Thursday, June 27, 2013

Goulburn radar/visual case, second NAA file digitised

Hi all,

The second of the known Australian Department of Navy UAP files on the Goulburn radar/visual case, has just been digitised (courtesy of Melbourne researcher, Paul Dean) and is thus now available for all to view. I reported on the first digitised file, in a post on the 2nd June (click here to read.)

This second file is NAA file series MP926/1 control symbol 3079/101/1, barcode 3173603. This file has 19 pages, and the file cover merely says, "Unidentified Objects." I'll run through the document pages.

Page 19 is a "Flying saucer" report from the Naval Staff Office, Fremantle, Western Australia (WA). Dated 11 Jun 1954 it is to the Director of Navy Intelligence (DNI) Melbourne. Mr E G Walker, Postmaster at Denmark, WA reports that a clerk, Mr E R Tonkinson and wife, reported seeing at 8.15pm on Wed 9 Jun 1954, west-south-west of Denmark, a light low in the sky. It moved backwards and forwards and changed colours between red, green and blue. After 5 minutes is was lost over the horizon.

Page 18 - a simple file routing slip.

Page 17 - a report of the Goulburn incident by K E Jessop, Petty Office RDI. The radar officer.

Page 16 - a full report of the visual sighting, by the Royal Australia Navy pilot, O'Farrell.

Page 15 - A memo dated 24 Sep 1954, from J R W Grover, Commander, to The Captain, RAN station Nowra. Says that there were no RAAF aircraft in the area at the time of the incident. There was a civilian Convair at 14000 feet heading north.

Page 14 - Memo from The Captain, Nowra, to Capt (Air) Australia. Where there any RAAF aircraft in the area at the time?

Page 13 - Memo dated 24 Sep 1954 from Commander to DNI. Copy of my reply to Capt Nowra enclosed.

Page 12 - Interesting memo dated 1 Oct 1954 from DNI to Commanding Officer, Nowra. "It is advised that the reports have been passed to the committee which has been set up to consider such reports. The committee desires to express its thanks for such a well authenticated sighting."

Page 11 - Memo dated 1 Oct 1954 from DNI to DAFI. Forwards some additional information about the event and the pilot.

Page 10 - Circulating file sheet.

Page 4-9 - News clippings - Various dates in December from the Melbourne Argus, Melbourne Herald and Sun newspapers.

Page 3 - "Draft" proposed press statement sent to "The Minister."

Page 2 - Press statement issued by The Minister.

Page 1 - File cover.

We have seen most of these papers before, but perhaps the most interesting is page 12. What committee? A RAN committee? I have never come across a reference to such a committee before, so this is a new piece of information. Has any reader come across this committee?

You can view the file for yourself:

1. Visit http://naa.gov.au
2. Click on 'search the collection.'
3. Click on "Begin your search."
4. Click on "RecordSearch Advanced search.'
5. Click on 'items.'
6. In the barcode box type "3173003"' and enter.
7. Read the digital file.

Tuesday, June 25, 2013

New book alert - "The UFO Singularity."

Hi all,

There's a new book on the shelves of your local bookshop. It's "The UFO Singularity" written by Micah Hanks, published in 2013 by New Page Books, Pompton Plains, NJ. ISBN 978-1-60163-240-1. (Click here.)

"With this book, the primary goal has been to pare down the various sundry elements into a few likely possibilities, or maybe some intricate fusion between them, that bears greater promise in terms of explaining the UFO enigma in a new and perhaps even more technologically plausible way than past attempts." (p.26.)

Looking for an alternative to the unusual explanations for UFOs the author writes "...an intelligence 'explosion' conducive to the technological  creations of some form of intelligence that far surpasses that which humans are naturally capable of. What this statement embodies is something many refer to as the singularity." (p.27.)

He considers four ways in which "...'singularity' and the technology it would comprise may be introduced on Earth." (p.31.) These are:

1. Extraterrestrial.
2. Secret military or private industry.
3. Extraterrestrial technology introduced by humans.
4. Humans from our future.

Hanks reviews the history of the thinking about a "singularity" noting that as early as 1965, British cryptologist and mathematician Irving J Good, (click here) had begun using the expression "intelligence explosion." (p.58.) Mathematician Vernor Vinge ( click here) in 1983 wrote "...we will soon create intelligences greater than our own. When this happens, human history will have reached a kind of singularity." (p.59.)

The author then reviews some of the thoughts of such individuals as Jacques Vallee, Whitley Strieber; then proceeds to examine the 1896-1897 "airship" wave. He goes on to take a look at some of the UFO reports of 1973, such as the Pascagoula incident, and then spends some time on a little known event which occurred in November 1973 at Locust Grove, Georgia.

The topic of abductions receives the author's attention taking a look at the work of such researchers as Kevin Randle, Kathleen Marden and Martin Cannon.

"No matter what their true origin may be, we nevertheless must accept the likelihood that UFOs and their associated technologies will likely prove to represent some form of what we could call near - or even, post - singularity intelligences." (p.175.)

In Chapter 6, Hanks writes "Throughout the last several decades, a number of well-respected scientific minds have come and gone, grappling amid footholds along the slippery slope that constitutes modern ufology." (p.179.)  James E McDonald's work is used as an example of one such individual.

His "conclusion" chapter, includes:

"...but if, in the event that some UFO craft were found to be originating from our future, or from secret technology already in our midst, or from outer space - or from any place else, for that matter - by the time we have technology that would allow us to recognise or study these, our own technological capabilities will likely be nearing or intersecting with 'theirs.'..." (p.253.)

Micah Hanks is an author, musician, journalist and radio personality (click here for more information on Hanks.)

Sunday, June 23, 2013

The Valentich radio transmissions

Hi all,

Having just completed a review of UAP observations which were reported around the time of the 21st October, 1978 disappearance of pilot Frederick Valentich, my attention has now been drawn to a little known aspect of this incident.

Aircraft Accident Investigation report:

The Department of Transport's "Aircraft Accident Investigation Summary Report" contains a transcript of radio communications between Valentich and the Melbourne Flight Service Unit. This transcript at 1912:28 hours, has the line "Delta Sierra Juliet Melbourne // 17 seconds open microphone//" as the last transmission from the pilot. It has been reported in numerous sources, that the 17 seconds of open microphone contained a metallic-like noise. There has been much speculation about the source of this metallic noise. What is less known, is that there was an analysis conducted of this portion of the tape.

One copy of the tape:

I am aware that a copy of the tape recording of the radio communications was given to Frederick Valentich's father, Guido, by the Australian government's, Department of Transport. This is clearly stated on National Archives of Australia file series B1497, control symbol V116/783/1047, in a letter to Guido dated 5th March 1979 signed by G V Hughes, A/g Director. "It is the normal policy of this Department to treat all recorded radio transmissions as confidential. However, in this case, I am happy to give you a taped copy of your son's voice to have as a keepsake."

Another copy of the tape:

Dr Richard Haines in the USA obtained a copy of the radio transmissions tape and carried out an analysis. The results were published in an article titled "Results of Sound Spectrum Analysis of the Metallic Noises of a Tape Recorded Radio Transmission Between Cessna VH:DSJ and The Flight Service of Melbourne, Australia" and appeared in The Journal of UFO Studies, 1981, Volume III. CUFOS. Chicago. pp. 14-23, with the author being Richard F Haines.

The article reports "Two separate activities were undertaken to analyze this tape. (1) a "control baseline" sound tape was made under conditions as similar as possible to the original and (2) both the tape received by the author and and the control baseline taped sounds were subjected to frequency spectrum analysis." (p.15.)

Baseline control sounds were created using a Cessna 182 aircraft, both on the ground and in flight. "The tape in question containing the unusual metallic sounds and the control sounds were then analyzed using a Ubiquitous sound spectrum analyzer." (p.15.)

Haines found that "...the seventeen second-long period could be subdivided into the following basic sections..." (p.15.)

1. Pre-noise background - 1.8 second duration.
2. First group of metallic noises - 10.4 seconds.
3. Pause of 0.84 seconds.
4. Second group of metallic noises - 4.04 second duration.
5. Post noise background.

In the paper, Haines refers to these sections as "intervals."

Referring to the first group of metallic sounds, Haines concluded "Thus, it is within the realms of possibility that the metallic noise (burst) could have been produced by extremely rapid manual keying of the aircraft's microphone press-to-talk switch, at least on the basis of its temporal features. The author has learned that the pilot was known to have a habit of depressing the microphone switch irregularly in flight for some reason." (p.20.)

Department of Transport file:

This habit of the pilot was confirmed on the Department of Transport file in an "Investigator's note" of a conversation between Miss Rhonda Rushton (Valentich's girlfriend who had flown with him a number of time) and Departmental employee J C Sandercock, on 24th October 1978. In part, the note reads:

" However, she was aware of some unusual habits he had while flying. These concerned the use of the radio. She was aware he usually 'clicked' the microphone button after transmitting, and that he never put it back in the rack, but left the microphone on his lap, where because of his leg actions, it was sometimes activated. He also had the habit of positioning or rubbing the microphone on his jumper sleeve before using it.

She stated Valentich had long legs and that after a period of time it was his habit to release the seat and to push it rearward, which again sometimes operated the microphone on his lap. She was of the opinion the "metallic noises" mentioned in the newspaper, could have been the seat sliding forward, with the microphone transmitting."

Back to the Haines article:

Referring to the second group of "metallic noises" Haines wrote "Thus, it is very likely that they represent the same basic phenomenon as occurs during interval 2." (p.21.)

Turning to the control sounds made in a Cessna 182, Haines writes "It should be pointed out that of all the sound effects produced by the author in the cockpit, the only ones that sounded at all like the metallic noises from Cessna VH-DSJ were those produced by a rapid manual keying of the microphone." (p.21.)

However, in the"conclusions" section of the paper, Haines notes "An attempt to recreate the same sounds in flight under basically the same flight conditions was not particularly successful. A somewhat similar start and stop pulse-like effect was achieved using a press-to-talk hand held microphone during various control tests, but the frequency versus time characteristics of these radio transmissions were noticeably different from those on the original tape." (p.22.) Here, Haines' reference to the original tape, means the copy tape he received.

The original recording:

As Haines was working from, at minimum a third generation tape (most likely a copy of the copy given to Guido Valentich,) would it be possible to obtain the original recording to undertake a new sound analysis? The answer is no. Papers I obtained from the Department of Transport indicate that the original tape of the transmissions, was returned to service and re-recorded over, as was normal practice in those days. Thus the original recording no longer exists.

Have any blog readers come across anything which relates to these tapes?

Friday, June 21, 2013

New study of UAP reports around the time of the Valentich disappearance

Hi all,

In June 2012 I located the Australian government Department of Transport's file, in the National Archives of Australia (NAA), about the disappearance of pilot Frederick Valentich in 1978. (Click here to read details) After reading it, I thought to myself that I must make some time to take a look at all the surrounding UAP reports.

At about the same time, I also found the RAAF's 1978 UAP file, NAA file series A9755, control symbol 4, which contained UAP reports made to the RAAF at that time, October 1978.

A couple of weeks ago, I decided to make the time to take a look at these observations from October 1978. I did a literature search, and was very surprised to learn that no-one, in the 35 years since that event, had ever compiled a catalogue of these reports. I was less surprised to find that no-one had published an analysis of these reports from that era.

So, with the assistance of a number of other Australian researchers, I have compiled a catalogue of UAP reports from the states of Victoria and Tasmania, here in Australia. I then undertook an analysis, report by report. As with any series of sightings, some proved to be explainable in conventional terms, while others remained in the "unknown" category. You will be surprised at some of my findings.

The Project 1947 website has kindly added this new study to their collection of others I have previously compiled. You can read a copy of my new study by clicking here.

I welcome comments, corrections, additional cases etc, on both the catalogue and my analysis. These can be directed to me either via the "comments" area on the blog, or by email to keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au

Eight more National Archives of Australia UAP files available to download in PDF

Hi all,

Thanks to the further efforts of UK researcher, Isaac Koi, and the generosity of Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean, additional NAA UAP files can now be downloaded by you.

Eight more of the RAAF's UAP files have been collected and converted to PDF files. To read Isaac's post on the "Above Top Secret" website, and find the link for the download please click here.

If you haven't already downloaded the earlier batch of some 85 NAA UAP files, then please take a look at my earlier post (click here.)

There are now only eight NAA UAP files which we are waiting to have digitised and then converted to PDF. I will advise you when these are available to download.

Delphos - soil analyses

Hi all,

In a recent post (click here) I mentioned fungus rings, and the 1971 Delphos UAP case; plus an early analysis of aspects of the Delphos soil by Jacques Vallee.

Since that post, I have been exchanging emails with Sydney based researcher, Steven Walters, about analyses of the Delphos soil; radiation and fungi. Steven was kind enough to send me a spare copy he had of the Journal of UFO Studies, new series, volume 8 (2003.) This issue has a fascinating article titled "New Analysis of Soil Samples from the Delphos UFO Case" by Phyllis A Budinger (pp1-25.) As the article is now ten years old, it is quite possible that blog readers may never have come across it. I will therefore reproduce some of the findings here, for your perusal.

Abstract:

Firstly, from the article's abstract "The goal of this analysis was to determine the molecular composition of the material released by the  UFO. Solid and conclusive data presented in this paper accomplished this identification to the extent that the chemical composition of the release is at minimum 95% characterized." (p.1.)

"Ring soil samples have been reported to be much lighter in color than the control soils (Phillips, 1998.) Subtle but significant color differences are noticed for the samples analyzed in this report." (p.5.)

"Differences between the ring and control soils are clearly discerned, showing that a definite release of materials had occurred. The elements attributed to the release are sulfur, calcium, carbon and nitrogen." (p.5.)

Organic release:

"It shows a very significant increase in both carbon and nitrogen on the surfaces of all the ring soils, indicating that some of the release is organic." (p.6.)

"Results of tests with these techniques show the release material contains calcium oxalate, calcium carbonate and  a humic substance. It is also noted that the ring soil has not been exposed to heat." (p.7.)

"...it provided specific identification of a unique, white fibrous-appearing material infused in ring-soil lumps that had eluded researchers in the past. It can be definitely identified as calcium oxalate." (p.7.)

"Higher levels of carbon, hydrogen, nitrogen, sulfur, phosphorus and potassium were detected in the ring extracts than in the control extracts." (p.10.)

"Not natural to the Delphos area":

"This is additional evidence that the ring humate is not natural to the Delphos area and is due in fact to a release." (p.15.)

"As in previous tests, these data also indicate that the humic substance is specifically fulvic acid in both ring and control extracts." (p.15.)

"The analysis of the Delphos soils and their isolates show there has been a definite release of one or more substances." (p.19.)

"Both calcium oxolate and oxalic acid are know skin and eye irritants and would account for the physical effect suffered by the witnesses." (p.20.)

"The source of the chemiluminescence (glow) still remains speculative." (p.20.)

Was it a UFO?

"The analysis neither proves nor rules out a UFO source of the release." (p.21.)

Thanks you again, to Steven for providing me with a copy of this article.

Are blog readers aware of any other analyses of the Delphos soil?

Saturday, June 15, 2013

Where do you fit into the scheme of things?

Hi all,

Following on from a previous post,"Where did your interest come from?" (click here to read) my thinking then progressed to "Which type of interest do you have?"

Offhand I thought of the major approaches to our subject, which I had come across, e.g. scientific ufology; skeptical. I then recalled that I had once read a much more detailed and thoughtful list in a book by US folklorist Eddie Bullard.

So, off I went to find my copy of "The Myth and Mystery of UFOs," by Thomas E(ddie) Bullard, published in 2011 by The University Press of Kansas. Lawrence, Kansas. ISBN 978-0-7006-1729-6.

In the introduction to the book, Bullard has a section titled "Approaching the problem" which sets out ten different approaches to the phenomenon. I found it an excellent list, and I think you will too, so I present it here for your edification.

1. Scientific ufology:

"For this group UFOs are a phenomenon accessible to rational inquiry. These people pursue in-depth case investigations, critical examination of evidence, comparison of collected data and rigorous research projects to determine if any UFO reports describe an unknown phenomenon." (p.15.)

2. Explorers:

"A larger and more impetuous group than the scientific ufologists explorers care about evidence but only insofar as it supports their beliefs." (pp15-16.)

3. Interested followers:

"This group consists of the consumers rather than the producers of ufology." (p.16.)

4. Activists:

"They regard the existence of UFOs and their extraterrestrial origin as established facts and care only about the implications of alien visitation." (p.16.)

5. Specialists:

"The people who concentrate on one aspect of ufology are sometimes helpful and sometimes harmful to the field." (p.16.)

6. Interlopers:

One type of specialist enters the UFO field for a while, promotes some special interest, and then leaves." (p.16.)

7. Skeptics:

"To counterbalance the believers, there are the disbelievers, the skeptics and debunkers who attack UFOs as a social delusion. (p.17.)

8. Critics:

"The critics who do not reject UFOs as a philosophical creed nevertheless expect convincing evidence and continue to doubt because they have not found sufficient reason to change their minds." (p.17.)

9. Experiencers:

"...the people who claim to have witnessed UFOs." (p.18.)

10. Insiders:

"...an individual who claims privileged information about UFOs." (p.18.)

End note:

There is obviously a spectrum of interest, so where do you fit into the scheme of things?

Saturday, June 8, 2013

Social media and UAP research

Hi all,

Networked:

I am currently reading a book titled "Networked:The New Social Operating System" by Lee Rainie and Barry Wellman, published by The MIT Press, Cambridge MA in the USA, in 2012. ISBN is 978-0-262-0179-0. (Click here.)

It's a fascinating read which takes a look at today's technological world where many of us are exposed to incoming emails; text messages; and tweets. We also update our Facebook page; participate in Yahoo and Google groups; and Skype, amongst other aspects of technology. Some of us, this author included, blog.

The authors of "Networked" set out evidence to suggest that this new style of networking with others, provides opportunities for increased personal interaction; further learning; assistance with decision making by the obtaining of additional information; and the resolution of issues which may be troubling us, with the support of others.

"Where commentators had been afraid that the Internet would wither in-person ties, it is clear that they enhance and extend them." (p.255.)

Rainie and Wellman provide a large volume of statistics, balanced by interesting case studies of individuals. They also provide hints as to how you can "Thrive as Networked Individuals." These include:

* "Invest in existing relationships..." (p.263.)
* "Use ICTs enthusiastically and nimbly." (p.263.) (ICT is short for information and communication technologies.)
* "Use technology to develop your access to a wider audience..." (p.264.)

Application to UAP research:

I can attest to the value of Social Media networking in a couple of ways.

Blogging:

Firstly, the comments which I receive on posts to this blog. These have included:

* 3 May 2013 post re the 1942 "Tromp" case.
I was looking to locate the children of the witness to an intriguing observation from 1942. I suspected the witness himself would, unfortunately by now, have passed away. I thought the children of Willem Jan Methorst may have some family knowledge or indeed some documentation in the form of diary entries of the event. I posted a piece and received a comment which provided the names and locations of three Methorst children. (Click here for more on the case.)

* 22 Jan 2013 post re "Navy Looks Into UFO Story."
In response to a post on a rare case where the Australian Navy was said to have investigated a UAP report, Keith Roberts of the Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre got in touch to inform me that he had been the original investigator on the case and knew it well.(Click here for more.)

* 4 Jan 2013 post re National Archives.
A correspondent advised me that the Archive Act now allowed files to be released after 20 years,. rather than the 30 years I mentioned in the associated post. (Click here.)

* 8 Feb 2011. Cold case Bass Strait 1944.
A Mr R T H Royal was piloting an aircraft across Bass Strait when he had a close encounter with a UAP.I started looking for any children to see what they knew of the event, when I received a very nice email from one of his daughters, who had some material which I had never seen before. (Click here.)

It is very doubtful, without the blog, whether I would have ever been able to find the information which individuals responding to blog posts, gave to me. Hence the value of social media.

Facebook:

Another example of the value of social media to UAP research is the use of Facebook posts and subsequent threads.

Recently, a post appeared on the Facebook "Westall Flying Saucer Incident" page (click here.) In the post, an individual provided what appeared to be two newspaper clippings hand dated 2001. These told the story of an alleged incident at Fountain Gate in Melbourne.

Members of the Facebook page went about investigating the alleged event. Between them, they:

* Set about trying to find original copies of the named newspapers via online newspaper databases, and contacting libraries.

* Pointed out that the newspaper clippings did not conform to the standard format of a newspaper story, in that there was no associated journalists name, and they contained numbers which suggested they were in fact, not a news story, but an advertisement.

* A Melbourne member visited the hotel and spoke to a management representative about the story.

* Another pointed out that a similar story from Sydney in the early 1970's  had involved a UFO, and that they vaguely recalled the Fountain Gate story as a promotional display.

All in all, the investigation cast strong doubt on the authenticity of the newspaper accounts. The latest, is that the original poster has now withdrawn the original post and subsequent threads.

This is an excellent example of the power of social media in the pursuit of UAP research.

Have readers other examples they would care to share with us?

Tuesday, June 4, 2013

Kimba, South Australia - a very intriguing case

Hi all,

I am sometimes asked what one Australian UAP case has intrigued me the most. My answer, is that it was one that happened on 4 February 1973 at Kimba, South Australia.



The discovery:

This case first came to light through a newspaper clipping from the “Whyalla News” newspaper of 16 Feb. The story didn’t reach us until 24 Feb. We telephoned Mr. H. in Kimba, one of the witnesses, but he wasn’t available. A reply paid telegram was sent and a reply received. Finally, we made arrangements to interview Mr. H. and Miss F. on 3 Mar.
 
 
 
 
The investigation:
 
The investigation team, which headed to Kimba, consisted of myself, Ray Brooke, Dean Piovesan and Peter Powell.

On the road between Iron Knob and Kimba we stopped at the sighting location. The terrain consisted of flat land, with three to six metre high trees and smaller scrub set in a deep-reddish-orange coloured, dry soil. A barbed wire fence line lay some twenty to thirty metres from, and parallel to, the road at this point. Visibility was limited to about fifty to one hundred metres into the scrub, depending on your angle of vision with respect to the trees.
 
 

We then travelled into Kimba and firstly called on Miss F. Her father confirmed that on the night in question the couple had returned there are about 10.30 p.m. He had noticed that Mr. H. was white faced and trembling so much that he was unable to light a cigarette for himself. The couple had then related the occurrence, as a result of which the police were contacted. We then made a telephone call to the local police constable, constable Summerton. His wife answered and suggested that her husband come over to join us.

When he had arrived, the young couple again related what had occurred on the night in question. The events relating to the police participation were confirmed by the constable. He advised us that he had been out to the site and inspected it, but had found no evidence on which to base a conclusion.
 
The young couple:
 
 

The couple we interviewed, Mr. H. and Miss F., were travelling together in one car. In front of them, as later determined, was a Mr. I. Following both cars was a semi-trailer driven by a Mr. D.

Firstly, the young couple. They were driving between Port Pirie and Kimba, and the incident occurred some kilometres out of Kimba. Mr. H., who was driving, noticed what he at first called a red flare, to their right and forward, just off the road in a clearing. As he passed he had a brief look at what was there. He reported seeing a rectangular shape, orange-red in colour, three metres high by one point five metres wide, with a sharply defined figure in what he called a “white spacesuit”, floating in the middle of the shape.
 
Below is a sketch drawn for Constable Summerton by Mr H.
 
 
(Source: National Archives of Australia file series A703 control symbol 580-1-1 part 21 p. 174.)

This figure looked like an ordinary human being in respect of shape and outline; and appeared to be motionless a metre or so above the ground, with a metre of orange colour below him. His arms and legs were pointing slightly downwards, covered all over in white. It should be remembered that this description is based on, at the most, a two to three second observation.



The driver accelerated the car from the ninety km/hr he had been doing. At the same time he motioned Miss F’s attention to their right. It was some seconds before she understood, but then she turned in the seat to look.

She related that she saw a deep orange coloured, rectangular shaped thing, with a white blob on top of it, in the clearing. She turned around to comment on it and, upon turning back, observed that the orange glow now appeared to extend right across the road behind them. Several seconds later she looked again, but they had gone over a slight rise and nothing was now to be seen. At this time Mr. H. had been concentrating on driving.

The couple drove to Miss F’s house in Kimba. Her father heard the story, and shortly afterwards the local police were called. Police Constable Peter Summerton attended the call, and took the couple back out to the clearing.

The three arrived back there by 11.10 p.m. and they undertook a good look around. The ground was searched for tracks but none of any kind could be found. No evidence for a hoax was evident.
 
The third witness:

In the days that followed, a truck driver related to the Kimba police that he had passed the same spot at about 10 p.m. He said that inside the fence line there was something which had appeared to be a brightly lit “caravan doorway,” except that it was much taller than a normal doorway; giving it a rectangular shape that was twice as high as wide. It had a white, outlined shaped inside it. He did not stop to take a look.

Mr. H. related that a car had passed them just prior to their reaching the clearing. The driver of this vehicle, when located, says that as he passed the clearing he saw: “A glow of light, rectangular shaped, orange in colour,” which would have been, a chain or two outside the normal fence line.

Constable Summerton produced his notebook and advised us of the details he had noted down that night, including a sketch of the object and the “man” as drawn by Mr. H. Two other people had subsequently reported to him that they had also seen the same or similar object on the same stretch of road that night.

His notebook showed that a Mr. D., the semi-trailer driver, confirmed that he passed the clearing at about 10 p.m. that evening; that he had noted a large”caravan doorway” with a figure in it, in the middle; and that there were no sides, top or bottom, to this doorway as a normal caravan would have. He had not stopped at all.
 
The fourth witness:

Mr. I. the driver of the second car, stated in a letter to us, that he saw an orange glow on the right hand side of the road. It was a: “Glow of light , rectangular shape, orange in colour.” He said he would have placed the clearing some fifty to fifty two kilometres out of Kimba. The couple, after seeing the object, stated they had travelled about three kilometres before they saw a signpost saying fifty kilometres to Kimba and they considered their location accurate. He wrote that he thought it could have been an accident so slowed down. He realised that something wasn’t quite right and, since there was another car following (Mr. H’s) he decided to wait and see if they stopped at the “accident.” As the car following accelerated after passing the clearing, so did he, and arrived in Kimba first.
 
Out to the site:
 
 

Constable Summerton then took us out to the clearing he had inspected on that night. The clearing itself was semi-circular, about one hundred metres across. It was clearly visible from the roadway once you were level with it, but not when approaching it. The following side was fairly open and would fit in with the young woman’s description of being able to turn back to have a look.

We conducted a rigorous search of the ground and the trees and scrub. No marks, depressions, burns, or rope marks on trees, were revealed. However, it should be remembered that we were there four weeks after the event, and there had been rain in between.

All in all, we were left with the impression that some real event did indeed occur, and that it was so unusual that not one of the witnesses decided to stop and have a closer look. This was a great pity because, if they had, it would no doubt have given us a wealth of other details.
 
RAAF file:
 
I located RAAF papers about the case on National Archives of Australia file series A703 control symbol 580-1-1 part 21. There was a report dated 5 Feb 1973 by Constable Summerton to the OIC No 21 Division of the South Australian Police. This report, together with a map, and a sketch of the "entity" as drawn by Mr H. made its way from Police Headquarters to the local RAAF base and thence to the Department of Air. Unusually, RAAF Headquarters asked Police Constable Summerton for additional information. This usually occurred when the case was mystifying to Headquarters, and the case seemed to challenge them.
 
What did the RAAF think caused the event?
 
In a letter dated 2 May 1973, from C J Odgers, Director of Public Relations, RAAF, to Constable Summerton, the RAAF official conclusion on the case was "...the investigating team has been unable to conclusively determine the cause...a possible theoretical cause is a sighting of the phenomenon known as IGNIS FATUUS - methane gas released from decaying vegetation and spontaneously ignited..."
 
For information on "Ignis Fatuus" otherwise known as swamp gas - click here. The Kimba event occurred in an arid part of South Australia in the hottest month of the Australian summer, in an area totally devoid of swamps, bogs and marshes.
 
In conclusion:
 
The case intrigues me still, 41 years after the event.
 
 

Sunday, June 2, 2013

The Corona spy satellite program, and an Australian Government file

Hi all,

Introduction:

In an earlier post (click here) by my former co-blogger, Pauline Wilson, she raised the possibility that the Westall incident of 1966 could have had something to do with the then very secret US Government spy satellite program named "Corona." For an excellent US Government document which provides full details of the Corona program click here.  After doing her research she concluded that the Westall incident did not involve a Corona photographic capsule falling to earth where it should not have. At the time of her post back in Jan 2012 I had not come across any Australian Government files in the National Archives of Australia (NAA) which even remotely suggested any Australian knowledge of this spy satellite program. Recently, thanks to the outstanding efforts of Paul Dean, a researcher from Melbourne we may just have found a hint.

NAA file:

One of the files which caught Paul's eye in the NAA's RecordSearch was file series A432, control symbol 69/3298, barcode 6971481 held by the NAA's Canberra office. The title was "US Emergency Flights Relating to the Recovery of Space Capsules." The file originated with the Attorney General's Department.

In 1968 (the Corona program ran up till 1972,) The US Government requested approval from the Australian Government for "Short term notice clearance for USAF aircraft to stage search and recovery operations for unmanned space capsules..." (Department of Supply memo dated 3 Jun 1969.)

What were these capsules? On 1 Apr 1969 the US Embassy in Canberra wrote to the Australian Department of External Affairs responding to a series of questions asked by the Australian Department of Defence, about these "capsules."

"The recoverable capsules vary in shape, size and weight. Typically they are conical in shape, measure approximately 36 by 30 inches, and weight several hundred pounds."

Note No. 315 from the US Embassy, dated 14 Oct 1968 added further information:

"The capsules will contain valuable (and in the case of the Department of Defence capsules , highly classified scientific experimental equipment.) Preparation has been made for their aerial recovery by specially equipped C-130 aircraft. Normally such recovery is to be made in the vicinity of Hawaii..However, due to malfunction the capsule may not land as planned ...a logical zone to attempt such recovery is the general area around and including Australia and New Zealand."

My reading of the documents on the file, together with the US document at click here,  suggest to me that some of the "capsules" to be air recovered as they drifted down under a parachute, near Hawaii, could well have been Corona photographic capsules.

In the end, it didn't matter, as the US withdrew its request for emergency flights relating to such capsules.

Another rare Australian Government Navy UAP file digitised

Hi all,

One of the two known Australian Government Navy UAP files on the 1954 Goulburn, radar/visual case has just been digitised.  Again, we have Melbourne researcher Paul Dean to thank for paying for the National Archives of Australia (NAA)  to digitise the papers.

NAA file series SP338/3 control symbol 13/4/10, barcode 938582, is titled "Unidentified Objects [Flying-report of] [10 pages - 1954.] The file originated with the Flag Officer-in-Charge, East Australia Area of the Department of Defence's Naval Office.

The digitised version is 10 pages long, and provides original documentation on the 31 Aug 1954 radar/visual observations, near Goulburn, by 723 Squadron, Royal Australian Navy Air Station Nowra, pilot Lt J A O'Farrell. I have previously posted at length on this case (click here and here to read these posts.)

The contents of two of the pages on this file have long been known to Australian UAP researchers, however, it is invaluable to be able to read the other associated documents on the file, which includes:

1. A report by O'Farrell.
2. A report by the radar operator, R.P.I. K E Jessop.
3. Copies of internal Navy minutes by various Navy personnel.

You too can read the file by:

1. Visiting http://naa.gov.au
2. Click on 'search the collection.'
3. Click on "Begin your search."
4. Click on "RecordSearch Advanced search.'
5. Click on 'items.'
6. In the barcode box type "938582' and enter.
7. Read the digital file.

Saturday, June 1, 2013

German scientists, "flying discs" and Australian UAP

Hi all,

The Internet is full of stories of advanced German World War Two secret weapons, including the possibility of "flying discs."

Nick Cook:

One of the classic  searches for evidence that wartime UAP sightings were "..reflected in work the Germans had been doing in their research facilities and factories ..." (p.63) was undertaken by then aerospace consultant Nick Cook, of Jane's Defence Weekly, as outlined in his 2002 book "The Hunt for Zero Point," published by Arrow of London. ISBN 0-09-941-498-8. (Click here.)

Cook examined Rudolf Lusar's book "German Secret Weapons of World War Two," ( click here) which suggested that the Germans had built "flying discs." He went on to look at the claims in the book by Italian Renato Vesco, (click here) titled "Intercept But Don't Shoot." From there he proceeded to track down a copy of, and read, the official United State's Air Force's file "...on the state of the German Air Forces's secret weapons work at the end of the war." (p.68.) This was the "Luffwaffe Secret Technology" (Lusty) report. (Click here.)

Cook dug deeply into this whole area and concluded "That the Germans had been working on technology that far exceeded published accounts of their aeronautical achievements in the second world war." (p.103.)

His research included a look at the work of German Dr Hans Kammler (click here). Cook travelled to Europe to do so. He met with, and studied the work of, Polish researcher Igor Witkowski (click here.). Cook wrote "Witkowski's research led him...to conclude that a number of these facilities had been used by the SS for nuclear research work." (p.224.)  However, one site seemed different, and to suggest something else had been worked on, in "... a chamber hundreds of metres below ground...a bell-shaped device.." (p.264.)

Finally, Cook located the work of one Viktor Schauberger (click here), and concluded "Couple the Schauberger evidence with what i had seen in the Lusty files and suddenly it wasn't so hard anymore to believe that the Germans had developed prototype remote-controlled vehicles." (p.318.)

Throughout the book, Cook examined the possibility that there was an anti-gravity aspect to all this work, and brought the possibility into the 21st century by interviewing top people currently working in the aerospace industry.

German scientists in South Australia?

After re-reading Cook's excellent book, I recalled a story which I had been told several years ago, by an Adelaide truck driver. A friend of mine, interested in UAP research, arranged for the two of us to meet. The truckie's story was that he had come across a group of German scientists who were experimenting with UAP in the north of South Australia.

The truck driver's account was purely anecdotal, with absolutely no supporting evidence behind it. At the time I filed it in the "We'll never know if any of this is true" basket.

Cook's research made me reflect on the truckie's account. I started to wonder if his story might have some merit after all. The Woomera rocket range was in the north of South Australia. It has been used, almost continuously, since 1947 as an experimental test range for aircraft, missiles, rockets, bombs, pilot less aircraft  and who knows what else?

In the USA, Operation paperclip (click here) , moved German scientists from Europe to the USA where they assisted kick-start the American rocket and missile program. I wondered if the same thing had happened in Australia? Were there any German scientists brought out to Australia to help run the programs at Woomera?

Amazingly, in the National Archives of Australia (NAA) I located a file series 1038/2 control symbol DRAWER 2/26 with the tantilising title of "Shadow Organisation- Top Secret - German Scientists"! In short, the file tells the story that yes, the Australian government did indeed think of importing German scientists to work on various pieces of scientific research in Australia. However, little seems to have come of the idea. It seems we were a little late, following the success of Operation Paperclip and a similar program in the USSR.

I didn't find any evidence that would back up the Adelaide truckie's account. Despite reading a number of NAA files originating from Woomera, and viewing various Internet sites, I couldn't find anything linking German scientists and Woomera.

Westall - a German connection?

I went off to look for any other Internet accounts suggestive of any links between German scientists and Australian UAP. Oddly, I found a comment on YouTube as part of a post by Zoink 555, titled "Greatest UFO Mystery in Australia." (Click here.)

Commenting on the origin of the UAP in question, "oceansandsurf" posed the question "Could it have been German? The Nazis did develop and fly a Bell (can't remember its real name) at end of WWII..And you know those smart Germans - I'm sure another 15 years on and they had developed their technology further."

I then checked the subject matter being commented on, and was surprised to find it was the April 1966 Westall High School object.

Cook's talk of German remote controlled vehicles made me recall a comment on this blog. It referred to a post by more former co-blogger, Pauline Wilson, on the 6 Apr 1966 Westall incident. The comment referred to radio controlled drones. The anonymous comment read:

"In 1966 at Westall Victoria UFOs landed at a primary school. I can say with great confidence that these vehicles were early drone technology to coordinate control around the Earth like a high tech radio controlled plane, these electric machines use Dr Tesla design and highly classified, if you think it's all lies then ask yourself why was the US military there within two hours on Australian soil..."

I searched around the net for similar keywords, and found to my surprise that I was back at the same YouTube post about Westall, where I found:

"I know the truth about Westall, it was early Tesla drone technology developed by the Americans. Remote control drone via satellite, apparently there were about 3 drones that flew around the world to test effectiveness of satellites positioned around the earth during the cold war with the Soviet Union. If you think I'm lying ask yourself the question who was there within 2 hours of the event, no it wasn't Australian Army was an American special unit, its a 12 hour flight."

The mention here of remote controlled drone recalls Nick Cook's page 318 comment about "prototype remote-controlled vehicles" of German origin.

"Popular Mechanics" article:

Fellow member of the Australian UFO Research Association, Jeff Fausch, pointed out to me that an Australian connection was raised in the November 2000 edition of the magazine "Popular Mechanics." It carried an article titled "America's Nuclear Flying Saucer." (Click here for article.)

The article in part, stated "...it seemed reasonable to U.S. Defence planners that the Soviet Air Force, which lacked a nuclear bomber, would try to adapt German disc technology. The United States, was after all, doing exactly the same thing with the V-2 and Nazi rocket scientists, it had spirited away in Operation Paperclip." (p.67.)

The article concerned the Lenticular Re-entry Vehicle (LRV) which was proposed as a US manned nuclear bomber in earth orbit. The magazine wrote "In our July 1997 cover story "Roswell Plus 50" Popular Mechanics detailed how Air Force interest in duplicating Nazi technology led to two American flying disc projects... Project Silver Bug...Project Pye Wacket (click here) ...Documents declassified since then point to a third secret project, a 40ft "flying saucer"..." (p.68.)

"The project is managed out of Wright Patterson Air Force base in Dayton, Ohio, where German engineers who had worked on the rocket plane..." (p.68.) The article was therefor suggesting that German scients may have worked on the LRV.

Was the LRV ever built? The magazine suggested a line of evidence to propose that it might have been. What was the evidence? Interestingly, they said it came from Australia! "However, what is far the most compelling evidence that the LRV, or a flying prototype was actually built comes from Australia." (p.71.) What occurred for the magazine to conclude this?

"In 1975, Jean Fraser found an odd bit of honeycomb-like debris on her family's ranch south of Brisbane. The area was in the vicinity of what was then a secret Australian test range where the British and American's conducted some of their most secret atomic experiments." (p.71.)

"Local legends claim the honeycomb was debris from a flying saucer which exploded over the test area in 1966." (p.71.)

"PM became interested in revisiting the Australian debris analysis when we noticed a similarity between a photograph of the mysterious honeycomb and a cross-section diagram in the LRV engineering study." (p.71.)

To summarise at this point, the Popular Mechanics article reported on a proposed US spacecraft, which had links to German scientists. Furthermore, the magazine suspected that the LRV had been built, because of material found in Australia, which they then imply, but do not openly state, may have come from an exploding LRV.

Alien honeycomb:

Can we find anything more about this suggested link with Australia? Indeed, we can, from a book titled "Alien Honeycomb: the First Solid Evidence of UFOs" written by John Pinkney and Leonard Ryman, published by Pan Books, London in 1980. ISBN 0-330-27003-6. (click here.) Here we learn:

* In Late Nov 1966 a Mrs Fraser of Greenbank, Queensland, just 29 kms from Brisbane, reported seeing a light, noiselessly passing over her property

* In early 1968, Mrs Fraser's husband found a piece of honeycomb-like material, with more found at the end of 1968

* In 1975, farmers in North Queensland found fragments from an aerial object which was analysed by a Paul Brixius of the Queensland University.

No explosion is mentioned in the 1966 account. However, Mr Fraser is quoted as saying "...whatever these pieces came from must have exploded in the air because we found them spread over more than 3 kilometres."

The Popular Mechanics article mixes these pieces of information together. Nothing was actually seen to explode in 1966, but this possibility is deduced from the distance over which the found material was distributed.

Secret test range?

A search both off and on the net, failed to find any evidence of a "secret Australian test range" in the vicinity of Brisbane, Queensland, Australia. The British government did test nuclear bombs at both the Monte Bello Islands, off the coast of Western Australia ( click here) and at Maralinga, South Australia (click here) in the 1950's.

A review of a file in the National Archives of Australia, file series M1148 control symbol "USA- General" barcode 31415823 titled "USA-General" which contained details of all known American projects based in Australia, found no projects relevant to such a secret test range.

One item, however, which was potentially relevant to this post, was dated 14 Jun 2001. The New Scientist magazine in the UK published an article in which it claimed that a nuclear bomb may have been detonated in Queensland in 1963. Could this have been at our secret test range?

However, it turned out that this was referring to a joint project between Australia, the UK, Canada and the USA which detonated 50 tons of TNT on 18 Jul 1963 at Iron Range, North Queensland rain forest to simulate a nuclear explosion. The Operation was named Blowdown (click here) and you can read an account of it in the National Archives of Australia on file series A5268 control symbol 1962/660, which is available in digitised format. In addition, there are some videos of it on YouTube (click here.)

In conclusion:

Where does this leave us on the subject of German scientists, flying discs and Australian UAP?

* An unconfirmed anecdote from an Adelaide truck driver

* A question "Could it have been German " on a YouTube video about the 1966 Westall object, plus additional comments mentioning remote controlled objects and Westall

 * A suggestion in "popular Mechanics" that a proposed US nuclear manned earth orbiting bomber, with possible German scientists scientific assistance exploded over Queensland in 1966.

Have any blog readers come across any other material suggestive of a link between Australian UAP and German scientists?

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