor who had been cruising Lake Superior since before the Soo canal opened in 1855, happened to overhear the businessman. Hobbling over on his wooden leg, Ole said, "Oh, Mr. Shores, you can't do that. If you christen a ship with water, you'll jinx her, and she'll come to a bad end."
Shores was adamant. "I will not have Adella's name associated with champagne. I will not have my daughter made a laughingstock."
"You'll jinx the ship."
"Superstitious rubbish!" Shore replied, "Good heavens, Svalesen! It's the Nineteenth Century. Don't tell me you believe in that foolishness. Next I suppose you'll be telling me you believe in the Black Dog of Lake Erie, too."
Ole turned a ghastly shade of white. "Are you mad!? Bandying the cursed hound's name about!?" He hurried away. "I'll have no part of this!"
"Go on, Bessie." Her father gave her a nudge towards the sandy beach.
Bessie nodded and walked down to the water's edge. Squatting on her haunches, she filled the empty bottle with fresh lake water, put a cork in it, and lugged it back to the reviewing stand.
While her parents and siblings and the spectators sat in the bleacher seats, Bessie stepped up to the bow of the Adella Shores. She lifted the bottle like a baseball player getting ready to hit a home run. Then, in a loud, clear voice, she cried, "I christen thee...Adella Shores!"
The bottle struck the bow, exploding in a spray of glass and water. The ship let out a groan and a shudder and began to slide down the ramp into Lake Superior.
But then something strange happened. Instead of going straight into the lake, the ship slid sideways. The stern struck the corner of the bleachers, collapsing them and dumping eight people into the lake.
No one was really hurt. Just a few people got soaked. But the rumor that Shores had jinxed the ship spread like wildfire. Shores himself tried to put the best face on the mishap.
"It was an accident," he said, "It could happen to anybody."
But, off to one side, Ole Svalesen told a group of sailors, "She's a jinxed ship, and she'll come to a bad end."
Ole died a year later, in 1895.
And the Adella Shores began her career, hauling lumber from Duluth, Ashland and Beaver Bay, Minn. to the ports on the lower Great Lakes.
But the Shores Lumber Company had trouble keeping a fully-manned crew.
Strange things were happening aboard that ship. Helmsmen complained that the steering wheel would suddenly jam and refused to budge for a minute or two. Sailors working below heard strange whispering voices coming from the shadowy corners of the forecastle. Often, between midnight and 3 a.m., the mate on watch would hear an odd sound on the lumber deck. A kind of muted thump-thump-thump, like a man walking with one wooden leg.
In October 1904, sailors dressing for work in the crew's quarters let out a yell. Hovering before the bulkhead mirror was a disembodied white hand. Extending a ghostly forefinger, it began writing on the glass. Then it vanished.
Running to the mirror, the sailors found this message in letters of frost--She's a jinxed ship, and she'll come to a bad end.
Everybody aboard had a look at the message before it faded, The one shocked worst of all was Patrick Olsen, age 20. He recognized the handwriting of his maternal grandfather, Ole Svalesen, who had died nine years earlier.
The Shores mills had to recruit a whole new crew after that.
In November 1905, the Adella Shores was caught in the "Big Blow" that devastated Lake Superior. Many thought Ole's prediction had finally come true. But the tough little lumber hooker survived the storm that sank three larger ships--the Mataafa and the Crescent City.
After that, there were fewer whispers about "the Jinx Ship." The Adella Shores plied her trade on the Great Lakes without incident. When the shipping season began in late March of 1909, there was every expectation that the Adella Shores would have a long, uneventful career.
But one foggy morning in April 1909, the Adella Shores took on a load of lumber at her dark on the bay side of Park Point. She steamed out of the ship canal and out into the Big Lake, heading for the Shores dock in Ashland. She picked up another load of cut boards there and departed in early afternoon, heading up Chequamegon Bay past the Apostle Islands and out into the fogbound lake.
She was never seen again.
Three days later, the Duluth harbormaster received a telegram from the locks at Sault Sainte Marie. Where is the Adella Shores?
The harbormaster fired off telegrams to all of the port cities around the lake--Two Harbors, Minn., Grand Marais, Minn., Ontonagon, Mich., Marquette, Mich. and Port Arthur (now Thunder Bay--J.T.), Ontario. He asked the very same question.
And the answer came back from every port--No sign of her.
That was 92 years ago. No trace of the Adella Shores was ever found.
The "Jinx Ship" has become a ghost ship of Lake Superior. *See the book Haunted Lakes by Frederick Stonehouse, Lake Superior Port Cities, Inc, Duluth, Minn., 1997, page 66.)
LATE BREAKING NEWS!
The largest solar flare in recorded history erupted from the sun on Tuesday, April 3, 2001. The coronal mass ejection (CME), which originated with the massive sunspot NOA9393, is expected to reach Earth in 72 hours. Disruptions in TV and radio broadcasts are expected, as are tremendous auroras in both the northern and southern hemispheres.
Also on Tuesday, an earthquake measuring 5.1 on the Richter scale shook buildings less than 100 miles (160 kilometers) south of Tokyo. Japanese officials said the quake was not a forerunner of an even bigger earthquake centered in Tokyo.
(Editor's Comment: This is not good. I was hoping Japan was all finished with earthquakes for a while after that big one in Hiroshima. Christian seer Quentin Jessup predicted a big earthquake in the metro Tokyo region a month ago, but he did not give a specific date for this event.)
That's it for this week. Join us next time for more UFO and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you next week.
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2001 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.