Saturday, November 22, 2014

The sound of UAP

Hi all,

Quite a few researchers are interested in sound recordings of material relating to UAP. Perhaps listening to detailed interviews with witnesses; or an historical overview of the entire phenomenon. Well, the latest audio visual file releases from the National Archives of Australia (NAA) (click here)
may contain something of interest to you.

The NAA electronic catalogue, RecordSearch, now lists thirty audio visual files. The status of almost all of these recordings is "not yet examined." This means that you will need to submit an application for the file(s) to be inspected and cleared for release; a process which can take months. Then you pay a fee and wait for the material to be made available to you.

The following is a sample of the titles available:

File series C100, control symbol 1144703.
1971. Dateline. London. Interview with Omar Fowler.

C100. 1260502.
1978. City Extra. Roger Grant on UFOs.

C3057. 1293874.
1956. UFO-The man who came back.

C3057. 1379160.
1978. Project UFO - Nevada Desert Incident.

C100. 1593816.
1978. UFOs and Project Blue Book.

C100. 1028608.
1985. Triple J - Tape 9 - Flying saucers.

Sunday, November 2, 2014

Current Australian UFO/UAP reports - October 2014

Hi all,

The start of a series:

This is the first of a series of monthly compilations of current UAP reports from Australia prepared by Melbourne colleague, Paul Dean (click here to see Paul's own blog) and I. We are in the process of talking to various Australian civilian UAP organisations and individuals, with a view to acting as a central collection point for such reports. It is hoped that this monthly collection will build in volume as more groups and individuals participate. We make no comment, as to whether or not, these reports refer to examples of the "core" UFO/UAP phenomenon, or have mundane explanations. That is not the intent of this collection.


Format:

The format of each report will be date, time, location, duration, either "raw" (that is an un-investigated report); "telephone report" (meaning that an investigator spoke to the witness by telephone;) or "investigated" (meaning someone has looked into the details of the report and published their findings.) Finally a source is cited for the report.


These monthly collections:

1. Will allow us all to gauge the volume of reports which are received nationally each month, and how this varies over time.

2. Should allow us to determine what percentage of all such incoming "raw" reports remain unidentified after investigation.

3. Should allow us to determine, which, if any, off the incoming "raw' reports is worthy of a deeper study, and then allocate resources to this smaller number.

4. Will save others having to collect the same information. Paul and I are undertaking this for us all.

5. Will be useful when dealing with media inquiries about "recent reports", "patterns in the data" and other such inquiries.

For a deeper discussion on why collect such reports, please see my VUFOA conference presentation at:

https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=GNEeYI-T6EA


Submitting data to us:

For anyone wishing to submit (Australian only) reports to this monthly collection, we would appreciate you simply sending a summary (see examples below) as close to the last day of the calendar month as possible, by email to

keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au

Once the monthly summary is prepared, it will be posted on this blog within a few days of the start of the next calendar month, e.g. first week in November for October reports. We will alert participants to the fact that it has been published.


Investigations:

You will note that most of the reports featured in this blog are labelled "raw" meaning that they are un-investigated. If you take an interest in any of the reports, and can undertake an investigation into that report, please take the time to do so. Then write up a report of what you find and send it to us at:

keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au


Reposting:

Recipients of the information are free to re-post, re-publish, etc. The intent is to provide anyone who is interested, with summarised data. Naturally, when re-posting it would be nice of you to credit the source, namely Paul Dean and Keith Basterfield, given that we are taking the time to compile this resource.


Older reports:

You will see, that currently, the listing does not provide details of any older than the previous month's cases. However, besides summaries of the month just gone; we are happy to report on cases once they have been investigated, however old they are. If the investigation report is lengthy, we would propose to provide a summary on this blog and a link to your website; blog, etc where your full investigation report may be read.


AUFORN:

The contents of these blog posts will also be forwarded to the Australian UFO Research Network (AUFORN) for their use, and possible publication in the "UFOlogist" magazine. Hopefully, this will assist with their work, given that many reports are now bypassing their national telephone hotline service, and appearing on such diverse websites as MUFON (USA); UFOINFO (UK); Sydney Observatory; etc. which no-one has the time to constantly monitor.


This month's collection:

3 October 2014 2241hrs Surfers Paradise, Queensland 7mins  Raw
"At Agean apartments on 29th floor balcony looking towards Oracle building. It was above the Oracle. It had a red flashing attachment below. Hovering. Later it was flashing different colours. Red, green, blue. I know it must be a UFO. Now it is above Main beach at 10.48pm"
MUFON Case Management System. http://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=search_page

4 October 2014 Night Clayton South, Melbourne, Victoria ?mins Raw
A 2min 32sec video taken at night, showing a white light travelling across the night sky during a CE-5 sky watch.
http://www.petermaxwellslattery.com/

5 October 2014 Day Clayton South, Melbourne, Victoria 10mins Raw
A 2mins 53sec daytime video which shows blue sky and trees. A small white light is seen moving across the blue sky.
http://www.petermaxwellslattery.com/

5 October 2014 Daytime Midlands, Perth, Australia Mins Raw
Damian and his wife were in their lounge. He was startled to see what he described as "electrical currents in the air" like tadpoles. He walked outside and saw an aircraft heading towards him. Two orbs, white spheres, headed towards the plane. The plane then did a "U-turn." There were a total of three white spheres seen.
http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=vNt1t9AydMY

7 October 2014  Morning Perth, Western Australia ?mins Cloud
A few Internet sites reported a UAP sighting above Perth airport. However, the Bureau of Meteorology reported that the unusual oval shaped hole in clouds was due to a fallstreak cloud.
http://www.perthnow.com.au/news/western-australia/fallstreak-hole-creates-spectacular-cloud-formation-over-perth/story-fnhocxo3-1227082623105?nk=23903a22de05a58feafa081656b3145d

8 October 2014 ?hrs Box Hill North, Melbourne, Victoria ?mins Raw
Daylight video of a large, purple coloured object in the sky.
http://thevictoryreport.org/sightings-starcraft-australia/

8 October 2014 2235hrs Brisbane, Queensland 10mins Raw
A woman reported seeing "round yellow circular light to the right side of the Moon.. I observed this light merge into three circular balls of light then merge back into one. This light travelled further to the right down and back to the left. It disappeared behind the clouds..."
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

10 October 2014 1930hrs Sunshine Coast, Queensland 3 secs Raw
In a clear sky, Ben, saw a brilliant, orange-red light in the sky, heading north. "Object moved in a straight line for approx 3 secs then did a violent large zig zag manoeuvre.." then sped off and disappeared.
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

11 October 2014 2000hrs Daisy Hill, Queensland 20secs Telephone report
Three witnesses observed an orange object in the western sky travelling south-west. It moved at a constant speed, slightly slower than a plane. Twice something like a small droplet fell from the object after a small starry explosion. The entire sighting was 20 seconds. After discussing it further, the witness thought that it could have been a Chinese lantern hoax device.
UFO Research Queensland.

11 October 2014 Ca.2130hrs Rouse Hill, New South Wales 45mins Raw
"Luminous bright blue/silver light sat above horizon hovering for around 45 minutes at 45 degrees, just above treelike. Clear, scattered cloud higher up."
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

12 October 2014 (0230-00300hrs) Woongarrah, New South Wales (3-5)secs  Raw
Witness was looking south with a full Moon to the north at about 60 degree elevation. The sky was very clear. Object seen at 80 degrees elevation, travelling NNW to SSE. Bright white ball with long white tail. Burnt out or broke up.
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

12 October 2014 2255hrs Petrie, Brisbane, Queensland ?mins Raw
Witness reported three small, star-like orange moving lights in the sky over Petrie, travelling very slowly. "Two were close to each other. One very faint hard to see."
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

13 October 2014 0720hrs Adelaide, South Australia ?mins Raw
"Woke up to a cloudy morning that day and was looking outside the balcony while having my morning tea. When I noticed an impression of what seems to be an invisible/reflective aircraft in the clouds. It is triangular and stationary. The clouds gave away the shape and size of the craft which is flying higher than an airplane that is about 5-8 minutes into take off and is much bigger. The plane flew past the same line of sight as where the craft was and the invisible craft was about 5 times bigger than the plane even though its further away from where I was observing. It is unknown how long the craft stayed as I have to leave for work. I took a photo of it and will be attaching to this report (raw/unedited.)"The attached single photograph is a daylight picture of a cloudy sky above rooftops. The cloud has a "rippled" look to it. In the lower, middle of the photo is a roughly triangular "cloud-like" mass. The photograph may be viewed at
http://www.mufoncms.com/files/60569_submitter_file1__pic.jpg
MUFON Case Management System. http://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=search_page

13 October 2014 ?hrs Rosemeadow, Sydney, New South Wales Raw
Two photographs of a large object in the sky during a storm.
http://www.latest-ufo-sightings.net/2014/10/australia-huge-flying-saucer-storm-13-oct-2014.html#prettyPhoto/0/

13 October 2014 1900hrs Elderslie, Sydney, New South Wales Raw
A male member of the Benge family was filming in slow motion during a storm, to capture lighting strikes. When the family replayed the footage they noticed :An object is seen merging from the bottom right of the screen, shooting across the sky, then disappearing out of sight." The family discounted it being a bird or an insect. "We didn't see it with our own eyes" they said. The family then found the Rosemeadow photographs (see above item) on the Internet. "Shawn confirmed the Rosemeadow photographs were taken from the same direction his younger brother had captured the object on video."
Macathur Chronicle (Camden edition) newspaper, 21 October 2014, page 6.

13 October 2014 2240hrs Eagleby, Brisbane (1-2)mins Raw
A woman reported seeing a large, "bright orange light that travelled much faster than a normal plane."  Weather was overcast and drizzling. "Going North or North West. Could even have been going West."
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

14 October 2014 (1930-2000hrs) Mt Collum area, Sunshine Coast, Queensland Mins Telephone and Facebook reports
A young man reported that his sister called him at work to say she and a friend had seen 6 or 7 orange lights from the top of Mt Collum that were pulsing in the sky then disappearing. This made him take more notice of the sky, and when he was driving west, he also observed two lights together and pulsing. The lights were moving up and down and he could identify their movements in comparison to nearby stars. Later when driving home from work at 3.05am he observed one object in the western sky near the Kunder Park area. He later heard from a friend whose father had also observed similar lights just above tree top height around the same time..

Meanwhile the man's sister called to report that she had seen one orange light appear at first, fading in and out, followed by the appearance of a second light. Soon after another four lights appeared in a "clump," then started fading in and out. This lasted for one minute then they disappeared. Ten minutes later she drove down the mountain and saw another three lights appear. They looked like they were falling and fading in and out while doing so. Eventually they disappeared too. The objects were half the size of her fingernail at arm's length. The sky was clear at the time of the sightings. The woman sent an image as a depiction of what she observed.

The UFO Research Queensland Facebook page was flooded with comments from other people reporting similar observations. These came from multiple locations, such as Flaxton, Peregian Beach, and Yandina to Cooroy.
UFO Research Queensland.

14 October 2014 2020hrs, 2030hrs & 2042hrs Peregian Beach, Queensland (15-20)secs Raw
At 25 degrees elevation, three separate sightings. "Clearly visible were up to 4 illuminated, flashing, moving, orange/red spheres, glowing in the sky." Visibility was clear at location. However, "radar showed storm approx 60km north-east with lightning and heavy rain."
http://sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

14 & 15 October 2014 (2000-2100hrs) Buderim, Queensland 60mins Raw
"My partner and I have witnesses a bizarre light display from our balcony...These lights are bright yellow and very noticeable and occurred in the same part of the sky the last two nights between the hours of 8 and 9pm. They appear to blink on, increasing in intensity over about 5 seconds in varying formations and then fade out over a couple of  seconds. We've witnessed up to 8 at once in the sky, sometimes lighting up in a row of 3 or 4 objects which almost touch with one light up as the object next to it fades out. They appeared 6 or 7 times over the hour I mentioned, both nights." North-east from Bunderim over the ocean, not too high above the horizon.
http://m.sunshinecoastdaily.com.au/news/strange-lights-off-mooloolaba/2422862

15 October 2014 1500hrs Gold Coast, Queensland 60mins Telephone report
A man reported seeing a round, white sphere in the sky just left of the Sun while looking west from the Gold Coast. He had been observing the object for one hour. He reported that the Gold Coast Bulletin newspaper had been receiving calls from people, reporting the same thing. UFORQ contacted the GCB newspaper but the journalist had not heard of any reports.
UFO Research Queensland.

15 October 2014 (1730-2130hrs) Alexandra Headlands, Queensland 240mins Telephone report
A man reported seeing 9 red/orange orb shaped objects over the ocean at 20 degree altitude and 200 to 30 nautical miles off the coast. The objects were pulsating while stationary and flashing on and off in 20 second intervals. The first object was observed at 5.30pm from outside the Maroochydore surf club. Then he observed more objects intermittently until the objects disappeared about three hours later.
UFO Research Queensland.

16 October 2014 2220hrs Sydney, New South Wales 1min Raw
On a clear night, a witness saw "an object with white and red flashing lights, 30 degrees elevation, to 80 degrees elevation. Seen in a northerly direction. No noise.
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

18 October 2014 ?hrs Fraser Island, Queensland ?mins Raw
Twenty one people on a school camp reported seeing unusual lights which they thought might be flares. Police investigated but no boats or military activity was in the area. Lights een at 5-10degrees elevation and azimuth 130 degrees. "Have great photos."
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

18 October 2014 1549hrs Canberra, Australian Capital Territory  ?mins Raw
"I was on top of a ferris wheel with a DSLR Canon EFS 55-250mm lens with 58mm lens hood at the 2014 Canberra Floriade event and its surroundings. I only discovered unknown object by uploading and enlarging digital photo onto my iMac. At first glance I assumed it to be a dust particle but realised that none of my other images had such marks. Possibly a plane? There is an airport nearby although I have not checked to see the usual flight patterns at the Canberra airport it does seem to be descending or ascending but the particular shape and size of the object and the distance it seems to be, I wanted to ensure a UFO was not sighted, therefore am requesting the assistance of MUFON to possibly verify for me."

The single photograph shows the Canberra flower show. In a clear patch in the somewhat cloudy sky, appears a small, dark coloured, cigar shaped mark. The image may be viewed at
http://www.mufoncms.com/files/60702_submitter_file1__IMG7214.jpg
MUFON Case Management System. http://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=search_page

18 October 2014 2015hrs EDST 15km E of Apollo Bay, Victoria 45mins Raw
"Strange flashing disc shaped lights moving off the coast near to sea level...There were at least two separate flashing disc which appeared to respond to each other with alternating flashes. The flash was rhythmic (a series of two flashes with a 1-2 second pause between each flash, followed by a longer 5-10 second pause before the flashing would repeat. Each flash lasted for less than 1 second. The light was a bright yellow white. There was no noise discernible and the discs appeared to be shifting position while heading further out to Bass Strait in a south-easterly direction..." Viewed through binoculars.
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

18 October 2014 2015hrs Kilsyth, Melbourne, Victoria ?mins Raw
"My partner and I were standing in the driveway of our property in Kilsyth, when I noticed an object in the sky out of the corner of my eye. Initially i believed the object to be a commercial aircraft. Then I realised it wasn't a jet. as there was no accompanying airline noise, in fact the object was silent. The object resembled a fireball, and it was travelling North-South. We were facing toward Mt Dandenong (East.) We watched the object on its trajectory and it appeared to be moving faster than any jet I have seen. At one point a ball of light fell from the object . We watched the object continue its path across the night sky until it was out of view." (Witness Dean.)
http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/ufo-sightings-melbourne#VEXn6YazCQ

23 October 2014 2030hrs Camperdown, New South Wales (3-4)mins Raw
In a partly cloudy sky, Anna saw a "small red light with some flashing lights in a west-south-west direction. Shot into the sky rapidly and then hovered in the same area for 3-4 minutes. Quite low in the sky...looked like it was rotating slightly. Heard no noise..."
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

24 October 2014 ?hrs Taylor's Hill, Australia ?mins Raw
"4UFOs join a separate group of 3 UFOs to form a group of 7 UFOs in close formation: witnessed within 200m of my house in Taylor's Hill, Australia...The objects were filmed from my backyard, with an infrared camera scanning from NNE to S at an elevation of approx 35 degrees."
http://www.latest-ufos.com/2014/10/multiple-ufo-lights-over-taylors-hill-australia-on-24th-october-2014/

25 October 2014 2130hrs Mango Hill, Queensland 2mins Telephone report
Two people, looking toward the south, observed a bright red fireball cruising slowly high in the sky while travelling north to south. It appeared to have something spinning within, while it cruised above clouds at a constant speed before blinking out. The couple observed it for 2 minutes and captured it on video which we hope to receive soon. They also reported seeing the same thing on August 2 at 9.15pm but closer. During the latter sighting, observed for 5 minutes, the object performed a few radical moves (up and down, side to side) for a few seconds while passing overhead.
UFO Research Queensland.

26 October 2014 Approx 2100hrs Between Lindenow & Bairnsdale, Victoria (5-10)secs Raw
Ben and Helen Hurle were driving, when "we saw a ball of light appear suddenly, off to our left in the fields of Hiilside, it was about 100 meters or less away, and about the size of a grapefruit, at that distance. It was the colour of the attached pic, and a little blue around the edges. It appeared, then dropped straight down and disappeared. It was at about 50 metre altitude..." Cloudy sky. Warmish temperature.
Ben Hurle - Facebook 28 October 2014.

27 October 2014 1705hrs Miranda, New South Wales ?mins Raw
Witness looked up and saw an object in the sky, looking like a "half circle" with a pink trail. The object was travelling away from Sydney airport. He took an iPhone photograph on zoom, which shows blue sky and a pink, "crescent" shaped object with a pink trail.
The photograph may be viewed at
http://www.mufoncms.com/files/60978_submitter_file1_IMG3481.JPG
MUFON Case Management System. http://mufoncms.com/cgi-bin/report_handler.pl?req=search_page

27 October 2014 1840hrs Wireless Hill, Adross, Western Australia 0.5sec Raw
Looking north, the witness saw "a bright green object falling through the sky. It was falling 20 degrees east away from north...I was slightly confused and intrigued because it was clearly glowing green and there was still a lot of sunlight in the sky." There were other reported observations of the same thing, from other Perth locations.
http://www.sydney.observatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

27 October 2014 2100hrs Doonan, Queensland 120mins Raw
Two star-like objects were seen at a 45 degree elevation, north-west above the tree line. They were moving erratically. Over 20 minutes they "moved up and around changing course with ease." He stopped watching, then "I have been out to see if they are still there every 10 minutes for the past two hours and one has gone, but the other has risen considerably higher..." Sky was clear initially but then a storm was rolling in.
http://www.sydneyobservatory.com.au/2007/report-a-sighting

Notes:

1. For the October listing, many thanks to UFO Research Queensland for their input. Their website is at www.uforq.asn.au and their reports hotline number is 07 3376 1780.

2. There is a new UAP group in South Australia, named the "South Australian UFO Network" (SAUFON). Their telephone hotline number is 0437 976 836. We look forward to their participation in this listing, in the near future.

3. Thank you to the Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre (TUFOIC) for their support in this new venture.

4. Also, thanks to the Adelaide based Australian UFO Research Association (AURA) for their support.

5. A request has been submitted to Victorian UFO Action (VUFOA), asking if they wish to participare in this listing. For their website, go to http://www.vufoa.com/  Their reports hotline number is 0497 610 844.

Paul Dean and Keith Basterfield.

Saturday, November 1, 2014

UAP - Investigation tools

Hi all,

When investigating UAP reports, besides on-site interviews, I use a number of readily available tools. A number of people have asked me to publish details, in order that they may also use them, so here they are.


Webtrak:

This website, click here, run by Air Services Australia, allows you to view a secondary radar derived map, showing the location of aircraft near the main Australian airports. You can view an area up to 50 kilometres from these selected airports, to an altitude of 30,000 feet. Only aircraft carrying a transponder (click here) show on the map. For each aircraft, you can find details such as its flight number, originating airfield and destination airfield, and its moment to moment height, plus the type of plane. You can check timewise, from 40 minutes in the past, to three months in the past.

My suggestion is, that for every UAP report that comes in, that you use Webtrak to determine if any aircraft match the position and movement of the UAP.


Sky charts:

There are several astronomical sky charts available on the net, e.g. Sky View Cafe, (click here) or Fourmilab (click here.) These provide locations of the Sun, the Moon, the planets and bright stars, for any date, time and geographic location.

The use of a sky chart will enable you to compare the location in the sky of any UAP to Sun, Moon, planets and stars. If day time, a UAP 22 degrees from the Sun could be a "sun dog" (click here); 22 degrees from the Moon could indicate a partial lunar halo. If the planet Venus is in the morning/evening sky, and the witness does not report seeing both the UAP and Venus, then the UAP could actually be Venus.

A sky chart can also be used to determine the time of sunrise/sunset and moonrise/moonset for any geographical location.


24 hour radar:

This website (click here) allows you to track aircraft movements at any time, at any location on earth, provided they are using a transponder. Again, as with Webtrak, you can compare UAP details with aircraft details.


Weather data:

The Australian Bureau of Meteorology website (click here) allows you access to weather data from hundreds of locations around Australia. Details available on a daily basis, going back 14 months, include wind direction, wind speed, cloud cover percentage, and temperatures. All for free. If you want to go back further than 14 months you can do so, but there is a fee for this service.

Wind direction might, of course, suggest that the UAP was a wind blown object, e.g. a hot air garbage bag balloon. If the witness tells you the sky was clear when they saw a UAP yet your check of the Bureau site tells you the sky was totally overcast, then you might start to think there is an issue with your witness' information.


Primary radar data:

Secondary radar imaging, such as from Webtrak, only shows information from aircraft which have transponders onboard, radiating a signal which is picked by by secondary radar. Primary radar however, shows anything which reflects a transmitted radar signal. Primary radar is what the RAAF uses. However, to obtain copies of this data, you will need to submit a Freedom of Information request to the Department of Defence. The RAAF appears to recycle its radar data every 30 days, so you need to be quick to receive this type of radar data. You might also consider submitting an FOI to Air Services Australia seeking primary radar data, if they have it, for the nearest airport to the UAP location.


Newspapers:

If you have one UAP observation from a location, there may be other unreported observations. To ascertain this, I often check the web for the nearest local newspaper to the UAP location, and check the digitised copy of the relevant newspaper for further sightings. If I find none, then I might email the newspaper seeking any reader who may also have sighted the UAP and ask them for details.


The net itself:

If I receive a UAP sighting from say, Burra, South Australia on 29 November 2013, I will use an internet search engine using Burra, and the date as keywords, to see if I can find additional sightings on the net, or possible explanations.


Historical reports:

If you are looking into an historical report, your nearest State Library is an excellent resource. It has accessible newspapers, and often runs of old magazines published by UAP groups. Old newspapers can provide daily weather details, often far cheaper than going through the Bureau of Meteorology. Rare, or hard to find copies of UAP books are also often held by State Libraries.

The National Archives of Australia and the National Library of Australia are also sources of files, photographs, old newspaper clippings and other reference material.

State Libraries also hold hard copies of old electoral rolls, up to about the year 2011. If you are trying to locate witnesses to old cases. I have successfully located individuals associated with cases as far back as 1965!


In summary:

The above, are a few of the numerous electronic and hard copy means of assisting investigating a UAP case. However, they are only additional means. There is nothing like the old fashioned on-site interview with a reporter, where they can show you the trajectory of the UAP across the landscape where you are standing.

If blog readers know of other Australian resources, I would be delighted to hear from you.





Friday, October 31, 2014

The Australian Desert Fireball Network and other instrumented resources

Hi all,

In recent posts (click here and here) I have written about instrumented monitoring of aerial anomalies. The thought behind this is the acquisition of hard data concerning such anomalies.

In astronomical and atmospheric research circles, there are networks of instruments which monitor the skies, e.g. for aurora or for fireballs. In the realm of fireball research, there are three well known networks:

1. The Prairie Fireball Network (USA.)
2. The Meteorite Observation and Recovery Project Network (MORP) (Canada.)
3. The European Fireball Network.

In each case, cameras monitor large volumes of the skies.


Australian fireball network:

There is a lesser known network in Australia, the Desert Fireball Network (DFN.) It is a network of automated digital cameras, monitored through satellites, designed to photograph fireballs, then to triangulate their trajectory, and finally to attempt recovery of meteorites on the ground.

It was initially established across part of the Nullarbor Plain, but in September 2014 was extended to five more locations, all in South Australia, namely, Gum Glen; Mount Ives; Kondolka; Nilpena, and Wilpoorinna. Since its establishment in 2007 the DFN has photographed numerous fireballs, leading to recovery of pieces of two of them. It also recently photographed the 4 August 2014 Perth, WA, fireball.

The DFN website (click here ) states that the DFN is "...a project designed to find out where meteorites come from in the solar system." The DFN is a collaboration between:

1. Imperial College, London.
2. Ondrejou observatory in the Czech Republic.
3. Curtin University in Western Australia.
4. The West Australian Museum.

The website also states that "The final network will image the night sky over roughly one third of Australia."


Email:

I recently emailed the DFN project to ask a couple of questions, namely:

1. What is the lowest magnitude brightness meteors that the system can detect?

2. Has the system ever detected anything in the sky which appeared anomalous and hence is new to science? I am thinking here of the discovery of such phenomenon as upper atmospheric lightning, e.g. sprites associated with thunderstorms. I know that sometimes instrumented systems pick up things that they were not designed for, much to our surprise and delight."

I am awaiting a response.


Are these networks useful for UAP research?

Way back in 1968, the Condon Committee explored the value of the Prairie Fireball Network, by comparing some of the reports they received from the area covered by the network. "Colorado project scientists attempted to evaluate the usefulness of the Prairie Network as an instrumented system for UFO searches." The 16 stations of four cameras each were used. "The Network's identification of 18% of all sightings with a fair degree of probability..." was the outcome. (1969. "Final Report of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects." Bantam Books. New York. pp769-773.)

In 2013, the team at Curtin University developed a smart phone app called "Fireballs in the sky." When a person sees a fireball they point their camera at the point in the sky where they first saw it, click the phone; then point to the location in the sky where they last saw the fireball and click. The app can then assist determine the path of the fireball, with sufficient observations. The phone's accelerometer, GPS, and compass provide the raw data for the calculations of trajectory. Perhaps, a future app could document UAP sightings in the same way?


Other Australian instrumented systems:

There are also a number of "All sky" cameras in Australia, including one located at Mount Stromlo. Here, the Research School of Astronomy & Astrophysics of the Australian National University runs a fish eye camera. Their website (click here) shows both static images, both fish eye and corrected, and a movie of images from the past few hours.

There is also an "Aurora patrol" camera located at Cressy in Tasmania, run by the Bureau of Meteorology. This is a CCD camera, where viewers can see both a static image; a video of sky images for up to the last ten days, and an image archive, all viewable on the net. Click here.

Finally, the Perth Observatory website has a sky camera which provides a wide field image of the night sky updated every ten minutes, viewable on the net. Click here.



Monday, October 20, 2014

"Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena and Experimental Strategy: Methods, Equipment and Lessons from Instrumented Field Studies."

Hi all,

Continuing on with a series of posts about papers presented at the July 2014, Paris, GEIPAN workshop, the next presentation I wish to review was one by Philippe Ailleris, who established the UAP Observations Reporting Scheme (click here), based in The Netherlands.

Ailleris notes that observations of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) have been reviewed by the use of such measures, as physical traces; videos; photographs; visual observations, and radar. "Nonetheless they have failed to provide sufficiently reliable evidence to convince the scientific community of the existence of anomalous aerial phenomena on Earth."

Following this, Ailleris states "It is obvious that a change of methodology is necessary and that the UAP phenomenon requires an active investigative response to move toward a scientific solution." Instrumented UAP observations are needed. He illustrates this with examples of past efforts,and provides results obtained. In doing so he noted their limitations and shortcomings, with a view to refining future proposed instrumented data collection.

"Finally the paper highlights the importance of studying the history of the UFO controversy, especially the necessity of accurately documenting and preserving the information pertaining to these historical research efforts (allowing the past work to guide future projects), and encouraging official bodies to be open and transparent in communications relating to genuine UAP reports."


Notes:

1. The full abstract of the presentation is available here, a presentation slide here.

"Useful Research Methods for Aircrew and Air Traffic Controller UAP sightings."

Hi all,

A fifth paper of interest from the July 2014, Paris, GEIPAN workshop was by US based researcher, Dr. Richard Haines of NARCAP (click here.) His paper was titled "Useful Research Methods for Aircrew and Air Traffic Controller UAP sightings."


Introduction:

"Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) continue to be reported by pilots and air traffic controllers around the world...little more is known today about the true nature of UAP than was known in the 1950's...UAP also appear without warning near airplanes in flight which is the primary subject of this paper."


Future methodology:

"Our future research methodology must focus upon invisible and unexpected Black-swan-like events that lie outside the expectations of highly experienced UAP investigators and aviation officials than upon what appears to be the obvious."

"UAP investigators should focus on establishing a broad "net" in which to "catch" all of the objective...and subjective characteristics of UAP."

Haines calls for a "...comprehensive taxonomy of UAP to categorize and parse the various classes of these phenomena."

In the next section of the paper, Haines discusses what should be recorded when interviewing aircrew and documents the processes undertaken by NARCAP in this respect. He then proceeds to illustrate what might be learnt by an examination of the aircraft involved in terms of potential instrumented data. Reconstruction of the observation is important, to record any and all available information. He concludes that "Because we still do not know what UAP are we are wise to collect and analyze more information that we may think we need and not reject data too soon simply because it does not seem to be relevant."

"There is little doubt that unidentified aerial phenomena are complex...I believe, however, that when the data is integrated properly and the seemingly anomalous features are included - despite their apparent challenges to current scientific laws - we will really move forward in our understanding of what UAP are."


Conclusions and recommendations:

"As this paper has pointed out there are many useful procedures available for collecting, recording, and analysing pilot and ATC personnel data. Also, as has been mentioned, these myriad data call for application of scientific procedures involving hypothesis testing, control groups, creative data selection and integration and leaving our personal biases behind."


Notes:

1. A very useful tool is a list of selected research URL's used by Haines and NARCAP. These include "aero-physics;" astronomical; "geo-physics;" airports; rocket launch data, etc.

2. The full text of the paper is available, click here. The associated presentation slides are available here.

3. All in all, I found this another extremely useful and practical paper, which should be essential reading for all civilian UAP researchers.

Friday, October 17, 2014

Survey and analysis of French UAP reports

Hi all,

This is the fourth in a series of posts concerning selected papers presented at the July, 2014, GEIPAN workshop held in Paris. This post summarises my take on a paper titled "Qualitative Expert Evaluation and Quantitative Characterization of Official Reports on Alleged Unidentified Aerial Phenomena in France (1970-1979)," by Jean-Pierre Rospars (click here.)


Introduction:

Rospars sets out to analyse a set of about one thousand reports from the Gendarmerie Nationale for the decade 1970-1979. This analysis aimed to explore:

1. Are the "interesting" sightings of little or not understood phenomena?

2. Is there "Statistically significant quantitative difference between "interesting" and "uninteresting" sightings?"


Reliability of report classification:

Twenty eight engineers from CNES Toulouse classified the reports into four categories. These were:

(A) Fully identified phenomenon.
(B) Phenomenon likely assignable to a known phenomenon.
(C) Unidentified phenomenon but the report is of little value.
(D) Unidentified phenomenon and report is of sufficient interest to deserve a subsequent analysis.

The author also personally categorised the set of reports.

He concludes that "A classification will be considered reliable if and only if the same report evaluated by two (or more) experts is put in the same category."


Findings:

1. "Is the identified/unidentified...correlated to the distance between the observer and the reported phenomenon?" The answer was yes, "72% of the 'close' ones are in category D."

2. "How are the reported events related to the population of potential observers?" This result suggested that reports of category D occur preferentially in the least densely populated communes."

3. "How does the frequency of reports vary as a function of the time of the day?" The answer was, "...the expression in percent...shows a clear excess of D cases over AB cases from 9pm to 3am..."


Future investigations:

The results:

1. "Call for a better definition of the "surely explained" A and "probably explained " B categories.

2. It would appear that "explained" and "unexplained" reports have separate characteristics.

3. "More generally, may the contribution of expert evaluation and statistical comparisons lead to a more objective appraisal of the global significance of reports."


Notes:

The full English version of the paper is available, click here