Friday, September 27, 2013

A call for assistance

Hi all,

I was in the State Library of South Australia the other day looking at old newspapers. In the "West Australian" of 22 January 1988, page 11, I came across a piece titled "The objects of encounter" written by Brendon Nicholson. It discusses UAP cases of the day.

One section read:

"A rash of UFO sightings over the WA wheatbelt in October 1980 were finally atriibuted to the activities of  US Air Force troop carrier dropping high altitude parachuting specialists from six kilometres up. The mixed group of special forces personnel from Australia, the US, New Zealand and Britain were using a disused WW2 aerodrome near Donerin."

Have any blog readers come across the "rash" of sightings which are alluded to in this article, or indeed heard of this particular explanation before?

I'd appreciate hearing from anyone having additional information.

New book alert - Donderi

Hi all,

A new book, which I have been looking forward to reading, by Don Donderi, has reached the top of my reading pile. The book is "UFOs, ETs and Alien Abductions: A Scientific Look at the Evidence," published this year by Hampton Roads, Charlottesville, VA. ISBN 978-1-57174-695-5.

Who is Donderi?

The back of the book tells us that Don Donderi is a joint Canadian/US citizen. He holds a BA, a BSc and a PhD. "He served as Associate Dean of the Faculty of Graduate Studies and Research, at the McCall University." His area of speciality knowledge is human visual perception and memory.

UAP background:

Donderi "Started to read about UFOs when I was ten years old." (p.xi.) He investigated various reports, which included photographic cases; close encounters; occupant cases and abduction cases, in Canada. Of the individual witnesses which he met, he says "Nothing in the behaviour or personal history of any of them leads me to think that they are mentally disturbed or that they told fabulous stories for personal or psychological gain." (pp xix-xx.)

The book:

The work is divided into three sections, "UFOs," "Extraterrestrials," and "Us." Part one is the area where Donderi reviews the subject from the 1947 Kenneth Arnold sighting; the 1957 RB-47 event; the 1973 Coyne helicopter case; contactees; Project Blue Book, amongst others.

There is a quick review of researchers Hynek; Keyhoe; and Menzel, plus UFO groups APRO, NICAP, FUFOR, MUFON and CUFOS.

Part two sees Donderi take a look at such cases as the 1967 Ririe, Idaho CE; the 1966 Hill event; the 1968 Buff Edge, Vermont case; the 1976 Allagash abduction; and the 1989 Goodland, Kansas incident, amongst others.

Perhaps the most important section, to me, is part three, where he examines how science has treated the subject.

"The scientists who dismisses UFO evidence because it is "folklore" is putting facts into the wrong pigeonhole." (p.170.)

"When a UFO case attracts enough public attention, a scientific spokesman often advances a specious conventional explanation. If a specious conventional explanation cannot be advanced, some scientific person is likely to remark that we don't have enough information to explain the anomaly but if we did, the anomaly would disappear." (p.171.)


After all his investigations, research and personal analysis, what does Donderi conclude about the phenomenon?

"On the basis of that training and my knowledge o the evidence, I think that some of what people report as UFOs are extraterrestrial vehicles." (p.x.)

"No open-minded and reasonable person who has read and understood the evidence should now doubt that we have seen and tracked machines in our skies that we do not know how to make." (p.71.)

After reviewing abduction cases, "I think that the six cases described earlier, as well as many others, show that extraterrestrial occupants have abducted people into UFOs, examined them, interacted with them in other ways and then, after one to two hours returned them to earth." (p.144.)

"Established scientists do not have the resilience to acknowledge that some reliable instrumental records and human observations are caused by extraterrestrial vehicles and by extraterrestrials." (p.171.)

Friday, September 20, 2013

UFO researcher masquerades as ASIO officer

Hi all,

I have just had another RAAF UAP file digitised by the National Archives of Australia. File series J63, control symbol 5/40/Air Part 2 is titled "Reports on Unidentified Flying Objects." It originated with RAAF base Townsville and has a date range of 1971 to 1974. It is a 331 page file.

The file is a mix of reports of low level interest lights in the sky with a couple of more interesting reports. I summarise two of these in this post:

18 June 1971. Burketown, Queensland.

At 6.38pm, according to a report from the Burketown police, to the Naval Intelligence Centre, a UFO was seen by several residents. It was an "illuminous cigar shaped object", orange into red colour and then a "clear light colour." It was seen to the west, on the southerly side of the setting Sun. The sky was clear. It travelled north to south along, and above the horizon. It travelled slowly, became momentarily stationary; then lost altitude; then changed to an easterly course. Moments later it changed to a south-west course. It disappeared into the south-west. Total duration was 17 minutes.

The police report was signed by Sgt 2/c W G Boon and stated in part, "The circumstances of the sighting are regarded as unusual and cannot be explained here." There were no aircraft in the area at the time.

4 January 1974 Townsville, Queensland.

At 8.50pm, weather observer Leslie William Onley, was using a met. radar type 277F at the Townsville aerodrome.

He observed an unusual radar trace bearing 280 degrees, elevation 85-87 degrees. He stated "There are no signals in this area at 11 nautical miles/66,000 ft high. Aerial 85 to 90 degrees elevation."

Heightwise, "First sighted 66000 ft descended to 4600 ft in ten minutes."

To the question "Describe any deviation or manoeuvres" he responded "Slight spiral through 280 deg to 360 deg north to 140 deg."

It was last observed by radar at 85/90 deg elevation on a bearing of 140 deg. "Heavy pulsing of all radar scanners plus "A" scan blotted trace radar parked and turned down."

A hand written note, signed by Onley reads:

"Radar scan noted 40 deg arc, from 90 deg down to 50 deg. This particular radar does not go over 90 deg elevation. Azimuth arc measured 40 deg, also clear cut signal. Dimension on "A" scan - range 2,500 yards through target. First sighted 66,000 ft tracked to 4600 ft.

"When heavy pulsing on all scans blotted out signal, and radar was parked and rapidly turned down."

The RAAF investigating officer typed:

"Mr Onley estimates that the actual length of the echo was about 2,500 yards."

DCA radar technicians suggested that the radar may have experienced a period of "heavy pulsing" during the range wind down stage. Mr Onley is quite certain that this was not the case and the radar has not displayed this type of malfunction since the unusual echo was sighted."

The RAAF's conclusion was "...the most probable cause of the unusual contact on the radar was the effect of anomalous propagation."


On this file is an unusual Department of Air Minute paper dated 21 August 1973, that reads:

"1. Contacted today by (name on the file) ASIO...concerning a Mr John West ostensibly a member of the "UFO Shadow Project."

2. West claims to be an investigating officer but he interests ASIO because he has masqueraded as an ASIO officer.

3. Any information on contact with West is to be passed to Brian asap.

4. West is reported to be in Cairns."

The document is signed by W G Canniffe, Flg Offr AIR 4.

Have any blog readers any information on "John West?"

Thursday, September 12, 2013

Valentich disappearance - Rhonda Rushton

Hi all,

I have written several posts about the disappearance of pilot Frederick Valentich, back in 1978. For those who may have missed these posts, they are:

New documentary:

A new documentary about the Valentich incident, shot in Australia in March 2013, has just aired in the USA. You can watch it at

Congratulations for a job well done, must be given to Melbourne researcher George Simpson, for all his work on the documentary. The show features George as he interviews the original Air Traffic Controller Steve Robey; photographer Roy Manifold (click here to see one of Manifold's photographs);  Richard Valentich (Frederick's older brother); and other participants in the event.

Rhonda Rushton:

Interestingly, one of the key participants who does not appear in the new documentary is Rhonda Rushton, who was Frederick Valentich's girlfriend at the time.

Rhonda was interviewed in 1978 by the Bureau of Air Safety Investigations (BASI) (click here for information on BASI) and this detailed interview appears in the official BASI Department of Transport file V116/783/1047 which you can read in full on the National Archives of Australia website.

I was fortunate to be able to communicate with Rhonda in 2005 (click here for Disclosure Project Newsletter mention of this.)  She asked what official documents we had found on Valentich. The answer at that stage was very little.

Unfortunately, I lost contact with her at that stage and at the present moment do not have contact details for her.

If any blog reader knows of her whereabouts I'd be delighted to hear from you, as I would like to acquaint Rhonda with the contents of the official files which have been found since I last communicated with her in 2005. Please email me at

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