Saturday, July 4, 2015

June 2015 - Australian monthly reports roundup

June 2015 Australian national level sightings listing

Compiled by Keith Basterfield and Paul Dean

This is the ninth in a series of listings, which are on a 12 months trial.  We have circulated a short questionnaire to regular readers, to determine the ongoing value of these listings. Readers are again advised that most of these sightings have not been investigated.

June reports:

1 June 2015 0425hrs Heathcote Road, Sydney, New South Wales ? secs Under investigation
Two men were driving through a bushland section of the road, when the driver saw a bright light appear, which zoomed up behind the car. It was visible in  both the rear view and driver's side mirrors. The driver changed to the left lane, but the light remained behind the vehicle. It seemed only three metres above the ground. The vehicle was travelling at 110kph. The light then went backwards at high speed behind them. The driver saw the light fading over the horizon. The driver did not have time to inform his brother, the passenger about his observation. The driver was very familiar with the area.
Bill Chalker.

8 June 2015 2000hrs Newcastle, New South Wales ? mins Raw
Tiger writes:
"3 different and behaving objects seen across the sky over 90 minutes. Captured two events with HD video camera and the footage is amazing at 200x zoom. The best video taken viewing west from Newcastle just above horizon from 2010pm and one object  seen morphing 3 routines for 30 mins whilst floating about and making impossible direction moves from orb Sphere/s to white brilliant coloured coffee cup shape with purple hue outline and something possibly attached to its top section  then morphs and begins to cloak as it departs heading 45 deg upward until vanishing.

9 June 2015 ?hrs Beckenham, Perth. Western Australia ? mins Raw
At an outdoor birthday celebrations children were looking at the stars, "When lights were first noticed I thought it was a domestic airplane..." 3 lights grouped, flashing at "...roughly the same rate as a normal aircraft..." When directly above they turned west and after 30 seconds they disappeared." There was an aircraft landing at Perth at the same time.

9 June 2015 1200hrs Pacific Pines, Queensland ? mins Raw
UFO visited for two nights. An aircraft flew behind it. On the second night, witness used the zoom on his phone camera. When they looked up the object had gone. They looked to their right and saw intense bright lights. They were scared so they went inside.

9 June 2015 2015hrs Beckenham, Perth, Western Australia ? mins Raw
The witness reported seeing three lights in the sky, flashing at the same rate as an aircraft's lights. They travelled north to south at the same speed as an aircraft. When overhead, they made a sharp turn to the west. After thirty seconds of travelling westwards, they disappeared. A commercial aircraft was in the same area at the same time.

Ca. 10 June 2015 Daytime Mole Creek, Tasmania  Facebook IFO - bird
Witness took photographs of local scenery including nearby snow covered mountains. On later viewing pictures, a dark spot was noticed in the sky above the mountains. Nothing was seen at the time. Analysis suggests a bird caught in the field of view.

10 June 2015 1830hrs Gympie, Queensland ? mins Raw
The Gympie Times sports photographer took a picture of a light at 35 degrees elevation and azimuth 315 degrees (north-west). The image shows a purple light.

11 June 2015 1805hrs EST Mollymook, Australia  5 secs Raw
A flickering/shimmering point of light moved across the sky at 65 degrees elevation and in the S to SSW.
National UFO Reporting Center USA.

11 June 2015 2147hrs Kingsmeadows, Tasmania ? Mins Facebook IFO - star
Witness reports watching a very bright light in the northern sky. It moves about a bit whilst under observation. Observation of a star.

12 June 2015 0630hrs Oakey, Queensland 1 min Raw
FieldEquip employee Greg Young took a sunrise photograph on his iPhone, after looking at the sky and seeing a triangular object flying through clouds. He showed the photo to fellow employee Darren Mauger. Mauger went outside but saw nothing unusual. The newspaper article shows the photo.

Reported 14 June 2015 No location given Raw
Jameeka Graham said "I have been abducted several times by the same light in the sky..."

18 June 2015 Ca 3pm Jacobs Well, Queensland ? mins Raw
Michael and some friends were on their way home from school. They noticed " unusual silver object floating nearby. It appeared small but this may have been due to distance. It was also absolutely silent. We were almost home, and while just chatting I noticed this object floating past." Michael provided a map of the sighting location, and a sketch of the object. "It appeared to be floating south over Kangaroo Island."

19 June 2015 1820hrs Karnup, Western Australia ? mins Raw
Driving home in the dark, witness saw "...a red glowing ball of light in the sky north of my location." He pulled up his vehicle, but saw the object go into clouds. Then another " glowing ball" became visible in the same area. It flew from north to south overhead and disappeared into clouds. Then there was a third, and fourth seen and videoed on iPhone. He drove off and saw a fifth object.

19 June 2015 1650hrs Perth, Western Australia 1 sec Raw
"I saw in the clouds a fast moving white streak of a craft. It was not a regular aircraft as it moved much too fast and was only visible for a split second between the clouds as it past through."

20 June 2015 1800hrs Windsor, Melbourne, Victoria 30mins Under investigation
Bright light seen in the sky. Originally "...thought it was a plane but then noticed it moving (quite rapidly) however for the most part it was floating. The light was within cloud layers." Checked FlightRadar24 but there were no planes in the area. No Moon.

20 June 2015 1930hrs Kilmore, Victoria ? mins Raw Under investigation
Robert reported seeing a bright, orange coloured orb, fairly intense, drifting low, through clouds, from SW to NE. No sound.

21 June 2015 1850hrs Patterson lakes, Victoria (5-10)mins Under investigation
Three people watched an object, which was also videoed and still photographs taken on an iPhone 5. "The UFO just hovered for a few minutes then flew to the right, then just shot off." No sound. It appeared to be the same size as a star. Partly cloudy skies. Moon out.

24 June 2015 1740hrs Lindisfarne, Tasmania ? mins Facebook & ABC local radio IFO - meteor or space junk
Brief view of a bright light (or lights) falling in northern sky. Report to TUFOIC and local media. Meteor or space junk burn up.

28 June 2015 (1800-1830)hrs Redcliffe Peninsula, Brisbane, Queensland Several mins IFO- hot air balloon
Jan reported two orange lights in the sky, to the west, travelling north-west. One light "split" into two. One part fell to the ground, the other went on then disappeared. The second whole light, also then disappeared.

30 June 2015 Evening Blue Knob, New South Wales ? mins Raw
Suddenly a "fireball" came into sight. "My first thought was that it was a plane on fire, but it steadily made its way silently across the sky with no smoke or being in distress, and then another appeared and followed the first one-and then another. They were three fireball flying objects too high to make out what shape they really were, but colour wise yellow and orange and appeared kind of flimsy...They all disappeared at a certain spot in the night sky."

Older reports:

31 May 2015 (1700hrs)? Chatswood, New South Wales 45mins Raw
David Payne was looking west at 50 degrees elevation. It was a clear evening sky. he noticed a small object, flashing red and white lights, out to the east over the sea. It was 45 minutes of hovering. Going up and down. "...hover again head left at great speed not plane/helicopter no noise..."

31 May 2015 (1630-1700)hrs Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales 20 mins Raw
Jason and his wife saw what "...looked like a flock of birds flying but changed direction very quickly and changed its size." Witnesses were looking in the direction of Campbelltown. It disappeared and reappeared.

31 May 2015 1720hrs Top of Fullarton Road, Adelaide, South Australia
An object descended to twice the height of a house, in the sky. There was no sound. There were no lights on it. "Black rectangular shape with no clear edges/no windows/doors...Matt finish with no reflection...watched it turn from horizontal to vertical manoeuvre within a second and shoot straight up and past the clouds."
Dasher Spaceski - Adelaide UFO sightings Facebook page.

25 & 27 May 2015 1950hrs Australian Capital Territory / mins Raw
On the 25th was driving home when the witness saw a really bright object, low in the sky. On the 27th saw two similar objects.
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

16 May 2015 2030hrs Brockman, Australia 10 mins Raw
"Brighter orange sphere descending from the sky. Observes it descending from sky. A bright orange glow. It hovered over a certain altitude and it made zig-zag movements. It sometimes disappeared but it would reappear within 1-2 seconds."
National UFO Reporting Center USA.

16 May 2015 1337hrs Port Willunga, South Australia Under investigation
A man watched a plane travelling over, and took a few still shots of it. He didn't notice anything else in the area at the time. However, when he later looked at the photographs, there was another object visible in the shots. When the image was enlarges, a "saucer shaped" object is visible.
Email from photographer to Keith Basterfield.

16 May 2015 2106hrs Sydney, New South Wales 1min Raw
While filming a Moonrise, the witness noticed an eastbound 737 approach to Mascot airport. They videoed the aircraft. Upon playback they saw a "...bright dull-orange orb.

15 May 2015 ? hrs Beaconsfield, Perth, Western Australia ? mins Raw
"I was seeing again a lot of commercial aircraft...I saw two aircraft coming from the NE...south. I saw a huge craft coming which had 3 ball lights beneath it with a small red flashing light in the centre of the 3."

14 May 2015 1900hrs Teewaa Beach, Queensland 60 mins Raw
Orange lights were visible out to sea, for 20-30 seconds at a time. They appeared rectangular in shape.
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

13 May 2015 0450hrs Razorback, New South Wales 5 mins Raw
Witness was looking through the bedroom window at the stars. An object glided past, very low in the sky. Could see underneath it, and viewed two rings of lights. Also saw white lights on its wings. No sound.
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

11 May 2015 (2045-2100)hrs Wamberal, New South Wales 40 secs Under Investigation
A woman was driving south-west in a car, along The Entrance Road. At about 2045-2100hrs she sighted two, quite bright,circular, yellow in colour, lights in the sky, visible through her windscreen.
When she initially saw them, she slowed down her vehicle. She watched as she drove towards them. They were "...roughly half the size of the top of a street light." They were diagonally right across from each other, in a pair, not far apart. Eventually she drove under the. When she looked in her rear vision mirror there was no lights were visible. The total duration was about 40 seconds. There was no associated noise. Initially, she thought " might have been a reflection, so I turned around and drove the road again to have them not appear. Before and after that night I have never seen those lights and I have lived here for 12 years."
(Emails to Keith Basterfield.)

7 May 2015 0010hrs Bronte, New South Wales 1 min Raw
"I noticed a very bright white mass of lights, quite low" in the sky. "Looked at it through binoculars and it was quite strange like fractured glass." Moon behind me. Got a camera and took one shot which showed a greenish oval or disc and a bright white mass.
\UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

6 May 2015 1820hrs Southern Highlands, New South Wales ? mins Raw
While stargazing witness saw a light of the same brightness as Venus. Travelling faster than a jet. No strobe lights. heading south-east. Through binoculars it looked like a star or planet.
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

23 April 2015 2002hrs Queensland (8-10) secs Raw
Two people star gazing in their backyard saw a "Strange v shaped formation" moving quickly across the sky. No sound.
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

15 April 2015 2040hrs St Andrews Few mins Raw
Five lights in a circular motion starting in a small circle then spinning.
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

24 August 2014 1814hrs Hobart, Tasmania / mins Raw/IFO - hot air balloon
"I was driving over the Tasman Bridge coming up over the highway  I saw five bright orb lights and they became distant without really seeing that they became distant was really weird but they kinda kept going up and up and disappear." There are five images attached to the report which show orange lights.
TUFOIC also has this report on file and concluded that it was hot air balloons.

7 July 2013 1720hrs Shellharbour, New South Wales 2mins Raw
Witness has the sensation of being watched. They saw a large, round, black object hovering in the sky. No noise. No wings, nor tail nor lights. It moved slowly to the right. After a couple of minutes it stopped moving. All of a sudden moved upward at 45 degree angle and disappeared from view.
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

2011 (?) 2116hrs(?) Mario, Victoria 5 mins Under investigation
"3 orange lights following 200 metres part in a straight line very low almost directly overhead moving slowly in tandem from the sea to the south, in a northerly direction along the coast, zero noise."

20 December 1981 2130hrs Flemington, New South Wales ? mins Raw
Driving along when "...a craft came into my view, at about 100 ft, it was a massive, dark, metallic and travelling north south...and descending quickly."
UFOPRSA Phenomena Times June 2015.

Contributing Australian groups this issue:


Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre

UFO and Paranormal Research Society of Australia

Hotline: 0456 447 112
Facebook page:

Friday, July 3, 2015

UAP and Western Australia police

Hi all,


Australian UAP researchers have long been aware that in the 1950's and 1960's, the RAAF when investigating reports of UAP, used the resources of state police forces to interview witnesses. The evidence for this is to be found on RAAF "Unusual Aerial Sightings" files, held by the National Archives of Australia. However, until now, no one has ever located a whole state police force file on the subject.

Courtesy of Dr Stuart Hatch of GovHack 2015, (click here) who found a Western Australia police department file, number 64/2885, we now have one such file.

Part of front cover - WA Police file 64/2885
What is on the file?

This is a 55 page file, with documents on it in the date range 1951 and 1975. The following will give you an idea of what is contained therein.

Item one:

Memo dated 14 August 1975, from R Carr, Assistant Commissioner (Admin) to RAAF Pearce. Forwarding copies of reports in the Northampton area.

Memo dated 3 August 1975 from Sargent Johnstone, Northampton, to Superintendent Murphy, Geraldton. Reports by Valerie Casley, Hutt River Province; and Cheryl and Ronald Hoskin of a nearby farm.

Report details. At 1100hrs on 8 July 1975. Casley attended the Northampton police station to report a number of UAP observations. She and her husband had seen a "...strange orange coloured object in the lands and seems to take off again." At 0900hrs 8 July 1975, while driving north to Northampton, she saw "...a very large white ball. This ball was about 2 to 3
cars was present for about 10 to 15 seconds and then vanished. It did not move away just disappeared. The object was about half a mile away, to the east..." Soundless.

Between 2030-2100hrs about 18 June 1975, in the same area, " object shaped like cow horns was seen about 300 yards away on the ground. It appeared about 4 foot long with a bright light in the centre, with the lights getting less bright as they went to the horn shape." It then took off and slowly disappeared from the inside out. No sound. Seen by Valerie and Wayne Casley.

Witness sketch of the 18 June 1975 Hutt River Province object

Around 2030-2100hrs on 5 July 1975 in the same area, "... a big reddish coloured light was sighted about one mile west" of Casleys. It followed their vehicle, then disappeared. Six witnesses.

George McDonald and Patricia McDonald, in Feb/Mar 1975, at between 1830-1930hrs saw a strange object in the sky. Location - 5-6 miles NW of Hutt River Province. Could only be seen clearly when lightening flashed. Watched for 15 minutes. Moon, in other position and higher in the sky than the object. Witnesses got in car and tried to get closer. Travelled 6-8 miles NW of Hutt River, when it dropped below the horizon. No noise. "Exceptionally bright." White-yellowish in colour. Centre bright light was red and crescent shaped.

Cheryl and Ronald Hoskin who live on a farm 3 miles west of the Chillimony-Hutt River turnoff advised that for the last 15 months they had seen strange objects in and around their farm. .One night Ronald saw a "...bright reddish-orange light in the sky in one of their paddocks. Lit up farm equipment. Got higher in the sky, then vanished.

Item two:

Memo dated 31 October 1974 from Assistant Commissioner of Police to RAAF Pearce, forwarding UAP report from Koolan Island.

Memo dated 24 October 1975 from Senior Inspector at Broome to Commissioner of Police. Forwarding report.

Report details. Donald Percy Menhennett, Senior Constable at Broome, states event happened at 1845hrs 14 October 1974, an object flying NE of Koolan Island. Witnesses were Ronald V Lind; and J Campbell, plus Mr and Mrs D Newman. Clear sky at time.

Sketch by witness Lind - 14 Oct 1974 sighting
Lind's handwritten statement tells that on 14 October 1974 at 1845hrs he was looking SE from Cockatoo island, and saw "..a circular bright light travelling towards the Island." It was travelling fast, horizontally, until it disappeared behind land north of the powerhouse, approximately 15 miles NE of them towards Koolan Island. There was a oozing tail behind the object which was of a reddish-white colour. Behind the white front circular light was a white tail which turned to a reddish-white tail.

Item three:

Memo dated 30 Oct 1973 from Commissioner of Police to Department of Civil Aviation in Perth. Report by a Mrs Richardson of Donnybrook re a blue light on 7 Oct 1973.

Memo from Sargent at Donnybrook to Superintendent at Bunbury dates 18 Oct 1973 re Mrs Richards. Statement by John Adrian Richards about his wife's observation.

Report details. At about midnight 7/8th Oct 1973 his wife told him that upon arriving home she and seen a "...bright blue lighten our orchard." They did not investigate at the time. Later Mr Richards was driving through the orchard and found some burnt areas of ground. He called the police and they investigated. The police determined that Mr Richards had, the day before been burning off vegetation. They formed the conclusion that Mr Richards' own burn off could have caused the additional marks which he later found. Police stated that it was "...very much harder to explain" Mrs Richards observation  of the blue light, although they suggested it was caused by a truck's lights on rising mist.

Item four:

Memo dated 5 May 1972, from District Superintendent Perth to Chief Superintendent.

Report details. Telephone message 1730hrs May 1972 from a Mrs V Murray of Mosman Park who saw "Something which may have been a flare...bright pink with smoke...slowly descending..." There were other reports received.

Item five:

Memo dated 24 Feb 1970 from a/g Commissioner of Police to Department of Civil Aviation re UAP in Morawa district.

Report details. Between 235hrs 14 Feb 1970 and 0015hrs 15 Feb 1970; and then again at 0430hrs 15 Feb 1970. William Charles Luscombe and wife Jean were travelling from Perenjori to Morawa. Near Bowgada there was an object to the east of Goomalling-Mullewa Road. Near Morawa they stopped this car to look at an object which disappeared shortly after this. It "...resembled a giant battleship with power lights...and in particular a powerful search light..."

Sidney Allen Olden, farmed at Bowgada reported that at about 0430hrs he saw a light in the sky"...a very bright large him it appeared like a huge ship shaped mass, pointed at both ends and with lights all around the appeared stationary..." Soundless.

Item six:

Report details. 11 Mar 1970 telephone message. Constable Cape-Proctor at 1445hrs was at Christmas Creek Station, 60 miles east of Fitzroy Crossing. He saw a vapour trail 30-38,000 feet. Travelling NW at high speed. The trail broke then reappeared, then smoke followed to the ground. Checks revealed no missing aircraft. DCA received similar reports front he area. Possible satellite re-entry.

There are no papers dated 1955-1969 on the file then papers from 1954.

Item seven:

Memo dated 8 July 1954 from Commissioner of Police to RAAF Pearce re sighting from Denmark, WA.

Report details. Mr and Mrs E R Tonkinson saw a star-like object low on the NW horizon, changing colours. 9 Jun 1954.

Item eight:

Memo dated 21 Apr 1954 from Commissioner of Police to RAAF Pearce re sighting at Cunderdin district of WA,.

Report details. 1715hrs. 1954 Mrs VM Fulwood and her two children saw a strange object in the sky, to their west. It was round and flat, silver in colour with the Sun shining on it. It was moving fairly slowly. It appeared to be rotating up and down similar to the movement of a bird. Duration 3 minutes. Travelling east to west. It disappeared right into the glare of the Sun. Soundless.

Newsclip of one of the Cunderdin sightings
Item nine:

Memo dated 16 Nov 1953. Inspector O'Brien, Wyndham to D C Broome.

Report details. At 0545hrs 31 Aug 1953 a Mr C W McPherson of Wyndham and Mr R Stacey saw an object travelling eastwards at great speed. There was no sound. It left blue smoke in the sky at 30-40 degrees elevation for 5 minutes.

Item ten:

Memo dated 6 Mar 1953 from Commissioner of Police to RAAF Pearce re sighting around Jan 1953.

Report details. Mr R Hunter and Mr K McNamara were out fox hunting. They were 3 miles NE of Dalwallinu when they sighted an object travelling north. It passed over them. It continued northwards for 6-7 minutes, then veered SW, then continued west for 15 minutes and disappeared over the horizon. In shape, it was round, surrounded by a ring of white light. In Dalwallinu the object was seen by a Mr L Angel and K P Jeffries at about 2130hrs in the western sky. It was moving surrounded by a ring of white light. After 10 minutes it disappeared leaving a white halo of, light in the sky.

Newsclip of the Dalwallinu sighting
Item eleven:

Memo dated 24 Jan 1952 from Commissioner of Police to RAAF Pearce re a sighting.

Report details. Mr C A Bolton, Bridgetown saw a "strange aircraft." It passed over him at an estimated 2000 feet. It had orange coloured light and a green light on it but no wings. The object was first seen near the horizon in the east, tracking east to west. It gained altitude rapidly.

This concludes a summary of what was on the file.

Police documents on RAAF file of the era:

A check of National Archives of Australia file series PP 474/1 control symbol 5/5/Air, titled "RAAF Pearce, Unusual Aerial Sightings 1951-1957 reveals the originals of WA Police file documents, and additional RAAF correspondence, in the following cases:

NAA file series PP474/1 control symbol 5/5/Air

1. 28 Nov 1951. Bridgetown.
2. 31 Aug 1953. Wyndham.
3. 4 Feb 1954. Cunderdin.
4. 9 Apr 1954. Cunderdin.

This RAAF files also contains some Western Australia Police Department documents which were not found on the WA Police file, namely:

1. Eucla; Mundrabilla Station and Mandura. 28 Nov 1957.
2. Marble Bar. 4 Jul 1957.

NAA file series PP474/1 control symbol 5/5/Air
3. Madonga Station. 28 Apr 1955.
4. Carnarvon. 15 Dec 1954.

NAA file series PP474/1 control symbol 5/5/Air

Monday, June 29, 2015

Allan Hendry - on investigating cases

Hi all,

In September, I  will be presenting a conference talk, in Melbourne. The theme of the conference is "investigations." In recent blog posts I have discussed IFOs such as "fireballs" (click here), and discussed some of the investigation tools which I use (click here.)

As part of my research for my talk I have been re-reading the book "The UFO Handbook" by Allan Hendry ( 1979. Doubleday & Co. New York.) To me, it is a classic text on both the subject of IFOs, and UFOs.


Hendry was employed by the US Center for UFO Studies (CUFOS) as a researcher. He was able to deal by phone "...with the witnesses of over 1,300 sightings in the United States." (p.3.) Most incoming calls were through a dedicated CUFOS police hot line. His total sample, he classified as 1,158 IFOs; 113 UFOs; and 36 exceptions" ( cases which held no "data, e.g. unreliable witness.)


At the end of his study he wrote that "Nine out of ten raw UFO reports are IFOs. They represent 90 per cent of the total UFO phenomenon by volume." (p.87.) Importantly, he noted that with both IFOs and UFOs, "The reports spring from the same sources  and channels, people of both sexes, all ages, all occupations, backgrounds, personalities, education, observational abilities, relative  training, and income."

Townsville, Queensland - 2015 - searchlight on clouds

Unique UFOs:

Hendry reasoned that "A fruitful way to proceed here would be to list statements and characteristics about genuine UFOs that are supposed to make them unique and examine how these statements hold up in the light of the knowledge we have gained from the IFO accounts." (p.91.) He then went on to study these statements.

1. "UFOs are unique because of their appearance."

UFO researchers argued that "No natural or man-made object looks like a domed disc, especially when it is viewed with large angular size." Hendry found a number of reports of conventional stimuli which did just this, e.g. advertising aircraft; meteors.

2. "UFOs are unique because they are reported to move in ways that defy the laws of physics."

In exploring IFO reports Hendry found that there was a "...long series of reports where motion along 'line of sight' was to be claimed not only for airplanes but also for other IFOs like stars and advertising planes." (p.94.) He found it important to determine if  "...motion took place across one's line of vision or along one's line of sight." (p.94.)

3. "UFOs are unique because they make no noise or at least very little noise."

"The problem is that IFO reports are equally quiet. Only 20 per cent of all the 1,158 reports involved noise..." (p.96.)

4. "The close encounter UFOs are unique because their proximity to the witnesses minimises the chance of misperception."

Hendry realized that "This would be true if it weren't for the realization that we seldom learn the actual distance between the observer and the UFO candidate." (p.98.)

5. "UFOs are unique because of the emotional reaction of the witness."

However, by studying IFOs, Hendry found many examples where there were extreme emotions of witnesses to IFOs, such as aircraft, stars, meteors, and Venus. In the end Hendry wrote "The conclusion is self-evident. When mothers are too scared to let their children out of the house to see Jupiter fluctuating in brightness for two hours overhead, and when wives scream for their husbands to get back in the car as an advertising plane flies near, then no one can claim that genuine UFO experiences have an exclusive hold on strong emotional reactions." (p.100.)

6. "UFOs are unique ... because the witnesses are determined to be sincere, reliable or sane."

After exploring a number of cases Hendry wrote "The disturbing feature of all these cases is this: as unacceptable as they appear as "data" in terms of accurate portrayals of actual events, they were delivered with the same degree of sincerity, conviction, and in the same state of unexcited casualness as any UFO cases accepted as genuine." (p.101.)

7. "UFOs are unique because they are reported by people with occupations or educations that indicate "trained observers."

Using the ration of IFOs to UFOs, per occupational grouping, he determined that pilots reports were actually of IFOs 75% of the time; and that law enforcement staff who reported sightings were reporting IFOs 94% of the time. So called, "trained observers" were as likely, if not more likely to misidentify stimuli.

In summary, Hendry stated that he found, for his group of 1000 plus sightings, "...that we cannot blindly accept UFO witnesses as "error free" instruments." (p.103.)

Hendry's conclusions:

1. "Even with the very best UFO incidents to which I gained access in a year and a half, I was unable to establish anything better than a probability figure that the event actually took place in the extraordinary manner described, or that the source of the report was something truly anomalous, not already understood," (p.283.)

2. I do not endeavour to argue that UFOs do not, in some form, exist; indeed why shouldn't they?" (p.265.)

3. " But with our current inability to fully draw the distinction between real UFOs and IFOs, fantasies or hoaxes, coupled with a heated emotional; atmosphere, I can only assert that it is my feeling that some UFO reports represent truly remarkable events..." (p.285.)

Kapunda, South Australia - 2013 - bug/bird close to camera

In my exploration of the way investigations are conducted in Australia at this current time, I find that the lack of interest about IFO reports,  is not useful. I can do no better than the words Hendry wrote in 1979 "...they are doing themselves a disservice; the more reports they can succeed  in identifying and the more attempts to research the worthy ones, the more valuable the remaining cases will be." (p.279.)

Another Australian example of bird close to camera

Tuesday, June 23, 2015

The 5% residue - what does it consist of?

Hi all,

Many UAP researchers agree that about 95% of all incoming reports can be explained in mundane terms. It is the residual 5%, which constitutes the "core" phenomenon, which really interests us.

There has been considerable debate however, between UAP researchers and sceptics, as to whether the characteristics of the 95%, and the characteristics of the 5% are different, or the same.

Sceptical views:

UK researcher Dr. David Clarke argues ( "How UFOs Conquered the world." 2015, Aurum Press, London) about this 5%:

"...but they are not significant because they have no characteristic features that distinguish them from the ninety-five percent that have been explained." (p.273.)

However, even some otherwise sceptical approaches, agree that there may be something in this 5%:

Paul Davies, an English Physicist (click here) in responding to a query from David Clarke (Clarke, 2015, p.258) replied:

 "I agree that some small fraction of reports might include novel physical phenomena (e.g.ball lightning) but not alien activity."

Professor Reginald Victor Jones was a British physicist and scientific military intelligence expert who at one stage looked into the subject of UAP.  (Click here. ) In appendix V to the "Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects"; (edited by D S Gillmor, Bantam Books, New York, 1969,) on page 932, Jones wrote:

"If known natural phenomena are insufficient to explain everything that has been genuinely seen, the alternative to the intelligently controlled vehicles is an as yet recognised natural phenomenon. "

UAP researchers:

On the other hand, UAP researchers would argue that the residual 5% does contain cases which have no mundane explanation, with most going on to suggest that the answer lies with the extra-terrestrial hypothesis.

Looking on the Internet, and in books, I found a large number of lists of what some call their "ten best cases." One of the earliest such lists appeared on page 21 of Ronald D. Story's 1981 book "UFOs and the Limits of Science." (New English Library, London.)

1. Newport News, Virginia.1952.
2. Lakenheath, England. 1956.
3. Levelland, Texas. 1957.
4. Boianai, New Guinea. 1959.
5. Whitefield, New Hampshire, USA. 1961.
6. Exeter, New Hampshire, USA. 1965.
7. Ravenna, Ohio, USA. 1966.
8. Mansfield, Ohio, USA. 1973.
9. Tehran, Iran. 1976.
10. Kaikoura, New Zealand. 1978.

Skipping, thirty years from 1981, US researcher, John B Alexander, in his 2011book "UFOs: Myths, conspiracies and Realities" (Thomas Dunne Books, New York.) listed which cases he thought were strong evidence of something unusual. Chapter ten is titled "Real cases and hard data." Alexander wrote:

"There are so many strong UFO cases that selecting which ones to highlight is difficult." (p.155.)

So, what cases feature in this chapter? They include:

1. Bentwaters, UK. 1980.
2. Cash-Landrum. 1980.
3. Mansfield, Ohio, USA. 1973.
4. Phoenix, Arizona, USA. 1997.
5. Gulf Breeze, Florida, USA. 1980's.
6. Malstrom Air Force Base, USA. 1967.
7. Byelokorovicje, Russia. 1982.
8. Dallas-Fort Worth, Texas, USA. 1999.

Another, researcher who wrote "In the end I side with the believers. My conclusion is not based on personal preference but on familiarity with the evidence," was US based Eddie Bullard. In his book "The Myth and Mystery of UFOs" (2010, University Press of Kansas, Lawrence, Kansas,) Bullard wrote:

"...candidates for the honour roll would surely include these noteworthy examples." (p.76.)

1. Tehran, Iran. 1976.
2. Cash-Landrum, USA. 1980.
3. Trans-en-Provence, France.1981.
4. JAL flight 1628, Alaska, USA. 1986.
5. Mundrabilla, Western Australia. 1988.

The best cases?

Reviewing a number of these lists, revealed a consistent suggestion that cases such as the following should be included in the 5% residue which appear to lack conventional explanations:

1. Socorro, New Mexico, USA. 1964.
2. Tehran, Iran. 1976.
3. Rendelsham Forest, UK. 1980.
4. Exeter, New Hampshire, USA. 1965.
5. JAL flight 1628, Alaska, USA. 1986.
6. Cash-Landrum, USA. 1980.
7. Trans-en- Provence, France. 1981.
8. O'Hare airport, Chicago, Illinois, USA. 2006.
9. Stephenville, Texas, USA. 2008.

In summary, then, UAP researchers feel that the 5% residue does indeed feature cases whose characteristics do not put them in the IFO category.


1. One immediately notices that most of the cases in these lists are pre 1990, and occurred in the USA. The latter is perhaps explainable by the fact that many of the lists were prepared by US based researchers. The former, is perhaps due to the fact that the numbers of close encounters, and hence interesting cases, has been on the decrease since around the late 1990's.

2. Are these lists of any real value? They do reflect the opinions of serious, as opposed to Internet based, researchers. They offer what is felt to be cases which cannot be explained in mundane terms.
The lists do allow for a focused debate, and re-investigation by interested parties.

One example of this, is the 2014 report (click here) on the classic 1950 photographs taken in McMinnville, in the USA which claims to have found evidence of a thread suspending a model. McMinnville was to be found on many of the "ten best cases" lists.

Another example is the Belgium wave, where sceptical discussion, centred around astronomical sources and helicopters (click here.) Again, this wave features on many "ten best cases" lists.

3. UAP researchers, in my opinion, should welcome these sort of sceptical debates about the cause of what they feel are "unknowns" in the 5% residue. My own thinking, is that even if the residue, "only" reveals Paul Davies' "...small fraction of reports might include novel physical phenomena..." or  Professor Jones'  " as yet recognised natural phenomenon.. " it is still worthy of our study.

Sunday, June 7, 2015

Investigation report - Townsville, Queensland - 29 May 2015

INVESTIGATION REPORT - Townsville, Queensland - 29 May 2015

Compiled by Keith Basterfield.


On the evening of 29 May 2015, I was contacted by a resident of Townsville, who emailed me that she and her daughter had been watching lights circling in the clouds for about 20 minutes just before she emailed me. The lights were first noticed at about 1825hrs on 29 May and last seen at about 1845hrs. There were three white, oval/circular lights moving around the clouds. There was no associated noise. The female resident took five photographs of these lights which she emailed me that night.

The photographs show a night scene, with house and street lights visible. In four of the photographs there is a very bright light source to the top of the images. The clouds are between this light source and the street lights. It is possible to faintly see some lights on the clouds.

I emailed the witness back and asked some questions. These, together with the witness' responses are listed below:

Q1. In four of the photographs is the very bright circular lights source at the top of the photographs, the Moon?
A1. Yes it is.
Q2. What was the weather like at the time?
A2. Wind was still. Few patchy clouds around.
Q3. How did the lights move?
A4. Sometimes at random, sometimes clockwise pattern.

Further information:

1. Location - is latitude 19.26 degrees south. Longitude is 146.82 degrees east.

2. Weather - obtained from the Bureau of meteorology for Townsville airport at 1830hrs that night was:

Temp. 24.3C; Dew point 19 C; 72% relative humidity; Wind from the east at 22km/hr;  Pressure 1019.0hPa. Rain since 9am 0mm.

3. The Moon was at 51 degrees elevation. Azimuth 74% 82% illuminated.

4. I submitted an electronic letter to the editor of the Townsville Bulletin newspaper; and also submitted a post to the blog of the same paper, asking for anyone else who may have seen these lights, to contact me. No one did.


1. At first viewing of the images, and a check with Google Earth, I found that the lights were seen in the direction of the Townsville airport. Unfortunately, the WebTrak aircraft tracking website indicates no coverage for Townsville.

2. The location of the Moon as determined from an astronomical website, confirms the witness' statement that the very bright light source in the photograph is the Moon.

3. As the lights were in fact seen in the direction of the Townsville airport, and as the Bureau of Meteorology has a base at the airport, I initially thought about the possibility that the lights were from the BOM's ceilometer, which uses beams of light to measure cloud heights. Further investigation; plus the fact that there were three lights seen, plus the duration of 20 minutes led me away from suggesting this as an explanation.

4. However, the witness' description and the images on the photographs are strongly suggestive of searchlight beams, visible on the clouds. I have seen identical lights, circling in various patterns, on clouds, in Adelaide.  Upon investigation they turned out on one occasion to be advertising a new night club in the city 20 kilometres away. On another occasion they were advertising a new model of car. I recall similar observations from both Melbourne and Sydney.

5. For transparency, I must add that although I conducted an Internet search for an event which may have been using searchlights in Townsville that night, I was unable to find any such event.


I obtained the witness' consent to publish her observation, and use her photographs in this report. I have advised her of the report's conclusion.


The most likely cause of the observations are searchlights.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

May 2015 - Australian monthly reports roundup

May 2015 - Australian monthly national sightings listing.

Compiled by Keith Basterfield and Paul Dean.

This is the eighth edition of the Australian national level sightings reports listing, which is on a twelve month trial. Readers are advised that most of these sightings have not been investigated.


11 May 2015 1400hrs Blue Haven, Central Coast, New South Wales 2mins IFO?
A man was out checking his mailbox when he saw a black/grey object, which had no shape. A mass or round shape. Dark colour. Was hovering. Then, there was a flash of light, like sunlight on a window, and it was gone. The weather was clear, no clouds. A letter to the editor of the local paper failed to locate any additional witnesses; the local radio station's blog contained no UAP reports for that day; and the local UAP group received no reports about the Blue Haven object. Our Sydney based research associate found that it was not an AusGrid electricity power line checking helicopter patrol, and that commercial aircraft routes do not go over this area. In summary, it was not possible to conclusively identify the source of the observation.
Dave Reneke.

25-27 April 2015 Various times Central Victoria and New South Wales ? mins  IF0 - Balloon
Last month we carried a number of sightings, all reported on 25 April 2015, from Central Victoria. These all turned out to have been due to a high altitude (33kms) balloon, launched by NASA. The Sydney Observatory blog site, "Lights in the sky" has further observations of the same balloon. We list them here for readers to be aware of.

25 April. 1600hrs Glenrowan, Victoria 1 hour
Ian observed a star-like object, dropping some 15 degrees elevation, over an hour. Through binoculars, it appeared as an oval shape, and estimated 1/20th the size of the full Moon. In clear sky it appeared twice as bright as Venus.

25 April. 1830hrs Ruffy, Victoria ? mins
An object, estimated as 1/5th the size of the full Moon was seen at 60 degrees elevation. Through binoculars it was seen to appear a round shape. Jan Medovarsky was the witness.

26 April 0730hrs Griffith, NSW 4.5hrs
Dom reported a "bright round light" to his north, at 30-40 degree elevation. It was bigger than a star and appeared stationary. By 10am it had moved to the east, and by 12 noon, further east again.

26 April 1730hrs 40kms E of Parkes, NSW 60mins
Bernie observed a bright, white light at 60 degrees elevation, west. It was round in shape and appeared stationary.

27 April 1730hrs 50kms W of Moree, NSW (4-5)hrs
A star-like object was seen by Richard, at 20 degrees elevation west. It seemed to stay in roughly the same area over the whole time.

Due to a leak, the balloon came down in remote country on the border of Queensland and New South Wales, on 28 April 2015.

May 2015

1 May 2015 1230hrs Whyalla, South Australia ? mins IFO - seagull?
Witness took a panoramic photograph of the beach area, "and when I checked the image on my computer I noticed the anomaly." A look at the photograph shows a blurred black and white image, suggestive of a seagull. Seagulls are visible in other parts of the photograph.

4 May 2015 ?  Goulburn, New South Wales ? mins IF0 - spiders' web
Ian W. reported the whole area covered.  He did notice spiders on his house and the garden. Ants and birds were going nuts. He noticed lots of clumps of cotton like stuff floating 100 metres up in the sky. He looked at the Sun and some of it was in long thick strands.

5 May 2015 1812hrs Glenwood, Queensland 1min Raw
Witness Peter saw a bright light comparable in size to the planet Venus. It moved steadily eastwards. No flashing strobe lights, no navigation lights. Moved out of sight behind tree line. No sound. Clear sky.

6 May 2015 0554hrs Adelaide, South Australia 6 secs Raw
Witness arrived home from night shift. They were by the car when they looked up to see "...two orange glowing star-like spheres flying over from east to south very quickly...side by side." The spheres vanished into the night sky. Moon was full and bright.

8 May 2015 1830hrs Sydney, New South Wales (5-6) mins  IFO - International Space Station
Heath saw an extremely bright object crossing the sky heading south-south-east. Faded at 25 degrees in the south.

9 May 2015 Morning Acacia Hills, Northern Territory ? mins Raw
Alan Freguson reported capturing an unusual image, after "he set his camera on a fast-speed loop.'

9 May 2015 1820hrs Warwick Farm, New South Wales 30 mins Raw
Sarah saw, at 50 degrees west, a very bright light,  moving north.  Over 30 minutes it slowly faded towards north.

9 May 2015 (1840-1920)hrs  Narrangba, Queensland (1-2) mins Raw
Looking west, Sheree Carter, at a 70 degrees elevation, saw a "small blip". It travelled south to north, then a couple of minutes later, moved north to south. Ten minutes later it travelled south to north.

9 May 2015 (2200-2300)hrs Roaring Beach, Tasmania Facebook
Witness stayed in a small loft house in Tasmanian mountains looking over a valley, bottom of Tasmania near roaring beach. Saw a bright light 10-11pm. The light got faster and brighter, then it entered something like a hole in the sky and vanished. Unable to obtain any further details from the witness.

10 May 2015 0515hrs Ipswich, Queensland  15mins Raw
In a clear sky, a red light was seen by Lesley. It was "...moving around fast sideways up and down." It then flew to the left, and changed from steady to flashing. Eventually dimmed to nothing. A small white light then travelled to the same spot and disappeared.

10 May 2015 0600hrs South Hobart, Tasmania 1-2 secs IFO - meteor?
Stephen Cameron sais: "I was in South Hobart about 6am on May 10th looking south (maybe SSW). It was may be at 45 degrees elevation. The object was visible for maybe one, two seconds. The sky was mainly clear and I could see the Moon, although that was in another direction. It was so bright. I have never seen  something so bright like this at night. It was white in colour and appeared to have a short tail, but it happened so fast I was just amazed by the brightness, the white light."
TUFOIC adds "Probably a meteor."

10 May 2015 1805hrs Rouse Hill, Sydney, New South Wales 6 secs Raw
Pat reported a cylindrical object with two orange to red looking lights at each side. It appeared very high, and "heading up in an upward motion." Heading south-west.

10 May 2015 1845hrs Miller, New South Wales  1-2 mins Raw
Sean Nicholas saw a "...very large, very bright light looking North West from our front porch." It appeared and grew in brightness, to become the brightest thing in the sky. Slowly faded and vanished, then cycled again. Stationary all the time.

11 May 2015 0435hrs Quakers Hill, Sydney, New South Wales  ? mins Raw
A "slow moving blinking object" was seen in the sky by Rebecca. It was small in size, and moving slowly from north to south. It also had a red blinking light.  A second object appeared nearby and peeled off to the west/south-west.

12 May 2015 1855hrs City Beach, Perth, Western Australia 2 mins Raw
Gaz reported a light in the sky which appeared to change course "...quite erratically several times," at 85 degrees elevation in the east. It moved south to north on a clear night.

14 May 2015 1930hrs Palm Beach, Queensland 2 hours Raw
The witness reported an oscillating bright light in the sky at 15 degrees elevation, at an azimuth of 30 degrees west of north. It was brighter than surrounding stars. Clear sky.

16 May 2015 1915hrs Orange, New South Wales / mins Raw
Witness reported an object flying over Orange. Witness said it seemed roughly hall a kilometre up. It went from north to south then veered east. Flew very quickly. Green in colour. Seen by three people. Event filmed but the object moved too quickly.
Sydney UFO Sightings Facebook page.

18 May 2015 ? hrs Melbourne, Victoria ? mins Raw
Ricky "...saw a strange object that looked like a silver spirally long thingy." The Sun was reflecting off it.

20 May 2015 1810hrs Hornsby, New South Wales 5 mins Raw
Looking 45 degrees elevation west, from a car, the witness saw a light moving west. It "...changed shape from triangle/kite to round like full Moon."

22 May 2015 Night Huonville, Tasmania 10 mins Facebook
"My friend and I witnesses a strange light in the night sky  over Huonville on Friday 22nd May. The ball of light began as a very small dot. It got increasingly larger and larger and brighter very quickly and then  completely vanished. This happened 2 or 3 times over a 10 minute period, getting less and less bright and smaller each time. There was no cloud and the light seemed to appear from nothing. "
No further details from the witness.

23 May 2015 1708hrs Woden, Canberra, Australian Capital Territory  2 mins Raw
Video. "is was first moving slowly south over the Woden (district) area in Canberra A.C.T. It then changed direction and moved west. Then stopped and was stationary for a couple of minutes above my suburb. The object also seemed to be changing shape. Witness discontinued the observation and upon returning the object had gone.

23 May 2015 2015hrs Lakemba, Sydney, New South Wales ? mins IFO - blimp?
Marguerita reported that through a window, she watched :...a large white lit up object slowly moving in a horizontal direction through the sky." Round to oval in shape, it was "...totally lit up with white light." Small, flash in g lights were visible underneath the object. The Observatory suggested it may have been an airship/blimp run by "Appliances Online."

23 May 2015 Evening Petersham  30mins Raw
Glenn Kelly described a "...very large half Moon shaped," yellowish in colour object, visible at 45 degrees elevation in the north-east. It was travelling slowly sought. The sky was clear. A crescent Moon was visible in the north-west.

29 May 2015 1825hrs Townsville, Queensland 20 mins Under investigation
A woman and her daughter watched 3 oval to round lights circling in the distance, amongst clouds. There was no sound. Five still images taken.
Personal email communication to Keith Basterfield.

31 May 2015 (1630-1700)hrs Blacktown, Sydney, New South Wales 20 mins Raw
Jason and his wife saw what "looked like a flock of birds flying but changing direction very quickly and changed its size." They were looking in the direction of Campbelltown. It disappeared then reappeared.

31 May 2015 1700hrs Chatswood, New South Wales 45 mins Raw
David Payne was looking towards 50 degrees elevation, east on a clear sky night. He noticed a small object, flashing lights white and red, out to sea to the east. 45 minutes of hovering. Going up and down. "...hover again head left at great speed not plane/helicopter no noise..."

Older cases

29 April 2015 1430hrs Kew, Melbourne, Victoria 60 mins Raw
Geoff Sherrington reported seeing a magnitude -1.0 object through light, high cloud, at 70 degrees west-south-west. There was no apparent movement.

28 April 2015 1115hrs Wollumbi, New South Wales 10 mins Raw
Cassandra Seaton saw , in clear blue sky, two object travelling across the sky from west to north-west, at 45-50 degrees elevation. The lower object was larger than the other. Both had tails.

27April 2015 2045hrs Harvest lakes, Western Australia 5 secs IFO - Meteor?
Kat reported a green light, the "size of a street light" that appeared at 45 degrees elevation, and it travelled downwards in a straight line."

25 April 2015 0540 hrs Adelaide River, Northern Territory 15 mins Raw
Reported 2 May 2015.
Attending the Anzac Day dawn service. Witness' Alan's daughter drew his attention to a moving star in the sky. In space of 10 minutes saw four lights. Dark sky with no Moon.

25 April 2015 1800hrs Mansfield, Victoria 25 mins Raw
Witness Carol's daughter while they were travelling in a car, saw a light in the sky. "It appeared to be coming closer and getting bigger." It then became smaller and changed colour to a dull orange/red...The object had an aura or haze surrounding it."

25 April 2015 1845hrs Warners Bay, New South Wales 15 mins Raw
Garry Scow observed, looking north-west, low in the sky, a very bright star-like object, "but when filming and zooming in there were multiple objects, different colours, blue, red, orange..."

22April 2015  Dusk   Lara, Victoria 5 mins Raw
Reported 23 April 2015.
Witness, David, reported seeing five objects "...came down from the clouds moved slowly along in the same  direction, below cloud level...They were all round, thick black in colour with an hole  looking like donuts." Partly cloudy.

Ca. 5 April 2015 2230hrs Young, New South Wales 3mins Raw
Sue Pears reported "three bright yellow lights moving north - they moved noise."

30 March 2015 2005hrs Wyndham Vale, Victoria 1 min Raw
Reported 5 May 2015.
Looking out of his bedroom window, to the north witness Jake reported seeing two red lights that were not flashing. "They were flying directly parallel until one slightly veered towards the ground and then both faded into the night. Clear sky. No sound.

6 February 2015 1958hrs Cape Girardeau, Missouri, Western Australia 1min Raw
Reported 19 April 2015.
Larry, advised that "I was outside recording objects flying in the night sky  with my night vision camera. I saw a bright light in my peripheral vision... " Witness posted a video on YouTube.

February 2012 0100hrs Balgowan, South Australia 3 hours Raw
Out fishing with a friend, saw a bright light over the ocean. "Hovered in place for around 3 hours." During this time a smaller light "seemed to come out of the larger one. It orbited the first light several times then re-joined or re-entered the larger light then after around 3 hours it sped off at an incredible speed..

17 October 1978 0617hrs Bunyip, Victoria 10 mins Raw
Reported 17 May 2015
Witness Rod, was woken by his father to look out the kitchen window. To the north he saw a soundless, black coloured, stationary , hovering object, above Mt Erica, north of Moe. After about 10 minutes the object ascended straight up  and disappeared very quickly. His father was a police officer, rang RAAF East Sale and was advised they had something on radar but it vanished.

Australian contributing groups for this issue are

Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre

UFO Research New South Wales Website:
Victorian UFO Action
Hotline: 0456 447 112

Monday, May 25, 2015

New book alert - David Clarke

Hi all,

New book:

UK writer David Clarke's new book "How UFOs Conquered the World: the History of a Modern Myth," (Aurum Press, London, 2015, ISBN 978-1-78131-3038) has just been published. In short, the book is about Clarke's personal journey through Ufology. However, it is far more than that.

Chapter one:

Chapter one is based around an interview with  Denis Plunkett, "...the last remaining founder member of the British Flying Saucer Bureau." (p.23.) Clarke's interest here was expressed as "I wanted to know what motivated Denis to persevere in his belief that UFOs were craft piloted by extra-terrestrials." (p.25.) Along the way is a discussion of early UFO sightings and personalities, and concludes "What Carl Jung called 'a modern myth of things seen in the sky' had been created." (p.48.)

Chapter two:

This chapter explores the issue of witnesses' conviction of what they observe, in the light of belief and expectation, illustrated by case histories from the United Kingdom. He outlines studies such as that of CUFOS' former Allan Hendry which found that 90% of all incoming raw reports had mundane explanations after competent investigation. He writes "Williamson' story demonstrated that it is not the experience that is at the root of the syndrome but how it is subsequently interrupted by the observers and, if reported, by the media and the ufologists." (p.65.)

Chapter three:

This is centred around the events in the 1960's around Warminster in the UK, and includes scientific research conducted by David Simpson and other members of the Society for the Investigation of UFO Phenomenon, using balloons to create false UFO reports which UFOlogists accepted as genuine. In summing up Clarke writes "...every type of UFO evidence, from complex photographs to alien abductions, secret government documents and stories told by high ranking military officials about extra-terrestrial cadavers hidden in air force hangers, has at some point been unveiled as being invented. " (p.95.)

Chapter four:

Here, Clarke focuses on the UK Ministry of defence and their involvement in the UFO subject. Clarke writes "What struck me was the stark contrast between the popular idea of a lavishly funded secret government agency tasked with suppressing the facts about alien visitation and the mundane daily reality faced by those who ran the MOD's actual UFO desk." (pp99-100.)

Clarke interviewed Alex Cassie who worked with DI55's John Dickison and S4's Leslie Ackhurst; plus Jim Carruthers, a senior MOD official. Later interviewees included Linda Unwin, who ran the MOD's UFO desk in the early 2000's All very interesting reading.

Chapter five:

Chapter five covers the MOD's release of its UFO files; the televisions series 'X-files;" Steven M Greer's Disclosure Project; categories of conspiracy thinking, and UFO researcher Gary Heseltine. In closing, his account of his interview with Heseltine wrote "...I was struck by the fact that, for all its talk about evidence, ufology was not an empirical discipline. In order for it to survive it had to close itself off from the scientific method." (p.145)

Chapter six:

"Crashed saucers" feature in this chapter. Clarke describes the 1962 Ardgay, Scotland incident; then Roswell and other such events. Archival research suggested that the Ardgay device was part of a mid 1950's CIA Project Moby Dick, where large balloons launched from Scotland over the USSR. At the chapter's end, Clarke writes "The truth is that governments can only successfully keep secrets when knowledge is confined to a small group of people. That simply cannot be the case with the UFO conspiracy." (p.169.)

Chapters seven and eight:

Chapter seven examines the world of contactee George King and the Aetherius Society of the UK. "...I saw little to separate the stories of contactees like George King from the experiences described by the many sane, rational people who claimed to have been abducted by aliens." (p.192.) Chapter eight examines the world of abductees, which takes us into the world of sleep paralysis, and altered states of conciseness`. "I was satisfied that cultural and psychological factors were the key to exploring the stories told by experiencers." (p.211.)

Chapter nine onwards:

Here, Clarke tells of his interview with Father Paul (Eric Inglesby), Britain's longest serving Christian ufologist, about his views on UFOs. Father Paul told Clarke that  "...ufology was a vast, huge subject, shot full of religious danger." (p.222.) In the chapter, Clarke's view remained that "...all my investigations pointed to the mundane truth that most if not all UFOs could be explained in terms of misperceptions, altered states of consciousness and the influence of pop culture." (p.220.)

The penultimate chapter focusses on the question of life elsewhere in the Universe. Clarke reviews the views of astronomer Professor Paul Murdin, and Dr Michael Swords. Clarke confesses that "After spending three decades immersed in a syndrome where the scientific method is nearly always sacrificed to wish-fulfilment I had reached the point where I had to reject the extra-terrestrial hypothesis as an explanation for UFOs simply because it can never, ever be refuted." (p.254.)

Clarke's conclusion chapter titled "In the eye of the beholder" summarises his 30 year journey through Ufology. "One of the paradoxical lessons of the phenomenon is not what it tells us about extra-terrestrials but what it reveals about ourselves. " (p.265.) "Eventually I came to embrace the only explanation that satisfied me. It is often described simply as the PSH, or psychosocial hypothesis..." (p.268.)

In conclusion:

Clarke says that along the way, he "...discovered not one but ten basic truths." (pp272-278.)

1. "There is no such things as 'the UFO phenomenon' but there are lots of phenomena that cause UFOs."

2. "There is no such thing as a 'true UFO.'"

3. "Extraordinary claims require extraordinary evidence."

4. "Accounts of UFO experiences form the core of the syndrome, but stories do not constitute 'evidence.' They are folklore."

5. "Culture - not experience - creates the UFO interpretation but some experiences are independent of culture."

6. "The UFO syndrome fulfils the role of the supernatural 'other.'"

7. "The extra-terrestrial hypothesis and other exotic theories cannot explain UFOs."

8. "The idea of a super-conspiracy to hide the truth about UFOs is unfalsifiable."

9. "The common denominator in UFO stories is the human beings who see and believe in them."

10. "People want to believe in UFOs."