Monday, November 20, 2017

WESTALL ’66: a possible ASIO connection & a suggested answer?

Given the extensive discussions and debate about possible scenarios and explanations for the reported events at Westall on April 6, 1966, I felt it was worthwhile to revisit a confidential investigation I undertook in 2013.  My investigation had to be curtailed because the source of information – a retired man living in central western Victoria who I will call Ron - indicated he no longer wanted the matter to be looked into because he was concerned about possible consequences for he and his family, expressing serious concerns that he and his family may suffer consequences from parties who wanted to keep the matters possibly involved a secret.
 I generated a 7 page confidential preliminary report, which I shared with a limited number of people after discussion with Ron.  One of these people in their enthusiasm contacted Ron directly, which “spooked” him somewhat.  Other matters served to make him more concerned and he decided to withdraw permission for me to report on this matter more widely, even though I had indicated I would do that without any identifying information.  Ron did not want to discuss the matter any further because of these concerns. When another researcher posted information later in 2013 that may have exposed Ron to further attention I took the opportunity to contact him to assure him I had not been involved in that post on the Internet. 
While it was frustrating not being able to share this information I respected Ron’s wishes and put the matter aside pending developments.  Given recent developments I decided to revisit the matter to see if Ron felt differently about the situation.
I contacted Ron again on November 12, 2017, and after some initial difficulties we were able to re-establish a cordial dialogue, which led him to agree for me to do whatever I like with the information, but it was evident he did not want to be identified with the information, but still held views consistent with the information he shared with me back in 2013.  I, therefore ask researchers and anyone who is interested in this matter to respect Ron’s privacy concerns.
Here now is the redacted version of my preliminary report, which removes identifying information and uses pseudonyms:
Ron, a retired man living in central western Victoria, contacted me, during January 2013 indicating he had information on the Westall school UFO case of 1966.  He characterised this information as accurate “hearsay” because of how he came to know of it. 
In about 1965/ early 1966 Ron (aged about 10) was living with his family, in public housing in suburban Melbourne.  While at this address he is exposed to 2 events:
1) Apparent security checks carried out on his family and friends for the purposes of vetting his uncle, who was a Federal policeman, for his transition to becoming an ASIO agent.  He recollects being questioned at school with the vetting official checking a teacher or a student for implying Ron was in trouble, saying he had been interviewed so that a relation could serve his country. His siblings were apparently separately checked.
His uncle, G. (who I will refer to as Grant), apparently, was successful in the security review, and apparently becomes an ASIO agent. 
2) In 1966, ostensibly in about April, uncle Grant arrives at Ron’s home, to talk with Ron’s father, Grant’s brother.  No sooner he has arrived another vehicle arrives, driven by a local police sergeant.  He is apparently in “civies” (off-duty: apparently his day off) with apparently 2 ASIO agents with him, and he tells Grant, with Ron’s father & Ron witnessing this, that he has to come straight away with them, to handle some trouble in the Dandenong area.  Grant drives off with the other vehicle with the police officer & the other ASIO agents.  Ron & his father would not learn what happened that day until about 4 years later, in 1970.
In the interim period, Ron and his family had moved to another address in the same suburb.  It was here in about 1970 that Ron says he witnessed a discussion between uncle Grant and his father, herein described as event 3:

3) In 1970 Ron had returned home from work and walked in on his father having a discussion with his uncle Grant, of which he recollects the following:
3.1: Grant described what happened that day back in 1966 when he had just arrived at the previous family home address and was told by police officer (accompanied by other ASIO agents) that he had to immediately go to the Dandenong area to sort out some trouble there
3.2: Grant indicated that the matter involved him in undertaking debunking interviews of school children, teachers and locals at a school in the area, to search for a lost aerial object that apparently may have come down in the sea (Port Phillip Bay?).  While on-site at an American run operation, where he and his ASIO associates had to take orders, he was told by a scientist (who spoke with a heavy German accent) what was apparently really going on.  That discussion was interrupted by the arrival of a senior American military officer (a general?), who chastised the scientist, saying you should not be talking to the ASIO agent.  Apparently, ASIO were only involved on a strictly limited “need-to-know” basis.
3.3: Grant apparently indicated that the scientist had told him that the operation was a combined GENERAL ELECTRIC & German operation with a US military intelligence overview. 
3.4: The operation was meant to monitor and contain an incident that involved “experimental jets,” not of conventional appearance – disc-shaped remote control (ostensibly pilotless) aerial objects – 3 altogether, with one apparently lost in the wake of the objects “landing” or coming down in the general area of the school, which was at the center of the incident.
3.5: The objects, Grant was advised, were hazardous, that they were highly electrified and could discharge a severe electrical shock.
3.6: The objects were apparently flying in a long flight around the world acting as a low-level downlink monitoring system for high orbit satellites, involved in monitoring the use of nuclear weapons. (A variety of high orbit and low-level monitoring operations were employed during the late 1960s, 1960s and 1970s, initially with the Russians, and then later other “rogue” states such as China.  China was the main focus in the mid-1960s.  See for example “Spying on the Bomb – American Nuclear Intelligence from Nazi Germany to Iran and North Korea” by Jeffrey T. Richelson (2006), “The Wizards of Langley – Inside the CIA’s Directorate of Science and Technology” by J.T. Richelson (2001), and “Secret Empire – Eisenhower, the CIA, and the hidden story of America’s space espionage” by Philip Taubman (2003))
These objects allegedly employed a novel kind of recharging from high tension power lines, which were present on the school site. (Perhaps a form of induction which may not have required actual contact, just close proximity)
3.7: Grant indicated he had trouble dealing with the Australian government complicity with the Americans of a “cover-up” in which people had been harmed and suppressed.  “The Yanks were testing 3 German (Tesla) electric high voltage powered unmanned craft that flew by remote control via satellite around the World.  These 3 amazing craft defied gravity and were silent and had to land at Westall to recharge via new technology extraction methods from high Voltage Power Lines.”
(Ron said his references to “German Tesla”/General Electric (US) “electric high voltage powered unmanned craft” may be inaccurate with respect to the reference to Tesla.  Ron feels he may have introduced that element via exposure to his own research and exploration of the conversation he overheard. )
(Ron’s recollections of his uncles’ conversation with his father Russell circa 1970.  The reference to Westall is Ron’s insertion, as Grant only referred to “trouble in the Dandenong area.”)
There were only a limited number of times that uncle Grant visited Ron’s family.  He most remembers the 1966 short visit, one that took place late in 1967, the one in about 1970, in which the events behind “the trouble in the Dandenong area” were revealed to Ron & his father, and some later family encounters.
Through these visits Grant allegedly revealed the conflicted life he led as an ASIO agent, the deep distrust and contempt he developed for the Americans, and the damage all this was doing to his own life, particularly leading to the end of his first marriage.  He apparently revealed two other highly controversial incidents he was involved with as an ASIO agent:
4.1: Grant was visiting the family and when news came through that Prime Minister Harold Holt had gone missing at Cheviot Beach on December 17, 1967, he revealed that meant he wouldn’t be interviewing him on the following Monday.  Apparently, PM Holt was being “investigated” as part of an investigation into leaks involving “nuclear yields to the Chinese.” Ron understood that uncle Grant was one of two officials who turned up at Holts home to take possession of some material in the wake of Holt’s disappearance.
(The reference to a Chinese connection dredges up Anthony Grey’s notorious book “The Prime Minister was a Spy” (1983).  See Michelle Grattan’s story in the Age, August 5, 2005, where Grey’s source for the improbable story was revealed as former Lt. Cmdr Ronald Titcombe, MBE.  Dr. Tom Frame revealed that Timcombe was unreliable.  A former naval colleague of Timcombe had told Frame that Timcombe was a friend, but was also “a professional conman”, causing Dr. Frame to conclude the Holt Chinese connection was “a complete fabrication.” (See Tom Frame’s “The Life and Death of Harold Holt” (2005).  Interestingly accordingly to his Wikipedia biography: “From the 1990s (Anthony) Grey took an interest in UFOs. He produced a three-part documentary in 1996-1997 for the BBC World Service entitled “UFO's - Fact, Fiction or Fantasy?. His conclusion was that there is overwhelming evidence for visitations to earth by extra-terrestrials.”  He was also a member of the Raelian movement. See the Anthony Grey Archive link which includes files on his Raelian connections and his interest in UFOs.  Grey had spent 2 years as a hostage in Peking (1967-69))
4.2: The rigging of the 1975 election, ostensibly indicating that the election results were “reversed” to ensure the defeat of Whitlam, via a conspiracy involving 3 senior Liberals, the Queen and elements of the CIA.  As this story was also attributed to uncle Grant, was this confused with the conspiracy theories revolving around the December 1975 “dismissal” of PM Gough Whitlam, or some sort of convoluted “cover story,” as the apparent facts of the election do not sustain this idea.
5. I undertook a preliminary phone interview with Ron during January 2013, and a detailed recorded interview a few days later.  Following email exchanges and further phone conversations were made later that month.
The above information represents the substance of Ron’s claims and my initial comments on them.
What are we to make of this account?
Ron describes it as “accurate hearsay” based on the assumption that he accepted what passed between his uncle and father.
Keith Basterfield assisted me in some enquiries.  While it is understandable we could not confirm that uncle Grant became an ASIO agent, evidence suggested there was someone consistent with his real name who may be the person at the centre of this story.
The connection with the Westall events of April 6, 1966, are not confirmed, but they offer an interesting human based scenario that may be an answer to the Westall UFO mystery. The presence of a scientist speaking with a thick German accent lends the story to scenarios that suggest that German scientists working under the World War 2 (WW2) Nazi regime, possibly in advanced aerial vehicles, may have worked in Australia on possible classified aerial vehicle programmes.  In the wake of WW2 the Australian government did allow a number of German scientists under a special ten-man committee called ESTEA (Employment of Scientific and Technical Enemy Aliens).  The Sydney Morning Herald published a story on 16 August 1999 entitled “How Australia raided the great minds of Hitler’s war machine.”  It was an outgrowth of the US Operation Paperclip and the UK Operation Matchbox. In 1999 the Guardian reported that 2 Paperclip Nazi scientists worked on Australia’s guided missile rocket tests at Woomera in the 1950s.  None of this and other information to hand confirms that a German scientist was involved in the April 1966 events at Westall.
When I spoke with Ron again recently he reconfirmed his earlier information, emphasizing the term “electric jets” which required ground level “recharging.”  He said it was his recollection that the events described that took place near “the Dandenongs” related to giving a false cover story to school children and adults.  It was the documentary “Westall ‘66” that upset him, causing Ron to try to get this story out into the public eye.  He has no doubt that it was the April 1966 Westall UFO event that was at the heart of his uncle’s story.  He felt it was a “truth” he overheard between his father and uncle, but he felt concerned and awkward that he had overheard this in the context of his father consoling uncle Grant.  Ron was left with the conviction that his uncle Grant was seriously disenchanted with the role he had carried out as an ASIO agent suppressing and debunking the accounts of school children, teachers and others.  He was devastated that these activities had hurt people and had become hostile to the role that the United States had in these events.
Is this a plausible explanation for the Westall event?  Maybe, but it is a story that falls way short of the kind of information needed to substantiate it.  So is a human sourced technology involved in the April 1966 events at Westall.
If anyone has information that would clarify this story and its claims please contact me at