Saturday, May 28, 2016

New book alert - Contact Down Under - McGhee

Hi all,

An excellent new Australian book has just been published, titled "Contact Down Under: A century of UFO sightings in Australasia and the Western Pacific." Its author is Moira McGhee, and it is published by Independent Network of UFO Researchers (INUFOR); ISBN is 978-0646-305-042.


Moira has been interested in the subject for many years, and is an extremely dedicated researcher. She founded INUFOR and still coordinates it today. In the past, Moira has been associated with  the British UFO Research Association  in the United Kingdom; UFO Research Australia; the Australian Centre for UFO Studies; and the Mutual UFO Network in the USA.

This book is aimed at members of the general public, and as such, gives a representative overview of sightings in Australasia and the Western Pacific, over the last hundred years, focusing on Australia.

It is packed full of both well-known (eg Mundrabilla, WA, 20 January 1988; pp 152-156) and little-known (eg Portland, NSW, 12 March 1997; pp 104-108) observations. The spectrum of sightings range from anecdotal (eg Queensland, June 1984 "UFO crash;" p127) to well documented (eg Llangothlin, NSW, 19 October 1975: pp 78-81.) Some are sketchy (eg Trunkey Creek, NSW, 1997; p 104); while others are described in detail (eg Roma, Qld, 1963; pp 231-235.) There are sightings where mundane stimuli are the likely cause ( eg Ivy Tank, SA, September 1973; p 150); while others remain a mystery after a competent investigation (eg Boianai, Papua New Guinea, June 1959 pp 206-208.)

There are cases which cry out for a much longer treatment, eg Mundrabilla, WA; pp 152-156; but in a general work of this nature, this is not possible. There are others which Moira outlines, especially from central Australia, which I would like to see further investigated, documented and published.

As with all works, there are errors; eg page 3 tells us that the American A-12 aircraft could "hover"; not so. There are two versions, dated 28 May 1963 and 1965, of the same case on page 209. However, these do not really detract from the main thrust of the book, namely, sighting reports.

A long term blog reader will be aware that I enjoy a book which has plenty of factual information, together with analysis. This book has all of this. It is a treasure trove of Australian material.

I found that the book provides a great introduction to the topic. I thoroughly recommend you obtain, and read, a copy of this book. Details of how you may purchase it can be found at http://independentnetuforesearchers.com.au/

Tuesday, May 17, 2016

"Guru" - counselor, inspirational source, sharing knowledge

Introduction
 
The mix of ideas which we have today in Ufology, is greater than it has ever been. Blog readers will be aware, that in recent times, I have covered the ideas of human/alien hybrids; and aliens mentoring humans. In the past, the blog has covered the field of exopolitics; spoken about individuals who pursue videography; and explored the idea of "scientific ufology."
 
 
Evidence
 
I have looked at the evidence for human/alien hybrids, and aliens mentoring humans; and in general, find the evidence for it being true; far from convincing.
 
Besides, individuals making these claims; there are also, so called "researchers" pushing these individuals along. These "researchers" appear, in my opinion, to guide individuals into the researcher's existing belief system. I feel that some "researchers" are actually creating false belief systems in the minds of receptive individuals. I have seen "researchers" who charge money to exorcise "greys" from people; say they can  determine the origin of "aliens" in people's bedrooms; and others who tell you, you are a "star child" and someone special.
 
Some advocates of exopolitics, are convinced that the U.S. Navy has a secret fleet of spacecraft in Earth orbit; that Nazis from World War 2 are still with us and in league with aliens; together with a whole host of other bizarre ideas, based on no firm, credible evidence.
 
Many UAP videographers build up extreme views of what they film. Few take a critical approach to the images they generate and market. Rarely do they self-analyse their material. How do "scientific ufologists" react to these divergent views? In recent times I have discussed this question with a number of my Australian colleagues. Two opposing views have emerged.
 
Firstly, some say you should totally ignore these bizarre and extreme perspectives. Instead, you should focus solely on your own scientifically oriented work.
 
Secondly, others say that these views need to be challenged. That the claims should be examined; flaws pointed out; and individuals who put them forward should be brought to account for their faulty claims.
 
My thoughts
 
I have seen the "other than scientific ufology" approach gather momentum in recent years, and it shows no sign of abating. Social media and other ways of digital communication,  have aided its mass appeal, where material is uncritically passed from person to person.  Anyone, with any kind of idea can push it into the public realm, often without any form of critical review.
 
However, to critically review some of these approaches, involves tackling individuals who are out there; often with a following, who are oblivious to their "guru's" faults and failures. Followers who do not understand the term "peer review," and who would see an unbiased review of their "guru's" claims, as a personal attack on their "guru."
 
This makes it difficult, but not impossible, to call a "spade" a "spade." However, I feel that the time has come, to engage some of these "guru's," and examine their views to see if they make sense; have some sort of evidence base; or are unacceptable; unscientific; and potentially psychologically dangerous to those who follow them.




Tuesday, May 3, 2016

Australian government UFO files - the journey

Hi all,

With the recent Internet upload of 1.7 GB's worth of Australian government UAP files, by Queensland UFO Sightings and Research, I'd like to place this release into historical context, lest people think this is something newly available.

 
Bill Chalker studying files at the Department of Defence

In the 1980's, Sydney based researcher Bill Chalker visited the Department of Defence in Canberra, to view and record details of RAAF UAP files. Bill published his findings in a series of articles in UAP magazines/journals, both here in Australia and overseas. His excellent work allowed other researchers, their first detailed look at how the RAAF had tackled the subject in this country.

 
 
A Joint Intelligence Organisation UAP file.

Between 2003 and 2008, a group of Adelaide UAP researchers, (working under the name 'Disclosure Australia', in conjunction with AUFORN) including this author, spent their time and money, accessing Australian government UAP files held by the National Archives of Australia (NAA) . Their combined efforts resulted in the digitisation of several dozen of these files, which then allowed anyone to view them in detail via the NAA website. The group published its work in a series of 30 'Disclosure Australia' Newsletters (still available on the website of AUFORN) and in the Australian 'UFOlogist' magazine.

First page of Disclosure Australia list of Australian government files.


The final 'Disclosure Australia' report, of 120 pages, remains the most detailed document available concerning the Australian government and UAP. It is essential reading, and is available here.

 

Between 2008 and 2015, Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean and this author, spent time and their own money, in locating a number of previously unknown UAP files held by the NAA. Paul and I again, paid for a range of files to be digitised, making them available for anyone to read.  Some of these files related to the 1978 disappearance over Bass Strait of pilot Frederick Valentich.  If you haven't visited Paul's excellent blog, then you should do so.



A while ago, English researcher Isaac Koi, with the permission of the NAA, turned almost 100 of their Australian government UAP files into PDFs and made them widely available, via the Internet.


Queensland UFO Sightings and Research

Finally, yesterday a Facebook entity (they have chosen to stay anonymous) under the name of Queensland UFO Sightings and Research, have taken this distribution of Australian government UAP files to another level, by uploading 80 plus Australian government UAP files to the Internet, providing easier access to them.

Other files
 
There are still more files to be processed. Paul Dean and I have a series of part files, dated later than what the Archives Act allows one to obtain, gained via the Freedom of Information Act from the Department of Defence. Most of these have never been seen by other researchers, although this author has shared details of their contents in a series of posts on his blog.
 
 
What have we collectively learnt from these government files?
 
1. No Australian government agency admitted to seriously studying Australian UAP reports. The RAAF collected sightings, and did some work on them. They did conduct interviews, but often only when political or public pressure forced them to do so. Their analyses of these sightings were mainly lacking in depth.
 
2. A behind the scenes investigation by Bill Chalker and 'Disclosure Australia', did find written evidence that some individuals, who worked in such government organisations as the Joint Intelligence Bureau and the CSIRO, conducted private research with the knowledge of their employer. However, their efforts were never officially endorsed.
 
3. There is currently no evidence available to suggest that any Australian government agency is overtly, or indeed covertly, studying the topic of UAP.
 

 
Are there still more files to be found?
 
Undoubtedly. Only 10% of all files held by the NAA are listed on their electronic database, RecordSearch. For example, it is known that UAP files were held by the head office of the former Department of Supply (DOS). These files have not yet been located in the NAA.
 
Who will rise to the challenge to find such files?

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...