Thursday, February 28, 2013

The Neanderthal shot by the spaceman!

Hi all,

A light-hearted post today. I am currently reading a book by Chris Stringer, a paleoanthropologist at the National History Museum in London. The book is titled "Lone Survivors:How we came to be the only Humans on Earth." (Times Books. New York. 2012. ISBN 978-0-8050-8891-51.) (Click here.)

The book is about a radical new theory of humanity's origins in Africa. It's about as far away from the topic of UAP as it's possible to get. Yet, on page 253 there is an amusing little story which I'd like to share in this post.

It concerns a skull known as the Broken Hill skull, found in Zambia in 1921. The skull has "...a small and nearly circular hole in the left side of the braincase. Over the years, this has been suggested to be from a spear point, a lion's canine, or even primitive surgery. But not long after I joined the National History Museum, I learned of an entirely new idea. A British newspaper was serialising a book  called Secrets of the Lost Races and requested permission to print a picture of the Broken Hill skull.

When I asked what caption would accompany the illustration, I was told that it would say that this was the skull of a Neanderthal shot by an alien's bullet 100,000 years ago!

I pointed out that the fossil wasn't really that of a Neanderthal; that it was probably much older than 100,000 years, and that a bullet hole would probably have been accompanied by radiating cracks. I also asked, what self-respecting alien would be using something as primitive as bullets? Nevertheless, it was agreed that the newspaper could have its photo if it included the statement that recent research suggested the hole showed signs of healing and was probably caused by disease emanating from within the braincase.

Of course, such scientific data didn't suit the paper's agenda, and it included a drawing of the skull instead, leading me to suffer several frustrating weeks as members of the public telephoned, wrote, or even turned up unannounced at the Museum asking to see "the Neanderthal shot by the spaceman!"

Sunday, February 24, 2013

Plane left standing by UFO

Hi all,

I have just finished combing through the vast collection of newspaper clippings on the website of UFO Research (New South Wales) (click here.) This post takes a look at an intriguing report carried in an uncited newspaper dated Friday 8 Aug 1980. It reads:

"Darwin plane 'left standing' by UFO.

The crew of a TAA DC-9 says the plane was outpaced by an unidentified flying object over Queensland. So the RAAF immediately began an urgent investigation into the report.

The TAA crew said they made the UFO sighting near Cairns on Thursday when they were flying to Darwin, they said.

The UFO left a vapour trail and was so fast it quickly outdistanced the DC-9 the crew said.

Defence authorities and meteorological experts yesterday could give no explanation of the incident.

A Transport Department spokesman said no civil aircraft was in the area at the time.

An RAAF spokesman said "It was not a Canberra bomber. They can fly high and there was no F-111 fighter there either.

The relieving Air Advisor at the US Embassy, Captain D Estele, said no B-52 bomber was in Australian airspace on Thursday.

Investigators have been told by the TAA crew that the DC-9 was flying at 9,445 (31,000ft). They estimated that the UFO, directly above them, was flying at 15,223m (50,000ft.)"

Comments:

1. There are no RAAF UAP files available for 1980 in the National Archives of Australia (NAA), so it is not possible to check this report via this source.

2. I have never come across this report in any other agency files held by the NAA.

3. The incident is not recorded in the RAAF Base Darwin's UFO files. See my previous post (click here.)

4. It is possible it is buried somewhere on a file belonging to one of the RAAF bases in Queensland on a file we are not yet aware of.






RAAF Base Darwin's UAP files

Hi all,

National Archives of Australia (NAA) file series E1327 consists of dozens of files on various aspects of the operations of the RAAF Base in Darwin, Northern Territory, here in Australia.

Three files relevant to UAP have been known to exist, for some time. These are:

1. 5/4/Air Part 1. "Unusual Sightings and Incidents" with a date range of 1966-1968. Its NAA status is "Open."

2. 5/4/Air Part 6. "Unusual Sightings and Incidents" with a date range of 1976-1993. Its NAA status is "Open with Exception."

3. 5/4/Air Part 6/7. "Unusual Sightings and Incidents" with a date range of 1974-1990. Its NAA status is "Open with Exception."

To read my earlier post on the contents of these files, please click here.

File series E1327, control symbols 5/4/Air Parts 2-5 were not shown in the NAA's electronic database RecordSearch. A check with the NAA's Darwin office failed to locate any trace of parts 2-5.

Another series:

Melbourne researcher, Paul Dean, has recently located another file in the E1327 file series, and had it digitised. This file has a control symbol of 5/3/Air Part 1. It is titled "Maritime and Air Incidents/Contacts" with a barcode of 7061045, with a date range of 1966-1992 and has been partly digitised. It is a 31 page file, which has documents on it from as early as 1963. From its title it would be reasonable to assume that like the 5/4/Air series it might contain some reports of UAP.

However, an inspection of the file reveals that instead, it covers such things as alleged Indonesian aircraft intrusions into Australian air space; aerial sightings of what appear to be inhabited campsites; and unidentified aircraft sightings. There is one odd teletype on the file, marked "Secret" and dated 13 Aug 1963. Included in its text is "All detail required including elevation of object." The teletype is from RAAF Headquarters Operations Command to RAAF Base Darwin. "Elevation" is not usually a term associated with the observation of an unidentified aircraft. The term usually used there is "altitude." There are no other papers on the file which refer to this August 1963 incident.

No other files in the sequence 5/3/Air have been located in RecordSearch.

Thursday, February 21, 2013

Northern Territory UAP file digitised

Hi all,

Paul Dean, the Melbourne researcher who is mining the National Archives of Australia (NAA), has recently had the NAA digitise a Northern Territory UAP file from the 1970's.

For some unknown reason, the Northern Territory District Office at Alice Springs started collecting newspaper clippings about UAP in 1972 and kept doing so until 1980. I have summarised the file, file series F706, control symbol 1973/159 barcode 1843991, from the Darwin office of the NAA, below:

1. "More UFO sightings."

Reg Smith of Alice Springs saw two glowing lights at 2116hrs last Saturday. One was green and one was red. They travelled NE to SW. No noise. Visible for 3-5 seconds.

2. "Armed police called to airport on emergency." 13 Sep 1972.

An unknown "aircraft" was sighted high over Derby, WA, at 0415hrs by Department of Civil Aviation witnesses. Heading E to SE. Witnesses at the Alice Springs airport saw what looked like an aircraft going over at 0545hrs.

3. "New UFO report in Alice." News 18 Oct (year?)

Helen Brown was at a BBQ when she saw a red/white/blue light in  the sky at 7.15pm and again at 7.45 pm.

4. "UFO seen in Darwin." 19 Oct 1973.

Bob Brent at sunset saw a red object with a blue haze around it. 18 Oct 1973.

5. "More UFOs." Uncited paper 23 Oct 1973.

Darwin 22 Oct 1973. A dozen witnesses saw a bright light for more than 30 minutes. It was brighter than a star, and had a red ring around it. It moved slowly to the East.

6. "UFO on walkabout." Advocate. 25 Oct (year?)

UFO seen over Alice Springs last Wednesday like a "minature sunset." Bob Brent of Mitchell Street West saw a red object with a blue haze around it. On horizon over East Point. Shot straight up and disappeared. No vapour trail.

7. "UFO sightings -fact or fiction?" 13 Dec 1972.

General article written by two members of the UFO Research Section of the Astronomical Society of Central Australia.

8. "UFO over Casuarina. News. 26 Feb 1974.

Objects in the Darwin pre-dawn skies seen by multiple witnesses.

9. "The News snaps that UFO." News 28 Feb 1974.

Mystery object in the sky over Casuarina last few nights has been photographed using a Nikon 10 second exposure, F 2.8, using a 50mm lens. Sightings began 20 Feb at 0330hrs . Two bright objects. A cross shaped one and a half moon shaped one. Seen for next four nights. Photographed at 0530hrs Tuesday. A very bright white light in the sky. Moved slowly upward. There was no moon.

10. "UFO circle looked so real!" News 7 Mar 1974.

Rapid Creek, NT. A flying saucer nest. 1.8m diameter, flattened, circular and clockwise. Dead grass. Investigation suggested a boy on a motor bike was the cause.

11. "UFO flew over Alawa." Uncited. Undated.

Last night in Darwin there was a report of a red/white flashing lights in the sky. 1715hrs. East to West.

12. "People report strange UFOs." Centralian Advocate. 13 Apr 1978.

Last Wednesday several people reported two bright yellow objects travelling west at high speed at between 10-11pm.

13. "Things that go flash in the night." The Star. 4 Jun 1978.

General article with IFOs from Tony Brunt, SA Bureau of Meteorology.

14. "UFO over Tanami." 19 Jun 1980. Centralian Advocate.

0200hrs 7 Jun 1980. Multiple witnesses report flash of light and 3-5 minutes later, a distant explosion and "rolling vibration of the ground."

If any blog readers knows why the Northern Territory District Office at Alice Springs was interested in UAP, I'd like to know.


Saturday, February 16, 2013

February 1944 aircraft encounter

Hi all,

In February 2011 I posted about a pre 1947, pre Arnold, Australian aircraft encounter.

The earliest source for this report which I was able to find, was a magazine called the "Australian Saucer Record," published in my own hometown of Adelaide, South Australia back in the 1950's. In fact the account appeared in 1957 in volume 3, number 1 page 16. A copy of the magazine was located in the State Library of South Australia.

New material:

The person who reported the 1944 incident was Thomas Richard Horace Royal. Recently, after reading my 2011 post on her father, one of Royal's children contacted me. In responding to her very welcome email, I inquired if she had any material relevant to the event, perhaps her father's pilot's log book? Her response was to forward me a copy of his original report form which he submitted to the Adelaide based Australian Flying Saucer Research Society, who published the "Australian Saucer Record." She advised me that she did not have her father's pilot's log book.

Below, with her permission, I will provide the text of the report form, as handwritten by her father. It makes fascinating reading.

The report form is labelled "Report No QA44/001

Name: T R H Royal.

Address: 42 Esplanade ?? Scarborough.

Date: February 1944.

Time: 2.30am

Location: Bass Strait, Victoria.

Duration: 18 to 20 minutes.

Weather: Bad and in full cloud.

Shape: Dark shadow.

Sound: No sound.

Colour: No colour.

Change shape: No.

Change colour: No.

Give off smoke: No smoke. Flame at rear.

Fall like a leaf: No.

Flicker and pulsate: Flickered.

Others points of interest: Object flew parallel for 18 minutes. Belching flame at rear then accelerated to approx 3 times my speed emitting 100 to 150 ft flame when accelerating.

Apparent size of object by comparison with sixpence held at arm's length: 8 times.

Direction of trail: South.

Est speed: 235mph.

Estd ht and distance: 4500ft  100 to 150ft.

Only part visible was about 15ft due to reflection of light along body from exhaust flame.

Viewed: Naked eye.

I was flying a Beaufort Bomber at time of.

Notes:

1. There are 12 questions on the one page form I received. There is no signature on the form, or date of completion. It suggests there may have been a second page to the report form which we do not have.

2. The AFSRS (Fred Stone) whose address is on the top of the report form, was in existence from about 1955 with Fred Stone as the then President. Stone initially founded the Australian Flying Saucer Club in Adelaide in 1953. The ASR was the magazine of the AFSRS. As the report on the 1944 incident appeared in the 1957 edition of ASR, and from personal reading of all issues of the ASR, and noting that Stone tended to publish stories he received straight away, it is reasonable to believe that Royal forwarded his account to Stone between 1955 and 1957, most likely in 1957.

3. I located photographs of Royal in the National Archives of Australia, file series A9300 control symbol Royal, T R H. His daughter was kind enough to forward me a photograph from her collection. It shows Royal at the "RAAF No 1 Engineering School, FM 49. Showgrounds. Melbourne. Leonard Snowden Studios." There is an added note "May have been stationed here when UFO sighted 1944."

UFOR(Qld) presentation:

Royal's daughter gave a presentation to UFOR(Qld) in 2007. She kindly sent me the text of this presentation which was as follows:

"I would like to talk to you tonight about some of the memories I have of my father's participation in the original Unidentified Flying Saucer Research Bureau.

His name was Thomas Richard Royal, but was popularly known as Ricky Royal. His passionate interest in UFOs started towards the end of WW2 when he was flying over Bass Strait in a Beaufort Bomber. A report submitted to the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society describes what must have been a terrifying experience, for a 29 year old during war time, of an Unidentified Flying Object, belching flame at the rear and flying parallel with his plane for approximately 18 minutes.

The experience occurred in 1944 and inspired my father to spend the next 25 years of his life becoming involved in UFO research. He, along with other members, established the UFO Research Bureau in Redcliffe,  Queensland in about 1954.

By this time there had been many reports from around the world of UFO sightings which fuelled the interest of the Bureau here in Australia. I recall this time in my life very clearly and especially when the Bureau was visited by noted identity from America whose name was George Adamski.

What a wonderful thing that was happening to us. This almost alien like figure himself was going to stay at our place. We didn't know exactly what to expect of this chosen contact of the alien crafts, but the visit was certainly memorable with Adamski telling us of his experiences and we felt sure that we, ourselves would be visited by those unknown entities from outer space in the near future.

Sighting:

The only sighting we as a family had experienced was about 1956 when we were living at Scarborough, part of the Redcliffe Peninsula and our house looked out towards Deception Bay. It was a very clear evening, just on sunset, when dad called us all out to witness what I still believe to this day was a UFO. The object was heading north to the other side of Deception Bay in the direction of the Glasshouse Mountains. Of course dad always kept his eyes open towards the skies as often as possible and by the time he had called us all to witness the UFO it was too far away for me to distinguish the shape but the behaviour was not that of a helicopter or aeroplane. It was travelling fairly slowly at first but then suddenly accelerated and disappeared. Not out of sight over the mountains but completely gone.

Of course, our neighbours saw us gathering of the seashore and knowing that dad was a "Flying saucer nut," joined us hoping to get a sight of the UFO. I think that some of them were converted after that evening.

Dad also built himself a powerful telescope and I remember him spending hours on end grinding the lenses until he had a means of viewing the heavens and the moon and the stars and of course any UFO sighting that may come his way. This telescope was the centre of attention in the neighbourhood as dad would let anyone who wanted to, look at the moon and see the wonderful sights near and far.

As part of the UFO Research Bureau he also built a lightbeam transmitter with a microphone attached using his knowledge of electronic engineering gained from his Australian Air Force war service.

The transmitter was designed using magnetic fields similar to the design of a cathode ray oscilloscope, an early version of the TV receiver we know today.

Sadly, my dad's involvement with UFO research and sightings ended with his untimely death of a heart attack in 1969, but I am sure he would have been an active member of the new UFORQld and still as enthusiastic as he had been since 1944."

Comments:

It has not proved possible to locate Royal's pilot's log book. A search of the  National Library's Trove digitised newspaper collection has failed to locate any contemporary record of this event. In addition, none of the other 3 crew members of the aircraft involved have ever been named, located or interviewed. An Internet search found a website which stated that only some 200 air crew of Beaufort bombers are still alive today, and they would be in their 80's and 90's. It is therefore very unlikely that we are going to be able to locate any contemporary documentation on this event. However, it remains one of the few reported pre-1947 Australian encounters.

Friday, February 15, 2013

A9755 control symbol 22

Hi all,

A third new file in the A9755 series of RAAF UAP files has been partly digitised by the National Archives of Australia. The file series is A955 control symbol 22, titled [RAAF AF Intelligence and Security, Canberra] UFOs [Unidentified Flying Objects] enquiries from members of the public and civilian research organisations - [UAS - Unidentified Aerial Sightings]" Its barcode is 3533575, and its date range is 18 Jul 1982 to 11 Apr 1994. It has been partly digitised, and there are only 17 pages available. This file was formerly labelled 529/1/4 Air Part 5.

What is interesting is that when Sydney based researcher Bill Chalker inspected RAAF UAP files back in the early 1980's he inspected four files labelled 529/1/4 Air parts 1 to 4. A search of the NAA's ReordSearch failed to find parts 1 through 4, although part 5 has now turned up.

What is on the file?

Remember that only 17 pages are currently available. Ironically, they refer to a "Study of Official Australian Government Involvement in the UFO Controversy - A Progress Report" written by Bill Chalker. Bill sent this document to the RAAF, detailing his preliminary findings after inspecting RAAF UAP files.

We will need to wait for several years to pass before we are able to read this file in its entirety.

A case of radiation? Kempsey - 1985

Hi all,

Introduction:

The second file just available in the A9755 series from the National Archives of Australia (NAA), control symbol 14, is titled [RAAF Headquarters No 82 Bomber Wing, Amberley, Queensland] [Unusual Aerial Sightings] [UAS] [UFO - Unidentified Flying Objects] and has a date range of 31 Jul 1984 to 1994 and has been partly digitised by the NAA. Barcode is 3533481 and it is held in the Canberra office of the NAA. It is open with exception (closed 1986-1994.)

The digital copy, which anyone can read, has 92 pages and was originally referenced as 5/11/Air Part 6. "Unusual Aerial Sightings." The file opens with a copy of "Air Staff Instructions No 3/A/5 which details the operational process when UAP reports were received by RAAF bases.

What is on the file?

There are a number of low interest UAP reports from various locations in Queensland. Two of the more interesting reports were radar contacts, made by a Meteorological employee from Charlieville, Queensland, which involved radar returns on 16 and 17 Nov 1985. Details of these, from the file are:

"16th Nov 1985 approx 1500hrs 21855 metres altitude 66,000 ft Radar return HDG 086 deg T 197m/sec (app. 404kts.)

17th Nov 1985 approx 1500hrs 20302m altitude. Radar return Hdg 080 deg T 203m/sec (app 410kts.)"

The RAAF investigating officer wrote a letter to the met observer which read in part "Subsequent investigation has provided no details of RAAF aircraft at that altitude, airspeed or time. Previously, reports similar to yours have been traced to an equipment malfunction."

Startling close encounter:

Gregory Wynyard was a 24 year old Ride and Game attendant from the Gold Coast. At about 3am (DST) on the 26 Jan 2985 he was travelling with his girlfriend by car, southwards on the Pacific highway, about 45 kms north of Kempsey. The sky was overcast with on and off rain, although it was not raining at the time of the incident.

To his south he first noted the object at a low angle of elevation. He passed directly underneath it at an estimated distance of about 40 feet. It was last observed at about a 60-70 degree angle.

He described the object as "Saucer shaped on the bottom and  about 15 feet from one side to another. On the side it was about 5 feet high. I could just see the chrome or pewter metal on side only (because of the bright light radiating from it. It was just above tree height (about 40 feet.)

"I thought it was a light of some kind at first because it was perfectly still (It did not move through the entire observation.) In the centre was a blue light about the size of a large plate and I got the impression it was throbbing but I'm not exactly sure...although light was radiating from all over the object, like aura the light was strongest coming from the underneath of the craft. It made no sound at all."

A second person, Gregory's girlfriend Debbie, saw it through the back window. He awoke Debbie while driving directly under the object.

Radiation?

The above details were taken from the RAAF's questionanire. On this questionnaire, Wynyward wrote at one point "Is it possible that persons in the car have come into contact with radiation? If so please inform us."

On 19 Feb 1985, Flt Lt G E Haywood, RAAF Base Amberley, wrote a letter to Wynyard. The part of it which addressed the radiation question read:

"Thank you for the prompt return of your detailed report. The information supplied by you has enabled an investigation into the phenomenon to commence.

From information so far supplied, it is not possible to determine whether or not you and Miss Hinds were exposed to any radiation or in fact if there was any radiation emanating from the object. May I suggest, if you have any doubts concerning your health as a result of the incident, a visit to your local hospital or family doctor for an examination may help alleviate your fears."

Comments:

There is no evidence on the file that this close encounter report was ever followed up by the RAAF. For example section 2 headed "Unit report" of the RAAF questionnaire and section 3 "Investigating officer's evaluation" are blank. This suggests to me that no further action was taken.

What was possibly a very interesting UAP event, remained unknown from 1985 until 2012 when I had the file examined and digitised.

RAAF Mirage jet intercepts UAP - 1986

Hi all,

Introduction:

The Disclosure Australia Project uncovered National Archives of Australia (NAA) file series A9755, and determined that it consisted of about two dozen RAAF UAP files for the period 1984-1996. Dominic McNamara and I visited RAAF Base Edinburgh in South Australia to look at these files which were brought from Canberra to Edinburgh, specifically to allow us to peruse the files. However, there were conditions applied. We could not take digital photographs of documents. We could not dictate details into a recording device. We were permitted to take notes, but not to record witnesses' names. A RAAF Military Police Officer sat in the room with us at all times, and checked our hand written notes before we left the base. We later applied for copies of all the documents on these files under the FOI Act, but our request was denied on the grounds that there were several thousand pages and this was too much of a workload for the RAAF to undertake. We recorded our notes in a Project Newsletter.

Move forward to 2013 and we now find that some of the files under A9755 are finally (partly) available under the Archives Act. I submitted an application for access to those parts of the series which turned up in RecordSearch, and two have just been digitised for me to view. This post will provide details of one file. A later post, the second file.

Control  symbol 6:

File series A9755, control symbol 6, is titled "Headquarters RAAF Base Williamtown [Unusual Aerial Sightings] [UAS] UFO - Unidentified Flying Objects." Its date range is 11 Jan 1984 to 11 Dec 1986. It is held in the NAA's Canberra office, barcode 3533436, and is open with exception (closed period.)

There are 46 pages currently available. The file's original reference is 6/44/Air Part 1 "Unusual Aerial Sightings." The blue file over has a handwritten note "RDA1013 2.2 (A) Feb 92 (D) 2067." It was opened on 18 Sep 1984 and closed 3 Feb 1987. Its classification level was originally "Restricted." 49 pages have been withheld as outside the Archives Act date range.

What's on the file?

There are a number of low interest UAP reports from the period, for example:

* 10 Jul 1984 1840hrs Mayfield, NSW. Formation of lights travelling east to west.

* 17 Aug 1984 2100k Williamtown, NSW. 10 mins. Red light travelling south to north.

* 29 Jun 1984 Time not stated. Six or seven bright white lights travelling fast in all directions.

*29 Dec 1984 2130hrs Wallsend NSW. Stationary light in the west.

Radar/visual report:

On the 14 Jul 1985 the base received a number of calls that day about UAP. Some of them referred to what was apparently the same object:

0830  Liddell Power Station, NSW. Stationary steady silver light in the sky at 10,000 feet to the west.

1315 Lauriton(?) Silver object very high. Stationary and spherical.

1345 North George. Silver spherical object north at 45 degrees elevation.

1440 Tarree. Large, round, silver object above cirrus clouds. 18 degrees elevation. NNE. Stationary.

The RAAF actually conducted an investigation of these reports. An undated RAAF minute includes "Various agencies such as RAAF Richmond Ops and the Dept of Aviation briefing office at Sydney were contacted but none had received similar reports or were aware of the identity of the object.

A second, undated, minute about the object reports "I enquired at the Williamtown Met Office and spoke to Mr Jeff Smith and then Mr Larry McGrath in Sydney.

2. Mr McGrath reported that on the 14th July he had received a number of similar reports and in response had tracked an object on radar. Since it was drifting with the wind at 15-20 kts he deduced it was a balloon. However, since it produced a significant radar paint he assumed it was a research balloon which can carry up to a 5 tonne payload. He checked a number of authorities but could not determine if it was launched by any one of them. Natams(?) did not warn of any such landing. McGrath suspected that it may have been launched at Parkes, NSW. A police witness reported seeing a "radio package" beneath the object and this trends to substantiate the balloon theory.

Mirage jet intercepts UAP:

The file contains a report by a Mirage Jet pilot, which has a handwritten notation of 1230pm 5 Sep 1986.

"Report by Despot 546 -Vector to UFO

"I was vectored under 3CRU control to a target approx 320 degrees at 170 miles reference Williamtown, TACAN. Height estimated was either FL250 to FL300 or FL900.

2. Cruising at FL300 at a distance of approx 35 miles I sighted the object in my 12 o'clock position, high. I turned 15 degrees off attack heading and climbed to FL500.

3. The target from an easterly approach appeared to be balloon shaped with some sort of appendage hanging below. However with the target approx 30 to 40 thousand feet high it was hard to detail accurately.

4. The target did not appear to be moving at any speed and I flew one 360 degrees orbit around it from north and westerly aspects. The object was unrecognisable due to the high reflection of the Sun.."

A RAAF Minute about the event states:

"1. Following a sighting of a UFO by civil ATC radar and RAAF 3CRU a Mirage was launched to investigate. Attached is a report by the pilot identifying the object as a balloon." The Minute details efforts to locate the origin of the balloon. "None of these authorities have or appear to be interested to investigate this incident more fully to determine the balloon's origin." "Since the matter is not of a National Security nature no further action is required in regard to UFO as laid down in Ref A."

Comments:

A number of questions come to my mind:

1. Whose balloons were they?

2. With the possibility that a balloon would collide with an aircraft, wouldn't the then equivalent of Air Services of Australia be very interested in this object (balloon?)?

3. How many UAP reports have been, or continue to be, caused by unidentified "balloons?"

4. Given the lack of determination of whose "balloons" they were; were they in fact balloons?

Thursday, February 14, 2013

Paul Dean's National Archives of Australia search

Hi all,

As mentioned in a previous post, Melbourne researcher Paul Dean, has been digging deeper into the National Archives of Australia (NAA) looking for additional files on Unidentified Aerial Phenomena (UAP.)

Previous searches of the NAA's electronic database RecordSearch, have used such keywords as "Unidentified Flying Objects;" "Unusual Aerial Sightings;" and "Flying Saucers." Dozens of UAP files were located, and the Disclosure Australia Project (2003-2008) documented these files.

Paul has tried different keywords, including "anomaly;" "phenomena;" "occurrence reports;" "flashing lights;" "abnormal occurrences;" and, thinking about close encounter cases involving aircraft, "air incident reports." Large numbers of new files have turned up. Only by examining these files will anyone be able to determine if their contents relate to UAP.

Dead ends:

Searching for UAP material in the NAA sometimes leads to dead ends. Paul has an example of this with the file series A703 control symbol 564/7/43 titled "Air Defence - Unusual reporting by aircraft captains Intelligence sightings." One would think that this would possibly contain UAP reports amongst other more mundane foreign aircraft sightings. Paul asked for a copy of  this file. The NAA responded:

"We have written to the relevant agency requesting that this record be transferred to our custody in response to your application for access..." However, the next NAA communication read, in part, "The controlling agency for this record have informed us that it was destroyed in July 1998 under General Disposal Authority 14..."

One asks why it is therefore, still listed in the NAA's RecordSearch in 2013?

Another example:

Although we will never know what the next dead end file referred to, file series A1533 control symbol 1955/4448 was titled "Discovery of Secret Naval Intelligence Memorandum." Paul applied for a copy of the file and the NAA advised "Unfortunately the National Archives of Australia does not hold this item as it was withdrawn by the AFP." (Presumably the Australian Federal Police.)

Again, why is the file still listed in RecordSearch if the file is not in the physical custody of the NAA?

Intriguing file title:

Another intriguing file title is file series P1566, control symbol Phenomena - Mawson - 1958, titled "Visual phenomena - Mawson - 1958 - sighted from Taylor," currently held by the Hobart office of the NAA. Paul Dean had the file examined and digitised. Although not a classic UAP, it is a UAP in the broadest sense - and from the details on the file, a mystery to me even after reading the file. For interest sake, I will record basic details here.

 At about 1300hrs (GMT+7) on 17 Jul 1958, four experienced observers saw "...an unusual display of lights and shadows" for about 20 minutes. The Sun was below the horizon and the sky almost clear of clouds. First came an "...indefinable blob of shadow  travelling ...at great speed..." Then came "...a group of parallel rays" white in colour. A most unusual display.

Final note:

On a final note, file series K95 control symbol 1986/871, when first located by Paul, was titled "Aerial Phenomena - General (DCA-Transport.)" After Paul requested it to be examined, the NAA has now changed  the title to"Aerial Phenomena - UFOs (DCA-Transport.}" It is waiting to become available for us all to read.

Again, congratulations to Paul on his research initiative.



Tuesday, February 12, 2013

Predicting the future of UAP research

Hi all,

In 1975, J Allen Hynek (click here) and Jacques Vallee (click here) sat down for a series of discussions on UAP. The resultant collection of conversations was published in book form as "The Edge of Reality: A Progress report on Unidentified Flying Objects." (Henry Regnery Co., Chicago. ISBN 0-8092-8150-3.) Dr Arthur C Hastings, (click here) a psychologist and parapsychology researcher chaired the discussion sessions.

In chapter 9, "For their final session, the authors and Dr Hastings decided to discuss what they see as the possibilities in the years ahead, what might be the future behavior of UFOs and the development of UFO problems. Author  Vallee began by asking "What if we were writing "The UFO in the Year 2000?"" (p.235.)

I thought it would be of interest to review just what these preeminent researchers thought of their future, albeit they were looking forward 25 years, and it is now 38 years later. They came up with a number of scenarios.

Seven scenarios:

(1) "Things keep happening as they have for twenty-five years, and we keep publishing more books about it. Blum and Blum publish more books, about it. Von Daniken publishes more books, and nothing else happens. Every two or three years there's a flap somewhere. There is no visible effect on society, there is no direct threat, there is no mass landing..." (p.235.)

(2) They land, they take over. Okay. They say, "We're from Zeta Reticuli and this business has been going on too long!" I call this the "Twilight Bar" scenario, after the play by Arthur Koestler." (p.236.)

(3) "They could stop and go away entirely." (p.236.)

(4) "We learn to contact them. We set up a crash program to communicate with them telepathically, using all the characteristics we have learned that somehow seem to be associated with landings..." (pp236-237.)

(5) "The Air Force shoots one down and they attack, they block all electronic communications." (p.238.)

(6) "Let's say you have a billionaire friend who is interested in helping out and you say to him, look, a lot of people are seeing them but they're not reporting them. What I want to do is set up this universal hot line service. Okay, so we now have twice as many or five times as many...and the reports are about the same, again, not much evidence but the same quality." (p.238.)

(7) "Somebody publishes a book that explains what they are - somebody discovers what they are. Now they have to do something about that!...It would be interesting to find that the behavior of UFOs changes after certain books are published..." (p.240.)

My assessment:

Hynek and Vallee's scenarios 2-7 haven't happened. Scenario 1 is the closest to the situation today. No visible effect on society. No direct threat. No mass landing.

There are still plenty of reported observations of lights in the sky, but the reported number of close encounter cases has noticeably decreased.

In 2013, science as a whole is not interested in UAP. Government intelligence agencies (officially at least) have given up studying UAP. Civilian UAP researchers continue their efforts. However, almost all of these have publicly decided their stand - UAP are extraterrestrial visitors.

Wednesday, February 6, 2013

Another Australian April 1966 school case?

Hi all,

Most blog readers will be aware of the 6 April 1966 sightings at the Westall High School, Clayton South, Melbourne, Victoria (for details click here.)

In the newspaper clipping collection of UFO Research (NSW) (click here) I just came across a curious item from the "Sunday Mirror" dated Sunday 1 May 1966, about another mass school sighting.

"Flying saucer flap
A flying saucer report had officials in the Education Department up in the air this week.

They spent several days trying to check a claim that 1000 school children and their teachers had seen a flying saucer.

The claim was made on Channel 7's Bob Crosby show by Sydney flying saucer fancier, Miss June Marsden.

She told Crosby and thousands of viewers that the children had been startled by the saucer as it swooped low over school buildings.

She claimed that the Education Department had been given a full report of the incident.

No sign:

Miss Marsden thought the school was Caringbah or Carlingford but could not remember which.

So the Sunday Mirror asked the Education Department. An official said "Give us a little time to check this." "Off hand I can't remember a report about a flying saucer, but it may not have reached my section yet. It depends on when the report was sent by the school. It may take several days to find its way through the various departments."

Several days later there still was no sign of the report - or the flying saucer."

Comments:

For further information on June Marsden (click here.)

Have any blog readers any additional information on this (probably) April 1966 school case?

Cataloguing the data

Hi all,

One of the areas of my research over the years, has been the collecting of reports of UAP, and the preparation and distribution of a number of catalogues ( click here to access a list of them, and links to them.)

Where my interest came from:

I have often been asked where my interest in cataloguing came from? The answer lies with the work of Jacques and Janine Vallee. Many people have forgotten (or never knew) that the 1967 book "Challenge to Science: The UFO Enigma", published by Neville Spearman of London, was written by both Janine and Jacques Vallee.

In order to examine various hypotheses, the Vallee's prepared one of the first detailed catalogues of UAP. This work, of 500 observations, in machine-readable form, was completed in 1962. They went on to complete a much larger catalogue of over 3,000 sightings by 1964.

My interest in UAP started in the mid 1960's, and one of the first books I read was "Challenge to Science." I was immediately taken with the concept of cataloguing as the first step to analysis of data. By the early 1970's I had started preparation of some rudimentary Australian catalogues. I sometimes worked with other Australian researchers, e.g. Paul Jackson of TUFOIC (on vehicle interference cases.) However, most of the work remained a solitary pursuit.

Over time, I have compiled catalogues about observations from aircrew; "angel hair;" physical trace cases; vehicle interference cases; "implants;" and abductions, among other things. I have also conducted an analysis of some the data in these catalogues, e.g. "angel hair."

An ongoing research project of mine is the maintenance of an Australian wide catalogue of interesting cases. I have spent time checking material in Australian UAP magazines. Recently I finished checking on-line series of the APRO Bulletin; the NICAP UFO Investigator, and the MUFON Journal, for Australian events. I also have utilised files on UAP held by the National Archives of Australia; and newspaper collections held by the National Library of Australia and UFO Research (NSW.)

Interestingly, by checking original sources of material, I have detected a large number of erroneous pieces of data in the published literature. This has enabled me to prepare the most accurate Australian UAP catalogue todate. Naturally, I welcome corrections, additions, etc to this catalogue. Comments may be directed to me at keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au

Other data sources:

Listings of Australian sightings, and other research material may be found on the following websites:

TUFOIC (Click here.)

UFO Research (New South Wales.)  (Click here.)

UFO Research (Queensland.) (Click here.)

AUFORN. (Click here.)

VUFORS. (Click here.)

VUFOA. (Click here.)

UFO-PRSA (Click here.)

Colin Norris's collection. (Click here.)

Readers should be aware that some of the reports on these websites have not been investigated, and thus the collections probably contain both UFO and IFO reports.

If any blog readers are aware of other Australian collections of sightings, I'd be pleased to hear from you.

Monday, February 4, 2013

Will a newly found file help us explain Westall?

Hi all,

Paul Dean is a researcher from Melbourne, Victoria, who has been very successfully mining the files of the National Archives of Australia (NAA.) (Click here for NAA website.) Paul has recently located two UAP files, which not even the Disclosure Australia Project found.

The first is file series K95 control symbol 1986/871 titled "Aerial Phenomena - General [DCA-Transport]" held by the Department of Regional Australia, Local Government, Arts and Sport, with a date range of 1982-1986.

Westall related?

Of possibly greater significance is file series MT 1298/1 control symbol VTI-66/319 titled "Unidentified Aerial Object 3/4/1966 Tullamarine." Owned by the former Department of Civil Aviation, Victoria-Tasmania region. The significance of this second file is that the famous Westall High School case occurred on 6 April 1966, three days before whatever the Tullamarine incident turns out to be.

Other events:

Some blog readers will recall that April 1966 was a particularly interesting time in the Australian state of Victoria for reports of UAP.

2 April 1966 - Balwyn, Melbourne, Victoria.
Noticing his garden was lit up by an unusuall light, a man looked up to see a metallic looking mushroom-shaped object some thirty-six meters or so, up in the air, "floating" towards the ground. As he watched, it made a 180 degree turn through its vertical axis. The man managed to take a polaroid photograph of the object at this stage. The object then shot off northwards at terrific speed. (Click here to see the photo.)

4 April 1966 Bourkes Flat, Victoria.
Driving alone, a man saw an unusual light in a paddock and his car's headlights veered to the right for no apparent reason. A saucer shaped depression was found in the bare paddock where the light had been. Later there was a fatal car crash at the same location. (For more information click here.)

6 April 1966 Clayton South, Melbourne, Victoria.
Many students and at least one teacher sighted at least one unusual object in the area of the Westall High School. Unusual ground traces were also located in the area where the object had descended. Witnesses told of officials suppressing the event. (Click here for Yahoo groups site.)

Other files:

Paul Dean has spent hours trawling through file series such as A703 and A705 - the RAAF's files series which includes UAP files. Paul has located a number of files which may contain items relevant to UAP research. He has also found certain files from the Department of Navy; RAAF and the Bureau of Meteorology, plus the Joint Intelligence Bureau which might also be of use to us. He has ordered copies of some of these files for examination.

Paul is to be congratulated on his diligent and patient research.

3 April 1966 Tullamarine:

The finding of A DCA file titled "Unidentified Aerial object" on 3 April 1966 at Tullamarine, Melbourne, Victoria, is therefore of great interest to UAP researchers. A copy of this file has been requested from the NAA. I will bring you its contents when I receive it from the NAA.

Sunday, February 3, 2013

Who was Professor Stuart T Butler and why was he interested in UAP?

Hi all,

Scientists and UAP:

A number of scientists from around the world have, at times, taken an interest in UAP. This is also true of Australia.

I was recently consulting the book "Firestorm" by Ann Druffel (published by Wild Flower Press, Columbus, NC. 2003. ISBN 0-926524-58-5) on another matter, when I came across a reference to a Professor Stuart T Butler, which read:

"Dr Berson, together with another scientist, Professor of Theoretical Physics Stuart T Butler, quietly began their own study of Australian sightings, possibly encouraged by McDonald's example." (p.186.)

Australian UAP researchers have long known of Dr F A Berson's interest ( e.g. click here), but what of Professor Butler's?

Who was Professor Butler?

Butler was born in 1926 in Naracoorte, South Australia. In 1954 he was appointed as a reader in Physics at the University of Sydney. Later, in 1959, he was then appointed as Professor of Theoretical Physics and Professor of Plasma Physics at Sydney university. He worked there for 20 years and gained international recognition for his work. In 1977 he went on to become the Director of the Australian Atomic Energy Commission Research Establishment at Lucas Heights. He died in 1982. (Click here.)

Did McDonald know Butler?

According to Druffel's "Firestorm, "In his Australian journal, McDonald kept a list of a dozen physicists and astronomers, to whom he had been referred by Australian and American researchers." (p.185.)

It might therefore be deduced that McDonald was referred to Butler. Perhaps McDonald met Butler on McDonald's 1967 trip to Australia?

Another link between Butler and McDonald:

There is in fact another link between McDonald and Butler. At some point between 1966 and 1970, McDonald consulted for The Boeing Corporation to investigate the question "Would SSTs [supersonic transport aircraft] flying at the edge of the upper atmosphere, leave permanent condensation trails?" (p.488.)

McDonald researched the question and sounded warnings about SSTs possibly depleting the ozone layer. In March 1971 McDonald appeared before a sub-committee of the US House Appropriations Committee hearing on SST aircraft.

Stuart T Butler served on an Australian committee to report on atmospheric effects of supersonic aircraft, in 1971-1972, which might suggest another connection between McDonald and Butler.

Internet search:

I went on an Internet search looking for references to Butler and UAP. There was almost nothing. An excellent article about him (click here) mentions nothing about his apparent interest in UAP. I did find one newspaper clipping from "The Australian" dated 14 May 1968. The text reads:

"As Sydney University's Professor of Theoretical Physics Stuart T Butler remarks "I certainly believe there must be intelligence on some of the other inhabitable planets. It's the only logical interpretation from the evidence. I would go even further and say that there must be intelligent races far further advanced than us. Why should the earth be either at the start or the end of the scale? It is more likely that we are about average, in which case there will have to be older races out in space ahead of us in development. That is not to say that there is any reason they should want to visit us, even if it were possible for them, considering the enormous distances and time it would take to travel them.

I would emphatically dissociate myself from the people who claim to have contacted flying saucers. Their stories are so wildly improbable they seem to me to involve the suspicion of mental imbalance of some sort.

At the same time, in view of the probable existence of some other intelligent race in the universe, I think we have to keep an open mind on the possibility of some UFOs being intelligently directed."

Call for further information:

Have any blog readers come across Professor Butler's interest in UAP?

Westall - and James E McDonald's files

Background The late US researcher James E McDonald visited Australia in 1967. While here, he interviewed dozens of Australians about thei...