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Volume 9
Number 10
March 10, 2004

Editor: Joseph Trainor

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"A mysterious circle in the sky had East Anglians scratching their heads last night." (Monday, March 1, 2004)

"The giant halo was spotted above the region from about 5:30 p.m. yesterday, leaving people wondering if they had just seen a UFO."

"A number of readers contacted the East Anglia Daily Times (EADT) to report the sighting from towns and villages across Suffolk (UK)."

"EADT designer Chris Mills captured the phenomenon on camera from a spot close to the Ipswich Railway Station."

"'I'd just left the station when I saw a plane in the sky making vapour trails,' he said. 'But in front of it, and seemingly much lower in the sky, was a perfectly round cloud--like a halo above the area around the Ipswich town stadium. I had a camera with me, so I took a picture of it. It's either one for the X-Files or means the Blues can do no wrong.'"

(Editor's Note: The 'vapour trails' could be chemtrails, a phenomenon seen frequently in the USA and also in Brazil and Italy. This case strengthens the argument that the chemtrails are some kind of anti-UFO weapon.)

"Jim Keating, from Fornham St. Martin, spotted the giant halo while driving in Bury St. Edmunds at about 6 p.m."

"'It was like a vapour trail but a complete circle and must have been about 20 to 30 metres (67 to 100 feet) across. I don't know what it was. I've never seen anything like it before,' he said."

(Editor's Note: Bury St. Edmunds is one of the most notorious UFO hotspots in UK and was the scene of a UFO flap back in the Eighteenth Century.)

"Dale Scott also spotted the mysterious ring from his house in Framsden, near Framlingham, and took a couple of pictures on his digital camera."

"'It was very strange, like a massive smoke ring in the sky. I've got no idea what it was,' he said."

"There was speculation whether the halos were rings around the moon, caused by refraction of moonlight from ice crystals in the atmosphere."

"Neither EADT weatherman Ken Blowers nor Roy Golding from the Orwell Astronomical Society could shed any light on the mystery. The National Air Traffic Services could not help, either."

"But a meteorological officer from Wattisham Airfield said the halo had probably been caused by an aircraft."

"'It was a condensation trail (contrail in the USA-- J.T.) that formed an exact circle, which was visible before sunset. We don't think it was a crystal cloud around the sun or the moon,' he added."

"'We don't think that it was anything extra special-- it was probably an aircraft having a jolly.'"

Elsewhere in UK, on Thursday, February 19, 2004, at 3:30 p.m., Victor Minett was in the Burton Dassett Hills in South Warwickshire when he spotted a UFO."

Victor reported, "We didn't see the UFO at the time but took a photo of a strange object in the sky as we were photographing a lake. It was a round, dark object, but we can't really tell if it was spherical or disc-shaped. It was a few hundred feet up. It appeared to be standing still."

Victor's photo is on the BBC Web site for Warwickshire. UFO Roundup readers can access the site at http://www.bbc.co.uk/coventry/features (See the East Anglia Daily Times for March 2, 2004, "Mystery of circle in the sky." Many thanks to Jim Hickman for this newspaper article. Victor's sighting was an Email Form Report.)


On Thursday, February 26, 2004, at 4:30 a.m., Mrs. Nicole S. saw a formation of luminous UFOs over Toowoomba, Queensland state, Australia.

"There were large spots of light formed in a circle," Nicole reported, "Then the same formation in a circle but smaller. There was a large one and a smaller one just off to the side of it. All of the spots of light were spinning around in circles and, at the same time, they were darting across the sky."

"I was driving east along" Gorman Street "and the formation was southeast. As I was driving and watching it dart across the sky, it went out of sight across the top of my car. I then had to stop at a set of lights, proceeded through the set of lights and caught sight of it again. The formation had moved more south but was still in the east."

"I did think maybe it was lights coming from the uni (university--J.T.) in the area but thought at 4:30 a.m., probably not. I then had to turn off the street" onto Stenner Street "and I was driving east, which was when I lost sight. They were quite high in the sky and very large. From ground level they looked at least 15 feet (4.5 meters)" across. "Altitude roughly 800 to 1,000 feet (240 to 300 meters). The sky was overcast."

Toowoomba, Qlnd. is about 210 kilometers (126 miles) west of Brisbane. (Many thanks to John Hayes and Diane Harrison of the Australian UFO Research Network for this report.)


On Saturday, March 6, 2004, at 11:44 p.m., eyewitness Marek reported, "A friend and I were sitting and chatting in our lounge" in Riviera Pretoria Gauteng, South Africa, "looking outside northwards, and I pointed out what I thought was a flare. It grew brighter but remained motionless, without a flare's usual downward path. It then abruptly faded and moved off to the east in a perfectly straight line. We lost sight of it as it moved behind the mountains."

Marek described the UFO as "like a flare, bright white, then yellow. Round. Brightness faded too quickly for a flare. Then it moved off at maybe 1,200 kilometers per hour (720 miles per hour--J.T.) by our distance estimate." (Email Form Report)


"Venezuela's social and political situation remains tense," reported ufologist Hector Arturo Escalante. "Hundreds of people are demonstrating up to twice a month in the capital city (Caracas--J.T.) to publicly express their political ideals and statements. Parallel to the confrontational situation, there has been a rise in UFO sightings."

"On (Friday) January 23, 2004, a new chance photo of a UFO was taken during a revered and much-attended political demonstration in Caracas. The celebration was the '23rd of January,' a yearly holiday celebrated in the country since 1958 in commemoration of the overthrow of the dictator Marcos Perez Jimenez."

"On the anniversary, a considerable group of Venezuelans" supporting the government of President Hugo Chavez "marched through the main streets of Caracas to celebrate 46 years of democracy in Venezuela."

"As is my custom," Escalante reported, "I took many photos of the sky. When I took the first photos, the time was between noon and one o'clock, and the skies were partly cloudy. On the second opportunity, another 'strange' thing was photographed; it was a dark elongated object over the western end of the city, not farm from the Miraflores presidential palace, an electric power station" just west of the Plaza O'Leary "and the Cagigal Observatory."

On Wednesday, February 4, 2004, "for the third consecutive time, it was possible to obtain another UFO image. In this new image, the UFO appears to be hovering over the central districts of the city (Candelaria, Santa Teresa, El Silencio and Quinta Crespo--J.T.), just as a multitude of government supporters arrived in barrio La Rinconada to pay tribute to those who fell during the attempted coup and Commander Hugo Chavez's first participation in politics."

(Editor's Note: On the morning of February 4, 1992, a group of insurgents led by Hugo Chavez tried to drive then-President Carlos Andres Perez out of office in an abortive coup d'etat.)

Images of the Venezuelan UFOs can be seen at the following Web site--http://www.ovniaventura.com (Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Hector Arturo Escalante para esas noticias.)


Venezuela wasn't the only country in South America to report UFOs. A five-day UFO flap had Portenos scanning the night skies over Buenos Aires, the capital of Argentina.

The flap began the evening of Monday, February 23, 2004 when "a large, intense yellow-orange UFO" appeared over the Rio de la Plata, just offshore from the waterfront area of La Boca. From there, the glowing object darted over the Casa Rosada presidential palace, then headed north to the Avenida Nueve de Julio and flew over the city's Santa Fe district.

"Bright yellow UFOs appeared the following night," Tuesday, February 24, 2004, with sightings from the Avellaneda Bridge over the Rio Riachuelo and the suburban districts of Palermo and San Isidro.

On Wednesday, February 25, 2005, the UFOs returned again, this time, crisscrossing the skies over the Corrientes-Lavalle district (the "Broadway" of Buenos Aires--J.T.), Luna Park and Charcas. "They were literally flying in every direction," reported Argentinian ufologist Ricardo E. D'Angelo.

More sightings over El Centro and the Casa Rosada were reported on Thursday, February 26, and Friday, February 27, 2004. "Again, they were flying in all directions," D'Angelo reported. (Muchas gracias a Ricardo E. D'Angelo para esas noticias.)


On Wednesday, January 21, 2004, at 6:45 p.m., Niki Leighton and her son were driving on a mountain road near Wolf Creek, Oregon when they spotted a UFO.

"It was hovering at about 750 feet when we came around the corner," Niki reported, "My son and I were on our way to the fire station for the Wednesday night drill when we saw a very bright ball of light hovering just over the mountaintop (i.e. London Peak, just west of Wolf Creek, Ore.--J.T.) And then it went straight up. It was like a very bright ball of light and big. Don't know if there was press coverage. We live in the woods and do not get the paper or TV reception." (Email Form Report)


"No further search had been planned on Monday (March 1, 2004) to find a black panther, filmed on (Tuesday) February 24 (2004) in Cantal (a department or state in central France--J.T.) because of the bad weather conditions and the absence of new reports concerning the whereabouts of the animal."

"'The wind blows ferociously. It is very cold and there is about 40 centimeters (15 inches) of snow,' Patrick Cloret, the sub-prefect of Mauriac," a town in the department of Cantal, "told Agence France Presse (AFP) who went on Monday with policemen to Aulac, a sparsely- forested highland nearby where the big cat was spotted."

"On Saturday and Sunday (February 28 and 29, 2004), the region was searched by a police helicopter, and searches were made on the ground by eight policemen, who did not discover any trace of the animal, as was reported by the police force."

"The animal was filmed on (Tuesday) February 24 (2004) at about 3:30 p.m. by Philippe Chaudiere, an estate agent who lives in Paris but a native of Cantal, where he spends his holidays. He climbed to the top of the Aulac plateau, about 10 kilometers (6 miles) from Trizac where he owns a house."

"'I saw a strange and weird animal, which one is not used to seeing. So I took my niece's camcorder and filmed it,' he told the AFP. 'It roamed about like a big cat. At first I thought it was a lynx. But it was not. It was really black black, with a very long tail.'"

"'We were about 200 meters (660 feet) away from it. It walked up the side of a hill, and we lost sight of it,' he added."

"According to police, the panther could find cover in the area and feed on roe deer and chamois goats." (See the Agence France Presse news story for March 1, 2004. Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour cette article de journal.)


"Forget about going to see The Passion of the Christ. A Virgin Mary who cries tears of oil is on display at an apartment complex in St. Laurent," Quebec, Canada, a suburb of Montreal.

"The icon-like portrait of Mary (birth name: Miriam bat-Joachim--J.T.), discovered in the refuse by apartment manager Abderezak Mehdi, has been drawing a steady stream of believers since the oil drops were first noticed ten days ago (Wednesday, February 18, 2004)."

"'It's a miracle, and many people have seen it,' Mehdi said yesterday (Friday, February 27, 2004) as he allowed the devout, drawn by word of mouth, into his first-floor apartment."

"Many leave convinced that the portrait is the real goods."

"'I went and saw it with my own eyes,' said Michael Sayde, a minister with the Greek Melkite Catholic Church. 'It was extraordinary the way the image on the wood dripped oil.'"

"The portrait and another, of (Jesus) Christ, sit on a glass shelf surrounded by candles and flowers."

"Shallow white dishes placed under the portrait hold a small amount of yellow liquid that Mehdi said is like pure olive oil."

"Mehdi hands out cotton swabs dipped in the oil as mementos."

"'We don't accept donations,' he insisted."

"One sobbing woman, who knelt and prayed yesterday before the improvised shrine, begged Mehdi for a blessing."

"'I'm not a priest,' he protested, before dipping his fingers in the oil and anointing the woman's forehead."

"'There can be miracles, but you have to believe in yourself.'"

"Mehdi, a Muslim, says he can't explain why Mary's picture would start leaking oil for him. The tears stop when someone else handles the portrait."

"'I ask myself, 'Why me?'' he said, 'There are many more beautiful icons than this in the churches.'"

"Catholics should also wonder why before rushing to visit the shrine, said Michael Parent, chancellor of the Roman Catholic diocese of Montreal."

"'It happens periodically that someone reports a statue or icon that cries, and it attracts people who are looking for a sign,' he stated."

"'While it is true that nothing is impossible with God, historically this is not how God works.'"

"There have been documented sightings of Mary, Parent says, citing apparitions in Lourdes, France in 1858 and in Fatima, Portugal in 1917."

"But the mysterious portrait in Mehdi's apartment has yet to be authenticated, he said."

"Mehdi's find is fast becoming something of a curse as crowds gather at his door at all hours, begging to be let in."

"Mehdi says he wants to donate Mary's picture to Sayde, even if that dries up the tears."

"In the meantime, he opens the doors to the Zapantas, who are looking for a cure for their ailing daughter."

"The Filipino couple, who live in Cite St. Luc, carried their daughter into Mehdi's apartment and prayed before the portrait."

"'The doctors said they can't do anything, so we're hoping for a miracle,' Jhun Zapanta said, 'If it doesn't work this time, we'll come back.'" (See the Montreal Gazette for February 28, 2004, "Devout flock to weeping Virgin icon." Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour cette article de journal.)


"'The religion of the future will be a general convergence of religions in a universal Christ that will satisfy all.'"

"This statement was not made by some New Ager at an obscure coven meeting. The setting was the famous Roman Catholic shrine" at Cova da Iria, near Fatima in Portugal. "The speaker: Jesuit theologian Rev. Jacques Dupuis S.J., addressing an international congress attended by Hindus, Muslims, Othodox Jews, Buddhists and African pagan delegates."

"Millions of pilgrims visit the Fatima shrine where the Virgin Mary appeared to three children (Lucia Abobora dos Santos, Francisco Marto and Jacinta Marto--J.T.) nearly 100 years ago. Delegates to the annual UN-inspired gathering were told that the shrine was to be revamped."

"The shrine's rector, Monsignor Luciano Guerra, stated: 'The future of Fatima, or the adoration of God and his mother at this holy shrine, must pass through the creation of a shrine where different religions can mingle.'"

"One delegate told the congress that '...already in the Far East, millions of Hindus are getting 'positive vibrations' from visiting Marian shrines without endangering their faith.'"

"Others spoke of the fact that (the Prophet) Mohammed had a daughter named Fatima."

"Dupuis argued that the other religious traditions were part of God's plan, and 'the Holy Spirit is operating at present in Buddhist, Hindu and other sacred writings' and had 'the same mystery of salvation. In the end it is hoped that the Christian will be a better Christian and each Hindu a better Hindu.'"

"An official statement was issued calling for 'a non- proselytizing approach by all religions' using dialogue to build bridges and tear down 'walls of centuries of hate.'"

"Delegates were urged to admit that 'contradictions exist between creeds but to concentrate on what unites them as opposed to what divides them.'" (See It's All Ecumenism for January-February 2004. Many thanks to Rosemary Lavigne for forwarding this article.)

(Editor's Comment: So Cova da Iria--the site of the 1917 apparitions--is to be taken over by the UN, which many consider to be the one-world government of the Antichrist. It matters not whose flag flies over Fatima. Jacinta Marto's vision of the Last Days will come true sometime in the future--whether the UN Security Council likes it or not.)


"Tickets at one movie theater screening Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ are being deemed distinctly unholy."

"The number 666, which many Christians recognize as 'the Mark of the Beast,' is appearing on movie tickets for Gibson's film at a Georgia theater, drawing complaints from moviegoers."

"The machine that prints tickets assigned the number 666 as the prefix for all tickets for the film, said Gary Smith, owner of The Movies at Berry Square" in Rome, Georgia (population 34,980)."

"The 666 begins a list of numbers that are located below the name of the movie, the date, time and price."

"'It's from our computer, and it's absolutely a coincidence,' Smith said, "It has nothing to do with the film company or any vendor. It's completely in our computer.'"

"In the Bible, the Book of Revelation says '666 is the number of the Beast,' usually interpreted as Satan or the Antichrist."

"Several patrons have made comments about the numbers, and one person who was uncomfortable having 666 on her ticket asked for a pass to be substituted for the ticket."

"'A lot of people have asked what the numbers mean. Some said it seemed odd. Some said it was inappropriate,' said theater employee Erica Diaz." (See the Atlanta Journal-Constitution for March 2, 2004, "666 appears on some 'Passion' tickets." Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this newspaper article.)

(Editor's Comment: Mel Gibson's The Passion of the Christ has had an unbelievable impact here in the USA. Read on...)


"Peggy Law Scott, 57, viewed the graphic and violent The Passion of the Christ" on Wednesday, February 25, 2004, "the film's opening day. But the Wichita, Kansas woman never made it through the entire film."

"Just 20 minutes before the 126-minute film ended-- during the crucifixion scene--she suffered a fatal heart attack."

"A preliminary autopsy revealed she suffered from the pre-existing condition of an enlarged heart."

Ms. Scott "was reportedly in good health when she walked into the theater."

"'Whether the movie caused her medical condition, we'll probably never know,' says local KAKE-TV assistant news director Dave Grant. 'She used to work here. Several of our employees had lunch with her last week and said she was fine.'"

"Ultraconservative (Roman) Catholic (Mel) Gibson admits he wanted to 'push people to the edge' with his movie The Passion. But even he's astonished by the fallout of the film that shows Christ's horrific death in agonizing detail."

"'I was astounded by the potency of it,' he says, 'I didn't expect the ferocity of controversy. Religious themes do hit a nerve, but I didn't know I'd cut a main artery.'"

In Greenwich, Connecticut last week, two Protestant congregations attended a showing of the movie en masse and afterwards held a church communion service right in the theater. (See the tabloids Star for March 15, 2004, "Will The Passion destroy Mel's career?" pages 26 and 27; and Globe for March 15, 2004, "Uproar over Mel's pride and passion," pages 30 and 31.)


"A furious rally is being called for in Israel to put Mel Gibson on trial for allegedly slandering the Jewish people in his controversial movie."

Israeli "politician Eli Yishai accuses the actor- director of inciting hate by encouraging the view in the movie that the Jews killed Jesus--a belief that has led to the persecution and slaughter of millions of Jews over the past 2,000 years."

'"The whole thing is a blood libel,' charges Yishai, a former Israeli interior minister."

"'Blood libel' is a term derived from the outrageous claim in the Middle Ages that Jews used the blood of Jesus to make unleavened bread (matzoh in Hebrew--J.T.) for Passover."

(Editor's Note: Another example here in the USA would be the mystic William Dudley Pelley, who made the outrageous claim that Orthodox Jews ran off with the Lindbergh baby in the famous kidnapping case of 1933.)

"Gibson, who co-wrote and directed the bloody The Passion of the Christ denies the movie is anti-Semitic, saying it simply tells the Bible's version of the agonizing last 12 hours of Jesus's life."

"But Yishai, leader of the ultra-conservative Shas Party (a key component of Prime Minister Ariel Sharon's Likud coalition--J.T.), says Gibson's movie could trigger violence against Jews, as passion plays in the past did."

"Yishai wants Gibson put on trial and the movie banned in Israel."

"'This film, which includes hatred against the Jews and raises again accusations of ritual crime, must not be shown in Israel,' he maintains, 'That would mean giving approval to this hypocritical film. It is unthinkable that a movie whose sole aim is to cast doubt on the legitimacy of the Jewish people will be screened in the Jewish state.'"

"And Israeli lawmaker Gila Finklestein of the (Israeli) National Religious Party also blasted the movie as 'a modern version of the lowest sort of anti-Semitism, and it's a disgrace that the Americans are putting up on the big screen such a false, harmful creation.'"

"So far, Yishai's cries are falling on deaf ears. Israeli film bosses say the film will almost certainly be shown in Israeli theaters."

"As for putting Gibson on trial if he shows his face in their country, an Israeli government spokesman tells Globe, 'We are not getting involved.'" (See the tabloid Globe for March 15, 2004, "Israeli leader: Put Gibson on trial!" pages 30 and 31.)

(Editor's Comment: Way back in June 1992, I picked up the New York Times and read a startling headline on the Op-Ed Page...BATMAN AND THE JEWISH QUESTION. This has got to be a put-on, I thought. But no, the writer really did feel that Michael Keaton's second Batman movie had a strong anti-Semitic sub-text and went about trying to convince everyone that this was so. Two nights ago, I read an impassioned piece on the Internet by a fellow who saw The Passion, in particular the scene where Barabbas is freed to the acclaim of the crowd. The writer took note of Barabbas's strangely clenched fist, with the thumb sticking out at an odd angle, claimed that this was a "highly-secret Masonic sign," and then said Mel's movie "proves" that Barabbas was a closet Freemason!

Maybe we're all reading too much into what's up there on the screen.

The older I get, the more I agree with Thomas Jefferson: "The way to deal with religious disputes is to take no notice of them.")


"One of NASA's robotic rovers has found evidence that parts of Mars was once soaked with enough water to sustain life, scientists said Tuesday," March 2, 2004.

"'Opportunity has landed in an area of Mars where water once drenched the surface,' said Ed Weiler, a NASA space science administrator."

"The conclusion is based in part on salts found in ancient bedrock. Scientists hope to tell in coming weeks whether salt water once filled an open sea or simply percolated through the rock as groundwater."

"At a Tuesday briefing at the space agency's headquarters, scientists released results from the rover's investigation of a bedrock outcrop. A piece of the outcrop, named 'El Capitan,' has caused much interest among the scientists."

"Now dry, the rock shows evidence of having been submerged in water, conditions friendly to the existence of microbial life."

"'This was a habitable place on Mars at one point in time,' said rover science chief Steve Squyres of Cornell University. However, he cautioned, 'that doesn't mean there was life.'"

"The rover landed inside the small crater crowned with layered rock on January 24, 2004. NASA designed the $820 million twin rover mission, Opportunity and the Spirit probe on the other side of Mars, to investigate the possible existence of long-ago habitable conditions. Scientists have long known that Mars holds water ice in its poles and likely under its surface, but they have been uncertain about the role water played in the planet's geology."

"The NASA team tested the chemistry of two holes drilled into the bedrock. The rocks hold sulfur and bromide salts in as much as 40 percent of their material, an unmistakable sign of water weathering the rock, Squyres said."

"Also, the rock showed signs of crystals left by water and spherical 'blueberries' left in the bedrock that precipitated in place, like pearls formed by oysters."

"Spirit rover has found evidence of water activity in a volcanic rock on the other side of Mars from where its twin, Opportunity, discovered signs that the ground there" in Meridiani Planum "had once been drenched."

"The amount of water at Spirit's site at Gusev Crater would have been much less than what is indicated at Opportunity's site in Meridiani Planum, Ray Arvidson, deputy principal investigator of the rover mission said Friday," March 5, 2004.

"The findings came from the study of a rock dubbed 'Humphrey' that Spirit came across en route from its landing site to a big crater named 'Bonneville,' Arvidson told a news conference at the Jet Propulsion Laboratory" in Pasadena, California.

"Spirit used its abrasion tool to grind below the rock surface and reveal cracks filled with apparent minerals, an indicator of water action familiar to geologists studying Earth rocks."

"Scientists are unable to determine when the water may have been present, but the evidence suggests it was during the long-ago formation of the planet."

"Scientists making the announcement about Opportunity's discovery earlier this week could not say whether there had been standing surface water or even an ocean there, but data showed water had flowed or percolated through those rocks."

"Arvidson said there was much less water indicated by 'Humphrey.'"

"Both rovers continue to work well, mission officials said." (See USA Today for March 3, 2004, "Mars rover finds evidence of ancient water," page 3A, and the Minneapolis, Minn. Star-Tribune for March 6, 204, "Second rover finds signs of water on Mars," page A9.)

From the UFO Files...


Having been used by the Visigoth general Alaric to conquer Rome, the Sword of Destiny disappeared for three centuries. Then it popped into view again in 732 A.D., just in time to help Carolus--better known as Charles Martel --turn back the last great Muslim invasion of Europe at the battle of Tours.

When Carolus' sons, Carloman and Pippin, laid their father to rest at St. Denis, France in late October of 741 A.D., there was no sign of the enchanted broadsword the irascible old Frankish warlord had worn on his hip for just under a decade. Not even Carloman and Pippin knew where their dying father had hidden it.

According to Robert Charroux, author of The Mysterious Past and One Hundred Thousand Years of Man's Unknown History, "After the battle of Poitiers, according to an ancient tradition, Charles Martel placed the sword which had routed the Saracens (the Muslim army of Abdur Rahman--J.T.) in the sanctuary of Saint Catherine in Fierbois."

"Seven centuries after these heroic deeds, France was once again in peril, threatened by the invasion of Henry VI's English troops. France's sovereign, Charles VII, was in a very bad situation when the miraculous Joan of Arc appeared, reviving the national spirit and liberating the land."

"Joan of Arc (or Jehanne in the French spelling of the day--J.T.) was born at Domremy, in Champagne, in January 1412, the youngest of five children born to Jacques d'Arc, who, though a peasant, farmed his own land. She was a child like any other, taught by her mother the skills a woman needed, but untroubled with book-learning, remarkable only for her early and intense love of prayer, which yet did not prevent her from playing the usual children's games round the village 'fairy tree.'"

And thereby hangs the tale. According to author Regine Pernoud, before the Roman invasion in the First Century B.C., when Gaul (now France--J.T.) was predominantly Celtic, Domremy was a "sacred site" of the Druids. Hundreds of years before Caesar's legions marched through the village, a Druid prophet predicted that "one day, in the distant future, a young maiden of this village will lead a mighty army into battle."

In 1425, when Joan turned thirteen, "there came the first of those experiences which she was afterwards to call her voices; to begin with, it was a voice only, but later, light, presences (entities) manifested themselves whom she knew to be St. Michael (the Archangel--J.T.), St. Margaret and St. Catherine. Like St. Teresa of Avila, she was reluctant to talk about these things."

Joan's paranormal contacts persisted for three years. Finally, "by May 1428, she was fully persuaded that she must now act in the king's affairs, and that, initially, this meant tackling Robert Baudricourt, who commanded" the French army in nearby Vaucouleurs. "Her reception was coldly hostile, and he sent her packing to her father, suggesting a whipping for good measure."

"At home again, the summer wore on; and the worse the war went for France, the more insistently the voices pressed her; so back to Vaucouleurs she came in the New Year, and persisted until at last Baudricourt let her go try her luck at Chinon, where the Dauphin (Charles VII, who still hadn't been officially crowed at Rheims yet-- J.T.) lay with his court."

After submitting to the Inquisition, which found nothing "heretical" about her claims, Joan persuaded Charles VII to let her lead the attack on the string of English forts surrounding the key city of Orleans.

"One of her companions, Jean de Metz, recounted how Joan of Arc...had just been made Commander by Charles VII, who had given her 'troops to command so that she could fulfill her promises.' The armourers in Tours had fitted her with a suit of (plate) armor, the embroiderers had made her standard, and her warhorse was a gift from the Duke of Alencon."

(Editor's Note: Joan's standard or flag showed a picture of God the Father, long white beard and all, with fleur- de-lys and the words Jesus-Maria superimposed.)

"But the Maid would accept no offer of a sword."

"'My sword,' she said, 'has been prepared for me by my celestial friend, Saint Catherine, and it is in the chapel at Fierbois.'"

"From the record of the trial," Charroux wrote, "we know that it was not the Maid herself who went to Fierbois, as the good priests relate. This was her testimony which was given in Rouen."

Joan: "While I was at Tours, or Chinon, I asked for a sword to be brought from behind the altar in the Church of Saint Catherine de Fierbois. One was found immediately, and it was all rusty."

Bishop Cauchon: "How did you know that the sword was there?"

Joan: "The sword was in the ground, rusty; there were five crosses on it; my voices told me where it was. I had never seen the man who went to fetch it. I wrote to the priests, asking if I might have the sword and they sent it to me. It was buried, not very deeply, in the ground behind the altar. In fact, I am not quite sure if it was found in front of the altar or behind it, but I think that, at the time I wrote, it was behind it. As soon as it was found, the priests rubbed it, and the rust immediately came off, as if by magic. It was an arms dealer from Tours who went to fetch it. The priests of Fierbois made me the gift of a scabbard, and those of Tours gave me another. One was of vermilion velvet, the other of gold cloth. I had a third one made of very stout leather."

The burly arms dealer balked at handing over such a fine weapon to this 17-year-old girl who dressed in boy's clothing. The first time Joan hefted the Sword of Destiny, he let out a mocking laugh. "Do you know how to use that, little girl? It's not a shepherd's crook, you know."

"My voices will guide me," Joan replied.

"Let us test them, then." And with a contemptuous snarl, he drew his own sword from its scabbard.

The great hall fell silent. Joan struck an attitude, as if listening to a voice only she could hear, and then she lifted the broadsword one-handed. "As you desire, monsieur."

"En garde!"

The dealer's sword darted in quickly, in a move to disarm her. The Sword of Destiny rose in an eyeblink, blocking the thrust. He slashed again. And again the enchanted sword turned aside the blow. The Duke of Alencon, the knights de Bussac and de Xantrailles, and Jean de Metz watched in open-mouthed astonishment as the Domremy milkmaid deftly parried each and every stroke.

Steel rang like wedding bells as the pair fought up and down the stone hallway. Overcome with a murderous fury, the dealer hacked and slashed like a man demented. But Joan blocked each roundhouse swing. Sparks leaped from the clashing blades as Joan, moving with a distinctly womanly grace, forced him backward, ever backward, toward the narrow castle window.

Had the dealer come along six centuries later, he might have thought he had wandered into an Errol Flynn movie. As it was, he was hard put to ward off the flashing Sword of Destiny. Sweat poured down his face. His own sword wobbled in his tired grasp. In desperation, he grasped the pommel with his other hand, as well, and pressed the attack once more, swinging wildly.

Again the steel symphony sounded, as Joan, with a pert smile on her lips, wielded the broadsword as if it were a lady's fan, turning it this way and that, skillfully deflecting every downward blow.

"N-No more," her opponent gasped. Dropping to his knees, he leaned on his own sword, wheezing like a pair of blacksmith's bellows. "I-I can't...no more...give me quarter."

"A sword for you, Guillaume." Joan's blade lifted the dealer's sword by its crosspiece and sent it twirling through the air. It landed in the extended grasp of a startled 15-year-old squire.

"Thank you, my lady," the boy mumbled, falling to his knees.

"Squire no longer," said Joan, tapping her gleaming blade on his shoulder. "Rise, Sir Guillaume, knight of Chinon. You will be my aide-de-camp when we ride on Orleans."

The crowd dispersed, with people still talking excitedly about the dazzling swordplay they'd just seen. Following the Maid into the chapel, Jean de Metz whispered, "How did you do that?"

"My voices said to trust the sword," Joan replied, sliding the weapon into its leather scabbard. "It knows what to do."

And she entered the chapel for her evening prayers.

Not for the first time, Jean de Metz thought, Man, this is one weird chick!

"And so, to the chant of Veni Creator, she marched on Orleans and entered it on April 30 (1429). By May 8th, the English had lost the ring of forts around the city." Joan's army then "attacked along the Loire (river) and a succession of quick assaults culminated in the brilliant victory at Patay, and so laid open the road to Rheims."

"On July 16, 1429, Charles was solemnly crowned there, with Joan standing near, grasping her standard for, as she justly observed, since it had endured the tribulation, it was only fair that it should share their honor."

Joan pleaded with Charles to march on Paris, but he hesitated, giving the English troops plenty of time to build defenses in depth. The French offensive failed, and in March 1430--one year after the Sword of Destiny was discovered in Fierbois--Joan arrived in Compiegne to rally the French forces there against the Burgundians, the allies of the English.

One foggy night in March, Joan slipped out of her tent and entered the dew-slick forest of Compiegne. She returned just before dawn...without the sword.

"At the end of March 1430, she was around Compiegne, skirmishing with the English forces, and here, just as her voices had foretold, she was taken prisoner when her retreat was cut off."

French bishops sympathetic to England put Joan on trial for witchcraft. The chief inquisitor, Bishop Pierre Cauchon, was mightily interested in Joan's sword and questioned her at length about it.

Bishop Cauchon: "Tell us more about the sword."

Joan: "When I was captured, I did not have this sword with me. I had always worn this sword, from the time that I had it until my departure from St. Denis after the attack on Paris."

Bishop Cauchon: "What blessing was given to this sword that you are talking about?"

Joan: "I did not give, or have given, any blessing; indeed I would have not known how to do so. I was very fond of the sword because it was found in the Church of St. Catherine, who is very dear to me."

During the trial, "Joan held out heroically, refusing to betray her mission and her voices, with an almost miraculous wisdom, but in the end they wore her down and some kind of retraction was obtained; but almost at once she withdrew it, dressed herself like a boy again and was finally condemned by thirty-seven judges and handed over to the secular arm for sentence."

"On May 30th (1430) she was at last allowed to make her confession and receive communion, and then hustled to the stake in the marketplace of Rouen. She asked for a cross--one was roughly made from" pieces of wood "and on this she fixed her gaze until she died, calling upon the name of Jesus until the last; an English soldier standing by said, 'We have burned a saint.'"

Among the spectators at Joan's execution were Michael, an English knight from Stukeley, Lincolnshire, and his new bride, Susana Bint Khaled, a Moorish princess from Granada in southern Spain. One of their descendants, Susannah Stukeley, made a name for herself in "the New English Canaan" of the 1690s, that period H.P. Lovecraft calls "the Witchcraft."

(Editor's Comment: Some Rhode Island occultists of my acquaintance claim that Susannah Stukeley, who wrote The Woman's Almanack--which was publicly burned on the Providence, R.I. wharf by Pardon Tillinghast himself--and who disappeared from Apponaug, R.I. under very strange circumstances in 1692, was the same Susana who witnessed Joan of Arc's execution in 1430. And you thought centuries-old sorcerers were a tradition of the Middle East.)

"'We possess no relic of Joan,' wrote Canon Bas and Abbe Pinchon. 'The English burned her body and threw her ashes into the Seine, which became hallowed from Rouen to the sea. Her arms have disappeared and this angelic being has ascended to heaven leaving no traces other than her good deeds."

And the Sword of Destiny...well, people have been looking for it. Tune in next time for a progress report. (See the books The Mysterious Past by Robert Charroux, Berkley Publishing Corp., New York, N.Y., 1975, pages 158 to 161; One Foot in Atlantis by William Henry, Earthpulse Press, Anchorage, Alaska, 1998, pages 215 to 224; and The Saints, edited by John Coulson, Guild Press, New York, N.Y., 1957, pages 399 to 402.)

That's it for this week. Join us next time for more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the planet Earth--and occasionally, Mars--brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you next week.

UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2004 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news items from UFO Roundup on their Web sites or 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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