[In the October 16, 1996 edition of CNI News, we reported on a spectacular aerial event that occurred the night of October 3, 1996 and was viewed across the western United States from the Mexican border to northern California. Experts at UCLA and Sandia National Laboratory labeled the phenomenon an extraordinary meteor that may have entered the earth's atmosphere, bounced back into space, orbited the planet and re-entered again before falling to earth somewhere in California -- a sequence of events calculated to explain the wide variety of sighting reports that flooded police, radio and television news lines that night. But that explanation does not begin to square with a sequence of events described by noted abduction researchers Dr. Roger Leir and Derrel Sims, who were not only eyewitnesses that night but continued to track a bizarre series of further events over the next four days.
Leir and Sims were joined by a third witness who wishes to remain anonymous. CNI News editor Michael Lindemann has met this third witness and can attest not only that he is real, but that he shows every sign of being highly credible. This man is a practicing surgeon and also a Brigadier General in the Air Force reserves. In the following text, this man's testimony is reported second hand by Roger Leir, his long-time friend.
The following story was written by Don Robertson, a reporter for the Carpinteria (California) Coastal View Newspaper, and is reprinted with permission. Additional remarks by CNI News editor Michael Lindemann are inserted in brackets.]
By Don Robertson
Carpinteria Coastal View
About 9pm [on October 3], the sky over Los Angeles, and indeed the western United States, lit up as if it were day, and an object described as green in color raced across the sky at a very high altitude, leaving behind it a trail that witnesses described as white sparks or star dust. All manner of experts described the object as a "meteor" or "shooting star."
But, according to Dr. Roger Leir and UFO investigator Derrel Sims, there was another event the night of October 3rd, which occurred fifteen minutes before the one mentioned above.
Leir reported, "Derrel and I were making a trip to the airport in Burbank last night, and at exactly 8:46pm, on the north side of the 101 freeway, approximately one-half mile west of Parkway Calabasas, the whole sky lit up, and night turned to day! I was driving in the fast lane of the freeway, and my mouth fell open, because I saw a huge burning gold ball with a tail coming out of it that looked something like a comet. It was the most brilliant silverish-white I've ever seen, and it was dropping sparks toward the ground. This was traveling just above the level of the hills somewhere between the area of Bell Canyon and the freeway. And, incidentally, Rocketdyne is in this area too."
[Rocketdyne used to be one of the primary rocket engine testing facilities in the U.S., located in the Simi Hills about six miles southwest of the town of Chatsworth, California. It has been shut down and inactive in recent years. Much of the area remains restricted due, in part, to industrial pollution. However, there are public thoroughfares in the area that are normally open to traffic.]
Leir continued: "We saw this thing and couldn't believe what we were seeing! It looked like it was coming down, so we thought it must have smashed into the hills somewhere, and there's probably going to be a fire. So on the way back, we went real slow by there to see if anything's burning, but we didn't see anything. The only thing we saw that was peculiar was that the lights on the north side of the freeway were all out.
"When we got home, we turned on the news, and Channel 2 was broadcasting interviews and different stories from northern California, to Nevada, to San Diego. People were seeing things going in the OPPOSITE direction, and seeing something that was green... but that's not what Derrel and I saw! We guessed that if this thing came down, it would be somewhere between the north side of the Ventura Freeway (Hwy 101) and where Rocketdyne is, in the Santa Susannas [south of Hwy 118]."
But Leir and Sims were not the only ones to see this show in the night sky. Another man, a medical doctor who wishes to remain anonymous, related his version of the early sighting.
"I saw this!" he said. "I was a skeptic about UFOs, but I happened to be at Lake Encino, way up on top of the mountain, above the smog, walking through the area, and I saw this unusual light. [The doctor's vantage point was about 8 miles east where Leir and Sims saw the aerial event.] I turned around, and in the sky, headed toward Rocketdyne, was a huge red ball of fire with a gold center, and just like Roger said, a tail with flakes of silver, and red surrounding it all. This thing SLOWED DOWN in the sky going toward Rocketdyne.
"I know Rocketdyne very, very well! I used to practice there," the doctor continued. "The whole mountain top is black with radiation. People living near there are trying to sue the city and the government because of it.
"I'm on inactive status in the service. [Actually, this man was recently promoted to Brigadier General in the Air Force Reserves. Information he has given CNI News editor Michael Lindemann suggests that he has high security clearances.] So I went up the road to Rocketdyne [the next] morning [Friday, Oct 4]. All of a sudden I saw a bunch of soldiers with blockades there, and I couldn't go up. I asked them what was going on. They said, 'Something has happened and you can't go through.' They had very strange uniforms on. Not the normal uniforms; not the same color. These guys were the special forces type; no nonsense. They had been brought in from somewhere else, and spoke with a southern accent," said the doctor. "And they all seemed to look alike.
"My feeling is that nothing CRASHED. The object SLOWED DOWN and came to rest up there for some reason," he concluded.
According to Roger Leir, "The doctor went back to Rocketdyne on Saturday [Oct 5] with his military credentials. After checking them out, the military asked him what he wanted. He asked them what was going on up there, and why the public road was blockaded. He was allowed to continue up the road and saw a hillside that was charred where something had burned."
Returning again on Sunday morning, the doctor found the military types gone, and talked to two civilian security officers. [According to Leir], "He was told that 'a space vehicle came down,' and that, 'It was one of ours!' The military people had conducted a clean up operation. The security men concluded, 'The vehicle was repaired, and took off early this morning. It's no biggie, these vehicles land here twice a week,' the doctor was told.
"Something went wrong with the craft," Roger Leir says, "that caused the tremendous flash in the sky that we saw. A friend who is an airline pilot saw the whole thing while flying. He said there was no way it was a meteor."
[CNI News recognizes that the claim of "space vehicles" landing in the California hills "twice a week" borders on preposterous, whether those vehicles are "ours" or not. On the other hand, the witnesses in this case are impressive. It is possible that the alleged military sources who spoke to the anonymous physician fed him disinformation, for reasons unknown. But strange events were certainly observed in the sky and on the ground, and explanations remain unsatisfactory. CNI News will continue to track this story and report further information as it becomes available.]
Original file name: .CNI - Rocketdyne.Don R
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