Tuesday, July 4, 2017

Defence Science and Technology Organisation records on UAP - part four


This post continues my report on the contents of a newly available Australian government UAP file. I am providing a folio by folio description, plus comments to place the documentation into context.

A query to the Chief Defence Scientist

Folio 143 and 144

143. A memo dated 14 January 1981 from R N Hamilton (FAS SIP) to the Chief Defence Scientist (CDS), titled 'Investigation of  Unusual Aerial Sightings in Australia' forwarded folios 140-142.

Hamilton sought guidance from the CDS as to whether UAP responsibilities should be identified more clearly; more predictable procedures should be initiated; whether the DSTO should be assisting in any way, and whether DSTO should have some role in the matters to be investigated or should even be in the investigation itself?

144. Dated 16 January 1981, George E Barlow, then acting CDS, DSTO, wrote back to FAS SIP. Barlow acknowledged that there was a small core of unexplained UAP, especially those involving physical traces. He also stated that two former CDS, namely H A Wills and Dr J L Farrands had an interest in the physical cases of the reported phenomena. However, he ended by saying that "Staff ceilings and financial restrictions intervened...'  

There is an intriguing handwritten note on the bottom of folio 144:

'Original held by Ross Thomas. FASSIP commented What I have established is a record of 'studied neglect.' "What the hell do I do?! Subsequently he discussed with Paul Dibb and matter finally left with Ross T to raise sometime with Military Space Cmtee.' 3/6/81.


1. This 1981 memo is an important one in that it shows that the matter of who should be investigating UAP, was taken up right to the level of the DSTO Chief Defence Scientist.

2. The FAS SIP appears to refer to the First Assistant Secretary, Strategic and International Policy Division.

Folio 145

Press clippings including 'Beating off the space invaders is proving costly.' ('Weekend Australian' 9-10 May 1981.)

Folio 147

Hand drawn flow chart, showing possible flow of investigation of scientific interest reports, via the Department of Supply.

Folio 148

Handwritten chart of possible CSIRO assistance to WRE and DSL.

Folio 149

One sheet typed list of books on UFOs for 'Library requirements.'

Folios 150 to 157

Blank Unusual Aerial Sightings forms.

Folios 158 to 160

'Suggested amendment to RAAF (DAFI) form issued under Operational Command ASI 3/A/5.'

Folios 161 to 162

Undated, unauthored two pages of a four phase plan for 'possible action.'

The four phase plan

Folios 163 and 164

An undated, unsigned memo to the Secretary, DOA, from Secretary, DOD, titled 'Unidentified Flying Objects.' The memo included:

'With reference to RAAF responsibility for the investigation of UFO reports, we wish to discuss the possibility of arranging prompt scientific investigations of selected cases that are amenable to scientific study.'

Folios 165 to 185

Data on various aspects of UAP, prepared, listing case after case from UAP literature.


This material is also to be found on JIO file 3092/2/000.

JIO file cover

An overall view of the new file

Thanks to the excellent, earlier work by Sydney based researcher Bill Chalker, and his interviews with Harry Turner, and others, we have long known about some of the material on this file, even though the file itself has only just been released. 

However, what we have now, are public copies of official Australian government documents, which, confirm, and build upon, Bill's earlier work. 

In addition, the documents on this file provide previously undisclosed aspects of the internal thinking of individuals who worked for the DST and DSTI (JIB) areas of the Department of Defence, as regards UAP.

The discovery, and contents, of this file are of the utmost importance to our understanding of the approach taken by areas of the Australian government about UAP.

I urge my Australian colleagues to spend some time in the National Archives of Australia, conducting their own research into this area. There may be other material still lying dormant. 

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