Volume 3, Number 2
January 11, 1998
Editor: Joseph Trainor


     On Thursday, January 8, 1998, at about 1:30 a.m.,
Spanish police raided an apartment house in Barrio
de la Salud, in Santa Cruz de Tenerife and arrested
32 members of a local UFO group.
     Tenerife is the largest of the seven Islas Canarias
(Canary Islands), owned by Spain and located in the
Atlantic Ocean just west of Africa.
     A few hours earlier, Spanish police arrested the
group's founder, Dr. Heide Fittkau-Garthe, 57, a psychologist
from Germany who settled on Tenerife back in 1985.
     According to Antonio Lopez Ojeda of Spain's Ministry
of the Interior, Dr. Fittkau-Garthe was arrested "on charges
of attempting to induce suicide and was being held at a
Tenerife police station."
     "Mr. Lopez Ojeda said the police believed the sect was
an offshoot of the Order of the Solar Temple, whose
followers have carried out mass suicides in Canada,
France and Switzerland.  He said the police were still
investigating."  (See the New York Times for January 9,
1998, "Suicide Sect Leader Held On Canary Islands,"
page A-8)
     The group had two names for themselves, Centro
Sagrado de Isis (Sacred Center of Isis) and Orden del
Santuario Solar (Order of the Solar Shrine), plus a
headquarters in Santa Cruz, the largest city on Tenerife.
     Members arrested included 14 men, 13 women and
five children between the ages of 12 and 6.  The prisoners
are being held incommunicado.
     "Police spokesman Juan Antonio Perez said" Dr.
Fittkau-Garthe "had 'brainwashed' her disciples, and they
would need to be 'deprogrammed.'"
     "'A chemical substance was found at the house and
it seems the group members were going to use it to
poison themselves,' Perez said."
     "'The minds of the 32 victims have been programmed;
they've been brainwashed,' Perez said, 'They have to be
deprogrammed before they can cooperate with police.'"
(Editor's Comment: Yes, readers, that's what the man
said.  Don't take my word for it.  Look it up.  See the
Boston, Mass. Globe for January 10, 1998, "Police Find
Poison at Home of Suspected Cult Leader," page A-9.)
     At a news conference in Santa Cruz de Tenerife on
January 9, police spokesmen said the group was
planning a trip to Pico de Teide, an extinct volcano
80 kilometers (50 miles) southeast of Santa Cruz.
At the summit, they reportedly planned to "rendezous
with the space brothers."
     "The group, which may be linked to the infamous
Solar Temple cult or a Hindu apocalyptic sect, had
planned to kill themselves at the top of Tenerife's
Teide volcano, from where they believed their souls
would be picked up by a spaceship, officials said."
(Boston, Mass. Globe, January 10, 1998)
     According to Heliodoro Rodriguez, subdelegate
for Santa Cruz de Tenerife, police noticed an influx
of German and Belgian citizens in recent weeks,
all members of Centro Sagrado de Isis.  Dr. Heide
Fittkau-Garthe "was considered a kind of prophet."
     Rodriguez praised "the collaborative effort by
Interpol and the German police" who reportedly spied
on "the cult and its activities in Spain."
     Rodriguez also declined to discuss whether or
not the Ministry of the Interior had planted informers
in the group during the past few months.
     The official shocked Spanish TV viewers when
he mentioned that the Ministry had compiled a list
of "200,000 members of dangerous sects" in Spain.
(Muchas gracias a Pedro P. Canto para esos
informes espanol.)
(Editor's Comment:  It looks like Heide Fittkau-Garthe
and her followers are getting the John Ford treatment.
Has NATO declared war on UFO enthusiasts?)


     On Wednesday, December 31, 1997, at 8:52 a.m.,
Lynn S. was driving in rush-hour traffic in Rockland,
Massachusetts (population 15,695), a suburb on
Route 139 approximately 25 miles (40 kilometers)
southeast of Boston.
     As she neared Reed's Pond, on Market Street
in Rockland, she spotted "a cigar-shaped craft that
hovered for a minute and 45 seconds above the waters
of Reed's Pond before it plunged in and exploded.
I saw the object come across the sky, pulsating a
blue light from the top with two strong flashing lights
on each side."
     "Traffic slowed, but no one seemed to care enough
to get out and see what the object was," she reported.
"As I approached the traffic lights, people were pointing
back at the pond.  But without the (traffic) light working,
drivers were beginning to swear, cut people off and
no one was paying any attention to the object."
     "Upon driving home and finding I had no electricity,
I called the electric company but only got a recording.
I began calling other residents of the town.  They all
said they had no electricity after they 'heard the planes
go over.'"
     At 9:15 a.m., Lynn drove back to Reed's Pond.
"To my amazement, a black ball hovered in the sky
above it, as big as a silver dollar, but nothing was
astir in the pond.  I noticed dead ducks and seagulls
floating on the surface."
     The UFO zipped away seconds later.  "For the
record, I never heard any planes."  (Email Interview)


     On Friday, January 2, 1998, at 6 p.m., Jason B.
and Brandon C. were walking along the railroad
tracks in their hometown of Missouri Valley, Iowa
(population 2,888) when they spotted a strange
light in the sky.
     "While walking down the tracks, we observed an
extremely bright light off towards Council Bluffs
(i.e. to the south--J.T.).  At first we thought it was a
falling star," Jason and Brandon reported.  "We
stopped to watch it for about 20 seconds."
     "It was directly above us and circled the grain
elevator," Jason said.  "Then it sped off very fast,
following the railroad tracks towards the east."
     Missouri Valley is on Iowa Highway 30
approximately 130 miles (208 kilometers) west
of Des Moines.  (Many thanks to Tim Hagemeister
of NACOMM for this report.)


     A UFO was sighted in San Benito, Texas
(population 20,125) during the evening of Tuesday,
December 23, 1997.
     A married couple and their two sons, ages 16
and 12, were traveling southeast on Highway 77.
The father, R.C., and his family were enjoying the
radio and had just passed the small local airport.
     Suddenly, at precisely 6:59 p.m., they saw a
light speeding across the sky.  The UFO was a
small, soundless ball of white light.  It was 35
degrees above the horizon and was traveling south
in a straight line at jet speed.
     The family had it in view for 15 seconds during
which time the car radio went dead.  The UFO
dropped behind a group of trees.  When their car
cleared the trees, the UFO was gone.  (Direct
submission from a Texas resident.)


     On Saturday, January 3, 1998, at 3 a.m., airline
pilot Gary Sanders was standing on the beach in
Puerto Vallarta, a seaside resort on the Bahia de
Banderas 580 kilometers (348 miles) west of
Mexico City.
     "I am an airline pilot with over 30 years' flying
experience, including 24 years with the USAF and
Air National Guard," he reported.  "While standing
on the beach and looking at the stars with another
airline pilot, I observed a reddish-colored light, which
I initially thought was a meteorite, move rapidly from
east to west."
     "As I pointed out the light to my companion, the
object suddenly changed direction by about 135
degrees of turn and very sharply.  The movement
defied any laws of flight and physics that I am aware
of.  The light made another rapid change of course
to a westerly heading, then disappeared out of sight."
     "I was so startled that I immediately confirmed
with my companion what I had just seen.  I have
never seen any flying object perform this type of
maneuver before."  (Many thanks to Henny van der
Pluijm and Errol Bruce-Knapp for this report.)


     UFO sightings in Australia's Victoria state rang
in the southern hemisphere's New Year.
     On December 31, 1997, a "bright orange
illumination" was seen "traveling from the southeast
to the northwest" over Pakenham, Narre Warren and
the Dandenong mountain range in Victoria.
     Ten minutes past midnight, on January 1, 1998,
"a high-altitude illumination," possibly an object in
orbit reflecting sunlight, was observed for three minutes
over Victoria, heading north.
     At 12:17 a.m., witnesses reported seeing "a blue-
white illumination 30 degrees to the northeast" over
Victoria's state forest, moving across the northern sky.
     From 12:20 to 12:25 a.m., witnesses reported
seeing "ten meteorites crossing the sky, traveling
from the east over central Victoria."
     Two days later, on January 3, 1998, residents of
Bendigo, Vic., 125 miles (200 kilometers) northwest
of Melbourne, at approximately 2:45 p.m., "reported
spotting a hamburger-shaped UFO.  The object
appeared to be silver in colour."  After hovering for
a few seconds, the UFO "shot straight up into the
upper atmosphere until out of sight."
     That evening, at 10:30 p.m., people in Newcastle,
New South Wales (N.S.W.), a port city 110 miles
(176 kilometers) north of Sydney, "reported sighting a
huge blue-green illumination passing overhead."
     On Sunday, January 4, 1998, at midnight, ten
residents of Keybrough, Vic., a suburb of Melbourne,
"reported sighting two bright orange fireball illuminations"
flying from south to north over Melbourne's eastern
suburbs.  "The illuminations appeared to travel faster
than a small aeroplane and following each other for
some time before coming into a vertical arrangement
(i.e. one on top of the other), then reduced speed and
came to a dead stop.  The higher illumination appeared
to drop a bright light to the other.  Then they both moved
off to the north until out of sight."  (Many thanks to
Ross Dowe of Australia's National 24-Hour UFO Hotline
for these reports.)


     On Saturday, January 3, 1998, Emil D. was
driving on an autobahn (highway) in Germany's
Bayerische Alpen (Bavarian Alps) near
Traunstein, a small city 110 kilometers
(66 miles) east of Munchen (Munich).
     Suddenly, he looked in his rear-view mirror
and saw "a gigantic flying disc" coming up
behind him.  The UFO was described as
"bright silver with rotating lights along the rim."
     The UFO pursued Emil's car for 8 kilometers
(5 miles) before rising quickly in altitude and
zipping away over the southern horizon.
     The huge daylight disc was also seen in
Muhldorf, 60 kilometers (36 miles) north of
Traunstein, and across the border near Sankt
Johan am Tirol, Austria.  (See the Sueddeutsche
Zeitung for January 7, 1998.  Danke schoen a
Josef Schedel.)


     Strange earth tremors have rocked Scotland's
Strathclyde region twice in the past couple of weeks.
     In mid-December, a strong tremor shook the
multi-million-pound Centre One building in
Stewartfield.  "More than 30 Inland Revenue (the
UK's tax agency--J.T.) workers were evacuated...
Desks rocked, computer screens flickered and
windows rattled as employees were whisked to a
safety zone.  The tremor triggered emergency
readings at several seismological stations in
     During the early hours of Monday, December 22,
1997, a second round of tremors struck the East
Kilbride area, 30 miles (48 kilometers) southeast
of Glasgow.
     "Frightened residents in Greenhills, Westwood
and Calderglen have reported another round of
tremors...A number of people called the (East Kilbride)
News to say they had been all shook up by a quake
in the early morning hours..."
     "'It was like a low overhead thunder directly above
the house,' said Aileen Wilson, 39, from Gasgoyne,
Westwood.  She said that she "feared for her seven-
month-old baby daughter when the tremor started
just before 7 a.m."
     The tremor "'was followed by a series of noises
like fireworks going off,' she explained, 'It sounded like
a gas explosion coming from the Westwood playing
fields.  I jumped out of bed and lifted my baby Lynsay.
Everything in the room was shaking.  It lasted quite
a long time.'"
     "Thomas Stewart, 39, from Carnoustie Drive,
Greenhills, heard deafening whirring noises when
his windows shivered violently around 7 s.m."
     "'It sounded like a rocket,' said the Ministry of
Defence worker.  'I'm puzzled as to what exactly is
going on and would like an answer.'"
     "Glenn Ford of the British Geological Survey in
Edinburgh said, 'This was NOT an earthquake and
went on for too long for a sonic boom.  It is very
strange, but we are getting readings on our
instruments, but the actual cause remains a mystery
so far."  (See the East Kilbride News for December 30,
1997, "Mystery Tremors," page 3.  Many thanks to
Dean Ladds of Flying Saucer Review for forwarding
this news article.)


     On Tuesday, December 23, 1997, hundreds of
Chinese workers in an industrial area on the outskirts
of Canton spotted a UFO in the sky.
     The UFO was described as "an oblong oval with
an array of windows.  The windows had a bright
corona of light around them.  A periodic ray of light
burst from the craft's underside at several intervals."
     The UFO alternately hovered and flew slowly
over the factories and houses for several minutes,
then flew away at an extremely high speed.
     Canton, the largest city in Guangdong province,
is 1,296 kilometers (810 miles) south of Beijing.
(See the Italian newspaper Il Stampa for
December 27, 1997.  Grazie a Edoardo Russo
di CISU per questo rapporto.)

from the UFO Files...


     One of the strangest UFO phenomena on record
occurred at the farm of Sara Elizabeth Lampe and
her husband near Gardnerville, Nevada, about
15 miles (24 kilometers) south of Carson City, the
state capital.
     On a cold January morning in 1949, Mrs. Lampe
wrote, following a heavy snowfall, she glanced out
her parlor window and saw something strange.
     "Gradually my eyes focused upon a pale gray
stain, irregulaly shaped and no bigger than my two
hands.  It rested on the smooth crest (of snow)...
about three rods from the house and in line with
the window.  Almost at once this fuzzy gray shadow
that was not a shadow bloomed into a disc of clear
white light approximately three feet in diameter.  It
lay there for fully two minutes.  Then suddenly
contracting into a brilliant, orange-tinted stream
five or six inches wide, flowed swiftly over the snow
toward my window and, to all appearances,
exploded soundlessly against the stone foundation
of the intervening front porch."
     "Several tongues of scintillating red-and-blue
flame spurted a few inches above the two-and-a-half
foot high wainscotting of the porch.  That was all.
When daylight came, we searched conscientiously
but found no signs, marks or tracks of any kind that
might help to explain this phenomenon."
(See THE CASE FOR THE UFO by Morris K.
Jessup, Citadel Press, New York, N.Y., 1955,
page 168)


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