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.”


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