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Volume 7
Number 14
April 2, 2002

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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Canada's UFO flap continued last week with the sighting of a large saucer over Ottawa, the national capital.

On Tuesday, March 19, 2002, at 2 p.m., the huge object appeared over the city, heading north. The woman witness reported, "Right now, I'm still quite excited as today I saw a large flying saucer right over downtown Ottawa (population 323,340) at approximately 2 p.m."

"I was visiting a friend in hospital in Hull (now Gatineau, Quebec--J.T.) for the afternoon today. He went back to his room to get changed because we were going to go outside for a while. So I stayed in the smoking room with a man I had talked to a few times before. This smoking room has a panoramic window view of downtown Ottawa and the hospital is located close to the Ottawa River."

"Anyway, I was sitting there, watching TV, when all of a sudden the man said something to the effect of 'What the hell is that flying over there!?'"

"I looked, expecting a kite or something, but it was this massive saucer. It seemed like at first it was hiding in the lower clouds" but then it revealed itself. "Right there, over downtown Ottawa, was the large craft! Its colour was dark gray metallic. Its shape was round. It was just, you know, the sort of thing I had always read about in UFO sightings. You could call it a classic flying saucer. The sighting lasted for about 30 seconds, then it disappeared out of view due to part of the hospital blocking the way. Its size was a little bigger than an airliner."

"It was heading either north or northwest when last I saw it," she added, "It couldn't have been more than 400 feet (130 meters) above the skyscrapers of downtown Ottawa." (Many thanks to Sue Darroch of Para-Researchers of Canada for forwarding this report.)


Two more UFO reports have surfaced in northern British Columbia as the result of last Saturday's feature story in the Smithers, B.C. Interior.

One sighting took place in Smithers (population 5,624), a town on Provincial Highway 16 about 256 kilometers (160 miles) west of Prince George, B.C. According to ufologist Brian Vike, "The witness said that he had gone to rent a video from the Smithers Hollywood Video store" on Friday, February 1, 2002 at 10 p.m. "and, after he came out and got into his car and started driving down the road, something caught his eye."

"He pulled his vehicle over, got out and watched it (the UFO) fly slowly over and around the town for approximately five minutes. He thought it was descending, and his first thoughts were of a para-glider, and said it was the best way to describe what he was looking at. He also said the object had 'one' bright white light on it. He noticed that the light would go from bright to dim but said he wasn't sure if this was due to the object turning. He also said that its height from the ground would have been 1,500 feet (450 meters)."

On Thursday, February 14, 2002, at midnight, a man living on the south shore of Francois Lake approximately 30 kilometers (18 miles) from the ferry landing, had a close encounter. The witness "saw something very strange in the night sky. He said the night was perfectly dark with the stars shining brightly."

"When he looked up into the sky, something caught his eye due to the speed of the object" which "had lights on it. He went on to explain that he has seen a lot of satellites, planes, etc. but the object was like nothing he could compare it to. He said it almost looked like an aircraft and 'as it came close to my area', the object came to a complete stop and went totally dark. Then, all of a sudden, there was a flash of light which reminded him of" taking a mirror and tilting it to one side to catch the sun's reflection. "And, aiming it (the bright flash) toward the ground, you could see a very bright area lit up. Because it was totally dark, he said it was like a ray of light which seemed to be sweeping the ground."

The witness told Vike that "the sighting only lasted a couple of minutes before (the UFO was) continuing on its way at an incredible speed. It came from the north and left heading directly south, then disappeared."

"He went on to say he couldn't believe how powerful the light was," Vike said, "It was almost as if the sun were shining through clouds, giving the effect of a beam of sunlight. It looked as if the UFO was looking for something as the beam of light swept the ground."

Francois Lake is in the Grassy Plains area, just south of Burns Lake, B.C. (population 1,793). Burns Lake is at the intersection of Provincial Highways 16 and 35 about 216 kilometers (135 miles) west of Prince George, B.C. (See the Smithers, B.C. Interior for March 23, 2002. Many thanks to Brian Vike for these reports.)


On Wednesday, February 27, 2002, an Italian UFO contactee, visionary and stigmatic named Giorgio Bongiovanni appeared on the TV show La Vita in Diretta in Rome "without his habitual (stigmatic) scar on his forehead, which he had been exhibiting for about nine years."

Bongiovanni claimed to have the stigmata (a phenomenon in which people spontaneously develop the wounds of Jesus Christ--J.T.), in particular a cross on the forehead similar to that of St. Gemma Galgagni (1878-1903). Shortly after his TV appearance, Bongiovanni "issued a press release through his magazine Nonsiamosoli (Italian for We Are Not Alone--J.T.) that he made a pilgrimage to Medjugorje in Bosnia-Herzegovina," where he received a miraculous cure..

According to Bongiovanni, he visited the shrine atop Mount Podbrdo on the morning of Monday, February 11, 2002 "and prayed silently to ask the Virgin Mary to render invisible at least the scar of his stigmata."

To his astonishment, the former Miriam bat-Joachim suddenly appeared before him and touched his forehead with her fingertips. The scar instantly vanished. Then she asked him to return to Italy and make known what had happened.

This is the latest in a series of miraculous happenings involving Miriam and Medjugorje (Croatian for Between the Mountains--J.T.)

Medjugorje is located 40 kilometers (25 miles) south of Mostar and about 80 kilometers (50 miles) southwest of Sarajevo, Bosnia's capital.

The first strange incident took place in 1932 involving Pope Pius XI. This pope was born Achille Ratti near Milano and, after his ordination as a priest, was an archivist at the Vatican Library. After World War I, he became the papal nuncio in Warsaw, Poland. He was also an enthusiastic mountain climber.

(Editor's Note: Curiously enough, the then-Archbishop Ratti was in Warsaw in May 1920 when Pope John Paul II--birth name Karol Wojytla--was born.)

One night in February 1932, Pope Pius XI was asleep in his Vatican bedroom and dreamed that he was climbing a mountain. A mountain he had never seen before. He knew he wasn't in Italy--he had scaled nearly every peak in the Alps.

When he reached the summit, he found Miriam waiting patiently for him there. She was wearing a light gray dress with a long white veil.

"Achille," she told him, "I want you to build a cross on this site. Because this place will become very important in the future."

Looking around in bewilderment, he mumbled, "Where am I?"

"Yugoslavia." And smiling gently, she added, "Remember this mountain, Achille."

And the pope suddenly woke up. That was a weird dream, he thought.

A few months later, Pope Pius XI received a petition from the Archbishop of Mostar in Yugoslavia (now Bosnia-Herzegovina--J.T.) The diocese wanted to erect a concrete cross on Mount Sipovac commemorating the 1,900th anniversary of the crucifixion of Jesus Christ. When the pope saw a photograph of the proposed site, he gasped out loud. It was the mountaintop he had seen in his dream.

He signed the construction order immediately. The cross was erected in 1933, and the mountain's name was changed from Sipovac to Krisevac (Croatian for Mountain of the Cross--J.T.)

Flash-forward nearly a half-century to June 24, 1981. Two teenaged girls--Ivanka Ivankovic, 15, and Mirjana Dragicevic, 16--were hiking up Mount Podbrdo. Both girls were staying with relatives in Bijakovici, a village located between Mount Krisevac and Mount Podbrdo, and had decided to hike up the latter to smoke some cigarettes and enjoy the view.

As they reached the summit, Ivanka and Mirjana saw strange lights flashing in the sky above the cross on Mount Krisevac. Then a brilliant light appeared on Mount Podbrdo, about 40 meters (132 feet) away, and they saw "a beautiful lady in a gray dress with a long white veil" appear at the heart of the glow.

"Let's get out of here!" Ivanka yelled, and they ran down the hillside trail in a panic.

Halfway down the mountain, they encountered some friends from the village and told their story. "A group of them returned to the mountain. There she was! They wondered if she could really be the Blessed Virgin Mary. They all ran away in terror."

Yet Mirjana Dragicevic was intrigued by the incident. She returned to the spot the following day, June 25, 1981, with some friends, Vicka Ivankovic, 17; Ivan Dragivecic, 16; Marija Pavlovic, 17; Jakov Colo, 10--and a reluctant Ivanka, and the Marian apparitions began in earnest. They have been going on now for over twenty years. (See UFO-Italia for March 9, 2002. Also The Visions of the Children: The Apparitions of the Blessed Mother at Medjugorje by Janice T. Connell, St. Martin's Press, New York, N.Y., 1993, pags 4 through 7; and The Queen of Peace Visits Medjugorje by Joseph A. Pelletier, A.A., Assumption Publications, Worcester, Mass., 1987, pages 13 through 21. Grazie a Edoardo Russo di Centro Italiano di Studi Ufologici per questo rapporto.)

(Editor's Comment: Bongiovanni's encounter took place on February 11. Oddly enough, this is a significant date in Marian lore. On February 11, 1858, Bernadette Soubirous had her first encounter with Miriam at the Grotte de Massabielle near Lourdes in southern France.)


Tired of being ignored and brushed off by different national governments around the world, a group of ufologists are planning to bring the movement to the forefront of international politics--by submitting a petition to the United Nations.

"An international, multilingual petition requesting a UN investigation and disclosure of UFO information" has been written, and it will be presented to Secretary-General Kofi Annan in March 2003.

The goal of the petition, spokesman John Velez said, "is to increase the number of nations--Australia, Belgium, Brazil, France and Spain--who have either declassified or released their UFO files, or cooperated with civilians and openly reported UFO encounters to the media."

"A compilation of world-wide UFO-footage will be submitted with the petition," Velez added, "Please read and digitally sign the petition, then spread the word."

The International Petition for UFO Information Disclosure can be viewed at the following website...http://www.virtuallystrange.net/petition/ [Petition now closed]. (Many thanks to John Velez for this news release.)


"Residents of El Tonco, located in the vicinity of Los Cardones National Park" near Cachi in northern Argentina "claim to have seen a strange humanoid of average height with red eyes, sharpened teeth, covered in hair and with fingers ending in long, sharp claws, prowling around their (cattle) herds."

"Creatures have been seen in the valleys of the Chalchaque region" between Cachi and the city of Salta. The region is 750 kilometers (450 miles) northwest of Buenos Aires, the national capital.

"Maria Rufina Cayo is a 73-year-old herdswoman who devotes herself to raising sheep and goats in El Tonco, a suburb of the municipality of Payogasta, bordering Los Cardones National Park. She was the first one to report the strange presence."

"The woman lives and works alongside her sister, Benita, 79, in the desolate landscape where 33 farms are scattered over a vast mountain region."

"On (Monday) February 11, (2002) she says, 'I was returning home and driving my cattle with my dogs. It was getting dark, and, as I walked, I was praying the Rosary, asking God for rain. At that instant, something alarmed the animals and started them running.'"

"'When I looked from one side to the other to see what was going on, I saw it. It was a strange being...half-human, half-animal. It measured 1.7 meters (about 6 feet tall--J.T.) approximately and was less than 12 meters (40 feet) away from me. It looked at me three times and moved quickly, leaping with its two powerful rear limbs and leaving dust in the distance, shaking its two long ears over its head. I was startled, but not scared,' she adds."

"Santos Jaimes, 30, and Ruben Colque, 34, are two of El Tonco's residents. Alerted by Maria Rufina's story, they went out to investigate in the company of some neighbors."

"'We were walking down the trail when the dogs refused to go any further and began to howl pitifully. We heard strange noises and ran to see what was going on. We passed a few bushes and we saw it. We were frozen in panic.'"

"'It was a horrible being that glared at us with red eyes. Seated on its haunches, it (sprang and then) ran away swiftly toward Cerro Negro. Its feet looked like a cow's hooves but with a sort of rear spur (like a rooster--J.T.). On the next day, we went out for a look and found these strange footprints. We don't know what it is, but we're on the lookout for anything,' said Jaimes and Colque."

"Residents of El Tonco claim that it measures 1.7 meters (tall) and its body is covered in hair."

"According to Juan Carlos Chavez, sheriff of the Cafayete regional police, the endless sightings that affected (Calama in) Chile for months has the trans-Andean community on tenterhooks. The presence of the mythic being in the rural community of El Tonco can be added to a series of UFO sightings which have occurred in the (Cachi) area."

(Editor's Note: El Tonco is only 400 kilometers or 250 miles east of Calama, Chile.)

"'We are linking these events. Some ten days ago (March 20, 2002), a thorough investigation was conducted in the place where the animal had turned up and where the sightings occurred. We haven't found much, because there are no clear traces such as the dead (farm) animals that turned up in Chile,' said Sheriff Chavez."

"'According to witnesses, rather than adopting an aggressive stance, the animal takes off when it sees humans. However, people are concerned over what happened in Calama. They fear their cattle will be attacked,' explained the sheriff, adding that a police commission shall study the strange phenomenon--which is the talk of the community--for a month and in an exhaustive manner." (See the Argentinian newspapers El Tribuno of Salta for March 27, 2002, "Strange humanoid allegedly seen," and Las Ultimas Noticias of Buenos Aires for March 30, 2002, "Chupacabras reach Argentina." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales, autor de los libros Chupacabras and Other Mysteries y Forbidden Mexico, y tambien Gloria Coluchi, para los articulos de diario.)


On Tuesday, February 19, 2002, at about 11 p.m., "a strange apparition" was sighted by many people in Revello, a small town near Cuneo at the foot of the Alpi Cozie mountains. Cuneo is 110 kilometers (66 miles) south of Torino (Turin).

"Numerous residents" of Revello "noticed a rectangular-shaped object over the hills, suspended a few meters above the ground. The mysterious and luminous object then moved, illuminating the woods, before disappearing without a trace."

"The object was 1.5 kilometers (just over a mile--J.T.) away, over a hill. It appeared to be bright white and rectangular.in shape and as large as an automobile. After ten seconds or so, the object slowly descended behind the trees, illuminating them from behind, and then disappeared."

The witnesses are being interviewed by Italian ufologist Matteo Leone. (See the Italian newspaper La Eco dei Chisone for February 28, 2002. Grazie a Edoardo Russo e Camillo Michieletto di CISU per questo rapporto.)


On Wednesday, March 27, 2002, "Huckleberry" M. was at home in Allen, Texas (population 43,554) when a UFO approached from the north.

"A hubcap-like thing flew over and landed in a field," Huck reported. "At the time we were going fishing. We walked on past a tree to see the hubcap hover about 10 feet (3 meters) off the ground and then it zipped off to the west."

"It was silver and round at the top like a hubcap (that is, it had a dome-shaped protuberance on top--J.T.). Around the side were little circular lights. The round top looked like it could pop up like a door. It had no landing gear. Height was about five yards (15 feet) off the ground. Length was about 10 feet (3 meters) and the speed was going fast as you can see. When it zipped off, it looked like a line shooting across the sky."

Allen, Tex. is on Highway 5 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) north of Dallas. (Email Form Report)


On Thursday, March 21, 2002, the male eyewitness reported, "I was riding around" Hugo, Oklahoma "about 9 or 10 (o'clock) at night. And I saw a single white light. It was moving across the sky. It was not a plane or a satellite. It didn't blink. We followed it to the airport, and it disappeared."

"My son and I went home, and (then) it came over our house! It had red, blue and green lights with a bright white light in the middle. It was a triangle shape. It made no noise and moved so slow. Then it disappeared."

Hugo, Okla. (population 5,536) is on Highway 70 just north of the Texas state line and about 65 miles (108 kilometers) south of McAlester, Okla. (Many thanks to John Hoppe of UFO Wisconsin for forwarding this report.)


On Friday, March 15, 2002, at 8:30 p.m., the male witness, who wishes to remain anonymous, reported, "I was coming home from (nearby) Omaha, Nebraska on (Interstate Highway) I-79 South when I first noticed a cone-shaped object that was not moving across the sky like an airplane or known aircraft. It was stationary. The color was a pale neon blue. It looked as if it was a mile or 2 above ground. I kept my eye on it as I was driving. Then I pulled over and observed the thing for about 15 minutes."

The witness estimated that the cone-shaped UFO was over Highway 34 approximately 3 miles (5 kilometers) west of Glenwood, Iowa.

He added, "It looked as though it occasionally cast some sort of light down under it. I get the feeling that it was looking for something or perhaps taking photos. The light that was being cast down was not as bright as the object itself. It was rather faint in comparison."

"There is an Air Force base nearby, and one of the bigger planes emerged from the southeastern sky. As the plane got closer, the object seemed to fade in brightness. And, just like a car backing up in reverse, the object did until you could no longer see it."

"When the plane went by and was out of sight, back it came and resumed whatever it was doing before."

"The thing moved at fantastic speed. It doesn't seem like the object was playing hide-and-seek with the plane. Also, I noticed I was not the only person who pulled over to watch this thing."

The object was still over Glenwood when the witness drove away.

Glenwood (population 5,358) is on Iowa Highway 275, about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southeast of Omaha, Nebraska. (Email Form Report)


Since Saturday, February 2, 2002, farmers and ranchers near Tyler, a small town in Washington state about 25 miles (40 kilometers) southwest of Spokane, have been seeing "mysterious lights in the sky three or four times per week."

The high prairie around Tyler is locally known as the Palouse, and it is most famous for its vast wheat fields. People living in the area have an unlimited view on clear nights, and they are puzzled by the strange flurry of recent UFOs.

"Since that time, I have observed 'lights' in the night sky an average of three or four nights per week," the witness, a middle-aged male rancher, reported. "Beginning about (Thursday) February 7, I started taking photographs with an Instamatic-type camera, and as of about (Friday) February 15, I began shooting through a Meade 200x telescope using a 35-millimeter Canon A6-1 (camera). I have quite a few pictures, most of which show uneven blobs of light. However, in some (photos) shot at shorter shutter speeds, the lights take on a discernable saucer shape."

"I witnessed a startling event about February 5 or 6. The evening had been quite stormy and rainy, with strong gusts of wind. But at about 9:30 p.m., the wind and rain let up, and, within minutes, a large 'light' popped up over the Palouse. Then, within a minute, I observed a lighted jet aircraft 'dive' out of the clouds above the light and fly directly at it. The light began a rather rapid movement to the north, with the aircraft following it!"

"It was my impression that the plane was 'waiting' and 'pounced' on the light when it appeared," he stated, adding that the UFO sightings continue in the Palouse wheat country. (Many thanks to Brian Vike for forwarding this report.)


On Saturday, March 16, 2002, in the late evening, a witness in Hayward, California (population 140,030) "was looking into the clear dark sky when I suddenly and accidentally saw an object which I cannot explain. The object was shining light of a white color, and it moved west towards San Francisco Bay. The object was very fast, much faster than a plane, and it didn't make any sound at all."

"I guess the object was about 500 feet (150 meters) above ground level. Although I saw it for just two seconds, I could tell for sure that I had never seen such a thing before in my life. I am absolutely sure it was not an airplane. The object had the shape of a comet when entering the atmosphere, but it was too low and too big to be considered a comet."

Hayward, Cal. is on the east side of San Francisco Bay, on Interstate Highway I-880 about 15 miles (25 kilometers) southeast of San Francisco. (Many thanks to John Hoppe of UFO Wisconsin for forwarding this report.)


"New Zealand scientists have identified what they say is the largest octopus ever seen: a 13-foot (4-meter) giant caught in a trawler's net near the Chatham Islands" off the coast of the South Pacific nation.

"The dead animal was badly damaged, but scientists estimate it weighed 154 to 165 pounds and was caught at a depth of more than 3,000 feet (900 meters)."

(See USA Today for March 29, 2002, "Giant octopus found near New Zealand islands," page 15A.)

(Editor's Note: Although giant octopodes--some as large as a three-story building--have been described by sailors worldwide through the centuries, this specimen is the largest octopus known to and recognized by science.)



Edoardo Russo of Centro Italiano di Studi Ufologici (CISU) writes, "Hello, Joseph and John! There has been a misunderstanding due to translation problems." (See UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 11 for March 12, 2002, "Italy reports its first alien abduction.")

"'The first report of its type' meant the first time a report of its type was filled out at a police office by the 'kidnapped' man himself. We've had our share of abduction reports in Italy, although this is the first time that an abductee stepped into a police office to make that claim."

From the UFO Files...


Number 9169 Tulane Road in Southaven, a small town in De Soto County, Mississippi, has one claim to fame in that it's "just down the road from Graceland," Elvis Presley's palatial mansion, located just across the state line in Memphis, Tennessee.

But in March 1979, the modest home suddenly became the site of the strangest poltergeist outbreak in the history of Mother Dixie.

It all began the evening of Saturday, March 31, 1979 when "Bert Gross, 54, who lives with his children, ages 13 to 24,...was sitting with some kids, watching TV and generally taking things easy."

Suddenly, "flying insects began to attack them. Then a decorative pillow flew off the couch in the corner of the room and landed about eight feet away, near the opposite wall."

"Things dveloped rapidly after that. A coal-burning heater in the room collapsed. The portable black-and-white TV set crashed to the floor from the dresser. So did the alarm clock. The dresser drawers opened and emptied themselves. Tennis balls flew about. A hunk of hardened adobe being used to plug a hole around the pipe from the heater came loose and flew across the room."

"The strange events continued until around 11:30 p.m., Gross told Don Winbush (a reporter) of the Memphis, Tenn. Commercial-Appeal. An upright freezer in the adjoining kitchen made a 90-degree turn. Kitchen chairs, tables, utensils, a canister of sugar and a jar of spaghetti sauce moved about."

"A De Soto County sheriff's deputy watched the objects flying around on Sunday (April 1, 1979) and decided it was not a job the law could cope with."

"Winbush also saw the strange goings-on....A chicken being thawed for dinner flew off the kitchen table and crashed onto the floor. Other flying objects included Gross's Size 8 1/2 work boots, a butcher knife, a flashlight and other items from the front porch."

"Gilbert Hines, 58, who lives nearby, said, 'I was drinking a can of beer this morning (a Sunday) and a pillow came around the corner, it looked like to me, and it hit me in the leg. Now that's the truth if I ever told it. I wouldn't have believed it myself if I hadn't seen it.'"

"Three weeks later, things were still happening at the Gross home, after a brief lull. On Saturday, April 15 (1979), a woodburning stove suddenly collapsed, spilling its smoldering contents onto the kitchen floor."

"The night before (Friday, April 14, 1979) dirt flew across the front room of the house. Both the refrigerator and the freezer moved during the night."

Having lost their stove, the Gross family took to cooking their meals on the backyard barbecue grille. Mr. Gross vowed "to stay until it runs us out." The family finally moved, and the phenomena petered out, leaving the researchers--as usual--scratching their heads in bewilderment. (See the Memphis, Tenn. Commercial Appeal for April 17, 1979. Also Fate magazine for November 1979, "Things A-Flying," pages 10 to 12.)

(Editor's Note: Memphis, Tenn. is notorious for its haunts. In addition to "the Vatican of Elvisology," Graceland, there's the old Brinkley Female College, the Orpheum Theatre on Beale Street and the antebellum mansion in South Hills which last year experienced a series of unexplained fires.)

Well, that's it for this week. Join us in seven days for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you then.

UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2002 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news items from UFO Roundup on their websites and in news groups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of issue in which the item first appeared.


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