Review Category : National News

Video of Possible UFO Recorded by Pennsylvania Woman

iStock/Thinkstock(LOWER PAXTON TOWNSHIP, Pa.) — A Pennsylvania woman who captured what she insists was an unidentified flying object on her cell phone camera says she is “scared to death now.”

A couple police officers also say they saw the UFO that night.

Stephanie Wilkerson says she was relaxing on her porch in Lower Paxton Township, Pennsylvania, Monday night when she spotted an object in the night sky.

“I thought it was a plane until I realized it wasn’t moving,” Wilkerson told ABC News. “I watched it for about 20 minutes and I started noticing it changing colors.”

Wilkerson grabbed her cell phone to record the mysterious object and also called her neighbor over to verify what she was seeing.

“He went and got his binoculars because he first thought it was a planet,” Wilkerson said. “Then he said, ‘No, it changed yellow. That is not a planet.’”

Wilkerson also called 911 but when an officer arrived at her home, even he could not explain the mysterious objects in the sky.

“He went there and apparently he saw them too so he called his sergeant and his corporal to come and verify what he was seeing,” said Lower Paxton Township Police Lt. Gary Seefeldt.

Authorities contacted both the local airport and the National Guard training center, but neither had records of any flight activity that night.

Wilkerson says she saw the mysterious lights again Wednesday night and a neighbor reports seeing the UFO last week as well, she said.

“For me to see that, I am now a believer in UFOs,” Wilkerson said.

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USC Football Player Admits He Lied About Injury, Pool Rescue

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(LOS ANGELES) — Southern California cornerback Josh Shaw told school officials that he lied about how he suffered his ankle injuries over the weekend, according to a statement released by the school. He has been suspended indefinitely from all team activities by the university.

Shaw initially claimed he was injured after leaping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year-old nephew, who was struggling in the pool.

“We are extremely disappointed in Josh,” USC head football coach Steve Sarkisian said in a statement. “He let us all down. As I have said, nothing in his background led us to doubt him when he told us of his injuries, nor did anything after our initial vetting of his story.

“I appreciate that Josh has now admitted that he lied and has apologized. Although this type of behavior is out of character for Josh, it is unacceptable. Honesty and integrity must be at the center of our program. I believe Josh will learn from this. I hope that he will not be defined by this incident, and that the Trojan Family will accept his apology and support him.”

USC did not release details on how Shaw injured himself.

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One Midwest High School, Two American Terrorists

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(MINNEAPOLIS) — With the news that an American was among those killed recently while fighting on the side of the terror group ISIS in Syria came the revelation that he was classmates and close friends with another U.S. citizen who died in battle alongside a different anti-American extremist group on a different front line five years before.

Douglas McAuthur McCain, a 33-year-old rapper, was identified by the White House Tuesday as having been killed in the bloody conflict in Syria. The Free Syrian Army, an opposition group that fights the government of President Bashar al-Assad as well as competing rebel groups, claimed on social media McCain had been fighting with the Islamic State of Iraq and Syria (ISIS), a brutal al-Qaeda breakaway organization.

A public records search traced McCain’s youth back to the Twin Cities in Minnesota and to Robbinsdale Cooper High School, which is the same school attended in the same time period by Troy Kastigar. Kastigar’s image appeared in news reports around the world in 2009 after he was killed fighting with a jihadist group in Somalia, this one an al-Qaeda affiliate called al-Shabab.

Prior to both their fatal trips halfway across the world, McCain and Kastigar briefly shared an address after high school, records show, and news reports Wednesday said the two were close friends.

David Brom, who was principal at the high school when the young men attended, told ABC News there was “no indication whatsoever that these two students would eventually end up fighting for al-Shabab or ISIS.”

“We never would’ve guessed that,” he said, after acknowledging that he didn’t personally remember the students after 15 years. “It was a pretty normal high school. We had pretty normal kids….I can only think it was influences beyond the high school, certainly beyond our community.”

Kastigar reportedly traveled to Somalia to join al-Shabab in 2008. After he was killed in fighting, al-Shabab featured their American recruit in a martyrdom video in which Kastigar urges his fellow Americans to join him in his holy war.

“If you guys only knew how much fun we have over here – This is the real Disneyland,” a bearded Kastigar says. “Come here and join us.”

McCain posted Kastigar’s photo on his Facebook page after his death, saying he believes his friend to be in paradise.

Public records and other social media posts do not indicate McCain ever traveled to Somalia, but five years after Kastigar’s death, he did follow in his friend’s doomed footsteps by joining a militant jihadi group. He appears to have traveled to Syria earlier this year after tweeting about being eager to join his brothers. He retweeted another ISIS supporter who said, “It takes a warrior to understand a warrior. Pray for ISIS.”

“It’s remarkable that two terrorists from one high school,” said Richard Clarke, former White House counter-terrorism advisor and ABC News consultant. “The appeal of jihad is it gives them purpose. It gives them a way out of a life that’s going nowhere. It gives them a higher calling.”

News of McCain’s death emerged a day before the mother of an American journalist who’s a hostage by ISIS pleaded directly to ISIS’s leader for mercy.

“I want what every mother wants, to live to see their children’s children,” Shirley Sotloff says in the video.

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Military Jet Crashes in Virginia

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(STAUNTON, Va.) — A military jet en route to Louisiana crashed near Staunton on Wednesday.

A U.S. Department of Defense official confirmed that the plane, an F-15, had originated from the Massachusetts National Guard. No injuries were reported on the ground, though the condition of the pilot was not immediately clear.

Virginia State Police worked Wednesday morning to reach the crash site, which they said was near the side of a mountain. Smoke coming from the side of the mountain was what tipped off officials to the crash site.

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“Cops” Crew Member Killed in Police Shootout with Robbery Suspect

iStockphoto/Thinkstock(OMAHA, Neb.) — A crew member working on the television show Cops was killed on Tuesday night when Omaha police fired at a robbery suspect.

Police say the shooting occurred after officers responded to a robbery at a fast food restaurant. The crew member was identified by Langley Productions as Bryce Dion.

Omaha Police Chief Todd Schmaderer said Wednesday that Dion “paid the ultimate price for his service to provide the footage of the real-life dangers that law enforcement officers face on a daily basis.”

Both Dion and the suspect were taken to the University of Nebraska Medical Center on Tuesday night, where they were later pronounced dead.

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Mystery Surrounds USC Football Player’s Dramatic Pool Rescue

David Buchan/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The University of Southern California has received several calls questioning the authenticity of football player Josh Shaw’s story about saving his nephew from potentially drowning and is investigating the matter, coach Steve Sarkisian said.

Shaw, 22, a cornerback on the Trojans football team, said he suffered a pair of ankle sprains Saturday night after jumping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year-old nephew, Carter, who was struggling in the pool.

The fifth-year senior said he landed on concrete before crawling into the pool and steering his nephew to dry land before grabbing a ladder and lifting himself out of the water using just his arms.

As story of the rescue gained attention, other accounts emerged conflicting with Shaw’s story.

“We’ve gotten a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred Saturday night, so we’re going to continue to vet it,” Sarkisian said.

At this point, it’s unclear who made those calls or what part of the story is being challenged. Shaw did suffer sprains in both ankles, and he remains sidelined indefinitely.

“The X-Rays and MRIs we have taken on him have come back negative,” Sarkisian said. “So far, we don’t see anything structurally wrong with him, but he is very sore.”

Shaw was noticeably absent from practice Tuesday.

Over the weekend, he was voted a team captain. He was expected to be a major contributor for USC this season.

Shaw’s sister Asia — Carter’s mother — said she didn’t witness the incident but was quick to defend her brother.

“My child is safe, and it’s because of Josh,” she told ABC News. “I really do praise God and I just hope that he has a speedy recovery.”

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Mystery Surrounds USC Football Player’s Dramatic Pool Rescue

David Buchan/Getty Images(LOS ANGELES) — The University of Southern California has received several calls questioning the authenticity of football player Josh Shaw’s story about saving his nephew from potentially drowning and is investigating the matter, coach Steve Sarkisian said.

Shaw, 22, a cornerback on the Trojans football team, said he suffered a pair of ankle sprains Saturday night after jumping from the second story of an apartment complex to save his 7-year-old nephew, Carter, who was struggling in the pool.

The fifth-year senior said he landed on concrete before crawling into the pool and steering his nephew to dry land before grabbing a ladder and lifting himself out of the water using just his arms.

As story of the rescue gained attention, other accounts emerged conflicting with Shaw’s story.

“We’ve gotten a few phone calls contradicting what Josh said occurred Saturday night, so we’re going to continue to vet it,” Sarkisian said.

At this point, it’s unclear who made those calls or what part of the story is being challenged. Shaw did suffer sprains in both ankles, and he remains sidelined indefinitely.

“The X-Rays and MRIs we have taken on him have come back negative,” Sarkisian said. “So far, we don’t see anything structurally wrong with him, but he is very sore.”

Shaw was noticeably absent from practice Tuesday.

Over the weekend, he was voted a team captain. He was expected to be a major contributor for USC this season.

Shaw’s sister Asia — Carter’s mother — said she didn’t witness the incident but was quick to defend her brother.

“My child is safe, and it’s because of Josh,” she told ABC News. “I really do praise God and I just hope that he has a speedy recovery.”

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Man Found Not Guilty in Shooting Death of Drunk Driver Who Killed Two Sons

iStock/Thinkstock(HOUSTON) — A jury returned a verdict of not guilty Wednesday for a Texas father accused of the shooting death of a drunk driver who killed his two sons.

David Barajas was accused of fatally shooting 20-year-old Jose Banda in December 2012 after Banda plowed into a vehicle that Barajas and his two sons had been pushing on a rural road in Alvin, about 30 miles southeast of Houston.

The Barajas family broke into tears in the courtroom while Jose Banda’s family sat in stunned belief.

“I am relieved but still in pain. My two boys are dead and nothing will bring them back,” Barajas said afterward.

David Jr., 12, and Caleb, 11, were killed in the accident.

If Barajas had been convicted, he faced a potential life sentence.

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Fifteen-Year-Old American Makes History at US Open

iStock/Thinkstock(NEW YORK) — An American female tennis player made history at the U.S. Open — and it was not Serena or Venus Williams.

Catherine Bellis, a 15-year-old wild card in the tournament, became the youngest American woman to win a U.S. Open match on Tuesday in 28 years when she defeated the tournament’s 12th seed, Dominika Cibulkova, in the first round.

“It’s crazy to think that I’m actually here right now with all these other people,” Bellis, of Atherton, Calif., told reporters after her 6-1, 4-6, 6-4, win at the U.S.T.A. Billie Jean King National Tennis Center.

“I’m still in shock after the match,” she said.

Bellis, who goes by the nickname Cici, was playing in just her 13th professional tennis match Tuesday against Cibulkova, the 13th ranked player in the world and runner-up at this year’s Australian Open.

Bellis is ranked 1,208 in the Women’s Tennis Association (WTA) rankings.

The last time a 15-year-old won a match at the U.S. Open was now 33-year-old Anna Kournikova’s win in 1996, before Bellis was even born.

Bellis will next face Kazakhstan’s Zarina Diyas, a 20-year-old ranked No. 48 in the world.

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Surfing ‘The Wedge,’ California’s Monster Waves

iStock/Thinkstock(NEWPORT BEACH, Calif.) — Thousands of spectators lined the beach as surfers, bodyboarders, and other brave athletes went headlong into 20-foot waves at California’s “The Wedge” wave break Wednesday.

The waves, which were categorized by Surfline.com as “Good to Epic” in size, were delivered by Hurricane Marie, swirling off the coast of California.

Surfing legend Laird Hamilton, who was at the beach Wednesday morning, helped rescue a stranded surfer who lost his board and his leash as the monstrous waves slammed into shore, according to ABC station KABC. Hamilton, who was on a paddle board when the surfer got into trouble, came to shore to put on fins and swam out to help rescue the surfer, who was injured but stable.

Newport Beach’s The Wedge is known as one of the more difficult breaks on the West Coast for its power and shape: the wave breaks right on the beach, posing a danger to surfers who fall off their boards.

Tara Finnigan, spokeswoman for the city, said the waves had attracted about 3,000 to 4,000 spectators at The Wedge and another 500 at another break in town called The Point.

“There is no parking left at the beach at this point,” Finnigan said.

The town is also experiencing beach flooding, with high tide expected at 11 a.m. Spectators have been getting soaked by waves come up over the berm, Finnigan said.

Extra lifeguards are on hand at The Wedge to try and educate surfers and swimmers and prevent less experienced swimmers from going in.

Emergency personnel lined the beach, and local news station KTLA reported that two swimmers had to be rescued after becoming stranded in the water.

One Twitter user described The Wedge as “shallow as a bathtub” because the waves crash right onto the shallow sand bottom of the ocean there.

The lifeguards have made three minor rescues, including a stand up paddle-boarder who got pulled beneath a pier by a strong current and lost his board on a piling, becoming trapped when his leash got caught.

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