Compiled Sighting Reports
Compiled by Robert Frola
Australian UFO Research Network
PO Box 738 Beaudesert QLD 4285
North West Cape, Western Australia 23.10.73 Revisited
Clifford M Dubery
Here is an example of a UFO sighting and two interpretations of the event, worth considering.
The following report was among RAAF UFO sighting files first examined by Bill Chalker in 1975. Two US servicemen stationed at the US Navy's Communications Station at North West Cape independently observed a mysterious object. The base incorporates a NSA facility within the Naval Security Group. Area 'B' within the base contains a high-frequency transmitter.
At about 7.15pm, Lt. Commander M[censored], USN, was driving south from the Communications Station to nearby Exmouth when he saw a 'large black airborne object' in the west at a distance of about 5 miles (8kin). He watched it hover, at an estimated altitude of 200Oft (60Ore), for about 20-25seconds. It then flew off to the north, 'accelerating beyond belief'. Lt. Cdr. M said he had 'never experienced anything like it.' The UFO made no noise and Left no exhaust or contrail.
At much the same time, Fire Captain (USN) Bill L[censored] was on the base itself when he was called to close the officer's club. In his own words: 'I proceeded towards the Club in the Fire Department pick-up 488, when my attention was drawn to a large black object, which at first I took to be a small cloud formation, due west of Area "B". Whilst travelling towards the Officers' Club I couldn't help but be attracted by this object's appearance.
'On alighting from pick-up 488, I stood for several minutes and watched this black sphere hovering. The skies were clear and pale green-blue. No clouds were about whatsoever. The object was completely stationary except for a halo round the center, which appeared to be either revolving or pulsating. After I had stood watching it for approx. 4 minutes, it suddenly took off at tremendous speed and disappeared in a northerly direction, in a few seconds.
'I consider this object to have been approx. 10 metres [3Oft] in diameter, hovering at 300 metres [985ft] over the hills [Mt Athol] due west of the base. It was black, maybe due to my looking in the direction of the setting sun. No tights appeared on it at any time.
Australia and the NSA
In 1973, Australia hosted a quite different multiply witnessed UFO event (see Case #27). Bill Chalker, who discovered the sighting report, put an intriguing spin on the mysterious black object, seen by two American witnesses a considerable distance apart, that hovered near the US Navy's top-security Communications Station at North West Cape, Western Australia. Chalker saw the event in the context of the Yom Kippur war. Hostilities began on 6th October 1973 with a simultaneous attack by Egypt, Jordan and Syria on Israel, whose general staff had misread the military situation and were caught unprepared. On all fronts a desperate fighting withdrawal began as Israel's citizen army frantically mobilized; the battlefields saw scenes of unbelievable heroism, especially in the hard-won tank battles on the Golan Heights. Then, on 11th October, North West Cape and the other US bases in Australia went to a high alert.
The reason for this (not elucidated by Chalker) was that, having begun a successful counter-attack against Egyptian forces on 8 October, the Israelis launched another against Syria at 11.00am local time on 11th October. Within six hours they had knocked the Syrian forces back by 10 miles (15km), and in places twice that. Looming behind the contestants were the Soviet Union, standing by the Arab nations, and the USA, backing Israel. The Americans believed that the Soviet Union might support its clients directly if Israel decisively turned the tide of the war. Israel did so, but intense diplomacy averted escalation and a UN resolution called for a cease-fire at 6.52pm on 22nd October. The combatants accepted the deadline, but bitter fighting continued on the southern Egyptian front until late on 24 October.
At this point, as Chalker notes, the NSA's misreading of a signal from Syria to the USSR in turn misled the US government into thinking the Soviets were preparing airborne divisions to move into the Middle East. On 25th October came the reaction. The North West Cape station signaled US forces in the region, putting them on nuclear alert - without telling the Australian government. And on the same day a mysterious black UFO visited the NSA/US Navy station at North West Cape.
Chalker wonders if this UFO event is the one glimpsed at paragraph 9 of NSA's top-secret affidavit of 1980 to the US Federal court, which discusses NSA SIGINT (signals intelligence). Chalker does not pretend to know if the strange black object was a remote-controlled drone of either a friendly or hostile power, or a bona-fide UFO. But he does conclude that the case shows that UFO sightings may harbour implications for national security. Chalker is undoubtedly correct, if the object was indeed a piece of airborne hardware. But the fact that the witnesses may both have been in possession of a terrible secret that, for all they knew, was the first step toward Armageddon, may also be the key to their experiences. Several ufologists have observed how UFO sightings increase in times of national (which is also personal) stress, shock, or unease about the future. American UFO flaps, in the days when they used to happen, bloomed regularly in the late summer of presidential election years. The flap of 1973 (in which this sighting may reasonably be counted) began amid far greater uncertainty, with the first congressional hearings on Watergate, chaos in the Nixon administration, and tile scandal-ridden resignation of Vice-president Spiro Agnew. It peaked against the background of the Yom Kippur war and the ensuing crisis in which oil prices tripled overnight.
While it seems altogether likely that a physical object of some kind triggered the sighting, this UFO is strikingly symbolic. Like a mocking negation of the antipodean sun, black and foreboding, it hangs in the west, the traditional direction of death, and disappears into the war-torn wasteland of the north. A psychosocial interpretation of this case at least deserves some consideration. (Source: UFO and Government Files, Peter Brookesmith, Blandford London 1996 p134-136 Case #27 The UFO and the Nuclear Alert NORTH WEST CAPE, WESTERN AUSTRALIA 25.10.73. Credit: Clifford M Dubery e-mail: email@example.com - Sunday, 2nd August 1998. Diane Harrison e-mail firstname.lastname@example.org M.O.R.E. Network (Mike Farrell), and SkyWatch International)
(Source: Russell Boundy e-mail: email@example.com UFOR(FNQ) Ref: QB98031)
The two females witnesses were travelling south on the Bruce Hwy from Cairns to Babinda, they noticed a bright light in the sky when they were north of Gordonvale and did not take much notice of it. At Behanna Creek the object was now seen to the left side of the road above the tree top level, although the night was dark the witnesses believe the object was about 300m distant and 16cm at arms length. It was a round shape with rays of light coming off it. The driver of the vehicle sped up and the object paced the car at keeping the same distance. The driver stopped the car at road works traffic light at Mt Sophia, the object stopped similarly at the same distance. The witnesses traveled to the next road works traffic light north of Deeral where they stopped again. The object stopped at similar distance again. The sky according to the witnesses "went strange", the object dropped down and now appeared as an orange/red crescent shape about 60cm at arms length. Its light levels increased as white light lit up the surrounding area as if daylight. The driver "floored it" as the traffic light indicated green. The object moved away becoming a small white light and continued to follow the car at a distance. The witnesses stopped their car 6 minutes later at the DPI inspection station north of Babinda. The object went downwards and out of sight. The witnesses then drove home without further incident. At no time did the witnesses hear any sound emanating from the object.
No air traffic movements were recorded in the area at the time. The witnesses noticed no other cars on the highway when the object was close. Staff at the DPI station apparently did not see the object. The witnesses believe they saw the object again on the 24.06.98 at similar time but only as a bright point source light. There were four people in the car this occasion. It did not follow them. It remained stationary in the sky. (It seems likely that this sighting was of an astronomical object although no definite conclusion could be reached). Duration of sighting: 16 minutes, probably more. (UFOR(FNQ) - Investigator: Holly Goriss)
(Source: Russell Boundy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org UFOR(FNQ) Ref: QB98032)
Two female witnesses travelling from Cairns to Babinda area observed a very bright light just south of Cairns. The object was larger and brighter than any stars and was described as pulsating in brightness. The witnesses say the object followed their car south until they reached the DPI Inspection roadblock station north of Babinda. The witnesses stopped here and got out of their car and alerted DPI staff to the object's presence. The DPI staffs (three persons) are adamant that the object was not a star. The two witnesses in the car drove to Babinda. When they arrived home the object was approximately 75 degrees elevation and appeared to be coming closer. One witness woke her son and they observed the object a further 30 minutes until it moved away to the north. The three witnesses at the DPI station observed the object moving slowly north and south several times that morning until approximately 0630hrs.
No air traffic movements were recorded in the area at the time. At times the description of this object appears characteristic of the movement of an astronomical body. The planet Venus does not seem to be in the correct position to account for the sighting. It was not above the horizon for the earlier part of the event.
It would seem possible that some sightings of the object were in fact sightings of the planet Venus, in particular those described by the one or two of the DPI staff of the stationary object. They often observed the object at intervals. Duration of sighting: from 30 minutes to up to three hours. (UFOR(FNQ) - Investigator: Holly Goriss)
(Source: Russell Boundy e-mail: email@example.com UFOR(FNQ) Ref: QB98033)
At about2345hrs EST the male witness was driving his vehicle eastwards along Bramston Beach Road at the Ellis River crossing. He observed a round bright white object low and stationary in the sky and ahead of him. The witness almost stopped and turned around being worried as to what the object was. He decided though to drive on towards Bramston Beach. The object was ahead on his right. It commenced pacing his vehicle at distance and went behind the low mountains. The witness drove on through the range and on coming out the side saw the object now behind him on the right. Light emanating from the object lit up the surrounding area. He turned his vehicle around to look at the object, then he got out of his vehicle and stood looking at the object. At this point the object began moving away from the witness in a westerly direction. It moved downward and behind a hill.
The witness described the round shaped object as clearly defined edges of white light, two protuberances like "goatees" ( cone or triangular shaped) attached at the bottom of the circle of the same colour. He described the objects size at its closest as that of a tennis ball at arms length.
No air traffic movements were recorded in the area at the time, although in the nights following RAAF aircraft were operating in the area on exercise only until 1930-2000hrs. This seems to have been a previously planned exercise with the Army and Airforce, not a reaction to the presence of the object the night before. No sound was heard from the object even at its closest point to the witness. Duration of the sighting: 10 minutes. (UFOR(FNQ) - Investigator: Russell Boundy)
(Source: Mike Farrell, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org & Diane Harrison, e-mail: email@example.com. The Keith Basterfield Network 10.08.98)
Luminous orange UFOs appeared on two nights last week in Townsville, Queensland state, Australia, and were seen by dozens of people. "The sudden appearance of seven unidentified flying objects over Townsville last night (28th July 1998) and Monday night (27th July 1998) have left officials baffled."
"Several officials were spooked when seven orange- reddish lights were reported gliding over Annandale, Garbutt and Kirwan. Senior air traffic controller Squadron Leader Trevor Beams (Royal Australian Air Force, RAAF) said police, Army and RAAF were unable to explain it. 'I have no idea what it was,' he said."
"Three air traffic tower duty-officers saw three lights at 6:45pm and four lights at 7:45pm on Monday. Squadron Leader Beams said the lights were moving slowly the sky at 800 to 1,000 meters (altitude) due east. Bicycle store owner Sam Bratton said he saw four large orange lights move northwest over Kirwan at 7:45 (pm) on Monday. 'I saw them and called out to the people in the pizza shop (next door) to come and have a look,' he said. 'This was weird. I have never seen anything like this before in my life, and I am 75 years old. It was quite scary. I was not drinking, and I have seen some strange things in my life, but this would have to be the strangest.'"
"Cranbrook resident Peter Fox reported seeing five or six orange lights at 8:50 to 9 p.m. last night (28th July) before they disappeared in the direction of Mount Stuart. 'I thought at first they might be helicopters, but there was no sound and they weren't blinking,' Mr. Fox said."
"The Queensland Fire and Rescue Authority was called at 8:53pm by an off-duty officer, also in Cranbrook (Ainsley Pavey, Townsville Bulletin, 29.07.98)
(Source: Russell Boundy e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org UFOR(FNQ) Ref: QB98035)
The female witness was travelling along the Bruce Hwy in her van, just north of Meringa. She observed a very bright white triangular shaped light high in the sky. The object was travelling on a north trajectory at a speed described as faster than a jet aircraft. The object was obscured from the witness's view by some high trees ahead of the witness on the north side of the highway. The witness described the object as the shape of a long skinny triangle of bright white light, the edges of the shape were clearly defined and sharp. The apex of the triangle was the leading point. The witness described the size of the object as similar to that of a B-747 aircraft when they fly over the area, or a little smaller than the size of the moon.
Checks with the Cairns Airport Traffic Control revealed no air traffic movements travelling north at the time of the sighting. The record logbook in the control centre had no abnormal sightings logged for the time. The object described does not appear to be a conventional aircraft as normal lighting configuration was not evident. The object's description is not characteristic of meteorite or space junk entry/burns. Duration of sighting: 4 seconds. (UFOR(FNQ) - Investigator: Russell Boundy)
(Source: Diane Harrison, e-mail: email@example.com. The Keith Basterfield Network 12.08.98)
Ms K Wickson spotted a bright object in the sky the size of a ten cent piece she called her mother Mrs. S Wickson of Eagle Heights Mt Tamborine to have a look. The family then witnessed the bright light zig zagging across the sky for around 20 minutes, Location between Logan Village & Beaudesert (UFOICQ).
(Source: Diane Harrison, e-mail: firstname.lastname@example.org. The Keith Basterfield Network 12.08.98)
A lady travelling home from TAFE along the Logan Reserve Road, said the object appeared quite large but it seemed to be moving slowly away from her. It seems that this witness was looking at the same object observed by an Eagle Heights woman ten minutes prior. There was a bright light flashing underneath the object. She said she watched it and it moved toward the Beaudesert area, then it stopped and moved backwards before it disappeared. (UFOICQ)
(Source: Diane Harrison, e-mail: email@example.com. The Keith Basterfield Network 12.08.98)
The manager of a roadhouse south of Tennant Creek, NT claims mysterious lights in the sky last night looked like fireworks.
There have been several reports of a bright light travelling across the sky, from Alice Springs at about 7.30pm dropping into the Gulf of Carpentaria in Queensland after 10pm. Lou Farkas, from Wycliffe Well, NT who markets the roadhouse as a site for UFO sightings, says he heard a 'bang' as well as seeing the light.
"Imagine the shape of a fighting boomerang, you know how it's got that bend in it - so the light was formed and it was probably about two to three inches wide probably in the sky, so it covered quite a big area. But it formed completely. So it started then formed the shape of the boomerang then it held until there was an explosion then it all disappeared."
Astronomers at the Tidbinbilla tracking station in Canberra say a bright light that shot across the Northern Territory skies last night was most likely a meteor. Territory police say there were sightings from Alice Springs in the south to the Arnhem coast in the north, with some witnesses claiming night turned into day. Duncan Osborne from the Deep Space Tracking Station says the reports are consistent with the effect of a meteorite entering the earth's atmosphere and burning up.
"Normally if you see an object such as this stop what you're doing, if you're driving the car pull over, because a lot of UFO sightings are actually mistaken meteorites," he said. "But when people are driving they mistake the light itself is moving and if it travels in a straight direction that's a good indicator that it's probably a meteorite." (ABC Online News, Alice Springs 12.08.98)
Angel's Hair Case
Quirindi, nr Tamworth NSW
Investigators: Moira McGhee, Bill Chalker, Bryan Dickeson, Diane Harrison, Robert Frola
UFO Group: INUFOR, UFOIC, UFOR(NSW), UFOICQ
Date of Experience: 10.08.98
Report written by: various
Mrs. E Stansfield 61 years said that she saw cobwebs falling from sky she saw 20 silver balls "....when some of them maneuvered and increased speed this cobweb like substance started to drop to the ground. Some of it got caught on the telephone lines".. When she went out to her daughter she too was covered in a fine film off cobwebs. When she tried to pick it up it disintegrated in her hand. The family car had cobwebs all over it John? Scooped it up and put it in a jar it to disintegrated. Mr. E Stansfield stated that they were flying higher than local air traffic. (Tamworth's North Daily Leader, 10.08.98)
Investigation to date:
"Ross Dowe" posted this Story to the Australian Associated Press from the Australian UFO hot line, which in turn faxed it out to all the newspapers. In which Tamworth's North Daily leader ran the story. Duty officer stated that without an extensive search of the duty rosters book or talking to his 70 manned staff, he is currently unaware of any UFO sighting and has received no phone calls as of Friday 10.00am today (14.08.98). (Robert Frola, 14.08.98)
The "angel hair" UFO spectacle at Quirindi, New South Wales, Australia, on 10 August, 1998, has now been the subject of interviews and investigation. Moira McGhee of INUFOR spoke with the family on the evening of 11 August and arranged for a sample of the material, which had been sealed in a yogurt container with glad wrap and rubber band, to be dispatched to her. It was packed with a cardboard cover and securely sealed (we hope!). Moira kindly made the sample available to me on Saturday 15 August. Bryan Dickeson of UFOR(NSW) also spoke with the family. I have undertaken discussion with some specialists working with me and we are attempting to arrange at least gas chromatography. The determination of detector and column combinations has to be determined. We may also try to undertake some micro video imaging if the nature of the sample permits it. I have discussed the incident at length with 2 of the witnesses. Mrs. Eunice Stanfield told me that 2 strands of the material originally about 3 feet long were put into the container. They were "evaporating" and she indicated that prior to dispatch the material appeared to have reduced in volume to about the size of a match had. Because of this we have cooled the sample. It is currently held in a freezer. This will assist us to determine if phase changes occur. Because of the severe sample limitations we may only get one crack at this. I will advise all concerned of any results. I have refrained from opening the sample to facilitate needle sampling under control sampling conditions, if this is determined as a viable option.
Apart from my physical trace interests the following account of my own experience with apparent "angel hair" will serve to highlight that I have more than a passing acquaintance with the subject. Is it spider's web or something more exotic? We will have to wait and see. (Moira McGhee, Bill Chalker, Bryan Dickeson, 17.08.98)
Account from Eunice Stansfield, aged 61. (One of at least four witnesses.)
Seen above southern section of township of Quirindi, NSW (31deg 30 min South, 150deg 41min East) some 61 km (south) from Tamworth.
Soon after midday - around 1 o'clock(?) Eunice and Noelene were in the back garden finishing their cups of tea. Noelene lay down on bench looking straight up into the sky, while Eunice took the cups back inside. On returning Eunice heard Noelene say "That's going bloody fast!"
Eunice looked directly upwards where Noeleen was pointing and saw a silver ball moving quickly across the sky from East to West (?) over Quirindi.
Then several other objects appeared. They were all a long way up "higher than the jets they often see going overhead" and were a bright metallic grey with a size "like tennis balls". They moved quickly, or stopped (hovered) and started in a very complex series of movements. They moved up and down and around, but "never got any lower than the usual height normal planes travel over [Quirindi] at". The objects made absolutely no noise.
Her husband, Mario (an ex NATO pilot in the 6-day Middle East war) estimated they were flying around the 50-60,000 feet.
She noticed that one of the larger spheres seemed to turn side-on slightly , and she could see that it was in fact two spheres, connected ("tethered") by a cylinder (soon after described to Eunice as a "dumb-bell" shape). Two of these dumbbells were seen during the sighting, which lasted well over 1.5 hours (possibly 2 hours).
Mostly the objects were the smaller, simple spheres and at one time there were about 20 objects in the sky at once. They tended to arrive slowly from the East or the West "in waves", before beginning their fast and complex maneuvers.
Eunice described the larger objects as being "2-3 inches long" at arm's length which suggests they were between 820 and 980 metres across (900 + 80 metres) - (Peter Turner, Bryan Dickeson - details to be confirmed).
Maneuvers very complex, and covered whole of the sky - difficult for any one witness to follow all that was going on:
Examples of movements (some details to be confirmed):
1. Objects in formation would veer off to the left and right, or come up close to each other, almost to the same point and stop/hover - showing fast, precise flying, right-angle turns, or same complex maneuvers mirrored by several objects, or objects moving side-by-side.
2. Would come in reasonably slow but maneuver very fast - at "a speed like jets" turning and formation flying. Up to 20 maneuvering at a time, and others "coming in over the house"
3. At one time there were four spheres stacked up one on top of each other and stationary.
4. Lines of stationary spheres would leapfrog one another. One sphere would move up and over a stationary one in front or behind it and fall into line position in front or behind the stationary sphere by exactly the same distance. The next sphere would leapfrog under its neighboring sphere and take up position. These were precise and deliberate, controlled movements.
5. From a flying 'arrowhead' formation of five, one banked left, one right, one or two would fly straight-ahead and one fly straight downwards.
6. Two spheres followed each other in tight formation and at very high speed while other spheres were moving in and around these two central objects, travelling even faster and in a more intricate flightpath.
7. Mario saw at least one of the smaller spheres fly up and into one of the bigger dumb bells (after he had been talking to another Ufologist he began referring to these two larger dumbbell craft as 'motherships')
8. One of the stationary dumbbells had a smaller sphere head directly towards it at very high speed as if to collide, then executed a right-angle turn, and swerved to pass right through the dumbbell and came out the other side unchanged -- all at high speed!
No 'exhaust' could be seen when these objects flew in a straight line from A - B. But when objects maneuvering, they could clearly see a light whitish material streaming out from inside (?) the object and behind (this was definitely not a vapour); "it came out of the back of the craft and fell downwards."
The light material appeared to consolidate into long, substantial whitish strands that could be seen falling slowly downwards all around the local area, onto telephone wires and trees. It was not being blown by the wind - there was no wind - there had been several days of heavy rain previously (in other nearby parts of NSW record rainfalls had/were creating flood conditions); Monday was the first clear, clean blue-sky day after this rain. The air temperature was still cool and wintry.
The white material appeared to be carried by slight warm-air "thermals". Very little of this material actually landed in Eunice's place, but pieces fell in surrounding areas and on the street nearby. Noelene first retrieved a 30-cm strand from a nearby bush - it was extremely light, whitish and strong, like cotton, requiring a good tug to break. It quickly "dissolved" away to nothing when handled.
Noelene retrieved a second piece which was about 90 cm long and which seemed to be made up of two separate strands. This was put into a clean yogurt container with a piece of glad wrap over the top and a rubber band to hold the glad wrap in place.
Eunice had gone to speak to husband Mario, who was working in the front of the house on the verandah on repairs, sawing wood with an electric saw. At first, he thought Eunice was pulling his leg but could see the objects flying around above the roof of the house
Mario turned his saw off and placed it on the ground. The saw turned itself back on (which was unusual) -- still to confirm what happened with saw after that (Peter Turner, Bryan Dickeson)
Mario (ex-NATO pilot) said the craft were some way off - higher than most jets at possibly 50-60,000 feet. He's familiar with conventional aircraft over flying the area.
Looking straight up, he saw four objects stacked one on top of the other, in line. In the middle was one of the larger dumb bells. He thought it must be helicopters at first, but too big. Appeared to be going to one side and then the other. Mario watched display for a good 50 minutes - very clear.
Eunice went inside to telephone others and look for their video camera. She first phoned Telstra Information to see whom she should call. They put her on to Ross Dowe's National UFO Information hotline. She spoke to Ross Dowe for about 5 minutes (at about $3.20 per minute) before saying she had to ring off because she couldn't afford to keep paying for the call (Ross wanted her to keep talking). She gave him her phone number so he could call her back (Ross had said he couldn't guarantee that he would call her back).
(Apparently Telstra gets the first $3.20 per call and Ross gets any further time/value per caller - (Bryan Dickeson))
Within a few minutes, the phone started jumping as radio stations and newspapers began calling Eunice back - Ross must have put it on the wire (WITHOUT even asking Eunice's permission) and had still not called back by the following Friday. By the time she gave up answering the phone and went back outside, the objects had all gone. No video was taken.
Mario said that the objects had been "jumping from side to side" - they appeared to fade-out in one location and fade-in in another location nearby, before they all disappeared.
The same day, but later on that evening at around 7.30, Mario heard all the neighborhood dogs barking and went outside - he saw a very bright reddish orange ball of fire, a little smaller than the moon pass slowly and smoothly overhead from the east - as if covered with flames. He was unable to estimate it's height, except to say it was probably not very high up - It soon disappeared after several minutes behind a range of low hills/mountains to the west of Quirindi.
After an account appeared in local papers, such as the Northern Daily Leader (A short, mistake-ridden account also appeared in the Sydney Daily Telegraph on Tuesday 11 August) and state-wide radio news telephone interviews with Eunice, she was contacted by Gary from Gunnedah. He is a Telstra technician who was visiting the telephone exchange at Piallaway, 40 km North of Quirindi. At about 2 p.m. Gary noticed masses of white cobweb-like material falling down around him - falling onto fences, telephone lines and bushes etc and onto his car. He could not see anything up in the (clear) sky at all. Mystified by it all. The cobweb-like substance evaporated fairly quickly when he handled it. When he got back home to Gunnedah, he noticed there were still some remnants on his car but this had since vanished.
During all her unanticipated 'public' interviews with (some very smart-ass) city radio reporters, Eunice has remained completely unflappable about what they all saw in Quyirindi. To her it's a fact that they saw something unusual. Eunice has since been interviewed over the 'phone by Moira McGhee (INUFOR), and Peter Turner and Bryan Dickeson (UFORNSW); but has had numerous other calls from media.
Eunice decided to send her yogurt container of angel's hair to Moira McGhee of INUFOR in Sydney. (Eunice posted it Wednesday, and Moira received it on Thursday.) Moira contacted Bryan Dickeson (UFORNSW) on Friday - who suggested she put it into fridge freezer (angel's hair is a notoriously unstable material which sublimates from solid to gas phase very quickly) while Bryan located someone to analyze the material. Time is now of the essence.
The yogurt-container 'sample' has since been passed on by Moira McGhee to UFO researcher Bill Chalker (on Saturday evening 14 August) for laboratory analysis via his contacts - for gas chromatography tests, in vacuum, by a Sydney laboratory. The package still had not been opened in Sydney on Saturday evening, to check the state of its contents, HOWEVER......the Angels hair (AH) sample may have already sublimated altogether. Reports of AH are fairly common from the 1950s and 1960s (much rarer recently). One author (Dickeson) remembers a personal AH incident from March 1958 (when aged 7) in New Zealand when a small hank of fibres landed on his sleeve from a completely clear blue sky and sublimated within 5 minutes before he could get home ½ kilometre away to show parents.
There are extremely few good AH cases from the late 1960s to 1990s. Most incidents have since been attributed to 'gossamer' incidents (the massive accumulation of web-parachutes created by millions of small spiders for seasonal dispersal/migration - AH ideas have fallen out of favour in recent years due to the lack of good, recent examples)
Theories from 1950s (1959) and 1960s re angel's hair could now be tested fairly reasonably if UFO researchers have good/prompt access to gas chromatography and X-ray crystallography equipment.
Back then, AH was seen as a sort of polymer of air molecules (nitrogen and oxygen) caused by the unusual high frequency, electromagnetic and plasma effects associated with some UFOs (especially spinning disks). For example, in a fairy floss/candy floss machine, coloured sugar is melted in a small, heated, rotating cup and flows outwards through tiny holes in the walls of the spinning cup by centrifugal force. When the molten sugar hits the air it cools into the fibres of coloured sugar-glass we call fairy floss.
Similarly, AH is thought to form by a metastable polymerization of Nitrogen and Oxygen. The plasma electromagnetic effects near UFOs create highly-directed, 180 degree metastable N-O bonds, which link up into long polymers/fibres around a quickly-rotating body such as a disk, or in air streaming through the magnetic field generated in the central cylindrical section of a bar-magnet-type field. This is consistent in the Quirindi case with a moving dumb-bell-shaped object, where AH was seen to form behind the object. This 180 degree bonding seems chemically possible using some of the so-called 'forbidden' electron states of Nitrogen and Oxygen (states which are usually only seen to occur in some aurora phenomena in the near-vacuum plasma environment at the top of the atmosphere, and which can be simulated in the laboratory). These bonds are, however, unstable under normal conditions and the N and O atoms drop off the ends of the AH fibre and return to their usual N2 and O2 states - that is, the fibres sublimate from a solid to a gas without melting (to a liquid) in between.
If you have ever used an out-of-synch arc welder, you can (under the right temperature and moisture conditions) create small amounts of a similar sort of white 'ash' at the electrode, which quickly sublimates. Also, a light white material is created momentarily by the sparks from a large, discharging Van de Graaf generator in the laboratory. (Bryan Dickeson has seen this phenomenon at the School of Electrical Engineering at 11am, in Christchurch New Zealand in 1974. A path of 'ash' an exactly duplicate the shape of the discharge sparks is created. This always floats downwards for a second or so, presumably under the influence of gravity, before fading/disappearing. The two electrical engineers present acknowledged this phenomenon and said it didn't seem to be a visual artifact created on the eye retinas of observers by the bright discharge spark, but weren't interested/didn't know what it was). This material has(to our knowledge) never been analyzed, because it's seen to have no commercial/research potential.
For ufologists, recreating AH in the laboratory could well indicate the sorts of electromagnetic conditions found near UFOs. Any information Bill Chalker's analysis team can find about the Quirindi material will therefore be most welcome. (Peter Turner, Bryan Dickeson, 18.08.98)
Sources for this issue:
INUFOR, PO Box 783, Kogarah, NSW 2217
Mike Farrell, PO Box 2526, Port Macquarie, NSW 2444
UFOIC, PO Box W42, West Pennant Hills, NSW 2125
UFOICQ, PO Box 805, Springwood, QLD 4127
UFORNSW, PO Box Q95, Queen Vic Bldg, Sydney, NSW 2000