|UFO ROUNDUP Volume 4, Number 32|
|December 2, 1999 Editor: Joseph Trainor|
BIGFOOT SIGHTED IN RURAL PENNSYLVANIA
Long-time UFO researcher Stan Gordon is investigating a Bigfoot sighting that took place in rural western Pennsylvania on either October 21 or October 28, 1999.
According to Gordon, a couple was driving through a wooded area just outside of Pleasant Unity, Pennsylvania (population 900) when the wife spotted "a hair-covered manlike creature, with long arms extending below the knees."
"The creature was stooped over, and its arms were swinging back and forth very quickly. No facial features could be determined. The witness estimated that the creature was about six feet tall, but would have been much taller if it had stood erect. The hair, which spread over the entire body, was smooth and colored reddish-brown in color. There did appear to be an area of larger bushy hair on its ankles and legs towards the feet."
"The creature appeared to be very broad across the shoulders (about three feet). The most outstanding physical feature was the head. The head was described as very large, and it seemed to slope back into a cone shape. It was about 18 inches (36 centimeters) from the jaw to the peak of the head. The witness indicated that a neck was not apparent."
"The husband stated, 'It seemed to be in a hurry. It looked human but it wasn't. What struck me was how fast it was, and how it crossed the road, and didn't hesitate to go into the woods on the other side. A human would probably hesitate and go looking for footing and watching their step, but this thing didn't.'"
Pleasant Unity, Pa. is at the intersection of Routes 130 and 981 about 40 miles (64 kilometers) southeast of Pittsburgh. Gordon stated that this area of the Allegeheny Mountains has had many Bigfoot sightings, dating back to the first reported sighting in 1931. (Many thanks to Stan Gordon for this news story.)
V-SHAPED UFO SEEN BY A FAMILY IN WEST VIRGINIA
On Sunday, November 14, 1999, Michele W. and her children were driving on Interstate Highway I-64, and, just before reaching the small city of Lewisburg, West Virginia (population 3,598), she spotted an unusual object in the sky.
"While traveling on I-64 eastbound, I saw a quickly-moving V-shaped craft fly soundlessly over the road and disappear over the mountain," Michele reported, "I saw it approaching from the right side of the road (i.e., south--J.T.) And by the time I yelled to the kids, 'Do you see what I see?' it had disappeared over the mountains."
"The lights were red and steady, not blinking," she added, "It seemed like it was flying low, but it was completely soundless. Did anyone else see this?"
Lewisburg, W.V. is on Highway 60 approximately 104 miles (166 kilometers) southeast of Charleston, the state capital. (Email Interview)
TWO ORANGE UFOs SEEN IN FOXTON, NEW ZEALAND
On Saturday, November 6, 1999, at 5:30 p.m., a New Zealand motorist spotted two glowing orange UFOs low in the sky. The sighting took place 10 miles (16 kilometers) north of Foxton, a small city on the North Island about 80 miles (128 kilometers) north of Wellington.
The witness told ufologist Ross Dowe of Australia's National Space Centre that "whilst travelling up north, 10 miles from Foxton, we saw an orange light above another. The top one was bigger than the other at the bottom. The lights were so close together that the glow around them made them look like a round line. I was staring at these lights for about 20 seconds and then they disappeared. They came back about one minute later but quite a distance from where I first saw them. Then they disappeared for seven seconds and came back for 15 seconds, then disappeared all together."
"The evening was perfectly calm. There were a few clouds," the witness stated, adding that at first he thought they were milking shed lights, "but they were too high." He then thought they might be lights from RZNAF Ohakea, a nearby Royal New Zealand Air Force base. "But we were too far away to see the (air base) lights. I just can't explain what I saw." (Many thanks to Ross Dowe of Australia's National Space Centre for forwarding this report.)
GREEN DOME-SHAPED UFO SIGHTED IN SHROPSHIRE
On Thursday, November 18, 1999, at 9:45 p.m., Nicholas G. spotted a UFO from the window of his home in Bridgnorth, Shropshire, UK.
"Being bored with the program on TV, I went to the large window, drew back the curtain and opened the window. The sky was clear as I began to search for meteors, hoping to see stragglers from the night before (the annual Leonid meteor storm--J.T.), the display we could not see here in UK because of cloud."
"My window faces east, and suddenly there appeared from the ground up an enormous dome of green light. I estimate that it had been about one mile (1.6 kilometers) in diameter and about half a mile (800 meters) away."
"It remained visible for about one to two seconds, while in the room behind was the noise of all the electrical equipment going off and then resetting itself. The electricity supply for all of Bridgnorth had been lost."
Afterward, Nick contacted a friend in Hilton, five miles east of Bridgnorth, and asked if that town had lost its electrical power, as well. "He, like myself, has one of those digital bedroom clocks which reset to zero on the slightest blip."
The friend told Nick there had been no power outages in Hilton.
"All I can say is that it was a strange experience," Nick added.
Bridgnorth is located about 45 miles (72 kilometers) west of Birmingham. (Email Interview)
UFOs REPORTED IN THREE AUSTRALIAN STATES
On Tuesday, November 23, 1999, at about 9:30 p.m., Australia's National Space Centre "received a flood of calls...from New South Wales and Victoria (states) about a cylindrical or missile- shaped object which appeared to break up."
According to ufologist Ross Dowe of the National Space Centre, "It went from west to east and there were some strange illuminations behind it."
"They say it was dark grey with some sort of fireball behind and some other strange reflections in the front, as well." (Many thanks to Ross Dowe for this report.)
In Victoria state, radio station 3AW stated, "Numerous sightings were reported at Brisbane and Canberra (Australia's capital--J.T.) and on to Melbourne."
"A witness stated he saw the object break up into 30 separate objects, 'fly' independently of each other and then 'depart.' The colour of the object was a red-orange colour and (it) had a flame-like tail." (Many thanks to Todd Lemire and Errol Bruce-Knapp for this report.)
On Friday, November 26, 1999, a large, bright green UFO composed of four cylindrical components was sighted at 8:05 p.m. by several witnesses in Labrador, Queensland, Australia.
A woman named Tracy "observed it for 10 minutes or more. Tracy said that at first she could see cloud cover and she thought it was a light show" but then realized that "the object was above the clouds and not a ground-based light source."
She described the UFO's components as "long tubes like a flouro (flourescent) light tube," adding, "The tubes were positioned alongisde each other about 30 centimeters (15 inches) apart. All four tubes moved in the same direction, easterly out to sea."
"It was astounding. It was fantastic," Tracy reported, "We all stood there, mouths open, in amazement at what we were looking at." (Many thanks to Diane Harrison of Australian UFO Research Network for this report.)
ANOTHER UFO SIGHTING IN SARDINIA
On Saturday, November 27, 1999, at 10:25 p.m., three UFOs passed over the town of Sorso on Sardinia, a large island in the Mediterranean Sea belonging to Italy.
Witnesses in Sorso saw "two large pulsating lights of a yellowish-white color, followed by another flying multicolored light." The slow-moving UFOs "were seen for several minutes by residents of Sorso. The formation was moving slowly from west to east, crossing a clear star-filled sky." (Grazie a Antonio Cuccu e Alfredo Lissoni di Centro Ufologico Nazionale d'Italia per questo rapporto.)
PHANTOM DANCERS SEEN BY HUNDREDS IN IRAQ
"Ghost stories are pretty common around the old Iraqi city of Haditha. Still, when the ghosts start dancing naked in front of oncoming motorists, it creates quite a stir."
According to the Iraqi weekly newspaper, Al-Alwan, "drivers passing through the Horan Valley outside the town of Haditha, 135 miles (216 kilometers) northeast of Baghdad, were reporting that 'ghosts appeared next to the bridge, naked and doing some acrobatic moves.'"
"The ghosts were causing the drivers to panic, the paper said."
"Alwan quoted motorist Shawki Sabar as saying, 'they were almost human--although I could not concentrate on their looks because I was so scared and it was dark.'"
"The ghosts were so lifelike that one motorist thought he'd hit a person and reported the accident to police." (See the weekly newspaper Al-Alwan for August 21, 1999. See also the Charlotte, N.C. Observer for August 22, 1999, "Iraqi drivers see 'dancing ghosts' on road." Many thanks to Lou Farrish of UFO Newsclipping Service for this news story.)
(Editor's Note: Haditha is the legendary birthplace of Lilitu, the Sumerian goddess of darkness.)
(Editor's Comment: First this, and next that weird 12-hour dance opera planned for the Great Pyramid on New Year's Eve. Is this the Millenium? Or the Second Coming of Ginger Rogers?)
PROTEST GROUPS RIOT AT UN TRADE CONFERENCE
Twenty-six thousand protesters jammed the streets of Seattle, Washington state, USA on Tuesday, November 30, 1999, forcing a one- day postponement of the World Trade Organization (WTO) conference. A second day of protests on Wednesday, December 1, 1999 resulted in the arrest of 400 demonstrators.
It was the biggest anti-UN demonstration in the USA since the militia gathering in Lansing, Michigan on October 24, 1998.
At 5 p.m., following heavy rioting outside the convention center, Seattle mayor Paul Schell "declared a civil emergency Tuesday and imposed an all-night curfew on downtown Seattle."
Gary Locke, governor of Washington state, "called up two special units of the (state's) National Guard trained in crowd control." The troops were deployed in downtown Seattle on Wednesday, December 1, 1999.
The curfew area included all of the downtown area "from the Space Needle (on Broad Street--J.T.) south to the Kingdome (on Fourth Avenue) and from Puget Sound east to Interstate (Highway) 5." Fifty blocks of downtown Seattle were declared a "no-protest zone."
Trouble began on Monday, November 29, when a handful of demonstrators vandalized a McDonald's fast-food restaurant near the convention center.
On Tuesday morning, "a small group of men, dressed in black clothing and masks and ignoring cries of 'Shame on you!' from other protestors, smashed windows and spray-painted graffiti at downtown stores like Nordstrom, Niketown, Starbucks and the Gap."
"'Stop the WTO!' protestors shouted as they blocked half a dozen streets leading to the center."
"Secretary of State Madeleine Albright and other scheduled speakers for opening day were unable to get through the crowd, which in many cases blocked intersections by linking hands or lying down on the street."
"Seattle police officers, reinforced by state and suburban police and FBI agents, fought back with clouds of tear gas, pepper spray and rubber-like pellets fired from rifles."
"The morning crowds, estimated at more than 7,000 by FBI officials were swelled just after noon when another 20,000 marchers organized by the AFL-CIO paraded peacefully through downtown Seattle."
Also trapped in his hotel room was UN Secretary-General Kofi Annan, who cancelled his opening day speech. "In his prepared text, he said, 'Unless we convince developing countries that globalization really does benefit them, the backlash against it will become irresistible. That would be a tragedy for the developing world.'"
Prior to the march, the AFL-CIO members "packed Memorial Stadium, next to the Space Needle, to hear anti-WTO speakers," including Teamsters union presidents James Hoffa Jr. and Sierra Club president Carl Pope.
"To thunderous applause, Jay Mazur, president of the Needletrades, Industrail and Textile Employees (union), said, 'The rules of this new global economy have been rigged against workers, and we're not going to play by them any more.'"
Early Tuesday afternon, conference chairman Mike Moore, former prime minister of New Zealand, "announced that the opening ceremonies would be put off. But he vowed that trade talks would go on."
On Wednesday, "by nightfall 400 demonstrators were in custody, many at a former Navy brig. Police, who were stunned by the ferocity of the protests, fired curtains of tear gas around the hotel where President Clinton spoke Wednesday."
At 5 p.m., Mayor Schell "announced another all-night curfew...There were reports of at least 40 injuries, mostly minor."
Meanwhile, on the other side of the world, the first troops of a United Nations army of occupation landed in Freetown, the capital of Sierra Leone, a small nation in western Africa.
"The first wave of a 6,000-person UN force, the largest UN peacekeeping mission in Africa in two years, arrived in Sierra Leone to help restore peace after an eight-year civil war. It is seen as a litmus test of the world community's readiness to act in African conflicts--especially if fighting resumes."
"'The UN force will stay in Sierra Leone until the Security Council decides otherwise, and until its mandate is fulfilled,' UN special envoy Francis Okelo told the all-Kenyan force."
"That commitment could be tested. Rebel leader Foday Sankoh opposes the deployment of UN forces in the West African country. 'It's up to Sierra Leoneans to solve their own problems,' he said, accusing the (UN) peacekeepers of living 'on blood money.'" (See the newspapers USA Today for December 2, 1999, "400 arrested; curfew holds," page 1A and "Seattle bears brunt of violence," page 3A and December 1, 1999 "Seattle tension mounts," page 1A, "'Stop the WTO': Protestors say goal achieved," page 19A and "Sierra Leone Conflict," page 8A. Also the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for December 1, 1999, "Chaos delays trade talks," page 1.)
(Editor's Comment: Let's hope Seattle quiets down before Kofi Annan sends his Blue Helmets to occupy Pioneer Square.)
Y2K: NEW WORLD ORDER ON A BUILDUP TO D-DAY
With only thirty days to go until New Year's Eve, stories of government preparation for a Y2K event are appearing in many media sources.
"Contingency plans are now in place throughout the country (USA), from the Pentagon to Seattle, aimed at responding to technology failures caused by Y2K."
"Presidential Decision Directive 67, as the order is known, could be triggered by an event worse than what's expected from the Y2K problem and comparable to the 1995 Oklahoma City bombing, according to Energy Department emergency planning documents."
"The Treasury Department's front yard is now home to a gas-fired green generator the size of a small mobile home. It will provide backup power for the Treasury Department's intelligence operations, its communications networks and the Secret Service command center, said Treasury spokeswoman Una Gallagher."
"Contingency planners focusing on the Y2K problem are busy all over Washington (D.C.). They are refining phone lists for calling in workers during an emergency, lining up food, flashlights and battery-operated radios, making backup copies of crucial files and in some cases readying other building sites if their headquarters are disabled."
"The Energy Department, which will run an emergency operations center with the electric power industry over the New Year's weekend at its downtown Washington headquarters, has readied another building in Germantown, Md. (Maryland) if needed."
"Similar preparations are underway across the country at 42 Energy Department sites concerned with nuclear fuels and weapons, including the Pantex facility near Amarillo (Texas)."
"The department plans to halt ALL shipments of nuclear materials from at least December 28 to January 4...and will suspend handling of nuclear materials at several of its plants." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for November 22, 1999, "Y2K review leads to cyber terrorism defense upgrade," pages 5A and 6A.)
(Editor's Comments: Readers, this is the first I've heard of a week-long "state of emergency" related to Y2K. If the Energy Department is ending all road and rail transportation of nuclear materials, the Y2K event must be serious, indeed.)
Meanwhile, reports of strange military activity that may be related to Operation Abacus continue to surface.
On Tuesday, November 23, 1999, a man telephoned the offices of Newswatch magazine and said he had seen unidentified troops with blue helmets and wearing woodland camoflauge battle dress uniforms (BDUs) supervising the offloading of white Humvees at a dock in Corpus Christi, Texas (population 257,453). According to publisher Rev. David J. Smith, "He was so excited he was hyperventilating."
The following day, Wednesday, November 24, 1999, police in Temple, Texas (population 46,109) received a report that a bomb had been placed aboard a Greyhound bus. The bus driver was contacted by radio and was asked to pull off Interstate Highway I-35 at the main exit.
When the bus pulled to a stop, it was "surrounded by military troops in woodland camo" who emerged from unmarked "white vans and utility vehicles" while "several black helicopters circled overhead."
This event was reported in the local daily newspaper in Temple and nowhere else.
On Friday, November 12, 1999, two truck drivers met at a cafe in Lafayette, Louisiana (population 94,440), a city on Interstate Highway I-10 about 55 miles (88 kilometers) west of Baton Rouge. One driver, an independent hauler, said, "Wait till you see what I'm carrying."
Opening the trailer doors, the driver showed his friend hundreds of unmarked boxes. He then opened one box and displayed a bright yellow rectangular sign with the legend CITY CLOSED - MARTIAL LAW. The driver's destination was New Orleans.
On September 22, 1999, a truck driver hauling freight for a nationally-known retailer pulled into the weight stop off Interstate Highway I-90 in Conneaut, Ohio (population 13,241), a small town about 78 miles (125 kilometers) east of Cleveland. The weight inspector asked what he was hauling. "I don't know," the driver said, "I just had orders to pick up this trailer."
"Let's have a look at the cargo," the inspector said.
When they opened the trailer's rear doors, they found hundreds of identical unmarked cardboard boxes. The inspector asked what was inside the boxes, and the driver said he didn't know.
Yielding to curiosity, the inspector opened one "and found about a hundred plastic signs, each one about two feet by three feet," rectanguilar and bright yellow, with the legend THIS CITY UNDER MARTIAL LAW, and in smaller print, a reference to federal legislation. The driver had been on his way to Cleveland. (Email Interviews)
(Editor's Comment: The mystery cargo stuff sounds like an urban legend, a variation on a typical "Harry the Truck Driver" story. On the other hand, the details differ slightly in each report. The whole Y2K thing just gets weirder and weirder every day.)
from the UFO Files...
1901: ARIZONA'S AMAZING INVISIBLE MAN
The old Territorial Prison at Yuma, Arizona has witnessed many a strange tale, but none quite as strange as that of John Boot, "the invisible man."
Boot is usually overshadowed by his partner in crime, Pearl Hart, sometimes called "the last of the stagecoach robbers" or "the Arizona Bandit Queen."
Boot's actual name was John J. Bowen, and he was born in Ashburnham, Massachusetts, a tiny town just northwest of Fitchburg, in 1874. When John was ten, his family relocated to Kansas City, and it was here that he met 18-year-old Pearl Hart in the summer of 1898.
By 1899, the two lovers found themselves in an Arizona mining camp. Tiring of kitchen work, Pearl "convinced him there was more money in robbing stagecoaches than in mining."
"On May 30, 1899, Peal and Boot held up the Benson-Globe stage. As Boot collected the loot from the three passengers...Pearl, her long brunette locks stuffed under a hat, trained a six-gun on the driver and the victims." They netted a total of $431.
Their bandit careers proved short-lived, however. Days later, the pair were arrested at Poston's Butte, just outside Florence, Arizona by Sheriff William Truman.
"At Florence, however, there were no accomodations for women, so Pearl was taken to the Pima County Jail in Tucson to await trial. She remained there only overnight. The next day, the turnkey discovered that Pearl had cut a hole through a thin partition and escaped."
"On the same night, John Boot, in some mysterious manner, disappeared from his cell in Florence."
True enough! The deputy, bringing Bowen the evening meal, was stunned to find the barred door locked and the cell empty. He quickly opened the door and looked around, testing the bars on the windows. But there was no trace of Bowen. Leaving the cell door wide open, he ran to fetch Sheriff Truman.
But Pearl and John's luck ran out again. They were captured two weeks later near Deming, New Mexico by a posse out hunting for cattle rustlers.
Both were convicted of robbery. John was sentenced to 35 years in Yuma. Pearl drew a five-year sentence and immediately became a celebrity upon her arrival at the prison.
"Pearl was wearing tight jeans, a man's blouse and was smoking a cigarette, all three of which were considered unladylike" back in 1899. "By contrast, Boot was quiet, well-spoken and seemed to sigh with relief when he was separated from his mistress."
As the only female inmate in Yuma, Pearl had a custom-made uniform hand-sewed by the wife of the warden, Captain F.S. Ingalls. "Sunday visitors asked her to pose for pictures in the jail yard, and she always obliged."
She also caused Capt. Ingalls no end of trouble. "One of her favorite pastimes was to call out through the bars of her cell for some man to come and join her, an invitation which so upset most of the inmates 'that they would howl like coyotes all during the night,'" Capt. Ingalls said.
The prison at Yuma is built right up against steep granite bluffs on the banks of the Colorado River. "Boot was a model prisoner. He responded to orders with alacrity. The only thing he volunteered about his background was that his name was not Boot, and his accent indicated that he came from somewhere in New England."
"Then one day (in 1901), a little less than two years after he had been admitted, he vanished. He had become so unobtrusive that no one missed him between breakfast and the customary bunk check at night."
"No one ever saw him again."
One prisoner told a bizarre tale of how he'd seen Bowen near the vertical granite bluff. He said Bowen had stood with his palms facing the rock and had made an unusual humming noise. Then he stepped forward--and vanished.
The other inmate hobbled over to the spot as fast as his leg irons would allow. He thought he had seen "Boot" walk into solid rock! But Capt. Ingalls dismissed the man's story, noting that "the fellow is addicted to the liquor habit."
There are two curious postscripts to the story of Arizona's "invisible man."
In 1939, an American named Elijah Bowen turned up in Madras, India. He was searching, as many tourists do, for the Hidden Masters. He was interned by the British at the same time Mohandas Gandhi and Jawarhalal Nehru were arrested. And where was Mr. Bowen from? None other than Ashburnham, Massachusetts, USA.
In 1899, right after the robbery, John and Pearl hid out on Poston's Butte during an unusual (for Arizona, anyway) three-day downpour. That particular butte has a strange history.
It was purchased by Charles Poston, one of Arizona's earliest pioneers. "In 1863, Poston assumed his duties as Superintendent of Indian Affairs for Arizona, an office creted especially for him; the following year he was elected delegate to Congress in the first territorial election. After completing his term in Congress, he traveled extensively in Europe and Asia and returned to Florence, Ariz. in 1878. While in India he became a sun worshipper and upon his return built a road, costing several thousand dollars, to the top of this butte, which he called 'Parsee Hill.' and where he erected a pyre of continuous fire as a temple to the sun. After burning for several months, the fire died and the project became Poston's Folly."
Two men forty years apart. The same last name. From the same tiny town in Massachusetts. And both with strange unexplained linkages to India. There's a mystery here for anyone who'd care to solve it. (See The Encyclopedia of American Crime by Carl Sifakis, Facts on File Inc., New York, N.Y. 1982, page 317. Also Pioneer Days in Arizona by Francis Cummins Lockwood, Macmillan, New York, N.Y., 1932. Also Lost Legends of the West by Brad Williams and Choral Pepper, Holt, Rinehart and Winston, NewYork, N.Y., 1970, pages 30 to 35.)
Well, that's it for this week. We'll be back in seven days with more UFO and paranormal news from around the planet, brought to you by "the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." Have an enjoyable week.
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1999 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.