UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 9 Number 9
- Posted on behalf of Joseph Trainor.
Volume 9, Number 9
March 3, 2004
Editor: Joseph Trainor
EL POMBERO CAUSES HAVOC
IN NORTHERN ARGENTINA
It started with the sighting of a South American
quadruped called the Aguara Guaz, which residents of Saenz
Pena, a city in northern Argentina, mistook for the
legendary El Lobizon (Werewolf--J.T.). Things went
downhill from there.
"A woman and her neighbors from barrio Santa Teresita
(neighborhood)" in Saenz Pena "reported that a strange
being 'short and black, like a dwarf' had appeared."
"It was believed to be the legendary El Pombero (Imp
or Goblin--S.C.), but the possibility that it could be a
product of black magic was not dismissed out of hand,
according to the protagonists of this case."
"The only person who managed to see the alleged
Pombero was Liliana Nieves, 26, who was allegedly
assaulted by the entity. She described it as a small man,
completely black, that 'followed her and wanted to drag
her away.' Until yesterday (Saturday, February 21, 2004)
the woman was confined to the mental ward of the Cuatro de
Junio Hospital" in Saenz Pena.
"The story gains credibility because over ten
eyewitnesses agree about the events that occurred on
Tuesday night (February 17, 2004), repeated on Thursday
(February 19, 2004) and were expected to reoccur on
Saturday night. And things are considered all the more
interesting because they occurred in a neighborhood
considered tranquil by its residents."
"According to various statements collected by El
Norte, the beginning of the story must be traced to
Tuesday when a shower of stones fell over the house
located at 31st Street and 0000 Street in Santa Teresita.
No one could see who was throwing them."
"'She,'" meaning Liliana, "'saw something ripping at
mandarin and tomato plants in the backyard. She said a
person ran out. This was on Tuesday. Her husband and
another man who was with her gave chase,' said Norma
Cordoba, Liliana's sister-in-law, who lives on the same
"'While the two of us were alone, a brick hit the
roof. She told me, 'Come here. There's another one.'
and a shadow shot out toward the back of the property. It
kept throwing stones at the roof until four in the
morning, when I had a breakdown. They took me to the
hospital because I broke down.'"
(Editor's Note: For more on stone-throwing poltergeists,
see The Complete Books of Charles Fort, Dover Publications
Inc., New York, N.Y., 1974, pages 27, 71, 100, 103, 119,
120, 244, 260, 391, 392, 393, 403, 409, 440, 446, 451 and
"Nothing happened on Wednesday evening (February 18,
2004). Just as the family started to think Tuesday's
ordeal was just a prank, the events repeated on Thursday
night (February 19, 2004), but with some serious
"'Liliana and her husband were sitting on the patio,
and I was in bed,'" Norma reported, "'Stones were hitting
the roof again, and when I went out, all of the neighbors
were up because they had heard the ruckus. Stones kept
falling on my house and the neighbors' houses. All of the
lights were on. All of the people were in the backyard,
and the stones kept falling.'"
"The neighbors' houses are joined by a common patio
filled with trees whose branches reach the ground. The
alleged attack took place in back of the dwellings, and
residents claim the shower of stones came from the same
area, but no assailant could be seen."
"'She (Liliana) went back to see who was throwing the
stones. And she wouldn't come back. And we called out to
her until another man found her sprawled on the ground,
with a blow to her face, part of her eye and her mouth.'"
"'She says it was a man this tall,' the woman
indicated the height of her waistline, 'who covered her
mouth, dragged her to the bushes and beat her. He let her
go when he heard neighbors calling her name, when they
searched for her,'" said Sra. Cordoba.
"'Later, when they brought her in, she fell to the
floor. She asked her brother and her neighbors to remove
whatever was grabbing on to her feet. They would stand
her up and she would fall down as if her feet were being
pulled out from under her. No one could see anything, and
they rained machete blows around her. She was desperate,
saying that someone was there.'"
"The woman remained in this frenzied state until the
police arrived to take her to the hospital where she
remains in the psychiatric ward."
"'She said that it came back every so often, saying
it wanted to take her away,' according to Mario Obregon,
the young woman's brother. 'I would stand in front of her
and try to defend her as best I could, but I couldn't see
it. Then a neighbor came with a (Roman Catholic) crucifix
to pray, and the thing came back even more. Liliana said
it would grab her ever more fiercely.'"
"From midnight on Saturday (February 21, 2004) to two
in the morning on Sunday (February 22, 2004), residents of
31st and 0000 Streets in barrio Santa Teresita were on the
lookout, fearful that the strange events that may have
taken place last week would occur again. These attacks
were attributed to the work of El Pombero and black
"As these events occurred on Tuesday and Thursday,
the fear was that they would repeat themselves on
Saturday, following the logic of one 'off night' between
events. But this was not the case, and locals contacted
by El Norte yesterday pointed out that this was due to the
visit of a deacon who prayed with them in their houses."
"'i've come to give you some relief, not to increase
your fear. And your knowledge of God must be increased,
and of the value of the family itself,' said Deacon
Dionisio Castagna of the (Roman Catholic) San Jose
parish." Castagna learned of the situation through the
neighbors. "They asked me to bless their house, and I
thought it would be a good thing. What's important is not
that I should go pour water at their house but to give
them a chance to speak with God,' said the clergyman in a
marked Italian accent."
Mario Obregon said, "'I never saw anything like this.
Nor did anything remotely similar ever happen to me. The
boy who lives right next door says it could be El Pombero,
so I can't say because I don't know. We simply saw
something we cannot describe, but it was supernatural.'"
"El Pombero or Pomberito, as he is affectionately
known, is the most popular of the (Rio) Corrientes goblins
throughout the ranch country of this river basin. He also
appears in commentaries, songs, sayings and tales."
"He is short and squat, always covered by his large
straw hat. He is as lascivious as the Cupero (another
Argentinian goblin--J.T.), has hairy feet and walks
noiselessly--for this reason he is dubbed Pirague, a name
that has been used to describe independent or left-wing
"It is said that El Pombero can be a faithful friend
whom one can trust blindly in time of need. An inveterate
smoker, he likes to chew tobacco, and cigarettes and
tobacco products must be left for him at night, by a
window or on a barbed-wire (fence) post. For this he is
also known as Mascadita (Spanish for Chewy--S.C.) Black
tobacco is his favorite." ("But I'll gladly accept
"El Pombero is a Protean imp. He can turn into a
bird, or a floating log, anything. He has the gift of
turning invisible and penetrates ranch houses through any
hole. He sings like a small chicken when amusing himself
but can imitate all birds perfectly. Out of fear of
causing a manifestation, some only say his name in a low
voice, but he also had Adepts who claim to have dealings
with him and other strange creatures, as well."
"He sleeps in backfills and abandoned ovens. He
hangs around the girls he wants to seduce, which is why
whenever there is a suspicious birth in town and the
father is unknown, people say, 'Surely it was El
"In regard to El Pombero's preference for women, it
is said in Corrientes (province) that he falls in love
with pregnant women who are carrying girl children. Women
say they know for sure they're going to give birth to a
girl, because they feel for the first few months that El
Pombero is escorting them when they walk at night, or when
they are asleep."
"Among the Araucan natives (indigenous people of
Chile--J.T.) there is also a 'Pombero' known as Peuken who
pursues women. He is also a short, lascivious dwarf from
the forested regions of (southern) Chile."
"'We don't know what was going on there. All of us
saw something grab her and hold onto her, dragging her
along the ground. Some said it was El Pombero, because
Lili said later than an old black creature had siezed her
ankles and wanted to kill her,' said Felipe Goitea, one of
the witnesses to the strange event."
"Local residents stated that they were upset because
orderlies from the Cuatro de Junio Hospital did not
believe Lili when she told them what had happened. When
she described the black imp, medical personnel said it
'was an invention to conceal an episode of family
"The woman who claimed having been assaulted by the
legendary entity known as El Pombero was a patient in the
Cuatro de Junio Hospital's Psychiatric Ward (Room 8--G.C.)
from the early morning hours on Friday until Monday
morning (February 23, 2004). During this time period,
physicians were unable to complete their evaluation of her
mental condition, but they believed that she suffered a
hallucination common to a hysteric attack."
"However, there are doubts about who inflicted the
blows to her face, leading experts to believe that it
could all be a case of domestic violence, and that
presumably the doctors may ask law enforcement to
investigate the case has not been ruled out. (See the
Argentinian newspapers El Norte for February 22, 2004,
"Woman nearly battered to death by 'Imp;' El Norte for
February 23, 2004, "Saenz Pena still in uproar over
strange phenomena assaulting woman;" El Norte for February
25, 2004, "Woman attacked by El Pombero is in the Saenz
Pena mental ward," and Diario Primera for February 23,
2004, "Neighbors blame El Pombero." Muchas gracias a
Scott Corrales y Gloria Coluchi para estos articulos de
(Editor's Comment: Domestic violence, eh? Well, that
explains everything...except for the showers of stones on
two separate nights, witnessed by over 10 people.)
UFO LANDS IN PAKISTAN;
THREE ALIENS SIGHTED
Pakistan ordered a Red Alert in the Punjab, along its
border with India, after a UFO was sighted by a constable
of India's Border Security Force (BSF).
The UFO landed the same night that troops of
Pakistan's Rapid Reaction Force were hunting for Osama Bin
Laden in the hills around Wawa, a town in the South
Waziristan Tribal Agency, located about 304 kilometers
(190 miles) west of Islamabad, the national capital.
"The mystery surrounding an unidentified flying
object, which was spotted close to the international
border with Pakistan by a police post sentry and a few
villagers of Chann Kalan, continued on the third day."
"Though Border Security Force authorities have
registered a protest with Pakistani Rangers on Saturday,"
February 28, 2004, "asking them to return any object or
glider if the same had landed on their territory, along
with any accompanying human beings, but there are so
senior officials of BSF who discount the possibility of
any human beings coming across the border--on the basis of
the reports of the size of the flying object collected by
"On the evening of (Thursday) February 26 (2004), a
sentry of Fatehpur Chowki had spotted an eagle-like flying
object that originated from India and landed about 500
meters inside Pakistan's territory."
"A high alert was sounded along the Indo-Pak border
in Punjab in the wake of the landing of an 'unidentified
flying object' in Pakistan's territory, BSF Senior
Commandant Darbarah Singh said in Amritsar (India) on
Sunday," February 29, 2004.
"The incident occurred on Thursday evening (February
26, 2004) when a flying object which took off from the
Indian side landed in Pakistan's territory directly 300
yards (270 meters) away from the zero line (border--
"The area was identified on the Indian side as BSF
Post Fatehpur, falling in the village of Chann Kalan, he
"Singh said, 'As per the eyewitness account of BSF
Constable Jagdish Parishad, who on Thursday evening was
keeping vigil on the International Border, had seen a
flying object like a hot balloon carrying three persons,
who disembarked after landing in Pakistan's territory."
"Singh said, 'Now it has become difficult to
ascertain the reality that the flying object landed in
Pakistan's territory after crossing Indian territory, as
the BSF constable is not educated enough to identify the
"'Since the constable has never seen a para-glider,
fan glider and even a hot-air balloon during his service
tenure, it is difficult to ascertain the authenticity of
this matter,' he said."
Just prior to the UFO sighting, "Pakistani troops
backed by helicopter gunships and artillery detained 20
people Tuesday (February 24, 2004) in raids against
suspected Al-Qaeda hideouts in a tribal region bordering
The same day, "two Arab television stations aired
messages attributed to Osama Bin Laden's top deputy," Dr.
"On one tape, broadcast on Al-Jazeera, a voice
attributed to Dr. Zawahiri taunts President (George W.)
Bush with references to his State of the Union speech in
which Bush said two-thirds of Al-Qaeda had been
"Rejecting that, the voice on the tape says 'Al-Qaeda
is still in the holy war battleground (Pakistan and
Afghanistan--J.T.)' and is preparing to carry out fresh
attacks in the United States."
On Wednesday, February 25, 2004, "American F-15
fighter jets and Indian jets fought a mock battle" over
Gwalior, a city in central India, "as the first-ever joint
aerial exercise between the two nations, who were on
opposite sides during the Cold War."
"The ten-day war games, codenamed Operation Cope
India 2004, signalled a new era of military cooperation
between India and the United States. The Indian Air
Force, the world's fifth largest, said it was a close
match for the U.S. Air Force."
"The USAF is very advanced but at a tactical level we
are a rough match. In air-to-air and in beyond-visual-
range combat, however, the Americans have lots of
experience, and we are learning from them,' said Air
Marshal Ajit Bhavani in Gwalior."
"The ten-day exercise is being held at IAF
Maharajpur, an air base 7 kilometers (4 miles) from
Gwalior. U.S.-designed twin-engined F-15C Eagles clashed
with Russian-built Sukhoi Su-30s, MiG-21s and French-
designed Mirage 2000s jets of the Indian Air Force (IAF)."
(Editor's Comment: Most troubling is the fact that these
maneuvers received zero news coverage in the USA's news
media. Perhaps the UFO that landed in Chann Kalan was
spying on Operation Cope India 2004.)
Also the same week, USA Defense Secretary Donald
Rumsfeld visited bases in Uzbekistan and Afghanistan,
fueling speculation that an Allied invasion of the South
Waziristan Tribal Agency is imminent. Osama Bin Laden has
many supporters among the Waziris and Ghazis in those
hills, who revere him as a prophet and refer to him as al-
In Afghanistan, Rumsfeld "visited troops in the
southern city of Kandahar and went to the presidential
palace in the Afghan capital, Kabul, to meet with
President Hamid Karzai, U.S. Ambassador Zalmay Khalizad,
and the top American commander in Afghanistan, Lt. Gen.
In an appearance before the Senate Intelligence
Committee in Washington on Tuesday, February 24, 2004, CIA
director George Tenet discussed the growth of Al-Qaeda in
"As for Bin Laden, Tenet suggested the terrorist
leader might be out of action, at least temporarily."
"'Bin Laden has gone deep underground,' he said,
without elaborating." (See the Times of India for
February 25, 2004 and for February 28, 2004, "UFO mystery
continues on Indo-Pak border;" the Hindustan Times for
February 29, 2004; The Scotsman for February 26, 2004; and
the Chicago Tribune for February 25, 2004, "Next wave of
terrorists taking shape" and "Pakistani raids net 20 near
border," section 1, page 5. Many thanks to Jim Hickman,
Krishnari Bai Dharapurnanda, Karim Afzal Khan and Ayesha
al-Khatabi for these news stories.)
(Editor's Comment: Deep underground, eh? Tell us, Mr.
Tenet, is that "deep underground" as in Shambhala? I have
a sneaky feeling Osama and his son-in-law, Mohammed Mullah
Omar, scuttled down the ancient Uighur tunnel to Shambhala
again, leaving Dr. Zawahiri to hold the fort in South
LUMINOUS UFO SIGHTED
NEAR DENIZLI, TURKEY
On Thursday, February 26, 2004, at 7 p.m., Jack C.
was outdoors in Kinikli, a suburb of Denizli, a city in
southeastern Turkey, when he looked up at the night sky
and saw a UFO approaching from the north.
"Its size was about half that of the moon," Jack
reported, "And from my position it was a good two
kilometers (1.2 miles) away. The object followed me for
about five minutes and suddenly moved forward to the top
of the (Boz Daglari) mountains. It was moon-shaped and a
bright bulb-colored light. Its speed was high as it took
only a second to move 30 kilometers (18 miles) westward."
Denizli is about 400 kilometers (250 miles) southeast
of Ankara, the capital of Turkey. (Email Form Report)
EIGHT UFOs SIGHTED OVER
On Saturday, February 21, 2004, at 11:30 p.m., Ed
Davis and a few friends were outside in Charleston, South
Carolina (population 96,650) when they suddenly saw a
strange luminous glow approaching from the east, over
Mount Pleasant, S.C. (population 47,609).
"I saw what looked like a small compact constellation
of lights--maybe 8 to 10 of them--moving in unison from
east to west," Ed reported, "They were synchronized, some
of them left the formation and later dropped back into the
formation at the back. They came across the sky from east
to west with eight lights in total. Then the first two
peeled off to the side briefly and then fell back into the
formation. No change in color, other than the entire area
in the compact formation seemed to have a unified
glow/aura to it but lighter."
"We were in Charleston, and it was a very clear night
and aircraft were visible from time to time. There is a
large military base just west of Charleston." (Many
thanks to ufologist Brian Vike for this news story.)
UFO PHOTOGRAPHED IN
NYACK, NEW YORK
On Saturday, February 21, 2004, at 3 p.m., John C.
walked down to the west bank of the Hudson River in Nyack,
New York (population 6,737) and decided to try out his new
"I took several pictures of the Tappan Zee Bridge
(over the Hudson River--J.T.) There was traffic on the
bridge, and the sky was empty. When I got home, I was
downloading photos, and a UFO appeared in one photo
unexpectedly. It was a charcoal-black, V-shaped UFO. Its
height and speed are unknown."
Nyack, N.Y. is located about 25 miles (40 kilometers)
north of New York City. (Email Form Report)
"HIGH-HEELED JACK" SEEN
IN BERKSHIRE TOWNS
A century ago, rural England was haunted by a strange
entity nicknamed "Spring-heeled Jack." Nowadays, Jack
seems to have turned in his spring-heeled boots for a pair
of Manolo Blahnik shoes.
"A mystery man who dresses in women's underwear and
pretends to be handcuffed to lampposts is being hunted by
police" in Berkshire, UK.
"The man, who is about 6 feet, 4 inches (1.8 meters)
tall and has been nicknamed 'Bunny Girl' by residents,
wears high-heeled shoes, fishnet tights, a thong, a basque
and a Lily Savage-style wig."
"He has appeared in front of ten women in Forest Park
(Berkshire) in the past six months and has pretended to be
tied to a tree or lamppost. Police believe others may
also have seen him but may have thought it was just a
"Sgt. Mick Gee, temporary community beat sergeant for
Blacknell police, said officers had seen the bunny girl
"Sgt. Gee said: 'He must be quite fit because even
wearing high heels he managed to outrun a police officer.
It might seem funny to start with, but as it's gone on
it's getting more worrying and more frightening to
"Police and residents are baffled as to the man's
"Forest Park beat bobby PC Martin Bell said: 'He
hides in bushes and trees for 'suitable victims' which
generally speaking are lone females. He doesn't generally
say anything; he certainly never says anything lewd or
suggestive. The only thing he has said is, 'Could you
untie me, please?'"
"'On one occasion, he had a gag in his mouth.'"
"One resident at Thursday night's (February 19, 2004)
Winkfield police liaison meeting said she had seen the
man. She said: 'It's just very eerie, very peculiar.'"
"PC Bell warned people: 'Do not respond to any of his
"He said: 'Don't worry or panic because he hasn't
approached anybody or said anything suggestive, but people
should be cautious.'"
"He advised women not to go near the man, to walk
past, and then if they have a mobile phone (cell phone in
the USA--J.T.), to dial 999. Police are also asking
people to make note of the exact location, street names
and nearby landmarks."
"The bunny girl was last seen in Savernake Park on
Thursday, February 5 (2004), but he has also been seen on
spoke paths heading from Wyresdale." (See This Is
Berkshire for February 26, 2004, "'Bunny Girl' appearance
leaves officers mystified." Many thanks to Loren Coleman
for this news story.)
(Editor's Comment: I once saw Monty Python do a very
funny song about a lumberjack. But I never, ever expected
to see it come to life.)
TWO MUMMIES FOUND
IN SOUTHERN PERU
"Construction workers dug up two well-preserved
mummies from the pre-Columbian era in a small town on
Peru's Pacific coast."
"The mummies were found in the town of Cocachacra,"
128 kilometers (80 miles) south of Arequipa, Peru's
second-largest city. "Archaeologists want to perform an
emergency excavation at the site."
"'The mummies were very well preserved, although they
were damaged because the excavation was not conducted by
trained archaeologists,' said Marco Lopez, an
archaeologist" with Peru's National Institute of Culture.
'We want to rescue the remaining mummies.'"
"The workers were laying pipes when they discovered
the remains of a 4-year-old boy and a 35-year-old man two
weeks ago. One of the man's eyes was still intact."
"Based on textiles and ceramics buried with them, the
mummies date back to the Chiribaya culture, which
flourished in southern Peru between 1100 and 1300 A.D.,
Lopez said." (See the Peruvian newspaper El Comercio for
February 25, 2004. Muchas gracias a Monica Gaetano de
Silva para esto articulo de diario.)
HITS NORTHERN MOROCCO
"A powerful earthquake devastated an isolated,
picturesque region of northern Morocco on Tuesday,"
February 24, 2004, "killing more than 550 people as they
slept, injuring hundreds more and laying waste to villages
that suffered for decades under government neglect."
"Rescuers with pickaxes and sniffer dogs searched for
survivors trapped under the rubble of their fragile mud-
and-stone homes. The houses crumbled into dust during the
sudden surprise temblor, which measured 6.5 on the Richter
"Victims were most likely women, children and the
elderly because men in the region tend to emigrate to the
Netherlands and Germany in search of work, said Mohammed
Ziane, a former human rights minister" of Morocco.
"The quake, which rattled apartment buildings as far
away as Andalucia (southern Spain--J.T.) destroyed several
rural villages in the isolated region near the city of
Al-Hoceima. The region is situated between the Rif
Mountains and the Mediterranean Sea, and its long white
sandy beaches are especially popular with tourists from
Europe." (Merci beaucoup a OVNI Maroc pour ces
TWO FOSSIL DINOSAURS
FOUND IN ANTARCTICA
"Scientists working in Antarctica have found fossils
of what appear to be two new species of dinosaurs--a 6-
foot (1.8-meter) meat-eater and one of the earliest plant
eaters ever found."
"The discoveries add to the small but growing list of
dinosaurs unearthed in Antarctica since 1986. Scientists
said the animals adapted and thrived in a climate more
akin to the (USA's) Pacific Northwest than to Antarctica
"'It was more lush,' said biologist Judd Case of
Saint Mary's College of California, co-leader of one of
the teams that reported their findings Thursday," February
26, 2004, "in Washington."
"Two teams funded by the National Science Foundation
made their discoveries within days of each other in
December (2003), during the brief Antarctic summer."
"The dinosaurs were separated by 2,000 miles (3,200
kilometers) and about 190 million years. The primitive
plant-eater grazed about 190 million years ago, early in
the Jurassic Period. The carnivore hunted at the end of
the Cretaceous Period 70 million years ago."
"Geologist Jim Martin of the South Dakota School of
Mines & Technology" in Rapid City, S.D. "said he and Case
and their team sailed last fall toward the Antarctic
Peninsula, which stretches toward" South America.
"Near a place called Dagger Peak, they found an upper
jaw with curved, bladed teeth, and foot bones adapted for
running added up to a therapod, a meat-eater perhaps 6
feet (1.8 meters) tall that weighed 300 pounds. Case said
it was close to the size of the velociraptors portrayed in
the movie Jurassic Park."
"To the south, 2,000 miles away and 13,000 feet
(3,900 meters) feet up the side of Mount Kirkpatrick in
the Trans-Antarctic Mountains, a mountaineer with the team
found a fossilized pelvic bone about 3 feet (0.9 meters)
wide. The team concluded that it belonged to a primitive
sauropod--a long-necked plant-eater--that lived 190
million years ago." (See the Baltimore Sun for February
27, 2004, "Antarctic digs uncover new dinosaur species.")
MYSTERY VAN IS A FAKE!
Concerning the mysterious silver-grey van seen and
photographed in Arizona, Alik S. of Canada writes, "The
Raytheon antenna is just a boat radar, and a small one at
that; the grey dish is a satellite-TV antenna, if it was
anything else the receiver at focal point would not be a
common TV downconverter. There is what looks like a TV
camera with floodlights. The warning signs are from
"There is not even a hint of exotic electronics
visible on this thing. This is simply some guys driving
around playing with gadgets that are readily available
from any boating store."
From the UFO Files...
732: THE SWORD OF DESTINY
When Alaric, the Visigoth king of the Vandals, was
laid to rest in 410 A.D., people thought they had seen the
last of the strange steel broadsword called "the Sword of
Destiny." (See UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 8 for
February 25, 2004, "400: Alaric and the Sword of Destiny,"
But they were wrong.
Events outside of Europe gradually brought about the
Sword's return. In particular, the arrival of Islam in
Spain, where the caliphs had conquered the Visigoth
kingdoms in 711 A.D.
For twenty years, there was an uneasy coexistence
between Islamic Spain and Christian Gaul (now France--
J.T.) just north of the Pyrenees. Then, in the year 730,
a new imam, Abdur Rahman, came to the fore in Morocco and
resolved to carry the Islamic banner into northern Europe.
Once a diocese (province) of Rome, Gaul in 730 was
divided into a number of small warring kingdoms--Neustria,
Austrasia, Aquitaine and Burgundy. The ruling Merovingian
kings were weak, but the mayor of their palace was a
remarkable warrior named Carolus, better known as Charles
Martel or "Charles the Hammer."
Carolus was born in 688, the son of Pippin, also
mayor of the palace, and his wife, Chalpaida. When Pippin
died in 714, his second wife, Piectrude, siezed power and
had Carolus thrown into prison. He escaped and, after
many adventures, defeated the Neustrians in the battles of
Ambleve in 716 and Vincy in 717 and toppled his step-
At the beginning of 731, Clotaire IV of the
Merovingians was the king, but Carolus was the true ruler
of Gaul. He was constantly being challenged by rival
warlords like Ragenfrid of Neustria and Eudes of
Aquitaine. And it fell to Carolus to defend the land when
Abdur Rahman's Muslim army marched out of Narbonensis,
In October 732, exactly 100 years after the death of
the Prophet Mohammed (peace be upon him--J.T.), Abdur
Rahman advanced on Tours. By capturing this "holy city"
of Christian Gaul, Rahman figured to demoralize "the
infidels" and set up Paris for the final blow.
But Carolus and his army got to Tours first. It was
an extremely ancient city, known to the Celts as Altionos
and later renamed Caesarodunum after its capture by Julius
Caesar in the First Century B.C. The Romans had moved the
city from the hill where it had originally stood and
rebuilt it on the left bank of the river. The city's
showpiece was a colossal Roman amphitheatre, 443 feet (130
meters) long. Christianity had been introduced in 250
A.D. by the missionary Gatien, a friend of St. Martin.
One morning, Carolus decided to do some
reconnaissance. So he put on his chainmail armor and rode
to the top of the hill with his eldest son, Carloman, and
Hunald, the warrior-prince of Aquitaine. Leaving their
horses tethered in the ancient plaza, the trio climbed to
the top of the decaying Celtic citadel. Shading his eyes
against the sun, Carolus spotted a dust cloud on the
"Ha! There's the Mahometan dog," Carolus said,
turning to the twentyish Hunald. "A bit east of where
your father predicted they'd march, but right on schedule,
"Then Tours is their target," Hunald said, his
"Aye! So it seems. The spawn of Mahomet mean to
sack and burn this city, blessed as it was by St. Gatien,"
Carolus said, leading the younger men back down the
crumbling stone steps. "We'd best return to camp."
Just then, the teenaged Carloman cried, "Papa!"
Whipping out his sword, Carolus replied, "What is it,
"In there!" Carloman pointed at a crumbling stone
hut. "I saw something moving in the shadows."
"What?" the mustachioed warlord demanded.
"I-I don't know. Small lights...glowing...moving
about in the darkness...there!"
What looked like a straight line of fireflies
flickered in the gloom.
Hunald drew his own sword, muttering, "They say
Altionos was the abode of Druids. Mayhap 'tis some of
their black sorcery."
"Druid, demon or man, I'll teach it to respect good
Frankish steel!" Carolus barked, and glanced impatiently
at his son. "Is that sword on your hip for show?
Out with it, lad. Both of you...follow me."
Leading the way into the ruined house, Carolus swept
away cobwebs with his gauntleted hand. The twinkling
lights seemed to tease him, leading him further on into
the impenetrable dark. Sword at the ready, he ducked
beneath fallen crossbeams, nicked his greaves on toppled
furniture and debris, until at last the five lights
gleamed like diamonds before him, faintly illuminating a
Suddenly, the lights winked out.
"Damn! I hope one of you brought a taper," Carolus
fumed. "Otherwise, we'll never find our way out of this
Carloman saved the day. "Fear not, Papa. I have my
flint and steel. And a few twigs ready to burn."
Within minutes, Carloman had a small fire blazing.
With a strip of cloth, he fashioned a crude torch. His
father took it and examined the spot where they had last
seen the lights. He grunted in surprise. It was a stone
"Hmmmm...Visigoth," Carolus mused aloud, "What is it
doing in Altionos?"
"Look at those runes on the lid," Hunald said, both
fear and excitement in his voice. "What did I tell you?
"Give me a hand with this," ordered Carolus.
Working together, the three Gallic warriors wrestled
the heavy stone lid off the sarcophagus. It struck the
floor with a crash. Peering over the rim, Carolus swore
out loud. There was no body in the sarcophagus. Just a
gleaming broadsword with five twinkling illuminated
crosses in a straight line along the pommel. Five lights
identical to the ones Carolus had seen in the gloom.
The warlord picked up the broadsword and hefted it
carefully. Then, with a deft twist of the wrist, he
cleaved through the veil of cobwebs with a back-and-forth
motion. The gleaming blade seemed to hum as it sliced.
"God's teeth!" Carolus swore, "Here's a mystery. A
sword fit for a king. Lying by itself in the sarcophagus,
and no sign of the owner."
"And not a speck of rust on it," added Hunald
"Let's get back to camp," the warlord said, wrapping
the sword in his dark cloak. "I would talk with old
Rigobert about this." And to his son, "The torch is
yours, boy. Lead us out of here."
Back at the Frankish camp, Carolus summoned old
Rigobert, the Christian bishop of Rheims. The white-
haired bishop, with mitre and staff, hurried to the
pavilion. He examined the sword carefully, then listened
to their tale of the catafalque in the ruins.
"Aye, Altionos was Visigoth once," the bishop said,
stroking his hedgerow beard. "In the long ago, St.
Martin, may his memory be blessed, lived here when the
city of Rome fell. 'Tis said the conqueror Alaric sent
gifts of tribute to the most holy bishop. Mayhap this
sword was one of them."
"Alaric!" exclaimed Hunald, "Why, that was three
hundred years ago."
"Then this is the legendary sword of Alaric," said
Carolus, gripping the pommel with both hands. "The one he
used to cut his way through the Salarian Gate."
(Editor's Note: Alaric and his Vandals captured Rome on
August 24, 410 A.D.)
The bishop nodded. "Even so."
Carolus gave his aged confessor a sidelong glance.
"There are many legends about this sword. That it never
rusts. That it always keeps a keen edge. And that it
once belonged to a king of the long-lost Valusia."
"Valusia!?" Carloman echoed, "What is Valusia?"
"A pagan myth, spread by liars and believed by
fools." Rigobert scowled. "Carolus, I have known you
since your birth. Indeed, 'twas I who baptized you as you
lay mewling in your mother's arms. Never before have I
asked a boon of you. But I ask one of you now."
"Say on, bishop."
Gesturing at the gleaming sword, Rigobert said, "No
good can come of such an ungodly weapon. It has the taint
of dark sorcery about it. Take it to Caen and throw it
into the sea."
"Nay, bishop." Carolus ran his gloved thumb along
the shining metal. "I'm of a mind to cleave a few
Mahometan skulls with this."
"Toss it into the sea," Rigobert implored. "Carolus,
you cannot build the house of the Lord with the tools of
Shaking his head, the Frankish warlord slid the blade
into a newly-made scabbard. "Bishop, to save Gaul, I
would cheerfully damn my own soul by wielding the hammer
of Thor himself!"
Rigobert's pleas proved futile. But still the aged
bishop persisted, and finally, in frustration, Carolus
exiled his old confessor to Gascony. Meanwhile, more and
more troops flooded into the Frankish camp from the
But the Franks were still outnumbered when Abdur
Rahman's army appeared on the floodplain before the city's
walls. The Islamic host was a site to behold. Thousands
upon thousands of scale-mailed and turbaned warriors, with
their short bows, round shields and curved scimitars.
Spahi cavalry from Morocco and Algeria, dark-skinned
Egyptians and Libyans, Arabs from as far away as Syria,
Yemen and Saudi Arabia, masked Kurds and Dervishes,
ululating Ghazis from distant Afghanistan and Pakistan.
Their shouts of "Allahu Akbar!" (Translated: "God is
great!"--J.T.) shook the very walls of Tours.
Mounting his charger, Carolus glanced at his
frightened but resolute son. "Lad, today you become a
man. If I fall in this battle, tell your grandchildren
that the old dog went down fighting."
"Tell them yourself, Papa. You're too ornery to
With a soft whispery hum, what the Franks were
calling "Alaric's sword" sprang from its leather sheath.
Holding it aloft, Carolus bellowed, "Forward, dogs! And
die with your swords red!"
And the battle was joined.
To everyone's surprise, the Franks defeated the
Muslims, turning back this last Arab invasion of Europe.
Abdur Rahman retreated south, intending to continue the
conflict the following year. But it was not to be.
Hearing word of the imam's defeat, the Berbers of Morocco
revolted, and Rahman was forced to return to North Africa.
During the next nine years, Carolus wielded the Sword
of Destiny in a series of wars. History records how he
"recovered Narbonne" from the Arabs, "destroyed the
fortresses of Agde, Beziers and Maguelonne...subdued also
the German tribes, annexed Frisia (today the Netherlands--
J.T.) where Christianity was beginning to make progress;
put an end to the duchy of Alemannia; made expeditions
into Saxony" and negotiated a treaty of friendship with
Pope Gregory III, thereby laying the foundation of an
empire to be ruled by his grandson, Charlemagne.
After bequeathing his kingdom to Carloman and his
youngest son, Pippin, Carolus "died at Quierzy on the 22nd
of October 741," nine years after his victory at Tours.
But the mysterious sword was not with him when he died.
Once again, the Sword of Destiny had dropped out of
sight...but not for long!
(See the books One Foot in Atlantis by William Henry,
Earthpulse Press, Anchorage, Alaska, 1998, pages 229 to
234; The Mysterious Past by Robert Charroux, Berkley
Publishing Corporation, New York, N.Y., 1975, page 158;
The Saints, edited by John Coulson, Guild Press, New York,
N.Y., 1957, page 657 and the Encyclopedia Brittanica, 1910
edition, "Charles Martel" and "Tours.")
That's it for this week. Join us in seven days for
more UFO, Fortean and paranormal news from around the
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