Sunday, October 15, 2017

Westall - and James E McDonald's files

Background

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

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

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

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

What is in this folder?

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

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

3. Envelope addressed to McDonald from VFSRS.

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

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

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

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

8. Envelope addressed to McDonald.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

17. Ballarat Astronomical Society 1965 UFO conference.

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

19. 3 pages. Ballarat observatory.

20. Program. Ballarat UFO conference 1965.

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

22. 10 Jul 1967. ? re WRE.

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Notes

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

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

Monday, October 9, 2017

Westall - and the CSIRO

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

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



Introduction:

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


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

Biography:

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

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

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

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

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


Ca. 1956:

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

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

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

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

March/April 1963:

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

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

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

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

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

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

Q. "What else did the CSIRO do?"

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Later, in the same letter Berson suggested:

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

Who was Berson's companion on his visit to Moe in 1963? Berson mentioned he was accompanied by a Mr Clarke. On the website for the Encyclopaedia of Australian Science http://www.eoas.info/P003236b.htm I found the following information:

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


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


19 September 1963:

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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


April 1966: The Westall incident:

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

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

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

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


July 1966:

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


May 1967:

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

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


June 1967:

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

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

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

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

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

Eric Webb also worked also worked for the CSIRO.


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


Another McDonald entry dated 30 June 1967  read:

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


July 1967:

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


CSIRO files on UAP:

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



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



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

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

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

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

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

 On 5 December 1966 the CSIRO replied:

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

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

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

Sunday, October 8, 2017

Why did J Allen Hynek move to Scottsdale?

Background

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

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

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

Hyde Street. Sunday 18 November 1984.

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

Hyde Street. Sunday 13 January 1985.

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

Scottsdale. Sunday 17 February 1985.

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

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

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

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

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

'How long does this deal last?"

"Until March."

"What happens after March?"

"He didn't commit to anything."

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

Paris. Rue de la Clef. Friday 21 June 1985

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Paris. Monday 24 June 1985.

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

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

Hyde Street. Sunday 17 November 1985.

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

Phoenix. Friday 2 May 1986.

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

Wednesday 2 July 1986.

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

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

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

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

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

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

Returning from Phoenix. Monday 15 December 1986.

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

My comments on the above

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

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

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


A second source

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

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

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

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

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

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

My comment on the above

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

Thursday, October 5, 2017

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

Introduction

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

Evidence of launch?

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

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



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

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


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


Successful flight

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

Question

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

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

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

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

Conclusion

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

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

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

Wednesday, October 4, 2017

Westall research - this blog's contribution to the debate.

Introduction

From time to time, I receive comments from people, that they believe I have a negative approach to the subject of the 6 April 1966, mass sighting at Westall, Melbourne, Australia.

I inform such people that, like themselves, I have the right to my opinion as to the cause of the sighting that day. Unlike some individuals, I base my own opinion on having conducted research on the event. I was not there on the day, and ultimately, my opinion is based solely on what I have been able to find out, by communicating with Westall witnesses as long ago as the 1990's; by visiting the site, prior to the playground installation; by an examination of all the original source material I could locate; an examination of Australian government files; by looking for potential non-UFO explanations; by exploring topics such as memory recall in people; and applying all that I have learnt from many years of interviewing witnesses to sightings, all over Australia.

One of the few witness documents available from 1966 - image courtesy VFSRS

This blog's contribution to the Westall debate

Quite a few posts on this blog, have explored the Westall sighting. I have provided the following links for anyone who wishes to explore material relating to the event; much of which, you will not find anywhere else.

Photo by author

Blowing in the wind

Back in 2010, a series of posts appeared about the possibility that stratospheric balloons might cause some UAP events. Research found that certain Australian sightings did indeed, seem to have been caused in this way.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/cold-ufo-cases-stratospheric-balloons.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/cold-ufo-cases-stratospheric-balloons_16.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/cold-ufo-cases-stratospheric-balloons_19.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2010/11/cold-ufo-cases-stratospheric-balloons_20.html

In 2011, some research was then undertaken on one specific stratospheric balloon project in Australia.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2011/02/cold-cases-project-hibal.html

HIBAL launch - Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia

The Corona spy satellite program and 'broken arrows'

Later, when information surfaced about the US Corona spy satellite program, there was a reference by Stanton Friedman, about that program, and the possibility of an association with Australia.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/corona-spy-satellites-and-westall-link.html

An even more remote possibility, that a USAF aircraft (which were flying in Victoria at around that time) had accidentally lost an atomic bomb, was explored, given that Westall witnesses reported individuals with Geiger counters examining the area.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2012/01/more-speculation-on-westall.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/westall-and-possible-broken-arrow.html


Aircraft chasing UFOs over Victoria

In 2012, there was a tantalising report about another (1967) Victorian sighting involved multiple aircraft chasing UFOs. This second sighting had several common factors with the Westall incident, and just had to be explored. No one had previously published about this.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2012/03/westall-sequel.html

Later in 2012, a post looked at other potential explanations for Westall.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2012/09/westall-answer.html


Enter the former Australian Department of Supply

Westall researcher, Shane Ryan received information from the family of a former high up member of the former Department of Supply, which led Shane to understand that that employee knew the answer to what was seen at Westall.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2012/10/the-former-australian-department-of.html

Image courtesy of the author

Another 1966 mass sighting from an Australian school

Details about another April 1966 Australian school sighting was located, and was reported for the first time on this blog.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/another-australian-april-1966-school.html


Did radar pick up anything at Westall?

Researcher Paul Dean located an Australian government file concerning the reported observation of a UFO on radar, three days before Westall. No-one outside of the government prior to Paul, had seen this file.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2013/02/another-australian-april-1966-school.html

A search was then conducted for other 1966 Melbourne sightings involving radar.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2013/03/was-there-radar-observation-of-westall.html


A link between Westall and the Balwyn photograph?

The Balwyn, Melbourne photograph was taken on 2 April 1966, and many have speculated as to the possibility that here was a photograph of the object which was seen at Westall, four days later.

Image courtesy of Jim Kibel
http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2013/04/was-there-connection-between-westall.html

Some researchers had posited a possible connection between German flying saucer research and Westall. This was explored in a post:

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2013/06/german-scientists-flying-discs-and.html


The HIBAL hypothesis

Extensive work was undertaken to explore the hypothesis (simply an idea to be discussed, confirmed or rejected based on the evidence) that the Westall object(s) was/were associated with the HIBAL program.

HIBAL launch - Image courtesy of National Archives of Australia
http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/project-hibal-answer-to-westall-files.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/westall-hibal-further-information-you.html

Sighting on morning of Westall event - HIBAL balloons were filled using a long hose which remained with the balloon on the flight - image courtesy Shane Ryan

Please read all the original source material before speaking out!

As it was found that few people had ever read all the original source material on Westall, a comprehensive document setting out these sources was published.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/04/westall-read-original-documentation.html

Further material on HIBAL was published

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/05/hibal-westall-hypothesis-under-test.html

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2014/06/project-hibal-two-previously-unreleased.html

HIBAL launch  - image courtesy of National Archives of Australia

Further research uncovered details about the Victorian 1967 event which had similarities to Westall.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2015/02/a-westall-aside-previously-unknown.html

A copy of a 1966 audio recorded interview concerning an interview with Westall witness Andrew Greenwood was discover and reported upon.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2016/03/andrew-greenwood-and-westall-1966-audio.html

Paul Dean and I returned with  a detailed look at the 1966 Balwyn photograph.

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2017/03/return-to-balwyn.html

Finally, I took a look at the mystery of the missing Channel 9, Westall news film

http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com.au/2017/07/westall-on-track-of-missing-channel-9.html


In summary

This blog, has since 2010, explored a variety of aspects of the Westall sighting; provided a summary searchable text of all the original source material; uncovered new data; clarified other pieces of  existing information, and put forward a testable non-UFO hypothesis for the event.  

I point out that there is almost no hard data available. There is no analysis of reported ground traces. There is no evidence of radar detection of the object. There are no documents about the sighting to be found in any Australian government file. The witnesses' observations are not well documented from the era, e.g. there are no entries from a 1966 diary. Much of the shared information only came to light since around 2006. Researchers have failed to acknowledge that human memory is prone to errors. No government employees have come forward to say they were involved in a cover up of the incident. Even the legendary US researcher, James E McDonald, following a personal investigation of Westall, never promoted it as an example of the 'core' phenomenon. 


J E McDonald's Westall interview notes with Andrew Greenwood 1967 - image courtesy Michael Swords

Friday, September 29, 2017

How to research the UFO phenomenon and stay sane

People have asked me how I have kept my interest alive across a 50 year time span of research?  I thought about this again recently and came up with a few ideas which I’d like to share with you.



Have some guiding principles

One of my main guiding principles has been, to simply 'follow the facts.' If a UAP case turns out to have a mundane explanation, then I say so! I believe that UAP investigators should weed out as many identified cases as possible, leaving only good quality “unknowns” to work with.


I have found this consistency of approach to be invaluable. It can however, lead to differences  of opinion with other UFO researchers who have a non-negotiable belief system.

One example of this, occurred after I appeared on an ABC television program, which discussed various medical issues. I suggested on the show that some UAP abductions have their roots in terms of 'sleep paralysis.' A well known Victorian UFO researcher took me to task for daring to suggest an alternative explanation to the 'Grays.' I had, after all, only based my opinion on personal research, while his views arose from armchair research. 

Another example, based on exhaustive research, was my suggestion that the 1988 Mundrabilla car encounter had an alternative non-extraterrestrial explanation. Some American researchers took a dim view of this suggestion, even though they had conducted no first hand investigations.



Tackle diverse research projects

The range of research projects which I have conducted over the years has included:

  • The possible application of the fantasy-prone personality, and hypnagogic imagery to UFO abductions. I had thought that support for the FPP hypothesis had declined, but an examination of seven studies conducted since the early nineties revealed three positive and four negative findings
  • I asked the question 'could reports of 'angel hair” falls be simply spiders’ web?' and found evidence to suggest that almost all reports are just that
  • I conducted the only comprehensive literature review ever undertaken on the subject of alien implants. This revealed that very little peer review research had been conducted
  • I took a long, hard look at the possible application of sleep paralysis to abductions, which made me conclude that most UAP researchers underestimate its relevance
  • A 12 month joint project with Melbourne based researcher Paul Dean, to collect and examine 12 months worth of Australian sightings.
All of these projects developed my knowledge in many areas; made me question various approaches and ended up with me publishing articles across the UAP literature for others to discuss and debate.

Read widely

I read a lot of different books and magazines, and browse the internet frequently. My reading covers diverse topics such as astronomy, biology, physics, the paranormal, mathematics and biographies to name just a few. I find this keeps my mind active. When reading I always try and link the information I come across to UAP research.


For example, I once read a book about the search for weapons of mass destruction in Iraq. A portion of a single page mentioned UAP research within the intelligence area of the Australian Department of Defence. This ultimately lead to the release of a formerly secret intelligence file on UAP. This file may now be viewed on  the National Archives of Australia website.



Don’t separate research into UFOs from research into the paranormal

In my opinion you shouldn’t just study UAP. UAP appear to be part of a much broader area of investigation which we label as the 'paranormal.' In my opinion, much is to be learnt by researching these two topics as one. For example, the after-effects of some UAP close encounters include a range of effects labelled paranormal, such as poltergeist activity.


Also, scientific studies on the topic of out-of-body experiences are relevant to abductions. Science has now been able to create OBEs on demand, by stimulating the human brain. It also has, in the laboratory, successfully demonstrated that one’s sense of self can be transferred to a point outside the body. For various research articles see my blog which I maintained on these topics between 2009 and 2014.

Take frequent breaks from research

I’ve taken a number of breaks from researching UAP. I think the longest was for four years. Breaks, particularly long ones, enabled me to escape the day to day routine of UAP investigations. This gave me time to reflect. It was during such breaks that I developed insights into how the fantasy-prone personality, and hypnagogic imagery may relate to UAP.


Like Kylie Minogue, Madonna and Lady Gaga, reinvent yourself from time to time

At various stages over 50 years of my interest, I have been:

  • One of the Co-ordinators for the Australian Centre for UFO Studies
  • Research Director for UFO Research SA Inc.


  • Founder of the Australian Centre for UFO Abduction Studies
  • Continental Director for the US Based Mutual UFO Network
  • Facilitator for Disclosure Australia.
Each of these roles brought me into contact with a range of different individuals, and taught me new skills.

Publish your research

I find no value in coming up with some valuable insights and then not telling anyone about them
I would urge you all to run your own website; make documentaries; publish your own blog, or write for UAP magazines.



Publishing opens up your work to peer review, which ensures debate and discussion. Speaking of publishing your work, if you’d like to see what I have published over the years,  then Google 'Keith Basterfield UFO.'


Don’t be afraid to respectfully disagree with other researchers, whoever they might be

David Jacobs is a US abduction researcher with some controversial viewpoints, some of which I have strongly disagreed with. I have debated some of his ideas in print. Likewise, back in the 1980’s and 90’s I found much to disagree with Whitley Strieber and documented my observations in print, e.g. The International UFO Reporter. 


Some time ago, my thoughts on former astronaut EdMitchell’s revelations about ETs, even made the pages of the Tehran, Iran daily newspaper!

I have outlined my views, in various places, on the inadequate research we have collectively undertaken on the UAP abduction phenomenon. Interestingly, some people in the US and UK have/are following up lines of research suggested, in part by me.

Long term blog readers, will also be aware that I proposed an alternate conventional hypothesis for the 6 April 1966 Westall, Victoria, Australia sighting. I pointed out that there is almost no hard data available. There is no analysis of reported ground traces. There is no evidence of radar detection of the object. There are no documents about the sighting to be found in any Australian government file. The witnesses' observations are not well documented from the era, e.g. there are no entries from a 1966 diary. Much of the shared information only came to light since around 2006. Researchers have failed to acknowledge that human memory is prone to errors. No government employees have come forward to say they were involved in a cover up of the incident. Even the legendary US researcher, James E McDonald, following a personal investigation of Westall, failed to promote it as an excellent example of UAP. 

Finally

You cannot retain a long term interest in any topic, without thinking that the subject of your study has some merit.

I would however, make a couple of general observations:

  • I think that examples of the 'true' or 'core' UAP are much rarer than most researchers think. At one stage in South Australia I led a group of investigators, who for three years examined several hundred local UFO reports, and found that 95% of them could be explained in mundane terms. Today if you look at large numbers of incoming reports, as listed on Australian groups’ websites only some 10% are said to be IFOs. I believe that if sufficient, open minded resources were given today to investigations, that the clear up rate would still be about 95%
  • I am still not convinced that the phenomenon has a simple explanation, such the extra-terrestrial hypothesis.

In conclusion, after 50 years of research, I still believe that the phenomenon contains genuine mystery, worthy of continued scientific study.

Tuesday, September 26, 2017

'Reframing the debate.'

Introduction

I have been slowly reading a book titled 'UFOs: Reframing the Debate,' edited by Robbie Graham (White Crow Books, Hove, UK; ISBN 978-1-98677-023-3.)

Image courtesy of Amazon Books
The book is composed of 14 chapters, written by individual UAP researchers, and experiencers. The editor, inter alia, writes 'Each of the contributors in this volume is sharply aware of the futility of concluding. Instead, they offer strategies for understanding - understanding the phenomena, and understanding its social and cultural effects.' (p. xx.)


Issues highlighted by the contributors include

* The decreasing use of the scientific method

'This dismissal of science is encountered frequently among UFO zealots, who insist that their esoteric knowledge supersedes scientific methodology...'  (p.7.)

'Modern ufology appears to have rejected science in favour of a more mystical and religious view.' (p.1.)

'...such subjective discourse has almost completely supplanted any rigorous attempts to study the subject with anything resembling scientific methodology." (p.1.)

* The non inclusion of data from high strangeness reports

'The close encounter witness is at first blindsided by something for which he or she has no previous framework, and which the mind tries furiously to stuff into a mental "filing box" during and soon after the event.' (p.193.)

'While plenty of cases superficially support the N&B/ETH view, its materialist foundations are shaken when confronted with the High Strangeness characteristics of a majority of UFO close encounters." (p.51.)  [N&B = nuts and bolts. KB.]

'One of the greater problems I see within modern UFO circles is the outright dismissal of high strangeness reports by investigators who subscribe to the Extraterrestrial (ETH) as the default explanation for cases that challenge conventional science.' (p.167.)

'...we need to be aware that these more complex accounts are not easy to categorise or share.' (p.29.)

* The circulation of incorrect information

'I contend that a great deal of information circulated around the UFO community - the vast majority- is simply incorrect or, at the least, unsubstantiated, while detrimentally accepted and promoted as common knowledge.' (p.47.)

* The debate about the value of personal stories

'[Speaking of UFO believers] 'Their experiences cannot be investigated as "ordinary" UFO reports...In effect, their experiences are not viable as data that can be considered in any scientific evaluation of the UFO phenomenon.' (p.15.)

'One such dynamic is that personal stories, interesting and entertaining as they may be, are often of little value to the professional research process.' (p.40.)



Suggested ways forward include

* Researchers need to educate themselves about the processes of human memory

'It would also be helpful if investigators encouraged one another to further educate themselves on such topics as memory, witness testimony and emotional trauma. ' (p.44.)

'Perhaps by looking within and at the human mind, our senses, and how we remember things, we can better calibrate our main instrument for measuring UFO encounters.' (p.207.)

'The value of personal stories is further questioned by the strides made in memory research. Qualified experts have demonstrated that memories are filled with errors.' (p.41.)

* Disband large UFO groups and work in smaller units

'Could the Roswell Slides Research Group serve as a model for future research and investigation of UFO cases?" (p.107.)

'To this end, perhaps large UFO groups should be disbanded, in favour of smaller, autonomous groups with a narrow research focus.' (p.192.)

* Gather data with no preconceptions

'Investigators should start with no preconceptions about what they are seeking. The gaol should be only to gather information from witnesses.' (p185.)

* Follow the data wherever it leads

'Reframing the debate includes taking advantage of such opportunities, following the trail of evidence to what logical conclusions it provides,  and acknowledging when physical evidence is either entirely absent or if investigators questionably failed to pursue it.' (p.45.)

'The study of UFOs and alien abductions has zero obligations to a N&B/ETH model. What it does  owe an obligation to is, to quote Alex Tsakiris, "follow the data wherever it leads."' (p.62.)

* Use better source material

'Work could further be legitimized by relying more heavily upon sources recognized as credible within the professional research community. These include such resources as authenticated documents, newspaper clippings, journals and similar media that offer valuable use as reference materials.' (p.44.)

* Look at high strangeness reports

'Currently, the testimonies of UFO witnesses that describe corresponding high-strange and paranormal events are often either ignored or met with ridicule from ufologists who would rather not deal with the more bizarre aspects of UFO reports, and by the professional skeptic organisations who are openly hostile to anything other then the Null hypothesis, i.e. it's all just swamp gas and Venus.' (p.169.)

* Ditch the use of hypnosis

'The time for experimenting with hypnotic regression is a memory enhancing tool of alien abduction is long gone..." (p.44.)

* Continue to use the scientific method

'Thus, the argument remains that scientific UFO research... is of utmost importance to the study of UFOs..." (p.65.)

'...I hope to instill in the mind of the readers that proper adherence to scientific methodology, and a reasonable, open-minded skepticism, will be of great benefit to the study of UFOs.' (p.74.)

*Recognise that mainstream media is entertainment

'In the click bait age, the mainstream media uses UFOs and their followings as entertainment like never before.' (p.82.)


My comments

On a personal level. I have for many years spoken of the need to secure original source material, and to follow the data wherever the end results lead. Many years ago, I foresaw the need to move from large, formal organisations to either work alone, or in a small team, and made this move. Today, I work by networking, across the globe.

Regarding high strangeness reports. I have indeed come across, documented, and published, (e.g. in the MUFON Journal; International UFO Reporter) such accounts. I have  worked with numerous individuals over time, to examine their highly personal experiences. This is long before the establishment of this blog in 2009, and why some blog readers might easily gain the impression that I have never studied these type of accounts. As a number of chapter authors indicate, exploring high strangeness reports takes time, and can be exhausting, both for experiencers and investigators.

My own opinion, for what it is worth, is that I agree with the chapter authors who urge us to study high strangeness reports, and document what they tell us. However, I also urge both investigators and experiencers to become familiar with current research on such topics as memory processes; the fantasy-prone personality; sleep paralysis; hypnagogic imagery, fugue states, and other similar psychological and physiological processes. For, just as 95% of incoming raw sightings turn out to have mundane explanations after intelligent investigation and analysis, I personally find that some high strangeness reports do indeed have explanations which lie in psychological processes. I believe that at the moment, this fact is insufficiently acknowledged, by both researchers and experiencers.

All in all, this book is an extremely welcome addition to the UAP literature. I would recommend it highly to anyone who has a serious interest in our mutual topic.

Tuesday, September 19, 2017

UFO books by Australian authors

I was asked recently for a listing of UFO books by Australian authors. So, here it is. If any blog readers know of others, I would appreciate an email to keithbasterfield@yahoo.com.au in order that I may amend this list. Images are courtesy of Amazon Books, unless otherwise credited.

1965. "Flying Saucers Over Australia." James Holledge.



1967. "Flying Saucers Where Do They Come From?" Richard Tambling.



1969. "UFOs over the Southern Hemisphere." Michael Hervey.



1976. "UFOs: The American Scene." Michael Hervey.

1978. "UFOs: A Scientific Enigma." David Seargent.



1981. "UFOs: The Image Hypothesis." Keith Basterfield.



1983. "UFOs: The Case for Scientific Myopia." Stan Seers.

1996. "Encounter." Kelly Cahill.



1996. "The Oz Files." Bill Chalker.



1996. "The Cosmic Conspiracy." Stan Deyo.



1996. "The Gosford Files." Bryan Dickeson and Moira McGhee.

http://independentnetuforesearchers.com.au/gosford-files/
1997. "UFOs: A Report on Australian Encounters." Keith Basterfield.



2002. "Awakening." Mary Rodwell.



2004. "Australian UFOs:Through the Window of Time." Heather Gilroy and Rex Gilroy.

2005. "Hair of the Alien." Bill Chalker.




2007 "Blue Mountains Triangle - Secret Underground Australian/American Bases and the ET Connection. Heather Gilroy and Rex Gilroy.

2007. "UFO Down-Under." Barry Taylor.



2011. "UFO History Keys." Bill Chalker.

2011. "The UFO Diaries." Martin Plowman.



2011. "Tasmania: A UFO History." Keith Roberts.

TUFOIC

2012. "Roswell Revealed." Sunrise Information Services.



2012 "My Awakening Part 1." Peter Slattery.

2012. "My Awakening Part 2." Peter Slattery.

2012. "The History of Man." Peter Slattery.

2013 "The Energy beings - ET Abductions from Beyond Time." Heather Gilroy and Rex Gilroy.

2013. "Can UFOs Advance Science?" Sunrise Information Services.



2013. "Operation Starseed." Peter Slattery.

2014. "The Book of Shi-Ji." Peter Slattery.

2014. "The ET Contact Experience." Peter Slattery.

2014. "Breaking Free." Peter Slattery.

2016. "Alien Cobweb-the ET 'Mudhead' Mystery and the "Gympie Triangle." Heather Gilroy and Rex Gilroy.

2016. "Contact Down Under." Moira McGhee.

http://independentnetuforesearchers.com.au/contact-down-under/
2016. "The New Human." Mary Rodwell.



2016. "Humalien." Jane Pooley.



2016. "Connect to your spirit/ET guide." Peter Slattery.

2017. "UFOs Down Under." Barry Watts.



2017. "The Alien Gene." Moira McGhee.

http://independentnetuforesearchers.com.au/the-alien-gene/
2017. "The Book of Shi-Ji 2." Peter Slattery.

Westall - and James E McDonald's files

Background The late US researcher James E McDonald visited Australia in 1967. While here, he interviewed dozens of Australians about thei...