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Object From Above Has Them Speechless Down Under

January 22, 1988|ANN CONNORS

It sounded like something out of Stephen King's "Tommyknockers." First a family driving in the Australian outback said that a UFO shaped like an egg cup seized their car, shook it violently and covered it in ash while rendering their voices unintelligible. Then police received a second sighting by a tuna boat crew 50 miles away that the UFO had buzzed their vessel, making their voices unintelligible during the eerie encounter. "We were a little bit skeptical at first, but after investigating we are treating the reports very seriously," said Jim Furnell, a police sergeant in South Australia state, who said that scientists are looking at the black ash found on the car that contained Faye Knowles and her sons Sean, Patrick and Wayne. "It apparently picked the car up off the road, shook it quite violently and forced the car back with such pressure that one of the tires was blown," Furnell said. Adding to the credibility of the sightings was the fact that the crewmen of the tuna boat could not have known about the Knowles' experience, Furnell said.

--Elsewhere in Australia, another flying object, after some fits and starts, made an amazing touchdown. Following an upside-down landing in Greece, a soggy landing in the Persian Gulf and an unscheduled landing in Malaysia when his engine malfunctioned, ultralight pilot Brian Milton finally made the landing he wanted--in Darwin. The 45-year-old Briton left London Dec. 2 in his ultralight for Australia--a 10,990-mile trip. Milton was scheduled to leave today for Sydney, where he was planning to take in the celebrations next week of 200 years of European settlement in the land down under.

--A technician at a Minnesota research facility was puzzled by a tattoo she found on a golden mixed-breed dog that was to be used in research. "I just figured it was somebody's pet, so I checked," said Brenda Tiegen, a veterinary technician at Institute Hills Farm in Rochester. Tiegen called three groups that register pet tattoos nationally and found through Tattoo-A-Pet in New York that the dog belonged to Shirley Smith of Des Plaines, Ill. The dog, named Goldie, had disappeared last June after being tied up in Smith's fenced back yard. "I really didn't sleep last night. I cried," Smith said after learning of her pet's rescue. Craig Frisk, head veterinarian at Institute Hills, said Goldie was purchased from a Chicago area dealer and was to be used for research into human blood vessel diseases. "Her life would have been fairly short-term--a matter of weeks," Frisk said.

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