Saturday, October 31, 2015

Sightings from NW Australia - part two

Hi all,

Apart from sightings which I have posted about, namely Roebourne in 2007; Broome in 2012; and Exmouth in 1992/1993, I have received details of other sightings from the same general area. Unless otherwise indicated I have been in direct touch with the witness.

Exmouth. Late 60's or early 70's
 
"My father and his friend travelled around Australia in his early years. He was in his late 20's I think. He was able to get work at Exmouth setting up the communications, this is where he and about another 200 people witnessed a craft directly above them. The Americans would set up an outdoor picture theatre for the staff, every weekend, and whilst they were watching the film a craft appeared above them. Left at an unbelievable pace. This is the story my father told me as a child. Would have been in the late 60's I guess or early 70's."
 (Report from daughter to Mariana Flynn, UFO Research NSW Inc.)


Near Exmouth. Undated

One night, a woman was advised of a family member who had died. She left home about 11pm and was driving alone on the main road to Exmouth. She noticed a bright, single,  light approaching her vehicle. She flashed the lights of her vehicle at it. By now it was 1am. She switched on the spotlights of her vehicle. The approaching bright light went out at a distance of about 50 metres. Passing the spot where it had been she swung round and checked the road. She thought she may have run another vehicle off the road. However, nothing was to be seen. She travelled on in to Exmouth and stopped to report the incident to police there. They merely said, no problems, they knew of other reports of this mystery light.

Near Exmouth. 1978/1979

Two girls were on a station, when during the early morning hours they need to go to the bathroom. They heard a sound - a magnified high pitched noise. They walked on to the patio and as they did so, noticed an unusual blue beam over the station's rubbish dump. Both of them saw this light and heard the noise. They were scared and cried. The "thing engulfed the sky." It was massive in size. Both screamed and ran into dad but they couldn't wake either him,  or the brother of one of them. The noise and beam scared them so they took a sleeping bag into a cupboard to hide. The noise went on. They told dad in the morning and he said "They won't hurt you."

Karratha. 2005/2006

"In office at work talking to secretary at about 10am (?) when we both looked out and saw a disc shaped UFO - brown and white alternating stripes (alternately radiating from centre of UFO, not many, say 4-8 stripes.)

Above the LIA flipping back and forth in the sky on about a 2 or 3 degree arc. I went out of the building to investigate and when I got to the bottom of the stairs and came out past the edge of the building next door it was gone...It looked like one of those discus's we threw for sports at school. When I got back upstairs I said to the secretary "Where did it go?" She said it just disappeared.

Karratha. Late 2012

"Going to 8 ball one night I was at a lady's place in Karratha....Just walked out of the house with two 8 ball friends when I looked into the sky and there was a very brightly lit light doing spirals in the sky to the north but quite close.

"My friends were in front and had peeled off to the left to walk to their car just up the road. I didn't say anything but was strangely at peace and glad to see the light. Initially, my logical brain thought it was a helicopter but knew it couldn't be. Maneuvers were too extreme. It then just disappeared.

 
Barrow Island. 2015(?)
 
I received the following photograph from a man, who told me that the Chef on his Oil Rig tender boat took this photograph, while the boat was at anchor off Barrow Island.
 


October 2015 - Australian reports roundup

Hi all,

Introduction

Welcome to the new format of the Australian national level UAP sightings listings, by Keith Basterfield and Paul Dean.

As mentioned last month, Paul and I will no longer be bringing you a lengthy listing of un-investigated sightings. Instead we will bring you selected sightings which we have recently come across; give you the facts as we know them, and report on our own efforts to investigate them.

We hope you will find the new format of interest. If you read about a local sighting for which you already have additional information, especially of you have investigated it, then please send your data to keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au and we will publish it here with full credit to you.


A sighting we'd like to know more about. 

Kalbar, Queensland. 12 October 2015. 2000hrs.

"A farmer living on a 100 acre property became concerned when his dogs began barking, so he walked outside his home to investigate what was disturbing them.

He walked towards a visitor's car parked approximately 30 metres from where he stood but had difficulty seeing the car due to the emanation of the reflection of a light on the car. He described this as "blurring out" the car.

He initially thought he was having problems with his vision, but two seconds later he saw an object appear above the car which he described as looking just like the moon and luminous. It then moved straight up into the sky, changed course to a 45 degree angle, then 'shot off' disappearing from view. He called to his family to come outside to see the object but it had already disappeared. He described the object as not being mechanized, perfectly round and if it didn't move he could have sworn it was the moon...."

(Source: Facebook page for UFO Research Queensland. We hope that UFORQ will be able to further investigate this intriguing report and provide readers with a detailed investigation report in due course.)

Note 1: Alert blog readers will recall that Kalbar was the location where a weather camera is claimed to have photographed a UAP, in March 2015.

Note 2: For those readers who might like to know where the Moon was at 2000hrs 12 October, as seen from Kalbar. A quick check of an astronomical program indicates it was below the horizon.


Sightings

28 September 2015, Around sunset, Darwin, Northern Territory.

Quentin Theron, 40 and children Kylie, 14 and Georgia 8, were in a pool at their Coconut Grove home, Darwin, when they saw a bright ball of light travelling through the sky. The object had a thick and short tail. A video was taken, and is available to view at:
http://www.ntnews.com.au/news/only-in-the-territory/its-unidentified-flying-and-an-object-ufo-baffles-experts/story-fnk2tg5d-1227552608118

Paul Dean unsuccessfully attempted to contact witness Theron via both his Facebook page, and the NT News. No one responded. Paul also spoke to an air traffic controller, about the possibility that the video shows a fuel dump from a military aircraft. The controller did not believe it did. We would be interested to hear from anyone who has looked further into this matter.


2 October 2015, Early hours of the morning, Scotts Creek (Victoria?)

"We could see a very bright light across the paddocks from the house. Seemed yellow warm light compared to the cool blue stars. It seemed extremely close and large compared to anything that should be visible in the sky. I took several photos and video. This was in the north eastern sky about 1-2km above the horizon and seemed only the same distance away. We could hear a humming vibrating sound over our music and it seemed a different frequency as the music was initially loud.

Over the next three hours we watched it hover in the same spot before slowly moving off  north once the daylight broke, but it was still visible when it was light at 6am. A farmer a few km away also saw it and captured a photo. On zooming in on photos it appears in different forms but always as bright triangle or bent line shape or in a circle. I know that camera pixels can change these shaped but this is unbelievable."

The above details appeared at http://www.onlymelbourne.com.au/ufo-sightings-melbourne#.VhsT8a-hfIU

Comments:

This sighting appeared worthy of follow up. So, I:

a. Used an electronic contact form to send a message to the operators of "Only Melbourne" asking if they would send "Caz" my email address and message. An operator from the "Only Melbourne" responded and advised that they were unable to assist me.

b. I checked an Australian directory for locations named "Scotts Creek." There were a number listed. On the assumption that a person in Scotts Creek, Victoria might choose to forward their sighting to a Victorian website like "Only Melbourne" I looked for the nearest local paper to the Victorian Scotts Creek.This turned out to be the Warnambool Standard newspaper. I despatched an email to the editor outlining my interest in this sighting; and also submitted a similar item to the paper's Facebook page's visitor's comments. To date I have had no response to these efforts.

c. Again, on the assumption that "Caz" was in Scotts Creek, Victoria I obtained the weather details form the closest Bureau of Meteorology station which was station number 090186 at Warnambool, 54.1 km away. That day, the minimum temperature was 9.9 deg C; the maximum temperature was 23.8 deg C. At 0900hrs the wind was blowing from the north at 17km/hr.

d. Again, on the assumption we are looking at Scotts Creek, near Warnambool, Victoria (latitude 38.46 south and longitude 143.09 east) I found that the sun rose at 0549hrs. Astronomically, the planet Venus rose at 0404hrs. At that time, it was elevation zero, ie on the horizon; and at azimuth 77 degrees. By 0600 hrs it had mover northwards to elevation 21 deg, and azimuth 57 deg. North-east is azimuth 45 deg.

e. At this point, as no one to my knowledge, has interviewed "Caz" or anyone else in the area who saw the object, the identification of the cause of the sighting remains "unknown." However, given the presence of the bright (magnitude -4.4) planet Venus in the same general area, and the fact that "Caz" does not report seeing both their "UFO" and the brilliant planet Venus, there is the possibility, however remote, that the sighting is a misidentification of that planet. Only a thorough investigation, preferably on site, would tell. I have referred the case to VUFOA.


4 October 2015, (2130-2200)hrs, 4kms north of Yankalilla, South Australia, 4 minutes.

"We saw a bright orange light at about 25 degree elevation north of us. It came towards us for about four minutes, then when it was almost directly overhead it went straight up until it disappeared from view. My first thought was that it was a helicopter, although the colour of light was wrong, but it was absolutely silent!"

This sighting came to me as a comment on the Sydney Observatory "Lights in the sky" blog.

Comment:

a. I located the weather details for the nearest Bureau of Meteorology station which was station umber 023875 at Parawa, 13.4 kms away. At 1500hrs the wind was from the WNWW at 11 km/hr. Temperature was 22.7 deg C; relative humidly 36%; pressure 1022.9hPa.

At 2100hrs temp was 20.6 deg C; 28% rh; wind from NNW at 7km/hr.
At 2130hrs temp was 20.3 deg C; 28% rh; wind from NW at 6km/hr
At 2200hrs temp was 20.8 deg C; 29% rh; wind from NW at 6km/hr.

b. Given the colour of the light; the 4 minutes duration; and the movement roughly in the direction from which the wind was blowing at a low speed; I elected not to follow this report up any further as there is a high probability of a wind borne, hoax hot air balloon. See previous detailed investigation reports on similar lights at:

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2015/10/preliminary-investigation-report.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/report-from-cairns-queensland-17.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2015/09/preliminary-investigation-report.html


9 October 2015, Ca. 2100hrs, Northfield, a suburb of Adelaide, South Australia, 2 minutes.

"I was coming home about 9pm up Grand Junction Road when I caught sight of a large horizontal bank of lights approx. 200 feet off the ground, to my right and level with Rowe Avenue. It was 9.02 when I first spotted it and I watched it for about 2 minutes.

At first I thought it was a construction site on the top floor of a block as it was too low for a plane and stationary. I'm used to seeing the planes coming in over the hills but they were nothing like that.

It was massive, very low, and as I say, appeared to be stationary. It looked like a row of lights on a gantry. I pulled over to see it better and as I stopped the car it appeared to rotate on the spot and moved off very slowly southwards.

I turned around at the next place I could and then went along Rowe Avenue but there was nothing in the sky, no tall buildings and no sign of a plane moving away toward the airport as you would normally see going into the distance.

Shortly after, at about 9.08 and 9.10 two planes came over the hills with landing lights on as normal, quite low but nowhere near as low as the first one. They were considerably smaller blocks of normal landing, flashing wing lights and cabin lights. It was a bit weird. Can't say anything about noise as I had loud music on the radio."

This report came to me via a mutual friend. Due to its unusual nature, ie bank of lights, initially  stationary and then moving, I thought it worthy of a follow up. So, I:

a. Contacted the witness via our mutual friend and asked the following:

Q1. What colour were the bank of lights?
A1 White.
Q2 How many lights (approximately) were in the bank of lights?
A2 "There were 10-15 brilliant white lights along the length."
Q3. How big was the whole thing compared to the full moon on the horizon?
A3 "...about the same distance between the end of my thumb and the end of my smallest finger (20cm approx.) at arm's length..."

They witness also advised:

"The white lights were of varying intensity, some were bright like spotlights other less intense/pointing away from me at different angles. There was a blue solid light towards one end and a red solid light towards the other. These lights were considerably smaller than the white ones and nowhere near as bright.'

b. I obtained the weather details for the Adelaide office of the Bureau of Meteorology (10kms away).

2030hrs 25.7 deg c; 42% rh; wind was calm; pressure 1022.7hPa.
2100hrs 24.3 deg c; 50%rh; wind calm; pressure 1023.0hPa.
2130hrs 23.8 deg c; 50%rh; wind calm; pressure 1023.4hPa.

c. I checked Air Services Australia's WebTrak website the following are screen shots at various times relevant to the sighting:

A B77W aircraft flew over at 2101hrs


2110hrs showing the two aircraft the witness saw
d. My wife and I travelled along this section of Grand Junction Road, past Rowe Avenue about an hour later, that night, but saw nothing unusual.

e. I visited the area concerned on 14 October and spent some time looking around the area


Looking across Grand Junction Road down Roe Avenue
Comment:

We welcome any feedback on this sighting.

Friday, October 30, 2015

An extraordinary close encounter near Exmouth: Sightings at US Navcommsta Harold E Holt - Part two

Hi all,

Introduction

In a previous post, I brought you two sightings from 1973 and 1981. This post presents details of what can only be described as an extraordinary close encounter, with photographs, and official intervention, near the base, at Exmouth, Western Australia, in 1992/1993.

This account, by a former Exmouth resident, is their own, first hand, written account of the incident. I have spoken to this individual by telephone; confirmed their identity, and listened to them recount their terrifying experience.

Naturally, if any blog reader can add anything further to what is given here, especially to identify the officials mentioned in this account, I would be delighted to hear from you via email to keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au

 The event

"It was approximately end of 1992 beginning of 1993 and I was out with an American friend at the Harold  E Holt Naval Communications Base bar and grill having a few drinks. The base is about 6 kms on isolated roads from the actual town of Exmouth.
"Time got away from me and by the time, around 1.30am I left the base, Exmouth Taxi Service had stopped running for the night. At first I couldn't figure out what I was going to do and contemplated walking. Then an APS, Australian Protective Services/Federal Police Officer I knew as Brian sang out to me and offered me a ride back to Exmouth. Brian explained that him and his co-worker needed to do a security check of the surrounding area and would drop me home.
The location of the base - Courtesy Google maps

The object appears
"Brian introduced his co-worker as Kevin. All 3 of us piled into a short wheel base Toyota Land Cruiser that had a front bench seat. I was in the middle with Brian driving and Kevin in the passenger seat. We were driving along chatting for only about 1km when Brian announces "It's back Kev...Grab the camera." The whole time he is looking out the driver's window, while still driving, and straight up.
"I question what was back, as Kevin undid his seat belt and lent into the back of the car for the camera. Brian cups the back of my head and pushes me forward telling me to look up. Needless to say I did and sighted a strange looking craft following directly above the vehicle.
"It looked really close but I'm thinking it would have been 100-200 feet above the car. The craft looked diamond in shape with what I would describe as one end chopped off, very pointy front end and flat back. I could see different coloured lighting in symmetrical patterns on the underside.
"I started crying and shaking while Brian started shooting pictures of this craft. Kevin seemed just as scared as I was and just kept saying "What the hell is it?" I still kept leaning forward to see if it was there and Brian still kept shooting pictures for a matter of 2-3 minutes.
"Then all of a sudden the craft shot to the left of us at a speed faster than your eyes could move. It was lower down and keeping pace with the car. Brian was yelling at Kev to take the camera and shoot pictures but Kev was silent and seemed in shock.
"Next the craft shot up in the air, to the right of us and started to lower down to the ground in the bush. At this stage Brian had slowed the car to nearly a stop but Kevin and I were yelling at him to go.
"Brian was saying "No way we can get a good shot of this...I can get in there." I was hysterical and demanded to be dropped off. Brian sped to the edge of town and dumped me off where I high tailed it home. They turned the car around and headed back in the direction of the craft.

Map of NW Cape - courtesy Google maps
The aftermath
"I was terrified and didn't sleep all night. The next day I'm relaying the story to anyone that would hear me but everyone just laughed and asked how drunk I was, but I was not alone in what I saw, nor had I had much to drink.
"2 days after the incident I was working at a local cafe when 2 US Military Police walked up to the counter. They asked my manager if they could speak to me and then informed me I was wanted at the base. My manager looked at me and told me I better go with them. I asked what this was all about, assuming that a week before I had been out there partying and may have done something wrong, but at no stage did they actually answer me.
"When we turned into the base I just assumed we would stop at the APS building to check me in but they just waved us through like they were expecting us, not ever done as you had to produce ID to enter that base.
"We continued onto the base and then suddenly turned left into what I knew was the top secret part of the base, heavily surrounded by fencing. The gates automatically opened and we drove to the right towards a large solid looking building.

NW Cape  satellite view- courtesy Google maps
"By now I was scared and trying to figure out why the hell they would be taking me in there, still never thinking it had  to do with what we saw. We stopped at the front of the building and one of the MP's opened my door and signalled for me to get out. He then just said "Follow me maam."
"We entered a long hallway and walked about half way along when the other MP opened a door and held it for me. As I stepped into the room the first thing I saw was 3 men in black suits and about 4-5 US military men in very official looking uniforms. I also then  spotted Brian and Kevin and knew immediately what I was there for. They were sitting on chairs in the middle of the room and there was one spare between them both.
The interrogation

"The MP then told me to sit down and they left the room. I noticed that both Brian and Kevin had their heads down and looked like they had been there for a long time. One of the men in the official uniforms stepped forward and asked me if I had been in a vehicle with Brian and Kevin 2 nights prior, to which I answered yes. He then questioned me on what exactly I thought I had seen that night. I ran through the whole story with all of them just staring at me and taking notes.
"They asked me that same question several times, each time a different person asked "Are you 100% sure of what you seen that night?" I said yes. They started getting almost irate and kept saying "Well we think you saw a weather balloon and in  your head you think it was a UFO." I was getting angry and just kept saying "I was raised here, I have released weather balloon and that was no weather balloon we saw that night." But then, they would come back at me over and over telling me I didn't know what I was talking about and what I saw was indeed a weather balloon.
"I was arguing back and refusing to say that was what I saw. Brian, head still down, was quietly whispering to me to just agree with them. By this stage I was furious and turned to Brian and said "F*ck them Brian, you, Kev and I know we saw no f*cking weather balloon." Brian shut up then and I continued to argue with these officials about what I saw.
"Eventually, after a few hours it all went quiet and they whispered amongst themselves. After what seemed like forever they turned to me and said I could leave, but kept Brian and Kevin. I was then escorted back home by the same MP's who had picked me up.


Closer view of NW Cape - courtesy Google maps
Follow up with Brian
"I was furious at what had happened and just wanted to speak to Brian or Kevin as to why they didn't back me up in there. I also called my cousin who resided in Broome and told him what had happened as he was very interested in this kind of stuff. My cousin was coming down my way and asked if we could perhaps look Brian up when there as I knew Brian well but not Kevin so much. When my cousin arrived we went round to Brian's house, after I got his address from a mutual friend, and Brian came out the front to meet us.
"Brian stated that I truly needed to leave this alone or we will all be in serious trouble. He offered to tell my cousin and I what happened that day to Kev and him but asked that we come inside. He said that Kevin and him went back to the craft that night, left the vehicle and snuck up on this thing. He said they got lots of photos of it hovering a few feet above the ground. The next morning they took the pictures and got them instantly developed and started showing people. The day after they were called to the base and asked to bring the  pictures, negatives and camera with them. They were actually excited thinking they had made a major discovery. Hence they were taken into that room and drilled for hours.
"All their equipment was removed from them and they were threatened with disciplinary action if they told another person what they had seen. Right there was when Kevin evidently mentioned that I was in the car with them and they hit panic stations. They both ended up in serious trouble for taking me with them that night and it was forever banned that a civilian rode with them on security checks. Brain stated they took his pictures, negatives and even his camera. He said they were also later made to have some blood and health checks, thankfully I wasn't. He then asked me to please drop this as people can disappear for shit like this. I said to him I wouldn't promise to do that as I knew something was covered up that night."

The base - Naval Communications Station Harold E Holt - courtesy of Google maps

Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sightings at or near US Navcommsta Harold E Holt - Part one

Hi all,

Introduction

In 1963 an agreement was reached between the Australian and United States governments to build a US Naval communications station, near what is now the town of Exmouth in Western Australia. It was opened in 1967 and originally titled US Naval communications station, North West Cape.


Courtesy Google maps
In September 1968 its name was changed to US Naval communications station Harold E Holt. From 1967 until October 1992, a US Naval Security Group Detachment was stationed at the base.

Up until 1974 it was staffed by United States personnel, but after that date became a joint operation  and officially designated NAVCOMMSTA Harold E Holt.

Courtesy Google maps
All US personnel were withdrawn in 1993. In 1999, all operations transferred to the Royal Australian Navy.

In July 2002, the Royal Australian Navy handed the base over to the Defence Material Organisation. It is currently operated under contract by Raytheon Australia.

1973

In about 1975, a UAP group based in Sydney, UFOIC, received ten pages of documentation relating to this sighting, directly from the RAAF. There were two handwritten witness statements, one sketch of the object, and two, three page completed RAAF unusual aerial sightings proformas. The sighting reports are attributed to a Bill Lynn and a Lt Commander Moyer.

Lynn

On Thursday 25 October 1973, at 1920 hours, a US Navy fire captain sighted an unusual object in the sky. \"At 1920hrs I was called by the P.O.W. to close the officers' club. I proceeded towards the club in the Fire Dept pick-up 488, when my attention was drawn to a large black object, which I at first took to be a small cloud formation, due west of Area "B"

Page of Lynn's proforma

While travelling towards the officers' club I couldn't help but be attracted by this object's appearance.

On alighting from pick-up 488, I stood for several minutes and watched this black sphere hovering. The sky was clear and pale green-blue. No clouds were about what so ever.

The object was completely stationary except for a halo round the centre which appeared to be either rotating or pulsating.

After watching it for approx. 4 mins, it suddenly took off at tremendous speed and disappeared in a northerly direction in a few seconds.

Lynn's sketch of the object
I consider the object to have been approx. 30ft in diameter, hovering at 1000ft over the hills due west of the base. It was black, maybe due to looking in the direction of the setting sun. No lights appeared on it at any time."

Lynn had been resident in Exmouth since 1968.On the proforma Lynn estimates that the object's angular elevation as 12 degrees and azimuth 270 degrees. This bearing was established by a compass after the sighting. His estimated angular size of the object was "2 inches plus halo at arm's length." There was no trail, exhaust, vapour or light noted. It was last seen north-west of Area "B," at azimuth 320 degrees. There was no associated sound at any stage.

Lt Commander Moyer

"I wish to report the sighting of a large, black airborne object at approximately quarter past seven (PM) last Thursday 25 Oct 1973.

Moyer's sketch of the object
I was travelling south on Murat Road, when I observed this object at a distance of approximately 5 miles to the west at an altitude estimated as 2000ft. After about 20-25 seconds the craft accelerated at unbelievable speed and disappeared to the north. The sky was absolutely clear at the time."

He estimated the accuracy of the time as plus or minus five minutes. He was travelling back to Exmouth at the time, a route he had taken twice a day for 21 months. The object was initially seen at an angular elevation of 20 degrees (plus or minus 5). He estimated its angular size as "Approx same as moon when high in the sky." Azimuth was 270 degrees. There was no associated sound. There was no trail, vapour, exhaust or light. It disappeared to the north at an estimated 45-50 degrees elevation and azimuth 345-350 degrees.

Research

I spoke by telephone to Sydney researcher Moira McGhee who was the person to whom the RAAF gave the copy documents about the case. I read the material written by Sydney researcher Bill Chalker in his 1996 book "Oz Files."

Melbourne researcher Paul Dean and I then conducted additional comprehensive research during 2013 which included locating the family of Bill Lynn.

Bill Lynn (on left) at the base in 1975
Lynn  turned out to be an Australian citizen employed by the US Navy as a fire fighter. Despite extensive searching during 2013/2015 no one has ever been able to locate Lt Commander Moyer. If any blog reader was based at the station in 1973; or lived in Exmouth in 1973, and can throw light on the identity of Lt Commander Moyer, please contact myself at keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au

For details of our research findings, please take a look at the following links:

1. An initial "cold case" assessment.

2. Time check for the NW Cape incident.

3. Another anomaly with the NW Cape incident.

4. NW Cape incident - some further research notes.

5. William Gordon Lynn.

6. NW Cape - follow up questions.

The case remains an excellent example of  Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.)

1981
 

The second sighting at US Navcommsta Harold E Holt surfaced in 2001 on Peter Davenport's National UFO Reporting Center in the USA. It was an anonymous report and has never been investigated, so caution needs to be exercised in reading it. However, for what it is worth:

"On an evening in 1981 I was driving north from the small town of Exmouth to the US Naval (navcomsta he holt) communications base to deliver a pizza to an employee of mine who was in the base hospital. We have very clear skies in Exmouth and I noticed what I took to be a very bright planet at about 11 o'clock high on the way out.

After making my delivery as I drove back into town I looked for the planet again but it wasn't there. I looked all round the sky and located it again at a very low elevation due east of me.

I pulled over and stood on the roof of my car so I could see over the surrounding scrub. What I observed was a white oval cross sectioned object with an orange coloured dome on top.

It continued to descend from about 20 degrees above the horizon down to the ground coming between myself and a range of hills about 6 kilometres from me. The area in which it came down is inaccessible under normal circumstances. It was not an airplane or helicopter and unfortunately no one else witnessed the event."

1990
 
In 2014 an anonymous contributor submitted the following, to the MUFON Case Management System, stating that it happened at Exmouth, Western Australia. 
 
"I can't tell you who I am, but I have been living with this event since 11 June 1990. I am ex-Australian military and was operating out of RAAF Base Learmonth  on the night mentioned at approx. 0208am myself and my patrol section were on a recon exercise patrol when we experienced something - a rifle section consists of 9 men. We were the only patrol out that night. The triangle craft was massive, at least tow football fields wide. I've seen a lot of aircraft in my lifetime but this scared the shoot out of me and my patrol. The object was black, with eight dull lights (white) on 2 edges of the craft with a red light in the centre. It gave off a low humming noise, like a sub woofer amp and moved slowly at first almost like a zeplin airship almost hanging still in the air. We were awe struck by this object, once it was spotted my section layed low on some dunes near the beach and watch for approx. 14 min when the object went from no purpose to rapidly moving south west for possible 5km out to sea and then vertical like a blur, we got a clear look at what we could and the area of coast is not populated and it was a clear night. I mentioned our experience to my flight Sargent when we returned to Learmonth, it was dismissed as a USAF Galaxy transport aircraft as we had  a few arriving in Learmonth to resupply y the Harold E Holt US Navy base during  the week. I can tell you it was no Galaxy. I confide to you as I struggle to this day to understand what it was we saw."
 
Notes:  
 
1.  There was a very interesting UAP report made dated 9 June 1987. I documented it in a blog post dated 18 August 2013. It is reported to have occurred at RAAF Base Learmonth. I provide the text below:
 
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."
 .    

Continued in part two - an extremely unusual close encounter with government intervention.

Art imitates life

Hi all,

I came across an interesting article in issue 428, October 2015, of the magazine "Adelaide Review." Page 34 in the visual arts section, is a one page article written by John Neylon about the recent works of Melbourne artist Richard Lewer.



The article
The article opens with the words "Ever heard of...The Westall UFO?"

The opening paragraph

The reference to Westall

The reference to Westall reads:

"These works by Richard Lewer feast on the fears of people who still believe that the truth is out there somewhere. No matter that the Westall UFO was almost certainly a maverick HIBAL (High Altitude Balloon) - one of several launched from different sites around Australia in the 1960s. The fact is, townsfolk and school students saw 'something' well out of the ordinary. That was enough. Richard Lewis has captured the moment in a painting (Westall 2015) which shows the students lined up as if for a class photograph being stalked by a quite conventional flying saucer hovering above them. Things are a bit blurred and shaky. Like memory."

A great image of the Westall 66 painting may be seen here.

Tuesday, October 27, 2015

Intriguing report from Broome - Western Australia

Hi all,

I have been fortunate to have been contacted by an Engineer who had a very interesting sighting, while on holiday in Broome in June 2012, part of which was captured on video. I will first provide details in his own words, then present further information gained from both a telephone discussion, and via email. I thank him for his willingness to openly discuss this intriguing episode.

The sighting
 
"Wife, kids and I were in Broome on holidays in June 2012 and we went for a drive down to Cable Beach at about 4pm. we walked to grass area near café (we were looking for camel rides) and saw a French couple under the tree staring at the sky.

Broome - courtesy Google maps
 
"I said, 'What are you looking at?' and they said 'That up there, it's been there for about 20 minutes.'
 
"We all looked up and saw a white dot hovering. I speculated that it could be one of those drone cameras that take photographs of a town for tourism purposes.
 
"It moved slowly around the sky above us (went away a little, came back.) It was still in the sky when we drove home at 4.30pm We pulled into our driveway of the hotel and had just gotten out of the car when it appeared out of blue sky (from nowhere) above us to the south and I said to the wife "look" and she saw it.

Broome - courtesy of Google maps
 
 "It then spiralled slightly, came at us very low and started blinking/flashing like it was taking pictures. It had a faint light on one or both sides initially and a centre light sphere the size of a softball. Then the whole thing lit up like a large flash, we both went "Whoa." It then sped up into the sky and parked itself very high in the sky (perhaps 500 or 1000 metres high - hard to say, over the hotel. I videoed it at this point and in the video you can see it, at least one other white light zip past it closely at one stage (on multiple frames and all with the same linear track.) The second white light can be seen zipping past in 3 frames at around the 17 or 18 second mark."
 
Questions
 
I posed a number of questions to the Engineer, whose responses are shown below. Please take a moment to read through them.
 
Q1 Can you estimate the angular size of the object at its closest approach, by comparing it to the size of the full Moon on the horizon, eg was it half that size (full Moon subtends an angle of 0.5 degrees.)
 
A1 "Yes, I was standing at the back door of the car about to let the kids out and looked over the roof of the car and upwards at about an angle of 25-30 degrees to the horizon and the object appeared to be softball to bowling ball size and only 4-5 metres away in the air.

 
Thinking back to the initial sighting with the French couple.
 
Q2 You mentioned it moved slowly around the sky. Was it always on the move, or did it hover, move, hover?
 
A2 "It moved slowly from west to east (say 5-10km/hr, that type of speed,) hovered for a while, came back from east to west a little later at a similar speed. We were looking quite vertical at the time with the French couple (they were on their backs lying on grass under a tree.) It must of subtended an arc of say 85 degrees to the horizontal to say 60 degrees to the horizontal and then came back again later. It possibly went south a little as well and came back north in a narrow loop when coming back."
 
Q3 Was it always in the same general compass direction, eg East, or was it seen by you to your north or west etc?
 
A3 "See above."
 
Q4 Did its movements remind you of anything, eg bird like, kite like,  etc? If so, what?
 
A4 "I initially thought it was a 4 propeller drone (perhaps taking promotional video from the air for tourist advertisements) but it was very high (about the same height as in the video.) At a wedding in May this year they had a professional white 4 propeller drone there doing a video of it and it made a terrible din and didn't have anywhere near the ascent rate that this thing had, so I have since ruled that out."


Typical 4 propeller drone - courtesy http://www.ebay.com/itm/Quad-Copter-Drone-RC-HD-Camera-6-Axis-2GB-Radio-Controlled-Gyro-Toy-Helicopter-/151862332574
Q5 At any point did you see structure in it, eg struts, wheels, antenna? Anything else?
 
A5 "No. Just a softball to bowling bowl sized light with 2 much smaller lights (pin pricks of light, one each side but separated from the main light) coming off the sides. If you drew a softball sized circle on a page and then drew a vertical line through the centre, then draw from the centre of the circle a line each side off the vertical coming off at 45 degrees, along this line dot your pen or pencil on the page say 10mm from where those lines project say 10mm outside of the circle, then that's what it looked like."
 
Thinking now, about being back at the hotel.
 
Q6 How did you first notice it being there, ie what attracted your attention to it?
 
A6 "We had just parked the car. I got out to let the kids out and my wife went to the rear of the station wagon to get some stuff out. Suddenly I saw something to the south and 25-30 degrees in the sky, spiralling very quickly towards us out of nowhere (it was all very quick how it appeared.) It just sort of materialised out of nothing. My wife must saw it appear as well, because I looked over to her and she was staring at it and I said "What's that?" and before she could answer it blinked a few times, the little lights flashed a couple of times and then lit up like a great flash. We both went 'whoa' quite loudly, and it shot virtually straight up into the sky. We then got the kids out, walked up the stairs to our unit very quickly and I got the video camera app going on the phone straight away, when the wife and kids went inside."
 
Q7 Can you estimate how close it came to you at the closest point?
 
A7 "4-5m away."
 
Q8 At the closest point, could you see any structure in it, eg struts, propellers, wheels, antenna, camera lens?
 
A8 "No, just lights."
 
Q9 What was the frequency of the blinking/flashing?
 
A9 "The main light, say every one second. The smaller lights, faster than that, say twice as fast."
 
Q10 If the centre light sphere was softball size, what was the size of the light or lights to one  or both sides?
 
A10 "Pin sized. Like pin pricks of light."
 
Q11 How bright was the flashing/blinking, compare to say a star, the planet Venus, the Moon, the Sun?
 
A11 "As bright as say staring into a down light in a normal house."
 
Q12 Can you estimate how long it took to go from close by you, to 'parking itself' in the sky?
 
A12 "It shot straight up from say 5m off the ground, to very high in an instant, a blink of the eye type thing."
 
Q13 Roughly what time was it when you first saw it from the hotel?
 
A13 "Say 4.30pm."
 
Q14 Roughly what time was it when you last saw it?
 
A14 "I videoed it not long after 4.30pm at say 4.35pm. I only videoed it for about 25 seconds, but it was there 20 minutes later when the kids went out for a swim. I couldn't be bothered watching it all that time as it was just sitting there. However, after the kids finished their swim at say 5.30pm it was gone. We initially spotted it with the French couple at 4pm and they said they had been watching it for nearly half an hour, so it was hovering and moving slowly about the sky for at least 2 hrs (more battery time than say a drone would have?"
 
Q15 How did you finally loose sight of it, eg did you simply stop watching it, or did it leave?
 
A15 "See above."
 
Q16 If it left, can you describe how it did this? 
 
A16 "I don't know."
 
Q17 Can you recall what the weather conditions were like at the time of the sighting, for example was there any wind, and if so can you estimate the wind speed and wind direction?
 
A17 "Very clear sky. Quite hot and humid. Slight breeze from west to east. As it was only 4pm in the afternoon when we first spotted it with the French couple, the sky was still bright with sunlight and there were no clouds."
 
Q18 At any time, was there any noise associated with the object? Especially at its closest approach to you?
 
A18 "Not once. No noise at all."
 

 The video
 
The engineer shot a 24 second long hand held video, using his Samsung Galaxy SII phone.


Samsung Galaxy S II phone - courtesy http://www.samsung.com/global/microsite/galaxys2/html/
Technical specifications of the phone's main 8Mp camera, reveal that the aperture is F=2.7; f=4.15mm; with a 28.1 degree horizontal field of view, with 4 plastic aspheric lenses.

The video shows a clear blue sky, with a white spherical object in the field of view. The top and left hand side of the screen is framed by the roof of the hotel the family were staying at.



White sphere is in centre horizontally and 1 cm up from bottom edge - click on image to magnify it
 
 
Judging from the relative position of the white sphere, and the roof, the white sphere appears to be stationary during the entire 24 second long sequence. It remains the same brightness and size throughout this time. The videographer adds:
 
"At the 18 second mark you can see in about 5 or 6 frames another bright light zip past the stationary light from bottom left of the still object to top right in the blink of an eye...I have only tonight just noticed at the 16 second mark another object  which is dark grey.."
 
I slowed down the video and looked at it closely, and I can see both the additional white light, and the dark grey object travel across the screen. I posed a couple of questions to the Engineer.
 
Q1 I wonder whether it would be possible for you to estimate the angular elevation, and the compass direction that you were pointing your mobile telephone in at the time this footage was taken?
 
A1 "Probably about 85 degrees to the horizontal. Looking south but virtually straight up. Standing next to the top of the stairs at the hand railing looking up towards the roof overhang."
 
Q2 In addition, what was the name of the hotel or motel that you were staying at..."
 
A2 "(Hotel name provided). Car was parked in rear car park on east side of south eastern most unit. Our unit was also on the east side and second most southern unit." 
  
 In conclusion:

I wish to thank the Engineer for assisting with my documentation of this intriguing incident. Both of us welcome comments, further analysis, and other feedback. Please direct this to keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au
 

 



Sunday, October 25, 2015

Sightings from North West Australia - Part one

Hi all,

As I mentioned in my last post, I have been seeking local sightings from Western Australia. An article about my search, which appeared in the "Pilbara News" dated 21 October 2015, and later in the North West Telegraph, has resulted in several people contacting me with their personal sightings.

This post provides details of one such sighting, from a resident. I thank him for this, and for kindly giving me permission to reprint details in this blog.

The sighting:

"Just read your article in the NW Telegraph and thought I would tell you about some strange lights I observed above the Aboriginal lore grounds at Woodbrook station, 35km south of Roebourne.
Courtesy Google maps
I was coming back from a call out to work at about 3am one morning in 2007 when I stopped near the railway track to get a drink from the back of my ute.
Whilst I was getting my drink I felt like someone was watching me, I turned around to the hills and the old Woodbrook station where I observed what I thought was a shooting star.  It took me a couple of seconds to realize that the shooting star had shot up from the earth not down from the sky.  I kept watching when the light started doing figure eights, hovering in mid air, changing size and then diving up and down to the horizon.  I watched this for about 15 minutes until it just disappeared into the night sky.


I was that spun out when I got home to Wickham that I woke my wife to tell her what happened.  I have seen other strange objects in the sky growing up in the country but this one was the most amazing and made my mind reel.
Earlier that night whilst I was waiting for a train at the Wittennoom turnoff to go past so I could check out the callout, I was sitting on the bonnet of my ute in the middle of the bush with not a soul around for 100’s of km’s, I asked the universe to give me a sign or show me something if there is anything/anyone else out there.  I then observed this light 2hrs and 120km later!"

Questions:
Upon reading the above account, a few questions came to mind, which I emailed. The questions and responses are shown below:
Q1. What was the colour of the light?
A1 "The light appeared to be white like a star but much brighter/bigger and perhaps with a bluish tinge."

Q2. Did the intensity of the light change at any time?
A2. "Yes it did change in intensity. I'm not sure if this is when it came closer to me but it did definitely get brighter."

Q3. Was there any associated noise?
A3. "I can't remember any sound. I think I recall it being quieter when it happened like all sound stopped. This could be my imagination but I don't recall hearing the wireless in my ute, my work two-way or any bush noise."


Courtesy Google maps


 

Tuesday, October 13, 2015

Western Australia - seeking UFO reports

Hi

As part of a new, one year long, project I am seeking reports of UFO sightings, past and present, from regional Australia.

I have commenced the project by contacting a number of Western Australian newspapers, to seek sightings from readers.

Today, at the start of the project, I was interviewed by Courtney, a journalist, from the Pilbara News. This paper is based in the city of Karratha, Western Australia, and is a city with a population around 17,000 people (2011 census) which is some 1575 kilometres north of Perth, the capital city of the state of Western Australia.

Pilbara News 21 October 2015 edition.
If you are someone who is responding to my request for details of local sightings, as a result of reading Courtney's article, please feel free to either send me an email at:

keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au

or leave a comment in the comments section of this blog. Either way, I will respond to your communication.

Some links to previous local Karratha UFO news stories:

https://au.news.yahoo.com/thewest/regional/north-west/a/28634744/is-it-a-bird-is-it-a-plane-or-is-it-a-gully-monster/

http://www.thecid.com/ufo/geo/geo/0629.htm



Thank you.

Monday, October 5, 2015

Garbage in - garbage out

Hi all,

This post concerns the recently flurry of reported sightings of orange lights in a number of Australian states.

I recall when the first spike in reported sightings of orange lights, often in spectacular formations, hit Australian UAP researchers. There were heated discussions as to whether or not, these were true "UFOs" or simply hoax hot air garbage bag balloons?

Today, dip into any current Australian UFO community on Facebook; or take a look at media sources; or check the "Lights in the sky" blog of Sydney Observatory, and you will see literally dozens upon dozens of individuals reporting observations of  "orange lights."

These sightings usually describe observations on nights where the wind is light; where these lights travel in the direction in which the wind is blowing to; and no associated noise is heard. If there more than one light, witnesses might speak of the lights "dancing" and changing position in the formation. When seen at close range observers will describe the orange light as flickering or pulsing. Sometime little lights drop off the main ones. If the light goes out, often it pulses just before it does so.

Actual research

Research by Australian groups and individual researchers as far back as the "big orange light flap of 96" (centred around Narre Warren in Melbourne in 1996) determined that these orange lights were nothing more than hoax hot air garbage bags, sent aloft by bored teenagers. Garbage bags fell onto roofs; police officers found teenagers launching such balloons and cautioned them; and so on.

What has changed?

Skip forward to September 2015. I decided to sample three groups of reported sightings from three Australian states to see if anything has changed. Please take a look at my detailed investigation reports on the Cairns, Queensland; Armidale, New South Wales; and Adelaide South Australia sightings.

I found that nothing had changed, witnesses were still describing orange lights which have all the descriptions of the classic, old time hoax hot air balloon, with perhaps the added modern Chinese lantern thrown in  for good measure.

Orange lights, garbage in - garbage out!

Preliminary investigation report - Adelaide, South Australia - 27 September 2015




Preliminary investigation report – Adelaide, South Australia – 27 September 2015

Time:            Between 1830-1900hrs CST (UTC plus 9.5hrs)
Location:      Southern suburbs of Adelaide, South Australia

Witnesses:  1. "J" and daughter, Oaklands Park, Adelaide.
                      2. “L.” A Facebook friend of J. Suburb adjacent to J.


Photo one
1. Introduction:

J reported her sighting to the Facebook community titled “Adelaide UFO sightings.” Brad Morris of Melbourne, asked J a number of questions about her sighting. I also asked questions. Between us, Brad and I checked such things as WebTrak; the Bureau of Meteorology; and details of sunset. I then engaged J via email.

Courtesy of Google maps
2. J’s account:
Object in the sky south of Brighton, going north. “Started off bright orange like a star, not flashing, went out then it was just a dark object in the sky. Light may have been the Sun shining off it as it set.” It started off in the south-west and went to the north-west of J’s position in Oaklands Park. “Where it appeared to go down over Glenelg way.” Duration was under two minutes. “Was bright about 40 seconds, maybe and then it was a dark object against the sky like in the picture.” There was no noise at all. The light “It pulses just before it went out and went dark.” J’s daughter captured two pictures on an ipad.


3. L:
There was no noise. “The light appeared to be on one side of it.” First seen to the south, finally seen to the west.

4. Weather:
Surface: I checked the Bureau of Meteorology’s latest half hour apart database. On the 27 September, at the Adelaide Airport, it was:

Courtesy Bureau of Meteorology
1830hrs Temperature 17.7 deg C; relative humidity 35%; wind was from the south-west at 2km/hr; pressure 1020.6hPa.
1900hrs 16.2C; 42%; from south-west at 7km/hr; 1020.6hPa.

Upper air:
Courtesy Bureau of Meteorology
I located a website which provides upper air readings, but only twice a day. The nearest data was for 1200 UTC which equals 2130hrs on 27 September 2015; 3 hours after the sightings. Taken at Adelaide Airport. The following table presents height above the ground and what direction the wind was blowing from (in degrees, north is 0; south 180 etc.)

Height above ground     Wind direction (degrees North =0; East = 90 etc.)          
4 metres                              165                                 
28 metres                            164
142 metres                         161
175 metres                         160
839 metres                         295
902 metres                         270

5. Sunset:
Was at 1815hrs that night.

Photo two

6. WebTrak
Both Brad Morris and I checked the Air Service Australia’s WebTrak secondary radar website. No aircraft travelled south to north over the area around J's position during the time frame 1830-1900hrs.

Courtesy of Air Services Australia WebTrak

7. Analysis:
1. A visual observation by three people in two different locations.

2. 40 second bright orange, point source, then 1m 20 sec dark object in the sky. Two photographs were taken of the dark phase.
3. Triangulation from the two locations indicates that the object was not a distant one.

4. No other observations have come to light. An exploration of the Internet failed to locate any media accounts, supporting the thought that it was a close object and not a distant object potentially seen by hundreds of people, e.g. high altitude research balloon; satellite re-entry.
5. The object appeared to be tracking at roughly ninety degrees to the prevailing surface wind as measured at Adelaide Airport. However, as can be seen from the 135 degree shift in wind direction between 175 and 839 metres above the ground, at 2130hrs, wind directions in the upper air can be substantially different from those at the surface.

6. Given all the above data, it could be hypothesised that one explanation could be a hoax hot air garbage bag balloon. The first 40 seconds was a typical bag bright orange light; then the heat source went out and the dark object was the bag floating along.

Acknowledgement:
I wish to thank both J and Brad Morris for their assistance in being able to look into this report, and for Brad’s initial investigation questions. I must add that the above working hypothesis is mine, not Brad’s.

 
For other recent investigation reports of orange lights, on 17 September 2015 at  Cairns,  and 21 September 2015  Armidale, click on their names.