Sunday, March 11, 2007

UFOIC - its formation and naming - November 1956

The various manifestations of UFO work that have occurred under the name of UFOIC - the UFO Investigation Centre - based in Sydney from 1956 to now are summarised in this web log in the posting "The evolution of UFOIC"(January 4 2007).

It was formed from the remanents of Edgar Jarrold's pioneering group the Australian Flying Saucer Bureau (1952-1955) and the transition stage as a New South Wales branch of the South Australian group the Australian Flying Saucer Research Society (AFSRS NSW branch: 1955-1956).

In a committee meeting at Dr. Clifford's home in Warrawee/Turramurra, a northern suburb of Sydney on Wednesday 14th November 1956 a significant decision was made. The young secretary Judith Croser recorded, "We are breaking off with Mr. Stone and are going to carry on independently."

Fred Stone was the national director of AFSRS in South Australia. Late in 1955 he had travelled to Sydney to discuss the future of Sydney based UFO work with the remaining close associates of Edgar Jarrold. Jarrold had left the UFO scene and because his organisation had a strong individual nature that focused around him, his departure left a fragmented and shattered group. Andrew Tomas, Jarrold's closest associate undertook to reorganise the remanents into the AFSRS NSW branch. Tomas acted as president.

Stone was in Sydney for a branch meeting on 3rd February 1956. Some 65 to 70 people were present. Stone returned again for a members meeting on 4th June 1956 and gave a lecture. Judith Croser volunteered to be secretary for the group. She recorded that there were 27 paying members of AFSRS in Sydney. Soon after this meeting Andrew Tomas went on a short overseas trip. Dr. Clifford became the new AFSRS NSW branch president.

Members of the Sydney group began to become concerned with the strong religious bias in Fred Stone's perspective on the UFO/flying saucer mystery. Even Stone would acknowledge years later that this was the key factor in the sudden decision for the Sydney group to go its own way. Of course the great distance between Sydney, NSW, and Adelaide, South Australia, would have also been a major issue. By the time of the 14th November 1956 meeting Andrew Tomas was quite adamant about initiating an independent group. A rather heated general member's meeting followed on 21st November 1956.

When the group decided to break with Fred Stone's AFSRS the members had to think of a new name. Judith Croser recollected she came up with the name suggestion of the UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC). She recalled:
A few suggestions were put on the table, and "UFO Investigation Centre" won the day ... It sounded right. It flowed well. Everybody agreed unanimously.
In "People" magazine January 9 1957 there was an article about UFOIC written by Justin Arthur:
"A 16-year-old girl was recently appointed UFO Investigation Centre secretary. She is pretty and earnest Judith Croser, of Balgowlah, Sydney, and she became interested in UFOs four years ago, when she was attending Cremorne High School and a saucer appeared in daylight.
"Judith says the saucer was in sight for about 10 minutes. "All the girls saw it. Our geography teacher couldn't tell us what it was. It shone with a brilliant, white light."
"Her theory is that the saucers' increasing appearances during the past 10 years mean they are approaching the earth to make observations before attempting landings. Like Miran Lindtner, Judith thinks the sightings are coming to a climax and that the landings will follow soon. The space people will come as friends, she believes - and hopes."

(Photos: from "People" magazine, January 9, 1957. The People photographer was present at the 14th November 1956 meeting and took these photos)


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