Wednesday, June 26, 2019

The famous Gill sightings of 1959 - 60 years ago on 26 June

Sixty years ago on 26 June 1959 something extraordinary occurred in the then Australian protectorate Papua New Guinea.
See these links to some of my previous engagements with this fascinating story.  On a personal level I had met William (Bill) Gill and found him to be a most impressive man and very credible as a witness.  26 June also resonates with me as its my birthday.
So to celebrate a great person and a remarkable experience examine the 2 stories at this link:
My tribute to the man and the experience:

Reverend William (Bill) Booth Gill (1928-2007)

and my essay on what he saw and what he believed:

Rev William Gill and the 1959 Boianai Visitants - what he saw and what he believed

Scroll through the link below for these 2 stories and also for, in particular, how the UFO story, and particularly the Gill sightings affected one of our greatest authors - Randolph Stow:

Randolph Stow, Visitants and the call of the UFO

The CUFOS IUR drawing done by Allen Hendry 
with Bill Gill's involvement
Bill Gill's own drawing

Wednesday, June 19, 2019

The Great UFO Death & Resurrection Show - UFO History, Fact & Fiction

7 April 2019, literally on the way to give my lecture at UFORIA in the West, at Penrith Library, Penrith, on the western outskirts of Sydney, New South Wales, Australia, I learnt of the publication of a new book from Anomalist Books, one of those books that a Fortean and UFO researcher like me, would find of great value.

“Redemption of the Damned: Vol. 1: Aerial Phenomena, A Centennial Re-evaluation of Charles Fort's 'Book of the Damned'” by Martin Shough with Wim van Utrecht
From the Anomalist Book’s page:
"Now, on the centenary of Charles Fort’s first book, The Book of the Damned, comes a detailed study of this work. The authors have tackled all 82 of Fort’s anomalous observations in the fields of astronomy, meteorology, and atmospheric optics and subjected them to detailed critical scrutiny against period maps, investigation reports, and additional first-hand testimony. In this research, the advancing digitisation of the world’s historical, intellectual and scientific media – so much of which was not available to Fort at the time – is demonstrated to be a tool of considerable value... Redemption of the Damned is set out clearly and precisely, and there is the promise of more to come. It is the sort of study that true forteans have long hoped for and will welcome unequivocally as adding considerably to what we know of Fort, his work and its implication." — from the Foreword by Bob Rickard, Founding Editor, Fortean Times.
UFORIA in the west was put on by my Fortean friends Mike Williams and Rebecca Lang and it was an opportunity to give people snap shots of Fortean and UFO research.
I was giving my lecture: 
The Great UFO Death & Resurrection Show: UFO history, fact and fiction
A rough cut summary which will be fleshed out in detail in coming posts: 
The New York Times piece from December 2017 which highlighted both the secret Pentagon UFO programme AATIP, revealing its project head Luis Elizondo, and an extraordinary UFO encounter back in 2004, the USS Nimitz encounter, also revealing one of the key witness Commander Fravor, was a watershed of a huge amount of mainstream news coverage.
The turbulent interface of UFO history, fact and fiction - the media’s wild dance with UFOs - case study of Dr. Allen Hynek and the History Channel’s 'Project Blue Book' and the religious impulse - Dr. Diana Pasulka’s 'American Cosmic - UFOs, Religion & Technology'.
Rock star Tom Delonge, Dr. Hal Puthoff and To The Stars Academy.
The phenomenon: UFOs & 'solid light' - case studies: Kiama, NSW, Australia and Port Jervis, USA
Using science to try to understand what’s really going on - DNA & forensic investigation - case study: 'Hair of the Alien"
My presentation – a sort of personal rough “estimate of the situation” – an overview of what’s been happening and what my take is, is highlighted in this introductory photo essay.  Each of the slides reveals what I will try to cover in future posts. 
 The "death" of ufology and the numerous terms we make to hide the "elephant in the room"
 The December 20017 New Times story, Luis Elizondo, Robert Bigelow & the Nimitz imagery
 The SCU report and clarifying imagery
 details from the SCU report
 The David Beaty documentary, the Dr. Masters "time travel" dive & the Nimitz Hollywood "time travel" saga for the lighter side of things?
 The TTSA milieu and the Unidentified branding of TTSA "science"?
 Prof Diana Pasulka's take on UFOs, religion & technology but lets not forget Jacques Vallee's advice to her.  The blind-folded trip into the desert and her account of the properties of the item found are a long way from a scientific account of the provenance and nature of the find.
Here is an excellent example of twisting and distorting real history - the History channel's "Project Blue Book" - Mark O'Connell, who wrote the Allen Hynek biography was not impressed.  While ignorance is bliss - perhaps one can just accept it blindly as entertainment, I couldn't. I spent time with Allen Hynek back in 1984 at his Chicago home.  I doubt he would have been impressed, beyond the initial tilt at celebrity.  Try reading his book "The Hynek UFO Report" for a more accurate take on Project Bluebook.
 Science & UFOs is a hard slog - slow careful investigations of intriguing evidence:
 without avoiding the stranger aspects of the phenomenon - abduction claims, "Strange Evidence", apparitional accounts & paranormal dimensions.
Lets not forget the weight and impact of UFO history
A good start is Jerome Clark's mammoth undertaking
"The UFO Encyclopedia"
I was pleased to be a part of it,
but it was a rushed job.
Back to my wild ride through the UFO Expo - UFOria in the West:
My Fortean friends covered the following themes:
Fortean friends: 
Tony Healy, Rebecca Lang, Mike Williams and me, 
post UFORIA in the West
Paul Cropper 
The Yowie Phenomenon
Stories of giant, hair-covered creatures are common in Aboriginal tradition. Europeans have described similar encounters since the early 1800s. What is the source of these mysterious reports? Is there really an undiscovered animal lurking in the Australian bush or are skeptics correct in dismissing sightings as hoaxes or mistaken identity? Author Paul Cropper reviews the evidence.
Tony Healy 
Mysterious New Zealand
Like Australia, New Zealand has produced a wide range of strange animal reports, ufo sightings and even weirder stories.
Alien big cats, moa survivors, lake monsters, giant, hairy ape-men and the elusive waitoreke.
Tony will take us to several of NZ’s cryptozoological hot spots:
To the Canterbury Plains in search of mysterious black panthers and cougars.
To the swamps and streams of Southland in search of the semi-mythical, otter-like Waitoreke.
To several lakes and rivers that Maori people believe are guarded by spirits called Taniwhas, which can take the form of giant lizards. Coincidentally (?) many British settlers reported seeing “crocodiles” in those same lakes and rivers.
To several North Island locations that, in Maori tradition, were/are frequented by giant, hairy, yowie-like cannibals; the Maero aka Moehau. At two of those locations he will introduce us to Pakehas (non-Maoris) who have encountered the fearsome creatures and lived to tell the tale.
To Arthurs Pass, South Island, to interview one of the three people who saw what they believe was a Moa in 1993.
Phantom airships, Min Mins, UFOs, great balls of fire:
While on the trail of those mysterious animals, Tony found time to visit places noted for other types of strange phenomena:
A North Island property reportedly plagued by Min Min-type nocturnal lights and repeated lightning strikes.
The ufo and fireball-plagued town of Greymouth.
Several localities in Southland that featured in the “phantom airship” flap of 1909. (A couple of those locations have produced ufo and “spook light” reports in the modern era).
(now it is obvious who would be the ultimate guide to a Fortean trip through New Zealand & OZ )
Damien Nott
Paranormal aspects of UFO phenomena
Damien will be presenting his hypothesis on the possible links between UFO and other paranormal phenomenon, a subject known as 'high strangeness'.
He will be showing possible links he has uncovered, as well as talking about his own experiences with multiple witnesses and showing video/photographic evidence pertaining to this.
Damien will also be presenting an experiment that has kept him busy for the past few months relating to UFO captures taken using multiple cameras with composite exposure techniques. Be prepared for some highly unusual footage and a thought-provoking afternoon.
Much of my lecture focused on the Nimitz encounter and attempts to understand it.  
I address this in my previous post:
A “UFO science redux” – the SCU Nimitz report: “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle” 
Thanks to Robert Powell of the SCU – the Scientific Coalition for Ufology – which advocates “scientific Inquiry of UFOs, USOs and UAPs” – I have had an opportunity to review SCU’s excellent study of the popularly called Nimitz encounters that occurred in 2004. I highly recommend the SCU study which can now be read in full on their site at:
along with some of SCU’s interviews with key witnesses Kevin Day, Jason Turner and Gary Voorhis. 
The report - “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle” is authored by Robert Powell, Peter Reali, Tim Thompson, Morgan Beall, Doug Kimzey, Larry Cates, and Richard Hoffman.  
Its format is an excellent template for future case studies – namely that of a peer reviewed scientific report with detailed referencing, documentation and extensive appendices backing up the content of core 21-page report.  Given that the total document is 270 pages long the SCU Nimitz report will serve as a foundational reference point for the debate, discussion and further research. 
I have used my 7 April 2019 Penrith, Sydney lecture “The Great UFO Death & Resurrection Show:UFO history, fact and fiction” and the SCU Nimitz report as entry points into a commentary on the winds of change that have dominated the UFO scene since the December 2017 New York Times story.  The story was a dramatic awakening for mainstream media and the general public on the UFO phenomenon and a staging point for the “abduction” of the current trajectory of the evolution of the UFO story by the Luis Elizondo/Tom Delonge and To The Stars Academy of Arts and Science (TTSA) team. Now with the History Channel “Unidentified” series underway (I’ve seen the first 3 parts as I write - 17 June 2019) the Nimitz story of 2004 is being revealed in more detail by the TTSA investigation. 
The TTSA investigation as revealed in the History channel’s programme “Unidentified” proceeds as a fairly standard UFO investigation, despite TTSA general take that the UFO research that occurred prior to the arrival of the secretive Pentagon UFO programme AATIP and the somewhat opaque TTSA agenda, was just a tasty entrée.  The TTSA seem to posit that now all that really is important is the story that TTSA are revealing.  The manner in which they are revealing it is troubling as it lacks the in depth availability of detailed data.  So far it seems that the limited data that TTSA has released on the Nimitz case along with the elaboration of it on the History channel’s “Unidentified” is going to be TTSA’s version of “scientific ufology” – the new TTSA mediated UFO/UAS era. One hopes for more transparency and a great deal more substantive data anchored in open scientific scrutiny. The closest we have got to that preferred position is in the “UFO science redux” I previously alluded to, namely the Scientific Coalition for Ufology (CSU) Nimitz report: “A Forensic Analysis of Navy Carrier Strike Group Eleven’s Encounter with an Anomalous Aerial Vehicle.” 
I was forced to wonder where was the full scientific reporting of TTSA on the Nimitz affair. The outing their coverage is receiving in the “Unidentified” series is intriguing, such as the USO (Unidentified Submarine Object) connection along with the UFO/UAP activity concentrations that focused at the coordinates that the Princeton petty officer Kevin Day describes – 28.91 degrees N 118.26 degrees West – namely Guadalupe Island off the Baja Pennisula coast of Mexico – the alleged destination of the Nimitz encounter UAPs/UFOs – according to Day.  Whether this connection and the full complex details of the Nimitz affair get more fully documented, way beyond the popular media presentations (such as the show “Unidentified”), will for me, at least, be the measure of credibility and responsibility of TTSA’s dive into “UFO science.” 
Of course the whole USO angle is nothing new in UFO research.  
Ivan T. Anderson trawled this era in some detail in his 1970 book “Invisible Residents – A Disquisition upon Certain Matters Maritime, and the Possibility of Intelligent Life under the waters of This Earth.” It became the focus of Carl Feindt’s UFO research, first through his website and his subsequent book “UFOs and Water.” Sadly Carl passed away recently but his book and research is a wonderful legacy.  One would hope that TTSA has examined this research.

I’m no stranger to this aspect as well. I wrote the following in an OZ Files blog back in June 2006:

“UFOs and water – the USO Enigma.

“Recently I worked with the History Channel in the preparation of a programme on Unidentified Submarine Objects (USOs). I described a number of Australian examples, such as the January 1962 encounter between the HMAS Voyager and a large and deep USO that was tracked by sonar doing some 100 knots. The local camera man told me of his own experience while working for BBC TV on a programme on RAF Leuchars base in Scotland. There he saw a map with multiple recorded UFO sightings in the area. He was told by one of the fighter pilots that encounters with UFOs were common. In an informal moment a RAF pilot showed the camera man a photo of a UFO with what appeared to be an entity shape in what seemed to be a dome cupola. The pilot claimed he had taken the photo from his jet cockpit as the UFO flew along side his aircraft. This experience appears to have occurred back in the 1960s, which puts it in the same era as a USO incident that alleged to have taken place off the Scotland coast. In that case a USO was "flushed" off the sea bottom and rose at speed out of the ocean in sight of the crew of a number of RN ships. This story emerged in an investigation I did into a striking Nowra NSW area close encounter which featured RAN interest, alleged radar interference, and a possible attempt to retrieve a UFO/USO! The USO enigma is an enduring and potent part of the UFO phenomenon.”
 Filming for the History Channel USO outing
 in front of the Sydney Harbour Opera House

Given the outing that the USO is having via TTSA and the History channel’s “Unidentified” series, it is worthwhile to describe the striking Nowra event alluded to in my 2006 blog. This account emerged from a UFOIC investigation I undertook with Robb Tilley and Dominic Kelly back in 1992. I also described it in my 1996 book “The OZ Files – the Australian UFO Story.”
Elizabeth C. and her family regularly took their Christmas holidays on the South Coast of NSW.  One evening, Elizabeth stated she was driving an old Valiant car carrying 4 other people (her ill husband - who was asleep and under medication, and had no involvement in the incident; her two daughters, Jennifer (ca. 17) and Robyn (ca. 11 - 12); and Jennifer's boyfriend, Trevor G. (ca. 23, an off duty army officer) and a dog, on the Princes Highway, heading north.   The group was returning from an outing at Darris South, to their holiday spot at Shoalhaven Heads.
The date of the incident was originally estimated as the Christmas period of either 1972 or 1973.  Further information has confirmed the likely date as around early January, 1973.  The approximate time of the incident was 3.30 am. The duration of the event was approximately 15 minutes or more - the time it takes to drive at moderate speed along the Princes Highway, from the turn off to Sussex Inlet to just before the turnoff road to the Royal Australian Naval base, HMAS Albatross (Air Naval Station, Nowra) - a distance of approximately 24 kms.  This estimate is most likely understated as collectively the witnesses refer to durations between 15 to 30 minutes.
The encounter appears to have begun just as the group passed the turnoff to Sussex Inlet.  The seating arrangement in the car was as follows: Mrs. Elizabeth C. (r.h.s front - driver seat), Mr. C. (asleep in the l.h.s front), Mr. Trevor G. (l.h.s rear seat), Jennifer C. (middle rear), and Robyn C. (r.h.s rear).   The dog was on the floor in the rear.  Jennifer C. indicated that she remembers changing seats at various times with Trevor G.  Trevor was fairly certain that he had been located at the l.h.s rear window.
Mrs. C. drew the attention of the others to the presence of a light ahead.  To Elizabeth it appeared to look like the light from an approaching semi-trailer. Then it seemed to move to her left (the western side of the road) and approached the car, like an aircraft passing by.  It was as the object approached them on their left that the events took on an extraordinary turn.   The object, until then, largely perceived as a bright light source, appeared to reverse direction and take up a parallel flying position in the groups travelling direction.   This represented a 180ochange in direction for the UFO.  At this point the object appeared to be very large, at very low level (virtually at ground level) and quite close, off the road to their left. It maintained a parallel course with them for approximately the next 24 kms.
Mrs. C. described the object as large, with red lights under what looked appeared to be portholes.  The red lights looked like a thin ribbon of light.  Mrs. C. said the night was very dark.   At that point the UFO was apparent as a large disc-shaped object with possible “window” features along its length.  There appeared to be a distinct “searchlight” like beam effect that rotated around the bottom of the object.   At least one of the witnesses, Trevor,  the army officer, who was in the best position to see the extraordinary display, was certain that there were figures that could be seen in the windows of the object.
At a point near the turnoff to HMAS Albatross Naval base, the object seemed to suddenly vanish.  It appeared to have instantly relocated to a high altitude and moved in a large arc around Nowra and then headed out to sea, where it was lost to sight.
Later that morning one of the group investigated a disturbance at their campsite at Shoalhaven Heads.  She joined a large number of holidaying campers at the ocean edge. The disturbance was apparently due to a number of helicopters passing low over the campsite, heading out to sea. The member of the group observed the helicopters over a fiery mass in the water.  It was alleged that this object was UFO related and that the helicopters were involved in an attempted retrieval!
Because of their earlier experience and the campsite events, 3 members of the group - Mrs. C., her daughter, Jennifer, and Trevor - went to HMAS Albatross to report their experience.  Instead of a light hearted or unwelcome reception the group were the subject of an apparent high level and detailed interview.  They were told they seemed to be the closest people to the UFO, which seemed to have had numerous witnesses.  The army officer was certain he was told that the base radar had been affected by the UFO during the incident.  He also indicated that after he had returned to his army unit he was interviewed about the south coast experience by intelligence officers.
In company with Dominic Kelly and Robb Tilley, I interviewed Mrs. C. in detail at her residence during August, 1992.  We found her to be an impressive and compelling witness.  We were left in no doubt that she was describing what appeared to be an extraordinary experience to the best of her abilities.  I was subsequently able to interview Trevor G. and Jennifer C. and I was impressed with their testimony.  There seems little doubt that something extraordinary happened but to date official confirmation has alluded us.  Unfortunately nothing substantial was confirmed in official enquiries.  
Getting back to the “great UFO death & resurrection show” that seems to be afoot of late – the Nimitz saga, the nature of the TTSA insertion into the UFO story, the convoluted ATTIP story, the Bigelow NIDS/BAASS enquiries, the “new” religious impulse divined in the UFO subject via Diana Pasulka’s “American Cosmic – UFOs, Religion, Technology,” the media’s wild embrace of UFO fact and fiction (for example the History channel’s colourful “Project Bluebook” series riding on Dr. Allen Hynek’s more compelling UFO legacy), and even the so-called “UFO leak of the century” – the alleged Wilson/Davis “leak”, and even US President Trump’s nods to the subject – all these and many more are like unresolved jigsaw puzzles raining from the sky.  We don’t even know if we are collecting and collating pieces of the same jigsaw puzzle.  But the ongoing efforts to tease out the detail, depth and legitimacy of all these different aspects, let alone the steady occurrences of UAP/UFO phenomena, seems to ensure that there will be a fascinating UFO controversy continuing to develop beyond the limited picture the media are embracing. We live in interesting times.
“Anime Girl & Jigsaw Pieces Sky Art” by Kiro Horime