This post continues the intriguing story of a Victorian woman who reported two close encounters over a short period of time in July 1972, as told to me by investigators Bill Stapleton and Garry Little who conducted several interviews with the witness at the time. In addition, for the first time, the RAAF's account of these events is also discussed, with their perspective taken from now available RAAF files.
A voice calls her name:
Maureen Puddy visited her son in hospital every Monday, Wednesday and Friday. The first encounter with the unusual object had been on Monday 3 Jul 1972. She continued this sequence of visits to her son, until the week beginning Monday 24 Jul 1972. In this week there was a petrol shortage, and she altered her schedule that week, intending to visit her son on Tuesday, and Thursday to conserve petrol.
Therefore, she was home on the evening of Monday 24 Jul, with her husband and daughter. At approximately 8pm, she thought she heard someone calling her name. She checked with both her daughter and her husband but it was neither of them. They had heard nothing to account for the voice. At 11.30pm Maureen went to bed, but throughout the night she was unable to sleep properly, because of a female voice calling her name slowly. It was definitely not her daughter.
Thinking it might be an old lady she knew from down the road, Maureen went outside to look, but no-one was there. Upon reflection, she believed that the voice may have been in her head, not coming from outside, like normal audio input. This voice sounded human, not mechanical.
The second encounter:
On Tuesday 25 Jul 1972 Maureen was again travelling home from the hospital, when, at the same location and about the same time as the event on 3 Jul 1972, another incident happened.
At the railway crossing she had stopped her car to let a man leading a cow cross first, then accelerated away. This placed her a few hundred metres from the crossing when the road was again lit up by a blue light. She recalls thinking "My God, it's back," then deciding she wouldn't stop for anything, and accelerated away from the location.
Suddenly, the vehicle's engine cut out, as it would if the ignition key had been turned to the off position. Maureen tried turning the key off, then on again, but this had no effect. The car glided to the side of the road and stopped, all by itself. During this brief period when it was gliding, its direction could not be changed by turning the steering wheel; pumping the brake was to no avail, and putting the gears through various positions did nothing. However, the vehicle's lights remained on all the time.
Maureen maintains that there was no usual road bumps as the car came to a stop. In fact, there was no sensation of the road being under the wheels. Naturally, by this time, Maureen was terrified. All sound "drained out of the air" and there was an eerie silence. She felt as though she was "sitting in a tube - a completely closed, vacuum tube." Next, she felt she was receiving some audio impressions, but could not understand them. She then heard the impressions in "perfect English," making them perfectly understandable.
She later stated that this voice or impressions sounded too perfect, just like a mechanical recording. It seemed to be inside her head. The voice said "All your tests will be negative," then there was a 2-3 second pause, then "Tell the media. Do not panic. We mean no harm." Then another pause estimated as a minute long, and finally the voice said "You now have control."
During this entire period, which lasted an estimated minute and a half, Maureen had sat with her two hands clutching the steering wheel. She believed she could have moved if she had wanted but decided to remain still. As the audio impressions finished, the car's engine started by itself, the blue light went away and the object was gone. It was no longer visible through the top of the windscreen. At this moment another motor vehicle approached along the road.
Report to the police:
Maureen put the car into gear and once more drove to the Rosebud police station to report seeing the object. The police took her statement. When she reached home she called the RAAF and they sent her out another form to complete and return.
We now have access to the RAAF files, which were not available in 1972. I located this second report form on National Archives of Australia file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 Part 7.
Page 91 of the file is a memo from Headquarters Support Command to Directorate of Air Force Intelligence dated 21 Aug 1972. "Attached are questionnaire forms completed by Mesdames Puddy, Beale and Toal, giving their impressions of unusual aerial sightings on 25 Jul 1972. The three reports have been treated as one and the C Intel's remarks appear as part 2 of the pro-forma" This memo was signed by Wing Commander W C Keitz.
File pages 91-93 are Maureen's report. The date of the event is 25 Jul 1972. Time 9.15pm (within 10 minutes). The duration "Approx 5 minutes." Location "Mooraduc." Weather "Fine." Object was "Above car." A "Blue light" attracted her attention. "Irredescent (sic) blue light." No obvious method of propulsion. No sound. 100ft up. "It did not move." Duration of stationary phase "5 minutes." Last observed "Above car." "Just vanished."
To the question "How many witnesses to the sighting?" she wrote "1 man said he saw the light, other reports of light being seen." A sketch was drawn and shows an oval object "70ft approx" high and width "60-70ft" compared to the "24ft macadam strip of roadway." The report was signed M Puddy and dated 28 Jul 1972.
Pages 96-98 are a report by a William Beale, aged 63, and Mary Beale of Browns Road, Main Ridge, Vic. At about 10pm 25 Jul 1972 they observed, for two minutes, as they went outside the house; then from inside with window open, in perfect weather conditions, an unusual aerial object.
It was first observed to the West of their property. Their attention was drawn by the "fact that this object seemed to appear suddenly over tree-tops." "The object seemed surrounded by light." "Pinkish glow."
To a question about "any method of propulsion obvious?" the answer was "Rapid movement but not jet-like." Any noise "Sort of hum. No engine noise." It was never stationary and was last seen heading east," rising steadily." There was a final handwritten comment "Sorry this is so brief, but so was our sighting, but we are both quite sure of what we did see." The form was dated 31 Jul 1972.
Page 99-101 are a report by Florence May Toal, 53, of Montrose, Vic. After 8pm on 25 Jul 1972 (within 30 minutes) for 50 seconds, at home she saw, on a clear moonlit night, a glow in the sky. It was first seen in the sky, direction south-south-west at an angle of 5 degrees, "What first attracted observer's attention?" "A glow against the dark Dandenongs." It was a "Blue white glow." Its brightness was said to be a "Blue light headlight at 300 yards." There was no sound. There were two other witnesses, her husband and daughter. At the end of the form was a handwritten statement.
"I saw the light through my back window and called my husband and daughter to look because we are always conscious of the likelihood of a plane crash in the dark. I walked out in the yard to hear what it was but there was no sound at all. My daughter and I stayed and watched then turned to go inside as we did not see it travel at all. The reflection of the filament inside a 60 watt fixture of globe was approximately the size of the light. If it was at the Frankston area at the time it would be 15 miles from here sot it would have been quite a size." The report form was dated 1 Aug 1972.
Page 102 is "Page 4 -Part 2 - Unit evaluation." The observer's location is given as 3814S and 14510E. Wind was calm. No temperature invesrions.
Page 103 is page 5 Q40 "The cause (or likely cause) of this sighting cannot be determined." Q41 "The object reported probably was/may have been..." "Unknown."
There is then a lengthy handwritten note by the RAAF investigating officer, which continues on pages 104-105. "The information supplied by Mrs Puddy on the attached proforma differs markedly from that reported to the Duty Officer on the evening...On that occasion Mrs Puddy reported as follows:
She said that the object, like two saucers together, silvery blue in colour, appeared above the road emitting blue lights. The object "Took control of the car" so that Mrs P pulled over to the roadside but could not open the doors, nor could she restart the engine. She reported that she "sensed" but did not hear the following message. "All your tests will be negative. Tell the media not to panic. We mean no harm. You now have control." The UFO then vanished and a very scared Mrs P started the car and headed home via the Rye police station. It subsequently transpired that she had reported the incident to the Rosebud police station. Senior Constable Cox of Rosebud told me that Mrs P was known to him, and appeared to be a rational woman not given to great flights of fancy. He was somewhat amazed when Mrs P asked him the meaning of the word "media." She said she had never heard it before. Senior Constable Cox also advised that a Mr and Mrs Beale of Brown's Road, Main Ridge had advised him that while watching TV at about 2200 the same night there was a marked fluctuation in the electrical power which caused him to leave the house and check the emergency power in his poultry shed.
While outdoors (the Constable continues) Mr Beale said he saw an object over the hills which illuminated the whole area with a blue light. Const Cox said the B described the appearance of the object in similar terms to those used by Mrs P.
I telephoned Mrs Beale who stated that her husband, while doing a check of the temperatures in his poultry sheds at about 2200, saw a peculiar light travelling from west to east at high speed, emitting a whinning/humming sound. He rushed indoors, switched off all lights and tried to focus on the object with binoculars. The object disappeared before it could be focussed on. Mrs Beale said she would have put the matter out of her mind had she not heard Mrs Puddy talking on a radio "talk back" show.
The "talk back" show also prompted Mrs Toal to phone on Wednesday 26th to say that " Some time after 8pm" she had seen a blue light through gap in the lower Dandenongs to the south of Montrose. She said she would have ignored it had she not heard Mrs P on the radio "talk back" show.
A Mrs Davis of 61 Kathryn Street Knoxville ( who has not so far returned a proforma sent to her) also phoned to say that on the night in question between 2100 and 2200 while outdoors with her husband they saw an object travelling at "enormous speed" from NE to NW. The object was visible for about 3 seconds and appeared to have blue, red and yellow lights. Conditions were cloudless sky with bright moonlight, or in Mrs Davis' words "a (unreadable word) Moon." Her report was prompted by hearing a news item on the radio referring to an unexplained light in the Rye/Rosebud area.
On the previous occasion when Mrs Puddy reported sighting a UFO she showed reluctance to become involved with any investigation at official level; however on this occasion she talked freely with the announcer conducting the "talk back" show. Efforts to contact Mrs Puddy by telephone on the Tuesday, Wednesday and Thursday following the alleged sighting were unsuccessful, however I believe she also talked to representatives from the press.
This report has been delayed awaiting the part 1 report, which was not received until 17 Aug 72."
Dated 21 Aug 1972.
(To be continued.)