Wednesday, September 07, 2022

George Pedley, the UFO and the Tully "saucer nest" - a tribute

 George Pedley witness to the 1966 Tully (Euramo) "flying saucer" and the famous "saucer nest" in far North Queensland recently passed away:

George Pedley banana farmer
(from his family's eulogy - 11 July 2022)

The service video on the Blacks Funerals web site gives a striking picture of a man who had a rich and full life full of family, love of horses and an enduring interest in the farming life.
The family eulogy mentioned: 
"In the 60s he began growing bananas on Ashley Butler's property at Euramo, but devastating floods saw the end of that venture.  This was also the site of his UFO encounter, but after the first shock and resulting fame he preferred not to talk about it except to family."
The Tully Times story was a mixture of George's story and journalism

George was generally reluctant to talk widely about his experience. I spoke to him on a number of occasions, but found him to be reluctant to resurrect his experience. However, George was interested enough to assist a serious attempt to clarify what had happened. 
On June 13, 1981, I interviewed him:
B.C.: From what I have read, you saw what you called a spaceship? You didn't really describe it in much detail.
G.P.: Oh, I would never have said I saw a spaceship!
B.C.: That's what the papers were quoting you as saying.
G.P: Well, that's wrong for a start. I saw an object ... something going up and that's it. Just what it was, I don't know.
B.C.: What did you really see?
G.P.: Well, I just saw this thing in the sky and it took off! It was about 25 feet when I saw it - 25 to 30 feet in the air when I saw it.
B.C.: It was in the air when you saw it?
G.P.: Oh yes, I didn't see it in the lagoon as they say. That's wrong. The marks were in the lagoon ... and it just took off from there (in the air). It went up another 25 feet and it just flew straight out.
B.C: So you saw it rise up from a position of about 20 feet when you first saw it.
G.P.: That's right.
B.C.: And the position where you first saw it, was that in the same spot where the nests were found?
G.P.: You mean the object?
B.C.: Yes, where you saw the object rise up, you say you saw it originally from 20 feet in the air, roughly about 20 feet in the air . . .
G.P.: Yeah ...
B.C.: Where the nests were subsequently found, was that directly beneath that position or ...
G.P.: That's correct.

B.C.: What sort of size would you have put on it?

G.P.: Size? Oh, the size was pretty right. I'd say 29-30 feet, something like that.
B.C.: Did you get the impression of an object, or was it sort of a solid-looking thing or gaseous . . 
G.P.: Well, I thought it was a solid thing, at the time. I didn't see any portholes, or anything like that, antennas or anything like that. They could have been there, I'm not saying they weren't there.
B.C.: What sort of shape would you have put on it?
G.P.: Something similar to like two saucers, you know, face to face ...
B.C.: What sort of color?
G.P.: It seemed a silvery gray, a blue gray, like that.
G.P.: [With regard to the media assertions that he saw the object rise up out of the lagoon] I think there was a little bit of misunderstanding there. I would say it was their fault Anyway, I'd never say that.
B.C.: So how long in sight was it for? 
G.P.: We worked it out to say 30 seconds.
In terms of the unwanted fame his UFO experience bought him the most prominent coverage came an episode of the 1994 British programme "Arthur C Clarke's Mysterious Universe": "A Crop of Circles".  George appeared in the programme driving his tractor adjacent to the site of his January 1966 daylight encounter and pointing out the location - Horseshoe Lagoon.
Here are some frame grabs from that episode (by way of review, education and tribute).  I recommend you seek out the episode, available in a box set from Time Life "Arthur C Clarke Collection":

This is what George Pedley saw:
The photos come from Albert Pennisi's archive collection
(Above: George pointing out the direction of the UFOs departure)
(George in front of the "saucer nest")
(George & Albert Pennisi inspection the site)
(Albert showing how the floating "nest" could take his weight)

Some of the press coverage:

I wrote a detailed account "The 1966 Flying Saucer Nest revisited".  Read it here.

George Pedley - good journey, rest in peace

Friday, August 26, 2022

The Great USO Show of OZ

“The Australian Government still refuses to acknowledge the Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomenon at the precise moment the U.S. Government announced the ARRO / UAP-JPO.”

“As we now know, the period between June 21 and July 20, 2022, was quite historic for the global scientific acceptance of the Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena. The fact that “undersea” was added as a hyphenated word to maintain the new acronym was extraordinary …”

These 2 quotes come from Geoff Cruickshank’s excellent report on the 2022 ADSTAR Summit I attended (in part in person) with his kind support, “The Elephant in the room: How the UAP subject was (almost) completely ignored at the 2022 ADSTAR Summit on innovation and collaboration within the FIVE EYES nations”, which I adapted and added personal commentary in a 28 July 2022 post on my site “The OZ Files”

These developments may lead the way to major developments in our understanding of the UFO/UAP/USO mysteries. 


The USO term is variously attributed as “submarine”, “submersible”, “submerged” and “under-sea”. 


January 23rd, 1964, according to the Royal Australian Air Force (RAAF) summaries of “Unidentified Aerial Sightings” (later morphing to “Unusual Aerial Sightings” - UAS), was the date of the first official “unknown”reportin their Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI) files. For a list of “aerial sightings” it was unusual, for it was reported as located in water. The summary describes the report as follows: 

“Seen at sea by crew of a vessel NE Point of Groote Eylandt, WA. Large lights in water, made compass go ‘Haywire’. Shadow in centre of lights rotated clockwise, causing lights to pulsate.” 

Biologist, Ivan T. Sanderson, lists it in his book 1970 “Invisible Residents - A Disquisition upon Certain Matters Maritime, and the Possibility of Intelligent Life under the Waters of This Earth” in a listing of submarine “lightwheels”. Sanderson sourced his brief listing from a newspaper article. 

The Air Force Intelligence files hold a report of the unusual sighting made by the crew of the landing craft Loellen M. The incident was located between Cape Grey and the north east point of Groote Eylandt, a large island on the western side of the Gulf of Carpentaria, Northern Territory. The official summary incorrectly lists the incident as occurring in ‘WA” (Western Australia).The report mentions that the vessel encountered a number of submarine “light patches”

“C. W__ turned on the compass light and found the vessel approx 60° off course. The compass went ‘Haywire’. 

As soon as he had corrected the vessel as best he could, he switched off the compass 

light and found the un-natural light was about 6ft. on the Starboard side. The light was in the water. It was described as a ghostly white light, in the centre was a shadow which rotated in a clockwise direction causing the light to pulsate. The light appeared to draw away to the stern. It is estimated that it was miles across and a few hundred yards through... 

“The light on the water passed about 100 yds to port. As the barge began to return to course, another light was seen coming at the barge at an angle of about 45° which [sic? - with?] the Bow. It came to within inches of the starboard side and appeared to rebound at 45° with the stern and moved away. It disappeared in a few seconds.... 

“All lights were the same colour, with this strange rotating shadow, causing the lights to pulsate. The pulsations timed at 12 for 9 seconds, then completely irregular, then settled down to 12 for 9 seconds. 

“The compass swung out of control, but became worse as the light approached... 

This is a fascinating report but its origins may lie in some form of extraordinary bioluminescence. However, things are far from certain.  In an excellent review of “vast luminous wheels” of light in the seas of the world, Martin Shough and Wim van Utrecht in “Redemption of the Damned – Vol.2: Sea & Space Phenomena – A Centennial Re-evaluation of Charles Fort’s ‘Book of the Damned’” concluded, “All quite bizarre, and frustrating.  We have many apparently reliable eyewitness accounts, most of them clearly relating to the same phenomenon.  Yet after more than a century there is still no satisfying explanation. We are reminded of the will-o-the-wisps, so prominent in the records of pre-20thcentury naturalists.  They, too, departed from us, and took their secret with them into history.”  


In 1965 a strange letter appeared in the Australian Post magazine. A lady holidaying in Sydney described an extraordinary event.  From 5.30 to 6 pm she had been watching a strange pink cloud. At 7 pm she looked again and was amazed to see it moving towards the base of the cliff on which the house was.  As the cloud came forward she saw a snow white “flying saucer.”  The cloud was apparently formed from “steam” coming from vents in the outer edge of the object.  It emitted a noise like a well cared for engine.  As she watched, a shiny ladder was lowered from a hatchway, and a man came down and sat on a rung of the ladder.  He shone a strange beam of light into the sea.

Shortly after this a brilliant pink flare went up further out to sea, and the ladder with the man attached to it was retracted and the machine sped off in the direction of this flare.  In the moonlight the woman could see a long shape in the water, and when the machine reached this they both disappeared in a vivid pink flash.

The mention of a strange beam of light deployed by a man on the outside of a “flying saucer” brings to mind the following striking account from the Fijian islands during October of 1957. It was reported in the New Zealand Herald on 21 October 1957.   According to a report by the secretary of the Duanhas province the incident took place at 3 pm.  The witnesses, 4 Fijians, who lived in “a fairly isolated area, without access to comic books or other literature on flying saucers”, all agreed on the details of the experience. Their statement was obtained through R.O. Aveling, an official of a local Adventist Church, who had also seen an unusual light in the sky the night of the locals sighting. 

The four Fijians, two middle aged couples, reported seeing an object come down from the sky near the island of Mawaca, 8 miles from Naboulalu, southwest of Vanua Levu, while travelling in a punt with an outboard motor.  They first thought the object was an airplane in trouble and decided to go near it.

“As the Fijians came closer they found it hovering about 20 feet above the sea. It appeared to be revolving and they said they picked out what looked like the figure of a man standing on the outside of the object. This figure shone a very bright light on the boat, a light so powerful that they were dazzled and felt weak. When the boat was about 5 chains (100 yards) from the rotating object, the figure disappeared and the object then rose in a rapid vertical movement and was soon outof sight.”


The lady holidaying in Sydney back around 1965 did not specify which beach she was staying at. The following account from a senior Commonwealth officer (26 at the time) – describes a Sydney beachside sighting apparently witnessed by about 50 people at Long Reef on the evening of Thursday 24thMay 1973. The case was investigated by my old friend David Buching.


“At about 10 minutes past seven … I was proceeding towards Dee Why and as I did the cars that were on the road in front of me headed to the side of the road and on to the big bank going through to Long Reef just as you come down over the top.  I thought there must be a ship on fire out to sea because there were people standing on the side of the road looking in that general direction.  So I continued down until I found a break in the road and did a U turn and as I turned I looked up into the sky and when I looked into the sky there was an object there that looked like an Arnott’s Arrowroot biscuit that was illuminated around the edges. It was quite a large size. It was oval not round.  I was looking out of the windscreen and it went over the roof of the car and I couldn’t see any more.  So I pulled in as quickly as I could, dived out of the car to see it going further over towards French’s Forest way.  It wasn’t going straight, it was going at a slight angle, sort of a half curved …

Google Earth location image
Witness sketch of the Long Reef "thing" & David Buching's 1973 photo of the site of the incident - with Dee Why Lagoon (centre) and Long Reef peninsula (to the left)

“Then I got out of the car and was standing on the footpath.  There was a woman standing there and I said, ‘My God I’ve never seen anything like that, what was it?’”

What the woman said to him put a very strange spin on the event that evening.

“She said, ‘I don’t know what it was.  There have been a few strange things here lately.  There’s been a submarine parked just off Long Reef for about 2 days and it never seemed to move.’ And she said, ‘Tonight when I was preparing dinner, out in the ocean it looked as though the water was boiling. I called my husband across to it and he said that he thought it was this submarine manoeuvring in underneath the thing. The next thing I knew was tonight when I went out on the front porch I saw this thing coming and it looked as though it came out of the ocean.  So I ran down to the bottom of the drive and here I am.’ That was literally her story of what she had seen.”

“She said to me that was unusual for there to be a submarine. It never moved so she said… The entrance to the (Dee Why) lagoon. It was directly out from that. She said it just went away.  There was another too.  About three minutes or so, while I was talking to her there was a plane that came over right behind this thing.  So I feel that the pilot of the plane might even have seen it and the plane was unusually lit in itself because it seemed to have an extra wide wingspan, but it still had the green and the red light.  And that was only a few minutes behind the thing. 

“… it was definitely a bigger type plane and it was low and it was about the same height as the thing that went in front of it.

“(The thing) was oval and it looked as though it had three more oval items underneath it like oval eggs underneath this one big egg … It looked to be in the shape of a bell … but none of the top was illuminated.  It was just sort of round this very edge…. Well round the edge it was just like a fluorescent.”  

What was going on here? UFO or IFO? The data does not allow us certainty.

Back in 2006 I worked with the History Channel in the preparation of a programme on Unidentified Submarine Objects (USOs). I described a number of Australian examples, such as the January 1962 encounter between the HMAS Voyager and a large and deep USO that was tracked by sonar doing some 100 knots. The local camera man told me of his own experience while working for BBC TV on a programme on RAF Leuchars base in Scotland back in 1972. 

2006 - USOs, the camera man, me & the Sydney Opera House

There he saw a map with multiple recorded UFO sightings in the area. He was told by one of the fighter pilots that encounters with UFOs were common. In an informal moment a RAF pilot showed the camera man a photo of a UFO with what appeared to be an entity shape in what seemed to be a dome cupola. The pilot claimed he had taken the photo from his jet cockpit as the UFO flew along side his aircraft. This experience appears to have occurred back in the 1960s, which puts it in the same era as a USO incident that alleged to have taken place off the Scotland coast. In that case a USO was allegedly "flushed" off the sea bottom and rose at speed out of the ocean in sight of the crew of a number of RN ships. That story emerged in a UFOIC investigation I did with Robb Tilley and Dominic Kelly back in 1992 into a striking Nowra NSW area close encounter which featured RAN interest, alleged radar interference, and a possible attempt to retrieve a UFO/USO! I also described it in my 1996 book “The OZ Files – the Australian UFO Story.”


Elizabeth C. and her family regularly took their Christmas holidays on the South Coast of NSW.  One evening, Elizabeth stated she was driving an old Valiant car carrying 4 other people (her ill husband - who was asleep and under medication, and had no involvement in the incident; her two daughters, Jennifer (ca. 17) and Robyn (ca. 11 - 12); and Jennifer's boyfriend, Trevor G. (ca. 23, an off duty army officer) and a dog, on the Princes Highway, heading north.   The group was returning from an outing at Darris South, to their holiday spot at Shoalhaven Heads.

The date of the incident was originally estimated as the Christmas period of either 1972 or 1973.  Further information has confirmed the likely date as around early January, 1973.  The approximate time of the incident was 3.30 am. The duration of the event was approximately 15 minutes or more - the time it takes to drive at moderate speed along the Princes Highway, from the turn off to Sussex Inlet to just before the turnoff road to the Royal Australian Naval base, HMAS Albatross (Air Naval Station, Nowra) - a distance of approximately 24 kms.  This estimate is most likely understated as collectively the witnesses refer to durations between 15 to 30 minutes.

The encounter appears to have begun just as the group passed the turnoff to Sussex Inlet.  The seating arrangement in the car was as follows: Mrs. Elizabeth C. (r.h.s front - driver seat), Mr. C. (asleep in the l.h.s front), Mr. Trevor G. (l.h.s rear seat), Jennifer C. (middle rear), and Robyn C. (r.h.s rear).   The dog was on the floor in the rear.  Jennifer C. indicated that she remembers changing seats at various times with Trevor G.  Trevor was fairly certain that he had been located at the l.h.s rear window.

Mrs. C. drew the attention of the others to the presence of a light ahead.  To Elizabeth it appeared to look like the light from an approaching semi-trailer. Then it seemed to move to her left (the western side of the road) and approached the car, like an aircraft passing by.  It was as the object approached them on their left that the events took on an extraordinary turn.   The object, until then, largely perceived as a bright light source, appeared to reverse direction and take up a parallel flying position in the groups travelling direction.   This represented a 180ochange in direction for the UFO.  At this point the object appeared to be very large, at very low level (virtually at ground level) and quite close, off the road to their left. It maintained a parallel course with them for approximately the next 24 kms.

Mrs. C. described the object as large, with red lights under what looked appeared to be portholes.  The red lights looked like a thin ribbon of light.  Mrs. C. said the night was very dark.   At that point the UFO was apparent as a large disc-shaped object with possible “window” features along its length.  There appeared to be a distinct “searchlight” like beam effect that rotated around the bottom of the object.   At least one of the witnesses, Trevor, the army officer, who was in the best position to see the extraordinary display, was certain that there were figures that could be seen in the windows of the object.

At a point near the turnoff to HMAS Albatross Naval base, the object seemed to suddenly vanish.  It appeared to have instantly relocated to a high altitude and moved in a large arc around Nowra and then headed out to sea, where it was lost to sight.

Later that morning one of the group investigated a disturbance at their campsite at Shoalhaven Heads.  She joined a large number of holidaying campers at the ocean edge. The disturbance was apparently due to a number of helicopters passing low over the campsite, heading out to sea. The member of the group observed the helicopters over a fiery mass in the water.  It was alleged that this object was UFO related and that the helicopters were involved in an attempted retrieval!

Because of their earlier experience and the campsite events, 3 members of the group - Mrs. C., her daughter, Jennifer, and Trevor - went to HMAS Albatross to report their experience.  Instead of a light hearted or unwelcome reception the group were the subject of an apparent high level and detailed interview.  They were told they seemed to be the closest people to the UFO, which seemed to have had numerous witnesses.  The army officer was certain he was told that the base radar had been affected by the UFO during the incident. The Scottish USO incident came up in discussions.  Trevor also indicated that after he had returned to his army unit he was interviewed about the south coast experience by intelligence officers.

In company with Dominic Kelly and Robb Tilley, I interviewed Mrs. C. in detail at her residence during August, 1992.  We found her to be an impressive and compelling witness.  We were left in no doubt that she was describing what appeared to be an extraordinary experience to the best of her abilities.  I was subsequently able to interview Trevor G. and Jennifer C. and I was impressed with their testimony.  There seems little doubt that something extraordinary happened but to date official confirmation has alluded us.  Unfortunately, nothing substantial was confirmed in official enquiries.  


RAF Leuchars base in Scotland was close to the location of the alleged UFO incident (or secret man-made object) ostensibly recorded in the 1990 Calvin photos currently in the spotlight.


Ivan T. Anderson trawled this era in some detail in his 1970 book “Invisible Residents – A Disquisition upon Certain Matters Maritime, and the Possibility of Intelligent Life under the waters of This Earth.” It became the focus of Carl Feindt’s UFO research, first through his website and his subsequent book “UFOs and Water.” Paul Stonehill and Philip Mantle also published “Russia’s USO Secrets” in 2016.  Jan Aldrich of Project 1947 has produced a catalogue of UFOs/USOs reported by seagoing services.


The USO enigma is an enduring and potent part of the UFO/UAP phenomenon.        

Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Elephant in the room: How the UAP subject was (almost) completely ignored at the 2022 ADSTAR Summit on innovation and collaboration within the FIVE EYES nations.

(This is a slightly edited adaptation of Geoff Cruickshank's excellent report on the 2022 ADSTAR Summit I attended (in part in person) with his kind support.  I've inserted a few pieces of commentary, noted with "-B.C.")

The Elephant in the room: How the UAP subject was (almost) completely ignored at the 2022 ADSTAR Summit on innovation and collaboration within the FIVE EYES nations.

The Australian Government still refuses to acknowledge the Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomenon at the precise moment the U.S. Government announced the ARRO / UAP-JPO..

Mr. Geoff Cruickshank B.IT, M.IEEE 27 July, 2022


“Hey Ross, did you know that the United States Under Secretary of Defense (Research andEngineering) will be in Sydney next month?”.

That was my initial email to well known Australian UAP researcher Ross Coulthart on the 21st of June 20221. I’d just completed a 5 month long Defence innovation program called D.StartIgnite2, which was co-facilitated by the Defence Science & Technology Group and the Commonwealth Science Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the follow-on opportunity was the potential to present at the Australian Defence Science Technology And Research (ADSTAR) Summitin Sydney from the 20-22nd July 2022. The venue was the International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Sydney; I live on the other side of the continent and had recently returned from attending the Indo-Pacific International Maritime Exhibition at the same venue with the D.Startprogram. I was checking out the attendees of ADSTAR to see if my innovation of the Australian Defence Force using liquified natural gas as a fuel source would be of interest to anyone, and stumbled across the profile of Ms. Heidi Shyu5, Under Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering). I also found out that Mr. Ashley Sharma6, Director, Electromagnetic Warfare and Countermeasures (OUSD R&E) would also be presenting at the Summit, as was Dr. Stefanie Tompkins- Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Given the U.S. Government’s recent “about turn” on the UAP subject, I figured with these U.S. Government heavy hitters at the Summit it would be a great opportunity to ask a few questions with regards to the Australian Government’s position on UAPs. Ross indicated he was keen to attend (he lives near Sydney) so I organised his ticket.

Unfortunately for the Australian Government, the ADSTAR Summit with its U.S. Keynote Speakers could not have occurred at a more inconvenient point in time. In October 2021, the Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Marshall Mel Hupfeld was asked several questions in a Senate Estimates Hearing of the Australian Parliament regarding UAPs. AM Hupfeld took the questions on notice and was obviously not happy about being put “on the spot” in such a setting8.

With the answers not immediately forthcoming (for obvious reasons), Melbourne-based researcher Grant Lavac submitted a Freedom of Information request to Defence in April 2022,the results of which can be read in full at veteran Australian researcher Keith Basterfield’s site9. In summary, Lavac published the response he received July 8 2022 and was basically as follows:

As an ally, have the United States offered to or asked to collaborate on UAP investigations?

* No, the United States nor any other nation or ally have requested or offered to collaborate on UAP reporting or investigation

* Defence has no desire to seek collaboration on this issue

So, 12 days out from a Defence Summit that promoted innovation, collaboration and enhanced partnership within the FIVE EYES nations, the Australian Government has stated it has no interest in the UAP subject? To make matters worse, on July 13, 2022, The House voted to create a secure government system for reporting UFOs and to compel current and former officials to reveal what they might know about the mysterious phenomena by promising to protect them from reprisal10. To be fair, in the interim between the FOIA being submitted and when it was published saw the Australian Government change hands with the Right aligned Prime Minister Scott Morrison voted out and the Left aligned Anthony Albanese taking over. Perhaps the inaugural ADSTAR Summit presented a forum where new policies regarding the UAP subject would be announced to rectify the apparent posture discrepancy on UAPs between these two important allies?

As we now know, the period between June 21 and July 20, 2022, was quite historic for the global scientific acceptance of the Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena. The fact that “undersea” was added as a hyphenated word to maintain the new acronym was extraordinary though for people like me who had an interest in astronomy as a kid and had managed to obtain one of only two Australian library held copies of Ivan T. Sandersons’ Invisible Residents11 in 1984 this was not a surprise. Ross and I corresponded early on, figuring out what questions to ask of the U.S. Delegates if opportunity knocked. Unfortunately, work commitments with Channel 7 arose for Ross and he would be in the U.S. at the time the Summit was on. As the ticket under his name was already organised, I asked if any of his other contacts in the UAP research field would like to attend in his place. Ross got back to me and said Sydney based scientist and veteran UAP researcher Bill Chalker12 was interested. I started organising the name change on the conference ticket – having attended INDO-PAC 22 two months prior at the same venue I knew they would be asking for identification to prove the ticket holder was who they said they were. I discovered that the last day to finalise name changes for existing ticketholders was June 21 2022 – if I wanted Bill to attend on the day that Ms. Shyu and Mr. Sharma were speaking, I’d have to organise a new ticket. Given the opportunity that was presenting itself was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to obtain clarity on the Australian Government’s UAP position directly from the scientists who would researching the subject, I bit the bullet and bought another two tickets for Bill to attend on July 21, with me attending virtually. As it turned out, this arrangement seemed to work in our favour on the day.


The first day of the Summit saw some Plenary sessions with the Chief Scientists of 3 of the FIVE EYES nations discussing how to “Find out how the partner nations intend to work together to enhance resilience by accelerating the transformation of emerging disruptive technologies into capability.13

The line-up for the Opening Plenary was as follows:

Dr. Cathy Foley, Australia's Chief Scientist

Professor Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist Department of Defence

Ms Heidi Shyu (OUSD(R&E)) US Department of Defense

Professor Dame Angela McLean, Chief Scientific Adviser UK Ministry of Defence

I attended this Plenary virtually – listening in whilst talking to Bill via text and email, discussing which sessions he should attend the next day for the best opportunity to ask questions. My ears pricked up when Dr. Foley mentioned “extra-terrestrial” during her talk – however it was in relation to comsat terminals and perhaps a play with semantics. There was no indication during the Plenary that Australia was about to take the UAP matter seriously – in fact, I discovered that during the Plenary sessions that there would be NO opportunity to ask questions either in-person or virtually. The scoping of the virtual summit space prior to the target sessions on July 21 came in handy as I did find an interesting tool on the virtual conference attendee desktop that allowed something called a “Brain-Date” with conference attendees that you would be interested to talk with – and there were plenty of attendees we were interested in talking to.

Lavac’s FOIA revealed that Defence had consulted with several people for their response. One of the consultants listed was a DST Group scientist named Rod Smith. He was initially slated to present at the ADSTAR 22 Summit as the “STaRShot Leader for Resilient Multi-Mission Space” Plenary panels.14 I reached out to Mr. Smith with a Brain Date request for Thursday, 21 July 2022:

Unfortunately, Smith did not attend the Summit, as a late cancellation he was replaced in the STaR Shots – Equipping the ADF to prevail in contested environments” Panel by Mr Andrew Seedhouse, Chief of Intelligence, Surveillance and Space Division.15

I found out later on that the Brain Dates were for physical attendees only. I therefore arranged with Bill Chalker to meet Smith when he responded with his chosen time slot.


Knowing there would be zero opportunity to ask questions at the Keynote Plenary, I watched virtually whilst Bill sat in the audience. The title of this session was “Resilient and Fortified Nations – Five Eyes Panel16 and in addition to Monro, McLean and Shyu were their Canadian and New Zealand counterparts Dr. Jaspinder Komal and Dr. David Galligan. Nothing of substance regarding UAPs was derived from this session, just the usual buzzwords and jingoisms.

The Keynote Plenary session - I'm somewhere in the blur of the audience - B.C.

At 10:30 am however, the fun really started. In a session entitled “Resilient Multi-Mission Space - Strategic Space Research and Innovation for Defence16 and in Rod Smith’s absence, I posted the following question in the session, which was limited to 250 characters:

“Last week the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) changed the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group to the "Unidentified Aerospace-Undersea Phenomena" Office. Will we create a similar one to collaborate?”

Absolutely no response. It was the “elephant in the room”. Someone even voted on my question, which was one of only two online (as a side note, the Chair should have asked the questions).

At 12:00, there was a small dilemma; the “Information Warfare”18 session where Sharma was presenting was occurring at the same time as the “Remote Undersea Surveillance”19 session. Given the inclusion of the word “undersea” in the UAP acronym, I thought this session may also prove worthwhile to view. It was decided that Bill would sit in the audience for Sharma and I would log in virtually to both, and Bill would text me if things got interesting in the Sharma session. I posted the same question as above in both sessions.

Firstly, the Remote Undersea Surveillance session was, in my opinion, a train wreck. Two of the three presenters didn’t show up, including the keynote speaker Professor Stuart Anderson, Adjunct Professor University of Adelaide.20 The Chair mentioned he had seen Anderson “at breakfast” that morning, and that “perhaps he was lost?”. Andersons’ subject matter expertisewas in the Jindalee Over-The-Horizon-Radar system, something which Ross Coulthart suspects is “really good at detecting UAPs”. Were there concerns that Ross might be in attendance and start asking some inconvenient questions? (I hadn’t cancelled his ticket after all).

It might have just been poor scheduling by the organisers – who knows. With two no-shows, the lone presenter was left to extend his presentation to nearly twice its intended length. The elephant was even bigger in this room – with my question the only one displayed in the online section, the Chair tried desperately to ignore it by dragging a question – any question other than mine – from the audience, without much success.

The Information Warfare session was very enlightening, if not comical. One presenter took to the lectern to discuss online disinformation, debunking and narrative shaping forums whilst my question remained up, in full view by the audience and panellists on their Smartphones.

As an Australian citizen, I found this disappointing to watch – the very question they have been dodging for decades was front and centre, and they seemed to be explaining exactly how they dodge information they deem to be “fake”, “misinformation” or deliberate “disinformation”. The irony was palpable.

Finally, Ash Sharma’s presentation started. Speaking to Bill afterwards, the room was packed to the rafters with hundreds of people (Well, it seemed like it to me when I arrived, but I wasn't counting - B.C). A last-minute room change found Bill entering the room during the previous speaker’s session. With standing room only at the back, and people sitting on the floor down the front (actually on the side - B.C) , Bill knew he needed to get near the stage if there was to be any chance of the UAP question being asked. ... Bill showed extreme mission focus and agility to make his way down to the front of the room. Watching from 4000 km away in Darwin, I informed Bill via SMS text that although other online questions had been asked in the other sessions, mine had been exclusively ignored. It was all up to Bill to ask the question.

Sharma’s session was interesting, even with it being unclassified. At one point Sharma suggested a future classified session where things could be discussed in greater detail. There was a range of topics discussed – “silent swarming” drones, enhanced access sensor systems and next generation adaptive radar systems.

Sharma’s presentation finished to rousing applause, and then the Chair asked around forquestions. Given the subject matter and current world events, there were many inquisitive people asking about Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Russian InfoWar Ops in Ukraine and other such things. “I think we have time for a few more questions...” said the Chair, still ignoring my online question. Unfortunately for them though,this time there was an Elephant in the Room, and it had a voice.

Bill Chalker, I’m consulting with various people on the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, and a question for Ashley Sharma is: Your Government is actually formalising an agency for the study of UAPs in America, and I’m wondering whether you’re talking to the Australian equivalent to formalize the same arrangements here, and if not, why not?

BOOM. You could have heard a pin drop. No one laughed. No one giggled about “Little Green Men”. This was a serious person being asked a serious question on a subject his Government now takes extremely seriously.

Sharma: “So.., so my disclaimer here – I don’t represent the Government, I work for them, right? So, I can’t speak on their behalf officially, but I can give you my opinion, where it matters, right – and my focus is really electronic warfare, so I can’t really talk to UAP, and ah, I can point you to the direction where you might get more detailed information and have your questionresolved.”

With hundreds of Defence scientists and uniformed personnel in the room, the veteran UAP researcher Bill Chalker managed to finally get the extremely important subject of Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena discussed. Mission accomplished! Speaking to Sharma briefly afterwards, Bill supplied his email address for further communications. I was very happy with the result, and Bill has posted the footage on his blog site “OZ Files”.21

(It was hard to tell the real number watching as I was focused on watching and listening to the lecture, but I guess there were unknown numbers watching virtually, plus as it rolled out past the scheduled finish time & lunch, numbers started leaving. By then it was extended question time. The uniform military seem to leave at this point. They were occupying a table or 2. By then I wasn't focusing on diminishing numbers. Just trying to get my question in, so Geoff's reference to 100s of government scientists, at least in person might be a bit of a stretch. How many virtually who knows? - B.C.)


The video: 

The video will play via this Facebook link (post date 30 July 2022):
(I wanted to ask a UAP question that I felt was in proper context. Time constraints meant I could only ask a very brief question.  For me that came with Ashley Sharma's fascinating presentation. After the end of his presentation, as the meeting broke up, I saw that Mr. Sharma was still on stage, so I went up to talk to him further.  I asked him whether in their trials of drone swarms did US assets present know about the trial.  I got the impression they did. He asked me for my contact details so he could follow up for answers to my question.  I found Mr. Sharma to be a friendly cordial person.  I thanked him for his time. Given the timing of the Pentagon announcement, if an answer is forthcoming, it should come from the new "All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). See below for my context discussion - B.C.)


I came away from the Summit with mixed emotions – elated that Bill had managed to ask the question, but disappointed at the lengths we had to go to get the most exciting and Earth- shattering science subject in human history mentioned at an event that claimed a new vigour “to scan the horizon for curveballs”. Well, everyone in those sessions on July 21st saw this curveball coming for a full three hours that day and it still managed to smack them fair in the forehead. Why were the “scientists” scared even to mention the UAP subject at this Summit?

I didn’t bother attending the next day’s sessions, even though the Director of DARPA was onone of the Plenary panels. There was no way they were going to willingly discuss the subject.

As we saw with Ryan Graves’ Keynote address at the SCU Conference in June22, professional pilots are becoming increasingly concerned about the hazards to aviation that UAP present.

“DSTG brings together interdisciplinary expertise from across Australia and around the worldto address Defence and national security challenges. Our role is to work closely with the Australian science, technology and innovation eco-system to deliver scientific advice and solutions that provide capability enhancement for Defence and the national securitycommunity.”23

Hiding from a phenomenon that may pose hazards to the Warfighter is not a “capability enhancement”.


Almost by pure chance (or was it synchronicity?), at the very same time Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence and Security) Ronald S. Moultrie released a memorandum announcing the creation of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office.26 (21 July in Sydney was 20 July in D.C.) This was incredible – whilst the Australians are trying to dodge admitting the existence of UAPs, their greatest military ally and FIVE EYES partner announces an Office to research the subject matter. I find it inconceivable that Under Secretary Heidi Shyu did not know about this announcement several weeks beforehand - their office doors must nearly touch in the Pentagon.

Interestingly, after seeing my LinkedIn post, a connection within the U.S. Military posted the following on LinkedIn:

Could it be that Australia is outsourcing their equivalent Office to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office / Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena Joint Program Office to a private aerospace contractor? Personally, I feel this a very real possibility, as I have held positions in the past with Boeing Defence Australia in both Darwin and Russell Offices Canberra as a contractor for the Australian Defence Force. This arrangement has several benefits – for recruiting purposes, the contractor is not constrained by the Australian Public Service pay scales and can offer considerable remuneration, as well as a certain level of “plausible deniability”. Further evidence that this scenario may in fact be in play was received whilst writing this document Grant Lavac received another FOIA response on July 27 2022 from the Royal Australian Air Force, doubling down on their previously stated position on UAP, and that they will not respond to him on this subject matter further.29 Absolutely astounding – do they not care about the hazards to aviation that UAPs represent? What are they thinking?

My final comment on this clearly rapidly evolving situation:

Whoever is advising the Australian Defence Force to take this position has a very limited grasp of what is presently happening in the Pentagon and the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Is an Australian, non-Defence Intelligence Organization pulling the strings behind the scenes here? If so, I suggest they follow SCU member Douglas Dean Johnson30 and the Australian UAP researchers mentioned in this paper – otherwise, Australia will continue to be ridiculed as incompetent fools on the global stage in relation to the UAP subject.

(My context discussion (B.C.) - During Mr. Sharma's fascinating presentation, his references to drone swarms had me thinking about matters I had researched previously, that made me think that a UAP question was very relevant.  

Back on 30 November 2019 I gave a lecture:

"UFOs and the paranormal in focus today: Murmurations of the UFO phenomenon"

in North Sydney at the 2019 Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research (AIPR Inc) mini-symposium.

by way of a coincidence, synchronicity or something even weirder - my wandering mind - I explored some odd connections with the theme of "murmurations" - From my review of Jacques Vallee's "Forbidden Science" Volume 4 - the 1990s:
In conjunction with the earlier volumes of “Forbidden Science” we can see important trends and the development of a central thread, namely that Vallee is often describing the ebb and flow of the UFO “invisible college” as it developed originally around Dr. Allen Hynek. Quite often it is a somewhat secretive evolution of the “invisible college”, in that those with the right connections, academic, military, intelligence and political, are made privy to the fuller complexity and nature of such interactions. Like birds flocking together, sometimes purposely and other times with a lack of cohesion, the concept of murmuration seems apt in describing the long evolution of such gatherings.  Coming together, flocking together, focusing and coming apart, often collapsing, then reforming for a purpose.  These can be elusive for outsiders to follow and sometimes erratic in their focus.
From "Invisible College murmurations" to actual bird murmurations that could even look like a UFO or UAP:
To a "drone swarm" (Project Nemesis?), bird murmurations, UAPs or whatever over Washington DC in late November 2019:

I was also wondering if "drone swarms" were an explanation for the recent UAP events in naval training areas of the east and west coasts of the US. I was keeping an open mind. 

maybe some agency (hopefully from a friendly power), such as the US Air Force, might be deploying advanced systems or hardware to gather data on friendly asset ("equities")/UAP/UFO encounters, under such operations as contemporary upgrades of programs like Project Palladium or the more current drone swarm programmes such as the Nemesis programme - perhaps, or perhaps not, explanatory threads for the Nimitz encounter and other more recent cases, using different agencies in "hot" undisclosed "war games" to test secret technology. Maybe the thinking in these highly contested fields of potential warfare, agencies have lept into a new dynamic of inflicting "new gear" on friendly turf - better that, finding the "bugs" in friendlier "games" rather than in hostile situations.  A lot of players argue that many of the encounters are beyond our current abilities & technologies and suggest inter-agency "warfare" games, keeping one side in the dark to monitor the fallout, seems unlikely.

What I do suggest is unlikely is that those sorts of possibilities were involved in the following event that also played out in daylight, over suburban Sydney, Australia, back in 1994. This encounter led to a civilian pilot into a potentially highly dangerous mid air encounter.  Such encounters are not rare in the annuals of UFO research.  The group NARCAP specialised in pilot/UAP/UFO encounters for decades.  Writers like Jenny Randles & Jerome Clark have written about such encounters ("Something in the Air"(1998) & "Strange Skies" (2003).

Some current players in the UAP/UFO game may benefit enormously from examining the evidence gathered by UFO researchers for decades.  Think about it. 

Here is a case I suspect wasn't a product of an advanced secret programme, drones etc:


 – a pilots dramatic encounter in 1994 

In March 2010 intense media attention was focused on a set of unusual photos taken in the Sydney suburb of Chipping Norton. UFOs were in the news again. Here I focus focus on a story that emerged as a consequence of the publicity. I received an email from a pilot as follows (with some editing): 

Hello Bill, 

I saw you this morning with Kerri-Ann(you are looking well). I met you 19 years ago when a friend and I reported a sighting at Picnic Point on 1 Dec 1991 (12:30am). Amazingly, you advised us at this time that we would probably see another incident in our lifetimes. 

Attached is a document where I have detailed an incident that occurred to me (and another friend), on 10 April 1994. For reasons I have noted below, I did not keep a record of this incident at the time. 

At the time of the incident, I was trying to obtain my private pilot licence. I copped some pretty severe ridicule from friends and acquaintances who I told of my earlier incident. So I did not report this second incident in case CASA found out about it and deemed me to be crazy. I eventually got my pilot licence in 1998 and the subject seems to be more acceptable these days. 

In any case the reason I have decided to let you know about this is because it occurred so close to the recent Chipping Norton report and also the two objects that I witnessed were flying very close to each other, similarly to the small objects in the right field of the photo. 

I was taking my first passenger on a flight into the Bankstown training (area). We departed Bankstown at about 10:30am. We had been flying for about 30 minutes (and we were at 2,000 feet) when (the passenger) advised me that she was feeling air sick and she wanted to return to the airport. 

We were headed in a northerly direction just south of the Warragamba to Prospect reservoir pipeline. We were approximately over Badgerys or Kemps Creek. As I began to descend to 1,500 feet (the approach altitude for Bankstown), to our right and just above us I saw two saucer shaped objects which were glowing brightly of sparkling gold. They were about 1. 5 kms away. 

The objects followed our descent to 1,500 feet and during this time I noted that they were performing impossible aerial acrobatic manoeuvres. Firstly, they were flying very close to each other, then on top of each other and then visa versa all within about 40cm. Each craft was between 2 to 3 meters across and about half a meter in depth. 

As we approached the pipeline, I began to turn to the east to follow it to the reservoir. Both objects turned with us and took a course directly in front of us at the same altitude. 

As I tried to halt our descent at 1,500 ft I found that the aircraft continued to descend. I applied full power in an attempt to arrest the fall. This put our revs into the red zone however our descent continued. 

Knowing that I could maintain these high revs for only 1 or 2 minutes, I thought that I was experiencing some kind of engine malfunction. I began looking around for a suitable place to perform an emergency landing. 

The two objects remained in front of us and continued their impossible manoeuvres. I asked (my passenger) ‘What are they’; she replied that she did not know. 

I then turned the radio to the ATIS weather for Bankstown to check if the wind had suddenly started to blow strongly from the east. I found this not to be the case. 

The objects were still there as I then turned the radio back to Bankstown tower frequency. 

When I looked up from the radio, the two objects had vanished. Simultaneously the engine began to over-rev and the aircraft immediately began to regain altitude. I pulled back the throttle. 

I asked (my passenger) if she saw where they went. She said that she thought that they had slowed, then descended and had passed underneath us. 

We then proceeded to Bankstown where we made a normal approach and landing. 

The Kerrie-Anne reference was to Kerrie-Anne Kennerley on whose Channel 9 TV show “Mornings” I had appeared on.

The reference to CASA relates to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority - the government body that regulates Australian aviation safety, which licenses pilots, registers aircraft and oversees safety.

I subsequently conducted an interview with the pilot, examined his log and gone over records, maps and other matters to detail this intriguing sighting, which powerfully suggests that whatever UFOs are, they represent a potential hazard to our aircraft, and for this reason alone (there are of course many other reasons) the UFO mystery should be taken seriously and should be investigated openly by science. 

The pilot would report another curious sighting of a strange cone shaped object seen from his suburban Sydney home in daylight on 13 March 2011. He remains puzzled by each of his sightings, as I do, but most of all his frightening April 1994 aircraft remained the most confronting for him.  - B.C.)

DASA is supposed to cover our military "safety" events.  The RAAF tell us that their pilots do not see UFOs or UAPs. History tells us otherwise.  A classic example is the Sea Fury case of 1954.

1.Personal email correspondence 21 June 2022 with Ross Coulthart.