Saturday, March 19, 2016

James E McDonald - digital recordings collection

Hi all,

Dr James Edward McDonald, an American atmospheric physicist, studied the UAP phenomenon in great detail between 1966 and his tragic death in 1971. 

In a series of blog posts in 2012, I explored McDonald's views and data on:

Sightings at Woomera South Australia.  and here. 

Pre 1947 reports

Cover up versus foul up

The paranormal 

The Australian press and McDonald



McDonald archive

US researcher, Ann Druffel worked with McDonald's wife and others, to ensure that his UAP archive was made available for future generations of researchers. For an excellent article by Ann Druffel on the McDonald file collection please click here

As part of the archiving process, Ralph McCarron, spent a number of years transferring the original reel to reel sound recordings to digital media. Read how he did this here


Australian material

McDonald visited Australia in 1967, and during his time here, he interviewed a number of individuals about their sightings. A number of these Australian interviews are to be found in the University of Arizona's special McDonald audio recordings archive. The following list of such recordings is taken from Ralph McCarron's index of all McDonald's audio recordings.



Disc 11
Tape 8 Side 1
7 inch Reel
Speed: 3 3/4 ips
Time: 20:38
Various Australian UFO Sightings
Narrator: James J. Kibel
1. Gary Taylor's death and Ronald Sullivan's Sighting of April 4, 1966 2:03
2. Saucer Nest of Tully Queenland January, 1966 and strange ring-like marking near Albany, New South Wales March, 1966 1:31
3. Military Tank Sighting April 24, 1966 5:06
4. James J. Kibel's February 19, 1957 Sighting in Melbourne, Australia 2:37 
5. Westhall High School Sighting April 7, 1966 from May-June 1966 APRO Bulletin 9:21


Disc 42
Tape 9 Side 2 and Tape 10 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 48:12
James Kibel Australian UFO Sighting
April 2, 1966
Interviewed by Dr. James McDonald
Recorded June 28, 1967
Melbourne, Australia

Disc 43
Tape 10 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 42:34
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Sir George Jones UFO Sighting, October 1964, Recorded June 28, 1967, Melbourne, Australia 15:45
2. Andrew Greenwood UFO Sighting, April 6, 1966, Recorded June 28, 1967, Melbourne, Australia 26:45

Disc 44
Tape 10 Side 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 60:42
Reverend William Gill UFO Sighting
June 26, 1957
Papua, New Guinea
Interviewed by Dr.James McDonald

Disc 45
Tape 11 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 44:42
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Brian Kibel UFO Sighting, 1956, Blue Mountains, New South Wales, Kanangra Walls-Katoomba, Australia, Recorded June 28, 1967, Melbourne, Australia
2. Dr. James McDonald's Thoughts on the James/Brian Kibel UFO Sighting, Recorded June 28, 1967, Melbourne, Australia
3. John A. McCuckey UFO Sighting, Easter Monday 1966, Recorded June 29, 1967 Chelsea, Victoria, Australia

(No Disc or Audio File Created - Bad Recording Audio Unintelligible)
File exists on DVD-R Disc 6 (Edited Master from Original Recordings)
Tape 11 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Mrs. Betty Horskins UFO Sighting
Tape 11 Side 1 & 2
Mrs. Cropley UFO Sighting, Recorded June 29, 1967, Aspendale, Australia

Disc 46
Tape 12 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 56:26
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Kerry Smith UFO Sighting, March 30, 1967, Recorded June 30, 1967, Southern Cross Motel, Melbourne, Australia 22:53
2. Andrew Van der Brink UFO Sighting, May 23, 1967 (?), Woomera, Australia, Recorded June 30, 1967, Southern Cross Motel, Melbourne, Australia 33:30

(No Disc or Audio File Created - Bad Recording Audio Unintelligible)
File exists on DVD-R Disc 6 (Edited Master from Original Recordings)

Tape 12 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
L.J. Eichner UFO Sighting
June 10,1967
Interviewed by Dr. James McDonald
Recorded June 30, 1967
Southern Cross Motel, Australia

Disc 47
Tape 12 Side 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 25:29
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. John Coyle UFO Sighting, March 5, 1967, Recorded July 1, 1967, Melbourne, Australia
Disc 48
Tape 13 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 36:42
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
Recorded July 1, 1967, Australia
1. Charles Brew UFO Sighting, February 15, 1963 34:28
2. Discussion in Car About the Charles Brew UFO Sighting 2:11

(No Disc or Audio File Created - Bad Recording Audio Unintelligible)
File exists on DVD-R Disc 6 (Edited Master from Original Recordings)

Tape 13 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
Recorded July 1, 1967
1. Unknown Man (?) UFO Sighting, 1966
2. Unknown Woman (Ruth Ramsden ?) UFO Sighting, Eagle Point, Australia
3. Mr. & Mrs. G.G. Milard UFO Sighting, Ballarat, Australia
4. Donald Evans UFO Sighting, 1966
5. Dennis & Thelma Martin UFO Sighting
6. Bob G. Tinner (?) UFO Sighting
7. Donald Roderick UFO Sighting, 1966
(No Disc or Audio File Created - Bad Recording Audio Unintelligible)
File exists on DVD-R Disc 6 (Edited Master from Original Recordings)
Tape 14 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. James A. Dwyer UFO Sighting, Recorded July 1, 1967, Bairnsdale, Victoria, Australia, Paynesville Motel (Pitch Shifted by Ralph McCarron on July 28, 2005)
2. Zelma French UFO Sighting, 1966

Disk 49
Tape 14 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 65:05
Various Australian UFO Sightings
1. Geoff Runnp's Interview of Robert Preston & Janette Stephenson Regarding the Hollam Road UFO Sightings, June 12, 1964 9:58
2. Allen Davies UFO Sighting as told by Paul Norman, Recorded July 2, 1967, Corona 5:39
3. Dr. James McDonald Interviews Robert D. Preston Regarding his UFO Sighting, June 12, 1967, Hollam Road, Recorded July 2, 1967, South Belgrave, Victoria 24:32
4. Geoff Runnp Interview Regarding Reginald Vernon Polard's UFO Sighting, July 10, 1964, Tintinara, South Australia, Recorded July 3, 1967 8:57
5. Geoff Runnp Interview Regarding Lloyd Baker's UFO Sighting, Recorded July 3, 1967 11:24
6. Dr. James McDonald Comments About the Melbourne Societies Article Regarding John & Marian Coyle's UFO Sighting, Recorded July 3, 1967, Southern Cross Motel, Melbourne, Australia 4:25

Disk 50
Tape 15 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 47:50
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Francis Pearman UFO Sighting, August 16, 1965, Recorded July 3, 1967 17:30
2. Donald A. Barnes UFO Sighting, Gruyere, Australia, May 25, 1965, Recorded in Seville, Australia 22:05
3. Janette Stephenson Regarding the Hollam Road UFO Sightings, June 12, 1964 8:11

(No Disc or Audio File Created - Bad Recording Audio Unintelligible Due to Car Noise)
File exists on DVD-R Disc 6 (Edited Master from Original Recordings)

Tape 15 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Donald A. Barnes UFO Sighting Part 2, Gruyere, Australia, May 25, 1965, Recorded in Seville, Australia
(2nd Part Dr. James McDonald Interviews Witnesses in Car While Driving to Location)
2. Lloyd Baker UFO Sighting, Heathmont

Disk 51
Tape 16 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 70:22
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Kit Francis Williams (Acting Squadron Leader Unit 617 RAF) WWII UFO Sighting, April 25, 1945, Woodhall Spa, East Lancashire, England, Recorded July 3, 1967, Southern Cross Motel, Melbourne, Australia 58:49
2. Judith M. Magee UFO Sighting, March, 8, 1962, Recorded July 4, 1967, Brighton, Australia 11:30

Disk 52
Tape 16 Side 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 36:17
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Dr. V.J. Hajek UFO Sighting, Dromana, Victoria, Australia 14:16
2. Ronald F. Sullivan UFO Sighting, April 7, 1966 21:59

(No Disc or Audio File Created - Copies of Previously Recorded Material)
File exists on DVD-R Disc 6 (Edited Master from Original Recordings)

Tape 16 Side 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Second Recording of Geoff Runnp's Interview with Reginald Vernon Polard Regarding the Tintinara UFO Sightings, July 10, 1964, South Australia

Disc 53
Tape 17 Side 1
3 inch Reel
Speed: 1 7/8 ips
Time: 63:06
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
Recorded July 4, 1967
Southern Cross Motel, Melbourne, Australia
1. Rodney C. Coutts UFO Sighting 13:30
2. Kenneth J. Marshell UFO Sighting, February 6, 1955 20:06
3. Dr. A. Kuhler and Fiancée Audrey Marts UFO Sighting, July 27, 1965 29:27

Disc 54
Tape 17 Side 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 3 3/4
Time: 29:58
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
Mr. & Mrs. James Kibel UFO Sighting, Winter 1926, Scotland, Recorded July 5, 1967
(Original Recording had a Pitch Problem - Pitch Adjusted by Ralph McCarron on August 11, 2005)

Disc 55
Tape 18 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 3 3/4 ips
Time: 60:11
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. James Kibel describes where he took UFO photograph in his backyard 5:28
2. Roger Parry Jones UFO Sighting, June 28, 1967 (?), Recorded July 5, 1967, Box Hill, North Melbourne, Australia 24:23
3. Mrs. I. Palmer UFO Sighting, December, 1943, Oslo, Norway, Recorded July 5, 1967, Southern Cross Motel, Melbourne, Australia 19:39
4. Alan D. Shaw UFO Sighting, January 8, 1959, Recorded July 6, 1967 10:35

Disc 56
Tape 19 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 3 3/4 ips
Time: 61:28
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Alan D. Shaw UFO Sighting Part 2, January 8, 1959, Recorded July 6, 1967 20:10
2. Mrs. Elizabeth Wrobel UFO Sighting, April 14, 1966 30:02
3. Peter F. Noar UFO Sighting, 1955 (?) 7:15
4. John F. Thompson UFO Sighting, December 18, 1965 3:56

Disc 57
Tape 20 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 3 3/4 ips
Time: 46:50
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. John F. Thompson UFO Sighting Part 2, December 18, 1965 18:08
2. Reverend Lionel Browning UFO Sighting, December 4, 1960 19:34
3. Warren S. Jackson UFO Sighting, November 1964 (?), Recorded July 7, 1967 9:04

Disc 58
Tape 21 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: 3 3/4 ips
Time: 58:15
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
Recorded July 8, 1967
Australia Hotel, Sydney, Australia
1. Mrs. Gael Penrose Car Pacing UFO Sighting, January 1, 1966 8:06
2. Mrs. J. Naughton UFO Sightings, New Guinea, February 1962 (?) & 1957 50:06

Disk 59
Tape 22 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: Side 1 - 3 3/4 ips & 1 7/8 ips / Side 2 - 3 3/4 ips
Time: 58:31
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. Colin C. Trims UFO Sighting, March 12, 1966, Recorded July 9, 1967 11:52
2. Daphne Rugland UFO Sighting 8:11
3. Gordon L. Jameson UFO Sighting, Slack's Creek, Brisbane, Australia, 1952, Recorded July 9, 1967 13:34
4. Vincent A. Doo UFO Sighting, February 1966 12:55
5. Dr. James McDonald calls the US Embassy in Australia 2:01
6. Les Berdick UFO Sighting, Recorded July, 10 1967 9:49

(No Disc or Audio File Created - Bad Recording Audio Unintelligible)
File exists on DVD-R Disc 7 (Edited Master from Original Recordings)

Tape 22 Side 1 & 2
3 inch Reel
Speed: Side 1 3 3/4 ips & 1 7/8 ips / Side 2 - 3 3/4 ips
Dr. James McDonald Interviews
1. John Burgess UFO Sighting, 1965
2. Walter Rayner UFO Sighting, Normarton, Queensland, Australia


As can be seen from the list above, McDonald made sound recordings of a number of classic UFO sightings from Australia.

As it appears no one in Australia, has yet mined much of these Australian sound recordings, Melbourne based researcher, Paul Dean and I, with the assistance of a US researcher, have secured copies of a number of these discs in order to be able to listen to this valuable material which gives insight into this era of Australian research. 

Paul and I have started to provide information from these audio recordings, e.g. Australian Army tanks encounter UAP; and Andrew Greenwood and Westall 1966. 

In future posts, we will bring you more of this primary source material for your perusal, and comment. 

Anthony Clarke of UFO Research (NSW) Incorporated has summarised information about the James E McDonald special collection, on the UFO Research (NSW) Incorporated website as follows:

James Edward McDonald (7 May 1920 to 13 June 13 1971) was an American physicist.  He was also a pre-eminent American UFO researcher during the 1950s and 1960s.

James E McDonald’s, correspondence, interviews including audio, and printed materials, predominately relating to the period 1958 to 1971 are archived in the Special Collections at the University of Arizona Libraries (USA).

The audio recordings for the period 1967 to 1968 have been transferred to digital media.  This collection includes the audio recordings from his trip to Australia and New Zealand in 1967.

Duplication of this material, including the audio recordings can be requested from the Special Collections at the University of Arizona.  Copyright restrictions apply to the intended use of the documents and audio and permission to publish must be obtained from the University.

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