"Ice crystals in the stratosphere, not divine retribution, were responsible for the eerie, colorful halo seen around the sun at midday throughout the Bay Area," reported the May 31, 1995 San Francisco Chronicle.  Apparently the Morrison Planetarium in Golden Gate Park was inundated with calls, many from individuals concerned the halo was some kind of heavenly message.

     Paul Doherty, physicist at the Exploratorium Science Museum, said scientists didn't know for certain if the halo signaled the end of the world, "I think we're probably all right, but we'll know for sure in a few days.  That's the scientific method."

     According to NCSE Reports (Spring 1995) Vice President Dan Quayle, while head of the National Space Council, stated, "Mars is essentially in the same orbit ... somewhat the same distance from the sun, which is very important.  We have seen pictures where there are canals, we believe, and water.  If there is water, that means there is oxygen.  If oxygen, that means we can breathe."

     The Oregon Scientist (Summer 1995) carried an article headlined "Science study finds water dowsing credible."  According to the article, The Journal of Scientific Exploration, printed at Stanford University, has reported "that ten years of research and over 2,000 drillings have confirmed that the dowsing phenomenon 'is of considerable practical use."'  The study, sponsored by the German government to find water in and regions of Sri Lanka, Zaire, Kenya, Nambia and Yemen, claimed 96% success in 691 drillings in Sri Lanka where conventional methods obtain a 30% to 50% success rate.  According to the report, not only were dowsers able to find water, they "were able to predict the depth of the water source and the yield of the well to within 10 to 20 percent."

     Hans-Dieter Betz, a physicist at the University of Munich, said, "Dowsing works, but we have no idea how or why."

     Betz explained "there may be subtle electromagnetic gradients resulting from the fissures and water flows creating changes in the electrical properties of the rock and soil.  The dowsers somehow sense these gradients in a hypersensitive state," said the article.

     Betz might be a great candidate to receive a complimentary copy of Ray Hyman's book Water Witching, USA.

     The Mutual UFO Network's (MUFON) UFO Journal has predicted the number of UFO sightings will be at a peak between December 1994 and September 1995, and especially high during the spring.  This is based on analysis by Joseph Ritrovato of cyclic peaks in UFO sightings.  He found four cycles, which he determined to be 13 months, 21 months, 32 months, and five years in length.  Ritrovato made his prediction by combining all four cycles.

     Philip Klass, writing in Skeptics UFO Newsletter (SUN) disagrees.  He finds "UFOs like news coverage."  Klass predicts there will be no UFO Flap in 1996 because UFOs know they can not compete with presidential elections for media attention."  If there is a peak in sightings this year, he predicts, it will occur in August while congress is recessed for summer vacation.

     "If you doubt that UFOs visit Earth because they like to attract attention, how do you explain why they always have their lights turned on at night to assure that they will be seen?  And why they perform unusual maneuvers that clearly reveal they could not possibly be aircraft, helicopters, meteor-fireballs or hoax hot-air balloons?  They not only want to be sure they are seen, but that they are recognized as a genuine UFO," writes Klass.

     According to an ad in The RegisterGuard, a May 6 book signing was held at Eugene's Valley River Inn for author and lecturer Joy S. Gilbert.  Transformed by her alien abduction experience, Gilbert felt compelled to write It's Time To Remember (printed by Laughing Bear Publishing), telling how she turned her "initially terrifying" abduction into a transforming experience by opening "herself to its gifts."
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 2000 Oregonians for Rationality