Unexpectedly I have a day off work today; the kids are at school and hubby is interstate on a business trip so this post is early.
I am still looking at websites operated by Australian UFO groups, in order to update my self after several years away from the field. These reviews are simply my own opinions of what the websites offer. Someone else checking out the same website may come away with a different view than mine. That's to be expected. However if Australian UFO groups want science or even government to treat the subject in an objective way, then they need to present their website material in a far better manner.
I used a smart phone to access the AUFORN website. The home page states that AUFORN has been around since 1998 - 20 years this year. This would make the website the oldest Australian UFO website. Well done.
However, you then notice the words 'The most up to date Australian UFO web page on the Internet' but this is immediately followed by the words 'Updated April 19th 2014' which is rather contradictory.
The home page has nine tabs namely: 'About us;' 'public meetings;' 'UFO sighting reports;' 'online report form;'UFO hotline;' 'articles;' 'what's on;' 'links;' and 'contact us.'
We learn that 'AUFORN was formed to continue the work of ACUFOS defunked in 1992/93' and was established by Diane Harrison and Robert Frola. 'We believe there is enough circumstantial evidence to prove the existence of UFOs.' Then 'Our objective in the coming years will be to provide this evidence to the Australian government.' There is no detailed statement about what this circumstantial evidence is, and nothing on the site indicates that the evidence has ever been presented to the Australian government.
The website advises that public meetings are held and provides a land line telephone number to call for further details. No dates or names of speakers are given. Curiously, it also states that 'AUFORN hold meetings around Australia and everyone is invited' yet it gives no more details than that.
UFO sighting reports
Here was an area of interest to me, data about sightings. There are reports from the years '1800's' through to 2012. Choosing years at random I checked a number of dates. I found several hundred summaries of sightings - an excellent resource for people like me who like hard data. Some of the summaries even have a basic analysis of the event looking for explanations. Most do not. Its a pity that this resource is not being kept up to date.
In this area another excellent resource are copies of issues of 'Australian UFO Reports and Experiences;' 'Australian UFO Reports;' and Research Digests of UFO Research Australia. Dozens and dozens of sightings with some analysis. Great work.
There are also old newspaper clippings; and the Newsletters of the AURA Disclosure Project which located and arranged to have digitised Australian government UFO files, plus some TUFOIC and UFORFNQ periodicals. Much interesting reading here.
All in all, this is the best repository of Australian UFO reports out of all the Australian UFO group websites I have so far examined. It is a great pity that no one is keeping it up to date.
On line report form
This electronic UFO sightings report form is the best one I have seen so far. After asking for some initial details it next has a big free-form box 'please write your own account of what happened.' Often if you simply have a list of questions you are unable to get a general overview of the incident. This is followed by a series of other questions including about the weather and the astronomical sky. A great piece of work.
A free toll hotline number is provided to call in sightings. However when I called the number myself I got a recorded message where the voice of an unidentified female asked me to leave a message. There is no live operator.
I recall reading somewhere over the last few weeks that this hotline has been discontinued, then why is the number still advertised and why do you get asked to leave a message? Why not delete this area from the website?
Here I found a range of interesting articles mainly by past and present Australian researchers, such as Bill Chalker, Dominic McNamara, Daniel Sims and George Simpson. However, the site states that this area was last updated on 10 February 2009. Another disappointment as I hear that AUFORN's 'UFOlogist' magazine has carried some really good articles in the period 2009-2018. Why aren't some of them here?
This area refers to three no longer operating radio shows - 'Ghost radio;' 'UFOs Down Under;' and 'UFO matters.' Why this area is still on the website I couldn't work out.
Here are links to things that happened in the time frame 1998-2008. It appears that nothing has been added for 10 years or so.
We are again given the hotline number and an email address.
After going through the entire website I was left with two conflicting thoughts about the site's content.
On the one hand it has excellent (if outdated) resources in the form of several hundred summaries of Australian sightings - useful data to people like me; plus articles by Australian researchers.
On the other hand, there are multiple areas which appear not to have been updated for many years. It certainly does not live up to its claim to be 'The most up to date Australian UFO web page on the Internet.'
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