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Location: UFOUpDatesList.Com > 1998 > Jun > Jun 7

UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 3, Number 23

From: Masinaigan@aol.com
Date: Sun, 7 Jun 1998 12:28:45 EDT
Fwd Date: Sun, 07 Jun 1998 13:24:39 -0400
Subject: UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 3, Number 23

Volume 3, Number 23
June 7, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor


     Fighter jets of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF)
were seen crisscrossing the night sky following a UFO
sighting near Grafton, New South Wales.
     The flap began April 19, 1998 when "Mrs. W., her
daughter and a neighbour watched as two or three round
illuminated white objects were quietly maneuvering at low
altitude in the western sky" at 7:30 p.m.  The UFOs were
"heading into the Grafton area."
     As they watched, "the objects appeared to be heading
in one direction, then suddenly appeared to be going in the
opposite direction, as if they were circling.  The three
witnesses watched the objects for about 15 minutes."
     On April 29, 1998, at 6:30 p.m., another family near
Grafton "reported an unusual object going quickly across
the sky. It was large, spherical and orange-coloured.
When viewing through binoculars, they could not make out
any other details or surface features.  After going directly
overhead, it slowed down to a lower speed, then it veered
off toward the west."
     "At this moment, the family saw two military-type planes
(jets) in the northern sky, probably from the (RAAF)
Williamtown air base, quickly traveling southward--towards
the object.  The UFO shot off to the south and disappeared
over the horizon."
     "Soon afterward, at least two helicopters, probably from
the (RAAF) Singleton air base, were seen heading from the
north to a more southerly direction.  Later that evening, the
family members noticed a bluish-white light light in the
western sky, zigzagging from north to south."
     Grafton is a city in Australia's state of New South
Wales about 300 kilometers (180 miles) north of
     At around 7:30 p.m. that same evening, two families
in Singleton, N.S.W. "reported seeing a strange orange-
yellow light object traveling quickly across the sky in a
southeasterly direction.  The light was quite large, made
no noise and was traveling at quite a low altitude.  One of
the Singleton witnesses is an amateur astronomer."
     At 11:30 p.m., residents of Tumbi Umbi, a small town
in the Central Coast region near Grafton, "heard a weird
rumbling noise pass overhead."  (See Australian UFO
Reports and Experiences #3 for June 1998.  Many thanks
to editor Robert Frola and Australian ufologists Michael
Farrell, Peter Turner and Moira McGhee for these reports.)


     On Monday, June 1, 1998, at 9:30 p.m., Christian K.,
his friends Daniel and Lisa, and five other youths were
hanging out at a beach on the Traunsee (lake) in
Gmunden, Austria they "observed a bright red-orange
object across the lake near Grinberg (mountain)."
     Gmunden is just off the B-1, the main Wels-Salzburg
highway, in the Oberosterreich region of Austria,
approximately 264 kilometers (185 miles) west of Vienna.
     "My friends Daniel and Lisa saw it first," Christian
reported.  "Strangely, nobody saw it before (previously)
and noticed how it got there.  We were looking north-
northeast from the small port of Gmunden to the top of
the Grinberg."  That it was "a reflection of the sun is
questionable, as it was a half-hour after sundown, and
the mountain was not illuminated by the sun."
     "We first thought it was a helicopter.  This seems
impossible due to its climb rate," which he estimated to
be "six meters (20 feet) per second, and you can hear a
helicopter at that distance, especially if the (engine)
noise is reflected by a mountain in the background."
     "Then, when it started climbing faster and faster, and
was higher than the mountain, you could see that it was
not just one big light.  It was about one meter wide" at
arm's length, and "was almost round, just flattened a
bit at the top and the bottom, so that to us it was an
oval just a little bit wider than taller."
     The teens talked about it for another ten minutes,
and then Christian went home.  He lives about two
kilometers (1.2 miles) to the north, at the foot of
Grinberg mountain.
     "When I reached home (at 10 p.m.), my little
brother was watching TV, and it was blank," with no
signal "for about four seconds.  When I asked since
when (how long the TV had been malfunctioning--J.T.),
he told me, 'Since about twenty minutes ago,' or a
few minutes after the phenomenon."
     The afternoon of Tuesday, June 2, 1998, Christian
and his brother were out in the yard when they saw
"three PC-4 planes fly over the Grinberg.  My neighbor
said the reconnaissance planes must have come from
the (Austrian air) base at Hirsching."  The trio kept the
aircraft in view for five minutes.  (Email Interview)


    South America's latest UFO encounter took place
Saturday afternoon, May 24, 1998, in the small
nation of Paraguay, just north of the capital city,
     Miguel Bustamente Saavedra was spending his
day off boating with several friends on the wide
Rio Paraguay.  Suddenly, they saw a metallic gleam
in the sky to the north, over the town of Aceval.
     "I noticed something brilliant in the sky," Miguel
reported.  "It was like a big mirror seen in the air.
I thought it was an airplane, but it wasn't because"
the next moment "I saw a metal-colored object in the
air like an egg."
     "The object was going gently up and down and
from right to left.  When it suddenly made a move to
the left and took speed more (accelerated), I couldn't
see it any more."  (Many thanks to Tim Hagemeister
of NACOMM for this report.)


     On Saturday, May 30, 1998, at night, "a luminous
white ball" crossed the sky over Alessandria, a city
in northern Italy 100 kilometers (60 miles) north of
     "According to diverse testimony taken independently
from the eyewitnesses, there were several observations
of a luminous white ball in the sky...The light, bigger
than the full moon and followed by a short trail of the
same white color, seemed to enter vertically" into
the crowd's field of view "before disappearing in one
or two bright and dazzling flashes."
     "One of the witnesses also reported hearing a
deafening boom at the same time."  (Grazie a
Paolo Toselli e Edoardo Russo di Centro Italiano
di Studi Ufologici per questo rapporto.)


     On Sunday, May 31, 1998, at 11:30 p.m., Texan
ufologist Mike Harman and his brother-in-law were on a
skywatch near Andrews, Texas (population 10,678)
when they spotted a strange flash in the sky.
     Andrews is on Highway 385 approximately 350 miles
(560 kilometers) west of Dallas.
     "The cloud cover had finally lifted, and we were able to
view the heavens once again," Mike reported.  "After about
15 minutes of skywatching, I noticed what I perceived as
a flash in the western sky.  And then, there it was again.
I grabbed my binoculars and started searching the sky
for what had caused this."
     "I couldn't seem to get the binoculars up to my eyes
fast enough...so I watched and again I saw another flash.
The object was moving at about the speed of a normal
satellite would have, except this one was low on the
horizon, probably no more than 35 or 40 degrees, and
moving from south to north."
     "Once I spotted the object, I noticed through my
binoculars that the object was glowing orange in color.
It would gradually brighten until it was as bright as the
brightest stars in the sky, then return to its orange glow.
When it peaked at its brightest, it seemed almost to
     Mike estimated that the average time cycle between
normal glow and "brightest flash" was two seconds.  The
entire sighting "lasted about four minutes."  (Many thanks
to Mike Hartman for this report.)


     Another flashing UFO was spotted at 9:45 p.m. on
Monday, June 1, 1998, in Elk City, Oklahoma.
     Ufologist Debbie Hickman reports, "While I was
letting the cats out, I stepped outside to skywatch.
I observed three airplanes overhead, and I could identify
them as aircraft as they had red and white strobing lights."
     "I watched a very dim light over the Big Dipper, and,
as I watched it, the light grew in brightness until it was
brighter than the other stars nearby.  The light moved in
a southerly direction" and was "about two inches (four
centimeters long) at arm's length.  Then it suddenly
winked out.  The light was one-quarter inch
(0.5 centimeters) diameter arm's length.  I searched
the sky for another few minutes, but the light did not
reappear.  The sighting lasted about 10 to 15 seconds."
     Elk City is on Interstate Highway 40 approximately
112 miles (179 kilometers) west of Oklahoma City.
(Many thanks to Jim and Debbie Hickman for this
(Editor's Note: The stars of Ursa Major, also known as
the Big Dipper, range in magnitude from Alkaid at
1.8 to Megrez at 3.3.)


     On Saturday, May 30, 1998, at 9:10 p.m.,
Pete Rogers stepped outside of a large medical
facility on Poplar Avenue in Memphis (population
610,337), the largest city in Tennessee.  He was
on his break and decided to have a cigarette.
     Five minutes later, "I caught a flash of light out of
the corner of my eye.  I immediately turned to see
what had made the flash.  I saw an intense bluish-
violet disc-shaped glow that lasted about one second,
fading to an after-image like you have when you look
into the sun or a real bright light."
     He estimated that "the light was about one to
1.25 inches (2 to 2.5 centimeters) in diameter at
about arm's length.  It was in the sky to the northeast
about 60 to 70 degrees above the horizon."  (Many
thanks to Jim Hickman of Skywatch for this report.)
     On Monday, June 1, 1998, at 9:30 p.m., Darryl P.
and his eight-year-old stepson "were skywatching...
within the city limits of Chattanooga" when they spied
a UFO.  Chattanooga (population 152,466) is a large
city on Interstate Highways 24 and 75 approximately
128 miles (205 kilometers) south of the state capital,
     "We had seen six airliners cross over," Darryl
reported, "then suddenly at a very high altitude we saw
what appeared to be a large 'star-like' object rising from
the south to the east at a very high rate of speed. At
first we thought it might be a satellite, but the object was
quite large and the way it moved so quickly across the
sky (not like a falling star), this object seemed to have a
destination or a path of movement.  We followed it until
it disappeared behind the treeline, and we were
astonished."  (Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. for this
(Editor's Note:  Chattanooga was the site of one of the
most notorious UFO incidents of the "airship era."  On
three succeeding nights in January 1910, a white oval
UFO repeatedly flew over the city and hovered over
nearby Lookout Mountain.  See the New York Tribune
for January 15, 1910.)


     At 9:30 p.m. on Monday, June 1, 1998, Robert Hanley
spotted a UFO over suburbs of Long Island, N.Y., just
east of New York City.
     Hanley, a U.S. Navy veteran with aviation service,
described the UFO as "a 'star-like' object moving very
fast...This must have been a very large object at an
extremely high altitude, as it was moving at a very high
     "I first picked it up toward the east from my backyard
on Long Island and viewed it moving south and climbing
until I lost it behind the treeline.  The color of it was white
light (probably reflected sunlight), and it was way too high,
way too large and way, way too fast to be" a conventional
aircraft.  "Most impressive!"  (See Filer's Files #22 for
1998.  Many thanks to George A. Filer, Eastern director
of MUFON, for this report.)


     On Wednesday, May 13, 1998, at 11:50 p.m., Randy
Gibbs was driving north on Highway 521 near Sampit,
South Carolina (population 85), heading home to
Columbia when he noticed a peculiar odor, like "the
smell of gangrene."
     "It was around 12 a.m. when I saw something on the
side of the road," he reported.  "It was on the right side
of the road.  I saw what looked like a little fox running
along the side of the road and then ran across the highway,
followed by something big and shaggy in appearance."
     He described the strange creature as "about the size of
a large man, maybe a little larger, six to seven feet
(about 2 meters) tall."
     The hominid's "hair may have been a reddish-brown
color.  The hair wasn't real long, and it was kind of matted.
The hair under the arm of the animal may have been a
little lighter than the rest of the hair on its body...The
creature ran on two feet, striding upright and hopped
across the highway in a big stride, landing not quite clear
of the left side, and another stride took it into the trees.
What really freaked me was its eyes" which "caught and
reflected the headlights of my car, gleaming as it went by."
     Startled by its appearance, Randy "had to swerve a
little to the right because I was scared I might hit it.  It
went across right in front of me," as the car approached
at an estimated 60 miles per hour.  (Many thanks to
Erik Beckjord for posting this report on his list.)
(Editor's Comment:  From the "smell of gangrene," I'd
guess that the "little fox" was actually a skunk.  It
probably sprayed Bigfoot as it made its escape.)


     On Wednesday, May 27, 1998, geophysicist
Gerald Keating of George Washington University
unveiled yet another Martian mystery at a meeting
of the American Geophysical Union.
     Speaking at the Hynes Auditorium in Boston,
Massachusetts, USA, Dr. Keating "said Mars Global
Surveyor mapped an odd anomaly in the upper
atmosphere--dramatic fluctuations in air density
75 miles (120 kilometers) above the Martian highlands
that are unknown in Earth's atmosphere."
     "If not mapped and studied, the greater density
of the atmosphere at higher altitudes than expected
could pose a threat to rapidly descending spacecraft
that haven't braked sufficiently.  It would be like hitting
a wall."
     "'It's very exciting and it's critical to know this if
you're going to do aero-braking.  Every vessel is going
to have to go through it,' Keating said."  (See the
Boston, Mass. Herald for May 28, 1998., page 3.)
     Meanwhile, the debate continues over just what the
many Pathfinder and Mars Global Surveyor photos
actually show.  The July 1998 issue of Sky and
Telescope devoted a whole article to analyses of the
photos from the doomed Pathfinder, which landed
nearly a year ago.
     "Geologists offer conflicting ideas about the origins
of the rocks around the(Pathfinder) landing site.  Many
believe that most or all of the rocks are volcanic, based
on their shapes and textures.  Some rocks appear
redder and more rounded than others; these may be
the oldest.  Others are darker and more angular; these
may have been tossed onto the landing site in more
recent ages from an impact crater 2.2 kilometers
(1.5 miles) to the southeast."
     "Some rocks, however, show faint evidence of
layering or bedding, suggesting a sedimentary origin.
This view is supported by the small, rounded pebbles
and cobbles seen inside a few other rocks, which
some scientists interpret as evidence of running water
creating conglomerates--mixtures of pebbles and
fine-grained sediments.  Still other scientists believe
that some of the surface features may originate from
exotic weathering processes or even underwater
volcanism or weathering."
     "A 'super-resolution' close-up of South Peak (at the
Pathfinder site)  This image was constructed from 42
red frames with single blue or green frames added for
color rendition.  Note the apparent layering of the
hillside, possibly suggesting water-carved terraces."
     "The fine, highly-rusted Martian dust may have
formed in a much wetter (and perhaps warmer)
environment than prevails today."  (See Sky and
Telescope for July 1998, "Mars Pathfinder: Better
Science?" by Jim Bell, pages 36 through 43.)


     On Tuesday, June 2, 1998, the space shuttle
Discovery lifted off from Cape Canaveral for NASA's
ninth and final trip to Mir, the Russian space station.
     "The countdown was tenser than usual, not
just because of the on-then-off anxiety about Mir
(which suffered a major computer breakdown the
previous weekend--J.T.) but because of the new
lightweight fuel tank bolted to Discovery.  This tank,
never before tested in flight, is 7,500 pounds lighter
when empty than the 65,500-pound tanks so that
NASA can haul heavier space cargo once space
station construction begins."  (See USA Today for
June 3, 1998, "Shuttle is off on its last run to Mir.")
     Discovery's mission this trip is to retrieve Andrew
Thomas, the American astronaut aboard Mir, and
deliver food, water, mail and other supplies to the
Russian space station.
     Shortly after takeoff, however, Discovery lost its
ability to send TV images back to Earth.
     "The problem appeared to be limited to the
transmitting end of the KU-band antenna, which is
normally used to send TV pictures and science data
back to Earth.  Engineers have no idea what's wrong,
although it could be electrical, said Lee Briscoe,
NASA's mission operations representative."
     "The problem also prevented the shuttle from
transmitting some scientific data back to Earth.
But the information was not lost; it was being stored
on board."
     "Mir held steady, its automatic steering system
working fine after a recent three-day breakdown, as
Discovery gently latched on 240 miles (384 kilometers)
above the Russian-Kazakh border near the Caspian Sea."
     "With Discovery's TV capability crippled by equipment
trouble, Mir managed to beam down live images of the
spacecraft at the moment of docking.  But it was a
shaky zooming-in-and-out picture.  Minutes after the
linkup, the picture disappeared altogether."
     "Mir's grainy black-and-white TV images one and
a half hours later of the hatch opening and welcoming
embraces faded in and out.  NASA had to settle for
audio when the six Discovery crew members and
three Mir occupants held their formal welcoming
ceremony.  When a video recording of the ceremony
finally was transmitted from the station later in the
day, it lacked sound."
     The shuttle's "KU-band system uses a dish-
shaped antenna out in the open cargo bay.  Engineers
suspected that the trouble was with an on-off circuit."
     "Discovery's S-band communication system was
working fine and allowing the crew to talk with ground
controllers as usual.  It also was sending back all the
necessary information involving shuttle systems."
(See the Providence, R.I. Journal-Bulletin for June 4,
1998, "Shuttle unable to transmit images of Mir
docking" and June 5, 1998, "Discovery, Mir link
flawlessly; astronaut prepares for ride home.")
(Editor's Comment:  First the Galaxy IV satellite
goes haywire.  Then Discovery loses its KU-band
transmitter.  And then Mir can't seem to keep its
TV camera in focus.  Kind of makes you wonder
what's up there in orbit with them, doesn't it?)

from the UFO Files...

          A UFO OVER THE
          TASMAN SEA

     On June 10, 1931, the same week the Menger boys
saw their daylight disc in New Jersey, pioneering British
pilot Francis Chichester took off from Lord Howe Island,
east of Brisbane, Australia, in a deHavilland D.H.60
Gipsy Moth, a six-year-old biplane with a 100 horsepower
Cirrus engine.
     Chichester, dressed like the Red Baron in his goggles,
leather flying cap and jacket and white silk scarf, was
intent on making a long-distance flight across the Tasman
Sea to New Zealand.
     While avoiding a thunderstorm, Chichester flew a
bit off course.  As he headed east again, he found that
he wasn't exactly alone in the sky.
     "Suddenly, ahead and thirty degrees to the left,
there were bright flashes in several places, like the
dazzle of a heliograph.  I saw a dull grey-white airship
coming toward me.  It seemed impossible, but I
could have sworn that it was an airship, nosing toward
me like an oblong pearl.  Except for a cloud or two,
there was nothing else in the sky.  I looked around,
sometimes catching a flash or a glint, and turning
again to look at the airship I found that it had
     "I screwed up my eyes, unable to believe them,
and twisted the seaplane this way and that, thinking
that the airship must be hidden by a blind spot.
Dazzling flashes continued in four or five places,
but I still could not pick out any planes."
     "Then, out of some clouds to my right front, I
saw another, or the same, airship advancing.  I
watched it intently, determined not to look away for
a fraction of a second: I'd see what happened to
this one, if I had to chase it."
     "It drew steadily closer, until perhaps a mile
away, when suddenly it vanished.  Then in reappeared
close to where it had vanished.  I watched with angry
intentness.  It drew closer, and I could see the dull
gleam of light on its nose and back.  It came on, but
instead of increasing in size, it suddenly became its
own ghost--one second I could see through it, the
next it had vanished."
     "All this was many years before anyone spoke of
flying saucers.  Whatever it was I saw, it seems to
have been very much like what people have since
claimed to be flying saucers." (See THE LONELY
SEA AND THE SKY by Sir Francis Chichester,
Coward-McCann, New York, N.Y., 1964, page 165)

     There's a wide array of stories available at the
Mysterious Universe website.  Drop in at this URL...
     Kansas UFO sightings can also be found at
     Don't forget to check out our parent website,
UFO INFO, which is growing all the time.  Log on
at http://ufoinfo.com
     Back issues of UFO ROUNDUP can be
accessed and downloaded at our webpage, so
visit us at http://ufoinfo.com/roundup

     Tomorrow, June 8, is the birthday of Giovanni
Domenico Cassini, whose namesake spacecraft is
now on its way to Saturn.  Cassini was born on
June 8, 1625 in Perinaldo, Italy, near Genoa.  By
the time he was 44, he had racked up an impressive
list of astronomical achievements, measuring the
rotational periods of Mars and Jupiter.  In 1671, he
was appointed director of the Paris Observatory by
King Louis XIV of France.  Armed with their big
telescope, he discovered the moons around Saturn,
including Iapetus in 1671, Rhea in 1672, and Tethys
and Dione in 1684.  He also discovered a large gap in
Saturn's rings in 1675, now known as Cassini's
Division.  He died in Paris on September 14, 1712.
The spacecraft bearing his name will arrive at Saturn
in 2004 to begin close-up observation of the worlds
he originally found.

     And we'll be back next weekend with more saucer
news from "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.

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