Compiled by Keith Basterfield
PO Box 1894 Adelaide SA 5001

Just a reminder that abstracts of reports for this listing may be forwarded to GPO Box 1894, Adelaide, South Australia 5001, or to email><, by the 25th of each month. Copies of this listing are forwarded, at no cost to the receiver, to the 31 UFO organisations/individuals in Australia (a current listing of these may be obtained from me), of whom I am aware. Copies are placed on the internet at: courtesy of Barry Taylor, courtesy of Simon Johnson.

The intention of this listing is to promote co-operation and sharing of data amongst Australian UFO researchers, and to make this information available to others to showcase Australian research.

Those orange lights: what are they?

A while ago I indicated that I was seeking to ascertain the cause of the large number of orange lights being reported throughout Australia, as overseas sources have been citing "flaps" of "orange light UFOs" in this country. I contacted a number of researchers here for their comments and opinions. I thank those who responded to my request.

On an historical note, looking at my files reveals that significant numbers of orange lights commenced about 5 years ago. The "Research Digest" of the now defunct national level group, UFO Research Australia contain numerous sightings of these lights (copies are available on Simon Johnson's website).

For example, issue 31, dated Nov-Dec 1992 detailed an outburst of orange lights over Sydney in July through September of that year. At that stage Bill Chalker went on record as saying that one possible explanation for some of the reports lay in the balloon hypothesis, but that certain elements of some observation did not fit this. Issue 33, dated Mar/Apr 1993 outlined another outburst of orange lights over Sydney, Perth and Adelaide. In Sydney, the view was expressed that many were hot air balloons.

Newspaper reporting on this issue, and their views as to cause, may be illustrated by a representative sample:

"Lights in sky just a prank" (Sunday Times-Perth 16 Oct 1994)

"Strange lights seen over Perth this week were not beings from space but a hoax by school children...a hot air balloon arrangement....we found one about 18 months ago..."

"The truth is flying out there..." (The Sunday Age-Melbourne 6 Jun 1996)

"There have been hoaxes played in the east. The fakers send up hot air balloons made from garbage bags..."

"Fly-by-nights" (Warrnambool Standard-Victoria-14 Jun 1997)

"..."sightings" around Warrnambool last year, which proved to be little more than yahoos releasing garbage bags with fire lighters on wire frames..."

"Our S-files team uncovers the real "UFO" story" (The Plains Producer-Balaklava SA 28 Aug 1996):

"...a roughly diamond shaped formation...plastic garbage bag with a firelighter suspended beneath it...Police had a "friendly chat" with the culprits..."

Returning now to the comments I received. Some of us think that the observations of the characteristics of many of these orange lights, namely descriptions of "floating", "drifting", "smoke trails", "slow movements", durations of 5-15 minutes, clusters of lights which change formation, plus the finding of garbage bags by police and researchers indicate the hot air balloon is the overall answer. In South Australia, where UFORSA has kept a close eye on orange light reports, they believe, due to the above reasons, that most if not all orange lights are garbage bag hot air balloons. They have had close observations where the witness tells they could clearly see a garbage bag, and an instance where a bag fell, still alight, on to a house roof.

Others of us mention that the apparent travel against the surface wind directions; the ability to stop for a while then continue to move; and the clusters of lights; speak against the lights being balloons. Even here, people will agree that while some of the orange lights are garbage bag balloons, they however, do not believe that they are all garbage bags.

In summary, we are divided in our opinion as to the degree in which hot air garbage bags are contributing to the observations of orange lights in Australian skies.

1968/69 Tenant Creek NT Night CE2
A group of 10 or so people in a 1952 vehicle were travelling along when the vehicle's motor just died. They then smelt a "hot metal" odour and a large, dark disc shape rose from a nearby location and rose into the sky with no sound audible. Their motor vehicle's engine could then be started successfully. (Keith Basterfield)

Ca 1988 Adelaide SA 1345hrs 12 min DD
Two security guards were travelling by vehicle when one spotted an unusual object to the rear of a 747 aircraft, in clear blue sky. What appeared to be a white/grey disc, some 3 times the size of the aircraft, was travelling along behind the plane, in the plane's vapour trail. Both men saw the disc over a 12 minutes period. During this time apart from moving with the plane, it seemed to "wobble " from side to side. (Keith Basterfield)

Ca 1992 Adelaide SA NL
A man reported sighting a large, orange fireball as big as a "double storey building." (UFORSA)

4 Jan 1997 Eight Mile Plains (Brisbane) QLD 2315hr 2secs NL
While standing in her garden a woman sighted a bright white, ball shaped object in the southern sky. It "hooked up and flashed off." (UFOIC Queensland-"Ufologist" 1(2):40)

14 Jan 1997 Launceston Tas (0115-0230hrs) NL
Six people reported sighting an object with three flashing lights. Clare Fisher of Invermay said a noise woke her at 0100hrs and went on for 15-20mins. Maggie Ross also woke to a strange noise at 0230hrs. Looking from a window she sighted three bright lights. "They were huge and the middle one was flashing...After a few minutes it disappeared down the river but I could hear the roaring noise for another 20 minutes or so." Heather Whybrow of South Launceston awoke to a noise. She said she saw the object move over the northern portion of the city for about 15 minutes before disappearing. ("examiner" Launceston 17 Jan 1997) Investigations by TUFOIC's Northern representative, Jacob Willard failed to uncover any known aircraft in the area. The object was described as looking like a round, metallic looking object with a number of lights. The blue, orange and red lights were flashing in sequence from left to right as the object moved very slowly in the northern sky. After some 15 minutes it suddenly streaked off to the North. (TUFOIC)

7 Feb 1997 Westbury Tas 0900hrs 3-4mins DD
A witness sighted an object from the bathroom window, calling to his older sister, they then went out into the garden. A white cigar with some grey below was visible in the clear blue southern sky. It was moving slowly from West to east. The boy ran to get binoculars. His sister continued to watch as it suddenly changed to a vertical position. It then made an instant increase in speed descending straight down and being lost to view behind nearby buildings. The object made no noise and left no vapour trail. (TUFOIC-investigated by Jacob Willard)

(Note from TUFOIC-"A number of cases from the West Tamar and Launceston area in 1996 also involved a white cigar to pencil like shape. All the sightings occurring on days with clear blue skies. In some cases the object was seen in a vertical position, whilst its disappearance at times seemed to be instantaneous.)

21 Feb 1997 Manly West (Brisbane) 2235hrs CE1
In the NW sky was a "flaming object". It was blue and orange with a green centre. It left to the West. (UFOIC Queensland-"Ufologist" 1(2):40)

12/13 Apr 1997 Brisbane QLD Evening IFO
An advertising blimp caused numerous reports of a golden/orange glow moving slowly along. (UFOIC Queensland-"Ufologist" 1(2):40)

28 Apr 1997 Lyell Highway Tas 1950hrs NL
A motorist and his passenger encountered lights on the high between Gretna and Hamilton in the Derwent Valley. Initially a red light with a whitish glow about it, in the Northern sky. It seemed to be moving about a bit. Then the light came down sharply at a 45 degree angle. It then looked to have red and green pulsating lights which were moving around. The passenger had the impression there was a dome shaped area above the lights. The lights were now to their right and looked to be some 20m above the trees. The witnesses drove a while then stopped. The lights were last seen going down behind the trees and were no longer visible. (TUFOIC)

1 Jun 1997 Craigmore (Adelaide) SA 0015hrs NL
A man saw an odd arrangement of 8-9 reddish lights similar in colour to the planet Mars; in the Eastern sky. (UFORSA)

1 Jun 1997 Elizabeth SA (1900-1930hrs) 1 min NL
Looking at the Hale Bopp comet, a man noticed a blue coloured, point source of light 3 degrees above and to the North of the tail of the comet. Watched it then it disappeared. Seen only through binoculars. (UFORSA)

1 Jun 1997 Morphettvale SA 2340hrs 80mins NL
Four people sighted a really bright, star sized, white coloured, moving light which went to the left in circles. Over the duration of the observation they travelled to a number of locations to view the light. Believed to be a laser light from the Planet night club in the City. (UFORSA)

3 Jun 1997 Adelaide SA NL/IFO
A very bright light was seen by three people, which changed colours in the WSW sky. Probably astronomical. (UFORSA)

(Reported 6 Jun 1997) Glenelg SA CE4?
Possible abduction. In school years 2 and 4 girl wrote stories of aliens. At 8 put a Barbie camper van on hills hoist, pretending it was a space ship. She recalled an experience at age 15 of dreaming of lights and noise, then woke to find noise and lights. On checking the clock the time was 0115-0215hrs. The next time she checked it was 2-3 hours afterwards. She came to in room. Alien 1.5m tall. The alien raised its right arm and she blacked out. Woke 2-3 hours later. Woke up suddenly. Next day that she had dream-no feelings, and it was a weird dream. She pinched herself and it hurt. (UFORSA)

7-9 Jun 1997 Nymboida NSW (2100-2145hrs) NL
Numerous reports of a "Circular array of coloured and white lights"-blue/red/orange and white-rotating. Observations included:-

A young woman sees stationary, coloured lights, low altitude. Lights move upwards at speed, then stop for a few moments. Witness and mother watch for 45 minutes. Object moves slowly north during this time. Son watched it from different direction. Said it was round "saucer" shaped. No noise. Estimated height-600m. Finally lost sight as it travelled northwards and shone" a beam of white light" downwards. (Barry Taylor.)

7 Jun 1997 Eatonsville (6km N of Grafton) NSW 1930hrs 10mins NL
5 teenagers out camping. One sees orange coloured light to the north. "Fiery orange colour." Low altitude at less than 2km away. "It suddenly shot straight up then hovered in one spot for a while." One person shone torch at it and it responded by:"slowly fading on and off...and began moving towards them." The boys left the area. (Barry Taylor)

8 Jun 1997 One Tree Hill SA Evening NL
On the One Tree Hill to Gawler Road, a man sighted a yellow light in the sky, bigger than a star (estimated as half a degree across-Moon sized). It was "dropping down" and was lost to view. (Keith Basterfield)

8 Jun 1997 Seaford SA 1900hrs 20mins NL
An "orange spherical fireball" was seen travelling NE to SW. There was a glowing red light under it. Travelling slowly. Elevation 50-60 degrees. (South Australian UFO Research Institute)

8 Jun 1997 Para Hills (Adelaide) SA 2030hrs 5mins NL
A yellow/orange light, slightly larger than a star was reported moving slowly. It then descended and headed NW in a bit of an arc. (UFORSA)

8 Jun 1997 Eatonsville NSW 2100hrs NL
Woman reported a "fiery orange light" at low altitude moving slowly to the NE. (Barry Taylor)

8/9 Jun 1997 Eatonsville NSW 2055hrs NL
Two people observed an orange light to the West. (Barry Taylor)

9 Jun 1997 St Mary's (Adelaide) SA 0550hrs NL
Man sees a very bright yellow light just above the hills near Eagle on the Hill. Light moved up and down and then left to right a couple of times. (UFORSA)

9 Jun 1997 Eatonsville NSW Eve
Witness sees the same orange light as previously reported. This time it is further to the East. It went down in the NW. (Barry Taylor)

14 Jun 1997 Willaston SA 2115hrs NL/IFO
Three orange lights seen. (UFORSA)

15 Jun 1997 Victor Harbor SA 2330hrs 1min NL
Woman reported a football shaped, Moon coloured light, low down near trees, as she travelled along a road. (UFORSA)

17 Jun 1997 Brushgrove (N of Grafton) 2310hrs NL
A man driving home to Maclean on the Pacific Highway North of Grafton observed a spiralling white :light" as he approached the Brushgrove turnoff. When first noticed, the object was about 500m above the ground, and was spiralling down towards the ground. The object was described as "saucer" shaped and tilted at a 10 degree angle. The witness said "it appeared to hit the ground about 1/2km away." Barry Taylor checked the area but found nothing unusual. (Barry Taylor)

19 Jun 1997 Hillcrest (Adelaide) SA 0430hrs 5-10mins NL
Two people reported seeing a green/red/white light, point source sized. (UFORSA)

19 June 1997 Moomba SA (1800-1830hrs) 6-7secs NL
5 objects in close formation, in a horizontal line, were seen travelling SE to NW in the Western sky, just above the horizon. They were travelling in a straight line. (UFORSA)

Warrnambool Vic 1808CSThrs NL
Two people were driving near Warrnambool when they "...noticed five or six white lights appear in a straight line...(it was)a very clear sky. The lights moved towards the north, travelling the speed of a small plane...They looked to be perfectly spaced apart from each other, but then they suddenly faded to nothing..." (Warrnambool UFO Investigations (Vic))

Cheltenham (Adelaide) SA 1810hrs 5 secs NL
4 objects were seen travelling south to north, at about 10 degrees above the Western horizon. They were equally spaced and white/yellow in colour, and point source sized. When they reached a particular spot they each disappeared. (UFORSA)

Willaston SA 1810hrs 5-6 secs NL
6 objects were seen travelling south to north, in the Western sky. White in colour, point source sized, they moved in a straight line. (UFORSA)

Strathalbyn SA 1810hrs 3 secs NL
Woman sighted 6 lights in a straight line travelling south to north in the western sky. 4 bright ones and 2 dimmer ones. After 1 sec or so, they all dimmed. Then they brightened again. After another sec they faded again and disappeared from view. No wind. Cloudy-a few stars visible. (UFORSA)

19 Jun 1997 Victor Harbor SA 1830hrs 5-6mins
A man, who lives on a hilltop position, glanced out of his kitchen window which faces North-West, to see a "glint in the clear, dark sky." He got out a high powered (150x) telescope and focussed it on the object at 20 degrees NW. The object was a triangular shape (like a stealth aircraft) but had attached to it, what he took to be "2 big boosters" like the space shuttle has. He and his family watched it climb upwards towards the zenith in the NW sky, over a period of 5-6 minutes. They continued to watch it decrease in angular size until lost to view. Its colour was black. (UFORSA)

19 Jun 1997 Gawler SA 2100hrs NL
A beam of light in the sky, was reported to the East of Evanston Park, by a woman. (Keith Basterfield)

19 Jun 1997 Victor Harbor SA 2130hrs NL
A man was looking South from the Bluff when 20-25 degrees above the horizon he saw a bright, white light with a small flashing light around its perimeter. It stayed motionless for 2 hours. (UFORSA)

20 Jun 1997 Willaston SA 2100hrs 3 mins NL
Looking North-West, a man and his wife saw a cluster of 3-4 orange-red flashing lights. The lights were in a horizontal alignment and soundless. The cluster seemed to approach them. They travelled to the North East. (UFORSA)

21 Jun 1997 Sydney NSW Evening NL/IFO
A blimp, owned by Whitman's chocolate company, was the cause of hundreds of reports to the police, newspapers, radio stations, UFO groups and other agencies. It appeared as a fluorescent yellow, football shaped object. (Sydney Morning Herald 22 Jun 1997.)

21 Jun 1997 Woomera to Roxby Road SA 2345hrs NL
One male advised seeing a green object moving North to South, fairly fast, in a straight line at 15 degrees elevation. It finally went out. (UFORSA)

23 Jun 1997 Salisbury SA 2057hrs 1min NL
A man thought he saw a meteor and then watched an oval/circle shape moving around at 75 degrees East. (UFORSA)

24 Jun 1997 Pt Wakefield Road SA 1750hrs 0.5secs NL
While travelling South, a man saw a bright "ball" of yellow light at 20 degrees South. (UFORSA)

24 Jun 1997 NW Tasmania and Victoria Approx 1800-1830hrs NL
a. Tasmania
Reports came in of "green streaks of lights" from locations including Mangalore, Port Sorrell, Smithton, Burnie and Wynyard, mainly from the NW of the state. Airline pilots were amongst those to see these lights. Pilots flying across Bass Strait reported observation of lights between King Island/Melbourne, and King Island/Wynyard. (The Mercury, Hobart, 25 Jun 1997 page 1, courtesy of Stuart Livesey)

b. Victoria
A fireball lit up the night sky, with observations coming in from Melbourne, Ballarat, and Bendigo. Timing for Ballarat was reported at 1810hrs. At Bendigo, reports stated it was "full

Moon" size, with mention of a "sonic boom" and the possibility of it breaking up. (Adelaide Advertiser 25 Jun 1997 p8.)

24 Jun 1997 Lachlan Tas 1930hrs NL
Mrs B was in her kitchen and noted a bright light source on the kitchen blinds. She looked out to see a large circle of light seemingly at ground level some 200/300m to the East of the house. The light circle was in a paddock at a higher level above the house. Mrs B could see the fence posts in front of the trees at the other end of the paddock. She went outside for a better view but could not see any marks on the circle or hear any sound. The bright white light did not seem to reflect onto any of the nearby trees. She looked out soon after but the light had disappeared. A search of the area failed to locate any marks or explanation for the source of the light. (TUFOIC)

25 Jun 1997 Novar Gardens (Adelaide) SA 2040hrs NL
A pale yellow light moved erratically from the North to the North West at 40 degrees elevation, in straight line. Its colour changed from yellow to red to white. At one point it stopped then continued moving. (UFORSA)

25 Jun 1997 Woodford SA 2100hrs NL/IFO
25 degrees SW was the location for a light, being watched by a woman. Through a telescope they saw a circular planet or star that had craters on it. Suspected telescope out of focus. (UFORSA)

26 Jun 1997 Willunga SA 1700hrs 10min DD/IFO
A bright orange object was seen in the West travelling East. Identified as an aircraft. (UFORSA)

26 Jun 1997 Glenelg (Adelaide) SA 1925hrs 20secs
Object travelling W to E, then turned due S at about 30 degrees, some 3.5km off Glenelg. Size of a 747 jet, disc shaped, with flat bottom and top. Round, bright white lights around circumference-gave impression that object was rotating but this was an illusion due to the oscillation of the lights. Object lost behind trees. Low cumulus cloud cover. (South Australian UFO Research Institute)

26 Jun 1997 Lewiston SA 2100hrs NL
Two people watched 2 bright lights, rotating and going dim and then bright again. They were copper coloured, and circular. 30 degrees SE (UFORSA)

30 Jun 1997 Ramornee (10km W of Grafton) NSW 1900hrs NL
A lady reported a "star" like object low in the Western sky. When first observed, it was slowly moving toward the North similar to a satellite. Suddenly, it changed course and increased speed as it headed toward the East. The "star" then faded out and was lost to view. (Barry Taylor)

2 Jul 1997 Eatonsville NSW 2110hrs 15 mins NL
A lady reported a "yellowish" light at low altitude slowly moving from the Eatonsville area towards Copmanhurst to the NNW. The object then turned to the right and headed North towards the Summerland Way , heading towards the Casino area. Lost to view in the distance. (Barry Taylor)

3 Jul 1997 Port Elliott SA 0715hrs NL
3 objects sighted, greyish colour, round and bigger than a star. Man woke up his wife. Lights approached them. The middle one disappeared. They then saw a round object go straight up. (UFORSA)

3 Jul 1997 Unley (Adelaide) SA Eve NL
A woman described seeing a "football sized orange object with sparklers coming out of it" at 30-40 degrees East. (UFORSA)

4 Jul 1997 Unley (Adelaide) SA 0843hrs 5-7secs DD
While walking down a street, a man saw a "gleaming silver saucer shaped" object at 50-55 degrees East. There was no movement and no sound. (UFORSA)

5 Jul 1997 Oakden (Adelaide) SA (2030-2045hrs) 25-40secs NL
A light was seen crossing a motorist's field of view. It was a bright orange colour and travelling East to West. Lost behind trees. Witness got out of car and saw it take off straight up, like a "laser beam." (UFORSA)

7 Jul 1997 Grafton NSW 1355hrs DD
A lady driving over the Grafton bridge noticed a single "almond" shaped cloud in an otherwise clear sky. This strange looking cloud was small, and appeared to be over the Clorenssa area, looking South-East of Grafton. (Barry Taylor)

7 Jul 1997 Coffs Harbour 2150hrs NL
A man observed two red lights" about 6km out to sea off Coffs Harbour. One of the red objects slowly drifted down and appeared to stop just above the water. After 15-20 seconds, it slowly increased altitude to its original position. The second red light, about 3/4 km from the first, then did the same as the first. After observing for around 2 minutes, the first "switched off" and the second changed colour from a red to a golden orange, then white, and shot off at speed to the coast and inland and was gone in 2 seconds. (Barry Taylor)

10 Jul 1997 Christie Downs (Adelaide) SA (1820-1920hrs) 2-3 secs NL
Woman watched 3 circular, white objects, each half size of Full Moon at 45 degrees North. The lights were in a triangular pattern, two at the base and one at the apex. From the apex light shone up a beam into the sky. Upon turning away then looking back the lights had gone. (UFORSA)

12 Jul 1997 South Australia Evening NL/IFO
An orange/red glow was reported by about a dozen people, scattered from Andamooka to Adelaide. At Andamooka, resident Heather Toufexis noted an orange/red glow to the SE. From the City, residents Kathy and Joshua Rodriguez of Woodville saw a bright orange light travelling in a North to South direction. At Mitchell Park, Bruce Kissock also sighted it. No sound was reported by anyone. Air Traffic Control reported no radar returns. (Channel 7 News at 6pm 13 Jul 97)

12 Jul 1997 Holden Hill (Adelaide) SA 2300hrs 4-5mins NL/IFO
An orange light travelled from 45 degrees West to 45 degrees East. Flickered. (UFORSA)

13 Jul 1997 Craigmore (Adelaide) SA 1820hrs NL
3 huge bright lights seen coming straight towards a witness. Travelling East to West. (UFORSA)

13 Jul 1997 Adelaide SA 1915hrs NL
Woman reported 10-15 bright stars together, larger than an aircraft's landing lights. Bright white in colour. Seen at 30-40 degrees West to North-West. (UFORSA)

13 Jul 1997 Morphett Vale (Adelaide) SA (1950-2000hrs) NL
Two men reported a white light travelling fast from South to North in the Eastern sky. (UFORSA)

13 Jul 1997 Christie Downs (Adelaide) SA 2120hrs NL/IFO
Round orange light seen at 45 degrees South, as "big as a large star." Light travelled in a straight line towards Seaford. (UFORSA)

13 Jul 1997 Yorketown SA Evening NL/IFO
Light flashing from a very bright white light. Close to horizon. Changed from round to oval, then went green and red, then faded to orange colour. Moved to the left. Faded out, then reappeared in its original position. Suspected astronomical. (UFORSA)

15 Jul 1997 Peal Island Qld 0500hrs 30secs NL
Witnesses were in a boat located 6km off Peal Island when they sighted "a very bright flame travelling from West to East and heading in their direction." The object was a few metres off the sea surface, travelling horizontally. It was orange to yellow in colour "and appeared to be quite long with a row of windows or port holes down the side..." It "seemed to just disappear before it got to them..."No sound was noted. (ACRUFO)

17 Jul 1997 Christie Downs (Adelaide) SA 2320hrs 3-4mins NL/IFO
Three people sighted 3 objects. Egg yolk yellow in colour, flickering low down in the Eastern sky. No noise. Point source. (UFORSA)

17 Jul 1997 Adelaide SA Evening NL/IFO
A glowing, amber coloured light sighted by a woman. It travelled slowly, doubled back on itself-hovered, ascended, descended. Movement described as "floating." (UFORSA)

19 Jul 1997 Yorke Peninsula SA (1845-1910hrs) NL/IFO?
Extremely bright white light seen changing to other colours. Cloud cover. Light went into clouds, then it dropped below clouds. Neighbours 3km away also saw it. It was observed at azimuth 10 degrees West of North. Weekend of 12/13 Jul witness also saw light at 45 degree elevation. Steady, clear to yellow light heading East. Disappeared into distance. Witness spoke to a friend who had car radio interference one night returning to Yorketown. Witness sometimes gets TV interference. (UFORSA)

19 Jul 1997 Goolwa SA Evening NL/IFO
Large orange light reported by a man. It went up from the ground, then hovered. When next he looked it had gone. (UFORSA)

19 Jul 1997 Darlington (Adelaide) SA 2230hrs 20mins NL/IFO
RAAF technician sees 3 orange lights travelling soundlessly across the sky, going south. One went downwards, the others passed over it. (UFORSA)

Sources for this issue

Australian Combined Research into UFOs 40/2 "Coomera Landing" Koala Town Drive, Coomera, Qld 4120. Please note new address.
Barry Taylor,
PO Box 1157, Grafton, NSW 2460
Keith Basterfield,
GPO Box 1894, Adelaide SA 5001
South Australian UFO Research Institute,
24hrs reporting service tel: 015 711 768
UFOIC Queensland,
PO Box 805, Springwood, Qld 4127
PO Box 222, 50 Albert Street, Brisbane, Qld 4002.
-PO Box 281, Blair Athol SA 5084.
Warrnambool UFO Investigations (Vic),
PO Box 1194, Warrnambool, Vic 3280.

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Australian UFO Research Network Hotline number

1800 772288