The 6 April 1966 event, where hundreds of school children and at least one teacher, plus others, reported seeing an unusual object(s) in the sky and near the ground, near Westall High School, Clayton, Melbourne, continues to puzzle me. Specifically one fact stands out and that is, it is reported that there was an immediate Australian government response. It seems that officialdom knew that the event was going to happen. Secondly, that no-one has ever found any document in any Australian government agency UFO files.
These two apparent facts have led me to speculate in past posts (click here and here) looking for non-UFO explanations for Westall. This approach received some negative comments from blog readers who suggested I should just accept that what was seen at Westall was a UFO. Other comments were more positive, noting that it would be useful to be able to demonstrate that alternative explanations to the event being a UFO, were not valid.
Before my own suggested alternative explanations, Keith Basterfield, my co-blogger, had speculated about whether or not there was a possibility of the involvement of the USAF U-2, under Operation Crowflight (click here.) His detailed re-examination of Australian Government files on Crowflight, led him to conclude that the U-2/RB57 USAF Operation did not have anything to do with Westall.
Since then I have been, behind the scenes, been examining a number of other known Australian military projects to see if somehow they link into Westall.
The reason for my renewed interest in a non-UFO explanation for Westall came while I was recently re-reading the book "Area 51" by Annie Jacobsen, published in 2011, by Orion. London. ISBN 978-1-4091-41136. I was fascinated by what events had been covered up by the Americans. The book had at least two examples.
Back on 29 May 1947, the White Sands Proving Ground, in New Mexico, USA, launched a Hermes (former V-2) rocket. This went astray and "...the rocket crash landed into the Tepeyas Cemetery, three miles south of Juarez, a heavily populated city of 120,000...The missile left a crater that was fifty foot wide and twenty-four feet deep...Army officials rushed to Juaewz to smooth over the event while Mexican soldiers were dispatched to guard the crater's rim. The mission, the men and the rocket were all classified top secret; no one could know specific details about any of this..." (p34.)
On 24 May 1963, an USAF Oxcart aircraft crashed in the USA. The pilot ejected and landed safely to be picked up by three local men. The pilot told them a cover story that he had been flying an F-105 aircraft with a nuclear weapon on board. 100 men were brought in to clean up the area of the crash. "The press was told that an F-105 crashed, and as of 2011, the Air Force still has it listed that way." (p.197.)
The fact that the cover story for a crash of a classified aircraft, should be so dramatic as the loss of a nuclear bomb, set me thinking again about Westall.
If Westall were a non-UFO event, what could possibly have worried Australian government officials so much? Was the stimulus behind the event a military experiment gone haywire, such that the RAAF had to go around telling witnesses to be quiet, and threatening the Westall High School teacher Andrew Greenwood, with the Official Secrets Act?
If we eliminate the USAF Operation Crowflight; the idea of a USAF 'broken arrow'; the US Corona satellite; there cannot be many Australian or joint Australian/US projects which were being conducted in 1966, left.
Dear readers, won't you put on your thinking caps and conduct some research into possible programs which were being conducted in 1966 which just might explain Westall? I'll start your brain going with a few observations you might like to pursue:
1. "The Age" newspaper of 2 April 1966, page 5 tells us that the HMAS Perth, the first Australian destroyer to be fitted with the new Tartar guided missile system (click here) was docked in Melbourne on that day. Could a Tartar missile have gone astray?
2. The former Australian Department of Supply had numerous projects on the go, in 1966, such as "Project Dazzle" and "Project Blue Scout."
3. As early as 1961 the Aeronautical Research Laboratories based in Melbourne, had a file on Project Hibal. See National Archives of Australia file series B788 control symbol M2/60. My co-blogger. Keith Basterfield has posted previously on this project (click here and here.)
Would Australian officials cover up any event?
Would the Department of Defence cover-up a non-UFO event at Westall in 1966? It was only recently revealed that, unknown to the general public, the USAF had been flying the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle out of the RAAF base at Edinburgh in my home state between 2001 and 2006 (click here.) It was reported that civilians knew about the flights and that Department of Defence security officials asked them to keep quiet. So, yes it is perfectly possible that way back in 1966 government officials asked Westall witnesses to keep quiet about a non-UFO event.
Over to you, dear readers, will any one take up the search for a non-UFO explanation for Westall, or do you think this isn't worth trying, as the Westall event was certainly a UFO?