Monday, September 7, 2015

Preliminary investigation report - Kairi, Queensland - 2014/2015

Preliminary investigation report

Compiled by Keith Basterfield

September 2015
Date:       2014/2015.
Time:      Between 2300 and midnight.
Location: Kairi, Queensland
Witness:  Adam, a self employed, male.
On 14 August 2015, Adam posted to the Sydney Observatory lights in the sky website:
"Hi, I live in Kairi, Queensland, Australia. For the last year I have been watching a strange drone like object that is shaped like a stingray, every night between 11pm and 12am fly over Tinaroo dam and it heads towards Mareeba. It goes towards Mareeba then comes back later then goes back a few times a night.
It has strange lights on it and is super quiet almost silent. It moves side to side when you watch it and it can take off very fast within seconds and still; no sound. You can see it as it flys towards me then overhead and quite often when I go and pick up my friend from work in Mareeba of a night I will follow it that way but it is able to take off so fast then it can just disappear.
Every night I see it and it is on the clear nights also. And it is whether the moon is out or not. One time I seen it coming it just appeared and this time it had a sound like the engine failed and it was going to crash, then it made a strange sound then took off super fast then it was gone with in a flash."
Google satellite of area
Google map of area

1. My initial response:

 On 18 August 2015, I posted a "reply" on the website, asking Adam to get in touch with me, which he did. Over a series of emails, I posed the following questions, and received Adam's responses.
Q1 How does the object come into view? For example, does it come over the horizon like an aircraft does, or perhaps simply appear in the sky?
A1 "It comes over the horizon."
Q2 Have you any idea what compass direction, e.g. north-west, it appears from and what compass direction it goes to?
A2 "It travels coming from a north-east direction and heads towards a south-west direction."
Q3 At its closest, how big does it appear in the sky? Say compared to the full moon near the horizon, e.g. half as big?
A3 "It looks like the size of a small light plain or drone when it is overhead."
Q4 I appreciate that your sightings are at night, but are you able to see any colour to the object?
A4 "It looks like it might be a gray like colour with a diamond shape to it."
Q5 Can you please more fully describe the "strange lights" e.g. number, colour and geometric arrangement?
A5 "There are 4 lights and the lights wight like colours that all flash at once to the shape of it."
Q6 You mention it is "almost silent." Does this mean that there is some noise? If so, can you describe what you hear?
A6 "It makes a very faint humming sound and one time it shot off very fast and it sounded like a strange winding sound."
Q7 When you say it moves from "side to side" do you mean that it travels along and it moves up and down?
A7 "As it moves you can see it coming and it looks like it is zigzagging, very fast but going still strait on."
2. Check with UFO Research Queensland:

On 18 August 2015 I sent an email to Sheryl Gottschall, UFO Research Queensland and asked if she had heard of this case. She had not. I later found that a UFORQ researcher, Alec who lived in Cairns, had also asked Adam via the website to get in touch with him. I informed Alec of my interest and asked him if he wished me to withdraw from investigating? He said he did not. I therefore continued to look into the case.
3. Further questions:

I then sent further questions to Adam:
Q8 Does it become stationary at any point in its flight path?
A8 "It keeps on moving, you can see it come over the horizon till it goes over the horizon."
Q9 How long is it in view from the time it comes over the horizon to when you last see it?
A9 Adam did not respond to this question.
Q10 Did you lose sight of it because it goes over the horizon or in some other way?
A10 See A8.
Q11 Are there any nights you don't see it every night?
A11 "You see it every night. I am always looking for it. It is not often I can't go and look for it threw the night it goes back and forward a few times."
Q13 Has anyone locally, either on Facebook, radio or local newspaper ever said they have also seen the object?
A13 "I no of a few people that have seen it that live around here."
Q14 How long have you lived in Kairi?
A14 "I have lived here for 4 years."
Q15 Have you told anyone about your sighting? If so, what do they think?
A15 "I told some friends they then wanted to see it and now they have all seen it and say it is very strange like nothing they have ever seen."
4. WebTrak:
As Kairi is 40 kilometres direct distance from Cairns international airport, I decided to check the airport's secondary radar via the Air Services Australia WebTrak website.I has specifically asked Adam for the date and time of his latest sighting of the object. He told me this was 2330hrs on 18 August 2015. I therefore checked WebTrak between 2300 and 2359hrs 18 August.  There were only two aircraft movements as shown in the following screen shots.

I also checked several other nights data from 2300 and 2359hrs each of these nights. Only aircraft were seen on the website.
Around 2325hrs
Around 2336hrs

5. CASA:
In a response to Adam, Andrew Jacobs of Sydney Observatory suggested the object may be a drone and suggested checking the list of approved drone operators for the area, via the website of the Civil Aviation Safety Authority. I did this and emailed a Cairns based drone operator. I asked them if they were responsible for the sightings? They responded that they were not.
6. Primary radar:
I forwarded a request under the FOI Act to Air Services Australia, asking for primary radar data from Cairns airport for 10 minutes either side of 2330hrs 18 August. As at the date of typing this preliminary report, ASA are processing my request.
7. Local media:
I obtained the name of the local newspaper and local radio station for the area.  I searched the Facebook site for "The Tablelander." There was no reference to local UAP sightings. I left a message on their Facebook page asking anyone with information to contact me. As at the date of this report, no one has contacted me.
I did the same for Radio station 97.9 Hot FM. Again, no reports on their Facebook page and no response to a message I left on their Facebook page.
8. Other searches:
I did a search on the Internet using the terms "drone"; "UFO" etc for Kairi, Cairns and other localities in that area. I did find out that the RAAF were flying a drone Heron remotely piloted aircraft associated with the joint US/Australian exercise Talisman, from Rockhampton in June 2015. A RAAF spokesman said most of the time it flew at 30000 feet and would not be visible to civilians except when landing and taking off.
9. Internet check:

Curiously, I did find one Internet reference to the following:
22 April 1995 0510hrs Kairi, Queensland.
"A mantra ray-shaped UFO paces car for several kms. Had cockpit and window. Illuminates ground as it flew rapidly to the east." The source is given as Larry Hatch's database.
I have looked for any further information on this report, but have been unable to find any. If any blog reader has further information on this, please let me know.
10. Witness check:

I am aware of Adam's full name and mobile telephone number. There is a Facebook page in this name, stating that Adam lives in Kairi, Queensland, is self employed, and studied Travel and Tourism at TAFE. It says that Adam was originally from the Australian Capital Territory. It has a picture of Adam.

11. Weather for 18 Aug 2015:

I obtained weather details for the one specific date the object was known to have been seen:

(1) Mareeba - 21 kms away station id 031210.
a. 2300hrs Temp was 13.6 deg C; relative humidity 89%; wind from SE at 9km/hr; pressure 1020.0hPa.
b. 2330hrs 14.1 deg C; 89%; wind from SE at 9km/hr; 1019.9hPa.
c. Midnight 13.9 deg C; 82%; SE at 7km/hr; 1019.7hPa.

(2) Cairns - 40 kms away.
a. 2300hrs 18.6; 82%; wind from WNW at 4km/hr; 1018.6.
b. 2330hrs 17.9; 87%; NNW at 6km/hr; 1018.5.
c. Midnight 16.7; 91%; calm; 1018.4.
I find it difficult to assign this case, to any particular category at the moment. Adam, despite me asking, has not put me in touch with anyone else whom he says has seen the object, and I have found no independent witnesses. I am awaiting any primary radar data from Air Services Australia.
I welcome comments from blog readers, about how to progress the investigation, if possible.


  1. is there any photo or video of this. As it did happen nightly with what I have read

  2. Hi Sharon,

    Thanks your comment. Unlike so many cases where there is video or still photo evidence, here we have none. The young man concerned had not thought to try this. I have now left the follow up to a Cairns based member of UFO Research Queensland, who is looking to view the object for himself. I wait for this individual's report on his success or otherwise.

  3. Its a drone coming in low - it looks bigger than you think - has four flashing lights below the four engines can flash white or purple/blue very quite when above 300ft.

  4. I have gone through the site and read all blogs and this is a nice one:

    Aerial Drone Gamma Surveys