November 23rd 1999
Report taken from the AUFORN Mailing List
I thought you might be interested in a UFO report i received Tuesday 23rd November 21.30 EDST from a man in Goulburn. He was quite excited when he phoned me at approx 23.20 EDST, even though his sighting was two hours earlier. His wife had the presence of mind to look up the local phone book and find UFO research Southern Highlands.
The witness...Terry....and two friends were leaving a shed in Terry's yard when they couldn't help but notice four objects in the night sky. Terry described the objects thus...three bright star like objects each one approx 1 inch from one another using fingers at arms length to ascertain relative space between objects...a further three inches behind..using the same method...was a larger yellow ball with a trail behind it of one to two inches of a similar yellow/red colour. The larger yellow ball was approx five times the size of the star like objects...Terry noticed also there was a passenger plane approx 1 minute behind the object, traveling in roughly the same north easterly flightpath..toward Sydney from Canberra..Terry was familiar with this flight path.
Terry was able to approximate that the four objects were traveling roughly twice as fast as the passenger plane. The full moon was to the right of the witness's...the path the objects took led them to pass by the full moon..as the objects entered the glare of the full moon they became impossible to discern...and was lost to the witness's view. The witness's also noticed two satellites at different vectors during the sighting....which lasted approx 10 seconds. The star like objects did not twinkle like stars and faded one by one as they were lost in the glare of the full moon. The witness's approximated the objects traveled approx 90 degrees of the sky during the course of the sighting. One of the satellites they observed appeared brighter and darker..consistant with the rolling of many satellites.
The next day..Wednesday the 24th November i contacted Chris Coleman from radio 2GN Goulburn to see if any other sightings had been reported..he told me that sightings had been mentioned on the national news network ...the source..he told me was police media. After phone calls to the NSW police media and Victorian police media i drew a blank..so returned to Chris Coleman at 2GN for more info. Chris Coleman was likewise stumped...but suggested i call radio 2UE..as this was were the national news was broadcast from.
Upon contacting the 2UE news room, i endeavored to find the source of the story...the story came from the police reporter...i asked if i could have further contacts for information on the report of "meteors" seen from Victoria to Queensland. The news room kindly contacted the reporter and phoned me back with the source of his information...not the police media...but the "Daily Telegraph" .
So..onward to the "Daily Telegraph" news room..whereupon i spoke to Nicolette Burke...who kindly found and faxed a copy of the story....she was unable to tell me who was responsible for the piece...but it seems a certain...Ross Dowe of the "national space centre" was heavily quoted ..claiming it to be a "significant meteorite entry centred around the region northwest of Canberra"....The trail had grown cold...for the moment...as i desperately cast around for further witness's.
Then a stroke of synchronicity that was to inspire me on to further investigation. A representative from the company i work with was with a colleague of mine...who was very aware of my UFO interest...and he told her of an amazing sighting he and another person who also works for the company had witnessed last night...the 23rd November.
My colleague urged the representative to call me...he hesitated....but my colleague persisted..and he relented...cautiously...he asked..."are you into UFO'S ?"...yes..."i had a sighting last night..have you had any other reports?"...yes....what did you see i asked hopefully..To my excitement he described the exact same thing Terry had described....three star like objects..travelling in equally spaced formation..traveling in the same north easterly direction...at the same time of night...same colouring..same orange to red tail....and losing sight of the objects as they passed into the glare of the full moon....this time the duration was approx 30 seconds. The other workmate confirmed the same details...although her sighting duration was approx 10-15 seconds...and she reported losing sight as it entered a bank of thin cloud.
This sighting was reported at Castle hill in the northern suburbs of NSW.
Feeling certain there must be many more witness's as this sighting was seen by two groups as far apart as Goulburn and Castle hill, i started to contact all radio newsrooms in Sydney...starting with Macquarie news and then to ABC radio news. ABC news...being very regionalised..was to prove paydirt The journalist at ABC radio news was not familiar with the story detail..but had noticed that the story had originated from ABC news radio Wagga Wagga..he kindly put me thru to Moira Shields at the news room Wagga Wagga...who..as luck would have it was typing out the story of the sighting direct to the ABC news intranet at the time i rang. Naturally she was glad to hear from me..and told me she had been trying to get hold of someone from a UFO research group....but the only number she had was a 1300 number and couldn't get an answer on it.
After a brief discussion whereby i refuted totally the possibility of a re entering meteor based on the length of time of the sighting... if nothing else...she informed me that James O'brien of Wagga Wagga ABC radio was planning to have a discussion with Steven Lee from Parkes observatory...who was maintaining the object was a re entering satelite..and someone representing UFO research...i stepped up to the plate...never one to miss an opportunity to promote UFO research... and its always a buzz to get on the radio..i gotta be honest :)
The next call i received ...no more than a minute or so after talking to Moira...was Catherine from Murrambateman..near the ACT. Catherine works for ABC news Canberra..and was at work when she saw Moira's story cross her screen. She immediently contacted Moira to get my phone number...as Catherine had seen the object too!
Catherine told of the exact same three starlike objects traveling in spaced formation followed by the larger object with the flaming tail. At first Catherine saw a shaft of light ahead of the larger object with tail...but upon closer investigation noticed the distinct shape of the three starlike objects. Catherine's husband and parents also saw the objects.which was moving in the same nor easterly direction..at the same time...Catherine also stated that she felt the objects were traveling up as she lost sight of the objects..the full moon was not close to the objects from her perspective. Catherines property has no trees around he sighting area..and she estimated she had at least a 180 degree field of vision...which may have accounted for her...two minute approximation of the sighting...Two minutes for a satellite to burn up....i was unaware they made satellites the size of Tasmania!!!
The next call was from Sally Cooper..ABC radio Wagga Wagga...to tee up my interview with James O'brien for 3pm..this was approx 2pm...plenty of time to contact to Tidminbilla space tracking station to firm up some facts before confronting the astronomer about how long satellites take to burn up! All this was happening during working hours (hope none of my superiors are on the KB network) and inconveniently stopped me momentarily from my important investigation. Finally i secured the time to contact Tidminbilla...i was informed Candy was the person i should speak to..but she was unavailable till 2.45pm approx...i was to ring back then...15minutes was cutting it fine...but time enough to ask the few questions i needed to...it always helps to quote scientists when your debating scientists...confuses them no end !
Candy answered the phone at 2.45....and told me she had no idea about how long satellites took to burn up as they only dealt with spacecraft exclusively...this i knew...but still thought they may had had some idea on satellite re entry info...not the case...so...10 minutes to go..get Stromlo on the line.
The line is constantly engaged....the lengths ASIO will go to stop a good UFO story!!! sheesh! Eventualy...at 2.58pm i connect to Mt Stromlo....they inform me that the event was videoed by a WIN tv film crew who was at Dubbo to film a fireworks display commemorating Dubbo's 150th anniversary and fortunately caught sight of the objects..and videoed them...i am still trying to obtain a copy of same. Mt Stromlo also informed me that approx 8000 people in dubbo also saw the objects..but as far as what it could be ...he declined to comment..instead pointing me on to the Coonabarrabran observatory.
Before i could even get the number for Coonabrrabran ...the phone rang for me...at this stage i felt i should be answering the phone "UFO research" instead of the business who were paying me..it was Sally Cooper from the James O'brien radio show. Steven Lee was slightly detained..so i was given first use of the podium..i explained what the three groups had reported...emphasisng the duration of the sightings. Four or five people phoned in with the now familiar scenario..on gentleman from Bathurst..John...was traveling at approx 100km's when he saw the objects. He slowed down..pulled over to the side of the road..and still watched the objects for some time before losing sight of them.
This case in particular i raised to James O'brien and the listeners..the duration must have been between 60 to 90 seconds..at least. Steven Lee came on briefly and stated that he felt at this stage that the most likely scenario was a re entering satellite and agreed with me that a meteor was out o the question ...due to the length of time it took to burn up. The final point i raised was in relation to the "flaming tail" of the object....how was it that the "flaming tail" was at the rear of the four objects rather than at the beginning???
My message to Coonabarrabran observatory has not yet been returned..and i still have to locate the particular WIN tv regional channel that taped the objects. I imagine this sighting will go down in the annals of science as..."a re entering satelite"...but at least we on the KB network know that "unidentified flying object" would be much closer to the truth.
(Original text reformatted into short paragraphs for easier reading - John @ UFOINFO)
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[UFOINFO thanks Diane Frola and AUFORN for granting permission to use this report.]
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