In a post dated 5 March 2012, I noted that Ann Druffel in her 2003 book "Firestorm," about the life and work of James E McDonald, had written (on page 184):
"While McDonald was still in Australia he learned of a July 8th sighting of multiple UFOs being pursued by several light aircraft, similar to the Andrew Greenwood case..."
The reference to Greenwood, is of course, a reference to the famous 6 April 1966 Westall incident.
This intriguing entry of "an aircraft chasing UFO story," sent me off to check with my book; digital data collection, and to contact other Australian researchers. However, I was unable to find any further details on this 1967 incident in Victoria.
However, today while browsing a USB stick full of material from the files of US researcher Dr Michael Swords, I came across a draft of the Druffel book. In this draft, but not in the completed work, are details of the 1967 incident.
The draft manuscript:
"He was extremely interested, however for among the witnesses to the July 8th sighting were John and Miriam Coyle and a 14 year old friend, Carol Clark.
The new sighting had occurred in broad daylight. Twelve to fourteen discs, with reflecting surfaces, were seen apparently being chased by several light planes. As the three young witnesses viewed the discs from the Coyle property, five other cars pulled up nearby and watched. John and the others were so engrossed that they failed to get the other witnesses' licence numbers.
The sighting had lasted 15-20 minutes. VUFORS immediately began the process of checking with airports and the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) to try to identify the planes, but met with no results. (61).
The sky had been clear, with some 'fluffy" clouds. Carol Clark saw the first object in the west and drew John's attention to it. The rest of the objects were seen coming from the north-west. Two aircraft were chasing this group. The witnesses saw one of the objects enter a cloud, and later reappear from the same cloud (62). The whole group of objects disappeared into the cloud, as other planes arrived on the scene. The witnesses estimated that, in total count, thirteen or fourteen objects and six planes were seen.
The preliminary investigation of the second Coyle sighting was detailed in McDonald's handwritten journal. The size of the objects was about 1/5 of the angular size of the full Moon, and their speed was about 2-3 times that of the planes. The aircraft were clearly visible but, by contrast, the objects were less distinct. The witnesses could see distinctly, however, that they were basically flat-bottomed with domed tops. McDonald's journal continues
"Objects came out of cloud bank & dropping into cloud bank. Always clearly defined (63). One oscillated side to side and appeared to be oscillating as an ellipse. Came in 3's and 5's mostly from NW to SE. Several different patterns and formations. Once was line astern. One was square, out in front. Other patterns cited. Playing-like, cavorting. (64)."
It was much too early in the investigation to draw any conclusions as to the value, or validity of the new report. It was planned to place ads in the daily paper to try and locate the additional witnesses and to continue checking nearby air bases. McDonald's journal continues:
"After 15-20 minutes [John and Miriam] ran 1/4 mile home, yelling to mother, pointed to sky. All she could see was aircraft.(65.)"
"(61) McDonald. Op cit "Melbourne section." "Re sat July 8 1967 Coyle sighting entry."
(62) UFOs which are cloud-shrouded, or which appear out of clouds and disappear into the same clouds are commonly reported. In these incidents, the clouds are fairly large and remain in sight, unlike the smaller vanishing cloud described in reference (37).
(63) This statement may seem to be contradictory, but according to E.B. consultant on aviation matters for this book, the outline of a distant object could be clearly defined while the features on a disc may be less distinct.
(64) McDonald, Op cit, "July 8 1967 Coyle sighting."
Forty eight years on:
So, after forty eight years, we now have details on this 1967 sighting, Druffel felt had similar aspects to the Westall event, i.e. objects being chased by light aircraft.