UFOINFO interview with Bill Chalker & Doug Moffett
Co-hosts of the "Banana TV UFO Show"
Bill Chalker and Doug Moffett co-hosts of the Banana TV UFO Show recently agreed to an interview with John Hayes for UFOINFO. Details of the show can be found at the end of the interview.
Could you first give us some background information about yourselves and what first got you interested in the study of UFOs?
I have always had an interest in the subject as far back as I can remember. My active interest began after attending a "UFO Expo" in 1992 in Sydney, at which such speakers as Bud Hopkins and Mary Decker spoke. Soon after I joined UFO Research NSW as an investigator.
Prior to "UFO" on BTV I appeared on national television on "The Morning Shift" as well as numerous spots on regional radio programmes throughout New South Wales. In 1999 I was asked by Dianne Harrison (Director of the "Australian UFO Research Network) to be New South Wales State allocator for callins on the UFO hotline number. This was later upgraded to NSW State Director a few years later. Due to my connection with AUFORN I have appeared several times as a guest on the "Jeff Rense Show".
I'm a science graduate from the University of New England, in Australia, with some 25 years experience working in scientific disciplines industry, specifically as an industrial chemist, laboratory manager and quality assurance manager.
Local sightings during the mid to late 1960s in the north coast area of New South Wales (NSW) began my interest in the subject. By the early 1970s my interest developed into a more in depth interest that involved extensive field investigations particular in the north coast and New England districts of NSW. These early experiences increased my conviction that the UFO mystery deserved serious scientific scrutiny.
Have you ever seen a UFO yourself, and if so could you describe it and what was your reaction?
I have not had the good fortune to have had a UFO experience thus far. Although my "Claytons experience" around 1978 gave me a very real insight into the thoughts of those who have had an experience.
Whilst travelling along a very flat road in a semi rural area with no streetlights, houses or moon, my girlfriend and I noticed a brilliant white light at about 25 to 30 degrees above the horizon. Speechless, we gazed at the light trying to figure out what it could be.
The next moment, two bright shafts of light appeared under the light, and the light appeared to be descending on the road before us using the beams was aware of three things at the time, the part of my brain desperately trying to explain what I was seeing, the dilemma of whether or not to turn tail or confront what now seemed very likely to be a landing ET craft and thirdly the slowly escalating hysteria of my girlfriend and what to do with her, as I was leaning more and more to taking the chance of a lifetime.
Soon after this critical point we could see that above in the distance was a huge hill, and a four wheel drive with high beam and powerful driving lights had come over the crest of the hill and was halfway down the hill before we could make out the vehicle and what was happening. If nothing else, the above incident highlights the importance of continued observation of potential UFO sightings.
There are 2 observations that remain mystifying to me, both are covered in some detail on my web site:
1972, September 15th - a daylight disc sighting at the University of New England college campus area at Armidale, NSW.
1973, August 23rd - Tyringham, NSW - a complex of events during an extraordinary localised UFO flap.
Both sightings were very intriguing for me personally, particularly the 1973 events because they were part of a fascinating example of the complex UFO flap phenomena - a sustained burst of localised UFO phenomena and other unusual phenomena.
When and how did you meet?
Bill and I had met on several occasions during the 1990's at various conferences and meetings. I had always held Bill's research in high regard. So, when approached by BTV to work with Bill as co compare of "UFO", I was more than happy to do so.
I became aware of Doug's commonsense approach to UFO investigations he was conducting in the southern highlands area of NSW during the 1990s and we continued to have intermittent contact since then. When the opportunity to co-host the UFO show came along we were certain that we could effectively work together and that has certainly proved to be the case.
What is the most interesting case you have personally investigated?
The case that springs to mind was in 1995 in a small village 100 kilometres South of Sydney called Hilltop with a population of around 800 people, of which I was one at the time. This incident happened no more than one kilometre from my home.
A female left her neighbour's house at around 9.30pm to walk home. There was only one vacant house block between the two homes. Halfway home, in the dark unlit street, she encountered two amber disks, which appeared suddenly before her at eye level approximately an arm and a half-length's away. The two disks went above her head and then returned to the original position. This continued on three occasions in all, in quick succession. At one point the witness tried to run, but seemed paralysed, and could do no more than raise one leg. Eventually the disks moved behind her and she ran for dear life for home.
Although the event was estimated to last no more than about 60 seconds by the witness, and the walk home no more than two minutes, 25 minutes had elapsed. This was established by the husband observing the time at 9.46pm approximately and noting that it was some time after that his wife, in a distressed state, entered their home.
The road outside had just been resurfaced and the blue metal used was still very sharp, due also to the fact of it being a dead end street with little traffic. This ruled out for me some sort of partial stroke, as the witness would have fell to the road, and wearing shorts would have received cuts and scratches, which she did not have. I then investigated the possibility of Catatonic epilepsy, only to find out this is a congenital condition, which would be well known to the witness.
Finally, what intrigued me, was the physical effects of her encounter, namely, not being able to warm her knees (when I first visited the witness she had hot water bottles under both knees), her face feeling hot to her, but not hot to the touch or red in colour and extreme vagueness she experienced for several days after.
The proximity of the sighting would make it very hard to miss identify a terrestrial object and the possibility of alien probes at use, make this a highly unusual case.
This is a very hard call for me and I would rather draw attention to a few select cases, with available links and why I found them particularly interesting:
1992 Peter Khoury case - because of the intriguing DNA evidence that has emerged from the case:
1993 Kelly Cahill case in Victoria - because in possibly represents an independently multiple witnessed abduction milieu with physical evidence:
1980 Rosedale landing case in Victoria - one of the most impressive physical trace cases I have ever investigated:
and so so called "classic cases" I have had an opportunity to look into in detail:
1954 - Sea Fury radar visual aircraft encounter case - a very impressive pilot & radar encounter:
1959 - Boianai Papua New Guinea Father Gill encounter - an impression entity observation with credible witnesses:
1966 - Tully "saucer nest" encounter of George Pedley - a very impressive physical trace affair:
Some of these fascinating cases are covered in our UFO show programmes.
How did the UFO Show come about?
James Vernon, the CEO of Banana TV, approached Bill Chalker and myself in regard to co hosting a UFO programme on BTV as he felt that the UFO phenomenon had very strong support and networking within the world wide web and was looking for a way to tap into that already existing infrastructure. Bill and I have no problem coming up with ideas for the show, as the UFO phenomenon covers such a vast array of topics from science to mythology and all points in between.
The great people behind Banana TV were looking for credible presenters for their various show concepts. One of these was the UFO subject. Its internet presence alone cried out for a reliable and entertaining vehicle for accessing and interpreting the UFO subject for an internet audience. They put out feelers to the local UFO community for potential presenters. Doug and I survived the auditions, interviews & the screen tests and after the first few programmes it was clear that the programme could succeed in providing an interesting and entertaining take on the UFO controversy.
You recently celebrated the first anniversary of the show. Did you think it would last this long and be so successful?
Given the enormous interest in UFO's on the net, the longevity and success of the show was almost guaranteed before it started. It also helps a great deal to have someone with Bill's encyclopaedic knowledge of the subject. Bill and I work well as a team, while James the director gives us pretty much a free hand to take the show where we see fit. It's always a pleasure to do the show as James and his team are true professionals.
As many commentators have suggested that UFOs are one of most popular subjects on the internet, an internet based TV show devoted to it, is an innovative and attractive response to that interest. So I felt it was a very interesting vehicle for getting an informed and intelligent discussion on the internet and a great challenge and would therefore have a continuing presence. I look forward to contributing to the programme for some time to come. There is an endless range of topics for future programmes.
What is your favourite episode and why?
The "Safe Harbour Day" episode is my favourite. The concept of the day, to create a "safe harbour" for people to come forward and discuss their UFO experiences without fear of ridicule and attacks on their credibility is an issue I feel very strongly about. I personally came up with and put forward the idea to James, with a view to making a difference amongst the greater community by going someway to overcoming the stigma and taboo attached to the phenomenon. By creating an environment more conducive to open discussion, I believe we will come closer to greater understanding of the phenomenon and more importantly, release witness's from the sociological cage they most often find themselves in.
My personal favourite programme is the 2 part "1868 investigation & sighting" feature. The live on site nature and recreation aspects of the programme were great fun, and a real pleasure for me, as I undertook a detailed retrospective investigation of the 1868 affair. I have a personal interest in pre 1947 cases and this was one of the most interesting and rewarding ones I've looked into.
Working with an ageing Windows 95 PC with a 160Mhz processor and a 2Mb graphics card one of the things that appeals to me is being able to watch the show on a 56k dial-up link.
Indeed, it is a great benefit to access the show through a 56k modem, Although the graphics may pause from time to time (as it is designed for broadband use) the audio is fine and pretty much all the information contained in the shows can be accessed.
While intended for broadband the programme's availability in 56k ("Lo") & 256k ("Hi") formats means that it can be seen more widely, while the take up of broadband continues to increase. I personally watch it on a 56k connection, but if anyone out there wants to cover me for a broadband connection I'd be happy to hear from you. Obviously the full TV impact is waiting for those who get into broadband, he says wistfully :-) !!
How do you see the show progressing in the future?
As information technology increases, I can see a myriad of possibilities opening for the show in the near future. There are still many, many areas of this UFO phenomenon that Bill and I have yet to cover. I would imagine increasing use of graphics would be one of the more immediate directions the show will take.
As it has been, namely covering great stories and perspectives in the UFO controversy and trying to act as "guides" through this incredibly fascinating subject. Programmes in preparation will widen the international focus of the show, but its Australian origins will continue to provide great opportunities for diverse and interesting perspectives on the vast array of aspects to the UFO controversy.
For the small percentage of sightings that remain unexplained there are many theories as to what these might be including: Beings from our solar system, other galaxies, other dimensions/realities, or right here on Earth (which could include other dimensions and realities).
If these sightings are craft from 'elsewhere' do you have a personal opinion as to where they might come from?
My personal opinion is that if an unknown percentage of UFOs are indeed ET craft they are likely to come from other planets from within our galaxy or perhaps beyond. I don't see distance as being a retarding factor as to possible visitation. The practicality of travelling between planets is largely determined by your available technology. As 70 percent of the universe cooled and formed into solid matter much before our solar system (the average earth like sun being 1.8 billion years older than our own), I find it most likely that the technological limitations we face, have been overcome long ago by our ET visitors.
No, we are examining the UFO phenomenon (emphasis on the "U" - unidentified). Given our current understanding of this fascinating and complex subject, any conclusions we draw now will probably be wrong. I suspect it will turn out to be far stranger than we currently believe.
This follows on from the previous question and perhaps should have been included as part of that question.
There have been many reports over the centuries of craft emerging and entering lakes and oceans. Do you think it possible that there could be underwater bases inhabited by beings of this planet that we do not know about, or of an extra-terrestrial origin?
There certainly appears to be a correlation between UFO's and water, but this could be due to several factors. Possibly they require water as part of the fuel/energy requirements, or perhaps the sea offers a safe haven. If their agenda is to study and understand this planet's lifeforms, sea life would obviously come under scrutiny as well as land beings. I don't know of any compelling argument for underwater bases, either ET or otherwise.
The reports of UFOs in relation to water are fascinating and may indicate the possibility of convenient points of a hidden temporary origin. But this is just speculation at the moment. We should never the less understand that the Earth is more of a water planet than a surface planet, so water related UFO incidents are hardly surprising and are testimony for the worldwide nature of the UFO phenomenon.
The debate still rages on as to whether anything really happened at Roswell. Do you think it worthwhile continuing research into this case?
The reason for asking this is that some seem to think that we will never get an answer that will satisfy everyone, and that we would be better off concentrating on new reports. I must admit to briefly thinking this way myself, Then I thought "What if something really happened?"
The crash at Roswell happened (or didn't happen) over fifty years ago. There are very few eyewitnesses's left alive, and those that are were either very young at the time or very old now. I don't believe anything tangible, one way or the other, will come out of the Roswell incident until such time as the US military make new information available, but I wouldn't be holding my breath waiting for that to happen.
The Roswell situation is extraordinarily complex, convoluted and chaotic. It has the best and worst of ufology caught up in it, more of the latter I suspect, but clearly if compelling data on Roswell surfaces we should focus on it. However it should not dominate and define our perceptions of the UFO subject. The UFO phenomenon has and will always exist with and without Roswell. Ultimately history will tell us if the obsessions with Roswell well serves the UFO subject. There is plently of evidence that much of the Roswell controversy is a millstone around the neck of ufology. While I would not advocate ignoring Roswell entirely and moving on, we should never let Roswell overtake the importance of the world wide dimensions of the UFO phenomenon.
This is my final question.
Could you explain 'The Oz Factor' for those of us unfamiliar with the term?
I address this in a note in my 1996 book "The OZ Files - the Australian UFO Story" when I was explaining my title. Jenny Randles came up with the term "The Oz Factor" for the "sense of timelessness & sensory isolation" that many UFO witnesses experience.
She wrote, "The witness feels the UFO has temporarily sucked him into a kind of a void where only he and the phenomenon coexist." Jenny took her sense of the word "Oz" from the fantastic Land of Oz, of Wizard of Oz fame. For my book "The Oz Files" I recognised the resonance of the "OZ" term with both Jenny Randles term and the colloquial expression "Oz" meaning Australian.
While not figuring in every close encounter case, "the Oz factor" seems to happen frequently enough to be a recognised feature of many encounters.
I'm sure the visitors to the UFOINFO site will find the interview of interest. I would like to take this opportuntiy on behalf of them and UFOINFO to thank Bill and Doug for agreeing to the interview, and to Ed at Banana TV for arranging everything.
The "UFO" show on Banana TV aims to provide an overview of the UFO
phenomenon, both locally and internationally. Whilst accessible to those
new to the subject, it also provides detailed case studies and information for those more familiar with the subject.
Cases such as the Kelly Cahill abduction and Peter Khoury's potentially ground breaking DNA evidence are covered along with unusual experience's, such as the 1868 close encounter in Parramatta Park, Sydney, Australia.
Other area's covered include: pre 1947 UFO's, UFO website guide, crop circles and saucer nests, "The Next Dimension" UFO art exhibition as well as "Safe Harbour Day", a "UFO" show initiative, to actively create an environment whereby discussion of the UFO phenomenon is not met with ridicule.
The "UFO" show is presented by Bill Chalker (author of the "Oz Files" and co ordinator of UFO Investigation Centre) and Doug Moffett (Director Australian UFO Research Network NSW), who combined have over forty years experience in the field.
UFOINFO Note: Unfortunately the UFO Show is no longer broadcast and an archive does not seem to be available online.
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