Thursday, July 31, 2014

Back to Echuca - 1978

Hi all,

I was taking a look at my "Catalogue of interesting Australian UAP reports"  (to view the latest version click here .) I review it from time to time refreshing my memory on particular cases. In my latest re-examination, I came across details of a 1978 report which I recalled almost nothing about. Noting that one of my sources for it, was from "The Northern Star" newspaper, I asked my Sydney research associate if they would be able to visit the State Library of NSW and see if they could locate and copy the relevant article. They were able to do so, and I received a scan of page 5 of "The Northern Star" newspaper dated Thursday 8 March 1978.

UFO scares woman:

The headline was "UFO scares woman."

"Great balls of fire are the latest mysterious phenomenon apparently plaguing townships of northern Victoria. 'A blazing, hovering, cobweb of white light' which appeared in the early hours of Tuesday morning sent Mrs Nancy Gilham, 65, rushing back into her home.

'It was rather a nightmarish thing' Mrs Gilham of Glanville Road, Echuca Village said. 'It wobbled, sort of shook. You could not see a tree, just nothing but the light. I ran inside. I got a bit nervous' she said.

A 4cm depression was left in the driveway where the light appeared, Mrs Gilham said.

Mrs Gilham and her husband Bill, also 65, awoke when sheep gathered around the house and their dogs became barking. 'I got up and walked past the wash house and it was all alight' Mrs Gilham said.

'Then I saw this huge big light in the paddock. It was a burning. blazing white light. It did not have a centre but it was like as great big cobweb.'

'We watched it for about 20 minutes. It was hovering just a bit above the ground. It made my eyes ache. 'I didn't see it go away because I came back inside.'

Leitchville, a small town 50km north-west of Echuca has had mysterious reports recently of UFO sightings; weird lights and peculiar burned patches in fields.

But a Police spokesman in Echuca said yesterday there had been no reports of the lights Mr and Mrs Gilham saw, and no other recent reports of inexplicable happenings."

The Leitchville-Echuca flap:

The late Australian UFOlogist, Paul Norman, summarised some of the events of what came to be known as the Leitchville-Echuca flap, of 1977-1978 in the MUFON Journal, (page 15) number 190, December 1983.

"In Victoria an intense build up of UFO activity began in September 1977 along the Murray River, near Leitchville. This flap reached a peak in December. The UFOs were not only demonstrating their mysterious activity in the sky, they were landing in the paddocks and leaving physical traces on the ground. VUFORS investigators spent a total of 30 days within a three month period interviewing witnesses and compiling reports, some of which are still to be published.

One of the more spectacular sightings began on the  night of December 13, witnessed by 12 witnesses who climbed to the top of a milking shed to watch the display. A large UFO was seen by Mr and Mrs Tom Church at a low altitude descending at about the landing speed of an aircraft.

After it hovered, three objects were seen flying from the main object within three minutes. One of the smaller UFOs flew 25 miles within two minutes before it took up its position between the witness and Pyramid Hill. Within five minutes two other objects flew from the parent object and took up position between the large UFO and Pyramid Hill.

During the course of four hours, the witnesses saw what they thought were meteorites falling to the ground. More of the 'meteorites' fell within the 25 mile zone as if they were drawn into the zone by a magnetic force.

About one in every three 'meteorites' curved up before burning out. They fell about the rate of 15 per hour. After four hours all witnesses were asleep. An interesting case for further follow-up hypnosis analysis."

Catalogue cases:

My 2005 "A catalogue of Australian Physical Trace Cases" (click here) lists the following cases

Aug 1977 Leitchville 13m diameter circle.
30 Sep 1977 Leitchville Prefect circle.
21 Oct 1977 Cohuna 4, 3-3.6m rings.
4 Dec 1977 Leitchville 8m diameter circle.
Early Dec 1977 Bamawm Central 2.4m diameter ring.
19 Feb 1978 Newsted 4, 3-6.5m diameter ring.

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