Another in a series of posts derived from the newspaper collection on the website of UFO Research (NSW.) The announcement that shots were fired at a UFO was sufficient to draw my attention to the article.
On Monday 7 May 1979 one of the stories from the Sydney Telegraph read :
"Shots fired as UFO panics town:
A local civil servant fired a volley of shots at a UFO hovering over the West Australian town of Eucla. And UFO fever has gripped the tiny town following sightings over the past three nights of a mystery red and silver object.
The 20 townspeople are in a whirl over the sightings but a spokesman for the RAAF in Canberra said it was unlikely to send an aircraft to intercept the UFO.
A local agricultural officer who fired a high powered rifle at the UFO said "It zoomed off in a flash."
At lunchtime yesterday several people also sighted the cigar shaped shining UFO which appeared to be moving towards the town from the South Australian border.
After the sighting the object veered away from Eucla but was spotted by several people throughout the afternoon.
The shots were fired at the object by Mr A Hardy a permit control officer with the Department of Agriculture. "I just wanted to see what would happen," Mr Hardy said.
"It zoomed off in a flash to a much greater height and sat there for three or four hours."
A tourist from Tweed Heads also spotted the UFO as he drove towards the border.
"It was like a rocket, three or four times the size of an airliner and hanging in the sky," he said.
Eucla police believe it may be just a bunch of helium filled party balloons which escaped from a dance at a nearby motel.
And Perth weather bureau experts suggest it might be a weather balloon from South Australia or even New Zealand.
The assistant manager of the BP Travellers Valley Motel Mr Geoff Munn today could not completely verify the police balloon theory. "We did have a dance hire on Saturday at which about 80 gas filled balloons were used as decorations" he said.
A Eucla policeman, Constable G Van Rysinge, said today the sightings had caused a stir in the town. "I haven't seen anything myself but the reports seem genuine," he said.
Extracting the data:
What can we draw out of the newspaper article?
1. The events are said to have occurred at Eucla, Western Australia. Eucla is at latitude 3141S longitude 12853E. It is 11kms west of the South Australian/Western Australia border, in Western Australia.
2. Night sightings on Sun 6 May/Mon 7 May; Sat 5 May/Sun 6 May and Fri 4 May/Sat 5 May 1979. Red and silver object. Daytime sightings: Sunday 6 May. Lunchtime. Cigar shaped shining object coming from the east.
1. There are no available RAAF UAP files for 1979 in the National Archives.
2. The data in the newspaper article is insufficient, in my opinion, to even start evaluating the sightings.
Do any blog readers have additional information on these events?