In a message dated 2/1/2005 2:33:45 PM Pacific Standard Time,
Posted on behalf of Joseph Trainor.
Volume 10, Number 5
February 1, 2005
Editor: Joseph Trainor
UFOs AGAIN REPORTED IN
THE INDIAN OCEAN AREA
"People are again reporting having UFO sightings in
the Nicobar Islands, the Andaman Islands, India, the
Maldive Islands and in the central area of Sri Lanka."
"The animals in these areas are again showing strange
behavior. Tribesmen around the Andamans are again taking
the signs seriously and are refusing to move back into the
area" that was devastated by an earthquake measuring 9.0
on the Richter scale and a subsequent catastrophic
"The tribal people of the Nicobar and Andaman Islands
have again moved to high ground. The sea birds are also
showing strange signs."
On Monday, January 25, 2005, "powerful earthquakes
sparked panic in two countries Monday, nearly a month
after a quake triggered a deadly wall of water that killed
more than 160,000 people."
"The two quakes, both magnitude 6.3" on the Richter
scale "jangled nerves across the Indian Ocean region hit
by the December 26 (2004) tsunami."
"Panic briefly spread through the Indian coastal city
of Madras after residents felt an earthquake centered in
the Bay of Bengal, about 1,548 kilometers (930 miles)
away, near the Nicobar and Andaman Islands."
"Samuel Cherian, the senior police officer in
Campbell Bay on the southernmost island in the Andaman
archipelago, said he was sitting in his office
when he felt 'a sudden jolt.'"
"The aftershock was felt in Banda Aceh province on
the northern tip of Sumatra," the largest island in
Indonesia, "but such tremors have been common in the last
month and residents have largely come to ignore them."
"Seismologists said the quake near the Andamans was
clearly an aftershock of the 9.0 magnitude quake that
struck off the coast of Sumatra a month ago. The two lie
on the same fault line, said John Bellini, a geophysicist
at the U.S. Geological Survey in Golden, Colorado."
"But a predawn temblor earlier Monday on the
Indonesian island of Sulawesi--nearly 3,200 kilometers
(2,000 miles) to the east--was not triggered by the Dec.
26 quake because they lie on different faults, Bellini
"Still, the Sulawesi quake, centered about 40
kilometers (25 miles) southwest of the city of Palu, sent
thousands of panicked residents running to higher ground."
"'They were shouting, 'Water! Water!' because they
feared waves,' said Dr. Riri Lamadjido, at the city's
Undata Hospital, which received no injured patients as a
result of the temblor."
"About 30 wooden houses and some shops were damaged,
Palu police said."
Tremors continued Wednesday, January 26, 2005 in the
Nicobar Islands with three more, one of which was about
6.0 on the Richter scale. On Thursday, January 27, 2005,
thirteen tremors, measuring about 4.5 to 5.5 on the
Richter scale, again rattled the Nicobar Islands. Two
more were reported in the same island chain on Friday,
January 28, 2005.
According to the newspaper India Daily, "The UFO
sightings happen at night with strange lights. Ships
travelling between India and the Nicobar and Andaman
Islands, as well as commercial fishermen on the Indian
Ocean, have reported receiving strange signals on their
radios as they pass over the area," suggesting that the
UFOs "are affecting the maritime radio frequencies."
"According to some experts, these are signs of
possible experimentation with tectonic plates by some
"People in the Nicobar Islands claim that something
is going on under the ocean--deep underground--a few
kilometers beneath the watery surface."
"The timing of the aftershocks is also strange.
After one large aftershock, there is a considerable length
of time before the next one. It means someone is
controlling the aftershocks and are making sure the
(tectonic) plates are not overstressed."
"Since the big earthquake on Dec. 26, the Andaman and
Nicobar Islands have experienced 121 aftershocks, all
ranging between 5.0 and 6.0 on the Richter scale."
"A sailor with the Shipping Authority of India, Ltd.,
who has sailed on trans-Atlantic routes, says this part of
the Indian Ocean now resembles the Bermuda Triangle
region." (See India Daily for January 24, 2005, "UFO
sightings and strange signals again reported in the Indian
Ocean." Also the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January
25, 2005, "Earthquakes rattle nerves in tsunami region."
Many thanks to Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda for the Indian
STRANGE SERIES OF QUAKES
JOLTS COAST OF ECUADOR
Last week Ecuador was rattled by an incredible 12
earthquakes in a period of just five days.
The small country on the west coast of South America
had its first quake on Thursday, January 20, 2005. It was
the first of 12 "earthquakes of considerable magnitude
along the Ecuadorian coast, keeping local residents in a
state of fear."
"Faced with a series of earthquakes, the locals have
shown clear signs of concern."
"Ecuadorian authorities have called for calm, stating
that these are normal events, and fears that they may
cause a tsunami have been dismissed."
"The Geologic Institute pointed out that 'the cause
of these events is understood in nature and therefore is
unable to generate a tsunami.'"
"Most of the quakes had their epicenter in the
(Pacific Ocean) facing the shores of Manta, 260 kilometers
(156 miles) southwest of Quito," the national capital.
"The other four occurred early Sunday morning,"
January 23, 2005, "the first at an intensity of 4.5 and
the final one at 5.0" on the Richter scale.
"While most of the quakes occurred offshore from
Manta, others were recorded in the vicinity of Esmeraldas,
180 kilometers (112 miles) northwest of Quito.
On Monday, January 24, 2005, at 6:23 p.m., a quake
measuring 6.4 on the Richter scale shook the ocean floor
45 kilometers (28 miles) southwest of Portoviejo, a
fishing town located 275 kilometers (170 miles) west-
southwest of Quito. (See the newspapers Las Ultimas
Noticias of Chile for January 24, 2005, "Ecuador: 11
earthquakes in four days," and El Comercio of Peru for
January 26, 2005, "Another temblor in Ecuador." Muchas
gracias a Scott Corrales, Liliana Nunez Orellana y Monica
Gaetano de Silva por estes articulos de diario.)
MYSTERIOUS LIGHT BEAM
"Astronomical experts have joined forces with puzzled
Shropshire residents in a bid to identify the mysterious
beam of light spotted in the county's skies."
"People across the county stopped in their tracks as
a massive beam of light lit up the early morning skies on
Tuesday," January 18, 2005. "But no one could explain
what caused the eerie light, which disappeared three
"Now county residents and top boffins (UK slang for
scientists--J.T.) have drawn up a list of possible
explanations, including an iridium flare, a burning
meteor, a bright searchlight, aircraft landing lights or
even a UFO."
"Sue Oliver, 37, of Briarwood, Brookside, Telford,"
Shropshire, UK "saw the beam of light at 6:40 a.m. while
walking her dog at nearby Nedge Hill."
"She said that although she doesn't usually believe
in 'weird happenings,' after seeing the light, she thought
it could have been a UFO."
"Montgomeryshire MP (Member of Parliament) Lembit
Opik, who has campaigned to raise awareness of the idea of
a meteorite or comet hitting the earth, claimed the light
was most likely an iridium flare, which can illuminate
hundreds of square miles and would look like a bright
"But Kev Wildgoose, from the Shropshire Astronomical
Soceity, disagreed and said 40 years of experience has led
him not to believe it was an astronomical sighting."
"'I'd be more inclined to identify it as an aircraft,
perhaps a bright search light,' he said."
"People in Lancashire also reported something strange
in the sky on Tuesday," January 18, 2005. (See the
Shropshire Star for January 21, 2005, "Experts join debate
on mystery light." Many thanks to Robert Fischer for this
ANOTHER UFO REPORTED
IN NEW ZEALAND
On Wednesday, January 26, 2005, at 4 a.m., Mark and
Fran Hirst were sound asleep at their home in Wainuiomata,
near Lower Hutt on New Zealand's North Island when
something unusual happened.
"I was woken just before 4 a.m. by a loud wooshing
sound like a small tornado," Fran reported, "It became
louder and louder, and it certainly didn't sound anything
like a plane or a chopper (helicopter--J.T.). A UFO is
all I could think of right then."
"Then I saw a row of bright white strobe lights all
moving in a circling motion through the (window) curtain.
It lit the whole room even though the curtain were thick
and were pulled. It passed overhead at a fairly slow
"Then the noise and the lights disappeared, and I
summoned the courage to look out the window. But it was
nowhere to be seen. Nothing--just a still, quiet night.
I did not see the actual craft. It was quite low but
above roof height. A quick approach and an even quicker
departure, an instantaneous departure."
Lower Hutt is on New Zealand's North Island, located
about 100 kilometers (60 miles) east of Wellington.
(Email Form Report)
CYLINDRICAL UFO SEEN IN
On Tuesday, January 25, 2005, at 6:15 p.m., Dan F.
was driving through East Penn Township near Lehighton,
Pennsylvania (population 5,537) when he saw a cyclindrical
UFO coming from the west.
"I was driving home on Route 895, looking west and
saw a flat, bar-shaped structure of white lights heading
towards me," Dan reported, "I at first thought it was a
plane but then realized it was very large and very low.
It veered south toward the valley along the Blue Mountains
and was probably 100 to 200 feet (30 to 60 meters) above
"It made a steep turn and headed back towards the
highway, as I slowed down to almost a stop to get a better
look at it. There is nothing (in the township--J.T.) but
old abandoned (stone) quarries, some farmland and
woodlands along the stretch, and this would be nowhere
near large enough to hold whatever it was."
"As soon as I slowed down enough and was within a
quarter-mile (0.4 kilometers) of the object, it made a
showy right turn towards the mountains and promptly
vanished. I turned off my radio and opened my window and
heard no sounds at all. The skies were relatively clear.
(The UFOs) speed variable, sometimes very fast, at other
times almost floating."
Lehighton, Pa. is on Highways 476 and 209,
approximately 18 miles (30 kilometers) north of Allentown.
(Email Form Report)
THREE UFOs SIGHTED NEAR
On Friday, January 14, 2005, Kenneth Seay was
outdoors in Charles City County, Virginia, southeast of
Roxbury (population 500) when he spotted an unusual
glimmer in the southwestern sky.
"They were just above the horizon," Ken reported,
"Pulsating with red, green, yellow and blue lights. The
three of them stayed still for several moments. Then they
moved directly west. They were closer and I could barely
see lights in them. They stayed for about 15 minutes,
then the closest one faded, vanished. There were still
colored lights around. Their height was just above the
horizon, and their speed was very slow."
Roxbury, Va. is on Route 106 about 20 miles (32
kilometers) east of Richmond, the state capital. (Many
thanks to Tracy and Amy Helvey for this report.)
MYSTERY METEOR CRASHES
IN NORTHWEST CAMBODIA
"A 4.5-kilogram (10-pound) suspected meteorite landed
in a rice field in northwestern Cambodia, narrowly missing
a nearby village, police said."
"'The rock fell on a harvested rice field from the
sky on Monday morning (January 24, 2005),' said Sok
Sareth, police chief of Banteay Meanchey province, which
"'According to villagers who live nearby, it came
very quickly from the sky and made a noise like a bomb
exploding. It dug about 40 centimeters (16 inches) into
the ground,' he said."
"'The rock was a little bit black and was hot and
looks strange compared to other rocks. It was lucky that
it did not land in the village, or people could have been
killed,' he said, adding that experts should examine the
"Pictures of the rock were splashed across the front
pages of local newspapers" in Cambodia on Wednesday,
January 26, 2005.
"Sok Sareth said villagers reportedly wanted to turn
it into a shrine."
"'Nobody has asked for it yet, but I have been told
that some villagers said they want to put it on a shrine
and pray to it. But we won't allow them to do that. It's
undignified,' he said." (See the Agence France Presse
report for January 26, 2005, "Suspected meteor lands in
Cambodia." Many thanks to Jim Hickman, executive director
of Skywatch International, for this news story.)
CHILEAN POULTRY SLAIN BY
"Two families of the commune of Victoria" in southern
Chile "were shocked after finding almost all of their farm
birds dead inside their henhouses."
"The first occurred on a property located a few
blocks from the city's main plaza during the early morning
hours of Sunday," January 23, 2005. "It was still
possible to see the feathers of the dead birds scattered
throughout the sector."
"People who were in the sector at the time of the
attack stated that they had gone to bed around 4 a.m.
without hearing any strange sounds. The first dead
specimens were locked in a double-gated cage that was kept
shut at night to keep the poultry safe from mice and cats.
But the creature opened the gates to the cage, killing ten
"Afterwards, the strange animal toured the two
henhouses in the area, killing everything in its way,
leaving feathers in its path."
"The next case occurred in a house located three
blocks from the municipal buildings in the downtown area
of Victoria. This time, the birds showed clear wounds--
puncture marks in their extremities and under their wings,
leaving the birds completely purple, without a trace of
blood on their plumage."
"Luis Gonzalez, owner of the property, revealed that
there was no need for guard dogs since his rooster played
that role. The rooster kept strangers from approaching
the enclosure, and its aggressiveness was such that the
owner" allowed it to patrol the farmyard. "But the
rooster's natural violence did not keep it from being
killed by the 'animal' together with six hens."
"There are other strange cases that had alarmed the
residents of La Araucania, this time in the vicinity of
Angol. One such case occurred while the city's jail was
being built in 2000. A night watchman was doing his
rounds when he saw a strange animal land on the hook
holding the streetlight, bending it. The watchman managed
to see 'something' with wings, measuring one meter (3
feet, 3 inches), red eyes and completely covered in fur."
(Editor's Note: Angol is a notorious UFO hotspot. A
couple had an alien encounter there in 2000. See UFO
Roundup, volume 6, number 10 for March 8, 2001, "Chilean
couple's first date turns into an encounter with aliens,"
"According to Erasmo Mela, president of IFOV (Spanish
acronym for Victoria UFO Phenemena Research--J.T.), 'We
have had at least five cases attributable to the
Chupacabras, and the same incisions were found on the
wings. Other characteristics of these attacks are the
absence of spilled blood. If you see an animal killing
another, the killer shakes it, spilling blood everywhere.
There were no traces of blood on the floor,' he stressed."
"What is strange about the events in Victoria and
neighboring communities is that the animal, which
allegedly attacks rural areas, is now active in densely-
populated areas, including backyards 400 meters from the
central area of any city, such as its Plaza Mayor." (See
the Chilean newspaper El Austral for January 24, 2005,
"Chupacabras behind avian deaths?" Muchas gracias a Scott
Corrales y Liliana Nunez Orellana por esto articulo de
WEIRD MALADY DEVASTATES
"A disease that has devastated the Tasmanian devil
population is probably being spread by the animal's
boisterous sex life, Australian scientists believe."
The small animal, indigenous to Australia's island-
state of Tasmania, "has been wiped out in many parts of
the island over the past three years. The numbers of
'Nature's janitor,' as the (Tasmanian) devil is nicknamed,
has fallen from about 150,000 to less than half of that,
with four out of five dying in some areas."
"Researchers believe that the animals' habit of
fighting over decaying carrion and engaging in robust
sexual foreplay take credit for the speed at which the
disease has spread. The illness, first noticed about five
years ago, causes the development of facial tumors that
leave the animal unable to see or eat." (See The
Independent of UK for January 27, 2005, "Violent sex is
'killing the Tasmanian devil.'" Many thanks to Mary Lou
Jones-Drown for this newspaper article.)
(Editor's Comment: Spread by a "boisterous sex life," eh?
Better hope some agent of Al-Qaeda doesn't show up in
Hollywood for Oscar Night with one of these ailing
critters on a leash.)
THE RAIN ON TITAN'S PLAIN
IS MAINLY METHANE
"Black-and-white photos from the Huygens probe show a
rugged terrain of ridges, peaks, dark vein-like channels
and apparently dry lakebeds" on Saturn's largest moon,
"On Earth, methane is a flammable gas. On Titan, it
is a liquid because of the intense pressure and cold--274
degrees below zero" on the Fahrenheit scale.
"'There is liquid that is flowing on the surface of
Titan. It is not water--it is much too cold--it's liquid
methane, and this methane really plays the same big role
on Titan as water does on Earth,' said mission manager
Jean-Pierre Lebreton. 'There are truly remarkable
processes at work on Titan's surface and in the atmosphere
of Titan which are very, very similar to those occurring
"A sensor about the size of a police officer's
nightstick on the front of Huygens probed beneath the
moon's crust and found a material with the consistency of
"Channels on the (Titanian) surface are evidence of
methane rain. There are also what appear to be river
systems and deltas, frozen protrusions riddled by
channels, apparent dried-out pools where liquid has
perhaps drained away, and stones--probably (methane) ice
pebbles--that seem to have been rounded by erosion."
"'Does it rain only once a year? Is there a wet
season once a year? Does it rain more frequently? We
don't know,' said another member of the team, Martin
Tomasko of the University of Arizona. 'The feeling is
that in the place we landed, it must rain fairly
frequently, but we can't be more precise than that.'"
"The area is 'more like Arizona, or someplace like
that, where the river beds are dry most of the time,' he
added. 'Right after the rain, you might have open flowing
liquids, then there are pools, the pools gradually dry
out, and the liquid sinks down into the surface. Perhaps
it's very seasonal.'"
"The river beds are darkened by what appears to be
particles of smog that fall out of Titan's atmosphere,
coating the terrain. The dirt apparently gets washed off
the ridges by the methane rain to collect in the river
"It did not appear to be raining when Huygens
descended throught Titan's (orange) haze on parachutes,
'but it has been raining not long ago,' Lebreton said."
"Scientists believe the dark smog particles are
formed by Titan's methane, breaking up in the atmosphere.
That raised another question: where does the methane come
"'There must be some source of methane inside Titan
which is releasing the gas into the atmosphere. It has to
be continually renewed, otherwise it would have all
disappeared,' Owen said."
"Lebreton, the mission manager, said a next possible
step in Titan exploration would be to send mobile probes,
perhaps balloons to float around before landing."
"The Mars Rover team has already contacted him to say
that 'they really now are dreaming of sending their rovers
on the surface of Titan,' he added. 'This is highly
possible--that we can now dream seriously of sending
rovers on the surface of Titan. We just need the money.'"
"The probe was named after Titan's discoverer, the
Seventeenth Century Dutch astronomer Christiaan Huygens."
"Huygens was spun off from the Cassini mother ship on
(Friday) December 24 (2004). The $3.3 billion Cassini-
Huygens mission to explore Saturn and its moons was
launched in 1997 from Cape Canaveral, Florida, a joint
effort between NASA, the European Space Agency and the
Italian Space Agency. Titan is the first moon other than
Earth's to be explored." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-
Tribune for January 23, 2005, "Titan: Scientists unsure
how often methane rains down on the moon's surface," page
MORE SNOW BLANKETS
Just a few days after "the Blizzard of 2005," more
snow fell on the USA's six New England states, with very
heavy accumulation on Cape Cod in Massachusetts, which
still hasn't dug out from the previous storm.
"Hard on the heels of last weekend's Northeast
blizzard, another snowstorm on Wednesday," January 26,
2005, "gave Boston its snowiest month ever and sent a
chill down South that could coat the region in ice."
"Boston, which had 42.2 inches (105.5 centimeters)
blew past the mark for its snowiest January (39.8 inches
or 99.5 centimeters in January 1966--J.T.) and beat its
record for a single month, set in February 2003 with 41.6
inches (104 centimeters)."
"Providence (Rhode Island), with 34.5 inches (86.2
centimeters) through Tuesday," January 25, 2005, "flirted
with its snowiest January, also in 1966, of 37.4 inches
"Cape Cod and Nantucket (island) were the hardest hit
last week, getting two to three feet of snow. The
National Weather Service said the two spots could get the
most" on Wednesday, as well, "with up to 9 inches (22.5
"Massachusetts Gov. Milt Romney asked President Bush
to declare a federal emergency for 10 counties still
hurting from the blizzard."
In the Taunton-Attleboro region of Massachusetts,
"the followup punch to the weekend Blizzard of 2005 turned
out to be a feather tap Wednesday, delivering far less
snow than expected. Up to 8 inches (20 centimeters) of
snow had been forecast, but the Attleboro Water Department
had recorded 6.5 inches (16 centimeters) of snow from the
storm, pushing the record-breaking monthly total to 51.25
inches (127 centimeters), the most that the city has ever
received in any month."
Near-record accumulations of snow have also been
reported in Duluth, Minnesota (population 86,918) and the
communities along the north shore of Lake Superior.
According to the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune, "Along
the hills that define Minnesota's North Shore of Lake
Superior, the snow already is so deep this winter that..."
(1) "Snowmobiles are getting stuck if they venture
off groomed trails."
(2) "Homeowners are having to shovel in front of
their ground-level windows just to let some light into the
(3) "There's too much snow for snowshoeing at least
off packed trails."
(4) "People are spending hours moving snow piles...to
make room for more snow piles."
Larry Schanno, owner of Our Place tavern and
restaurant in Finland, Minn., 75 miles (120 kilometers)
northeast of Duluth, said, "I've never seen a winter where
we had 100 inches (250 centimeters) of snow, and January
isn't even over yet."
"Actually, it's more like 111 inches (277
centimeters), recorded right across the street at the
Minnesota Department of Natural Resources office in
Finland. There's about 40 inches (100 centimeters) still
on the ground, thanks to a stunning four-day snowfall
total--between January 19 and January 22--of 45.5 inches
"The Finland area has become the region's snow
capital this winter, surpassing even Wisconsin's South
Shore snowbelt. Earlier this week, there were 57 inches
(132.5 centimeters)...It was the most snow ever on the
ground at Wolf Ridge, Minnesota's snowiest place, and the
most in Minnesota anyone can recall in 45 years."
"'You have to be careful where you step or you go up
to your armpits,' said Adam Barnett, a Wolf Ridge
naturalist who takes his turn at 7 a.m. each morning to
record the daily snowfall and snow depth totals."
The snow depth at Wolf Ridge, on the outskirts of
Finland, Minn. was "just a couple of feet shy of the all-
time state snow-on-the-ground record of 75 inches (187.5
centimeters) set in 1950" at Pigeon River, Minn. "on the
"And there's still two months of winter."
"'That's what's so unusual. That we have so much
snow on the ground, and we aren't even into February,'
said Sam Stanfield, climate expert with the National
Weather Service in Duluth."
"'Duluth has more snow on the ground than Marquette,
Michigan, and that's unheard of. We're approaching usual
seasonal totals already and we have a lot of snow to
(Editor's Comment: That's for sure! Marquette is in the
heart of what they call "the Big Snow Country" at the
western end of Michigan's Upper Peninsula.)
According to the North Shore Journal, tiny towns such
as Silver Bay, Beaver Bay, Tofte, Schroeder, Lutsen, Lax
Lake and French River, Minn. have received incredible
amounts of snow. "No matter how you say, it's still SNOW.
With 79.5 inches (198 centimeters) fallen this season, and
51.75 inches (129.4 centimeters) of those just this month,
we've had more than our share! Our coldest real
temperature was minus 27 degrees Fahrenheit...Some areas
of town (Silver Bay, Minn.) were covered in snow a little
more than others, but we all got plenty--for sure...Though
a lot of us are tired of shoveling and snowblowing every
other day, the resorts, restaurants, hotels and local
establishments are sure to be singing choruses of 'Let It
Snow, Let It Snow' well into April (2005)."
Other cities with heavy snowfall in the region
include Babbitt, Minnesota with 71.3 inches (178.25
centimeters); Hurley, Wisconsin with 98 inches (272
centimeters) and Ironwood, Michigan with 101 inches (279
Down South, "more than 300,000 homes in Georgia were
without power Sunday," January 30, 2005, "after a rare ice
storm virtually paralyzed metropolitan Atlanta."
"Hundreds of churches canceled services, and icy
roads contributed to at least two drivers' deaths in
Georgia and one in South Carolina."
"'The goal is to get the majority back on by Monday
evening,' Georgia Power spokeswoman Konswello Munroe
"At Atlanta's Hartsfield-Jackson Airport, thousands
of stranded passengers lined up to re-book one day after
hundreds of flights were canceled. About 300 passengers
spent Saturday night," January 29, 2005, "at the airport.
Most flights were operating on schedule by mid-(Sunday)
morning." (See USA Today for January 27, 2005, "Boston
sets snow record," page 3A; the Attleboro, Mass. Sun-
Chronicle for January 27, 2005, "Area dodges the worst;"
the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for January 27, 2005,
"North Shore's in deep," pages 1A and 4A; the North Shore
Journal of January 29, 2005; and USA Today for January 31,
2005, "300,000 in the dark following Ga. storm," page 3A.
Many thanks to Mary-Lou Jones Drown, Carolyn Rzepecki and
Dan Dunphy for these newspaper articles.)
WEIRD WEATHER REPORTED
AROUND THE WORLD
With "the Big Freeze" blanketing the USA's New
England states for the second week in a row, weird weather
popped up in other parts of the world, as well.
In Iraq, heavy snowfalls smothered the northern
provinces of Dahuk, Irbil and Sulaymaniyah. On Tuesday,
January 25, 2005, "15 centimeters (6 inches) of snow fell
in Dahuk and Al-Aqra," north of Mosul, reported Ayesha al-
Khatabi, UFO Roundup's Middle East correspondent. "It was
very wet snow. Car wheels were spinning, and the roads
were all blocked by stuck vehicles. Even more snow fell
in the mountains around Raniyah and Rawanduz. Snow
flurries were reported in Taqtaq, at the desert's edge."
On Wednesday, January 26, 2005, beachgoers on the
Mediterranean Sea island of Mallorca were stunned to see
powdery snow falling from the sky.
"This was the first snow on Mallorca in several
decades," UFO Roundup correspondent Diego Carrasco
reported. "It covered the fronds of the palm trees and
the lemon, tangerine and olive trees. Cars were skidding
off the highway between Parma and Manacor. Icicles were
hanging from roof tiles in San Pablo. Since there were no
(snow) plows on the island, the (Spanish) government had
to ship them from Valencia."
Mallorca is the largest of Spain's Balearic Islands,
located in the Mediterranean Sea midway between Barcelona
and Bejaia, Algeria.
In the southern hemisphere, which is experiencing its
summer, a storm front dropped a devastating load of hail
on the Adelaide region in South Australia.
According to the Australian Broadcasting Corp., on
Wednesday, January 19, 2005, "Adelaide Hills residents say
hailstones as large as apples fell" during the "big storm
over the city."
"The weather bureau said 27 millimeters (2.7
centimeters or 1.3 inches) of rainfall was recorded" in
the Gulf St. Vincent area.
"Woodside resident Sarah Brayshaw says her (rain)
gauge shows 60 millimeters (6 centimeters or 2.2 inches)
fell in just a few hours."
"She says her roof was pounded by hailstones the size
of golf balls."
"'We have a tin roof on our farmhouse and it was big
and the sound was just deafening,' Mrs. Brayshaw said."
"'We couldn't go outside because it would've hurt if
it had fallen on us. It lasted for about three or four
Readers Len and Becky Darroch told UFO Roundup, "It
wasn't just Adelaide that was hammered by hailstones.
Hail fell from Gawler to Willunga, and the noise of it
hitting the roof drowned out all conversation." (See the
Iraqi newspaper Al-Siyada for January 26, 2005; Agence
France Presse for January 27, 2005; and the Australian
Broadcasting Corp. report for January 20, 2005. Many
thanks to Ayesha al-Khatabi and Zuhur al-Azmat, Diego
Carrasco and Len and Becky Darroch for these weather
From the UFO Files...
1945: FLIGHT OF THE OSTARA
"On the gray morning of January 8, 1945, a flock of
reporters, pencils and notepads at the ready, hovered
around Admiral Jonas Ingram, commander of the Eastern Sea
Frontier, in his wardroom aboard a warship in New York
harbor. The scribes had come for what Ingram's public-
relations staff had promised would be 'a historic press
"Ingram, a heavyset, flat-nosed old salt who had
gained national recognition as football coach at the
(U.S.) Naval Academy (in Annapolis, Maryland), was one of
the Navy's colorful characters--and most outspoken.
Seated behind a long table, Ingram said, 'Gentlemen, I
have reason to assume that the Nazis are getting ready to
launch a strategic attack on New York and Washington by
"There was a gasp of astonishment from the
"'I am here to tell you that these attacks are not
only possible, but probable as well, and that the (USA's)
East Coast is likely to be buzzbombed within the next
thirty or sixty days.'"
"Ingram eyed his listeners, then added grimly, 'But
we're ready for them. The thing to do is not to get
excited about it. (The buzzbombs) might knock out a high
building or two, might create a fire hazard, and most
certainly would cause casualties. But (the buzzbombs)
cannot seriously affect the progress of the war.'"
"The hard-nosed Ingram added that 'it may be only ten
or twelve buzzbombs, but they may come before we can stop
"'At any rate,' the admiral concluded, 'I'm springing
the cat from the bag to let the Huns know that we are
ready for them!'"
Coach Ingram's announcement triggered a media
sensation. The following day, January 9, 1945, the New
York Times ran the story with the headline ROBOT BOMB
ATTACKS HERE HELD POSSIBLE. But the war in Europe ended
on May 8, 1945, and no Nazi rocket came plummeting out of
orbit to crash in Manhattan.
Was Coach Ingram given to flights of fancy? Not at
all. Allied intelligence knew that the Germans were
working on a "New York Rocket." At least twenty of these
large rockets were built at the SS underground base at
Nordhausen. What happened to them is one of the enduring
mysteries of World War II.
In his 1952 book, V2--Der Schuss ins Weltall, Major
General Walter Dornberger, commander of the Peenemunde
Rocket Research Institute, described the "New York Rocket"
in detail. He wrote, "Thus the A-9 came into being...the
missile was planned to reach at a height of about 20
kilometers (12 miles), a maximum speed of 4,400 kilometers
per hour (2,800 miles per hour) and then go into a shallow
curving glide with a peak of nearly 30 kilometers (18
miles). On arrival over the target at a height of 5
kilometers (3 miles), it was planned to dive vertically,
like the" V-1, a primitive rocket-powered cruise missile,
best known in World War II as "the buzz bomb."
"A better plan, however, and one which greatly
improved range, was to construct the A-10, weighing 87
tons and with a total propellant capacity of 62 tons, as
the first step of the combined A-9/A-10. The A-9 was
placed on top of the A-10. The latter had a thrust of 200
tons for 50 to 60 seconds and gave the rocket a speed of
4,400 kilometers per hour. After the exhaustion of the
first step (stage or A-10--J.T.), the A-9 would be ignited
and lift out of the A-10."
"Once we reached this stage (in the blueprints), the
horses fairly bolted with us," Dornberger wrote, "With our
big rocket motors and step (multi-stage) rockets, we could
build space ships which would circle the earth like moons
at a height of 500 kilometers (300 miles) and at speeds of
30,000 kilometers per hour (18,000 miles per hour). Space
stations and glass spheres containing the embalmed bodies
of the pioneers of rocket development and space travel
could be put into permanent orbits around the earth. An
expedition to the moon was a popular topic, too. Then we
dreamed of atomic energy, which would at last give us the
necessary drive for flight into the infinity of space, to
the very stars."
Amazingly, the gang at Peenemunde drew up these
blueprints during 1942 and 1943. In his book, Gen.
Dornberger, a child of the Nineteenth Century, admits to
being a little "disconcerted" by these off-duty bull
sessions, in which Werner von Braun, Willy Ley, Klaus
Reidel and even Hitler's favorite aviatrix, Hannah Reisch,
"chatted with such easy familiarity about outer space, the
moon, the planets and what forms extraterrestrial life
The question remains: did the A-9/A-10 combo ever
make it into space?
There are a handful of clues that it did. In 1968,
Ballantine published a photo on the back cover of their
paperback book on German secret weapons of World War II.
It shows a swept-winged A-9 on top of a cluster of rocket
boosters. Flames pour out of five nozzles on the array.
It has the hazy appearance of being shot with a long
When your editor first saw this photo, I was struck
by the similarity to the Soviet rockets then being
launched from Baikonur. Unfortunately, with nothing in
the photo's background to offer a size comparison, there
is no telling whether the "customized" Nazi rocket is
full-sized or merely a much smaller test model.
On the other hand, on November 19, 1954, Hermann
Klein, a former scientist at Peenemunde then living in
exile in Zurich, said he had worked on a Flugeschiebe
(German for flying disc--J.T.) project at Peenemunde in
1942. The Nazi saucers were built by a team of three
scientists--Schriever, Miethe and Belonzo--and the vehicle
was given the code name V-7.
On October 10, 1952, the Swedish newspaper
Aftonbladet reported that a space rocket had been launched
from an SS facility near Prague (now the capital of the
Czech Republic--J.T.) in February 1945. The vehicle
sounds suspiciously like an A-9/A-10. And the launch came
about a month after Admiral Ingram's press conference in
New York City.
During the summer of 1943, the Peenemunde research
center was siezed by Reichsfuehrer-SS Heinrich Himmler.
German rocketry became a wholly-owned subsidiary of the
SS. During a trip to Berlin on September 6, 1943, Gen.
Dornberger met his new boss, 42-year-old SS-Brigadefuehrer
"He had the slim figure of a cavalryman, neither tall
nor short," Dornberger wrote, "In his early forties,
broad-shouldered and narrow in the hips, with bronzed,
clear-cut features, and a high forehead under dark hair
slightly streaked with gray and brushed straight back, Dr.
Kammler had piercing and restless brown eyes, a lean
curved beak of a nose, and a strong mouth, the underlip
thrust forward as though in defiance. That mouth
indicated brutality, derision, disdain and overweening
pride. The chin was well-molded and prominent."
"One's first impression was of a virile, handsome and
captivating personality. He looked like some hero of the
Renaissance, a condotierre of the period of the civil wars
in northern Italy."
Kammler was Himmler's most trusted aide. He had a
reputation of being the man who could get things done. In
1942, for example, Kammler, an architect by trade, had
personally designed and supervised the construction of the
giant Vernichtungenslager (German for destruction camp--
J.T.) called Auschwitz II, with its capacity for 200,000
prisoners, at Birkenau in southern Poland.
Now Himmler had new work for him. The Reichsfuehrer-
SS wanted an underground factory "completely impervious to
Allied bombs" that would build all of the contraptions in
the Peenemunde gang's "blue sky" blueprints. It is not
known if Hitler approved of this or not--it's part of what
Colonel-General Erich von Manstein once called "the
hermetically-sealed SS-Reich"--but Himmler was determined
to build a workable spacecraft.
Himmler "urged Pohl to build factories for the
production of war materials in natural caves and
underground tunnels immune to enemy bombing and instructed
him to hollow out workshop and factory space in all SS
stone quarries, suggesting that by the summer of 1944 they
should have the 'new cavemen' installed in the greatest
number of 'uniquely bomb-proof work
sites'...Brigadefuehrer Hans Kammler succeeded in creating
underground workshops and living quarters from a cave
system in the Hartz mountains in central Germany in what
(Albert) Speer, writing to congratulate him, called 'an
almost impossibly short period of two months' a feat, he
continued, 'unsurpassable even by American standards.'"
With Kammler at the helm, production of V-1 and V-2
weapons went into high gear. In his book V-1, V-2:
Hitler's Vengeance on London, David Johnson noted that
"During the (V-1) Flying Bomb assault, from mid-June to
early September 1944, 2,419 of the pilotless aircraft
crash-dived into London. Rail and transportation networks
were seriously disrupted. War production fell off."
"Between 8th September 1944 and 27th March 1945, 517
V-2 rockets struck London, with another 378 falling short
of their target and impacting in Essex. Throughout
southern England, a grand total of 1,054 came down. In
London alone over 2,700 civilians were dead from the
On March 27, 1945, "the last V-2 to hit Britain came
down on Orpington, Kent, about 20 miles (32 kilometers)
south-east of London."
"On the night of 17 December (1944) a V-2 crashed
into the Rex cinema in Antwerp (Belgium) during a crowded
show. When Hitler was informed that 1,100 people,
including 700 (Allied) soldiers had been killed, by a
characteristic irony he was reluctant to credit the
report. 'That would finally be the first successful
launch,' he observed sarcastically, 'But it is so
fairytale that my scepticism keeps me from believing it.
Who is the informer? Is he paid by the launch crew?'"
But if Hitler had little faith in the V-2, the same
cannot be said of Himmler and Kammler. Himmler gave his
aide everything he needed to keep the rocket program
"Kammler still believed that he alone, with his Army
Corps and the weapons over which he had absolute
authority, could prevent the imminent collapse, postpone a
decision and even turn the scales. The (V-2) transports
still moved without respite to the operational area" in
the Netherlands, Dornberger wrote. "Convoys of motor
vehicles bridged the gaps in the railrways. Kammler's
supply columns, equipped with infrared devices that
enabled them to see in the dark, rumbled along the Dutch
Himmler's interest in spaceflight grew out of his
personal commitment to the occult. When he had been
appointed leader of the Schutzstaffel (German for
Protection Squad--J.T.) in 1929, the group had been a
small unit within the larger Sturmabteilung or Brownshirt
militia, a kind of Secret Service devoted to the
protection of Hitler and the Nazi leadership. By 1945,
however, Himmler had transformed the SS into "a state
within a state." Under his direction, the SS had become
the Schwarze Sonne (German for Black Sun--J.T.), an order
of mystics that numbered in the low millions.
In his book Hitler's Flying Saucers, author Henry
Stevens pointed out, "The Black Sun to these initiated
individuals was a physical body like our visible sun
except that the Black Sun was not visible to the naked
eye...The Black Sun is sometimes represented symbolically
as a black sphere out of which eight arms extend. Such is
its most famous rendition on the mosaic floor at
Wewelsburg Castle which served as the spiritual home of
Himmler's "scientists were influenced by some ideas
originating in Asia. Tibet and India are the suspects in
question. UFOs have been reported over Mongolia, Tibet
and India for centuries. The ancient Indians even claimed
to have constructed aircraft which resembled flying
saucers. These saucers are called Vimanas."
Since his days in the mystical group Artamen in the
early 1920s, Himmler had been fascinated with the
scriptures of ancient India. As a reader of the Rig-Veda
and the Mahabharata, he would have been familiar with the
tales of rishis (Hindu wizards--J.T.) visiting other
worlds in outer space. So perhaps it's no surprise that
he sent "the German SS-Ahnenerbe, an organization whose
purpose was associated with researching German ancestry,
out (on) expeditions to the East with the express purpose
of acquiring ancient, hidden knowledge."
Kammler transferred Gen. Dornberger and Werner von
Braun into the Wasserfall anti-aircraft rocket program in
late 1944. Meanwhile, work continued on the Schriever-
Meithe V-7 flying disc. With help from another mystical
group, the Thule Gesellschaft, the project developed a
craft called the Haunebu-1. This saucer "had a 25-meter
diameter, a speed of 4,800 kilometers per hour (3,000
miles per hour) and carried a crew of nine men."
In November 1943, a second saucer, the Haunebu-2, was
built, "slightly larger and could travel 6,000 kilometers
per hour (3,600 miles per hour) for fifty-five hours."
A year later, in early December 1944, Gruppe Kammler
unveiled its showpiece, the Haunebu-3, which "had a
diameter of 71 meters (234 feet), and could reach a speed
of 40,000 kilometers per hour (25,000 miles per hour)" and
remain in space "for up to eight weeks, carrying a crew of
Unaware of the progress of the Schriever-Miethe team,
Gen. Dornberger proposed to suspend work on the A-9/A-10
"New York Rocket." The order was immediately
countermanded. "But now, at the end of 1944, Kammler
demanded its resumption," the general wrote, "I had no
In retrospect, it appears that either Himmler or
Kammler--it is not at all clear who--planned to use the A-
9/A-10 as a booster to get the Haunebu-3, now referred to
as the Ostara (ancient German goddess of the dawn--J.T.),
into orbit rather than have the big saucer make the trip
under its own power.
"On January 8, 1945, the first version of the A-
9...took off. The control failed about 30 meters (100
feet) above the firing table (launch pad)," Dornberger
wrote, "A few days later, we were unable to launch another
missile because the alcohol tank had developed a leak. At
last, on January 24 (1945), we had our first success. The
rocket, climbing vertically, reached a peak height of
nearly 80 kilometers (50 miles) at a maximum speed of
4,300 kilometers per hour (2,700 miles per hour)."
(Editor's Comment: I think this may have been the rocket
in the wartime photo that appeared on the back cover of
All that needed to be done now was to strap two or
three A-9/A-10 boosters together, with the Ostara as
payload, and launch from Himmler's new SS base near
The same day the A-9/A-10 had its successful launch,
January 24, 1945, Soviet troops of Marshal Ivan Konev's
First Ukrainian Front (army group--J.T.) entered
Auschwitz. Russian soldiers saw for themselves the
results of Kammler's earlier "big project."
"On April 3, 1945, I had orders from Kammler to
evacuate my staff of four hundred and fifty old Peenemunde
hands to the Lower Alps near Oberammergau. We moved on
April 6, as the American tanks advanced through
Bleicherode toward Bad Sachsa," Dornberger wrote, "I
parted from Kammler and spent the last month of the war at
Oberjoch near Hindelang with my staff and Professor von
Braun, who had been injured in an automobile accident."
So, on April 7, 1945, Hans Kammler, the architect of
Auschwitz-Birkenau, pulled a disappearing act worthy of
Houdini. "There are five different versions of his
death," Henry Stevens wrote, "And they all read like pulp
Did Kammler head for outer space aboard the Ostara?
Or did he leave on an even larger spacecraft, the
Andromeda? Only one person knows the answer to that
question, and he committed suicide with a cyanide pill on
May 23, 1945--Heinrich Himmler.
But if anybody had a really, really pressing need to
leave Earth in April 1945 it was SS-Brigadefuehrer Hans
Kammler. (See the books V2--Der Schuss ins Weltall by
Walter Dornberger, Bechtle Vertag, Esslingen, Germany,
1952, pages 128, 129, 130, 131, 176, 177, 219 and 235;
Hitler's Undercover War by William Breuer, St. Martin's
Press, New York, N.Y., 1989, pages 317, 318 and 319; V-1,
V-2, Hitler's Vengeance on London by David Johnson, Stein
& Day Publishers, Briarcliff Manor, N.Y., 1981, pages 193,
194 and 195; Flying Saucers Uncensored by Harold T.
Wilkins, The Citadel Press, New York, N.Y., 1955, pages
252 and 253; Himmler by Peter Padfield, MJF Books, New
York, N.Y., 1990, pages 389, 464, 481, 482 and 611;
Armageddon: The Battle for Germany 1944-1945 by Max
Hastings, Alfred A. Knopf, 2004, pages 171, 172, 248 and
492; Black Sun: Aryan Cults, Esoteric Nazism and the
Politics of Identity by Nicholas Goodrick-Clarke, New York
University Press, New York, N.Y., 2002, pages 166, 167 and
168; and Hitler's Flying Saucers by Henry Stevens,
Adventures Unlimited Press, Kempton, Illinois, 2003, pages
86, 87, 89, 90, 95, 158, 160, 161, 225, 264 and 265.)
Well, that's it for this week. Join us next time for
more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the
planet Earth--and occasionally, Titan--brought to you by
"the paper that goes home--UFO Roundup." See you next
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