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Area 51 Secrets!
UFOs Spotted in UK & USA!
US Indians Vs. Arnold in Recall!
Arctic Shelf Splits & More!
Bush Keeps Area 51 Secrets!

CARSON CITY NV September 21, 2003 (AP) - Invoking national security, President Bush has renewed an exemption allowing the Air Force to keep mum about top-secret operations at a southern Nevada base.

Bush's memorandum said it was of "paramount interest" to exempt the Groom Lake base about 90 miles north of Las Vegas from disclosing classified information.

Also known as Area 51, the mysterious base sits on a dry lake bed and is heavily patrolled. The area is in a no-fly zone.

The secrecy has fueled speculation about UFOs, aliens and other strange occurrences around Area 51.

Residents of the nearby town of Rachel say the UFO talk began years ago when a Nevada Test Site worker claimed he saw alien ships there.

President Clinton first issued the base's exemption in 1995 in response to two lawsuits filed by injured workers seeking information about the military's environmental practices at the site. It has been renewed yearly.

In renewing the order last week, Bush cited the suits brought by injured workers and the widows of two workers who alleged in 1994 that their husbands were exposed to hazardous and toxic materials at Groom Lake.

Attorney Jonathan Turley, who represents the families, said the presidential directive keeps secret documents and testimony that he believes would link Area 51 to the men's deaths.

"It is baffling to see the government continue to cover up what went on at Area 51," said Turley, a George Washington University law professor.

Bush's memo exempts the Air Force from following federal, state or local solid-waste and hazardous-waste laws if classified information would be disclosed.

Explore Area 51 online at Terraserver -

More UFOs Spotted - Latest Reports!
British UFOs Run Rampant!

Planet Earth September 24, 2003 (eXoNews) - The British public is ever watchful for invasion from the skies and there seem to be a lot of otherworldly craft hovering over the UK as of late. Here are some of the choice recent stories run by UK press.

We guarantee that you haven't seen these on ABC News :o)>

[Typically, nobody thought to snap a photo of any of these aliens, so we took the usual liberties with illustrations and file photos from the eXoNews archives. Enjoy! Ed.]

Locals Report UFO Sightings
By Kenny Smith

Wishaw UK September 19, 2003 (Lanarkshire) - More Wishaw residents have come forward after having their own close encounters of the UFO kind. In last week's Wishaw Press, we reported the sighting of a green light in the sky, above Craigneuk on Monday September 8, around 9.30pm.

The green light had been seen in the sky, at a height of around 400 feet, before shooting off in the Muirhouse direction.

Friends Rose Gillespie and Marion Vance were traveling by car when they spotted the green light in the sky. They read about the sighting in the Wishaw Press, and contacted us.

Marion said: "We were coming down from Grangemouth on Monday evening. We were about two miles from the Auchenkillen roundabout near Cleland. My friend saw it first, then said 'What's that?', then I looked up. It just flew right across in front of us, then dropped down a bit, and went out of sight. It was very bright green, was very fast, and a bit scary. Never in my life have I seen anything like that. I'd never thought there were UFOs until Monday night. I thought what could it be, and we started talking about it on the way down home. But when you see something like that with your own eyes, it makes you wonder."

"I know it wasn't a shooting star as I've sent plenty of them in my life," Rose added. "It was very bright green, moving exceptionally fast across the sky, then it did a little dip as if it had turned, then vanished. It was there and gone in seconds. My husband said to me it would be a fancy airplane being tested, but if that's how fast it's going to go, I don't want to be on it!"

A Craigneuk resident, who asked not to be named, also saw the green light in the sky.

"My dog ran across the road to a neighbor's house." he said. "The hackles were up on his back, and then I looked up. It was dark, but there was this bright green light - it wasn't pulsating or anything, but it was a bit of a shocker. I went, 'Oh, my', and then it just glided away. It look massive. I've seen a lot of strange things in Craigneuk, but that's something different."

East Kilbride UFO Club were informed of the sighting by a Craigneuk man. The club's Noel Wallace said: "We've had some sightings in the Motherwell area in the past, but not heard of anything for a while."

The club can be contacted through their website, at

California Neighbors Maintain UFO Watch
By Ben Baeder
Staff Writer

MONTEBELLO CA September 9, 2003 (Whittier Daily News) - As he looks up at a bright moon, spindly shadows fall across John Gonzalez's face through the branches of a small tree on his front lawn.

It's a Saturday night, and just like nearly every night since they saw a strange red light in the sky on Aug. 30, Gonzalez and a handful of other residents on 20th Street in Montebello are out looking for UFOs.

Twice in late August most recently on Aug. 30 residents say they saw strange, flashing red lights high in the skies above Montebello, triggering the near-nightly vigils on Gonzalez's block.

As he surveys the skies, his friend cleans the lens of a telescope on a tripod. Next door, another neighbor and his son lie on blankets on their front lawn; a video camera perched atop a tripod is at the ready. While the residents swear they saw something very unusual, nobody not police or local aerospace agencies has given them a satisfactory explanation as to what it was.

"It was something military, or something advanced,' Gonzalez believes. He recalled how in the past witnesses confused the stealth bomber with a UFO. "Maybe it will be like the stealth bomber. You know, all these people seeing this strange flying triangle in the desert, then, like 10 years later, we finally find out what it was.'

The residents' accounts of the weird light are nearly all alike. They say the light slowly moved up from the horizon, then began to turn onto a path parallel to the horizon. The light then emitted a bright flash and began moving faster. It disappeared and reappeared a few times, then faded away.

According to the National Unidentified Flying Object Reporting Center's Web site, the object was first reported on Aug. 24. Three more sightings were made on Aug. 30, the Web site said. Several residents videotaped the object.

Officials at the Federal Aviation Administration, the U.S. Air Force and the Jet Propulsion Laboratory in La Canada Flintridge all said they have no record of anything abnormal in the skies on Aug. 24 or Aug. 30.

Fear of ridicule caused some witnesses to decline to give their names to a reporter. One man, who said he scans the skies now nightly with binoculars, said he's worried people might think he's crazy.

"I have a high-profile job. There's no way I can let you use my name.'

Witnesses said they spotted the light as they were looking at Mars, which was closer to Earth on Aug. 28 than it had been in 66,000 years. But they swear the object was not Mars.

George Djorgovski, an astronomer at Caltech in Pasadena, said the light was most likely an airplane, while other astronomers said that Mars can appear to move if stared at for long periods.

Whatever the light was, it hasn't returned since Aug. 30. But that hasn't stopped Montebello's nightly UFO watchers for gazing skyward.

"As long as there are no laser beams coming down, we're cool with it,' said Gonzalez.

Cabbie Spots UFO

Burnley UK September 5, 2003 (Burnley Express) - Was it a bird, was it a plane or was it really a UFO?

Burnley cabbie Mr Steve Haworth and a passenger watched a mysterious flying object suddenly appear, perform a series of mind-boggling maneuvers and then simply disappear without trace above the town, early on Saturday morning.

"I thought it was an aircraft at first," said Mr. Haworth, of Burton Street.

"Then, when I weighed up all the pros and cons, I decided it couldn't possibly be."

The part-time taxi driver was taking a customer from his Hufling Lane home to work in Waterfoot. They were traveling along Bacup Road when they turned a corner and first saw the object in the sky.

"It was only 7-45 in the morning, but there wasn't a cloud in the sky. It was beautiful and clear," he said. "I immediately thought the object was a plane, but it wasn't small, it wasn't high up and it was moving slowly."

The silver cigar-shaped object with a small pulsating light in the middle, stopped and hovered. Then it changed shape as it started going forwards and backwards in a perfectly straight line. It did this twice before vanishing into thin air.

"There was no noise and no vapor trail," added Mr. Haworth. "If it had been an aircraft we would have heard it from where we were. It did not take-off, it just simply disappeared."

This is not the first time an unidentified flying object has been spotted in the sky above Burnley. Sightings date back to 1869 and have been reported at regular intervals throughout the decades since. Descriptions have varied from a round, glowing disc and a line of bright lights, to a pulsating cigar-shaped object just like Mr. Haworth described.

"The whole experience only lasted three minutes. I remember looking at the clock in the car, it was 7-45 a.m. and by the time the object had disappeared it was 7:48 AM. I'm so glad I had someone with me who saw what I did, otherwise I would have been doubting my sanity. I'm just curious to know what it was. I have considered and dismissed all the sensible options, a UFO is the only logical explanation I can think of."

Hypnosis Reveals Abductions

Lancaster UK September 1, 2003 (Preston Today) - When Mary Carter saw lights flashing outside her home she did not think twice about going to investigate. To her surprise, when she left her living room on Percy Road, Lancaster, and went outside to have a look, she discovered the twinkling lights were coming from a low flying aircraft.

A couple of minutes later the lights were gone and she went back into her house. But to her absolute astonishment Mary realized that she had been outside for 50 minutes, not just the two that she thought. Mary, a nurse, could not explain what had happened to make so much time vanish. For years the mystery nagged at her leaving her with a great sense of uneasiness.

Visions drifted in and out of her mind. She felt she had been cut, had something placed on her forehead and had floated in the air. She thought she would never unravel the mystery surrounding the events on that chilling Saturday night. That was until she got in contact with supernatural author Peter Hough, who was chairman of the Northern Anomalies Research Organisation.

When Peter heard Mary's story he agreed to help her and suggested hypnosis as a way to unlock any suppressed and trapped memories. Peter, from Leigh, near Wigan, has been a writer, researcher and investigator of the unexplained for more than 20 years and accompanied Mary through her journey of discovery.

"When I first went to see her she had a problem and the problem was that she had this very strange experience a few years previously and it had been niggling away at her over the years. She knew there was more to remember, she wanted some sort of closure on it and she thought I could give her some answers. She was hoping I would be able to tell her it was all a fantasy or an illusion, which is interesting. Most people not involved in the subject assume people like me want to believe in what has happened, but it is quite the reverse."

Mary underwent three sessions of hypnosis with Peter by her side.

"In some respects this brought elements to life which had previously been vanished."

The details these sessions brought to light shocked Peter and left Mary even more uncomfortable and traumatized. During the sessions she talked about small people dressed in silver with slitted eyes appearing before her. She remembered standing on her doorstep then being paralyzed, enveloped in a beam of light and finding herself in a strange room lying on a table. She then described a series of medical experiments being carried out on her. Wires were attached to her forehead, blood was taken from behind her ear and her palm print was recorded.

While Mary found all of this disturbing, it was nothing compared to what she revealed in the final session.

Peter explained that she said that this had all being happening since she was a baby and that the abductions had taken place every four years or so. The hypnosis was stopped as it was becoming too distressing for Mary, who was determined not to believe what she was saying was true.

Peter says that some people are keen to simply say they have been abducted by extraterrestrials while others will say it is all a dream.

"The thing about hypnosis is that it does not act as a truth drug. I always tell people it does not necessarily give the objective truth it shows what you believed happened to you, not necessarily what actually happened. It is a usual tool to use when you are investigating a case like this. Quite often it does fill in the gaps, in some cases people feel better because they now know what happened during their missing time.

"What is usually worse is not knowing at all. In Mary's case I did try and see if anybody else remembered anything about what happened, but we did not get anything. That is what usually happens when there has been a large passage of time.

"The way I go about investigating is to take every case on its merits.

"Quite often people report seeing a UFO and at least 90% of the time they have seen aircraft landing lights, weather balloons – people do misidentify things a lot."

In Mary's case the events that she described had a ring of truth to them.

"In some respects the story that unfolded particularly under hypnosis was fairly typical of abduction cases that have emerged around the world.

"It was not a great surprise. It has a lot of common elements to it including missing time, undergoing some kind of medical exam and the feeling of paralysis."

More UFOs! - Recent NUFORC UFO Reports

Not to be outdone by the Brits, here are some recent US sightings recorded by the National UFO Reporting Center.

Triangle object

Troy, NY 9/12/2003 - I'm still in shock. I was driving home from my boyfriends house at about 10 of 12 tonight (Friday) and I pulled out of his development, and I always look for the moon because you can see it very well from where he lives, but I look up and I see 3 lights just stayin in the sky, so I'm like that's weird the plane must be having problems, then.... it starts to move, and I'm underneath it and it was not a plane, it was a triangle shaped craft, moving fast, I was on a bridge, it went over the bridge, and once it got to the other side, it started to turn around and come down a bit... then I was out of sight of it, I looked and looked but couldn't see where it went to. I never saw anything like it, it had 3 arms so to say, it wasn't circle or oval or big, it had 3 lights and each light was attached to an arm type of thing. I don't know what exactly it was, or what but I'm in shock.

Triangular shape

Fort Plain, NY 9/12/2003 - At a local star gazing session we noticed a possible satellite (no blinking lights) traveling east to west across the southern sky (approximately 20-30 degrees above the horizon). I managed to catch the object in an 8" dobsonian reflector telescope and track it off and on for over a minute. It had three bright lights arranged in a triangular shape and passed in front of the starfield behind it. We all thought it could have been the ISS or a satellite, however, upon returning home, I checked NASA's J-Track software for satellite observations at 20:40 and the only objects remotely visible were 2 small orbcomm satellites (FM7 and FM8). I had a good view with the telescope and have never seen an object like this traveling east to west.

NUFORC Note: Virtually no satellites have a groundtrack with a significant westerly component to them. PD

Fighters trying to shoot down UFO over Ft. Drum NY?

Parishville, NY 9/16/2003 - Me and some friends were outside watching satellites and saw some explosions in the sky toward Ft. Drum. We thought it was a meteor but to our surprise we saw a flashing light moving across the sky at a high rate of speed. The object changed directions and stopped many times. It would move almost out of site and then rapidly zoom over Ft. Drum. What looked like several fighter planes attempted to follow it and more bright orange fireballs appeared behind the UFO. We could here jets going to afterburners and the object would zoom away again only to return after several seconds to be fired upon again. Truly amazing! The sky was clear and the milky way was clearly visible.

NUFORC Note: We received no other reports from this area of New York, so we are unable to confirm the report. PD

Cigar shaped dim orange craft

East Falmouth, MA 9/14/2003 - My mom and I were out walking. In the western sky we saw a flashing green and red light. Besides the color and the flashing it looked much like a star. We continued to walk and above of us we could see a fast cigar shaped craft flying through the sky. It had a dull orange color to it. In continued to go through the sky until we lost it behind the trees. We went inside of the house. We told my father of the experience and me and him went out with a pair of binoculars. The green red flashing star was still in the sky, but it had moved into the north-eastern sky. We used the binoculars to get a clearer view of the colors and we what we saw was a star looking light that was green. At the bottom of it was a flashing red light. My father and I dismissed it as a plane and went back inside.

I came out ten minutes later to see if it was still there. It was still there, floating in the sky. My father and I continued to watch it. Over the course of 20 minutes or so it very very slowly drifted east. We continued to watch it for another ten minutes and went back inside. I cam back out nearly half an hour later. It was still there but it had drifted into the eastern sky. It was flashing much more distinctly now. It made a flash and then vanished.

My father went out later and found it back were we originally saw it with the binoculars.

NUFORC Note: We suspect that twinkling stars would be the first possibility that would have to be ruled out. PD

UFO seen

Mountain Home, AR 9/13/2003 - I was working at 9th and Collage Citgo Gas Station, looking east, the day had broken clouds, but had a larger amount of blue sky, then I was looking up at the clouds and the blue sky. I then saw a silver cigar shaped UFO flying from south to the east going behind each cloud, there was about 15 to 20 miles in between each cloud, and then without turning around it went back to the south again, it then moved again without turning around, it moved back to the east but moved only about half way, then it stopped and went straight up about 12 miles then came down again, then as I watched it, it moved behind this one cloud, there was about 10 miles between this cloud and the others. I then watched the cloud dissipate and the FO did not come out of the cloud, but it was gone. (It was about 150 ft to 250 ft long.)

Loads more UFO fun at the National UFO Reporting Center (NUFORC) -

Bush Interview Dead Last in Broadcast TV Ratings
By Ben Berkowitz

LOS ANGELES September 23, 2003 (Reuters) - On Monday night, the American public was apparently far more interested in new comedies and a blowout football game than their president's take on the state of the international effort to rebuild Iraq.

Data from Nielsen Media Research released on Tuesday showed that a one-hour interview with President Bush on Fox came dead last in the hour among the six major broadcast television networks in both total viewers and audiences aged 18 to 49.

The results showed the Bush interview, conducted by Fox News chief correspondent Brit Hume from the Oval Office of the White House, drew an average of about 4.30 million viewers in the hour, with a 1.6 rating and a 5 share in the crucial audience of adults ages 18 to 49.

In Nielsen terms, 1 ratings point equals 1 percent of homes that own television sets, while each share point represents 1 percent of the TVs actually in use to watch programming at a given time.

"That is a sorry state of affairs," said Robert Thompson, director of the Center for the Study of Popular Television at Syracuse University. "I think most people, when they heard that the interview was going to happen, just assumed they weren't going to hear anything new that they hadn't already heard."

The Bush interview trailed an episode of UPN's comedy "The Parkers" and the series premiere of the comedy "Eve," starring the singer of the same name. Those two shows together averaged about 4.49 million total viewers and around a 2.0/6 in the 18-49 group.

The 8 p.m. hour was topped by NBC, which averaged more than 13 million viewers with the reality competition series "Fear Factor."

On April 25, a Friday night, a 9 p.m. "Dateline NBC" special featuring an interview with Bush conducted by NBC anchor Tom Brokaw aboard Air Force One drew 8.80 million viewers and a 2.6/8 in audiences 18 to 49.

"I suppose we shouldn't be surprised," Thompson said. "We've known when people are turning on prime-time for entertainment, they're often looking for something that is an anesthetic, not something that fulfills their civic duty as a voter in the republic."

[Wow! Does this mean that President Bush might get canceled? Ed.]

Space Rock Misses Earth!

By Dr David Whitehouse
BBC News Science Editor

Earth September 24, 2003 (BBC) - A small rock about five meters across flew past the Earth a few days ago. Only four other such celestial bodies have come closer since monitoring began.

The rock, designated 2003 SW130, was far too small to pose any risk. Had it entered the Earth's atmosphere, it would have fragmented in a spectacular meteor display. But its detection demonstrates just how efficient astronomers are becoming at picking up such rocks, even those that are the size of a living room.

Half of the top 10 approaches to the Earth by space rocks have been detected in the past two years.

The rock was discovered about 21 hours after its closest approach by Arianna Glearson and Tom Gehrels observing with the Spacewatch 1.8-metre telescope in Arizona, US. The following night, the Klet Observatory in the Czech Republic picked it up. It was almost obscured by the glare of Mars which was nearby in the sky.

Observations suggest that it came within about 168,000 kilometers of the Earth at 0600 GMT on 19 September. It has an orbit that takes it from just inside the orbit of Venus to just inside the orbit of the Earth.

Astronomers are becoming increasingly efficient at detecting small rocks moving in the Earth's vicinity. Last year, they found 2002 XV90 and 2002 MN, which occupy number two and three in the list of close approaches by celestial objects.

The closest known approach was 1994 XM1, which came within 112,000 km.

Of course, many large objects do strike the Earth from time to time, such as the Tunguska impactor in 1908.

Brian Marsden, of the Minor Planet Center in the US, said: "There must be lots of objects as tiny as 2003 SW130 that pass closer than the Moon and are missed. Spacewatch did a great job finding it, and the Klet Observatory in following it up. Nice cooperation - even if the object would likely burn up high in the atmosphere if it were to hit."

Spacewatch -

Tribes Spend $6.7 million on Recall
By Mark Simon
Chronicle Political Writer

September 24, 2003 (San Francisco Chronicle) - The huge campaign contributions by the California Indian tribes that operate gaming casinos -- and Indian influence as the state's newest and biggest special interest -- have become a pivotal issue in the final two weeks of the recall election.

Nearly 20 percent of all the money spent to defeat the recall of Gov. Gray Davis or on behalf of candidates seeking to replace him has come from 14 of the state's 107 Indian tribes -- an estimated $6.7 million of the $34 million spent by all campaigns and all candidates.

Two of the tribes -- the Viejas Band of Kumeyaay Indians and the Pechanga Band of Mission Indians -- have spent more than $2 million each in direct donations to candidates or in independent expenditures on behalf of candidates.

Clearly, they are the single most important financial factor in the campaign -- except for the personal wealth of candidates such as Republican actor Arnold Schwarzenegger.

He has given $6 million of his own money to his candidacy, half the $12 million he has raised, plus another $500,000 to his own recall committee, 36 percent of the money that committee has raised.

Calling their political activity a fight for survival, the tribes argue that their contributions barely begin to balance the donations by larger wealthier special interests and the resources of wealthy candidates.

"Particularly the candidates or issues for whose benefit those (Indian) monies are being spent are not independently wealthy," said George Forman, a San Francisco attorney whose firm has represented Indian tribes for more than two decades.

"For the tribes to sit out and not use their resources would be to hand the election to those who historically have demonstrated their hostility toward them," Forman said.

Instead, the great bulk of tribal money has gone to support the candidacy of Democratic Lt. Gov. Cruz Bustamante, who, early on, as a member of the state Assembly Latino Caucus, demonstrated a willingness to push legislation legalizing gaming on Indian lands.

In addition to Bustamante, the Pechanga tribe also has spent heavily in support of Republican state Sen. Tom McClintock, and several tribes have given extensively to the anti-recall committee controlled by Davis, who negotiated the first gambling compacts with the tribes after what they viewed as eight years of hostility from his predecessor, Republican Pete Wilson.

The governor's office is responsible for negotiating the compacts under which the tribes operate casinos, and it is through those compacts that Davis set the current rate at which tribal slot machines are levied by the state. Critics say Davis required too little money from the tribes and was overwhelmed when he proposed dramatically increasing the levy earlier this year to help with the state budget deficit.

But as the tribes' donations have grown, so, apparently, has voter uneasiness about the influence of the only entity in the state that can conduct legal casino-style gaming.

"The public is concerned about a slot machine on every corner and a new special interest that's sort of the same as the old special interests," said Robert Stern, president of the nonpartisan Center for Governmental Studies in Los Angeles and an expert on campaign finance.

"They're not that different from any other special interest, except for the amount," Stern said. "Clearly, their contributions may be the single largest contribution ever made in this country."

It is the size of the Indian contributions and the nature of their influence in state government that prompted Schwarzenegger to make tribal donations the target of a new statewide TV ad that began airing Monday.

The ad features Schwarzenegger talking directly to the camera and asserting that the tribes have donated more than $120 million in the last five years, make billions of dollars at their casinos, pay virtually nothing in revenues to the state and have immense influence with state politicians who pander to them.

"I don't play that game," Schwarzenegger concludes. "Give me your vote, and I guarantee you things will change."

Nelson Rose, a professor at Whittier College Law School who specializes in the study of gambling law, said Schwarzenegger "has realized the tribes are getting the image of an evil special interest."

Rose and others noted that the attack on Indian special interests came at a time when Schwarzenegger had stalled in statewide opinion polls, and when similar polls showed Bustamante's own progress had been diverted by the controversy over his acceptance of Indian money.

"For a long time, most voters have been very sympathetic to the Indians' interests," said Stern.

"But the Indians' big concern should be that they not appear to be a greedy special interest," he said. "When they start acting like the other special interests, then they face a backlash, and so do their candidates."

The Indians insist they are not a typical special interest.

"It's not simply protecting a profit interest, an economic interest, a business interest -- it's substantially more than that," said Jacob Coin, executive director of the California Nations Indian Gaming Association, which represents the 61 California tribes that have signed gaming compacts with the state.

"We're interested in one thing and one thing only -- how the new chief executive is going to deal with the Indian tribes on a government-to- government basis," Coin said.

"They're governments, not casinos, and the state of California for 150 years has a history of trying to destroy tribal governments and to eradicate Indians," said Forman.

Harsher critics of the Schwarzenegger attack said it was an extension of anti-Indian sovereignty policies of Wilson.

"People who develop in California have given more money than the Indians will ever give," said Richie Ross, chief strategist for Bustamante. "It's the Wilson crowd, and they're trying to play the race card."

Schwarzenegger officials dismissed the accusation as outrageous.

"Arnold respects tribal sovereignty, and he respects the tribes' rights to operate casinos on tribal land," said spokesman Todd Harris, who added Schwarzenegger also respects Indian participation in the political process.

"What he does not respect are politicians who put the special interests' business ahead of the people's business," Harris said. "The people have a right to expect their politicians won't be bought and paid for by the highest bidder. This ad is not about the tribes. This ad is about the politicians."

Monkeys Play Fair Too

By Tim Friend
USA Today

Atlanta September 21, 2003 (USA) - The sense of fairness that many people regard as a uniquely human quality may be found in non-human primates and perhaps throughout the animal kingdom, new research suggests.

The notions that people are created equal, that we should play by the rules and that we should be given equal pay for equal work is traditionally thought to come from our culture and socialization. The sense of fairness also has been tied to human emotions such as greed, envy, moral indignation and anger, says Sarah Brosnan of Emory University in Atlanta and the Yerkes National Primate Research Center.

But in a study conducted with captive capuchin monkeys reared at Yerkes, Brosnan and primatologist Frans de Waal found that their subjects also display these sensibilities and speculate that they may be tied to similar emotions in the monkeys.

"The social emotions may be underpinning the primate sense of fairness just as they do in humans," Brosnan said. Their research, published in Thursday's Nature, is the first to demonstrate the sense of fairness in any animal.

The researchers set up a system in which female capuchins were given tokens, which the monkeys could exchange for so-so cucumbers or highly preferred grapes. The monkeys did not know in advance which of the treats they would receive.

When pairs of females were both given cucumbers in exchange for their tokens everything was fine. But when one capuchin saw the other receive a grape while it received only a cucumber, the seeds of unrest were sown.

In some cases, the monkey that was being short-changed would pay its token but refuse to accept the cucumber. Sometimes it would refuse to pay and would stop participating in the experiment. Refusing a food item of any type is very rare behavior in a capuchin, Brosnan says.

In more extreme cases, when one capuchin saw the other receive a grape without having to pay the token, the unfairly treated capuchin would throw away its cucumber although it had paid for it.

Brosnan and de Waal say the behavior strongly suggests that the sense of fairness is an evolved trait that predates humans and may be widespread in social primates.

Arctic Ice Shelf Splits!

Canada September 23, 2003 (BBC) - The largest ice shelf in the Arctic has fractured, releasing all the water from the freshwater lake it dammed. The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf is located on the north coast of Ellesmere Island in Canada's Nunavut territory.

The huge mass of floating ice, which has been in place for at least 3,000 years, is now in two major pieces.

The scientists who report the break-up in the journal Geophysical Research Letters (GRL) say it is further evidence of ongoing and accelerated climate change in the north polar region. The researchers - Warwick Vincent and Derek Mueller of Laval University in Quebec City, Canada; and Martin Jeffries of the University of Alaska Fairbanks, US - have been studying the shelf onsite and through satellite radar imagery and helicopter overflights.

The Ward Hunt Ice Shelf, which is 443 square kilometers in size, now has a major crack that runs right through it from north to south. The scientists say the fracturing - which has been developing since the spring of 2000 - is the end result of a three-decade-long decline.

"We're now seeing some very extensive fractures in it that extend many kilometers horizontally across the ice-shelf; and they extend all the way through from the top to the bottom, many tens of meters through the ice shelf. And we've never seen fractures like this," Dr Jeffries told the BBC.

They warn that major free-floating ice islands could pose a danger to shipping and to drilling platforms in the Beaufort Sea.

The immediate consequence of the rupture has been the loss of almost all of the freshwater from the Northern Hemisphere's largest epishelf lake (a body of mostly freshwater trapped behind an ice shelf). The freshwater lay in the 30-kilometer- [20-mile] long Disraeli Fiord.

At its deepest, the freshwater measured 43 meters [140 feet], and sat atop 360 meters [1,200 feet] of denser ocean water.

The loss of fresh and brackish water has changed the environment for the microscopic animals and algae living in the area.

"These are very rare and unusual ecosystems and they have been studied as possible analogues for life on a colder Earth and life on the planets," Dr Jeffries said. "And if we are losing them, we are losing the opportunity to study life earlier in Earth history and elsewhere in the Solar System."

Scientists monitor continuously ice-shelf development in both the Arctic and the Antarctic. In the southern polar region, recent times have witnessed some dramatic changes. Last year, the 3,250-square-km Larsen B Ice Shelf on the Antarctic Peninsula shattered over a period of a month into thousands of icebergs.

The peninsula is one of the three fastest-warming regions on Earth - temperatures have gone up 2.5 degrees in 50 years.

Mueller, Vincent, and Jeffries say their calculations suggest changes of a similar nature have been taking place in the Ellesmere Island area. A century ago, the entire northern coast of the island was reported to be fringed with a continuous ice shelf.

About 90% of that ice area had been lost by 1982, the scientists say.

The precise timing of the break-up of the remnant Ward Hunt Ice Shelf may have been influenced by freeze-thaw cycles, wind, and tides, they tell GRL.

Other factors may include changes in Arctic Ocean temperature, salinity, and flow patterns, they add.

"Computer models show quite convincingly that global climate change would be manifested first and amplified in the polar regions and in particular in the Arctic," Dr Jeffries said "Our observations at Ward Hunt Ice Shelf fit in with a broader picture of Arctic change which fits in with our understanding of how the Arctic climate would respond to global change."

Parks Canada Web site -

Sympathy for the Devil

LOS ANGELES September 23, 2003 (Reuters) - French director Jean-Luc Godard's 1968 film "Sympathy for the Devil," an avant-garde work best known for its in-studio footage of the Rolling Stones working on their song of the same name, is coming out on DVD on Oct. 21, a spokesman said on Tuesday.

Rights to the film are owned by the Stones' former label, ABKCO Records, which recently has been busy releasing the group's "40 Licks" retrospective in partnership with Virgin Records, as well as a series of "Sympathy" remixes by various hot-shot producers. A source said the group's "Rock and Roll Circus" TV special is expected to be issued on DVD sometime next year.

The "Sympathy for the Devil" DVD, which incorporates high-definition transfers from the original negatives, will include the original trailer and a contemporary "Sympathy" video clip cut to the remix from producing duo the Neptunes, the spokesman said.

The film, an examination of western counter-culture, features frequent cuts to London's Olympic Studios, where singer Mick Jagger was leading his bandmates through a recording of "Sympathy," a rock epic steeped in historical and philosophical references. As Godard's cameras roll, the song starts off as a country ditty and ends up as a samba rhythm.

"We just happened to be recording that song," Jagger told Rolling Stone publisher Jann Wenner in 1995. "We could have been recording (the obscure 1967 album track) 'My Obsession.' But it was 'Sympathy for the Devil,' and it became the track that we used."

The Rolling Stones are currently on the road in Europe with four dates left on their year-long "Licks" world tour. Rumors that they will play China and Hong Kong in November remain unconfirmed.

[I've seen this film and it is great, like all of Godard's work (Alphaville is my favorite.) Look for John and Yoko under the piano! Ed.]

Genre News: Angel, King Kong, Horror Channel, Jerry Lewis, SNL, Thunderbirds, Carmen Electra & More!

Joss Writes a Letter to Angel Fans
By FLAtRich

Hollywood September 22, 2003 (eXoNews) - The WB has published a letter to Angel fans from Angel co-creator and madman extraordinaire Joss Whedon promising James Marsters in a dress!

You can read it at

Note that there are some spoilers (sort of), but how often do you get a letter from Joss?

In the US, the fifth season of Angel begins Wednesday October 1st at 9PM/8c on the WB. If you live in Canada, the fifth season begins Thursday October 2nd at 9PM on SPACE .

For those who want to catch up, I really recommend the excellent Fox Home Entertainment site for their two box sets of Angel DVDs. You don't have to buy anything (you can and you should, of course), and you might have to wait for all the Flashy stuff to load, but the site is really great and a must visit for every Angel fan.

Lots of pix and sound bites and plenty of recap for seasons one and two. There are some free downloads (and more coming) too.

The Fox Angel DVD site is at

And eXoNews has begun posting results of the votes at our Angel Fan Poll site, which will be up all through the fifth season, so drop by if you want to vote for your Angel favorites, or even if you just want to see who and what is winning (you may be surprised.)

Our Angel Fan Poll site also has an exhaustive list of links to Angel fan sites across the planet (in various languages.)

eXoNews Angel Fan Poll -

Angel Official WB site -,7353,||139,00.html

Angel Links -

Emmy Boycott - Kind of a blog
By FLAtRich

Hollywood September 22, 2003 (eXoNews) - Well, I did boycott the Emmy Awards TV show last night, but it wasn't entirely voluntary. Turns out that COMCAST, the cable conglomerate who recently bought out the AT&T Broadband cable concession in the Hollywood area, couldn't get it up.

In fact, COMCAST has been inexplicably flaccid since Isabel hit the East Coast, making me wonder what TV peril we all may be in from national private companies who control our home media links.

So I've been without cable since last Friday. (Whine! SOB!) Hey! This is beginning to sound like a blog!

COMCAST has no official comment on the Hollywood blackout other than a recorded message telling Hollywood residents that there is "a cable outage in your area."

We knew that, of course.

Not that I missed much at the Emmys. Nothing for any genre shows this time, except Taken (Best miniseries) and Mr. Monk. It might have been nice to see Tony Shalhoub pick up his Best Actor award, but otherwise there were apparently no surprises and no reason for a genre fan to watch.

So while you were glued to the sitcom stars on the red carpet, I pulled out some old tapes and watched non-Emmy winning shows like Dr. Who and Jeremy Brett in The Adventures of Sherlock Holmes.

I also ran Richard Benjamin's My Favorite Year (1982), with Peter O'Toole, Mark Linn-Baker, Jessica Harper, Joseph Bologna and Lainie Kazan.

My Favorite Year makes my Top 10 Films of All Time List. It's a brilliant flick about the early days of TV, when everything was live and Sid Caesar was king and all of TV was free and - most important - no laugh tracks.

It got some nominations, BTW, but My Favorite Year didn't win anything either.

Naomi Watts As Kong's Beauty?

LOS ANGELES September 22, 2003 (Hollywood Reporter) - King Kong might have Naomi Watts in the palm of his hand.

The Australian actress, famed for her role in David Lynch's "Mulholland Dr.," has emerged as the top contender to star in Universal Pictures' "King Kong" for filmmaker Peter Jackson.

Watts would play Ann Darrow, an American actress who makes a living performing in Broadway song and dance shows in Depression-era New York.

The role was immortalized by Fay Wray in the original 1933 classic and re-created by Jessica Lange in the 1976 remake.

No deal is in place, but an offer has been made, sources said. Jackson and Watts were in London late last month in what was described as "a meeting among friends."

Sources also said that Jackson, who is still working on "The Lord of the Rings: The Return of the King," is expected to start writing the "King Kong" script in November and plans to shoot next summer.

Watts next appears in Focus Features' "21 Grams," which opens Nov. 14.

Sheen Praises Canadian Anti-War Stance

TORONTO September 22, 2003 (AP) - Actor and activist Martin Sheen, who portrays a fictional U.S. president on the television drama "The West Wing," said when he crosses from the United States to Canada he feels like he's left "the land of the lunatics."

Sheen said he was "proud" of Canada for not entering the Iraq war. The American actor has been outspoken in his opposition to the U.S.-led war.

"Every time I cross this border I feel like I've left the land of lunatics," Sheen said Saturday in Windsor, Ontario, where he was receiving an award as a Christian role model.

"You are not armed and dangerous. You do not shoot each other," Sheen said. "I always feel a bit more human when I come here."

Sheen, who plays fictional Democratic President Josiah Bartlet on the TV show, was receiving the Christian Culture Gold Medal from Assumption University. The university will offer a new scholarship in his name.

West Wing won a fourth Emmy Sunday for Best Drama.

Horror Channel In Works

Hollywood September 22, 2003 (Sci Fi Wire) - Cable television entrepreneurs Nick Psaltos and Kim Bangash have enlisted directors Wes Craven, John Carpenter and Tobe Hooper to join the advisory board of the Horror Channel, a proposed network that aims to begin operation on Halloween night 2004, Variety reported.

Psaltos and Bangash have made a few formal presentations to potential investors and cable operators. Horror Channel has scared up $750,000 so far, and it hopes to harvest $3 million from the venture-capital community within the next four months, the trade paper reported.

No cable operators have signed up for the Horror Channel yet. Bangash told the trade paper that the network has more than 1,000 U.S. horror movies to draw on for its round-the-clock schedule, as well as another 1,000-plus movies and TV series from abroad.

Israel to Honor Jerry Lewis with Film Fest

TEL AVIV September 18, 2003 (Hollywood Reporter) - Veteran comedian Jerry Lewis, who once played a Nazi clown in the notorious 1972 Holocaust comedy "The Day the Clown Cried," is getting his own film festival in Israel.

The Jerry Lewis World Jewish Film Festival will take place in Tel Aviv next year from Oct. 28-Nov. 3 in cooperation with the Jerusalem-based Steven Spielberg Jewish Film Archives.

Lewis, 77, who has battled ill health in recent years, has agreed to attend the event and lend his support through other activities, organizers said.

"The Day the Clown Cried," in which Lewis' character led Jewish children to their deaths, never made it to theaters officially because of litigation over its financing.

It has been seen by only a handful of people, elevating it to a mythic status among film buffs and conspiracy theorists.

Lewis' well-known MDA Telethon raised a record amount this year over the Labor Day weekend.

Lucas Worth $3 Billion

Hollywood September 22, 2003 (Empire Online) - In case you carried the slightest doubt in your mind, being the man who created all things Star Wars is a very lucrative business indeed.

According to Forbes' new list of the 400 richest Americans, it is George Lucas who wins the battle of the beards, surpassing his old pal Steven Spielberg when it comes to weighty wallets. Years of cashing royalty checks from a certain space franchise has seen Lucas' bank account swell to the sum of $3 billion, while Spielberg's career as the biggest director in Hollywood has netted a mere $2.5 billion.

Lucas takes his place as number 56 on the list with Spielberg holding the still respectable placing of 71st but neither were Hollywood's most minted. That honor going to Spielberg's DreamWorks partner, David Geffen, who is worth a tidy $4 billion and came in at number 40. Unsurprisingly, Microsoft chief, Bill Gates, retained the top spot, his $46 billion ensuring he'll be kept in diamond-encrusted mouse mats for the foreseeable future.

Saturday Night Live Slot Machines?

LAS VEGAS September 18, 2003 (AP) - Dan Aykroyd used to joke with bandleader Paul Shaffer that one day they'd end up in Las Vegas. For Aykroyd, it's a reality.

"If your work means something and you do it long enough, whether you're dead or alive, you end up on a slot machine," Aykroyd joked at a party Wednesday celebrating a new line of "Saturday Night Live" slot machines.

The party at the Palms hotel-casino introduced five "SNL"-themed machines: "Church Lady," "Coneheads," "The Blues Brothers," "Pumping up with Hans and Franz" and "Saturday Night Frenzy." The "Saturday Night Live" band led by current bandleader Lenny Pickett also performed for a crowd of about 1,000 gambling and entertainment professionals. It was the band's first appearance in Las Vegas.

"I think it's amazing," said "SNL" alum Kevin Nealon, who appears on the "Hans and Franz" machine. "I think NBC's doing the right thing. We need more gamblers watching `Saturday Night Live."'

The slot machines by Bally Gaming Systems were first approved in Atlantic City, N.J., and debuted there at the new Borgata hotel-casino July 30. The Palms hotel-casino was the first in Nevada to receive the machines

The "SNL" slots will be available to all Nevada casinos, along with other casinos in New Jersey, Mississippi and California. Slots in each casino will be linked to $10,000 in-house progressive jackpots regardless of whether they are nickel, quarter or $1 machines.

Bally officials said the "Saturday Night Live" concept was natural given the possibility of numerous character-themed machines.

"It's got (almost) 30 years worth of history and it appeals to a wide audience," said Marcus Prater, senior vice president of marketing for Las Vegas-based Bally.

Machines featuring "Wayne's World" and Adam Sandler's "Operaman" are in development, he said, and prototypes are on display at the Global Gaming Expo meeting this week in Las Vegas.

Actor Jack Black will host the season premiere of "Saturday Night Live" on Oct. 4 with guest John Mayer.

SNL Official site -

Bally Official site -

Frakes Talks T-Birds

Hollywood September 18, 2003 (Sci Fi Wire) - Jonathan Frakes, the former Star Trek helmer who is now directing a live-action Thunderbirds movie, told the Empire Online Web site that the film will try to please both diehard fans and newcomers to the franchise.

"It is part of the blessing and part of the curse," Frakes told the site about adapting the beloved 1960s marionette TV series.

"It's the same thing with Star Trek: There is an audience of [fans] who are passionate about the show who would be offended if it was different from the original, and yet there's a huge audience of people who know nothing about Thunderbirds."

But Frakes promised that the film will have some familiar elements. "You have the palm trees folding down, and Thunderbird 2 taking off, and the swimming pool sliding back, so all the good bits are in," he said.

"It's big ships and loud music. It's going to be a big movie. It's a prequel. The kids are about 10 years younger than when the show takes place [as] shown in the '60s. So our little heroes are 12, 13, 14 years old."

Frakes, who played Cmdr. Ryker in Star Trek: The Next Generation, also said that he'll appear in Thunderbirds in a cameo role. "If you watch closely, you might [see me]," he said. "That's all I can tell you."

NBC 1-Minute Movies

LOS ANGELES September 20, 2003 ( - NBC will test its latest countermeasure against the remote control next week with the debut of the network's first "1-Minute Movie."

The shorts - which NBC are calling "1MMs," not to be confused with the dreary Nicolas Cage movie "8MM" - will be sprinkled throughout the network's prime-time lineup in the coming season. The first, called "The Pussycat Dolls," will air during Thursday's (Sept. 25) season premiere of "Will & Grace."

In the film, Carmen Electra joins the L.A. burlesque troupe of the title and seeks to exchange the rhinestones on her costume for a bag of diamonds. Joe Voci and Steven Antin ("Young Americans") wrote the short; Antin directed it.

Director Paris Barclay ("The West Wing," "NYPD Blue") and John Wells Productions pitched the idea to NBC as a way to give an extra creative outlet to filmmakers and actors. The movies can also be a way to keep viewers from flipping to other channels during commercials.

Michael Richards, Danny Masterson ("That '70s Show"), Garcelle Beauvais-Nilon ("NYPD Blue"), Tom Arnold and Bill Bellamy will be featured in future "1MMs."

Angel on TNT!
By FLAtRich

Hollywood September 18, 2003 (eXoNews) - On Monday September 29th TNT will begin showing Angel weekdays at 5PM beginning with Episode 1, Season 1 - "City of" .  (Glenn Quinn fans cheer!)

The series episodes will rerun on TNT in original order, so you'll be seeing Doyle (Quinn) and Cordy (Charisma Carpenter) as Angel's sidekicks, Lindsay (Christian Kane) from Wolfram & Hart as a nemesis and Angel's favorite angry cop flirty-love interest Kate Lockley (Elisabeth Rohm). Faith, Buffy and Wesley all show up to visit in season one as well.

Angel on TNT -,5918,440733~Series,00.html

Angel returns to the WB with all new episodes on Wednesday, October 1st at 9PM/8c.

Angel Official site on the WB  -,7353,||139,00.html

The first two seasons of Angel are also available as DVD box sets.

The Fox Angel DVD site is at

Vote for yer Angel favorites and find links to Angel sites at the eXoNews Angel Fan Poll site -

City of Angel, the Ultimate Angel Fan site -

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Paperback books by Rich La Bonté - Free e-previews!