Wednesday, November 19, 2014

Visions of "the Humanoids of OZ"

Back in 1976 Keith Basterfield and I collaborated on Australia's first catalogue collection of Close Encounters of the Third Kind (after Dr. J. Allen Hynek's definitions from his foundational book "The UFO EXperience - a scientific enquiry" (1972) and also popularised by Steven Speilberg's blockbuster "Close Encounters of the Third Kind" (1977).  For this I drew a series of drawings for some of the cases.  Here are those drawings of mine.  These scans were handy but the originals are much sharper.  Maybe I will colorise them sometime:

Keith went on to specialised in the "entity" cases while I focused on UFO landing physical traces, given my background in physical chemistry as a laboratory and quality manager and chemist.
My old friend Ray Stanford, author of the classic work on the famous 1964 "Socorro Saucer in a Pentagon Pantry", recently supplied me with a revised accurate artwork originally done by John Lucas and colourised by Ray. Be prepaid for some fascinating developments on this remarkable case. Great artwork of a case that is both a CE2 & CE3.
Socorro drawing: Copyright Ray Stanford/John Lucas (used with permission)
Australian "humanoid" drawings by Bill Chalker - Copyright Bill Chalker: (1976/2014)

Monday, October 20, 2014

Instrumented UAP UFO Field Studies now & then

Philippe Ailleris operates the UAP Observations Reporting Scheme.  He has focused on UAP UFO instrumented field experiments. He shared with me his 2011 Acta Astronautica paper "The lure of local SET: Fifty years of field experiments"
At the July 2014 CAIPAN UAP UFO scientific workshop Philippe presented a poster paper:
Philippe Ailleris,1
1 UAP Observations Reporting Scheme, Noordwijk, The Netherlands,
Since the publication of the University of Colorado’s Condon Report [1] and the inception of the French Space Agency’s unit GEIPAN [2], numerous Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) sightings have been reviewed using diverse measures (e.g. physical traces, radarscope data, photographs, film and video footages, physical effects, and medical records). Nonetheless they have failed to provide sufficiently reliable evidence to convince the scientific community of the existence of anomalous aerial phenomena on Earth. Almost all these previous data have not been acquired under controlled conditions with scientific instrumentation. It is obvious that a change of methodology is necessary and that the UAP phenomenon requires an active investigative response to move toward a scientific solution. To maximise the chances of acquiring reliable and valid data on the UAP phenomenon, instrument observations of UAP are essential, preferably coupled with visual observations. Instrumentation can assist in obtaining quantitative data required to understand basic physical characteristics of UAP. As early as the 1950s some attempts to detect and analyse anomalous atmospheric phenomena using scientific equipment have been carried out in the field in areas where anomalous aerial events had been reported. Field research gave credence to the idea that the UAP phenomenon could be studied on a rigorous and empirical basis. This paper describes some of these past experiments, from the different schemes and strategies devised, to the field-instrument packages selected and the most important results obtained. Details of the principal instrumented field studies deployed by governmental agencies, scientists, researchers and associations around the world are presented along with limitations and shortcomings in extant field research, with the objective of refining future instrumented projects. Finally the paper highlights the importance of studying the history of the UFO controversy, especially the necessity of accurately documenting and preserving the information pertaining to these historical research efforts (allowing this past work to guide future projects), and encouraging official bodies to be open and transparent in communications related to genuine UAP reports.
[1] Condon Dr. Edward & Sullivan, Final Report of the Scientific Study of Unidentified Flying Objects Conducted by the University of Colorado under Contract to the United States Air Force, Bantam Books, 1969.
[2] Groupe d’Études et d’Information sur les Phénomènes Aérospatiaux Non identifiés,, 2014. 

Here is a photo taken by Tom Tulien (used with his permission) 
of Philippe Ailleris presenting at the CAIPAN workshop.
Philippe kindly supplied an interim copy of his excellent poster presentation, which I have split into manageable segments for viewing:

Recently I sent Philippe material about instrumented field studies in Australia and China.  Between 1983 and1989 the famous Chinese scientist and the “father of Chinese rocketry”, Tsien Hsue-shen (or Qian Xeusen (pinyin)) advocated “UFO studies to be included in the teaching of geoscience” and supported the establishment of UFO observation stations. (See also Paul Dong in "The UFO Report 1991" edited by Timothy Good, Chp 6, "China Establishes UFO Observation Stations"). Taking Qian Xeusen's comments to heart a lot of the astronomical observatories "provide" a "side benefit" of defacto UFO observatories.
Tsien Hsue-shen (Qian Xeusen in pinyin) with Chairman Mao
Around 1968 Australian researcher Stan Seers developed "a simple, cheap, and easy to assemble UFO magnetic monitoring device."  One of these fitted with a "self-triggering cine camera" was set up at Horseshoe Lagoon near Tully, another at a site 20 miles south of Brisbane.  The setup at Horseshoe Lagoon was triggered and ran off footage. The undeveloped footage was posted off to Kodak. The package was returned with a note from Kodak saying the container contained no film on arrival in Melbourne, despite the original postage being indicative of a film being present. Investigators used a local member of parliament to try to get to the bottom of the missing film mystery, but all to no avail.
Albert Pennisi pointing to photos of the UFO detector and a group photo of Albert, his 2 sons and Stan (blowups of these shots) taken from movie by Mike Williams)
An extract from my tribute article for Albert Pennisi -
"Albert's "dream" machine - UFO reality at Tully"
In my book "Hair of the Alien" I devoted a chapter "An early Abduction odyssey" to the experiences of Vicki Klein.  She operated a “UFO detector” in her Canberra suburb of Downer. On July 7 1971, at 1.10 pm, from her Downer house Vicki saw a light grey cigar-shaped object above Mt. Majura.  Shortly before 1 pm, the detector, designed to pick up changes in magnetic fields, started to “buzz”.  It could not be switched off by resetting. Nuclear physicist Harry Turner wrote in a report, “Armed with 12 power binoculars and a next-door neighbour, (Vicki Klein) scanned the skies for a possible cause for the buzzing, finally locating an object at elevation 40o and bearing 70o, apparently directly above a civil radar station on top of Mt. Majura (2 miles from observer and 4 miles NE of Canberra city).  The object was slightly fatter at one end and was tracing out a square patter in a vertical plane, the object remaining horizontal during the manoeuvre. At the corners of the square pattern there appeared to be some fading with occasional flashing.  After five minutes the object disappeared and the detector stopped buzzing.  There was no echo reported on the radar, but this would not be expected if the object actually was directly above the radar.”
I deployed a range of detection equipment, including one device designed by technician Andrew Cole to detect only moving magnetic fields, into known UFO flap areas of Tyringham and Kempsey during 1976.  Only calibration studies were undertaken as no UFO activity was witnessed.
 my sketch of an event at Tyringham in 1973
UFO photo by Marwin Copland at Tyringham in 1973
My recent return to the Tyringham "hot zone"
The availability and variety of monitoring equipment has vastly improved over the decades.  The lessons to date provide useful opportunities for implementing improved strategies.
Astrophysicist Dr. Massiomo Teodorani in his paper “INSTRUMENTED MONITORING OF AERIAL ANOMALIES - A Scientific Approach to the Investigation On Anomalous Atmospheric Light Phenomena” addressed the following areas: “Anomalous atmospheric light phenomena tend to occur recurrently in several places of our planet. Statistical studies show that a phenomenon’s real recurrence area can be identified only after pondering reported cases on the population number and on the diffusion of communication media. The main scientific results that have been obtained so far after explorative instrumented missions have been carried out are presented, including the empirical models that have been set up in order to describe the observed reality. Subsequently, a focused theorization is discussed in order to attack the physical problem concerning the structure and the dynamics of “light balls” and the enigma related to the central force that maintains them in spherical shape. Finally, several important issues are discussed regarding methodology, strategy, tactics and interdisciplinary approaches.”
Dr. Teodorani concluded, “The most appropriate conclusive remark that can be given here is probably the one that stresses the real main goal of this research, consisting in searching for the physical mechanism that keeps light balls so perfectly confined in a spherical shape and that makes them produce so much energy. Once we’ll understand definitively this mechanism we’ll have at our disposal the key to reproduce this energy – possibly a clean form of it – in a laboratory and consequently to use it for many mankind’s needs, now compelling in this so critical period of our civilization. After all, quite recent laboratory experiments were able to reproduce for a short time lapse a ball lightning of small size. Why not thinking that we might replicate in a lab a much more energetic phenomenon such as a so called “earthlight”? Of course the use of this possible new energy source might be double-faced: a) tapping it under control conditions and peacefully in a similar manner as in electric or nuclear centrals; b) using this energy as a weapon system. The second possibility seems possible as well, or even easier: after all, once the physical mechanism is known it might be possible to find out a way to liberate suddenly the energy contained inside a light ball by nullifying instantly the central force that permits a hydrostatic equilibrium with the outward pressure force. The implications of this are really weird. But, as we all know, the use of some science or technology depends mostly on the nature of man. The main wish is that mankind becomes more peaceful and mature, so that an “infinite possibility” might be managed only for the common well.”
Massimo Teodorani also included some information on what a monitoring station for “UFOs” should cover. He indicate that for 2 years he had been collorating “with an international research group of scientists lead by Dr. Mark Rodeghier of CUFOS. Our goal is to prepare a project for an automated measurement station in order to obtain measurements of such phenomena all the time, after choosing an appropriate location for the station. At the present time most of the attention is concentrated in two directions:
A) Optimizing the best optical sensors that are able to acquire data on weakly luminous objects after covering all the sky.
B) Optimizing the best grating system able to obtain spectra of good resolution. Gratings are intended to be attached to optical sensors such as 3i Cube CCD camera.”
In my up coming columns for UFO Truth magazine "The OZ Files" and the Australian UFOlogist magazine "Science and the UFO Controversy" I have re-examined the CAIPAN UAP UFO scientific workshop in terms of it being an important signpost on the long road to a UAP & UFO science.

Thursday, October 09, 2014

The proceedings of the CAIPAN July 2014 Paris workshop on UAP/UFOs

The proceedings of the important CAIPAN UAP (UFO) workshop are now available on the GEIPAN website:
The lectures, documents and videos can be accessed at this site - a huge resource for those seriously interested in the scientific potential of UAPs and UFOs.

The workshop was an outstanding step towards the development of a serious science of Unidentified Aerospace Phenomena (UAP) and Unidentified Flying Objects (UFOs).

My previous posts on the July 2014 Paris workshop can be accessed here:

The CAIPAN GEIPAN UFO UAP workshop at CNES Paris July 2014

The CAIPAN GEIPAN UAP UFO Workshop of July 2014 photo review

Sunday, October 05, 2014

The famous 1953 Drury film story

From my 2 part research article published in the Australian magazine "Ufologist" in 2001 as "The Drury UFO film affair - a study of a celebrated Australian case":

(The imagery included is from a powerpoint presentation I gave in 2005 - copyright B. Chalker)

The daylight filming of a UFO over Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea (an Australian territory at the time), during 1953, became a milestone case for civilian researchers, with its official investigation and disposition engendering an enduring controversy about whether it represented evidence for a bona fide UFO, for an official cover-up or a complex milieu more indicative mishandling, misrepresentation or misinterpretation.
Top row: 3 frames from the Drury film - the native spear fisherman, 
a Sea plane in Port Morseby PNG harbour & the "UFO"/"UAP"; 
Bottom row: Tom Drury circa 1953; Tom Drury and his friend ASIO 
representative Laurie Sheedy on the deck of a rescue boat after 
they had survived a sea plane crash; Tom and Laurie became 
lifelong friends.  I was able to interview the 2 ASIO agents present
 in PNG around the time of the UFO film incident 
- Laurie was one of my interview subjects.
During the period of 1953 to 1954, while civilian interest in “flying saucers” was growing in Australia, extensive official and civilian interest focused on a daylight movie footage of an extraordinary unidentified “missile” over Port Moresby, taken by Tom Drury, the Deputy Director of the Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) in Papua New Guinea, then an Australian territory.

Interview with Tom Drury

I interviewed Tom Drury on March 3rd, 1982. He told me, “The thing I saw and actually filmed would have been the same as what you see going off the launching pads today. A lot of the newspapers at the time said it was, you know, a flying saucer and all sorts of garbage. It was not. You could see it quite clearly to the naked eye, but I had a turret-headed movie camera. I put the telescopic lens on it, and the shots came out beautifully . I handed that over to ASIO the very next morning, the film. ASIO then dispatched it via their headquarters. I think Kodak dealt with it, couldn’t get stills off it, because it was only pin-pointed. I think an article I read . Bill McMahon in a newspaper . gave a run down on my experience. He said I was to be congratulated as having see it, because they had eventually either through the RAAF and the United States Air Force taken black and white stills from the 8 mm colour movie of an object of unknown origin. But what it actually was, without any shadow of a doubt was a long silver cylindrical shaped pointed thing, that was completely noiseless, which staggered me. It made no noise and left a clear cut vapour trail, whoosh, going upwards, thousands of miles an hour, at an angle of about 45 degrees, I think I mentioned at the time, traveling roughly in a north westerly direction.”

Tom Drury indicated it was seen in a clear blue sky, but clarified that “it was making its own, as though it was orbiting, in a short distance, orbiting and generating its own cloud. Now whether that was sort of a thrust or atmospheric conditions, it was a very humid climate in Moresby of course, and it generated its own cloud I don’t know. The cloud was growing rapidly, the only one cloud in the sky, and it was growing much more rapidly than any of these natural clouds. I had been there for 10 years so I new a bit about it, the weather conditions up there.”

“Out of the corner of this thing, out of the corner of this cloud, up until then I hadn’t realized anything was there, just a cloud growing abnormally quickly by itself for no reason. Then out of the corner of this thing shot this silver dart. It appeared to me to be traveling at several thousand miles per hour. In those days I had seen Sabres and the like traveling very fast through the sound barrier, and I thought it was a hell of a lot faster than any Sabre that I had seen, but it was going upwards at an angle, but no noise, leaving a clear cut vapour trail behind it.”

“It moved in a dead straight line traveling towards the north west up at an angle of 45 degrees and didn’t deviate. It just disappeared .”

Tom confirmed to me that he got back a print of the film with a substantial amount of it missing. He said, “The film, in order to get the black and white stills from what I captured, the film I understand had to go through some special processing that left me bugger all of it.”

I asked Tom, “Did you ever actually see the full movie itself?”

“No, no, because it was an unprocessed movie. There was no way then of processing a colour movie film in New Guinea. It had to go to Kodak, I think in Melbourne . The story given to me by ASIO was that the intense processing that it took to get the object clear enough to determine what it was, or what sort of object it might have been, actually destroyed any possibility or likelihood of me getting that film back. They virtually had to destroy the film in chemical processing to get black and white stills from it. That’s what ASIO told me.” He also added, “Through a checkup I made not long afterwards through ASIO, I believe there was no military authority in the world at that stage making missiles, yet this thing, there is no doubt in my mind, was what you see going off the launch pad at Cape Canaveral today.”

While it was clear, contrary to Tom’s claimed ASIO briefing recollection, that there were missile tests going on at Woomera during 1953 and 1954, such as the Seaslug and Red Rapier (see appendix) these were clearly not capable of being the source of Drury’s “silver dart”, a point reinforced by the handwritten memo I sighted in DAFI files, which specifically ruled out Woomera as a source. But what of a sea born launch? No evidence to date has been found to support that idea. Land based Woomera launchings of the Seaslug missiles occurred in July, 1953. They were ultimately to be used as a ship launched missile. Pictures of the Woomera launches show a wide “fan” exhaust pattern that Paul Drury, Tom’s son who vividly recollected his observation with his father and mother, described to me during 2000. I showed him some of the missile firings pictures. The Red Rapier missiles were more “dart” like, but these were only launched from the base of Washington bombers over the Woomera site, and hardly had the range to make it over Moresby. While a “missile” looks like a possible candidate from the Drury “silver dart” no credible evidence to date has emerged to identify its origin.

Tom Drury told me in 1982, “In retrospect it looked to me as though it was a missile where something had gone wrong in it, and its planned path wasn’t being achieved. Its orbit would have been in a very tight circle to make this cloud. then it was recovered, flies back out from this cloud as though someone was remotely controlling from there. It wasn’t your general run of rat bag flying saucer story here. It was something deeper than that. I still think today it was a missile of some sort, but by christ it traveled!”

When I told Tom that I had seen in the RAAF files prints (rather negatives) apparently taken from individual frames of the film, he replied, “Well, you’ ve seen more of it than I have.” I told him I would ask DAFI to take copies for him. I did write to them on that basis and I understand Tom did eventually receive the 5 prints that remain - this, after almost 30 years!

Tom Drury also reminisced about some of the treatment he encountered in the wake of the UFO incident. For example the “Drum” column in the South Pacific Post reported that rumour had it he may have seen the flying saucer through the up turned end of an empty rum bottle. Tom demanded an apology from the paper. They said no, it was only meant as a joke, you know. When Minister of Air Bill McMahon’s statements about the incident appeared in a Sydney paper months later reporting that Tom Drury was a reliable, credible observer, an honest citizen, Tom said to the South Pacific Post would you print what Mr. McMahon said about him. They said they would. Drury also said, what about the apology. They said they would apologise in the next edition. They did. They again referred to the original slight re the rum bottle, then indicated they wished to make an outright apology to Mr. Drury, indicating they were quite sure did not see it through the up turned end of an empty rum bottle. They mentioned the rum bottle twice in the apology!
(the cover artwork of the March 1958 UFOIC UFO Bulletin 
was done by Andrew Tomas from frame photos)
Edgar Jarrold - the father of Australian ufology - and the Drury film controversy
A 1955 RAAF UFO file indicates that DAFI had sold prints of the 1953 UFO pictures “at 4/9 a pop” to civilian researchers. Pioneer researcher Edgar Jarrold (founder and president of Australia’s first civilian “flying saucer” group, based in Sydney, New South Wales) and Fred Stone (an early researcher based in Adelaide, South Australia) were among those who secured copies of these prints.

Edgar Jarrold’s own publication, the Australian Flying Saucer Magazine (Australia’s first “flying saucer” magazine, stated in its February, 1955, issue that “94 prints examined reveal conclusively the existence of a shiny, disc-like object whose behaviour could by no wildest stretching of the imagination be attributed to a bird, balloon, orthodox aircraft, hallucination, piece of windblown paper, natural phenomena, or a meteor. The cloud from which the silvery object ... emerged is distinctly visible. On emerging from it at a right angle with no other clouds apparent in a clear sky, still pictures reveal vivid confirmation of Mr. Drury’s report that an object, looking at first like a tiny brilliant sun, dashed rapidly from the cloud, heading north-west. The object flashed brightly in the sun as it made an abrupt right-angle turn soon after emerging from the dark cloud, zooming straight up with no reduction in speed. Upon reaching a greater altitude, it leveled off again, with another abrupt right-angled turn (Jarrold’s emphasis - B.C.), resuming its northwest flight thereafter until out of camera range altogether.... On effecting such turns, a greater expanse of the object’s upper surface becomes visible, causing it to present a featureless, disc-like appearance, which is in sharp contrast to first glimpses showing an object somewhat blurred in focus, and shaped like a theoretically fast moving, very bright star.”

Jarrold wrote years later (April 1st, 1972) to researcher, Frank Wilkes, “...I was able to view blown up still pictures made from this film before it left Australia due to the American request and am still, I think, the only civilian ever to have seen them. The pictures show what could only be accepted as an extra-terrestrial object, the flight path and behaviour of which, rule out any man made object or meteor. The film was made about midday against a cloudless sky and unfortunately the object was filmed from a distance, thus providing little real knowledge of the object’s shape and composition, main importance being attached to it’s most unusual actions and behaviour.”.

It should be noted that Drury himself observed no discontinuity in the UFO’s flight path. Whether the claims of 90o turns were legitimately recorded on the film, or were due to camera movement, or were artifacts of processing, analyses or just plain extravagant interpretations based on limited or poor data, we may never know. The references to 90o turns all stem from Jarrold. No one else, who either saw the film or prints, made such claims. The limited prints I have make any analysis impossible. They are very poor in quality.

The official files also records a letter from DAFI to Mr. Wiggins of the DCA dated 12/7/54 which states, “The “Flying Saucer” film taken by Mr. T.C. Drury, at Port Moresby in 1953 and forwarded by you on 22 Sept. is returned here with. We have subjected the film to detailed study and processing but have been unable to establish anything other than the blur of light appears to move across the film. In spite of this disappointment we would like to thank you for your co-operation in this matter.”

Jarrold outlined the behaviour of the Drury object to Fulton, in a letter dated July 25, 1954, claiming the Department of Air still regarded as “unexplained”. “The object’s behaviour alone rules out that of any conventional terrestrial object, including a meteor.” He made the drawing below, specifying “the object as recorded on the film itself, behaved thus, - as it emerged from a small, suddenly formed cloud, disappearing off the edge of the film as it raced from sight.” Given that none of the photos were numbered, it is difficult to see how he could be certain about the right angle turns he indicated. The cloud would have been the only reference point in an otherwise clear sky, and apparently Jarrold indicated that the cloud had disappeared off the edge of the film.

On 16th October, 1999, I visited the Australian Archives in Canberra. The main reason for my visit was that I had confirmed via an internet data base search, the presence of the file 114/1/197, with a data range of “Oct.53-Apr55”. This I immediately realised was the long missing first part of the DAFI/RAAF UFO files. 114/1/197 Part 2 was recovered under the 580 series Part 1 started in 1955. Searches by DAFI itself in 1966 & 1969 failed to locate the missing part 1. It was not found during my file access during 1982 - 84, so it was a real surprise to see it turn up in the Australian archives.

Attached to the inside front cover of file series 114/1/197 Part 1, were 3 pages of handwritten points on minute sheet stationary. A number of these refer to the handling of the Drury footage: (Right)

The Bluebook file (case 2689} on the Drury case is scant and the cover form contradictory. Initially it has Photos with “No” typed over (XX - presumably to indicate photos were involved), then in texta “Yes” is “X-ed over with the annotation “Not recd”. (ie. not received). (Page 7 Top Left)

Comdr ATIC requested a copy of the Drury footage dated 21 1430Z SEP 53 with replies to be referenced to TIC-5209. Lt. Col. H.C. Johnston, USAF, chief, Electronics branch authorised the request for the film, which was originated by A/lc Max G. Futch. There was a 10 Sep 53 telex apparently from Col. John Sullivan, USAF US Air Attache, Melbourne, to Lt. Col. George Uhrich, ATIC WPAFB re the Drury footage.

Recently via my review of RAAF DAFI files in Canberra I found Sullivan’s 5th March 1954 communication to DAFI which stated “Returned herewith is the 8mm film belonging to Mr Drury which you were so kind to lend this office (The Foreign Service of the USA -Office of the Air Attache American Embassy -BC). It would be very much appreciated by my Headquarters if you could obtain for this office a copy of this film for permanent retention in Washington.”

DAFI responded 24/2/54 (sic? Must be 24/3/54): “Extensive enquiries in Melbourne reveal that possibly the only country in the world which is capable of making a copy of the film is the United Kingdom, and therefore some difficulty would be experienced in getting a copy made for your Headquarters. This would explain the apparent oversight by your own people in not making a copy when they had the film available.”

Stills were offered instead. It seems astonishing that while in the USA a copy may not have been made? This confirms the footage left Australia in the last week in November, 1953, and was sent to Headquarters, USAF, by “normal USAF service channels.” So this establishes the film, or a copy of it, was in US hands from end November, 1953 through to 5th March, 1954.

The remaining film is examined and considered
On September 27th, 2000, Tom Drury’s nephew, Bill Drury, made available to me a copy of the print of the film Tom received back from authorities during 1954. The colour film shows the native spear fisherman, a speedboat on the harbour and then immediately cuts to about 5.8 seconds of footage, apparently the end of the filming of the UFO/contrail. This section resembles, or is, a thin contrail-like image that is continuously moving up at about a 45 degree angle, just as described by Tom Drury. It seems clear that this remaining footage is a composite from the original. Paul Drury, Tom’s son, was present during the incident. He recollects that his father had started filming with a fresh 8 mm roll of film, with the native spear fishing, the speedboat on the harbour. Tom then started filming the cloud and the object that shot out of it until it was in the distance. He feels certain that his father ran the whole role of film out during the incident. This suggests that there may have been a significant amount of footage present on the “missing section”. Tom and his son are certain that the cloud was filmed. Even Jarrold claims that he saw the cloud on some of the 94 prints he received from authorities in 1954. We don’t know if they were sequential frames, but Jarrold came up with his trajectory, which included right angles movements, that no one else reported, including Tom Drury.

Bill Chalker with Tom Drury's son Paul Drury
Bill Chalker holds the remaining film canister, the original camera used by Tom Drury in 1953;
Bill Chalker and "Ufologist" editor Robert Frola examined Tom Drury's camera
Frames from the remaining Tom Drury film supplied to Bill Chalker 
by Tom's nephew Bill Drury in 2000
While a definite identification has not been confirmed, the object Tom Drury filmed on August 23rd, 1953, over Port Moresby, might have been a “missile”. Until certainty is determined the Drury “silver dart” remain an unidentified flying object - a UFO that has commanded extraordinary attention from official and civilian circles, been cultivated as “the holy grail” of ufology, and been the centre of an extraordinary controversy. I hope this study has revealed a clearer perspective on this fascinating affair.

Friday, September 05, 2014

"Hair of the Alien" & "the Alien DNA paradigm" redux: 1999 - 2014 & beyond

      "Hair of the Alien" - "the single most convincing fact ever found in support of the physical reality of aliens" - Whitley Strieber author of the best selling book “Communion” - in "Whitley's Journal", Sunday August 7th, 2005

“In his remarkable book (“Hair of the Alien”leading Australian researcher Bill Chalker, who has  a background in chemistry and mathematics, describes his exemplary investigations into what has  turned out to be arguably the most convincing case for alien abduction (the Peter Khoury case)”      - Timothy Good “Earth – an alien Enterprise” (2013)

      Historian Richard Dolan has included a limited summary of the breakthrough Khoury “Hair of the Alien” DNA research story in his book “UFOs for the 21st century mind – a fresh guide to an ancient mystery” (2014) as a good example of “Encounters with “Them” that “are difficult to dismiss out of hand.”
      "Hair of the Alien" brings us closer than ever before to understanding our past, our origins, and our place in the universe" - from the back cover of the book.
The "alien DNA paradigm" focuses on evidence for alien genetic “intelligent intervention” in various cultures (particularly indigenous cultures) around the world, and has been  driven by:
• Locations with high strangeness/breakthrough activities with UFOs, light phenomena, alien abductions
• cultures that feature “sky being” claims, diverse UFO phenomena
• possible unusual DNA markers within these cultures or present selectively or generically in human DNA
• locations or regions which bring together each of these factors (UFO “haunted” location, alien mediated culture, DNA aspects). 

I've drawn together a number of posts that link into "the alien DNA paradigm" hypothesis research. 
Start with the following:
then check out the other posts on the alien DNA paradigm site for some interesting connections.

From the H2 channel "Ancient Aliens" episode in Season 6 which featured the Khoury hair case with Peter Khoury, Dr. Horace Drew and myself briefly discussing the investigation & research

The catalyst for the Alien DNA paradigm - "Hair of the Alien" (available through Amazon in soft cover book & e-book)

Peter Khoury (right) passes a polygraph test conducted by Gavin Wilson

Bill Chalker (physical inorganic chemist) with Dr. Horace Drew (biochemist) who led the DNA studies that highlighted "hybrid" DNA characteristics in the unusual hair sample found during Peter Khoury's strange 1992 experience in Sydney.

Saturday, August 23, 2014

Further followup to HIBAL/Westall controversy

Further to my blog post on the Westall/HIBAL controversy I noted Keith Basterfield's FB comment that he does not want to engage in social media commentary onhis Westall/HIBAL hypothesis and intended to only respond to discussion "as long as you know the facts, have read all the original material published around that time, and can tell me why:

1. Witnesses at the time, say that the authorities responded so quickly, that they must have known the UFO was coming. How did they know it was on its way?
2. The authorities reacted this way to the Westall UFO, when they have never reacted this way to any other UFO case in Australia?
3. Why there are no documents about the Westall case in Australian government UFO files?
4.Why witnesses disagree about whether there were one, two or more UFOs; one, two or more ground traces; and the location of such traces?

I sent the following to Keith via email:
Here are a few comments:
1. HIBAL is not the only hypothesis that "answers" this. For example, if as my "deep throat" "retrieval team" person suggests:
"I do not concur with Keith Basterfield’s working hypothesis in relation to Westall.
"For what it’s worth, my own verbal enquiries made today into the matter have revealed
little :
"DOS Hibal flight 292 was not launched from Mildura . 292 did not terminate in
"Series records were destroyed as stated.
"I was not able to glean any other factual information.
"My people tell me that American personnel were indeed present in Victoria in 1966.
"Some in connection to Hibal, other personnel were involved with classified military projects around Australia. ( Westall?)
"As per our previous correspondence, I still believe that the Westall incident was tied in with other UAP sightings preceding and shortly following April 6, 1966.
"Unfortunately, as discussed, so much stuff was selectively “lost” or “destroyed” by military & government agencies during project transition.

Of course it is difficult to confirm anything here in terms of a documented informant trail.

This informs a hypothesis that A UFO retrieval team existed and they were following the trending of activity from NW - Western Australia, down thru coast Western Australia, through South Australia, then rural Victoria. How to test it? Documentation would be nice. Like HIBAL/Westall there is no documentation that actually describes such a "retrieval team" activity, but you don't have any person who you can cite that they were actually aware of HIBAL actually coming over Westall school airspace. You are inferring it from a proposed launch date, the preceding day, for which there is no evidence to date that it actually occurred. In the case of the "retrieval team" hypothesis I have someone saying this, but it is probably unverifiable. Another way to test my tentative hypothesis is to seek out "UFO activity" in the areas cited in the alleged "trending of activity." Is Burkes Flat 4 April and Balwyn 2 April a contribution to that hypothesis? You have also highlighted a 3 April Tullamarine ATC radar tracking, with you concluding uncertain that it was a MET balloon:

The 11 page file starts off with a form titled "Report on Aerial Object Observed." The date of the incident is given as 3 April 1966 and the time as 2015 to 2027 local time. The reporter's name was J Reinmuth who was using the CSF radar at Tullamarine.

The object was first seen at a range of 54.5 nautical miles at an azimuth of 55 degrees (ie. roughly north-east.) The observer's attention was first drawn to an "Unidentified plot in proximity to inbound route." Its speed was given as 60 knots in a north-easterly direction. The direction of flight was stated to be north-east from first observed position. It was travelling in a straight line. It was seen at 61 nautical miles bearing 055 degrees magnetic. The wind direction at the time was from the south-west. A check of aircraft in the area at the time revealed that the nearest plane was "TJA on normal inbound route."

At 2040hrs the object was "...still observed on radar at 64 nautical miles." At 2043 hrs still 64 nm where it was last observed.

The next two pages are headed "Department of Civil Aviation Air Safety Incident Report" number VTI-66/319. The date of the event is given as 3 April 1966. The event is labelled "Unidentified Aerial Object." Under the heading "Action by regional investigator" in handwriting is "It appears likely that the object was a met balloon and this aspect is being investigated." Signed Woodward SIAS 6 Apr 1966.

The Victorian Bureau of Meteorology was asked if the object could have been a met balloon. On 4 Jul 1966 they responded "It appears that the object could have been a meteorological balloon, with radar reflector attached, released from the RAAF Base, Laverton. The position and movement of the object are consistent with the time of release of a balloon and the winds which affected at that time."

I guess one can look at what else was reported in Victoria, South Australia and Western Australia and see if civilian and military data contributes any coherent support of this hypothesis.

2. Authorities "never reacted this way to any other UFO case in Australia? I supplied a list of cover up claims to DAFI in 1982 asking for comment. Got little, but my letter in their files has a few annotations. Never-the-less there are claims that involve what seems to be the heavy hand of "coverup". More recently my account of "An extraordinary affair near Nowra" in The OZ Files describes similar intense responses, so Westall is not unique.

3. No documents on Westall in govt files. Same with the Nowra case and many others I can cite where official presence was reported by witnesses and yet no documents have been found.

4. Conflicting quantitative info on number of UFOs and ground traces - given the confusion, the lack of detailed investigation by VFSRS at the time, and PRA's claims of alleged involvement by Brian Boyle being unverifiable and non detailed, it is hardly surprising that our efforts to rebuild the jigsaw in the decades that followed is informed by confusion etc.

Look forward to hearing from you.

Best regards, Bill

To date Keith has only briefly responded: 

Thanks for your blog piece on HIBAL and your comments in response to my four questions. As always, there are a number of interpretations to specific cases. I think that we will continue to disagree on certain points on Westall.

Sunday, August 10, 2014

Westall '66 - UFO or HIBAL? The answer is perhaps not "blowing in the wind"

Like a lot of UFO researchers I have my own list of “best cases.”  The magazine “Fortean Times” got me to share part of that list back in 2007 for their “60 years of UFOs” special issue.  From a rough short list of about 100 cases I developed my “top 10 best cases” from the Australian region.  I periodically revisit that list reviewing each case but it remains the same today.
Here is my list with the reasons for each case being chosen in brackets:
1. 1954, August 31 – Sea Fury case, near Goulbourn, NSW, Australia (experienced naval pilot, radar visual confirmation, independent ground witnesses, apparent intelligent responses to witnesses’ thoughts about possible collision) 
2. 1992, July 23 – Peter Khoury “Hair of Alien” DNA case – Sydney, Australia (abduction type encounter with female Nordic blonde yields anomalous hair sample that suggests “hybrid origin” and unusual genetic profiles)
3. 1959, June 27 – Father Gill UFO entity sighting - Boianai, Papua New Guinea (credible multiple witness sighting of animate entities on UFO with intelligent interactions)
4. 1980, September 30 – George Blackwell’s Rosedale UFO landing physical trace case – Rosedale, Victoria Australia (compelling array of physical evidence – ground trace, missing water, effects on witness, other witness)
5. 1993, August 8 – Kelly Cahill’s abduction experience – Narre Warren North, Victoria, Australia (possible independent multiple witness UFO encounter with abduction dimensions and physical evidence)
6. 1966, January 19 – George Pedley’s Tully UFO nest encounter – Tully, Queensland, Australia (daylight close encounter with UFO take off leaving physical evidence – “UFO nest”)
7. 1966, April 4 – Ron Sullivan’s “bent headlight beam” experience – Burkes Flat, Victoria Australia (striking UFO encounter, physical traces, bent light beams, possible related fatality)
8. 1966, April 6 – Westall school daylight UFO “landing” encounter – Westall, Victoria, Australia (multiple witness daylight landing, physical traces, “cover-up” dimensions)
9. 1977-78 – Gisborne UFO abduction milieu – Gisborne New Zealand (complex and high strangeness UFO and abduction milieu – entities, multiple witnesses, multiple abductions)
10. 1973 May – August – Tyringham Dundurrabin intense UFO flap area, NSW, Australia (long term intense UFO flap, multiple witness, physical effects, paranormal dimensions)
In each case I have undertaken a lot of research and investigations that substantiates for me the reason why I regard them as impressive cases. Likewise I regularly review many of the other cases in my original rough short list of about 100 cases and others that have entered the fold to see if I should modify my list.  While many of these cases could easily qualify for inclusion my list remains the same as it was in 2007.
The following news story might make you think that I should reconsider the 1966 Westall school case as part of my top 10 list.  I’ll explain why I won’t be doing that based on my current assessment of the evidence, in spite of what is being called the HIBAL explanation for Westall.
Melbourne Herald Sun journalist Mark Dunn wrote the story which was published on-line on 6 August 2014 with the headline  “Westall ‘UFO’ incident was actuallygovernment radiation testing, reports reveal.”  A shorter version of the story appear in the hard copy of the paper the following day with the headline “UFO all hot air – “Westall” was a balloon.”  There is no evidence of any original research by the journalist and it is based entirely on research done by long time researcher Keith Basterfield.   Some things may have been lost in translation and I have therefore inserted a few comments in italics/brackets within my quoting of the article.  You can go to Keith’s web site for further details: and search for his HIBAL entries.
 The story:
“AN almost 50-year-old mystery when more than 200 people believed they had a close encounter with a UFO landing in Clayton may have finally been solved after newly-unearthed government documents revealed a secret radiation-testing program.
(The HIBAL programme was not conducted in secret at the time of the Westall incident.  HIBAL was being openly reported in newspapers from at least 1965 and beyond 1966)
Although federal and state government agencies refused to comment about the 1966 ‘Westall’ incident at the time, it is now believed that, rather than a UFO, what landed was an errant high altitude balloon used to monitor radiation levels after the controversial Maralinga nuclear tests.
The HIBAL program was a joint US-Australian initiative to monitor atmospheric radiation levels using large silver balloons equipped with sensors between 1960 and 1969.
Documents held by the National Archives and former Department of Supply indicate one test balloon launched from Mildura may have been blown off course and came down in Clayton South in a paddock near Westall High School, alarming and baffling hundreds of eyewitnesses, including teachers and students.
(No official documents have been found as of the beginning of August 2014 that refer to any HIBAL launch being the explanation for the events at Westall in April 1966.  No documents have been found that even confirm that the scheduled 5 April 1966 launch took place.)
After hovering over the area, it landed at an area known as The Grange, behind a grove of pine trees, before taking off again and being pursued by several light aircraft in a sighting which lasted 20 minutes from 11am on April 6, 1966.
The event has ever since been shrouded in mystery.
But researcher Keith Basterfield, who has spent years investigating unexplained phenomenon in Australia, said a “runaway” balloon from the HIBAL (high altitude balloon) project was the likely answer.
Each test balloon lifted a 180kg payload consisting of an air sampling and telemetry unit in a gondola and was followed by a light aircraft tasked with tracking it and triggering its 12mtr parachute via radio signal.
Immediately after the Westall “UFO” sighting, reports emerged of Government men in suits converging on the area and asking school officials and other witnesses to not talk about the event.
A contemporary witness reported these “suits” stated what the students saw was part of a secret government exercise and that for national security reasons they were forbidden from discussing it.
“My hypothesis is that the incident involved not a UFO, but a high altitude balloon, it’s parachute and large payload,” Mr Basterfield said.
In a research paper completed this year, Mr Basterfield said a close review of all available documentation, including that searched through Freedom of Information laws, pointed to HIBAL flight number 292 as the real culprit.
“The Westall object was described as being a white/silver colour which could describe the colour of an HIBAL balloon or parachute.”
A witness account prior to the Westall sighting stated a flying object — trailing what appeared to be a long vacuum-like hose — was seen by a couple, whose surname was Frankie, near Smith’s Gully 40km north of Clayton South.
“HIBAL balloons were filled with gas through a thin tube which went to the top of the balloon and was left in place during the balloon flight,” Mr Basterfield said.
He said uncovered documents had also highlighted government concern about the potential damage if a heavy test balloon came down in a suburban area.
“The Department of External Affairs files on HIBAL reveal there was considerable discussion on possible damage to property or personnel by a HIBAL balloon,” Mr Basterfield said.
But despite government archival records showing the results of numerous HIBAL test flights, the paperwork for the launches scheduled for the day before Westall appear to have been lost or destroyed.
“What is strikingly missing is a memo reporting on the actual four launches for April 1966, one of which was scheduled for 5 April 1966, the day before Westall.
“So we have no (official) knowledge of where flight 292 went.””
(A more probable answer that does not require conspiratorial inferences for the absence of documentation about the scheduled flight 292 is that it may not have occurred at all.  There was a history of problems and cancelled flights, with the US connections even requesting that missed flights need not be made up for.)

A document in the Australian HIBAL files may actually point towards the fact that no dramatic HIBAL related touchdown occurred at Westall on 6 April 1966.    The Australian Prime Minister’s Secretary in a memo to the Secretary of the Department of Supply dated 6 May 1966 (that is only one month after the Westall incident) indicated, “The indemnity clause was inserted in the HIBAL agreement because of the real risk of injury from descending instrument packages.” However it tellingly does not refer to any HIBAL event of “descending instrument packages” coming down in populated areas let alone suburban Melbourne.  Secretary Bunting for the Prime Minister ended his memo with the following: “It may well be that the risks have been proved by operating experience to be negligible, or the provisions in Article VIII of the Agency Agreement are adequate.  However, this aspect should be examined most carefully.”   The absence of any reference to a HIBAL fall or crash leading to frightened school children and possible high risk of damage or injury to people and infrastructure in Westall – suburban Melbourne of all things – seems to me pretty telling and a powerful argument that a HIBAL event does not explained Westall ’66. 
The May 1966 Prime Minister's secretary letter re 
HIBAL risks that give no support to 
a HIBAL explanation for the Westall incident a month earlier.
The Prime Minister's secretary letter of 6 May 1966 is located in the Department of Defence file (originally classified Secret) "Stratosphere Monitoring for Radioactivity (ASHCAN) (HIBAL)" accessible digitally at the National Archives of Australia due to Keith Basterfield’s diligent research work (See NAA: A6456, R190/017).  Given the original SECRET classification of the file the absence of any reference to HIBAL initiated hazard or security concerns related to Westall during April 1966 suggests strongly that no such incident occurred. A number witnesses of the Westall incident report a heavy hand of what seemed like officially mediated coverup.   If it was at all HIBAL related matter the Defence file would have contained references to it or at the very least an escalation in the security and liability fallout.  Instead what is seen is a dense bureaucratic dialogue being slowly resolved to permit the HIBAL programme to continue with continual references to minimal risks.  No references to a crisis at Westall caused by a messy HIBAL containment and retrieval suggest a logical conclusion: There was no HIBAL event at Westall on 6 April 1966.
Examining the HIBAL Westall hypothesis is a worthwhile exercise, however careful consideration of context, detail and evidence should inform the debate.   Keith Basterfield’s research certainly told me a lot about the HIBAL project, but it confirmed for me, on the current information, that it may provide intriguing information about high altitude“UFO” sightings, but nothing about the Westall incident being caused by a HIBAL flight gone wrong.  
A scenario like the HIBAL hypothesis might take flight if you ignore or reject a lot of impressive eyewitness testimony or only utilise suggestive fragments of the fuller story rather than consider the general convergence or coherency of much of the Westall testimony, some of it revealed in 1966 and 1967, and much more since then, particularly in the last decade, primarily through Canberra researcher Shane Ryan’s focus of the Westall story.
Ken McCracken was involved in HIBAL as a scientist from Adelaide University from at least 1965 to 1968. In his memoir "Blast Off - Scientific adventures at the Dawn of the Space Age" (2008) Professor McCracken wrote a chapter entitled "Little Green Men and other Weird Tales" where he tells of "the most famous occasion" when flying saucers or UFOs factored into his scientific adventures. It was a HIBAL launch and it wasn't Westall in 1966.  In fact it was 1968 and Sydney was involved. This was only about sightings of a high level HIBAL balloon gone astray, certainly not the result of a low level sighting of HIBAL.
The Sunraysia Daily from Mildura with a 1965 story 
including a picture of Professor Ken McCracken on the right.
My point - if the events described at Westall in April 1966, even if we limit it to evidence gathered in 1966 and 1967, were due to a HIBAL balloon, payload or parachute (or variations of those combinations) we would have had a spectacular example of misinterpretation and hysterical contagion, that would have far outstripped the 1968 Sydney event as a contender for "the most famous occasion" of HIBAL "flying saucer" fallout.
The fact that Ken McCracken cites a high altitude HIBAL event as an example of HIBAL creating flying saucer hysteria is particularly telling, because I suggest that a low level HIBAL event, while possibly creating some hysteria, would have been obviously identifiable, not as a UFO but as an obvious IFO - identified then and not a big deal, other than containing it from causing injury, damage and retrieving the payload and its attachments. Photos of HIBAL parachute/payload configurations about to touch down make it pretty obvious that at low level people would easily confirm a parachute and payload. 
(left) HIBAL ascending (right) HIBAL at high altitude, looking rather "flying saucer" like - the stuff of Ken McCracken's "most famous occasion" that HIBAL spawned "flying saucer" sightings
(below) HIBAL in "close encounter"landing phase, looking decidely "parachute/payload" like 
- a poor inspiration for a striking UFO close encounter
(images: 1976 NRC document "The Use of Balloons for physics & astronomy")

What a HIBAL ground mishap might have looked like
 - Melbourne Sun 13 April 1961 - rather non-UFO like? 
Mind you the alternative, parachute and payload 
(the bottom half) is even less inspiring as a UFO imitator.
The suggestion, for example, that Westall school student Joy Tighe’s 1966 description of 2 separate circular UFOs (shaped like “upright domes”) “flying in varying directions” “faster than some light aircraft in vicinity” then turning on edge and disappearing fast, recorded on a Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society report form in 1966, supports a sighting of a parachute connected to a heavy payload, weighing up to 200 kg seems like an incredible force-fit to me.  Even with some wind about it is a big stretch to suggest that winds were causing a HIBAL parachute and payload to come down low then go in varying directions, at times faster than light aircraft in the area, then turn and disappear fast.  That’s a pretty impressive performance for a balloon and payload at low altitude. In this forced scenario it would be a wonder that the school children and teachers would be able to stand upright in the wind conditions needed to keep the balloon/payload up in the air, defying the forces of gravity, and gyrating around the sky low over Westall school, and still at times fly faster than light aircraft despite being at a low altitude. 
I was able to do a video interview with Joy (Tighe) Clarke at the 2006 Westall reunion event.  I found her to be a compelling witness.  I also videoed her 2006 drawing of the UFOs she saw.  I was left with the same general impression with all the Westall witnesses I met at the reunion.  They told their stories of their recollections and didn’t seem to be embellishing their narratives. 
Joy and Jeff at the 2006 Westall '66 reunion.  
Jeff was the author of the student account 
in the Westall High school magazine.
Joys 2006 drawing of what she recollects seeing at Westall in 1966
(photos: Bill Chalker)
Sure, there are problems with testimony gathered decades after an event, but I was impressed with the general coherency and consistency of the individual stories I heard.  Collectively they appeared to support an event that goes way beyond what a HIBAL incursion might have generated. 
Given that I had a long time focus on physical trace (UFO landing) accounts I was pleased to be able to eventually interview Victor Zakry who described witnessing, as a Westall school student, 2 identical objects, like Joy did, but strikingly initially at ground level, that were connected directly with ground traces.  The reports of ground traces did not get the careful attention they deserved at the time.  There are accounts of clandestine attention, but nothing has surfaced, other than witness descriptions and a Victorian Flying Saucer Research Society photo of a grassed area suggestive of a trace, but also may have been due to prosaic factors.  We just don’t have certainty in that area, but there are plenty of speculations.
On 5 July 2008 I was able to undertake an on site detailed investigation and interview at Westall in Melbourne with Victor Zakry.  I videoed the interview and got him to do a rough layout map of the events he witnessed.  His account was consistent with a number of interviews he had given to others and to me.
Victor Zakry with his rough on site sketches 
during our 2008 meeting at Westall
(Photo: Bill Chalker)
Victor indicated he was able to walk up close to one of the objects, while 3 other students stood around in close proximity to the other object. A teacher and at least a dozen other students crowded along the high fence to get a view. Victor contemplated touching the object but thought better of it.  The two objects suddenly rose up from the grass and took off, one to the west, the other flew up and orbited a small plane before flying down to the south west Grange reserve area, with students in pursuit.   The UFOs were described as about 1.5 metres in height and approximately 5.4 metres in width. They left behind two circles of burnt grass.
Victor went home for lunch straight after this extraordinary experience which swept up much of the rest of his school. This initially to me seemed a strange thing to do given the unfolding events, but he explained that at the time he felt  he didn’t need to see any more that day (6 April 1966) because he had seen the exact same object a few years earlier.  He was trying to take a wooden pallet from a factory site near the Westall Grange area during the early hours of the morning. His escapade was interrupted when a UFO flew over. It was the same looking object he would see during daylight at Westall in 1966 along with many in his school, but it was flying on edge – an appearance captured in the polaroid photo taken at the nearby suburb of Balwyn only 4 days before the Westall incident.  There were other similar encounters during this period of the 1960s in the area around Westall and neighbouring isolated suburbs of Melbourne, which in those days was the outer edge of the city. Pockets of this area still have something of an isolated, almost country, feel to them.
 The Balwyn UFO - 2 April 1966
(Photo: courtesy of the witness)
Victor also impressed me as a compelling witness giving consistent testimony.  While like Joy, he spoke of seeing 2 objects, Victor saw them at ground level and then watched them take off and go off in different directions.  Like Joy he described one of them flying faster than a light plane.  Indeed he described it as orbiting the plane, then taking off and apparently heading down to the Grange area. 
Victor later told me that he had a meeting with the school headmaster, who encouraged him not to talk of the event because it might hurt his future chances of a career in art.  The headmaster gave him that advice because he himself had witnessed something similar during the war and he had experienced the pressure of being told not to talk about such things.  Victor followed the headmaster’s advice, but with the growing tide of witnesses coming forward since 2006 he now felt more comfortable with reporting his own experience.  His artistic abilities also provided us with some striking drawings of the objects he saw.
 Victor Zakry's drawings of the UFO 
he had an extremely close encounter with
His drawings and our site interview and reconstruction of the scene allowed me to generate a “forensic” style drawing of his experience.
My "forensic" drawing of Victor Zakry's recollection
 of his 1966 Westall UFO encounter, 
based on our onsite reconstruction during 2008
(drawing: Bill Chalker)
While Victor’s story has only been revealed recently he still impressed me as a witness telling a consistent story. 
I don’t think the evidence that witnesses like Victor share with us, should be diminished simply because they were described decades after the original event. Instead, when they are told with apparent compelling conviction of witnesses like Victor and Joy, we should accept them for what they seemed to be – genuine attempts at recollections of past events - and try to see how they fit into the daunting jig-saw puzzle that the large body of testimony of Westall ’66 testimony represents.  There is a measure of coherency but many aspects remain confusing. 
It’s the kind of situation that fits in with Nassim Nicholas Taleb’s “black swan” concept.  I wrote about this perspective back in 2009.  Its an interesting way of looking at things.
“I am interested in how to live in a world we don’t understand very well –in other words, while most human thought (particularly since the enlightenment) has focused us on how to turn knowledge into decisions, I am interested in how to turn lack of information, lack of understanding, and lack of “knowledge” into decisions –how not to be a “turkey”. My last book The Black Swan drew a map of
what we don’t understand; my current work focuses on how to domesticate the unknown,” writes Taleb.
It could also be used to help understand and address the UFO mystery.  The UFO mystery we know so little about and have so little control over, is like one of Taleb “Black Swans”, a thing that “lies outside the realm of regular expectations”, “it carries an extreme impact” and “human nature makes us concoct explanations for its occurrence after the fact, making it explainable and predictable.” These are key attributes of Taleb’s “black swans”, events of rarity, extreme impact, and retrospective predictability.
It is with the third attribute that mainstream science and media have let us down. They tried to explain the whole phenomenon away, but it is exactly the phenomenon’s ability to remain highly improbable to mainstream perceptions, but to have high impact in incredibly mysterious and profound ways, which should guide us. We have to learn to “expect the unexpected” and learn to understand it and learn from it.
The HIBAL parachute/payload combination seems an unlikely explanation for the events at Westall in April 1966.  There is no clear documented evidence of one coming down in the Melbourne on 6 April 1966 to date.
There is sufficient counter evidence (the Prime Minister’s Secretary memo of May 1966 and a key scientist involved in the HIBAL programme both before and after April 1966 not citing the Westall event as "the most famous occasion" of HIBAL "flying saucer" fallout) to conclude that the HIBAL explanation is a non-starter. 
The collective testimony gathered over decades powerfully argues that the Westall incident may well be a legitimate UFO mystery.
Back in 1996 I concluded in my account of the events in my book "The OZ Files - the Australian UFO Story": "There is little doubt that something of an extraordinary nature was seen over the Westall school area and that at least one (UFO) appears to have landed and apparently left behind some physical traces. Numerous witnesses confirm these basic details. Other more exotic details vary in credibility ..."
DVDs of the excellent documentary
"Westall '66 - a suburban UFO mystery"
(Rosie Jones (director) & Carmel McAloon (producer))
Skeptical and debunking players may uncritically embrace a HIBAL explanation for the Westall mystery but the impressive nature of much of the Westall testimony deserves far better.  I don’t think the answer for Westall ’66 is blowing in the wind.  I suspect it may be providing us with an extraordinary insight into the impact and nature of the UFO mystery if we have the skills, determination and insights to go beyond the curtains of the UFO theatre and reveal the real UFO mystery being played out in our little place in the cosmos.
Thank you to all the Westall witnesses who have had the courage and interest to share their experiences and recollections.  Thanks also to all the researchers, investigators and people, trying to understand the mystery.  It all helps stir this fascinating melting pot that is the UFO mystery and might yield great insights.
Reseachers Shane Ryan, George Simpson & Bill Chalker
in Westall for the 2006 reunion