Monday, November 22, 2021

Maralinga, South Australia, atomic tests - and UAP


Given all the current discussions about the connection between UAP and nuclear testing/nuclear missile sites etc. I thought that I would take a look at any sightings from Maralinga, South Australia, the site of British atomic bomb tests, in the period 1956-1963. Maralinga is 845 kilometres north-west of Adelaide, the capital city of South Australia, and 54 kilometres north-west of Ooldea, South Australia. 

I found details of three UAP sightings from Maralinga, one in each of 1956, 1957 and 1960. I will provide details of these below. I welcome any additional cases which blog readers might know.

1 June 1956

The following is the testimony of one Harry Woolfall. "I was a leading hand trucks driver at Airstrip, (a Maralinga outpost). We were taking boxes of cameras to Rockwell where the scientists were making ready for the explosion. That night we were on our way to Watson railway siding to pick up more boxes. 

It was 9.40pm on June 1, 1956. We were working around the clock. Then I saw this very bright object, very long and a bit like a rocket, travelling from west to east, with lights like windows along the side. We stopped on top of sandhills and I got out to see if I could hear anything. Well, I couldn't but the thing appeared to be above Watson about 6 kilometres away.

Nothing fast about the way it travelled. It really moved quite slowly actually until it went below our horizon. Fellows in the trucks behind us stopped to watch it too. Chips one of my mates saw it at Watson and a bulldozer further down the track saw it too. We talked about it, but we were flat out and didn't think much of it at the time."

[Source: "Sunday Mail" newspaper, Adelaide, South Australia. 27 September 1987. Woolfall contacted the newspaper after seeing an item about the 1957 sighting.]

October/November 1957

"Consider for example, this account from a former RAF Corporal stationed at Maralinga - site of the British nuclear tests in Australia - during September and October 1957. The incident was absent from the official RAAF files. 

During September and October 1957 the nuclear weapons' test series codenamed ANTLER were undertaken at Maralinga with kiloton range nuclear explosions occurring on September 25 and October 9.

The site was subjected to intense scrutiny, however, during October and November 1957, when the integrity of the facility was challenge in an extraordinary fashion. Just before dusk one evening the RAF Corporal and some colleagues were called out of the Maralinga village canteen to witness a UFO hovering, apparently silently over the airfield. It was described as a "magnificent sight" being silver-blue in colour, a metallic luster, with a line of "windows" or "portholes" along its edge. The Corporal stated the object could be seen so clearly that he and his companions could make out what appeared to be plating on its surface.

The air traffic control officer on duty also supposedly witnessed the spectacle. He allegedly checked Alice Springs and Edinburgh airfields which reported they did not have anything over their areas. No photo's were taken purportedly because the top secret status of the area required that all cameras be locked away. These had to be signed in and out when used.

After about 15 minutes the aerial object left swiftly, and silently, as dusk began to fall. The witness told Jenny Randles, "I swear to you as a practicing Christian this was no dream, no illusion, no fairy story - but a solid craft of metallic construction."

[Chalker, W. "The NW Cape Incident." International UFO Reporter, January/February 1986, pp 9-12.]

15 July 1960

At 1900 hours a Constable Maxwell was at Roadside, located 13 miles from the Maralinga village, when he reported seeing a light in the sky, in the direction of Wewak. It appeared the brightness of bright moonlight, and playing on the ground. 

At 1905 hours at a location named Wewak, 15 miles from Maralinga village, a Constable Scarborough, saw a white light in the sky, travelling from east to west. It grew large in apparent size and turned red. Estimated duration of sighting was 30 seconds. It did not illuminate the area around him.

Four people in Maralinga village itself also reported the light, in the direction of Wewak. Estimated durations ranged from 2-15 seconds. The light was not associated with a rocket firing from Woomera.

O. Harry Turner, a nuclear physicist, who had a long term interest in the topic, since 1954 or before, who was a health safety officer at the test site, conducted his own investigations and concluded that it was a UFO.

[National Archives of Australia file series A6456, control symbol R029/284. "Maralinga Project - General - Policy and administration." pp74 and 76.]

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