Thursday, January 04, 2007

The evolution of UFOIC

The group UFOIC has had 6 distinct phases in its evolution:

(1) 1952-1955 Edgar Jarrold's group the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau formed in July 1952. It was initially a one man operation. In January 1954 Andrew Tomas became AFSB's "Sydney observer" and an assistant to Edgar Jarrold. 6 issues of the Australian Flying Saucer Magazine (May 1953, August 1953, November 1953, March 1954, August 1954 and February 1955). Other future key UFOIC members became members of this first public Australian flying saucer group, including Dr. W.P. Clifford and Dr. Miran Lindtner. By July 1955 Jarrold had abandoned his AFSB work. Sydney based UFO work was adrift.

(2) 1955-1956 Andrew Tomas accepted the idea of making a New South Wales (NSW) state branch of the South Australia state based Australian Flying Saucer Research Society which was run by Fred Stone. This was a short lived arrangement. Soon the members from the remenants of the AFSB and those of the AFSRS (NSW) branch sort to establish themselves as an independent group.

(3) 1956- 1969 In November 1956 the group UFOIC continued 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 investigation, until his accidental death in 1969. Fred Phillips took over as president. UFOIC published the UFO Bulletin (June 1957?, September 1957, December 1957, March 1958, June 1958, September 1958, January 1959, April 1959 and July 1959). In 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.

(4) 1970 - 1974 A transitional period followed, punctuated by some internal difficulties and cooperation & discord with the UFORPA (UFO Research Projects of Australia) group run by Frankh Wilks. 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.

(5) 1975 - 1980 By 1975-76 Michael Smyth and Bill Chalker 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 continue as honarary 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. In 1980 UFO Research (NSW) (aka UFOIC) joined forces with the cooperative publishing venture UFO Research Australian Newsletter (UFORAN) edited by Vladimir Godic.

(6) 1981 - 2007 By the early 1980s the 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. The originial group name UFOIC was readopted in 1991 when a name change was forced by a new group registering the name UFO Research (NSW) as a business name. 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 has served the group well and continues today under the ongoing direction of researcher Bill Chalker.

The brief outline of the evolution of the Sydney based group UFOIC reveals a complex and fascinating development, driven by changing research and investigation strategies and focuses. Many striking UFO cases have been investigated by the group during its rich half century history. UFOIC has made a potent contribution to UFO investigation and research in Australia.

* Correction (6 March 2007): Dr. Lindtner did not become UFOIC president in December 1958. The January 1959 issue of the UFOIC UFO Bulletin (page 18) indicates "At the annual Meeting held by UFOIC in December 1958 Dr. John Greenwell was elected President." The following issue (April 1959) reports "For personal reasons Dr. J. Greenwell has resigned from his post of President. His place has been taken by Dr. M. Lindtner, a man well-versed in science with a thorough knowledge of "ufology"." This transition appears to have occurred on 27 February 1959, as elaborated in my 6 March 2007 post "UFOIC and the 1959 Adamski visit". Because of the brief tenure of Dr. Greenwell as UFOIC president it seems I inadvertently introduced the December 1958 date for Dr. Lindtner's start as UFOIC president. I thank a very helpful early member of UFOIC for supplying information that helped correct the group history and also explain the apparent background to it.

The writer Bill Chalker is currently researching a history of UFOIC and would welcome contact and contributions to this effort from past members and observers of the group.


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