Wednesday, April 17, 2013

"Angels" in the air - coming next month?

Hi all,

Like other things in the world, aspects of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP) come into, and go out of,  fashion. The month of May in Australia is a good time to keep your eyes on the skies for one of the rarer occurrences.

One quite rare feature of  UAP these days is the fall of what is called "Angel hair." Angel hair is a sticky, fibrous substance which falls from the sky in connection with the sighting of unusual aerial objects. Some of the earliest cases from modern times occurred in France in 1952 (click here to read about these.)

Australian cases:

There have been recorded falls here in Australia. Some examples are:

(1) 5 August 1961 0820hrs 55mins Mt Hale Station Western Australia (26.03S 117.15E)

“Twelve round flying objects, moving fast in pairs, were sighted on August 6th, 1961, by ten independent witnesses near Meekatharra. They left a white trail of “streamers” which crumbled and disappeared when picked up by startled watchers at Mt Hale station, seventy-five miles west of Meekatharra. The silvery, round objects passed over the station at regular intervals between 8.20 and 9.15 am.

One of the witnesses, Mr E Payne, stated: “The objects were flying at an altitude of 8,000 to 10,000 feet. I picked up one of the ‘streamers’, but it vanished in my hands as it touched my skin.” He drove into Meekatharra to report the incident to the police. Constable J Coyle checked with the Department of Civil Aviation, which said that no aircraft were in the area and no meteorological balloons had been sent up. An official said that the RAAF would make a report on the sightings to the Department of Air.”

Source: Hervey, M. (1969.) UFOs over the Southern Hemisphere. Sydney. Horwitz. p156. (Hervey gives date as 6th August.)

“I am a Shearing Contractor aged 37 years and am at present working at Mt Hale station which is situated about 70 miles west of Meekatharra. My home address is (deleted). About 8.20 am on the 5th August, 1961, Mr (deleted) Mt Hale Station came over the shearing shed and asked me to have a look at two objects in the sky. The objects were round in shape, bright silver, about 2 feet each in diameter, that is from ground level. The objects appeared to be about 8 to 10,000 feet, possibly higher. They were travelling at a fast speed and could be kept in sight for only about two minutes. Their course appeared definite, no surface wind. In all 12 objects were sighted, the last being about 9.15 a.m. They appeared to be in pairs. The objects gave off a white substance which took on various shapes whilst falling to the ground. The white substance was followed and I managed to pick up some of the substance, It was of snow white colour and appeared to be in a fine mesh. It crumbled very easily. Apart from (deleted) the following persons saw the objects. (deleted). The persons mentioned are shearers employed by me. Some station hands also saw the objects....”

Source: RAAF files.

Other references are (1) APRO Bulletin 1962 1 p1 (2) Lorenzen, C & J (1969.) UFOs The Whole Story. New York. Signet. p232. (3) Adelaide Advertiser 7 August 1961. (4)  Holledge, J (1965). Flying Saucers Over Australia. Sydney. Horwitz. p86. This source mentions that the objects travelled from N to S.

Weather 9am Meekatharra 15.2C 1/8 cloud Wind from N at 18km/hr.

(2) 10 August 1998 (Sometime between midday and 1 pm) 90-120mins Quirindi near Tamworth New South Wales (31.30S 150.41E)

A Mrs Eunice Stansfield, 61 and a female friend, Noelene Mozetic,  reported seeing a silver ball travelling quickly across the sky from east to west. Several other objects were then seen in the sky, reportedly up to 20 altogether. They were a bright metallic grey in colour. Some moved quickly while others were stationary at times. There was no noise at all. One of the larger objects was seen to be two spheres connected by a cylinder shape.

The objects manoeuvred across the whole sky in complex patterns. When the spheres were manoeuvring, a light whitish material could be seen streaming from them. This material formed into long, white strands which fell slowly downwards onto telephone wires and trees. There was no surface wind. Air temperature was cool.

The material fell in surrounding areas. The female friend collected a piece of it, a 30cm long strand from a bush. “...it was extremely light, whitish and strong, like cotton, requiring a good tug to break. It quickly “dissolved” away to nothing when handled.” A second piece was collected in a clean yoghurt container.

A Telstra technician, Gary from Gunnedah reported he was at Piallaway, 40km north of Quirindi at 2pm and saw masses of cobweb-like material falling around. The material evaporated upon handling.

The yoghurt container was passed to Moira McGhee and then to Bill Chalker for analysis of the contents.

The sample as received by Bill Chalker was approximately the size of a match head. The sample was placed in a freezer-no phase differences were noted. “The sealed container contents were then sampled through the intact gladwrap via an eppendorf syringe to sample any possible gas phase. None confirmed per comparison to ambient conditions & atmosphere.”

A comparison of the Quirindi sample and known spider’s web, using video microscopic imaging led to the conclusion that the Quirindi material was identical to the control sample of spider’s web “...including inclusions of coloured webbing, which often occurs.”

However, Chalker noted that the container with the original white material in it, was opened by the witness at a later stage to add some more of what she thought was the same material, but could have been ordinary spiders’ web. (2)

Source: (1) Compilation published by the Keith Basterfield Network of sightings etc for 1998. Investigators: Moira McGhee, Bill Chalker, Bryan Dickeson, Diane Harrison, Robert Frola UFO group: INUFOR, UFOIC, UFOR(NSW), UFOICQ. (2) personal communication from Bill Chalker to the author dated 30 December 2000.

Weather: 12noon Tamworth 14.4C Cloud cover data not available. Wind from the SW at 9km/hr.

Catalogue:

Back in 2001 I collected together a range of Angel hair reports from Australia and conducted an analysis of the details available to me. A copy of the catalogue and analysis is available to read here.

For a very interesting case which I found after I had completed the catalogue see my earlier blog post.

When to look in the sky:

One of the analyses I conducted was to determine which months of the year (in Australia) were the peak months for observations. It turned out that May was equal first.

So, next month keep your eyes to the skies. Best locations are where your latitude is between 30 and 34 degrees south; longitude 135-139 degrees east. You are more likely to find falls happening in a rural setting; and between midday and 5pm. It would be good if the wind speed was either zero or slight, and if the sky is cloudless.

I'd welcome any reported observations which blog readers may come across. Send them to keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au

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