1. 12 April 1793 New South Wales
“An extraordinary appearance in the sky was obferved by feveral people between five and six o'clock in the evening of Friday 12th of the month. It was noticed in the north-weft, and appeared as if a ray of forked lightning had been ftationary in that quarter of the sky for about fifteen minutes, which was the time it was vifible. It was not to be difcerned, however, after the fun had quitted the horizon.”
Source: Collins, David. 1798. “An account of the English Colony in New South Wales: with remarks on the Disposition, customs, manners, &c of the Native Inhabitants of that Country.” T. Cadell, Jun. & W. Davies. London. Page 285.
1. I viewed the original book at the Royal Geographical Society, Adelaide on 8 March 2011.
2. I also sighted the 1804 London edition (page 211), and the 1910 London edition (pages 181-182.)
3. David Collins was the late Judge Advocate and Secretary of the Colony which was founded in 1788.
4. Note the use of the letter ‘f’ in lieu of ‘s’ in some words.
2. 1828 Mount Wingen, New South Wales
“About six kilometers north of Wingen, an underground coal seam has been burning for possibly 5,000 years...Kisha, who wrote a psychic column for the Australasian Post, recorded a bizarre story of a strange flying object landing at Burning Mountain (or Mount Wingen.) She attributed the following text to a man called Ted.
“Grandad used to say that it was cigar shaped and had a funny silver colour. When it landed it set fire to all the vegetation and killed the cattle. The noise was dreadful and there was a series of loud bangs. Grandad also spoke of tall strangers appearing in town. They never said anything but always pointed to the things they wanted. Quite often people just disappeared and dogs and domesticated animals disappeared too.
“We always thought that grandad's stories were good but he knew they were true and never made light of them. Kisha did not indicate a date for the events in Ted's grandad's tale, but presumably its vintage would have to be at least contemporary with the first settlers of the Burning Mountain back in 1828.”
Source: Chalker, Bill.
Originally retrieved 27 November 2010, citing a “Psychic column” written by “Kisha” in the Australasian Post magazine dated 17 June 1989 citing a man called Ted.
Notes: Original article offline, but can be accessed via mirror page on web.archive.org
3. 25 July 1868 Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales
Birmingham had what he described as a “...wonderful dream, a vision...” during which he saw a number of things in the sky, including the head of the Lord Bishop of Sydney and an “Ark.” A voice from an unknown source told him “That's a machine to go through the air.”
The ‘machine’ approached and landed on the grass. There was a ‘spirit’ following the ‘ark,’ described as ‘like the neutral tint shade and the shape of a man in his usual frock dress.’ Birmingham was invited to enter the ‘ark’ which he did. Inside he found a room with a table. The ‘spirit’ showed him some papers containing figures and formulas. Looking down and then back up he found the ‘spirit’ had gone. “So I fell, I suppose into my usual sleeping state, and waking next morning deeply impressed with that vision of the night.”
Source: Chalker, Bill 1996. The Oz files, Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. pp23-27. Citing a 15 page document titled “Copy from the Memorandum Book of Fred Wm Birmingham, the Engineer to the Council of Parramatta. A Machine to go through the air. A.D. 1873” located by Chalker in 1975. Its history was traced back through UFO researcher, T.V. Homan; a Mrs N. de Launt (early 1940's) to the family of a Wallace Haywood. Chalker confirmed that a Frederick William Birmingham did live in Parramatta between 1868 and 1873.
4. 1873 Sydney, New South Wales - Sunset
Three small ‘clouds’ appeared, and from one of them extended two screw-like appendages. Between these ‘screws’ appeared a shape ‘like two flat necks on a turtle-shaped body.’ This assembly disappeared, reappeared and, and then ‘to my surprise the two big...screws folded up like the arms of a bear and lost their shape in the middle cloud.
Source: Chalker, Bill 1996. The Oz Files Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. p26. Citing a 15 page document titled “Copy from the Memorandum Book of Fred Wm Birmingham, the Engineer to the Council of Parramatta. A Machine to go through the air. A.D. 1873 located by Chalker in 1975.” Its history was traced back through UFO researcher, T.V. Homan; a Mrs N. de Launt (early 1940's) to the family of a Wallace Haywood. Chalker confirmed that a Frederick William Birmingham did live in Parramatta between 1868 and 1873.
5. October 1874 Beechworth, Victoria
“A farmer reported an object over his farm.”
Source: http://www.rense.com/ufi5/histoz.htm retrieved 24 January 2011. Information supplied by Diane Harrison/Robert Frola of Brisbane, Australia citing their source as the book Flying Saucers Over Australia.
“From their own research, Australian ufologists believe that the first published report of the sighting of an unidentified flying object in this country occurred as far back as October, 1874, at Beechworth in Victoria.”
Source: Holledge, Stephen. 1965. Flying Saucers over Australia. London/Melbourne/Sydney. Horwitz Publications Inc. p.26.
1. Tried National Library TROVE digitized newspaper search, but cannot locate anything
6. March 1878 Goulburn, New South Wales
“Lately there has been much excitement amongst the superstitious, numbers of whom go off in parties, with guns, to the range above Stewart's Garden, where there is an unfinished stone house. Here an apparition is said to make its appearance in the form of a light, and to travel, sometimes very slowly, and frequently very quickly, from the river bank just below, up to, and around the house, then varying the performance by a run among the trees. This is said to be kept up from an early hour in the evening until about three in the morning; all endeavors to get near the light are said to prove futile. ”
Source: Chalker, Bill The Oz files. Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. 1996. p.27. Citing the Goulburn Herald 16 March 1878. Cited in Wyatt, Ransome. The History of Goulburn. Sydney. Lansdowne Press. 1972. p75.
A check of the book The History of Goulburn by Ransome T Wyatt, published by Lansdowne Press (NSW). Sydney. 1972. (First published in 1941 by The Municipality of Goulburn.) p.75 states:
Goulburn has not many claims to ghosts. One, in 1878, is said to have appeared in the range above Stewart's garden, where there is an unfinished house (? Leigh's Folly.) It used to appear early in the evening and flit about until three o'clock in the morning. Grunsell claimed to have disposed of it with a shot gun. Another mysterious appearance which was seen in the late afternoon and on one occasion was photographed was that of a ghostly apparition which manifested itself in the Bishop's Throne in St Saviour's Cathedral.
(References cited are Goulburn Herald 13/3/1876; 16/3/1878 and reminiscences of Mrs R Caspers.)
7. (Pre 5) June 1879 Western Australia
In 1879 Mr S Worsley Clifton, Collector of Customs, at Fremantle Western Australia, forwarded the following account of a 'remarkable meteor' to R J Elleig of the Melbourne Observatory. Elleig in turn passed it on to the science journal Nature, which published the following account of the apparition:
A small black cloud on a clear day appeared in the east, traveling not very swiftly towards the north-west. It burst into a ball of fire with an apparent disc the size of a full moon, blood red in colour. It left a train of black or dark-coloured vapour across the heavens which was visible for three-quarters of an hour. No sound was heard, sky perfectly clear, and the thermometer 100 degrees fahrenheit, in the shade.
Source: Chalker, Bill The Oz Files. Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. 1996. p.27. Citing “A remarkable meteor” Nature Volume 20. 121, 5 June 1879. Also cited in Fort, Charles, “The Complete books of Charles Fort.” New York. Dover. 1974. p 235.
1. Tried National Library TROVE newspapers, but found nothing
8. 11 June 1881 Between Melbourne and Sydney 0400hrs
“The two sons of the Prince of Wales, one of them the future King of England, saw a strange celestial object similar to a fully illuminated ship.”
Source: Vallée, J. 1965. Anatomy of a Phenomenon. London. Neville Spearman. p.12. Citing “The cruise of the Bacchante” by the two princes.
9. February 1885 Off East coast of Australia
In February 1885, the crew of a ship sailing the Pacific, believed to be not far off the east coast of Australia, saw a large fiery red ball in the sky. She hissed overhead and fell into the sea, triggering a series of huge waves.
Source: Killey, Kevin and Lester, Gary. 1980. The Devil's Meridian. Sydney. Lester-Townsend Publishing. P. 23.
10. 1890’s North Western Australia
An elderly lady recounted an observation of her father’s. “He was a Bushman, his name was Jack. He worked in the North Western part of Australia and used to use a dray and four horses to cart things around. One day he was plodding along when he saw this light coming straight towards him, just before it reached him it separated into two lights which flew separately either side of his horses. The horses were scared and started going out of control. He did not see what happened to the lights…”
Source: AUFORN compiled sightings lists Issue 23, August 2001
11. 1893 Central New South Wales
An anecdote handed down within a farming family told of an extraordinary UFO story that was alleged to have happened in 1893 in Central New South Wales. A farmer claimed that a saucer-shaped object landed in a paddock on his property. As he approached the object, a man in strange clothing emerged from it. The farmer walked towards the being. The stranger shone some kind of beam at him, whereby the farmer was thrown to the ground, stunned. His hand where the beam had hit him was paralysed for life.
Source: Chalker, Bill The Oz files. Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. 1996. p.28. Citing that the story was told to Dr Miran Lindtner, UFO Information Centre, Sydney in the 1960's.
1. Details similar to the 1919 Central NSW case and the 1913 Nuriootpa, SA case. Are one or more of these three similar events, a distorted recollection of an original story?
12. 20 November 1902 Adelaide, South Australia
Sir Charles Todd stated that on Thursday morning, at 9.27 o’clock, a remarkable phenomenon was witnessed in the heavens by Messrs Griffiths (the Assistant Astronomer), Chettle and Dodwell of the Adelaide Observatory. The two last named were taking weather observations when they noticed a brilliant globular light having a planetary disc. It appeared in the south-south-east at an altitude of about 45 deg. It moved slowly northwards, passing within 15 or 20 degrees of the sun, and was brightly visible till 9.31 - four minutes in all.
Mr Griffiths, who observed it for a minute, says it moved over about 20 deg. of an arc in that time. The object appeared like Venus does when it is at its greatest brilliancy, soon after sunset.
Mr Griffiths lost sight of the meteoric object at an altitude of 45 deg. above the horizon. It therefore traveled at least 90 deg. and was lost sight of in the great glare of the sky.
Messrs Chettle and Dodwell state that when it was near to the prime vertical it became elongated, and took an elliptical form, the long axis lying south to north.
Source: The Register (Adelaide, SA:1901-1929), Friday 21 November 1902. Page 4.
13. July 1909 Hobart, Tasmania
One North-West correspondent writes “Mention has been frequently made of mysterious lights seen in New Zealand skies, as from the headlight of an airship, and it is said that similar lights were seen not far from Hobart last month. A circumstantial report as to similar lights being visible from Ulverstone and Forth was made last week, and it is said that a light too bright, and which moreover, moved rapidly in various directions has been seen from various central districts. Whether these reports are based on imagination or not, there can be no doubts as to the earnestness of those who profess to have seen these mysterious lights, and the heavens are being scanned nightly in search of the latest novelty but it seems to be as hard to find and recognize as the Tasmanian brand of “Irish blight.”
Source: The Mercury (Tasmania 1860-1954) Saturday 14 August 1909 p.4.
14. 2-9 August 1909 2130hrs Bundaberg, Queensland
A celestial mystery
Last night we had our attention directed to a peculiar light which was visible in the heavens about half past nine and apparently was rising and falling in the ESE skyline and it appeared as if a balloon were floating in midair with a powerful lamp suspended from it: the light lacked the bluey whiteness of the stars and as it has appeared on several evenings lately it has given rise to much speculation as to its identity. The phenomenon was first noticeable on Tuesday evening and after an hour or two it disappeared. It was very bright last night at 9.30 but it had vanished about an hour later. Perhaps someone connected with astronomy will be able to enlighten our readers as to the identity of the luminous object if it has existence in the astronomical world.
Source: Cairns Post (Qld 1909-1954) Tuesday 10 August 1909 p.5.
15. 5-10 August 1909 Goulburn, New South Wales
Lights reported for a week
“A mysterious moving light has been seen over North Goulburn nearly every night for a week since Thursday. Altogether, so far as is known, some half dozen individuals have noticed it. One youth describes it as about as big as a carriage lamp. One adult saw it last night [10 Aug] at about half past 7 for about a quarter of an hour. One two occasions it was seen to travel towards the east, then turning to the south. Little notice was taken of the occurrence until the balloon or airship theory was advanced from Moss Vale.
The light, after being seen here last night would easily have reached the Moss Vale district by the time the express was there. Four young men saw the light on Saturday night [8 Aug]. It came from the east. After being visible some time it returned in that direction. It was pale blue in colour. The brightness of the light attracted the youth’s attention. Only the light was seen, there being nothing to show the presence of a supporting body. It was about half past 10 when the light was obscured.”
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842-1954) Wednesday 11 August 1909 p.10.
16. 6 & 7 August 1909 2200hrs Malvern North,
“We read in the Argus of this morning the report by the Rev B Cozens with regards to strange lights he had seen in the sky. We wish to confirm it. Both on Friday and Saturday evening we saw a strange light in the sky which at first we thought was a star of unusual magnitude. We, looking from Malvern North at 10pm saw it rise in the direction of Mt Dandenong. It rose about the same time on both evenings. Sometimes it burned red, then blue. It travelled towards the west. We also saw a similar light on Saturday and Sunday evening about 7pm. It rose in the west but soon disappeared.”
Source: The Argus (Melbourne 1818-1957) Tuesday 10 August 1909 p.5.
1. Lights which are red and blue, and travel towards the west are suggestive of being stars.
17. 7 August 1909 2200hrs Fitzroy, Melbourne, Victoria
In your paper this morning I was very interested in the letter on “Lights in the air.” On Saturday evening [7 Aug] I retired to rest at about 10 o’clock. My bedroom faces the east, and I saw what I thought was a star of wonderful brightness. Then it seemed to move and form into two or three. First I thought it was a balloon sent up with lights and I expected to see it die out. Once it was obscured, as if a cloud was passing it. Then again, it burst out in brilliant colours. I watched it for half an hour, and when I returned it was still shining. It was moving slowly but sparkling like diamonds. To the naked eye the lights looked like pendants hanging. — M Eyre.
Source: The Argus (Melbourne 1848-1957) Wednesday 11 August 1909 p.6.
18. 7 August 1909 2200hrs Near Eltham, Victoria
Rev and Mrs B Cozens, saw:
“…two beautiful revolving lights high up in the air above the Dandenong Range. These lights whirled like the propellers of ships, slowed down, dipped then rose again… They were about six miles apart and about half a mile in the air… They changed from white to red and then to blue… I called out a neighbor. We watched the lights from 10 till 12. One of them had almost moved out of sight over the back of the Divide by that time and the other was working towards the same place. I rose at 2 o’clock and saw the second nearly over the Range and give (sic) more very dim in the distance… After 2 o’clock I saw them no more.”
Source: The Argus (Melbourne 1818-1957) Monday 9 August 1909 p.7.
1. The changes of colour from white to red to blue are indicative of the colours of a star due to atmospheric scintillation.
19. 9 August 1909 Moss Vale, New South Wales
Is it an airship! Mysterious light in the sky
Excitement at Moss Vale
A good deal of excitement was occasioned tonight by the appearance of a mysterious light or an illuminated body in the south-east of the town. Quite a number of people gathered in the main street and speculation was rife as to the meaning of the strange illumination. Above the large light some large body was distinctly visible, as the rays of light were reflected upon its surface. The supposition generally held is that the mysterious floating body is either a large balloon or an airship. That this object is not stationary has been proved by getting objects near at hand in line with the light, and in a few minutes it was found to move a considerable distance.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842-1954) Tuesday 10 August 1909 p.7.
20. 9 August 1909 Hilltop, New South Wales
Express passengers see the phenomenon
Passengers on tonight’s Melbourne Express were afforded a view of the mysterious nightlight which has been observed floating above the southern highlands and coast between Mittagong and Wollongong during the last two nights. When the Express reached Hilltop quite a score of passengers crowded onto the platform at each end of the corridor carriage on the lookouts for the “airship” as it was called. Their vigilance was soon rewarded, for as soon as the Express hauled out from the deep cuttings a large bright light became visible a few miles away towards the coast. Apparently it was in motion and could be plainly distinguished from the stars, but the distance was too great to detect the nature of the floating body. Its elevation appeared to be about 2000 feet.
Source: The Sydney Morning Herald (NSW 1842-1954) Tuesday 10 August 1909 p.7.
21. 10 August (Pingelly), 12 August (Victoria Park),
13 August Victoria Park, Perth, Western Australia
Mysterious lights in the sky
Seen at Pingelly and Victoria Park
Residents of Victoria Park were worked up to a high pitch of excitement yesterday by a report that mysterious lights supposed to have been attached to an airship…during the previous night [12 Aug]… two mysterious lights a few feet apart had passed rapidly over that town [Pingelly] travelling in a southerly direction at 7.30pm Tuesday evening [10 Aug]…
The Victoria Park sighing was referred to police. On 13 August Police investigated a sighting by a number of residents at Victoria Park - “They were all gazing at a little innocent star high up in the heavens.”
Source: The West Australian (Perth WA 1879-1954) Saturday 14 August 1909 p.12.
22. 12 August 1909 1900hrs Penguin, Tasmania
The mysterious lights seen in the sky in other parts of Tasmania were also seen by many residents of Penguin and district on Thursday [12 Aug] evening about 7 o’clock. From here they appeared like two stars close together – one giving a white and the other yellowish light and keeping this position they gradually disappeared in a NW direction. Considerable interest is created as to their nature, the airship theory has most supporters.” [These lights were of course, the planets Venus and Jupiter which were almost in conjunction, and having the appearance of the headlights of a motor car seen at a distance.]
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, 1860-1954) Tuesday 17 August 1909 p.4.
1. The planets Venus and Jupiter were indeed close together in the western sky at this time on this date.
23. 12 August 1909 1900hrs Zeehan, Tasmania
Phenomenon in the skies
Zeehan Aug 13
A number of residents of Zeehan reported today having seen mysterious lights in the sky shortly after 7 0’clock last night. There were two lights in a north-west direction against the wind, and soon disappeared behind a cloud. As the lights traveled one appeared to grow smaller and the other larger. The phenomenon was doubtless, the conjunction of the stars Venus and Jupiter.
Source: The Mercury (Hobart, 1860-1954) Saturday 14 August 1909 p.5.
1. The planets Venus and Jupiter were very close together in the western sky at this time on this date.
24. 12 & 18 August 1909 Melbourne (?) Victoria
That a mysterious light appeared in the sky is without doubt. I and three or four more of us watched the light in the sky last Thursday evening and also last evening. It lay in the position of SSE. Last night when I first noticed it, it was about 4 degrees above the horizon SSE. About midnight it was about 10 degrees above the horizon and lay almost half way between east and south. It continually keeps changing colour, first a deep fiery red, then a most beautiful blue, then to white; this process is confirmed repeatedly,…
Source: The Argus (Melbourne 1848-1957) Thursday 19 August 1999 p.4.
25. 13 August 1909 Glen Innes, New South Wales
…several responsible residents described an object like a balloon moving in a northerly direction. A night glass was obtained and the object was found to be shaped like an inverted top. The lower portion was lighted, and as the body revolved a light like a small flashlight kept turning on the land beneath. The upper portion was in darkness and the object kept drifting in a northerly direction.
Source: Chalker, Bill “The Oz files” Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts point, NSW. 1996. p.31.
26. 14 August 1909 1915hrs Croydon, Melbourne,
Lights in the air
Perhaps it would be interesting to those who saw the mysterious lights over Mount Dandenong to know they were seen this evening in the west at 7.15pm. My attention was drawn to what appeared to be a brilliant star with a small one close by it. In a few minutes the small one became almost as large as the other one. Then a bright red one appeared in front of the large. The three were in a straight line and appeared to turn round and in a little while quickly descended towards the earth. — Olive Dabb.
Source: The Argus (Melbourne 1848-1957) Saturday 14 August 1909 p.22.
1. The planets Venus and Jupiter were very close together in the western sky at this time on this date.
27. 14 August 1909 Balingup, Western Australia
“Persons in various parts of the state continue to observe objects in the sky which they convert into the appearance of an airship. Quite recently a lady in Claremont declared that not only was a veritable airship seen there by her husband and herself, but that its proximity to her house was such that her spouse called out to the occupants to be careful of the chimneys, to which reminder he received a reply in some language to him unknown.
The latest account is from Mr Wilfrid Gull, son of Mr H B Gull of Guildford. Mr Gull jnr is living on his property at Southampton, near Balingup and has written to his father detailing his experience. From his letter it appears that Mr Gull jnr, last Saturday [14 Aug] night visited some friends in the district and remained with them for several hours. After leaving his friends, the time then being nearly midnight, he rode in the direction of his home which is a distance away. A bright light suddenly made its appearance in the sky, and attracted his attention. As it came nearer to him, he observed that the light belonged to a long dark object. It was soon practicality overhead and Mr Gull frankly confesses the trepidation with which he witnesses it apparently descending straight at him. Unwilling to accept closer quarters with the visitor he rode back to his friends… right up to 3 o’clock on Sunday morning Mr Gull and his friends remained watching the light, which continued to move in various directions in the sky and at different heights until at the hour named it disappeared.
Source: Kalgoorlie Western Argus (WA1896-1916) Tuesday 24 August 1909 p.34.
28. 16 August 1909 Bulli, New South Wales
The people puzzled
…the people of Bulli, however go one better than the average sightseer. They saw two of these lights on the western sky, they come together into violent collision, and the impact was so great that the sound could be distinctly heard like the distant roar of falling water… Last night several inquisitive residents proceeded to investigate the lights by means of a telescope… it looked like a distant world, on which they could plainly see a group of gigantic creatures illuminated and adorned by a celestial radiance quite foreign to anything on this earth.
Source: The Advertiser (Adelaide SA 1889-1931) Tuesday 17 August 1909 p.8.
1. The planets Venus and Jupiter were very close together in the western sky that evening.
29. 21 August 1909 (2000-2100) hrs Canberra, ACT,
(Australian Capital Territory)
Those mysterious lights
The much talked about airship was seen here last Saturday [21 Aug] evening between 8 and 9 o’clock by several of our fellow-townspeople. It made its appearance in the south-east, somewhat low down over the hilltops, and seemed at one time to assume the shape of a torpedo; at another like that of an umbrella and carried head or side lights, which flashed at time like the searchlights of a warship.
After gyrating about in a strange manner, it disappeared as mysteriously as it appeared. This report is given in all seriousness, and is not intended as a skit on the recent accounts given of strange lights seen flashing in the air in different parts of the country. The whole thing, however, may be a hoax, worked by means of a kite and lantern, but those who saw it don’t doubt the question of imposition in the matter. Mr J Tabart again saw the same thing on Sunday evening [29 Aug] at about 10 o’clock.
Source: The Queanbeyan Age (NSW 1907-1915) Tuesday 31 August 1909 p2.
30. 24 August 1909 2110hrs East Fremantle,
The ‘Airship’ again
On Tuesday night last [24 Aug] about ten minutes past nine, I was in the centre of East Fremantle when I noticed a bright light in the sky coming from the direction of Woodman’s Point, making a beeline for Perth at a terrific pace. It was brightly lit up and appeared to have a dark object in the centre and it was evidently propelled by some mechanical arrangement, as nothing else could have set it along so fast. By my calculations I would say it was travelling at the rate of 160 miles per hour. I have been watching your paper and others thinking I would see some explanation about this, but not seeing anything in the press about it I have decided to ask you to allow me to trespass on your valuable space in the hope that someone will be able to enlighten me as well as others who saw it on the mysterious lights. — W A Fearn, Aug 26.
Source: The West Australian (Perth 1879-1954) Wednesday 1 September 1909 p.8.
31. 1 September 1909 Noon Dorrigo, New South Wales
A mysterious airship
“A large three winged apparatus, presumably an airship passed over Dorrigo yesterday at about noon. It flew in a westerly direction and was watched by several residents. The machine hovered and appeared to be about to descend, but veered slightly and then went west until out of sight.
Source: The Advertiser (Adelaide 1889-1931) Friday 3 September 1909 p.7.
32. 6 September 1909 Ca 2200hrs Fremantle,
“There’s the airship!”
“Who’s a liar now, oh!”
As he made the remark an excitable old gentleman waved his hands towards the sky, and in a little while, some twenty persons were standing in Market-street, Fremantle on Monday [6 Sep] shortly before 10pm gazing interestedly heavenwards. The star was apparently undergoing a bewildering series of changes. From shining with great brilliance it would suddenly grow dim and indistinct, only to shine strongly again in a few seconds. “It’s caused by clouds passing over it” was the dictum of one of the bystanders, whose opinion was met with the retort “Then why don’t the other stars show the same variation?”
“It’s Mars nearing its period of occultation,” observed a gentleman who subsequently expressed his indignation at this solution of the celestial phenomenon…
Source: Western Mail (Perth 1885-1954) Saturday 11 September 1909 p.33.
33. 25 October 1910 Minderoo Station, near Onslow,
“At 5.30pm on October 25, when at the Minderoo homestead, my attention was directed by a native to a big object in the air several miles away. The object was travelling from us in an easterly direction. It looked compact like a dirigible balloon, but appeared to be square, more like an aeroplane. The sun shone on it, and flashes came from it as though reflected from something revolving, or off metal work. The colour of the object was dark brown or black. It was too far away to distinguish its exact nature and size, or whether any persons were in it. There was no mirage at the time, and not on any account could such an object be taken for a bird.”
Mrs Roe stated that she is positive it was an airship of some kind… A couple of white men, station hands, and a civilized native, also saw the aerial object from the shearing shed, which is a mile from the homestead…
Source: Barrier Miner (Broken Hill) newspaper, 7 December 1910 page 7.
1. The West Australian newspaper dated 5 Dec 1910 p5 states that Mrs Roe was interviewed on 12 November by Mr L.O. Timperley, the Sub-collector of Customs at Onslow. He forwarded his report on 16 Nov to the Minister for Customs, a Mr Tudor, who was said to be forwarding the report to the Minister of Defence. Mr Timperley believed the sighting to have been genuine. Mr Timperley thought that the object was “an airship.” Possibly a WA inventor or a foreign vessel. However, the West Australian reported that “No information has reached that department of any Australian invention being sufficiently complete to accomplish such as flight as it described.”
2. A check with two sky charts reveal that the Sun was up, elevation 12 degrees and azimuth 261 degrees (slightly south of west). The Moon had set. There was nothing unusual in the eastern sky on the charts.
3. Regarding weather details. I obtained these from the West Australian newspaper dated 26 and 27th October 1910. For Onslow – maximum temperature 95 deg F; minimum temperature 70 deg F. Barometer 29.7ins. Wind from the WNW, moderate. If the wind was from the WNW then any windborne object would have been travelling to the ESE.
34. August 1910 Adelaide, South Australia
Captain Nelson of the coastal steamer Wookata, the second Engineer M Arnold and Helmsman G Rudd are at a complete loss to explain the meaning of curious lights which they witnessed when the vessel was passing Althorpe Island on her way to Port Adelaide early the other morning. 'Bright lights as distinct as masthead lights of a steamer but high up in the air,' were observed by the trio, and a strange thing was that they circled around the Wookata in a tantilising way. “It was about 8 o'clock,” says Captain Nelson today, “that the man at the wheel remarked, “Do you see these lights flying about?” I replied, “Yes there are a great many more lights about than I have ever seen here.” Just then I saw a mysterious light off Cape Spencer, which disappeared as suddenly as it came into view.
Presently the helmsman said “It is strange, but I have never seen lights on the port bow, then right ahead, then on the starboard side.”
“I stepped inside the wheelhouse, and on coming out again saw two lights just over the starboard side bow no distance away, but high up. They seemed to pass us. They were as bright as our masthead lights, and as far as I could judge they were from 200 to 300 yards distant. The lights appeared to be 10 yards apart, one a little above the other. I could not make it out. I said to the man at the wheel: “Did you see them?” He answered, “Yes they are like a German airship flying about.” I did not know what to think. I feel sure I saw something unusual -something which in my 45 years experience of the sea I have never observed before.” The second Engineer Arnold also declared that he the saw strange lights
Source: Clarence and Richmond Examiner (Grafton, NSW: 1889-1915) Tue 9 Aug 1910 page 7.
35. 1911 Gumeracha, South Australia
As a young lad in 1911 a man had been working on his father’s farm, milking cows. While carrying two buckets of milk, he felt a pain in his head and placing the buckets down, he observed, in front of him some distance away, a disc shaped object. It was about 10 feet across and was silver and glowing like the Moon. He watched it for about 15 seconds, then it rose into the air and disappeared at a very fast rate into the horizon.
Source: UFOPI’s “Panorama” magazine Volume 3 Number 5 page 18, Jul-Aug 1964
36. Circa 1913 Nuriootpa, South Australia
A farmer discovered a landed object and was “zapped” by a humanoid which appeared from within it, leaving a lasting paralysis in the witness.
Source: Personal communication from Darryl Tiggeman of Adelaide to Keith Basterfield. 2004. Citing the source as a radio talk back show featuring Adelaide UFOlogist Colin Norris in circa 1984.
Notes: Note the similarity with the 1893 Central New South Wales event and the 1919 Central New South Wales case.
37. 1915 Wallacedale, Victoria
“Mysterious lights at night” were investigated by the Intelligence section of the General Staff in 1915. A complaint was made by a Mrs E Osborne of Wallacedale, Victoria, to authorities. The complaint advised that Mrs Osborne and her family had reported “mysterious lights at night.” Mrs Osborne and other local residents were interviewed and told of moving night time lights “high up in the air in the direction of Mount Napier.” As documented on the file, investigation by the authorities revealed that the cause of these lights was “...trappers visiting their rabbit traps” and that “...being very hilly lights seen from Wallacedale at night time would appear to be higher than they really were, especially at a distance.”
Source: National Archives of Australia file, series MP16/1/0 control symbol 1915/3/1288.
38. 1919 Central, New South Wales
While travelling down a country road, a man came across an artifact resting near the roadside. He saw that a 'man' was apparently working on it, and went over to offer assistance. The stranger turned as if surprised and pointed something at the witness, who was knocked senseless. When he came to, the object and the man had gone. He found that his memory was never the same again.
Source: Chalker, W C. “The CEII experience in Australia.” “Australian Co-Ordination Section” (for the US based Center for UFO Studies) Bulletin, March 1977, number 9, p11.
Note: Note the similarity with the 1893 Central New South Wales report and the Circa 1913 Nuriootpa event.
39. 1920 Bass Strait
The Navy submarine depot ship, the Platypus, was involved in the search for a missing schooner, the Amelia J., in Bass Strait. Mystery lights, thought at the time to be “evidently rockets,” were observed. Two aircraft left the flying training school and aircraft depot at Point Cook to join in the investigation. One was piloted by a Major Anderson and the other by Captain W. J. Stutt - an instructor for the NSW Government Aviation school at Richmond... Stutt and his mechanic, Sergeant Dalzell, were last seen by Major Anderson flying into a large cloud. Their plane and the schooner were never found.
Source: Chalker, C. 1996. UFOs Sub Rosa Down Under: The Australian Military & Government role in the UFO controversy. Page 7. Retrieved 24 January 2011 from http://www.project1947.com/forum/bcoz1.htm
40. Spring 1921 Prospect, Adelaide, South Australia
One evening, a man named Felix Jones saw a circular-like saucer. It was 12-15 feet across, and 3 feet deep. It was a lightish colour but reflecting green from within it. It had neither wings nor propeller, but did have rectangular windows. It was seen in the north-north-west, stationary from three minutes. It then moved off to the west, slowly, then quickly. When it moved it glowed at the back.
Source: Australian Saucer Record volume 2 number 4 1956 page 7. The item stated that the report was received 15 Oct 1956.
41. 1925 Moora, Western Australia
Two young men came across an object resting in a paddock. It was described as two saucers on edge, with oval shaped 'windows' and four 'legs.' The men beat a hasty retreat and didn't return for several days. When they did, they reportedly found the earth scuffed about.
Source: Chalker,W C. “The CEII experience in Australia,” “Australian Co-Ordination Section” (for the US based Center for UFO Studies) Bulletin, March 1977, Number 9 p12.
42. 1927 Fernvale, New South Wales
A range of unusual events were reported including “a dancing light in the sky” disturbed cattle; dead cows and injured pigs. “...one night the boy and his older brother were returning ...when they witnessed a brightly lit, flying object travel through the valley, light up the whole area, turn slightly to follow the valley contours, and finally come to rest on a hill...the boys investigated in the morning confirming the presence of a complete circle of scorched grass, about nine metres in diameter, where the object had been seen to land.” “...large, unfamiliar birds...” were seen in the area; a stranger in a white suit visited.
Source: Chalker, Bill The Oz Files. Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. 1996. p.32-34. Retrospective interview in 1985/1986 with a man who was 10 years of age at the time, and his sister. See also “Terror Down Under.” Chalker, W. Fate. Sep 1988. “UFOs in Australia & NZ through 1959” in Clark, Jerome The Emergence of a Phenomenon Volume 2. Detroit, MI. Omnigraphics. 1992. pp333-336. Oz Files pp32-24.
43. Circa 1930 Mandurah, Western Australia
A 67 year old woman recounted how at age fifteen she had seen a sixty-centimetre tall, pink creature. It had large ears, a slit mouth, big bulbous eyes and small hands. It was bald and shiny. She said her father wrapped the creature in a net and put it outside.
Source: Basterfield, Keith. 1997. UFOs: A Report on Australian Encounters. Reed Books. Kew. Victoria. p136. Citing the Perth UFO Research Group (defunct.)
44. 1930 Warrnambool, Victoria
In 1930, an Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) officer, Squadron Leader George Jones, was sent to Warnambool, Victoria to investigate reports of mystery aircraft flying over the coast. No explanation was found in this fisrt official RAAF UFO investigation. Further “mystery aircraft” reports were made in the near Pacific and Papua New Guinea in 1930, and in 1931 the RAAF was denying any of her planes were the explanation for “mystery planes” reported widely in Tasmania.
Source: Chalker, C. 1996. UFOs Sub Rosa Down Under: The Australian Military & Government role in the UFO controversy. Page 8. Retrieved 24 January 2011 from http://www.project1947.com/forum/bcoz1.htm
In about 1989 John's father-in-law, an Aboriginal man, told him that when he was a young man in the 1930s, camping with his tribe before the white man took them off their land, they saw a green light spinning around in the sky. It landed behind trees. Lots of little men shining with green light came. They walked around the tribe, looking at them, and then walked back to the UFO, which took off.
Source: Chalker, Bill The Oz Files. Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. 1996. p.22.
Note: The John mentioned is researcher John Kernott.
46. 10 June 1931, Tasman Sea
Aviator Francis Chichester was undertaking the first solo flight between New Zealand and Australia when:
Suddenly, ahead and to the left, there were bright flashes in several places, like the dazzle of a heliograph. I saw a dull grey-white airship coming towards me. It seemed impossible, but I could have sworn it was an airship, nosing towards me like an oblong pearl. Except for a cloud or two there was nothing else in the sky. I looked around, sometimes catching a flash or a glint, and turning again to look at the airship. I found it had disappeared. I screwed up my eyes, unable to believe what I was seeing, and twisted the seaplane this way and that, thinking that the airship must be hidden by a blind spot. Dazzling flashes continued in four or five different places, but I could not pick out any planes. Then, out of some clouds, I saw another or the same airship advancing. I watched it intently, determined not to look away for a fraction of a second. I'd see what happened to this one, if I had to chase it. It drew steadily closer, until perhaps a mile away, when suddenly it vanished. Then it reappeared, close to where it had vanished. I watched with angry intentness. It drew closer, and I could see the dull gleam of light on its nose and back. It came on, but instead of increasing in size, it diminished as it approached. When quite near, it suddenly became its own ghost â€“ one second I could see through it, and the next it had vanished. I decided it could only be a diminutive cloud perfectly shaped like an airship and then dissolving, but it was uncanny that it should exactly resume the same shape after it once vanished. I turned towards the flashes, but those too had vanished. All of this was many years before anyone spoke of flying saucers. Whatever it was I saw, it seems to have been very much like what people have since claimed to be flying saucers.
Source: Chichester, Francis. 1967. The Lonely Sea and the Sky. London. Pan. p185.
47. Nov/Dec 1932 Mount Gambier, South Australia
Close to the horizon a “strange orange coloured light...from which floated vivid lightning...I was able to make out the shape of that which it emanated. It was like a blunt-nosed torpedo and the orange light was in the 'propellor' end, and thirdly, the speed at which the shape was traveling.”
Source: Letter from the observer, dated 29 Jul 1959 to the AFSRS-Victoria branch.
48. Circa Mar/Apr 1932 or 1933 Nambour, Queensland
A boy reported seeing a small UFO within a metre’s range, and afterwards that a whitish mist had appeared between him and the object. He felt a ‘tight feeling in the head’ and felt stunned. That night the boy developed large, white blisters on both hands and felt ‘out of sorts.’ The blisters burst during the night and the following day, secreting a clear watery fluid. The boy then felt better.
Source: Basterfield, Keith. 1977. UFOs: A Report on Australian Encounters. Reed Books. Kew. Victoria. p136. Citing letter to “Contact” magazine no 53, Sep/Oct 1974.
49. 1933 Discovery Well, northern edge of the Great Sandy
Desert, Western Australia.
In Gilroy’s account, the Aboriginal woman claimed her tribe had been frightened off from Discovery Well when a ‘large shiny egg’ suddenly came down out of the sky. In broad daylight the strange object flew low over them. Several beings, described as strange, grey-skinned and man-like came out of the ‘egg.’ The woman said she was stunned by one of the beings and then carried aboard. Inside the ‘egg’ the interior was glowing. She was strapped to a shining table and apparently ‘experimented with.’
Source: Gilroy, Rex. 1995. Mysterious Australia. Mapelton. Nexus Publishing. p20. Cited in Chalker, Bill The Oz Files. Duffy & Snellgrove. Potts Point, NSW. 1996. p.20.
50. 10 October 1935 Newcastle, New South Wales
“Only now, a report and a negative of a UFO photographed in 1935 has been received and investigated by UFOIC. As the case was, the person concerned wondered at the time what the object might have been but he has only recently become aware of the extraordinary nature of his experience and the significance of the photograph which he took that year. Mr Patrick A M Terry of Mosman, Sydney was stationed with the military at Newcastle and on the night of 10th October, while sitting in the rocks he noticed a flash of light in the sky out over the sea.
Then a steady light appeared. It was brighter than a full moon and was hovering about a mile away and possibly 10,000 feet high. It was yellow-bright in the lower part gradually diminishing through three dark bands, into grey. The whole complex appeared actually as a tremendously large mushroom-shaped object, consisting of three floors, smaller supporting the larger one, and the light from the bottom floor illuminating all three upper sections. The object then slowly descended to a height of about 5,000 feet and remained stationary for a few seconds.
It then moved quickly back to its original position. At that time Mr Terry’s curiosity and surprises were fully aroused and while he had a Kodak Brownie box camera with him, he snapped at 1/25th second exposure. After about ten minutes of hovering, the object began revolving with increasing speed and moved away, disappearing towards the north and out of sight within three seconds. The photographs later showed a definite circular object with details seen well at enlargement. (The photograph will be published in the next Review.”
Source: UFOIC Newsletter, December 1968, number 21, p.4.
1. The next UFOIC Review was dated December 1969 but did not contain anything about the sighting.
51. 1938 Darwin, Northern Territory
(A) “Ghost planes” over Darwin in 1938:
A number of flaps of “ghost planes,” “strange planes,” “Unidentified aircraft” or “dirigibles” have been documented in the UFO literature. These have occurred in such diverse places as Denmark in 1908; the United Kingdom in 1909; South Africa in 1914 and Scandinavia in the early 1930â€™s.
A Department of Defence Air Board file, recently uncovered by us, describes “ghost planes” and “unidentified aircraft” over the Northern Territory in 1938. File A705 control symbol 56/3/2, reveals at least seven instances between 3 Feb and 25 Mar that year. In one instance, on 8 Feb 1938, an aircraft engine noise was heard and the witness saw an orange coloured light in the sky for two minutes.
The official reaction was that no aircraft had made refuelling arrangements in the Territory, which made it “very improbable” that strange aircraft were about.
Source: Disclosure Australia Project Newsletter number 10 dated... Retrieved from http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org 25 January 2011.
Source: Disclosure Australia Newsletter Number 11 dated...retrieved from http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org on 25 January 2011.
The next file from the year 1940 turned out to have a tantalising title “Report of sighting of strange object by master of Auxiliary Ketch ‘Jane Moorhead.’” However, the cause of the sighting may well have been an unidentified submarine periscope.
Source: Disclosure Australia Newsletter Number 11 dated... Retrieved from http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org on 25 January 2011.
53. Feb 1941 Wearyan River, Northern Territory
A nurse attended an injured man in a remote area. “Two men appeared” and performed an operation on the man.
Source: Basterfield’s entity catalogue citing the Australian Saucer Record 1(2):3.
Heathcock, Sister Ruth (MBE)
Sister Ruth was an Outback nurse and was married to Mounted Constable Ted Heathcock who was stationed at Roper Bar and Borroloola during the 1920s. She was one of the first white visitors to the “Hidden City” in Arnhem Land and was widely respected by the local Aboriginal people who called her “Pitjiri” (“the snake that will not sink”) (1). In 1936 at a remote outpost in the Northern Territory, nine Aboriginal Elders appeared before Sister Ruth, believing that she was a member of their tribe before the Dreaming (2) they allowed her the unique privilege of seeing secret rituals performed and become party to secret Aboriginal knowledge.
Sister Ruth was a pioneer in black-white relations and was also involved with legislation regarding the non-isolation of leprosy sufferers, but she is perhaps better known for her 1941 attempted rescue of Horace Foster at Manangoorah during which she said she was assisted by two silent “white doctor angels” and saw “golden hands” operating on the doomed Foster - it was for this effort that she was awarded an MBE although she always claimed that it was ‘the others’ who had done the real work. Sister Ruth later moved to Adelaide with her sister Marie, and she was involved with the establishment of an Aboriginal Heritage Centre; she was also a friend of Colin McCarthy’s. Sister Ruth was a “mystic” who strongly followed Rosicrucian teachings and she knew Doris Player from Clare; it was Ruth who first saw a rock feature called “the Chair” in a dream which led her to the formation where she inadvertently captured an apparent Jesus-like spiritual entity on film. Sister Ruth was also one of Peter Horne's closest friends during the last 20 years of her remarkable life, and her name is still respected widely in the Northern Territory to this day. (3)
(1) see http://ftvdb.bfi.org.uk/sift/title/315324?view=synopsis
(2) see http://www.roninfilms.com.au/video/0/255/1832273.html
(3) Email from Peter Horne, May 2007.
(4) Interview with John Burford 2007.
54. 26 February 1942 Timor Sea north of Australia 1200hrs
This case has appeared in numerous global UFO publications. However, I have located a copy (typed) version of the witness’ letter to the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society (AFSRS) in 1957, in the files of the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF.)
1. I requested the National Archives of Australia to digitize file series A703 control symbol 580/1/1 part 1, titled “Reports on Flying Saucers and other aerial objects” in order that I could read the full documentation.
2. Pages 87-88 of the digitized version are a letter dated 6 April 1957 from UFO researcher Peter Norris to the Secretary of Air, advising that Norris” society was running a radio segment on UFOs, and asking the Secretary if an officer of his agency could appear on the radio program. The letter stated that some good reports had come about because of the radio program, and as an example attached a types copy of a letter.
This letter was dated 20 March 1957 from one William Methorst, of 7 Eisenhower Street, East Reservoir, Victoria, addressed to the Victorian branch of the AFSRS.
The text of the letter read as follows:
After listening to your program on Flying Saucers on Wednesday evening, I thought I would write you and tell you of an experience I had while in the Timor Sea on Thursday, 26th February, 1942.
This happened while on watch for enemy aircraft just after noon.
I was scanning the skies with binoculars when suddenly I saw a large aluminum disc approaching at terrific speed at 4,000 or 5,000 feet above us. This proceeded to circle high above our ship, the cruiser “Tromp” of the Royal Netherlands Navy.
After reporting it to the officer on duty, he was unable to identify it as any known aircraft. After keeping track of this object for about three to four hours still flying in big circles and at the same height, it suddenly veered off in a tremendous speed (about 3,000 to 3,500 mph) and disappeared from sight.
I have an account of this in notes made the same day in a diary which I still have in my possession.
Hope you will find this of aid to your investigations.
3. On the question of “was the ship Tromp in that area at the time?”
I checked on the net for information on the “Tromp.” http://www.netherlandsnavy.nl/Tromp_his.htm was invaluable. The Tromp was a cruiser of the Royal Netherlands Navy, and on 20 February 1942 was in action in WW2 when it was damaged by Japanese destroyers. The Tromp went to Soerabaja. On 23 February 1942 the Tromp left Soerabaja, into the Indian Ocean via Madoera Strait and Bali Strait. It arrived in Fremantle, Western Australian on 27 February 1942.
The net showed Surabaya (formerly Soerabaja) is now Indonesia’s second largest city and is at latitude 7 deg 16min S, longitude 112deg 45min E.
It is therefore probable that on the 26 February 1942 the Tromp would have been in the vicinity of the Western Australian coast, steaming south to Fremantle.
4. On the question “was there a crew member by the name of William Methorst on board the Tromp on 26 February 1942?”
I have been unable to locate a crew list for the Tromp, on the net. I therefore sent an email to the contact person for the website http://www.netherlandsnavy.nl asking if they knew of any way to check a crew list for the tromp for 1942? I received a response from Jan Visser. Jan checked his files, but could find no-one of the surname Methorst who had been a commissioned officer in the Royal Netherlands Navy in WW2. However, that still left non-comissioned officers and enlisted men to check.
Jan suggested a number of net forums I could post a request for information on, which I did. I received one response from a Paul Joosten on 31 Jan 2011 who advised he had located an account of the event at http://wenewsit.com/tag/theory. (Now offline) This stated the witness was a William J Methorst.
5. Further research:
I located Peter Norris, the UFO researcher whom Methorst wrote to about the event. Peter recalled the event, but has no papers on the case in his possession.
On the National Archives of Australia name search I failed to find any records of any William Methorst or William J Methorst. However, a search of the NAA “Passenger Arrivals List” located a William J Methorst who had arrived in Australia on 1 May 1949 onboard the ship Maetsuycker at Fremantle, WA. NAA file series K269 control symbol Methorst, William J.
I located 12 persons named Methorst in the Australian Telstra electronic white pages, and sent each a letter seeking information on a William Methorst. I received one phone call from a Jan Methorst of Campbelltown, Tasmania, who advised that he was not aware of any William Methorst in his family line. Jan mentioned that he knew most of the Methorsts listed in the white pages.
I later received an email from an Andy J Methorst of Waverley, Tasmania, who advised that he was not aware of any William Methorst in his family background. He checked with his relatives in Holland and they were not aware of any William J Methorst. I also received letters from Valma Methorst of Davenport, Tasmania, who told me she had telephoned several of her family members here and overseas but no-one knew of a William Methorst. I received another letter from a Gloria Methorst, of Tasmania, who could not assist me with my enquiries.
1. It would appear that the “Tromp” would not have been in the Timor Sea to the north of Australia on the date indicated by Methorst, but off the coast of Western Australia.
2. I have not been able to confirm that there was a William Methorst on board the Tromp.
3. I did confirm that there was a William Jan Methorst (carpenter) and a Ruth Methorst (home duties) listed as living at 7 Eisenhower Street, Reservoir East, Melbourne in the 1959 Commonwealth of Australia, Division of Darebin, state of Victoria, electoral roll. The 1962 electoral roll shows the same details. Neither the 1963 nor 1964 rolls for Reservoir East list any Methorsts.
4. I have not been able to locate a living relative of William J Methorst, nor any signs of his diary.
55. Summer 1942 Bass Strait, Australia
In the summer of 1942 a fantastic incident occurred in the waters off Tasmania, a large island off the south Australian coast. My informant is a major in the Australian R.A.F. whom I will call Brennan. He is now stationed at the secret weapons and long-range missiles experimental desert station of Woomera:
"The whole yarn is so odd that I must ask you not to give my name if you write of it. We had orders not long after the Japanese attack on Darwin to patrol the Bass Strait where fishermen had reported seeing mysterious lights on the sea at night.
"At 5:50 P.M., of a lovely, sunny evening, we were flying some miles east of the Tasman Peninsula when, on a sudden, there came out of a cloud bank, a singular airfoil of glistening bronze color. I'd say it was around 150 feet long and about fifty feet in diameter. It had a sort of beak at its prow, and the surface seemed burled, or rippled, or fluted. On its upper surface was a dome, or cupola, from which I seemed to see reflected flashes as the sun struck something, which might or might not have been a helmet worn by something inside. The other end of the airfoil fined out into a sort of fin. Every now and again there came from its keel greenish-blue flashes. It turned at a small angle towards us and I was amazed to see, framed in a white circle on the front of the dome, an image of a large, grinning Cheshire cat!
"The damn thing flew parallel to us for some minutes, and then it abruptly turned away and, as it did so, it showed four things like fins on its belly-side. It went off at a hell of a pace, turned and dived straight down into the Pacific, and went under, throwing up a regular whirlpool of waves! Just as if it had been a submarine. No, the Japs had nothing in the amphibian line like that mysterious bird!
"I've read your 'Flying Saucers on the Attack,' and saw what you said of the 'Foo Fighters.' We were in the same predicament as those American airmen. If we reported to intelligence what we'd seen, we should likely have been grounded as suffering from nerve-strain. So we did not report it! What do you think the damned thing was?
Source: Wilkins, H T. 1955. Flying Saucers Uncensored pp215-216.
56. October 1942 Devils Marbles, Northern Territory
"A photograph on the wall of the roadhouse - given to Farkas by Alice Springs plumber Phil Martin - shows Australian soldiers posing at nearby Devils Marbles in October 1942, with a small silver craft hovering nearby, clearly in shot." Farkas is Lew Farkas, owner of the Big4Holiday Park, Wycliffe Well, Northern Territory.
Source: Miller, Julie and Osborn, Grant. 2010. "Something is Out There: Unlocking Australia's Paranormal Secrets". Arena. Crows Nest, NSW. ISBN 978-1-74237-132-0. P.146.
57. February 1944, Bass Strait (an area of ocean between mainland Australia and the Australian state of Tasmania)
At about 2.30 am the plane gained a most unusual companion. A “dark shadow” appeared along side the plane and kept pace with it, at a distance of only some 100 to 150 feet. The Beaufort was traveling at about 235 miles an hour. The Object appeared to have a flickering light and flame belching from its rear end. Only about 15 feet of the rear end of the UFO was visible to the bomber crew, apparently due to “reflection of the light from the exhaust.” The strange object stayed with the bomber for some 18 to 20 minutes, during which time all radio and direction finding instruments refused to function. It finally accelerated away from the plane at approximately three times the speed of the bomber. Upon landing the pilot reported the incident to his base superiors, but he claimed he was only laughed at.
Source: Chalker, C. 1996. UFOs Sub Rosa Down Under: The Australian Military & Government role in the UFO controversy. Page 8. Retrieved 24 January 2011 from http://www.project1947.com/forum/bcoz1.htm
In a previous Newsletter, we noted a case recorded in the 1957 UFO magazine, Australian Saucer Review 3(1):16 from an original report form. The event was said to have happened in February 1944.
Mr T R H Royal was piloting a Beaufort bomber over Bass Strait when a dark “shadow” appeared alongside and kept pace for eighteen to twenty minutes. The object seemed to have a flickering light, and belched flames from its rear end. It maintained a distance of thirty to fifty metres from the aircraft before accelerating away. During the event all radio and direction-finding equipment is said to have malfunctioned.
The Project’s researcher in Canberra went to the National Archives and obtained permission to inspect Mr Royal’s personal service records. These records indicated that he was with No 1 O.T.U. (Operational Training Unit) in early February 1944. However, there was no record of his name in the Squadron Dairies or any indication that he had flown over Bass Strait. He was a Non Commissioned Officer Pilot.
The only mention of his name was when he was with No. 8 SQN in September 1945 where he flew his first sortie on the 30 September 1945 on an unarmed reconnaissance mission over the Sepic River area in Papua New Guinea. This information came from the RAAF Historical Records, Russell Offices in Canberra.
Source: Newsletter No 12 of the Disclosure Australia Project dated April 2004 available at http://disclosureaustralia.freewebpages.org
2. I went to the website of the National Archives of Australia to see if they held a record on a T R H Royal, to see if we can place him over Bass Strait in February 1944.
3. I located a Royal Australian Air Force record for one Thomas Richard Horace Royal. File series A9300 control symbol Royal, T R H. It shows Royal’s date of birth was 28 October 1915. He was born in Townsville, Queensland.
4. A digitised version of the file (37 pages) is available. This allowed me to ascertain that:
5. The research does indicate that there was an individual of that name in the RAAF in February 1944. However, neither the 2004 nor the 2011 research definitely places Royal as the pilot of an aircraft over Bass Strait in February 1944.
6. Additional information:
At the turn of the year 1942 ... Rick Royal ... was flying a submarine reconnaissance and weather flight over Bass Strait ... There was a most savage weather front that night and every other aircraft previously airborne had either landed or crashed so that his aircraft was the only one in the area. As a matter of fact they were only just flying, pretty well lost and with one motor packing it in.
Suddenly, he saw a brilliant light below, showing through the hazy cloud in which he and his crew were flying. Abruptly the bright glow climbed to travel along with them, just off the starboard (right) wing tip. Little could he see except the rear portion of what was evidently a solid object, lit up by a brilliant, flaming tail, perhaps ten or more metres long. Every manoeuvre to get away from or closer to the thing was exactly matched, so that their distance did not vary. Ricky noticed very definite signs of a strong static field: the radio hissed continually while the hair on the back of the necks of the crew stood up ... only the gyro compass remaining unaffected. Suddenly the spurt of flame lengthened, and the object shot ahead leaving them rocking in its wake.
In strict confidence Ricky expressed the opinion that the almost miraculous return to base by his aircraft was somehow due to the presence of the strange object. He gave no indication of how they had been aided to stay airborne, but was sure that they would normally first have crashed.
To reduce the load on the remaining motor the crew had thrown out anything loose including the parachutes so they had no choice other than hope for a safe landing from a very nerve-wracking flight.
Source: Flitcroft, Keith. The Martian Factor. (Poseidon Books, 2005)
The crew of a Beaufort bomber flying at 4,500 feet over Bass Strait, during February, 1944, bore witness to what may have been Australia’s earliest “electromagnetic” (EM) case. At about 2.30 am the plane gained a most unusual companion. A “dark shadow” appeared along side the plane and kept pace with it, at a distance of only some 100 to 150 feet. The Beaufort was travelling at about 235 miles per hour. The object appeared to have a flickering light and flame belching from its rear end. Only about 15 feet of the rear end of the UFO was visible to the bomber crew, apparently due to “reflection of light from the exhaust.” The strange object stayed with the bomber for some 18 to 20 minutes, during which time all radio and direction finding instruments refused to function. It finally accelerated away from the plane at approximately three times the speed of the bomber. Upon landing, the pilot reported the incident to his base superiors, but he claimed he was only laughed at. Such a reaction seems extraordinary in retrospect since it turns out that Beauforts figured heavily in official RAAF list of planes that “went missing without trace” during World War Two in the Bass Strait area - an area that was not linked to any significant enemy activity. I have been told that the Beauforts had a mechanical problem that may have accounted for some of these losses...
The Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau came to the attention of ASIO (our domestic security and intelligence organisation) because the group had sought communication with Russian scientists about the idea that the 1908 Tunguska event was caused an alien spacecraft. An ASIO officer reviewed the activities of the group and the backgrounds of the committee members. The dubious inspiration for ASIO’s interest was largely deemed of little merit, but an ASIO report was written in August 1959. It described Ricky Royal, then the QFSRB’s Vice President and technical officer, as “an ex-Air Force Officer and radio technician. His interests in these matters stemmed from a sighting of an U.F.O. over Bass Strait during the last war. He is a fanatic in matters relating to U.F.Os. and all attempts to prove their validity and would resort to any means to obtain information concerning them.” As a technical officer for the group Royal had set up a “technical laboratory”, which led to a “light beam transmitter” being built. This was to be used to signal UFOs.
At a public lecture in Brisbane on September 1961 Royal apparently got “carried away” with the moment. A group history of QFSRB (now UFO Research (Qld) written by Annette Bramelt (or Brameld) reveals that Royal “had said, from the platform, that he had been in contact with UFO’s during his stint as a pilot with the RAAF during the war. He had witnesses and the incident was written into his log-book, but was ‘hushed up’ by the particular Department. No exception was taken to his statement at the time ...” The ASIO officer mentioned above had become a member. He told the QFSRB president that “it had been unwise for (Royal) to have made the statement, that the incident was unlikely to have been hushed up, and that the speaker would have trouble verifying the statement.” The President Stan Seers suggested the ASIO man should attend the next meeting and speak with Royal himself. This occurred but Royal resigned from the committee “with a strongly worded letter.” A letter was drafted “to convey to him (the group’s) regrets at his action and also (their) sincere thanks for all his valuable work; to assure him of (the group’s) undoubted belief in his sighting story; to offer assistance in tracing crew members or in any other way ... and to express the hope that he would soon be working with (them) again.”
Source: Chalker, Bill. UFO History Keys column: Australian newstand publication "Ufologist" September - October 2007 issue.
7. The ASIO reference to Ricki Royal above, may be read at page 40, on the digitized file in the National Archives of Australia file, series A6122 control symbol 2155 file title “Flying Saucer Research Bureau (Qld)” internal ASIO file number 3/2/979 Volume 1.
It is part of an ASIO report dated 4 August 1959 addressed to the Regional Director, Queensland, marked “Secret” subject “Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau.” Paragraph 8 of the report reads:
The Vice-President and Technical Officer, Ricki Royal is an ex-Air Force Officer and radio technician. His interests in these matters stemmed from a sighting of an U.F.O. over Bass Strait during the last war. He is a fanatic in matters relating to U.F.Os. and all attempts to prove their validity and would resort to any means to obtain information concerning them.
On the 7 August 1959, the report was forwarded to ASIO Headquarters for their information.
Source: Flitcroft, Keith. The Martian Factor. (Poseidon Books, 2005)
58. 5 Feb 1947 Port Augusta, South Australia 0900hrs
(1) “Strange objects reported in sky.”
While working in the yard at the Commonwealth Railways workshop yesterday morning Mr Ron Ellis and two workmates claim to have seen five strange objects in formation pass across the sky from north to south.
The objects were white or light pink and shaped like an egg. Mr Ellis said that he could not give an accurate estimate of the size of the objects, but they were casting shadows and judging by his experience with aircraft in the RAAF during the war he considered they were about the size of a locomotive.
Although the objects kept on a direct course at a height of about 6000 feet they appeared to be quivering he said. Owing to their great speed they were out of sight within a few seconds.
Any question of the phenomenon being an optical illusion was dispelled by the fact that a few minutes later both Mr Ellis and his companion gave an identical description of what they had seen. Their description was verified by another member of the workshop who said he had also seen the objects.
Source: Adelaide Advertiser newspaper. Friday 7 February 1947. Front page. Copy originally provided by Darryl Tiggeman of Adelaide. Original viewed in the State Library, Adelaide on 27 January 2011.
(2) “Objects in sky not meteorites”
Commenting yesterday on a report from Port Augusta that several men working in the yard at the Commonwealth Railways Workshops at about 9am on Wednesday had seen five strange egg shaped objects in formation pass across the sky at a height of about 6000 feet, the Government Astronomer Mr G F Dodwell said that the phenomenon did not fit in with anything astronomical and was a complete mystery to him.
Mr Dodwell discounted the probability of the objects being meteorites. He said that meteorites being so small and travelling at such high speeds did not cast shadows whereas the report stated that the objects had cast shadows about the size of a locomotive. The presence of falling meteorites would have been accompanied by a deafening roar.
Source: Adelaide Advertiser newspaper. Saturday 8 February 1947. Front page. Copy originally provided by Darryl Tiggeman of Adelaide. Original viewed in the State Library, Adelaide on 27 January 2011.
1. I had known about these newspaper articles for several years, thanks to Darryl Tiggeman. I visited the State Library in Adelaide on 27 January 2011 to check a copy of the Adelaide Advertiser. I found that the Adelaide Advertiser did indeed carry these articles on the dates quoted.
2. I searched for additional information on the event in other South Australian newspapers. In total I checked the Adelaide Advertiser between 1 and 19 February 1947; the West Coast Sentinel (based at Streaky Bay, 320kms W of Port Augusta) between 5 and 19 February 1947; The Recorder (based at Port Pirie, 80kms S of Port Augusta) between 7 and 14 February 1947; Adelaide’s other daily newspaper The News between 5 and 11 February 1947; the Adelaide weekly The Mail for 8 February; The Quorn Mercury (based at Quorn 22 kms NE of Port Augusta) between 6 and 20 February 1947.
3. I found that The Quorn Mercury of 13 February, page 3, carried the exact same account as that of the Adelaide Advertiser dated 8 February 1947. However, more importantly The Quorn Mercury of 20 February 1947, page 3, also carried an additional report of a sighting.
Writing in the Advertiser, Mr F W Flavel of Lock, Eyre Peninsula states: “I saw objects in the sky between 7 and 8 o’clock the same day as you record a report from Port Augusta. I was walking in a north-westerly direction to the house after feeding the pigs.
“There were five of the strange objects and they seemed to be coming up out of the sea like a shadow with smoky grayish color around them. They were oblong with narrow points. I saw them quite plainly. They seemed to be floating in the air from north-west to south-east and caused a shadow.”
4. I then found a letter to the editor in the Adelaide Advertiser of 17 February 1947, page 2 from Mr Flavel. It read:
“Strange objects in the sky.”
I saw objects in the sky between 7 and 8 o’clock the same day as you record a report from Port Augusta. I was walking in a north-westerly direction to the house after feeding the pigs.
There were five of the strange objects and they seemed to be coming up out of the sea like a shadow with smoky grayish color around them. They were oblong with narrow points. I saw them quite plainly. They seemed to be floating in the air from north-west to south-east and caused a shadow.
I called the wife to have a look at them and she did so. It was a sight. I wish I had watched them longer as others had seen them and Port Augusta men did so an hour later. I have never seen anything like this before, and after reading what others saw I thought I would let you know that my wife and I both saw these objects.
5. I checked the weather forecast for Wednesday 5 February 1947. The state forecast was: “Unsettled, with scattered rain and thunderstorms. Cool on part of the coast,elsewhere warm to hot and sultry. SE to NE winds.” The weather map was shaded over Port Augusta indicating rain was expected.
Sunrise was 0539hrs. Moonrise 1925hrs. Full moon 6 February 1947.
Adelaide’s actual temperature (300kms S of Port Augusta) for 5 February 1947 was minimum 73.8F at 0545hrs; maximum 98.3F at 1245hrs.
6. Lock (latitude 33 deg 34 min S; longitude 135 deg 45 min E) is a small country town 225kms SW of Port Augusta, and is inland.
7. As the 7 February issue of the Adelaide Advertiser stated that Mr Ron Ellis has been in the RAAF during the war; I checked the National Archives of Australia service records for World War 2 looking for a Ron Ellis whose details might match the witness’s. I found there was a service file for a Ronald Ernest Ellis, born 5 November 1920; at Port Augusta, South Australia.
8. After I posted the above information on the Magonia Exchange forum on the net, Chris Aubeck sent me the following items:
(1) From the Adelaide Advertiser Thursday 10 July 1947 p2. It is an OCR translation.
Early in February, some queer egg-shaped objects, pink and slightly luminous, were seen to pass across the sky near Port Augusta, but this phenomenon was hardly so much as a nine day’s wonder, for a South Australian amateur astronomer was ready with a plausible theory about meteors, which most people promptly accepted. We now know that, in the slang of the moment, Port Augusta “started something.” The egg-shaped apparitions about which South Australia was mildly excited five months since, were plainly the harbingers of those “flying saucers” that have been creating such a sensation in America.
Our trans-Pacific cousins have seldom given their imaginations so much play. Multitudes of people have seen the new hosts of heaven flying across the sky in the likeness of saucers; and those who have seen nothing, have been ready to make amends by offering explanations of ever increasing fantasy. It was left to a Sydney physiologist to point out that “flying saucers” are likely to be nothing worse than red corpuscles in the eye of the observer, and several American and British scientists having hastened to agree that this is a valid theory, the greatest known epidemic of “seeing things” may fairly be supposed to be on the wane.
(2) From the Adelaide Advertiser Tuesday 25 February 1947 p2. Letters to the Editor.
Sir – Perhaps an amateur astronomer may be allowed to voice an opinion about the strange objects recently seen passing across the sky at Port Augusta. Usually, any meteor entering the atmosphere is traveling at the terrific velocity of forty miles per second. This compresses the atmosphere ahead of it and raises its temperature, as the piston of a diesel engine compresses and heats the gases in the cylinder, but whereas the diesel piston merely raises the temperature to ignition point, the tremendous pressure caused by the meteor raises the temperature thousands of degrees, and in this cap of incandescent gas the meteor is burned up in a matter of seconds.
At rare intervals, however, meteors enter the atmosphere at comparatively slow speeds. Some years ago a whole “procession” of such slow meteors was seen to pass across part of the USA, finally ending their flight in the waters of the South Atlantic. These slow meteors have a very different appearance from the swift blaze and trail of fire of the fast ones. Friction with the air does no more than heat them until they glow, as the giant V2 rocket is heated on its flight. As high-speed camera photographs of bullets in flight reveal, anything passing swiftly through the air creates both shock waves and turbulence which, by reflecting light rays passing through them, register distinctly on the photographic plate and, if the object is large enough, on the eye also.
It is this turbulence in the air which is seen when a slow meteor passes across the sky in daylight. The actual meteor may be quite small, weighing not more than fifty pounds in some cases, but the area of compressed and disturbed air is much larger, giving the impression that the object is of huge size and casting a visible shadow as it passes.
It also explains why many observers have described what they saw as “resembling a swimming fish” on account of the way in which the “tail” of the object seemed to wave to and fro. I suggest, therefore that the objects seen were meteors traveling at what is a slow speed for such visitors from the depths of space. If they were heading inland and we could obtain cross-bearings from observers to plot their course, it might be possible to find what is left of them, just as Sir Kerr Grant found the Karoonda meteorite a few years ago.”
59. May 1947 Gogeldrie, NSW
In May last during the rice harvest, Mr H Nettlebeck was out in the fields when he heard a swishing noise as if a mob of ducks were flying overhead. On looking up he saw five metal bodies flying in V formation with the sun glistening on them. They appeared to be about 2000 feet up and each looked to be about the size of a large duck. He estimated the speed at about 1000 miles per hour. Mr Nettlebeck states the whole thing appeared too fantastic at the time for him to report the sight, but on reading in the City Press yesterday of the “flying saucers” or radar controlled missiles he sees a similarity. Mr Nettlebeck would like to know if any other settlers saw the five metal parts whizz through the sky in May last.”
Source: The Murrimbidgee Irrigator (Leeton NSW 1915-1954) Tuesday, 8 July, 1947 p.2.