2nd part of BOA interview with Bill Chalker
Standing alongside our examinations of South Africa and France, it's another eye-opening look at the world of UFO studies across the globe. Part 1 of the Bill Chalker interview can be found HERE.
Full Preview: We begin the second half by examining another aspect of Australian Ufology: the history of organized UFO studies Down Under, including the fascinating story of Edgar Jarrold, the "father of Australian Ufology." Looking at the situation in America, where serious minded scientists at first supported UFO studies and then, following the Condon Report, backed away, we find out how closely that situation was mirrored in Australia. This leads to Bill telling us about how he was granted direct access to the Australian UFO files in 1982 and discovered nuclear physicist Harry Turner, who played a pivotal role in clandestine military investigations into UFOs. Bill shares a stunning story of how friction between US Air Force officials and Donald Keyhoe resulted in the derailing of the first official Australian investigation into UFOs during the mid-1950's.
Bill also shares the remarkable story of how Harry Turner almost put together a "rapid intervention team" of military types to investigate UFO sightings and landings in Australia. He also reveals the shocking turn of events that stymied the RIT project, which surrounded the fallout of the Condon Report, that was felt all the way in Australia. We also find out how extensively the government investigated UFOs in the decades after that. Bill talks about an intriguing case, that he uncovered in the official UFO files, from 1973 in Western Australia, which co-incided with a nuclear alert and raised tensions between the US and Russia.
Jumping back to organized UFO studies, we get Bill's opinion on the state of Ufology in Australia today. Bill explains how the situation has changed, as far as organized UFO groups, in Australia since the inception of Ufology there in the 1950's and '60's. He talks about attempts to create a national network of UFO groups in Australia and some of the roadblocks that arose that made such an enterprise difficult.
Looking again at the government's role in investigating UFOs, we find out if there has even been an Australian version of Project Blue Book or an MOD defense desk job similar to the one formerly held in the UK by Nick Pope. Bill compares official Australian UFO investigations with civilian investigations and explains why the civilian ones seem to have more credibility. We get Bill's thoughts on the possibility of a UFO cover-up permeating the Australian government. This segues into some discussion on the Westall School case of 1966 and why Bill thinks it is a good example of potential government cover-up. Wrapping up the government / military discussion, we find out if there is much deference by the Australian officials to the US or UK governments, with regards to UFO issues. On this topic, Bill tells us about the 1953 Drury Film which was sent to America for analysis and returned with large portions of the film deleted.
Getting a little bit wild, we find out what Bill knows about the longstanding rumours of an alien base at Mt. Zeil and/or the Pine Gap facility in Australia.
Following that, we look at the next big pillar of influence on Ufology in Australia: the media. Bill tells us about how the media coverage of the UFO phenomenon has changed over the years in Australia. Bill details his observation that there is a "dumbing down" process at work and not engaging the substantial nature of the phenomenon. He talks about some of his experiences working with the media in Australia. We then find out how extensive the paranormal media is in Australia as compared to in the US.
Tackling the last puzzle piece in the big picture of Australian Ufology, we discuss the perspective of the everyday public with regards to the UFO phenomenon. Bill details some interesting poll numbers that have surfaced in Australia with regards to belief in UFOs. Scraping the bottom of the proverbial barrel, we discuss UFO skeptics, creatures that sadly exist in Australia as well.
Going off in a whole 'nother direction, we discuss the world of Chinese Ufology, which Bill has investigated. He gives some great insight into how the world of civilian Ufology had developed in China since the 1970's. He reveals the remarkable popularity with which the subject has been embraced in the country. We discuss the difficulties of the language barrier between these two worlds, as most of the key Chinese Ufologists don't speak English. Given the perceived tyrannical nature of the Chinese government, we find out how they feel about the civilian UFO research groups that have sprung up in that country. Bill reveals what he has learned about official government investigations into UFOs in China including a bizarre story of an alleged alien infestation in one small town.
Wrapping things up, we find out what's next for Bill Chalker in the near and distant future.