Tuesday, March 8, 2016

Andrew Greenwood and Westall - a 1966 audio recording.

Hi all,


The University of Arizona's special collections area, has a collection of the late Professor James E McDonald's papers, including his work on UAP.

Part of the UAP collection are 110 compact discs containing audio recordings; including 18 discs with interviews by McDonald when he was in Australia in 1967.

Melbourne colleague Paul Dean and I, with the assistance of a long-term US researcher, are working towards acquiring copies of these 18 discs, a few at a time. So far, we have gathered a selection of recordings concerning the April 1966 Balwyn photograph.

A  previous blog brought you a summary of an audio recording about a reported sighting on 24 April 1966, involving the Australian Army. Paul and I, plus others, are trying to locate further information on this incident.

Today's post

Today's post, features information about the 6 April 1966, Westall High School incident, gained from the contents of another audio recording found in the McDonald collection. This one, was an audio letter from an Australian researcher to McDonald, following that researcher's interview, in mid 1966, of Westall High School science teacher, Andrew Greenwood, the main adult witness.
Clayton South - showing the Westall High School
This recording is about a year earlier then the (1967) Greenwood/McDonald audio interview, the contents of which I reported at this website.

The interview

The researcher's brother-in-law and science teacher Andrew Greenwood were both members of a Melbourne club. Therefore, the researcher extended an invitation to Greenwood to visit him at his home. Greenwood accepted.

In the audio recording, the researcher, states that:

1. Greenwood read the May-Jun 1966 APRO Bulletin article titled "Officials quash school sightings" about Westall, and Greenwood thought that there were a number of incorrect facts in that article.

2. Greenwood stated that it was not officials who had quashed the sightings, but in fact it was the school's headmaster who had done so. The headmaster was "so scared" of the whole thing that he refused to go out into the school yard and view the object.

3. When the RAAF contacted the headmaster, he told them to "go jump in the lake."

4. The story as given to him by Greenwood, was that a "rather hysterical child" had run into Greenwood's class saying that there was a flying saucer in the sky. Greenwood eventually went out to have a look, but at first couldn't see anything. Some children in a physical education class were looking into the sky

Greenwood went over to them and then saw the UFO for the first time. It was hovering very closely to powerlines. It was a bright, silver object about the "size of a car." It looked like a "rod" in the sky. It then rose up. There was one light aircraft near it, a Cessna or a Piper Club. Four other aircraft joined the first one. Whenever an aircraft came near the UFO, it moved slowly at first then rapidly, and then stopped.

This went on for 20 minutes, after which the UFO shot away.

The head master then came outside and demanded everyone return to class. Later the head master lectured the school and told students not to talk about it, and that staff could lose their jobs if they (the staff) mentioned the incident.

Greenwood was appalled by the head master's behaviour and was angry with him.

The RAAF rang the head master later in the day, but the head master told them to "go jump in the lake."

When Greenwood spoke to the female physical education teacher, that teacher wouldn't talk to him about what she had seen.

Greenwood also spoke to one of the older female students and she told him the full story of what she had seen. Her description matched his. However, half an hour later, after the girl went home to see her mum, the student wouldn't talk to Greenwood about it anymore.

The object's size had been half the length of a Cessna. Greenwood had been sceptical of the subject of UFOs, but thought the object had been under some form of intelligent control.


Much has been made, in recollections since 2005, by Westall witnesses, about the negative "official" response to this incident. Here in a mid 1966 recording, Greenwood is reported to have clearly stated that it was not officialdom who quashed the sightings, but the school's head master. 


  1. Interesting. Thanks for this. It would be good to listen to the audio at some stage. I'm a sound engineer and vfx compositor. Will be happy to denoise and clean up any audio recordings you have. Those planes that were in the air, there must be records somewhere of their activity.
    Moorabbin airport is close, perhaps that is the origin? Records like this would go a way to verifying the incident more. Wish I had time to investigate.

  2. Looking at the UA archive lists:


    It looks like these recordings originally existed on tape. If de-noise is needed, once again I'm happy to help. Hopefully it was 1/4 inch which has better fidelity than cassette.

  3. Hi Keith - Thanks for posting this summary of the Greenwood recording. Incidentally, while your item refers to the McDonald archive containing "110 compact discs containing audio recordings" in fact all of the audio recordings have been converted and condensed from 110 CDs into MP3 files on a _single_ DVD. That collection is a bit more practical and - subject to permission issues... - could be made freely available online without much effort. The failure to get that collection online is just another missed opportunity for ufology. (I mentioned to Paul Dean recently that this particular missed opportunity ranks in my personal top 3). McDonald is probably spinning in his grave.

    1. Hi Isaac, another lost opportunity. I will pass on this info to our US assistant.

  4. Thanks for posting, Keith. Those audios must be fascinating to listen to, recorded so soon after the event.

  5. Hi Ben, I always prefer this type of primary material, if we can get hold of it. These recordings have been accessible for years, and it seems so few people are conducting this type of research, instead preferring the sensational Internet circus of third or fourth hand reporting.

  6. Excellent investigative work - congratulations Keith, Paul et al. This is what I have been bemoaning all these years that the research effort world wide get away from continuing to collect and file case after case of same old sightings and delve a little deeper into untouched corners or areas previously overlooked. It shows too that this Westall case has a lot of presumptions and inaccuracies that need to be followed up and corrected. It kinda makes you wonder how much more of it really happened they way it came out in the reports I've read so far.


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