Monday, April 7, 2014

Perth near collision - the radar replay

Hi all,

Yesterday (click here), I posted information about the reported near collision between an "unknown object" and an aircraft owned by Skippers Aviation, on 19 March 2014, near Perth. Lying in bed last night, I suddenly realised that the WebTrak system of Air Services Australia (ASA), might contain some information about the event. The Webtrak system (click here) uses information from air traffic control secondary surveillance radars to provide information, overlayed on a map. I therefore went to the ASA WebTrak system for Perth and set it for the 19 March 2014 beginning at 0904hrs WST.

Enter the Skippers aircraft:

At 0909hrs WST a DH8C aircraft, shown as flying from YKBL (Kambalda, WA) appears on the radar replay, near the locality of Chidlow. This would be the aircraft described in the Australian Transport Safety Bureau's (ATSB) report on the incident.

The DH8C aircraft is shown following flight V0Z1432, registration VH-YIU, a B738, flying Darwin to Perth.

Some 20kms behind the DH8C aircraft was flight QFA485, Melbourne to Perth, an A332 at 6243ft. The crew of this aircraft would have had the DH8C to the front of them. 

Close to QFA485 is a general aviation aircraft, a C82R at 8186ft. However the direction of this aircraft was facing away from the DH8C aircraft.

Here is a snip from the actual radar replay. The DH8C aircraft is the one nearest the top of the snip.

Here is a close up view:


The radar replay shows V0Z1432 landed at 0916hrs WST; the DH8C landed at 0919hrs and QFA485 at 0920hrs.

Zooming in:

Zooming in on the radar replay reveals that at 0913hrs WST, the DH8C aircraft was at a height of 4124ft.  Looking at the track of this aircraft displayed on the radar replay, there does seem to be a slight direction change at the reported time of the near collision with the "unknown object."

"Unknown object":

There is absolutely no other aircraft shown near the DH8C aircraft, on the radar replay. However, it should be remembered that the air traffic control secondary surveillance radar only shows objects (aircraft) displaying a transponder which provides identification details to air traffic controllers.

In summary:

I believe that this is the first time that any researcher has used the ASA WebTrak to confirm details in an ATSB report, concerning a near collision between an "unknown object" and an Australian aircraft.
I would urge readers of this blog to go to the WebTrak website and examine the radar replay for themselves. WebTrak retains radar information for three months, so the plots should be available up until 19 June 2014 for you to take a look for yourselves. Naturally I await the release of the ATSB's report on the incident, which however, will not be available for some months.

Thank you again, to Melbourne based researcher, Paul Dean, for locating preliminary details of the incident on the website of the Australian Transport Safety Bureau.

Sunday, April 6, 2014

Near collison between an Australian aircraft and an "unknown" object on 19 March 2014

Hi all,

Regular readers of this blog will be aware that from time to time, I report on near collisions between aircraft and apparent UAP.

In the United Kingdom, the UK Airprox Board regularly reports on its investigations into near collisions between aircraft and UAP. Its website (click here) contains excellent reports on their investigation into such incidents. Sometimes the Board comes up with either a specific finding, or at times reveals that it is unable to be certain exactly what nearly collided with an aircraft.


Here in Australia, the Australian Transport Safety Bureau (ATSB) " Australia's national transport safety investigator...The ATSB is Australia's prime agency for the independent investigation of civil aviation, rail and maritime accidents, incidents and safety deficiencies." (click here for the ATSB website).

Recent near collision:

On the ATSB website is a listing of  "Aviation Safety Investigations & Reports." This listing provides details of incidents such as "runway excursions; "engine failures" and near collisions between aircraft (click here for the current listing.)

Eagle eyed Melbourne researcher Paul Dean recently noticed that one of the March 2014 near collision reports involved an "unknown object."

ATSB report number AO-2014-052 reads as follows:

"The ATSB has commenced an investigation into a near collision with an unknown object involving a De Havilland DHC-8, VH-XFX near Perth Airport, Western Australia on 19 March 2014. While passing 4,000ft on descent the crew observed an unknown object tracking directly towards the aircraft. The crew manoeuvred the aircraft to maintain separation. As part of the investigation the ATSB will interview the aircraft crew. A report will be released within several months."

The report goes on to provide general details:

Date: 19 Mar 2014
Time: 0913 WST
Location: Perth Airport, NNE 23km
Investigation status: Active
Investigation type: Occurrence investigation
Occurrence class: Operational
Occurrence category: Serious Incident
Report status: Pending
Expected completion: June 2014.
Aircraft details:
Manufacturer: de Havilland Canada
Model: DHC-8-314
Registration: VH-XFX
Serial number: 313
Type of operation: Charter
Sector: Turboprop
Damage to aircraft: Nil
Departure point: Kambalda, WA
Destination: Perth, WA.
Internet search:
A web search reveals that aircraft VH-XFX is owned by Skippers Aviation of Subiaco, West Australia. Skippers Aviation ( click here) is West Australia's leading aircraft charter service.
ATSB report:
The release date of the final report of the ATSB on this incident is estimated to be June this year. Its findings will be eagerly awaited. I understand the ATSB system does not allow the crew or company who reported this incident to talk about it, other than to ATSB investigators, until the ATSB investigation has been completed. Thus it is not possible for me or any other investigator to learn more details of the incident until the ATSB report comes out in three months time.

Monday, March 31, 2014

The Valentich disappearance and the Malaysian missing aircraft

Hi all,

Since the recent disappearance of the Malaysian Airline aircraft, I have come across numerous Internet sites ( e.g. click here, here ) which have drawn parallels with the 21 October 1978 disappearance of Australian pilot Frederick Valentich. In addition, I have been contacted by two Australian journalists seeking my comments. I declined to provide any.

Some of the information about the Valentich disappearance which appears on the Internet sites I have looked at, is incorrect. For the sake of providing accurate information, I would urge readers of this blog to take a look at previous posts which I have written on the subject. These may be found at the following links:

Please feel free to circulate the above links, for sake of accurate reporting.

Saturday, March 15, 2014

"Unidentified aircraft" and "Unusual sightings"

Hi all,

Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean continues his in-depth research into additional UAP files held by the National Archives of Australia. His latest find is file series J63, control symbol 5/18/Air titled "Movement of Unidentified Aircraft." It has just been digitised at Paul's expense, for us all to read.

Darwin 1938:

I had previously located and read file series A795, control symbol 56/3/2 titled "Department of Defence - Air Board - Unidentified aircraft at Darwin" with a date range of 1938-1940. The file tells of an official investigation into sightings of what appeared to be "aircraft" over the Northern Territory, in that date range.

There are also numerous files held by both the National Archives of Australia and the Australian War Museum, which relate to sightings of "unidentified aircraft" over Australia, during World War Two.


This file has a date range of 1949-1956. To give you an idea of the kinds of documents on it, I will select a few of them.

1. A 'secret" memo from the Director of Intelligence dated 12 August 1949, to Headquarters RAAF Townsville lists ten reports of  "unidentified aircraft" over New Guinea, together with a request for the North Eastern Area Intelligence Officer to be sent to New Guinea to investigate. Later papers on the file confirm that "..there are unidentified aircraft conducting flights mostly at night."

2. In April 1950, the North Eastern Area Intelligence Officer was once again sent to New Guinea to investigate further reports of "unidentified aircraft." His report concluded "...although no immediate solutions resulted from the visit...(it) stimulated interest amongst District Officers...and more prompt and detailed reports can now be expected."

Possible explanations:

Later papers on the file offer a number of possible explanations for the aircraft.

1. One possible explanation for some of the sightings was given in a memo dated 17 October 1950. When mentioning a RAAF mobility exercise code named "Swift Patta" that " would have been of such interest to the Indonesians as to warrant an investigation."

2. Other sighting may have been due to American B-52 bombers from Number 514 Squadron based on Guam.

3. In other cases, the conclusion was that " New Guinea based aircraft were the times reported."

Unusual sightings:

Although not mentioning the term "flying saucer," the file contains a memo dated 16 January 1951 from the Air Board to various RAAF bases. It included "A number of reports have been made by Areas regarding unusual sightings which have been brought to the notice of various authorities." Attached to the memo was a 16 question proforma to gather information for the Air Board. Folios141 to 162 are multiple copies of blank proformas titled "Report on Aerial Object Observed." Each are a two page, 27 question form.

Airline pilots:

Some reports came from airline pilots. For example, folio 183 is a previously unknown sighting from a pilot of a Qantas DC4 flying between Brisbane and Port Moresby on 9 May 1953. "Whilst flying between Mackay and Bowen, called Mackay Tower to check whether any aircraft were in his immediate vicinity, as he had flying alongside of him what appeared to be an aircraft. On receipt of reply of negative aircraft in vicinity this captain ceased transmission.

Folio 184 is a report from captain B Jones, flying an ANA DC3, registration VH-AMP,on 10 May 1953 at 1812 hours, who reported observing an unusual light in the sky. We have previously known about this sighting via contemporary newspaper accounts and documents on other files.

Folio 185 is a covering memo from HQ RAAF Townsville to the Director of Air Force Intelligence covering details of the above two reports.

Folio 186 is a Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) memo dated 31 August 1953 to the Regional Director Port Moresby, about the 23 August 1953 Port Moresby movie and visual sighting by Drury. This document had also previously been seen on another DCA file.

Folio 190 is a 16 November 1953 memo from the Air Board to various RAAF bases, forwarding a new proforma to record details of sightings of "Unusual sightings."

Reports of "unidentified aircraft" over New Guinea continued to be forwarded to the RAAF until at
least 1956 ( the end of this file.)

In summary:

This file contains a large number of reports of "unidentified aircraft." It also contains a number of documents relating to "unusual sightings" such as the 1953, Drury film, and the 1953 Jones observation. Thank you once again to Paul Dean for arranging to have this file examined and digitised. Apart from myself and Paul, I know of no other Australian researchers who are currently mining the NAA for such files. If you are doing this kind of research, I would certainly appreciate hearing from you via email to

Thursday, March 6, 2014

Four more RAAF UAP files available from the National Archives of Australia

Hi all,

Invisible files:

In about 1994, the RAAF collected its remaining open UAP files, from various bases around Australia, and sent them off to the National Archives of Australia (NAA.) The RAAF did this because at that time, it had decided to get out of the UAP "business."

The NAA re-numbered all of these files as file series A9755, and as their date range fell outside of the Archive Act, no-one was allowed to see the files.

Enter the Disclosure Australia Project:

In  2004, Dominic McNamara and myself were able to convince the RAAF to transfer these files from where they were held in Canberra, to RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia. Dom and I spent about 18 hours in total looking through the files under the watchful eyes of RAAF police. We reported on the contents of the files in Disclosure Australia Newsletter number 15 (click here.)

Now, ten years later, the date range of the Archives Act has caught up with these files and parts of eleven of the series have been already digitised on the NAA website, thanks to the efforts of myself and Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean. I have previously reported on these in various blog posts.

Now, thanks to Paul Dean, four more A9755 series files have been opened and digitised. I report on their contents below.

A9755 control symbol 5:

[RAAF Headquarters Support Command, Victoria Barracks, Victoria] UFOs [Unidentified Flying Objects] reports[UAS - Unusual Aerial Sightings]. Date range 1985-1987. Barcode 3533434. Status - open. Formerly file number 6/16/Air Part 1. 153 pages available.

This file consists mainly of large numbers of copies of documents which the Victorian UFO Research Society (VUFORS) sent in to the RAAF, e.g. copies of the VUFORS Newsletters for March, June and September 1987.

There are however, three sets of interesting papers relating to the 9 June 1987 Learmouth, West Australia, event involving SAS personnel (click here); a letter re a close encounter at Highton, Victoria (click here), and details of a 25 September 1985 unusual radar contact at RAAF Sale (click here).  It should be noted however, that copies of documents on all these three events have already been previously located on other RAAF files, and details given in this blog.

One other item of interest is that this file, unlike others, provides the names of the witnesses to the June 1987 Learmouth event. We had previously not known their names. Likewise, the witness to the Highton event is also named on the file.

A9755 control symbol 3:

[RAAF Headquarters Support Command, Victoria Barracks, Victoria] UAS [Unusual Aerial Sightings] Policy [UFO - Unidentified Flying Objects]. Date range 1983-1987. Status open. Barcode 3533406. 182 pages. Formerly 5/6/Air Part 3. Chief of Air Staff.

This is a policy file and contains a variety of documents including:

* Pages relating to photographic computer enhancement techniques

* Newspaper clippings

* A letter dated 25May 1983 from the Australian Skeptics to Flt. Lt. Biddington

* A copy of a report by researcher Bill Chalker, on what he found when he examined the RAAF files in the early 1980's

* A detailed article by VUFORS member John Auchettl, on the 21 July 1983 Melton, Victoria, sightings by police officers

* Multiple pages on various aspects of the 1983 Bendigo, Victoria, "flap"

* A list of RAAF UAP files.

A9755 control symbol 18:

[RAAF Headquarters No 82 Bomber Wing, Amberley, Queensland] Unusual Aerial Sightings [UAS] [UFO-Unidentified Flying Objects]. Date range 1987-1988. Barcode 3533543. 166 pages. Formerly file 5/113/Air part 7. Status open with exception.

This file contains a number of UAP proformas concerning low interest lights in the sky, from the general public in Queensland. Nothing of great interest here, simply adding more sightings to the existing record.

A9755 control symbol 12:

[RAAF No 92 Wing Headquarters, Edinburgh, South Australia] Unusual Aerial Sightings [UAS] [UFO - Unidentified Flying Objects]. Date range 1987-1992. Barcode 3533466. Status open with exception. 76 pages. Formerly file 5/6/1 Air Part 15.

This file contains a number of UAP proformas from various individuals in South Australia. There are 76 pages available to view through the NAA's website. However, when Dom and I examined the file in 2004, there were 183 pages on the file. At that time, I did take note of the contents of most of the file and I provide a copy of my notes below.

Handwritten note. Report 1850hrs. Mypolonga SA. Large mass of bright white light. Round. 10000 feet high. Sighted above Murray bridge. Moved ESE. Disappeared behind cloud.
Letter. Jul 87. Ed to Mypolonga reporter. Please complete pro forma.
Pro forma Mypolonga. “Assessed as having no military significance.”
Letter. 31 Jul 87. Ed to OIC Police Jamestown.
“Chief Inspector… advises that you have recently received a report on the occurrence of an unexplained phenomenon suggestive of a UFO sighting from a local farmer…” details please.
Pro forma Witness A. Aged 51. Farmer near Jamestown. 25 Jul 87. 1815hrs to 1945hrs. Clear weather at time.  First seen 6o feet from ground to the north. “Craft sighted whilst it parked on ground.” Craft approx 20 yards wide.
Colour- light-iridescent bright red. Craft-bright aluminium appearance. Size-light-cone shape travelling to ground. Craft-12 feet wide 8-9 feet high. Portholes approximately 4 feet above ground. No sound from craft. “Sound of shuffling type of walk treading on plastic heard outside while I was inside house…” “Don’t know how craft left. The light just went off like they had been switched off. Light appeared to be sued for directional purposes only.” “Ground was marked by flattened grass and dried ground and slight indentation.” There was a witness to part of the event-son in law aged 28 was there ion the appearance of the first light only he then left to go home. Form signed by witness on 4 Aug 87.
Copy of Police report on Jamestown case. Police officer visited site and reported trace faintly visible.
Ref: SAPOL H2 88 U2. Letter from SAPOL to RAAD Ed dated 5 Aug 87.
Record of conversation. Broken Hill newspaper. Report UAS. Bus driver 2000hrs 11 Aug 87 near Peterborough SA. A bright green light travelled parallel to bus. Affected bus electrics. RAAF have not heard of this report.

Record of conversation. ABC Broken Hill. Inquiry re sightings around BH. No specific reports received by RAAF.
Letter. 14 Aug 87. Ed to witness A at Jamestown.
“Thank you for your well documented report of the inexplicable phenomenon which you recently witnessed. Reports of unusual aerial sightings (or UFOs) on the ground are infrequently received by thus office. Your report has seen investigated, but I cannot provide an explanation as to what you saw.
Notwithstanding, the sighting is assessed as having no defence or security implications, and in accordance with Departmental policy will not be investigated further.” However, I’d like your consent to pass your report on to Mr Brunt.
A T Brunt. Article titled “Understanding UFOs”
Pro forma. Copy. Jamestown.
Original of SAPOL report on Jamestown.
Letter. Aug 87. Squadron Leader at Ed to A Brunt. Herewith report from Jamestown.
Letter. 31 Aug 87. From A T Brunt to witness at Jamestown. Some suggestions as to possible cause of the light portion of the sighting.
Letter 17 Aug 87. Re civilian sighting at Broken Hill.
Minute. 3 Oct 87. Flt Lt O/O Big white blob over City
News paper clipping. “UFO buzzed me, farmer claims.” Jamestown case.
Letter. 6 Oct 87. Ed to witness to sighting at Wentworth.
Letter. 6 Oct 87. Pro forma please from witness in 3 Oct 87 case.
O/O log. 1945hrs. From witness at Virginia. Jet flying over house plus a white light.
Record of conversation. 8 Oct 87. Dakota and Mirage were in area of Virginia.
O/o log. 2030hrs. Civilian at Morphett Vale. Stationary blue/green light.
Letter. 13 Oct 87. To witness 61 pro forma please.
O/o log. 2200hrs UFO flew over Parafield. 2145hrs. Bright ball. No noise. 9 Oct 87.
Minute. Witness to 63 contacted.
News paper clipping. Advertiser 21 Jan 88. Mundrabilla.
Letter. 21 Jan 88. Ed to witness-pro  forma please.
Newspaper clipping. Advertiser. Mundrabilla }Probably a meteorite.”

Letter. 9 Feb 88. Ed to Police station Port Augusta. Please fill in a pro forma re two Police Officers re sighting 8 Feb 88.
Pro forma. 8 Feb 88. 2340hrs. Police officer. 12.4km NNW from Highway 87 on Carieweerloo Homestead Road. Clear sky to N. Cloud to S. Fine/mild. Very bright white light seen. Police were responding to civilian report of UFO but saw nothing at first. Then 2 Police Officers saw very bright white light-increased in intensity and appeared to rise by 2-3 degrees then disappeared. 6 witnesses altogether.
o/o log. 0700hrs. Elizabeth North man saw green light going very fast E to N trailing orange.
Letter. Pro forma to witness 17 Mar 88.
Pro forma. Witness aged 61. 7 Mar 88. 0653HRS. 8SECS. 10 DEG EL. 045 DEG Mag az. Lost at 10 deg el 355deg Mag az. Bright green light.
Pro forma. Witness 67 yrs. Findon. 17 mar 88. 0050hrs. 7mins. Object near civilian aircraft.
Occurrence log. Barmera. Big bright blue/silver and gold light over Lake Bonney. 17 Aug 88. 2330hrs.
Letter. Ed 26 Aug 88 to witness 82.
Letter. 12 Sep 88. Ed to Strathalbyn witness. Pro forma please.
Pro forma. Strathalbyn SA 8 Sep 88. 1850hrrs to 2115hrs. 45 deg NE. Very fast light in sky.
Occurrence log. UFO report. 312250k. At 2000hrs Golden Grove. Falling large red and white light.
File note. 11 Nov 88. 2248hrs. W Hindmarsh. Long shape-oval. Pro forma mailed.
Occurrence report. 2205hrs. Hope Valley-light.
Letter. 7 Mar 88. Ed to Hope Valley reporter. Pro forma please.
Occurrence log. 1845hrs. Medindie. Bright light.
Letter. 22 May 89. Ed to witness 92.
Letter. 21 Jul 89. Ed to witness Aberfoyle Park 21 Jul 89. Complete pro forma.
Message form. Meadows via Stirling Police. 2300hrs. SW sky. Blue light. 4-5secs.
Message form. From 92QWG to HQAMB. Please interview Qld reporter re complex story.
News clipping. Advertiser 11 Sep 89. “’Space junk’ trail in sky.”
Hand written note. Names and phone numbers.
Hand written note. 9 Sep 89. 1045hrs. Whyalla. Witness at Williams Creek hotel. 20 aircraft travelling at 2500-3000 km/hr.
Record of conversation. Checked re-entry of USA-42 at 09115Z
Minute. 28 Sep 89. Paralowie. 2115 and 2145hrs. 27 Sep 89. Bright white/yellow/orange light in W.
Letter. Ed to witness 101.
Pages from Allen Hendry’s UFO guide book
Letter. 22 Nov 89. Ed to witness-complete pro forma.

File note. Hand written. Report 2230hrs Smithfield. Very bright star.
Occurrence log. Group of lights 0940hrs in N sky. Moving around.
Letter. Ed to witness 22 Nov 89. pro forma please.
Hand written note. “thought associated with sky show.”
Letter. Ed 31 Jan 90. To witness re 30 Jan 89 report. Pro forma please.
Pro forma. Darlington. 25 Jan 90. 25mins 45 deg NNE.
Letter. Ed 20 Feb 90. to witness 20 Feb 90. Pro forma please.
Occurrence log. 012025 Report SW to NE. Very bright light.
Letter. Ed 4 Apr 90. To witness re 2 Apr 90. Pro forma please.
Letter. 21 Aug 90. To witness Paralowie sighting.
Letter. 15 Oct 90. To civilian witness Dulwich. Pro forma please.
Pro forma. Male 62 yrs. 9 Oct 90. Near Auburn SA. Driving south on highway 83. 2230hrs ¼ sec. Clear sky. First seen 20 deg W. Blue/orange ball with sparks.
Handwritten note. 30 Oct 80. Terowie SA. “A UFO may have landed in his wheat crop. 30 foot diameter circle. Wheat within circle flattened in anti-clockwise direction. Area at about 4 feet from circle where wheat upright and another circle at about ten feet where wheat flattened anticlockwise. Wheat greater than two feet high. Witness ex-army. Photos taken.
Occurrence log. 18 Jan 91. 2200hrs. UFO sighting. Francis SA. 30 deg NE. Bright yellow stationary light.
UFO sighting 6. Male. At Clare/Burra turn off. Travelling SW. Bright green light. 2030hrs. 20 may 91.
UFO sighting 5. Vale Park. Blue light surrounded by white. 2020hrs.
UFO sighting 4. 20 May 91. Blue light white tail. Glandore.
UFO sighting 3. 20 May 91. 2020hrs. Advertiser called re “giant meteorite.”
UFO sighting 2. 2020hrs. 20 May 91. Seacliff. NW sky. Green flash very fast. Smoke trail to W.
UFO sighting 1. 20 May 91. Paralowie. 1M. 2020hrs. Very bright. SE to NW. Left trail.
Letter. Ed to Lobethal witness.
Pro forma. Lobethal. 1F 3 Jul 91. 0525hrs. 45 deg NW Green glow. Downward. Rapid. Vanished.
Minute. 12 Jul 91. UFO report. One Tree Hill. 1M. Bright green light. White. SW. Travelling NE to SW. 80-10secs. 2155hrs.
Occurrence log. 12 Jul 91. 1530hrs. St Peters. 1M. Bright light in NW sky.
Letter. 27 Sep 91. Letter. 1M. Campbelltown. Pro forma please.
Pro forma. 1M 26 Sep 91. 15mins. 45 deg ENE. Two lights. Yellow. Campbelltown.
Letter 21 Jan 92. Port Pirie. Pro forma please.
“This file was checked and found to be complete 15 Jul 94.”

Any more files?

I compared a list of RAAF UAP files I found on A9755 control symbol 3, with file numbers already known to me. The following files remain un-located.

* 6/9/Air part 2

* 17/9/Air Part 7

* 5/6/Air Part 1.

In addition, file 5/1/11/Air Part 1, which was seen at RAAF Base Edinburgh in 2004, also remains un-located in the NAA to date.

These four files, may of course, be part of the A9755 file series, which are not yet visible on the NAA's RecordSearch. Only time will tell. The next NAA notification of so far unseen RAAF UAP files will be on 1 January 2015, when anything new will simply appear on RecordSearch on that day.


UAP researchers should note the generosity of Paul Dean of Melbourne who paid to have the above files digitised (at a cost of about Aus. $60 per file.)

PDF copies:

It is of interest to note that two of the above mentioned files are also available in PDF, and thus you can download the entire file for yourself, as opposed to reading the digitised version.