One of my ongoing research projects is looking for pre-1947 Australian UFO reports. I have previously reported on my research on the 26 February 1942 Timor Sea event ( click here for post) describing a large aluminium disc reported over the Dutch cruiser "Tromp', and the February 1944 aircraft encounter over Bass Strait (click here for details.)
There is another case, reported in a 1955 book, said to have taken place over Bass Strait in the summer of 1942. It was reported by Wilkins, H.T., in the 1955 book, "Flying Saucers Uncensored" pp 215-216.
"In the summer of 1942 a fantastic incident occurred in the waters of Tasmania, a large island off the South Australian coast. My informant is a major in the Australian R.A.F. whom I will call Brennan. He is now stationed at the secret weapons and long-range missiles experimental desert station of Woomera.
"The whole yarn is so odd that I must ask you not to give my name if you write of it. We had orders not long after the Japanese attack on Darwin to patrol the bass Strait where fishermen had reported seeing mysterious lights on the sea at night.
" At 5.50pm, of a lovely, sunny evening, we were flying some miles east of the Tasman Peninsular, when, on a sudden, there came out of a cloud bank, a singular airfoil of glistening bronze color. I'd say it was around 150 feet long and about fifty feet in diameter. It had a sort of beak at its prow, and the surface seemed burled or rippled, or fluted. On its upper surface was a dome, or cupola, from which I seemed to see reflected flashes as the sun struck something, which might or might not have been a helmet worn by something inside.
"The other end of the airfoil fined out, into a sort of fin. Every now and then there came from its keel greenish-blue flashes. It turned at a small angle towards us and I was amazed to see, framed in a white circle on the front of the dome, an image of a large, grinning Cheshire cat!
" The damm thing flew parallel to us for some minutes, and then it abruptly turned away and, as it do so, it showed four things like fins on its belly-side. It went off at a hell of a pace, turned and dived straight down into the Pacific and went under, throwing up a regular whirlpool of waves. Just as if it had been a submarine. No, the Japs had nothing on the amphibian line like that mysterious bird."