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Austral Sighting A flight crew for Aerolineas...

Earthwatch: A Diary of the Planet

August 17, 1995

Austral Sighting

A flight crew for Aerolineas Argentinas, and aviation officials on the ground, observed a luminous object that approached the aircraft as it was about to land at Bariloche airport, about 870 miles from Buenos Aires. Control tower personnel reported all of their instruments started behaving strangely at about the same time. Ground observers said the UFO appeared to have shining lights on its belly.

Mass Migration

This coming fall's migration of ducks and other waterfowl in North America could be the largest since the 1970s, according to biologists at Ducks Unlimited, an organization that promotes conservation primarily for the purpose of hunting.

Seal Cull

The Namibia government opened its coast to what one group calls "the cruelest seal hunt in the world." More than 4,000 full-grown seals and 13,000 pups are open game to the club and rifles of legal hunters, according to the International Fund for Animal Welfare. Last year, starvation caused by a climatic shift killed more than 120,000 of the estimated 550,000 seals living along the southwest African coast. Fisheries Minister Abraham Iyambo said he saw no reason why a quick death from the hunters was any worse than lingering death by starvation.

Volcanoes

The elderly and sick living around the flanks of Montserrat's Chance's Peak were evacuated to tent cities set up in the north of the tiny island. The ancient volcano has rumbled with plumes of ash since mid-July.

Aquatic Pachyderms

The latest clash between humans and elephants occured when the animals plunged into the Indian Ocean and headed for an island in the Lamu Archipelago, a little more than a mile offshore. There they uprooted coconut palms and mango orchards, as well as other crops grown on the island.

Additional Sources: U.S. Climate Analysis Center, U.S. Earthquake Information Center and the World Meteorological Organization.

Copyright: 1995 Chronicle Features

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