Compiled by Keith Basterfield and Paul Dean
This is the twelfth and final (in this format) listing, in a series which originated following the talk by myself, at the September 2014 VUFOA conference in Melbourne. For the last twelve months, Melbourne colleague Paul Dean and I have spent countless hours trawling through a variety of sources to bring you a listing of Australian sighting reports. In addition, we thank all the Australian groups and individuals who have directly sent us material.
Last month we advised of the reasons why we are about to change the format and length of these monthly listings.
23 August 2015 1530hrs Point Cook, Melbourne, Victoria (5-6) minutes ?
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.
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.
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.
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.?
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.
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.
September 20153 September 2015 0230hrs Pontville, Tasmania. Facebook with follow up. 60 mins IFO - ground light.
Witness noticed a light coming through the glass in the front door. Going outside it was all dark except above the tree line by the nearby church west to south-west of the house. There seemed to be an orange light beyond the trees that was visible through a misty sky. The light never moved but had disappeared after about an hour. Investigation suggests this was a ground light reflecting in the mist.
6 September 2015 1815hrs Cambridge, Tasmania. Facebook. IFO - aircraft
Witness reports that while travelling east near Hobart airport he noticed an object moving quickly through the air at low altitude. It appeared to be a disc with flashing blue lights. The object then flew off as the witness continued on his journey. It was then visible as a small light in the distance. Follow up with Hobart Airport revealed two aircraft took off at the time indicated by the witness.
6 September 2015 1930hrs Varsity Lakes, Gold Coast, Queensland ?mins Raw
Tarina Callihan said the appearance of lights above her home was out of this world...'Its colour changed from green to yellow and finally to red and my housemate and I saw what looked like a plane going down and watched for news of a plane crash but nothing came,' she said." The light appeared a s bright as Venus "...and flashed again before disappearing...I believe in UFOs."
"No reports of unusual activity within local airspace were made to Gold Coast airport, Air Services Australia or the Civil Aviation Safety Authority."
7 September 2015 1940hrs Tasman Peninsula, Tasmania. Letter & telephone
The witness noticed some bright flashes of light at high elevation to the north-west. A torch was flashed at this area and a golden light flashed back. The light then moved into some mist. Three seconds later an oval yellow mist shot out of the cloud heading south, it was gone in an instant. The witness has seen similar lights on previous occasions and will continue to observe the night sky.
7 September 2015 1928hrs Beckenham, Western Australia 2m37s Raw
"2 objects travelling in tandem in the N+E, the first object was very bright and it caught my attention as I was looking about. As I was filming I noticed another small orb moving with the bright object which appeared to stay at the same magnitude and brightness."
9 September 2015 Time? Sunshine Coast, Queensland ?mins Raw
Joshua Ross, using his mobile phone, filmed an object in the sky. He said it was moving "...from side to side" and "...up and down." It was described as a yellow/white glow "floating" above houses. On Channel 7 TV news he said "It was just going side tom side up and down, round and round, it would go up in one direction and then shot back the other direction. And then it just went under a tree and that was it."
9 September 2015 1745hrs Toongabbie, Sydney, New South Wales 1min Raw
Rick Kronberger, while driving, saw "...a very bright light hovering about 100 metres above the ground over Winston Hills." It appeared oval in shape, had some angular size. Moved slowly eastwards, then separated into three parts which took off to the north, and disappeared within a second.
10 September 2015 1944hrs Bundoora, Melbourne, Victoria 12.5mins Raw
Brad Morris took a video of a pulsing object which was 20 degrees elevation to the west.
11September 2015 1530hrs Canberra, Australian Capital Territory 1.5mins Raw
Ben reported that he "...noticed a vertically long dark grey shape like a cylinder come up slowly and diagonally from behind the mountains south-south-west of Canberra." It stopped for 45-60 seconds, moved left and then took off at speed. It was gone from sight within 2-3 seconds.
12 September 2015 1845hrs Bundoora, Melbourne, Victoria 5m43s Raw
Brad Morris filmed a pulsing object east of Bundoora. Filmed with two cameras. Panasonic HC-V520M and Nikon P900.
15 September 2015 2305hrs North Bellingen, Central Coast, New South Wales 2mins Raw
Keith Reynolds and family watched, at 45 degrees elevation, a "phenomenon." It grew bigger as if approaching, travelled east and disappeared at 15 degrees elevation. Overcast sky.
15 September 2015 2000hrs Byron Bay, New South Wales (3-4)mins Raw
A storm was approaching from the west, when Jim Christou saw, to his north, "...a red light flashing and stationary...for 3-4 minutes." Then it flashed white and red. "Suddenly it moved towards the south almost above my head before making a semi circle turn towards north-east. " It stopped, flashed white and red then sped off over the ocean."
17 September 2015 2100hrs Bentley Park, Cairns, Queensland 5mins IFO?
Four people saw "...an orange light, which then divided. The lights were just floating or hovering in the distance" in the west. "...2 more arrived. They moved very smoothly weaving in and around each other. Two then disappeared and then the final two did a bit more dancing and then also disappeared." (email from witness directly to Keith Basterfield.)
Keith posed the following questions to the witness who contacted him. The witness' responses are also shown below:
Q1. What direction were they moving in?
A1 "They were just kind of moving calmly around and hovering. Not closer or away."
Q2 What was their apparent size?
A2 "They were about a star size and about as bright as Venus."
Q3 Was there any associated noise?
Q4 What was the total duration?
A4 "I watched them for about 5 minutes."
Q5 Was there any variation in brightness?
A5 "No they were consistent. They did twinkle, just a solid light."
Q6 How did they disappear?A6 "Just disappeared. Vanished. There was nothing to hide behind."
Q7 What was the weather at the time?
A7 "Perfect clear night."
The witness then added:
"Some others on Facebook said they saw them and people replied saying they were lanterns. I don't know how they could be lanterns because they wouldn't emit that much light."
Keith checked the weather details for 2100hrs for Cairns international airport, some 9 kms to the north. These were:
Temperature was 20.4 deg C; 90% relative humidity; wind was from the West at 6km/hr. Pressure was 1016.5hPa. No rain since 9am.Another witness from an adjacent suburb contacted Keith and advised an additional detail, being that the light was concentrated at the bottom of the lights.
Keith's view, based on the details provided above, was that there was nothing inconsistent with either hot air garbage bags or Chinese lanterns. For a detailed investigation report click here.
20 September 2015 1930hrs New Town, Tasmania Facebook. IFO - ISS
A bright, large light was observed moving from north-west across the sky towards the south-east. It disappeared after a few minutes in the distance.
21 September 2015 (Between about 2120 and 2150)hrs Armidale, New South Wales 20mins IFO? Balloons/lanterns?
Two groups of people reported sighting two amber/orange lights, travelling eastwards. For a full investigation report by Keith Basterfield, click here.
27 September 2015 (Between 1830-1900)hrs Southern Adelaide, South Australia 2mins IFO - balloon
Three people in two adjacent suburbs reported seeing an initial bright orange light, which then pulsed and went out, leaving a dark blob in the sky. Two photographs were taken of the dark phase.
("Adelaide UFO sightings" Facebook page, and investigation by Melbourne researcher Brad Morris, and Keith Basterfield.)
24 August 2015 1900hrs Kingsville, Melbourne, Victoria 30secs Raw
Two people, one named Sue, travelling by vehicle, "spotted a ball of fire with a fiery trail...to our right." It was travelling horizontally. "I saw the fiery trail got 'swallowed back' into the ball. The bright ball hovered in the sky a little, then it disappeared about half a minute later."
Australian groups contributing to this issue
Tasmanian UFO Investigation Centre
See my blog at: http://ufos-scientificresearch.blogspot.com