Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Westall research - this blog's contribution to the debate.


From time to time, I receive comments from people, that they believe I have a negative approach to the subject of the 6 April 1966, mass sighting at Westall, Melbourne, Australia.

I inform such people that, like themselves, I have the right to my opinion as to the cause of the sighting that day. Unlike some individuals, I base my own opinion on having conducted research on the event. I was not there on the day, and ultimately, my opinion is based solely on what I have been able to find out, by communicating with Westall witnesses as long ago as the 1990's; by visiting the site, prior to the playground installation; by an examination of all the original source material I could locate; an examination of Australian government files; by looking for potential non-UFO explanations; by exploring topics such as memory recall in people; and applying all that I have learnt from many years of interviewing witnesses to sightings, all over Australia.

One of the few witness documents available from 1966 - image courtesy VFSRS

This blog's contribution to the Westall debate

Quite a few posts on this blog, have explored the Westall sighting. I have provided the following links for anyone who wishes to explore material relating to the event; much of which, you will not find anywhere else.

Photo by author

Blowing in the wind

Back in 2010, a series of posts appeared about the possibility that stratospheric balloons might cause some UAP events. Research found that certain Australian sightings did indeed, seem to have been caused in this way.

In 2011, some research was then undertaken on one specific stratospheric balloon project in Australia.

HIBAL launch - Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia

The Corona spy satellite program and 'broken arrows'

Later, when information surfaced about the US Corona spy satellite program, there was a reference by Stanton Friedman, about that program, and the possibility of an association with Australia.

An even more remote possibility, that a USAF aircraft (which were flying in Victoria at around that time) had accidentally lost an atomic bomb, was explored, given that Westall witnesses reported individuals with Geiger counters examining the area.

Aircraft chasing UFOs over Victoria

In 2012, there was a tantalising report about another (1967) Victorian sighting involved multiple aircraft chasing UFOs. This second sighting had several common factors with the Westall incident, and just had to be explored. No one had previously published about this.

Later in 2012, a post looked at other potential explanations for Westall.

Enter the former Australian Department of Supply

Westall researcher, Shane Ryan received information from the family of a former high up member of the former Department of Supply, which led Shane to understand that that employee knew the answer to what was seen at Westall.

Image courtesy of the author

Another 1966 mass sighting from an Australian school

Details about another April 1966 Australian school sighting was located, and was reported for the first time on this blog.

Did radar pick up anything at Westall?

Researcher Paul Dean located an Australian government file concerning the reported observation of a UFO on radar, three days before Westall. No-one outside of the government prior to Paul, had seen this file.

A search was then conducted for other 1966 Melbourne sightings involving radar.

A link between Westall and the Balwyn photograph?

The Balwyn, Melbourne photograph was taken on 2 April 1966, and many have speculated as to the possibility that here was a photograph of the object which was seen at Westall, four days later.

Image courtesy of Jim Kibel

The HIBAL hypothesis

Extensive work was undertaken to explore the hypothesis (simply an idea to be discussed, confirmed or rejected based on the evidence) that the Westall object(s) was/were associated with the HIBAL program.

HIBAL launch - Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia

Sighting on morning of Westall event - HIBAL balloons were filled using a long hose which remained with the balloon on the flight - image courtesy Shane Ryan

Please read all the original source material before speaking out!

As it was found that few people had ever read all the original source material on Westall, a comprehensive document setting out these sources was published.

Further material on HIBAL was published

HIBAL launch  - image courtesy of National Archives of Australia

Further research uncovered details about the Victorian 1967 event which had similarities to Westall.

A copy of a 1966 audio recorded interview concerning an interview with Westall witness Andrew Greenwood was discover and reported upon.

Paul Dean and I returned with  a detailed look at the 1966 Balwyn photograph.

Finally, I took a look at the mystery of the missing Channel 9, Westall news film

In summary

This blog, has since 2010, explored a variety of aspects of the Westall sighting; provided a summary searchable text of all the original source material; uncovered new data; clarified other pieces of  existing information, and put forward a testable non-UFO hypothesis for the event.  

I point out that there is almost no hard data available. There is no analysis of reported ground traces. There is no evidence of radar detection of the object. There are no documents about the sighting to be found in any Australian government file. The witnesses' observations are not well documented from the era, e.g. there are no entries from a 1966 diary. Much of the shared information only came to light since around 2006. Researchers have failed to acknowledge that human memory is prone to errors. No government employees have come forward to say they were involved in a cover up of the incident. Even the legendary US researcher, James E McDonald, following a personal investigation of Westall, never promoted it as an example of the 'core' phenomenon. 

J E McDonald's Westall interview notes with Andrew Greenwood 1967 - image courtesy Michael Swords

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