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.


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