RAAF Squadron Leader Gordon Waller's name first came to my attention some years ago, when I was researching the 1960 Cressy, Tasmania case (click here.) I noted that he was the investigating officer for the RAAF.
In 2010, courtesy of an introduction by Sydney based researcher Bill Chalker, I interviewed Gordon. I opened up the conversation by asking him how he had come to investigate the Browning's (Cressy witnesses) report? Gordon told me that he was, at that time, the senior RAAF officer in Tasmania. As such he was in charge of the RAAF's University Training Squadron (Air Training Corp.) He said that he received a request from the Minister of Air to investigate a UFO sighting at Cressy. He was stationed in Hobart, so he went to the local Aero club and hired an aircraft, flew it to Launcston , where he landed the aircraft in a paddock near to the Browning's residence.
Gordon said that he "Was struck by the ordinariness of these two people" referring to the Brownings. He was impressed by the fact that the observation "Was not a fleeting observation." I asked Gordon whether or not at that time in 1960, he had any interest in the topic of "flying saucers?" He said he did not. Gordon completed his official report on the case and sent it off to higher authority.
Other cases he investigated:
Later, while examining the RAAF's UFO files series A703, control symbol 580/1/1, I came across another case (580/1/1 part 3 p43.) which Gordon had investigated. Electricity Commission workers at Yass, sighted a silver coloured object in the sky on 22 Aug 1962. The object was said to have been in the same position all day. Fairbairn RAAF base was asked to send up an aircraft to take a look. On 23 Aug 1962 Fairbairn advised "...no solid object seen." On the 23 Aug 1962 a witness contacted the RAAF to say that the object was again visible, at 1345hrs at bearing 060 degrees and 15 degrees to the vertical, in cloudless skies.
Squadron Leaders Waller and McAltec were sent to investigate. Gordon said the object was "...silver on side facing Sun, dark on other." A theodolite showed it was "...moving from NE to SW at 20 deg in 2 or 3 hrs." The Mt Stromlo observatory, when consulted, suggested Venus. "Case closed" notes the RAAF file.
At another time, I found a third case which Gordon had looked into. On NAA file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 party 2, pages12-13 are a memo from Gordon to the Department of Air dated 3 Dec 1960. The case is dated 18 Oct 1960 from a Mrs D A Webster and her daughter Miss S Webster of Delmont, Tasmania. They reported seeing a moving object which then hovered, at 1630hrs. It was cigar shaped with a round nose and a sloping tail. Gordon's report draws attention to a number of similarities between this sighting and the Cressy event. A hand written note on the file states that a TAA VIscount VH-TVG was in approximately the position of the sighting at the time.
New aircraft design:
During the course of my interview with him, Gordon fetched an ancient manila folder from another room. From it he produced newspaper clippings concerning the USAF?Canadian circular aircraft from the 1950"s - the AVRO car (click here.)
(As an aside at this point I'd like to mention that I once came across a file in the National Archives of Australia, file series A6059 control symbol 3/441/7 titled "Flying saucer- Avrocar, with a date range of 1959-1959. The originating agency was the Department of Defence -Central Office.)
Also, from the same folder, he produced some of his own old papers relating to an aircraft propulsion system which he had designed. I noted this at the time, but thought little of it at that point.
Gordon's NAA file:
Last year while browsing the NAA RecordSearch, I came across a file which mentioned Gordon's name, which intrigued me. File series MP1469/1 control symbol R13/2/29 was titled "Request by Department of Air for Aeronautical Research Laboratories to undertake a feasibility study on a new aircraft design invented by Squadron Leader G L Waller." I decided to ask for the file to be examined and released to me. Several months later, I was able to read a digitised copy. It turned out to contain papers relating to the material which Gordon showed me in 2010.
The file is 29 pages in length and highlights include:
Page 27 is a memo from the Department of Air , Canberra dated 22 Mar 1966 to the Department of Supply. It refers an aircraft design by Gordon and seeks the advice of the Aeronautical Research Laboratories (ARL) (click here) on Gordon's design. "In very broad terms the aircraft as described as consisting essentially of a body, which could be circular in shape..."
Pge 24 of the file shows that the Acting Deputy Chief Scientist referred the matter to the ARL, Fisherman's Bend, Melbourne, Victoria, on 1 Apr 1966. To set this date in a UFO context, the Westall High School, Melbourne event (click here) happened five days later.
Page 21 is a letter from Gordon, dated 5 Apr 1966 to a Dr W A S Butement, Chief Scientist, Department of Supply, and included the line "Your and Mr Wills interest in my VTOL aircraft concept..." Included at page 19 is a cross sectional drawing of the proposed design, clearly showing it was indeed a circular air body.
Gordon submitted a patent application on the design and pages 7 to 19 of the file are a copy of this application, for an "Aircraft with Annular Aerofoil" dated 4 Feb 1966.
At page 3 is the ARL report which included the comment "The data provided by S L Waller is too inadequate to attempt a precise feasibility study...At this stage it is only possible to say, in view of the foregoing remarks, that there does not seem to be any obvious aerodynamic advantage in the proposal over systems obtaining lift by directional axial acceleration of a vertical jet..." Finally, page 1 is a memo from the ARL dated 23 May 1966 to the Department of Air - effectively no further action to be taken.
Back to my interview:
At the conclusion of my interview with Gordon, and while still talking about his aircraft deign proposal, Gordon mentioned that he had sent off a copy of his material to a Professor "Muller" (my spelling) in the USA.
Enter Jacques Vallee:
At around this time I was reading Jacques Vallee's book "Forbidden Science - Volume 2:, published by Documentica Research, LLC. 2008. ISBN 978-0-615-24974-2. Surprisingly, I came across the name of one Paul Moller. Vallee's entry on page 294 of his book was dated 26 Apr 1975. The entry reads:
"I spent the afternoon with Paul Moller, a professor of aeronautical engineering at U.C. Davis who's built a saucer-shaped vehicle that flies a few feet off the ground, using a series of propellers powered by snowmobile engines. He is a young fellow in blue jeans interested in UFOs. Moller's research contradicts Claude Poher's statements about the aerodynamic properties of a disk. Poher concluded that discs were aerodynamically poor. "That's only true as a gross generalization" Moller told me. "The situation changes if you take into account the properties of the interface between the object and the air.""
It certainly appeared to me that this Moller was Gordon's "Muller." A recent check on the Internet revealed that Paul Moller is an engineer who has spent the last forty years developing the personal VTOL vehicle (click here.)
After reading the NAA file on Gordon's new aircraft design, the first thought that came to my mind was, that Gordon's proposal was suggesting a circular or disc shaped aircraft. I then wondered if he got the idea from his examination of UFO reports?
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