By: DAVID RICE Re: A little Help From Space SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) - Talk about foreign aid!

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By: DAVID RICE Re: A little Help From Space SOFIA, Bulgaria (AP) -- Talk about foreign aid! Lured by three self-styled mediums, about 1,500 people gathered at an airfield in northern Bulgaria on Monday, awaiting the arrival of eight space ships piloted by extraterrestrials, police Maj. Stoyan Marinov said. Among other things, state TV reported, the mediums promised that the aliens would help this poor Balkan country pay its $12.9 billion foreign debt. The crowd gathered in Shtraklevo, 200 miles northeast of the capital, Sofia, after three local women -- Radka Trifonova, Zdravka Krumova and Ekaterina Nikiforova -- declared that space ships from distant galaxies would land at 11 a.m. The mediums, wearing identical dresses they had sewn for the occasion, waited along with the crowd. Nothing came. Bulgaria's BTA news agency said that 30 minutes after the scheduled arrival, the three told the crowd that warplanes flying in the region were scaring off the aliens. After an hour had passed, they said the aliens weren't coming because President Zhelyu Zhelev had declined to meet with them. Police had to usher the women away from the angry crowd, although Marinov said there was no violence. Like elsewhere in the former Soviet bloc, despair and uncertainty over the future has made Bulgaria fertile territory for would-be seers and psychics. Self-proclaimed mediums who claim to communicate with extraterrestrials or to treat diseases are widely popular. ... And then Satan said to God, "But where will YOU find a lawyer?" * * Origin: "And furthermore, 'Don't call me brother.'" (1:124/9005)


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