UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 8 Number 50
- View SourceI would like to take this opportunity to wish all readers
a Happy New Year and all the best for the coming year.
John Hayes (UFOINFO)
Posted on behalf of Joseph Trainor.
Volume 8, Number 50
December 31, 2003
Editor: Joseph Trainor
NO WORD FROM BRITISH
"The fate of Britain's first unmanned mission to Mars
was in doubt on Thursday," December 25, 2003, "as the
appointed hour for the Beagle 2 Martian lander to signal
from the planet's surface passed with a disappointing
silence from space."
"The tiny lander, a saucer only 25 inches (62
centimeters) across was due to open up like a pocket watch
on the Martian surface and issue nine notes to a passing
American Mars Odyssey spacecraft for relay back to Earth."
"Despite the initial radio silence, the science team
directing the Mars landing project in partnership with the
European Space Agency and its orbital Mars Express
mission" began "preparing for a second attempt to contact"
However, "two more attempts to confirm the survival
of the European Mars lander were unsuccessful on Friday,"
December 26, 2003.
"'There is no signal from Beagle 2 detected by Mars
Odyssey passing over this evening,' Peter Barrett,
spokesman for the U.S. government's physics and astronomy
research agency said. Four attempts at hearing a signal
"A powerful radio telescope at the Jodrell Bank
Observatory in Cheshire, England did not detect Beagle's
call sign on Friday, after an attempt late Thursday also
came up empty. NASA's Mars Odyssey, which has been in
orbit since 2001, picked up nothing Thursday and Friday."
"'I'm afraid it's a bit disappointing, but it's not
the end of the world,' Colin Pillinger, the chief
scientist who conceived the Beagle 2 mission. 'Please
don't go away from here believing that we've lost the
"The 100-pound Beagle 2 lander, about the size of an
open umbrella, was designed and built on a shoestring
budget by a team of Mars enthusiasts from Britain's major
universities, working without formal organization or
national financing. Their initiative and pluck have
captivated a large following."
"Britain's news media--mainstream and tabloid--have
covered the Mars mission as if it were a galactic soccer
(football in UK--J.T.) match."
"Scientists remained hopeful that the lander had
survived impact on the surface and would be available to
complete its mission--six months worth of digging and
sniffing Martian rocks and soil for signs of life and the
biochemical environment that could have supported it."
"The lander is equipped with a five-watt transmitter,
which is enough for broadcasting to the Mars Express"
orbiting overhead. The orbiter fired retro rockets early
Thursday and successfully entered Mars orbit, scientists
Beagle 2 separated from the Mars Express "early
Friday," December 19, 2003.
The "piggyback spacecraft" blasted off from Earth on
Monday, June 2, 2003. "Because the lander has no
propulsion system, Mars Express's trajectory had to be
adjusted to ensure that Beagle 2 would be on course to
enter the Martian atmosphere" with "a 12,500 mile-per-hour
Beagle 2 was supposed to land on the red sand deserts
of the Isidis Planitia (plain). The lander's "key test
involves looking for signs of methane and carbon dioxide--
considered key signifiers of life--released by samples
heated within the lander in the presence of oxygen."
(Editor's Note: Isidis Planitia is just north of the
Martian equator, at latitude 10 degrees North and
longitude 270 degrees West.)
"Mars has been notoriously tough on spacecraft. Of
34 unmanned American, Soviet and Russian missions to Mars
since 1960, two thirds have ended in failure."
"Only three probes have landed on Mars; the (two)
Viking missions in the 1970s and Pathfinder-Sojourner in
"Beagle 2 entered the Martian atmosphere at 2:47 a.m.
Greenwich time on Thursday, December 25, 2003, Christmas
Day. Mission scientists remained optimistic about the
European Space Agency's first search for signs of life on
Mars. They said they will continue seeking a signal into
January (2004)." (See the Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for
December 26, 2003, "Britain's Beagle 2 Mars probe fails to
emit expected signal," page 4A; the Minneapolis, Minn.
Star-Tribune for December 27, 2003, "Two more attempts
detect nothing from Mars lander," page A5 and USA Today
for December 22, 2003, "Beagle 2 separates from Mars
Express," page 5D; and for December 26, 2003, "Mars
landing may have failed," page 1A.)
(Editor's Comment: And so, another Mars mission ends in
disaster. What do you think, readers? Was Beagle 2 shot
down on entry by the Red Baron of Mars? Or was it
captured by the Tharks like Pathfinder and Sojourner?)
UFO SEEN NEAR MOREE,
NEW SOUTH WALES
On Wednesday, December 24, 2003, at 5:19 a.m., Yvette
Doumbos and her husband "were travelling along the Newell
Highway" 10 kilometers (6 miles) north of Moree, New South
Wales, Australia "when I saw some bright lights falling
from the sky," she reported, "My initial reaction was that
a plane was crashing to earth. My husband and I were both
yelling, 'What on earth is that!?'"
"Once the lights reached ground level, they slowly
rose up again (maybe 20 feet off the ground--Y.D.) They
seemed to hover in and out of trees, so we knew it wasn't
a plane. It seemed to descend up and down in the sky at
great speeds and then vanish and re-appear somewhere else
in the sky."
The UFO "had three round white lights and blue
flashing ones surrounding the white ones. I kept yelling
at my husband to stop the car as it was moving so quickly
that I wanted to get a better look. My husband refused to
stop, saying, 'No way...I don't want to be kidnapped by
"I noticed a few other cars had stopped alongside the
road to get a better look at the 'thing.' I would love to
know if you have any other reportings of this as I was
very skeptical of UFOs but know that what I saw this
morning was very, very weird."
Moree, N.S.W. is about 300 kilometers (180 miles)
north-northwest of Sydney. (Email Form Report)
COUPLE SEES A LUMINOUS
UFO IN NEW ZEALAND
On Thursday, December 25, 2003, at 12:45 a.m., Mrs.
I.W. and her husband "were outside on our patio, having
coffee," in Dunedin, a city in the Otago region of New
Zealand's South Island. She reported, "It was a clear
night and the stars were clear and bright also. I spotted
what I thought was a satellite at low orbit and told my
husband to look for it, and he saw it."
"As it glided closer, we saw it was even lower than a
satellite's usual height (altitude--J.T.) but higher than
aircraft fly. I then decided that what we were viewing
was the International Space Station. I had seen the ISS
before and it was lower than satellites."
"The colour of the object was very bright, white with
a slightly gold tinge and 'large,' at least as large as
Mars was at its brightest this summer (July 2003) and
definitely larger than satellites."
"We watched it coming on, and my husband reached
inside to turn the light off to eliminate any light source
from within the house. Then, while we were both looking
up at it above our large trees, and we were preparing to
walk up our pathway to watch it go over the Dunedin city
area, it almost stopped! Like 'stopped gliding' and was
almost stationary. Then, at a speed that was hard to
believe, it accelerated upwards, going very fast and
almost vertically upwards, visually from a large bright
object to a pin prick light at such a speed that we
watched it disappear between a star formation, and it was
"This was not the ISS we were viewing."
"What stunned us most was the speed it went upwards
at--totally unbelievable. I could not comprehend that any
object could move that fast, as did my husband. We were
both left speechless at what we had viewed. Stunned was
not the word to describe what we felt, and we both agreed
that had each of us seen it on our own, we would not
believe what we had witnessed. Have no idea what it was,
but we saw something that we both will never forget. I
also would like to add that neither of us had been
Dunedin is on the South Island's Pacific coastline,
about 300 kilometers (180 miles) southwest of
Christchurch. (Email Form Report)
(Editor's Note: Dunedin was also the site of an "airship"
or UFO flap during June and July of 1909.)
FOUR YELLOW UFOs ARE
SPOTTED NEAR PHOENIX
On Thursday, November 13, 2003, Rick Barker reported,
"I was traveling west on Bell, at the intersection of Bell
and Litchfield Road" in Phoenix, Arizona "at around 7 p.m.
I live in Surprise, Arizona (population 30,848), just
north of Luke Air Force Base and I usually watch the sky
for the occasional fighter jet flying a night-training
"At this time, I spotted two round yellow stationary
objects south of the base that appeared to be
approximately 3 to 5 miles (5 to 8 kilometers) distant.
They were similar in appearance to the freeway lights, so
I did not pay too much attention to them until I noticed
that they were much higher in the sky than the street
"By the time I arrived home, I noticed that they had
disappeared, and so I stood outside my house for a minute
or two to try to see if I could identify what they might
have been. At that moment, they reappeared. The unusual
thing about the objects was the fact that they did not
just 'turn on,' so to speak, but just seemed to expand
from the darkness one at a time."
"I immediately went into the house and grabbed my
binoculars and my wife to verify what I was seeing. My
wife observed the objects as well but did not believe that
they were something unusual until they slowly imploded on
themselves again in our full view. We waited another
minute or two, and they reappeared in the same manner. It
"By this time, I was able to see them through the
binoculars" and "they appeared to have a black line
through their center which was not totally horizontal but
tilted on a slight angle. The object also appeared to
have swirling masses of light of every color, each color
"At this time, I asked my wife to get our neighbor,
who is a local schoolteacher and who came out to observe
the strange phenomenon and verified it, as well. We
immediately jumped in my car and headed south in the
direction of the two objects on (Arizona) Highway 303."
"While (they were) watching, the objects disappeared
and reappeared several more times, and there seemed to be
a correlation between them and the commercial jet traffic
passing over them, which was moving east in the direction
of Sky Harbor Airport."
"We finally stopped and parked along McDowell Road,
south of the air force base, to watch the objects, which
we now noticed were south of Interstate (Highway) I-10,
which intersects Highway 303, traveling east and west to
California. Along the way, we noticed several vehicles
pulling off the highway, which we assumed were also
watching the objects. At this distance, they were so
obvious that we could not imagine anyone who couldn't
notice them if they were looking south!"
"The objects were quite large and bright yellow in
color. After watching for another 20 minutes or so, we
noticed two more identical objects appear west of the
first two, one above the other. Within five minutes of
the appearance of these objects, we witnessed the take-off
of eight F-16 fighter jets, heading south with
afterburners blasting, over our heads. It was absolutely
unbelievable. Four jets broke to the east of the objects,
and the other four to the west of them."
"All four objects immediately disappeared when the
jets approached to within a mile or two of them. You
could clearly see the jets turning and crossing paths with
each other by their flashing navigation lights. They
circled for a couple of minutes and then disappeared
somewhere south of the mountain range."
"When the jets left the area, the original two
"At this time, our neighbor began to get a little
nervous and said we should simply start heading home,
which we did. We continued to watch along the way and
kept them in view the entire trip back home. When we
arrived home at 9 p.m.," the trio "noticed that the
objects had vanished and did not return. We did note that
they were slowly drifting west towards the Palo Verde
nuclear plant. Of course, as seems to always happen in
these events, none of us had thought to bring a camera, so
we have no photographic proof of our sighting."
"I"ve been reading your (UFO Roundup) sighting
reports for several weeks now, hoping to confirm the
event, and I was shocked to find the recent report of the
sighting of a creature of some kind in a child's bedroom
at around the time of our sighting."
"I also noticed the recent reports of the mystery van
in the Phoenix area, so we're all wondering what's going
on around here." (Email Form Report)
(Editor's Note: For more on the Phoenix alien sighting,
see UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 47 for December 10,
2003, "Blue alien terrifies girl in Phoenix," page 5.)
ORANGE UFO SIGHTED
IN SOUTH FLORIDA
On Saturday, December 20, 2003, at 3 a.m., Matt P.
reported, "Driving west on U.S. 41 (the Tamiami Trail--
M.P.), I turned left onto Ortiz Boulevard in North Port,
Florida (population 22,797), about 25 miles (40
kilometers) south of Sarasota. I noticed what looked like
a bright orange flame in the sky, throwing sparks of fire
around. It had what appeared to be an exhaust trail that
was visible because it was high in the sky, and there was
a slight breeze. It originally looked like an airplane on
fire, and it was barely moving."
"I stopped on Ortiz Boulevard to try to catch a
better glimpse. At the exact moment I stopped, it became
very dull and broke into three different, smaller circular
lights. These three lights moved about, flying in no
particular formation, staying very close to one another
for about two minutes and then regrouped or reconstituted
to form the bright light I had seen at first. Just as
quickly as I had originally seen it, it became very bright
and seemed to burn out, leaving nothing but three lights
in the sky to gradually disappear."
The UFOs "were intense white to orange. At first, it
appeared to be triangular. But after the objects broke
up, the remnants were circular. They were approximately
the same height as a low-flying aircraft, like a Cessna.
Didn't appear to be moving at first, but after the object
broke up, the remnants moved at fairly high speeds around
each other in the same part of the sky." (Email Form
SMALL UFO SIGHTED NEAR
"'It went right alongside the highway all the way
from Highway 48" in Grantsburg, Wisconsin (population
1,360) "down to the Bible camp. Then it crossed over the
highway in front of us and lowered down toward the field
and hovered there about 50 to 100 feet (15 to 30 meters)
above the ground.'"
"Ted Wistrom is crystal clear about what he and
Heather Berrard saw as they were traveling south on
Highway 87 from Grantsburg at about 5 p.m. last Wednesday
(December 17, 2003). They vow the aircraft, no more than
20 feet (6 meters) wide or long, was moving down the west
side of the road at about 30 miles per hour (50 kilometers
"The craft was not nearly large enough to carry
people, says Wistrom, but he also says it was dark, so
exact size was hard to tell."
(Editor's Note: True enough! At this time of year--the
winter solstice--it's pitch dark in northern Wisconsin by
"Checks with officials in law enforcement and the
(Wisconsin) Department of Natural Resources (DNR)
uncovered nothing to explain what the couple saw."
"Wistrom says he knows they weren't the only ones to
see it. He says the car in front of them slowed down,
too, as did the others behind them. Wistrom said he had
planned to turn east on (County) Highway O, but continued
south on 87 to continue watching the aircraft."
"It made no sound."
"He says it wasn't very high in the air. He could
see what looked like propulsion units, sort of like tubes,
protruding out of the bottom of the craft that were
'tilted towards the ground, like that's what was holding
it up.' It made no sound, he says."
"There were four rectangular lights on what appeared
to be the back of the craft, he said. They spanned the
entire area, with the lights immediately adjacent to each
other, with each one being maybe two to two-and-a-half
feet high (0.6 to 0.8 meters high--J.T.)."
"While the craft was moving, the lights were all
orange. When it began to hover over a field near the
Bible camp, he said the center left light turned blue and
the center right one turned white. The white light began
to blink as it was hovering, he says, and then the craft
"Wistrom says they can't give an overall description
of the craft because they only saw the underside and
"Wistrom says friends had been telling him of seeing
strange air vehicles over the last couple of months and
claim to have seen military-type vehicles at Crex Meadows
before the snow came. He laughs off the remarks as 'just
kooky stuff,' he says."
"Now, he says, he thinks 'they're doing some kind of
testing around here.'"
"DNR employees at Crex Meadows say there haven't been
any unusual vehicles there."
"After the strange air vehicle disappeared, Wistrom
says he and Berrard headed east when a low-flying plane
flew by at low level. That plane, he said, had a blue-
and-white light underneath and red lights on the wingtips,
but nothing like the unusual larger rectangular lights on
the strange air vehicle."
Grantsburg is in northwestern Wisconsin about 70
miles (116 kilometers) south of Duluth, Minnesota. (See
the Burnett County Sentinel for December 23, 2003, "UFOs
testing in Burnett?" Many thanks to Jim Hickman for this
MYSTERIOUS POWER OUTAGE
DARKENS SAN FRANCISCO
A massive electrical power blackout "disrupted
traffic, shut down two (BART) transit stations and left a
third of" San Francisco, California "without electricity
on one of the busiest days of the (Christmas) holiday
"The blackout started just before 6 p.m. Saturday,"
December 20, 2003, "when a fire broke out at a major
Pacific Gas and Electric substation that feeds smaller
"About 120,000 customers lost power, including parts
of downtown and the Mission, North Beach, Chinatown,
Fillmore, Western Addition, Sunset and Richmond
neighborhoods, PG&E officials said."
"It was one of the biggest blackouts in the nation
(USA) since Hurricane Isabel in September left millions in
the dark along the Atlantic seaboard and the record
blackout" on August 14, 2003 "that cut power to 50 million
from New York City to the (USA's) Midwest."
On Sunday, December 21, 2003, "about 24,000 customers
remained without power in the downtown, Chinatown and
Haight-Ashbury districts...but power was expected to be
restored throughout the city by the evening, PG&E
spokesman Jonathan Franks said."
"PG&E employees were evacuated from the substation
while firefighters put out the blaze, Franks said."
"After the substation was reopened, PG&E engineers
restored power Saturday night to about half of the
affected customers. Those customers were plunged back
into darkness, however, when officials discovered the fire
had not been fully extinguished, and the substation had to
be shut down again."
"The cause of the fire and the power outage was still
being investigated, Franks said."
"'There's no indication that it was vandalism or
sabotage. As far as the exact cause, we just don't know
yet,' he said."
"The power outage forced early closures and
evacuations at theaters, restaurants and shopping centers.
Streetlights stopped working, causing traffic problems
throughout the city."
"The San Francisco Bay Area Rapid Transit (BART)
District closed two downtown stations, but trains
continued to run as usual, BART officials said."
"Emergency response officials said they did not
receive an increase in reported incidents related to the
blackout." (See USA Today for December 22, 2003, "Utility
works to restore San Francisco power," page 3A.)
CURREY RECRUITS MORE
TOURISTS FOR PELLUCIDAR
Steve Currey, the Utah-based tour organizer, has
opened a Web site, providing potential tourists with
information about his proposed trip through the Arctic
Ocean aboard a rented nuclear icebreaker. There Currey
hopes to find the entrance to an Inner World at the
(Editor's Note: You can check out the original story in
UFO Roundup, volume 8, number 48 for December 17, 2003,
"Mormons in Pellucidar!?," page 1.)
According to Currey's press release, the purpose of
the proposed 2005 expedition is "to conduct some
scientific observations in the Arctic that is hoped will
resolve once and for all whether the Hollow Earth theory
has any validity."
(Editor's Note: Between 1912 and 1944, Edgar Rice
Burroughs wrote eight science fiction novels about the
Inner World, which he called "Pellucidar.")
"The most plausible location for a north polar
opening that leads into the interior of the Earth is
located at 84 degrees North latitude and 141 degrees East
longitude," the Web site stated, "Don't miss this chance
to personally visit that paradise within our Earth via the
North Polar Opening and meet the highly advanced, friendly
people who live there. We are of the opinion that they
are the legendary Lost Tribes of Israel who migrated into
the North Country over 2,500 years ago and literally
became lost to the knowledge of mankind."
The proposed expedition is geared primarily toward
the beliefs of the Church of Jesus Christ of the Latter-
Day Saints, also called the Mormons. According to
Currey's Web site, "The Great High Priest over all the
land of Inner Earth is King David, and sits on the
legitimate throne of David, a direct descendant of David,
who was the founder of the ancient nation of Israel in
Palestine, from which the Ten Lost Tribes migrated to the
North Countries in about 687 B.C."
(Editor's Note: In Burroughs' novels, the hero is David
Innes, "the Pride of Willimantic, Connecticut," who, with
eccentric scientist Dr. Abner Perry, traveled to
Pellucidar in a subterrene called The Prospector back in
1912. Curiously, this David gave himself the title of
Emperor of Pellucidar.)
"The estimated round trip from the hollow earth North
Countries of Inner Earth via the Polar Opening is about 20
"Expedition members could take an Inner Earth
monorail train to visit the Lost Garden of Eden, located
under America on the highest mountain plateau of the Inner
Continent. It is also the capital city of Inner Earth,
according to Olaf Jansen."
Despite criticism from orthodox scientists and other
Mormons, Currey continues to plan for the expedition.
(See Fortean Times No. 179 for February 2004, "The
Hierophant," page 17.)
(Editor's Comment: If anybody wants to see what a
Princess of Pellucidar looks like, check out the tabloid
Star for December 30, 2003. There's a whole passel of
them on pages 12 and 13.)
From the UFO Files...
1903: STRANGE CREATURE
SEEN IN IOLA, KANSAS
Tonight is New Year's Eve, the time of Auld Lang
Syne, and, readers, we have a really auld Fortean gem for
you this week. A "golden nugget" we're sure you'll enjoy,
recently unearthed by that indefatigable Fortean
researcher T. Peter Park.
So, here it is--the actual newspaper article that appeared
one hundred years ago, on November 18, 1903, in the Iola,
Lanyon Smelter Saturday Night Twice
SCARED NIGHT MEN TO DEATH
The Thing appeared at Furnace No. 9, Works No. 1--
Had horns and its head floated in air--Man who saw
it collapsed in a heap and daylight was awaited
before night force went home.
"A ghost appeared last Saturday night (i.e. November
14, 1903--J.T.) in furnace No. 9 at Works No. 1 of the
Lanyon Zinc Company" in Iola, Kansas "and to this day
nobody knows the truth about it."
"The night force was working at the furnace when the
Thing appeared just about midnight. When first seen, it
was standing between (furnace) No. 9 and the adjoining
one. The men who saw it gave a yell and fled. The other
ones ran to the place to see what was going on, and all
took one look at the Thing and away they went. The first
man fell down and the others fell over him."
"Afterward they screwed up their courage and
returned, and it was gone."
"Little else was talked of for some time. The Thing
had horns and long hair, great big eyes and an inhuman
body although standing erect like a man. It was a spirit
or the Devil."
"Before the excitement had subsided, one of the men
went to a window on the west side of the furnace room and
opened the window. Merciful heavens! There it was! The
man sank in a heap. Another workman walked over and threw
a chisel at the Thing's head. It did not dodge, nor run,
but came forwards. When it disappeared again, it stayed
away. The night metal drawers and stuffers, although
through with their work at 3 o'clock (a.m.), remained
until daylight before going home."
"Among the men working that night were Chris.
Klemick, who was overcome (fainted--J.T.); Ed. Mundis,
John Rice and Len Hartley were also on the shift. The
boys have kept very quiet about the Thing, but they won't
deny that it scared the livers out of them, and they have
a constant fear that it may come back."
"Whether the apparition is the Evil Spirit or the
Gas, or some man masquerading for the fun of it, the men
neither know nor care. But they know the Thing--the
inhuman, awful Thing--stood there. Ghost or Devil or man,
they do not care to renew (its) acquaintance."
Iola, Kansas (population 6,302) is located at the
intersection of Highways 54 and 169 in Allen County, about
75 miles (125 kilometers) south-southeast of Topeka, the
So, what was the strange creature that appeared in
Iola, Kansas a century ago?
Was it a ghost, as the Iola Register claimed? Or Bigfoot,
as British authors Janet and Colin Bord speculated in
their 1989 book, Unsolved Mysteries of the Twentieth
Century? Was it an alien from outer space? Or a visitor
from another dimension?
A century later, the Iola mystery endures... (Many
thanks to T. Peter Park for the original Register article.
See also Unsolved Mysteries of the Twentieth Century by
Janet and Colin Bord, Contemporary Books, Chicago, Ill.
1989, page 366.)
And that wraps up Volume Eight of UFO Roundup. We'll
be back next week for the start of a new volume and
another year in hot pursuit of UFO, Fortean and paranormal
news from all over the planet Earth. To say nothing of
occasional moments of comedy. After all, 2004 is a
presidential election year here in the USA. So drop in
again and be sure to read "the paper that goes home-- UFO
Have a Happy New Year!
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2003 by Masinaigan Productions, all
rights reserved. Readers may post news items from UFO
Roundup on their Web sites or in news groups provided that
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the date of issue in which the item first appeared.
E-Mail Reports to: Joseph Trainor <Masinaigan@...>
or use the Sighting Report Form at:
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