Wednesday, September 2, 2015

Preliminary investigation report - Point Cook, Victoria - 23 August 2015

Preliminary investigation report by Paul Dean and Keith Basterfield

September 2015

Date:         Sunday 23 August 2015.
Time:       1530hrs AEST (UTC + 10 hours.)
Location:  Point Cook, Melbourne, Victoria, Australia.
Witness:   Married woman, aged 42 from Werribie South.


1. Email:

The sighting was initially reported by email directly to Keith Basterfield, shortly after it happened. The email read:

"I was driving along Sneydes Road, Point Cook towards my local IGA supermarket when I noticed a strange object moving south to north just below the cloud line. It was a shiny, silver 'ring' or doughnut for lack of a better word, and it was flying about the same speed as a commercial airliner. It made no sound and had no vapour trail.

I quickly pulled over and stopped in a quiet side street, got my phone out of the car and began filming it. As I was filming I realised I could see the object by naked eye but it wasn't shown up in my view finder.

The 'ring' was flying vertically at a consistent speed and at first I thought it might be a balloon but quickly realised the wind was blowing in the opposite direction this object was flying in.

The object also began to rotate on an angle so that at times it appeared as a ring and then as a straight vertical line then rotate back to a 'ring.'

Google map of the area

2. Telephone interview:

Paul Dean telephoned the witness within two days and spoke to her to gather additional information. The witness was most co-operative at all times with our investigation, being very puzzled as to what she had observed.

Additional information secured by interview was:

- The first person she told about the sighting was her husband and she told him "I think I just saw a UFO."
- The object was below clouds, not in them.
- Total duration of the sighting was 5-6 minutes.
- She has excellent eyesight.
- After the object had disappeared from view, she stayed around for a while in case it returned.
- She turned off Sneydes into Florey.

Google satellite image of the area

3. Email questions:

Over the course of the next few days both authors communicated with the witness by email and asked a series of questions, to which the witness promptly responded. These questions and answers are listed below.

Q1 Which direction were you travelling in?
A1 Travelling east.

Q2 Did you initially see the object through the vehicle windscreen or another window?
A2 Initially seen through the driver's side window.

Q3 Initially was the object sighted down near the bottom of the window, near the top or at some other point?
A3 Closer to the top of the window, just above middle of window.

Q4 Did the object's apparent size change?
A4 Never changed size.

Q5 Did its brightness change?
A5 Never changed brightness. But stood out very clearly against the clouds.

Q6 How did you lose sight of it?
A6 It disappeared behind a thick bank of clouds.

Q7 What was its angular size, say compared to the full Moon when seen on the horizon?
A7 It was tiny compared to the full Moon.

The witness also advised that a more accurate track for the object was from south-east to north-west.

1. WebTrak
The Air Services Australia WebTrak secondary radar website was consulted for that day and time. The program was run between 1500 and 1600 hours on Sunday 23 August 2015, and the area around Point Cook was examined. The following screen shot is for 1530 hours.

Between 1500 and 1600 hours, only three aircraft passed near Point Cook:

1. At 1533 hrs a light aircraft tracked north-east to south-west to the north of Point Cook at 9000 feet.

2. At 1547 hrs QJE 1505 flew Melbourne to Hobart tracking north-west to south-east almost directly over Point Cook at 12000 feet.

3. At 1548 hrs another light aircraft flew north-east to south-west, almost directly over Point Cook at 3100 feet.

2. Weather

We secured weather details from the Bureau of Meteorology. The closest weather station listed is at RAAF Laverton, 5.9km from Point Cook. Station number 087031.

For 23 August 2015, the minimum temperature was 4.9 deg C; maximum 15.8 deg C; maximum wind gust was from the south-south-east at 30 km/hr at 1618hrs that day.

At 9am the temperature was 10.9 deg C; 91% relative humidity, cloud cover was total; and the surface wind was from the north-west at 9km/hr ; pressure was 1020.ohPa.

By 3pm that day, the temperature was 14.9 deg c; 64% relative humidity; cloud cover was 1/8th; wind was from the south-south-east at 17 km/hr; pressure 1019.0hPa.

As we checked within three days of the event, we were also able to obtain weather details at half hour intervals for Laverton that day.

Laverton details for the time of the sighting, 1530hrs were:

13.5 deg C;70% relative humidity; winds from the south-east at 19km/hr; pressure 1019.1hPa.

Upper air soundings:

We located a website which provides twice daily upper air soundings, measured at Melbourne airport. Here we find details which include the wind speed and wind direction for various heights above the ground. These are taken at 0000hrs UTC (1000hrs Melbourne time) and 1200hrs UTC (2200hrs Melbourne time.)

The following screenshot shows this data for 1000hrs 23 August 2015. Surface wind is from the north at 5 knots. Compare this to Laverton at 9am where wind is coming from the north-west at 5 knots, very similar data.

The next screenshot shows the data for 2200hrs that night, 6.5hrs after the Point Cook sighting. The surface wind is from 170 deg, almost south at 9 knots. Compare this with Laverton at 1530hrs wind from the south-east at 19kms/hr, similar data.

Primary radar
Paul Dean has submitted a request to Air Services Australia for primary radar data for the area on that day. It will take up to 30 days to process.

In summary

An observation was made at 1530hrs Sunday 23 August 2015 from Sneydes Road, Point Cook, a suburb of Melbourne, Victoria. Initially it was seen at about 30 degrees elevation to the south-east. The object travelled south-east to north-west. The object, according to the witness was at all times below clouds and seen against the clouds. The object never changed size, colour or brightness. After a total duration of 5-6 minutes it was lost to sight behind a thick band of clouds to the north-west. Angular size was tiny compared to the full Moon. In appearance it looked at times to be a shiny silver 'ring' or doughnut shape. At other times it appeared to be a straight vertical line. The witness stated that it was travelling against the prevailing surface winds.

The initial impression gained from all this data, is that the object was probably wind borne debris of some kind. The weather data, contrary to the witness' assertion, indicates that the object was moving with the surface wind direction. The small angular size, no change in size, colour or brightness, but changing geometry from 'ring' to vertical straight line, also, in our opinion supports this hypothesis.
Comments by Keith Basterfield
1. Recently, I was at a local shopping centre, when my attention was drawn to an object in the sky. It seemed to be reflecting the sun in a cloudless sky. I watched it for a while and had time to photograph it twice before I lost sight of it. When examining the photographs on my computer, I could make out an apparently round, small angular sized, white/silver light. However, there was no way from the photograph that I could have determined what I already knew it was. I had initially seen it at a closer range, and saw that it was a transparent plastic bag of some kind. Below are my two photographs I took.

2. An excellent video, shot by Brad Morris of Melbourne appears on the Facebook page for "Melbourne UFO sightings." It captures an object at 1240hrs on 30 August 2015. It shows a silver/white semi transparent object heading north at high altitude. Brad's thoughts as to what it was were "I think it is safe to assume its a balloon."
3. My impression, from watching a number of videos of this kind, is that there is far more wind borne debris around in the sky than you would think. I have in the past, also seen cardboard boxes and plastic dry cleaning bags drifting through the air for several minutes. You can only be certain of what they are, by either having seen them at one point from a relatively close distance; or by the use of binoculars.
In conclusion
We welcome comments from blog readers on our analysis, and hypothesis that this sighting was of wind borne debris. Naturally, if there is radar confirmation of the object by Air Services primary radar, this may well change our preliminary conclusion.

Tuesday, September 1, 2015

Review of Australian sightings listings

Hi all,


During my speech at the September 2014 VUFOA conference, I suggested that there was a need to compile Australian national level sightings listings, in order that we might all learn just what was being reported in this country. Melbourne researcher, Paul Dean and I undertook this task, and next month will see the publication of the twelfth in the series of monthly listings. The question now, is whether, given the workload this monthly compilation entails, or not, to continue this compilation each month?


These monthly listings are published on this blog; on Paul's own blog; in the AUFORN magazine "The UFOlogist;" and are sent to an email distribution of UFO researchers within Australia. A while ago I undertook a survey of these email distribution list recipients of the listings, to see what value they saw in the lists. The responses were overwhelmingly positive, and most respondents said they would like to see both "raw" and fully investigated cases. The survey found that no-one, however, had the time to take over the compilation of the lists from us.

The future

Paul and I have taken these comments into consideration, and decided however, that we do need to make some changes, given the time invested by the two of us. Our rationale was along the following lines.

Firstly, surprisingly the more interesting cases, have come in the main, not from UAP groups but directly to us, either from the witness, or from a direct referral.

Secondly, most of the reports in the lists continue to be "raw" ones, that is the originating group or individual has not conducted an investigation, for one of a number of valid reasons, e.g. lack of group resources. Paul and I do not have the time, or interest, to conduct a review of large numbers of sightings. As the late Professor J Allan Hynek once said, the only useful UAP report is one which has undergone a competent investigation and remains "unknown" at that point.

Thus we feel that the best use of our future time, would be to continue to scan YouTube; the 38 known Australian Facebook UAP communities; the Sydney Observatory website; and media outlets. Then, to use out own best judgement as to what seems to be a "good" case, and focus our attention on investigating and documenting these. In this way, future monthly listings will be numerically reduced, but should be of better quality sightings.

This will allow the two of us, more time to concentrate on Australian case investigations, something we see is needed; given that many Australian groups are time and resource poor to undertaken such intensive work.


We wish to advise that in future we will not be reporting on sightings which are listed in the publicly visible  US based Mutual UFO Network (MUFON) case management system.

No investigated Australian case reports have appeared in either the MUFON Journal or MUFON Newsletter in the last twelve months, despite the appointment of a new MUFON management group in Australia, and associated new field investigators.

In addition, no detailed investigation reports on Australian sightings have appeared on the "MUFON Australia" Facebook page during that same time frame.

Paul and I have lost confidence in this system and its lack of transparency, e.g. how many Australian cases have been followed up, researched, documented and dispatched to MUFON in the USA; the number of hoax cases submitted; and the non publication of its Australian investigations.

When we speak of detailed investigation reports, we mean similar to the following:

Chinderah, NSW  10 July 2015.

Oakey, Queensland  12 June 2015.

Townsville, Queensland 29 May 2015.

According to our blog counters, these reports have been viewed by over 4,000 people since they were published, thus providing both Australian and overseas blog readers with detailed information on current investigated reports in this country.

In summary

Our new process will commence from the October listings, with the September list (out 4 October) being the last one in the current format. Thank you to everyone who has taken the time to submit sightings to us so far. Naturally, we would welcome the continued forwarding of cases you consider "interesting," for the future listings, particularly if you would like Paul and I to assist you in the investigation of a particular report.

August 2015 - Australian reports roundup

August 2015 - monthly national level reports roundup

Compiled by Keith Basterfield and Paul Dean

This is the eleventh in a series of Australian national level sightings reports listings, most of which are raw reports, meaning they have not been investigated.

August 2015

4 August 2015 0818hrs Ardeer, Melbourne, Victoria IFO - lens flare?
The witness took a photograph but did not see anything unusual at the time. When they looked at the image later they saw what looked like an orb in the sky.

5 August 2015 0250hrs Adelaide, South Australia ? mins IFO? - re-entry?
SA Police received numerous calls from Aldinga; Semaphore etc of possible sightings of "flares" from boats in distress. However, "...Police believed the lights were in fact space junk..." "A small Australian company last year struck a deal with US defence giant Lockheed Martin to track space junk in Earth's orbit from a tracking centre in Western Australia. The company, Electro Optic Systems said the problem of space junk was getting rapidly worse..."

11 August 2015 Ca 2330-2345hrs Sydney and Central Coast, New South Wales IFO - fireball
Numerous witnesses reported the same object, including Vicki who, facing south east from Mayfield, saw an object appear above the horizon. "It was sort of like an ice cream cone turned upside down, the cone was a red/orange triangle shape with this really bright white light at the base...just controlled drop about 50 to 60 degree angle." Soundless.

19 August 2015 1845hrs Hobart, Tasmania
Saw two satellites, less than a degree apart, slightly east of north, around the constellation Serpens. The brighter was the same magnitude as Jupiter. The lesser "companion" (about +1 to +2 magnitude) just to it's LS (when facing north.) Objects bright and not twinkling like stars do. Seemed stationary when first seen. Unlikely to be that bright, or accompanied, if they were flaring GS. They faded fairly quickly about where Earth's shadow would be at that time. Not seen anything like that before. Heavens Above says ISS over Middle East at that time.

22 August 2015 Sydney, New South Wales
"Footage of a bright orb hovering over Sydney." 45 seconds long video.

22 August 2015 1550hrs  Montague Bay, Tasmania (3-4)mins Telephone. IFO - aircraft
Witness notices something bright low to the south-east moving from left to right. Looks to stop briefly and is then obscured by cloud. Unable to discern any features. Commercial aircraft in area and is probably what was witnessed.

23 August 2015 1530hrs Point Cook, Melbourne, Victoria ? mins Under investigation
Driving to the super market, the witness noticed a "...strange object moving south to north just below the cloud line. It was a shiny silver 'ring' or doughnut for want of a better word, and it was flying at about the same speed as a commercial airliner. It made no sound and had no vapour trail. I quickly pulled over ..."
Personal email from witness to Keith Basterfield.

Ca. 28 August 2015 (2000-2030)hrs Quakers Hill, Sydney, New South Wales Raw
Witness reported seeing, twice this week, "...a red light similar to a helicopter...but moves fast very high in the air and turns rapidly in a 180 degree angle as fast as a shooting star. It just hovers for a few seconds in one place then moves very fast towards the right and does a "U-turn" back to where it began, then flys away in 2 seconds it was no longer visible."

Older reports

29 July 2015 2030hrs Parramatta, Sydney, New South Wales ? mins
Witness looked up and saw a halo around the moon. "I saw two white lights that moved as fast as you would see a shooting star." The lights left "...a trail of light which took around 10 seconds to fade away."
UFOPRSA - "Phenomenon Times." August 2015.

20 July 2015 2130hrs Camden, Sydney, New South Wales ? mins
While stationary in a car, two witnesses saw "A larger bluish light shot through the sky with great speed...It was probably about 40 metres above the ground." Soundless.
UFOPRSA - "Phenomenon Times." August 2015.

15 July 2015 0220hrs Central Coast, New South Wales ? mins
Witnesses reported what they thought "...could be a plane or a planet blinking." It moved "...erratically and swooping in a backwards 'J' direction...It got higher and higher until it was impossible to see."
UFOPRSA - "Phenomenon Times." August 2015.

July 2015 N'Dhala Gorge, East MacDonnell ranges, Northern Territory
"In July this year (2015) over two weeks, a friend of mine and her fellow university students from Sydney were doing geological field excursions in and around the N'Dhala Gorge, East MacDonnell Ranges, in the Northern territory of Australia.

They were staying at a homestead called Ross River, which was situated about 65 km east of Alice Springs. In their first week over three nights, the 13, 14 and 15 July 2015 they came across a find that was totally out of the ordinary.

While returning back to their cabins after dinner, my friend and seven other students witnessed rays of coloured light (red, blue and yellow) rising up behind the ranges to their south-west. This display lasted for at least thirty minutes. She said over this period the lights would fade and become bright again, and their colours would mix producing more complex colours. Unfortunately these lights were over 2 km away , too far to get a suitable photo with their mobile phones.

She said at the time they were all totally bewildered by these lights. After the second and third night of witnessing these lights they decided that the next day they would actually go to the are where these lights were appearing from. When they got there they could not find any evidence at all that would cause the appearance of these lights!

The best was yet to come, on the night of the 21 July 2015 while again returning to their cabins after dinner, my friend and four other students witnessed a much closer sighting of a bright white orb (see image below). It was about 500 meters to the north at an angle of 45 degrees and was travelling slowly from west to east, no sound was heard. The orb was roughly the size of your thumbnail with your arm out stretched. She was very lucky to get a photo because the light only lasted about 5 seconds, this photo was taken at 8.06pm. If you look at the image you will notice what looks like flaring shooting out from the top  and bottom of the object and also coming out of the object's left hand side. These are not camera flares, this is what it looked like to the naked eye, according to my friend. The clincher is, the top and bottom flares were actually "horizontal" before she took the photograph! So it actually rotated in a split second into this position just before it disappeared. Some of you might say it looks like a full Moon but if you check the records it was just over a half moon on  the night of the 21 July 2015. She also said that it you look closely, the orb actually looks slightly oval shaped!"
UFO Research (NSW) Incorporated. (27 August 2015.)

8 July 2015 Australia IFO - hoax
A photograph circulated on Facebook showing a shot across water, with dark cloudy skies and a lighting strike. In the top right hand corner is a spectacular UFO image looking like a traditional "mother ship." The "Skeptical blog" discovered a "...near identical looking lighting feature..." indicating that the "object" was really a reflection on glass of a light fitting in a room to the rear of the photographer.

6 July 2015 0615hrs Koonunga, South Australia 4 secs
A man was seeing his wife of to work when "I was taken back by two, very bright, dazzling blue green coloured lights just travelling across the sky above our cottage... These two lights were about the size of a rock melon and looked to be circular. They looked to be approx. 30 to 40 feet above the house roof and were travelling at the same speed I estimate to be around 80kms an hour. They were travelling horizontally across the sky heading from north to south. They were arranged one above the other...clear, crisp morning."
UFOPRSA - "Phenomenon Times." August 2015.

1 July 2015 0750hrs Appin, New South Wales 10 mins
Looking out of the window, a witness "...saw a very bright object with another object next to it." Stationary. "When I went back to the window after 10 minutes or so it was gone."
UFOPRSA - "Phenomenon Times." August 2015.

4 June 2015 1510hrs Moree, New South Wales ? mins
"I was at the prestart for work the sound I heard was being emitted from a human like life form from its mouth orifice was very English like. The electrical interference came from the Electrical Supervisor who was emitting something which resembled laughing."
UFOPRSA - "Phenomenon Times." August 2015.

25 May 2015 1950hrs Australian Capital Territory ? mins
"I was driving home and there was a really bright star." It was low and bright.
On 27 May saw "...two of very bright stars. One gave off a bright spark...and then was phenomenal." UFOPRSA - "Phenomenon Times." August 2015.

2014/2015 (2300-000)hrs  Kairi, Queensland ? mins Under investigation
"For the last year I have been watching a strange drone like object that is shaped like a stingray, every night between 11pm and 12 am fly over Tinaroo Dam and it heads towards Mareeba. It goes towards Mareeba then comes back later, then goes back a few times a night. It has strange lights on it and is supper quiet almost silent."

1995 2000hrs The Entrance, New South Wales
"I was sitting with a friend on a headland at The Entrance, north of Sydney, Australia, looking east over the ocean. It was around 8pm and we were there at random - we went fro a drive to visit some relatives up that way.

All of a sudden, the sky in front of us seemed to 'shudder", as if something was entering the airspace. My friend reacted like I did -about to run. I said "did you see that!" In front of us was a gigantic craft - it would've been over one kilometre wide, the aspect was the same as if you looked at a jet from the front. It looked like a pyramid on its side, looking up at the point. We could just make out the right angles. The thing was silent and we felt really eerie, and we got the hell out of there.

Interestingly around that time there were multiple sightings of smaller craft reported but as far as I know we were the only witnesses to this thing."
UFO Research (NSW) Incorporated. (7 July 2015.)

Early 1970's about 1971 or 1972 Night Olary, South Australia, near broken Hill, New South Wales
"I am a former Seaman in the Navy and have worked with radar and are accustomed to helicopters and similar craft. Back then the last thing I expected to see was a UFO while driving near Broken Hill, NSW, Australia. I was driving a VW Kombi van and there was a bed in the back on which a hitchhiker lay sleeping when the event occurred.  I had picked up two hitchhikers near Kalgoorlie for company and had dropped one at Port Pirie.

While driving at night I saw a red light in the sky, looking like a star. Then suddenly the red-orange light was right over the Kombi about 15 metres above . The light enveloped the Kombi and there was no sound coming from the object. The Kombi engine had stopped by itself when the light approached. I sensed danger and was concerned for the hitchhiker so I grabbed my two rifles  and dragged the hitchhiker out of the van into the Spinifex grass outside the van. The hitchhiker could not be woken, and this alarmed me. I could not identify the light/object, only being able to view a dull red light above us.

In fear I shot at the red light with one of the firearms and then everything went blank. What was strange is that to two of us made breakfast the next morning and drove on as if nothing had happened and never spoke about it again. Later I dropped the hitchhiker off in Sydney and that was the last time I saw him.

I often wondered if something else happened that night because I'm mystified at how everything went blank. I have no idea how we got back to the Kombi or why we did not speak about the event the next day."
UFO Research (NSW) Incorporated.  (26 August 2015.)

Australian groups contributing to this issue
Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre

UFO Research (NSW) Incorporated.

Hotline: 0456 447 112
Facebook page:

There were a number of quite detailed reports, said to have originated in Australia, made to the publicly available MUFON  case management system during this month, which appear to have been generated by one individual, and which show indications they may not be genuine. As it is not possible to find out from MUFON in Australia, any details of their investigations into such reports, we have decided not to summarise these MUFON reports in this listing.

Wednesday, August 26, 2015

A voice from the past

Hi all,

One of the intriguing Australian cases from the past, is the one which occurred in 1972 near Frankston, in Victoria, and involved Mrs Maureen Puddy.

In 2012, I wrote a series of blog posts detailing what both civilian UAP groups, and the RAAF, knew of the events ; click here, here and here to read these. They provide perhaps the best summary of our knowledge of the incidents.

Now, thanks to the estate of former VUFORS sightings officer, Bill Stapleton, I have acquired an original, short, reel to reel tape recording of an interview between Mrs Puddy and Bill Stapleton. I look forward to digesting its contents.

Tuesday, August 25, 2015

Satellite re-entries and UAP over South Australia

Hi all,

A while ago, amateur astronomer Ted Molczan sent me a list of visually observed satellite re-entries from around the globe. Interestingly, Ted was using UAP sightings as a source of some of these observations.

South Australian catalogue

I have just finished checking Ted's extensive list against my own lengthy catalogue of South Australian UAP sightings. Of Ted's ten known satellite re-entries over my home state of South Australia, I found six matches to existing sightings in my collection, which now allow me to change their status from "unknown" to "satellite re-entries."

For historical interest, I will list below, details of these sightings and their causes. Of some note are the estimated heights of the UAP above the ground, of a couple of these, now known to be satellite re-entries. In the 22 July 1981 Whyalla instance, the witness estimated that the object was just 300 metres up in the air. In the 31 July 1992, Port Pirie Sighting, the witness thought his UAP was only 60-100 metres above the ground.

The sightings

Firstly details from my catalogue and then the explanation.

1. 20 January 1968 Adelaide 0257hrs local time
White and red lights in the sky. Round ball of light. Vapour trail. Lost over horizon.
(National Archives of Australia file 580/1/1 part 9, p.170.)

1968 Jan 19 1729 UTC
1967-083B Biosatellite 2 r seen over SA, NSW, debris found near Mudgee.

2. Not found in my catalogue.
1973 Apr 9 1957UTC
1973-017D Russia Salyut 2 r debris.
Reported from aircraft over Outer Harbour, Adelaide plus Queensland.
(NAA A703, 580/1/1 part 21, pp35-43.)

3. 20 July 1981 Adelaide 0105hrs
Number of calls about a white rocket-like object travelling east to west.

1981 Jul 19 1537UTC
1981-021D Russia Cosmos 1249DU. Adelaide and Iron Knob.
AUFORN 1981 sighting reports.

4. 22 July 1981 Whyalla 1930hrs
Two fishermen reported a massive dark red/orange object about 300m up. No wings nor tail. Silent. Moved slowly for 30 seconds then accelerated out of sight.
"Whyalla News"" 24/7/1981.

1981 July 22 0957UTC
Russia 1981-060C Molniya 150B Seen over SA.
AUFORN 1981 sighting reports.

5. 31 July 1992 Port Pirie 0310hrs
To his south, a man reported an object at 60-100m altitude. Estimated angular size 20 degrees. Cigar shaped. Green colour. Silent. Three amber lights at the left hand side, plus pulsating lights on it.

1992 Jul 30 1744UTC
1992-047D Russia Cosmos 2204 r. Seen over Port Pirie.
AUFORN sighting reports.

6. 1 Oct 1992 Broken Hill and various South Australian locations Ca 1900-1907hrs
Multiple lights travelling west toe east in formation. No noise.

1992 Oct 1 0936UTC
1992-063B USA Mars Observer r.
AUFORN sightings listing.

7. Not in my catalogue.
2001 Feb 8 1915UTC
2000-071B USA GPS 11 R - 6 r 1. Seen from Robe.

8. 27 Sept 2008 Adelaide 0015hrs
12 lights, white, with long comet-like tails travelling north to south. No noise.
Another observer said silent red object with 5-7 smaller ones, travelling north to south.

2008 Sep 26 1447UTC
2008-046E Russia. Xosmos 2242 casing.
Seesat-L AUFORN sightings listing.

9. Not in my catalogue.
2008 Nov 21 1702UTC
2008-058B Russia Cosmos 2445 r Seen from Elliston.
Seesat-L AUFORN sightings listing.

10. Not in my catalogue
2014 Jul 10 1142UTC.
2014-037j Russia Meteor M 2r. Seen over SA, Tas, Vic, NSW, ACT and Qld.
Reentrywatch, Youtube, Seesat-L.

Friday, August 7, 2015

Australian university theses on UAP

Hi all,

US researcher Barry Greenwood, has kindly been sending me copies of academic theses dealing with the subject of UAP.

Italian researcher, Paolo Toselli, in 2012, compiled a 231 item data base titled "University UFO Theses & Dissertations, 1950-2012."

I thought I would take a look at how many theses, partly or wholly, have been undertaken in Australia,  on this subject. My research ended up with a total of eight. Naturally, I would be pleased to hear details of any others.

The list:

Mathews, Gerard.
"UFOs and landscape dimensions of the paranormal."
2000. University of New South Wales. B.L. Arch.
To locate a copy.

Harvey-Wilson, Simon.
"Shamanism and Alien Abduction: A comparative study."
2001. Edith Cowan University. Faculty of Community Services. Perth, Western Australia.
To download a copy.

Carthew, Stephen.
"Fred Robinson, theory and me: a methodological meandering with an Australian Hippie guru and his former 'alignee.'"
2005. University of South Australia. School of communication, Information and New Media." Adelaide, South Australia.
For further details.

Couacaud, Zoe.
"How the alien invaded the American mind: a history of experts, entrepreneurs, story-tellers, and a love of the alien in modern American culture."
2006. University of Sydney. New South Wales. Faculty of Arts. Department of History.
For further details.

Bertram, Dean.
"Flying Saucer Culture: An Historical Survey of American UFO Belief."
2006. University of Sydney. New South Wales. Faculty of Arts. Department of History."
For further details.

Goretzki, Monika.
"The Differentiation of psychosis and spiritual emergency."
2007. University of Adelaide. South Australia. School of Psychology.
Download a copy.

Plowman, Martin.
"High strangeness: a Lacanian cultural history of UFOs and Ufology."
2007. University of Melbourne. Victoria. Dept. English and Cultural Studies.
Plowman's thesis was later published as a book.

Carthew, Stephen.
"A world within a world with 'The World.'"
2012. University of South Australia.
To download a copy.

Update 10 August 2015.

Thanks to Italian researcher Roberto Labanti, who drew my attention to the following additional theses, which mention in part, Unidentified Aerial Phenomena.

Holman, Brett.
"The Gathering Cloud of Rumour": Phantom Airships and the British Fear of Germany, 1909-1913."
2004. Postgraduate diploma (4th year) thesis. University of Melbourne. Department of History.
For further details.  Also Holman presents some of the material which was used in the thesis.

Holman, Brett.
"The Next War in the Air: Civilian Fears of Strategic Bombardment in Britain, 1908-1941."
2009. University of Melbourne. Faculty of Arts. School of Historical Studies.
Download a copy.


Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Videos - field work is important

Hi all,

A while ago, I wrote a post about the large number of Australian "UFO communities" on Facebook.

Since then, I have been visiting a number of these "UFO communities", in order, with the permission of the individual concerned, to collect sightings.

These sightings, which may be a video, together with others submitted by UFO groups, are then compiled into the monthly Australian national level sightings listings. July 2015, will see the publication of the tenth of these listings. After the twelfth, a review will be conducted of their value to the Australian research community. A survey has already been conducted of the individuals who receive the listings by way of an e-mail distribution list.

Are videos of any real value?

One question which was recently directed at me, was "There are numerous individuals in these Facebook communities who go out, with video cameras, take videos and then post them to Facebook or Youtube. Are these of any real value to research?" The person who posed this question then provided their own view by stating "No, they are not. They are frequently out of focus, fail to include any reference points, and often lack details of what was seen visually."

I beg to disagree!

I recall the many nights, years ago, that I spent in the countryside outside Adelaide, watching the skies. I still go out most nights to take a look at what's around.

1. If you don't go out and look, you certainly will not see anything unusual in the skies.
2. If you see something which appears unusual, why not take a video of it?
3. It is true, that some videos are shot without a tripod. It is true, that others have auto focus problems. It is true that some people simply zoom in on the object without including any reference points, such as the horizon. However, some videographers do use a tripod, do use manual focus, and do include reference points. These are of some evidential value.

So, I encourage those members of "UFO communities" who are getting out there to view and video objects in the sky, to continue to do so.

What do they show?

Well,there are a variety of images. There are nocturnal, pulsating lights which change colours. There are daytime, spherical, lights traversing the sky. At first glance they appear mysterious. The descriptions accompanying them tantalise the senses.

However, I need to come back to my investigatory experience. In non-video cases, my analytical experience tells me that, after a competent investigation, 95% of all sightings have a mundane, conventional cause.  I suspect that this is also the case for video sightings, that is, 95% of all videos show common objects, sometimes under unusual circumstances.

My own experience

I'd like to give a few examples from my own observations:

1. I saw and photographed a brilliant, white, spherical light in blue sky, in broad daylight. You couldn't tell what it was from the photograph. A video would simply have added another dimension, namely movement, but you still wouldn't have been able to identify the object. I could, for I had seen it at a closer range before taking the picture. It was a plastic bag.

2. Another time, at night, I saw a cluster of fast moving, lights travel across the night sky. A video would simply have recorded the same as my visual observation. I identified the lights, through binoculars as birds. Zooming in the video may or may not have revealed this.

3. I once saw a brilliant, white, light rise out of a cloud at 5am. A video would have shown just this. If I'd been vague in what direction I saw it, you would not have known it was the planet Venus. The cloud moved, the planet did not.

 I have a number of other such personal observations. If it wasn't for my "sky watching" activities I would not have the knowledge and experience that I have today.


In most of the current crop of videos, as with visual observations, we need an analysis. In order to analyse, we need data. The basic sort of data we need includes:

1. Where was the video taken? Suburb, street etc.
2. In what direction was the camera pointing? East, north-west?
3. What reference points are on the video? For example, the roof of a known house; a street sign; the Moon?
4. Has the videographer also included images taken of stars, planets, the Moon, aircraft etc with the same camera/phone? These are useful for comparison purposes.
5. What are the equipment details? Camera make and model; was auto focus used; what magnification zoom?
6. What was seen by the naked eye. Provide a description of what you saw with your own eyes. Description; behaviour, trajectory.


So let me summarise, at this point. Individuals who get out and look at the sky, take videos and post them, are to be congratulated and encouraged.

However, these same individuals need to be willing to supply basic data along the lines above. If they do not, then people will continue to criticise them, and quite rightly so.

In future

In my opinion,. what is needed, in these video sightings, is publication of data, and then analysis. Who should do this?

Data publication can only be undertaken by the person who takes the video. If they want others to take their work seriously stop publishing videos showing what is said to be "an amazing ufo" and start publishing information!

Analysis could be provided by independent people, always working hand in hand with the videographer. After all, we are all after the same objective, namely identifying the object shown, and adding to our knowledge of them.

In conclusion

So to conclude this post; get out there; look up at the sky; take a video; document the sighting and help us analyse them.