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Volume 8
Number 2
January 8, 2003

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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A retired Chilean air force general said last week that he and his wingman had encountered an immense UFO while on a training flight over northern Chile twenty- five years ago.

"In an interview with Terra-Chile, retired general Hernan Gabrieli Rojas mentioned that he had 'squared off' against a gigantic UFO while while engaged in a training flght in the skies of northern Chile."

According to Gabrieli Rojas, who retired after a long career wth the Fuerzas Aereas de Chile (FACh or Chilean Air Force--J.T.), "the object was the size of 10 to 15 aircraft carriers, and its presence was picked up by the radars aboard the two F-5 jet fighters as well as the Cerro Moreno airport in Antofagasta."

The incident took place in 1978, Gabrieli Rojas said, "'I was a captain and was flying a mission with two F-5 fighters. It was noon, and I was flying with Captain Danilo Catalan (his wingman--J.T.). We were both flight instructors. Accompanying us was Fernando Gomez, an aviation technician, and another trainee. The F-5 is radar-equipped, and a line appeared from side to side--in other words, a trace across the bottom of the (radar) screen. A trace for a surface ship, a carrier, is approximately one centimeter (0.4 inches) long, but this line went from one side of the screen to the other.'"

"'I assumed the radar scope had failed and told Danilo Catalan, but his radar had also 'failed.' I then advised the ground radar at Antofagasta, and they picked up the line. We were flying from north to south in the vicinity of Mejillones and saw a deformed cigar-shaped object. Deformed, like a plantain banana. It was swathed in smoke.'"

The UFO "'was large and must have been 25 to 32 kilometers (15 to 20 miles) away. It moved in the same direction as us. We had no missiles, guns or anything. As you can imagine, the fright was more or less considerable. We could see a large thing surrounded in smoke and from which a vapor issued. The whole incident must have lasted about five minutes. We approached the UFO but it was motionless--it merely stood parallel to us. It was quite impressive because it was truly something strange, and something could be seen in concealment behind the smoke.'"

"'The object then disappeared (west) towards Easter Island at an impressive rate of speed. The sky cleared and the lines on our radar vanished. However, there had been an object physically flying there. It's not a yarn, let me tell you. It was my only experience with UFOs.'" (See OVNIvision Chile for December 26, 2002. Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Cristian Riffo del grupo OVNIvision Chile para eso informe.)


A family reunion turned into a startling UFO encounter in Australia's state of New South Wales.

David M. reports, "I had travelled from Sydney for a traditional Christmas Day gathering with my family in Wellington, New South Wales."

Two days after Christmas, on Friday, December 27, 2002, David decided to go fishing with his cousin, D.G., and his uncle, B.G., and the trio "headed for an exclusive location along the Macquarie River near Terrabella and Ponto, west of Geurie, N.S.W.," about 300 kilometers (180 miles) northwest of Sydney.

(Editor's Note: Right now it's midsummer in Australia and the other countries of the southern hemisphere.)

"With my cousin, D.G., and my uncle, B.G., I'd been moving up and down the river in a small boat, from about 2 p.m. to about midnight. The stars became our natural light on the river that night. We couldn't see the moon; therefore the stars were very bright."

"Around 10 p.m., I started to do some star-watching" and saw "a moving star. This moving star was heading south at the time. But I thought to myself...Just another satellite...and I didn't make much of it."

"But about 10:30 p.m. that night, my star-watching became more of a mystery. I saw three moving stars together." Soon David was "grabbing the attention of my cousin and uncle with screams of 'Look! Look up there! What is that!?'"

"Together we watched three fast-moving stars travelling from the southwest heading northeast for approximately one minute. They formed a perfect triangle, two travelling in front and one travelling behind. The last moving star then pulled back from the leaders, whilst one of the leaders also pulled back into the middle position. This new positioning happened during a five-second time frame; then the moving stars went back to their original triangle position."

"We chatted amongst ourselves about what we just saw, and we don't have any explanation for the event other than a UFO sighting. They were constantly changing colour from a white to an orange-red. They were about four times as fast as a Boeing 747." (Estimated speed: 1,800 miles per hour--J.T.) (Email Form Report)


The mysterious small dead animal found under a house in Utuado, Puerto Rico on Christmas Eve may be a rodent from a species that has been officially extinct for the past five hundred years.

On Tuesday, December 24, 2002, six-year-old Angel Oquendo and his ten-year-old brother, Sixto Oquendo, found a strange-looking small dead animal under their house in the Canalizo section of Utuado, P.R. Word spread quickly that they had found "a dead Chupacabra." Authorities have been unable to positively identify the mysterious creature.

"While the bones of a strange creature found on Christmas Eve" at Utuado "in the center of the island await examination by a qualified professional, its possible identity could be found in books."

"The animal's characteristics could confirm the existence of the jutia. a species believed to be extinct in the country and which is studied in pre-Columbian history classes as one of the species dwelling on the island alongside the Taino Indians. This creature, also known as the hutia, futia and dantia was native to the Caribbean in pre-Columbian times and was a main source of nourishment to the aboriginal (Taino) people of the time."

"Some historians describe the animal as a rodent with a delicious flavor and also tell that hunting and consumption hastened its extinction."

"Although there are few representations or illustrations that describe the jutia, it still exists in (other Caribbean) countries such as Haiti, the Bahamas, Cuba and the Dominican Republic, albeit in small numbers. In the Haitian case, international reports suggest that it is in danger of being exterminated due to habitat reduction, which consists mainly of tree trunks and branches in dry and wet forests."

"The jutias are the source of at least 14 species which managed to spread over the various islands of the Antilles, but only three are known to survive. They are catalogued according to size, for which the jutias or Solenodon paradoxus represents the medium-sized rodents, in other words, standing as tall as five centimeters (2 inches)."

"Author Nelson Rafael Collazo points out in his book, Images of the Puerto Rican Indians, that these animals were hunted for their high protein value and to catch them they (the Tainos) employed arrows and were aided by dogs. In this regard, it contrasts with other versions that claim the dogs were imported by the Spaniards."

(Editor's Comment: Mastiffs may have been imported by the Spaniards, but dogs had been used as beasts of burden and hunting companions by the indigenous people of the Americas for centuries.)

"What has been found regarding the jutias' alimentary habits includes that it preferred rodents, small reptiles and some birds. However, available information and illustrations to not specify the detailed physical aspects of the animal, and it is therefore impossible to classify the odd specimen found under the struts of the recently-built house" in Utuado, P.R. "and which appears to have died only recently, as a pre- Columbian fossil." (See the Puerto Rican newspaper Primera Hora for December 30, 2002, "'Chupacabra' resembles extinct animal." Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Dr. Jose I. Gomez para eso articulo de diario. See also UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 1 for January 1, 2003, "Dead Chupacabra found in Puerto Rico?" page )


UFO activity continues at a high level of intensity in Canada's western province of British Columbia.

According to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike, on Friday, December 27, 2002, "four men were working around the logging camp just across Babine Lake from Granisle, B.C." when "one of the workers gave out a loud cry, telling the others to look. Half a kilometer to the north, they all witnessed a bright, white-yellowish light coming from behind the trees. At that point, all that was visible was a brightness showing above the trees."

"To their shock, a large, glowing, golden-orange, disk-shaped object, with a large halo of white around the craft, rose up in the distance and stopped and hovered."

Vike was "told they observed the object for approximately 10 seconds, at the most, which the fellow said 'seemed like a lifetime.'"

"As the object moved away from their location, heading roughly to the north, they lost sight of the craft quickly. But after losing sight of the object itself, they still could see the bright light (halo) 'for another five minutes. The light moved faster and disappeared.'"

Vike said the old Bell copper mine at Babine Lake was the site of a UFO sighting on October 22, 2002. Also, he reported that he has investigated 120 UFO cases in northern British Columbia during the year 2002.

Elsewhere in the province, on Friday, January 3, 2003, Darcy C. spotted a UFO in Delta, B.C. She reported, "The UFO approached from the north. It looked like a big tube moving across the sky. A silver cylinder with two windows that were coloured black. I could hear sounds like a loud beeping noise."

The UFO passed overhead "about 20 meters (66 feet) up and was moving at the speed of a jet," she added. (Many thanks to Brian Vike and Darcy C. for these reports.)


On Tuesday, December 31, 2002, at 11:30 p.m., S.M.F. and her friend were walking along Stony Brook in Oxyhead, New York when they noticed a strange object approaching from the north.

"I had to drop something off with one of my friends," she explained, "I was walking that night with my friend. The UFO hovered over a baseball field and playground right across from the Knolls," near Stony Brook. "The UFO was spherical, and it had blue and green lights flashing. It reminded me of the red circle on a Coca Cola truck."

The girls watched the UFO for a couple of minutes before it suddenly darted away. (Email Form Report)


On Thursday, December 26, 2002, Kat. R. reported, "My husband and I were traveling north from Wisconsin Rapids where we had purchased a snowmobile that evening. We decided to go to Abbotsford (Wisconsin) and then west to Chippewa Falls (Wisconsin) and then on to Duluth (Minnesota). The sky was very clear, all the stars visible and tiny airplanes all around like twinkling red and green stars, all very distant. The Big Dipper (constellation Ursa Major--J.T.) was directly ahead."

"We were somewhere north of Marshfield (population 18,800) when at 8:50 p.m. we saw a round, green-colored object that came from the left side of the windshield view (west--J.T.), and our first thought was that we were going to witness the crash of something as it was coming in at an angle of left to right, top to bottom across the windshield!"

"We realized it couldn't be a plane as there was only the green color. There was no pulsing or flashing or quirky moves, just the same speed, almost like slow motion in a sense, although we were so locked into what we were seeing, time seemed to stand still. Tail like a comet, no flames, and close enough, it seemed, that were it a plane, we could've seen the shape of the tail, etc."

"At the time we were driving on a slight S-curve and coming up an incline with a bank of trees on the right. I watched to the east all the way to Abbotsford, with nothing further to be seen."

"As we discussed the (object's) size, we felt that it you held your hand at arm's length toward the windshield with a dime in your hand, you would have the approximate size of the object we saw." (Many thanks to John Hoppe of UFO Wisconsin for this report.)


"A Wilmington woman says her car was hit by an unidentified flying object on (Interstate Highway) I-40 near Benson," North Carolina (population 2,923) on Sunday, December 29, 2002.

"The object, which appeared to be black in color and about the size of a walnut. seemingly fell from the sky, a witness said."

"Linda Moore said she was driving her new Toyota Avalon west on I-40 when the object hit the passenger side of her car."

"The woman sitting in the front passenger seat, Mrs. Moore's cousin, Vicki Wright, reported that a black object traveling very fast approached from above a tall pine tree and hit the car just in front of the mirror. The incident happened at about 4:20 p.m."

"Ms. Wright said the object was moving so fast that she did not have time to make a warning, according to Mrs. Moore. The impact made a loud noise that startled everyone in the vehicle, she said. Mrs. Moore's two nieces, ages 13 and 14, were also in the back seat of the car. She said her older niece also saw the object that struck the car."

"'If you saw the dent in my car, you could tell whatever it was was coming real fast,' Mrs. Moore said."

"She said she did not actually see the damage until she stopped at a gas station at McGee's Crossroads. She said the object gouged a large dent in her car and scratched off paint."

"Mrs. Moore said she has contacted her insurance company but does not know yet how much it will cost to repair the damage. Mrs. Moore said she is at a loss at explaining the object that hit her car, but she is not ruling out extraterrestrial origins."

"'I said to Vicki, 'You might think I'm crazy, but I think this could have been an asteroid or something coming from the sky,' Mrs. Moore said."

"'Lord, I had to call in a claim on this. I know it sounds stupid,' Mrs. Moore said."

"Mrs. Moore contacted the Daily Record after reading a story January 1 (2003) reporting that an 8-year-old girl on Aquila Road near Benson, N.C. was struck in the leg by an unknown, unidentified projectile. The girl sustained superficial wounds, according to Lt. Fred Dees of the Johnston County Sheriff's Office."

"Lt. Dees said there was no evidence that the girl was hit by a bullet, but he said he was not ruling out the possibility."

Benson, N.C. is on Highway 301 about 30 miles (48 kilometers) south of Raleigh, the state capital. (See the Dunn, N.C. Daily Record for January 3, 2002, "Car hit by UFO on I-40." Many thanks to John Hayes for forwarding this newspaper article.)

(Editor's Note: In Forteana, the phenomenon in Benson would fall under the heading of phantom sniper rather than UFO encounter. The projectiles are too small to be vehicles of any kind. Classic phenomena of this sort took place in Glassboro, New Jersey in February 1916 and in Camden, New Jersey in February 1928. For details, see The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover Publications, New York, N.Y., 1974, pages 893 and 894.)


On Sunday, December 29, 2002, at 1:40 a.m., D.J. Gillett "and a companion were on some land close to Highway 81, about a mile out of Powers, Okla., which is 25 miles (40 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City. At 1:40 a.m., we had just turned onto (Highway) 81 facing north and a bright orange-red object appeared in the sky. We had been out driving and watching for tornadoes, and the appearance of the object was quite evident in the overcast sky."

(Editor's Note: The USA's state of Oklahoma has more tornadoes annually than any other state. For this reason, Oklahoma is sometimes called "Tornado Alley.")

"I should stress that the object simply appeared. It did not drift in from the horizon or zoom into sight. It simply appeared instantly in the sky, but this is only my perception."

"Well, the object initially appeared as a point of light and gradually grew in intensity for 40 to 50 seconds until it was twice as bright as the brightest star in the sky. At this point, it suddenly 'separated' into two other lights."

"When the object separated, it produced a brilliant burst of orange-red light with a touch of white. But this could be a simple misperception on my part as we were having difficulty viewing it properly due to clouds. The objects then took off at an incredible speed and vanished off towards the south on parallel courses."

He described the two objects as "orange-red in color, spherical, no reflective field. No evidence of light scatter. The new objects remained uniform, spherical and the same color but duller in appearance." (Email Form Report)


"A natural cycle of thawing may cause an Antarctic ice sheet as big as Texas and Colorado combined to melt away in 7,000 years, possibly causing a worldwide sea level rise of 16 feet (5 meters)."

"In a study in the journal Science, researchers say geochemical measurements of when mountainside rocks first became free of ice near the South Pole show that the West Antarctic Ice Sheet began melting about 10,000 years ago (at the end of the Pleistocene Period, better known as the Ice Age--J.T.) and is still shrinking."

"Over thousands of years, the ice has retreated at the rate of about two inches (5 centimeters) a year in a steady pattern that shows no sign of slowing, says John Stone, an author of the study and a professor of geology at the University of Washington-Seattle."

"If the sheet does melt entirely, he says, global sea level could rise about 16 feet, enough to drown some islands and coastal areas."

"Stone says the study cannot prove or disprove that the melting resulted from global warming, a gradual increase in temperatures that some scientists believe is accelerated by the burning of fossil fuels. Instead, he says, the researchers have measured what is apparently a natural cycle of ice buildup and melting that may have been going on for millions of years." (See USA Today for January 6, 2003, "Melting ice sheet could raise seas 16 feet," page 6D.)

From the UFO Files...


"Cases of spontaneous human combustion (SHC) are rare and mysterious phenomena. Scientists have puzzled for years over just what causes a person to suddenly and inexplicably burst into flame and become a heap of ashes in a matter of minutes. Even more bizarre is the fact that highly flammable materials near the person may not burn at all."

In the USA, "one of the strangest cases of death by (spontaneous) human combustion came on (December 24) Christmas Eve, 1885, in Seneca, Illinois," a small town located about 50 miles (80 kilometers) southwest of Chicago.

"Patrick Rooney and his wife, a large woman of over 200 pounds, were sharing a jug of whiskey with their hired man, John Larson. They sat around the kitchen table in their small farmhouse until Larson, only lightly inebriated, retired to his upstairs bedroom, pleading drowsiness. Rooney and his wife continued drinking."

"Early on Christmas Day (December 25, 1885), Larson awoke extremely ill. He stumbled down the stairs toward the kitchen for a drink of water and some fresh air."

"Noticing a smoky haze as he made way into the kitchen, he tried to strike a match on the kitchen range so he could light the kerosene lamp. The match just slid across the surface. A dark, soot-like grease coated the stove and everything else in the kitchen."

"Larson groped his way to the first-floor bedroom shared by Rooney and his wife. Inside, he found Patrick Rooney dead on the floor, his coat and boots on a nearby chair."

"The hired man shouted for Mrs. Rooney, but there was no reply. He quickly dressed and saddled a horse to ride for Rooney's son, who lived on a nearby farm."

The son, Todd Rooney, John Larson "and a neighbor returned to the house. The trio made their way back into the soot-encrusted kitchen where they discovered a hole in the floor near the table. The men peered into the opening. By the flickering lamp Todd held, the men saw, to their horror, on the exposed cellar floor below, a foot, part of a (human) vertebra, a shrunken, burned skull and a heap of ashes."

Dr. Floyd Clendens, the county coroner, "identified the remains as those of the unfortunate Mrs. Rooney, but an inquest found only part of an answer to what happened."

"Patrick Rooney had died of smoke inhalation, of that there was little doubt. John Larson (had) escaped death by sleeping behind a closed door on the second floor."

But Dr. Clendens "was stumped to explain the cause of Mrs. Rooney's grotesque demise. He determined that a fire strong enough to have left so few remains must have burned for several minutes at over 2,500 degrees Fahrenheit. Yet the only signs of fire were the hole in the (kitchen) floor, some scorch marks on the kitchen table and the sooty substance covering the kitchen furnishings."

"Dr. Clendens read some accounts of spontaneous human combustion to the jury at the inquest, but they adjourned, bewildered by the case. In fact, a satisfactory answer to these peculiar deaths has not been found."

The Rooney SHC mystery was never solved. (See the book Haunted Heartland by Beth Scott and Michael Norman, Barnes & Noble Books, New York, N.Y., 1985, pages 50 to 52.)

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 next time!

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