Adelaide's cooler and wetter summer continues this year. Traditionally today would be sunny, and 40 degrees Celsius. Instead it is a maximum of 24 degrees and rain has been steadily falling for several hours. So, it will be wet for the start of the Adelaide Fringe, a performance festival of several hundred, diverse shows at dozens of venues scattered through the City.
This post takes a look at a new Australian book titled "Something is Out There" by authors Julie Miller and Grant Osborn, published by Arena/Allen & Unwin. 2010. Crows Nest, Sydney. ISBN 978-1-74237-132-0 363pp. My copy from my local library.
This book is a three part work. Part one is the "Supernatural;" part two "UFOlogy" and part three "Cryptozoology." This post will concern itself only with part two.
The book has been compiled from the authors' travels through Australia talking to UFO witnesses and researchers.
Chapter 13 looks at "Wycliffe Well-Australia's UFO Capital." It starts with the authors own "UFO" encounter with a white light travelling behind their vehicle for a while before disappearing into "thin air." They then interview the owner of the Big4 Holiday park at Wycliffe Well, Len Farkas, where Farkas informs them that the light "It's an alien probe...from the big craft."
Self-promotion has seen Wycliffe Well, a small, remote, locality in the Northern Territory elevate itself to some prominence on the world UFO scene. Farkas himself, has seen "Scores of alien craft in his 25 years at Wycliffe Well." (p.144.) While there, the authors interviewed employees and others about their own sightings.
Other Northern Territory sightings are related in this chapter including a photograph which "Shows Australian soldiers posing at nearby Devils Marbles in October 1942, with a small silver craft hovering nearby, clearly in shot." (p.146.)
"The UFO Hunter"
Interestingly, this chapter starts off with a tirade against some UFOlogists. " An irksome obstacle often encountered when investigating the UFO underground is the secretive and paranoid nature of many research groups. Phone messages are not returned, emails remain unanswered and personally written requests sent to anonymous postal boxes seem to wind up in the dead letter office." (p.153.)
The authors then introduce Alan Ferguson of Darwin, who "...claiming as he does to have photographed more than 30 mysterious aerial craft..." They review his methods and results.
The "Tully saucer nest" is the subject of a subsequent chapter which also recounts details of other circular markings.
Next, the authors cover the 1966 Westall case and their visit to Clayton South to meet one of the female witnesses. The authors also do a little academic research by contacting the Department of Defence, the national Archives of Australia and local police, but find, as others have done before them, that there are no official documents to be found on this case.
No Australian book on UFOs would be complete without the mention of the Frederick Valentich aircraft/ufo encounter and subsequent disappearance of the aircraft. Chapter 18 covers this event, while chapter 19 looks at the topic of "min min" lights.
The final chapter "UFO hotspots" discusses the authors' thoughts on where to go to see UFOs in Australia and their list includes, the Northern Territory, the Grampians in Victoria and the Blue Mountains in New South Wales.
I found this book extremely light weight, with little to no, analysis of the events described in it. Interestingly, the book contains no details on the authors. Every other book I have read tells you who the authors are, their backgrounds, why they are interested in the topic they write about; their qualifications in writing the work, and their thoughts on the topic, plus how to contact them. There is nothing of this kind here.
There is no index and the references cited are almost always to other books.
All in all, not a book I would buy to add to my library.