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Byline: By Peter Leathely

When bright, multi-coloured lights and strobes illuminated the sky over the eastern Romanian village of Christinesti, the residents started to panic.

Convinced they were witnessing an alien invasion, villagers fled their homes and headed to the hills for safety.

As the motherships prepared to despatch alien fighters in flying saucers, police discovered the origin of the lights was an open air disco in the neighbouring town of Herta.

Saint Joseph of Cupertino was no ordinary monk. Throughout his life he was witnessed levitating in a state of religious rapture.

He regularly floated above the heads of other monks at Mass and once flew to the altar, kneeling in mid-air with his head bowed in prayer.

So frequent were his levitations ( 70 of which are officially recorded ( that he was told to pray in private to avoid distracting his brothers, and once floated in front of the Pope. In tribute to his famous flights, Saint Joseph became the patron saint of pilots and air passengers.

Other gravity-defying Catholic Saints are Saint Edmund of Canterbury and Saint Teresa of Avila who said: "a great force beneath my feet lifted me up ( it was much more violent than other spiritual visitations".

A man has admitted being responsible for a UFO hoax in America 57 years ago. Bob Huntley confessed that he was one of three boys behind the creation of a `flying saucer' which mysteriously crash-landed at a baseball game in Black River Falls in Wisconsin, in 1947. The 15.5-inch balsa-wood craft's appearance caused such alarm at the time that the Civil Air Patrol flew in an inspector from Milwaukee and the FBI showed up. But officials quickly discovered it was not from outer space. The balsa wood might have also been a clue.

A convicted church arsonist has become ordained after finding God while in prison. American Jayme "Dusty" Murphy once walked into a service wearing a miniskirt and black-lacquer fingernails, purple dreadlocks and nine piercings. Now the Community Pentecostal Church of God welcomes him as the congregation's newest ordained minister.

The 23-year-old claimed Satan told him to set fire to Fairview Christian Church on Hallowe'en in 1998. Since then, Murphy has gone from being written off as a schizophrenic and sectioned, to a husband, doting father-of-two and an inspiring Gospel singer.
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Publication:The Journal (Newcastle, England)
Date:Oct 14, 2004
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