Rocks from Irish skies

Not one, but *two* alleged Irish meteorite sites have come to the attention of Blather this week. Firstly, UFO Roundup, via the UK UFO Network (who are now presumably claiming responsibility over rocks that fall from the sky), reported on a ‘mysterious crater’ discovered on farmland near Belleek, Co. Fermanagh, in January 1998.
Armagh Planetarium apparently investigated, where they are said to have found a ‘circular crater six feet in diameter filled with water’, along with a ‘badly-damaged milk churn’. The report went on to state how ‘investigators found a 1.5 millimetre bead of glass’ which was possibly from the meteorite.

Blather was a little suspicious about such news — but did a little back-tracking, and discovered an Irish Times report on the incident. It was from the ‘In the North’ section of the Thursday, January 29th, 1998 issue, and stated how, based on investigations by Planetarium director Tom Mason and his team, the “mysterious and violent bang heard in the Fermanagh village of Belleek on December 13th last” was “almost certainly a meteorite”.
However, whereas the UK UFO Network report stated that the crater was 6ft in diameter (1.83m), the Irish Times said that it was merely 3ft (0.92m). Anyway, the crater was found 10 (3m) feet from the Enniskillen-Ballyshannon road, half a mile from Belleek.
Based on extensive interviews with “earwitnesses”, known meteorite activity in the atmosphere, aerial hissing sounds, the sound of the ‘bang’ — a dull thud, and the fact that a meteorite had landed in Greenland two days previously (See Blather: Baaaaah-Humbug!), pointed towards an, dare I say it, extraterrestrial explanation.
The Irish Times said that the area had been sealed off by security forces in early January, on discovery of the crater, but doesn’t mention any forensic details. One can only assume that while they did link it to a “massive bang on December 13th at 5 am”, they seemed content that it was not a bomb. (The Irish Times January 29th 1998)
The Irish Times struck again on May 21th, 1998, to tell us that about ‘Mystery sea object found to be a rock’.
On Tuesday 19th May, the Naval service were put on a alert when a large object became snagged in the nets of the trawler *Silvie Liddy* from Dunmore East, Co. Waterford. It was forced to proceed to shore at only three knots, with the object below at a depth of 35 metres (115ft).
The trawler rendezvoused with the patrol vessel LE Emer off Hook Head, Wexford, and a half mile exclusion zone was placed around the vessels, although the skipper (Denis Harding) and crew of the trawler felt that at 5 tonnes the object was far too heavy to be a mine.
Naval divers used lifting bags raised it to 15 metres, freed it from the trawl, and dropped it to a nearby rock shelf. It has been speculated that the 5-tonne 1.5 cubic metre rock is a meteorite, although no source has been quoted in that regard — Blather would be delighted to hear the comments of Dunsink Observatory or Astronomy Ireland.
(The Irish Times May 21th 1998)

Jesus on the dashboard, Virgin Mary in my fridge

It would seem to be the weather for religious ‘movements’. The forever touring Virgin Mary has made an appearance on a glass freezer door (behind which lurk sausages, burritos and plantains) in a Jersey City (New Jersey) *La Conga* supermarket, according to Reuters.
The ‘Virg’ showed up sometime on Thursday May 14th, stayed all weekend, but faded away by Monday 18th. This didn’t stop people from the predominately Hispanic and Catholic community from arriving to leave candles, handwritten messages and flowers.
To, I hope, no-ones’s surprise, representatives of the local Roman Catholic Archdiocese in Newark were rather philosophical, even non-committal: “It is not impossible that some condensation got inside those two thermal panes and caused the image. I am led to believe that it is certainly not an apparition,” said a spokesman, Michael Hurley.
“But could I swear that it wasn”t? No.”
Infobeat May 18th 1998 (dead link) and The Boston Daily Globe May 19th (dead link)
Aye Shirley

Even more surreal were reports from Los Angeles on May 8th, via PRNewswire, regarding a weeping photograph of actress Shirley MacLaine .
She gave the autographed photo to Jamaican Futurist Dr. Ernesto Montgomery, and it’s now been seen shedding tears, along with a painting of the Angel of Peace at the Los Angeles HQ of the Beta Israel Temple/Black Jewish Synagogue.
Spiritual Leader of the Temple, Montgomery, was apparently hit upon by some weird vibes whilst with Ms. MacLaine, in her private jet at an altitude of 30,000 ft, and told her that she’s to be a ‘catalyst in bringing peace to mankind throughout the world’ etc.
Archbishop Roger Mahoney of the local Archdiocese, was quoted as saying that “The phenomenon is unexplainable.”
Anyway, it’s free admission to see the picture at 1101 Crenshaw Blvd., if you happen to live in Los Angeles, and are halfway bothered. . .

No More Mass

In Blather: Baaaaah-Humbug!, we discussed the goings-on in The House of Prayer on Achill Island, Co. Mayo, Ireland, where alleged stigmatic Mrs. Christina Gallagher and friends have been claiming minor miracles, such as healings. Back before Christmas, an inquiry set up by the Archbishop of Tuam, Dr Michael Neary, concluded there was no evidence of “supernatural phenomena of whatever kind” taking place at The House of Prayer.
The Connaught Telegraph tells that there is now a ‘Sunday Mass “ban” at House of Prayer’, enforced by the local diocese, or to be precise, Archbishop Neary. No confessions are sermons are being allowed, although the diocese paradoxically says that ‘There was no question of all Masses being forbidden at the Centre’.
Mrs. Gallagher and Co. have expressed “deep hurt and disappointment” and feel that their work is being “forced underground”.
One tends to wonder why they want to continue under — or even respond to — the influence of the Catholic Church.
(The Connaught Telegraph May 6th 1998)
Dave (daev) Walsh
May 22th 1998

Damien DeBarra was born in the late 20th century and grew up in Dublin, Ireland. He now lives in London, England where he shares a house with four laptops, three bikes and a large collection of chairs.