|UFO ROUNDUP Volume 4, Number 1|
|January 5, 1999 Editor: Joseph Trainor|
UFOLOGISTS LOOK INTO AIR BATTLE IN FINLAND
Ufologists in Finland are looking into a reported air battle between a Finnish jet fighter and a squadron of five UFOs.
According to Lars Osterman, the dogfight took place on March 31, 1997 in northern Finland. Local researchers learned of it when the pilot, whose name has been kept under wraps, phoned a radio talk show and reportedly said he was "having trouble dealing with" the experience.
According to Osterman, the fighter was an F-18A Hornet of the Suomen Ilmaviomat (Finnish Air Force--J.T.), which was posted to the Lapin Lennosto (Far North Air Department) air base at Rovaniemi, 400 kilometers (240 miles) north of Helsinki.
The F-18 took off on "a routine 960-kilometer patrol of the border" with Russia. As the jet flew over the frozen tundra southeast of Lake Inarijarvi, the pilot spotted three discoid UFOs flying in a northeasterly direction.
Going in for a closer look, the pilot saw that "there seemed to be five saucers, instead of just three." He then radioed Rovaniemi and advised them of the situation. Lapin Lennosto Flight Control ordered him to intercept the objects.
The five UFOs, described by the pilot as "glowing orange objects," veered sharply to the northwest. The F-18 pursued them to Ivalo, a city 200 kilometers (120 miles) north of Rovaniemi. From there, the F-18 chased the saucers west to Inari, 40 kilometers (24 miles) to the northwest. Then the saucers darted eastward, high above Lake Inarijarvi.
The pilot told Flight Control that the UFOs were breaking formation and requested permission to fire at them. Flight Control responded, "Permission granted. Fire at will."
The pilot got behind one glowing saucer and lined it up with the reticule on his windshield "heads up" display. But instead of picking up the "target acquisition tone" in his earphones, he heard the raucous honk of an alarm.
All at once, the targeting computer went off-line. The "heads up" display disappeared. The F-18's firing system for the 20mm cannon was also down. Instantly the pilot hit the "arming" switch for his air-to-air missiles. The red Malfunction light began blinking on the dashboard.
According to Osterman, the saucers regrouped and flew away to the east "at Mach 4 or 5. They had an orange glow around them."
None of the F-18's flight control systems were affected, and the pilot returned safely to Rovaniemi.
"They tested the computers for days afterward but could find nothing wrong with them," he added.
The saucers crossed the border and were last seen heading for Talvikula in Russia. (Email Interview)
MORE UFO SIGHTINGS REPORTED IN ARKANSAS
On Tuesday, December 29, 1998, at midnight, a man named Cart was entertaining 20 guests at his home near Kelhi Avenue in Sherwood, Arkansas (population 18,893), a suburb of Little Rock just north of the Arkansas River, when they noticed a strange light in the sky.
"We had it in view for 20 minutes," Cart said, "All twenty of us saw it. The UFO approached from the north, maybe at 10 degrees above the horizon. There was a luminous aura all around the craft. It was a green color. The UFO had a definite shape. We did not hear any sound associated with this object."
"I'd estimate that it was traveling at about 120 miles per hour," he added. (Email Interview)
Elsewhere in Arkansas, MUFON investigator Christine Lippert has uncovered more strange sightings around the town of Mountain Home (population 9,029), located 146 miles (233 kilometers) north of Little Rock.
"Andy Lewis, a pilot and former airport commissioner, told The Bulletin he also saw the bright lights the same night (November 12, 1998) as an anonymous caller, and in the same general area--near Valley Airport."
"Besides the two sightings of lights, Lewis claims to have seen a gold object in the sky recently, too."
"'I was so concerned about it, I called the FAA. (Federal Aviation Administration--J.T.),' Lewis said."
He described the UFO as "gray in color with black stripes on the underside of it. 'I'd never seen anything like that...I hope it doesn't come back.'"
"A couple of other people in the Cotter/Glassville area claim to have seen an object that was shaped like a barrel, while a Mountain Home woman said she saw an object shaped like a cigar in the sky as she was coming home from church Halloween night." (See the Baxter Bulletin of Mountain Home, Arkansas for November 17, 1998, "Odd sightings still reported" by Bruce Roberts. Many thanks to Lou Farrish of UFO Newsclipping Service for forwarding this newspaper article.)
CHRISTMAS WEEK SEES UFOs ACTIVE IN MICHIGAN
On December 24, 1998, at 9:15 p.m., Michigan ufologist Jeff Westover was driving home from Saginaw (population 69,100). Near the intersection of Interstate Highway I-75 and Michigan Highway 20, Jeff "first noticed the object low in the eastern sky (about 10 to 15 degrees above the horizon.) I first thought that a star or planet was rising, as it twinkled and flared brightly in an orangeish color due to atmospheric refraction. But I soon noticed it changing direction in relation to the other stars above it."
He described the UFO as "a flaring amber light" that "just sat, drifted and flared. It did not maneuver strangely."
"I turned east on Michigan Highway 81 (ten miles south of the interchange) to get a better look at the light," Jeff reported. "It was now approximately 50 degrees above the eastern horizon. The amber light quickly dimmed to a single point of light or a very dim star. I noticed no FAA-compliant anti-collision strobes or wingtip lights as it flew slowly above." (Email Interview)
On Friday, December 25, 1998, at 7 p.m., a man visiting his parents in Memphis, Michigan (population 1,221), a town on Highway 19 about 30 miles (48 kilometers) northeast of Detroit, "noticed some colored lights in the southern sky."
"There were about five different lights that would start off dim and then get real bright, then fade off, only to reappear," the witness reported. "I figured they could be helicopters looking for something, shining a spotlight. I wanted to get a closer look, so me and the old man took off in that direction. We went about 10 miles south and found an open area with no houses (to impede their view--J.T.) to stop and look up into the night sky."
"At first they seemed to be gone. But then two dim lights in the distance appeared periodically, not quite as bright as before. So, after a half hour out there, we headed home. But when we got home, they were back on the southern horizon, as bright as ever." (Many thanks to Jeff Westover for referring this witness statement.)
On Tuesday, December 29, 1998, at around 9:30 p.m., two witnesses "were traveling eastbound on (Interstate Highway) I-94." As they passed through Sunrise Heights (population 1,400), a town "30 or 32 miles east of Kalamazoo, somewhere between mile markers 110 and 113," they spotted "a strange craft flying very slowly about 20 feet (6 meters) up from the ground over the freeway."
"At first glance, we thought it was a LOW-flying airplane, but the craft had so many yellow lights (25 or more) across in a horizontal position. There was a central yellow light that appeared brighter than the rest, which were blinking in sync."
"Upon noticing this, and its shape was so odd... we determined that the craft could not have been a helicopter or an airplane."
"Then, as we approached an area full of cell (cellular telephone--J.T.) towers, the craft descended in a direct-vertical motion, landing on the ground about 20 feet from the edge of the freeway in a dark grassy area."
Slowing the car to 20 miles per hour, the pair took a closer look at the UFO, which they described as "an upside-down spider...The middle was ball-like (spherical)...and it had large arms/appendages on top coming out all over. And the arms/appendages had holes through them in a vertical pattern. The arms seemed to be upright, but bent out at an elbow and appeared to have a metal end coming from each with a light at the tip. The craft seemed to be as large as a car but wider."
The UFO may have been seen by other motorists, they added, "We are rueful that we didn't stop." (Many thanks to Peter A. Gersten of CAUS for this news story.)
BRILLIANT DISC SEEN IN HICKORY, NORTH CAROLINA
On Saturday, December 26, 1998, Paul T. and his son were driving on Interstate Highway I-40 in Hickory, North Carolina (population 28,301), a city 178 miles (285 kilometers) west of Raleigh, when they saw "a strange object pass directly overhead."
"The object looked like a shirt button at arm's length," Paul reported, "Like a saucer on its side. The object was a brilliant bright white. When I first saw the object, it was almost directly overhead. I guess about 90 degrees. It moved westward over a wooded area."
"There was no sound whatsoever--none!"
"Although it moved westward, it made several zigzag maneuvers while doing so," he added, "That is the only way I can describe it. Nothing can move that way." (Email Interview)
PULSATING UFO SIGHTED IN WESTERN AUSTRALIA
On Thursday, December 24, 1998, at 7:50 p.m., a UFO "with pulsating red, green and white lights was zigzagging through the northern Goldfields sky" at Murrin Murrin, Western Australia.
Security personnel at the Murrin Murrin mine "watched the light for about a half hour on Christmas Eve."
"The security officers said in their report that the star began to pulsate red and green and white and travelling up and down in jerking movements, with the red and green lights seeming more round. It then moved lower and zigzagged from side to side before emitting a burst of white light and disappearing below the tree line." (See the Western Australian of Perth, W.A. for December 28, 1998, "Flashing light heralds Santa." Many thanks to Patricia Ziegler for this newspaper article.)
RETIRED NURSE PHOTOGRAPHS UFO IN TOOWONG, QUEENSLAND
On November 6, 1998, retired nurse Madeleine Patterson, 63, had a sudden strange urge to go outdoors and snap a photograph. Grabbing her camera, she stepped out onto the backstairs of her home in Toowong, Queensland, Australia and tapped the shutter.
When the film was developed, she found the image of a silver disc UFO in the photo.
"I didn't see the UFO at all," Mrs. Patterson said, "What I had was a feeling there might be something strange to photograph. It's something like when people get a feeling there's going to be a storm."
"Retired nurse Mrs. Patterson, who is also a naturopath and nutritionist, has added the photograph to her growing collection of photographs of cross formations and angels. It includes six photographs of UFOs."
"'These things are there for everyone to see. All my life I've been interested in things that are beyond physical and material spheres, and I watch these things closely.'"
Mrs. Patterson also believes that ETs exist. She said, "Otherwise, we'd be like cave people, thinking we are the only people in the universe." (See Australia's Sunday Mail for January 3, 1999, "The truth is out there. So are the UFOs" by Elissa Lawrence, page 86. Many thanks to Diane Harrison for this newspaper article.)
TWO UFOs PUT ON DISPLAY IN MASSACHUSETTS
On December 10, 1998, at 9 p.m., a witness near Route 44 in Middleboro, Massachusetts (population 6,837), a town about 43 miles (69 kilometers) south of Boston, "watched a strange, brightly-lit craft" in the southern sky. "The craft had numerous red, green and white lights. As the witnesses watched, it split into two UFOs."
The two UFOs then performed a series of dazzling aerobatic maneuvers over Assawompsett Pond, a large glaial like just south of Middleboro. "The two crafts flew geometric patterns at high speed around the sky." after which "the two UFOs combined into one and shortly thereafter disappeared."
A short while later, the witness reported, a few jets, which he believed to be U.S. Air Force jet interceptors, flew over Middleboro. (See Filer's Files #52 for 1998. Many thanks to George A. Filer, Eastern director of MUFON, for allowing UFO Roundup to use this report.)
PRE-COLUMBIAN STONE CALENDAR FOUND IN MIAMI
Archaeologists believe they have discovered a 4,000-year-old calendar stone used by the Tequesta people, an indigenous Native American tribe who lived in Miami, Florida millenia ago.
Planets such as Mars, Venus, Jupiter and Saturn, plus familiar constellations, are visible on the stone, which was discovered at a construction site on Bricknell Key back in August 1998.
The stone measures 38 feet (11 meters) in diameter and "is pockmarked with small dents and holes."
"It's a striking find. The holes could have been used to measure time, the sun, the stars," said Miami archaeologist Paul George. "It shows tremendous intelligence on their part, carving something like this using rudimentary tools."
"The Tequesta disappeared shortly after Spanish explorer Ponce de Leon arrived in Florida in 1513, introducing European diseases and war." (See the Miami Herald for December 28, 1998. Many thanks to "Colonel Churchward" for the newspaper article.)
(Editor's Comment: So much for the "primitive Tequesta shell fishermen" living on the shores of the Miami River! The Tequesta artifact bears a strong resemblance to the Mayan calendar stones. Which is no surprise, when you consider that southern Florida is only 300 miles (480 kilometers) north of the Mayan homeland in Mexico's Yucatan Peninsula.)
MARS POLAR LANDER HAS SUCCESSFUL LAUNCH
Despite a temporary delay due to rainy weather, NASA's Mars Polar Lander lifted off from Cape Canaveral on Sunday, January 3, 1999, heading for the Antarctic region of the planet Mars.
The Mars Polar Lander (MPL) is the second of NASA's New Millenium space probes. MPL's sister spacecraft, the Mars Climate Orbiter, blasted off in early December 1998.
"NASA's Mars Polar Lander is bound for the fringes of Mars's south polar cap, the farthest south any spacecraft has ventured on the Red Planet. It's due to arrive in December (1999) when it's late spring and the sun never sets on Mars," i.e. the Martian south pole.
"The Polar Lander's goal is to find ice in the Martian soil. Where there's water, NASA's top space scientist says, there could be life."
"'We have a lot of reason to believe there's water on Mars in the form of ice," (NASA Space Sciences Division boss Ed) Weiler says, "But until you actually land there and find it and measure it, you can't say for sure. That's one thing I think this mission will demonstrate.'"
"The Polar Lander is three-and-a-half feet (1 meter) tall and 12 feet (3.7 meters) wide. It has three legs as well as a six-and-a-half foot (2 meter) robot arm with a scoop at the end to scrape beneath the Martian surface. The collected dirt will be heated, allowing any water present to vaporize and be detected by a laser."
"The Polar Lander is also equipped with a pair of probes that will peel away minutes before touchdown and slam into the Martian surface at 400 to 500 miles per hour, about 60 miles from the lander."
"Like the lander, the twin probes will hunt for water but at a much greater depth. They could penetrate as deep as three feet. The question is whether they will survive the impact and radio back data." (See USA Today for January 4, 1999, "Mission searches for water on Mars," by Marcia Dunn, Associated Press, page 4A.)
from the UFO Files...
1956: TWO UFOs APPEAR OVER ANTARCTICA
On January 8, 1956, at the height of the Antarctic summer, four scientists from Chile were camped out on the icecap of the Weddell Sea, performing weather experiments as part of the International Geophysical Year.
The weather was clear, with a blue sky and the sun low on the horizon. "One man stepped outside and noticed 'two metallic cigar-shaped objects in a vertical position, perfectly still and silent and flashing vividly the reflected rays of the sun.'"
"One of the objects was almost at the mid-heaven, and the other at a distance of some 30 degrees from the first...the things looked utterly solid, with smooth, polished seemingly metallic surfaces. He called a second man to come look at the 'spindles.'"
"Then they moved to another vantage point about 100 yards away to see if some sort of atmospheric optical effect could be causing them; they did not change appearance."
"Upon returning to their tent area, two more men also saw the objects. The two objects remained motionless until 2100 hours (9 p.m.) when the uppermost object tilted into horizontal position and started to brighten and emit several colors. Then it began to move and executed a number of maneuvers (90 degree turns, zigzag flight, instantaneous starts and stops, etc.) Then it came to a stop and hovered again."
"The second object then began to fly around for three minutes like the first object had just finished doing, and then it too stopped and hovered."
"The two objects remained motionless throughout that day and through the twilight that was to be their nighttime. The four men were afraid, yet nothing happened. Then, late in the afternoon of the second day (i.e. January 9, 1956--J.T.) clouds approached, the altitude of which were known approximately. And using a theodolite, the altitude of the objects was determined to be about 24,000 feet (7,275 meters) with each cigar about 450 feet long and 75 feet in diameter."
"One of the men aimed a polarized spotlight at one of the objects which unexpectedly flashed a bright light in return and descended in altitude."
"After a 'long pause,' it rose again to its original position and stopped. Then it conducted 'another fantastic sky dance.' Its velocity was measured at 40,000 kilometers per hour (24,000 miles per hour) starting from a dead stop. The objects eventually disappeared from view because of the clouds that came in." (See Flying Saucer Review volume 14, number 3, March-April 1968 issue, article by Gordon Creighton, page 20. See also PROJECT DELTA: A STUDY OF MULTIPLE UFO by Richard F. Haines, L.D.A. Press, Los Altos, California, 1994, pages 96 and 97.)
WELCOME TO UFO ROUNDUP
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