Thursday, June 16, 2022

A very strange light - Casino, NSW, Australia - 1969

Possible “solid light” case – 1969, 12 May – Parkview, Casino, NSW, Australia


My “impression” of the event (based on my interpretation of the report below and my knowledge of a class of events often referred to a “solid light” events):


(The report on the Casino event below, transcribed by Bill Chalker (B.C.) was from a handwritten “draft” account prepared by G. (Joe) Testa sometime received by B.C. during the 1970s.  Joe Testa had supplied the original to T.V. (Tas) Homan, the UFOIC sightings officer during 1969.  Some background is required to explain the context of the report)

Joe Testa (right) with Ian Robinson
at Bungawalbyn in 1969 


It is fortunate that this “draft” (or rough handwritten copy) of Joe Testa’s report was preserved, because without it, the only other surviving accounts – apparently a brief account in the UFOIC Newsletter No. 26, December, 1969, and an inaccurate account in the Lismore newspaper the Northern Star - “Mystery object on lawn” – 15 May 1969 edition -  would have provided a fragmentary and distorted reflection of a fascinating experience.


From the UFOIC Newsletter:

“12/5/69 Casino – Parkview Road – Mr. & Mrs. Hinitt’s neighbour’s property. Mystery circular shaped, intensely brilliant object hovering above ground, with pulsating streaks or shadows making highly highly random movement. Raining very heavily at time but inspection next morning showed no burnt patches.”

This brief account appeared in a brief story - “What is the pattern suggested by the following? – listing the following events:

19/2/69 Omagh Road, near Kyogle – 20-foot diameter scorched circle on Bryant property

19/2/69 West of Nimbin on Goolmanger Creek – “nest” found by children

20/2/69 Afterlee – elliptical flattened area of swamp reeds 30’x12’ on O’Neill property

20/2/69 Tuckarimba – 16’ diameter ring completely charred on McCaughey property

8/4/69 Bungawalbyn – 2 circular flatten areas of saccaline crop, 6’ apart, lying on the ground in a north-south direction on Heffernan property

12/5/69 – Casino – Hinnit observation of ball of light

21/5/69 Corndale – oval shaped flatten grassed depression 20’ long 15’ wide, deeper around perimeter 

Readers of the newsletter were asked to map the locations to see the interesting implications for “a planned grid around the earth” – a reference to the then popular theories of New Zealand pilot Bruce Cathie (e.g. “Harmonic 33”).

I note that the 21/5/69 Corndale reference in the 1969 UFOIC Newsletter is probably in error, as the Hunters reported back in May 1966 they had found a 20’x15’ area of flatten grass.


In a letter to Tas Homan, Joe Testa wrote, “Meanwhile, another incident has occurred in Casino on Monday night (12thMay) at 9.45 p.m.  I have tracked down the couple who saw an eerie object in a neighbour’s back lawn during heavy rain.  I will compile a complete report from notes I made during an interview with them last weekend.  I believe the people to be quite genuine.  They, too, were afraid to say anything to newspapers for fear of ridicule, so the story was given to the press by relations.  It is not completely accurate compared to the detailed story I got from the couple.”


The Northern Star article “Mystery object on lawn” from 15-5-69 reported:

“Casino – A couple living in Park View are mystified by a glowing, pulsating object they observed for more than 10 minutes on a neighbour’s lawn.

“The couple watched the object, apparently resting on the lawn, for 10 to 15 minutes before it shot sideways about 10 feet leaving a glowing white trail and abruptly disappeared.

“While it was stationary, the object appeared to emit a vapour on all sides. 

“Although misty rain was falling at the time, the couple have discounted the possibility the object was an illusion caused by lights reflecting in the rain.

“No street lights shine into the area in which the object was seen and there were no house lights turned on.

“An inspection of the area failed to show any evidence that any substantial object was resting on the lawn.”


As noted by Joe Testa the newspaper account did not come directly from the witnesses and therefore some inaccuracies were present in the published story.


Here is G. (Joe) Testa’s report:


Report on mystery object seen by Mr. & Mrs. R.E. Hinitt of 2 Parkview Road Casino.


On Monday night (12 May), Mr & Mrs. R. E. Hinitt were watching TV in the lounge room of their home in Parkview Rd. Casino. At 9.45 Mrs. Hinitt got up and walked towards the kitchen.


As she did so she happened to glance through a doorway leading out to the back verandah.  Her attention had been attracted by a bright glow in the neighbour’s back yard.  She walked out to the verandah rail to get a closer look at this strange light.  She hurried back inside to call her husband out.  It was raining very heavily at the time.  As they stood there watching the glow they wondered if someone was in the yard with a torch.


Mr. Hinitt called out several times.  As the neighbour’s house was unoccupied at the time Mr. Hinitt thought that someone may be prowling around.


The glowing object remained stationary only 20-25 feet from their viewing position.  They were watching from the corner of their high verandah which is approximately 7 feet above ground level, so they were looking down at the object at an angle of approx. 30 degrees.  They believe it was just above ground level.


The rain was so heavy at the time that visibility was no more than 50 feet.


Mr. Hinitt thought at that moment that it may have been a reflection of light on the wet blue-couch lawn. He looked around carefully noting if any lights shone into the area which is surrounded by buildings and trees. He made absolutely sure that no lights were shining into the area.  There were no lights shining from nearby windows.  They even turned off all of the lights in their own house to make sure. Street lights in the area are not visible from this particular backyard as there are buildings on each side as well as trees.  


This prompted Mr. Hinitt to go out in the rain to investigate.  While Mrs. Hinitt kepth watch, Mr. Hinitt grabbed an umbrella, went down stairs and went over to the first of two paling fences which divide the properties.  The two paling fences form a fowl run tapering from 4 ft. at the verandah end of the house to 20 ft. at the other end. The fences run for 66 feet.


At this point Mr. Hinitt was about 12-16 ft from the object.  He could not hear any sound except the heavy rain beating on the ground.


As Mr. Hinitt stood at the fence he wondered what he should do next.  He began to feel a little frightened to go any closer, so he quickly back-tracked upstairs to the verandah where his wife had been pleading with him to come back.


As he returned to the verandah they were startled by an intense light which began to move all the way up behind the second paling fence beginning from a point near the object to the full length of the 66 ft. paling fence on the neighbour’s side.  They estimated the light took 4-5 seconds to reach the other end to where the fowl pen was.  As it reached the fowl pen, it lit up the entire structure of the pen. 


All this time, the glowing object had not moved from its position.  It was still there glowing brighter than before.


What puzzled them most of all was the fact that the light which they saw moving along behind the fence in the neighbour’s yard, did not light up the surrounding area or tree branches, directly above the fence.


As they looked much more closely at the stationary object, they noticed that within the glow, were pulsating streaks or shadows making highly random movements.  The object did not appear to be solid, but rather of a gaseous nature with high luminosity, circular in shape and approx. 4-5 feet in diameter.


Within the next few minutes the object disappeared. The duration of the sighting was approx. 10-15 minutes.


Mr. Hinitt returned 11/2hours (90 minutes – B.C.) later to the verandah to check the spot where the object had been. It was now 11.30 pm.  After a brief period as his eyes had become adjusted to the darkness outside, he noticed that there was a faint luminous patch where the object had been.


Next morning the Hinitts went over to check the lawn and surrounding area.  They found no markings or burnt patches.  Mr. & Mrs. Hinitt are a quiet living couple who would certainly not benefit by creating a hoax.


(That ends G (Joe) Testa’s report on the 12 May 1969 Casino event)


In a letter to Tas Homan (UFOIC), dated 11/11/69, Testa wrote, “I have compiled a report for you regarding the Casino mystery at Park View Rd.  I think you will find this quite interesting.  My colleague (Stratford) and I, have put it down to a possible experience of seeing a remote controlled phenomenon.

My layout of the event based on Joe Testa's rough site sketch:


The report by Joe Testa gives a good accounting of the incident but there is unclear on the critical aspects of the behaviour of the light that seems to progress slowly along the neighbour’s fence line.  Is it another ball of light, a light like a torch beam, or a slowly extending beam of light? 


The report relates, “an intense light which began to move all the way up behind the second paling fence beginning from a point near the object to the full length of the 66 ft. paling fence on the neighbour’s side.  They estimated the light took 4-5 seconds to reach the other end to where the fowl pen was.  As it reached the fowl pen, it lit up the entire structure of the pen,”and adds “What puzzled (the Hinitts) most of all was the fact that the light which they saw moving along behind the fence in the neighbour’s yard, did not light up the surrounding area or tree branches, directly above the fence.”


My impression is this may be a “solid light” event, no doubt influenced by my interest and familiarity with this class of events. However, the account described lacks that clarity of whether it is a beam of light or just a ball of light again.  In my interpretation, I felt that if it was another ball of light, it would have been referred to as such.  It appears it is something different to a ball of light.  The moving light is described as taking 4-5 seconds to go from a point near the ball of light to the fowl pen. This to me supports the characteristic of “slow progression” of “an intense light”, which doesn’t behave like normal light.  “Slow progression” of so-called “solid light” is a frequent characteristic of this class of UFO events, along with the familiar impression from witnesses that such events do not seem to be “normal light”.


I recently tried to find out more without success to date, but I have not been able to reconnect with or find G. (Joe) Testa. I tried to find Mr. & Mrs. R.E. Hinitt without success, but I recently learnt from Tim Hinitt, who has done research into the Hinnit name, that “the man was Reginald Edwin Hinitt, his wife Edith (Eddie) had four children, two boys died early and there was no further male Hinitts of this line. "Reg" died June 20, 1986 (suddenly) at Casino Memorial Hospital 77yo.”

Friday, June 03, 2022

Did Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke facilitate a meeting in March 1984 to allow a viewing of UFO films by business man James Kibel?

Did Australian Prime Minister Bob Hawke facilitate a meeting in March 1984 to allow a viewing of UFO films by business man James Kibel? 

On Friday 3 June 2022 I sent a letter to the Honourable Kim Beazley AC (see below) to see if he could add light to the claim by James Kibel that he was allowed to view Australian Department of Defence UFO (UAS) films back in 1984.  I will report here any response.

I wrote a tribute to James Kibel which can be read here. Jim Kibel had told me about examining government UFO footage, but I had assumed this may have occurred in an overseas jurisdiction.  Reading a MUFON publication about the files of UFO researcher Lenonard Stringfield - "Retrievals of the Third Kind - a re-examination of Leonard Stringfield's UFO Crash/Retrieval Case" by Michael Schratt (2013), I noted cases attributed to Jim Kibel. While there were some apparent errors in the account I was sent copies by MUFON board director Rob Swiatek of Len Stringfield's original notes, that were his assistant's transcription of his commentary to her.  Some details may have been garbled in this connection - James Kibel to Len Stringfield, then Len Stringfield to his assistant Patricia McGown.  Schratt's account was accurate, but he had made no attempt to verify the accuracy of the statement.  As an Australian researcher, problems were apparent to me, but I worked through these matters and felt that it would be worthwhile to address the basis of the story to Kim Beazley, current Governor of Western Australia.  

An excellent biography of Kim Beazley by Peter FitzSimons addresses the background of the period.  

I will note that during this same period - 1982 to 1984 I was actively examining RAAF UFO/UAS files at the Russell Offices of the Department of Defence in Canberra.  I decided it would be more appropriate to ask Kim Beazley rather than Bob Hogg, for the reason outlined in my letter. I ask others to respect Bob Hogg's privacy as I feel that if there is any validity to the matters outlined Kim Beazley would be in a better position to comment, if he is able to.  I note that I have contacted Jim Kibel's widow on this matter.  She was not aware of the "job offer" from PM Bob Hawke, but confirmed that Bob Hawke had been a guest and friend, and that also Len Stringfield and his wife were very close friends.

Further below I add further background to the matter.

To the Honourable Kim Beazley AC,

Governor of Western Australia,
C/- Official Secretary,
Government House
St George Terrace
Perth WA 6000

To the Honourable Kim Beazley AC,

I am seeking your advice and clarification on a matter involving the PM Robert (Bob) Hawke and his business friend James Kibel that took place in March 1984, while you were the Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence (The Minister for Defence was then Gordon Scholes, with you taking on that position on 13/12/84) and Minister for Aviation. 

Here is a photo of James Kibel and Bob Hawke at a gathering at the Kibel residence in Melbourne from about the early 1970s. Bob Hawke attended a number of similar events at the Kibel residence.

From documentation attached, soon after Bob Hawke became prime minister, he offered James Kibel a political position because of Kibel’s extensive experience in business. Kibel declined the offer, but did ask PM Bob Hawke one favour - to speak to the “Air Defence Minister” regarding the subject of UFOs.  A meeting was apparently facilitated in which James Kibel was also personally shown 5 films of UFOs by the minister during March 1984 along with an extensive UFO (UAS) file collection at Defence division headquarters.  The documentation attached comes from Binder 358 May 85-Oct85 - Notes from Len Stringfield, an American friend of James Kibel, dictated to Stringfield’s assistant Patricia McGowan, dated September 11, 1985. You will note the errors - “the Air Defence Minister”, “the Air Minister Bob Hogg”, The correct ministry designations would have been Defence and/or Aviation, and Bob Hogg was not a minister, but during that time was senior advisor to PM Bob Hawke.  I am aware that Bobb Hogg, currently partnered with Maxine McKew, has not been in good health and I did not wish to burden him with this enquiry.  While PM Bob Hawke may well have asked Bog Hogg to assist in facilitating James Kibel’s meeting, I thought it more likely that it would have come under your jurisdiction.

During the same period 1982 to 1984, over 4 visits, the first being a week long visit to the Russell Offices of the Department of Defence in Canberra I was granted access to the DoD’s UFO/UAS files. Here is a photo I took in the office of the Director of Public Relations (DPR), who was on holidays at the time (January 1982):

I also include 2 pages from my chapter contribution to the 2012 book “UFOs and Government - A Historical Enquiry”:
I therefore ask you of your knowledge/awareness of this matter, and more generally what your knowledge and opinions were and are on UFOs, UAS (Unusual Aerial Sightings - the preferred DOD 1984 term) or UAPs (the current Pentagon preferred term), given now that the matter has assumed a greater significance).

I thank you for your time and your extraordinary service to the people and governance of Australia.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Chalker

author of “The OZ Files - the Australian UFO Story” (1996)

From the WA Governor's website (1 June, 2022):

A similar UFO film viewing experience, to the above claim, was described by the late researcher Budd Hopkins in his 1981 book "Missing Time - A documented Study of UFO Abductions".  He told me the source's name and I was able to directly confirm the account with him. The source has since passed away.  See page 253 of the hardback edition of "Missing Time". Note that both anecdotes  are located in Australia and each feature filming from a B-29 aircraft.  Some were used for monitoring in the Maralinga atomic bomb trials in Australia, which were subsequently used in RAAF surveillance exercises for a few years, before going out of service.  So, there seems to be some suggestions that maybe the story has some substance.
Here is the story recorded by Budd Hopkins:
"As an example of suppressed evidence in government hands there exists a film of four UFOs taken over Australia by that nation's Air Force, and a good friend of mine, a former U.S. Air Force sergeant with top secret clearance, was shown the film in the late 1960s.  Together with other personnel with equally high security ratings, he viewed this short movie shot from an Australian B-29 converted to a photo-mapping function.  It showed a huge, hovering, windowed craft with three small UFOs attach to it as a kind of tail.  A door on the "mothership" opened - two vertical panels and two horizontally aligned ones sliding apart - and the three small ships zipped inside.  The panels closed, the large craft canted at an angle, and in seconds it was gone.  The film image of the UFO was extraordinarily large and clear, filling the entire movie screen."
Another Australian UFO film viewing claim was made by Graham Sayer, who in the mid 1960s, when he was in mid 30s, indicated he was engaged by the Australian government to establish an ambulance and emergency service in Port Moresby, Papua New Guinea. He indicated he had also been appointed medical director with the civil defence network.  In February 1966, he claimed the authorities had sent him on a 2 week training course at the Australian government Civil Defence School near Macedon, Victoria - a course intended for civil defence officials, that prepared them, according to Sayer, for nuclear, fire and flood emergency, but allegedly thrown into the mix was an added issue - UFOs, "which had caused numerous plane and air accidents and disappearances."  According to Graham Sayer the class was shown films of UFOs flying an Arizona military installation, allegedly travelling at about 5,000 miles per hour, as well as footage from the CIA, showing formations of UFOs over a US missile site. Aircraft sent up disappeared according to Sayer.  Sayer claimed that the course instructor indicated there was a worldwide government agreement on "a concerted campaign of silence.  Whenever there was an impressive report of UFO activity, the experts would first try to explain it away as a weather freak, or some other explicable phenomenon. If this failed, they'd try to discredit the witnesses.  According to the instructors, there are some things the public can't handle." 

I welcome any evidence or documentation that would determine the validity of such claims. I can be contacted via
Update: I received this reply from The WA Governor Kim Beasley via his a/official secretary Simon Kennedy.

Given that the Defence Minister in 1983 (Gordon Scholes) had issued something of a "swan song" for UFOs by 1984, it may seem plausible that Kim Beazley would not have received briefings on UFOs during his tenure as Defence Minister (13 December 1984 to 4 April 1990). 
I forwarded this reply:

Dear Mr. Simon Kennedy, A/Official Secretary,

Please pass on my thanks to the Honourable Kim Beazley AC, Governor of Western Australia, for taking the time to respond to my enquiry.  I am most grateful for his response. 

As the Governor's response was focused on the time he served as Minister Assisting the Minister for Defence and Minister for Aviation, I would like to ask of his reflections on the UFO/UAS/UAP matter during his time serving as Minister for Defence and since then, as the matter has been elevated to a matter of serious consideration, particularly with our Five Eyes ally, the USA.

Thank you.

Yours sincerely,

Bill Chalker
author of “The OZ Files - the Australian UFO story”

Should any further information emerge on this interesting story I will add to it here.