Thursday, July 28, 2022

The Elephant in the room: How the UAP subject was (almost) completely ignored at the 2022 ADSTAR Summit on innovation and collaboration within the FIVE EYES nations.

(This is a slightly edited adaptation of Geoff Cruickshank's excellent report on the 2022 ADSTAR Summit I attended (in part in person) with his kind support.  I've inserted a few pieces of commentary, noted with "-B.C.")

The Elephant in the room: How the UAP subject was (almost) completely ignored at the 2022 ADSTAR Summit on innovation and collaboration within the FIVE EYES nations.

The Australian Government still refuses to acknowledge the Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomenon at the precise moment the U.S. Government announced the ARRO / UAP-JPO..

Mr. Geoff Cruickshank B.IT, M.IEEE 27 July, 2022


“Hey Ross, did you know that the United States Under Secretary of Defense (Research andEngineering) will be in Sydney next month?”.

That was my initial email to well known Australian UAP researcher Ross Coulthart on the 21st of June 20221. I’d just completed a 5 month long Defence innovation program called D.StartIgnite2, which was co-facilitated by the Defence Science & Technology Group and the Commonwealth Science Industrial Research Organisation (CSIRO) and the follow-on opportunity was the potential to present at the Australian Defence Science Technology And Research (ADSTAR) Summitin Sydney from the 20-22nd July 2022. The venue was the International Convention and Exhibition Centre in Sydney; I live on the other side of the continent and had recently returned from attending the Indo-Pacific International Maritime Exhibition at the same venue with the D.Startprogram. I was checking out the attendees of ADSTAR to see if my innovation of the Australian Defence Force using liquified natural gas as a fuel source would be of interest to anyone, and stumbled across the profile of Ms. Heidi Shyu5, Under Secretary of Defense (Research and Engineering). I also found out that Mr. Ashley Sharma6, Director, Electromagnetic Warfare and Countermeasures (OUSD R&E) would also be presenting at the Summit, as was Dr. Stefanie Tompkins- Director, Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency (DARPA). Given the U.S. Government’s recent “about turn” on the UAP subject, I figured with these U.S. Government heavy hitters at the Summit it would be a great opportunity to ask a few questions with regards to the Australian Government’s position on UAPs. Ross indicated he was keen to attend (he lives near Sydney) so I organised his ticket.

Unfortunately for the Australian Government, the ADSTAR Summit with its U.S. Keynote Speakers could not have occurred at a more inconvenient point in time. In October 2021, the Chief of the Royal Australian Air Force, Air Marshall Mel Hupfeld was asked several questions in a Senate Estimates Hearing of the Australian Parliament regarding UAPs. AM Hupfeld took the questions on notice and was obviously not happy about being put “on the spot” in such a setting8.

With the answers not immediately forthcoming (for obvious reasons), Melbourne-based researcher Grant Lavac submitted a Freedom of Information request to Defence in April 2022,the results of which can be read in full at veteran Australian researcher Keith Basterfield’s site9. In summary, Lavac published the response he received July 8 2022 and was basically as follows:

As an ally, have the United States offered to or asked to collaborate on UAP investigations?

* No, the United States nor any other nation or ally have requested or offered to collaborate on UAP reporting or investigation

* Defence has no desire to seek collaboration on this issue

So, 12 days out from a Defence Summit that promoted innovation, collaboration and enhanced partnership within the FIVE EYES nations, the Australian Government has stated it has no interest in the UAP subject? To make matters worse, on July 13, 2022, The House voted to create a secure government system for reporting UFOs and to compel current and former officials to reveal what they might know about the mysterious phenomena by promising to protect them from reprisal10. To be fair, in the interim between the FOIA being submitted and when it was published saw the Australian Government change hands with the Right aligned Prime Minister Scott Morrison voted out and the Left aligned Anthony Albanese taking over. Perhaps the inaugural ADSTAR Summit presented a forum where new policies regarding the UAP subject would be announced to rectify the apparent posture discrepancy on UAPs between these two important allies?

As we now know, the period between June 21 and July 20, 2022, was quite historic for the global scientific acceptance of the Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena. The fact that “undersea” was added as a hyphenated word to maintain the new acronym was extraordinary though for people like me who had an interest in astronomy as a kid and had managed to obtain one of only two Australian library held copies of Ivan T. Sandersons’ Invisible Residents11 in 1984 this was not a surprise. Ross and I corresponded early on, figuring out what questions to ask of the U.S. Delegates if opportunity knocked. Unfortunately, work commitments with Channel 7 arose for Ross and he would be in the U.S. at the time the Summit was on. As the ticket under his name was already organised, I asked if any of his other contacts in the UAP research field would like to attend in his place. Ross got back to me and said Sydney based scientist and veteran UAP researcher Bill Chalker12 was interested. I started organising the name change on the conference ticket – having attended INDO-PAC 22 two months prior at the same venue I knew they would be asking for identification to prove the ticket holder was who they said they were. I discovered that the last day to finalise name changes for existing ticketholders was June 21 2022 – if I wanted Bill to attend on the day that Ms. Shyu and Mr. Sharma were speaking, I’d have to organise a new ticket. Given the opportunity that was presenting itself was a once-in-a-lifetime chance to obtain clarity on the Australian Government’s UAP position directly from the scientists who would researching the subject, I bit the bullet and bought another two tickets for Bill to attend on July 21, with me attending virtually. As it turned out, this arrangement seemed to work in our favour on the day.


The first day of the Summit saw some Plenary sessions with the Chief Scientists of 3 of the FIVE EYES nations discussing how to “Find out how the partner nations intend to work together to enhance resilience by accelerating the transformation of emerging disruptive technologies into capability.13

The line-up for the Opening Plenary was as follows:

Dr. Cathy Foley, Australia's Chief Scientist

Professor Tanya Monro, Chief Defence Scientist Department of Defence

Ms Heidi Shyu (OUSD(R&E)) US Department of Defense

Professor Dame Angela McLean, Chief Scientific Adviser UK Ministry of Defence

I attended this Plenary virtually – listening in whilst talking to Bill via text and email, discussing which sessions he should attend the next day for the best opportunity to ask questions. My ears pricked up when Dr. Foley mentioned “extra-terrestrial” during her talk – however it was in relation to comsat terminals and perhaps a play with semantics. There was no indication during the Plenary that Australia was about to take the UAP matter seriously – in fact, I discovered that during the Plenary sessions that there would be NO opportunity to ask questions either in-person or virtually. The scoping of the virtual summit space prior to the target sessions on July 21 came in handy as I did find an interesting tool on the virtual conference attendee desktop that allowed something called a “Brain-Date” with conference attendees that you would be interested to talk with – and there were plenty of attendees we were interested in talking to.

Lavac’s FOIA revealed that Defence had consulted with several people for their response. One of the consultants listed was a DST Group scientist named Rod Smith. He was initially slated to present at the ADSTAR 22 Summit as the “STaRShot Leader for Resilient Multi-Mission Space” Plenary panels.14 I reached out to Mr. Smith with a Brain Date request for Thursday, 21 July 2022:

Unfortunately, Smith did not attend the Summit, as a late cancellation he was replaced in the STaR Shots – Equipping the ADF to prevail in contested environments” Panel by Mr Andrew Seedhouse, Chief of Intelligence, Surveillance and Space Division.15

I found out later on that the Brain Dates were for physical attendees only. I therefore arranged with Bill Chalker to meet Smith when he responded with his chosen time slot.


Knowing there would be zero opportunity to ask questions at the Keynote Plenary, I watched virtually whilst Bill sat in the audience. The title of this session was “Resilient and Fortified Nations – Five Eyes Panel16 and in addition to Monro, McLean and Shyu were their Canadian and New Zealand counterparts Dr. Jaspinder Komal and Dr. David Galligan. Nothing of substance regarding UAPs was derived from this session, just the usual buzzwords and jingoisms.

The Keynote Plenary session - I'm somewhere in the blur of the audience - B.C.

At 10:30 am however, the fun really started. In a session entitled “Resilient Multi-Mission Space - Strategic Space Research and Innovation for Defence16 and in Rod Smith’s absence, I posted the following question in the session, which was limited to 250 characters:

“Last week the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence (SSCI) changed the Airborne Object Identification and Management Synchronization Group to the "Unidentified Aerospace-Undersea Phenomena" Office. Will we create a similar one to collaborate?”

Absolutely no response. It was the “elephant in the room”. Someone even voted on my question, which was one of only two online (as a side note, the Chair should have asked the questions).

At 12:00, there was a small dilemma; the “Information Warfare”18 session where Sharma was presenting was occurring at the same time as the “Remote Undersea Surveillance”19 session. Given the inclusion of the word “undersea” in the UAP acronym, I thought this session may also prove worthwhile to view. It was decided that Bill would sit in the audience for Sharma and I would log in virtually to both, and Bill would text me if things got interesting in the Sharma session. I posted the same question as above in both sessions.

Firstly, the Remote Undersea Surveillance session was, in my opinion, a train wreck. Two of the three presenters didn’t show up, including the keynote speaker Professor Stuart Anderson, Adjunct Professor University of Adelaide.20 The Chair mentioned he had seen Anderson “at breakfast” that morning, and that “perhaps he was lost?”. Andersons’ subject matter expertisewas in the Jindalee Over-The-Horizon-Radar system, something which Ross Coulthart suspects is “really good at detecting UAPs”. Were there concerns that Ross might be in attendance and start asking some inconvenient questions? (I hadn’t cancelled his ticket after all).

It might have just been poor scheduling by the organisers – who knows. With two no-shows, the lone presenter was left to extend his presentation to nearly twice its intended length. The elephant was even bigger in this room – with my question the only one displayed in the online section, the Chair tried desperately to ignore it by dragging a question – any question other than mine – from the audience, without much success.

The Information Warfare session was very enlightening, if not comical. One presenter took to the lectern to discuss online disinformation, debunking and narrative shaping forums whilst my question remained up, in full view by the audience and panellists on their Smartphones.

As an Australian citizen, I found this disappointing to watch – the very question they have been dodging for decades was front and centre, and they seemed to be explaining exactly how they dodge information they deem to be “fake”, “misinformation” or deliberate “disinformation”. The irony was palpable.

Finally, Ash Sharma’s presentation started. Speaking to Bill afterwards, the room was packed to the rafters with hundreds of people (Well, it seemed like it to me when I arrived, but I wasn't counting - B.C). A last-minute room change found Bill entering the room during the previous speaker’s session. With standing room only at the back, and people sitting on the floor down the front (actually on the side - B.C) , Bill knew he needed to get near the stage if there was to be any chance of the UAP question being asked. ... Bill showed extreme mission focus and agility to make his way down to the front of the room. Watching from 4000 km away in Darwin, I informed Bill via SMS text that although other online questions had been asked in the other sessions, mine had been exclusively ignored. It was all up to Bill to ask the question.

Sharma’s session was interesting, even with it being unclassified. At one point Sharma suggested a future classified session where things could be discussed in greater detail. There was a range of topics discussed – “silent swarming” drones, enhanced access sensor systems and next generation adaptive radar systems.

Sharma’s presentation finished to rousing applause, and then the Chair asked around forquestions. Given the subject matter and current world events, there were many inquisitive people asking about Cambridge Analytica’s role in the 2016 U.S. Presidential Election, Russian InfoWar Ops in Ukraine and other such things. “I think we have time for a few more questions...” said the Chair, still ignoring my online question. Unfortunately for them though,this time there was an Elephant in the Room, and it had a voice.

Bill Chalker, I’m consulting with various people on the Unidentified Aerial Phenomena, and a question for Ashley Sharma is: Your Government is actually formalising an agency for the study of UAPs in America, and I’m wondering whether you’re talking to the Australian equivalent to formalize the same arrangements here, and if not, why not?

BOOM. You could have heard a pin drop. No one laughed. No one giggled about “Little Green Men”. This was a serious person being asked a serious question on a subject his Government now takes extremely seriously.

Sharma: “So.., so my disclaimer here – I don’t represent the Government, I work for them, right? So, I can’t speak on their behalf officially, but I can give you my opinion, where it matters, right – and my focus is really electronic warfare, so I can’t really talk to UAP, and ah, I can point you to the direction where you might get more detailed information and have your questionresolved.”

With hundreds of Defence scientists and uniformed personnel in the room, the veteran UAP researcher Bill Chalker managed to finally get the extremely important subject of Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena discussed. Mission accomplished! Speaking to Sharma briefly afterwards, Bill supplied his email address for further communications. I was very happy with the result, and Bill has posted the footage on his blog site “OZ Files”.21

(It was hard to tell the real number watching as I was focused on watching and listening to the lecture, but I guess there were unknown numbers watching virtually, plus as it rolled out past the scheduled finish time & lunch, numbers started leaving. By then it was extended question time. The uniform military seem to leave at this point. They were occupying a table or 2. By then I wasn't focusing on diminishing numbers. Just trying to get my question in, so Geoff's reference to 100s of government scientists, at least in person might be a bit of a stretch. How many virtually who knows? - B.C.)


The video: 

The video will play via this Facebook link (post date 30 July 2022):
(I wanted to ask a UAP question that I felt was in proper context. Time constraints meant I could only ask a very brief question.  For me that came with Ashley Sharma's fascinating presentation. After the end of his presentation, as the meeting broke up, I saw that Mr. Sharma was still on stage, so I went up to talk to him further.  I asked him whether in their trials of drone swarms did US assets present know about the trial.  I got the impression they did. He asked me for my contact details so he could follow up for answers to my question.  I found Mr. Sharma to be a friendly cordial person.  I thanked him for his time. Given the timing of the Pentagon announcement, if an answer is forthcoming, it should come from the new "All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office (AARO). See below for my context discussion - B.C.)


I came away from the Summit with mixed emotions – elated that Bill had managed to ask the question, but disappointed at the lengths we had to go to get the most exciting and Earth- shattering science subject in human history mentioned at an event that claimed a new vigour “to scan the horizon for curveballs”. Well, everyone in those sessions on July 21st saw this curveball coming for a full three hours that day and it still managed to smack them fair in the forehead. Why were the “scientists” scared even to mention the UAP subject at this Summit?

I didn’t bother attending the next day’s sessions, even though the Director of DARPA was onone of the Plenary panels. There was no way they were going to willingly discuss the subject.

As we saw with Ryan Graves’ Keynote address at the SCU Conference in June22, professional pilots are becoming increasingly concerned about the hazards to aviation that UAP present.

“DSTG brings together interdisciplinary expertise from across Australia and around the worldto address Defence and national security challenges. Our role is to work closely with the Australian science, technology and innovation eco-system to deliver scientific advice and solutions that provide capability enhancement for Defence and the national securitycommunity.”23

Hiding from a phenomenon that may pose hazards to the Warfighter is not a “capability enhancement”.


Almost by pure chance (or was it synchronicity?), at the very same time Under Secretary of Defense (Intelligence and Security) Ronald S. Moultrie released a memorandum announcing the creation of the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office.26 (21 July in Sydney was 20 July in D.C.) This was incredible – whilst the Australians are trying to dodge admitting the existence of UAPs, their greatest military ally and FIVE EYES partner announces an Office to research the subject matter. I find it inconceivable that Under Secretary Heidi Shyu did not know about this announcement several weeks beforehand - their office doors must nearly touch in the Pentagon.

Interestingly, after seeing my LinkedIn post, a connection within the U.S. Military posted the following on LinkedIn:

Could it be that Australia is outsourcing their equivalent Office to the All-domain Anomaly Resolution Office / Unidentified Aerospace-undersea Phenomena Joint Program Office to a private aerospace contractor? Personally, I feel this a very real possibility, as I have held positions in the past with Boeing Defence Australia in both Darwin and Russell Offices Canberra as a contractor for the Australian Defence Force. This arrangement has several benefits – for recruiting purposes, the contractor is not constrained by the Australian Public Service pay scales and can offer considerable remuneration, as well as a certain level of “plausible deniability”. Further evidence that this scenario may in fact be in play was received whilst writing this document Grant Lavac received another FOIA response on July 27 2022 from the Royal Australian Air Force, doubling down on their previously stated position on UAP, and that they will not respond to him on this subject matter further.29 Absolutely astounding – do they not care about the hazards to aviation that UAPs represent? What are they thinking?

My final comment on this clearly rapidly evolving situation:

Whoever is advising the Australian Defence Force to take this position has a very limited grasp of what is presently happening in the Pentagon and the U.S. Senate Select Committee on Intelligence. Is an Australian, non-Defence Intelligence Organization pulling the strings behind the scenes here? If so, I suggest they follow SCU member Douglas Dean Johnson30 and the Australian UAP researchers mentioned in this paper – otherwise, Australia will continue to be ridiculed as incompetent fools on the global stage in relation to the UAP subject.

(My context discussion (B.C.) - During Mr. Sharma's fascinating presentation, his references to drone swarms had me thinking about matters I had researched previously, that made me think that a UAP question was very relevant.  

Back on 30 November 2019 I gave a lecture:

"UFOs and the paranormal in focus today: Murmurations of the UFO phenomenon"

in North Sydney at the 2019 Australian Institute of Parapsychological Research (AIPR Inc) mini-symposium.

by way of a coincidence, synchronicity or something even weirder - my wandering mind - I explored some odd connections with the theme of "murmurations" - From my review of Jacques Vallee's "Forbidden Science" Volume 4 - the 1990s:
In conjunction with the earlier volumes of “Forbidden Science” we can see important trends and the development of a central thread, namely that Vallee is often describing the ebb and flow of the UFO “invisible college” as it developed originally around Dr. Allen Hynek. Quite often it is a somewhat secretive evolution of the “invisible college”, in that those with the right connections, academic, military, intelligence and political, are made privy to the fuller complexity and nature of such interactions. Like birds flocking together, sometimes purposely and other times with a lack of cohesion, the concept of murmuration seems apt in describing the long evolution of such gatherings.  Coming together, flocking together, focusing and coming apart, often collapsing, then reforming for a purpose.  These can be elusive for outsiders to follow and sometimes erratic in their focus.
From "Invisible College murmurations" to actual bird murmurations that could even look like a UFO or UAP:
To a "drone swarm" (Project Nemesis?), bird murmurations, UAPs or whatever over Washington DC in late November 2019:

I was also wondering if "drone swarms" were an explanation for the recent UAP events in naval training areas of the east and west coasts of the US. I was keeping an open mind. 

maybe some agency (hopefully from a friendly power), such as the US Air Force, might be deploying advanced systems or hardware to gather data on friendly asset ("equities")/UAP/UFO encounters, under such operations as contemporary upgrades of programs like Project Palladium or the more current drone swarm programmes such as the Nemesis programme - perhaps, or perhaps not, explanatory threads for the Nimitz encounter and other more recent cases, using different agencies in "hot" undisclosed "war games" to test secret technology. Maybe the thinking in these highly contested fields of potential warfare, agencies have lept into a new dynamic of inflicting "new gear" on friendly turf - better that, finding the "bugs" in friendlier "games" rather than in hostile situations.  A lot of players argue that many of the encounters are beyond our current abilities & technologies and suggest inter-agency "warfare" games, keeping one side in the dark to monitor the fallout, seems unlikely.

What I do suggest is unlikely is that those sorts of possibilities were involved in the following event that also played out in daylight, over suburban Sydney, Australia, back in 1994. This encounter led to a civilian pilot into a potentially highly dangerous mid air encounter.  Such encounters are not rare in the annuals of UFO research.  The group NARCAP specialised in pilot/UAP/UFO encounters for decades.  Writers like Jenny Randles & Jerome Clark have written about such encounters ("Something in the Air"(1998) & "Strange Skies" (2003).

Some current players in the UAP/UFO game may benefit enormously from examining the evidence gathered by UFO researchers for decades.  Think about it. 

Here is a case I suspect wasn't a product of an advanced secret programme, drones etc:


 – a pilots dramatic encounter in 1994 

In March 2010 intense media attention was focused on a set of unusual photos taken in the Sydney suburb of Chipping Norton. UFOs were in the news again. Here I focus focus on a story that emerged as a consequence of the publicity. I received an email from a pilot as follows (with some editing): 

Hello Bill, 

I saw you this morning with Kerri-Ann(you are looking well). I met you 19 years ago when a friend and I reported a sighting at Picnic Point on 1 Dec 1991 (12:30am). Amazingly, you advised us at this time that we would probably see another incident in our lifetimes. 

Attached is a document where I have detailed an incident that occurred to me (and another friend), on 10 April 1994. For reasons I have noted below, I did not keep a record of this incident at the time. 

At the time of the incident, I was trying to obtain my private pilot licence. I copped some pretty severe ridicule from friends and acquaintances who I told of my earlier incident. So I did not report this second incident in case CASA found out about it and deemed me to be crazy. I eventually got my pilot licence in 1998 and the subject seems to be more acceptable these days. 

In any case the reason I have decided to let you know about this is because it occurred so close to the recent Chipping Norton report and also the two objects that I witnessed were flying very close to each other, similarly to the small objects in the right field of the photo. 

I was taking my first passenger on a flight into the Bankstown training (area). We departed Bankstown at about 10:30am. We had been flying for about 30 minutes (and we were at 2,000 feet) when (the passenger) advised me that she was feeling air sick and she wanted to return to the airport. 

We were headed in a northerly direction just south of the Warragamba to Prospect reservoir pipeline. We were approximately over Badgerys or Kemps Creek. As I began to descend to 1,500 feet (the approach altitude for Bankstown), to our right and just above us I saw two saucer shaped objects which were glowing brightly of sparkling gold. They were about 1. 5 kms away. 

The objects followed our descent to 1,500 feet and during this time I noted that they were performing impossible aerial acrobatic manoeuvres. Firstly, they were flying very close to each other, then on top of each other and then visa versa all within about 40cm. Each craft was between 2 to 3 meters across and about half a meter in depth. 

As we approached the pipeline, I began to turn to the east to follow it to the reservoir. Both objects turned with us and took a course directly in front of us at the same altitude. 

As I tried to halt our descent at 1,500 ft I found that the aircraft continued to descend. I applied full power in an attempt to arrest the fall. This put our revs into the red zone however our descent continued. 

Knowing that I could maintain these high revs for only 1 or 2 minutes, I thought that I was experiencing some kind of engine malfunction. I began looking around for a suitable place to perform an emergency landing. 

The two objects remained in front of us and continued their impossible manoeuvres. I asked (my passenger) ‘What are they’; she replied that she did not know. 

I then turned the radio to the ATIS weather for Bankstown to check if the wind had suddenly started to blow strongly from the east. I found this not to be the case. 

The objects were still there as I then turned the radio back to Bankstown tower frequency. 

When I looked up from the radio, the two objects had vanished. Simultaneously the engine began to over-rev and the aircraft immediately began to regain altitude. I pulled back the throttle. 

I asked (my passenger) if she saw where they went. She said that she thought that they had slowed, then descended and had passed underneath us. 

We then proceeded to Bankstown where we made a normal approach and landing. 

The Kerrie-Anne reference was to Kerrie-Anne Kennerley on whose Channel 9 TV show “Mornings” I had appeared on.

The reference to CASA relates to the Civil Aviation Safety Authority - the government body that regulates Australian aviation safety, which licenses pilots, registers aircraft and oversees safety.

I subsequently conducted an interview with the pilot, examined his log and gone over records, maps and other matters to detail this intriguing sighting, which powerfully suggests that whatever UFOs are, they represent a potential hazard to our aircraft, and for this reason alone (there are of course many other reasons) the UFO mystery should be taken seriously and should be investigated openly by science. 

The pilot would report another curious sighting of a strange cone shaped object seen from his suburban Sydney home in daylight on 13 March 2011. He remains puzzled by each of his sightings, as I do, but most of all his frightening April 1994 aircraft remained the most confronting for him.  - B.C.)

DASA is supposed to cover our military "safety" events.  The RAAF tell us that their pilots do not see UFOs or UAPs. History tells us otherwise.  A classic example is the Sea Fury case of 1954.

1.Personal email correspondence 21 June 2022 with Ross Coulthart.














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