UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 9 Number 23
- Posted on behalf of Joseph Trainor.
Volume 9, Number 23
June 9, 2004
Editor: Joseph Trainor
UFOs PROWL THE NIGHT
SKIES OVER SPAIN
Spain has had a rash of UFO sightings in recent
On Sunday, May 9, 2004, "Sra. N.M. saw an
unidentified flying object in the skies over Barcelona,"
one of Spain's largest cities, "while in the company of
two of her children."
"N.M., a criminologist and businesswoman, was driving
along the Casteldefels to Barcelona highway at around
midnight when both she and her children witnessed 'to the
left of the road, that is, toward the interior, away from
the (Mediterranean) beaches, an unidentified object of
considerable size, described as 'a rhomboid with one of
its vertices broken off or truncated,' being an orange
"The sighting occurred precisely on the stretch of
road between Gava and Vildecans, and the witness contacted
(the paranormal group) Mundo Misterioso in case others had
reported seeing the same phenomenon."
A week ago, "Jose Angel Docobo, director of the Ramon
Maria Aller Astronomical Observatory in Santiago de
Compostela," in northern Spain, "stated that the
unidentified luminous objects seen Tuesday," June 1, 2004,
"over different parts of southern Galicia (province) was
almost certainly 'a cosmic rock.'"
"According to Docobo, early signs point to the fact
that the phenomenon was caused by 'a bolide, a natural
object,' although this cannot be said with certainty."
"The Observatory noted that no atmospheric
penetration by an object of this type had been expected,
but it would not be the first time such a thing had
occurred unexpectedly. Jose Angel Docobo is convinced
that coming hours will reveal the precise nature of the
phenomenon responsible for sightings many nervous
residents of southern Galicia saw around midnight" on that
"The likeliest possibility, says Docobo, is that it
was a natural object 'with a rather even trajectory, since
eyewitnesses were claiming to have seen it reported,' that
the object 'was following an ascending path.'"
"In any event, the Observatory's director does not
dismiss the possibility that the strange lights could be
space junk or even some military experiment. The Guardia
Civil (Spain's national police--J.T.) received up to 9
phone calls on Tuesday night from southern Galicia
reporting the sighting--all of them around 12:30 a.m."
"According to all accounts, the object 'was as bright
as an airplane' but changed intensity and left a trail
similar to a rocket during the ascending trajectory."
"However, AENA (Aeropuertos Espanoles y Navegacion
Aerea, Spain's FAA--J.T.) reported that so far no evidence
of any incidents over Galicia that night has been
collected. The (Spanish) aviation agency reported that
Vigo Airport is closed at this time of night, but that air
traffic continues over this area, involving airliners
crossing the airspace in question, and the possibility
that private planes are also flying in the vicinity."
(See the Agence France Presse report for June 2, 2004.
Muchas gracias a Scott Corrales y Guillermo Gimenez para
HOMEMADE TANK DAMAGES
"Shocked residents of" Granby, Colorado (population
1,525) "are cleaning up after an enraged muffler shop
owner, out to settle scores with City Hall, wrecked more
than a dozen buildings with an armor-plated bulldozer."
"Marvin Heemeyer, 52, killed himself at the end of
the one-and-a-half hour rampage Friday," June 4, 2004, "in
his homemade contraption--dubbed the 'Armageddon tank' by
townspeople. Officers said none of the hundreds of
bullets that sheriff's officers and police SWAT team
members fired during the assault penetrated the armor."
"No one else was killed or hurt. Witnesses said
Heemeyer traded gunfire with police and unsuccessfully
tried to blow up propane tanks at a supply yard. At one
point, a local sheriff jumped aboard the moving bulldozer
and fired dozens of shots, without result, into a narrow
slit in the armor."
"Granby's mayor and town manager said the outburst
stemmed from the town's decision in 2000 to allow a cement
plant next to Heemeyer's muffler shop on the west edge of
town. Heemeyer, a local resident for about 15 years,
protested angrily at several meetings and sued
unsuccessfully to stop the project, which he argued would
bring noise, dust and traffic."
"The plant was his first target on a 4-mile (6-
kilometer) track of destruction. He destroyed or damaged
about 13 other structures, including the town hall and
library, the Sky-Hi News weekly newspaper, a bank, a
hardware store, and the home of a deceased mayor."
"Mayor Ted Wang had no estimate of the damage but
predicted that it will reach 'millions of dollars.'"
"The wreckage looked like the hit-and-miss path of a
tornado, touching sites across this town of 1,525 people,
about 55 miles (88 kilometers) northwest of Denver. But
the mayhem was methodical; each target was linked to
individuals or institutions Heemeyer felt had wronged him
in the zoning feud."
"Residents said they were shocked at the episode but
not entirely surprised it was Heemeyer's doing. Some
thought him friendly. Others steered clear of his temper.
One said Heemeyer spoke months ago of paying back those
who had crossed him. She said she thought he was
"Heemeyer's friend Pete Mitchell said he was probably
smiling when the tank, equipped with a TV camera, busted
out of the side of a garage."
"'That's the kind of guy he was,' Mitchell said,
calling his friend 'vindictive.'"
"Town manager Tom Hale said Heemeyer was angry after
losing a zoning dispute over land near his muffler shop.
Heemeyer also had been fined $2,500 in a separate case for
not having a septic tank and other city code violations at
his business, Hale said."
"An expert welder, Heemeyer apparently spent weeks
turning his Komatsu bulldozer--the Japanese equivalent of
a 42-ton Caterpillar D8--into a war wagon. He encased it
with black steel plates that shielded the radiator,
hydraulic lines and cab, much like a shell protects a
turtle. The shell was reinforced with concrete 8 to 12
inches (20 to 30 centimeters) thick."
(Editor's Comment: From the photos I've seen of the
"Armageddon tank," it looks as if Heemeyer based his
designs on the armored bulldozers used by American forces
on Iwo Jima and Okinawa in World War II.)
"From inside, Heemeyer fired two machine guns through
peepholes. He also carried a .223-caliber (5.56mm) rifle,
a .357-caliber Magnum revolver and a 9mm semiautomatic
pistol. Lacking a window, he used three closed-circuit
cameras and TV monitors to steer the vessel through town.
'The craftmanship, the design and everything else would
almost be awe-inspiring,' Wang said, 'Why somebody with
that kind of talent would spend all this time terrorizing
a town. It's sad.'"
"It took police hours, using explosives and
blowtorches, to pry open the hatch. Inside they found
Heemeyer dead, apparently of a self-inflicted gunshot to
the head. They used a crane to lift his 6-foot-4, 230-
pound body out of the vehicle Saturday," June 5, 2004.
"It took two more hours and two bulldozers to drag
the machine from the rubble of the store where the mayhem
ended. Hundreds of residents and tourists watched as the
tank was hauled to a fenced yard across the road from the
"The mayor said he was bothered by reports that
others may have known what Heemeyer was planning."
"'If we find out that people knew that this thing was
being built...' he said, trailing off in anger." (See the
Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for June 5, 2004, "Fortified
dozer rips through Colorado town," page 7A; and for June
6, 2004, "Dozer rampage ends in death," page 6A; and USA
Today for June 7, 2004, "Colo. town bulldozed into shock,"
(Editor's Comment: We should all be thankful that Mr.
Heemeyer didn't purchase a surplus 57mm recoilless rifle
left over from the Korean War. A skilled machinist
wouldn't have much trouble putting one of those "jeep
cannons" back into service.)
ANOTHER FAYETTE TORNADO
The Fayette Factor was linked to yet another tornado
last week, this time in Louisiana.
On Friday, May 28, 2004, three tornadoes touched down
in the Lafayette counties of three separate American
states--Kentucky, Ohio and Indiana. Fortean researcher
Bill Grimstad has commented on the increased incidence of
tornadoes in places named for the Marquis de Lafayette,
pointing out that "tornadoes, trailer parks and places
named Lafayette or Fayette have a curious affinity for
Severe thunderstorms "hit hard and fast in the
Acadiana area" of Lafayette County on Tuesday afternoon,
June 1, 2004, about 10 miles (16 kilometers) southwest of
the city of Lafayette (population 110,257).
The storm was "dropping quarter-sized hail in the
same area and possibly spawned a tornado" south of Scott,
La. (population 7,870). (See The Advertiser of Lafayette,
La. for June 2, 2004, "Rain, thunder rumble across
Acadiana area." Many thanks to Loren Coleman for this
LUMINOUS UFO SEEN BY
HUNDREDS IN PORTUGAL
"According to local Portuguese radio stations,
hundreds of residents were startled by the sight of an
'inhuman light' in the sky over the Algarve in southern
Portugal. The OVNI (Portuguese acronym for UFO--J.T.) was
seen in several cities of the region but particularly in
"The reports indicated that the OVNI was seen over an
area of 100 to 150 kilometers (60 to 90 miles). The
object was witnessed between 11 p.m. and midnight on
Tuesday, June 1, 2004. No structure could be seen around
"An unidentified luminous object was seen at the same
time in Spain's Galicia province. At 11:30 p.m., the OVNI
was seen over Portuguese territory, in places such as
Penafiel, Vendas Novas, Evora, Algarve and Setubal."
"For the moment, Portuguese authorities do not know
what could have been the cause of the sighting in their
skies." (See the Agence France Presse report for June 2,
2004. Muito obrigado a Marcio Vicente Teixeira por eso
MYSTERY BOOMS HEARD
IN SOUTH CAROLINA
"A nearly two-hour search was called off after
residents in McCormick," South Carolina (population 1,489)
"mistook a sonic boom for a plane crash Thursday," June 3,
"'We have a lot of military aircraft that fly over
the lake up here running practice drills,' said Chris
Doolittle, emergency services coordinator for McCormick
County along the Georgia state line. 'We did an extensive
search of the area...and have found no aircraft at all.'"
"People saw a C-130 cargo plane and then heard the
boom, which was actually generated by another jet nearby,'
said Courtney Franchio, a spokesman for Dobbins Air Force
Base," which is located "north of Atlanta."
"'Someone saw a C-130 in the area, then heard a sonic
boom, so the assumption was a plane crash was occurring,'
McCormick, S.C. is on Route 378 approximately 77
miles (123 kilometers) west of Columbia, the state
However, in Alpharetta, Georgia (population 34,854),
an eyewitness thinks the mystery booms were made by a UFO.
On Thursday, June 3, 2004, "I glanced at the window
of my office and observed a white sphere passing below and
at a right angle to a commercial jet," he reported, "The
jet was at cruising altitude (30,000 feet or 9,000 meters-
-J.T.) and heading from the southeast to the northwest.
The sphere was heading from the southwest to the
northeast. It looked like it was several thousand feet
below the airliner and traveling at about the same speed.
The jet was leaving a short contrail, but the sphere was
not. I continued to observe the sphere until it
disappeared into the distance."
Alpharetta, Ga. is 22 miles (35 kilometers) northeast
of Atlanta. (Many thanks to Daniel Wilson for these
MYSTERIOUS LIGHTS, BOOMS
REPORTED IN THE USA'S
"Bright flashes and sharp booms were reported in the
skies over the Puget Sound area" of the USA's Pacific
Northwest "early Thursday," June 3, 2004, "and aviation
officials said a meteor may have been the source."
"An earlier report on KIKO Radio" in Washington state
"that a meteorite might have hit Chehalis (population
7,057)," a small city about 30 miles (50 kilometers) south
of Olympia, the capital of Washington state, "turned out
to be false, a University of Washington scientist who
specializes in meteorites said."
"Toby Smith, a lecturer in astronomy, said scientists
are looking at the cause of the skybursts reported over a
wide area at about 2:40 a.m."
"Witnesses along a 60-mile (100-kilometer) swath of
the Sound from near Tacoma to Whidbey Island and as far as
100 miles (160 kilometers) to the east near Ellensburg
(population 15,414) said the sky lit up brightly, and many
also reported booming sounds as if from one or more
"At Whidbey Island, Petty Officer Andrew Davis said
he and others saw the skybursts."
"'It made a pretty big bang,' Davis said, 'We thought
it might be a meteorite or something.'"
"Officials at the National Weather Service ruled out
any weather-related causes, and duty officers at the
Federal Aviation Agency (FAA) and the Whidbey Island Naval
Air Station said they knew of no civilian or military
"Civilian pilots reported seeing the flash near
Ellensburg, east of the Cascade (mountain) range, said an
FAA duty officer who did not give her name." (See The
Olympian of Olympia, Wash. for June 4, 2004, "Skybursts
reported over western Washington." Many thanks to Jim
Hickman for this newspaper article. And don't forget to
visit Jim's Web site at www.thehickmanreport.com.)
STRANGE NAVAL MANEUVERS
HAVE UFOLOGISTS TALKING
"The (aircraft) carrier USS Harry S. Truman sailed
Wednesday" from Norfolk, Virginia "in a test of the (U.S.)
Navy's ability to have 7 of its 12 carriers away from port
simultaneously, a major shift away from the way carriers
have been used."
"A second Norfolk-based carrier, USS Enterprise, was
expected to leave Thursday to participate in the exercise
dubbed (Operation) Summer Pulse 04."
"Summer Pulse 04 continues through August (2004),
with seven carriers conducting joint exercises with allies
from the Americas, Europe, Africa, Australia and Asia,
"'The ability to push this kind of military
capability to the four corners of the world is quite
remarkable,' Navy Secretary Gordon R. England said when he
announced plans for the demonstration last week in
Washington. 'Several years ago, we could deploy only two'
carriers at a time."
"Summer Pulse 04 is the first exercise of the Navy's
Fleet Response Plan, announced last December (2003),
through which ships will move from traditional, scheduled
six-month deployments in less than 30 days and be prepared
to leave as world events demand."
"The Navy wants to be able to send six carrier strike
groups in less than 30 days to handle a crisis anywhere in
the world, plus have two more carrier strike groups ready
within three months to reinforce or rotate with these
forces and continue operations in other areas."
"Summer Pulse 04 is 'proof of concept that we can in
fact make that happen,' Capt. Michael R. Groothousen, the
Truman's commanding officer said Wednesday by telephone
after the Truman left Norfolk Naval Station."
"Capt. Groothousen said the Fleet Response Plan makes
deployment schedules less predictable--a change necessary
in a post-Sept. 11 (2001) world."
"'Terrorists love predictability,' he said, 'If we
start putting more unpredictability into our schedule, it
makes it more difficult for any threat out there to
determine when to strike.'"
"That also means more volatility in the sailors'
"'When you're planning on being in port for a little
while and then the schedule changes, nobody likes that,'
said Petty Officer First Class Tony Rice, 34, of Midland,
Texas, a Truman crew member. 'But you kind of get used to
it as a sailor. You're taught to be fluid and to expect
"The Navy demonstrated its ability to 'surge'
multiple carriers like this a year ago during the Iraq war
(against Saddam Hussein--J.T.), said John Pike, director
of Global Security.org, an Alexandria, Virginia research
center on security issues."
"However, the Navy wasn't really set up to deploy
several carriers at once, so it wasn't easy, he said."
"'Now they are demonstrating that they are set up to
do that,' Pike said, 'If anybody anywhere gets any ideas--
if North Korea gets frisky or the Red Chinese get too
risky--they might have a half-dozen carriers show up on
"This is 'a fundamentally different way of deploying
aircraft carriers than we had during the Twentieth
Century,' Pike said."
"Typically, a carrier deployed overseas for six
months, then was at home for 18 months while sailors went
back to school in the Navy and the ship was repaired and
"Under this arrangement, a carrier was combat-capable
only for about six months during a two-year cycle, so
generally only two of the stateside carriers could be
deployed at a given time, Pike said."
"The other carriers taking part in Summer Pulse 04
are the Norfolk-based USS George Washington, the San Diego
(California)-based USS John C. Stennis, which are already
deployed; the USS Kitty Hawk, based in Yokosuka, Japan;
the Mayport, Fla.-based USS John F. Kennedy; and the USS
Ronald Reagan, which left Norfolk last week and is enroute
to its new home port of San Diego."
USS John C. Stennis then left San Diego to join USS
Kitty Hawk off the coast of Alaska for a large-scale naval
No sooner had this news been released than Channel 13
in Hampton Roads, Virginia "reported an operation called
Exercise Blinding Storm by the United States and Exercise
Rapid Alliance" by UK. "The training will include about
30,000 troops from seven nations in exercises off or on
the coast of North Carolina."
Netherlands "Dutch Marines and French soldiers will
take part, as well as a Peruvian submarine and contingents
from Germany and Canada. The flotilla is expected to set
sail on Tuesday, with the two-week amphibious operation
scheduled to begin (Thursday) June 10 (2004)."
The UK naval contingent is sizable. "The biggest
British ship (the aircraft carrier) HMS Invincible, has
also deployed with a crew of 1,050." HMS Invincible is
leading a task force of 20 vessels of the Royal Navy in
Exercise Rapid Alliance."
Part of the exercise calls for landing British tanks
on North Carolina's beaches. "The British landing
platform dock ship HMS Albion has already arrived. It
carried four Challenger II battle tanks, the British
equivalent of" the U.S. Army's main battle tank, the M1-A1
Abrams. "The (British) tanks will be sent ashore aboard
the ship's new landing craft during the exercise."
Countries participating in Exercise Rapid Alliance
include the USA, UK, Canada, the Netherlands, Germany,
Peru, Norway, Italy, Denmark, France and Australia.
According to the San Diego Times-Union, a "large U.S.
Navy battle group" is assembling off the coast of Alaska.
The size of the battle group is truly mind-boggling. The
flagship is the carrier USS John C. Stennis, leading the
guided missile cruiser USS Lake Champlain, the destroyer
USS Howard, the guided missile frigate USS Ford, the fast-
attack submarine USS Salt Lake City, the supply ship USNS
Rainier, the amphibious assault ship USS Belleau Wood, the
amphibious transport dock ships USS Denver and USS
Comstock, the guided missile destroyers USS Preble and USS
Hopper, the cruiser USS Tucson and the guided missile
destroyer USS Russell.
The Scotsman reported that the Alaska battle group
was "the first time an expeditionary strike group will be
commanded by a Marine general, according to the Navy."
But that isn't the end of the recent redeployments by
the U.S. Navy.
"On (Wednesday) May 5 (2004), the USS McCampbell
headed for Southeast Asia in support of a Cooperate Afloat
Readiness and Training (CARAT) cruise. The ship will be
coordinating joint naval exercises with Singapore,
Thailand, Brunei, Malaysia and the Philippines."
Also during May, "the USNS Patuxent, accompanied by
the coastal patrol ships USS Typhoon and USS Sirocco, left
port at the Little Creek Naval Amphibious Base Friday" and
"sailed across the Atlantic Ocean to Rota Naval Station"
in Spain "and arrived in port (Wednesday) May 12 (2004)."
In Washington state, "the Army begins a major staging
operation today at the port to ship (armored and
mechanized) equipment to Southwest Asia."
And in Louisiana, "Fort Polk's (United Nations) Joint
Readiness Training Center will remain open, the officials
said, with (Army) National Guard soldiers expected to fill
in for the units going to Iraq."
The sudden intensification of naval activity has
puzzled the world's ufologists, particularly in light of a
strange radio transmission that was intercepted by a ham
radio club back in January 2004.
On Monday, January 26, 2004, the group of amateur
radio enthusiasts "intercepted a radio transmission" and
"made a digital recording of the transmission that took
place on January 26, 2004 at 5 a.m. UTC. The frequency
was 11.176 Megaherz. The conversation is between SNOWBALL
NET and another station. We assume SNOWBALL is the
And a strange conversation it was.
SNOWBALL NET: "Snowball Net comms check. All
stations, clock sync, impact at minus 146 days, 5 hours
UTC. Standby for ACD link."
A burst of coded digital data then followed.
BURRO: "Snowball, this is Burro. You are not secure,
repeat, not secure! Go green! Go green!"
From January 26, a period of "146 days, 5 hours"
brings us to either Saturday, June 19, or Sunday, June 20,
2004. Ufologists have been speculating for days as to
what might happen on either day.
Some have reported rumors that Al-Qaeda "has two
diesel submarines with nuclear weapons that we're
searching like crazy for."
Others speculate that an asteroid might land in one
of Earth's oceans on the appointed day, causing tidal
waves and flooding in low-lying coastal areas. The ships
were sent to sea, they argue, to keep them from being
swept ashore by the tidal waves.
A third, less popular theory is that "the government"
knows about an impending alien attack on June 20, perhaps
by some overtly hostile extraterrestrial race like the
Reptoids or the Aldebarani."
A variant of this theory has the ETs "steering
asteroids at the Earth," in the hope of causing massive
Still others, perhaps influenced by the new hit
movie, The Day After Tomorrow, claim that "the big climate
change will begin on the summer solstice," which is
Monday, June 21, 2004, the day after Snowball Net's "due
UFO Roundup correspondent Jim Danvers said he thinks
Exercise Rapid Alliance is "a plan by NATO to bring
foreign troops into America to put down anti-war or anti-
"The British are coming, the British are coming," he
joked, "And this time they've got tanks!"
UFO Roundup editor Joseph Trainor said, "I am still
blown away by the size of that Alaska battle group. It
sure doesn't sound like our 'war president' is going to
pick up the peace pipe any time soon. It all reads like a
buildup to some kind of invasion. Is Dubya planning a
Trainor said he could think of "four possible targets
North Korea - The Stennis battle group might try to
land an amphibious task force in Pungsan to race overland
and knock out the North Korean nuclear power center at
Saudi Arabia - If it looked like Al-Qaeda was about
to oust the Saudi royal family, NATO might land in force
and occupy the desert kingdom.
Iran - In a replay of the 1942 Allied invasion in
World War II, NATO forces and Russia might invade the
Islamic republic and take out the ayatollahs.
Pakistan - NATO might double-cross President Pervez
Musharraf and strike at "the Islamic bomb," his country's
supply of nuclear weapons.
"There's an awful lot of naval firepower floating
around out there," Trainor added, "Let's see what happens-
-if anything--on June 20." (See the San Diego Times-Union
of May 25, 2004; The Scotsman of May 27, 2004; The
Olympian of Olympia, Wash. for May 20, 2004; and The Pilot
of Virginia Beach, Va. for May 24, 2004.
Many thanks to "Popeye, Bluto and Olive Oyl," and Jim
Danvers, for these newspaper stories.)
(Editor's Comment: At first I thought the theory about
instant climate change was off the wall. And then I came
across the following article. Read it for yourself.)
GLOBAL WARMING FLOODS
"People on both sides of the Atlantic are flocking to
see The Day After Tomorrow, a movie in which sudden global
warming melts the polar ice caps, threatening various
cities in horrifying ways. At one point, the sea rises to
such an extent that a tide five stories (50 feet or 15
meters) high crashes through the streets of Manhattan."
"In Britain, the real-life effects of global warming
are less visually spectacular. But, if the country's
leading scientists are to be believed, they are just as
horrifying--or perhaps more so, for being fact rather than
"As the seas rise, Britain, an island nation, is
sinking. Its coastline is being eaten away. The National
Trust, a private charity that buys threatened shoreline
and countryside, has abandoned its effort to protect some
stretches of coast and is simply waiting for an assortment
of cottages to fall into the sea."
"Last month, a panel of 60 British climate-change
experts released a government-sponsored report saying that
global warming means up to 4 million Britons may risk
having their homes inundated. The national cost of
flooding will rise from $2.6 billion a year to $52 billion
by 2080, the report said."
"Titled 'Future Flooding,' the report said the threat
is growing already and its most dire predictions will
happen by 2050."
"And a senior government adviser warned in mid-May
that the government might one day have to consider an
'orderly retreat' from London because parts of the 2,000-
year-old city are below sea level."
"Birmingham, 320 feet (97 meters) above sea level,
might be better, said Professor Paul Samuels, who is
leading a Europe-wide study on flooding."
"Although the threat is not imminent, British
scientists have grown stark in their warnings."
"The most important duty of political leaders is to
protect the security of their people, which was, after
all, the rationale for going to war in Iraq, wrote John
Houghton, former head of the country's Meteorological
Office, in a newspaper column last year."
"'And yet, our long-term security is threatened by a
problem at least as dangerous as chemical, nuclear or
biological weapons, or indeed international terrorism:
human-induced climate change,' he wrote."
"He had no hesitation, he said, in describing climate
change as 'a weapon of mass destruction.'"
"That warning--that global warming poses a threat
greater than terrorism--was echoed last year by Sir David
King, the government's chief scientist and the man who
directed the recently released report."
"The report said Britain must create 'green
corridors' in cities to act as safety valves into which
floodwaters can be channeled. It said parts of some urban
areas may have to be abandoned, and oil refineries moved
inland. Many homes, it warned, may become uninsurable."
"Samuels, who suggested the possibility of a
government retreat from London, was working on the premise
that the tidal section of the Thames River will rise up to
three feet (0.9 meters) a century, a situation exacerbated
by the slow sinking of the land on which some of London is
"The Environment Agency, which operates the Thames
barrier that protects London from flooding, says the
barrier will remain effective only until about 2030. And
a city government study has warned that 20-foot (6-meter)
embankments might be needed."
"The National Trust has bowed to the inevitability of
the coast being eaten away and has abandoned efforts to
protect more than 50 different areas. Trust officials
have advised other landowners to do the same, or face the
prospect of having wasted billions of pounds in the
"'We own 650 miles of coast and every mile of that is
undergoing change,' said Rob Jarman, the trust's head of
sustainability and environmental practices."
"Meanwhile, the trust is hedging its bets. It has
begun buying thousands of acres further inland so that it
will hold title to Britain's new coastline the day after
tomorrow--or whenever that day should come." (See the
Duluth, Minn. News-Tribune for June 5, 2004, "This is no
disaster movie: Global warming is flooding Britain," pages
1A and 6A.)
From the UFO Files...
1815: ADAM WEISHAUPT
Well, that headline isn't exactly accurate. Adam
Weishaupt didn't really meet Frankenstein. He just met
Frankenstein's mother's friend, Henry Crabb Robinson. It
happened the same summer that Napoleon Bonaparte, until
recently the Emperor of the French, took up residence on
the South Atlantic island of St. Helena.
Yet, what we now call "science fiction" owes a
strange debt to Weishaupt and his Order of the Illuminati.
(Illuminatenorden im Deutsch--J.T.)
As for Frankenstein's mother--or perhaps we should
call her "the Mother of Science Fiction"--her name was
Mary Wollstonecraft Godwin, and she was born at The
Polygon, Somers Town, UK on August 30, 1797, the daughter
of William Godwin, a publisher, pamphleteer and political
Her mother, the original Mary Wollstonecraft, died a
week after her birth.
In 1801, when Mary was four, her father remarried.
The new stepmother, Harriet Clairmont, was a widow with
two children of her own, Charles and Jane, whom Mr. Godwin
promptly rechristened Clara.
In 1805, Godwin established himself as a publisher of
children's books. This exposed Mary and her stepbrother
Charles to some of Britain's most prominent artists--
William Mulready, George Dawe, John Varley and his
protege, John Linnell. Varley in particular took the
children to Hampstead Heath to practice drawing.
Mary's art talent was negligible, but Varley's
training, with its emphasis on "close observation of
naturalistic detail," served her well in later life as a
In 1812, she visited Scotland for the first time. She
fell in love with Tayside and lived in Dundee with the
Baxter family while her stepbrother, Charles Clairmont,
completed his apprenticeship at a printing office in
Returning to England, Mary became part of her
father's intellectual circle. "Godwin's circle now
constituted Mary's intellectual marketplace, where she
became aware of contemporary ideas; she loved its energy
and diversity. The talk might be about Itard's education
of Victor, the Wild Boy of Aveyron. (For more on this
real-life Tarzan, see The Complete Books of Charles Fort,
Dover Publications Inc., N.Y., 1974, pages 688 to 690.)"
Ireland was a favorite topic. "Godwin's good friend,
the Irish politician John Philpot Curran, had defended the
romantic young leader of the 1798 Irish Rebellion, Lord
(Editor's Note: Of whom Lord Byron said, "He's the ugliest
man and the most scintillating and brilliant
conversationalist I've ever met.")
The circle's members "read Godwin, (Mary's mother)
Wollstonecraft, Wordsworth, Southey, Milton, Voltaire,
Brockden, Brown, Cicero, Petronius, Suetonius, Radcliffe,
Scott, Rousseau, Goethe and Ovid."
In June 1813, Mary and her stepsister, Clara
Clairmont, returned to Dundee. Here Mary witnessed a
demonstration that piqued her interest in science.
Scottish scientist Andrew Cosse was intrigued with
electricity, and he had read about Benjamin Franklin's
kite experiment. He decided to go Franklin one better.
Instead of a kite, Cosse sent aloft a large hydrogen
balloon festooned with copper wiring and tubing. The
wiring descended to the ground, snaking its way into
Cherry Cottage on the outskirts of Dundee. Cosse had
filled the cottage with Leyden jars. Since he knew from
Franklin's experiment that lightning was electrical in
nature, he planned to charge his primitive glass-jar
batteries all at once. In effect, Cosse planned to become
"the modern Prometheus, calling down the fire from
With Mary, Clara, the Baxters and the other witnesses
clustered under their umbrellas, Cosse took an axe and cut
the mooring line. The balloon soared upward, straight
into a black thundercloud showing occasional greenish-
white flashes. Suddenly, there was a peal of thunder. An
orange fireball lit up the inside of the cloud as the
hydrogen ignited. And a lightning bolt, carrying about
5,000 megajoules of electricity, traveled down the cables
and into Cherry Cottage, blowing the Leyden jars and the
building itself sky-high.
The witnesses found the dazed scientist lying on the
other side of the lawn, covered with dust and tiny
limestone fragments but otherwise okay. Helping him to
his feet, Mr. Baxter asked, "Are you all right?"
Cosse mumbled, "I think we need a new physics."
(Editor's Note: It's a good thing Cosse filled the
ballast bags with sand. Had he filled them with uranium
oxide, Dundee would have been instantly vaporized in a
The electrical "fireworks show" made an impression
upon Mary, and lightning played a major role in her soon-
On May 5, 1814, an up-and-coming poet named Percy
Bysshe Shelley visited the Godwin home on Skinner Street.
It was love at first sight. On July 28, 1814, Mary, still
a month shy of her 16th birthday, left for Europe with
Shelley and Clara. During the next six weeks, they toured
France, Switzerland and Germany.
On January 22, 1815, now back in England, Mary gave
birth to Shelley's child. But the infant died two weeks
later. For the grieving young mother, the theme of
resurrection had a particular appeal. This, too, became
part of her novel.
Meanwhile, "the Godwin circle" had discovered a new
book, recently published in English. This was the five-
volume Memoire pour servir a l'histoire de Jacobinisme by
French Jesuit and rightwing emigre Abbe Augustin Barruel.
Born in 1741, Abbe Barruel had defended the Roman
Catholic Church against Voltaire and the Encyclopedists.
He fled to London after King Louis XVI and Queen Marie
Antoinette were guillotined in 1793. Although Maximilien
Robespierre and Adam Weishaupt were mortal enemies,
Robespierre had no love for the Abbe, who styled himself
the "arch-enemy of Weishaupt." Abbe Barruel managed to
flee across the Channel before the Committee of Public
Safety (revolutionary secret police--J.T.) showed up to
take him for a tumbril ride.
"As early as 1797, Barruel," in his book, "argued
that the French Revolution represented the culmination of
an age-old conspiracy of the most secret of societies. As
he saw it, the trouble began with the medieval Order of
Templars, which had not really been exterminated in 1314
but had survived as a secret society, pledged to abolish
all monarchies, to overthrow the papacy, to preach
unrestricted liberty to all peoples and to found a world-
republic," what Weishaupt called "the New World Order."
"Down the centuries this secret society had poisoned
a number of monarchs; and in the Eighteenth Century it had
captured the Order of Freemasons, which now (1797) stood
completely under its control. From 1776 onwards,
Condorcet and the Abbe Sieyes had built up a vast
revolutionary organization of Frenchmen, who were the
Jacobins of the revolution. But the heart of the
conspiracy, the true leaders of the revolution were the
Bavarian Illuminati under Adam Weishaupt--'enemies of the
human race, sons of Satan.' To this handful of Germans
all the Freemasons and Jacobins of France already owed
blind allegiance; and it was Barruel's view that unless it
was stopped, this handful would soon dominate the world."
Abbe Barruel's book became THE international
bestseller of 1797, "and it was translated into English,
French, Italian, Spanish and Russian, and it made its
author a rich man."
No sooner had Mary and her compatriots read the book
than electrifying news arrived from France. "The Corsican
Monster" had escaped from Elba. Yes, Napoleon had given
his captors the slip, had landed in the Riviera and was
now marching on Grenoble with a rapidly-growing army.
The debate raged in the Godwin Circle. Surely the
Illuminati had had a hand in Napoleon's escape. How else
could he have eluded his guards?
Mary's friend, Henry Crabb Robinson, was determined
to get to the truth. In London, Henry called on Aaron
Burr, the disgraced former vice president of the USA, then
living in exile in England. Burr was only too happy to
point Henry in Weishaupt's direction. He blamed Weishaupt
for the death of his daughter, Theodosia.
The indefatigable Henry had an extended "stay in
Germany, where he discussed Godwin with Goethe and
interviewed Adam Weishaupt, former leader of the
underground revolutionary Illuminati sect, now a
misanthrope and a conservative, like so many who had been
disillusioned by the French Revolution."
Weishaupt told Henry that Napoleon's Hundred Days was
no doing of his. Indeed, he hated Napoleon, referring to
him as "the revenge of the Robespierre brothers." He also
hated Burr, whom he called a "coward" for failing to
follow through on the Conspiracy of 1806, the Illuminati's
plan to topple President Thomas Jefferson.
If Weishaupt was touchy about the Order's political
track record, he had good reason to be. Under his
somewhat-less-than-stellar leadership, the Illuminati had
failed to sieze power twice in the USA (1793 and 1806),
twice in France (1793 and 1796), once in Ireland (1798),
once in Geneva (1780), once in Italy (1796) and once in
If the Illuminati was an American pro baseball team,
it would have been sold.
As Napoleon met defeat at Waterloo, Mary and her
friends "were reading Barruel's History of Jacobinism
which, though it was a reactionary attack on the politics
of the French Revolution, was also a mine of information
about Masonic secret societies."
When Henry Crabb Robinson returned to England, he
talked at length about his meetings with Weishaupt, "the
profoundest conspirator who ever existed." Mary was
extremely interested in details about the man--what did
Weishaupt look like, what were his personal habits, that
sort of thing.
In May 1816, with the Napoleonic wars finally over,
Shelley and Mary set out for Geneva, with Clara Clairmont
and Shelley's personal physician, Dr. John William
Polidori. While living by the lake, they made the
acquaintance of a French emigre named Jean-Baptiste Louvet
Louvet, an author of best-selling romance novels, had
supported the French Revolution in 1789. He was "a
Girondist who had voted against Louis XVI's execution."
Forced to go underground by the Committee of Public
Safety, he organized the original Maquis, or French
Resistance, "an anti-Jacobin guerrilla movement with his
mistress, Madame Loidoiska."
Louvet told Mary and her poet-husband many
interesting stories about the Illuminati of Paris and the
Loge des Neufs-Soeurs (French for Lodge of the Nine
Mary was thinking about writing a biography of Louvet
when she, Shelley, and Dr. Polidori, confined to their
rented house by a week of thunderstorms, challenged each
other to come up with a ghost story in 24 hours. For her
tale, Mary drew on Cosse's failed electrical experiment,
the dead coming back to life with the aid of lightning,
and Crabb Robinson's descriptions of Adam Weishaupt.
The trio shared their stories on the following day.
Then they resolved to turn them into novels. At the end
of May 1816, Mary began writing her most famous book--
Frankenstein, Or the Modern Prometheus.
Mary "chose Ingolstadt (in Bavaria, southern Germany)
as young Frankenstein's university because (Anne-Marie
Germaine Necker) de Stael identified it as the place where
experimental scientific work was under way, and also it
was the headquarters (from 1771 to 1784) of the political
visionary Adam Weishaupt, founder of the Illuminati."
The character of "Dr. Victor Frankenstein" is an
amalgam of Andrew Cosse, William Godwin and Adam
Mary Shelley's novel was the birth of modern science
fiction. There is more than a little irony in the fact
that this genre was launched by Mary--with a little help
from Abbe Barruel.
In the end, science fiction has transformed more
lives, opened more people's minds, done more to change the
world than any plot or scheme by Adam Weishaupt. (See the
books Mary Shelley by Miranda Seymour, Grove Press, New
York, N.Y., 2000, pages 152 and 153; Mary Shelley: Romance
and Reality by Emily W. Sunstein, Little, Brown & Co.,
Boston, Mass., 1989, pages 50, 51, 92, 93 and 427; Mary
Shelley: A Literary Life by John Williams, St. Martin's
Press, New York, N.Y., 2000, pages 46 and 47; Mary
Shelley: A Biography by R. Glynn Grylls, Oxford University
Press, London, 1938, "Chronology;" and Warrant for
Genocide by Norman Cohn, Harper & Row Publishers, New
York, N.Y., 1966, pages 25 to 32.)
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