Thursday, February 25, 2016

New book alert - "Bad UFOs."

Hi all,

"Both skeptics and "sceptical believers" agree that the UFO field, as it now stands, is filled to the brim with rubbish. The latter group expects that, when the rubbish is cleared away, there will be a signal in the noise, while the former expects that nothing will be left." So writes Robert Sheaffer in the acknowledgements section (p.ix)  of his new, 2016, book titled "Bad UFOs: Critical Thinking About UFO Claims," "made in the USA." San Bernardino, CA, on 06 February 2016." ISBN 978-1519260840.

 
The book's back cover tells us that "He is a fellow of the well-known Committee for Skeptical Inquiry (CSI, formerly CSICOP)...author of UFO Sightings (1998), Psychic Vibrations (2011), and has appeared on many radio and TV programs...He is a regular columnist for The Skeptical Inquirer ...His website is www.debunker.com and his blog is www.BadUFOs.com."
 
Coverage
 
The book covers "big picture" areas of the UFO subject; including sightings, videos and photographs; crashes and retrievals; abductions; conspiracy and "disclosure."
 
In each of thee areas; Sheaffer describes the subject material, then provides his perspective, based on the evidence he, or others, have gathered.
 
Sightings
 
The 11 December 1996, Yukon; Canada, mass observation of an apparent large object traversing the sky, is revealed, after diligent analysis, to have been "...the re-entry of the 2nd stage of the rocket that placed Cosmos 2335 into orbit..." (p.17.)
 
The first part of the 13 March 1997 Phoenix lights event, is said to have been due to "...five Air National Guard A-10 aircraft..." (p.26.)
 
The most likely culprit, which caused delays to airline flights at Hangzhou's Xiaoshan airport on 7 July 2010, and on 11 September 2010 in Baotou, Inner Mongolia, was the planet Venus.
 
Photographs and videos
 
Sheaffer points out "...a photo or video cannot simple "stand by itself" as evidence of anything. For a photo or video to be convincing, we must know a great deal about its origins, the photographer, the location, etc." (p.59.) He reminds us that anonymous videos regularly feature on You Tube without explanation, or such details.
 
He reviews the 1950 McMinnville, Oregon photographs; the 1965 Santa Ana, California Polaroids; the April 1990 Petit Rechain, Belgium photograph; the 2011 Jerusalem videos; the "UFO drones" of the late 2000's; and others; and finds them all wanting as pieces of evidence for anything unusual.
 
Crashes and retrievals
 
Roswell, is of course the "crash" story everyone knows. Sheaffer writes simply, "There is no credible evidence that what was recovered at Roswell was ever anything bigger than tinfoil and sticks." (pp95-96.)
 
The 1950 FBI Hottel memo "...traces back, eighth-hand, to claims made by con-man Silas Newton about the supposed Aztec crash! " (p.101.)
 
Finally, he covers the very recent "Roswell Slides" fiasco in some detail.
 
Abductions
 
In chapter five, Sheaffer starts off by examining the Betty and Barney Hill case. He states in respect of the known weather details of that night "...the Hill's recollection is seriously in error." (p.122.) As regards the two hours of 'missing time' "...the Hill's account of that evening's timetable has never been fully consistent." (p.123.) On the radar confirmation "The only piece of evidence in existence that in any way supports the supposed radar confirmation of the sighting is a brief paragraph from Pease Air Force Base." (pp.126-127.) On the topic of the 'Alien star map' "Today the Fish Map retains no credibility whatsoever..." (p.129.)
 
Sheaffer, then moves on to the 1975 Travis Walton abduction and "bedroom intrusions", before giving his views on Whitley Strieber; the David Jacobs/'Emma Woods' saga; and  the recent revelations from Carol Rainey, Budd Hopkins' ex-wife.
 
Conspiracy
 
Sheaffer likes to use the term "science fiction" UFOlogists when referring to people who identify with 'Scientific UFOlogy' (p.2.)
 
So, when it comes to UFO conspiracies, his perspective is "Given the near-universal belief among "science fiction" UFOlogists that UFO crashes, secret programs, and even alien captures have taken place, it follows that there must exist conspiracies of gigantic scale with vast resource to successfully conceal UFO secrets from the world at large." (p.164.)
 
 
Chapter six discusses Richard C Hoagland; Linda Moulton Howe; Joseph Firmage; the  Rendelsham UK 1980 incidents; Jacques Vallee and the 'Pentacle Memorandum'; amongst other topics. Needless, to say, he is far from impressed with the evidence presented.
 
Disclosure
 
Dr Steven Greer's 'Disclosure Project' features heavily in chapter seven on disclosure. Also featured are Dr Dan Burisch; English hacker Garry McKinnon; and Nick Pope. Exopolitics as espoused by such individuals as Michael Salla; Andrew D Basiago and Laura Magdalene Eisenhower received coverage and comment. The latter two individuals' claims about a 'secret colony' on Mars is met with Sheaffer's "As one might expect, the proof offered to support this claim is pretty thin." (p.216.) Sheaffer concludes this chapter with ""UFO Disclosure" remains a dream, but it is a dream that seems destined to go on for a very long time." (p.222.)
 
Chapters eight and nine cover UFO researchers' views on the source/origin of UFOs; 'cosmic doomsday' stories and predictions.
 
Final chapter
 
The last chapter is titled "UFO skeptics are from Mars, UFO proponents are from Venus." Included here, we find "After one has been in the "UFO business" for a while, one realizes that, with a few rare exceptions, nobody on one side ever converts somebody on the other side." (p.265.)
 
Sheaffer names a number of well-known UFO proponents - James Moseley; Bruce Maccabee; Kevin Randle; John Alexander; Allan Hynek and Karl Pflock as people he got to know.
 
He then poses the questions "What is it that separates sophisticated UFO proponents from skeptics.." (p.265.)
 
His response is:
 
1. "UFO proponents generally place very high credibility in the "testimony" (strictly speaking, "anecdotes") of those who claim to have had experiences involving UFOs." (pp 265-266.)
 
2. "Very seldom does a proponent of UFOs or other weird things properly apply Occam's Razor to the situation." (p.267.)
 
3. Failure to understand important facts in astronomy or other sciences.
 
4. Personal experience. "Of course, people who have had such intense personal experiences seldom understand the  unreliability of human eyewitness testimony, the malleability of memory, sleep -related hallucinations and misperceptions; and the mind's tendency to interpret the unfamiliar in terms of something that is familiar (such as a "flying saucer".) (p.269.)
 
5. Psychological and/or religious factors. "Some individuals are compelled by powerful psychological, ideological or religious factors to reach irrational conclusions." (p.269.)
 
 
My comments
 
It may surprise some blog readers, but not others, that I go along with much that Sheaffer has to say in this book; especially when it comes to case studies.
 
Many of today's UFO sightings have mundane explanations. I have previously written, and lectured about the rarity of interesting case, especially in the last few years. I have declared that the 'core' phenomenon is much rarer than the average UFO researcher believes.
 
Too many of my Australian UFO colleagues, go straight to the "it's a UFO" conclusion without conducting a critical analysis of the available raw data on a sighting.
 
I would hope that my Australian UFO colleagues will read Sheaffer's book and gain some insight into good case analysis, of Sheaffer and others, as presented in the work. I suspect however that most will either refuse to read the book, or give it short shrift. In my opinion, that would be a pity, because the fields needs individuals such as Sheaffer to provide a balance to the multitude of bizarre, weird and outright phony claims that make up a lot of todays' 'popular' ufology. 


Wednesday, February 17, 2016

New (older) book alert - "Mutants & Mystics."

Hi all,

Jeffrey J Kripal 

Jeffrey J Kripal is J Newton Rayzor Professor of Philosophy and religious thought at Rice University, Houston, Texas. I last reviewed a book of his, "Authors of the Impossible" in a blog post dated 16 January 2011.

Image courtesy of Amazon Books

I recently came across a 2015 paperback edition of another of his books "Mutants & Mystics: Science Fiction, superhero comics, and the paranormal," which was originally published in 2011. Both editions are published by the University of Chicago Press; ISBN is 978-0-226-45383-5.

Image courtesy of Amazon books
Mutants & Mystics" explores paranormal currents. "By paranormal currents, I mean the real-life mind-over-matter experiences of artists and authors that often inspire and animate these stories, rendering them both mysteriously plausible and powerfully attractive." (p.2.)

The book is lavishly illustrated with samples of comic book strips; book covers and other colourful visual feasts.

Of what interest is this book to the UAP researcher?

Amongst others, in the book's 370 pages, we find:

Ray Palmer

Ray Palmer, who played "...a central role in the development of the flying saucer craze of the late 1940's and '50s..." (p.95.) We learn here, that Palmer saw his first saucer in 1939, "...a brilliant silvery disk, apparently at an elevation of 5,000 feet, directly west of Chicago's Loop." (p.98.)

In the spring of 1948, Palmer and Curtis Fuller published "Fate" magazine, with volume 1 number 1, featuring a cover story by none other than Kenneth Arnold.

Palmer published "...stories, and more stories, on flying saucers." (p.108.) Palmer and Arnold later co-wrote the book "The Coming of the Saucers" in 1952.

John Keel

John Keel, was a writer and a journalist. Kripal documents Keel's global explorations "...in the Middle East. Asia, Europe and the Americas, looking for anything that was bizarre, absurd or fantastic." (p.155.) UAP were a part of Keel's world, and he went on to publish a series of books on the subject.

"Significantly, the first edition of Strange Creatures" featured a striking Frank Frazetta painting. For the comic book fan, this linked the Keel paperback on the paranormal directly to the pulp fiction and comic book worlds, since Frazetta was already a legend in the latter worlds...." (p.158.)

 
Otto Binder

Otto Binder, wrote comic strips from 1939; particularly Captain Marvel, and later at the end of the 1950's entered the realm of popular science writing. From an initial sceptical viewpoint on UAP in 1961, he gradually came to change his mind on the phenomenon, ending up publishing three books on UAP.

Whitley Strieber

"...there is probably no author more illustrative of our mythemes and the experiential paranormal currents that they fictionalize within American popular culture than the  novelist Whitley Strieber." (pp292-293.)

Between 1977 and 1983 Strieber wrote conventional horror novels; but it was from 1985 that a series of interactions with unusual visitors changed his world view. He described the events, and the effect on him in a series of bestselling books. Relevant to Kripal's area of expertise, Kripal noted  "Perhaps most radical of all, however, are Strieber's speculations on the origin and nature of religion." (p.315.)

"Strieber's texts also very clearly participate in what in  Authors of the Impossible I have called the dialectic of consciousness and culture, that immensely rich historical process through which paranormal currents and mythical themes interact  - through out-of-body ecstasies and metaphysical energies as much as through books and institutions - with specific individuals to shape and reshape the form and feel of the real from age to age." (p.328.)

What are some of Kripal's concluding thoughts?

"I suppose the first thing to say is that all of this is completely impossible within our mirrored culture of religious fundamentalism and scientific materialism, which  appear oddly united in their ferocious 'damming' of the paranormal." (p.330.)

"My conclusion is that American popular culture is suffused with these seven mythemes...which are forming a kind of super-story, a modern living mythology, right in front of our eyes." (p.330.)

 
My comments

"Mutants & Mystics" is a deep and complex read, but elements of UAP are spread throughout this comprehensive review of science fiction, superhero comics and the paranormal. I learnt a lot about the early days of science fiction, and UAP. If you haven't had a chance to familiarise yourself with Kripal's valuable contribution to our area of interest, then I would suggest it's time to get yourself a copy of both "Authors of the Impossible" and "Mutants & Mystics."

Tuesday, February 16, 2016

UAP article in Frontiers in Earth Science Journal

Hi all,

A very interesting article has appeared in a recent issue of "Frontiers in Earth Science Journal." The title of the article is "To investigate or not to investigate? Researchers' views on unexplained atmospheric light phenomena."

The joint authors are:

1. Etienne Caron; Institute of Molecular Systems Biology, ETH Zurich, Switzerland.


Etienne Caron
2. Pouya Faridi; Department of Phytopharmaceuticals, Shiraz University of Medical Sciences, Iran.


Pouya Faridi
 
Introduction
 
In the introduction, the authors note that "Rare and unusual atmospheric lights have been reported in the Valley of Hessdalen (HL) in Norway for over a century..." Their characteristics include a "...free floating light ball with dimensions ranging from decimetres up to 30m..." These lights are accompanied by 'spikes' in HF and VLF frequencies; have an absolute luminosity about 19kw; and can be seen for durations ranging from seconds to hours.
 
The authors point out that these lights differ from ball lightning; blue jets; red sprites and terrestrial gamma-ray flashes.
 
It is noted that the academic community has paid little attention to these and other examples of such lights, with one reason being "...the misleading association of HL with the controversial 'unidentified flying object (UFO)' phenomena, an association that has nevertheless been disproven by the referred-to frequent, rigorous observation of the phenomena."
 
 
Survey
 
The authors conducted an online survey by asking "...are researchers within the academic community interested in understanding the nature and origin of unexplained and/or poorly understood luminous phenomena occurring in the low atmosphere such as HL? More precisely we asked whether or not funding agencies (public and/or private) and universities should seriously support rigorous scientific investigation of UAP that have been traditionally been neglected by the academic community?"
 
A survey was sent to 6,049 researchers who were "...past or current beneficiaries of funding from the European Commission" in 90 countries. Emails invited them "...to read a  short article titled 'Scientific investigation on UAP' before responding anonymously."
 
The return rate was about 5 %, compared to an average online survey response of about 51%.
 
Results
 
58% of respondents "...think that research on UAP should not be neglected and should be supported by funding agencies...In addition, 52% of respondents would like to contribute to a better understanding of UAP if they could see a way to do it."
 
 
The way forward
 
The authors suggest that "...new, state-of-the-art automated stations continuously recording data will also be instrumental for measuring the phenomena."
 
 
Conclusion
 
"In the 80's, HL were defined as "UFOs" and were rejected by most scientists. Thanks to the scientific method and the pioneering work of Erling P Strand, the atmospheric light anomaly observed in the Valley of Hessdalen in Norway is now slowly gaining the attention of the scientific community and the respect of Academic journals...we propose that further investigation in UAP/HL through sustained amount of stable and long-term funding could lead to scientific breakthrough, advance the field of photonics, and thereby contribute to solving key related societal challenges, such as energy generation and energy efficiency, healthy ageing of the population , climate change and security."
 
Citation:
 
Caron, E and Faridi, P. (2016.) "To investigate or not to investigate? Researchers' views on unexplained atmospheric light phenomena." Front. Earth Sci. 4:17. doi10.3389/feart.2016.00017.
 
The complete article may be read here.

To view a 2014 presentation, on Hessdalen, for GEIPAN, by Erling P Strand, click here.

 



Sunday, February 14, 2016

Faded discs

Hi all,

One of the aspects of having an interest in the subject of UAP, is knowing something about the history of the topic.

Today, talking to people via the Internet, I find that most have little understanding that the phenomenon has been around since 1947. (Some of course would argue, for a long time before that date.) Newcomers only talk of "orbs;" "experiencers," "disclosure" and "exopolitics."

People who have been around a while longer, will also know the meaning of the term "contactee;"and know, who McDonald, Keyhoe, and Hynek were.

Faded discs

One excellent introduction into this earlier era of research, is to listen to audio recordings (in MP3 format) of some of these earlier researchers; and interviews with the actual witnesses to some classic encounters.

Perhaps, the best source of such audio recordings, is the "Faded discs" collection put together by Wendy Connors.  This may be found here.

Wendy Connors

Here you can sample radio interviews of some of the best of the earlier researchers, and listen to interviews with those actually reporting some fascinating encounters.

 
An Australian perspective
 
Among Wendy's collection, is the following Australian material:
 
1. Witness Father William Gill lectures on his classic 1959 close encounter with beings.
 
2. Adelaide researcher Colin McCarthy lectures in 1967, on the UFO in Australia from the early 1950's to the early 1960's.

3. Researcher Andrew Tobias lectures in 1967 on Ufology in Australia.

4. Researcher Dr James E McDonald comments regarding his Australian trip in 1967.

5. Researcher Paul Norman is interviewed on radio in 1988.



Monday, February 8, 2016

Project Newsprint - Queensland - part three

Hi all,

(Continuing Sheryl Gottschall's report on Project Newsprint - Queensland.)

7. October 2014. Response from Noosa News.

"One evening in October 2014, a man observed 6 or so orange lights in the sky. They were brightening and dimming, then they would disappear and reappear then flare up and repeat their performance. He found it difficult to estimate distance or height, but was certain they were definitely not planes or helicopters. he observed them for nearly an hour.

8. Circa 1996. Cooran, near Noosa. Gympie Times.

"One night twenty years ago, about 6.30pm to 7pm a man observed a light shining in his back yard. He looked up and saw a huge, round object about 200 to 300 metres above , approximately the size of his house. It was yellow all over  with orange lights underneath. He watched it for 20 seconds then it took off in a south easterly direction leaving a trace behind it. This witness was ex-navy and worked on aircraft carriers during his time of service, so he had seen a lot of planes, but this was nothing he had ever seen before. he reported this event to the police who didn't ant to know about it. The wife of the witness also observed the incident."

9. Connondale. 1984/1985 1am Maleny Range news.

"A man reported seeing two lights about one kilometre from where he was siting with 2 other adults and 2 children. At that distance the objects appeared to be the size of small trucks, and were flying around a tree on a hill in a playful manner. They were blue white in colour and at times would hover then move from side to side. After 5 minutes they took off."

10. Oxenford. 2/3 January 2016. Gold Coast Bulletin.

"A woman arrived home after being interstate. She looked out her back window and saw a large, metallic, dull grey saucer shaped object hovering above the ground on its side near her gum trees. The object was as tall as one of her fully grown gum trees, dull grey and metallic. It hovered momentarily before taking off at high speed."

11. 20 Jan 2016 ABC Radio Capricornia- Rockhampton.

The following reports were called in while Sheryl was on air.

a. Capella 13 Jan 2016. 

James was hunting in the evening when he saw 2 lights travel across the sky from north to south. he has seen shooting stars before but these lights were the same size as stars and travelling information. He observed them for 10 to 15 seconds.

 b. Circa 1966.

Fifty years ago, late one night, "R" saw a massive light moving very fast, that lit up the clouds. It suddenly stopped for 3 to 4 seconds before taking off again. It disappeared as fats as it arrived.

13. Te Rapa, New Zealand. Gladstone Observer.

"A woman was living in New Zealand at the age of 20. One night she was driving home after her 4pm to midnight at work. As she got to the little town of Te Rapa she saw a white light in the distance approximately 5 to 10 kms from her location. Then it moved away very fast in a zig zag pattern towards her and within seconds it was 5o metres away from her vehicle. Her radio started crackling, then her car spluttered as she  pulled over to the side of the road, then her car just stopped.

She was shaking and terrified and wet herself from fear. She described the object as looking like the top of an old hills hoist clothes line, or the top of a child's spinning tip toy, but segmented with red, green and white lights all over it. Suddenly the object took off and her car started. She drove home and told her mother who took her to the police station the next day to report the event. She was informed by police that they had received other reports."

14. 1975-1977. Alexandra Headlands. Maroochy Weekly.

"Sometime between 1975 to 1977, a man was looking out towards Point Cartwight at dusk. he saw three or four shimmering stars with different colours, red and white, just above the horizon. The lights were close together in a pyramid shape. The witness watched them for about one minute before they all took off in different directions.

15. Sydney. Early 1950's. 7.30pm.

"It was a dark night so it must have been mid-year, The corner of Elizabeth and Market Street, Sydney. I was facing south. We had just left St James Theatre as we used to attend afternoons sessions because of public transport for me to get  home. With the crush of patrons going in both directions the  crowded footpath forced me to step down onto the road proper. This placed me in an amazing fantastic position to observe what was about to happen. "Hazel" was just behind my right shoulder because when I swung my arm through an arc following the craft she was standing clear of my arm. What attracted my vision I am not sure save that I felt I saw a flash of light or reflection to my left towards Hyde Park. My eyes swung upwards just at the exact moment as the craft passed directly overhead. Stunned at what I saw I yelled  "Look at that." By the time I managed to get this out the vessel had passed just over the top of David Jones Food fair  towards Glebe and the Western suburbs.

If one said they saw a flying saucer in those times one was a candidate for a mental examination as well as public harassment so I just shut up. The staggering thing is the wonder of one's eyes and brain  to absorb so much detail in split seconds with the brain to retain all the data after all this time.

It had a curved metallic polished surface as the Sydney lights reflected in shades of dull red and blue. This occurred as it passed over David Jones, Food hall, market Street and Castlereagh Street about 30 metres across. Height: just clearing radio antenna on David Jones store. 4o to 50 metres maximum.

The "exhaust" visible trail or propulsion movement appeared to be a solid block of royal blue light about 1 metre across with 3 spherical balls contained along it length. Two were similar in size and solid blue around 1.5 metres but the middle  ball's diameter would have been I estimate 2.5 metres, which revolved clearly visible as an orange and blue segments almost like the old barber's pole and large marbles but not quite the  same. These were positioned about 5 meters apart commencing with the first bubble 1/3rd along the trail. It is extremely difficult to describe satisfactorily. If one could locate some old marbles with built in designs it could be demonstrated or even some of the new water features with  spinning globes.

There was absolutely no sound that I could ascertain due to the heavy Saturday tram and vehicle movements. There were no flight paths for Air Traffic ever that flew down Market Street. The path of this craft would have been say 90 degrees to the approach  to Sydney, Mascot Airport. I have only recently seen a report of a UFO with a trail or tail so I have decide to place this on full record with drawings and comment for support.

I am a non drinker or smoker just for the record. I am still capable of reading newspapers without glasses if necessary. To say I was astounded even today would be an  understatement but what I saw at such close range beggars belief. Especially when there were hundreds and hundreds of people surrounding Hazel and myself but none of them was looking upward. I do not know if even one responded to my alarm. I do not recall if Hazel caught a glimpse of the craft.

Another officially reported sighting. I was advised by a man  who was serving in the Militia and their vehicle broke down around Gatton, from memory, and they observed an  illuminated object suspended for an extended period, "over half an hour," which then flew south at an incredible speed. There is more to this story to be reported but it maybe on  record already."

16. Mt Isa. Early 1970's. Mt Isa News.

"The sighting was in the early 1970's during the period of the construction of Lake Julius dam. The company I worked for designed the dam, along with all the necessary infrastructure. As such, our company also carried out supervision, of all the construction work in relation to the dam.

During this period, my mother visited me from Melbourne. During one of her visits, I took her out to have a look at the dam, and pipeline construction. On our return from the dam site, we stopped at one of our supervision camps, which was on the Paroo River, for afternoon tea.

Not long after we left the camp site, we were on the pipeline access road, heading towards Mt Isa, when my mother  noticed what appeared to be a silver sphere out to the west. I told my mother it was probably a weather balloon, or over flying aircraft. However, the object stayed in the one place for the whole time of travel back to Mt Isa which was about  40 minutes.  When we arrived back on the outskirts of Mt Isa we stopped the car and got our for a look. We could only have been stoped for about half a minute when then object  just disappeared in a flash. Mother and I just looked at each other  and we both said in unison "bloody flying saucer." We didn't mention it to others, thinking we would be ridiculed. But, we would often mention it to each other., "wonder what that thing was in the sky that day." Unfortunately, my mother has passed away since that time so I have no one to back up this story."

Sheryl comments:

"Surprisingly many of these reports are up to 50 years old, and upon questioning it was revealed that almost all witnesses had  never reported their experience for fear of ridicule. Although the ridicule factor is lower today, I continually find the fear of  ridicule remains a driving force for the public to remain quiet about UFO incidents, particularly in people around 50 years of age and over. While I continue to receive reports which will be published in future, I can only wonder how many people have and will go to their graves never having  told anyone about their experiences.

Contacting newspapers and receiving stories form the public, with many follow-up contacts has proved quite time consuming. However, I believe that Project Newsprint has been a worthwhile pursuit as we would never have known about these events otherwise. Organisations like  UFO Research Queensland received, document and investigate UFO incidents and to this end we have over 5000 reports stored in  our archive since 1956, but it's apparent we could easily double or triple this amount of reports ion our archives if we actively pursue their collection.

This report can also be found on the UFO Research Queensland website at www.uforq.asn.au "

Project Newsprint - Queensland - part two

Hi all,

(Continuing a preliminary report by Sheryl Gottschall about Project Newsprint - Queensland.)

3. Pilbara region, Western Australia. Circa 1957. Maleny Tange News.

"I'm 79 years old now, but when I was 20 my friend and I with her two young children were driving from Darwin to the Pilbara region in Western Australia. I was driving a 1954 Dodge and the trip took us 12 days. The roads in those days were quite basic, a lot of dirt roads etc, and one night we found ourselves on one of those dirt roads near the De Grey River. My friend was looking at the bush when she asked "Is that a satellite?"

At that time satellites were new to us, we were just staring to hear about them. I wasn't paying much attention ,concentrating on driving. Then she dais it was getting closer, coming down. Then I saw it about 500 metres above us. It looked like a beach ball or hot air balloon in the sky, but round, with colours moving all over it like the northern lights, no particular pattern to their movement, just swirling over it.

Then I checked the rear vision mirror and saw a red glow behind us. My friend screamed and I turned off the car lights so we couldn't' be seen.  At that time I started to hear what I can only describe as big but slow piston sound,  like two tones repeating slowly. By this time I was speeding through the bush on a dirt road with no headlights.

All of a sudden I saw a set of gates in front of us and I slammed on the brakes. This caused the car to stall and all of a sudden everything was quiet. The object immediately disappeared. The next thing we heard were the sounds of aboriginal people singing in the distance. I guessed it was a corroboree.

My friend was deeply frightened by the experience so when we saw something similar in 1961 while driving in the Northern Territory near Humpty Doo, she told me to turn around and go home which we did.

Then in 1957 while I was hitchhiking near Katherine in the Northern territory, it was midnight when I saw light moving at an extraordinary speed from horizon to horizon, back and forth, up and down, in a few seconds."

4. Grafton. Rockhampton News.

"As a child I lived near the navy base in New South Wales and my father and I saw lights in the sky. The next day 3 circles were found on the ground and everything in the area was dead. Eventually the grass grew back but it was a blue colour.

On my 7th or 8th birthday I woke to find blood on my left shin. It upset me and I cried all day but I don't understand why. Then last year I was scratching the area and a hard object popped out. It was dark brown like a dark copper colour., shiny and tubular about 5mm and flat on both ends. I put it on a little white saucer on the kitchen hutch but the next day found it had disappeared.

I'm and ex-airforce wife and when my son was 4 years old we were in the kitchen doing the dishes, my son said "the sun  just took  photo of my eyes." I looked out the window and saw a cigar shaped white object. It was daytime and I took my son outside to see it better. It was just hovering over the air force base, not as high as a commercial plane, but high.

Last year when looking over the National park I saw a massive object that looked like a plane, but it had no wings or windows and made no sound. It was like the fuselage of a plane.it was less than a couple of hundred metres from me, just above treetop height.

5. Inune. 2013 (photo)

"As per conversation this is one of a series of photo's I took as I panned across the site. The location was the southernmost end of then Expedition national resource park. In my role as earthworks supervisor on construction of the facility,  part of my brief was to photograph progress on the project. This happened to be the third sighting of ufo's I had witnessed in a two year period on this job. I was not alone on the first two occasions, one in broad daylight seen by the work crew at the morning pre-start meeting (as these were held out in the field.) this was a classic white orb seen against a cloudless blue sky, firstly travelling in a straight line before performing erratic manoeuvres and then speeding away directly upwards.

The second was as we were leaving camp on our rostered break, it was about 4.30am, I had people in the work ute with  me heading out to the airport, we came to an intersection when my front seat passenger saw the light, we stopped briefly to watch it perform similar to the first object I had seen before speeding away.

I did not realize the green ufo was in my photo until I put the SD card into the computer, leaving my project manager, superintendent and myself baffled. At first thinking it could be sun shining through water crystals, but when we zoomed in you could see it had a disc shape with definite thickness, you could also see that it was above the clouds. It appeared to be surrounded by wavy lines of some sort.
"

This photo was passed on to Barry Taylor for photographic analysis. His comments were "The green flare is very typical of a lens flare. The colour is typical as is the angle relative to the position of the Sun within the field of view of the camera. If you draw a line through the slightly elongated flare, the line will point directly at the Sun. ...close inspection shows the edge of the cloud through the flare. It is not above the cloud..."

6. Wivenhoe/Somerset Dam area. Noosa News.

"Ten or 11 years ago my late husband and I moved to Noosa and went camping a lot. On one occasion we camped somewhere in the Wivernhoe or Somerset Dams area. My husband was a wildlife enthusiast and during the day we saw  a lot of interesting wildlife, so he was excited about what we would see at night when we went spotlighting.

About 7pm we headed off with a torch to have a look but gave up after about 30-45 minutes because there was no sign of any wildlife. I mean, it was completely gone. Then my husband said "look at this in the sky" and we saw 3 orange/tallow objects soundless, with a rounded shape and smooth, coming right at us. They got close, really close, then took off only to approach us from a different direction. It's hard to judge distances especially at night, but they were no higher than a helicopter at their furthest, then they disappeared. The next morning we returned to the location where we had seen the objects to get a GPS location but our equipment wouldn't work, nor would our video camera."

Project Newsprint - Queensland - part one

Hi all,

Sheryl Gottschall, President of UFO Research Queensland, recently joined me in Project Newsprint, volunteering to conduct Project Newsprint in the state of Queensland, Australia.

Between 1 and 25 January 2016, Sheryl contacted 110 Queensland newspapers, and as a result, so far has received 16 reports via email, phone calls and during on-air radio interviews. Details of these reports are listed below. To date she has undertaken two radio interviews, with ABC Radio Capricornia and Sunshine Coast. She continues to receive reports and expects this will continue into the next few weeks and beyond.

Reports received

1. Rockhampton Morning Bulletin circa 1984.

"I'm providing a copy of what was reported in the Rockhampton Morning Bulletin around 1984. I'd come home a bit sozzled from a party, but quickly sobered up when I saw these weird orbs, semi-translucent and making like an escaping steam sound. They seemed to perform aerial manoeuvres, within and without from each other. At one point they seemed to mimic the Southern Cross.

I was surprised to find this report in the paper soon after. There was another follow up report which I haven't kept, which offered an explanation, that it was fireflies. Bunkum. I don't necessarily give over to the notion that they were extra-terrestrial, however, an explanation of an as yet undiscovered natural "intelligence" may hold sway."

The newspaper article read:

"Nine see, hear loud UFO above City street.

An unidentified flying object confronted a frightened group of seven residents and two policemen near Rockhampton golf course about midnight on Saturday.

They said the object "three distinct lights, with a loud electrical crackling noise," rose above rooftops in Eton Street, waking residents.

Witnesses said the object rose from the south, came nearer, sank away then returned remaining visible for about 20 minutes. They said two lights seemed fixed, while a third moved independently from above. A fourth light was visible when the object loomed closer the second time.

No one who witnessed the object was prepared to be identified yesterday, but a spokesman said it was impossible to decide what it was they had seen.

He said his partly death son had been one of the first to hear the crackling noise, while he was feeding his cat.

"About the same time Mrs... (a neighbour) was awakened by the noise," he said.

"I've never believed in UFOs. But we saw something. I would like to think someone could explain it," he said.

The woman said she went outside fearing a fire had started nearby.

She had called residents out of the three adjacent houses to watch the object, while one telephoned police.

The residents, who all admitted being frightened by the object brought out binoculars and a telescope but were not able to ascertain whether the solid mass was suspended between the lights.

The spokesman said two policemen arrived at the scene "making jokes about strait-jackets" but they were quickly convinced when the object loomed above the roof tops again.

The two policemen told the Morning Bulletin they had checked the area but could not find any logical explanation for the lights and noises.

Door-to-door investigations in the area revealed no other person who had seen or heard the object.
The nine witnesses gathered again at 11.30pm on Sunday but the strange lights did not return."

2. 1970. Barraba, NSW

A man named Brian emailed the following from Canada.

"In 1970 I was working as a roughneck on a diamond drilling site about 30km outside Barraba, New South Wales which was literally in the middle of nowhere.

On night on the graveyard shift I was high up on top of the rig pulling coring pipe when a vibrant cobalt blue light lit up the forest about 500 yards from the rig.

The night up there is pitch black and the light silhouetting the trees was pulsating so I just assumed somebody else was arc welding on another rig in the forest.

I called the driller up to check it out and his jaw dropped. Holy shit what the f... is that he said. I told him I thought it was welding on a different rig, but he said "no way man, there is no other rig around here."

In the morning after our shift I went back to the bunk house and gathered my Nikon, and walked into the woods where we saw the light. We came into a meadow of long grass and quickly spotted a large round area where the grass had been burnt in a concave shape. The grass was severely burnt to the bare ground in the centre of the circle gradually becoming less burnt at the outer edge of the circular indentation which I think was about 30 to 40 feet in diameter.

The most amazing thing was the three triangular shaped indentations at even points close to the outermost edges of the burnt circle. I shot half a dozen photos before we headed back to the camp to tell our crew boss what we had seen. He called the sheriff in Barraba and told him our story. Naturally the sheriff and a couple of his deputies arrived in camp about two hours later and wanted us to take him to the area, which we did along with out boss.

It was then that I made probably the biggest mistake of my life, I mentioned that I had taken some pictures earlier the morning. When we headed back to camp the sheriff asked if he could please see my camera. Shit, I shouldn't have opened my big stupid mouth. He opened my camera and ripped the Kodakrome film out ruining my pictures. He warned us all that the area was as of this minute, off limits to all, under penalty of facing criminal charges.

Sincerely, B."

Sheryl received this report by email, and attempted twice to ask more questions. However, both times her reply bounced back."

Two more NAA file series A9755 RAAF UAS files digitised

Hi all,

Readers may recall that three more RAAF UAS files appeared on the National Archives of Australia RecordSearch database in January 2016. Recently, I published details of one of these which the NAA had digitised at my request.

The NAA have now digitised the other two for me.

A9755 control symbol 13



NAA files series A9755 control symbol 13, barcode 3533474 is titled [RAAF No 2 Flying Training School, Pearce, Western Australia] [UFO] [UAS] and was previously RAAF file 2FTS 5/5/Air Part 1.
Its digital image is 7 pages long.

Perhaps the only interesting item on this short file is page four.  This is a "UAS Reporting procedure" indicating that "RAAF only interested if it affects security (country, establishments etc.)" Then it goes on to say "Take details (see UAS proforma on this file." Then, to refer callers to UFO Research WA or PUFORG. Then "Check time of sighting. If not one of our aircraft then we are even less interested." Then, "Be polite."

The following papers are a standard HQTC AOSI No 4/A/3 instruction which has been seen many times on previously available RAAF UAS files.

Finally, page 7 is a "Record of conversation" between a civilian Brian Sallor and an RAAF officer at Pearce on 30 July 1990, about three spherical objects seen at 2230hrs in the eastern sky, travelling south. They were orange/red lights. Duration 10 minutes.


A9755 control symbol 7



NAA file series A9755 control symbol 7, barcode 3533439 contains 31 images and is tilted "RAAF TFG Tactical Fighter Group, Williamtown, [UAS] [UFO.] It was formerly RAAF file TFG 6/9/Air Part 2, opened 8 March 1990.

A document on this file reveals that another 107 pages are unavailable due to them being outside the date range of the Archives Act. The only way to obtain them is to submit an FOI request which would cost hundreds of dollars. If any blog reader would like to do this, then the community would thank them.

The file consists of about a dozen or so very low key sightings from members of the public. The RAAF simply recorded these on "Record of conversation" or memo forms and did no investigation of them.

There are two interesting documents on this file:

1. There is a copy of a telex from 75SQN dated 15 August 1990 to a number of addresses, including the Department of Defence's Joint Intelligence Organisation, in Canberra, about an unusual sighting.
In part it reads:



"1. On the 23 May 1990 at approx. 0650 local (2120Z) a resident of Katherine sighted a bright silver light streak from east to west. As the light manoeuvred, a yellow/gold flash detached from the rear of the streak and fell earthward. Both lights faded shortly afterward. The observer claims to have seen many meteorites before, but this sighting was significantly different. An impression of propulsion was felt at the time of observation.

2. A possible explanation of this observation could be that the streak was a Soviet reconnaissance satellite and the yellow flash was an ejected film canister.

3. Request and advise if this explanation is possible or likely. The witness has been interviewed by telephone only but seems reliable. The witness has also completed part one to annex A of Air Command ASI 3/4/5."

No other relevant papers are on this file. This is the first time, I have seen this sort of suggestion on a RAAF UAS file. The Joint Intelligence Organisation would be the natural place to refer such an observation as it is the Department of Defence's agency which analyses defence and foreign intelligence.

2. A second telex from 75SQN dated 15 August 1990, is addressed to the same list of addresses.



It reports that at 1930hrs local time on 10 August 1990 "...a satellite was visually observed transiting 071M directly over the crash site of the 75SQN F/A-18. The crash site was located at 305TDL 28.5. The visual observation was made by RAAFPOL who were patrolling the crash site. 3. Request and provide details of the likely identity and significance of the satellite activity."

Again, there are no other relevant papers on this file about this incident. As with telex one, this is not the sort of thing I have seen before. The Joint Intelligence Organisation has been renamed the Defence Intelligence Organisation.

National Archives of Australia - more new UAP files available

Background Over the years, Australian researchers have found around 150 files in the National Archives of Australia (NAA), dealing with t...