Thursday, October 26, 2017

The 2004 'tic - tac' UAP


Much has been written on the Internet recently, about an incident which reportedly happened in November 2004; which resulted in an encounter between US Navy aviators and a 'tic - tac' shaped UAP. The story which has emerged, has a lengthy history, which many of the current Internet accounts don't cover. For my blog readers, I will attempt to provide as much information as is currently available.

Back in 2007

On 3 February 2007, on the Above Top Secret website, someone using the username 'thefinaltheory' (which I will abbreviate to TFT), on a thread titled 'Observations of an Actual UFO' posted about what seemed to be an intriguing incident.

TFT stated that an incident had occurred in 2005 when they were on board an aircraft carrier, based on the West coast of the USA, off the coast of Mexico. TFT mentioned that they worked in 'the computer field' and had access to 'the top secret network onboard.'

The incident was described as follows - at 2300 the ship went into 'security alert' and TFT asked others what was happening? The response was that there was a UFO above the ship. TFT then said they had logged on to the ship's network and that they found 'many videos and powerpoint briefs' written reports and message traffic about the incident. TFT burned these to disk which was subsequently misplaced. TFT referred to the video as being taken from a cockpit camera, was black and white, and showed altitude, pilot's 'nickname' and other data. The UAP was floating stationary at 30,000 feet. It was disk shaped. The pilot tried to get a lock on it but couldn't. The UAP moved in a half circle upward and paused. There was a bright flash and it disappeared from sight.

Discussion then ensued in subsequent posts, questioning the veracity of TFT and the details which had been provided.

On 4 February 2007 TFT announced that 'I have the video and documents as I have previously described,' but asked that the ATS thread be erased before he proceeded further. TFT was apparently concerned over the possibility of being tracked down.

An ATS moderator entered the picture and 'trashed' the thread, but revealed that the initial two posts of this thread, allegedly from TFT and another individual came from the same IP address. Later this moderator 'untrashed' the thread, which can still be read in 2017. However, they did close the thread at that point.

Later on 4 February 2007, another ATS thread was commenced, titled 'Fighter jet UFO Footage: The Real Deal.' TFT posted the first piece and announced that 'The video you are about to see...' There is a click 'here' to view the video but today if you click the link you are advised that is not to be found on the server.

This thread then contains an item titled 'recall of an event log of a ship of the US Navy fleet' which sets out the alleged incident. From further comments, it appears that a number of individuals were then able to access the video, view it and comment on it.

Later on 4 February 2007, UK researcher Isaac Koi posted, and pointed out that the video was similar to one created by Australian film maker Chris Kenworthy in 2006, which was not genuine. Koi also pointed out that the link given was part of a German website which was related to film making. In conclusion, Koi said that 'Pending release of the promised further 'files,' this video should be tentatively identified as an attempted hoax on ATS by members of the 'Vision unlimited' group of German student film makers.'

Much discussion ensued. Some posts supported the hoax hypothesis, while others wanted to see the further 'files.' TFT went on to say that 'I have four versions of the video...the "full" version is about twice the length of this...The video does reside on a German server for security...'

On 5 February 2007, and later, an individual using the username 'Willard856' who stated that they were in the Royal Australian Air Force, pointed out a number of facts, such as that the video was not of a Heads Up Display but in fact a Digital Display Indicator; and went on to provide details about the data shown on the video display.

The debate as to hoax or not, swung back and forwards, but on 10 February 2007 a moderator banned three accounts for hoaxing, including TFT. On 13 February 2007, another user 'Cometa2' posted an 'event summary' which was apparently supplied by TFT.

This second thread had no further posts until 23 October 2017 when Isaac Koi, asked if anyone from the 2007 time posts ever did get additional information from TFT? Other posters added the fact that Chris Mellon, on Tom Delonge's 'To the Stars Academy' launch announcement video, had provided details about a 2004 incident involving the Nimitz battle group off the coast of California, which sounded exactly like what was being described and shown in the two, 2007 ATS threads.

Forward to March 2015

On 14 March 2015, an article appeared on the website. The text of which I reproduce below. My take on the acronyms are:

WSO = Weapons Systems Officer
HMCS = Helmet Mounted Cueing System
BFM = Basic Fighter Maneuvers
CAP = Combat Air Patrol
STT = Single Target Track
EA = Electronic Attack
RWS = Range While Search
FLIR = Forward Looking Infra Red.

RWS shows multiple targets within the radar scan. STT provides accurate tracking of a single target.

'A good buddy of mine and former squadron mate, Dave "Sex" Fravor, has one of the most bizarre aviation stories of all time. It is a story that stretches credibility, so I'll start off building up Dave's bona fides.

For what it's worth, I know him personally - very well. We flew A-6s together for a cruise back in the Dark Ages before he matriculated into the Hornet world. He's a funny guy. Smart and sharp witted, with a typical fighter pilot's overestimation of his skills. (he'd read the SHB article and assured me his way was way better than anything Nasty could do. I called B.S. - pretty standard.) In the air, though, Dave was all business, as professional as it gets.

It's easy to get a sense of who and what he is because the squadron was featured on the 10-part miniseries Carrier that aired on PBS. You get an excellent and accurate impression of him from his screen time as Commanding Officer of VFA-41. On the morning of 14 November 2004, Dave and his WSO launched into the clear blue Southern California sky about a hundred miles southwest of San Diego. Their Call Sign was FASTEAGLE 01. His wingman and WSO launched just after them in FASTEAGLE 02. They climbed overhead the ship and rendezvoused in normal fashion before setting off to their assigned work area in the open ocean south of USS Nimitz. Normal day, normal ops for the pre-deployment work up cycle they were in the middle of.

The Nimitz Carrier Strike Group had been on station for a few weeks already, working to integrate the operations of the carrier with her various support ships, including the Ticonderoga Class Guided Missile Cruiser USS Princeton. As far as Dave was concerned, it was a standard day in a normal work up cycle. Another step in the long journey in preparing the ships of the Strike Group and the planes of the Air Wing to work harmoniously for their upcoming combat deployment.

What Dave didn't know was for the past several days, Princeton had been picking up some bizarre returns on their Death Star - worthy SPY-1 radar. On several occasions beginning 10 November, the Fire Control Officer and the extremely experienced Fire Control Senior Officer had detected multiple returns descending from far above the radar's scan volume - somewhere higher than 80,000 ft. The targets, dubbed Anomalous Aerial Vehicles (AAVs), would drop from above 80K to hover roughly 50 feet off the water in a matter of seconds.

Always over the same spot, a Lat/Long about 30NM off the coast of Baja, roughly 70nm southwest of Tijuana. At the time, the SPY-1 was the most sophisticated and powerful tactical radar on the planet. With it, they were able to track these AAV's while they descended, hovered and then zipped away at speeds, turn rates and acceleration faster than any known friendly or threat aircraft. Impossibly fast. 

Once the Air Wing's planes arrived aboard Nimitz, the Fire Control team on Princeton saw an opportunity to use those assets and eyeballs to help solve the AAV mystery.

At the same time FASTEAGLE flight was wrapping up its scheduled training, the CO of Marine Hornet squadron VMFA-232, Lieutenant Colonel "Cheeks" Kurth was completing a post-maintenance check flight not too far away. He was the first fast-mover contacted by Princeton. The communication was strange and intriguing. He was asked to investigate an unidentified airborne contact. This wasn't a terribly unusual request while a Strike Group was in transit or deployed far from home waters, but it was more than a little strange practically in sight of the San Diego Homeport. To add to the unusual communications, he was queried as to what ordnance he had on board. "None."

While Princeton was communicating with Cheeks, they were also attempting to hand off their AAV contact to the Air Wing's E-2C Hawkeye, also airborne at the time. The crew from VAW-117 had been providing intercept control for FASTEAGLE flight during their training. Princeton now wanted the E-2 to guide the Super Hornets to an intercept with the AAV contact, currently hovering over their favourite spot, but now about 20,000 feet over the ocean.

The AAV returns had not been strong enough to show up on the E-2's broad sweep, but once they focussed their radar on the coordinates Princeton directed them towards, they managed a faint contact. The radar returns from the contact weren't enough to generate a target track however, so Princeton cut the E-2 from control and contacted FASTEAGLE directly. Though he was unable to lock up the AAVs, the E-2 controller remained on frequency and listened to the entire ensuing evolution.

As Cheeks approached the spot he was being vectored to, Princeton advised him to stay above 10K as the section of Super Hornets was approaching the target. His radar picked up the FASTEAGLE two ship, but no other contacts. A moment later Princeton directed him to 'skip it' and return to the ship. Since he was so  close he decided to fly over the action and sneak a  peek.

The sea was calm, almost glassy smooth and it was late morning on a beautiful SoCal day. Perfect conditions. As Cheeks flew over the spot he saw a disturbance on the surface of the ocean. A round section of turbulent water about 50-100 meters in diameter. It was the only area and type of what he called "whitewater" describing that it looked as if there was something below the surface like a shoal or what he'd heard a ship sinking rapidly would look like.

He overflew the disturbance and circled back in the direction of Nimitz without ever seeing what caused the water to froth. As he turned away, which happened to be the moment  the Super Hornets converged on the location, the whitewater cleared and the ocean surface returned to its smooth state. The spot of the previous disturbance was completely indiscernible.

A few thousand feet below him, Dave had gone through a similar surreal experience of being asked by Princeton if the FASTEAGLE jets were carrying any ordnance. Dave's baffled WSO reported that all they had were two captive-carry training missiles. They were given bearing and range vectors to a set of coordinates and told to investigate an unknown aerial contact over that spot.

With no further information on the contact, they descended to the low 20's and scanned with radar, picking nothing up. Neither plane in this flight was carrying a FLIR pod, which limited the type of sensors they could search with; but, both planes were brand new - in Dave's words, "They still had that new car smell." The APG-73 radars were both new and had performed perfectly during the previous hour's training. Yet the screens from both planes were clean all the way to the point Princeton called "Merge plot!"

All four aircrew were eyes out from this point forward. The first unusual indication Dave picked up was the area of whitewater on the surface that Cheeks was looking at over his shoulder as he flew away. He remembers thinking it was about the size of a 737 and maybe the contact they had been vectored on had been an airliner that had just crashed. He maneuvered his F-18 lower to get a better look. As he descended through about 20K he was startled by the sight of a white object that was moving about just over the frothing water. It was all white, featureless, oblong and making minor lateral movements while staying at a consistent low altitude over the disk of turbulent water.

Dave put FASTEAGLE 02 into high cover passing through about 15K and she and her WSO witnessed the events from a perfect vantage point. Dave continued his dive lower towards the object, now also attempting to slave the radar through his HMCS to achieve a short range lock. No luck. His intention was to pass the object close aboard at about 350 kts, but as he got closer he noticed that the AAV had oriented one of its skinny ends towards him, as if, in his words, "It had just noticed us" and it was now pointing at them.

The AAV then began to rise from its hover. The object, which he would later describe as a white tic-tac, rose in right 2-circle flow about a mile cross-circle from Dave's Hornet. BFM instincts took over and Dave dug nose-low to cut across the bottom of the circle. As he was looking at the AAV and pulling his nose up to bear, he tried again to slave his radar via the HMCS. Again, the APG-73 was unable to lock on the white, fighter-sized flying object now just a couple of thousand feet away and closing.

All through these maneuvers, Dave's WSO was broadcasting the real-time events of the intercept to Princeton. The radar operators in the E-2 listened on the secure net to what sounded like one of the hundreds of intercepts they had heard over the years. With the notable exception that the aircrew's voices were more stressed and the verbiage to ID the target was unlike anything they had heard before.

In his debrief comments, Dave, his WSO, and the two other crews stated the object had initially been hovering like a Harrier. They described it as uniformly white, about 46 feet long (roughly fighter sized), having a discernible midline horizontal axis (like a fuselage) but having no visible windows, nacelles, wings or propulsion systems.

As Dave was pulling for nose-on and trying to get a dogfight lock with his radar, the AAV tightened its turn, "lift vector on, then aft" as Dave described, passing behind his tail and accelerated away at multi-mach speed. Dave immediately queried Princeton for a snap-vector but the SPY-1 radar had also lost contact. The first calls from Princeton were "picture clean." A few minutes later Princeton came back with, "You're not going to believe this, it's at your CAP." Princeton had picked up the AAV hovering at 24K at the assigned Lat/Long Dave had used earlier during training as his orbiting point.

Though low on gas, the FASTEAGLE flight swung through the CAP position to try and pick up the AAV again. They saw nothing more on their way back to Nimitz. Even the 100 meter circle of turbulent water had disappeared. That spot was now indistinguishable from the rest of the sea's surface. Asked later, Dave reported that he had not seen anything on or below the surface that may have caused the turbulent circle of water. It had existed when they had first visually acquired the tic-tac, then was gone when they circled back a few minutes later.

Back on Nimitz after recovery, the four crew headed down to the paraloft to remove their gear. The next four crews from VFA-41 were getting dressed for their training mission to the same area, using the same assigned Lat/Longs as CAP points. Dave and his crew members passed on what they had seen to the new guys and reminded them to get tape if they could.

By the time the new crew launched, rendezvoused and checked in with the E-2 for control, it was early afternoon; 1500. The planes separated, with one heading to that same southern CAP location. They were cruising along at 20K and 300kts, max endurance. Again the jet, radar and also, this time, the FLIR were spanking new and operating perfectly.

The WSO first picked up a contact on the radar around 30nm away while it was operating in the RWS scan mode. He checked the coordinates and it was indeed hovering over their precise CAP point. He attempted several STT locks, to no avail. Later, in the debrief, he explained that he had multiple telltale cues of EA.

The target aspect on the track file was turning through 360 degrees along with some other distinct, jamming indications. In the less precise scan mode, the return indicated that the object was, in the WSO's words, "A few thousand feet below us. Around 15-20K - but hovering stationary." The only movement was generated by the closure of the fighter to the CAP location.

The WSO resorted to the FLIR pod on board, slaving it to the weak track the RWS mode had been able to generate. He recorded the following sequence to the on-board recorder. Using the IR mode, he was able to lock onto the AAV. It showed up on his screen and on tape as a white object in a black background hovering with no known means. The IR camera did not detect roiling hot gasses blasting from below the AAV, as they would with a Harrier or a helicopter. It was simply hanging in midair. He switched to the TV mode and was able to again lock the FLIR onto the object while still trying, with no luck, to get a STT track on the radar. As he watched it, the AAV moved out of his screen to the left so suddenly it almost seemed to disappear. On the tape, when it is slowed down, the object accelerated out of the field of view with shocking speed. The WSO was not able to reacquire the AAV either in RWS or with the FLIR.

Somehow the tape made its way to YouTube. A few years after the incident, when first telling me the story, Dave pointed me to the link. It was unremarkable without the background information. But folded into context it was amazing,especially the slow-mo of the dot accelerating out of screen. For years I told the story to friends and showed them the video as punctuation. However, last month when I called Dave to refresh my memory before sitting down to write this bizarre encounter, he informed me that the video had been removed from YouTube. He told me that a government agency with a three letter identifier had recently conducted an investigation into the AAV;s and had exhaustively interviewed all parties involved.

All of the seven flight crew, including 6 aircrew from VFA-41 and Cheeks from VMFA-232. The Fire Control Officer and Senior Chief from Princeton, and the radar operator on the EC-2. They even queried the crew of the USS Louisville, a Los Angeles Fast-Attack submarine that was in the area as part of the Nimitz Carrier Strike Group who reported there were no unidentified sonar contacts or strange underwater noises that day.

I'm not sure what to make of these events. I've loved the story since first listening because it is so crazy. I had never given aliens or UFOs much thought. It was a waste of my CPU power to mull a question like that. If they wanted to make contact, they would. If they wanted to observe from a distance, then they would be impossible to discern given the assumed high technology required to visit.

But now I was faced with credible witnesses. Not crackpots wearing foil hats but people I knew and people who were from my world. There were multiple, corroborating platforms that detected the AAVs using varied sensors. And, of course, the eight eyeballs that actually got a visual on the white tic-tac as Dave maneuvered to merge with it. He doesn't have to be a stranger to you either. Watch him on the PBS series, Carrier, and generate your own opinion of his professionalism and sanity. Then send me your best design for an aluminium foil hat...

About the author

Paco Chierici flew A-6E Intruders and F-14A Tomcats during his 10 year active duty career. He flew the F-5 Tiger II for a further 10 years as a Bandit concurrent with his employment as a commercial pilot. Paco is also the creator and producer of the award winning naval aviation documentary Speed and Angels. Paco has written articles for various international and domestic magazines as well as regular contributions to FighterSweep. He is currently revising the first draft of his debut novel, a naval aviation thriller. Paco has the standard panoply of medals and ribbons but his proudest accomplishment is the Top Nugget award for landing grades from his first deployment.'

 On to 2017

The incident is in the process of being investigated by the Scientific Coalition for UFOlogy. They have so far detailed the following information on their Face Book page.

Firstly, on 21 October 2017 they posted:

I am going to tell you about a Navy-UFO encounter that deserves a congressional investigation to determine if this happened or not. I am going to create three posts related to a recent UFO event that occurred in November of 2004 and involved the Navy’s Carrier Strike Group 11 off the southwest coast of California. This will be the first post and it will include the information that I initially obtained on the incident. If after reading these three posts you are reasonably convinced that this event happened then I will ask you to join me in a letter-writing campaign to a congressional subcommittee requesting that they ask for a debriefing of the incident from the Navy. Please share this FB site with anyone that you know who would be interested. #F18UFO #UFO

I was first told of this UFO incident in July of 2016 by an individual who was involved in the investigation of this event. He told me that the incident had been partially leaked to the internet, so that I could begin my investigation without involving my friend. Knowing a few of the key words I was able to locate the leaked story here:
(Ignore the UFO photos in the article as those are just add-ons by the author for effect and are not related to the actual event.) What attracted me to this story was that it was not on a typical UFO site but was found on a site authored by a formal naval aviator and who predominately writes about naval aviator stories, not UFOs. So he had no UFO agenda to push. And the author went out of his way to establish the excellent background of the commanding officer of the F-18s known as the Black Aces. The story was full of “navy talk” and I spent considerable time deciphering that WSO = weapons system officer, SPY1 = phased array radar, E-2C Hawkeye = type of airborne early warning aircraft, BFM = basic fighter maneuvers, etc. Once I had read the full story, I felt that there was a strong likelihood that the event my friend had directed me to had actually occurred.

I next began online investigations to verify the identity of the individuals in the story and I found that those officers were all legitimate and had served in the Navy during that time. I searched additional websites for clues to this event. First, I found a Navy Event Summary document that had been leaked to the internet by an unknown source that mentioned this event. The document had much of the same information as was provided in the naval aviator’s story: dates and locations match up; USS Princeton detects objects on radar and dispatches the F18s; F18s don’t find a radar target but detect the object visually; F18s engage the unknown; and F18s are outmatched by the unknowns. I then ran the Navy Event Summary document by a retired naval officer and he indicated that the document looked legitimate in terms of its format. A copy of this summary document can be found here:…/0By-yCcE3UvHcSlg0YlhyaGYyd…/view…
My friend who had originally told me about this case indicated that there had been video taken of the object and that it had been released to the internet several years ago and then was later removed. A copy of that video was obtained using the WayBack machine which is an internet site that maintains historical website data. The video is taken in the infra-red and depicts a hot object in the video cross-hairs for about 75 seconds before the object rapidly moves out of the video frame and towards the left. The altitude shown on the video matches the approximate altitude of the jets and the shape of the object in the video matches the pilots’ descriptions. A copy of this video can be found here:…/0B61eOLiwJH1SWVIzZnNVc0taR…/view…
Of these three documents, the one that I find the strongest is the story by the naval aviator. The Navy Event Summary and the F-18 video support the story but more was needed. The question in my mind then became---could I support this information from another source. In December of 2016 I submitted nine FOIAs to various departments of the Navy and Marines to try and verify this event. In Part II of this series, I will share the information on the FOIAs that I submitted.

Secondly, on 25 October 2017 they wrote:
Part II Remember---please share this post. #F18UFO #UFO
In December 2016 I submitted nine different Freedom of Information Act (FOIA) requests to the Navy and the Marines in an effort to establish whether the information on the UFO encounter that I discussed in Part I was real. Here is a link to one of the actual FOIA requests for those that like to see the details:…/0By-yCcE3UvHcbFJTRWgyYi0tR…/view…
 Notice that I never used the term “UFO” in the request as this lessens the likelihood of success because of the negative connotations with the use of that word. This type of FOIA request was made for five different Navy assets that were involved in this incident; a nuclear aircraft carrier, the USS Nimitz; a guided missile cruiser, the USS Princeton; an F-18 part of a Marine Fighter Attack Squadron (VMFA-232); two to four F-18 Super Hornets from a Navy Fighter Attack Squadron (VFA-41); and a carrier based airborne early warning aircraft (an E-2C from VAW-117). Requests were sent to Naval Intelligence, Chief of Naval Operations, U.S. Marines Pacific, U.S. Pacific Fleet, Naval Research, Naval Surface Forces in the Pacific, Naval Air Warfare Center, Naval Facilities, Naval Sea Systems Command, and Naval History.
By April of 2017 I had received replies on all nine of my requests for information. In every case the Navy replied that they had no information responsive to my request. I appealed two of what I considered the most important of the nine FOIAs to the Navy’s Judge Advocate General (JAG). The first appeal came back denied. In the second appeal I pointed out to the Navy JAG officers that another appeal denial would would indicate that on November 14, 2004, that they had no records on five different Navy assets. I copied my senators and congressman on my appeal. This time I had success. Although the Navy again indicated that they could find no documents, this time they provided me emails with some very interesting information that establishes the encounter with the unknown craft did occur.
Remember in Part I of this story that the F-18 pilot referred to the objects encountered as resembling the oval candy known as tic tacs. JAG provided me an email they received from a Marine Lieutenant Colonel that began as follows: “I am definitely aware of the ‘flying tic tac’! We were aboard the USS Nimitz attached to CVW-11. The CO of VFA-41, CDR Fravor had the video footage on his ATFLIR and several pilots in VMFA-232 saw the video.” Bingo! Not only did this event happen, the video was witnessed by a number of Navy and Marine officers. Is the video the same one that was leaked to the internet? We can’t know for certain but I think if the Navy has done their due diligence then they still have a copy of that video.
And then a second email was provided to me by JAG from a Marine Major. In that email he states, “MAG-11 (Marine Air Group 11) Operations should have a Point of Contact at the archive to facilitate recovery of these files.” This clearly indicates that the Major would expect the Marine archival group to have copies of these records. And would it not be reasonable to expect that the Navy would have the records archived of such an extraordinary event!
In total, I have the names of nine different Marine and Navy officers who either participated in the encounter with the unknown craft or have direct knowledge of the event. I will again appeal for the actual case files but the only way to really get to the bottom of this mystery is to ask a Congressional subcommittee to get involved. In Part 3 I will give you step by step instructions on how you can help petition your congressman. Please share this story with others on Facebook.

That then, is the sum total public information that I am aware of. The investigation is ongoing. 

Sunday, October 15, 2017

Westall - and James E McDonald's files


The late US researcher James E McDonald visited Australia in 1967. While here, he interviewed dozens of Australians about their UAP sightings, both by phone and in person.

Recently, the attention of Melbourne researcher Paul Dean and myself, was drawn, by US researcher Brad Sparks, to the University of Arizona's special collection MS412, of papers which had been gathered by McDonald.

On the University's special collections website there appears a listing of the contents of McDonald's boxes of papers. Among the listing for box one, is  a folder, 'Australian Miscellaneous Sightings: Slides, Sullivan, Westall School sightings.'

I am not aware of anyone who has accessed this folder. Therefore, I submitted an application to the University of Arizona to obtain a copy of the contents of the folder. After paying their fee, and waiting a few days, I received a WeTransfer of the contents.

What is in this folder?

1. 16 July 1967. 'The Sun-Herald' Sydney, New South Wales newspaper. Possible sighting of a flying saucer by Maggie Tabberer and Pat Firman.

2. 8 pages of 'Summary of Unusual Aerial Sightings reported to the Department of Air Canberra' 1960-1965. Sent by Peter Norris of Melbourne.

3. Envelope addressed to McDonald from VFSRS.

4. 30 Aug 1967. 'Mercury' Hobart, Tasmania newspaper. 'UFOs seen over state.'
    30 Aug 1967. 'Advocate' Burnie, Tasmania newspaper. 'Three UFO sightings.'

5. 5 May 1967. 'Bairnsdale Advertiser' Bairnsdale, Victoria newspaper. An earthquake in Victoria.

6. 30 Aug 1967. 'Advertiser' Adelaide, South Australia newspaper. '"Space systems" may be watching us.'
    30 Aug 1967. 'Examiner' Launceston, Tasmania newspaper. 'We are being watched.'
    30 Aug 1967 'The Mercury' Hobart, Tasmania newspaper. 'Scientist claims eyes from space may be watching.'

7. 25 Aug 1967. 'Advocate'  Burnie, Tasmania newspaper. 'UFOs seen by four.'
    30 Aug 1967. 'Telegraph' Sydney, New South Wales newspaper. 'Saucers.'

8. Envelope addressed to McDonald.

9. Letter dated 5 Sep 1967 to McDonald from Francis L Rose.

10. 4 pages re McDonald's appearance on ABC TV show.

11. 19 Mar 1967. 'Mail' Brisbane, Queensland newspaper. St George-Mitchell sighting.
      26 Mar 1967. 'Courier Mail' Brisbane, Queensland newspaper. 'Spotter in dark over 'saucer.''

12. 23 Mar 1967. 'Journal' Traralgon, Victoria newspaper. 'What is the noise?'
       11 Mar 1967 'Sunraysia Daily' Mildura, Victoria newspaper. 'What is it?

13. Undated newspaper 'We saw flying saucer over Hallam.'

14. 14 Nov 1963. 'Wonthaggi Express' ''More see a UFO.'

15. 31 May 1963. '?' newspaper, Sydney. 'Flying saucers just 'poppycock.''
      30 May 1963. 'News' Adelaide, South Australia newspaper. 'Object in sky not a meteor.'
      30 May 1963. 'Mirror' Sydney, New South Wales 'Mystery light over Canberra.'

16. 31 May 1963. 'The Age' Melbourne, Victoria newspaper. 'Mystery object in Canberra sky.'
      30 May 1963. 'Telegraph' Brisbane, Queensland newspaper. 'A saucer sighted by scientists.'
      31 May 1963, 'The Sun' 'Canberra saucer was vampire jet.'

17. Ballarat Astronomical Society 1965 UFO conference.

18. 2 pages. 'Experiences with UFOs' by W H Sloane.

19. 3 pages. Ballarat observatory.

20. Program. Ballarat UFO conference 1965.

21. 29 Jun 1967. Letter from W H Sloane to McDonald.

22. 10 Jul 1967. ? re WRE.

23. 21 Jul 1965. 'Telegraph' Sydney, New South Wales newspaper. 'The thing on the beach.'

24. 24 Apr 1965. Letter to VFSRS from Len Langford re sighting in September 1962.

25. 13 Mar 1965. 'Sydney Morning Herald' Sydney, New South Wales newspaper. 'My flying saucer-Keith Hooper.'

26. Uncited newspaper. 'Moon object pics.' Iron Duke ship photographs.

27. 31 Dec 1965. Letter to Paul Norman from Observatory Adhara.

28. 28 Jun 1967. Letter to McDonald from Sydney radio station 2GB.

29. 7 Nov 1963. 'The Express' Wonthaggi, Victoria newspaper. Bread carter sighting.

30. UK Flying Saucer Review article, Jul-Aug 1966 re Westall.

31. 21 Apr 1966. 'The Dandenong Journal' article re Westall.

32. Sheet - hand written note. 'Westall School. Misc notes 5/20/67. Aust FSR no 5 p13 for Greenwood's account.

33. 14 Apr 1966. 'The Dandenong Journal' 'Flying saucer mystery.'


As can be seen, the folder contains information about miscellaneous Australian sightings, but nothing of significance about the 6 Apr 1966 Westall event. However, it should be noted that McDonald did conduct a face to face interview with Westall witness Andrew Greenwood. To read a detailed summary of this 1967 Greenwood interview, click here

To read detailed summaries of all the 1967 Australian witness interviews by McDonald, compiled by Sydney researcher Anthony Clarke and myself, click here.

Monday, October 9, 2017

Westall - and the CSIRO

In a recent Facebook post, on the Westall Flying Saucer Incident Facebook page, Victorian researcher George Simpson made reference to an account where the CSIRO was reported to have removed soil from a location in Westall.  I had previously explored the UFO interest of one CSIRO scientist, who actually investigated the 6 April 1966 incident. Below I repost my 2015 blog post on this scientist.

Felician Andrzej Berson - the CSIRO - and his interest in UAP


There are scattered references, in the civilian UAP literature, to the interest of an individual named Dr. F A Berson, who worked for the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research organisation (CSIRO). I thought it might be useful to bring these references together, hence this post.

Dr F A Berson
(Source: Garratt, J et al.  "Winds of Change." CSIRO publishing. 1999. Out of print.)


Firstly, before investigating his interest in the subject of UAP, I present a biography which I found in an article "Clouds on the Horizon" written by Berson himself, which appeared in  volume 72, number 2, February 1991 of the Bulletin American Meteorological Society.

Berson decided to study meteorology and qualified for his doctorate in 1934; then worked at the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute; followed by the Polish State Meteorological institute until 1939. Berson then moved to England where he joined the RAAF as a meteorologist, during the second world war.

In 1946, one of the items on his research list concerned cold fronts. After the war he accepted a post with the Swedish Meteorological and Hydrological Institute. Berson writes that at one point (about Carl-Gustav Rossby) "He appreciated the fact that I had imagination and was anything but institutionally inclined, he also enjoyed the eccentric behaviour I displayed on occasions.  p.208.)

In 1952 he "...applied to join the rapidly growing group of English wartime colleagues led by C H B Priestley forming the section (later Division) of Atmospheric Physics in the Australian Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) at Aspendale near Melbourne." (p.210.)

Between 1953 and 1974, when he retired, Berson worked at the CSIRO, and was known as Andgei to his colleagues. He researched cold fronts, Antarctic circulation; quasi-biennial oscillation; convective systems and interpreting radar echoes. During this time he worked for a period at the International Antarctic Analytical Center, and another period of time at the US Weather Bureau in Washington, DC. He also spent time at NCAR's National Hail Research Experiment at Boulder and Grover, Colorado in the US.

Ca. 1956:

According to Berson himself, in a letter, dated 28 November, 1966, to Robert Low of the famous Condon Committee, he became interested in the topic of UAP around 1956:

"It was in fact Mr Groodin who first got me interested in the subject. This was some ten years ago. I have since had one or two contacts in this matter, with Government departments, but have established closer contacts with a private agency in Victoria in an endeavour to find out what they were up to and whether scientific research was feasible."

According to Garratt, J; Angus, D and Holper P. (1999. "Winds of Change." CSIRO publishing, page 13,)  Ivan S Groodin was working for the CSIRO's Atmospheric Physics section from 1953, and was there at the time Berson joined that same section.

Ivan S Groodin in a group photograph.
(Source: "Winds of Change." CSIRO Publishing. 1999.)

March/April 1963:

Dr Berson investigated the 15 March 1963 Willow Grove, near Moe, Victoria, case. In an interview between Peter Norris of the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society, and the witness, Charles Brew; Brew says:

A. "...the CSIRO were here and number one question as far as they were concerned - he asked me did I get a headache. I said..."

Q. "What did the CSIRO man say? Incidentally, do you know his name? What's his name?"

A. "Er, Mr Berson. Yes, Mr Berson was his name."

Q. "And what did he say about the headache?"

A. Well, he said, 'that ties in with what our theory, we always had the impression that it was ..." (what would you say) he gave me the impression it was electro-magnetic or something to that effect - that's beyond me - but he said that would more than likely cause a headache  and it certainly took all day to get rid of it, anyhow. I know that."

Q. "What else did the CSIRO do?"

A. " Well, as I said, he took away samples of rock - they were very interested in that - because he said being a sort of an ironstone, it may have some attraction for it. And there is the reef as I said..."

Q. "How long after the sighting, did the CSIRO come down here?'

A. "They were here about 4 days after..."

On 8 April 1963, Dr Berson wrote to Sylvia Dutton of CAPIO, advising that:

"I visited Mr Brew in company of a friend of mine, but we did not take any rock samples. But I know that somebody else did. To obtain more information about the mentioned sighting, please contact the RAAF Department of Air, Canberra who are investigating this case." 

The following is from a letter from Berson to Robert Low, dated 11May 1967:

"...among them a sketch of the distribution of total magnetic intensity (as recorded by an AN/ASQ-1 airborne magnetometer installed in a DC3 aircraft) in a part of Gippsland surrounding the site of the Willow Grove sighting."

Later, in the same letter Berson suggested:

"Following a discussion with a geophysicist in the Antarctic Division of the Department of External Affairs I venture to suggest to you that a statistical investigation should be made on the following lines: place and/or time of (low level?) sightings of high credibility rating be correlated with magnetic data such as the three hourly geomagnetic k index at observatories and the world-wide kp index." 

Who was Berson's companion on his visit to Moe in 1963? Berson mentioned he was accompanied by a Mr Clarke. On the website for the Encyclopaedia of Australian Science I found the following information:

Reginald Henry Clarke ( (1914-1990) joined the Bureau of meteorology in 1940, and then joined the CSIRO's Division of Atmospheric Physics at Aspendale in 1957. He retired in 1978 and passed away in 1990. One of his research interests was the subject of tornadoes.

Reg Clarke
(Source: "Winds of Change." CSIRO Publishing.1999.)

19 September 1963:

On Thursday 19 September 1963, Berson had his own sighting. I found the following information in an interview between Berson and James E McDonald dated 29 June 1967.  As far as I can ascertain he was at home in Mt Eliza, Melbourne at the time. He was with his son, when they noticed a cherry-red light in the sky. Far from being a point source of light, he estimated it had an angular size of one quarter of a degree, i.e. half the diameter of the full Moon.

The object appeared stationary, and there was no associated sound. He went inside the house to fetch binoculars, but when he came out, his son said that the object had formed two objects, and disappeared.

There was a newspaper report that an object was also reported from the Melbourne suburb of Dudley South at the same time. He checked the azimuth direction of his observation (it had been near a tree or similar object) and the track passed over Dudley South. He deduced that the object was not a balloon, or a hoax.

I found additional information on page 77 of the book by Michael Hervey, titled "UFOs over the Southern Hemisphere." (Click here.)

"On September 19, 1963, at approximately 8pm, the VFSRS received a telephone call from a man living at Mt Eliza. He and his family had watched an unusual object in the sky a little earlier that evening. The object, about 20 to 30 degrees above the horizon, appeared blood red  and was blinking on and off. It seemed larger than a star and made no sound. The object disappeared in a slightly easterly direction." 

"The Express" Newspaper of Wonthaggi, Victoria in its 26 September 1963 edition provided some other information. At 1845hrs South Dudley children at a playground saw an object. An orange ball was seen to the west. There was no sound. Tom Lymer reported "It was flashing on and off like an aeroplane light" but bigger and brighter. It was moving much slower than an aircraft. Suddenly flame shot out and it travelled at a tremendous speed. It was lost for a while then picked up to the south, hovering. Tom Ruby said that after hovering and still flashing on and off, it moved over the sea and disappeared. It was reported that television reception was affected.

The Australian Flying Saucer Review, May 1964, page 1 said that a John Waters, 17 saw two objects. "One appeared first, travelling in an area but not stopping, and the second object came over a little higher and followed the same trajectory." Mrs Sutton said that the Mt Eliza man's object was travelling in a south to south-east direction. Mrs Sutton checked with the RAAF, weather bureau and the Department of Civil Aviation and said that there were no balloons, kites, planes etc in the area at the time.

McDonald in his handwritten notes of interview with Berson wrote that the object was "Not blinking. Review is in error."

April 1966: The Westall incident:

In Ann Druffel's book on James E McDonald, "Firestorm" (click here) she wrote that

"Dr Berson had done his own investigation of the Westall High School sighting. He'd called Moorabbin airport also, but had been told he would have to call four separate companies in order to try to track down the source of the five Cessnas! He'd learned that students at Clayton school had also seen the object at the same time. he went to the Department of Air, but was given no information. There he was told by an aviation instructor, "We have a sub-chasing aircraft with very bright lights that can be misinterpreted."  The Australian officials were reaching as far afield for 'explanations' as project Blue Book."

Berson himself refers to this incident, in a letter to Robert Low dated 28 November 1966. In part it reads:

"On another occasion I established the fact that a similar D.A. team had appeared so quickly on the scene of a sighting made by a group of school children and a teacher in the vicinity of an aerodrome as to make one believe that they had some foreknowledge.The teaching staff was asked by the DA men to "play it down" and the sighting was promptly ridiculed, but quite independently another group of people had reported the unusual phenomenon from the opposite peripheral area of the aerodrome." 

July 1966:

An article titled "The Tully Nests: How freakish can whirlwinds be?" appeared in the Australian Flying Saucer Review, number 5, dated July 1966 pages 3-7. The article was "written by a member of VFSRS who has been connected with studies in atmospheric sciences." The references include an article by Reg Clarke. This may have been written by Berson.

May 1967:

In the McDonald archive section of Dr Michael Swords' digital file  collection, I found a letter dated 26 May 1967 to Dr Berson from James E McDonald. McDonald advised Berson that he was visiting Australia in June and July 1967. In part it read:

"I am now convinced it is a problem warranting greater increased scientific attention by a much larger group of workers...In going over one account of the Brew case, near Moe, Australia, I have noted that you are cited as a CSIRO investigator who looked into that interesting case. I should like very much to discuss that and any other Australian cases of which you have direct knowledge...I should like very much to speak to some of the CSIRO meteorologists about this entire problem...I might mention that I know...Priestley and Swinbank of your group."

June 1967:

Also in Swords' files is a letter dated 10 June 1967 from Sylvia Sutton, CAPIO to McDonald. In part it reads:

"The Chief purpose of this letter is to invite you to dine at my home...Dr Berson of the CSIRO, with whom you have been  corresponding, has become a good friend of my I have invited him and his wife to join us. He was particularly pleased about this because he would have liked to arrange some social occasion at his own home at Mt Eliza but due to the travelling distance, this rather ruled it out..."

McDonald met Berson on a number of occasions whilst in Melbourne, Victoria.

In the Australian journal of James E McDonald I found an entry dated 29 June 1967:

"then to Berson office to see geomagnetic anomaly at Brew site, and interviewed Berson re his Sep 19, 1963 sighting. Met Eric Webb who's been interested in UFOs (?) for some time but not until few weeks back did Berson learn of that..."

Eric Webb also worked also worked for the CSIRO.

Eric Webb
(Source: "Winds of Change." CSIRO Publishing. 1999.)

Another McDonald entry dated 30 June 1967  read:

"Phoned Berson. He wants me back. Priestley back and quite interested."

July 1967:

Another entry dated 4 July 1967 reads: "Paul and Geoff drove me to the CSIRO, Aspendale, met Priestley and Deacn (?) and Dyer."

CSIRO files on UAP:

The National Archives of Australia holds two relevant CSIRO files. File series A9778, control symbol M1/F/31, date range 1952-1957 is titled "Flying Saucers."

File series A852, control symbol HM1/30 titled "Miscellaneous Enquiries - General - UFOs."

 Is there anything on these files about Berson's UAP interests, or indeed about that of Groodin? I failed to find anything, however there were three items of general interest:

1. A memo dated 26 June 1968 from the Department of External Affairs addressed to the Secretary, Prime Minister's department, Canberra cc'd to Dr D F Martyn. Officer in charge, Upper Atmospheric Section CSIRO, about the Condon committee in the USA. However, the Upper Atmospheric Section was in Camden, New South Wales and not Aspendale, Victoria.

2. In the period 1959 to at least 1965, a copy of UAP reports were sent to the CSIRO, from the Department of territories (Papua New Guinea). There is no mention of which section/division of the CSIRO they ultimately ended up with.

3. A memo from the Department of Air, to the CSIRO dated 28 November 1968 advised that:

"During the course of an investigation into the unusual sightings made by Mr A S Ricketts of Baccus Marsh, Victoria, it was learnt that a 'team of CSIIRO scientists" had visited him on 7th July 1966. This Department would be grateful for any information on this visit that could be of assistance in assessing the origin of Mr Rickett's sightings."

 On 5 December 1966 the CSIRO replied:

"I have made inquiries from several likely CSIRO Divisions, but with negative results."

RAAF file 580/1/1 Part 6, held by the National Archives of Australia reveals a detailed investigation report on multiple observations by Mr Ricketts. It included:

"Mr Ricketts had a visit from a team of CSIRO scientists who saw something but would not confirm that this that this was a UFO. Mr Rickett's would not divulge the names of the CSIRO scientists."

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Why did J Allen Hynek move to Scottsdale?


In 1984, J Allen Hynek and his wife, moved from Chicago to Scottsdale, in the USA, to establish a new UFO research center. I have always been intrigued as to why he moved his research there? I decided to try and find out why, and the best source of information which I came across, comes from Jacques Vallee's 'Forbidden Science: Volume Three,' 2016. Documentica Research, LLC. I will quote extensively from Vallee's book.

Image courtesy of Amazon Books
Spring Hill. Saturday 10 November 1984.

'Allen told us his new center was now duly established in  Scottsdale with the backing of wealthy Englishman Jeffery Kaye, a pro-Israeli businessman who maintains homes in three countries...Allen seems to have discovered a world of business contacts and big projects. Jeffery Kaye doesn't really intend to fund the center however. He is only providing an initial framework and startup funds. His idea is to launch a series of publications and film projects whose proceeds would support the organization, starting with a movie about Allen's life. John Fuller has been contracted to write it..."We need a real effort," Allen says, "with real investigations and translation of foreign cases." He speaks of spending two million dollars a year on such a project, but Mr Kaye will not provide that kind of cash.'

Hyde Street. Sunday 18 November 1984.

'An associate of Jeffery Kaye named Dr Glazer called me last week on Allen's behalf. He confirmed they were staring a publishing company and wanted to raise money for a docudrama on Hynek's life. He wants o enlist my help, because "your name would help us attract funding." He pressured me to drop everything I was doing and fly to Phoenix to see the project. Allen tells me that Glazer is a psychologist who sells his house to him in connection with a divorce.'

Hyde Street. Sunday 13 January 1985.

'Allen called yesterday, urging me to visit him in Scottsdale, perhaps in mid-February after my trip to New York. He warned me that I would get a formal letter from Dr Glazer, as Jeffery Kaye's business manager. "Don't let the formalities scare you."'

Scottsdale. Sunday 17 February 1985.

'Our third topic of morning discussion was his move to Phoenix. Allen told me it all came from a meeting he had with Tina, who inturn put him in touch with Jeffery Kaye, an English millionaire she had known for several years. Tina and Brian, who are involved in gold mining, knew Mr Kaye as a potential investor... Jules Glazer joined us, a tall, serious fellow. I liked him more than I expected, after some guarded comments I'd heard from Mimi. A practical businessman, he attacks the questions that Allen had avoided: would I lend my name to their center? Would I write books, give conferences for them? Would I help in fund-raising?...Besides, I thought Allen had clearly indicated that the Center was solidly financed. What about the backing by Mr Kaye, the English millionaire? Had Allen moved to Arizona only to find himself having to beg for support again?

Once he was gone I asked about Mr Kaye whom I had yet to meet. I was beginning to form certain ideas about him, however Mr Kaye's fortune was inherited from his father, the founder of a supermarket chain. Glazer spent six years with Jeffery in Monaco, helping manage the business, he now advises him in US investment: real estate, stocks, and private companies.

"Glazer jumped on the idea of ufology as a money-making operation when he saw the Meier photographs from Switzerland," said Tina. I winced. Allen said nothing.

"I miss something," I told them. "Wasn't Mr Kaye going to finance the center so you could do real research?"

"He does - in a way. he gives a thousand dollars a month to the center."

'How long does this deal last?"

"Until March."

"What happens after March?"

"He didn't commit to anything."

Tina Broke in: "the idea is that Mr Kaye is providing us with start-up money and that we will use his contacts with wealthy families here; he likes to take a hand in the research. Especially since the day he happened to be in the office while a television crew was filming Allen, and he ended up on the screen," she added with a wink.

Paris. Rue de la Clef. Friday 21 June 1985

'Allen told me that his financial backer, Mr Kaye, had come to Paris on the occasion of the GEPAN meeting. he is staying at the expensive Prince de Galles hotel, where he is inviting us for lunch tomorrow. It appears he is a strong backer of Israel, having helped finance Menachem Begin, among others, so there is an unexpected political angle to all this. Allen himself now feels he may have rushed a bit too fast to set up his new Center in Arizona under pressure from the fair Tina.

She had met Jeffery Kaye in Las Vegas, inspired his interest in ufology and suggested inviting Allen to Scottsdale. Once she had his approval she went to see Allen and sold him on the concept: "A multimillionaire from Moncao begs you to join him in solving the UFO problem: he pledges his support...All this was true, but only temporarily. Allen jumped without nailing down the long-term details...The purchase of Glazer's house was a fair deal, even if Kaye did little more than arranging a few partied and offering the use of a duplex he owns in Phoenix to house the new center...'

Paris. Rue de la Clef. Sunday 23 June 1985.

'Jeffery Kaye, whom I was meeting for the first time, appeared typically British, but without the easy, classy style of English aristocrats. He gave us a business card that introduced him as the proprietor of a Monaco based travel agency. I found this curious since he was supposed to have made his fortune with shopping centers. I instinctively mistrusted him. He also passed around pictures of his boat, registered in tax-free Guernsey Island.

The lunch started on a funny note with Kaye requesting some rose wine from the sommelier of the Prince de Galles, who must be used to such gaffes: Jeffery did not want to have to chose between red and white. Claude Poher, a great connoisseur winced but said nothing. To his right was Allen, dishevelled and tired, wearing a remarkable tie adorned with portraits of young women, reproductions of Renoir's grisettes. "Allen you are the last person on Earth wearing ties like that!" remarked Jeffery.

Allen spent much of his time trying to explain to his backer why contactee and abduction stories should be taken with scepticism. Yet Kaye is ready to invest in Meier's stories in Switzerland. With great solemnity, he even pulled out of his pocket, a purple rectangle "anodized with aluminium" that he handed around the table, claiming that this Alien-inspired artefact had medical benefits. It is even helping his old mother, who can barely walk. Embarrassed by the scene, Allen looked like someone who would love to dive under the table and disappear.

Kaye did confess he was having trouble raising money in Arizona...When Jeffery turned to Poher and asked him what he thought of Roswell and saucer crashes, Claude answered that he did not believe a word of the stories...

The same evening I had dinner with Simonne Servais at the Invalides. As soon as I mentioned Jeffery Kaye, "isn't he tied up with Israel?" she asked...'

Paris. Monday 24 June 1985.

'We had lunch with the whole group at Les Bouchons in Les Halles, after which Jeffery Kaye went away, to everyone's relief. Allen didn't appreciate the fact that Kaye had invited himself to the morning session, even proclaiming insolently, "Well, I want to know who all these people are..."

Before he left, Jeffery took me aside to tell me that a woman contactee had received a message that "the Frenchman and the Englishman must meet." He concluded the future of this research rested on the two of us, since Allen would soon pass from the scene, which left me very sad. I have no intention to work with Jeffery.

Hyde Street. Sunday 17 November 1985.

'Allen told me that CUFOS, from Chicago, had sent a sternly worded letter to Tina and Brian, forbidding them fro using Hynek's name in connection with their work. This saddened Allen, who gave Tina credit for bringing him to the freedom of Arizona, although he no longer wants to be associated with Jeffery Kaye.'

Phoenix. Friday 2 May 1986.

'I rediscovered Tina and Brian last night, and the friendship between us. They had distanced themselves from Jeffery and the English community in Scottsdale, an enclave of utter snobbishness. Jeffery's wife Susan has arrived from London on the wings of a powerful personal psychic tornado that sweeps everything around her, including Jeffery: now she plans a conference in London. Alan never understood why Jeffery didn't simply sign a check, and Jeffery never understood why Allen didn't come up with an action plan to solve the UFO problem in a few years.'

Wednesday 2 July 1986.

'Tina is an interesting woman, a former Chicago deputy sheriff, who became in turn in the commodities research, in the search fro sunken treasures, in gold mines, and in psychic research. It is during a stay in Las Vegas that she became interested in UFOs, when she met a man named Ed Slade. He took her to a secret room in his basement where he kept a collection of weapons and some jewels and icons from Russia.

Slade old her that he was a "former agent" who could fly to Russia whenever he wanted and bring back anything he likes. He assured Tina that the saucers existed, that the US government had captured some craft and their occupants: one of them was at Nellis Air Force Base (5) A collector of old share certificates, Slade shared this passion with Jules Glazer, who already served as Jeffrey's financial manager. However, Kaye long refused to meet with Slade. When he finally agreed he was fascinated by the man's brilliant conversation and the fact that he did have access to Nellis; however Jeffery never obtained access to the project that Slade had described to Tina.

Tina is intrigued by the fact that Slade doesn't seem to have a stable job; he would go to a table at a Las Vegas casino and quickly win a thousand dollars which he said was his way of drawing down a slary when he needed money. Slade has led Tina to believe he was a contacteee, showing her a scar on his neck to "prove" it. He also showed her supposedly classified documents about the government's' UFO secrets. Tina also mentioned to me that Glazer had written a dissertation on necrophilia.

I have understood certain things about Jeffery Kaye during this trip. I now believe he was sincere in his misguided efforts to help Allen. Jeffery simply doesn;t know how to establish a relationship with people except through money, which gives him control. This became obvious during a conversation with Timothy Good at the conference; before my lecture at Covent Gardens. Jeffery explained to Good his interest in the subject. He said he had approached Hynek as the one man he regarded as the primary authority but, he said, "no sooner was he under my...I mean no sooner was he in Arizona, that he discovered he had an advanced form of cancer."

An interesting slip of the tongue. "Under my..." What? My control? My influence?

Susan Kaye left Jeffery after 10 years of marriage, taking her two daughters with her. She is intelligent and vivacious and seems lost in a personal spiritual upheaval.'

Returning from Phoenix. Monday 15 December 1986.

'Jeffery Kaye's team, headed  up by Tina, has succeeded in pulling off their conference in Scottsdale, quite an event. The conference took place at the Scottsdale Center for the Arts, attended by fashionably dressed men and women, adorned by large blow-ups of Billy Meier's fake saucers and punctuated by media types and the occasional Navajo artist. Jeffery's newest girlfriend came over in a pastel dress...'

My comments on the above

1. Based on Vallee's account, it would appear that the sequence of events went as follows:

1. Tina Choate meets Ed Slade.
2. Slade tells Choate about captured UFOs and occupants.
3. Slade knew Glazer.
4. Glazer was Kaye's US financial manager.
5. Choate meets Kaye.
6. Kaye becomes interested.
7. Choate introduces Kaye to Hynek.

2. Tina was Tina Choate. Brian was Brian Myers. See this following newspaper article for an aside.

A second source

I checked a second recent source of information, namely Mark O'Connell's 2017 book, 'The Close Encounters Man.' (Harper Collins; New York.) O'Connell's opening piece about Hynek's move was:
'"Chicago a hotbed of inertia" Hynek said to a Chicago Tribune reporter, in August 1984, to explain his and Mimi's move to Paradise valley, an affluent suburb of Phoenix, Arizona.' (p.332.)

Image courtesy of Amazon Books
'The Hyneks were living in, and operating CUFOS out of, a "spectacular hacienda in the sun" provided by a wealthy British benefactor named Geoffrey Kaye. The generous sponsor, whom Hynek had met through gold-mining entrepreneurs Tina Choate and Brian Myers, was ready to fund "a UFO research center without rival in the world,' and Hynek couldn't resist the lure.' (p.332.)

'The new center in Arizona would also supplant the amateur UFO groups that had made such a poor show of things with the Walton case.' (p.333.)

So, the above are the reasons cited by O'Connell, for Hynek's move from Chicago. However, by the end of 1985 in the International UFO Reporter, Hynek wrote "I am completely dissociated (and I mean completely) from the Phoenix operation...My connection with the International Center for UFO Research is null and void." (p.334.)

O'Connell quotes Brian Myers as saying "Geoffrey Kaye's funding never really dropped out. It was there," explained Myers. "It was only at the end, when Allen was getting ill...that Geoffrey's concern was 'Well, you know, how much further do I go with this, because Allen is obviously on the way out.' (p.336.)

'The true reason for the collapse in Arizona remains murky, with Vallee's version of events often clashing with that of Myers and Choate." (p.337.)

My comment on the above

Note that while Vallee refers to Jeffery Kaye, O'Connell refers to Geoffrey Kaye.

Thursday, October 5, 2017

Westall - document located which shows there was a HIBAL launch on 5 April 1966.


One non-UAP hypothesis put forward by myself, for the 6 April 1966 Westall incident, was that the object(s) sighted, was/were the payload and parachute of flight 292 of a joint research program, between the US Atomic Energy Commission and the Australian Department of Supply, called HIBAL.

Evidence of launch?

One of the counter-arguments put forward concerning this hypothesis, was that no documentary evidence could be produced to show that flight 292, scheduled for launch on 5 April 1966 from Mildura, Victoria, had even got off the ground.

I had located a tentative schedule of launches for HIBAL for April 1966, which showed four proposed flights on the 5th, 13th, 19th and 21st April. [Source: National Archives of Australia file series B411, control symbol 70/2919 part 4, page 50.]

However, I failed to locate any actual launch dates for April 1966. This caused Sydney based researcher Bill Chalker, to write on his Ozfiles blog dated 10 August 2014, 'No documents have been found that even confirm that the scheduled 5 April 1966 launch took place.' 

Yesterday, while browsing the Internet, I came across a document titled 'Health and Safety Laboratory. Fallout Program Quarterly Summary Report' dated January 1, 1968.

Upon examining the several hundred page document, I came across page 318, which provided a table showing that the April 1966  HIBAL launches had occurred on the 5th, 14th, 19th and 27th. Launches were often rescheduled from proposed dates due to adverse weather conditions. HIBAL flight 292, launched on the 5 April 1966, and reached a height of 27,000 metres (88,600 feet).

Successful flight

So, I am now able to state, that the proposed HIBAL flight 292, scheduled for launch on 5 April 1966, from Mildura, did launch successfully, the day before the Westall incident.


The question then arises, could a HIBAL balloon, its payload and its 13 metre diameter parachute, which was launched from Mildura on 5 April 1966 still be airborne/close to landing, on 6 April 1966? Normally, a HIBAL flight was only hours in duration.

On the 29 August 1969, there were numerous reports of a 'flying saucer' being seen in Queensland. A RAAF aircraft located the object over Millmerran, (near Brisbane) Queensland, at 6,000 feet altitude. It turned out to be a HIBAL balloon, plus payload, plus parachute, which had been launched from Mildura on 25 August 1969. [Source: NAA file series A703, control symbol 580/1/1 part 12, pages 96 and 99.] Here then, was a three day old 'runaway' HIBAL balloon plus its associated equipment.

In addition, it is known that in August 1966, a HIBAL balloon came down on a chicken farm near Bendigo, Victoria, having travelled at least 70% of the way from Mildura to Melbourne. [Source: Interviews by this author of two members of the actual HIBAL launch crew. 2014.]

So, yes, it is theoretically possible that the flight 292 balloon, payload and parachute, launched on 5 April 1966 from Mildura, Victoria, was carried by the known northerly winds, to Melbourne where it was sighted on the 6 April 1966.


The debate as to whether or not, there was a successful HIBAL launch from Mildura, Victoria, on 5 April 1966 is over. There was such a launch.

It must be clearly stated that no documentary evidence has been located proving that HIBAL flight 292 was near Westall on 6 April 1966. However, there is the suggestion that a HIBAL balloon was seen 40 kms north of Westall on the morning of 6 April 1966, gained from the observation of two individuals who saw a 'flying saucer' trailing a long hose like a vacuum cleaner. [Source: Shane Ryan.] The significance of the trailing long hose, was that HIBAL balloons were filled with gas using a long hose. This hose, attached to the top of the balloon, stayed attached to the balloon throughout its flight. A remarkable coincidence that a 'flying saucer' should have such a hose!

On the other hand, no documentary evidence has been found, to show that HIBAL flight 292 wasn't near Westall on 6 April 1966.

Committee members of the VFSRS/VUFORS : 1959 - 1972

Introduction Between 1959 and 1972, there were over thirty individuals who served on the committee of the Victorian Flying Saucer Resea...