Monday, September 17, 2012

Westall - the answer?

Dear readers,

The 6 April 1966 event, where hundreds of school children and at least one teacher, plus others, reported seeing an unusual object(s) in the sky and near the ground, near Westall High School, Clayton, Melbourne, continues to puzzle me. Specifically one fact stands out and that is, it is reported that there was an immediate Australian government response. It seems that officialdom knew that the event was going to happen. Secondly, that no-one has ever found any document in any Australian government agency UFO files.

These two apparent facts have led me to speculate in past posts (click here and here) looking for non-UFO explanations for Westall. This approach received some negative comments from blog readers who suggested I should just accept that what was seen at Westall was a UFO. Other comments were more positive, noting that it would be useful to be able to demonstrate that alternative explanations to the event being a UFO, were not valid.

Before my own suggested alternative explanations, Keith Basterfield, my co-blogger, had speculated about whether or not there was a possibility of the involvement of the USAF U-2, under Operation Crowflight (click here.) His detailed re-examination of Australian Government files on Crowflight, led him to conclude that the U-2/RB57 USAF Operation did not have anything to do with Westall.

Since then I have been, behind the scenes, been examining a number of other known Australian military projects to see if somehow they link into Westall.

Area 51:

The reason for my renewed interest in a non-UFO explanation for Westall came while I was recently re-reading the book "Area 51" by Annie Jacobsen, published in 2011, by Orion. London. ISBN 978-1-4091-41136. I was fascinated by what events had been covered up by the Americans. The book had at least two examples.

Back on 29 May 1947, the White Sands Proving Ground, in New Mexico, USA, launched a Hermes (former V-2) rocket. This went astray and "...the rocket crash landed into the Tepeyas Cemetery, three miles south of Juarez, a heavily populated city of 120,000...The missile left a crater that was fifty foot wide and twenty-four feet deep...Army officials rushed to Juaewz to smooth over the event while Mexican soldiers were dispatched to guard the crater's rim. The mission, the men and the rocket were all classified top secret; no one could know specific details about any of this..." (p34.)

On 24 May 1963, an USAF Oxcart aircraft crashed in the USA. The pilot ejected and landed safely to be picked up by three local men. The pilot told them a cover story that he had been flying an F-105 aircraft with a nuclear weapon on board. 100 men were brought in to clean up the area of the crash. "The press was told that an F-105 crashed, and as of 2011, the Air Force still has it listed that way." (p.197.)


The fact that the cover story for a crash of a classified aircraft, should be so dramatic as the loss of a nuclear bomb, set me thinking again about Westall.

If Westall were a non-UFO event, what could possibly have worried Australian government officials so much? Was the stimulus behind the event a military experiment gone haywire, such that the RAAF had to go around telling witnesses to be quiet, and threatening the Westall High School teacher Andrew Greenwood, with the Official Secrets Act?

If we eliminate the USAF Operation Crowflight; the idea of a USAF 'broken arrow'; the US Corona satellite; there cannot be many Australian or joint Australian/US projects which were being conducted in 1966, left.

Dear readers, won't you put on your thinking caps and conduct some research into possible programs which were being conducted in 1966 which just might explain Westall? I'll start your brain going with a few observations you might like to pursue:

1. "The Age" newspaper of 2 April 1966, page 5 tells us that the HMAS Perth, the first Australian destroyer to be fitted with the new Tartar guided missile system (click here) was docked in Melbourne on that day. Could a Tartar missile have gone astray?

2. The former Australian Department of Supply had numerous projects on the go, in 1966, such as "Project Dazzle" and "Project Blue Scout."

3. As early as 1961 the Aeronautical Research Laboratories based in Melbourne, had a file on Project Hibal. See National Archives of Australia file series B788 control symbol M2/60. My co-blogger. Keith Basterfield has posted previously on this project (click here and here.)

Would Australian officials cover up any event?

Would the Department of Defence cover-up a non-UFO event at Westall in 1966? It was only recently revealed that, unknown to the general public,  the USAF had been flying the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle out of the RAAF base at Edinburgh in my home state between 2001 and 2006 (click here.) It was reported that civilians knew about the flights and that Department of Defence security officials asked them to keep quiet. So, yes it is perfectly possible that way back in 1966 government officials asked Westall witnesses to keep quiet about a non-UFO event.

Over to you, dear readers, will any one take up the search for a non-UFO explanation for Westall, or do you think this isn't worth trying, as the Westall event was certainly a UFO?


  1. 1. "The Age" newspaper of 2 April 1966, page 5 tells us that the HMAS Perth, the first Australian destroyer to be fitted with the new Tartar guided missile system (click here) was docked in Melbourne on that day. Could a Tartar missile have gone astray?

    You can discount that event.. Ships do not fire weapons while docked. There's too many checks and balances that have to be satisfied before any firing.

  2. Hi anonymous,

    The same story tells us that HMAS Perth left dock on 5 April 1966 and was thus not at dock on the morning of the 6 April 1966, when the Westall event occurred.

  3. G'Day to you Pauline,Keith, and folk.

    The object/s the Westall witnesses claim to have seen came in from a north to north east over the Highshool and headed south to south west to the grange area according to witnesses it flew horizontally descended/ascended and hovered.

    Let's just ignore that.

    Anyway taking any of the "speculations" they all would make quite a bit of noise as they slammed into the ground creating quite a crater throwing up dust/smoke/metal debris over at the grange.

    None of that happened did it?

    What? Let's ignore that as well

    I think there is a simpler reason as to why cases like Pools/Sullivan/Westall don't appear in the RAAF archives.

    Cheers Les

  4. The only thing that fits the witness statements is some sort of flying disc shaped devices. They could have been developed and operated by DoD etc, and thus secret and therefore the coverup.

  5. LIFT ACTUATOR DISC: Australian designed disc shaped aircraft, around the same time...

  6. G' Day to you Pauline,Keith, and folk.

    Just to recap on the speculations up to date.

    I was a bit short in my last post mainly because I didn't think it would post.

    The title of your web page has the word "scientific", it shouldn't be the first casualty when speculating.

    At the same time I'm all for a plausible explanation and the work you and Keith have posted have been interesting reads.

    The links to the speculative material posted on this site show you the consequences, the fallout if you like of each event, none of which was reported (matches) at Westall.

    The spy planes are "not the secret anymore" the mission supposedly was.

    In the media the headlines would have read something like this; "U2 crashes in South Clayton whilst on an air sampling mission."

    Here is a good read for anyone is interested; part1 and 2

    As for people like Brian Dunning I don't normally waste my time commenting, he would have thrown in the Goodyear blimp if he could have made the timeline fit.

    Reading the D/Journal where the reporter claims a Navigator suggests it was the air force, doing a spot of drone practicing, as I always do I researched it, I already knew they don't practice such manoeuvres over built up areas and didn't use Cessna's like aircraft in fact used jets at a range set aside for such events.

    However having a couple of friends that were in the RAAF during the 2WW one being a tail gunner in a Lancaster and the other a Nav in a Mosquito I printed out a copy and showed it to them, both said, "He doesn't know what he is talking about."

    Suggesting a weather balloon is just stupid (from Laverton) the whole concept of a Met balloon is to ascend quickly reaching an altitude where it then bursts descends by parachute the wind on the day was blowing a South, South Westerly. Laverton is roughly 34 k's away straight across the bay. It would have headed north of Westall not south and not be seen as a balloon.

    As for experimental aircraft I've mention just one reason why it doesn't seem plausable.

    To be continued. Cheers Les

  7. Hi Pauline,

    Thank you for posting this excellent article on your blog.

    It is true, of course, that the provenance of the object, described by many as a "flying saucer", or "like a flying saucer", at Westall in 1966, remains unknown.

    Given the dearth of official documentation, in the public domain at least, which might relate to Westall, it is important to look at what might have flown over, and landed, at Westall that day, if only to rule those possibilities out. I have done this, and continue to do so, as you and others have too, for which I am grateful. The more brains the better on this one I say!

    For me, however, while remaining completely open to any of the suggestions that anyone might want to make, and including those ones you have raised here, for me, thus far, it is still difficult to marry any of those, as an adequate explanation, with all of the witness reports I have gathered over the past seven years.



    Recently I wrote to Keith Basterfield in the context of discussing the High Altitude Balloon Program (HIBAL), based at Mildura in the 1960s, as a possible explanation for the Westall Incident (which he had raised with me). As I wrote to Keith, the main sticking points for me with regard to HIBAL (but I think the same points would apply basically equally well to the other explanations), are as follows:

    1. Could HIBAL (but read here any of the other possible solutions proffered so far) have hovered, ascended and descended, moved rapidly from one side of the sky to the other (in a fashion too fast to follow with the naked eye), and then descended as if landing?
    2. Could HIBAL have landed and stayed on the ground for minutes without moving?
    3. Could HIBAL have lifted-off and then flown away at speed, leaving the aircraft far behind?
    4. If HIBAL crashed to the ground at Westall, why are there no witness reports of any of the responding authorities collecting it?
    5. Could HIBAL have created a well-formed circle or circles of crushed grass with well-defined edges that seemed to be discoloured as if singed or heated?
    6. Why would the RAAF have involved itself in a Department of Supply program, to the extent that it telephoned the headmaster, visited the headmaster at school, and called on Andrew Greenwood at home, and threatened him?
    7. Would HIBAL have displayed coloured lights that were visible in daylight?
    8. Why has there never been a similar HIBAL "landing" in Australia - or of any other large-scale scientific or military balloon - that has resulted in a response by police, fire brigade, ambulance, civil defence, military (most likely RAAF), and media (TV and newspaper)?
    9. Why would a very senior Department of Supply mandarin have been so troubled by the Westall Incident if his own department had been responsible for it, and surely privy to at least some, if not all, of the details of it?

    So, apart from all of these sticking points, I can understand how HIBAL might be a candidate for the culprit at Westall!!

    But seriously, I do genuinely agree that HIBAL - and the other scenarios - are worth examining if only to rule them out, and also for shedding light on them as a possible cause for other UFO sightings.

    And I do agree with you that the accounts - given by some - of there being a government response that arrived so rapidly at Westall, within an hour, or even less, is intriguing, even perplexing...and that is yet to be resolved. I think it is worth noting, however, that whoever responded at Westall and whatever they did, there are no witness accounts (that have come to me at least) that report those government agencies (whether police, or air force, or army, or Department of Supply etc) as having actually arrived in time to recover or capture the flying object. So, if anyone from the authorities was chasing this quarry, it seems as though they didn't catch it! Of course, if it was the authorities (whether Australian, American, British, Russian or whoever!) flying it in the first place, then that becomes a different story. But if that was the case - and it well may have been - it does make one wonder what became of that flying object over the following years - particularly an object that, according to all the witnesses, flew so well and so quickly and so effortlessly.

    With best wishes, and I hope this conversation and this thread continues.

    Shane, in Canberra.

  9. G' Day and good morning folks.

    Anonymous regarding the link you posted, this is just another variation on a concept/idea which is to me the equivalent in the aviation world as are the perpetual motion and/or the anti gravity devices/concepts you see on the internet.

    I can only assume in order to lift a discoid shaped craft off the ground these inventers have become fixated on the coanda effect concept to solve the problem of lift and propulsion

    Those patents have been there for all to see for forty to fifty years and not one of them have left the drawing board that's got to be telling you something.

    It's sad really how these people/inventers become fixated obsessed even, on concepts that will never get off the ground. (excuse the pun)

    Daun was involved with helicopers and yet he went to the trouble and cost of patenting that concept.

    I happens to the best I suppose, Peter Brook became convinced in a device I think it was called the energizer.

    I think it just comes down to wanting to "believe" and/or they know the concept's flawed but will milk it for what can get out of it.

    Regarding balloons;

    It was the Age article on the 7th of April 66 where the reporter states according to the Met it "could" have moved into the Westall area

    Don't they know where their balloons are going? Isn't that the whole point of the exercise to track them either by radar or telescope so as to get a bearing on the upper air currents etc.

    Did the reporter really contact the Met? It would be great to find the list of launches for 66 as you say Shane to rule it in or out.

    Here is a father and son launching a balloon it gives you an idea of the speed at which the balloon rises and descends.

    Cheers for now Les


Paper on UAP published by the Begin-Sadat Center for Strategic Studies at the Bar-Ilan University in Israel

  Introduction Franc Milburn is a geostrategic and national security analyst, with a specialization in UAP. One of his aims is to inject dis...