Posted on behalf of Joseph Trainor.
My apology for the late delivery of this bulletin.
My computer stopped working and I have been unable
to access the mailing list until now. I still have
major problems and website updates will be as and
when I get the opportunity. This situations is
likely to last for a few weeks - John
Volume 9, Number 4
January 28, 2004
Editor: Joseph Trainor
"ANOMALY" CRIPPLES MARS
"NASA's rover Spirit stopped sending data from Mars,
the victim of an
apparent software glitch, drawing serious concerns from
Thursday," January 22, 2004.
"'We know now we have had a very serious anomaly on
the vehicle,' says
Spirit project manager Pete Theisinger of the Jet
Propulsion Laboratory in
Pasadena, California. After acknowledging instructions
sent early Wednesday
(January 21, 2004), Theisinger says, the rover sent only
random noise instead of
data that night."
"However, a 'beep' indicating that the rover's
computer was in a safety
mode arrived Thursday morning. That's 'good news,'
indicating that power antennas and at least some of the
rover's software are working."
"The signal means it's less likely that Spirit had a
which could be 'very serious' and doom the rover. JPL
officials said a software
glitch would be a fixable problem unlikely to shorten the
90-day design life of
"JPL chief Charles Hachi compared the situation to
the Voyager and
Magellan probes, which overcame software setbacks to become
As of Saturday, January 24, 2004, "the Spirit rover
remains in critical
condition on the Martian surface, continually trying to
reboot its software
system in a futile effort to restore itself to normal
"It could be many days or perhaps weeks before ground
if Spirit will be able to resume its explorations."
"Spirit managed to send back some engineering data on
Friday," January 23, 2004, "after a period in which it was
transmitting only a
rudimentary signal. But rover project manager Pete
Theisinger said the
vehicle's complex software system is not operating
properly. The craft's computer
has attempted to reboot itself more than 60 times since the
Wednesday, Theisinger said at the Jet Propulsion
"Theisinger said engineers now suspect the root cause
is some hardware
problem that is causing havoc with Spirit's computer. Just
as with a home
computer, he said, a software glitch should have been
solved when Spirit pushes
its reset button and reboots itself."
"Whether the six-wheeled rover, now only a few feet
away from the
landing platform it vacated last week, will be able to roam
farther afield depends
on whether engineers can resuscitate the vehicle." (See
USA Today for January
22, 2004, "Mars rover could be in trouble," page 1A; and
the Duluth, Minn.
News-Tribune for January 24, 2004, "Computer problems still
plague Mars rover,"
ROUNDUP MYSTERY VAN
CAUGHT ON FILM
An Arizona woman has taken the first photographs of
electronics-laden van which has been spotted periodically
during the past six years
on the back roads of the USA.
The van, which sports the logo of UFO Roundup's
parent site UFO INFO,
was seen Thursday, January 15, 2004 in Prescott, Arizona
The witnesses, Korenda and her husband, saw and jotted down
the Web site
address of Albert Rosales' Humanoid Sightings
Report. They told Albert that they
had "gotten his email address from the side of a Government
www.ufoinfo.com on the side."
Albert then contacted UFOINFO webmaster John Hayes
and asked, "Do you
know anything about a van with your UFOINFO logo on the
side running around
A few days later, UFO Roundup was contacted by Pat
Mason of Mayer,
Arizona (population 1,408), a small town on Highway 69
about 25 miles (40
kilometers) southeast of Prescott. Not only had Pat seen
the mystery van, she managed
to take photographs of it.
[See website for photo of the van]
"As you can see, the van is light grey rather than
black," Pat reported,
"I saw the driver but didn't get his picture as I was
trying to drive and
photograph while not calling attention to myself, as I had
no idea what I might
be getting into. The driver exactly matched the
description given in your
article. I only saw him from the back, but he was a big
man with a bushy head of
pure white hair. He was wearing a jacket, but his shirt
was not tucked in."
"The sighting took place on (Friday) January 23 of
this year (2004)
between 11 and 11:30 a.m. while I was waiting to catch the
UPS man at the local
convenience store (on the corner of Spring Lane and Arizona
Highway 69 at the
entrance to a small rural subdivision called Spring
Valley--P.M.) to give him a
"I first noticed a van parked at the gas pumps which
I remember as being
white. It left, and 5 to 10 minutes later, the one in the
and parked by the laundromat across the street from the
"So, there are two vans, or one whose color I did not
"After delivering the package, I drove home and got
my camera and
returned to take the pictures. On the driver's side of the
van, it says 'USAF--For
Official Use Only.' But my husband's comment is that
'surely the government
would be using a newer vehicle.' Also, he doesn't think
(Editor's Note: In the November 2003 sightings in Arizona,
the mystery van
had state of Georgia license plates.)
"I later learned that our neighbor spoke to the
driver of the van and
was shown the inside of the vehicle. It was full of
electronic equipment. The
driver said that they are working on some supposed
sightings near Humboldt,
Arizona (about 12 miles from here--P.M.) and that he had
received some of the
strongest signals in the area that he had for a long
time." (Email Interview)
(Editor's Comment: Pat's photos only serve to deepen the
mystery. If this
is a hoax by a private citizen, then the perpetrator must
wealthy. That equipment costs a fortune. Also, if there
is more than one van,
then it has to be a government project. However, the
driver's behavior violates
all the rules of "need to know" and secure
information. He's showing
civilians classified equipment and chatting about "saucer
hunts" in the desert.
Finally, if it's a government hoax or disinformation
project, what's the point?
The van's six-year odyssey has taken it on a wandering path
Indiana to Prescott, Arizona for no seemingly logical
reason. But we'll keep
reporting its presence wherever it turns up.)
UFO VIDEOTAPED FLYING
OVER KANSAS CITY
"A remote camera from a downtown energy corporation"
in Kansas City,
Missouri (population 441,545) "captured a bizarre sight in
the eastern sky" last
"The video shows an object that appears to be clearly
falling in the sky
around 8:30 a.m." on Wednesday, January 14, 2004.
"Bob Lindsay, a security worker at Trigen Energy
Plant, spotted the
object on security monitors and asked a co-worker to zoom
in on the mysterious
"'It had the appearance of more of a really light
white, wasn't quite yellow,' Lindsay said."
"Lindsay believes he saw a long vessel, like a
distant aircraft with
flames shooting over its nose and up its sides."
"The staff at Trigen has come up with several
theories about the nature
of the strange image."
"'We got UFOs, we got experimental airplanes--a jumbo
jet maybe? There
are a lot of guesses going around,' Lindsay said."
"Kansas City TV station KMBC-TV showed the tape to
Armstrong, who has worked extensively with NASA."
"Armstrong guessed the object could be man-made space
debris, but it's
more likely it was just a meteor skimming across Earth's
"'If you've watched a meteor shower, and you put this
right against this
background, you'd probably think meteor,' Armstrong said."
"The North American Aerospace Defense Command, known
as NORAD, said it
was not tracking any man-made junk reentering the
atmosphere on January 14."
(See the KTVU Channel 2 news broadcast from Oakland,
California for January 21,
2004. Many thanks to Jim Hickman for this transcript.)
SMALL CIGAR-SHAPED UFO
SEEN IN PENNSYLVANIA
Pennsylvania ufologist Stan Gordon reports "a
observation of a small cigar-shaped UFO. This occurred on
Wednesday, December 31,
2003 at approximately 1:30 p.m. as the witness was driving
west of Ligonier,
Pennsylvania (population 1,695)," a small town at the
intersection of Routes 30
and 711, located about 20 miles (32 kilometers) west of
(Editor's Note: Johnstown, Pa. is famous for its
catastrophic flood of May
30, 1889, which killed thousands of people.)
"The driver was heading westward" on Route 30 "when
she observed an
object flying through the sky about 10 feet (3 meters) off
the ground. The object
was moving up the right side of the highway, and initially
the observer had
the suspicion that she was observing a bird. The woman
soon realized that the
object had no wings."
"The object began to approach closer, giving the
witness the opportunity
to get a better look at it. She described the object as
12 inches (30 centimeters) in length, and it appeared to be
metallic. On the
side of the object were several dark, possibly black,
bands. At a distance of
about 15 feet (4.5 meters), the object changed direction
and began to keep
pace with the vehicle."
"The witness indicated that the object hovered just
above her, then in
front of her at a distance she estimated to be about 12
feet (3.8 meters) or
less. The object then suddenly took off overhead and was
no longer seen. The
entire experience lasted about 15 seconds." (Many thanks
to Stan Gordon for
NIGHT SAUCER SPOTTED
IN AMELIA, OHIO
"A lighted, disc-shaped object with a 'hump' was seen
over a house near Amelia, Ohio (population 2,752)," a
suburb on Route 125
located about 15 miles (25 kilometers) southeast of
"The object, which moved in a bizarre fashion said by
witnesses to be
'drop and stop,' was seen near the East Fork vicinity by
multiple observers in
Clermont County at 2:58 a.m. on early Monday morning,"
January 12, 2004.
"Also seen was something described as 'a shadow' that
a ball- another person describing the same as a peculiar
object, separate from the lighted UFO, which strangely
'rolled down the side of a
"The sighting was first reported within an hour of
the event." The case
is being investigated by Mrs. Donnie Blessing, MUFON state
and former Clermont County librarian. (Many thanks to Ohio
Young for this news story.)
MORE UFOs REPORTED
On Wednesday, January 21, 2004, at 6:40 p.m.,
eyewitness P.M. was
outdoors in San Diego when he spotted a strange flying
object approaching from the
"It was a red glowing ball that passed from north to
south overhead," he
reported, "Camera shots were taken. As the object
approached the apparent
horizon, two other smaller pieces seemed to fall off the
original object. The
weather was perfect and clear with many stars visible."
"The red glowing ball was thousands of feet
high. Traversed slowly
enough that I was able to get 27 shots of the object."
The witness has posted these images at his Web
site. Roundup readers
can access it at
Just ten minutes earlier the same day, at 6:30 p.m.
January 21, 2004, Mark Duarte saw a UFO approach from the
southwest in Castro
Valley, California (population 57,292), just east of San
Francisco and Oakland.
Mark described the UFO as "an object traveling
extremely high but super
slow, flew over our heads that night, traveling
northeast. There were no
blinking lights, and after it was past us, the light was
just as bright as it was
headed towards us. As it passed over, it seemed to stop
for a brief moment,
"The object made no sound, and, at one point, made a
subtle change in
direction, as no aircraft can do. Shortly after it
military aircraft flew overhead. I know this because no
commercial airliners would
travel side by side at supersonic speeds at roughly 40,000
meters), and they headed in the same direction as the
"My son Jordan actually filmed the final 60 seconds
of this singular
moment. We have the film on VHS-C, and when it is
converted, I will send it to
(Email Form Reports)
COUPLE SEES A SAUCER
IN AVIGNON, FRANCE
On Saturday, December 27, 2003, the eyewitness
"walked to the Palace of
the Popes in Avignon," a city in the department of Vaucluse
France, "with my girlfriend. Nobody was on the
square. The (former papal) palace
was all lit up. My girlfriend drew my attention to a funny
object in the sky
coming from Villeneuve-les-Avignon."
"It was a disc of brilliant red lights. The object
then accelerated in
the direction of and stopped right above the palace. It
seemed to come down
closer (lower than 100 meters (330 feet), hovering at about
20 meters (66 feet)
above the palace--the witness), and as a result we can make
description of it. It had the shape of a saucer overhung
with a large dome of black
colour. The rest of the object was silver-grey, and it
threw a bright red
light in the direction of the ground."
"There was absolutely no noise! The display lasted
for about three
minutes, and I hastened to get closer to the UFO by
climbing the stairs which lead
to the palace gardens. But the object disappeared
immediately by going away
straight up into the sky at a dizzying speed."
"We have no explanation. The object did not look
like a helicopter, a
plane or a balloon." (Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour
DOZENS OF NICARAGUANS
FALL TO MYSTERY MALADY
A mysterious illness, said to be caused by sorcerors,
also known as Pauka Prukan, attacked the Santo Tomas de
Umbra community in the
Rio Coco" region of eastern Nicaragua, "upstream from the
community of Raiti and
which belongs to the Sumu ethnicity (indigenous
"The area attacked has caused concern among
authorities from MINSA
(Spanish acronym for Nicaragua's Ministerio de Salud or
Ministry of Health--J.T.)
and the Regional Council Health Commission, who earlier
this week sent Porcela
Sandino to control the illness, which is spreading
throughout the communities
of Waspam and Rio Coco."
Victims of the strange illness have reported vomiting
extracting strange objects from bodily orifices and
experiencing sudden expansion
and contraction of the abdomen.
"'We are alarmed by the increases in the cases of
Grisi Siknis, which
had only affected Miskitos (another indigenous
people--J.T.) and now the Sumus.
We believe the central, regional and municipal authorities
should decree an
alert in the presence of this epidemic,' said Juan Gonzalez
of the Regional Council Health Commission."
"The illness had only affected Miskitos 'and the fact
that it is now
appearing among the Sumus is very troubling,' said
"According to the MINSA report, 32 people afflicted
with Grisi Siknis
were reported before January 16, 2004. The outbreak can
only be countered by
persons who practice traditional medicine."
"'Porcela Sandino is the best sukia (medicine woman,
equivalent to a
bruja in Mexico or a jossekeed among the USA's Anishinabe
people--J.T.) we have, and we've sent her on an emergency
"According to early reports from the Regional Council
the symptoms at Santo Tomas de Umbra are the very same
which afflicted the
Miskitos at Raiti."
"Moreover, MINSA authorities in the region stated
that an increase of up
to 60 cases was reported in the community of Namahka. 'For
Porcela Sandino will relocate to that community after
controlling the situation in
Santo Tomas de Umbra,' said the comission's secretary."
"Meanwhile, Jose Osorno, mayor of Waspam, is taking
all due precautions
and is in constant communication with the authorities of
Rio Coco through
"The authorities fear that the health problem will
affect all of the
different ethnic groups, for which reason they shall
request the aid of the
central government." (See the Nicaraguan newspaper La
Prensa for January 23, 2004,
"Grisi Siknis affects Sumu community." Muchas gracias a
Scott Corrales y
Gloria Coluchi para esto articulo de diario.)
MYSTERIOUS BOOM CAUSES
STIR IN NEW HAMPSHIRE
"A minor earthquake rattled southern New Hampshire
January 21, 2004), prompting dozens of calls to police from
concerned about everything from explosions at their homes
"'There was a major shaking and a loud, loud boom,'
Finnerty, secretary at the Hopkinton, New Hampshire Police
Department, who answered
many of the phone calls. 'We haven't heard of any
damage. Just scared a lot
"The U.S. Geological Survey said the quake at 12:11
p.m. was a magnitude
of 2.2" on the Richter scale, "centered west of Concord,"
the state capital,
"in the Henniker-Hopkinton area."
Henniker and Hopkinton, straddling Drew Lake, are on
Route 202, about 10
miles (16 kilometers) west of Concord. (See the
Providence, R.I. Journal for
January 21, 2004, "Minor quake rocks southern New
Hampshire," page 3. Many
thanks to Mary Lou Jones-Drown for this newspaper article.)
(Editor's Comment: Is it my imagination, or are these
occurring more and more often in New England? I keep
remembering what psychic
Gordon Michael Scallion said about the region. Namely,
that "Earth Changes" will
turn all the real estate east of the Connecticut River into
ICE METEOR DESTROYS
NEW ZEALAND ROOF
"It came from the sky--a block of ice the size of a
rugby ball with
enough force to smash through Jan Robertson's roof last
night (Wednesday, January
"Plummeting at an estimated 450 kilometers (270
miles) per hour, it
penetrated the concrete tile roof, the ceiling, gib and a
light socket before
landing on the kitchen bench."
"'There was a terrific bang like goodness knows
what,' she told the
Herald, 'I could have been in there cutting up
"It was just before 5 p.m. and Mrs. Robertson, 80,
was cleaning a
bedroom in her Meadowbank house while her 83-year-old
husband Bruce was outside
pulling weeds, both just metres from where the ice block
(Editor's Note: Meadowbank is a suburb just east of
"They each ran to check that the other was okay and
found the ice on the
"'It was like all hell broke loose,' Mr. Robertson
"The couple dialed 111." (Equivalent to 911 in the
"Fireman John Sweeney said they were sceptical 'until
we saw it for
"Mr. Sweeney estimated that the block weighed between
3 and 5 kilograms.
Firefighters first thought it might have fallen from an
aircraft or was a
"He said the block must have come from high up and
travelling' because it crashed through the roof as clean as
"It is not the first time that the neighbourhood has
been hit. The
Robertsons' neighbour, Pat Theobald, said ice fell on his
home last week 'and
there wasn't a cloud in the sky.'"
(Editor's Comment: Even more curious, January is the
middle of the summer in
New Zealand and other countries of Earth's southern
hemisphere. It's hardly
the season for ice.)
"Mrs. Robertson said she believed it fell from an
aircraft. 'Where else
could it have come from?'"
"The east Auckland couple say they often hear
"NIWA climate scientist Jim Salinger said it was very
unlikely to be a
natural formation because of its size and the look of
others around it. 'It
sounds like an aircraft got some icing on it from the
moisture in the air. It
de-iced as it descended and the block dropped off.'"
"Auckland University physics lecturer David Krofcheck
said a 5 kilogram
block falling from a plane at 350 metres (1,155 feet) will
reach the speed of
400 kilometers (250 miles) per hour."
"'It couldn't have had much friction, so there would
have been plenty of
energy to punch a hole through the roof. The people were
very fortunate not
to be underneath the ice, as they could have easily been
"A Civil Aviation Authority spokesman said it would
investigate if it
received a complaint." (See the New Zealand Herald for
January 22, 2004, "Block
of ice falls from sky, smashes through roof." Many thanks
MacGregor for this newspaper article.)
PROWL AGAIN IN UK
On Thursday, January 15, 2004, the female witness
reported, she was at
Bishops Frome, Worcestershire when she spotted "a very
large panther-type cat."
"I had just got home from work and went out to get my
horse in at
approximately 7:10 p.m. I had turned on the stall lights
and the outside field
floodlight and walked across the garden to the stall
"Just as I was about to enter the hay store, this
large black cat leapt
in front of me and fled out the field into the
darkness. It was huge!
Slightly bigger than an Alsatian dog, jet black. Its body
was about 3 feet (0.9
meters) in length, and it had a very long feline
tail--again probably 3 feet in
"As it was windy and raining, I think the cat was
seeking shelter in my
hay store and must have been fast asleep, especially for it
to still to be in
there after I had turned on the lights. It is strange
because the local
farmer had told me he had seen a large black cat in the
area whilst he was out
ploughing a few months ago."
In Scotland, "a runner yesterday (Thursday, January
15, 2004) claimed a
big cat scared him so much he won a foot race."
"Iain Taylor crossed the line 18 seconds ahead of his
"But yesterday he said he had seen a black panther
which has been
spotted before in Blairadam Forest, near Kelty, Fife."
"The big cat has been dubbed 'the Beast of
"Iain, who is secretary of the Carnegie Harriers,
said: 'A cat ran out
from the south side of the forest, right across the
track. I would say it was
about 2 feet (0.67 meters) high, 3 feet (0.9 meters) long,
and was black. The
following day, there were what looked like cat prints in
"'A couple of guys in the club had said they heard a
cat out there, but
I'd always thought it was a load of rubbish.'"
"'I've never believed in the Beast of Blairadam, but
there is a big cat
there. It's probably the reason I won the race.'"
"Scottish Big Cat Trust researcher George Redpath
said: 'There have been
a lot of sightings in the area. I wouldn't dispute the
runner's sighting at
all. It's probably a black panther.'" (See the Daily
Record of Glasgow for
January 16, 2004, "Panther made me run faster." Many
thanks to Robert Fischer,
UFO Roundup's phantom panther expert, for these news
IS IRAN CLOSE TO TESTING
A WORKABLE ICBM?
"On Monday, January 5, 2004, Iranian Foreign Minister
Ali Shamkhani said
that Iran is going to launch its own satellite using a
produced at the country's military factories."
"Intercontinental ballistic missiles (ICBMs) can be
used as rockets for
launching space satellites. Examples include the Russian
missiles, especially the SS-18, many of which have been
launched from the
Baikonur Cosmodrome in Kazakhstan."
"When Iran's military claims they have 'enough
armaments' for 'an
adequate response,' this may not be just an idle threat."
"I am not saying that Iran possesses space rockets
similar to the Dnepr-1
, converted from existing ICBMs like the SS-18. But if
they have, then they
may pose a serious threat" to the USA. (Many thanks to Der
Voron for this
DUBYA VISITS ROSWELL,
JOKES ABOUT ALIENS
President George W. Bush visited Roswell, New Mexico
last week "but did
not leave without plainly acknowledging what the small
southeastern New Mexico
city is best known for--it's the site of an alleged (July)
1947 UFO crash and
as a draw for conspiracy theories about extraterrestrials."
"'I understand that you have reports that rumor of an
aircraft,' he said to laughter from residents who have
freely adorned their town with
images of green aliens."
"'Don't worry--it was just me.'" (See the El Paso,
Texas Times for
January 22, 2004, "Bush visits Roswell, cites unfamiliar
aircraft." Many thanks
to Loren Coleman for this news story.)
FEBRUARY 2: ZAWAHIRI'S
DAY OF DESTINY?
Four weeks ago, the Italian newspaper Il Giornale of
that the terrorist group Al-Qaeda was planning an attack on
New York City, using
a weapon of mass destruction. The supposed date of the
attack was to be
Monday, February 2, 2004.
Since then, little has been heard about Al-Qaeda's
UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor did more research into
the alleged date and
found out something intriguing.
"Since the Number Two man in Al-Qaeda, Dr. Ayman
al-Zawahiri is from
Cairo and the nephew of a former Grand Mufti, I figured
that he had more than a
passing familiarity with the ancient Egyptian mysteries,"
Trainor said, "Since
astrology is such a big part of the mysteries--indeed, the
Egyptian new year
dated from the rise of the star Sirius above the horizon--I
wondered if there
might be some astrological significance in the date
February 2, 2004."
"Sure enough, there is!"
According to the February 2004 issue of Astronomy
magazine, there will
be a conjunction on February 2. The moon and the planet
Saturn will come
within 5 degrees of each other in the constellation Gemini.
"I'm no astrologer, so I don't know what this
Trainor added, "I have heard that Saturn is considered an
evil influence in
"Also, the very first horoscope ever cast for the USA
was prepared by a
prominent English Freemason named Ebenezer Sibley and was
published in his
1784 book on the occult. Sibley identified Gemini as one
of the ruling
influences over the USA."
"In his article The Twin Towers and the Great Masonic
Richard Hoagland makes a convincing case that Al-Qaeda
attacked the World Trade
Center on September 11, 2001 because the twin towers were
kind of a Masonic
symbol. Dr. Zawahiri might have it in for Masonry because,
as an Egyptian initiate,
he considers the Masons heretics."
"That's why I think the next target will be the other
symbol in New York City--the Statue of Liberty."
"In his article, Hoagland writes, 'In the mythology
Freemasons/Templars, one of the core legends is that of
Jachin and Boaz...the 'Twin
Pillars' of Atlantis. All Masonic lodges have these two
pillars at some location in
their architecture. In the earliest Lodges, they were said
to represent far
more ancient pillars, supposedly erected by 'the children
"'On those ancient pillars--one of brick, one of
stone--were said to be
engraved all the then known sciences to preserve them from
fire or inundation' As such, they symbolized the esoteric
importance of the
builder's (mason's--R.H.) art, to be guarded and preserved
by future faithful
"'Simply put, according to Masonic legend, 'the
children of Lamech' were
the inhabitants of Atlantis. This information, passed down
from that prior
highly advanced civilization, is supposed to form the basis
of the Masonic
secrets 'from ancient times.'"
Al-Qaeda might have interpreted the conjunction of
Moon and Saturn in
Gemini as a favorable time to attack the USA.
"Of course, it's difficult to second-guess an
initiate like Dr.
Zawahiri," Trainor added, "Sort of like Little Leaguers
challenging the New York
Yankees. But if Al-Qaeda is zeroing in on Masonic targets,
the Statue of Liberty
is extremely vulnerable."
"I tried to look for another Fortean lexilink that
might have to do with
Brooklyn," he continued, "And I came up with one
The Marquis de Lafayette was one of the USA's founders. He
was also a
world-famous Mason. And, as Fortean researcher Bill
Grimstad has pointed out,
strange things often happen in places named 'Lafayette' or
'Fayette' here in the
"Most ominously, Lafayette Avenue is close enough to
both the Statue of
Liberty and the Brooklyn Bridge for a 'suitcase nuke' to do
"Now, it could be that Al-Qaeda was just rattling our
cage last month,
and that nothing will happen on February 2," Trainor said,
"For myself, I'm
hoping that February 2 will be the biggest fizzle since Y2K
and the Comet
Kohoutek." (See The Secret Architecture of Our Nation's
Capital by David Ovason,
HarperCollins Publishers, New York, N.Y., Perennial Books
edition, 2002, pages
93, 143, 144, 145, 146, 147,167, 202, 271, 272, 276, 301,
360, 373, and 384.
Also Paranoia magazine for Spring 2002, "The Twin Towers
and the Great Masonic
Experiment" by Richard Hoagland, pages 55 through 58.)
From the UFO Files...
1963: A STRANGE FIND AT
After Conan the Barbarian, the most popular character
in the "Sword and
Sorcery" genre is Thongor, the giant Valkarthan warrior of
Indeed, Thongor's origin is probably as strange as
anything conjured up
by the Black Wizards of Zaar.
The story actually begins in the summer of 1939, at a
library in the USA's state of Georgia. Just starting his
nine-year-old Linwood Vrooman Carter wanders into the
children's section and sees
a shelf full of new books. One title in particular catches
A Princess of Mars by Edgar Rice Burroughs.
It is quite literally the book that will change Lin
Flash forward to January 1963. Lin is now 33 years
old, about ten years
out of the Army and working for an insurance company in New
York City. In
the past couple of decades, he has devoured everything
Burroughs ever wrote and
is a great fan of fantasy writers Abraham Merritt and
Robert E. Howard. Like
every sci-fi or fantasy fan that ever lived, he wants to
become a writer.
But let's let Lin tell the story himself.
"When I first conceived of writing a Sword and
Sorcery novel, I
originally considered laying the scene in Atlantis. This
notion I discarded for the
simple reason that there have been a considerable number of
ancient Atlantis--but to my knowledge not one single novel
laid in ancient Lemuria,
which I finally decided to take as my province."
"I explored the occult literature to see if there was
anything there I
could use in the way of background data, but I found
nothing that seemed suited
to my purpose."
"It was a book by W. Scott-Elliott, The Story of
Atlantis and the Lost
Lemuria, that led me to Madame Blavatsky, the founder of
movement of the late Nineteenth Century and to her enormous
thousand-page work of occult lore, The Secret Doctrine."
(Editor's Note: Scott-Elliott's 1925 book also influenced
Lovecraft (1890-1937), most notably in his stories Dagon
and The Call of Cthulu.)
"According to Madame Blavatsky, the human race
originated in the lost
continent of Lemuria, which existed in the South Pacific or
the Indian Ocean
before Atlantis. She was full of Lemurian lore and
constantly referred back to
the Puranas, which are believed actually to predate as oral
settling of the Aryan race in the Indian subcontinent, and
to have originated while
the Aryan peoples were still a wandering nomadic tribe."
"According to the occult authorities, where the
Puranas discuss a
Sveta-Dwipa (the Sacred Land or White Island--L.C.), they
are talking about that
lost continent or group of islands we know as Atlantis,
fragments of whose lost
histories were preserved in Diodorus Siculus and Aelian
(quoting the historian
Theopompus--L.C.), and, of course, in the two famous
dialogues of Plato, the
Timaeus and the Critias. And where they mention the
Hiranya-Dwipa (the Golden
Land--L.C.) they are recording some of the lore of that
mythic continent we
know as Lemuria or Mu."
Reading Madame Blavatsky, who "constantly referred
back to the Puranas
... reminded me that I had Hollister's book on my shelves,
among my scanty
collection of Asian literatures."
Lin had picked up this strange little book while
browsing in a bookstore
in New York City in 1963. It was a very rare English
translation of the
Lin explained that the Puranas "deal with cosmogony,
stories of the
gods, the sages and the heroes, the ancient mythic
histories of the Aryan peoples,
and of the wars and kingdoms supposed to have existed
before formal history
began. The first of these is called the Maha-Puranas, and
they are essentially
religious or philosophical in nature...But there exist as
well a subordinate,
and more ancient group, called the Upa-Puranas (Lesser
are historical and legendary in subject, and almost
completely unknown and
utterly neglected by western scholars (that mighty
repository of human knowledge,
the 1959 Encyclopedia Brittanica devotes--would you
believe, just one single
sentence to the Upa-Puranas?--L.C.)."
"So far as I have been able to discover, the complete
only been translated into English once, in a little-known
edition published in
1896 in Bombay (now Mumbai--J.T.), presumably a limited
so far as I can tell, from the scanty data in my copy. The
English rhymed couplets--L.C.) is by an Anglican clergyman,
the Rev. W.
Clinton Hollister, who may have been a missionary."
"I have been able to find out nothing about him or
his academic and
scholarly qualifications, but I count myself fortunate to
have picked this rare
volume out of a bin of miscellaneous second-hand books in
New York in 1963."
"I have never seen another copy."
Reading Hollister's book, Lin became enchanted with
the tale of
Mahathongoyha, "a wandering hero of mysterious and probably
divine origin. He
encounters a great Rishi (sage, saint or wizard, take your
Shahrajsha; together, summoned by Vishnu, they wage a
sacred war or quest against the
Nagarajahs, the Kings of the Serpent People (There's them
again!--J.T.), whom they destroy with a magic sword given
to them by the (Hindu) god
Indra. There is also a subplot. Mahathongoyha (Thongoyha
rescues the Maharani (Queen) Soomaia from a band of wicked
priests who have usurped her city of Patangha."
So Lin began spending his nights and weekends at the
"digested most of those long Sanskrit names into briefer,
more easily remembered
forms. I presume few save for the occasional Oriental
purist among my readers
would object too strongly if I cut down Karamkaravaryu into
'Karm Karvus' or
Palitahooridya into 'Phal Thurid.'"
Finishing the book in 1964, Lin mailed a carbon copy
of the rough draft
to science fiction author Lyon Sprague de Camp. Sprague
read the book, made
several suggestions as to how to strengthen it, and
returned it to Lin with a
detailed critique. Like all authors, Lin did a lot of
rewriting and rewriting
and rewriting and more rewriting before crossing his
fingers and sending it
off to the publishers.
Lin had written five unsold fantasy novels before
this. But he hit a
home run with Number Six, entitled Thongor of Lemuria. It
hit the newstands in
1965 and, in addition to launching Lin's career as an
author, it helped to
spark the Sword and Sorcery revival of the 1960s.
And all because of an obscure little book that Lin
Carter had picked out
of the bargain bin at a New York City used bookstore in
Lin himself once mused about the strangeness of his
find. "Wouldn't it
be an amusing and ironic trick of fate if I had actually
restored what was
originally the genuine history of a genuine lost Lemurian
civilization into a
close retelling of the way things had actually
happened! It would be one of the
most classic ironies of all time, if in merely attempting
to write an
entertaining series of fantastic adventure stories, I had
uncovered and restored a
true lost chapter of Man's past, without ever knowing it."
"However, it is most unlikely. Let me add here that
I am neither an
occultist (Theosophist or any other variety--L.C.) nor an
Oriental scholar. I do
not know whether there ever was an actual Lemuria or
not. I doubt it."
"(Still...wouldn't it be funny, if I had accidentally
hit on the
truth...--L.C.)" (See the book Thongor At the End of Time
by Lin Carter, Paperback
Library Inc., New York, N.Y., 1968, pages 150 to 158.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us next time for
more UFO, Fortean
and paranormal news from around the planet Earth, brought
to you by "the paper
that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you in seven days.
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