Sunday, August 18, 2013

Special Air Services personnel report UAP

Hi all,

A fourth, post 1984 Department of Defence UAP file has been received by me. The file is 5/9/Air Part 7 and originated with Headquarters 86 Wing, RAAF Base Richmond. Its date range meant that I needed to have the National Archives of Australia digitise the earlier part of the file, but that I had to submit a Freedom of Information request to the DOD for the latter part of the file. Ultimately, I received the second part of the file under Administrative Action.

The file consists mainly of a number of UAP reports made by members of the public. Typical of these reports are:

1. A 31 year old woman, on 5 June 1989, at 1413hrs for 12 minutes, on a cloudy night, observed "...an oval shape...a definite black outline right around the oval shape..." It was initially seen at 30 degrees west and last seen at 30 degrees north-west. "When I last saw the object at 2.25pm it showed three round bright lights underneath, then rose in the air to about a 75 degree angle then down to about a 20 degree angle and then back to the 30 degree angle and disappeared behind the thick clouds." The RAAF's conclusion was "Nil suspicious events reported. Suggest landing lights around an aircraft in haze and smog."

2. In clear skies on 31 Jul 1987, at 8pm, for 3 1/2 hours a 28 year old woman reported a UAP. Initially seen at 60 degrees south-west and last seen at the same location. It was close to the Moon. "It had a few lights that seemed to me to be intermittent."

Sighting by SAS personnel:

This is the only UAP report in Government files where the observers were members of the Special Air Services.

The case came to light in a memo dated 7 August 1987 from Major R A Hill, Intelligence Officer, The Special Air Service Regiment, Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne, Western Australia, to the Senior Operations Officer, No. 3 Telecommunications Unit, RAAF Base Pearce. It simply enclosed two Unusual Sightings reports by two SAS personnel.

These reports were then on forwarded by Squadron Leader B Biddington to Airlift Group Headquarters, RAAF Richmond. The memo read:

"1. Attached is documentation of an unusual aerial sighting made by two members of SAS during recent exercises at RAAF Learmonth. Of interest, and these are points that INTELO RIC may decide to follow-up are:

a. air-ground VHF comms on the night of the sighting (and on that night alone) were not achieved, and

b. that at least some of the crew of the 36 Sqn aircraft also observed the light but decided not to report their sighting.

2. This headquarters has no explanation for the phenomenon observed..."

The file contains report forms by the two SAS personnel.

Observer one:

"The light approached from the East towards the airstrip (as airstrip lights were turned on). It was moving in a zig-zag to the left and right of the axis. It was at about 5,000 AGL at this time, as it arrived over the airstrip (northern end). It went into a hover and remained stationary for some 6-7 minutes. The light was changing colour from white to amber. I was not able to see a shape other than a round light. The object then moved upwards into the light cloud but was still visible with binoculars. It then  moved in the direction of NE slowly at first then at a great speed."

This person's report form says that the date of the event was 9 June 1987, and the time between 1900 and 1910hrs (i.e. 10 minutes duration.) The weather conditions were given as "Wispy thin clouds at 10,000 AGL, nil ground wind, visibility good." It was first reported at 1600 metres 45 degrees east, and last seen at 45 degrees north-east at 800 metres. The UAP was said to a one, white, round light about 5 metres diameter which changed from a white colour to amber. There was no associated sound. Its speed was estimated as 200 kms plus, slowed down to 80kms.

The investigating officer's evaluation included:

""(word redacted) in the (word redacted) he is an apparently stable personality and a most reliable SNCO."

The investigating officer's evaluation of possible cause read, "Cause is unknown; the light was too far away to observe size and shape accurately and was brought to attention by the speed of its erratic zig-zag movements and its light. It would not appear to have been an aircraft. It is worth noting that it was also observed by the RAAF pilots of the aircraft in support who refused to report the incident."

Attached to the form was the following statement:

"On the night of 9 June 1987 I was tasked with setting up the DZ at Learmonth airstrip for a night freefall descent. I was the DZSO and I had a medic (redacted word) to assist me on the DZ

At 1855hrs we were situated on the western side of the runway directly opposite the civilian terminal. At this time we commenced to place the DZ lights for the descent and at 1900hrs the light was observed on its approach from the east.

The C130 aircraft involved with the activity was still on the ground and did not become airborne until 1915hrs. The object had disappeared by this time.

Once the aircraft was airborne I tried to establish communication on VHF. Communications were not established both on primary or alternative frequency. Two VHF radios were used and both had a fresh battery fitted. The C130 was at 10,000 feet and event when it flew directly over the strip communication was non-existent.

On completion of the activity I spoke to the pilot who was FLLT Watts of 36 Sqn RAAF on what had occurred. He also explained to me that the aircraft had tried to establish communication on VHF primary and alternative frequencies with no success.

This was the first time during the period 3-9 June 87 that communication from ground to air with the C130 was not obtainable."

Observer two:

The second observer was aged 26 and gave the same details as observer one. He said there was one bright, white light, round in shape, taking zig-zag movements initially. His narrative read:

" We noticed it while awaiting a RAAF plane. It came over the horizon moving a very erratic course (zig-zagging across the sky) until it arrived over the airstrip and went into a hover above us, where it stayed for several minutes. Before accelerating straight up at extreme speed. It was high in the sky and size and shape were hard to determine."

The investigating officer wrote:

"(name redacted) is a medic in the SASR RAP. He has no connection with any UFO organisation and is a stable well balanced soldier."

For more information on RAAF Learmonth click here.

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