The New South Wales (NSW) Spotlight on UFOs
By Bill Chalker
(The main part of this article appeared in 2007 as a feature piece in the Australian magazine Ufologist. This version updates the original report)
The Australian state of New South Wales (NSW) has a rich
history of organised interest in the UFO subject.
It proceeds from the solitary interest of one
individual Edgar R. Jarrold, when he began Australia’s first public civilian
UFO group – the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau (AFSB) – in July 1952, through
to the myriad manifestations we have now. This article will focus on these NSW
responses to the UFO mystery.
Edgar Jarrold, widely viewed as the pioneer or father of
Australian ufology, in his own words was just an “interested observer of the
first 1947 sightings of weird aerial objects.” That interest deepened in May
1951 when Jarrold (then a 32 years old foundry worker) had his own sighting of
“something very unusual in the night sky” from a Sydney suburb. He indicated,
“There were two of them – flying saucers I mean. They appeared as fast moving yellow
lights. One followed the other. I rang the papers about it and found that
many other people had seen saucers at the time.” He felt the bright objects were under
intelligent control, but “appeared to possess no solid body sustaining them.” Following personal investigations of his own
sighting and other reports Jarrold was surprised that “no body existed in
Australia for the purpose of recording and correlating all available data
regarding the strange apparitions,” so on July 31, 1952, Jarrold formed the
AFSB based at his Fairfield Sydney home.
In May 1953 he began publishing the Australian Flying Saucer
Magazine. Six issues of the magazine
were issued (May 1953, August 1953, November 1953, March 1954, August 1954 and
February 1955). The group was initially a one man operation. In
January 1954 Andrew Tomas became AFSB's "Sydney observer" and an
assistant to Edgar Jarrold. Other members of this first public Australian
flying saucer group, included Dr. W.P. Clifford, his wife Mrs. I. de L.
Clifford, Mr. Gordon Deller, Mr.
David O. Moore, Mr. Michael Duggan, Mr. Mueller-Sorau and Dr. Miran Lindtner. (See also my article in the Ufologist First
Quarter 2000, “The Jarrold File” and No.6, 2002 “Andrew Tomas: Australian UFO
Pioneer (1906-2001)”) By July 1955 Jarrold had abandoned his AFSB work. Sydney
based UFO work was adrift.
During the latter part of 1955 Andrew Tomas accepted the idea of making a New
South Wales (NSW) state branch of the South Australia based Australian Flying
Saucer Research Society which was run by Fred Stone. This was a short lived
arrangement. Soon, the members from the remanents of the AFSB (the people
listed above and others), and those of the AFSRS (NSW) branch, sort to
establish themselves as an independent group.
In November 1956 the group UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) was formed to
continue the Sydney based UFO work first begun by Jarrold and Tomas. Dr.
Clifford became the first UFOIC president, followed briefly by Dr. J. Greenwell
(December 1958 to 27 February 1959). Dr. Miran Lindtner then took on the UFOIC
presidency position, continuing an energetic and dynamic period of research and
(Source: Australiasian Post)
UFOIC became the centre
of UFO work in NSW and provided an energetic focus for public meetings,
investigations, publications and research. UFOIC embraced the appearance of
television in Australia with some gusto. What seems to have been the first
factual UFO programme on Australian TV was aired at 7.10 pm on Tuesday January
29th 1957 on Channel 7 in Sydney.
Dr. Miran Lindtner and Andrew Tomas appeared on Australia’s first TV
current affairs programme, Howard Craven’s “At Seven on Seven”. In a 10 minute segment a range of material
was covered, including showing a number of UFO photos – “the Kentucky tracer
bullets”, “the Brazilian discs”, the “Paris saucer”, “Adamski’s mother ship
& scouts”, and the “coast guard photo of 4 luminous discs.” UFOIC published the UFO Bulletin (June 1957,
September 1957, December 1957, March 1958, June 1958, September 1958, January 1959,
April 1959 and July 1959) which carried information about key cases of the
period. Further TV interviews with UFOIC members occurred over the following
months, including appearances by Jack Kunst and Fred Phillips. The Katoomba flap of 1957 also attracted TV
A number of UFOIC branches and separate groups appeared in
the late 1950s. The UFOIC Mt Druitt
branch became an independent group but appears not to have continued after the
death of its young president Dr. E. Very early in 1959. With the rash of UFO sightings around Katoomba
during 1957 Terry Body became the UFOIC representative for a Blue Mountains UFO
group. It seemed when the sightings
abated the local group lapsed or merged with UFOIC.
David Osborne Moore (a participant in the AFSB and the early
UFOIC) formed a group called the Northern Suburbs Flying Saucer Research Association. It rose to some prominence with the 1959
visit of George Adamski, the controversial contactee figure, then slipped into
obscurity. By June 1962 David Moore
would claim he had seen 26 separate UFO sightings mainly from his Manly home
since 1955. One afternoon in 1955, after having watched fruitlessly for UFOs
for 11 years he claimed (1944?), David Moore and his wife saw three within a
few hours. David Moore often reported
his sightings to the RAAF. On one RAAF file Sgt. Cusick of the RAAF
Provost Service, Field Security Section, Sydney (March 1958) wrote, "Mounted
in the backyard of his residence (North Manly) was a 7" telescope with
which (Mr. Moore) claimed he and fellow members of the UFO (?) kept watch on
selected nights. Also in his possession were numerous publications and
charts containing information regarding UFO sightings. The services of
this group were offered to the RAAF by Mr. Moore, who stated that they
would keep watch on a "hush hush" basis." Not surprisingly,
nothing seemed to come of this offer.
Mr. Moore passed away in 1975.
Even though George Adamski’s visit to Australia was a big
event on the local saucer scene UFOIC took steps to distance itself from the
contactee spectre, not altogether successfully.
Some aspects of Adamski’s Sydney visit were at best a shambles and Dr.
Greenwell resigned from the group presidency, in part over the problems. Miran Lindtner took over and helped steer the
group along in a scientifically focused approach. Elements within the group had interests in
diverse areas, some mystical, spiritual and even in contactee areas, such as
the bizarre Aetherius Society, but none of these overshadowed the main
objective focus of the group.
One of the more impressive sightings of this early period
was reported to UFOIC by the witness Brian Crittenden (21). The Casino area experience lasted for about
15 minutes. He described it in the UFOIC
“UFO Bulletin” of March 1958:
“I was leaving my girl-friend’s house on Farm Hill at 11.45 pm,
on Monday, January 13th (1958).
closed the fence gate on the way home, I saw a dome-shaped light with a long
narrow light underneath which was bright and glowing.
It came over the hill from the east and
straight towards me.
I was so shocked
that I ignored a half flat tyre and jumped into the car and sped towards
The strange object followed me 3
miles on Benns Road.
It appeared to be
about 50 yards away and about 30 feet high, practically touching the telegraph
Its size was about that of a
The object chased my car,
overtook it though I was travelling at 65 to 70 m.p.h. in my panic, hovered for
a few seconds and then swooped low over the roof of my car.
It kept repeating its actions until I reached
town, 7 miles from my girlfriend’s home… It is a notable fact that my car radio
developed interference as the object was approaching.”
During August, 1960, a resident of the northern Newcastle suburb of
Belmont witnessed an intriguing close encounter. At about 1.30 am, Mrs. Helen Aldridge was
awoken by a buzzing noise. Looking out a
window she saw "a bright, round object, not unlike a large musical
top" resting in an adjacent paddock only some 50 to 70 feet away. A light on top of the object "rotated
and projected a yellowish white beam, illuminating the paddock, house and
garden as it swept around. The object
itself, however, glowed red and gold and showed a surface pattern like that of
a camouflaged tank. It gave out a
continuous low pitched buzzing sound."
It appeared to be about 14 feet across and apparently 4 feet high, with
a foot high lighted strip running around it.
Mrs. Aldridge then saw a small humanoid figure, between 31/2 to 4 feet
in height, approaching the house through the garden. The figure appeared to have normal body
proportions. It was dressed in "an
olive-green, skin tight suit of a dull material... (with) a helmet of the same
material, but with a face piece of non transparent, orangey plastic-like
substance." The figure also
appeared to be wearing whitish-grey footwear, like basketball boots. This figure walked along the side fence
(11/2 to 2 feet high) apparently looking at the ground. It climbed over the fence. When it had approached to about 10 feet from
her, Mrs. Aldridge went to wake her
son. When they got back to the window,
the figure and the UFO were gone. They
did see a bright, glowing object moving slowly in the sky about a mile away. Mrs. Aldridge kept her experience largely to
herself until a relation told the UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) during about
1967 (UFOIC files 1967 held by the author).
Another striking case occurred near Vaucluse Beach, one of Sydney's beach
suburbs, at about 5.30 pm, on July 19th, 1965.
Between showers and high winds, Dennis Crowe, a former technical artist
with English aircraft companies, was walking along the beach, near his
home. He became aware of a glow coming
from what appeared to be a huge disc shaped object resting on leg like
structures. The object's diameter was
estimated at some 20 feet. It had a
glowing, greenish blue rim, while the top and bottom halves were dull silver
grey in appearance. Crowe thought a
hollow in the top could have been a glass dome.
He could not make out any sign of movement in the object. When he approached the object to within 50 to
60 feet, it suddenly lifted off the ground.
A noise, like air being forcibly released from a balloon, was
noticed. The UFO climbed rapidly and
within 10 seconds had disappeared into clouds.
There were no other witnesses to the encounter ave a dozen or so
dogs. While the object was stationary
they were all barking loudly at it.
After it took off they were all strangely silent. A geologist made independent calculations at
the landing site which confirmed definite traces of an unusual object having
rested there. He stated that the
vegetation there was dying and would remain dead for a number of years. The Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) put
forward a possible explanation for this extraordinary incident. They suggested it was a
A striking entity sighting sighting occured in suburban Sydney, at
Greenacre, on April 25th, 1969. At 7.30
pm, a woman and her daughter (11) were travelling by taxi past Roberts
Park. Young boys were playing football
under spotlights. The woman and her
daughter spotted a "Japanese Lantern" near the trees, above and
behind the spotlights. A minute later,
as the taxi turned a corner, they saw it again, 30 to 40 metres away,
apparently in the same spot. The Greek
driver stopped the taxi. They could see
what looked like a metallic craft, approximately 10 metres in diameter, with
the appearance of "two soup bowls joined rim-to-rim". There was a steady red light on top. The object seemed to noiselessly rocking
backwards and forwards, at a frequency of 1 to 2 rocks per second. This movement allowed some astonishing
details to be seen.
A "depressing blue glow" from the interior of the object was
visible through a window that took up most of the upper part. A humanoid figure could be seen, apparently
operating controls near the window.
Another figure was pointingat the witnesses. A third seemed to be walking towards a back
door. All three figures were apparently
human size and were observed either in silhouette, were wearing black tight
clothing or were black skinned. The boys
in the park apparently did not notice the extraordinary display above them,
ostensibly due to the bright canopy of light formed by the spotlights. After 15 seconds or less, the driver sped
off down the road, dropped off the couple and drove off quickly without taking
their fare. At 8.00 pm, the woman and
her daughter returned to the park. All
appeared normal. The UFO was not to be
seen. An investigation was undertaken in 1971 by Martin Drawbridge & Barry
French. See UFOIC Newsletter No. 31,
June/July 1971. A detailed retrospective investigation was undertaken by David
Reneke, UFO Research NSW, in 1979.
Report in UFOIC/UFOR (NSW) files held by Bill Chalker. The witnesses were also interviewed by Roger
Climpson for his Channel 7 TV documentary “UFOs Fact or Fiction?”
cooperation initially with the Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society (VFSRS)
and later also with the Queensland Flying Saucer Research Bureau, UFOIC
published the Australian Flying Saucer Review (January 1960, April 1960,
September 1960, February 1961, July 1961, January 1962 and November 1962). The
interstate cooperative effort lapsed. VFSRS began publishing its own Australian
Flying Saucer Review Victorian edition in May 1964. UFOIC published 3 issues of
its own NSW edition (June 1965, November 1966 and the much delayed December
1969 issue). UFOIC also began publishing the UFOIC Newsletter beginning with
Issue 1 in March 1964 and with Issue 26 by December 1969.
worked closely with the authors of the first three UFO books in Australia –
James Holledge, Richard Tambling and Michael Hervey. UFOIC was profiled in
James Holledge’s 1965 compilation “Flying Saucers over Australia. There was a
focus on some compelling Sydney area cases in Richard Tambling’s 1967 book
“Flying Saucers – Where do they come from?”, namely “the Canterbury saucer”
incident of March 8th 1967 – a striking daylight disc encounter,
“the Wollstonecraft Object” of February 1967 and Denis Crowe’s striking sighting
of a UFO on Vaucluse Beach in July 1965. It took a few years before Tambling
disclosed his own “secret life” as a contactee himself.
While Tambling’s book covered some of the better recent local sightings,
it was his infatuation with contactee photos (particularly those of Dan Fry and
Paul Villa) that set the tone and with hindsight revealed his calling. As an Air Force photographer Tambling should
have been a bit more critical, but subsequently all pretence was put
aside. Tambling was a full blown
contactee. His space visitors came from
Uranus no less. A 400 year old alien
named Namoi revealed to Tambling and his followers that catastrophe was at
hand. Tambling's journey into the world of contactees ostensibly began in 1967,
the year his book appeared.
Michael Hervey’s 1969 book “UFOs over the Southern Hemisphere” had a
foreword written by UFOIC’s secretary Bill Moser. Hervey, in his acknowledgements indicated
without the help of Moser and Dr. Lindtner the book “would never have been
written.” The book was not without its obvious problems. Hervey lack the judgement that comes with
experience with the UFO subject, and thus low weight cases were often given
prominence often at the cost of limited coverage of more substantial
cases. Further still the lack of careful
editing meant some avoidable errors crept into the text. Despite this the book represented a useful
catalogue of Australian events.
A number of other groups appeared during the sixties. In 1967 the
Newcastle UFOIC was formed with Rosemary Pendlebury as its president. She
supplied to UFOIC the details of the 1960 Belmont entity case. The witness was a relation of hers. The Canberra UFO Research Society was formed
on September 5 1967 with Harry Zwankhuizen as president and Vicki Klein as
secretary. Vicki Klein also had a
“secret life” – an early abduction odyssey – which I described in detail in my
book “Hair of the Alien.” She also had a sighting that featured a “UFO
detector” alarm going off.
The Picton Ufological Society formed in the mid sixties undertook some
impressive research in the Picton area south west of Sydney. It was led by a local science teacher Ron
Gunn. The group undertook extensive
field work and monitoring of UFO activity in areas like Razorback and the Burragorang
valley. For example during early May
1968 a field excursion to Razorback yielded 3 confirmed sightings. According to the group “the craft came so
close to the observers that its shape was clearly defined with the naked eye.
In addition, it caused significant secondary effects.” (Picton Post May 23 1968) The peak periods of
activity were in 1968 and 1969 but monitored activity continued through to
1973. The activity of the Picton group
also seemed to attract intense surveillance activities from certain quarters,
possible military or intelligence, to an extent that led to the cessation of
the group’s UFO research activities.
By 1969 another organisation APIC was formed by K.S. McKern in Sydney who
set up sky-watching cameras within a 4 square mile area, some with diffraction
gratings attached, “in an attempt to acquire permanent and informative data on
UFOs.” (“Spacelink” magazine, January 1970) At least two “unidentified light
sources” were recorded and one of the photos was examined by Dr. Don Herbison
Evans, of Sydney University, who had called for an active research effort to
secure such photos utilising a “UFO identification kit” he had developed. He
was hoping that such efforts might provide evidence for the light spectra of
UFOs. Recently Dr. Herbison-Evans confirmed
to me that while he had received some photos they were poor quality and did not
appear to contain useful evidence.
McKern had also apparently taken a photo of a rocket shaped object that
allegedly risen out of the water off Coogee Beach on May 10 1968. He reported that the object that rotated and
shot off to the north. The image on the
photo resembled a scratch on the negative. (see Spacelink July 1969 &
UFORAN Jan-Feb 1980)
The UFOIC group went through a period of crisis with the tragic
accidental death of its president Dr. Miran Lindtner on August 29 1969. Frederick Phillips became president during
this difficult period.
A transitional period for UFOIC followed, punctuated by some internal
difficulties and cooperation & discord with a new organisation UFORPA (UFO
Research Projects of Australia) run by Frankh Wilks.
UFORPA sought to energise and
revitalise active research and investigation, and found it difficult to do this
within the existing structure and then current disposition of UFOIC. Members of
UFORPA even tried to take UFOIC over in December 1972 in an effort to
envigorate the lapsing activities of UFOIC. The attempt was unsuccessful, but
within a year and half elements of UFORPA led by David Buching did achieve this
objective, but without Frankh Wilks, who by then (early 1974) had to put his
UFO group activities on hold for personal reasons. A number of members of UFOIC
(including Fred Phillips, Bill Moser, and Michael Smyth) participated in this process
and a revitalised UFOIC was underway by early 1974.
1973 was a year of tremendous flux in UFOIC activities. Limited investigations
were being undertaken by UFOIC and UFORPA seemed to be more active in this
area. This was reflected in a Channel 7 TV documentary which appeared in early
1973. Written, producted and presented by news veteran and the face of Channel
7 news Roger Climpson "UFOs Fact or Fiction?" presented a lot of
sighting material from UFORPA investigations. UFORPA also carried out expeditions and
monitoring in the Burragorang Valley. UFORPA's attempted UFOIC "coup"
in December 1972 further unsettled the remanents of UFOIC that had limped into
the early 1970s. While UFORPA survived in a manner through 1973, Frankh Wilks'
departure led to a diffusion effect between URORPA and UFOIC - a
"marriage" that had been developing throughout 1972, then briefly
aborted by years end because of the "coup" attempt. The visit of Dr.
Allen Hynek to Australia in August 1973 helped the process of the diffusion of
active and interested elements in UFOIC and UFORPA to combine forces in a
reborn UFOIC. These were slowly nutured developments which were formalised by
As a country NSW member of UFOIC I remained largely removed from these
developments, but I was receptive to any active investigation and research
developments in the "on and off" UFOIC/UFORPA "marriage".
These were best communicated to me by David Buching. Early in 1973 I had
visited Sydney and was disappointed with the lack of focus and activity that
seemed evident in UFOIC. I even found a recent investigation report of a
striking close encounter I had documented (which was later published in the
British Flying Saucer Review Vol. 19, No. 5, Sept - Oct 1973 as "Tractor
driver under "cold scrutiny" by UFO") languishing in a pile of
UFOIC case files in a exposed outside storage shed. It seemed to me at the time
that UFOIC was in a drastic decline. My pessimism was short lived when my
investigations of the Tyringham Dundurrabin UFO flap of 1973 attracted the
attention of David Buching and his "UFORPA/UFOIC" investigation team.
David and members of the team came up from Sydney (on 4 seperate occassions in
July, August, October and November 1973). These visits and our close
cooperation during them led me to re-evaluate the future of UFOIC. When I
finally moved to Sydney in 1975 I quickly became more involved with UFOIC and
joined its management committee.
Out of this
process emerged a revitalised UFOIC committee with an energetic investigative
team lead by David Buching. It continued the UFOIC Newsletter run beginning
with issue 40 in May/June 1974. By this stage the position of president was
largely honorary with Fred Phillips continuing in the role. The actual running
of the group was undertaken by the newer members of the committee.
Coast UFO Research Bureau emerged in the seventies. Based in Gosford NSW it actively conducted
investigations into cases in the area, sometimes in collaboration with UFOIC. It documented a major flap in the area during
1976. Harry Griesberg and David Seargent
from the group were asked by Dr. Hynek to form what became the Australian
Co-ordination Section (ACOS) for the Centre for UFO Studies in 1974. ACOS would become the Australian Centre for
UFO Studies which at least until the mid eighties was a strong force for a
national focus on UFO research.
Bishop in Orange formed a group called the Central Western UFO Research Bureau. He cooperated with an investigation of an
impressive UFO physical trace case near Orange in mid 1977 undertaken by a UFO
Research NSW team (a psychologist Anne Brown, who later became my wife, Dr.
Geoff Stevens, a scientist from Lucas Height Atomic Energy Commission, and
myself, an industrial chemist). My
report on that case “UFO Landing near Orange, May, 1977” appeared in the group
UFO Newsletter No. 52, November, 1977. By
that stage UFOIC had adopted the name UFO Research NSW.
By 1975-76 Michael Smyth and myself were coordinating the UFOIC group's
activities. In line with a trend established by some other state groups UFOIC
changed its name to UFO Research (NSW). Fred Phillips continued as honorary
president for a number of years. The last UFOIC Newsletter was issue 50 of
January - February 1977 and the newsletter format continued with issue 51
appearing under the name UFO Newsletter (UFO Research (NSW)) in May 1977. Its
name was changed for one issue to the Australian UFO Newsletter in the double
issue N0.54 & 55 dated July - August 1978. With the No. 56 & 57 double
issue dated January - February 1979 the name Australian UFO Researcher was
adopted which continued until issue 60 dated November - December 1979. The
Sydney based group as UFOIC and UFOR(NSW) had published 57 issues between 1964
and 1979 (3 issues 54&55, 56&57 and 58&59 were double issues) in a
continuous numbered run.
One compelling case investigation by UFOR(NSW)/UFOIC was the Benboyd UFO
film event. At approximately 4.00 pm, on
October 23rd, 1976, three young men - Nicholas Flaskas and Frank and Bill Zonaras
- were preparing their cameras for the coming eclipse of the sun. They were located on top of a large cliff
face overlooking the sea at Taola Point, Benboyd National Park, which is about
15 km. north of Eden, on the south coast of NSW. They had an unobstructed view in all
Suddenly one of them yelled out that a group of strange objects were
hovering over the water close to their horizon.
They all gathered to watch as the elliptical shaped objects began to
move towards and away from them in an apparently controlled manner.
Remembering that they had a loaded movie camera, Frank Zonaras quickly
picked it up, checked the settings, and immediately began to film the
phenomenon. Nicholas Flaskas took a
series of still pictures. The movie camera was panned over a large area taking
in one of the objects which was more prominent and at least 2 of the apparently
smaller objects. Frank Zonaras paused to
adjust the camera, then with it at maximum zoom, he observed that the more
prominent object appeared to be revolving.
It appeared to by dull grey in colour and bell-shaped. It was very clearly defined and the witnesses
were adamant about what they had seen. The filming stopped as the eclipse
began. The group turned their attention
to the reason for being there. During
totality the group kept their attention on the eclipse. After the eclipse they again looked for the
anomalous objects but they were nowhere to be seen. The objects were recorded
on both film and stills.
David Reneke co-ordinated a detailed investigation of the case. His report appeared in the UFORAN publication
in March-April 1980, as “The Benboyd UFO Movie – History and Evaluation.” The quality of the film in terms of clarity
of the images was poor. The stills only
recorded small indistinct dots. The
footage was subjected to computer enhancement techniques via the Ground Saucer
Watch (GSW) group. Their conclusion was:
"...the UO image represents a structured
object of unknown origin, without any sign of misinterpretation of a conventional
object or phenomenon....we feel the reconstruction pictures represent the
object's "real" proportions and size."
The GSW analysis further concluded that:
UO image is at a vast distance from the camera, over a mile, as determined from
other foreground/background features."
size of the UO image based on a digitizing program and the focal length of the
camera is approximately 30-40 feet in its largest dimension."
main image can not be compared to any type of helicopter or aircraft."
main object is being affected by low horizon atmospherics, substantiating the
distance of the UO."
image is one of three dimensional proportions and definitely appears as a
While some elements of the GSW computer enhancement technique were
controversial their conclusions add support to an intriguing piece of
In 1980 UFO
Research (NSW) (aka UFOIC) joined forces with the cooperative publishing
venture UFO Research Australian Newsletter (UFORAN) edited by Vladimir
Godic. By the early 1980s the UFOR (NSW)
group was reconfigured, adopting a networking type approach, rather than
continuing the traditional public group format. This change worked well with a
good working relationship with national networking efforts, initially with the
Australian Centre for UFO Studies (ACUFOS) and then UFO Research Australia
(UFORA) from 1984 to 1995.
A spate of activity including some apparent close encounters, occurred in
NSW, during June and early July 1983. During
that period there was a rash of puzzling radar "paints" from Sydney
Airport (Mascot). More than 30
unidentified radar returns were recorded.
None were correlated with any visual sightings. When word leaked out, widespread media
attention occurred. The RAAF initiated,
with perhaps tongue in cheek, what their UFO files called "Operation Close
Encounter", which led to RAAF aircraft being on standby, to pursue any
verified correlated returns. They
finally concluded the returns were probably spurious. A major flap then broke
out in NSW, centred in the Gosford/Central coast area, during late July and
early August 1983. UFOR(NSW) undertook
investigations into these events. By coincidence, one of the largest UFO
exhibitions in the world, opened in Sydney's spectacular Centrepoint Tower on
August 18th, 1983. It ran for about 2 years. UFOR (NSW) participated in this
The networking format with a national focus adopted by UFOR (NSW) from
the beginning of the eighties allow myself and associates to undertake
extensive work on specialised research projects such as official Australian UFO
investigations and abduction events. These programmes continued into the
nineties (once again under the name of UFOIC) and led to extensive
documentation and research in both areas. In particular my research between
1982 and 1984 into the Australian government defence UFO files was widely
documented (e.g. UFORAN magazine over 3 issues during 1982, and Omega Science
Digest, Sept.-Oct. 1982).
In 1988 Moira McGhee with Bryan Dickeson co-founded the Independent
Network of UFO Researchers (INUFOR).
Initially a limited venture it became more active by 1995 with the
appearance of the INUFOR Digest edited by Moira McGhee.
The UFO Research (NSW) group that operated from 1977 under my direction
readopted its original name UFOIC in November 1991 when a name change was forced by a new group
registering the name UFO Research (NSW) as a business name. To minimise the
confusion with the new UFO Research (NSW) from 1991, the work of the original
UFO Research (NSW) from 1977 to 1991, may best be seen as a phase of UFOIC
during which it shifted (in the early eighties) to a low profile research
network under my direction (see my web log on UFOIC’s history: http://ufoicaustralia.blogspot.com
in particular the January 4 2007 post: “The evolution of UFOIC”).
The new UFO Research NSW was led by Bryan
Dickeson, Paul Sowiak and Moira McGhee.
It adopted a public group profile, running public meetings and intermittently
publishing a newsletter the “UFO Reporter” until 1996. The Reporter reappeared
in 2001/2002 but was subsequently replaced by a group newsletter. One of the
more interesting cases the new UFOR (NSW) examined was a close encounter event
at Kyeemagh near Sydney International Airport on April 19 1992. Four people
observed a disc-shaped object for over 10 minutes. It eventually departed in an unusual erratic
jump motions. During its presence the
nearby Kingsford Smith Airport control tower appeared to have been affected,
with an alarm sounding. Subsequently the
control tower claimed nothing unusual occurred. The case was written up in the
UFO Reporter in June 1992 and was included in Timothy Good’s book “Alien Update”
UFOIC continued its research and investigation,
preferring a successful model of a "low profile" active network,
rather than a public relations group format. This approach had served the group
well and continues today under my ongoing direction. Through this UFOIC network
I was able to coordinate extensive investigations into alien abduction cases,
in particular the experiences of Kelly Cahill and Peter Khoury. I was able to get my book on the Australian UFO
experience “The OZ Files” published in 1996. When my initial study of the
biological evidence associated with Sydney abductee Peter Khoury’s 1992
experience appeared in the International UFO Reporter and the Ufologist in 1999
it began a remarkable journey into an alien DNA paradigm, which I am still
examining. A specialised subgroup of UFOIC was formed to focus on these aspects
– the Anomaly Physical Evidence Group (APEG). The forensic perspective on alien
abduction evidence indicated that substantial progress could be made. The work
attracted funding, which enabled further focused work and the publication of my
book “Hair of the Alien – DNA and other forensic evidence of alien abduction”
In 1992 Peter Khoury and Jamie Leonarder formed
a support group for UFO experiencers, initially within the new UFO Research
(NSW) group. Problems developed and on
April 14, 1993 the support group became an independent group – the UFO
Experience Support Association (UFOESA). The group under Peter Khoury’s
direction became one of the most notable manifestations of the support group
concept in Australia, helping witnesses and experiencers of UFO events cope
with and understand their encounters. For a few years Jamie Leonarder and Michael
Williams operated a group called ALERT (Anomalous Light & Energy Research
Team) which focused on unusual light phenomena such as Min Min lights and
remote outback mystery lights.
Conflicts within the new UFO Research (NSW)
group led to Moria McGhee leaving the committee. This allowed her to concentrate on the
Independent Network of UFO Researchers (INUFOR) from 1995. INUFOR provided a focus and forum for smaller
groups and independent researchers.
These included Paradox based in Nowra from 1996 with Robert Goss,
UFOLinx with Sylvie Orville-Blue, Quest Australis with Allan Craddock, and Rex
Gilroy’s Blue Mountains UFO Research group based in Katoomba. Apart from research into diverse mysteries in
Australia Rex and Heather Gilroy undertook NSW based UFO research and conducted
regular meetings. They published two
books to date on the UFO subject “Australian UFOs – Through the Windows of
Time” (2004) and “Blue Mountains Triangle – Australian/American Underground
Bases and the ET connection” (2007)). Moira McGhee and Bryan Dickeson
co-authored an INUFOR book “The Gosford Files – UFOs over the Central Coast of
New South Wales” which appeared early in 1997.
Other groups and individuals which appeared and
operated within NSW during this period included Doug Moffett (who initially
operated on the South Coast of NSW, before joining UFOR (NSW) when he moved to
Sydney. Later he would co-host with me an internet based TV show “UFO” on the
Banana TV web site, which produced more than 20 episodes devoted to various
aspects of the UFO subject), Mike
Farrell’s Project UFOVac (which concentrated on disseminating UFO programmes
and videos), UFO Abductions & Contacts based at Wentworthville (Paul
Bonet), UFO Australia Encounter based at Parramatta and operated by Matthew
Favalaro and Robert Marx (focusing on abduction experiences and hypnosis
support), Lightning Ridge UFO Watch, INFODIG (based on the Central Coast and
providing a discussion group focus run by Derek Bott), Graham Stewart (who
through SA Research and UFOtec provided some photo analyses and interpretations
of UFO events in the context of New Zealand pilot Bruce Cathie’s UFO grid
theory), Paranormal Western NSW based in Orange (with Debra Goninan &
Russell Dunn who undertook some investigations for a few years) and others who
seem to have come and gone.
Barry Taylor began extensive sky watch activity
in my old home town of Grafton. He had
been part of the UFORPA group during the early seventies and during the
nineties began focusing on videoing UFOs.
In 2000 he produced a video “UFOs Down Under” which showed a variety of
UFO images, the most interesting being a “jelly fish” orange coloured UFO with
an appendage. He has continued to monitor the skies over the Grafton area and
in 2007 self-published a book “UFO Down-under.
How to see UFO’s and photograph them.”
2000 and BEYOND
In August 2000 a new group appeared based in
the Campbelltown area. The UFO Society
of Western Sydney (UFOSWS), with Attila Kaldy as its president. undertook an
active public lecture/meeting programme, sightings investigations and a series of
expeditions focused on the Blue Mountains, the Burragorang and Sydney northern
beaches. The group produced a video “The OZ Unknowns” which in part focused on
a controversial sighting, video and abduction milieu in June 1999. UFOSWS has
two specialised divisions – RACE (Research of Australian Close Encounters) and
PR2D (Paranormal Research Second Division – which focuses on evidence for haunting).
Between 20 October 2001 and 26 January 2002 the
Liverpool Regional Museum managed by Ricardo Peach put on a major exhibit “UFOs
in Liverpool: The Extra Dimensions”. The
curator was Chris Downie and the project was facilitated through the close
co-operation and support of UFO Research (NSW). The exhibit included artworks,
drawings and images from a number of experiencers including Kelly Cahill,
Tracey Taylor, Scott Longley, Suzanne Hanson, and Peter Khoury. Material was supplied from groups like ACERN,
PRA and UFOIC.
A broader and larger focus on
UFOs, aliens and art came about when the Penrith Regional Gallery & the
Lewers Bequest commissioned a unique and striking art exhibition which ran at
the gallery just outside of Sydney from 8 December 2007 to 17 February 2008 –
“The Visitors: The Australian Response to UFOs and Aliens.” For me it was a
wonderful conjunction of two of my long time interests – art and UFOs. When the
exhibition organisers originally contacted me to get me on board as a
consultant and writer I asked what they had in mind, perhaps a single room
display. No, it turned out the whole of the multi-roomed gallery was turned
over to the exhibition. 15 established artists contributed a body of
fascinating works ranging from paintings, sculptures, installations and other
artistic media expressions. I contributed an essay “The OZ Files Unbound” and recommended
reading list for the 64 page exhibition catalogue, extensive material,
including case files for an evidence room and a walk through lecture covering
the evidence and my take on the exhibition artworks. The exhibition was well
received and highly successful.
Bill Chalker & exhibition co-curator Regina Walter
The national network AUFORN has operated in NSW through Larraine Cilia, who is now president
of UFO-PRSA (formerly UFOSWS).
While independent researchers continue to
contribute to UFO research and investigations in NSW the bulk of research and
investigation seems to be undertaken either through my group UFOIC, UFOR (NSW),
UFOSWS, UFOESA and AUFORN. Public
meetings are regularly put on by UFOR (NSW) and UFOSWS. Conferences have been organized by UFOR (NSW),
UFOESA, UFOSWS (now UFO-PRSA) and AUFORN. Thus a diverse and dynamic range of groups and
individuals continue to undertake UFO research and investigations in New South
Wales, adding to the long and potent tradition of UFO work in this state.
As of 2014 UFOR(NSW) (current president Mariana
Flynn) and UFO – PRSA (UFO and Paranormal Research Society of Australia,
formerly UFOSWS) (current president Larraine Cilia) continue to put on regular
public meetings. During 2014 UFOR(NSW)
ran an investigator’s training workshop seeking to develop a depth of
investigation resources in the group, beyond its main public relations
focus. In 2012 it created a division
called Exopolitics Sydney led by Maree Baker focusing on regular discussion
of “the Extraterrestrial Phenomenon.” Recently the propensity of some individuals
to seemingly become “lightning rods” for UFO activity was given a sharp focus
with the UFO sightings, films and photos taken by Damien Nott. He formed a group call AAPI – Australian Aerial
Phenomena Investigations to continue this approach.
UFOIC coordinated by the author continues its
low profile networking research and investigation approach focusing on physical
evidence research and investigation, Australian UFO history, Asian UFO research
(especially China), official military investigations in Australia, “solid
light” type cases and science and the UFO controversy. In addition to the book “Hair of the Alien –
DNA and other forensic evidence of alien abduction”, published in the US in
2005, I also wrote the Australian
chapter for the US based UFO History Group’s 2012 book “UFOs and Government.”
Here are two UFOIC investigation the author did of
striking UFO events in 2007 and 2008.
Early Sunday evening January 7th 2007, a security guard at
a factory in Baulkham Hills, a northwest suburb of Sydney captured a UFO with a
digital camera. James had a 31 years experience in security work and had been
working at the factory site for a number of years. At around 7.40 pm local
daylight saving time it was dusk with the diminishing light evident on the
horizon. He was in the entrance security office which is situated on the entry
road immediately inside the factory gate. The gate was closed. James had looked
to the south - the entry gate direction - and saw a clear sky. After looking
away for about 5 seconds he was surprised to see a "long black thing"
in the sky just above the powerlines. It seemed to have a grey halo or cloud
around it. As the object seemed to be moving towards his position James grabbed
his digital camera - A Pentax Optio 3.3 mp 3x200m Pentax lens - and walked
outside the security office. He could see that there appeared to be a cloudy
light inside the halo moving from end to end across the top surface of the
black shape. He got the impression that there was like a heat haze simmering
effect. James took one photo. Then suddenly the object seemed to go in reverse,
approximately along the light of sight, decreasing in apparent size and within
about 3 seconds had disappeared from view.
Examining the photo James found that the image had captured
the apparent angular size of the object but had not recorded the halo effect he
I was particularly
interested because the object had seemingly shown movements witnessed in an
event I also investigated from January 26.
I spoke with James on February 1st and conducted an on site interview
with him later that day.
experience with the location and the night sky James was unable to reconcile
the strange object with any known source.
I investigated a fascinating landing/entity encounter case
at Coogee, a seaside Sydney suburb that allegedly occurred at about 4 am on
February 29, 2008. A man walking down a street, observed a flash of light.
In that direction he saw a large spherical
shaped object sitting on the street T intersection.
He could see a little man in a window at the
top of object. The witness became frightened, retreating behind a large
electrical signal box.
appeared to move a lever, a “shutter” came down over the window area, and the
object took off at tremendous speed at about a 45 degree angle.
The bitumen road surface appeared to have a
white circle effect left behind and at least one nearby tree appeared to have
The witness reported
noticing heat coming from the object.
The duration of the incident was about 5 minutes.
The road surface was repaired soon after by
local council road maintenance crew as the road is a very busy route mainly
during the day. I met the witness on March 19.
I first visited the site on the night of March 19 and have revisited the
area on a number of occasions since then.
I acquired samples of the burnt tree bark.
I was also advised that soon after the
incident a new electricity telegraph pole was placed at the intersection and
repair work was undertaken on the electrical wiring connections.
Investigations undertaken to see if these
matters are related to the February 29 event were inconclusive.
The witness is a shy man of nervous
disposition and seems unlikely to be the type that would make up a story of a
UFO incident, and did not appear to have much knowledge of the UFO subject.
this, I was very struck by the similarity of the Coogee witness’s description
and drawings to two remarkable overseas cases – Cussac, France (August 29,
1967) and Goffstown, New Hampshire, USA (November 2, 1973) – both featuring a
similar UFO and apparent alien entities.
The startling similarity of these cases, over several decades from
different parts of the world, is an extraordinary wink at the enduring reality
of the UFO experience.
At Cussac 2 young
children witnessed a group of entities, initially on the ground around a
spherical shaped object, then float up and enter the UFO as it was departing in
a helicoid trajectory, leaving behind a sulphurous like odour and a slightly
depressed yellowed grass trace 4 to 5 metres in diameter.
This case was subjected to extensive civilian
and official investigations, and held an enduring fascination for the aerospace
scientist Dr. Claude Poher, who would later lead the French official UFO agency
GEPAN. In the Goffstown case a Mrs. Morel reported having a frightening early
morning close encounter in which a spherical UFO hovered above her car,
seemingly largely controlling the vehicle.
She could see an entity inside an oval window at some sort of console,
and apparently experienced a telepathic message not to be afraid. However she
was very afraid and managed to steer her car into a house driveway and ran to
the door eventually waking up the occupants, who called police.
The author welcomes further information on any
of the groups and individuals who have contributed to the New South Wales
spotlight on UFOs, particularly on others that have not been addressed. I can
be contacted via firstname.lastname@example.org
or P.O. Box 42, West Pennant Hills, NSW, 2125.
Because of my close association with UFOIC through
its various phases from the late 1960s I have been researching the history of
Some of this material is on this blog site I manage http://ufoicaustralia.blogspot.com
I welcome your interest and support in providing information about UFOIC.