Tuesday, November 03, 2009

State-of-the-Art in UFO Disclosure Worldwide & the Australian experience

Respected Spanish researcherVicente-Juan Ballester Olmos has produced an excellent general overview of the state of UFO "disclosure" activities worlwide, i.e. the extent and chronology of the release and access to government, military and intelligence files on UFOs from around the world.

Quoting from Vicente-Juan's November 1 2009 release notice:
"State-of-the-Art in UFO Disclosure Worldwide". This essay is described and prefaced in: http://fotocat.blogspot.com/ The full paper can be found at: http://www.anomalia.org/disclosure.pdf
I hope you find interesting this research consolidating a general picture of all the official UFO release and declassification programs in the world.

I worked closely with Vicente-Juan to develop a picture of the Australian experience. While the general picture precludes "the devil in the detail" aspects I have included below some of the material which informed the final version of the Australian section of the document.

I welcome any corrections or clarifications. I had to work on the basis of verifiable details which precluded information of a vague or unverifed nature from anonymous parties and from groups and individuals who have not provided detail or evidence of information which may have been referred to in fragmented or limited ways.

(extract) from my UFOs Sub Rosa down under document (on line since 1999)

The blog seems to keep compacting the table data set out below, so these are best seen at the following link towards the end of part 4: http://www.theozfiles.com/ufos_subrosa4.html


Over 1,612 reports have been received by the RAAF from between 1950 and until June, 1984. The actual figure is somewhat greater due to incomplete records and scattered omissions from the Summary reports periodically produced by the RAAF between 1965 and 1980. Accurate figures for the period 1950 and 1954 are not possible, due to the loss of the original files. It is possible to give a rough statistical breakdown of the RAAF's"total" investigations from 1950 to June, 1984. This needs to be broken upinto 4 periods, due to different sources of information and lack of official"unknown" percentages outside the period from 1960 to 1980 inclusive.

PERIOD 1 (1950 - 1954):

No. %
YEAR No. "unknown" "unknown"
1950 3 0 0
1951 4 2 50%
1952 5 0 0
1953 13 2 15.4%
1954 38 8 20.0%

Records for this period are incomplete with the only surviving records beingthe previously secret "1954 Report on "Flying Saucers"" prepared for the Directorate of Air Force Intelligence (DAFI) at their request by nuclearphysicist, Harry Turner, as a "scientific appreciation" of their reports. Some of reports from this period survive in the old Department of Civil Aviation (DCA) UFO files which were examined by me during November, 1982, at the Melbourne offices of the Bureau of Air Safety Investigation. The total for 1954 is made up 35 from the "1954 Report" plus 3 additional reports, namely 2 from the Ballarat School of Radio and the classic radar visual event over Goulburn, NSW, involving a Naval Sea Fury aircraft. Only the latter is included as an "unknown" in addition to those cited in the "1954 Report".

PERIOD 2 (1955 - 1959)

No %
YEAR No "unknown" "unknown"
1955 3 0 0
1956 9 1 11.1%
1957 14 2 14.2%
1958 7 1 14.3%
1959 24 2 8.3%

Records for only the latter part of 1955 are present in the extant DAFI filesI examined. Reports for 1956 to 1959 appear to be somewhat incomplete. The"unknown" figures are my own estimates and therefore should not be regardedas official figures.

PERIOD 3 (1960 - 1980)

This is the only period in which official "unknown" figures can be supplied,as based on the Unusual Aerial Sighting Summaries, nos. 1 to 12. Summariesnos. 10, 11 and 12 were not generally released but were supplied to me, during my file review in 1982, by the RAAF.


Total no. no. %
Year of reports "Unknowns"* "Unknowns" Source of Information
1960 20 0 0.0 Summary No. 1
1961 14 0 0.0 Summary No. 1
1962 25 0 0.0 Summary No. 1
1963 17 0 0.0 Summary No. 1
1964 17 1 5.9 Summary No. 1
1965 52 2 3.9 Summary No. 1
1966 74 1 1.4 Summary No. 1
1967 95 0 0.0 Summary No. 1
1968 101 0 0.0 Summary No. 1
1969 94 2 2.1 Summary No. 2
1970 37 4 10.8 Summary No. 3
1971 52 6 11.5 Summary No. 3
1972 87 11 12.6 Summary No. 4
1973 193 4 2.1 Summary No. 5
1974 67 2 3.0 Summary No. 6
1975 39 4 10.2 Summary No. 7
1976 39 4 10.2 Summary No. 8
1977 25 6 24.0 Summary No. 9
1978 118 30 25.4 Summary No.10
1979 45 15 33.3 Summary No.11
1980 47 10 21.3 Summary No.12

TOTAL: 1258 102 8.1% (average)

Some "unknowns" are not included due to low weight status, i.e. insufficientinformation or possible explanation provided was probable.

PERIOD 4 (1981-1984)

Only actual numbers of reports on file with the RAAF can be supplied based onpersonal file inspections and DAFI advice:

YEAR Total No. of reports
1981 44
1982 56
1983 117
1984* 15 (* up till June 1984)


To properly put the RAAF data into perspective, consider the following.From 1950 to 1984, the RAAF dealt with more than 1,612 reports, and 1,258from 1960 to 1980. One of the best civilian groups in Australia, the Tasmanian UFO InvestigationCentre (TUFOIC), has been keeping valuable statistics on their investigationsfor years. For one small Australian state alone, they have dealt with 2,131reports up to and including 1980.The period 1960 to 1980 has been chosen as it is the only period for which the RAAF have published data. The following table compares the data.

Organisation Total Number Total number % "unknowns"
of reports of "unknowns"

RAAF 1,258 102 8.1%
TUFOIC 1,681 390 23.2%

It is quite apparent that compared to civilian UFO research groups the RAAF has far less claim to having legitimately and comprehensively examined the UFO problem.

In terms of actual "disclosure" or access efforts the following information details some of these activities. Pioneer flying saucer researcher Edgar Jarrold (from Sydney) had a meeting with DAFI (Directorate of Air Force Intelligence) Sqd. Ldr. Peter Birch in Melbourne during 1954. This was a discussion style meeting. Jarrold did not get any access to files. Similarly from Fred Stone a researcher from South Australia. The CAPIO (Commonwealth Aerial Phenomena Investigation Organisation) formed in 1965 as a united civilian front also only received limited information.

Year: 1965-1977
Period covered 1960 to 1977 Archives released: Sighting summaries 1-9 released: 1,048 reports summarised.Comments: The first of the summaries appeared in 1965 listing events from 1960 to 1965. This format continued up to 1968. 1969 marked the first of the annual summary formats, which largely continued up to 1977. These summaries became the form of "public disclosure". A few researchers and groups got some actual case reports such as VUFORS and myself, but the former did not detail any of the material they apparently received.

Year: 1982-1984 Period covered: 1950 to 1984 Archives released: 63 files examined by Bill Chalker which included more than 1,610 reports mainly from RAAF DOD files and limited amount from DoA (Dept. of Aviation) files. Sighting summary No. 9 (1977 reports) was the last publically released. Summaries 10 to 12 covering 1978, 1979 and 1980 (a total of 210 summarised reports) were released to Bill Chalker in 1982. Bill Chalker published extensively on this access and made a set of file papers available to the UFO Research Australia Network (in lieu of the decline of the Australian Centre for UFO Studies).Comments: 18 RAAF files were examined in my first 1982 visit. The total examined through to 1984 were the 63 files mentioned.

Year: 1999 Period covered: 1953-1955 (the "missing" first DAFI file 114/1/197), 1952-1955 (The Casey UFO papers), 1954 (Sea Fury case file), 1952-1957 (CSIRO file), 1952 - 1960 NSW DoA UFO files. Archives released: Bill Chalker examined 114/1/197 file and CSIRO file in Canberra NAA office. Jason Cowland, then a Victorian based researcher, facilitated my access to the Casey papers and the Sea Fury case file, the latter duplicated RAN (Royal Australian Navy) file released to me in 1982.
[During this period Keith Basterfield started using the Archives Act under the 30 year rule to get full copies of early DOD file series.]

Year: 2000 Period covered: 1968 - 1973 (JIB/JIO DOD UFO files) Archives released: Government intelligence files copies given to Bill Chalker from private files of Harry Turner, retired Defence scientist.

Year: 2001 Period covered: 1952, 1969 Archives released: 1952 file re NSW sightings which precipitated Government minister Richard Casey's entry into the UFO controversy.

By 2003 the first of the digitised government UFO files began to appear on the NAA web site.

Year: 2003 to 2008 Period covered: 1950 to 1991 Archives released: 151 files examined by the AUFORN auspiced Disclosure Australia project undertaked by AURA group co-ordinated by Keith Basterfield. Uncertain quantity of reports beyond 1,610, mainly RAAF files, but also including CSIRO, Department of Supply , DoA, JIB/JIO (now DIO - Defence Intelligence Organisation), ASIO and other agencies. Details in the AUFORN website in the Disclosure Australia archive: http://www.auforn.com/

See http://www.auforn.com/MilitaryFiles.html for details re the "UFO Sub Rosa" documented and other material I have written on this aspect.