In a previous post (click here) I examined the role of various Australian Government agencies in air safety in Australia.
In 2004, I submitted a request under the Australian Freedom of Information Act, to the federal government's Department of Transport and Regional Services. The request was responded to by Rob Graham, Director, Safety Investigations, whose response included:
"The relevant documents from a search of the ATSB's OASIS aviation occurrence database are listed below..."
I have chosen to list the cases from the database, together with anything else I have been able to find out about that particular event.
"Occurrence number 196901691
Occurrence id 129813. 2 July 1969. Burn marks rep on 2 golf courses. Reported as poss UFO landing. RAAF notified."
On National Archives of Australia file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 part 12, pp42-44, I found the following (my summary.) 23 June 1969. St Michael's Golf Club. La Perouse, NSW. Unusual ground marks discovered. 0800hrs. Not there night before. When discovered grass of course had heavy dew but no evidence of footprints or tyre tracks. Assistant green keeper noted an "oily residue" which had gone by the time RAAF investigators visited on 25 Jun 1969. RAAF said "could have been the work of a clever hoaxer, but it would have been a very difficult job..."
The comment about "oily residue" suggests to me the possibility of the marks being caused by slime mould. I have personally investigated trace cases where rings or arcs of an oily substance have been found on grass. It disappears within a few days.
"Occurrence number 196902473
Occurrence id 130595. 31 Jan 1969. Diamond Creek, Vic. Rep sighting a UFO white in colour moving very fast in a straight line."
A check of NAA RAAF file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 part 11, which covers the period around this time, carries no report of this event. However, there are two other possibly relevant reports. On 21 Jan 1969 at Rosanna, Vic between (2125-2130)hrs, duration 1.5 seconds, a round, white light was reported to have travelled across the sky in a straight line. Also, on 5 Feb 1969 at Ferny Creek, Vic, at 2350hrs, duration (2-3) mins, an airline pilot reported seeing a bright, white light, point source travelling west to east.
"Occurrence number 197502943
Occurrence id 91062. 12 Jan 1975. Albury, NSW. UFO sighted on radar at 20,000 ft in CTA. Not possible to identify."
This is an intriguing summary! No RAAF UFO files currently available through the NAA cover this date. A search of the ATSB's current "Aviation safety investigation and reports" database found no reference to the event. A search on the internet turned up nothing further.
"Occurrence number 197703195
Occurrence id 77512. 16 Apr 1977. Near King Island, Tas. UFO report from pilot. Passed to RAAF for study. CFT beacon abeam VH-KRY. Cessna 401."
In view of the 21 Oct 1978 disappearance of pilot Frederick Valentich on a flight between Melbourne and King Island, the details of this occurrence should be illuminating! However, no known RAAF file in the NAA covers this time period. A search of the current ATSB aviation occurrence database finds no reference to the sighting. An internet search for VH-KRY turns up the history of this aircraft and three photographs of what appears to be the correct Cessna 401 (click here) One of the photographs was taken at Moorabbin Airport in July 1977, three months after the event cited in the ATSB database.
"Occurrence number 197802563.
Occurrence id 70857. 21 Oct 1978. Near Cape Otway, Vic. Plt reported UFO then rough running eng. TX ceased - ACFT missing Cessna 182L."
This is the well known Valentich case. There is no listing in the current ATSB's "Aviation safety investigation and reports" database on their current website, even though we know a full investigation was conducted by the Department of Transport. In fact the relevant investigation file has been located in the National Archives of Australia and a request submitted for access to it.
In addition, a search of the NAA's files in 2012 revealed that NAA file series A9755 control symbol 4, formerly 5/6/1/Air part 8, has papers on it regarding Valentich's disappearance, including a couple of dozen UFO reports from around the 21 Oct 1978.
"Occurrence number 197904600
Occurrence id 66734. 22 Sep 1979. Near Banka Banka, NT. Object in area. ACFT found burnt trees and white ash but no object (sneaky Martians.) Misc UFO consisting of white trailing smoke, sighted by three witnesses. F27 pilot reported white."
No relevant RAAF UFO file have been located covering this date. There is no such event in the current ATSB aviation occurrence database. An internet search found no details.
"Occurrence number 197904657.
Occurrence id 66791. 19 Oct 1979. Near Broken Hill, NSW. Acft however no know aircraft in area. Misc F27 crew sighted UFO whilst on climbout. Flashing white light similar to strobe on high flying Fokker. B.V. F27 MK200."
There is no known relevant RAAF UFO file available. No such event is located in the current ATSB aviation occurrence database. Nothing further turned up on an internet search.
"Occurrence number 198300234.
Occurrence id 40550. 7 Apr 1983. Near Manly West, Qld. No known acft or balloon activity in area. Inside radar coverage but no radar return. UFO reported silvery object size of Cessna without wings flying from east to west at 2000ft."
There are no known RAAF files covering the date. The current ATSB database does not carry the event. An internet search found no details.
"Occurrence number 199804923.
Occurrence id 164236. 8 Nov 1998. 28km NW Perth Aerodrome WA. The pilot reported an unidentified flying object, bright red/orange in colour 100 ft below and travelling very fast as the aircraft passed 9000ft. The object was approximately 2 metres across and the pilot believed it may have been a model aircraft."
There are no known RAAF UFO files available for this date. The event is not listed in the ATSB's current aviation occurrence database. An internet search found no details.
New FOI requests:
In order to check for more recent ATSB occurrences involving UAPs/UFOs, I have just submitted fresh FOI requests to Air Services Australia; the Civil Aviation Safety Authority and the ATSB. I will advise the outcomes of these requests when they are available.