UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 8 Number 14
- Posted on behalf of Joseph Trainor.
Volume 8, Number 14
April 2, 2003
Editor: Joseph Trainor
PLAGUES ALLIES IN IRAQ
Sandstorms described as "apocalyptic" plagued the
advance of coalition forces into Iraq last week.
On Tuesday, March 25, 2003, "armored units of the"
U.S. Army's "3rd Infantry Division sat out a severe
sandstorm 50 miles south of Baghdad, while a column
estimated at 4,000 Marines used it as cover to advance
toward Al Kut, about 100 miles (160 kilometers) southeast
of the capital," Baghdad.
"M1A1 Abrams tanks and (M2) Bradley fighting vehicles
were the lead elements of a 500-vehicle convoy that
comprised all of 3rd Squadron, 7th Cavalry Regiment's
ground combat power. The squadron's trek began just
outside the town of As Samawah at dusk Monday," March 24,
"A blinding sandstorm had grounded the helicopters
that would usually fly ahead checking for enemy
The 7th Cavalry killed an estimated 150 Iraqi troops
"in heavy fighting in Najaf," located about 40 miles (64
kilometers) south of Baghdad.
"And nearly everyone cursed and endured the storm.
'It looks like it's raining sand,' Marine Capt. Neil
"One night in this week of hellish sandstorms here,
1st Sgt. Richard Lillie left Bravo Company trenches to
reach three of his soldiers at an observation post about
500 yards (450 meters) away and stepped into a sea of
"A recurring theme for the infantry living and
breathing in the sand-stricken atmosphere of southern Iraq
is that this is like nothing they've ever seen before.
Adding to the alienation is the certainty that folks back
home have no idea what this experience is like from a
grunt's eye view."
"The sky is strangely yellow in the daytime and
anything beyond 15 feet (4.5 meters) takes on a spectral
quality in the billowing dust. Anything farther out
simply fades away."
"Soldiers cough and sneeze out dust and blow it out
of their noses. Their eyes wash clods of dirt from their
irises, leaving little mud balls hanging from their
eyelashes. And everything from their ears to their teeth
down to their feet is layered with it."
"'I can't even breathe,' says Pfc. Evan R. Brooks,
28, of Sonora, California. 'People who don't even have
asthma are using inhalers.'"
"'I didn't expect this at all,' says Pvt. Thomas
Lipscomb, 20, of Battle Creek, Michigan, who is an
assistant gunner on a 60mm mortar here and has only been
in the Army eight months."
"The (American) soldiers wear scarves or neck gaiters
over their mouths and noses and goggles over their eyes.
Still, sand invests everything."
"'It doesn't bother you that it's in your food,
because it's already in your mouth before you start
eating,' Lipscomb says."
"'I've never really been to the desert, but this has
been like a bad day at the beach.'"
"Late Tuesday afternoon the sky turned pink and then
a wave of thick, black sand swept through the area,
turning day into night."
In the capital, "the wind's howl buffeted Imad
Mohammed's window Tuesday, suffocating the peal of bombs
from Baghdad's outskirts."
"To Mohammed, the relentless sandstorm was
foreboding, a portent of divine will."
"'The storm is from God (Allah in Arabic--J.T.),' he
said, looking out from his trembling window. 'Until the
aggression started, never in my life did I see a storm
like this. We all believe in God; we all have faith in
God. And God is setting obstacles against the
"By evening, the sandstorm gave way to rain. Drops
of mud fell on the city, clearing the sky for the last
light of dusk. But the winds soon returned, with even
more force than before, driving the last cars off the road
and shaking (Iraqi) houses like a bombing."
"Imad Mohamed, who saw in the storm divine power,
marveled at its force."
"'The only time I saw a storm like this was in the
American movie Twister and in the words of the holy Quran
(also known as the Koran--J.T.),' he said."
The storms also played havoc with the Allied
parachute landing in northern Iraq.
"More than 1,000 soldiers parachuted into Iraq late
Wednesday," March 26, 2003, "accompanied by tanks and
Bradley fighting vehicles. It took hours to dig out the
behemoth weapons after they plummeted into vast mud fields
created by heavy rainstorms."
On Thursday, March 27, 2003, "paratroopers of the
U.S. Army's 173rd Airborne Brigade" siezed the Harir
airfield northeast of the city of Irbil. Iraqi troops,
"battered for days by U.S. cruise missiles," retreated
from hilltop positions near the town of Chamchamal.
(Editor's Note: This puts the 173rd Airborne Brigade
within striking distance of the as-Zab As-Saghir, or
Little Zab River valley, also known as "Saddam's Area 51"
because of the reputed presence of aliens at Zarzi and
Qalaat-e-Julundi. See UFO Roundup, volume 7, number 51
for December 17, 2002, "Saddam's Area 51?" page 2.
However, the brigade's main objective is reportedly the
city of Kirkuk.)
By Saturday, March 29, 2003, however, the
paratroopers "still struggled to establish a base camp in
the knee-deep muck of muddy fields," which had been
created by three days of non-stop rain.
"It was like a monsoon in Irbil province," Ayesha al-
Khatabi, UFO Roundup paratroopers "still struggled to
establish a base camp in the knee-deep muck of muddy
fields," which had been created by three days of non-stop
"'I trained in the swamps of Florida for two years
and I've never seen mud like this,' said Captain Eric
Blaus, 30, of Collingswood, New Jersey." Middle East
correspondent, reported, "After Saddam's troops pulled
out, the Kurds made jokes about climbing Mount Ararat and
patching the holes in Noah's Ark."
(See USA Today for March 26, 2003, "Behind the lines with
the 3/7 Cav: Ambushes, confusion but survival," page 1A;
and March 27, 2003, "Brutal sandstorms testing even the
toughest," page 5A; the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for
March 26, 2003, "No dearth of wind and fire" and "Sudden
darkness compounds G.I.s woes," page 4A; for March 28,
2003, "U.S. paratroopers sieze base, head for oil fields
in northern Iraq," page 6A; and for March 29, 2003,
"Baghdad ground attack could happen this weekend," page
7A. Many thanks to Steve Wilson Sr. and Ayesha al-Khatabi
for the storm reports.)
WEEPING MARY STATUE
"Hundreds of Venezuelan (Roman) Catholics are
flooding to a small chapel in Caracas," the national
capital, "where they say a Virgin Mary statue has been
weeping tears of blood as a powerful message against a
looming U.S.-led war with Iraq."
"Worshipers have lined up to catch a glimpse of the
small Santa Maria, Reina de la Rosa Misteriosa (Spanish
for St. Mary of the Mystic Rose--J.T.) statue at Belen
College in eastern Caracas. Tracks of red stains mark the
cheeks of the blue-eyed statue, which resides in an ornate
wood and glass case inside the school's chapel."
(Editor's Note: The lady's birth name is Miriam bat-
Joachim, and she was born in Nazareth around 15 B.C.)
"Workers at the school, which is run by nuns, said
the statue had bled from its eyes since Monday morning,"
March 17, 2003, "and again more heavily Wednesday," March
19, 2003, "in what they say was a message of peace."
President George W. Bush ordered the first Tomahawk
missile strikes against Baghdad at 7:12 p.m., Wednesday
evening, March 19, 2003.
"'They started oozing blood all at once. It was
really an amazing sight,' said Sister Maritza, who is a
member of the Servants of Jesus religious order. 'We
cannot guess at the plans of God, but obviously it is a
call to avoid a war.'"
Sister Maritza "said the statue had arrived in
Venezuela from Germany about three years ago and had been
carried in processions throughout the predominantly
Catholic South American nation." (See the Daily Telegraph
for March 24, 2003. Many thanks to Robert Fischer and
Mohammed Daud al-Hayyat for this report.)
(Editor's Comment: Okay, that's two portents just before
the outbreak of the current war. The other was the
bleeding portrait of Jesus Christ in India. For more, see
UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 11 for March 12, 2003,
"Weeping Jesus portrait causes stir in India," page 7.)
STRANGE TALES OF
GULF WAR 2
Some very unusual stories are coming out of Gulf War
2, the current conflict in Iraq. Here are a few of them:
(1) Veiled Reference to Zarzi? - On Tuesday, March
25, 2003, BBC World Service carried a speech by a
spokesman for the regime of embattled Iraqi dictator
Saddam Hussein. At one point, the Iraqi spokesman,
commenting upon the "shock and awe" bombing of Baghdad,
said, "Even the people of other planets...if they
exist...are against this war."
"Who are these 'people of other planets?'" asked
Ayesha al-Khatabi, one of UFO Roundup's Middle East
correspondents. "Some ufologists in our region believe
this is a reference to the aliens to whom Saddam gave
sanctuary a few years ago. They are alleged to be at the
underground base in Zarzi or at the old citadel of Qalaat-
e-Julundi," both located in the upper Little Zab valley
near the Kurdish zone.
(2) Message from Beyond - On Saturday, March 22,
2003, Christian seeress Annelore Sent reported, "Then the
Holy Spirit directed me toward the north of Iraq and began
deep, heavy intercession, calling for a Shield of
Protection. To where it found, apparently, the greatest
and real danger to our troops landing in the north of
Iraq, where Saddam has apparently set a trap for our
(Editor's Comment: Another possible reference to the
(3) Still Hunting for Osama - In his column News of
the Weird, Chuck Shepherd reported, "Top Pentagon and CIA
officials met with the author of The Bible Code, who said
Osama Bin Laden's whereabouts can be detected by
connecting letters from ancient Hebrew."
(4) Following in Grandma's Footsteps - A German
architect named Karl Esser gave an interview in Munich
last week, in which he claimed "that he helped a company
design a bunker under Saddam Hussein's palace in Baghdad
in the early 1980s that is likely to withstand even the
newest non-nuclear bombs."
Besser designed the mammoth bunker, which is located
100 meters (330 feet) beneath Saddam Hussein's palace in
Baghdad. He said the bunker "is able to withstand
simultaneous strikes by up to 16 American cruise
missiles." He also said he doubts any American bombs "can
breach the bunker, which extends more than 19,400 square
feet, has a ceiling up to 2 meters (6 feet, 6 inches)
thick and two exit tunnels."
"Esser said he planned most of the bunker, organizing
the delivery of equipment such as an air supply system,
power generators and heavy doors used to seal the shelter.
It was completed in 1984 and cost $60 million, he said."
Bunker-building apparently runs in the family. Sixty
years ago, in the 1940s, Esser's grandmother, also an
architect, worked for the Organisation Todt under Albert
Speer. She designed the Fuhrerbunker under the Chancellery
building in Berlin for Adolf Hitler. (See WorldNet Daily
for March 23, 2003, the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for
March 28, 2003, page 15, and the Minneapolis Star-Tribune
for March 31, 2003, "German engineer: Saddam's bunker hard
to crack," page A5.)
PHANTOM PANTHER IN
"Police have stepped up patrols around a Somerset
(UK) village after a woman spotted a 'panther-like
"The woman reported seeing the large cat in a field
at Puriton, near Bridgwater, Somerset, at about 9 a.m.
Sunday morning," March 16, 2003.
"She described the animal, which was black, as the
size of a Labrador" retreiver dog.
"Officers investigating the sighting are wanting to
examine a photograph of the creature taken by the woman."
"A spokesman said they were keeping an open mind
about the sighting."
"'Police are aware and are increasing patrols in the
area. If we get a lot more sightings in the same area, it
will be something we would actively investigate further.'"
"He asked anyone else who spotted a similar creature
to contact police." (See the BBC News broadcast for March
19, 2003. Merci beaucoup a Robert Fischer pour ces
ORANGE FIREBALL SIGHTED
BY HUNDREDS IN ITALY
"According to the prefecture of Isernia, nurmerous
observations made during the late evening of Saturday,
March 15, 2003 were received the the Isernia police's
provincial command switchboard in regards to an
unidentified flying object which had fallen in a wooded
area near the town of Venafro, setting off a fire which
was rapidly brought under control" by Italian
"No object was found in the area, and snowfalls over
the ensuing days imperiled further investigation.
Initially, the authorities were worried about a public
furor, denying that the fire had been caused by a
meteorite or a piece of space wreckage, and suggesting
instead that the incident had to do with a lightning
"As a rebuttal to such statements, witnesses have
meanwhile come forth with testimony in which they claim to
have distinctly observed a long fiery trail of an orange
color, passing overhead from a southerly direction and
then falling into the woods of Monte Corno (mountain)
where, immediately following the impact, the witnesses saw
flames break out." (See the Italian newspapers Il
Giornale del Molise and La Stampa for March 17 and 18,
2003. Grazie a Edoardo Russo, Renzo Cabassi, Roberto
Labanti e Gildo Persone di Centro Italiano di Studi
Ufologici (CISU) per questo rapporto.)
DAYLIGHT UFOs HOVER OVER
SANTIAGO DE CHILE
"Several unidentified flying objects were reported at
noontime on" Friday, March 21, 2003 "by dozens of people
in the barrio Providencia (neighborhood) of Santiago," the
capital of Chile.
"A group of lights hovered directly over the city,
just above the intersection of the Calle 11 de Septiembre
and the Calle Marchant Pereira (streets)."
"Various witnesses to the phenomena made it known to
Terra Chile. According to them, the sighting involved a
large circular object of intense brilliance which was
accompanied by other lesser (smaller) objects. Some
witnesses claim to have seen up to seven objects around
Chilean UFO researchers "received many phone calls
shortly after the event. Up to now, the authorities of
the General Office of Civil Aviation have not produced any
explanation for the event." (Muchas gracias a Scott
Corrales y Guillermo Gimenez de Planeta UFO para eso
UFOs SEEN AT MOUNTAIN
IN NORTHERN MEXICO
A UFO has been seen three times in recent week near
the summit of El Cerro del Pueblo, a mountain in Mexico's
northern state of Chihuahua.
Roland M. Tremblay reports that on Sunday, March 16,
2003, at 5 a.m., Gonzalez Ponce and other witnesses saw a
UFO hovering above the mountaintop. The mountain itself
is on the outskirts of Villa Lopez in Chihuahua state, not
far from the so-called "Zone of Silence."
"The last sighting happened very recently," Tremblay
reported, "March 16, and was witnessed by half of the
village (of Villa Lopez--J.T.). The UFOs appear to get
out from the top of the mountain through a wormhole or an
interdimensional window. The site is one of the most
important deposits of barite, a barium-bearing mineral.
The barium could be what gives them the necessary energy
to accomplish this, as if the barite deposit was utilized
as a giant superconductor to channel gravitational/
electromagnetic forces from the core of the Earth."
"More and more witnesses are coming forward, and now
there are reports of time travel to the year 1645 and some
sort of alien underground installation under the
mountain." (Email Form Report)
MYSTERIOUS LIGHTS SEEN
IN MADISON, WISCONSIN
"I was at a friend's apartment on the west side of
Madison, Wisconsin (population 208,054) on Sunday, March
23, 2003," eyewitness Joel N. reported, "I recently
purchased a pair of 16X70 binoculars for stargazing and
technical viewing. The sky was finally clear for a couple
of nights after days of clouds, and I wanted my friend to
check out Jupiter. We went out his patio door, and my
friend was attempting to look at Jupiter through my
binoculars. I was talking about how I could see Saturn
earlier in the evening when I suddenly saw six dim reddish
lights in a V-formation moving slowly from the south.
Three on one side and three on the other."
"I said to my friend, 'What the hell is that!?'"
"He started to say, 'That's an airpla...' when he
realized there was absolutely no sound; the lights were
not flashing; and it was too close and large to be an
airplane with no sound."
"I would guess that if I held my hand at arm's
length, it would be just smaller than my hand. I pulled
my binocs from him to take a closer look. I couldn't see
it in my binocs at all. I took the binocs away from my
eyes and said, 'Where the hell did it go?'"
"He pointed to it, but I couldn't see it any more,
and then he told me it had disappeared. He said it never
changed pace or direction."
At first Joel and his friend thought the V-formation
"was a flock of Canada geese reflecting red light from the
ground" but "after we talked about it, we agreed that the
speed and formation of the dim reddish lights were perfect
the whole time and, most likely, rectangular shaped."
(Many thanks to John and Jenny Hoppe of UFO Wisconsin for
MORE UFOs SPOTTED NEAR
TERRACE, BRITISH COLUMBIA
More UFOs have been sighted in Canada's western
province of British Columbia, notably around the town of
On Sunday, March 23, 2003, at 7:40 p.m., a UFO,
"grayish white in colour, round and extremely bright,
became immediately two times as bright before speeding by"
Terrace, B.C. "again and continuing towards the northwest.
The object moved from Kitimat, B.C. in the southwest to
the north. It also moved very quickly. Before heading
toward the city, it had slowed significantly over
Thornhill. There were two witnesses to the sighting."
On Tuesday, March 25, 2003, at 8:55 p.m., "the
witness had just stepped outside to have a cigarette and
said he noticed this 'thing' out of the corner of his eye.
The witness said the craft was seen just above the clouds
after it broke into a clearing in the night sky. He
described the object as being very large, black,
triangular in shape, with three points of light on each of
the object's corners."
"He also noticed that the object moved very fast and
was totally silent. He said the object was flying over
Highway 401 near Burnaby Mountain," just outside
Coquitlam, B.C. "The object was observed for three to
"'It freaked me right out!' the witness said."
Canadian ufologist Brian Vike checked with local
meterologists and learned that the cloud ceiling was
11,000 feet (3,300 meters) over Coquitlam that night.
(Many thanks to Brian Vike for these reports.)
JELU'S FATHER IS REALLY...
JOHN D. MacDONALD!?
Concerning the Jelu story in UFO Roundup, volume 6,
number 19 for May 10, 2001, Thomas R. Mazanec writes, "The
Jimenez affair in Ayacucho (Peru) in 1955 is strikingly
similar to the short story, 'Ring Around the Redhead' by
John MacDonald. It was published in Startling Stories
(for) November 1948 and anthologized in a number of
Science Fiction Adventures in Dimension
Adventures in Dimension
Other Worlds, Other Times
Isaac Asimov Presents the Great SF Stories #10
"It was also dramatized in Tales from the Darkside on
October 17, 1985 with Penelope Ann Miller as Keena the
(Editor's Note: Although he's best remembered for his
Travis McGee mystery novels, John Dann MacDonald (1915-
1986) also wrote science fiction for the pulp magazine
market during the late 1940s. Nice piece of literary
detective work, Tom!
It is possible that MacDonald's 1948 short story was the
initial source of the "Jelu in Ayacucho" tale I first
heard in Peru back in 1973. Especially if one of those
anthologies was translated into Spanish and published in
paperback before 1970.
Can any of our Spanish-speaking readers shed more light on
From the UFO Files...
1944: THE MAD GASSER...
Of all the strange entities that showed up in the
Twentieth Century, none were quite as weird as the Mad
Gasser of Mattoon.
This real-life "super-villain," dressed like a
character out of DC's All-Star Comics, prowled the streets
of Mattoon, Illinois (population 18,291), during August
and September 1944, "appearing at night at the bedroom
windows of houses, in most cases those of women.
Sometimes he sprayed a noxious gas inside. Some people
reported various ailments and a general malaise after the
But now, after nearly sixty years, one man thinks he
has the answer to the Mad Gasser's secret.
"Scott Maruna is ready to name names."
"For two years, he has researched leads, interviewed
witnesses and pored over every bit of information he could
dig up on the Mad Gasser of Mattoon."
"He has studied police reports, pondered newspaper
accounts and constructed criminal profiles."
"'I think I have almost been obsessed with the case
for the past two years,' Maruna said, 'I have probably
read everything ever written about the Mad Gasser of
"After countless hours of hard work and
investigation, Maruna said he has made some startling
discoveries, including secrets surrounding the case that
have been buried for the last sixty years."
"Maruna said he uncovered the true identity of the
Mad Gasser of Mattoon, and while the name of the gasser
may come as no surprise to some long-time Mattoon
residents, he believes most people will be shaken by what
he calls 'the other half of the story.'"
"According to Maruna's recently-released book The Mad
Gasser of Mattoon: Dispelling the Hysteria, the real Mad
Gasser was not an escaped Nazi, a crazed ape-man or a
figment of the imagination, as many other publications
have reported over the last several decades."
"Instead, Maruna's theory suggests that the gasser
was actually a well-known resident of Mattoon--someone
from an influential family who had a grudge against many
area residents and desired revenge against a town that
would not accept him."
"That person, according to Maruna's book, was Farley
Llewellyn, the son of a grocer who was considered 'a
pillar of the community.'"
"Although his father was highly respected, Farley
never 'fit in' to the Mattoon community."
"'When I spoke with people who knew him, the same
words would keep coming up over and over--odd, different,
recluse, loner,' Maruna said, 'Although he was highly
intelligent and excelled in school, no one ever really
"When Farley returned to Mattoon after attending the
University of llinois as a chemistry major, Maruna's
sources report that he became even more introverted and
"Spending most of the time in a full-scale cellar
chemistry laboratory on his father's property, Farley
began drinking heavily. Only days prior to the first Mad
Gasser attack, one neighbor recalls an explosion that
resulted from one of Farley's experiments in the secret
"Maruna said he has no doubt that the explosion
occurred while Farley was testing the gas he would later
use to terrorize local residents. 'I believe his true
intent was to blow up the town,' Maruna said."
"Maruna, a Jacksonville chemistry and physics teacher
who grew up in Charleston," Illinois (population 21,039)
"said the gas Farley used could have been nitromethane, a
sweet-smelling, clear and highly volatile liquid that can
cause nausea, burning of the mouth, swelling of the lips
and minimal eye irritation."
"Because nitromethane evaporates quickly, little or
no evidence would often be left by the time police arrived
at the scene of the attacks. Following almost all of the
attacks, victims describe the gas as smelling 'sweet' with
one person comparing it to the smell of cheap perfume."
"It was not long after the gasser attacks began
during the first week of September in 1944 that Farley
became a suspect. In fact, Maruna said many Mattoon
residents told him that they knew Farley was the true Mad
Gasser all along."
"Why, then, have police and others remained silent
for so long?"
"'It was partly out of respect for Farley's family,
primarily his father,' Maruna said. In fact, it was only
because all of the Llewellyn family are now dead that many
area residents are finally willing to speak out."
"In addition, Maruna said a 'twist' in the case cast
a shadow on police suspicions that Farley was the Mad
"Farley was placed under constant police surveillance
following the first several gassings. However, the
attacks continued to occur, baffling police and giving the
appearance that Farley was innocent."
"Maruna believes that, in an attempt to clear their
brother's name, Farley's two sisters, Florence and
Katherine Llewellyn, assumed the role of the Mad Gasser
for the final series of attacks."
"According to Maruna's book, the later gassings
became much more sloppy and were completely different from
the earlier attacks. While Farley had preyed on couples
and families during the earlier gassings, his sisters
targeted younger victims, often single women."
"The final victim of the gasser reported that her
sons chased the culprit down a local alley behind her
house and later found a set of footprints under the window
where the paralyzing gas had been sprayed--prints that
were made by a pair of women's high-heeled shoes."
"Although Farley was no longer considered a prime
suspect in the case, the Llewellyn family placed him in a
state mental institution following the final Mad Gasser
attack, where he lived out the remainder of his life."
"The Llewellyn sisters were never considered as
suspects and remained in Mattoon until their deaths."
"So there you have it, the truth is finally out, or
at least one version of it."
"'That is what I love so much about the Mad Gasser
case,' Maruna said, 'There are so many opposing viewpoints
and I think there is a little bit of truth to all of
them." (See the Des Moines Register for March 24, 2003.
Also the book Weird America by Jim Brandon, E.P. Dutton,
New York, N.Y., 1978, page 81.)
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!
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2003 by Masinaigan Productions, all
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