UFO Seen As Meteor
By Many In SF Area

Note - The following AP story appeared in the Napa Register in the San
Francisco Bay area. Thanks to Mike Jamieson <> for passing
this along to us.


SF - Tracy UFO Story
Laid To Rest
By Dennis Roberts
Bee Staff Writer
From The Modesto Bee
From Stig Agermose <>

MANTECA -- Reports of an unidentified flying object being shot down over Tracy were greatly exaggerated, as the saying goes.
The rumor, which began with a telephone call between a Manteca man and a friend in Idaho, spread faster than a speeding comet over the Internet, showing up on a UFO-related Website called Sightings.
The rumor started with a grain of truth -- a meteorite that streaked through Earth's atmosphere at 9:45 p.m. Tuesday, prompting calls to news media and police in the Central Valley and the Bay Area. Motorists northbound on Highway 99 saw the object as a bright blue-white light that seemed to throw off a spark before disappearing.
How did that lead to an Internet UFO flap?
Former Manteca resident Jennifer Lipshin, who now lives in Idaho, passed the information to an organization called UFONetwork. She said she was on the telephone with an old friend who lives in Manteca when the space rock flashed across the sky.
"He was really spooked about it," she said. "I asked him, 'Do you see any jet activity.' He said 'No,' and then after a while he saw one in the area, and then another one. Then he saw something that looked like a helicopter.
"That's just how I put it to the UFONetwork. I thought they were just putting out that something was seen and might have gone down.
"Pretty soon 50,000 people had this information and it got so warped that people were saying things like, 'Pray for the aliens that fell.' It was incredible."
The UFONetwork reported that a caller told them a spacecraft "may have been shot down by 'Star Wars' technology lasers or weapons from Lawrence Livermore Labs" and that "there are military jets and one possible helicopter in the vicinity at this time."
Later, Claude DiDomenica of the UFONetwork said he "may not have been clear enough when I sent out the report" because Lipshin's call came when he was sound asleep.
"People are just waiting to jump on anything (supposedly extraterrestrial) that happens," Lipshin said. Her Manteca friend couldn't be reached for comment.
From Jordon Flato < 8-6-98
I saw the meteor over San Francisco on Tuesday night, and it was certainley impressive. It streaked across the sky for about 3 to 5 seconds, then exploding into about 2 or three spark like pieces.
There are some things that should be clarified though. It had nothing to do with the Tracy, CA story. You seemed to have linked them on your website, but the event I saw was certainly located above San Francisco, and was certainley a meteorite. I have seen even larger ones come in before, and although this one was very very impressive, it was not mysterious. I grew up in Mendocino California, and I have seen meteors go streaking over my car and crash into the ocean, so I think the only unusal thing about this "shooting star" was it's proximity to the city.
Again, this has nothing to do with the "crashing saucer" story in Tracy. The AP story SHOULD NOT be linked with that account to verify it at all. But I have to say, I'm damn glad I was in the right place at the right time looking up at the sky to see it.
Jordon Flato, San Francisco CA

(AP) - What was that light in the sky? More than a dozen people who saw a bluish-white light streak over the San Francisco Bay Tuesday evening were left asking that question.
Radio station KCBS received about 15 calls at 9:45 pm moments after the object was spotted whizzing over the bay before reportedly breaking into two or three pieces and disappearing from sight.
"It was about 200 feet up in the air when it finally fell apart. It was arcing just a little bit," said Sid Marcovich, who saw the object while driving along the Embarcadero waterfront.
A Federal Aviation Administration spokeswoman had no reports of airborne oddities int he area, and the National Weather Service received no calls reporting the light.
But witnesses like Marcovich remained stunned at what they said they saw. "I had never seen anything like that in my entire life. It was big and it was close. It was exciting," said Marcovich.
FINAL UPDATE: Tracy, CA alleged UFO crash
Dear UFOlogical-minded Netizens, :-)
Last evening, August 5, sometime after 11PM I received a call from Jennifer Lipshin, whom had given me the original second hand report of the alleged crash of a UFO over Tracy, CA.
When she originally called in the second hand (from what she claimed was a reliable source) report, she agreed to go public. I tried to warn her of the potential implications. Again, it was 1:45 AM when she originally called me, so I did not put up too much of a struggle. In hindsite, perhaps I should have fought her more, as she now regrets the whole affair.
When we spoke last night, she told me she had given the name of the eye witness to some researchers whom I did not recognize. This does not mean anything, as I do not know all the players in UFOlogy, being somewhat of a maverick. :-) Those who know me realize by now I walk my own unique walk... :-) I told her she could bow out of this now and she agreed this is what she wanted to do. I got the feeling she got many calls and E-mails, and really didn't expect this.
I asked her to do one thing: Call Chris Obrien (SP?), who had called me earlier yesterday for more information about the sighting. Chris _IS_ an investigator I have heard of, chief investigator for Skywatch International and CAUS. Jennifer told me last night she would call Chris and give him the name of the eye-witness. Chris seemed a dedicated and honorable man, and I know he will follow through on this, assuming Jennifer calls him.
Let me state most emphatically I am not involved in this case beyond getting Jennifer's message out. I assume she is no longer involved now. I did find her sincere and assume she learned a valuable lesson. :-) I told her last night UFOlogy can be a vast rats-nest at times. Man, do those metaphorical rats bite hard!
I should mention I told Jennifer last night I would NOT have published her report unless she went public. I told her I would have been branded a fraud or accused of a publicity stunt. Sure, I got 200 more visits yesterday to my Web site. WOW! :-) Sure, I was up half the night sending out her report. :-) Sure, I spent 3-4 hours in total on this. Wow, did I profit or what? :-) Surly no one can yell at me "reveal the source!", as I already have. :-)
(Does anyone remember the "mystery astronomer" who gave Art Bell, Whitley Strieber and Courtney Brown the alleged "planet-sized companion" of Comet Hale-Bop photo? In my opinion, THAT was a publicity stunt! :-)
In closing, it does seem an event took place that evening, as there are multiple witnesses and news reports from what I understand. I am sure the seasoned investigators will get to the bottom of this and appreciate their interest and dedication.
The original report from UFONetwork:
UFOnetwork received a phone call at 1:45 AM Eastern on 8-5-98 of an alleged downed UFO in the area of Tracy, CA, USA. According to the caller this craft _may_ have been shot down by "Star Wars" technology lasers or weapons from Lawrence Livermore Labs, which is approximately 30 minutes away from Tracy. The event happened at 9:45 PM Pacific. The caller can't confirm if the UFO was shot down, but can confirm from a reliable eye-witness that a "round, greenish-blue UFO" did go down and crash. As it was gently falling, a "whitish piece broke off the top."
The caller's witness also stated there are military jets and one possible helicopter in the vicinity at this time.
The caller predicts this will be in the Stockton Record (CA) or the San Jose Mercury (CA) or the Modesto Bee (CA) news by tomorrow (daytime 8-5-98).
If you want to follow this story, I am posting this on the UFOnetwork Sightings board. Please post your replies there. I have told the caller to expect you to.
The caller has called police departments who cannot verify the event at this time in: Tracy, Modesto, Stockton, Manteca, Merced and Ripon. Livermore was not called, as the number could not be found. Stockton and Modesto airports were called and were unavailable.
UFOnetwork is reporting what was told to us. Like any sighting report, it must be more fully investigated.
The caller, who has agreed to go public, is:
Jennifer Lipshin 208-232-5490
Report taken by:
Claude DiDomenica UFOnetwork Founder & Webmaster 781-440-0011
© Copyright 1998 UFOnetwork, All Rights Reserved