Fireballs And Orbs
Dominate Week's Sightings
Joseph Trainor - Editor
Volume 3, Number 42

On Friday afternoon, October 10, 1998, people walking along the lakeshore in Cleveland, Ohio (population 503,000) were startled to see three bright orange fireballs moving slowly through the blue sky over Lake Erie. A cameraman for WJBK-TV in Cleveland, Channel 2 Fox News, went outdoors and videotaped the UFOs' overflight. The video shows two orange fireballs proceeding across the sky at a slow pace, above telephone poles and treetops, with a third UFO in the lower right-hand corner, barely visible. Channel 2 aired the video on its news broadcast with this voiceover commentary: "Now look at this and judge for yourself. What do you think? You can see three streaks of light, the third you can barely spot in the right-hand corner moving into the trees...Witnesses said the lights were visible for half an hour." After seeing a rebroadcast on a Detroit TV station, Rev. John E.L. Tenney of Michigan Anomalous Information Network (MAIN) telephoned Channel 2 in Cleveland to learn more about the sighting. "The news director that I spoke to in Cleveland said that the local weather crew eventually determined the lights to be a plane," he reported, adding skeptically, "Three planes? Three planes moving so slowly?" (Many thanks to Rev. John E.L. Tenney for this report.)
On Monday, October 12, 1998, just before 11 p.m., a 31-year-old housewife went outdoors at her home about 6 kilometers (3 miles) from Nowra, New South Wales, Australia and spotted a group of UFOs "in tight formation flying low toward the south." The house is in a rural area "with only one dirt road from Nowra to Sassafras and on to Braidwood." Nowra is on Australia's east coast about 180 kilometers (108 miles) south of Sydney. The UFOs "appeared to be at 35 degrees elevation and hovered there before moving south again." The witness "said they only had a visible shape when using the binocs (binoculars--J.T.) but appeared to be as large as a 5-cent piece at arm's length when using them. They were bell-shaped with a white or bluish-white light at the top, quite steady. They appeared 'translucent,' 'like a jellyfish' and displayed multi-coloured flashing lights around the sides in no recognisable pattern. Central underneath was a steady bluish glow." "When they came back" toward the farm, "they wove about" in the sky "about 6 to 8 kilometers southwest of her property, where they stayed for about twenty minutes and appeared to be flying erratically, 'like a conductor's baton or a ballet dance.' Just after 11:30 p.m., they flickered off to the west-northwest, dipping behind some trees." The case was investigated by Brad Mildern of Paradox UFO Group, which covers sightings in New South Wales between Wollongong, Shorehaven and Batemans Bay. Commenting on the Nowra UFOs, ufologist Diane Harrison said, "Description reminds me of the photos from Gulf Breeze." (Many thanks to Brad Mildern of Paradox UFO Group for this story.)
On Sunday, October 11, 1998, at 7 p.m., ufologist Tony Colbourn of the Essex and London UFO Network (ELUFON) was working in his back garden at his home in Walthamstow, a suburb north of East London. "At approximately 1900 hours, I spotted what I could only describe as a gold orb traveling in a north easterly direction at an approximate altitude of 2,000 feet," he reported, "It is usual to see aircraft stacking above my house, as it is located in one of the main flight paths for Heathrow Airport. Whilst observing this object, I also noticed a satellite going over, which due to the visible differences, convinced me that this was not a satellite because (for example) it was brighter, bolder and moving a lot faster." "A few minutes later, I noticed two additional orbs, white in colour, traveling northward. As they approached me, the one on the right turned in a north easterly direction and the other continued straight on north." Colbourn rushed into the house to grab his videocamera. But when he returned to the garden, "all (UFO) activity had ceased." The next night, Monday, October 12, at 6:45 p.m., "I noticed that the gold orb had returned, traveling the same route. I rushed in and grabbed my camcorder, called Roy (Hale of ELUFON) on the phone and went back to the garden. I then noticed another white orb which whilst traveling became brighter. The size was similar to the end of a pencil but gradually expanded to the size of a tennis ball and then seemed to implode inward and disappear altogether." Colbourn then telephoned ELUFON member Brian Jessop, who quickly hopped into his car and drove to Walthamstow. On his way there, at 6:55 p.m., Jessop spotted a strange light in the sky. "As it got closer, he realized it was a triangle-shaped object." ELUFON is investigating these and other reported UFO sightings in Walthamstow. (Many thanks to Tony Colbourn and Roy Hale of ELUFON and to Errol Bruce-Knapp for forwarding these reports.)
The evening of September 12, 1998, a group of college students gathered at the observatory in Sormano, Italy to do some skywatching as part of their astronomy course lab work. "We were going to spend the night observing the stars and at first noticed nothing out of the ordinary," Giancarlo S. reported. "Then, at about 11 p.m., we saw over the mountain a big sphere like the full moon. At first it stopped, then it moved very quickly behind the mountain. For a moment, I saw this object suspended above the peak." Unable to keep their big telescope fixed on the object, the group reached for their binoculars. "Having grabbed our binoculars to better observe it, we watched as it moved steadily in a westerly direction away from the mountain until it could no longer be seen." This case is being investigated by Italy's Centro Ufologici Nazionale. (Grazie a Marco Guarisco di CUN Como per questo rapporto.)
On Saturday, September 26, 1998, at 9 p.m., three luminous white UFOs appeared at an elevation of 30 degrees above the western horizon just south of Las Varas, in Nayarit state, Mexico, about 40 kilometers (25 miles) north of the popular Pacific Ocean resort city of Puerto Vallarta. The UFOs were described as "three bright white lights...the lights, except for a few brief seconds of flashing, were otherwise non-blinking and stationary for nearly 35 minutes before flying away." "On leaving, they moved laterally with the Mexican coastline for about five minutes and then moved out of sight. Within a few seconds, the three lights 'streaked' back to near where they had originally been seen...Local newspapers have had two articles on the phenomenon. The Mexican lights are capable of great speeds and hover for long periods of time." (See Filer's Files #41 for 1998, item copyright by John C. Thompson. Many thanks to George A. Filer of MUFON for this news story.)
Two more crop circles were found in Canada's Saskatchewan province during September. According to Paul Anderson of Circles Phenomenon Research-Canada, the circles were originally made "in late August or early September" but were not found until the wheat fields began to be harvested later in the month. On September 14, 1998, residents found a counterclockwise circle measuring 11 feet (3.3 meters) in diameter, with a tight spiral lay of the stems, in a wheat field on the outskirts of Wapello, Sask. (population 429), a town on Provincial Highway 601 about 112 miles (179 kilometers) southeast of Regina. A week later, on September 21, 1998, residents discovered a circle with a ring in a wheat field near Spy Hill, Sask. The circle measured 24 feet (7 meters) in diameter, was counterclockwise and also had a tight spiral lay. Spy Hill is on Highway 8 near the Manitoba border, about 130 miles (208 kilometers) east of Regina. (Many thanks to Paul Anderson of Circles Phenomenon Research-Canada for these reports.)
One of the unsung Earth spacecraft cruising the depths of our solar system is NEAR, the Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous satellite. Looking like an inverted, four-bladed ceiling fan, NEAR was launched from Earth in 1996 and "is just weeks from becoming the first man-made object to be placed into the orbit of a distant asteroid." "The Near Earth Asteroid Rendezvous spacecraft will fire rockets on Dec. 20 to settle into an orbit of an asteroid called Eros that is streaking across space about 163 million miles (261 million kilometers) from Earth." "The satellite will start orbiting the asteroid on Jan. 10, 1999." "During months of circling the asteroid, the craft will be slowly lowered until its orbit is just 21 miles (33 kilometers) above the space rock. The craft will give the first prolonged up-close look at an asteroid, which are minor planets in space." "Six instruments aboard NEAR will analyze the composition, magnetic field and mass of the asteroid, sending the data back to Earth by radio." "Eros is something of a mystery. The rock is 24 miles (long) by 8 miles (wide). Scientists don't know if the rock is solid or if it is a highly porous body with empty cavities or chunks of ice...What isn't known is whether Eros was once part of a bigger planet or if it formed independently." According to Andy Cheng, a Johns Hopkins researcher and the project scientist for NEAR, the spacecraft may try for a soft landing on Eros. "After months in orbit of Eros, researchers may attempt to put the craft onto the surface of the asteroid. Cheng said the spacecraft was not designed to land but that is one option the researchers are considering. The density of Eros is unknown, but the asteroid is so small that its gravity force will be only a fraction of Earth's, making landing there less violent." (See USA Today for October 13, 1998, "Satellite is moving into orbit of asteroid.")
From the UFO Files...
Twenty years ago, on October 21, 1978, at 6:10 p.m., Frederick M. Valentich, 21, began his pre-flight checklist, walking around and inspecting his blue-and-white Cessna 182. Nine minutes later, at approximately 6:19 p.m., Fred eased the Cessna off the tarmac at Moorabbin Airport in Melbourne, Victoria state, Australia, heading south over the Bass Strait on what was supposed to be a routine flight to Tasmania. At 7:06 p.m., Fred, whose radio call letters were Delta Sierra Juliet (DSJ) sent an urgent call to Flight Service (FS) in Melbourne. Here is the actual transcript of that conversation. DSJ: "Melbourne, this is Delta Sierra Juliet, is there any known traffic below five thousand (feet)?" FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, no known traffic." DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. I am--seems to be a large aircraft below five thousand." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, what kind of aircraft is it?" DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. I cannot confirm. It is four seems to me like landing lights." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger. and it is a large aircraft, confirmed?" DSJ: "Er--unknown, due to the speed it's travelling. Is there any air force activity in this vicinity?" FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, no known aircraft in the vicinity." DSJ: "Melbourne, it's approaching now from due east towards me." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet." DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. It seems to me that he's playing some sort of game. He's flying over me two, three times at speeds I could not identify." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger. What is your actual level?" DSJ: "My level is four and a half thousand, four five zero zero." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, and you confirm that you cannot identify the aircraft?" DSJ: "Affirmative." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger. Stand by." DSJ: "Melbourne, Delta Sierra Juliet, it's not an aircraft. It is (static)" FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, can you describe" DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. As it's flying past, it's a long shape (static) cannot identify more than it has such speed (static) It's before me right now, Melbourne." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, roger, and how large would be?" DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. Melbourne, it seems like it's stationary. What I'm doing right now is orbiting, and the thing in orbiting on top of me also. It's got a green light and sort of metallic like. It's all shiny on the outside." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet." DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet (static) It's just vanished." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet." DSJ: "Melbourne, would you know what kind of aircraft I've got? Is it a military aircraft?" FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, confirm aircraft just vanished?" DSJ: "Say again." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, is the aircraft still with you?" DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet, it's (static) now approaching from the southwest." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet." DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. The engine is rough idling. I've got it set at twenty-three, twenty-four (2300 to 2400 RPM--J.T.), and the thing is coughing." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet, what are your intentions?" DSJ: "My intentions go to King Island...ah...Melbourne. That strange aircraft is hovering on top of me again. (static) It is hovering, and it's not an aircraft." FS: "Delta Sierra Juliet." DSJ: "Delta Sierra Juliet. Melbourne (static burst for 17 seconds)" The burst faded, and the frequency fell silent. An air-and-sea rescue was launched. But the searchers found no trace of Fred Valentich or his blue-and-white Cessna. The Royal Australian Air Force report on the Valentich case contains the following: "Degrees of injury - Presumed fatal." "Opinion as to cause - The reason for the disappearance of the aircraft has not been determined." (See the book WORLD ATLAS OF UFOs by John Spencer, Smithmark Publishers Inc., New York, NY 1991, pages 169 to 172.)
We'll be back next week with more saucer news from around the planet, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you then.
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1998 by Masinaigan Productions, all rights reserved. Readers may post news items from UFO Roundup on their websites or in newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter and its editor by name and list the date of issue in which the item first appeared.