Friday, April 19, 2013

Cold case investigation - Butterworth 2 Jan 1979

Hi all,


This post examines a report where the witness is said to have been a member of the RAAF, who observed and photographed a UAP.

Newspaper article:

The "National Echo" Penang, Malaysia, (cited in the MUFON Journal Feb 1980 page 8) on 4 Jan 1979 carried an article which read as follows:

"Butterworth Wed

An unidentified flying object (UFO) was reportedly sighted by a RAAF personnel. And to substantiate his claim, the RAAF personnel, who refused to disclose his name, said he had taken two photographs of the sighting.

He told the National Echo today that he was coming out of a supermarket in Jalan Bagan road when he saw a round, silvery object in the sky at about 6.15pm yesterday.

He described the object as "glowing in bright orange colour" and had several porthole windows lining the edge. The object was shaped like a flying saucer.

He said that he took 12 shots with his camera but when the film was developed only two shots showing the object came out.

The pictures were taken near the Town Council soccer field opposite the supermarket.

According to him the object was hovering in the sky for nearly 20 minutes before it disappeared.

News of the sighting is spreading through the town, although many people are still doubtful that it was a UFO."

The pictures:

To take a look at one of the pictures click here and here.


I conducted an Internet search and every site which I examined had no more information than that contained in the 4 Jan 1979 newspaper article. There were no other sources of data.

I contacted a friend of mine who was in the RAAF and was stationed at Butterworth in 1981 and 1982. He has had a long term interest in UAP, but advised me that he never heard of this story while he was stationed at Butterworth.

I looked at digitised files in the National Archives of Australia (NAA) which contained Unit Reports for RAAF Squadrons numbers 3, 75 and 77 which had at times been based at Butterworth. There were no references to such an incident.

There are no RAAF UAP files for the year 1979 available in the NAA.

So, the end result is one newspaper article and one photograph.

Further reading:

Click here for information on RAAF 3 Squadron based at Butterworth which provides some interesting material, including photographs of the base, men and aircraft.

Have any blog readers further information on this report?


While researching the 1979 story I came across one from 1959, also at Butterworth RAAF Malaysia.

Bill Chalker wrote an article "UFO crash/retrieval stories: The Australian Experience (click here.) In it he mentions "1959 Butterworth RAAF Malaysia (letter writer to RAAF refers to plane destruction and debris from destroyed UFO."

I looked at NAA file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 which covered 1959 but failed to find any such letter. It may. of course have been written at a later date, referring back to 1959. If any reader can provide a source for this letter, I'd appreciate hearing from you.

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