I have just had another RAAF UAP file digitised by the National Archives of Australia. File series J63, control symbol 5/40/Air Part 2 is titled "Reports on Unidentified Flying Objects." It originated with RAAF base Townsville and has a date range of 1971 to 1974. It is a 331 page file.
The file is a mix of reports of low level interest lights in the sky with a couple of more interesting reports. I summarise two of these in this post:
18 June 1971. Burketown, Queensland.
At 6.38pm, according to a report from the Burketown police, to the Naval Intelligence Centre, a UFO was seen by several residents. It was an "illuminous cigar shaped object", orange into red colour and then a "clear light colour." It was seen to the west, on the southerly side of the setting Sun. The sky was clear. It travelled north to south along, and above the horizon. It travelled slowly, became momentarily stationary; then lost altitude; then changed to an easterly course. Moments later it changed to a south-west course. It disappeared into the south-west. Total duration was 17 minutes.
The police report was signed by Sgt 2/c W G Boon and stated in part, "The circumstances of the sighting are regarded as unusual and cannot be explained here." There were no aircraft in the area at the time.
4 January 1974 Townsville, Queensland.
At 8.50pm, weather observer Leslie William Onley, was using a met. radar type 277F at the Townsville aerodrome.
He observed an unusual radar trace bearing 280 degrees, elevation 85-87 degrees. He stated "There are no signals in this area at 11 nautical miles/66,000 ft high. Aerial 85 to 90 degrees elevation."
Heightwise, "First sighted 66000 ft descended to 4600 ft in ten minutes."
To the question "Describe any deviation or manoeuvres" he responded "Slight spiral through 280 deg to 360 deg north to 140 deg."
It was last observed by radar at 85/90 deg elevation on a bearing of 140 deg. "Heavy pulsing of all radar scanners plus "A" scan blotted trace radar parked and turned down."
A hand written note, signed by Onley reads:
"Radar scan noted 40 deg arc, from 90 deg down to 50 deg. This particular radar does not go over 90 deg elevation. Azimuth arc measured 40 deg, also clear cut signal. Dimension on "A" scan - range 2,500 yards through target. First sighted 66,000 ft tracked to 4600 ft.
"When heavy pulsing on all scans blotted out signal, and radar was parked and rapidly turned down."
The RAAF investigating officer typed:
"Mr Onley estimates that the actual length of the echo was about 2,500 yards."
DCA radar technicians suggested that the radar may have experienced a period of "heavy pulsing" during the range wind down stage. Mr Onley is quite certain that this was not the case and the radar has not displayed this type of malfunction since the unusual echo was sighted."
The RAAF's conclusion was "...the most probable cause of the unusual contact on the radar was the effect of anomalous propagation."
On this file is an unusual Department of Air Minute paper dated 21 August 1973, that reads:
"1. Contacted today by (name on the file) ASIO...concerning a Mr John West ostensibly a member of the "UFO Shadow Project."
2. West claims to be an investigating officer but he interests ASIO because he has masqueraded as an ASIO officer.
3. Any information on contact with West is to be passed to Brian asap.
4. West is reported to be in Cairns."
The document is signed by W G Canniffe, Flg Offr AIR 4.
Have any blog readers any information on "John West?"