Month: February 1998

blather.net
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It has transpired that from August 3rd to 19th 1998, a team of cryptozoological types shall be flocking to the Seljord area of Telemark, Norway to track down the Lake Seljordsvatnet 'monster'. Rather than hunting down some gargantuan B-Movie beast, Jan-Ove Sundberg, the leader of the project, feels that their prey is more likely to be a previously unknown eel species. At least that's what Agence France-Presse (via The Nando News) announced on February 25th. The project's official website goes a smidgen further, pointing out the likeness between the Seljord creature and the prehistoric (and presumably extinct) mosasaurus. According to the website, the 250-year spate of reports concern animals 10-15m long, with 2-3 humps of about 1.5 height. Their backs are grey or black, with a lighter belly, and the skin seems 'wrinkled or scaly. The head is seen to be proportionately small, supported on a long 20-50cm neck. The...

blather.net
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On Friday 13th, 1998, Rael of The Rael Foundation popped up on Irish RTE1 TV's 'The Late Late Show' as a guest of Gay Byrne's (trivia fans take note: The Late Late show is reputedly the longest running TV chat show ever). Rael, who used to be French motor-racing journalist Claude Vorlihon, formed the Foundation in 1973 and claims it to be the largest UFO organisation in the world, with 35,000 members in 85 countries (information culled from Mark Pilkington's 'Off the Tracks With British Rael' from Magonia 60, Summer 1997). Rael has been on The Late Late Show twice before, four and eight years ago. This is rather interesting, as Byrne tended to treat Rael, resplendent in his immaculate white poloneck and white furs (the Liberace of ufology?), with undisguised and reasonably well formed scepticism. Why does he keep coming back? I suspect that he gains enough followers each...

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The rather clammy and smelly paged 'Sightings' magazine has in this issue (Vol. 2 Issue 9) an article by one Dermot Butler of IUFORA (Should really be IUFOPRA, The Irish UFO & Paranormal Research Association), entitled 'The Wicklow Hotspot', a watered down version of his 'Irish Case Files Update '. To be utterly pernickety, 'Sightings' habit of randomly littering their publication with irrelevant photographs of unidentified flying objects and wizened grays is less than useful. This is especially true in the Irish article, as none of the UFOs mentioned were photographed. The article is a meander through the various reports from the county of Wicklow, into which the urban sprawl of Dublin reaches. Unfortunately, it's neither long enough or in-depth enough to attempt serious analysis of each case. It does however, give one the impression of that Wicklow is a 'window' area. I don't dispute this, but it should be...

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The (London) Sunday Times of February 2nd 1998 hastens to inform us that 'Britain lends an ear to the search for ET'. As part of Project Phoenix, two of the world's largest radio telescopes will be linked together, the 250ft Lovell Telescope at Jodrell Bank in Cheshire, and the 1,000ft telescope at Arecibo in Puerto Rico. The largest single-dish radio telescope in the world, the latter is located in the natural hollow of a mountain and utilises the Earth's rotation for its scan of the skies. For the next ten years, they will listen for 'artificial' (I find that term rather odd, I would have said 'coherent') radio messages from '2,000 Sun-like stars within a range of 150 light years from the Earth' using computers to scan 50 million frequently channels simultaneously. This endeavour is part of the SETI project (Search for Extra Terrestrial Intelligence). According to the Times, 'At...