UFO Reports Pile Up
In Europe And Oz
From UFO UpDates - Toronto <>
From: Joseph Trainor <>
Volume 3, Number 40
On Friday, September 11, 1998, at 10:30 a.m., Oswald Raeder, 58, a New Zealand tourist, was in Surfers Paradise, Queensland, Australia when he decided to take a photograph of the Dolphin Arcade Building. Looking down Cavill Avenue, Rader snapped two color photos on his camera, aiming at the Dolphin Building framed by a clear blue sky. But when the photographs were developed, they shouwed something else in the picture, as well. The first image showed two puffs of smoke in the sky. The second, snapped seconds later, showed a black saucer leaving the area. "Mr. Raeder, 58, accidentally captured the images on a $10 (disposable) camera as he photographed the Dolphin Arcade Building from the Search Rescue Service Club in central Surfers Paradise." "'My idea was just to take a picture of the building, as I do a lot wherever I go, because I love to look at architecture,' he said, 'It's fascinating, but I'm not a UFO fanatic. In fact, I'm frightened that people will think I'm made because I cannot explain this." "Roger Brown, operator of Surfers Paradise Photo Express, said, 'It's just a matter of an unassuming guy, not a professional photographer, who took his picture and then found the object. It could not be faked, expecially with a disposable camera. I'm certain they are legitimate.'" "Wing Commander John Steinbeck (no relation to the USA author--J.T.), spokesman for RAAF (Royal Australian Air Force base) Amberley, confirmed that there were no military aircraft near the area at that time." "A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said there was no reported aircraft activity in the central Surfers Paradise area early on Sept. 11th." Surfers Paradise is on the Queensland coast about 480 kilometers (300 miles) north of Sydney. (See the newspapers The Sunday Territorian and the Sunday Mail for September 27, 1998. Many thanks to Diane Hamilton for forwarding the news stories.) (Editor's Note: For more on last week's big UFO flap in Australia, see the other stories in this issue.)
On Friday, September 18, 1998, at 8:15 p.m., the witness, A.Z.P., "noticed a large white light in the sky. It shone like a very bright star, but I knew it could not be." Outdoors at his home in Sunderland, a port city in Northumberland, UK, A.Z.P.saw that "it was a cloudy night, and all the other stars were blocked out by the cloud layer. While I watched it (the UFO), there was another smaller light directly underneath it, and, as I got closer, I realized it was a helicopter. The helicopter suddenly turned and flew in a northerly direction." "Around two minutes after the first, another helicopter went past in the same direction., and, five minutes after that, another one did the same. This is unusual. I have only ever seen one helicopter in the Sunderland area at one time, and they could not have been police helicopters because they did not have searchlights scouring the ground." Thirty minutes later, he added, "the light continued to move upwards out of the atmosphere, but it was going extremely slowly, around a degree every ten minutes. A plane flew toward it around 9 p.m., but it was not like any plane I have ever seen. It flew directly underneath the light, which was still moving. It went past and did not circle the light." "I continued to watch it until 10 p.m. and then saw a smaller light detach itself from the large light. It hovered for a few seconds, before shooting off into space." A.P.Z. saw the UFO again the next night, Saturday, September 19, 1998, but did not observe it for any length of time. Sunderland is located on the UK's North Sea coast about 200 miles (320 kilometers) north of London. (Email Interview)
On Friday, September 25, 1998, residents of Berwick, Victoria, Australia "spotted a large orange fireball crossing the sky from east to west" at around midnight. "It was only sighted for about ten seconds." Between Thursday, September 24, and Monday, September 28, 1998, a glowing UFO was seen repeatedly over Currie, a town on King Island, just north of Australia's island state of Tasmania. The UFO was visible from 7 to 8 p.m. on each of the four nights. On Saturday, September 25, the UFO was witnessed by Jill Munro and Christine Parker, both residents of Currie. "'It freaked me out,' Ms. Munro, a former radio journalist, said, 'I have been through the Bankstown massacre and other events but never in my life have I seen anything like this. It takes a lot to throw me, but someone must come and see this thing and tell me what it is.'" "Ms. Munro said the object was definitely not a burning can suspended from a garbage bag parachute, as suggested by the National Space and Meteor Hotline, nor was it reflected light." "Ms. Parker, who is a local councillor and librarian, said the light formed a steady line rather than a ball. It was below the cloud level and clearly visible." "She said the sighting was a hot topic of conversation on the island, particularly among older people who remembered Valentich's disappearance on October 21, 1978 as if it were yesterday." (See the Daily Mail for September 29, 1998. Many thanks to Diane Hamilton and to Ross Dowe of Australia/New Zealand 24-Hour UFO Hotline for these reports.) (Editor's Note: Pilot Frederick M. Valentich took off from Melbourne on October 21, 1978 on a night flight across the Bass Strait to Tasmania. While passing King Island, he radioed Melbourne and said his single-engine aircraft had been buzzed by a large green UFO. After several minutes, in which Valentich described the horrifying aerial encounter, radio contact was lost. Neither Valentich nor his plane were ever found.)
Dozens of UFO reports flooded French research groups last month following publicity surrounding two incidents that took place on August 14, 1998. On August 14, 1998, witnesses in the Mezidon- Canon arrondisement in Caen, a large city in the department of Calvados, west of Paris, reported seeing "a white stationary luminous phenomenon hovering over the city for several minutes." The same night, at 11:50 p.m.witnesses in the port city of Audierne, in the department of Finisterre, saw a UFO "in the form of a triangle, with red lights at each corner, and to the center possibly a greenish-white strobe light. A slide to the straight, a slide to the left, very slow. Low altitude, about 45 degrees above the horizon." The Audierne case is being investigated by ufologists Thierry Larquet of Brest and Thierry Garnier of Cercle Ufologique de Haute-Normandie. On August 21, 1998, Garnier was interviewed by a journalist for Paris-Normandie concerning the Audierne case. As a result of the interview, he received 31 UFO reports. Of these, 20 appeared to be genuine UFO sightings. The reports are summarized below: On August 30, a couple driving on Chaussee (Highway) A29 spotted "two red spheres and a massive rectangle" in Yervilles "going from north to south at an average speed." On August 28, at 11:15 p.m., witnesses in Vernon, a city in the department of Eure west of Paris, "noted the sudden appearance of a yellowish sphere. It separated into two equal pieces, then reassembled itself." On August 27, at 10:15 p.m., also in Vernon, a "stationary yellowish sphere" appeared in the southeastern sky, then disappeared. On August 21, UFOs were seen in three French communities. In Orgeval, at 11:15 p.m., witnesses watched "a stationary white sphere rotating in the northwestern sky" for five minutes. In La Londe, at 11:45 p.m., "four white luminous circles flew to the north and were seen intermittently for five minutes." In St. Ouen de Tilleul, three white UFOs came together in the sky, forming a triangle. A multi-community flap also took place on the night of August 19. In Pavilly, a city in the department Seine-Maritime northwest of Paris, "two white spheres" crossed the sky at 1 a.m., accompanied by a "hissing noise." In La Neuville Champs d'Oissez, "a white sphere was seen in the west, the size of the rising sun, which oscillated in a stationary position." In Maromme, at 11 p.m., "a large white sphere" flew away and then returned very slowly, only to fly away again minutes later. And, in Vernon, "a luminous yellow sphere was seen in the southeast sky. At first it was stationary. Then it flew away to the west." Earlier in August, white spherical UFOs were seen in St. Valery en Caux, La Haie Malherbe, Grand Quevilly, Cantelen, Sotteville, Bouville and St. Aubin les Elbeuf. (Merci beaucoup au Thierry Garnier de Cercle Ufologique de Haute-Normandie pour ces nouvelles.)
On August 30, 1998, at 10 p.m., members of the Baptist Church youth group were camped out in the bush just north of Alice Springs, Northern Territory, Australia. "The group split up into three groups of eight children, so to settle for a night of camp. Each group camped about 100 meters (110 yards) apart." "Then one group noticed a bright silver ball of white light flickering and moving up and down. It was bigger than the stars around, so it stood out. Then they saw another white light coming in the same direction." "The children all grouped together to watch the dancing lights. They watched them for around two minutes, then the lights grouped and raced away at fast speed." (Many thanks to Australian ufologist Keith Douglass and Errol Bruce-Knapp for this report.)
On Friday, September 2, 1998, at 7:45 p.m., while at a church youth group meeting in Rolla, Missouri (population 14,090), William B. and his friends took a break and went out into the parking lot to listen to some CD music. "Then I looked up and saw an elliptical object," Bill reported. "It was very bright and shiny." Calling his compnions' attention to the UFO, he "told my friends to look at it, and it split into two equal parts. Many times in the time we looked at it, it appeared to move away, only to come right back in a minute or so. It must have been going very fast because it was still going fast even at a distance. Jets don't move like that." (Email Interview) Rolla is on Missouri Highway 63 about 85 miles (114 kilometers) southwest of St. Louis.
Giant hominid tracks were found on a Native American reserve near Prince Albert, Saskatchewan (population 34,181) in late July 1998. "The discovery of a footprint a third of a metre in length has members of a Saskatchewan reserve looking for signs of an elusive creature steeped in aboriginal (Native American) legend." "Curiosity seekers point out that the tracks coincide with the disappearance of a dog and a bull on the Beardy's and Okemasis First Nation in northern Saskatchewan." "The prints were spotted July 26 by Janet Gamble, who was jogging near her home." "'When I noticed the footprint, I looked around to see it again, and stepped all over another print,' Gamble said. 'Realizing what I'd seen, I just panicked.'" "Gamble and her husband Dennis followed the tracks which cut through the brush along the side of the road." "Her husband and his brother videotaped the tracks after realizing how easily they could be washed away." "In an effort to determine the actual nature of the footprints, the Gambles contacted the RCMP, the University of Saskatchewan and rserve (tribal) elders." "'The RCMP told us they couldn't do much else (unless) something serious happened like a mutilation,' said Dennis Gamble." "'The anthropology department of the university didn't seem very interested,' he added." "Archie Baptiste of the Red Pheasant reserve told them it was caused by Mistysen." "Baptiste said Mistysen, which translates to big man or big person, are legendary creatures that do not go near people and always hide." "Eugene Gandypie, a friend of the Gambles who helped with the tracking, doesn't understand why the RCMP aren't involved." "'Early in the spring, a nearby farm had a bull go missing. It was later found dead with several bites taken out of it,' said Gardypie. 'Just this past week (i.e. August 1, 1998--J.T.), another bull has gone missing, and so has a Rottweiler from another farm.'" "Gardypie said there were several droppings in the area that he said were not animal or human." "'I don't know what it is, but with a 14-inch-by- 7-inch-wide print and a stride of 6 feet,' he said, 'It is definitely strange.'" Prince Albert is on Provincial Highway 2 about 87 miles (119 kilometers) north of Saskatoon. (See the Citizen of Prince Albert, Sask. for August 1, 1998. Many thanks to Graham Conway of UFO*BC and Lou Farrish of UFO Newsclipping Service for this newspaper article.)
Three crop circles were found last week on Prince Edward Island in eastern Canada. The "triplet" formation was found near Tryon on Monday, September 28, 1998, although the field's owner, John Visser, said he thinks the circular formation originally appeared in mid-August. "The attraction lies in John Visser's winter rye grain field which runs along the Trans-Canada Highway. There, visible from the highway, are three large crop circles, all of which are connected by paths. Two of the circles measure just over 40 feet (64 meters) across while the third measures over 50 feet (80 meters). Within the circles everything has been completely flattened, while nothing outside the circles or paths that connect them has been touched, save by the feet of the curious, hundreds of whom turned up after word of the phenomenon spread through Tryon and neighbouring communities." "Harry Craig, of Craig's Convenience Store in Crapaud, says the circles have been the subject of conversation and no small amount of speculation." "'Little green men?' says Craig with a grin, 'I don't think so. But it's strange. I can't think of any piece of machinery I know of that makes cuts so perfect. The two smaller circles are exactly the same size, and the paths that connect them are all the same width.'" "Potato producer John Visser says the circles look to have been made in the middle of August. They were first brought to his attention by a man in Bedeque who spotted them while flying overhead in his private plane." "'I haven't the foggiest idea where they came from. And I didn't see any tracks that would lead me to believe that somebody brought equipment in there. I don't believe in little green men from outer space,' Visser said, 'And I'm not going to speculate, either. As close as I come to speculation is being in the potato business.'" (See The Guardian of Prince Edward Island for September 29, 1998, "Who, or What, left Tryon's crop circles?" Many thanks to Mike Mella and Paul Anderson of Circles Phenomenon Research-Canada for this newspaper story.)
On Sunday, September 27, 1998, at 8:30 p.m., a loud "sky boom" was reported in Brownsville, Pennsylvania (population 3,164), a town on Highway 40 about 40 miles (64 kilometers) south of Pittsburgh. According to ufologist Stan Gordon, the boom was heard "over a 15-mile area" in both Fayette and Washington counties. "One source told me that a family in California Boro said their glass curio cabinet 'was rocked, with glassware falling and breaking.' Another person in West Brownsville said the blast jolted him out of bed." "According to researcher Jim Brown, 'Reports were received by Brownsville Police around 8:30 p.m. Sept. 27 regarding a loud boom. The boom was heard as far away as Smock, Pa. (population 950) and also in Washington County." Brown interviewed two Brownsville police officers. One told him that "he heard what he describes as a fizz just before the boom. He compared it to a 'launching.' He agrees it was a concussive sound." A search of the area by the Brownsville Police and Fire Departments failed to turn up any evidence of an explosion. On Friday, September 25, 1998, at 2 p.m., a "sky boom" occurred over Saltsburg, Pa. (population 990), a town on Highway 286 about 20 miles (32 kilometers) east of Pittsburgh. According to Gordon, "A resident told me he heard what sounded like a large explosion. It started with a very low-pitched explosion followed by a long rumble at a higher pitch. The rumble continued for 15 to 30 seconds after the blast and descreased steadily in intensity. This person talked to others who heard it 15 miles away." (Many thanks to Stan Gordon for these reports.) (Editor's Note: Saltsburg is just west of Connellsville, Pa., the site of a two-month UFO flap back in April and May of 1996.)
On August 27, 1998, at 5:22 a.m., Earth was bombarded by an explosive wave of gamma rays and X-rays from deep space. A "tremendous burst" of radiation "tore into Earth's upper atmosphere last month, paralyzing spacecraft and distorting radio transmissions, astronomers said Tuesday," September 29, 1998. The blast wave lasted over five minutes and registered most strongly over the Pacific Ocean north of Hawaii. "It was the most powerful pulse known to have struck Earth from a source outside the solar system. And it marked the first time that a significant change in Earth's environment could be traced to a distant star." "'In this five-minute flash, we saw as much energy as we'd see coming out of the Sun for the next 300 years, or roughly a billion-billion times the energy of the world's nuclear arsenal,' said Kevin Hurley, a physicist at the University of California-Berkeley." The blast "was strong enough to temporarily shut down two Earth-orbiting spacecraft and push the sensitive detectors on five other satellites to their maximum scales." "The pulse also briefly cut the range of high-powered radio stations. The radio signals, which usually reach much farther at night because of lower electrical levels in the atmosphere, were reduced to their lower daytime range." The source of the blast was a collapsed neutron star known as SGR1900+14, which is 20,000 light-years from Earth, in the constellation Aquila (Latin for eagle--J.T.). SGR1900+14 is a magnetar, a neutron star that rotates very rapidly, creating a very intense magnetic field. Billions of years ago, the star exploded in a supernova. Then it collapsed into a neutron star about 12 miles in diameter. As science writer Paul Hovenstern explained in USA Today, the star's "outer crust is black iron, and its fluid (liquid) interior of atomic nuclei is so dense that a spoonful of the stuff weighs as much as an aircraft carrier. The star is just 12 miles across but weighs one-and-a-half times as much as the sun." "The star spins rapidly, and the hotter elements in its core rise to surface. This creates an intense magnetic field." Twenty thousand years ago, the magnetar threw off its blast wave of gamma and X-rays, which went racing across the galaxy like the first ripple from a rock dropped in a pond "The discovery is 'a major breakthrough in astrophysics,' said Chryssa Kouvelioutou of the Universities Space Research Association." (See USA Today for September 30, 1998, "Star explosion's rays zap Earth's sky traffic," by Paul Hovenstern.) (Editor's Comment: When I saw the movie Star Trek--Generations, with its "Nexus wave" traveling across the cosmos, I never, ever thought we'd see a similar phenomenon in real life. But here we are--once again, life imitates art. The magnetar's blast wave is also a not-so-subtle reminder that the universe can be a dangerous place.)
On Friday, September 25, 1998, the spacecraft Galileo began a close flyby of Europa, an ice- covered moon in orbit around Jupiter. At 11:56 p.m., NASA's robot explorer craft reached its closest approach point, passing 2,226 miles (3,561 kilometers) above the Europa's frozen ocean. The flyby did not pass without incident, however. "A fault projection program shut down the gyroscopes Thursday" September 24, "after they either began acting abnormally or the spacecraft thought they had a problem, said project manager Jim Erickson." "'They aren't needed for the encounter,' he said." Galileo's star scanner was the primary navigational tool during the flyby. "The chief impact of the gyro problem would be in the quality of observation by an instrument called a Near-Infrared Mapping Spectrometer (NIMS). The gyros increase the stability of the scan platform, Erickson said." Launched back in 1989, Galileo arrived at Jupiter on December 7, 1995. Having completed its primary mission of exploration in Jovian space, the spacecraft is now surveying Io and Europa. Ice-covered Europa orbits Jupiter at a distance of 416,877 miles (670,900 kilometers). The moon is 1,942 miles (3,126 kilometers) in diameter and takes 3.55 Earth days to complete a rotation. It was named for Europa, the princess of Phoenicia who was kidnapped by the Greek god Zeus and taken to Crete. (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for forwarding the NASA news release.)
from the UFO Files...
Twenty years ago, a UFO flap broke out in the Central American nation of Honduras. Here's one of the most high-profile cases of that flap. "On October 14 (1978), at 6:10 p.m., a nationwide blackout left communities helpless for twenty minutes as reports of strange objects in the twilit skies flooded radio stations and the newsrooms of Honduran dailies." "The advertising manager of one newspaper, Rogelio Bercian, happened to be among the witnesses to the unusual phenomena. At precisely 6:06 p.m., he declared in an article for Tegucigalpa's La Tribuna that he was working on his car on the vantage point of El Picacho hill when he became aware of a strange object moving from south to north at considerable speed." "It headed for a populated area at high velocity. Fearing it was a conventional airplane, he paid close attention to its maneuvers. The object suddenly executed a suicidal figure-eight maneuver. Bercian then realized he was looking at a colossal, boomerang-shaped object with a brilliant light at its center. As it flew over Tocontin Airport (on the outskirts of Tegucigalpa, capital of Honduras--J.T.) electrical current died over the city. Bercian saw the streetlights grow dim before blacking out altogether. Other witnesses directly under the flight path of the triangular UFO were able to confirm Bercian's statement." (See the book CHUPACABRAS AND OTHER MYSTERIES by Scott Corrales, Greenleaf Publications, Murfreesboro, Tenn., 1997, page 201)
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.