Category: Sports

Notre Dame Ufo 3

As thousands of Notre Dame football fans watched the Fighting Irish battling it out with the University of South Florida on Sept. 3, a fierce lightning storm approached the Indiana stadium, leading the crowd to evacuate. And while the game was in delay mode, many people caught sight of several unidentified flying objects darting around the lightning bolts in the sky.

Video captured bright orb-like objects as well as tube-shaped elongated ones circling in the sky above.

UFO aficionados have questions. Were the objects merely part of the storm as debris flying about in the wind? Balloons or birds caught in the ongoing turbulence and seen on video? Or were they alien gridiron fans looking to watch a big game from above while refueling their planet-hopping propulsion systems?

“Since it was at a stadium, it would be astonishing if there weren’t 20 videotapes of it,” said NBC News space consultant and UFO skeptic James Oberg. “In a case like this, you start out looking for other images and go from there.”

Oberg, a former NASA rocket scientist and author of numerous books, including “Star-Crossed Orbits: Inside the U.S.-Russian Space Alliance,” says there’s enough teasing behind UFO reports in general, “and I wish we could filter out the good stuff, but so far we haven’t.”

Another doubting eye on the Notre Dame reports comes from Robert Sheaffer, a longtime skeptical investigator of UFO claims.

“Unfortunately, there’s no way to tell how far the object is from the camera,” Sheaffer said. “You can clearly see the raindrops coming down, illuminated by the stadium lights. When the object’s apparent motion is fastest, it looks very much like the so-called ‘Roswell Rods‘ that Jose Escamilla has been promoting.

“The angular motion of the object is too fast for the video to capture it clearly. The frames are too slow, and so the object blurs and stretches out into a rod,” added Sheaffer, author of the new book “Psychic Vibrations: Skeptical Giggles From The Skeptical Inquirer.”

Oberg said the proliferation of digital cameras should make the identification process of UFOs easier these days.

“In a lightning storm, there’s always interesting, if bizarre, lightning phenomena, and you wish you had better documentation and multiple cameras and an ability to establish what particular origin that this kind of light would have,” he said. “With so many cameras out there now, it’s getting harder and harder to make excuses for the absence of corroborative photographs.”


Oberg’s skeptical colleague, Sheaffer, agrees that the evidence from Notre Dame is currently too scant to suggest extraterrestrial influence.

“I think that the [Notre Dame] object is a bit farther away than that. It could easily be a piece of wind-borne debris, maybe cardboard, spun around by the severe winds of the thunderstorm. It could also be a bird, frantically trying to make its way to safety,” he said. “Without distance information, we can’t say for sure what it is. There’s no reason to think that it represents any kind of alien activity.”

What do you think? Was this an ET visitation, storm-driven debris or insects flying very close to the camera? Send us a comment below.

By the way, USF beat Notre Dame, 23-20 — in case you’re keeping score.


Authorities on Sunday identified a person of interest in one of two shootings at a preseason football game between cross-bay rivals the San Francisco 49ers and the Oakland Raiders on Saturday night at Candlestick Park, an event peppered with numerous fights in the stands and an assault that left a man unconscious in a bathroom.

Authorities were still sifting through evidence and puzzling over whether any of the incidents involved fans from the opposing teams. One of the shooting victims was wearing a T-shirt imprinted with a derogatory phrase about the 49ers, according to police.

The violence occurred during and after the 49ers’ 17-3 victory in their home stadium. Videos taken by fans and posted online depict fights and aggressive behavior in the stands during the game. Callers to a Bay Area radio show Sunday described navigating a gantlet of drunk and abusive fans in order to reach the restroom.

Sgt. Michael Andraychak of the San Francisco Police Department said Sunday that police and stadium security officials take note of games between teams with a particularly strong rivalry or whose fans have a history of violence. The 49ers-Raiders fit both those criteria and extra police were assigned to Candlestick Park on Saturday.

In the two parking lot shootings, a 24-year-old man was shot multiple times in the stomach about 8 p.m. and managed to drive himself to a stadium security office for help, Andraychak said. He was hospitalized in critical condition. In another attack, a man in his 20s was shot numerous times but sustained lesser injuries, according to police.

About an hour before the shootings, a 26-year-old man from San Rafael was assaulted and beaten  unconscious in a bathroom. He was hospitalized in serious condition, police said. The suspect in that incident was described by police as a Samoan or Pacific Islander between 25 and 30 years old, weighing 225 to 260 pounds and 6-foot-3 to 6-foot-5-inches tall.

The names of the victims have not been released.

Andraychak said no suspects were in custody and that although the shootings were being investigated as separate incidents, they were possibly related.

NFL players ratified the new 10-year collective-bargaining agreement on Thursday, marking the official end of the labor fight.

Two people familiar with the negotiations told The Associated Press that the contract allows the NFL to eventually become the first major U.S. professional sports league to use blood testing for human growth hormone. They spoke on condition of anonymity because no formal announcement had been made about the details of the labor agreement.

Players would be subject to random testing for HGH, in addition to annual checks — as is the case for all banned substances in the league’s drug-testing program — only after the union is confident in the way the testing and appeals process will work.

“We have to see if we agree with the test,” Jacksonville Jaguars cornerback Rashean Mathis said. “If we agree with the test, then it’s legit. If not, they have to come up with another one.”

The aim is to have everything worked out in time to start HGH testing by week one of the regular season, but that is not guaranteed.

When the union informed the league that the NFLPA’s team reps voted to approve the final agreement, it meant players who signed contracts July 26 or after — and had been forced by NFL rules to sit out practices for days — could join teammates in drills Thursday, as the new “league year” officially began.

“We were like little kids in Pop Warner who didn’t make weight, just standing around,” said quarterback Donovan McNabb, who restructured his contract when he was traded to Minnesota by Washington. As a final, formal step, NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith will sign the agreement this morning on the front steps of the Pro Football Hall of Fame in Canton, Ohio.


EAGLES’ PATTERSON MAY NEED BRAIN SURGERY: Philadelphia defensive tackle Mike Patterson has a brain condition that may require surgery, says Eagles trainer Rick Burkholder. Patterson, 27, was hospitalized after suffering a seizure Wednesday morning at training camp. Patterson’s agent, J.R. Rickert, disputed the definite diagnosis. 

EDWARDS JOINS 49ERS: Receiver Braylon Edwards took the field a little late on his first day, but the 49ers didn’t mind after signing him to a $3.5 million, one-year deal.

EX-CHIEF NOW A RAVEN: The Baltimore Ravens and safety Bernard Pollard have agreed to a two-year contract. Pollard played for the Chiefs during 2006-08.

INJURY REPORT: Cowboys cornerback Terence Newman, who played at Kansas State, will miss the entire preseason for the second time in four seasons because of a groin injury. … Wide receiver Plaxico Burress, who recently signed with the Jets after serving 20 months in prison on a gun charge, will be sidelined a day or two after he tweaked his left ankle Wednesday. … Raiders running back Darren McFadden will be sidelined about two weeks because of a broken orbital bone in his face. … Eagles defensive end Victor Abiamiri could miss the season after tearing his Achilles’ tendon Tuesday.

FIRST-ROUNDERS SIGN: Colorado offensive lineman Nate Solder, the 17th overall pick in the draft, signed with New England. … The Chargers and Illinois defensive end Corey Liuget, the 18th overall pick, have agreed to terms. … The only unsigned first-round pick is Nebraska cornerback Prince Amukamara, who was drafted by the Giants.

COTCHERY CUT BY JETS: The Jets released receiver Jerricho Cotchery, apparently clearing the way for free agent Derrick Mason to sign.

Charles "Bubba" Smith, pro football player and later "Police Academy" star, was found dead in his home at age 66.

Former college and pro football star Charles Aaron “Bubba” Smith, who went on to an acting career after his retirement from sports, was found dead at his home, the Los Angeles County Coroner’s Office said Wednesday. He was 66.

Police and fire officials were called to Smith’s home after “he was found unresponsive” and pronounced him dead, said Ed Winter, assistant chief of operations and investigation for the coroner.

An autopsy will be performed to determine cause of death, Winter said. However, asked if there was any reason to believe the death was due to anything other than natural causes, he replied, “Not at this time.”

An imposing 6 foot 8 and 260 pounds, Smith was considered one of the most fearsome pass rushers of his day. The No. 1 overall pick in the 1967 National Football League draft, he played nine seasons in the NFL — for the Baltimore Colts, Oakland Raiders and Houston Oilers.

Sports Illustrated gallery: The NFL goes Hollywood

He played for the Colts in two Super Bowls and was also a two-time Pro Bowl pick.

Smith was one of the anchors of an overwhelming defense that was heavily favored to win Super Bowl III. Nonetheless, the New York Jets, led by Joe Namath, defeated the Colts in the 1969 championship of pro football, widely considered one of the biggest upsets in U.S. sports history.

The Colts atoned for that embarrassment — somewhat — two years later in a 16-13 victory over the Dallas Cowboys in Super Bowl V, but Smith reportedly said he was so dismayed by the game’s sloppiness that he never wore his Super Bowl ring.

Smith was sidelined by a severe knee injury during an exhibition game in 1972, and the next season joined the Raiders. He told Sports Illustrated in 1973 that “not playing was terrible. I didn’t want to show my face in public. I don’t know if it was that we were losing or what, but it almost drove me crazy.”

After retiring from pro football in 1975, Smith landed small roles on TV series such as “Good Times,” “Charlie’s Angels” and “Semi-Tough,” according to IMDb, before landing his signature role as Lt. Moses Hightower in the first “Police Academy” movie in 1984. He reprised the role in all six movies in the popular comedy franchise.

Smith was a two-time All-America defensive end at Michigan State University. He played in what the national media dubbed “the game of the century” between Michigan State and Notre Dame in 1966, a 10-10 tie that resulted in the two teams’ splitting the vote for that year’s national championship.

Smith was inducted into the College Football Hall of Fame in 1988, an event he called “the jewel in my crown, for my collegiate days were very special to me.”

Smith was born on February 28, 1945, in Beaumont Texas. His father was a high school football coach and his mother had earned two college degrees. According to his member biography on the College Football Hall of Fame website, he said he took his parents with him when he went to speak to youth groups “to demonstrate my respect for them.”



TRENDING: NFL owner to Washington: Are you taking notes?


Congressional leaders could learn a thing or two from the National Football League. At least, according to New England Patriots owner Robert Kraft.

“I hope we gave a little lesson to the people in Washington because the debt ceiling is a lot easier to fix than this was,” he said Monday at a presser announcing an end to the months-long stalemate between owners and players.

A committee of league players met in Washington to finalize a new collective bargaining agreement following a weekend of communication between representatives for owners and players. It was ratified Monday. And though President Obama also met with congressional leaders Saturday, no deal was reached to raise the amount of money the nation can borrow.

The president will address the nation on the debt ceiling late Monday following the introduction of two competing plans by House Speaker John Boehner and Senate Majority Leader Harry Reid.


DeMaurice Smith


If you thought Thursday was the biggest day so far in the four-plus-month NFL labor melodrama — and it clearly was — get ready for another unpredictable 48 hours or so that might just dwarf it in terms of significance.

The next two days will be a Humpty Dumpty-like exercise, with the principals involved in these negotiations furiously trying to put the pieces back together of a conditional collective bargaining agreement that wound up being way more conditional than anyone had an inkling to expect.

What happened to all that recent communication, those positive, optimistic vibes and the building sense of trust between the league owners and its players? All of that got washed nearly down the drain in the span of a couple tumultuous hours Thursday afternoon and evening, as the owners resoundingly approved a CBA proposal and then sat back and watched the players just as resoundingly reject it.

At least for now.

It made for yet another sobering twist in this money-fueled saga, and if this is the way the owners and players choose to renew their vows to each other in a marriage that really can’t be ended, I would guess both sides still have plenty of work to do on the issue of commitment. It is a relationship being viewed at its worst possible moment, and it’s plain ugly.

Strip away all the details of this long and messy negotiation, and set aside for the moment who gets what and who still wants more, it’s crystal clear that the two sides still don’t have a reservoir of trust in one another. If they did, Thursday’s rollercoaster ride wouldn’t have unfolded like it did, with all those displays of shadow boxing by the so-called business partners, the silly stalling tactics employed by the players side, and the element of you-blink-first gamesmanship practiced by the owners. By the end of the night, we were back to March-level rhetoric being espoused by the players, even though late July has arrived. That’s helpful.

And where did all the last-minute maneuvering and intrigue get the NFL and its players, except for further apart than they’ve been for more than a month now, ever since signs of progress toward a deal started appearing in early to mid-June? In a negotiation where the constant mantra has been “There’s more work to be done,” guess what summation seems to fit best Friday morning? Correct. There’s more work to be done.

That’s why the next two days are truly crucial if there is to be a labor agreement before training camps are scheduled to open. The coming hours present a clear-cut test of leadership for the two sides, and more than ever NFL commissioner Roger Goodell and NFLPA executive director DeMaurice Smith must take control of the bodies they represent and find a way to bring them together. Once and for all. Or at least long enough to sign the binding document and put this sorry chapter in league history to bed. That’s a significant part of what leadership is about, and a big reason they got their jobs and the big bucks that come with them. It’s time Roger and De earned their big titles.

If anyone thinks their side will benefit from this financial stand-off extending well into August or beyond, they’re wrong. The players will lose. The owners will lose. And the game will lose. Dollars and fans. The two things that both sides should care the most about. Because you can’t have one without the other.

The players and their leadership have to stop being so ridiculously paranoid, and dead certain that the owners are trying to screw them or pull a fast one. And the owners and their leadership have to stop being unaware of the fact that the players never react well when they feel they’re being pressured into any particular decision or timetable, even if in reality they aren’t, and it’s only their perception that they are. Perception always matters, often far more than reality.

There are elements of Thursday’s bizarre turn of events that just make no sense to me, no matter how much backstory I hear. How is it that everyone seemed to be on the same page regarding the negotiating timetable needed to save the entire four weeks of the full preseason schedule, but then when the owners seemingly met that timetable and voted on their half of the deal, the players reacted like the whole effort was a rushed and thrown-together affair that didn’t correspond to their timetable? Were you two even really talking to one another on those phones and at those negotiation sessions?

How is it that anyone can seriously think or propose that in this day and age that it has to take up to two weeks for the players to recertify as a union? Just because that timeline helps support the thesis that the NFLPA decertified in a thoughtful and sober manner back in March, and might have to again in some future labor negotiation, doesn’t make it a plausible explanation. It’s transparently ridiculous. What happened to the “Let us Play” chant that the players side trumpeted back in January and February? Apparently they’re not in as big a rush to get back on the field as they first portrayed, because all those signature cards have to be hand collected.

Let’s see what comes if the players do indeed vote on the owners’ proposal on Friday, as has been reported. Let’s see if either side can see the forest for the trees. The owners seem to be offering a pretty good deal to the players on many fronts, but the players say there are unresolved issues of import to them, and they want more concessions in several areas. That’s fine. Negotiate the final points and finish the deal, getting to that elusive ground where both sides can walk away and feel semi-good about themselves and what they accomplished.

But finish it. Now. In the coming few days. Get over the emotion of Thursday’s drama and put the 2011 season back on track for August and beyond. Otherwise the pieces may prove too difficult to even pick up the next time. Humpty Dumpty style.

CHICAGO — The Bulls announced Tuesday that they will open the 2011-12
season on the road Nov. 1 against the reigning NBA champion Dallas Mavericks. It will be the first of 29 Bulls games scheduled to be
televised nationally, including a Christmas Day road game against the Los Angeles Lakers.

The Bulls’ first home game is scheduled for Nov. 5 against the Atlanta Hawks, the team they eliminated in six games in the Eastern Conference semifinals last season.

Now all the Bulls and the 29 other NBA teams need is a season, which is an ugly uncertainty right now. Team owners locked out the players when the collective-bargaining agreement expired June 30, and a new season won’t start until a new labor deal is reached.

Some predict that next season will start late, if at all. In the last lockout, which occurred after the Bulls won their sixth NBA title in 1998, the first 32 games of the season were wiped out.

The Bulls would go into next season coming off the best regular-season record in the NBA in 2010-11 (62-20). They defeated the Indiana Pacers in five games and the Hawks in six in the first two playoff rounds before losing to the Miami Heat in five games in the Eastern Conference finals. The Mavericks then beat the Heat in six games in the NBA Finals.

The Bulls are scheduled to play the Heat four times next season, but they will have to wait until
Jan. 19 — their 38th game — for the first one. The Bulls’ two home games against the Heat are March 14 and April 12.

The Boston Celtics come to the United Center on Feb. 16 and
April 5, and Kobe Bryant will bring the Lakers to town March 8.

On the surface, it’s a challenging schedule. The Bulls play 10 of their first 14 games, including eight in a row, on the road. They also will play 19 pairs of back-to-back games (11 home-and-away, seven on the road and one at home).


Tiger Woods to make announcement

Tiger Woods has scheduled an announcement on Golf Channel for Monday morning at 11 a.m. Eastern. He will be on the air with Kelly Tilghman, an anchor for the network.

The topic was not disclosed. Woods has had a disappointing season, re-injuring his left knee at the Masters, withdrawing from the Players Championship after shooting 42 on nine holes, and skipping last month’s U.S. Open and this week’s British Open.

Dr. Anthony Galea, a Canadian sports doctor who has worked with Woods in the past, pleaded guilty in federal court Wednesday to bringing unapproved drugs into the U.S.

– Poll: What do you think Tiger will talk about Monday?


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