UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 10 Number 1
- Posted on behalf of Joseph Trainor.
Volume 10, Number 1
January 5, 2005
Editor: Joseph Trainor
UFOs HOVER OVER IRAN'S
UFOs returned to Iran in force last week, hovering
over the country's nuclear installations and causing the
Islamic government to issue a Red Alert.
It was the biggest mass sighting of UFOs in Iran
since the two-week flap in mid-April 2004. At that time,
UFOs were sighted in Tabriz, Ghonbad-Kavous, Azad Shar,
Gorgan and Poldokhtar. (For the full details, see UFO
Roundup, volume 9, number 16 for April 21, 2004, "UFOs
with flashing lights seen in northern Iran," page 5; and
volume 9, number 17 for April 28, 2004, "Major UFO flap
breaks out in northern Iran," page 4.)
"Iran's air force has been ordered to shoot down any
unknown or mysterious flying object in Iran's airspace, an
Iranian Air Force spokesman reported" on Sunday, December
26, 2004, "amid state-media reports of many sightings of
flying objects over Iran's nuclear installations."
"Flying-object fever has gripped Iran after dozens of
reported sightings last summer and in recent months.
State-run media has reported sightings of unknown objects
over parts of Iran where nuclear facilities are located."
"Flights of unknown objects in the country's airspace
have increased in recent weeks. They have been seen over
Bushehr and Isfahan provinces, the daily newspaper Resalat
reported yesterday (Sunday, December 26, 2004)."
"The timing of the reported increases in sighting,
coming as the United States is prodding the UN to confront
Iran over its nuclear program, has strengthened the
Iranian public's perception that the objects under
surveillance are hostile aircraft entering Iran."
"Gen. Karim Ghavami, (Iran's) chief of air
operations, was quoted yesterday as saying that Iran is
fully prepared to defend itself against any threat to its
nuclear installations. 'We have developed detailed plans
to defend our nuclear facilities from any threat. Iran's
air force is watchful and and fully prepared to carry out
its responsibilities,' he said."
"Shining objects were seen in the daytime sky over
Natanz, where Iran's uranium enrichment plant is located.
One of the objects exploded, causing panic among the
civilians of the region."
"Iran has been accused by the USA of developing a
clandestine nuclear weapons program. Israel has hinted
openly that it may strike Iran's nuclear facilities if
international pressure fails to permanently freeze Iran's
"Iran has denied the U.S. charges, saying its nuclear
program is geared towards producing electricity, not
"Iran agreed last week to suspend uranium enrichment
and all related activities under a deal reached with the
European Union, helping it to escape referral to the UN
Security Council and the possible imposition of
"Iran says it already possesses the capability to
create the entire nuclear fuel cycle--from mining uranium
oxide to enriching it. Uranium enriched to a low level is
used as fuel in nuclear reactors. Further enrichment
produces 'weapons-grade' uranium and plutonium."
"Sources in Iran say the Iranian Air Force has
admitted to these sightings and assumes that these are
U.S. or Israeli spy craft and has directed its fighter
pilots to 'shoot them down on sight.'"
Easier said than done. The same sources claim that
"the Iranian Air Force has thus far been unable to
successfully intercept" any UFO "and has failed to shoot
down a single object. Many in the Iranian Air Force are
complaining about a lack of technical ability in shooting
down these mysterious craft." (See the Iranian newspaper
Resalat for December 27, 2004; the Jordanian newspaper Al-
Majd for December 27, 2004; and India Daily for December
27, 2004, "Iranian Air Force ordered to defend nuclear
facilities from UFOs." Many thanks to Robert Fischer,
Daniel Wilson and Ayesha al-Khatabi for these newspaper
(Editor's Comment: Welcome to Spotlight on Iran Week here
at UFO Roundup. Isfahan and Bushehr aren't the only
Iranian provinces where weird events are happening. Read
MYSTERY METEOR CRASHES
IN SOUTHEASTERN IRAN
"A meteorite weighing at least 16 kilograms struck a
house in southeastern Iran, the state news agency IRNA
reported Thursday," December 29, 2004.
"The crystalline meteor penetrated the roof of a
house in Saravan, a small town in the province of Sistan-
Baluchestan," about 800 kilometers (500 miles) southeast
of Tehran, the national capital.
"According to local police official Mohammad Arab,
the sparkling crystal meteor hit the home in Saravan and
shattered into small pieces. No injuries or serious
damage was reported."
"The police report said most of the meteor had
already been broken up and taken away by local people
before their officers arrived at the scene."
"At least one mullah has called the meteor 'the gift
of Allah.' From my friend Kufa Yildaz, I've heard that
the Shiites in Saravan believe these crystals from space
will protect them when the Israeli attack comes," Ayesha
al-Khatabi, UFO Roundup's Middle East correspondent said.
(See the Jordanian newspaper Al-Majd for December 30,
2004. Many thanks to Dick Eastman and Ayesha al-Khatabi
for this newspaper article.)
LUMINOUS ORANGE UFO
SIGHTED IN CUBA
On Sunday, December 18, 2004, UK tourist Stuart Logan
and his family decided to go out to dinner at the Club
Amigo, the open-air restaurant at the Hotel Atlantico in
Guardalavaca, a suburb of Holguin, a city in eastern Cuba.
"We were on the thirteenth night of a two-week
vacation at the resort of Guardalavaca on the northeastern
side of Cuba," Stuart reported, "Guardalavaca is located
one hour's drive from the major city of Holguin and is on
"We had recently started our meal, and with me at a
round table were five of us--my brother, my niece, my
sister and a family friend. It was a clear sky, and the
sun had just about gone down. But it was not yet complete
darkness. I had my back to the view facing the coast.
The restaurant we were in was only a five-minute walk from
"At precisely 7:05 p.m., my brother, sitting
opposite, said, 'What's that light in the sky?'"
"We all began to observe a very bright light at about
a 45-degree angle in the sky over the sea. We had been
observing the stars every night, as they are so clear in
the Cuban sky from what we would see in UK, and we knew
instantly--this was no planet or star."
"The light was a pulsating bright orangeness that was
"My brother said he had been watching it for a few
minutes previously and only mentioned it when he saw
another bright orange object join it."
"To me, it was one light, but some at our table
thought it could be up to four lights close together."
"I estimated the light to be no more than 3 or 4
kilometers (2 or 3 miles) away."
"We all agreed that the light was orange and
definitely pulsating or possibly expanding and
"Other diners noticed us looking, and they began to
observe the object."
"Then the waiters became interested, followed by the
kitchen staff, and all came out and went to the edge of
the restaurant for the closest view."
"This was the best indicator that we were observing
something, as the Cuban staff seemed as fascinated as we
were. In all, there were 20 people watching the sky."
"We observed the object all together for about five
"It was about 7:10 p.m. when the light just faded and
"Unfortunately, I did not have my camera with me that
evening. There was some background music playing in the
restaurant so we could not hear any other sound."
"Coincidentally, the next morning, my niece heard on
TV that a UFO picked up on radar, had been reported in the
Jakarta region of Indonesia." (For more on the Jakarta
flyover, see UFO Roundup, volume 9, number 52 for December
28, 2004, "Sky booms rattle the capital of Indonesia,"
"Was there any connection between the Indonesian
incident and the world's most destructive earthquake in
the last forty years?" (Email Form Report)
SILVER DAYLIGHT DISC SEEN
IN ALDERSHOT, HAMPSHIRE
On Monday, December 27, 2004, eyewitness Craig W. was
outdoors in Aldershot, Hampshire, UK when he saw a shining
object approaching from the west.
Craig reported, "It was an elongated silvery diamond-
shaped craft, slow-moving and silent. It was bright
silver in the daylight and dark grey at certain angles.
There were two eyewitnesses to the event, myself included.
When first observing the object, we both thought it was a
type of swift-wing species (similar to observing a sample
through a microscope--C.W.)."
He described the object as "moving quietly" and "at a
height of 20,000 feet (6,000 meters), not made for speed
but moved quite slowly. It took approximately four
minutes to disappear over the eastern horizon." (Email
NIGHT SAUCERS HOVER
OVER WORTHAM, TEXAS
On Friday, December 16, 2004, at 9 p.m., eyewitness
John S. "and my two friends were outside" in Wortham,
Texas (population 1,082) "when a disk or saucer-shaped
object came flying over the small buildings of downtown
Wortham. It was a greyish-blue color and had lights all
around the rim."
The saucer stopped and hovered over the intersection
of Route 14 and the county road to Kirvin, then it moved
on. "Soon two others followed after it, looking exactly
the same. They stayed awhile, hovering and spinning above
us. Then they stopped in mid-air and flew away so fast
they looked like they disappeared."
Wortham, Tex. is on Route 14, approximately 8 miles
(12 kilometers) north of Mexia and 45 miles (72
kilometers) northeast of Waco. (Email Form Report)
TWO UFOs BUZZ A HOUSE
IN ACTON, ONTARIO
On Monday, December 5, 2004, at 7:15 p.m., eyewitness
C.C. "was sitting outside on the deck with my dog" at her
home in Acton, Ontario, Canada (population 6,975) when she
was startled by a strange UFO encounter.
"I live in a new housing development in Action, and
the treeline is actually behind an air base," she
reported, "On the other side of the trees lies a grocery
store and a small plaza. The sky was clear, and out of
nowhere dropped two oval-shaped lights. They dropped
straight down over the treeline and went straight over my
house. The two objects were very quiet and came to a
brief stop as they dropped out of nowhere and then went
straight over my house."
"I didn't notice how my dog reacted--a soft-coated
Wheaten terrier--as she was doing her business, and I was
looking up into the sky. The two objects were almost
triangle-shaped and bright, silver looking, and they made
no noise at all. This all happened in a matter of five to
"We live about one hour northwest of Pearson
International Airport in Toronto. I could see clearly the
planes going over that night. They fly southeast over our
house. These objects descended out of nowhere, straight
down, hesitated and then straight over my house."
Acton, Ont. in on Provincial Highway 25 about 30
miles (48 kilometers) west of Toronto, Canada's largest
city. (Many thanks to Canadian ufologist Brian Vike for
"POTATO SNIPER" CAUSES
HAVOC IN SCITUATE, R.I.
There's a new breed of terrorist in central Rhode
Island--someone who shoots at houses and people using a
gun that fires potatoes.
"Police are investigating a series of drive-by
shootings in Scituate, R.I.," a town located about 20
miles (32 kilometers) west-southwest of Providence, "that
involve a bizarre weapon of choice--a potato."
"Scituate police believe the perpetrator, armed with
a potato gun, went on a vegetable-shooting spree through
"Houses on Peeptoad, Westcott and Chopmist Hill Roads
were hit. Fortunately, no one was hurt. Police believe
juveniles or college students are to blame, but they're
not treating these cases as harmless pranks."
"'If it were to strike somebody, especially in the
right area of the body, it could cause permanent harm,
broken bones, maybe even death to the right person,' said
Sgt. Dave Randall of the Scituate police, 'I think it's a
pretty silly prank, and I think it's something that could
hurt somebody seriously. And if they are apprehended,
they will be charged.'"
"Police don't have any suspects, but they said
whoever is responsible is facing three counts of
misdemeanor vandalism." (See the WJAR-TV Channel 10 of
Providence, R.I. news broadcast of December 30, 2004,
"Houses shot at with potatoes." Many thanks to Mary-Lou
Jones Drown for the transcript of the news broadcast.)
(Editor's Note: Chopmist Hill in Scituate is quite close
to the site of old Phillips Tavern, which was founded in
1812 by the ancestors of Howard Phillips Lovecraft (1890-
1937) and is notorious for its ghost and poltergeist
activity. When I visited Scituate in 1995, I learned of a
strange little ditty that dated back to colonial days and
was sung at the now-demolished Pine Tree Tavern, just
across Route 6, from the Phillips place. The ditty goes
like this: " We're crunching potatoes/Crunching
potatoes/We're crunching/We're crunching/Potatoes. Could
Scituate's "Potato Sniper" be a poltergeist? What do you
think, Terry? Was Peeptoad Road named after Tsathoggua?)
BAD YEAR AHEAD
"A Tunisian astrologer who predicted the deaths of
Princess Diana, Hamas leader Sheikh Ahmed Yassin and
Yasser Arafat says President (George W.) Bush will be
killed by an assassin's bullet in 2005."
"So seriously are Hassan al-Sharibi's predictions
taken in the Arab world that a similar prophecy about PLO
leader Mahmoud Abbas has resulted in increased security
around the candidate to replace Arafat as president of the
"Abbas' aides 'put a good deal of credence' in the
prediction, according to a source quoted by the Jerusalem
"However, the paper tempered its report by saying
critics label Sharibi as 'a quack with a flair who relies
on logic and wishful thinking. After all, predicting
Yassin's assassination--he was Israel's Public Enemy No.
1--and the death of Arafat were hardly major feats.'"
"Soothsaying is not unusual, or forbidden, in Islam,
as it is in Christianity and Judaism. Muslim caliphs
retained a court astrologer as early as the Eighth
(Editor's Comment: Fortune-telling is forbidden in
Judaism!? That's news. What do you call the Zohar and
"Sharibi also predicted the sudden death of Saddam
Hussein before his trial begins" in Baghdad.
"'The Middle East will be sitting on a volcano in
2005, and the situation in Iraq will get even more
dramatic as Saddam Hussein is expected to die suddenly
before his trial even starts,' Sharibi said, according to
a report of the United Press International."
Hindu astrologers are predicting more earthquakes
like the one that triggered the massive tsunamis (Japanese
for tidal waves--J.T.) in the Indian Ocean a week ago,
Indian journalist Sudhir Chadda reported.
"The negative planetary alignment will cause many
earthquakes all around the world of a magnitude that
humankind has never seen before."
"According to the Hindu astrologers of Varanasi
(formerly Benares--J.T.), Venus, Luna (Earth's moon--J.T.)
and Jupiter are pulling Earth away from the sun in a
single direction, this baleful alignment could devastate
the world in the next few months." (See the Jerusalem
Post for December 28, 2004, "Arab astrologer predicts Bush
assassination;" and India Daily for December 29, 2004,
"Planetary alignment can devastate the world in the next
few months." Many thanks to Ayesha al-Khatabi and Subhas
Banerjee for these newspaper articles.)
MARINES TO HOLD TRAINING
EXERCISE IN TOLEDO, OHIO
"The Marines will take over parts of downtown Toledo
(population 313,619) as sounds of gunfire will echo off
buildings when training exercises are conducted next
"A Marine Corps unit based in Perrysburg, Ohio
(population 16,945)," 10 miles (16 kilometers) south of
Toledo, "will conduct the exercise from 9 p.m. (Friday)
January 7 (2005) until (Sunday) January 9 (2005), Major
Gregory Cramer said."
"Major Cramer said most of the 130-member unit--
Weapons Company, First Battalion, 24th Marines--will take
part in the exercise."
"'We're looking for a safe environment to do our
training,' he said, 'Urban training is one of the
proficiencies we're required to master.'"
"Major Cramer said Marines will be dressed in green
and will be carrying rifles through the streets, but the
exercise would have a limited impact on the downtown area.
He said the Marines will be firing blanks and conducting
operations throughout the area."
"'The only request we would have of folks, if they
happen to be near where an exercise is taking place, is to
stay away as much as possible,' Major Cramer said."
"The exercise area will be roughly north of Monroe
Street, west of the Maumee River, south and west of Cherry
Street, south of Woodruff Avenue and east of Collingwood
"Toledo Police Chief Mike Navarre said military
exercises have been conducted before in the downtown area
with a minimal impact on city residents. He said city and
police officials have been working with the Marines to
help the exercise go smoothly."
"'Training is extremely important, not just in our
profession but in the military, too,' Chief Navarre said,
'We're not going to place any obstacles in their way.'"
"Jean Atkin, administrator for Lucas County Common
Pleas Court, said the unit was granted permission to use
the courthouse grounds. The unit, though, won't use the
interior of the courthouse."
"'We used to do this when we were kids--you know,
running around the woods,' Ms. Atkin said, 'They're just
going to use the downtown.'" (See the Toledo, Ohio Blade
for January 1, 2005, "Marines will stay close to home for
urban training." Many thanks to Jim Danvers for this
(Editor's Comment: You know, I was really hoping for a
respite from the New World Order during 2005. But I guess
that was just too much to hope for.)
ISRAELI FIRM GETS CONTRACT
FOR FEMA PRISON CAMPS
A company based in Israel has signed a contract with
the U.S. Department of Homeland Security to construct new
detention facilities to be added to the current roster of
600 internment camps operated by the department's Federal
Emergency Management Agency (FEMA).
"In December 2004, President Bush and the Department
of Homeland Security, authorizing preliminary studies for
the rapid construction of a National Detention Center
Program (FEMA)-controlled series of detention centers, to
be added to the existing 600 units in place."
"The Department of Homeland Security is coordinating
with the Israeli corporation, Israeli Prison Systems Ltd.,
for the expedited construction of several new prison
camps. The new internment camps will be located in rural
and relatively uninhabited areas throughout the
continental United States and Alaska."
"Civilian internment camps or prison camps, more
commonly known as concentration camps, have been the
subject of much rumor during the past few years in
America," particularly since Y2K at the end of 1999.
"Several Web sites have dealt with the issue, and
radio talk show hosts have dealt with the issue."
The program grew out of the Suspect Index, a list
compiled by President Franklin D. Roosevelt and then-
Attorney General Homer Cummings earmarking American
civilians to be interned in the event of war or other dire
national emergency. J. Edgar Hoover's aide, Clyde W.
Tolson, referred to it as "the HSL" or "Homer's Shit
List." The list was updated in 1938 with the names of
thousands of Issei and Nisei (Japanese-Americans--J.T.),
who were rounded up en masse in February 1942 after FDR
issued his infamous executive order.
Following World War II, the detention camp system was
ratified by Congress as part of the Internal Security Act
of 1950. When President Jimmy Carter created FEMA in
1979, the camp program moved into the new agency. When
the newly-created Department of Homeland Security made
FEMA one of its sub-agencies in 2002, it also obtained
control of the camp program.
Existence of the controversial camp program has
reportedly been confirmed by Rep. Henry Gozalez (Democrat-
Texas). According to Soldiers for Jesus News Report,
Gonzalez was quoted as saying, "The truth is...yes, you do
have these standby prisons, and the plans are
here...whereby you could, in the name of stopping
terrorism...evoke the military and arrest Americans and
put them in detention camps." (See Soldiers for Jesus
News Reports for December 30, 2004, "The march into
internment continues." Many thanks to Jeremy Gridley for
this news story.)
ANIMALS RECEIVED A
TO FLEE THE TSUNAMI
"Wildlife enthusiasts in Sri Lanka are expressing
surprise that the tsunami that killed thousands of people
does not appear to have caused large-scale animal deaths,
which suggests that the animals might have sensed the
coming disaster and fled to higher ground."
"An Associated Press photographer who flew over the
Yala National Park by helicopter saw abundant wildlife,
including elephants, buffalo and deer, and not a single
"Yala, Sri Lanka's largest wildlife reserve, is home
to 200 Asian elephants, crocodile, wild boar, water
buffalo and gray langur monkeys. The park also has Asia's
highest concentration of leopards."
"Water from Sunday's tsunami swept into the park,
uprooting trees, toppling cars, destroying a lodge and
killing 200 people." (See USA Today for December 30,
2004, "Few animal victims in tsunami disaster," page 9D.)
SWEDISH TODDLER UNITED
WITH FAMILY AGAIN
"A Swedish toddler was reunited with his weeping
father in a Thai hospital Wednesday," December 29, 2004,
"three days after the two-year-old was found sitting alone
on a roadside after the tsunami."
Sunburned, covered with mosquito bites, and shaking
from trauma, the boy could only utter two words,
But on Wednesday, "Hannes Bergstroem, his face
scratched and pocked with mosquito bites and his hand
bandaged, looked bemused as his father choked up with
emotion. The father," Marko Karkkainen, "also scratched
and bruised, held Hannes as he lay in a hospital bed,
surrounded by balloons."
"The boy's mother is among about 5,000 people still
missing in Thailand."
"Hannes was found near a beach resort Sunday night,"
December 26, 2004, "and taken to a hospital. The hospital
staff posted his photo on the Internet. His uncle spotted
the photo, claimed the boy and set up the reunion with his
father, at a hospital on the southern Thai island of
Phuket, where father and son were receiving treatment."
"'I have been to Thailand seven times, and this time
only confirmed what I know about the Thai people--that
they are so generous and caring,' Karkkainen said." (See
USA Today for December 30, 2004, "2-year-old found along
road is reunited with his father," page 7A.)
AFTERSHOCKS STILL RATTLE
INDIAN OCEAN ISLANDS
Powerful aftershocks continue to rattle the Nicobar
and Andaman Islands, off the coast of India, in the wake
of the tremendous earthquake, 9.0 on the Richter scale,
that took place on Sunday, December 26, 2004.
The quake, the most powerful on Earth in 40 years,
split one Nicobar island into two pieces and caused
another to sink like the lost continent of Atlantis.
Units of the Indian Army "on Wednesday (December 29,
2004) reached the last of India's remote Andaman and
Nicobar villages, where villagers have been living off
coconuts since" the tsunami that flooded the islands
following Sunday's quake.
"On the island of Car Nicobar, dazed Nicobarese
tribes people emerged from the trees as the army pushed
into the interior."
"Staring blankly, drawn, exhausted and barely
speaking, they showed little emotion or relief at the
arrival of help after three days of camping on the tiny
island's only high ground."
"'Everything is gone. We have nothing left, not even
a slipper,' said Nathan, a 56-year-old father of eight."
"'First the ground shook and we thought the earth was
going to swallow us up,' he said, 'But then the sea came
and it came so fast I barely had time to ask my wife to
gather our children and run.'"
"Bodies still litter the Nicobars and in parts of
(India's) southern mainland, authorities have given up
counting the dead, instead quickly disposing of bodies in
mass burials and cremations."
"Dozens of aftershocks continued to hit the Andaman
and Nicobar Islands, bordering Myanmar (formerly Burma--
J.T.) and Indonesia. Islanders are terrified the
(aftershock) tremors could trigger more giant waves are
living on high ground or sleeping on mattresses in the
streets of the island's capital, Port Blair."
"'When the ground first shook, I thought this was an
earthquake. But when the waves came and it kept climbing
higher and higher, I knew God had meant us to die,' said
another islander, Augustine. 'But my child was there with
me and I had to run. Jesus saved us.'"
"Territory police chief S.B. Deol said, 'One in five
inhabitants in the entire Nicobar group of islands is
either dead, injured or missing.'"
"At least 50,000 people live in the Nicobars, at the
southern end of the chain."
"'The situation is some of the islands we managed to
establish contact with is indeed very grim,' Deol said,
'People have been living on coconuts...and the coconuts
are not going to last forever. We need to reach food
urgently to these people.'"
"Aircraft dropping emergency supplies report only a
third or half the residents of some islands can be
"The power of Sunday's earthquake split one island in
"'The entire geography of some parts of these islands
has changed,' Deol said. 'Where there was one island
before, now we see two. In one place, a tree stands alone
in the middle of the ocean.'"
Commenting on the disaster, the Times of India
stated, "The giant killer waves that swept the coasts of
South and Southeast Asia have added a new word to the
global lexicon of disaster--tsunami...The truly fearsome
aspect of the disaster is that it was totally
unpredictable. So little is known about catastrophic
phenomena like tsunamis that it is virtually impossible
for governments or populations to take precautionary
action...Forget nations, our entire species might not
survive such a cataclysmic giga-event--which for our
planet is but a twitch of its skin. Such stupendous
forces beyond comprehension can inspire only awe."
Survivors all over the region continued to come
forward with their stories. Seven-year-old Piuli Paul
"went to (southern India's) Marina Beach with her father,
Pallab Paul, an accountant; her mother, Ratna Paul; and
"The entire family could not recall exactly what
happened at 8:40 a.m. (India) time on Sunday. 'Suddenly
there was a wall of water all around us, and it was
swelling by the minute. We just ran for safety, I think,
screaming out to ensure that the others were safe,' Ratna
"'We were wetting our feet when a wave hit us,' Piuli
said. 'My dida (Hindi for grandmother--J.T.) fell on the
sand. I went to help her and grabbed her bag. Others
came to help, too, but a big wave struck then and swept us
Piuli "regained consciousness in a children's
playground where the waters had deposited her. Piuli
tried grabbing a bar to pull herself out of the water. 'I
had lost all my strength,' I recalled, 'One uncle then
helped me...out of the water.'"
"After a long search, she found her mother and father
near the beach. Her grandfather was located in a
hospital" in Chennai. "But her grandmother, Bela Paul,
73, was killed." (See USA Today for December 30, 2004,
"Officials give up counting bodies in parts of India,"
page 6A, and for December 28, 2004, "Survivors ask, 'What
did we do to deserve this?' page 2A; and the Times of
India for December 27, 2004. Many thanks to Krishnari Bai
Dharapurnanda for the Indian newspaper material.)
HUYGENS CONTINUES ITS
SHORT FLIGHT TO TITAN
"On target for Titan, Saturn's haze-shrouded moon,
the Huygens space probe is headed for a mystery-packed
"The European Space Agency's Huygens lander detached
from the international Cassini spacecraft on Christmas Eve
(Friday, December 24, 2004) and now speeds toward Titan on
a precise trajectory to enter the moon's orange-tinged
"Whether the 705-pound probe will land on frozen ice,
a methane lake or a muddy combination of both remains
"On (Friday) January 14 (2005), Huygens' landing--the
farthest one from Earth ever attempted by any space probe-
-is expected to be a scientific highlight of 2005."
"The second-largest moon in the solar system and the
only one with a dense atmosphere, Titan fascinates
planetary scientists. Under its dense clouds, a complex
interplay of carbon chemistry is thought to take place,
mirroring conditions on Earth at the birth of the solar
"NASA scientists have pronounced themselves boggled
by the cloudy glimpses on recent flybys, a vista of light
and dark plateaus that mesh jaggedly, marked with hints of
frozen lakes in radar images."
"'Despite everything we've seen, Titan is almost as
mysterious now as it was 15 years ago,' says Huygens chief
scientist John Zarnecki of the United Kingdom's Open
"Huygens will plunge into Titan's clouds at a 65-
degree angle, hitting speeds near 13,000 miles per hour
(20,800 kilometers per hour) and raising temperatures on
its heat shield to more than 2,700 degrees" on the
"'That's damn fast--a fireball entry,' says Zarnecki,
who calls those moments 'the most terrifying' of Huygens'
voyage from Earth to Titan."
"After its speed drops, the probe will deploy three
parachutes and measure the density of Titan's atmosphere.
Scientists hope it will return at least two hours' of
photos and data to Cassini overhead." (See USA Today for
December 27, 2004, "Jan. 14 is a Saturn-day for Titan moon
probe," page 7D.)
From the UFO Files...
1792: STRANGE SECRETS OF
THE WHITE HOUSE
A presidential inauguration is coming up on January
20, 2005, so this might be a good time to look at some of
the arcana in Washington, D.C. Such as the strange
secrets of the District of Columbia's most haunted spot--
the mansion at 1600 Pennsylvania Avenue, known worldwide
as the White House.
The White House, then known as "the President's
House," was the first public building to be erected in
Washington. In 1790, the Commissioners of the District
held a competition, seeking designs for the future
executive mansion. A prize of $500 would be awarded to
the winning architect. Hundreds of hopeful American
architects participated--including Thomas Jefferson, who
submitted his design anonymously. But the Commissioners
chose instead the blueprint of a young Irish immigrant,
James was born in County Kilkenny, Ireland in 1758,
the son of Edward Hoban and Martha Bayne. In 1772, he
went to Dublin and studied architecture under Thomas
Ivory. Eight years later, in 1780, he won a gold medal
from the Dublin Society for his "Drawings of Brackets,
Stairs, Roofs, etc."
Following the end of the War of the American
Revolution in 1783, James bought a one-way passage on a
Dublin merchantman and sailed to Philadelphia, then the
USA's capital and also its largest and fastest-growing
city. On May 25, 1785, he took out an advertisement in
the Pennsylvania Evening Herald, offering his services as
Projects were a little slow coming his way, so, in
1787, James took the advice of several friends in his
Masonic lodge and moved to Charleston, S.C. There his
career really caught fire. "From 1787 to 1792, he
designed Savage's Green Theatre and a plan for an orphan
asylum." In 1790, he designed and supervised the
construction of Prospect Hill, the plantation house on
Edisto Island, 20 miles (32 kilometers) south of
On July 18, 1792, the Commission awarded James the
$500 and invited him to "oversee and implement
construction of the President's House."
"Hoban based his design on the Leinster House in
Dublin (1745-1751)...Late Georgian in style, with a giant
portico bisecting a rectangular, three-story building, its
facades were organized according to a traditional
Renaissance-derived palace type with the principal story
raised above ground, its tall windows surrounded by
pediments marking its importance."
The building site was nothing to write home about.
Both the White House and Lafayette Square had been
situated by Pierre L'Enfant in "The Barrens," a scrubland
notable for its panoramic south-facing view of the Potomac
Why had Hoban chosen the Leinster House for his
model? Well, to understand the answer to that question,
you'd have to know a little bit more about the history of
Freemasonry in Jimmy's homeland, Ireland.
The Leinster House is on Kildare Street in Dublin,
just south of Temple Bar and Trinity College. The
neighborhood sure had its share of celebrities in the
Nineteenth Century. Living around the corner from the
Leinster House at 61 Harcourt Street was George Bernard
Shaw, one of the founders of the Fabian Society. At 62
Harcourt Street lived Abraham Stoker, better known as Bram
Stoker, the author of Dracula. At their favorite
restaurant in Merrion Square, the wine waiter was none
other than Alois Hitler Jr., the older half-brother of the
German dictator and son of Austro-Hungarian customs
official Alois Hitler, nee Schicklegruber. Alois Jr., by
the way, was arrested and charged with bigamy by the Irish
The man who built the Leinster House was James
Fitzgerald, the 20th Earl of Kildare. He began
construction in 1745, the year of the civil war in
Scotland which culminated in the defeat of "Bonnie Prince
Charlie" at Culloden. In 1747, James Fitzgerald married
Emily Lennox, the daughter of Charles Lennox, the Duke of
Richmond, and a godfather to King George II. As a result
of this favorable marriage, James was made Viscount
Leinster in 1749 by George II and later the Duke of
Leinster in 1766 by George III.
(Editor's Note: The Duke's nephew was Lord Edward
Fitzgerald, who founded the United Irishmen and launched
the ill-fated Illuminati uprising of 1798.)
The Duke was also a key figure in Irish Freemasonry.
The original lodge papers of the Knights Templar
Kilwinning Lodge No. 75 and the Grand Master's Lodge of
Dublin disappeared during the 1790s. However, in 1849,
the Duke of Leinster claimed that a century earlier, on
January 3, 1749, his great-grandad, James Fitzgerald, the
20th Earl of Kildare, had founded the Grand Master's
Masonic historian Robert F. Gould wrote, "The loss of
the early records of the Grand Lodge of Ireland, though
variously explained, has never been satisfactorily
On April 26, 1779, James Fitzgerald and Dr. George A.
Cunningham of Dublin wrote to Thomas Arthur of Irvine,
Scotland, Master of the Mother Lodge in Kilwinning, and
requested permission to "form a Lodge of the same name in
Dublin." This was the Kilwinning Lodge No. 75, also known
as the High Knights Templar of Ireland.
Curiously, one of James Fitzgerald's ancestors was
involved with the original Knights Templar. According to
The History of the Knights Templar, Maurice fitzGerald
invited the Templars to organize banking houses in Dublin.
A delegation of Templars under Roger le Waleis moved to
Dublin in 1204 from the order's stronghold at Templemore
on Ireland's southern coast. The Templar order was
suppressed a century later in 1314.
Reading this, your editor began to wonder if there
were any famous Fitzgeralds in American history. The
first one to come to mind was John E. Fitzgerald, also
known as "Honey Fitz," who was elected the mayor of
Boston, Mass. in 1904. "Honey Fitz" was the maternal
grandfather of President John Fitzgerald Kennedy (1917-
1963). But it is not known for certain whether the
Kennedys are directly related to the "Templar
Nor, thanks to the missing papers, is it known if
Edward Hoban, father of the White House architect, was a
member of the High Knights Templar of Ireland, Kilwinning
Lodge No. 75, whose grandmaster was James Fitzgerald, the
Duke of Leinster.
But it is interesting that James Hoban, a Mason,
chose the Leinster House, the birthplace of Irish
Freemasonry, as the model for the USA's executive mansion.
Another weird link with Freemasonry and the Knights
Templar came on Saturday, October 13, 1792, when a group
of Masons, Hoban among them, laid the cornerstone of the
According to researcher David Ovason, "A letter
submitted by 'a gentleman (of Philadelphia--J.T.)' offers
the only surviving eyewitness version of the Masonic
cornerstone laying, which was held on Saturday, October
13, 1792, when the Georgetown Lodge No. 9 of Maryland
gathered for the ceremony."
The news story appeared in the Charleston City
Gazette for November 15, 1792 and reads, in part, "On
Saturday the 13th inst. the first stone was laid in the
south-west corner of the president's house, in the city of
Washington, by the Free Masons of George-town and its
vicinity, who assembled on the occasion. The procession
was formed at the Fountain Inn, Georgetown...The Ceremony
was performed by brother Casaneva (a typo--it was Peter
Casanave--J.T.), master of the lodge, who delivered an
oration well adapted to the occasion."
According to the Gazette, "the inscription on the
brass plate," placed inside the cornerstone, "ran:"
"This first stone of the President's House was laid
the 12th day of October
1792, and in the 17th Year of the Independence of
the United States of America."
George Washington, President
Doctor Stewart, Commissioners
James Hoban, Architect
Collen Williamson, Master Mason
"All those listed were Masons, with the possible
exception of Thomas Johnson," Ovason points out in his
book, and "the brass cornerstone plate is still where it
was laid in 1792. It was left in place during
refurbishments and investigations during the rebuilding of
1948, at the express commands of President Harry S.
Truman, who was learned in Masonic matters. After his
initiation in Belton Lodge No. 450" of Independence,
Missouri, "on February 9, 1909, Truman progressed to Grand
(Editor's Note: Mr. Truman was a 33rd-degree Mason and,
by some strange coincidence, also the 33rd president of
Over the years, the legend has grown that the White
House cornerstone was laid on Friday, Columbus Day,
October 12, 1792 by George Washington. Actually,
Washington was nowhere near the federal city bearing his
name that weekend. He was in Philadelphia.
Nor was the cornerstone laid to commemorate the
Tricentennial anniversary of Columbus' arrival in the
Americas. Did Lodge No. 9 get the date wrong? Not
likely. The cornerstone was laid to commemorate a very
special anniversary...Black Friday...the original "Friday
the Thirteenth"...Friday, October 13, 1307, the day the
Knights Templar were overthrown in France.
Exactly 485 years before Brothers Hoban and Casanave
laid the White House cornerstone, knights loyal to King
Philippe IV attacked Templar churches and strongholds all
over France. It was the beginning of the end for the
Eleven months later, on September 6, 1793, "three
Ancient York (Rite) Masons, then resident in the federal
city, had submitted a petition, praying for a warrant to
convene and work as Masons. These were James Hoban, C.W.
Stephenson and Andrew Eustace. The petition was granted,
and Hoban became Master of the newly-formed Federal Lodge
"Hoban spent the remaining forty years of his life
working in Washington, throughout which constructing,
rebuilding and altering the White House occupied much of
Amazingly, Hoban was leading a double life. Not only
was he the founder of Washington D.C.'s first Masonic
lodge, he was a pillar of the city's Roman Catholic
community. "He has been credited with establishing the
first Catholic church, St. Patrick's, in Washington in
1792 and in 1820 served on the committee to erect St.
Peter's Church on Capitol Hill."
Eight years earlier, following the exposure of Adam
Weishaupt and the Illuminati of Bavaria (southern Germany-
-J.T.), Pope Clement VII had banned Roman Catholics from
joining Masonic lodges, arguing that lodge membership was
"an occasion of sin." Had Hoban been found out, he would
have been excommunicated by the Church.
In 1799, Hoban "married Susannah Sewell of
Massachusetts, with whom he had several children. In 1802
he was elected to the Washington City Council and served
intermittently for many years. Hoban was also a member of
the Columbian Institute, founded in 1817."
In the summer of 1814, Admiral Cockburn landed a
British army at Head of Elk, Maryland, and opened an
offensive against Washington, D.C. The Americans were
defeated at Bladensburg, Maryland, and British troops,
under Gen. Robert Ross, occupied Washington. All of the
federal buildings were put to the torch, including the
White House. But, midway through the blaze, thunderclouds
drifted in from the west, and a torrential downpour dumped
two inches of rain on the White House. The fire was
extinguished, and the mansion was saved.
Immediately Hoban began work on restoring the White
House in every detail. In this he was assisted by his
good friend and fellow Mason, Benjamin Henry Latrobe. Six
years earlier, Latrobe had tried to persuade President
Thomas Jefferson to make certain "improvements" to the
In particular, Latrobe wanted to add two porticos to
the White House. One on the north side, which resembled
the entrance to a Greek temple. This is not at all
surprising, given that Latrobe designed the original St.
John's Church, which stands across from the White House on
Lafayette Square and looks like the old temple of Athena
Nike on the Acropolis. But the south side portico was to
be completely different, a semi-circular structure
reminiscent of an ancient solar temple.
Hoban supervised the project, based on Latrobe's
original 1808 design. The south portico was finished in
1824. Hoban completed the north portico in 1829, two
years before his death on December 8, 1831.
It is the White House's south portico that faces the
sun and, more importantly, the 555-foot obelisk we now
call the Washington Monument. The obelisk stands at the
exact center of the city, according to Ovason.
If you were to draw a straight line from the White
House's south portico to the Washington Monument, and then
continue that line in the same direction, it would take
you across the Potomac River to Alexandria, Virginia...and
the George Washington Masonic Memorial, which is an exact
replica of the original lighthouse that guarded the harbor
of Alexandria, Egypt.
The George Washington Masonic Memorial had its
cornerstone laid on November 1, 1923. In the Roman
Catholic calendar, November 1 is All Saints Day, but to
the Aztecs of Mexico it was "the Day of the Dead," in
which they honored all of the victims of the great flood
that ended the last "world-age."
On November 1, 1950, a group of Puerto Rican
nationalists attacked the Blair House on Lafayette Square,
trying to kill President Truman, who, as you'll recall,
was a 33rd degree Mason. Was this just a coincidence? Or
did some of those Puerto Ricans have a working knowledge
of la Masoneria?
Bet on it. In Washington, D.C., there is more than
meets the all-seeing eye. (See the books The Secret
Architecture of Our Nation's Capital by David Ovason,
HarperCollins Publishers, New York, N.Y., 2000, pages 61,
62, 63, 64, 408 and 409; Talisman by Graham Hancock and
Robert Bauval, HarperCollins Publishers, Hammersmith,
London, 2004, pages 449, 464, 465 and 473; Beautiful
Washington D.C. by Gene Gurney, Crown Publishers Inc., New
York, N.Y., 1969, pages 56, 57 and 58; A Guide to the
Architecture of Washington D.C., edited by Hugh Newell
Jacobsen, Frederick A. Praeger Publishers, New York, N.Y.,
1965, pages 68, 69, 70 and 71; Off the Beaten Track--
Ireland by Rosemary Evans, Globe Pequot Press, Ashbourne,
Derbyshire, UK, 1993, pages 264 and 265; Modern Ireland
1600-1972 by R.F. Foster, Penguin Press, London, 1988,
pages 169, 179, 241 and 247.; and The History of
Freemasonry, Volume 4, by Robert F. Gould, John C. Yorston
& Co., Publishers, New York, N.Y., 1889, pages 557, 564
Welcome to 2005, readers. We're starting Volume 10
of UFO Roundup, and I think we've come a long way since
the Varginha case and the heady events of 1996. So off we
go on another year of hunting for saucers, aliens,
Bigfoot, strange mysteries, phantom panthers, ancient
artifacts and other Fortean phenomena. Since we're
beginning a new year, it's time to repeat the UFO Roundup
"UFO Roundup will continue to provide attribution
wherever possible for each item that appears in the
"UFO Roundup will also diligently protect the
confidentiality of UFO witnesses who are interviewed by
our newsletter. No witness' full name or address will be
published unless the witness gives UFO Roundup specific
and explicit permission in writing to do so."
"UFO Roundup pledges to give you complete and
comprehensive coverage of the continuing drama of the
unidentified flying object."
See you next week!
UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 2005 by Masinaigan Productions, all
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