Saturday, January 28, 2017

How long does it take? - does size matter?

Hi all,

Unusual observations

1. In broad daylight, a man sees an unusual object rising from the ground. He describes it as looking like two saucers face to face. A 'hissing' sound accompanies the visual observation. The object, despite being only an estimated 25 yards away, shows no structure. The object departs into the sky at an extremely fast rate.

2. Again, in broad daylight, another man, hears a 'hissing' sound and then sees an unusual object approaching the vehicle he is in. The object hovers mere feet from the man's vehicle. It appears as an inverted saucer shape. By the time he gets out of his vehicle, the object is no longer in sight.

3. Yet another man, another daylight observation. During low cloud and rain, a man sees an object descending from clouds. A 'swishing' sound accompanies the sighting. The object hovers over a tree and then rises into the clouds and is lost to view.

Each of these Australian observations, is totally unexpected by the individuals involved. Each was simply going about their normal, daily work at the time.

Minimum duration?

In analysing reports, I always look, among other things, at two aspects. Firstly, the duration of the event. What would you say is the minimum duration of events such as this, so that you could be certain that the object was not simply a misidentification of a mundane object? To be clear in your mind that it could not be something ordinary, experienced in some set of unusual circumstances? Perhaps time for an aircraft heading straight towards you, to turn and show its side view.

So what were the durations of the three events I describe at the start of this post? The first, Tully, Queensland, was 5-6 seconds. The second, Yerecoin, Western Australia was 10 seconds. The third, Moe, Victoria was at a maximum 15-16 seconds.

Minimum angular size?

The second thing I look for, is an indication of the angular size of the object. A very small angular size may not allow sufficient detail to be made out, thus not allowing a positive identification to be made, e.g. an aircraft seen at such a distance, and direction, that no wings nor tail are visible.

What of the angular sizes of our three Australian examples? From the witness' estimates of distance and diameter, I calculated the angular size of both the Tully and Moe objects to have been around 19 degrees, which is 38 times the angular size of the full moon. The Yerecoin figure is a staggering 122 degrees.  These angular sizes should certainly be sufficient, so that the witness would be very clear they were not looking at anything conventional.

How accurate?

All in all, how accurate are these eyewitness observations, given their short duration, but large angular sizes? Unfortunately, in each instance there was only one witness, so in the end we cannot say with any certainty if the observations were accurately described or not.

Friday, January 20, 2017

Newly received RAAF file contains photos of an unidentified object

Hi all,

I have just obtained a copy of a previously unseen RAAF file from the National Archives of Australia. File series J229, control symbol 5/13/Air, barcode 21290309 has a date range of 1956-1966, and is titled 'Sighting of unidentified objects.' It originated from 10 (MR) Squadron RAAF, based at Townsville, Queensland, Australia. It is 130 pages in digital format.

Among reports of a probable meteor (Townsville 13 Oct 1956); probable lightning flashes (Townsville 20 Jul 1957); a probable submarine intruder (during exercise Tuckerbox II, 12 Sep 1962 at 1922S, 15450E); another probable submarine sighting ( 27 Sep 1963 in the Torres Strait), is a much more intriguing set of photographs.

Unidentified object

On 16 May 1958, a Lincoln aircraft A73-60 photographed Cartier Island, at 0220Zulu, while flying at 1500 feet, using a 5 inch lens.

A memo from the Squadron photographic officer to the commanding officer, 10 Squadron, dated 29 May 1958, states in part:

The location of the island

'After normal processing film was numbered and assessed  for printing during which time object was discovered.'

The object

Dimensions of the object
Close up of object
His report and photographs were forwarded to Head quarters Home Command on 3 Jun 1958. HQ asked for a further surveillance run and low level visual inspection of Cartier Island, during the next regular surveillance overflight.

This second flight was carried out on 3 August 1958. Part of the resultant report read 'A visual survey of Cartier Island was carried out at low level. Nothing could be seen in the area off the western end of the reef in the vicinity of the reported unidentified object.'

The object, remained unidentified.

Thursday, January 12, 2017

Australian material in Project Blue Book files

Hi all,

Readers will have noticed that I have been busy going through digitised issues of the Flying Saucer Review; NICAP's the UFO Investigator; the MUFON Journal, and the APRO Bulletin, in order to document Australian material in these overseas periodicals. Having Excel spreadsheet indexes of this material, makes it so much easier, when I am answering email from people, asking me about Australian sightings.

My latest small project was examining online resources, which contain files relating to the former USAF Project Blue Book, and checking these for Australian material. In all, I found 20 Australian sightings in these Blue Book files.

The best reference source I found, was Fold3. However, simply typing in such keywords as 'Australia;' Tasmania (as many Americans refer to Tasmania as if it were a separate country to Australia, whereas it is one Australian state); New Guinea etc., may not have revealed the full extent of Australian material. There may be additional sightings listed in other ways. I also found that you need to look at each page listed, as, for example, there were three reports for Melbourne, Victoria, dated 1 January, 14 January and 15 January 1954, all contained in the file dated 1 January 1954, Melbourne.  In addition, I found pages about non Australian sightings, attached as part of an Australian sighting file.

All in all, I found a total of 104 pages for the 20 sightings. Many of these sightings had Project Blue Book evaluations, e.g. Condamine, Queensland, dated 2 February 1951 was said to be a meteor; while the 20 August 1963 Turner River Station, Western Australia was listed as a satellite observation.

One example will illustrate the path these sightings took. On 12 June 1961 there was an observation by two residents of the Azerita Plantation, Papua New Guinea, at 0400hrs local time. Over a fifteen minute period the observers saw a shiny object which approached from the North East. It was shaped like the hollow in a New Moon, and could have been delta winged. Its estimated height was 15,000 feet. It kept moving back and forth, to and from the North East. Eventually, it returned back the way it had come and was lost to view.

The report was made to the Australian government Department of External Territories; who passed it to the Australian Department of Defence. From here, it was sent to the Head of the Australian Joint Services Staff in Washington; then to the US Department of the Air Force, in Washington, then onto the Foreign Technology Division, USAF at Wright-Patterson Air Force Base, and Project Blue Book.

The Blue Book case index card stated that the cause of the sighting was 'Probably atmospheric refraction in pre-dawn hours of planet or star.' Ultimately, though it was listed as 'insufficient information.'

If you'd like to read more about the early interaction between the RAAF and USAF as regards UAP reports then click here and here.

Tuesday, January 10, 2017

More Australian reports from 1947

Recently, I posted the account of one Neil McIntyre, who related a very close encounter, in mid 1947, which happened in Shepparton, Victoria. In that post I asked any blog readers who may be aware of other Australian 1947 sightings, to let me know details of them.Yesterday, I heard back from a Sydney research associate, who told me that Sydney researcher, Bill Chalker, had collected other 1947 sightings. Here are my summaries of Bill's details.

One morning in 1947

At 0200hrs at the Greta Army camp, near Maitland, New South Wales, an individual saw a light in the sky, approaching from the west. As it drew closer he saw it was a silver dome shaped disc, with blue flames underneath. It flew in a zigzag pattern, leaving behind a faint yellow or golden trail. It flew above an overhead cloud bank, and he saw the glow from flame in the cloud. The cloud suddenly lit up; the light then faded. There was no associated sound. {Source: Letter from witness to UFOIC dated 26 August 1971.]

One clear night in 1947

A RAAF Flt. Sergeant Leslie W Bastin and daughter Jean, at home in Lawson, New South Wales; saw a pewter type metal structure hovering over a gully. It had a domed top; with a flange around the centre. Lights were visible above the flange area. It stayed for 30 minutes, then left silently, and quickly. [Source: Letter to Bill Chalker from Jean Bastin dated 11 February 1983.]

End of June 1947

A 40 year old woman was on Bondi Beach, Sydney, New South Wales, at about 2100hrs. She heard a humming sound above her, and saw 'The Air ship.' It was a cigar shape, and a very pale blue colour. It was there a few minutes, and then disappeared in the dark sky. [Source: Letter from Mrs. A N.... to UFOIC dated 10 September 1978.]

My comment:

Regretfully, none of the above reports was documented in contemporary times. I checked the TROVE digitised newspapers, for that era, and can find no mention of any of the above sightings. Thus the only two pre 24 June 1947 Australian sightings, which were documented in contemporary newspapers were the 5 February 1947 South Australian reports.

July 1947

Mr W Quinlan of Grafton, and his wife and son, were on the river, about 1430hrs, when looking at an aircraft saw some shiny discs in the sky. He described them as transparent and disc like in shape. 'They appeared to be caught in the eddy of the wind.' [Sources: The Daily Examiner (Grafton, NSW) dated Thursday 10 July 1947 p3. and Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah, NSW) dated Saturday 12 July 1947 p.2.]

The next day, The Daily Examiner (p2.) featured a follow up account which stated that an aircraft had been dropping leaflets in that area at that time.

Monday, January 9, 2017

Newly discovered Australian report from 1947


The modern UFO phenomenon is said to have started on 24 June 1947, with the well-known observation by pilot Kenneth Arnold in the United States. Australian newspapers quickly started publishing local reports; e.g. Sydney Morning Herald, Wednesday 9 July 1947 page 1, ‘Sydney people still say They’re seeing “Flying Saucers’; and Rockhampton Morning Bulletin, Thursday 10 July 1947 page 1, ‘”Saucers” over Melbourne.’

Reports from 1947:

What is less-well known, is that there were three reported Australian sightings, well before the 24th June 1947. The first and second sightings, were reported on the same day, namely 5 February 1947, from South Australia and recorded in contemporary newspaper accounts.

The ‘Advertiser’ (Adelaide, South Australia) dated Friday 7 February 1947 on the front page, carried the following account:

‘Strange objects reported in sky.’

‘While working in the yard at the Commonwealth Railways workshop yesterday morning Mr Ron Ellis and two workmates claim to have seen five strange objects in formation pass across the sky from north to south.  

‘The objects were white or light pink and shaped like an egg.   Mr Ellis said that he could not give an accurate estimate of the size of the objects, but they were casting shadows and judging by his experience with aircraft in the RAAF during the war he considered they were about the size of a locomotive.  

‘Although the objects kept on a direct course at a height of about 6000 feet they appeared to be quivering he said.   Owing to their great speed they were out of sight within a few seconds.

‘Any question of the phenomenon being an optical illusion was dispelled by the fact that a few minutes later both Mr Ellis and his companion gave an identical description of what they had seen.   Their description was verified by another member of the workshop who said he had also seen the objects.’

The next day, Saturday 8 February 1947, the ‘Advertiser’ carried a second article:

‘Objects in sky not meteorites’

‘Commenting yesterday on a report from Port Augusta that several men working in the yard at the Commonwealth Railways Workshops at about 9am on Wednesday had seen five strange egg shaped objects in formation pass across the sky at a height of about 6000 feet the Government Astronomer Mr G F Dodwell said that the phenomenon did not fit in with anything astronomical and was a complete mystery to him.   

Mr Dodwell discounted the probability of the objects being meteorites.   He said that meteorites being so small and travelling at such high speeds did not cast shadows whereas the report stated that the objects had cast shadows about the size of a locomotive.   The presence of falling meteorites would have been accompanied by a deafening roar.

My research:

1.   I had known about these newspaper articles for several years, thanks to Adelaide resident Darryl Tiggeman. I visited the State Library in Adelaide on 27 January 2011 to check a copy of the ‘Adelaide Advertiser.’ I found that the ‘Adelaide Advertiser’ did indeed carry these articles on the dates quoted.

2.   I searched for additional information on the event in other South Australian newspapers.   In total I checked the ‘Adelaide Advertiser’ between 1 and 19 February 1947; the ‘West Coast Sentinel’ (based at Streaky Bay, 320kms W of Port Augusta) between 5 and 19 February 1947; ‘The Recorder’ (based at Port Pirie, 80kms S of Port Augusta) between 7 and 14 February 1947; Adelaide’s other daily newspaper ‘The News’ between 5 and 11 February 1947; the Adelaide weekly ‘The Mail’ for 8 February; ‘The Quorn Mercury’ (based at Quorn 22 kms NE of Port Augusta) between 6 and 20 February 1947.

3.   I found that ‘The Quorn Mercury’ of 13 February, page 3, carried the exact same account as that of the ‘Adelaide Advertiser’ dated 8 February 1947.   However, more importantly ‘The Quorn Mercury’ of 20 February 1947, page 3, also carried an additional report of a sighting.

‘Writing in the Advertiser, Mr F W Flavel of Lock, Eyre Peninsula states: ‘I saw objects in the sky between 7 and 8 o’clock the same day as you record a report from Port Augusta.   I was walking in a north-westerly direction to the house after feeding the pigs.

‘There were five of the strange objects and they seemed to be coming up out of the sea like a shadow with smoky grayish color around them.   They were oblong with narrow points.   I saw them quite plainly.   They seemed to be floating in the air from north-west to south-east and caused a shadow.’

4.   I then found a letter to the editor in the ‘Adelaide Advertiser’ of 17 February 1947, page 2 from Mr Flavel.   It read:

 ‘Strange objects in the sky.’

‘I saw objects in the sky between 7 and 8 o’clock the same day as you record a report from Port Augusta.   I was walking in a north-westerly direction to the house after feeding the pigs.

‘There were five of the strange objects and they seemed to be coming up out of the sea like a shadow with smoky grayish color around them.   They were oblong with narrow points.   I saw them quite plainly.   They seemed to be floating in the air from north-west to south-east and caused a shadow.’

‘I called the wife to have a look at them and she did so.   It was a sight.   I wish I had watched them longer as others had seen them and Port Augusta men did so an hour later.   I have never seen anything like this before, and after reading what others saw I thought I would let you know that my wife and I both saw these objects.’

5.   I checked the weather forecast for Wednesday 5 February 1947.   The state forecast was:
‘Unsettled, with scattered rain and thunderstorms.   Cool on part of the coast, elsewhere
Warm to hot and sultry.   SE to NE winds.’ The weather map was shaded over Port Augusta indicating rain was expected.

Sunrise was 0539hrs.   Moonrise 1925hrs.   Full moon 6 February 1947.

Adelaide’s actual temperature (300kms S of Port Augusta) for 5 February 1947 was minimum 73.8F at 0545hrs; maximum 98.3F at 1245hrs.

5.   Lock (latitude 33 deg 34 min S; longitude 135 deg 45 min E) is a small country town 225kms SW of Port Augusta, and is inland.

6.   As the 7 February issue of the ‘Adelaide Advertiser’ stated that Mr Ron Ellis has been in the RAAF during the war; I checked the National Archives of Australia service records for World War 2 looking for a Ron Ellis whose details might match the witness’s.   I found there was a service file for a Ronald Ernest Ellis, born 5 November 1920; at Port Augusta, South Australia.  

7.   After I posted the above information on the Magonia Exchange forum on the net, Chris Aubeck, who lives in Spain, sent me the following items:

(1) From the Adelaide Advertiser Thursday 10 July 1947 p2.  

‘Seeing things’

Early in February, some queer egg-shaped objects, pink and slightly luminous, were seen to pass across the sky near Port Augusta, but this phenomenon was hardly so much as a nine day’s wonder, for a South Australian amateur astronomer was ready with a plausible theory about meteors, which most people promptly accepted.   We now know that, in the slang of the moment, Port Augusta ‘started something.’ The egg-shaped apparitions about which South Australia was mildly excited five months since, were plainly the harbingers of those ‘flying saucers’ that have been creating such a sensation in America.

Our trans-Pacific cousins have seldom given their imaginations so much play.   Multitudes of people have seen the new hosts of heaven flying across the sky in the likeness of saucers; and those who have seen nothing, have been ready to make amends by offering explanations of ever increasing fantasy.   It was left to a Sydney physiologist to point out that ‘flying saucers’ are likely to be nothing worse than red corpuscles in the eye of the observer, and several American and British scientists having hastened to agree that this is a valid theory, the greatest known epidemic of ‘seeing things’ may fairly be supposed to be on the wane.’

(2) From the Adelaide Advertiser Tuesday 25 February 1947 p2.   Letters to the Editor.

‘Slow meteors’

Sir – Perhaps an amateur astronomer may be allowed to voice an opinion about the strange objects recently seen passing across the sky at Port Augusta.   Usually, any meteor entering the atmosphere is travelling at the terrific velocity of forty miles per second.   This compresses the atmosphere ahead of it and raises its temperature, as the piston of a diesel engine compresses and heats the gases in the cylinder, but whereas the diesel piston merely raises the temperature to ignition point, the tremendous pressure caused by the meteor raises the temperature thousands of degrees, and in this cap of incandescent gas the meteor is burned up in a matter of seconds.  

At rare intervals, however, meteors enter the atmosphere at comparatively slow speeds.   Some years ago a whole ‘procession’ of such slow meteors was seen to pass across part of the USA, finally ending their flight in the waters of the South Atlantic.   These slow meteors have a very different appearance from the swift blaze and trail of fire of the fast ones.   Friction with the air does no more than heat them until they glow, as the giant V2 rocket is heated on its flight.   As high-speed camera photographs of bullets in flight reveal, anything passing swiftly through the air creates both shock waves and turbulence which, by reflecting light rays passing through them, register distinctly on the photographic plate and, if the object is large enough, on the eye also.  

It is this turbulence in the air which is seen when a slow meteor passes across the sky in daylight.   The actual meteor may be quite small, weighing not more than fifty pounds in some cases, but the area of compressed and disturbed air is much larger, giving the impression that the object is of huge size and casting a visible shadow as it passes.

It also explains why many observers have described what they saw as ‘resembling a swimming fish’ on account of the way in which the ‘tail’ of the object seemed to wave to and fro.   I suggest, therefore that the objects seen were meteors travelling at what is a slow speed for such visitors from the depths of space.   If they were heading inland and we could obtain cross-bearings from observers to plot their course, it might be possible to find what is left of them, just as Sir Kerr Grant found the Karoonda meteorite a few years ago.’

H A Lindsay Cross Road, Highgate.

A third 1947 observation:

‘The Murrimbidgee Irrigator’ newspaper, (Leeton, New South Wales) dated Tuesday 8 July 1947, page 2 carried the following account:

‘In May last during the rice harvest, Mr H Nettlebeck was out in the fields when he heard a swishing noise as if a mob of ducks were flying overhead.   On looking up he saw five metal bodies flying in v formation with the sun glistening on them.   They appeared to be about 2000 feet up and each looked to be about the size of a large duck.   He estimated the speed at about 1000 miles per hour.   Mr Nettlebeck states the whole thing appeared too fantastic at the time for him to report the sight, but on reading in the City Press yesterday of the ‘flying saucers’ or radar controlled missiles he sees a similarity.   Mr Nettlebeck would like to know if any other settlers saw the five metal parts whizz through the sky in May last.’

Yet another 1947 account surfaces:

A few days ago, Canberra researcher Shane Ryan alerted me to a newspaper account from the digitised version of ‘The Shepparton News’ (Shepparton, Victoria) dated 2 January 2017. The account read, written by journalist Barclay White, titled ‘Memories of long-ago UFO,’ read:

‘Did an alien spacecraft hover over the streets of Shepparton on a cold winter’s night back in 1947?
A former Victorian policeman has broken his nearly 70-year silence on what he claimed was a close encounter with a flying object not of this earth.

Mr Neil John McIntyre, who would have been just 12 at the time, claimed that he saw an alien spacecraft when he was walking home late one night in June 1947.

He claimed he saw the spacecraft as he was heading home after a night out with his friend, Max Carlos, at a billiard saloon at Wyndham Street.

“It was a Sunday, and it was a cold, dark night” Mr McIntyre said.

“We finished at about a quarter past nine and made our way home.”

According to his recollections of the evening, he and Max saw a UFO hovering above the street, just metres from them.

He claimed that it stayed in the air for a good four to five minutes, as he and Max stood and watched, completely dumfounded by what they were seeing.

“I was not so much scared as surprised,” he said.

“It was a bit smaller than a Melbourne tram, it was similar to flying saucers seen around the world.
“You could clearly see two guys (in the craft) that we called aliens in the front cockpit.”

He claimed that the two aliens had no hair, or glasses and looked humanoid in shape, but not human and were looking at a lamppost in the street.

“Their hands were not in my view, but I got the impression they were controlling some sort of instrument,” he said. “It might have been extracting power from the lamppost.”

As he and his friend looked on in wonder, he claimed the spacecraft then flew away in the direction of Dookie.

After the encounter, he said this friend Max drew pictures of what they claimed to have seen in the sky.

“Maxy Carlos was empathic not to tell anyone,” he said.

Although he does not remember the exact date, he remembered it was a few days after or before the Roswell incident, a famous encounter in UFO folklore where the US Airforce is said to have recovered a spaceship that crashed in the New Mexico desert.

His friend Max Carlos eventually became famous for his feats in the ring as a professional boxer, and because of their friendship, Neil stayed true to his word to not speak of the incident.

Neil eventually joined the Victorian Police Force and is retired and living on the Gold Coast.

With Max having died Neil in his twilight years finally decided it was time to break his silence about what he claimed to have seen in the sky all those years ago.

“All I could say is it’s the strangest thing I’ve ever seen in my life.” He said.


Shane Ryan contacted both the journalist, Barclay White, and the witness, Neil McIntyre. Neil kindly responded, by email, to a number of questions which both Shane and myself put to him. These are as follows:

A check of digitised newspapers in the National Library of Australia’s TROVE collection, revealed numerous accounts about boxer Max Carlos. One in particular, from ‘The Argus’ (Melbourne, Victoria) dated Thursday 26 June 1952, page 14, records that Max in 1954 was aged 16, making him about 11 in 1947. Another, in the Shepparton Advertiser’ (Shepparton, Victoria) dated Friday 18 May 1951, page 5 spoke of Max Carlos of the Shepparton Boys Club. An internet search revealed that Mx had passed away on 12 May 1996.

Questions 1 and 2: ‘ When did you first go public with the story? Why did it appear in the newspaper now?

Response from Neil: ‘I never bothered, until recently when I mentioned this to my friend John Giliberto, and then it got rolling along.”

Shane added: ‘Barclay first interviewed Neil a couple of months ago, after being alerted to the story by a friend of Neil’s Another journalist, who is now also the Chief of Staff at the Shepparton News, John Lewis, who wrote the article about me and Westall In April 2014, encouraged Barclay to research the story and  to write it.”

I then noted that the Roswell, New Mexico, crashed ‘debris’ was said to have been found on 14 June 1947.

Question 3: ‘When did you first come across the Roswell story?’

Response from Neil: ‘I cannot recall that, it must have been discussions I overheard or talked about, with adults in Shepparton, when that got publicity, because I didn’t read the papers, or listen to radios much.

I checked with the TROVE digitised newspaper collection, to see when Australian newspapers carried articles about the Roswell incident. Newspaper all over Australia carried accounts around 9th and 10th July 1947. Some reported the finding of a ‘flying disc;’ while most carried the story that the ‘disc’ had been identified as a weather balloon. Examples are; ‘”Flying discs” found in New Mexico,’ The Canberra Times, dated 10 July 1947 page 1; ‘‘’Flying saucer’ was weather balloon,’ Tweed Daily (Murwillumbah, New South Wales) dated 10 July 1947 page 1.

Noting that the newspaper account contained a drawing of ‘two alien’ I asked Neil:

Question 4-7: Can you confirm that Max did the drawing in 1947? Who kept it since it was done?
 Where was it kept? I there anyone else who can verify that it was done in 1947?

Response from Neil: ‘I did many of those sketches in my spare time, but the first one I did on that night when I got home, and Max did the same thing, we met at school the next day & compared those sketches. I have a clear vision of those Aliens, even today, and I have no problems doing sketches of them. My original, what I may call it, was done a few years back, & just put aside, it will be under tight security from now on, as I intend to Auction it later. As I mentioned to you Max couldn’t draw for nuts but I had a natural art ability, and even today 6th January 2017, I have no trouble seeing in my mind those two Aliens, in their UFO, no problems.’

Shane added: ‘The drawing, then, is Neil’s not Max’s, and is not the original one done by Neil which has long since been disposed of. Max’s relative Yvonne Carlos (sister or daughter perhaps) wrote on the Lost Shepparton Facebook page, confirming the story: “I do remember Max believing that flying saucers (as we called them in the 50’s) definitely existed, because he and his friend Macca had seen one had seen one over Wyndham Street when they were quite young after leaving the Mechanics Institute pool room. He never told me about seeing aliens piloting it, but they watched it for a few minutes and it went off towards Dookie.”

Shane asked Neil, other questions:

Question 8: ‘If your sighting was about 100 metres or yards north of the pool hall, perhaps you were somewhere near the Queen’s Gardens, or not far from the Nixon Street intersection with Wyndham Street. Did you ever go back to the location of your sighting wondering if you would see them again?
Question 9: ‘Have you given any thought to doing a drawing of what the craft looked like, and perhaps how it was positioned in relation to the street light pole?’

Responses by Neil: ‘The Queen’s Gardens, that would be correct, across the road, was a Motor mechanics shop, on the corner. My brother Wal worked at that place for quite some time. No, I never made any special visits back to that area to see if I could witness all that again, you see, we probably shouldn’t have been out that late on a Sunday night anyway, it all just happened because we got involved in a few games of Pool, and that it why we upset the Manager of the Billiard or Snooker room, he wanted us out at 9pm. We argued we were only half way through our game, & he took pity on us, and allowed us to finish the game off, which took some ten minutes, over his lock up time, I think.

I’ve done a few sketches of that UFO, sideways, on, it was like looking into a “Myers Shopping Window wide open” if you know what I mean. The two Aliens stood out, right in the middle of the window, cockpit or clear open area, obviously behind glass or what ever material used on the UFO, and as I stated, I couldn’t even from that close, say they were standing or sitting, because their hands, were out of view down out of my eye line, if you know what I mean. So in my spare time over the years I have only really sketched what I was looking at, those two Aliens five feet away, inside a window type cockpit, if you know what I mean. I still “rattle” when I see how close that UFO was to hitting that lamp post, as I quivered, I think I was quivering also, it was soooclose, only an inch or so, from striking the lamp post, in the most awkward, side on, balancing angle, you could imagine. “

After completing this article, I forwarded it to Neil, and asked him to check it for accuracy, as far as the details of his sighting were concerned. This he did and advised me there was one point in the Shepparton News article which needed correction. At the time of the incident, Neil and Max were riding bicycles without lights; not walking. They got off their bikes “when the place around us lit up like a thousand candles.”

Neil kindly consented to allow me to publish the above details.

A further account:

Sydney researcher, Bill Chalker, makes mention of an account from Maffra, Victoria, in the winter of 1947. The details he gave are as follows:

“Driving home with her son, a woman almost collided with a ‘dazzling golden ball’ hovering just above the road.  The woman could not stop the car and found it buffeted by wind.  At the point of impact, the ball seemed to roll to one side over a high embankment and disappeared behind tall maize.  The wind then ceased.”

In conclusion:

There are few known accounts, from Australia, dated 1947. Out of the four given here, only two; i.e. Locke, and Port Augusta, South Australia were published in contemporary newspapers. This author, would be very interested to hear of others from that era. I may be contacted at 

Note added 10 January 2017

I received a message from Sydney researcher, Bill Chalker, who advised that he had communications with Neil McIntyre, about a decade ago. McIntyre's story at that stage was basically along the lines of the account in the recent Shepparton newspaper. 

Friday, January 6, 2017

The MUFON Journal - 1970 to 2008 - Australian material

Hi all,

Continuing my series of posts about references to Australian material in overseas periodicals, I bring you items from thirty eight year's worth of the US 'The MUFON Journal.'

Many well known researchers contributed to the MUFON Journal during this time. For example, just in the period 1979 to 1983 we find the following (all references are to digital page numbers.)

* Paul Norman - 'Mystery deepens in pilot disappearance case.' (November 1979 p.6)

* Bill Chalker - 'Light bending case.' (March 1980 p.18)

* Peter Delin - 'Psychological aspects of belief and disbelief.' (May 1981 p.4)

* Mark Moravec - 'Psiufological phenomenon.' (August 1980 p.14)

* Keith Basterfield - 'Imagery and close encounters.' (August 1981 p.4)

* American John F Schuessler writing about US researcher Stan Deyo, then living in Perth, Western Australia (October 1983 p.18.)

Many of the classic Australian sightings feature in issues of the Journal, including:

* Birdwood, South Australia - 30 July 1977. (November 1977 p.5)

* The Jindabyne 'abduction' - 27 September 1974. (February 1988 p.14)

* Mundrabilla, Western Australia - 20 January 1988 (March 1988 p.17.)

As with my three previous posts, about Australian material in overseas periodicals, I have prepared an Excel spreadsheet listing the material I found. To receive a copy of this spreadsheet simply drop me an email request to

Thursday, January 5, 2017

'Nuts and bolts' versus 'new age' thinking

Hi all,

The other day I was communicating with a colleague, about the current state of Australian UAP research. My colleague remarked that their approach could best be described as 'nuts and bolts.' By this, they meant a reference to the idea that UAP are physically real, and should be studied using the scientific approach.

While I was digesting this thought, I received an email advising details of the January 2017 close encounter conference to be held in Byron Bay, New South Wales. Part of the conference email posed a series of questions, which included:

* What is the truth about UFO reality?

* Who is visiting us and why?

* What do these intelligences really want with us?

* What happens during encounters on space craft?

All very valid questions, and still along the 'nuts and bolts' line of thinking.

Wilder speculations

However, the questions posed, then went on to wilder and wilder scenarios:

* What involvement does the military have with reverse engineered craft and abductions?

* What do the star children say about their experiences and why do they say they are here to help humanity?

* Along with sightings, there is a vast agenda of contact by various ET species...other species interbreed with us and are producing a hybrid race which they keep on their craft.

The individuals involved with these wilder speculations, often make claims which go against common sense; and are based on little or no scientific evidence, e.g. claims by 'star children' and claims that one's child is a 'human/alien hybrid.'

These 'new age' thinkers have skipped the need to produce scientific evidence for their claims, and moved directly to the adoption of their own personal, belief systems; often aided by similar communities of belief, to be found on Internet websites, often based in the USA.

Where are

* The DNA analyses of 'human/alien hybrids' which demonstrate their differences from mere humans?

* The public demonstration by 'star children' of their super human abilities, of which they boast?

* The alien artifacts,' which are clearly not human, arising from the numerous interactions with ET species?

* The medical documentation to demonstrate that even one case exists of 'missing fetus syndrome'?

Lest I be accused of not studying abduction accounts, 'star children' and such things, I spent three years doing just this. During that time, I communicated with dozens of Australians making such claims. I sat in on regression hypnosis sessions with qualified health professionals, and looked for physical evidence in terms of implants and medical documentation.

What I learnt from this study, was that the average 'new age thinker' knew nothing of sleep paralysis; hypnagogic and hypnopompic imagery; the fantasy-prone personality; hallucinations; migraine auras; or fugue states, and numerous other such psychological, neurological and psychiatric conditions which can give rise to abduction style accounts.

From the perspective of the 'new age thinker,' the 'nuts and bolts' view has had its day, failed to produce any definitive, universally accepted, UFO 'crashed saucer,' which everyone agrees has absolutely no other explanation than an extra-terrestrial or interdimensional space ship. Some holders of the 'nuts and bolts' view would argue that the 1947 Roswell crash fits these criteria; I do not.

From the perspective of the 'nuts and bolts' view, the wilder side stories of 'star children;' 'alien/human hybrids' and the 'missing fetus syndrome' tell us more about the human condition, then they ever tell us about the UAP phenomenon.

Which view; if either; or perhaps some other; ultimately succeeds in being accepted by the majority of those interested in such things; only time will tell.

A comment from Sheryl Gottschall:

"Keith you make very valid points. Personally I think the requirements for evidence in various areas of UFO research seems to have disappeared right out the window. I too have posed the question - where is the evidence for aliens manipulating our DNA? Why hasn't there been human DNA testing done to seek such evidence? Isn't that the logical next step? That evidence is needed if those claims are going to prove true, otherwise it's just words that wash over the public mind rather than have the potential to catch their attention.

While the questions about interdimensional beings and alien manipulation of human DNA invite us to think more widely about the UFO phenomenon, it concerns me that once those questions are asked, the natural next step to provide evidence for those possibilities is not sought. To me that's fuzzy research."

Wednesday, January 4, 2017

Dr Michael J Duggin passes

Hi all,

Dr. Michael J. Duggin, had a deep interest in the subject of UFOs, between at least 1966 and 1973, while he was in Australia.

In November 1966, Duggin visited Jacques Vallee and J Allen Hynek, in Chicago, in the US to discuss their topic of mutual interest [Vallee, J. Forbidden Science, Volume 1, North Atlantic Books 2nd ed. Nov. 1992. page 226.]

In December 1966, Dr Duggin wrote to the Australian Department of Air, which was the official Australian government Department charged with looking into UFOs. Duggin referred to an earlier telephone call, and supplied a letter of introduction from Allen Hynek, to the Department. Part of this letter read "I would like to investigate cases myself where possible and would be very willing to be of any help which I can." [NAA file series A8520 HM1/30 digital pp 78-81]

An internal Department of Air memo [NAA file series A8520 HM1/30 digital page 77] re Duggin's letter, read, in part, "It is understood that this scientific investigation is quite unofficial...This Department had no objection additionally to passing reports of all UFO sightings to Dr Duggin provided that this would not cause you any embarrassment."

A hand written note on the CSIRO file, reads "Discussions with Colin Harper (at Chippendale) - has no objections to Duggin's extra-curricular activity."


Dr Duggin conducted an investigation of a report from Sydney on 8 March 1967, where a dull grey-black object, emitting a low humming sound was observed. Duggin forwarded the details of the case to Hynek in the USA and a copy of this report may be found on a RAAF file. [ NAA file series A703 580/1/1 part 7 digital pages 173-191]

Image from NAA file A703 580/1/1 part 7 p 173

When the Disclosure Australia Project (2003-2008) interviewed former Joint Intelligence Bureau employee O Harry Turner, Turner was asked about a proposal for an official Australian government rapid investigation team for UFOs. Turner told us that he was the instigator of the team concept, and that Duggin was the other main player.

Together, Turner and Duggin investigated a reported UFO landing on a Sydney gold course in 1969. They took samples and looked at what temperature would have been needed to make the marks.


In 1970, Duggin investigated a trace case at Boggabri, NSW. A year later, he presented a talk titled "The Analysis of UFO reports" at a Symposium in Adelaide, South Australia on 30 October 1971. This symposium was organised by the SA Division of the Australian and New Zealand Society for the Advancement of Science.


In August 1973, Hynek was in Australia and together with Harry Turner and Duggin, Hynek attended a meeting on the 24th, with the Department of Defence's Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI). A DAFI file note [ NAA file series A703 554/1/30 part 3 folio 16] called it "An unofficial an endeavour to expand the scientific relationship to the problem." DAFI suggested that perhaps they could refer selected cases to the Commonwealth Scientific Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO), where Duggin worked.

At this meeting, Duggin was described as a member of the CSIRO, based in North Ryde, Sydney, NSW, and heading the Australian aspect of ERSAT.

Almost nothing is known regarding Duggin's UFO interests between 1973 and 1979. One thing which is know, however, courtesy of an article about the work of the late James E McDonald, in the August 2006 issue of the MUFON Journal, by Ann Druffel, Vincent Uhlenkott and Ralph McCarron, is that an "...Australian scientist inquired about the Blue Book R-V files ..She [Betsy McDonald] allowed him to copy the R-V files..." The article states that before agreeing to this, that Betsy had been satisfied that the scientist had the required knowledge about atmospheric physics, astronomy and radar systems to be able to conduct scientific work on her former husband's radar visual UFO cases which James McDonald had located in the Project Blue Book files. This was in the early 1970's. It is highly probable, that this unnamed 'Australian scientist,' was in fact Duggin, who had expertise in these areas.


A biography located on a USAF website, indicates that Duggin left Australia in 1979 and became an Associate Professor in the Department of Environmental Resources and Forest Engineering, College of Environmental Science and Forestry, State University of New York, Syracuse, USA.


The biography goes on to say that in 2002, Duggin left that position and became Senior Scientist, Space Vehicles Directorate, Air Force Research Laboratory at Kirtland Air Force Base in New Mexico, USA.


Dr Duggin, aged 79, passed away on 20 December 2016, in Albuquerque, New Mexico. An obituary notice advised that his personal interests, ranged from scenic drives to fine wines. He was a talented photographer and a collector of cameras, fine writing instruments, knives and recorded classical music. There was no mention of UFOs at all. However, as anyone knows who has ever been bitten by the UFO bug; once interested you generally carry this interest with you, in one form or another, for the rest of your life. In the military world in which Duggin found himself in the latter part of his life, it wouldn't surprise me if his interest in UFOs continued 'under the radar.'

NICAP - UFO Investigator - Australian material - 1957 to 1971

Hi all,

Following my recent posts about references to Australian material in both the English Flying Saucer Review, and the APRO Bulletin, I checked out all the digitised  issues of NICAP's 'UFO Investigator.' which I had access to.

Here, we find references to various Australian sightings, including:

* Meekatharra, Western Australia - 'Angel hair fall.' (January 1962 p.6)

* Eton Ridge, Queensland - 'Close encounter.' (June 1965 p.1)

* Boyup Brook, Western Australia - 'Car stop.' (July 1968 p.6.)

The September 1971 issue, highlights a one day symposium on UAP, which was held in my home town of Adelaide, South Australia, on 30 October 1971. The aim of this symposium was to encourage scientists to take a look at the UAP issue, and was organised by the Australian and New Zealand Association for the Advancement of Science. To read more about this Symposium, click here.

As with my previous two postings, if you'd like a copy of an Excel spreadsheet listing these references, simply drop me an email to

Tuesday, January 3, 2017

The APRO Bulletin - references to Australian material

Hi all,

My previous post, spoke of a recent little project of mine,to document references to Australian material, in the English Flying Saucer Review, between 1955 and 2004. Following this, I decided to do the same for all the issues of the APRO Bulletin. I found several dozen such references.

Some well-known Australian sightings were promptly reported to the Bulletin by such individuals as Peter E Norris, Bill Chalker, and myself. Among them were:

* Moe, Victoria, 'Saucer panics cattle.' (July 1963 p.1)

* Balwyn, Victoria, 'The Balwyn photo.' (September 1966 p.1)

* The Valentich disappearance, 'Australian pilot missing.' (October 1978 p.1)

* Tully, Queensland, 'Those "saucer nests."' (March 1966 p.4)

Other interesting items, were articles, including:

* 'ANZAAS UFO Symposium' (November 1971 p.1)

* 'Australian scientist on extraterrestrial life.' (May 1973 p.2)

* 'RAAF statement on Gill sighting.' (March 1960 p.2)

* 'What did Cooper see?' (November 1963 p.1)

* 'Australian mystery rings.' (May 1973 p.5)

I am happy to provide readers with an Excel spreadsheet of my findings, upon receipt of an email request to

Monday, January 2, 2017

Australian references in the Flying Saucer Review - 1955 to 2004

Hi all,

Given the paucity of interesting, current UAP sightings in Australia, I have been spending some time buried in the past. Specifically, I have been going through several hundred digitised issues of the English Flying Saucer Review, published between 1955 and 2004. Almost fifty years worth of articles, sightings, book reviews, readers' letters, and speculation, are available for anyone to read.

Naturally, as I reside in Australia, I was keen to view sightings, investigations, and articles,written from this part of the globe. All in all, I came across over 100 such references.

On the sightings side,the FSR contained material on such classic Australian incidents, such as:

* The 1965 QANTAS aircraft sighting between New Zealand and Australia (Vol. 11 No. 2 p. 29.)

* The 1963 Salisbury, South Australia CE3 (Vol. 9 No. 4 p. 25.)

* The 1960 Cressy, Tasmania 'mothership and discs' event (Vol. 7 No. 4 p.32.)

* The 1978 Valentich disappearance (Vol. 24 No. 5 p.6.)

* The 1988 Mundrabilla 'UAP lifts car off road' (Vol. 33 No. 2 p 4.)

On the articles side, you find find interesting reading about:

* Submarine craft in Australasian waters (Vol. 12 No. 4 p.31.)

* Unidentified submarine object off Papua (Vol. 18 No. 3 p. 20.)

* UFO reports from Lake Eyre (Vol. 35 No. 2 p. 24.)

* Australia's Aborigines have long known about UFOs (Vol. 39 No. 3 p.25.)

*Animal mutilations in Australia in 1987 (Vol. 44 No.2 p.27.)

* Missing time in Australia (Vol. 49 No.1 p.6.)

I have compiled an Excel spreadsheet of these references, a copy of which, readers may receive; simply drop me an email request to keithbasterfield

Sunday, January 1, 2017

Felix sit annus novus

Hi all,

A New Year's tradition for me, has been to go to the website of the National Archives of Australia (NAA) just after midnight on 1 January each year, and look for any newly available UAP files.

The tradition continued this year, and I was rewarded by locating two new files in the A9755 NAA file series. This series number, was given to a group of about two dozen files, passed to the NAA by the RAAF, when it closed its UAP program in 1994. This year, two newly available A9755 series files surfaced. They are:

1. A9755 control symbol 23, titled 'RAAF Headquarters No 82 Bomber Wing Amberley Queensland [Unusual Aerial Sightings] [UAS]  [UFO-Unidentified Flying Object].' The barcode is 3533584, with a date range of 1992-1994. The file's status is currently 'Not Yet Examined.'

2. A9755 control symbol 9, titled 'RAAF No 92 Wing Headquarters, Edinburgh, South Australia [Unusual Aerial Sightings] [UAS] Administration [UFO-Unidentified Flying Object].' The barcode is 3533451, with a date range of 1992-1994. The file's status is 'Not Yet Examined.'

I have submitted a request to have the two files examined, and when their status is changed to 'Open,' I will pay for a digitised copy to be placed on the NAA website for anyone to read.

Unfortunately, from October last year, until 1 July 2017, the NAA are moving some 15 million files from multiple repositories, to the newly established National Archives Preservation Facility, thus causing delays to the access process. It will therefore be some months before the digital copies will be available.

I am also currently waiting on the NAA to digitise another file, found last year. This is NAA file series J229, control symbol 5/13/Air, titled 'Sighting of Unidentified Objects.' This file is barcode 21290309, date range 1956-1996. This file originated with RAAF No 10 Squadron, Edinburgh, South Australia.

Update as at 18 April 2017

The National Archives of Australia is still in the process of moving millions of files to a new repository building, and advises this will not be complete until 1 July 2017. I have still not received access to files A9755 23, or A9755 9.

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