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UFO roundup 3/30/1997

Date: Sun, 30 Mar 1997 14:10:41 -0500 (EST)
Subject: Fwd: UFO ROUNDUP, Volume 2, Number 13


Volume 2, Number 13
March 30, 1997
Editor: Joseph Trainor


     Thirty-nine members of a UFO sect called Heaven's
Gate were found dead Wednesday at their rented
mansion, Rancho Santa Fe, in San Diego County,

     The group had rented the home last October and
were led by Marshall Herff Applewhite, 66, aka Father
John, aka Do (pronounced Doe), formerly "Bo" of
"Bo and Peep," aka "the Two," itinerant UFO apostles
who first became prominent in the 1970s.  (See
Newsweek magazine for October 20, 1975.)

     Applewhite's consort, Bonnie Lu Truesdale Nettles,
aka "Peep," died of liver cancer in 1985.

     The victims ranged in age from 26 to 72.  All but
four have been identified.  Among the victims were
Thomas Nichols, brother of actress Nichelle Nichols,
who starred in TV's original Star Trek, and David
Van Sinderen, son of a former chairman of the
Southern New England Telephone Co. (SNET).

     The official cause of death has not yet been
determined, but Det. Lt. Jerry Lipscomb of the San
Diego County Sheriff's Dept. said there was no
suspicion of anything but suicide.

     "Overdose and suffocation, self-inflicted,"
Lipscomb said, "Nothing in this investigation that
would suggest anything but."  (See the New York
Post for March 29, 1997, page 3)

     Dr. Brian Blackbourne, San Diego County
medical examiner said toxicological tests on five
of the victims showed that three had lethal levels
of phenobarbitol.  "Since the lethal level is 6 grams,
it would take 50 tablets of 135 milligrams each to
commit suicide."  (New York Post, March 29, 1997,
page 2)

     Yet puzzling discrepancies remain in the
official version concerning the original discovery of
the crime scene.

     On Tuesday, March 25, Richard Ford, aka
Rio DiAngelo, a former member of the group, received
a videotape in which the 39 members, including 18
women and 21 men, said farewell, announcing their
intent "to shed their physical containers" and be
lifted up to a UFO reported to be following the comet
Hale-Bopp.  Also receiving a tape was Rev. Rick
Strawcutter, pastor of a nondenominational Christian
church in Adrian, Michigan.

(Editor's Note: The Hale-Bopp "companion," aka
"the Saturn-like object" or SLO and the "Hale Mary,"
was first spotted in November 1996 by amateur
astronomer Chuck Shramek.  Professional astronomers
dismissed Shramek's claim, contending that the object
was an eighth-magnitude star, SAO 141894, that had
been photographed out of focus.  However, other
observers sighted and photographed "an anomalous
object" an estimated 2,000 kilometers behind the comet
until January 10.  Also, the SOHO satellite, which
photographed the solar tsunami that day, caught an
image of an oval-shaped object above the sun.  A week
later, a NASA press release described the SOHO image
as "a proto-comet."  There have been no further sightings
of the Hale Mary or any other anomalous object since
January 10.)

     The following morning, Wednesday, March 26, Ford
told his employer, Nick Matzorkis, 34, of Beverly Hills
about the tape and expressed fears that Applewhite's
group may have comitted suicide.  The two men then
drove to San Diego, arriving at about 11 a.m.

     "DiAngelo (Ford), who left the cult five weeks
earlier, entered the palatial Spanish-type home where
his former computer-whiz comrades lived and worked.
Matzorkis told him to be out in ten minutes."

     "' I didn't want to sit there so I took a five-minute
drive and a five-minute drive back and he still wasn't
in front of the house,' the businessman recalled."

     "I'm wondering, 'What's happening? Is he dead
in there, too?  Then I finally saw him walk out.  He
was white as a sheet.'"

     "'You trying to tell me there are dead bodies in
there?' Matzorkis asked."


     "'Where are they?'"

     "'They're laying in the beds and cots.'"
(See the New York Post for March 28, 1997,
page 6)

     Incredibly, after viewing the dead, Ford did not
telephone the San Diego County Sheriff's Dept.
for over an hour.  "Only after he leaves the
mansion of mass suicide does he call the local
cops at 1:34 p.m."

     "DiAngelo (Ford) returns with Matzorkis to
L.A. closely listening to news radio and hears
nothing of what he tipped the cops to."

     "He then becomes such a responsible
citizen that he calls the Beverly Hills Police
Department at 3 p.m. and they referred him to
the San Diego Sheriff's Office, which said it
knew nothing."  (Steve Dunleavy's colum,
New York Post, March 30, 1997, page 6)

     Arriving at the crime scene at 3:30 p.m.
were Deputy Sheriff Robert Brunk and Deputy
Sheriff Laura Gacek.  From the moment, the
officers pulled up to the manion, Deputy
Brunk "knew something was wrong.  The drapes
were pulled, the windows were closed and the
outdoor lights were burning in the sunshine."
(New York Times, March 30, 1997, page 1)

     During the CNN news conference at 7 p.m.
Pacific time, Deputy Brunk said he found the
front door locked, circled the house, found the
windows all closed, and found a side door
unlocked.  He also said, "I was the first to
enter the building."

     Deputy Brunk then "sensed the unmistakable
stench of death.  Dreading his instincts and
hoping against hope, he radioed his partner,
Laura Gacek, and waited."  (New York Times,
March 30, 1997, page 1)

     When Deputy Gacek confirmed the odor, the
officers entered the darkened room, spotted "the
bodies, all white and ages 18-24" who "bore no
signs of trauma."  (See USA Today, March 27,
1997, page 1)  At the news conference, Deputy
Brunk said he and Gacek then left the premises
and radioed for backup.

     According to San Diego Sheriff's Commander
Alan Fulmer, "deputies wearing surgical masks
'encountered a noxious, pungent odor,' and two
were sent to the hospital for blood tests.  A
hazardous materials (Hazmat) crew was on the
scene."  (USA Today, March 27, 1997)

     At the news conference, Deputy Brunk said
he and Gacek were given a blood test.  The
results of the blood test were not released.

     Nor were the results of any chemical tests
performed by the Hazmat crew at the crime scene.

     A videotape aired on KCOP-TV shows a
deputy in a yellow jacket wearing a respirator,
not a surgical mask.  (See USA Today for March
28-30, 1997, page 1)

     An AP photo of the house shows an open
window on the right-hand side (facing the front door),
just around the corner about 40 feet (12 meters)
from the door.  (See the Boston Herald for
March 28, 1997, page 3)  The window's white
drape is clearly visible.

     "The foul smell deputies encountered when they
entered the house was not nerve gas but the odor
of decomposing bodies, officials said."

     "'There were no gas fumes in the house.  The
only smell coming out of that house was that of
dead bodies,' said Cmdr. Alan Fulmer."  (See the
New York Daily News for March 28, 1997, page 3)


     Heaven's Gate, the UFO group headed by
Marshall Herff Applewhite, had links to 19th Century
occultists, including Madame Blavatsky and novelist
Samuel Langhorne Clemens, better known as Mark

     The house at 18241 Colina Norte is just down
the street from the San Dieguito Reservoir, a
favorite spot of Mrs. Katherine A. Tingley, a disciple
of Madame Helena P. Blavatsky.  Mrs. Tingley
moved to San Diego in 1896 and founded an ashram
of the Theosophical Society at Point Loma.  The
center opened February 25, 1897, with a ceremony
attended by several prominent people in San Diego,
including the mayor.  (See the San Diego Union for
February 26, 1897)

     Like Applewhite, Mrs. Tingley believed that a
major cataclysm would sink most of California and
end Western civilization.  She predicted that San
Diego would survive to become the capital of an
island nation called "Nueva California."

     She also had an interesting vision of alabacore
tuna swimming through the drowned halls of the
Assembly building in Sacramento.

     Another one of Madame Blavatsky's disciples
had a vision in India in 1907 of San Diego in the
year 2100 as "a gleaming white city and capital
of the New Age world."

     Interestingly enough, in 1907, Samuel Langhorne
Clemens, aka Mark Twain, wrote a short story
entitled "Extract from Captain Stormfield's Trip to
Heaven," in which the hero leaves Earth for "an
extended excursion among the heavenly bodies"
on the tail of a comet.

     In the story, the hero has his passport on him,
plus five dollars and three 25-cent pieces for the fare.

     Many of the Heaven's Gate victims had their
passports on their persons and $5.75 in their hands.
(See New York Post, March 29, 1997, page 6)

     In a strange twist, the comet Hale-Bopp has the
same initials as Helena Blavatsky.

     Also, the acronym for Evolutionary Level Above
Human (ELAH) spells HALE backwards.  (See the
Boston Herald for March 29, 1997, page 3)


     The Southern Ontario CSETI working group, led
by Jennifer Jarvis, spotted three orange-sphere
UFOs over Lake Ontario at 8:14 p.m. on Saturday,
March 22, 1997.

     The group had gone to the lakeshore at
Oakville, Ont., near Port Credit to skywatch
when "three orange orbs, lights, but not emitting
light" appeared over the lake midway between
Oakville and St. Catharines, Ont. on the south

     "These things were brilliant orange-to-yellow,
hovered, and did not fade out.  They submerged,"
Jarvis reported.  "All three went below the surface
of the water."

     Despite rainy weather, the group continued
its vigil throughout the week, periodically spying
the same type of orange-sphere UFO.  On
Wednesday, March 26, 1997, one orange globe
reportedly "returned signals" from the CSETI group
before submerging.

     Jarvis's group went to Grimsby, Ont. on
Saturday, March 29, 1997 to triangulate the
UFOs' position over the lake.

     On Thursday, March 27, at 7:40 p.m., Peter K.
left his house in Oshawa, Ont., 30 miles (48
kilometers) east of Toronto to look for the comet
Hale-Bopp and saw "the most unusual aerial display
I ever hope to see.  Two objects coming from the
southwest to the northeast at very high altitude.
Only lasted 4 or 5 seconds before they disappeared
into the light pollution on the northern horizon."

     At 8:10 p.m., Peter went outside again, saw some
cirrus clouds moving in, went to the other side of the
house to look eastward and spotted three orange-
sphere UFOs.  He then called his girl friend Sonja
in Bowmanville.

     At 9:52 p.m., he went outdoors once more and
saw "ten of these things.  Saw two flying west to
east, followed by a formation of four (two pairs) at
much lower altitude.  Spectacular!  Saw another pair
going east to west and a few singles going south to
north and north to south."  (Many thanks to Jennifer
Jarvis and Errol Bruce-Knapp for this story.)


     On Monday, March 24, at 10:06 p.m., a deafening
explosion was heard in the skies over South Yorkshire,
not far from the Derbyshire line in Britain.

     Detectors at the Seismic Unit at Edinburgh
University, Scotland, picked up vibrations from the
explosion, which they likened to "a sonic boom that
could have only been made by the Concorde, a
military jet at low altitude, or a bolide."

     Witnesses at Marjorie Hill, South Yorks. claim
to have seen a UFO hovering above the peak, "shining
light beams at the hillside" at the time of the explosion.

     The explosion sparked rumors of an airplane crash.
A search of the area, including six RAF Tornado jet
interceptors, turned up no wreckage, and the search
was called off on Tuesday, March 25.

     By then, however, rumors of "a saucer crash and
retrieval" had spread throughout Britain.  One story
told of a glowing orange triangle hovering over Wigan,
Lancashire.  But Tim Matthews, head of the Lancashire
UFO Society, disputed that report.

     Matthews said LUFOS observers saw no "flying
triangle" take off from the Warton British Aerospace
research facility at Preston that night, and his group
received no calls about UFOs at Wigan or anywhere
else in Lancashire.  (Many thanks to John Hayes,
Graham Birdsall and Tim Matthews for this story.)


     On Wednesday, March 26, 1997, at 8 p.m.,
Jesse W. and his friend, Josh M., were out looking
for the Hale-Bopp comet on Cheltenham Drive in
Mount Healthy, Ohio when they "saw a large white
light 50 to 60 degrees above the horizon."  The UFO
was "surrounded by 'smaller' lights" and "a red light
was seen on the side" of the UFO.  They watched
the display for five minutes until the UFO flew away
to the north.

     Also at 8 p.m., David S. was working at a
warehouse in Wilmington, Ohio when co-workers
called him outdoors to witness a strange display in
the sky.  Looking east toward Hillsboro, Dave saw
"a large orange fireball, which disappeared and then
reappeared.  It would fade as another reappeared,
almost in perfect configuration with each other,
assuming the shape of a boomerang."

     Dave's co-workers had been watching the display
since 7:30.  At precisely 7:40, they told him, four
fighter jets had appeared in the northwest sky.  The
jets had flown southeast, straight towards the orange
lights.  "As the lights would 'come on,' the jets would
fly into the general vicinity as if playing a game of
cat-and-mouse," Dave reported.  The orange globes
appeared eight times between 7:30 and 8:45 p.m.

     At 9:15 p.m., John B. and his girlfriend were in
Loveland, Ohio and saw "several lights which held
stationary and then accelerated at rapid speed.
There was also a main object and smaller objects
in triangular formation.  The main object was
'absolutely huge.'"  The UFOs flew away to the north.

     Veteran UFO investigator Jerry Black received
an anonymous tip from Wilmington, Ohio airport that
two F-16s from the Air National Guard base in
Springfield would be on "maneuvers" for the next few

     On Thursday, March 27, 1997, Kenneth Young
of Tri-States Advocates for Scientific Knowledge
(T.A.S.K.) telephoned the Ohio Air National Guard
at Springfield.  A sergeant told Young that eight F-16s
from the 162nd Fighter Squadron had engaged in
"night intercept air combat exercises" over Clermont
County.  The orange globes seen, he reportedly
explained, were "military flares," which are used to
"divert enemy aircraft sensors and heat-seeking
missiles" during combat.  (Many thanks to Kenny
Young of T.A.S.K. for this story.)


     On Tuesday, March 25, at 11 p.m., student Brian
Eddowes walked out of the Lilly Library on the East
Campus of Duke University in Durham, North Carolina.
As he stepped into the quad, he spied a bright light
in the western sky, hovering over the Union Building.

     "I noticed an orangeish light about 30 degrees
above the horizon," reported Brian, who was with
six other students in the quad at the time.  "It was
motionless, and for some reason I took time to
observe it.  Suddenly it changed shape and dropped
really low, and then after 10 seconds, changed shape
again to a series of red and blue lights...the way to
describe the UFO lights was there did not appear
to be any 'glare' about them and no noise at all."

     Brian said the lights flew away in the direction
east-northeast.  (Email interview)


     On Saturday night, March 15, 1997, Ms.
Kathleen N. spotted two "large bright lights" just
outside her window in Oakton, Virginia.

     "The lights passed by my house as I looked
out the window," she reported.  "Then I became
curious and popped up to see where the lights
were heading."

     "As I looked out the back window, the lights
had suddenly turned and were coming back
across my backyard, at above the trees.  I was
astonished. Then I went out onto the porch and
looked up.  To my amazement, I saw many rows
of smaller white lights with a few red lights in the
middle.  I could not see a craft, but it seemed like
I was looking up (at) the underneath of a craft with
lights on the bottom."

     "The two bright lights had moved quickly, but
these lights were moving slowly.  It moved in a
straight line above the trees.  As it flew away, I
noticed a low-level hum and a swoosh."  (Email


     On Tuesday, March 4, 1997, at 9 p.m., a very
large silver-gray domed saucer flew over the city
of Piracicaba, in Sao Paulo state, Brazil.  Hundreds
of people watched the immense, disc-shaped UFO,
estimated to be 100 meters (330 feet) in diameter,
move slowly over the city.  Eyewitnesses described
the UFO as "an immense flattened disc with a small
dome and flashing multicolored lights."

     At 11 p.m., two hours after Piracicaba sighting,
another jumbo saucer of the same description was
seen by dozens of people in Santa Gertrudis, S.P.,
a small city near Piracicaba.  From beneath the UFO,
"several small objects were seen to emerge."  These
objects flew around for 20 minutes and then reentered
the giant saucer, which flew away towards the west.

     On February 26, 1997, at 11 p.m., five male
Brazilian students driving home in Ribeirao Preto,
S.P. "saw a light come down and hover in front of
the car they were driving."  The UFO then took up
position behind the car and pursued it into the city.
The high-speed chase lasted five minutes.  Afterward,
the UFO rose quickly and flew away at high speed.
(Muito obrigado a Eduardo Castor Borgonovi para
eses casos.)


     Ufologists from Agrupacion de Investigaciones
Ovniologicas (AION) set up a research project in
Punta Arenas, Chile on Monday, March 24, 1997.

     On Thursday, March 27, 1997, several AION
members "spotted some lights make strange
movements" north of the southern Chilean city.
"One of the UFOs split into two.  Then behind these
lights appeared a UFO about 40 meters (125 feet)
in diameter, full of strong lights, hundreds of them,
flashing like the globe in a discotechque."  The UFO
dropped smaller orange spheres and then flew away
after five minutes."  (Muchas gracias a Luis Sanchez
para ese informacion.)

>From the UFO Files...


     The western end of Lake Ontario, now being
investigated by the Southern Ontario CSET
working group was the site of a baffling aircraft
disappearance nearly 20 years ago.

     "On December 22, 1977, Craig Carlisle, an
American pilot, took off from the airport at
Oshawa, on the north side of Lake Ontario, in a
twin-engine Cessna, N404SA.  His destination
was Beaver Falls, Pennsylvania, by way of
Buffalo, New York, and the first leg of the flight
was over the western end of Lake Ontario."

     "According to Major Al Ditter, spokesman for
the Canadian Forces Base at Toronto, the aircraft
left Oshawa at 9 p.m. and in less than half an hour
was at midpoint in its flight over the lake.  At this
point, the controllers at Toronto's International
Airport handed control of this flight over to the
Buffalo controllers."

     "However, there was a problem.  The Buffalo
controllers could not find any such flight on their
radar screens and they informed Toronto Control
of this fact.  When the Toronto controllers checked
their screens, they discovered that they too had
lost the aircraft's blip.  In the minute or so it had
taken to transfer the flight, the plane had suddenly

    "After two days of searching this thirty-by-forty-
mile stretch of water without any success, the
search was called off...Aircraft number N404SA
had been added to the long list of others that
have mysteriously vanished without a trace."
(See GATEWAY TO OBLIVION by Hugh Cochrane,
Avon Books, June 1981, pages 67 and 68)

     That's it for this week.  We'll try to play catch-up
with our UFO sightings and, more importantly, run
an important announcement from John Hayes in
next Sunday's issue.  See you then.

UFO ROUNDUP: Copyright 1997 by Masinaigan
Productions, all rights reserved.  Readers may post
items from UFO ROUNDUP on their websites or
in newsgroups provided that they credit the newsletter
and its editor by name and list the date of the issue
in which the story appeared.


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