Sunday, September 23, 2012

Cold case investigation - Boyup Brook WA - 30 Oct 1967

Hi all,

One reason for taking a look at older Australian cases, is that I am updating my Australia wide catalogue of reports. I have been working my way up from the early 1950's re-checking sources cited in my original catalogue which I started back in the 1980's. It is interesting to find that as careful as one was at the time, that inevitable errors of facts have crept in. I have been able to detect and fix quite a few of these, having found that the dates cited for some events were incorrect; and finding a more original source, has altered my perception of what others have, till now, regarded as a classic case. On the other hand some cases remain rock solid as evidence of the "core" phenomenon. The one I am about to write about is in this latter category.

Newspaper report:

The Boyup Brook case was first heard of via a short account in "The West Australian" newspaper of Wednesday 1 Nov 1967 page 7:

"Man tells of strange object.

Bunbury Tues: An Unidentified Flying Object was sighted on the Mayanup-Kojonup road last night by a man who refuses to give his name because of possible public ridicule.

The sighting which was made about ten miles from Mayanup about 9.30pm was reported to constable L Johnson of the Boyup Brook police station. Constable Johnson said  "The man was travelling about 60mph when suddenly his car stopped, the engine and lights went off, but he had no sensation of stopping. A tube of light descended towards the windscreen of his car and he could look up it and he  thought someone was looking down at him. Up the tube of light he could see a 30 ft pulsating bluish football shaped object which was iridescent and made no noise. He just sat looking at the object. In a flash the object was gone and he was once more driving at 60mph with the lights on."

Original source material:

I was fortunate, some time ago, to obtain copies of 23 pages of interview notes, courtesy of  a Perth psychiatrist, Dr Paul Zeck. Dr Zeck conducted an extensive interview with the witness, after locating him through the police. The following is a summary of information coming out during that interview, which took place a short time after the event.

The event:

Mr Harris (pseudonym) a wool classer by profession, was a married man with three children. He had about 60 men working for him and finished paying off one team at the CSIRO research farm, Glen Lossie, near Kojonup at about 8.30pm local time. He stopped in at Kojonup to have two drinks, then headed roughly westwards towards Mayanup, some 66 kms away. From Mayanup he intended to travel a further 15kms north to Boyup Brook to visit another team of men. He travelled these roads quite frequently and the terrain is undulating, with fairly tall, 18-21m, high trees.

The incident happened some distance before Boyup Brook, which places it to the east of, but close to, Mayanup. The time of the incident is about 9.30pm. It was a dark, starlit night.

Harris was travelling alone at a speed of about 100-105kph when all of a sudden "My machine just stopped dead and all electrical systems, motor, radio everything went dead. I had no feeling of deceleration at all...the car just instantaneously came to a stop...I didn't feel any - no feeling of deceleration..."

He felt the car had stopped. Then an object was present and a hollow "tube of light," "clear" in colour, descended out of the object, down onto him. He was able to look up the tube as "...there was no glare or anything inside this tube," although it was bright and glary on the outside. The tube was an estimated 60-90 cms in diameter.

Mr Harris stated that he "...had a feeling that I was being observed from this, through this tube..." He couldn't see anything up this tube; felt no fear, didn't think of anything, just stared up the tube.

After about five minutes, "...the tube of light closed off...like you switch a light off." The object itself was described as  at least 9 metres in diameter, about 30m off the ground, and "...the tube came out of it on about a forty five degree angle as it came down on the windscreen of my vehicle...it sort of focused right on me..."

Shape wise, it was like an Australian football, oval. "I could only see the underpart of it...It was all glowing itself, it was an iridescent sort of a light bluish coloured light, and sort of all glowing."

After the tube switched off, the object "Took off at terrific speed...it vanished out of sight within seconds..." It left to the west with a slight darkening of its colour.

"The moment it left, my machine was doing exactly the same speed that it was doing before it stopped and I had no feeling of acceleration at all. It was just like gravity had stopped." There was no difficulty controlling the vehicle. During the event he had not tried to move and simply sat holding the steering wheel.

Mr Harris noted that there "...was no noise whatsoever and incidentally while this was on - whilst it was there, everything around the place was dead quiet. There wasn't a sound of any sort."

After the object had left, he stopped the car, got out and looked around. He then drove to the Boyup Brook police station and reported the incident.

When he reached Boyup Brook he noticed that his Omega chronometer watch was five minutes slow; although it didn't usually lose time.

Other witnesses:

A week later, Harris returned to the area and stopped at the Kojonup Golden Fleece garage. Here he found that a man had seen the same object, and that two other farmers around Mayanup , one named Bock, had seen something.

Questioned by Zeck on his health, Harris said he'd never had blackouts, faints or concussion; although since the event he'd had "...terrific headaches in the last couple of weeks." The interview was conducted on 2 Dec 1967.

Mr Harris' GP, who was present at the interview with Zeck, advised that Harris had consulted him for 3.5 years and no psychiatric issues had ever arisen.

Dr Zeck contacted Bock; a Mr O'Halloran and the Golden Fleece garage owner. In Zeck's opinion  O'Halloran saw a satellite. The garage owner and Bock denied seeing anything unusual.

Dr Zeck's thoughts:

Dr Zeck considered four possible explanations.

1. A hoax.
2. Dropping off to sleep at the wheel and dreaming the event.
3. Temporal lobe epilepsy.
4. A genuine encounter.

On the second possibility Zeck wrote "...whole experience could have been an hallucination - hypnagogic if you like - although I would tend to think of it as a brief dream.  Such experiences are usually, but certainly not invariably recognised for what they are immediately."

On the third possibility, Zexk wrote "Temporal lobe epilepsy hallucinations may be less recognisable to the sufferer but still tend to have a quality iof unreality about them."

On the possibility of a hoax, Zeck made no comment. However, the event was reported to police and ended up, even though anonymously, in the West Australian newspaper. It wouldn't have been hard on the information available to have deduced Harris' real name.

Newspaper search:

I reviewed the contents of the October and November issues of the "West Australian" and "The Sunday Times" newspapers and found one interesting account in the 16 Oct 67 issue of the "West Australian" on page 3.

"Ottawa. Sunday. The Royal Canadian Air Force has intensified an investigation into flying saucers after reports that mysterious objects with flashing lights had been seen near Calgary, Canada. A woman claimed a dazzling light stabbed out of the night sky as she drove home on Wednesday. Then her car's engine and electrical system cut out while a dark oval shape slowly circled over her at a height of about 1000ft..."

Other details:

The "West Australian" paper gave sunrise on that day as at 0522hrs with sunset at 1840hrs. Moonrise was at 0328hrs and moonset at 1518hrs. So, neither Sun nor Moon were above the horizon at 9.30pm that night. A check of Skyview cafe confirmed these details.

In Perth that day the maximum temperature was 78.2 deg F and minimum was 62.4 deg F.

Comments:

I checked the RAAF's main file for reports and there was no record of Harris' case.

This, despite there being one witness, is a very well documented event.

Monday, September 17, 2012

Westall - the answer?

Dear readers,

The 6 April 1966 event, where hundreds of school children and at least one teacher, plus others, reported seeing an unusual object(s) in the sky and near the ground, near Westall High School, Clayton, Melbourne, continues to puzzle me. Specifically one fact stands out and that is, it is reported that there was an immediate Australian government response. It seems that officialdom knew that the event was going to happen. Secondly, that no-one has ever found any document in any Australian government agency UFO files.

These two apparent facts have led me to speculate in past posts (click here and here) looking for non-UFO explanations for Westall. This approach received some negative comments from blog readers who suggested I should just accept that what was seen at Westall was a UFO. Other comments were more positive, noting that it would be useful to be able to demonstrate that alternative explanations to the event being a UFO, were not valid.

Before my own suggested alternative explanations, Keith Basterfield, my co-blogger, had speculated about whether or not there was a possibility of the involvement of the USAF U-2, under Operation Crowflight (click here.) His detailed re-examination of Australian Government files on Crowflight, led him to conclude that the U-2/RB57 USAF Operation did not have anything to do with Westall.

Since then I have been, behind the scenes, been examining a number of other known Australian military projects to see if somehow they link into Westall.

Area 51:

The reason for my renewed interest in a non-UFO explanation for Westall came while I was recently re-reading the book "Area 51" by Annie Jacobsen, published in 2011, by Orion. London. ISBN 978-1-4091-41136. I was fascinated by what events had been covered up by the Americans. The book had at least two examples.

Back on 29 May 1947, the White Sands Proving Ground, in New Mexico, USA, launched a Hermes (former V-2) rocket. This went astray and "...the rocket crash landed into the Tepeyas Cemetery, three miles south of Juarez, a heavily populated city of 120,000...The missile left a crater that was fifty foot wide and twenty-four feet deep...Army officials rushed to Juaewz to smooth over the event while Mexican soldiers were dispatched to guard the crater's rim. The mission, the men and the rocket were all classified top secret; no one could know specific details about any of this..." (p34.)

On 24 May 1963, an USAF Oxcart aircraft crashed in the USA. The pilot ejected and landed safely to be picked up by three local men. The pilot told them a cover story that he had been flying an F-105 aircraft with a nuclear weapon on board. 100 men were brought in to clean up the area of the crash. "The press was told that an F-105 crashed, and as of 2011, the Air Force still has it listed that way." (p.197.)

Cover-up:

The fact that the cover story for a crash of a classified aircraft, should be so dramatic as the loss of a nuclear bomb, set me thinking again about Westall.

If Westall were a non-UFO event, what could possibly have worried Australian government officials so much? Was the stimulus behind the event a military experiment gone haywire, such that the RAAF had to go around telling witnesses to be quiet, and threatening the Westall High School teacher Andrew Greenwood, with the Official Secrets Act?

If we eliminate the USAF Operation Crowflight; the idea of a USAF 'broken arrow'; the US Corona satellite; there cannot be many Australian or joint Australian/US projects which were being conducted in 1966, left.

Dear readers, won't you put on your thinking caps and conduct some research into possible programs which were being conducted in 1966 which just might explain Westall? I'll start your brain going with a few observations you might like to pursue:

1. "The Age" newspaper of 2 April 1966, page 5 tells us that the HMAS Perth, the first Australian destroyer to be fitted with the new Tartar guided missile system (click here) was docked in Melbourne on that day. Could a Tartar missile have gone astray?

2. The former Australian Department of Supply had numerous projects on the go, in 1966, such as "Project Dazzle" and "Project Blue Scout."

3. As early as 1961 the Aeronautical Research Laboratories based in Melbourne, had a file on Project Hibal. See National Archives of Australia file series B788 control symbol M2/60. My co-blogger. Keith Basterfield has posted previously on this project (click here and here.)

Would Australian officials cover up any event?

Would the Department of Defence cover-up a non-UFO event at Westall in 1966? It was only recently revealed that, unknown to the general public,  the USAF had been flying the Global Hawk unmanned aerial vehicle out of the RAAF base at Edinburgh in my home state between 2001 and 2006 (click here.) It was reported that civilians knew about the flights and that Department of Defence security officials asked them to keep quiet. So, yes it is perfectly possible that way back in 1966 government officials asked Westall witnesses to keep quiet about a non-UFO event.

Over to you, dear readers, will any one take up the search for a non-UFO explanation for Westall, or do you think this isn't worth trying, as the Westall event was certainly a UFO?

Wednesday, September 12, 2012

Cold case investigation - Yerecoin WA - 15 Nov 1967

Hi all,

This is a classic Australian close encounter case. My own Australian catalogue recorded the following:

16 Nov 1967 Yerecoin WA CE1 1830hrs Poole

A farmer, Mr A Poole, was out mustering sheep in a land rover when he became aware of a humming sound which increased in intensity. He then saw an object at a distance of half a kilometre. It approached his vehicle and stopped next to it at about one to two metres distance. The humming noise was very strong and he could feel vibrations from it. It looked like an inverted saucer, being some three to six metres in diameter and one point six to two metres high, with four windows, two round and two square on the side visible to him. It was a grey metallic colour. It seemed to hover just a metre off the ground. He demanded to know what it was doing there and he heard an echo of his own voice. No unusual electromagnetic effects were noticed. He attempted to get out of his land rover but as he did so the object ascended. By the time he was out, two to three seconds, it was out of sight, although he could still hear a humming sound. No traces were left. The source I cited was AFSR No 8 p13.

NICAP/APRO:

I started my search for more a more original source with the NICAP "UFO Investigator," but a search through my electronic copies, found nothing on the case. However, the November/December 1967 issue of "The APRO Bulletin" did, on page 5. This report reads:

"Another landing among Australian UAO Incidents.

Mr Allen Pool, 43. a farm manager of Yericorn, Western Australia has made the claim that a saucer landed in a paddock beside his land rover on the night of the 17th of November. According to his story, Pool said the object was circular, about 15 to 20 feet in diameter and about the same height as his land rover. He said it was so close to him that he barely had room to open the car door. At the same time that the object landed, Pool claimed, his wife noted interference on the TV set inside the house. This all took place at about 6.30pm.

Chronologically, the events occurred thusly. Pool was in a paddock about a half mile from the farmhouse and was driving slowly looking for sheep when he heard a whine like an electric  motor at high speed. He said he looked up and saw the object coming straight at him. He figured it was about a half mile away and 400-500 feet altitude when he first spotted it. He brought his land rover to a halt and the disc stopped right alongside him.

"It was flat on the bottom and dome-shaped on top just like an upturned saucer," Pool told the police when he reported the incident. "It appeared to be made of a metal which was  smokey-grey in colour, there were no lights on it but there were portholes like windows around it and there seemed to be a  cabin in front."

Pool said he wasn't able to see inside of the object, that the machine did not touch the ground when it stopped but seemed to hover just above it. When Pool stepped out of his vehicle the disc took off "like a rocket."

This article in "The APRO Bulletin" doesn't provide the source for the account it gives.

Original source of the story?

In looking for the most original source of the Yerecoin account, I could find, I took a visit to the South Australian State Library and consulted a microfische copy of the main West Australian newspaper looking for any story.

There, on pages 1 and 13 of "The West Australian" for Friday 17 November 1967 I found a lengthy account. This account provides a date for the event of Wednesday 15 Nov 1967 and is more likely to be correct than the other dates I have provided previously. Note also that the newspaper provides the witness' name as Alan Pool and the location as Yerecoin.

Newspaper account;

"WA man: Flying saucer near me

Yerecoin farm manager Alan Pool (43) said yesterday that a flying saucer had landed in one of his paddocks a few feet from him.

It was so close that he was unable to fully open the door of the vehicle in which he was sitting.

Mr Pool's employer, Mr D V Waters of Yerecoin, who owns the farm, said that Mr Pool had worked for him for 11 years.

Mr Waters said: "If Alan says he saw a flying saucer you can take it from me there was one."

The saucer had been reported to the police and the RAAF.

Loud noise:

Mr Pool said that he was in his vehicle in a paddock about a mile away from the farmhouse at 6.30pm on Wednesday when he heard a loud, penetrating, humming noise similar to that of an electric generator.

"I saw this thing about 400 ft in the air, half a mile away, and approaching rapidly from the east."

"I thought it was an aircraft. It sped towards me and landed next to the vehicle."

"The whirring noise was loud and frightening."

Hovered:

He said it seemed to land, but when he looked closer it was hovering a few inches from the ground. It was a grey metal colour, about 12 feet in diameter and about 5 feet high. There were six portholes. Two in the centre were square and two more on each side were round. It looked like an inverted saucer. There were no other protruding features. There were no signs of propulsion and he could not see through he portholes. (More on page 13.)

"Saucer seen" (A photo of Mr Pool appears here.)

Mr Pool said "I did not know what to do. I partly opened the door and swore aloud. "To my astonishment the words were repeated. It could not have been an echo. There was a strong wind and it would have been impossible to receive an echo in that position."

"I partly opened the door and got one leg out of the  vehicle when the saucer took off vertically. I lost sight of it as it rose above the roof of the vehicle. I pushed my head outside and looked up, but it had vanished."

He said he thought he was going mad. He sat in the vehicle in fright and rolled a cigarette.

No sign:

Then he got out of the vehicle and looked at the ground - but there was no sign of where the saucer had been. The grass was undisturbed and there were no burn marks. He did not know whether to report the sighting or to say anything about it.

He finally decided top drive home and tell his wife. His wife told him that she had been watching television at the time and the picture rolled. The only time this had happened before was when a satellite passed overhead.

Mr Pool reported the sighting to the New Norcia police, who advised him to telephone the CIB in Perth. He also telephoned the Pearce RAAF base but he said the people there sounded sceptical.

He thought that the white roof of his vehicle might have attracted the flying saucer.

Mr Waters said Mr Pool was very level-headed. he said "Alan came to see me about an hour afterwards and he was still frightened. He was white-faced."

Later Mr Pool said he had been sceptical about flying saucers. "I am not offering any theories about it," he said "All I know is that it was unlike anything we know on earth."

Not on radar:

Wing Commander G Shadford,  of the RAAF at Pearce said that no aircraft from the base was flying at the time of the reported  sighting and nothing was picked up on radar. Mr Pool's report was the only one received on Wednesday night. Mr Pool would be asked to fill in a form to give the complete details of the sighting and the RAAF would decided if further investigation was warranted.

A spokesman for air traffic control at the Perth airport said there would have been many aircraft in the New Norcia area at the time of the reported sighting. These would range in size from a Friendship to light planes.

A weather bureau spokesman said the only weather balloon released on Wednesday evening went up from the Perth airport at 7.15pm."

Second newspaper article:

"The West Australian" of 18 Nov 1967, page 12 carried a follow-up article.

"Saucer: No inquiry yet.

No official inquiry had been started yesterday into the reported flying saucer sighting at Yerecoin.

A RAAF spokesman at Pearce said that an airforce inquiry would be held only after all possible explanations for the sighting had been disproved.

A Department of Civil Aviation spokesman said reports of unidentified flying objects did not come within the department's jurisdiction.

Farmer manager Alan Pool who reported seeing a flying saucer in a paddock on Wednesday evening said yesterday that nothing would convince him the object was not real."

Air Force files:

Is there an account of this event in the files of the RAAF? The logical place to find one would be in  file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 Part 8 which is the main series of UAS report files. Part 8 contains UAS reports dated between 4 Jul 1967 and 31 Dec 1967. There is only one report on the file dated 15 Nov 1967 and this is of a  fast moving lighted object travelling to the south,. reported from Gympie, Queensland at 2125hrs. There is no report  listed on this file, from Mr Pool. Perhaps he felt that RAAF Pearce were too sceptical and decided not to officially report it on paper.

The other possibility is that Pool did report it to the RAAF on paper, but the form did not make it to the RAAF's central main UFO files, but ended up on Pearce's files. I looked for such files in the NAA. File series PP959/1 control symbol 5/3/Air is titled [Western Australian Squadron Air Training Corps] Investigations of Unidentified Flying Objects with a date range of 1966-1972. It is a 52 page file but again there is no report from Mr Pool.

Some other data:

Yerecoin is 156km NNE of Perth, the capital of Western Australia.

New Norcia is 132km N of Perth.

A check of the internet failed to find any detailed investigation report published by an Australian UFO research group.

A check of Australian Flying Saucer Review No 8 published 23 August 1967 (UFOIC) revealed nothing on the event. It wouldn't be expected to, as it was published in Aug 1967 and the event was in Nov 1967. It appears my Australian catalogue reference is in error.

A check of two different electronic sky charts reveals that the Sun was still above the Western horizon at 6.30pm 15 Nov 1967.

Comment:

Based on the information in "The West Australian" as the most original source material, which I can locate, the event remains a compelling one, despite there being only one witness.

Have blog readers come across any fully investigated accounts of this event?

Friday, September 7, 2012

RAAF jets on alert for "flying saucers"

Hi all,

National Archives of Australia (NAA)  file series A9755 control symbol 8, formerly file number 17/26/AIR was a file titled "Exercise Close Encounter" and owned by RAAF base Williamtown. It is held by the Canberra office of the NAA, is 99 pages long,  with a date range of 1983-1983, and has just been released and digitised by the NAA.

Jets on alert:

On 1 Jul 1983, HQ RAAF base Williamtown, NSW, issued  an unusual Operational Order, number 11/83. It advised that Williamtown had  been tasked "...to provide air defence resources for the identification of unknown radar contacts reported by Department of Aviation (DOA) air traffic control agencies in Sydney. The radar contacts, travelling at high speed, have appeared to the north of Sydney out to 150nm and have been assessed by D of A as almost certainly resulting from man-made objects..."

Two Mirage jet aircraft were placed on alert to take off and intercept any future contacts. Restrictions on supersonic flight were waived.

By 2 Jul 1983 further information was known. "The majority of reported tracks to generally north of WLM usually heading in a northerly direction 355-030 and fading toward the limit of Sydney radar coverage 150-165nm.

The RAAF's own radar failed to see any such tracks. A suspicion arose in the RAAF personnel's mind that the issue was "...a radar fault causing the majority of these observations..."

Final report:

The final report by the RAAF investigation team of three Air Defence Controllers, who went to Sydney radar to investigate included the following:

"The investigation team proved beyond reasonable doubt by Sunday 3 July 1983 that the unidentified objects were generated entirely from interference with the processor of the Sydney Route Surveillance Radar (RSR.)"

The jets were stood down and so ended one of the few RAAF alerts in response to the phenomenon.

Earlier instance:

This wasn't the only time that Sydney radar was reported to have picked up unusual objects on their radar. NAA file series A 6180 control symbol 6/6/74/83 is a single photograph which is labelled "Research-scientists probe the sky at Sydney airport to discover radar mystery of angels that appear on radar screens." The date is given as 1974.

To take a look at the digital file for Exercise Close Encounter, go to here , click on search the collection, then begin your search, then RecordSearch Advanced search, then click on items, then in the box labelled series number type A9755 and in item control symbol type 8. Click on search and the file comes up, click on the digitised file image and read the file.

Thursday, September 6, 2012

National Archives - "Collection A-Z - now includes "UFOs"

Hi all,

The National Archives of Australia (NAA) has an alphabetical listing of  topics which it features in its "Collection A-Z. Until now, this list has not included "UFOs."

Several months ago I submitted a copy of the final report of the Disclosure Australia Project to the Archives, together with a listing of all the relevant files we had found in the Archives. The NAA acknowledged receipt of this material and replied that it would allow NAA staff to better respond to public queries on the subject. Yesterday, I located a new page in the "Collection A-Z" which is titled "Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs.) The page reads:

"Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs)

The National Archives holds a number of records relating to unidentified flying objects (UFOs), flying saucers and other unidentified aerial sightings. Most of these records date from the 1950's, 1960's and 1970's when public interest in UFOs was high and many sightings were reported to commonwealth authorities.

There was no specific government agency responsible for the collecting and analysing of these sightings so responsibility fell on the Department of Air. The Department collected reports from defence force members, pilots and air traffic controllers, meteorologists and the general public.

During the peak of interest in UFOs the department investigated some reports, trying to establish whether the sightings could be attributed to low flying aircraft, weather balloons or meteorological phenomena.

Reports were also gathered by other agencies involved in air safety, research and intelligence including the CSIRO, the Joint Intelligence Organisation, the Weapons Research Establishment at Maralinga and the Department of Transport. The Department of Territories kept reports from Papua New Guinea.

Below is a selection of records in the Archives collection that relate to UFOs. To find further records of interest, you can search the collection."

There then follows a list of 8 digitised files you can access by following the links provided.

There are then two other links to additional resources.

Comment:

It is very pleasing to see that the NAA now has this page up on their website, as it will offer an entry point to individuals looking for material on this subject.

You can see the page for yourself and explore the links by clicking here.

Tuesday, September 4, 2012

RAAF UAS file series A9755 emerges from the archives

Hi all,

There was a problem publishing a previous version of this post, so I am reposting it with the correct attribution.

In the late 1990's the RAAF gathered up a number of UAS (the RAAF referred to Unusual Aerial Sightings) files from its various bases, and had them placed in the National Archives of Australia (NAA.) These files were "top numbered" as file series A9755, which does make it difficult to locate them if you are working from the RAAF base file numbers (assuming you know these.) I located two such A9755 series files recently, both of which have now been digitised so you can read them in full for yourself. (Go to http://www.naa.gov.au, open up RecordSearch, type in "UAS" and find the correct files to view them.)

A955 control symbol 11:

This is a very interesting file. It represents one of the few times that the RAAF conducted a field investigation so soon after the event. The file title is "Information relating to Unexplained Aerial Sightings (UFOs) + photographs." It is held in the Canberra office of the NAA and has a date range of 1983-1983.

The first few folios of the file are tantalising. There is a black and white photo of a disc shaped object; a colour enhancement of apparently the same picture, then an edge enhancement of apparently the same picture. A hand written note on the file says "See 5/6/1/Air Pt 14 (25) for memo concerning these photographs. Folio 6, apparently the rear of folio 5 - the black and white photo-  reads "5/6/1/Air Part 1 folio 162A photo1." There is nothing else on this file about the  photos. Interestingly, I have come across no record of file 5/6/1/Air Pt 14 or 5/6/1/Air Pt 1 in the NAA, so far. Indeed, these photographs seem to have no relevance to the rest of the file. I do note I have come across file 5/6/1/Air Pt 15 with a date range of 25 Sep 1985 to 6 Aug 1992 which I sighted at RAAF base Edinburgh in 2004. My notes for this file are "Thought to be A9755 Part 5 CAS HQSC." It is likely that there are other such files, either in the NAA or DOD, which we have not seen. Back to A9755 control symbol 11 - 5/6/1/Air. What is on the rest of the file?

Bendigo:

Bendigo, lies 150kms north-west of Melbourne. It was the centre of a small "flap" when hundreds of people reported seeing strange lights in the sky, over the period between 20-29 May 1983. There was a focus on the nights of 20/21 May and 21/22 May 1983.

The file contains numerous news clippings from such papers as the "Bendigo Advertiser" and "The Courier" Ballarat with headlines such as "RAAF checks UFO reports," "Another photo of night lights" and "More UFO sightings."

Although Bendigo generated UAS reports, so did the locatlities of Shepparton, Eildon, Ballarat, Warrnambool and Melbourne.

Unusually, the RAAF sent a Flt Lt Biddington to Bendigo to investigate. His report noted that the observations were of  bright white lights with smaller red and green lights, all seen in the night sky. The lights appeared to spin or rotate rapidly. Most were stationary, and unlike many other UAS were visible for periods of up to three to four hours.

Biddington visited Bendigo on 24 May 1983, interviewed three witnesses; collected weather data, and obtained the original negatives of a  series of photographs, taken by a Mr Evans.

The conclusion of Biddington's report was "CINTO has been unable to discover any evidence to date which suggests that the lights observed at Bendigo represents in any way a threat to national security. No unusual marks on the ground have been reported and no reports associating injury or damage to people, stock or property with the appearance of the lights, have been received."

"The lights do not seem to have been projected by a flying object because no unusual radar returns were detected by Melbourne radar."

Also on the file are details of the analysis of photographs taken by a Russell Henthorn of Bendigo on 24 May 1983, and also by a Mr D Martin.

This "flap" was of visual observations, plus photographs, of nocturnal lights only. The RAAF appeared to conclude that the lights were astronomical in origin, with temperature inversions adding to the confusion.

A9755 control symbol 15:

This is the UAS file from RAAF base Amberley, Queensland with a date range of 1982-1985. The NAA released papers in 2012, between 1982-1983 under the 30 year rule. Most of the UAS reports on the file are of low value lights in the sky.

One higher value report was made by a R Priebe, a dairy farmer of Imbil (160 north of Brisbane). At 0530hrs on 22 Jul 1983 he telephoned Imbil police station to report seeing an object in the northern sky. Police Seargent Waterson took a look for himself and saw a large, white light in the sky, together with several flashing lights around it, to the north. It was travelling eastwards, changed direction and went south. It was soundless, and lost to sight behind trees. Police constable P Keys also saw it from a different location. Through binoculars, Priebe reported it was a disc shaped light.

"Donuts?"

The only other possibly interesting set of documents on the file is a  report from the police at Adavale (931kms west of Brisbane.) A station hand reported finding a ground trace on Milo Station. The policeman who went to investigate reported finding a mark, outer circle diameter 2330mm, inner circle diameter 2010mm with a depression in between. He tested out a hypothesis that a motor bike rider may have created the mark by rotating his bike in a circle, but concluded it wasn't the cause. Police forwarded soil samples and photographs (not on file). Amberley forwarded these up the line but they haven't been seen by us since. The file does not record any further details on this "trace."

Comments:

Just how many other RAAF files await discovery? How many possibly interesting cases are unknown to us?