Monday, May 19, 2008

UFOIC mates - then and now - retro blast from the past

During the mid to late seventies the UFO Investigation Centre (UFOIC) conducted a lot of major investigations of some striking cases. I was reflecting on some of these with my old friend David Reneke. Dave has transited from his consuming interest in UFOs at that time back in the seventies to focus on an active stellar involvement in the world of astronomy as the news editor of Sky and Space magazine. He also issues a regular internet based Astronomy News Service which delivers a weekly newsletter of astronomy and space news. This can be accessed by emailing Dave at

While astronomy and space are Dave's main interest today he reminded me that he still feels strongly about the UFO subject, reflecting a statement that I often make, that UFOs deserve better scientific strutiny that they have got to date. He understands that mainstream astronomy rejects the UFO subject, but feels that this has come from limited exposure to the depth of the UFO subject, and too much exposure to the superficial commercialisation of the subject and the lunatic fringe aspects of the controversy.

From our time together in UFOIC (aka UFOR(NSW) until 1991) during the 1970s he felt for him that there were many cases that were particularly impressive. In particular 3 stood out:

1969 the suburban Sydney Greenacre entity encounter

1967 the daylight near landing near the suburban Sydney Canterbury bowling green

1976 the Ben Boyd national park UFO footage case taken during the total eclipse of the sun

Each of these cases are described in my 1996 book "The OZ Files - the Australian UFO Story"

I have included two contrasting pictures of Dave and myself.
One from an early 1978 UFOIC (aka UFOR(NSW)) press conference in which we were highlighting that even before the massive breakout of UFO fever that occurred with the extraordinary disappearance of pilot Frederick Valentich over Bass Strait during a UFO encounter in October 1978, we already saw 1978 as a "Year of the UFO".
The other photo of us was from 2007 at the Sydney Observatory where Dave gave a spirited defence of the "planet" Pluto in the Great Pluto Debate - a fun night, which included some comet watching as well.
I also have included reproductions of the UFOIC group's publication the "Australian UFO Researcher" which evolved from the UFOIC Newsletter - The "Year of the UFO?" cover shows some of the UFOs examined by UFOIC (aka UFOR(NSW)) during that incredible year, and the Ben Boyd movie film issue.
Images: Copyright Bill Chalker/UFOIC