Wednesday, November 11, 2015

Trove digitised newspapers - Balaklava 1948 - flying saucer or aircraft?

Hi all,

In a blog post dated 9 November 2015, Melbourne researcher Paul Dean advised that the National Library of Australia's TROVE digitised newspaper collection, has added a number of new Australian newspapers to their list.

There are two additional South Australian newspapers (I live in South Australia), namely "The Producer" (Balaklava) and "The Victor Harbor Times" (Victor Harbor.)

Paul challenged readers of his blog to review these new resources and look for any relevant article on UAP. I thought I would take a look at each paper and see what I could find. Therefore, this blog post will take a look at "The Producer" (Balaklava.) I used nine different keywords, such as "flying saucer;" "flying object;" "strange;" "unusual" etc., both singularly and in combinations. I found only two relevant articles.

Where is Balaklava?

Balaklava is situated 92 kilometres north of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia. It is situated in the wheat and sheep belt of the state.

Courtesy of Google maps

"Flying saucer seen near Balaklava." The Producer" (1940-1950) dated Thursday 2 December 1948 page 1.

Part of the article - courtesy of TROVE
The whole article reads:

"Two Balaklava residents claim to have seen a flying saucer or similar phenomenon in the south-west sky on Tuesday about 5.15pm. They say the object appeared in the direction of Avon  and lasted for a minute or so. It first appeared to be travelling away but later lost height and seemed to be approaching in the direction of Balaklava,. A vapour trail or smoke trail was also visible it is claimed.

"This statement follows other recent reports in the state of eerie lights and strange phenomena.

"Readers of the News reported a green ball of light seen at 1.50pm last Thursday and a Sandy creek reader and a companion claim to have seen a ball green light with a yellowish tail travelling at high speed in a north-westerly direction. On first appearance they thought it to be headlights of an approaching car. The time was 11.20 last Saturday night and both men claim to have been perfectly sober.

" We are interested to know whether Tuesdays report can be substantiated by any other readers of The Producer.

"Many people saw vapour trails last on Monday afternoon. "The Producer" Thursday 9 December 1948 page 1.

Part of the article - courtesy TROVE
"Further evidence of the oft reported vapour trails, flying saucers and other queer phenomena in the sky was given on Monday with the appearance of a 4 engine plane flying at about 25000 feet and leaving a double trail of vapour in its wake.

"The plane appeared about 4 o'clock when it was flying rapidly in a northerly direction. When over Balaklava it turned in a wide arc and returned towards the city.

"Many people who had only previously read of the mysterious vapour trails had ample opportunity to see for themselves and several, including one Upper Wakefield resident reported it to the Producer office..

"Mr J D Harkness of Own who witnessed the trail reported on Tuesday last, had his vision confirmed when he read the report in The Producer. A letter also appeared in the News on Thursday night.

"After Mondays appearance Mr Harkness said the phenomena was much the same as last week. On that occasion the plane appeared  from about 3.30 to 5pm and after going into  dive during which the vapour escaped giving the impression it was on fire. He was fairly sure that it took off and returned to the Mallala drome on that occasion. Earlier in the day he had noticed a plane steadily climbing to a great height after it had left the take off area there.

"As the plane disappeared from view on Monday much the same technique as referred to by Mr Harkness was used again. When the trail faded out a vertical plume of smoking vapour appeared as though it had dived to a lower level The plane could then not be seen.

""A Mallala resident who lives within sight of the RAAF station said on Tuesday morning that no large plane had been noticed landing about that time referred to. However, they were used to planes coming and going and may not have necessarily see them land or take off. Three large 4 engine planes had been at the drome in recent weeks. They were thought to be Lincoln bombers."

Lincoln 4 engine bomber
There is only a limited description of the object made available in the text of the 2 December article, namely "a flying saucer or similar phenomenon...A vapour trail or smoke trail was also visible."

It would appear that the focus of the 9 December article was on the vapour trail generated by what was said to be a 4 engine aircraft.

Mallala RAAF base

 There was a RAAF base at Mallala between 1941 and 1960. It was used for advanced training for RAAF pilots in both fighters and multi-engine aircraft. The map above, indicates that Mallala was mid way between Adelaide and Balaklava.

Sightings from Mallala itself
One of my catalogues has the following sightings from Mallala:
14 January 1954 Mallala SA
At 1120hrs for five seconds one witness reported seeing a silver square at 190 degrees bearing, 25 degrees elevation. It was moving westwards and disappeared in mid-air. Balloon with tin reflector (1954 Turner report.)  1125hrs a Mr Huxtable reported seeing a shiny, silver object which moved horizontally at first, then shot up at high speed and disappeared. (The Mail, Adelaide 16 Jan 1954 page 8.)
15 January 1954 Mallala SA 2105hrs
"Silver object in straight path with yellow tail disappeared in mid-air. Object in sight only momentarily. Passed overhead in northerly flight. Sound like aircraft with motors cut assumed to accompany object." (US Project Blue Book card entry courtesy of Jan Aldrich.)
Was the object seen on 30 November 1948 an aircraft?

It would therefore seem possible that the object described in the 2 December 1948 article was also an aircraft.


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