Freedom of Information Act requests
From Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests by Melbourne researcher Grant Lavac, and myself; correspondence between Grant Lavac and the Office of the Australian Minister for Defence; and other reporting, it can be stated that:
1. "Defence does not have a protocol that covers recording or reporting of UFO sightings." [June 2019.]
2. "Defence does not have a protocol that covers recording or reporting of unidentified aerial phenomena..." [June 2019.]
3. DOD has no internal emails, generated between 1 January 2021 and 16 June 2021, which refer to keywords "Unidentified drone;" "Unidentified aircraft;" "Unidentified object;" or "Unidentified Aerial Phenomena." [July 2021.]
4. The former Chief of Air Force Air Marshall Mel Hupfield said "...he had not seen any reports of Unidentified Aerial Phenomena or UAPs - in Australian airspace." [October 2021.]
|Former Chief Of Air Force - Mel Hupfield
5. In early 2022, the DOD prepared an internal briefing paper on UAP, for possible use in responding to UAP related questions in Senate Estimates Committee Hearings. Included in this briefing paper were the following:
a. The RAAF ceased handling UFO reports in 1996.
b. "Defence Safety flight incidents, including those posed by UAP are handled by the Defence Aviation Safety Authority." [Note: Grant Lavac was advised by the DOD in an FOIA response, that no DASA reports between 2017 and 31 March 2022 referred to UAP.]
c. "...the United States nor any other nation or ally has requested or offered to collaborate on any UAP reporting or investigation."
d. "Defence has no desire to seek collaboration on this issue."
6. a. "Defence does not have a protocol for the reporting and researching of UAP and UFO sightings. At this point of time Defence will not be pursuing research into this matter."
b. "...that Defence has not briefed the Deputy Prime Minister with regard to the topic of UAP or UFO..."
c. "Whilst the Deputy Prime Minister has been engaging with his international counterparts on a range of topics in his capacity as both Deputy Prime Minister and Minister of Defence this has not included the topics of UFO or UAP."
d. "The Deputy Prime Minister has not been provided the United States Office of the Director of National Intelligence Preliminary Assessment: Unidentified Aerial phenomena for review."
The DOD, as above, says it has no (overt) interest in the topic of UAP. Are there any other areas of the Australian government, today, taking an overt interest in the subject?
In previous times, 1951 to around the mid 1990's, the following government departments and agencies held files on UAP (which they called "Flying saucers;" "Unusual aerial sightings;" and "UFOs.")
The former Department of Supply. The former Department of Civil Aviation. The former Department of Territories. ASIO. The Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation. The Army, Navy, RAAF and the Joint Intelligence Bureau/Joint Intelligence Organisation, within the Department of Defence.
Today, if they followed the lead set by the United States, the following Australian government departments and agencies, should have an interest, due either to air safety issues or national security.
|Defence Space Command - Air Vice-Marshal Roberts
However, I have seen no evidence that any of the above, have in fact, a current interest in UAP, despite what they may have undertaken in the past.
A catch 22 situation exists. Are Australian military personnel not reporting UAP encounters because there is no formal DOD protcol/system, for reporting such things; or do Australian military personnel not encounter UAP at all?
When there was a formal reporting system in place by the RAAF; according to the RAAF's own UAP files, Australian military personnel did report such encounters. Anecdotal accounts being provided to individuals such as Australian investigative reporter Ross Coulthart, as reported by Ross on a variety of podcasts and in his book "In Plain Sight," suggests that Australian military personnel continue to encounter UAP.
Australian Department of Defence UAP guidelines
What harm would it do, if the Australian Department of Defence instituted guidelines for its own personnel, encouraging the reporting of any UAP incidents? We would then soon see if such incidents are in fact occurring in Australian airspace/waters. I am not advocating that the Department, once again, invites reports from civilians; merely from its own personnel.
Update: 31 May 2023
As part of his presentation to today's NASA's public meeting concerning its UAP Study Team, Dr Sean Kirkpatrick of AARO mentioned that he had recently presented on UAP at a forum of the FIVE EYES intelligence sharing group. This includes Australia. It will be interesting to see if we can confirm this from Australian DOD sources, and then what Australia's response will be.