Monday, July 31, 2006


UFO Airborne Crash
Inexplicata Logo
By Diario "Nuevo Dia" (Mexico) and Ana Luisa Cid

     In the early hours of July 13, two unidentified flying objects exploded, lighting up the sky with powerful lights.

Terror spread among the population upon seeing that the UFOs, understood in the strictest meaning of the acronym and not as spacecraft from another planet, fell to earth leaving a wake of fire and multiple colors in the sky.

The event was recorded northwest of the city (Nogales, Sonora) in the vicinity of the Mascarenas communal farm. The first explosion was reported to this newspaper at 04:00 hours and around 20 minutes later, some of this newspaper's employees were able to see the second explosion, believed to correspond to something similar to a space rocket.

Witnesses to the first explosion remarked that the second object, before exploding into thousands of pieces, was static, in a parallel position to the first object.

They likewise indicated that the initial explosion was much more intense than the second one and that a fireball could be seen around the object, but at no time was any sound heard.

"The objects, or whoever was manning them, were making an effort to avoid a powerful impact," remarked an eyewitness.

These people could not believe the spectacle they were seeing, and their eyes reflected bewilderment and terror.

At the close of this edition, neither local authorities nor those of the neighboring country were able to account for these objects, nor where their remains may have fallen.

[Note from Prof. Cid: The Mascarenas communal farm belongs to Nogales, Sonora, located in the north of the Mexican Republic, bordering the United States. A person has agreed to provided me with the photos published in the newspaper. As soon as I have them I will share them with you.]

* Translation (c) 2006. Scott Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Ana Luisa Cid,

More . . .

See Also: Xalapa, Mexico: Mulitple UFOs Sighted During Governor's Function


Sunday, July 30, 2006

Searching For Aliens

by Staff Writers

Chris McKay (Sml)     Moffett Feild CA (SPX) Jul 28, 2006
Chris McKay, a planetary scientist with the NASA Ames Research Center, is involved in nearly every investigation of interest to astrobiologists. He is working on the return to the moon with both the Lunar Precursor and Robotic Program and the Constellation Project.

As a co-investigator on the Phoenix Lander and the Mars Science Laboratory, he's deeply involved in future Mars exploration. He has long been a vocal advocate for the human exploration of Mars, and for creating a global biosphere on the Red Planet, restoring Mars to the more habitable conditions it likely had 3.5 billion years ago.

He also researches the possibilities for life on Jupiter's moon Europa and the organic chemistry of Saturn's moon Titan. Finally, to better understand the limits for life in the solar system, he often explores the coldest and dries places on the Earth.

But finding out how life on Earth adapts to extreme environments is still a far cry from imagining the weird kinds of life that could exist in much stranger environments, such as Europa, with its liquid water ocean overlain by an irradiated ice shell, or Titan, which has a thick smoggy atmosphere and methane rain pattering down on its frozen surface.

In this interview with Astrobiology Magazine editor Leslie Mullen, McKay talks about the potential for other kinds of life in the universe, and how we could begin to search for those aliens.

Astrobiology Magazine (AM): You've said that, in our investigations of the solar system, you hope we find a completely alien life form. Could you explain what you mean by that?

Chris McKay (CM): I think one of the key goals for astrobiology should be the search for life on other planets, and in particular the search for a second genesis. And by that, I mean life that represents an independent origin from life on Earth. All life on Earth is related; all can be mapped onto a single web of life.

If there is a form of life that started separately, it might have some important differences from Earth life. It might still be DNA-based, but with a different genome than life on Earth. Or it might not be DNA-based at all.

Think of Earth life as a book written in English. There's an alphabet, there's words, and there's a language structure. A book in Spanish has the same alphabet, but it's clear that it's a different language -- there are different words with different constructions. A book in Hebrew, meanwhile, has a different alphabet. A book in Chinese doesn't even have an alphabet.

It has a completely different logic, using symbols to represent ideas or words directly. All four of those books -- English, Spanish, Hebrew and Chinese -- could be about the same topic, and therefore contain the same information. So at an ecological level they would all be the same, but they have fundamentally different ways of representing that information.

In our biology, the alphabet is A, T, C, and G -- the letters in the genetic code. The words are the codons that code for that. It could be that alien life will have the same alphabet but different words, the way Spanish is different from English. But it could be something completely different that doesn't use DNA, like the Chinese book.
AM: So if we did find a completely different basis for life, what would we learn from the comparison studies? For instance, could it help us develop a standard definition for life?

CM: It certainly will contribute to understanding life in a more general sense. But it may not contribute to a definition. In the end, we may have a complete understanding of life and still no definition. There are some things that are like that -- for example, fire.

We have a complete understanding of fire, and yet it's very hard to define it in such a way that distinguishes between a hot charcoal and a raging flame and something like the sun. Fire is a process, so it has different aspects.

Carol Cleland and Chris Chyba have said that defining life is like trying to define water before the development of modern chemistry. Once we know what it is -- H2O -- we'll have a definition for it. But there are a lot of things that we understand and can duplicate and simulate, but we still don't have a definition for.

That's a limitation of what a definition is -- it tries to categorize things in a simple way. Some things, like a molecule of water, are ultimately simple. But a process like fire is not a simple thing, and it resists being categorized in a simple way.

Life may be that way. Even after we've discovered many examples of it, even after we can reproduce it in the lab and can tie it to fundamental physical and chemical principles, we may not have a simple definition.

AM: If there is alien life out there, how could we hope to detect it with current exploration methods?

CM: We know how to detect Earth-based life, but to detect alien life we need a more general test. We could use a property of life that I call the LEGO Principle. Life is made up of certain blocks that are used over and over again. Life is not just a random collection of molecules.

For example, life on Earth is made up of 20 L-amino acids which form the proteins, the five nucleotide bases which form RNA and DNA, some D-sugars which form the polysaccharides, and some lipids which form the lipid membranes and fatty molecules. So that kit of molecules -- the LEGO kit of Earth -- is used to build biomass.

Life has to pick a set of molecules that it likes to use. A random distribution of organic molecules is going to have a smooth distribution, statistically-speaking. For instance, for the amino acids found in meteorites, there are no systematic differences in the concentrations of L versus D. Certainly in a Miller-Urey experiment, L- and D-amino acids are produced equally. But for organic molecules associated with life on Earth, the distribution is not smooth.

Life uses molecules it likes in very high concentrations, and it doesn't use the molecules it doesn't like. So you're much more likely to find the L-amino acids on Earth than their D counterparts. You're much less likely to find amino acids that aren't in that set of 20 that life uses.

I think that test can be generalized if we find organic material on Mars or on Jupiter's moon Europa. We can analyze the distribution of organic molecules, and if they represent a very unusual distribution, with concentrations of certain molecules, that would be an indication of biological origin. If the molecules are different than the molecules of Earth life, then that would be an indication of an alternative biological system.

AM: Since all the planets in the solar system formed from the same basic materials, do you think life elsewhere could have the same preferences and biases as life on Earth?

CM: Certainly the places we're looking for life -- Mars and Europa -- are going to have carbon-based, water-based life, for the reasons you just said. That's what those planets are made out of; that's what is in those environments. But whether they're going to be exactly the same as Earth life at the next level of complexity is, I think, debatable. By the next level of complexity, I mean how those carbon atoms arrange to form the basic building blocks.

Some people have argued that there is only one way to do it -- that the fitness landscape of life has a single peak, and no matter where you start, life is going to climb that peak to the summit. And life anywhere is going to end up using the same molecules because they're the best, most efficient molecules. There's one best biochemistry, and we're it.

That assumes the fitness landscape is just a single peak, like Mount Fuji. But maybe the landscape is a mountain range with a bunch of peaks, and the range is not continuous. If you start in one place, there are only certain fitness peaks that you could reach, and if you start somewhere else, there's no way to get over to those peaks because there's a zone in-between that's not a viable biological system.

We don't know what the fitness landscape for life looks like. All we know is that there's one peak at least that we're sitting on, but we don't see the topography of the whole system. I would argue that organic chemistry is sufficiently complicated and diverse to have more than one single, global maximum.

AM: Do you think it might be related to a planet's environment? That there might be a peak for Earth, a peak for Mars, a peak for Europa? That chemical systems will develop and adapt in an optimum way to their particular environment?

CM: It could be, but I would guess not. I think that as long as the environment is defined by liquid water, the differences will be just chance. The molecules that life happened to put together are what evolutionists call "frozen accidents."

Life uses L-amino acids, but why not D-amino acids? We don't think there's any selective pressure of L versus D. It's a trivial difference. Perhaps life just had to choose one or the other.

It's like driving, where everybody has to drive on one side of the road. It really doesn't matter if everybody drives on the left, like England, or on the right, like most of the rest of the world. The fact that England drives on the left and others drive on the right is just a frozen accident. It would be very hard to change now, but there's no fundamental physical reason why they drive on the left and we drive on the right. It's a historical artifact.

My guess is that a lot of biochemistry is just a historical artifact. Where you start off in this biochemical landscape determines where you end up, and you end up at the optimum near you.

Whereas if you start off, for some reason, someplace differently, you might end up in a completely different optimum, with a completely different set of molecules -- all operating in water because that's the medium that all these environments that we're looking at have in common. Because they have water in common, the range of possible environmental influences, I think, is small.

AM: But if that were true, then why aren't there multiple unrelated forms of life on Earth?

CM: I think the answer is because life is a winner-take-all game. There's no mercy. If at one time there were many competing forms of life on Earth, the others were driven to extinction because life is competing at a system level for resources -- physical space, sunlight, nutrients, and so on.

As long as different species have different ecological space, they don't compete directly. But species that directly compete face an unstable situation. If there's a complete overlap on their needs and requirements, then one will win and one will lose. For an entire system of life, the requirements are energy, nutrients, and space. Since those are exactly the same requirements of an alternative system, there's a hundred percent competition.

Now, that doesn't prove that alternate life forms couldn't be here. There's been some speculation that there might be a shadow biosphere on Earth, and some people are trying to find traces of that. But so far, they've found nothing.

More . . .

See Also: Jennings UFO Show—Coup de Théâtre (Part One)


POLAND: Cigar - Shaped UFO Photographed Over Ostrowiec

UFO Over Ostrowiec, Poland (Auto Adjusted)
By by Piotr Cielebiaś
July 2006

     The photo was taken by Mr. Bartosz Szklanecki and depicts a cigar - shaped object over Ostrowiec Swietokrzyski. It was taken in the 2nd part of July 2006.

* Source: -
by: NOL - Eastern European UFO Journal by NPN [], 28/07/06.

More . . .



UFO or Balloon? Either Way Man Dies in Pursuit


Mantell1     It was one of Kentucky's most famous and controversial UFO cases. It involved Kentucky National Guard Pilot Thomas Mantell, who crashed his plane and died in 1948 while chasing what he thought was a UFO.

After our story aired, UFO researchers re-opened the investigation. Here's what they've discovered.

The military says it was a skyhook balloon. But now, more than 58 years after the tragedy, new information has researchers saying the balloon theory is just not possible.

Francis Ridge says, "Something that had been written off for 58 years, all of a sudden became a hot topic."

What was Captain Thomas Mantell really chasing in January of 1948 when he flew his F-51 fighter to an altitude with no oxygen, forcing him to crash to his death in Simpson County, Kentucky?

"The discussions were going wild on the Internet, and people were digging up new information and were finding new evidence," he continues.

Was it a UFO or a skyhook balloon?

That new evidence has now become clear to UFO researchers, like Mt. Vernon's Francis Ridge, who is with the National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon.

"Where the skyhook was eventually found to be, Mantell could not have seen it, and if he had, of course, it wouldn't have been anything like what he reported," says Ridge.

In a tape recording, Thomas Mantell says, "Mantell to tower. It appears to be a metallic object, and it's of tremendous size."

Ridge says the military's skyhook theory is impossible because official bluebook records show that there was a balloon, but it was hovering over Nashville, some 150 miles away. Those facts are documented by an astronomer who reported seeing it that day.

New reports from the official bluebook archives indicate that Mantell wasn't the only one who saw the UFO that day. So did Kentucky State Police.

Documents state, "Kentucky State Police had sighted an unusual object or aircraft flying through the air, circular in appearance, approximately 250-to-300 feet in diameter moving at a pretty good clip."

That information was relayed to Goodman Air Force Base military personnel, and then dispatched to Mantell and three other pilots to investigate.

Three planes turned back because of a lack of fuel and oxygen. Mantell continued his pursuit.

Thomas Mantell, recorded audio, says, "Mantell to tower. I see it above and ahead of me. I'm still climbing."

Shortly thereafter, Mantell went down in a field in Simpson County, Kentucky.

To this day, former Kentucky National Guard Commander Brigadier General Edward Tonini, now living in Louisville, is sticking to the skyhook balloon theory.

He says, "It was unexplained to him certainly what it was, and he was chasing something and not just an illusion. And I believe that it was just this balloon."

The commander of the Kentucky Air National Guard at the time of the incident, retired Two-Star General Phillip Ardery, agrees.

General Ardery states, "It doesn't seem to be much of a mystery to me. We pretty much know what happened."

UFO researchers aren't surprised to hear the military's stance.

Ridge says, "It's natural for the military people to defend what they're told."

But Ridge says his new evidence should change the military's position and dismiss the skyhook balloon theory once and for all.

"They didn't know then what we didn't know a few months ago, and know now it was impossible for that to be," continues Ridge.

Finding the truth hasn't been easy for researchers, who are now investigating the actual accident, but it's not complete.

"This is the accident report. It was supposed to be 450 pages; then, it turned out to be 250 pages, and when we finally got it, it was 127 pages. What happened to the other pages, and what's on those missing documents?" demands Ridge.

That's what researchers want to know, and what they will continue to investigate.

Ridge says, "There's more to this case, and thanks to WFIE and Drew Speier, we're getting more and more all the time. We're going to stick with it; we're not done with it by any means."

The National Investigations Committee on Aerial Phenomenon's Web site's directory has grown tremendously since our first report. The NICAP team believes that while they admit there was a secret skyhook project, the balloons were no secret. And they proved that the balloon they say Mantell was chasing, could not have been possible.

What they don't know is what Thomas Mantell was chasing to the point where he'd become the first person in history to die while pursuing a UFO. That's something they'll continue to investigate.

More . . .

See Also: Kentucky Decorated Military Pilot Died Pursuing UFO


SETI (Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence) and the Aliens Conundrum - Part I

Search For ET
By Sam Vaknin, Ph.D.
The Global Politician

     The Six Arguments against SETI

The various projects that comprise the 45-years old Search for Extraterrestrial Intelligence (SETI) raise two important issues:
(1) do Aliens exist and

(2) can we communicate with them.

If they do and we can, how come we never encountered an extraterrestrial, let alone spoken to or corresponded with one?

There are six basic explanations to this apparent conundrum and they are not mutually exclusive:

(1) That Aliens do not exist;

(2) That the technology they use is far too advanced to be detected by us and, the flip side of this hypothesis, that the technology we us is insufficiently advanced to be noticed by them;

(3) That we are looking for extraterrestrials at the wrong places;

(4) That the Aliens are life forms so different to us that we fail to recognize them as sentient beings or to communicate with them;

(5) That Aliens are trying to communicate with us but constantly fail due to a variety of hindrances, some structural and some circumstantial;

(6) That they are avoiding us because of our misconduct (example: the alleged destruction of the environment) or because of our traits (for instance, our innate belligerence) or because of ethical considerations.

Argument Number 1: Aliens do not exist (the Fermi Principle)

The assumption that life has arisen only on Earth is both counterintuitive and unlikely. Rather, it is highly probable that life is an extensive parameter of the Universe. In other words, that it is as pervasive and ubiquitous as are other generative phenomena, such as star formation.

This does not mean that extraterrestrial life and life on Earth are necessarily similar. Environmental determinism and the panspermia hypothesis are far from proven. There is no guarantee that we are not unique, as per the Rare Earth hypothesis. But the likelihood of finding life in one form or another elsewhere and everywhere in the Universe is high.

The widely-accepted mediocrity principle (Earth is a typical planet) and its reification, the controversial Drake (or Sagan) Equation usually predicts the existence of thousands of Alien civilizations - though only a vanishingly small fraction of these are likely to communicate with us.

But, if this is true, to quote Italian-American physicist Enrico Fermi: "where are they?". Fermi postulated that ubiquitous technologically advanced civilizations should be detectable - yet they are not! (The Fermi Paradox).

This paucity of observational evidence may be owing to the fact that our galaxy is old. In ten billion years of its existence, the majority of Alien races are likely to have simply died out or been extinguished by various cataclysmic events. Or maybe older and presumably wiser races are not as bent as we are on acquiring colonies. Remote exploration may have supplanted material probes and physical visits to wild locales such as Earth.

Aliens exist on our very planet. The minds of newborn babies and of animals are as inaccessible to us as would be the minds of little green men and antenna-wielding adductors. Moreover, as we demonstrated in the previous chapter, even adult human beings from the same cultural background are as aliens to one another. Language is an inadequate and blunt instrument when it comes to communicating our inner worlds.

Argument Number 2: Their technology is too advanced

If Aliens really want to communicate with us, why would they use technologies that are incompatible with our level of technological progress? When we discover primitive tribes in the Amazon, do we communicate with them via e-mail or video conferencing - or do we strive to learn their language and modes of communication and emulate them to the best of our ability?

Of course there is always the possibility that we are as far removed from Alien species as ants are from us. We do not attempt to interface with insects. If the gap between us and Alien races in the galaxy is too wide, they are unlikely to want to communicate with us at all.

Argument Number 3: We are looking in all the wrong places

If life is, indeed, a defining feature (an extensive property) of our Universe, it should be anisotropically, symmetrically, and equally distributed throughout the vast expanse of space. In other words, never mind where we turn our scientific instruments, we should be able to detect life or traces of life.

Still, technological and budgetary constraints have served to dramatically narrow the scope of the search for intelligent transmissions. Vast swathes of the sky have been omitted from the research agenda as have been many spectrum frequencies. SETI scientists assume that Alien species are as concerned with efficiency as we are and, therefore, unlikely to use certain wasteful methods and frequencies to communicate with us. This assumption of interstellar scarcity is, of course, dubious.

Argument Number 4: Aliens are too alien to be recognized

Carbon-based life forms may be an aberration or the rule, no one knows. The diversionist and convergionist schools of evolution are equally speculative as are the basic assumptions of both astrobiology and xenobiology. The rest of the universe may be populated with silicon, or nitrogen-phosphorus based races or with information-waves or contain numerous, non-interacting "shadow biospheres".

Recent discoveries of extremophile unicellular organisms lend credence to the belief that life can exist almost under any circumstances and in all conditions and that the range of planetary habitability is much larger than thought.

But whatever their chemical composition, most Alien species are likely to be sentient and intelligent. Intelligence is bound to be the great equalizer and the Universal Translator in our Universe. We may fail to recognize certain extragalactic races as life-forms but we are unlikely to mistake their intelligence for a naturally occurring phenomenon. We are equipped to know other sentient intelligent species regardless of how advanced and different they are - and they are equally fitted to acknowledge us as such.

Argument Number 5: We are failing to communicate with Aliens

The hidden assumption underlying CETI/METI (Communication with ETI/Messaging to ETI) is that Aliens, like humans, are inclined to communicate. This may be untrue. The propensity for interpersonal communication (let alone the inter-species variety) may not be universal. Additionally, Aliens may not possess the same sense organs that we do (eyes) and may not be acquainted with our mathematics and geometry. Reality can be successfully described and captured by alternative mathematical systems and geometries.

Additionally, we often confuse complexity or orderliness with artificiality. As the example of quasars teaches us, not all regular or constant or strong or complex signals are artificial. Even the very use of language may be a uniquely human phenomenon - though most xenolinguists contest such exclusivity.

Moreover, as Wittgenstein observed, language is an essentially private affair: if a lion were to suddenly speak, we would not have understood it. Modern verificationist and referentialist linguistic theories seek to isolate the universals of language, so as to render all languages capable of translation - but they are still a long way off. Clarke's Third Law says that Alien civilizations well in advance of humanity may be deploying investigative methods and communicating in dialects undetectable even in principle by humans.

Argument Number 6: They are avoiding us

Advanced Alien civilizations may have found ways to circumvent the upper limit of the speed of light (for instance, by using wormholes). If they have and if UFO sightings are mere hoaxes and bunk (as is widely believed by most scientists), then we are back to Fermi's "where are they".

One possible answer is they are avoiding us because of our misconduct (example: the alleged destruction of the environment) or because of our traits (for instance, our innate belligerence). Or maybe the Earth is a galactic wildlife reserve or a zoo or a laboratory (the Zoo hypothesis) and the Aliens do not wish to contaminate us or subvert our natural development. This falsely assumes that all Alien civilizations operate in unison and under a single code (the Uniformity of Motive fallacy).

But how would they know to avoid contact with us? How would they know of our misdeeds and bad character?

Our earliest radio signals have traversed no more than 130 light years omnidirectionally. Out television emissions are even closer to home. What other source of information could Aliens have except our own self-incriminating transmissions? None. In other words, it is extremely unlikely that our reputation precedes us. Luckily for us, we are virtual unknowns.

As early as 1960, the implications of an encounter with an ETI were clear:

"Evidences of its existence might also be found in artifacts left on the moon or other planets. The consequences for attitudes and values are unpredictable, but would vary profoundly in different cultures and between groups within complex societies; a crucial factor would be the nature of the communication between us and the other beings. Whether or not earth would be inspired to an all-out space effort by such a discovery is moot: societies sure of their own place in the universe have disintegrated when confronted by a superior society, and others have survived even though changed. Clearly, the better we can come to understand the factors involved in responding to such crises the better prepared we may be."

(Brookins Institute - Proposed Studies on the Implications of Peaceful Space Activities for Human Affairs, 1960)

Perhaps we should not be looking forward to the First Encounter. It may also be our last.

More . . .

See Also: SETI Politics


Wednesday, July 26, 2006

CIA v. The "UFO Press"

By Larry W. Bryant

[LWB Note: Ever since its inception 40 years ago, the U. S. Freedom of Information Act has served as a nuisance to such agencies as the U. S. Central Intelligence Agency. Now, can you imagine this: any federal agency's using taxpayer funds to thwart the spirit and/or letter of this venerable open-access statute aimed at serving the informational needs and interests of the nation's taxpayers (especially since some of those funds were used to generate the records in question)]

Bryant     Well, fellow FOIAphiles, that's what we now have in the upcoming federal lawsuit of Bryant v. CIA. By his July 19, 2006, letter to me (quoted below), CIA FOIA chief Scott Koch has thrown down the gauntlet -- tossing me back into the FOIA briar patch, where I'm shaking hands with a similar victim, called the National Security Archive. For you see, this public-interest organization housed at the George Washington University in Washington, D. C., has once again filed suit against the CIA FOIA folks because of the Agency's refusal to honor the Archive's requester status as a "representative of the news media." (See a copy of the Archive's June 14, 2006, complaint at ).

It so happens that I, as a columnist for the newsstand monthly periodical "UFO," share the same requester status as the Archive's. But no, says Koch & Co. I, like the Archive, must get on my knees and justify my existence under some arbitrary and capricious criteria not envisioned by the intent of Congress.

But there's a slight variation on the theme here. I notice that the Archive's complaint neglects to cite the organization's rights under the freedom-of-the-press clause of the First Amendment. Nowhere does that clause's language confine its protection to those who own a printing press, publish literature, and distribute (for example) entertainment media. Hence, individuals like me also enjoy the clause's protective scope in the matter of government-related oversight, editorial criticism, citizen-directed debate, and the eternal ideals of free access/inquiry and public accountability. In particular, the most self-revealing statement expressed by Mr. Koch -- "The July 1947 crash [near Roswell, N.M.] is not a current event, and the UFO press is not the general public" -- plants a red herring right at the feet of judicial determination in, at least, the Court of Public Opinion.

As with the Archive's case, Koch errs in trying to manipulate the definition of "news" to serve his agency's censorial proclivity. Understand this, sir: the term "news" constitutes whatever a publisher/editor/reporter/broadcaster/archivist and his/her readership deem it to be -- NOT what any federal agency might deem it to be. By levying unauthorized records-search fees upon any representative of the news media, you're imposing a de facto, inhibitory licensing fee upon those who'd dare exercise their freedom-of-the-press rights. First Amendment case law rejects that official policy/practice. Note: Koch's singling out the UFO press for disdain and disregard also violates the U. S. constitution's equal-protection-of-the-laws provision.

I therefore encourage all producers, content providers, and consumers of such media as UFO magazine, FATE magazine, the MUFON UFO Journal, the myriad of UFO-related web sites/blogs, and all UFO-oriented book publishers, along with the various UFO-related TV documentarians, to express to the CIA director their objections to this unfair, illegal, and dangerous policy; your doing so via your congressmen might result in an actual response from the Agency.]


Dear Mr. Bryant:

Reference: F-2006-01045

We received your 5 June 2006 letter seeking to change your fee status from "all other" to "news media." As we noted in our 20 May 2006 letter to you, a request must satisfy ALL of the criteria set forth in our published regulations to receive preferential fee treatment as a representative of the news media. The records being requested must:

* concern current events;

* interest the general public;

* enhance the public understanding of the operations or activities of the U. S. Government; and

* be disseminated to a significant element of the public at minimal cost.

You write: "Corso's role as a Pentagon-based intelligence/R&D analyst in helping exploit the advanced technological artifacts retrieved from the July 1974 crash-landing of a 'flying saucer' near Roswell, N. M., reverberates, to this day, in the UFO press." The July 1947 crash is not a current event, and the UFO press is not the general public.

In addition, as you know, you have an outstanding fee balance of $30.00 for request F-2006-01956. Please remit a check or money order made payable to the Treasurer of the United States citing F-2006-01956 to ensure credit to your account.

Before we can process your requests, we must receive your check or money order for $30.00 for request F-2006-01956, and we must receive your commitment to pay fees in the "all other" fee category for F-2006-01045.

Meanwhile, we will hold your request in abeyance for 45 days from the date of this letter. If we do not receive your commitment to pay fees in the "all other" fee category within that time, we will assume that you are no longer interested in pursuing this request, and we will close this case.


Scott Koch
Information and Privacy Coordinator
More . . .

See Also: 'UFO Cover-up' Add Submitted To Classifieds at 'Robins Air Force Base'


Beyond-Earth Enterprises Moving To Roswell

Beyond-Earth-Enterprises Logo
Space Flight Firm Moving To Roswell


     Sounding more science fiction than science fact, a space flight firm is moving its headquarters from Colorado to Roswell, N.M., according to UFO lore the supposed site of a crashed space vehicle in 1947.

Beyond-Earth Enterprises, a consumer-oriented space flight services firm, is headed to Roswell to lay the groundwork for what it says will become the next step in space travel, the Roswell Daily Record says.

Roswell is the place Robert H. Goddard came to in 1930 to research space rocketry and lay the foundation for what would become the space race, a spokesman for Chaves County points out.

That is why Beyond-Earth founders Joe Latrell and Christopher Gardner have chosen to relocate there, the newspaper said.

Outside the realm of science, a popular conspiracy theory contends the government covered up the crash of a flying saucer in Roswell in 1947.

Latrell says the company will move to a 10,000 square-foot facility near the Roswell International Air Center and hire 40 new employees.

Beyond-Earth's business is selling people a chance to send mementos or their DNA into space.

More . . .

See Also: Wickman Spacecraft and Propulsion Company Receives Air Force Grant


"Aztec Is Known For Its Alleged UFO Crash Site"

Aztec UFO Video
Dreaming of a science center and planetarium in Aztec

By Cory Frolik
The Daily Times

     AZTEC — Aztec is known for its alleged UFO crash site. But Aztec Library Director Leanne Hathcock dreams of the day when the city is also known for having a state-of-the-art science and cultural center with a digital planetarium.

Hathcock first proposed the project, called The Four Corners Center for Universe Studies (FOCUS), four years ago. Recently, the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation expressed interest in the proposal, but it is unclear if the foundation will fund the proposal.

FOCUS is described as a digital science and cultural center designed to explore space — past, present and future — with a hands-on science lab. The center would host programs in the planetarium and offer public performance spaces and other high tech educational areas.

Hathcock originally proposed to install the center in the former Aztec courthouse, a building that has set unoccupied for nearly a decade. That idea was met with resistance from the city and a number of Aztec citizens, who wanted the courthouse torn down.

"That was a piece that became problematic," explained Marti Kirchmer, director of San Juan College East. "(The courthouse) became the bone of contention."

Now that the commission has voted in favor of demolishing the old courthouse, hope for the project has taken a new direction. Kirchmer recently facilitated an Aztec City Commission workshop that explored the possibility of creating the regional science center.

"I think it is moving past the dreaming phase," Kirchmer said. "I think it is into the early stages of implementation."

In the meantime Hathcock traveled to Boston, Mass., to give a presentation on rural library needs. According to Hathcock, at the meeting, sponsored by the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation, the FOCUS project attracted further attention.

Hathcock and library board members have suggested that the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation is interested in the project but a show of community support is necessary for the project to move forward.

"A man, who is one of the wealthiest men in the United States, has shown an interest in Aztec, New Mexico, and there seems to be none from Aztec people. That scares me," said Gail Aspromonte, president of the Aztec Library Advisory Board. "(This project) will bring economic development that we need desperately."

They will not even attempt to come in without local support and that's what we're trying to generate," Hathcock said.

City commissioners were not clear as to what was expected from them. They expressed their confusion as to what kind of support project organizers were seeking.

"Correct me if I'm wrong but (you're saying) it would help to have a resolution signed by the mayor and voted upon by the city commission endorsing the concept, to lend some credence to the discussion with those people who actually might fund this," County Commissioner Larry Marcum said.

He said the commission was in favor of the project, and would sign such a proclamation, but the city did not see where the project's supporters expected the capital to come from. Other commissioners were similarly skeptical about sources of funding.

"Are they willing to put money where their mouth is?" asked Commissioner Diana Mesch. "I'm assuming you're talking about Bill Gates? Is he willing to put money into this? How much?"

Hathcock and other library board members admit that the plans are too preliminary to obtain any sense of the donor level of support.

Commissioner Jim Crowley said the city has more immediate costs like the Wastewater Plant.

"I don't see a problem with the idea at all. But the problem does come, exactly like Diana said, when you bring the city into it and it really is not much more than a slim skeleton. We don't know what the role of the city is going to be and we are very reluctant to obligate the city," Crowley said.

Jim Connor, a consultant with Trustee College Consulting Team, a nationwide consulting firm focused on improving rural communities, said the Bill and Melinda Gates Foundation was interested in the project but he doubted it would provide the funding.

"Are they going to pay for it? No," he said. "I would hope the community would. I would hope they would step up to the gate."

Connor said there are possibilities of grants from many other foundations and that it would be "foolish for the community not to look for some of those grants."

Hathcock disagrees with Connor. She said the foundation will shell out money once more refined plans materialize.

"He does not speak for Bill and Melinda Gates and I haven't sent them a proposal yet," she said. "Money follows good ideas."

Hathcock estimated that the center would cost between $6 to $10 million. She said such an attraction would bring tens of thousands of people to the region.

The region, however, already has a planetarium. San Juan College has had a planetarium since 1978, according to Planetarium Director David Mayeux. Last year, the planetarium had 8,300 visitors, a record high.

Mayeux said the proposed center could be invaluable to the area if done correctly.

"I would say it would be an asset to the community if it filled a niche in the community," Mayeux said.

In all events, Mayor Mike Arnold encouraged the library to keep working on the project and to return before the commission when the project had "more meat to it."

More . . .

See Also: The 'Aztec Incident' Revisited:
- Part One -


Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Crop Circle Creates Buzz in Stark County

Crop Circles Sandy Township, Ohio

Four teens confess to crop circle

Geometric design in soybean field creates buzz south of Stark County; curious spectators visit

By Carol Biliczky
Beacon Journal

     SANDY TWP. - For a brief, shining moment, it looked as if extraterrestrials may have been trying to contact folks in Tuscarawas County.

But by Monday, four panicked teens confessed to carving a crop circle into a soybean field off Cross Roads Road, just a couple of miles south of the Stark County line.

``They confessed before they even said hello,'' said Capt. Orvis Campbell, a Tuscarawas County sheriff's detective. ``They apologized. They said it had gone too far.''

The crop circle -- a geometric design carved into a field -- was discovered Saturday morning and has been all the buzz since then.

A Cleveland TV station hired a helicopter to take aerial shots; UFO investigators descended on the field. On Monday afternoon, one investigator appeared to have a Geiger counter to track radiation levels that reportedly are higher than normal in crop circles.

It was so congested that the Sheriff's Office worried about the safety of the many people crossing the road, a main artery for tractor-trailers.

``I just had to see it,'' said Rita Nelson of Akron, one of about 20 people at the site on Monday afternoon. ``I just think it's so cool to have something like this happen here.''

Scott A. Kleinhans of Alliance and Jim Swarts of Sebring brought disposable cameras to photograph the site.

The two, who belong to the Tri-County UFO Study Group in Sebring, chose disposable cameras because the film can't be doctored and therefore discredited.

While Kleinhans and Swarts were willing to believe that the crop circle may have been the work of a UFO or other paranormal force, other onlookers were more skeptical.

One was George Hackett of Dover, one of the owners of the field of 100-plus acres that is rented to another farmer.

Hackett said he was immediately suspicious because the crop circle was too conveniently located beneath an elevated bridge, easy to see from the road.

It was so easy to see that some onlookers climbed down into the field and walked through the geometric maze, further crushing the soybeans.

``I feel sorry for the farmer,'' Hackett said. ``I would be happy if they just made restitution to him.''

As to how they did it, the teens told the Sheriff's Office that they used the age-old prankster's technique -- attaching clotheslines to the end of a two-by-four, then stepping on the plank to flatten the crop.

It apparently wasn't hard to do, as they went to the field at 2 a.m. Saturday and were done in 45 minutes, Campbell said.

They hoped the crop circle would make the local weekly newspaper and were appalled when the news spread far and wide.

``These are good, likable kids who haven't been in trouble with the law before,'' Campbell said. ``They're going to make it right to the farmer. Their parents are going to make them make it right.''

He said all four likely would be charged with a minor misdemeanor such as criminal damaging. The 16- and 18-year-olds are from the Magnolia area, the 17-year-old from East Sparta, and the 19-year-old from Waynesburg, he said.

But even with the culprits' admission in hand, Campbell found it hard to convince one believer.

When he asked him to get out of the field and told him teens had confessed to the vandalism, the investigator objected that ``this crop circle looks real.''

``He said, `I've been investigating this for 15 years, and I don't think teenagers did it,' '' Campbell reported.

More . . .

See Also: Crop Circles Draw Starksboro Couple


China To Test It's 'Artificial Sun'


     BEIJING, July 24 (UPI) -- The first plasma discharge from China's experimental advanced superconducting research center -- the so-called "artificial sun" -- is set to occur next month.

The discharge, expected about Aug. 15, will be conducted at Science Island in Hefei, in east China's Anhui Province, the Peoples Daily reported Monday.

Scientists told the newspaper a successful test will mean the world's first nuclear fusion device of its kind will be ready to go into actual operation, the newspaper said.

The plasma discharge will draw international attention since some scientists are concerned with risks involved in such a process. But Chinese researchers involved in the project say any radiation will cease once the test is completed.

The experiment will take place in a structure made of reinforced concrete, with five-foot-thick walls and a three-foot-thick roof.

More . . .

See Also: China: Descriptions of UFO Sighted Over Shangai Vary


Monday, July 24, 2006

UFO Photographed Over Miraflores de Heredia, Costa Rica

UFO Over Miraflores de Heredia (A)
By Ana Luisa Cid and Richard Sandi

     Photographs taken by Richard Sandi at Miraflores de Heredia, Costa Rica, on July 20, 2006.

The eyewitness states: "I was in my car waiting for my wife when I suddenly decided to get out of the car and shoot a few photos of the sunrise, as the time was nearly 5:30 a.m. In the distance I saw two lights that appeared to descend from the sky. I saw them for a few minutes by managed to take two snapshots."

UFO Over Miraflores de Heredia (B)
"They were quite far so I used the zoom function on my Canon Powershot A-610"

* Source: Ana Luisa Cid and Richard Sandi

* Translation (c) 2006. S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Ana Luisa Cid, Mexico

More . . .

See Also: UFO Photographed Over San Jose, Costa Rica - Stirs Fear in Some Observers


UFO Photographed Over Miraflores de Heredia Costa Rica

UFO Over Miraflores de Heredia (A)
By Ana Luisa Cid and Richard Sandi

     Photographs taken by Richard Sandi at Miraflores de Heredia, Costa Rica, on July 20, 2006.

The eyewitness states: "I was in my car waiting for my wife when I suddenly decided to get out of the car and shoot a few photos of the sunrise, as the time was nearly 5:30 a.m. In the distance I saw two lights that appeared to descend from the sky. I saw them for a few minutes by managed to take two snapshots."

UFO Over Miraflores de Heredia (B)
"They were quite far so I used the zoom function on my Canon Powershot A-610"

* Source: Ana Luisa Cid and Richard Sandi

* Translation (c) 2006. S. Corrales, IHU. Special thanks to Ana Luisa Cid, Mexico

More . . .

See Also: UFO Photographed Over San Jose, Costa Rica - Stirs Fear in Some Observers


MEXICO: UFO Photograph Under Investigation

UFO Over Tepoztlan (Cropped & Framed)
By Ana Luisa Cid

     uly 2006 - This photograph was provided to me on June 10, 2006 by a young man from Tepoztlan (Morelos) who does not wish to disclose his identity.

According to his account, the image was taken last year. He added that the person who took the photo was American and was very excited when the image was captured, believing that it could be a real UFO.

Endeavoring to learn something more about the sighting, I shared the material with some Mexican researchers who informed me that they had no information on this alleged sighting.

According to Tomas Amador and Damian Minaya, there is a man named Rolf Bertschin living in Tepoztlan, who makes artistic composites of this sort.

I have visited Tepoztlan repeatedly trying to find Mr. Bertschin and some additional information, but have not able to obtain any results so far. Therefore, I cannot say with certainty that the photo is authentic, but I also lack the elements to dismiss it altogether.

We know that editing software allows us to make digital montages, not mentioning the use of maquettes and models. However, we should bear in mind that Tepoztlan is a site where UFOs are frequently reported, and its residents speak of the phenomenon as an everyday occurrence.

If the reader has any further information about the case in question, please contact me so that we may clarify the authenticity of the Mexican photograph once and for all.

* Source: Ana Luisa Cid

* Translation (c) 2006. S. Corrales, Institute of Hispanic Ufology.

More . . .

See Also: UFO Captured on Film at Teotihuacan, Mexico


Former Astronaut Buzz Aldrin Recounts His UFO Sighting On The Moon

Buzz Adrin 1

Astronauts' close encounter

By Mike Swain

     THE first men to walk on the Moon reported seeing a UFO, a new TV documentary reveals.

Astronaut Buzz Aldrin, the second man to walk on the Moon's surface after Neil Armstrong, says space agency bosses covered up their sighting.

And the Apollo 11 astronauts were also careful not to talk ab out it openly.

He said: "There was something out there, close enough to be observed, and what could it be?

"Now, obviously the three of us weren't going to blurt out, 'Hey, Houston, we've got something moving alongside of us and we don't know what it is, you know?

"Can you tell us what it is?'

"We weren't about to do that, because we knew that that those transmissions would be heard by all sorts of people and somebody might have demanded we turn back because of aliens or whatever the reason is."

The documentary, tonight on Five, also reveals that the astronauts had to repair the lunar module with a ballpoint pen after the historic landing in July 1969.

In the cramped conditions, someone's bulky spacesuit had snapped off a circuit breaker essential for starting up the engine.

To this day, Aldrin treasures the everyday object that saved their lives.

He said: "I used a pen, one of several that we had on board that didn't have metal on the end, and we used that to push the circuit breaker in."

The programme also draws on classified documents made public for the first time.

More . . .

See Also: Aldrin Said That a UFO Accompanied The Apollo 11 Mission


Sunday, July 23, 2006

Fish With 'Human-Like Teeth' Baffles Wild Life Officials!

Fish With Human Teeth
Texas Man Catches Fish With Human-Like Teeth

Local 6

     A fish caught in Lubbock, Texas, with teeth that look like they belong to a human has baffled wildlife officials in the area, according to a report.

Fisherman Scott Curry reeled in the 20-pound fish on Buffalo Springs Lake and immediately noticed the catch had human-like teeth.

A game warden photographed the fish and is attempting to identify it.

General Manager of Buffalo Springs Lake Greg Thornton told KLBK13-TV in Texas that he has never seen anything like the fish in the 36 years he has lived near the lake.

A search for what the fish may be suggested that it may be a pacu, which is found in South America.

Curry said he believes he saw another similar fish while on the lake.

More . . .



". . . A UFO Crash-Landed In Dense Woodland Near The American Air Force Base of Woodbridge . . ."

UFO in Rendlesham Forest

By Tony Stewart
The Mirror

     NOBODY can say with any certainty that what happened on one foggy winter's night more than two decades ago is true, but many believe it to be.

For like the haunting burial grounds of Anglo-Saxon kings, swashbuckling tales of piracy off its coast and eerie fables of rural witchcraft, the celebrated visit of extra-terrestrials has become part of Suffolk's rich folklore.

While it's accepted that thousands of visitors flock into this beautiful region of England, few would have expected aliens to travel through galaxies to experience its many delights.

Known as "The Rendlesham Forest Incident", it's claimed that on Boxing Day 1980, a UFO crash-landed in dense woodland near the American air force base of Woodbridge, close to the coast.

Witnesses claim that 3ft-tall "aeronaut entities" (that's spacemen to us) emerged, looking like "kids in snowsuits". Spooky.

An airman has since thrown doubt on "Britain's Roswell" - a reference to the famous incident in New Mexico in 1947 when it's alleged a flying saucer came down in the desert. He claims it was nothing more than an elaborate hoax, even if many locals still believe in the UFO sighting.

Some might argue that any spaceship's awayday would be to somewhere a little more exotic than Suffolk, but many others would claim our alleged alien visitors got it spot on.

More . . .

See Also: 25th Anniversary of The Rendlesham Forest UFO Incident


Carved Rock Remains Unexplained

Mystery Stone (B)
The Associated Press

     CONCORD – In 1872, so the story goes, workers digging a hole for a fence post near Lake Winnipesaukee in the central part of this New England state found a lump of clay that seemed out of place.

There was something inside – a dark, odd-looking, egg-shaped stone with a variety of carvings, including a face, teepee, ear of corn and starlike circles.

And there were many questions: Who made the stone and why? How old was it? How was it carved?

To date, no one has been able to say for sure, and the item has come to be known as the “Mystery Stone.” Seneca Ladd, a local businessman who hired the workers, was credited with the discovery.

“As Mr. Ladd is quite a naturalist, and has already an extensive private collection of relics and specimens, he was delighted with the new discovery, and exhibited and explained the really remarkable relic with an enthusiasm which only the genuine student can feel,” an article in The American Naturalist said that November.

Ladd died in 1892, and in 1927, one of his daughters donated the stone to the New Hampshire Historical Society. The stone, surrounded by mirrors showing off its symbols, is on display at the Museum of New Hampshire History, where it was last exhibited in 1996.

All the symbols on the 4-inch-long, 2½-inch-thick stone are open to interpretation. On one side, it has what looks like inverted arrows, a moon, some dots and a spiral. Another side shows the ear of corn and a depressed circle with three figures, one of which looks like a deer’s leg.

The American Naturalist suggested that the stone “commemorates a treaty between two tribes.” Others have guessed the stone is Celtic or Inuit. A letter to the historical society in 1931 suggested it was a “thunderstone,” which, the writer said, “always present the appearance of having been machined or hand-worked: frequently they come from deep in the earth, embedded in lumps of clay, or even surrounded by solid rock or coral.”

Another curious detail is that there are holes bored in both ends of the stone, with different size bits. Each bore is straight, not tapered. Scratches in the lower bore suggest it was placed on a metal shaft and removed several times, according to an analysis done by state officials in 1994.

“I’ve seen a number of holes bored in stone with technology that you would associate with prehistoric North America,” said Richard Boisvert, state archaeologist. “There’s a certain amount of unevenness . . . and this hole was extremely regular throughout.”

Boisvert suggested the holes were drilled by power tools, perhaps from the 19th or 20th centuries. “What we did not see was variations that would be consistent with something that was several hundred years old,” he said.

The analysis, which included comments from geologist Eugene Boudette, concluded that the stone is a type of quartzite, derived from sandstone, or mylonite, a fine-grained, laminated rock formed by the shifting of rock layers along faults. The rock type was not familiar to New Hampshire, but the state could not be ruled out as the source, Boudette said.

Boisvert said to his knowledge, the stone is unique. “That makes it very hard to figure out where it fits,” he said.

One problem is the story of the stone’s discovery is fuzzy, he said.

“You couldn’t be certain exactly what kind of context it came from. There’s a lot of ambiguity there. . . . It’s very difficult to evaluate it,” he said. “The context of the discovery is sometimes more important than the item itself.”

For example, Boisvert said, if the item had been something used by a fraternal order that has its own secrets and mysteries, “that means the information doesn’t get out very well, does it? The information may have been available at one point, but it’s really no longer available to us. Who knows?”

Wesley Balla, the society’s director of collections and exhibitions, said one avenue to explore might be looking for similar symbols. And, “there’s also always the hope that there might be something more in either newspaper or manuscript form that might discuss the contents,” he said.

Balla said the discovery seems to reflect on the way artifacts were treated in the 19th century. The focus was more on the object itself, not on details such as how deep the soil was where it was found, if anything was found near it, or how far it was from the lake.

“All of that is lost,” he said.

More . . .

See Also:Researchers Announced That a Craggy Lump of Rock


Thursday, July 20, 2006

Burning UFO Spotted Over Stratford!

UFO Over Stratford

The Stratford Herald

      STUNNED Stratford residents spotted a “burning ball of fire” from their home.

Former headteacher Colin McDowall and wife, Jill, were sat in the back garden when they spotted the “UFO”.

The couple were enjoying a late night coffee with Mrs McDowall’s brother, the Rev Michael Hiles, and his wife, Janice, when they saw the object at about 10.25pm on Monday.

Mr McDowall, a retired headteacher, said: “We noticed it in the sky through a gap between the houses. If it had been an aeroplane on fire, that perhaps would have explained it. It came from the north and was going towards the south and was running parallel to Bridgetown Road. We watched it for about three or four minutes before it turned at a right angle and started to head west. It was round and flashing—it was spherical and looked like a ball of fire. We were astonished.”

More . . .

See Also: Fireball Lights Up South Florida Sky


Wednesday, July 19, 2006

"The Top Secret UFO Project"

Flying Saucer Crashes On Ranch (Old)
Unusual Debris Legend Spoofed in UFO Mockrumentary

Press World

     In July of 1947, a rancher named William "Mack" Brazel discovered a large amount of unusual debris scattered across his ranch about 75 miles northwest of Roswell, New Mexico. Neighbors told Brazel they had seen a mysterious blue light around 3:00 a.m., and suggested he go to Roswell to report his find.

This story lies at the center of the Roswell UFO legend, and is a target of satire in "The Top Secret UFO Project," filmmaker R. J. Thomas' parody of UFO documentaries.

"Brazel's findings near Roswell kicked off a media frenzy," Mr. Thomas said. "It is part of the Roswell folklore."

In Thomas' mockrumentary, a Colorado farmer awakes in the middle of the night to the sound of a loud crash. The next day he finds mysterious debris in one of his fields that resemble shattered pieces of metal. Government officials come in and remove the debris, quickly giving the public a routine explanation, lest anyone think the pieces were remnants of a crashed flying saucer.

Based on Thomas' 2004 novella of the same name, "The Top Secret UFO Project" chronicles the UFO-related events experienced by a tiny Colorado hamlet called Jasper. According to the film, the town dealt with one unusual event after another in the summer of 1956. After the farmer's spaceship sighting, scientists rushed into Jasper to investigate, reporters rushed in looking for stories, and government officials rushed in to keep it a secret from the world.

Billed as "the movie the government does not want you to see," "The Top Secret UFO Project," is a parody of specials you might find on the Sci-Fi Channel or Discovery, and the cheesy UFO documentaries of the 70's and TV programs like "In Search Of."

Mr. Thomas plays a documentary filmmaker who, in 2003, discovered some top secret government films pertaining to the Jasper Incident of 1956. This inspired him to make a documentary about Jasper's UFO story, and to discover the truth behind what really happened that mysterious summer in Colorado.

"In most UFO incidents, it is a common man with no desire for the limelight who stumbles into a legend," Mr. Thomas said. "There are many cases where farmers and ranchers find something unusual that leads to UFO investigations and puts these men in the history books forever."

More . . .

See Also: Army Reveals It Has Flying Disc Found On Ranch in New Mexico


Monday, July 17, 2006

Meteor Explodes Over Oslo!

Meteor Exploding Over Oslo
Meteor bits found near Rygge

By Rolf L Larsen

     A bus driver from Ås, south of Oslo, was sitting in the outhouse at his holiday cabin near Rygge when he heard an enormous blast. Right after that, some particles from a meteor that exploded over the Oslo area rained down just outside.

Martinsen's last few days of summer holiday at his cabin turned out to be much more eventful than he'd ever imagined.

He said he didn't think too much about the surprising blast at first, dismissing it as probably coming from an exercise at a nearby military air station at Rygge. But he said the blast and the rumbling it caused was terrible.

It was 10:20am on Friday. Finished with his business in the outhouse, he said he was just hooking the door when he heard a new noise, a whistling sort of sound, followed by a new bang on some aluminum plates lying near the outhouse.

Sure enough, it was particles from a meteor that exploded somewhere over the Oslo Fjord area on Friday morning. But Martinsen wasn't aware of the blast at the time. When he eventually mentioned his unusual experience in the outhouse to some family members, his brother-in-law recalled seeing a story about the blast in Aftenposten and put it all together.

So Martinsen called astronomer Knut Jørgen Røed Ødegaard at the University of Oslo's institute of theoretical astrophysics and Morten Bilet of the Norwegian Astronomical Society on Sunday. They quickly made the trip to Martinsen's cabin.

Once there they could confirm Martinsen's remarkable discovery of meteorite particles on his property. "This is Norway's 14th meteorite, but we've never heard about a meteorite landing so close to a person before," said Bilet.

Martinsen is just glad he didn't get hit on the head. Bilet and Røed Ødegaard said it was a stone meteorite, a so-called kondritt, that Martinsen found near the dented aluminum plates. It was magnetic and stems from the earth's own solar system.

Twelve of the 13 meteorites already found in Norway are exhibited in Oslo's Museum of Natural History. Martinsen and his family let the two astronomers take the meteorite stones with them to the museum.

"There can still be hundreds of pieces from this meteor lying around here," said Røed Ødegaard. "But it will be difficult find a story like this one."

More . . .

See Also: 'Rare Daytime Meteor' Thrills Witnesses!


Federal Agents Storm Bob Lazar's House!

Don't Try This at Home

By Steve Silberman
June 2006

Bob Lazar     The first startling thing Joy White saw out of her bedroom window was a man running toward her door with an M16. White’s husband, a physicist named Bob Lazar, was already outside, awakened by their barking dogs. Suddenly police officers and men in camouflage swarmed up the path, hoisting a battering ram. “Come out with your hands up immediately, Miss White!” one of them yelled through a megaphone, while another handcuffed the physicist in his underwear. Recalling that June morning in 2003, Lazar says, “If they were expecting to find Osama bin Laden, they brought along enough guys.”

The target of this operation, which involved more than two dozen police officers and federal agents, was not an international terrorist ring but the couple’s home business, United Nuclear Scientific Supplies, a mail-order outfit that serves amateur scientists, students, teachers, and law enforcement professionals. From the outside, company headquarters – at the end of a dirt road high in the Sandia Mountains east of Albuquerque – looks like any other ranch house in New Mexico, with three dogs, a barbecue, and an SUV in the driveway. But not every suburban household boasts its own particle accelerator. A stroll through the backyard reveals what looks like a giant Van de Graaff generator with a pipe spiraling out of it, marked with CAUTION: RADIATION signs. A sticker on the SUV reads POWERED BY HYDROGEN, while another sign by the front gate warns, TRESPASSERS WILL BE USED FOR SCIENCE EXPERIMENTS.

Science experiments are United Nuclear’s business. The chemicals available on the company’s Web site range from ammonium dichromate (the main ingredient in the classic science-fair volcano) to zinc oxide powder (which absorbs UV light). Lazar and White also sell elements like sodium and mercury, radioactive minerals, and geeky curiosities like aerogel, an ultralightweight foam developed by NASA to capture comet dust. The Department of Homeland Security buys the company’s powerful infrared flashlights by the case; the Mythbusters guys on the Discovery Channel recently picked up 10 superstrong neodymium magnets. (These come with the sobering caveat: “Beware – you must think ahead when moving these magnets … Loose metallic objects and other magnets may become airborne and fly considerable distances.”) Fire departments in Nevada and California send for United Nuclear’s Geiger counters and uranium ore to train hazmat crews.

A former employee of the Los Alamos National Laboratory, the 47-year-old Lazar radiates a boyish enthusiasm for science and gadgets. White, 50, is a trim licensed aesthetician who does herbal facials for local housewives while helping her husband run the company. When the officers determined that Lazar and White posed no physical threat, they freed the couple from their handcuffs and produced a search warrant. United Nuclear’s computers and business records were carted off in a van.

The search was initiated by the Consumer Product Safety Commission, a federal agency best known for instigating recalls of faulty cribs and fire-prone space heaters. The CPSC’s concern with United Nuclear was not the uranium, the magnets, or the backyard accelerator. It was the chemicals – specifically sulfur, potassium perchlorate, and powdered aluminum, all of which can be used to make illegal fireworks. The agency suspected that Lazar and White were selling what amounted to kits for making M-80s, cherry bombs, and other prohibited items; such kits are banned by the CPSC under the Federal Hazardous Substances Act.

“We are not just a recall agency,” explains CPSC spokesperson Scott Wolfson. “We have turned our attention to the chemical components used in the manu-facture of illegal fireworks, which can cause amputations and death.” A 2004 study by the agency found that 2 percent of fireworks-related injuries that year were caused by homemade or altered fireworks; the majority involved the mishandling of commercial firecrackers, bottle rockets, and sparklers. Nonetheless, Wolfson says, “we’ve fostered a very close relationship with the Justice Department and we’re out there on the Internet looking to see who is promoting these core chemicals. Fireworks is one area where we’re putting people in prison.”

In the past several years, the CPSC has gone after a variety of online vendors, demanding the companies require customers to prove they have a license to manufacture explosives before they can purchase any chemical associated with making them. Many of these compounds, however, are also highly useful for conducting science experiments. Sulfur, for example, is an ingredient in hydrogen sulfide, an important tool for chemical analysis. Potassium perchlorate and potassium nitrate are widely used in labs as oxidizers.

The CPSC’s war on illegal fireworks is one of several forces producing a chilling effect on amateur research in chemistry. National security issues and laws aimed at thwarting the production of crystal meth are threatening to put an end to home laboratories. In schools, rising liability concerns are making teachers wary of allowing students to perform their own experiments. Some educators even speculate that a lack of chem lab experience is contributing to the declining interest in science careers among young people.

United Nuclear got its computers back a few days after they were hauled away, and three years passed before Lazar and White heard from the authorities again. This spring, the couple was charged with violating the Federal Hazardous Substances Act and shipping restricted chemicals across state lines. If convicted, Lazar and White each face a maximum penalty of 270 days in prison and a $15,000 fine.

The lure of do-it-yourself chemistry has always been the most potent recruiting tool science has to offer. Many kids attracted by the promise of filling the garage with clouds of ammonium sulfide – the proverbial stink bomb – went on to brilliant careers in mathematics, biology, programming, and medicine.

Intel cofounder Gordon Moore set off his first boom in Silicon Valley two decades before pioneering the design of the integrated circuit. One afternoon in 1940, near the spot where Interstate 280 intersects Sand Hill Road today, the future father of the semiconductor industry knelt beside a cache of homemade dynamite and lit the fuse. He was 11 years old.

More . . .

See Also: The Strange Behavior of Bob Lazar (Alleged Former Area 51 "Scientist")