Sunday, April 28, 2013

Intelligence reports and early Australian UAP sightings

Hi all,

This post provides details on four more National Archives of Australia (NAA) UAP files which have recently been digitised at the request of Melbourne researcher Paul Dean. They show that RAAF Intelligence officers were at the forefront of investigating early sightings in Australia.


NAA file series A11066 control symbol 5/1/27 PART B is a file titled "(Eastern Area Headquarters - Intelligence) Report on unusual sighting 3rd May 1952 (includes news clippings of 'flying saucer')" Barcode is 3315433. Canberra office.

This is a 16 page file which starts with a clipping from the "Daily Telegraph" dated 6th May 1952 and describes three servicemen's report of  a 'flying saucer' over Sydney on 3rd May 1952. Their reports were given to Dr J H Piddington, principal research officer of the radiophysics Division of the CSIRO, rather than  to the RAAF.

Later documents on the file indicate that the object, a ball of light, was seen at about 6.10am; was a meteor-like object, which appeared in the south-eastern sky and travelled due east, as seen from Sydney.

What was obvious was that the object was also seen from widely separated places such as Sydney, Canberra, Wollongong and Melbourne.

Interestingly, a detailed report was prepared by Flt Lt W J Sadler and Sq Ldr M C Murray. This six page document gathered observations, and analysed them. Their conclusion was that "The light was probably caused by a meteor or similar body."


For an earlier post on this case click here. A copy of the RAAF's report turned up in the USAF's Project Blue Book files, click here for a post on this. The USAF and the RAAF had some early interaction where RAAF reports ended up with the USAF, see here and here.


"Sighting of an Unidentified Flying Object by Mr L N Waldron" barcode 12254705 is NAA file series A.1945 control symbol 10/1/70. Canberra office. The file is eight pages long and belonged to the Department of Defence, Canberra.

It starts off with a hand-written letter dated 20 Sep 1959 from a Lloyd N Waldron of Waldrona, via Roma. Queensland which was addressed to the Department of Defence, Canberra.

He reports sighting a "rocket" at 6.15pm on 14 Sep 1959. It was an orange coloured streak in the south-western sky at about 10 degrees elevation. The object disappeared into heavy cloud and then re-appeared travelling horizontally to 45 degrees elevation. It finally was lost in the light of the Moon.


Interestingly, the Department of Defence sent the letter on to the "Department of Supply which is the Department most directly interested in this kind of thing..." I have not come across such a report on any of the Department of Supply files located in the NAA.

The Department of Defence took no further action.


A rare Navy file was found at NAA file series A6826 control symbol 136/1/1-3. It was titled "Earth Satellites, Space Vehicles, Unidentified Flying Objects - General." Barcode 8220868. Canberra office. Owned by the Navy Office, Department of Navy.

It is three page file, which has two pages of what appears to be a file sheet. This has one relevant entry dated 1 Jul 1959, correspondence from the Department of Defence re "Reported sighting of fallen object. Territory of Papua and New Guinea 24 May 1959."


I checked NAA file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 Part 2 and found the following details about this May report:

24 May 1959 Baniaram Territory of Papua and New Guinea 1900hrs 75 mins duration
Object seen in the west, high in the sly. Descended erratically in a south-west direction. Colour was a brilliant blue "alternating at long intervals to a reddish glow and ending with a green flash."
(Source: Pages 84, 92, 182, 183, 187-188 on digital copy of RAAF file 580/1/1 part 2. Original reference Department of Territories 58/26 DOD 128.1.21 (20)


NAA file series A12639 control symbol 5/1/AIR is titled "Intelligence - Reports of Unusual Sightings." Barcode 7267079. Canberra office. It is a nine page file opened on 7 Apr 1960. It was held by the Department of Defence, Central Office.

It consist of:

* A telex dated 6 Apr 1960 about the re-entry of satellite Sputnik 3, and called for any sightings to be reported to the Department of Air. One sighting report is on file.

* A second telex dated 21 Sep 960 regarding the re-entry of Sputnik 5, and calling for any sightings to be reported. One sighting report is on file.


It is unclear who was doing what with any observations of these re-entrys of Soviet satellites. It is possible that someone. somewhere was hoping to be able to retrieve pieces of these satellites to study, much along the lines of the US Project Moon Dust. Click here for a post on Moon Dust and its relevance in 1962 to Australia.

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