Friday, November 19, 2010

Cold UFO cases - stratospheric balloons Part 3


This post continues my look at the possibility that some Australian UFO reports were due to stratospheric balloon launches.

In viewing digitised images of UFO reports made to the RAAF in 1961, I came across two reports which came from the same area of North Queensland only two days apart.

The first was made on 5 June 1961 at a place called Millaa Millaa, on the Atherton Tablelands, some 70kms South of Cairns. Senior Constable W Anderson was one of a number of people in the area who reported seeing an object in the day time sky. He stated that the object appeared as a dull star to the naked eye, but that through binoculars it was "... a cone shape with half of its surface coloured red..."

He first saw it at 12.55pm. In the cloudless sky he first saw it as a silver sphere which turned slowly to show a cone shape. It finally moved to the West and was lost to sight in the haze on the western horizon at 2.50pm.

My comment:

From the data on the RAAF file, the object described by Senior Constable Anderson and others, could have been a balloon. It travelled some 45 degrees across the sky in 2 hours; was spherical to cone shaped (a cone being a perfect description for a large high altitude balloon); and appeared to be high up in the atmosphere. The RAAF sent up an aircraft which orbited the area between 4.20 and 4.35pm but found nothing to account for the sightings.

The second sighting came from the Cairns area on 7 June 1961. Many people sighted an object in the sky which was described as " oval shaped body glowing bright red, with three shining white triangular fins..." There was some talk of it possibly being a daytime observation of the planet Venus (it is possible to see Venus in broad daylight.) However, this was dismissed when a local photographer photographed both the planet Venus and and a separate object in the one shot.

My comment:

Again, this second set of sightings could have been the same balloon.


  1. Thanks for the option of being anonymous
    Thanks for being here so I can relate to cold case in Mildura where I was born and raised, this my report.
    Around 20:15 PM , April, 1975, Mildura a country town , night had fallen , a clear night sky.
    I love the night sky.

    On foot , returning from a short errand .
    A final look at the night sky, turned around , and there it was, a large black disc with lights going round and round, just sitting there in the sky, low enough to land , I reckon half a mile up maybe less, hovering, I thought it was going to land, it just sat there.

    Brass band music was coming from a nearby sports ground , the rehearsals of a marching girls team.
    I strained to hear the drone of a helicopter, it was low enough to lift the dirt away from the ground as a chopper does, no, not that.
    I heard our neighbour come from his house , and made his way towards me, not noticing what was in the sky, when I stopped him and proceeded to ask him , pointing to the object in the sky. ``what is this? so that I’m not dreaming``, he turned around , looked and said holy ``----- its a UFO ``.
    We stood there for sometime, before my neighbour left , as he mentioned that he had things to do in Mr --- `s home, two houses from mine.
    Being 16 on the street after dark ,I returned home quickly, to find my mother stressed over the new TV not working, I said I had just seen a UFO to her disbelief, a member of the family ran from the house to catch a glimpse of it and returned to say that it had gone.

  2. Hi anonymous,

    Thank you for providing details of this event. It was only the other day that Ben Hurle of VUFOA based in Melbourne, asked me if I had any reports from Mildura. As the report does not identify you, I will pass your sighting on to Ben to add to their "Mildura" collection.


"A Special National Intelligence Estimate" - 1961 - Part 2

Introduction Yesterday, I posted a piece about "A Special National Intelligence Estimate" - 1961, which has recently resurfaced...