Wednesday, October 28, 2015

Sightings at or near US Navcommsta Harold E Holt - Part one

Hi all,


In 1963 an agreement was reached between the Australian and United States governments to build a US Naval communications station, near what is now the town of Exmouth in Western Australia. It was opened in 1967 and originally titled US Naval communications station, North West Cape.

Courtesy Google maps
In September 1968 its name was changed to US Naval communications station Harold E Holt. From 1967 until October 1992, a US Naval Security Group Detachment was stationed at the base.

Up until 1974 it was staffed by United States personnel, but after that date became a joint operation  and officially designated NAVCOMMSTA Harold E Holt.

Courtesy Google maps
All US personnel were withdrawn in 1993. In 1999, all operations transferred to the Royal Australian Navy.

In July 2002, the Royal Australian Navy handed the base over to the Defence Material Organisation. It is currently operated under contract by Raytheon Australia.


In about 1975, a UAP group based in Sydney, UFOIC, received ten pages of documentation relating to this sighting, directly from the RAAF. There were two handwritten witness statements, one sketch of the object, and two, three page completed RAAF unusual aerial sightings proformas. The sighting reports are attributed to a Bill Lynn and a Lt Commander Moyer.


On Thursday 25 October 1973, at 1920 hours, a US Navy fire captain sighted an unusual object in the sky. \"At 1920hrs I was called by the P.O.W. to close the officers' club. I proceeded towards the club in the Fire Dept pick-up 488, when my attention was drawn to a large black object, which I at first took to be a small cloud formation, due west of Area "B"

Page of Lynn's proforma

While travelling towards the officers' club I couldn't help but be attracted by this object's appearance.

On alighting from pick-up 488, I stood for several minutes and watched this black sphere hovering. The sky was clear and pale green-blue. No clouds were about what so ever.

The object was completely stationary except for a halo round the centre which appeared to be either rotating or pulsating.

After watching it for approx. 4 mins, it suddenly took off at tremendous speed and disappeared in a northerly direction in a few seconds.

Lynn's sketch of the object
I consider the object to have been approx. 30ft in diameter, hovering at 1000ft over the hills due west of the base. It was black, maybe due to looking in the direction of the setting sun. No lights appeared on it at any time."

Lynn had been resident in Exmouth since 1968.On the proforma Lynn estimates that the object's angular elevation as 12 degrees and azimuth 270 degrees. This bearing was established by a compass after the sighting. His estimated angular size of the object was "2 inches plus halo at arm's length." There was no trail, exhaust, vapour or light noted. It was last seen north-west of Area "B," at azimuth 320 degrees. There was no associated sound at any stage.

Lt Commander Moyer

"I wish to report the sighting of a large, black airborne object at approximately quarter past seven (PM) last Thursday 25 Oct 1973.

Moyer's sketch of the object
I was travelling south on Murat Road, when I observed this object at a distance of approximately 5 miles to the west at an altitude estimated as 2000ft. After about 20-25 seconds the craft accelerated at unbelievable speed and disappeared to the north. The sky was absolutely clear at the time."

He estimated the accuracy of the time as plus or minus five minutes. He was travelling back to Exmouth at the time, a route he had taken twice a day for 21 months. The object was initially seen at an angular elevation of 20 degrees (plus or minus 5). He estimated its angular size as "Approx same as moon when high in the sky." Azimuth was 270 degrees. There was no associated sound. There was no trail, vapour, exhaust or light. It disappeared to the north at an estimated 45-50 degrees elevation and azimuth 345-350 degrees.


I spoke by telephone to Sydney researcher Moira McGhee who was the person to whom the RAAF gave the copy documents about the case. I read the material written by Sydney researcher Bill Chalker in his 1996 book "Oz Files."

Melbourne researcher Paul Dean and I then conducted additional comprehensive research during 2013 which included locating the family of Bill Lynn.

Bill Lynn (on left) at the base in 1975
Lynn  turned out to be an Australian citizen employed by the US Navy as a fire fighter. Despite extensive searching during 2013/2015 no one has ever been able to locate Lt Commander Moyer. If any blog reader was based at the station in 1973; or lived in Exmouth in 1973, and can throw light on the identity of Lt Commander Moyer, please contact myself at

For details of our research findings, please take a look at the following links:

1. An initial "cold case" assessment.

2. Time check for the NW Cape incident.

3. Another anomaly with the NW Cape incident.

4. NW Cape incident - some further research notes.

5. William Gordon Lynn.

6. NW Cape - follow up questions.

The case remains an excellent example of  Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.)


The second sighting at US Navcommsta Harold E Holt surfaced in 2001 on Peter Davenport's National UFO Reporting Center in the USA. It was an anonymous report and has never been investigated, so caution needs to be exercised in reading it. However, for what it is worth:

"On an evening in 1981 I was driving north from the small town of Exmouth to the US Naval (navcomsta he holt) communications base to deliver a pizza to an employee of mine who was in the base hospital. We have very clear skies in Exmouth and I noticed what I took to be a very bright planet at about 11 o'clock high on the way out.

After making my delivery as I drove back into town I looked for the planet again but it wasn't there. I looked all round the sky and located it again at a very low elevation due east of me.

I pulled over and stood on the roof of my car so I could see over the surrounding scrub. What I observed was a white oval cross sectioned object with an orange coloured dome on top.

It continued to descend from about 20 degrees above the horizon down to the ground coming between myself and a range of hills about 6 kilometres from me. The area in which it came down is inaccessible under normal circumstances. It was not an airplane or helicopter and unfortunately no one else witnessed the event."

In 2014 an anonymous contributor submitted the following, to the MUFON Case Management System, stating that it happened at Exmouth, Western Australia. 
"I can't tell you who I am, but I have been living with this event since 11 June 1990. I am ex-Australian military and was operating out of RAAF Base Learmonth  on the night mentioned at approx. 0208am myself and my patrol section were on a recon exercise patrol when we experienced something - a rifle section consists of 9 men. We were the only patrol out that night. The triangle craft was massive, at least tow football fields wide. I've seen a lot of aircraft in my lifetime but this scared the shoot out of me and my patrol. The object was black, with eight dull lights (white) on 2 edges of the craft with a red light in the centre. It gave off a low humming noise, like a sub woofer amp and moved slowly at first almost like a zeplin airship almost hanging still in the air. We were awe struck by this object, once it was spotted my section layed low on some dunes near the beach and watch for approx. 14 min when the object went from no purpose to rapidly moving south west for possible 5km out to sea and then vertical like a blur, we got a clear look at what we could and the area of coast is not populated and it was a clear night. I mentioned our experience to my flight Sargent when we returned to Learmonth, it was dismissed as a USAF Galaxy transport aircraft as we had  a few arriving in Learmonth to resupply y the Harold E Holt US Navy base during  the week. I can tell you it was no Galaxy. I confide to you as I struggle to this day to understand what it was we saw."
1.  There was a very interesting UAP report made dated 9 June 1987. I documented it in a blog post dated 18 August 2013. It is reported to have occurred at RAAF Base Learmonth. I provide the text below:
Sighting by SAS personnel: This is the only UAP report in Government files where the observers were members of the Special Air Services.

The case came to light in a memo dated 7 August 1987 from Major R A Hill, Intelligence Officer, The Special Air Service Regiment, Campbell Barracks, Swanbourne, Western Australia, to the Senior Operations Officer, No. 3 Telecommunications Unit, RAAF Base Pearce. It simply enclosed two Unusual Sightings reports by two SAS personnel.

These reports were then on forwarded by Squadron Leader B Biddington to Airlift Group Headquarters, RAAF Richmond. The memo read:

"1. Attached is documentation of an unusual aerial sighting made by two members of SAS during recent exercises at RAAF Learmonth. Of interest, and these are points that INTELO RIC may decide to follow-up are:

a. air-ground VHF comms on the night of the sighting (and on that night alone) were not achieved, and

b. that at least some of the crew of the 36 Sqn aircraft also observed the light but decided not to report their sighting.

2. This headquarters has no explanation for the phenomenon observed..."

The file contains report forms by the two SAS personnel.

Observer one:

"The light approached from the East towards the airstrip (as airstrip lights were turned on). It was moving in a zig-zag to the left and right of the axis. It was at about 5,000 AGL at this time, as it arrived over the airstrip (northern end). It went into a hover and remained stationary for some 6-7 minutes. The light was changing colour from white to amber. I was not able to see a shape other than a round light. The object then moved upwards into the light cloud but was still visible with binoculars. It then  moved in the direction of NE slowly at first then at a great speed."

This person's report form says that the date of the event was 9 June 1987, and the time between 1900 and 1910hrs (i.e. 10 minutes duration.) The weather conditions were given as "Wispy thin clouds at 10,000 AGL, nil ground wind, visibility good." It was first reported at 1600 metres 45 degrees east, and last seen at 45 degrees north-east at 800 metres. The UAP was said to a one, white, round light about 5 metres diameter which changed from a white colour to amber. There was no associated sound. Its speed was estimated as 200 kms plus, slowed down to 80kms.

The investigating officer's evaluation included:

""(word redacted) in the (word redacted) he is an apparently stable personality and a most reliable SNCO."

The investigating officer's evaluation of possible cause read, "Cause is unknown; the light was too far away to observe size and shape accurately and was brought to attention by the speed of its erratic zig-zag movements and its light. It would not appear to have been an aircraft. It is worth noting that it was also observed by the RAAF pilots of the aircraft in support who refused to report the incident."

Attached to the form was the following statement:

"On the night of 9 June 1987 I was tasked with setting up the DZ at Learmonth airstrip for a night freefall descent. I was the DZSO and I had a medic (redacted word) to assist me on the DZ

At 1855hrs we were situated on the western side of the runway directly opposite the civilian terminal. At this time we commenced to place the DZ lights for the descent and at 1900hrs the light was observed on its approach from the east.

The C130 aircraft involved with the activity was still on the ground and did not become airborne until 1915hrs. The object had disappeared by this time.

Once the aircraft was airborne I tried to establish communication on VHF. Communications were not established both on primary or alternative frequency. Two VHF radios were used and both had a fresh battery fitted. The C130 was at 10,000 feet and event when it flew directly over the strip communication was non-existent.

On completion of the activity I spoke to the pilot who was FLLT Watts of 36 Sqn RAAF on what had occurred. He also explained to me that the aircraft had tried to establish communication on VHF primary and alternative frequencies with no success.

This was the first time during the period 3-9 June 87 that communication from ground to air with the C130 was not obtainable."

Observer two:

The second observer was aged 26 and gave the same details as observer one. He said there was one bright, white light, round in shape, taking zig-zag movements initially. His narrative read:

" We noticed it while awaiting a RAAF plane. It came over the horizon moving a very erratic course (zig-zagging across the sky) until it arrived over the airstrip and went into a hover above us, where it stayed for several minutes. Before accelerating straight up at extreme speed. It was high in the sky and size and shape were hard to determine."

The investigating officer wrote:

"(name redacted) is a medic in the SASR RAP. He has no connection with any UFO organisation and is a stable well balanced soldier."

Continued in part two - an extremely unusual close encounter with government intervention.

1 comment:

  1. I spotted something in similar fashion, the object was approx 26-27 km west of RAAF Pearce airbase on March 13, 2020, at approx 3:40 pm. Black, hovering, too high up in sky to determine precise size/shape or any moving parts. Originally I thought it was just a balloon of some sort. To my eye it was no bigger than a dark little dot/speck in the sky just below cloud level. After several minutes, suddenly accelerated at great speed down below eastern horizon in approx 1 second. Since that day I have often wondered if it flew anywhere directly above the airspace of the base, or if anything anomalous was detected on RAAF or commercial ATC radar at that specific time/day.


Some things I learnt, by reading the 30 April 2021 article in the "New Yorker."

The article A lengthy piece by journalist Gideon Lewis-Kraus appeared in the 30 April 2021 digital version, and then on 10 May 2021, in the ...